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a coin, a collar divided into segments working in center pins, is used. On the proper pressure being applied, the segments close round, and impress the letters on the edge of the coin.
The screw of the press is put in motion by means of the piece A, which is worked by machinery driven by steam-power, and situated in an apartment above the coin. ing room. The steam-engine exhausts an air-chamber, and from the vacuum produced, an air-engine works a series of air-pumps, which communicate a more exact and regular motion to the machinery of the stamping-presses than by the ordinary condensing engine. The loaded arms RR strike against blocks of wood, whereby they are prevented from moving too far, and run the risk of breaking the hard steel dies by bringing them in contact. The press brings down the die on the coin with a twisting motion, but if it were to rise up in the same way, it would abrade the coin; there is, in consequence, an arrangement which, by means of a wide notch in the ring 3, allows the die to be raised up a certain distance before it begins to turn round with the screw.
On the left side of the figure, the arrangement for feeding the blanks and removing the coins as they are stamped, is shown. A lever HIK, moving on a fulcrum I, is supported by a bar Q, fixed to the side of the press. The top of this lever is guided by a sector, 7, fixed upon the screw D. In this sector there is a spiral groove, which, as the screw turns round, moves the end H of the lever to or from the screw, the other end K being moved at the same time either towards or away from the center of the press. The lower end of the lever moves a slider L, which is directed exactly to the center of the press, and on a level with the upper surface of the die. The slider is a thin steel-plate in two pieces united by a joint, and having a circular cavity at the end, which, when its limbs are shut, grasps a piece of coin by the edge. This piece drops out on the limbs separating. There is a tube at K which an attendant keeps filled with blank pieces; it is open at the bottom, so that the pieces rest on the slider. When the press is screwed down, the slider is drawn back to its furthest extent, and its circular end comes exactly beneath the tube. A blank piece of coin now drops in, and is carried, when the screw rises, to the collar which fits over the lower die. "The slider then returns for another blank, while the upper die descends to give the impression to the coin. Each time the slider brings a new blank to the die, it at the same time pushes off the piece last struck, An arrangement of springs lifts the milled collar to inclose the coin while it is being struck.
It is found on examining the coins that about 1 in 200 is imperfectly finished; these being rejected, the rest are finally weighed into bags, and subjected to the process of py.ring. This consists in taking from each bag a certain number of sovereigns or other coins, and subjecting them to a final examination by weight and assay, before they are delivered to the public.
MINT (ante). The first U. S. mint was established at Philadelphia by the coinage act of April 2, 1792; and the first production of the new mint was the copper cent of 1793. Silver dollars were first coined in 1794 and gold eagles in 1795. Branches of the Philadelphia mint were organized at New Orleans, Dahlonega, Ga., and Charlotte, N. C., in 1835; at San Francisco, Cal., in 1854, and at Carson City, Nev., in 1870. Those organized at Dahlonega and Charlotte have been given up. Assay offices were set up at New York in 1854, at Denver in 1864, and Boise City, Idaho, in 1872. The act of April 1, 1873, put all the mints and assay offices on the same footing as a bureau of the treasury department, under the superintendence of the director of the mint, who is appointed by the president for a term of 5 years, and is under the supervision of the secretary of the treasury. The director of the Philadelphia mint, who had hitherto been called director of the mint, was now known as superintendent of the Philadelphia mint. Every mint has a superintendent, melter and refiner, assayer, and coiner, and the Philadelphia mint has an engraver, who supervises the manufacture of the dies used in all the T. S. mints. The total production of the mints for 1884 was: gold coin, $27,932,824.00; silver, $28,773,387.80; minor coins, $1,174,709.73. The director of the mint in 1889 was James P. Kimball, of Pennsylvania.
MINTO, GILBERT ELLIOT, Earl of, 1751-1814; entered the British parliament as g whig in 1774. He was minister to Denmark from 1789 to 1794, then went to Corsica as viceroy. On his return in 1797 he was created baron Minto, and two years later he became ambassador to Vienna. On his reappearance in the house of lords he became an advocate of the union of Ireland with England, and afterwards strenuously opposed Roman Catholic emancipation. He was governor-general of Bengal from 1807 to 1813, and in the latter year received the titles of earl Minto, viscount Melgund.
MINTURN, ROBERT BOWNE, 1805-66; b. N. Y.; entered mercantile life at an early age in New York city, and became eventually a partner in the well known shipping house of Grinnell. Minturn & Co., in which he accumulated a large fortune. He was chiefly noted as an active promoter of the city's charities; as one of the founders of St. Luke's hospital; for patriotic service during a visit to Europe in 1861; and as an earnest worker in behalf of the freedmen. At the time of his death he was president of the Union League club of New York.
MINU CIUS, FELIX MARCUS, an eminent apologist of the Latin church in the 3d century. He was a native of Africa, but removed to Rome, where he was a successful advocate until his conversion to Christianity. Jerome and Lactantius speak of him as much admired for his eloquence. He wrote a work entitled Octavius in the form of a dialogue between a Christian called Octavius and a heathen called Cæcilius. Octavius defends the Christians from the calumnies which were circulated against them, charging them with crimes in their secret religious meetings. He, on the other hand, exposes the licentious practices of the heathen. The style of the work is argumentative and pure, and much information is given concerning the manners, customs, and opinions of that period. As an apology for Christianity his work compares favorably with those of Justin, Tertullian, and other early advocates of the Christian faith, and with those of Lactantius, Ambrose, and Eusebius of the 4th century. It was at one time ascribed to Arnobius as a part of his treatise Adversus Gentes; but Baldwin in a Dissertation on Minucius, shows that Minucius was the author. It has passed through many editions at Ley. den and Cambridge, Eng., the latter containing numerous notes by Dr. Davis, and a dis. sertation or commentary by Baldwin. It has been translated also into French and Ger. man.
MINUET, the air of a most graceful dance, originally from Poitou, in France. It is performed in a slow tempo. The first minuet is said to have been composed by Lully the elder, and was danced by Louis XIV. in 1653 at Versailles with his mistress. The music of the minuet is in & time, and is still well known in England by the celebrated minuet de la cour, which is frequently introduced in stage performances.
MINUIT, MINUITS, or MINNEWIT, PETER, 1580-1641; b. Germany; a deacon in the Protestant or Walloon church in Wesel, who removed to Holland early in the 17th c., and after a residence there of some years received from the Dutch West India company the appointment of governor and director-general of New Netherland. He reached the seat of his government, Manhattan island, May 4, 1626, and proceeded to establish in permanency his tenure and that of the company by purchasing the island from the Indians, obtaining it for the sum of sixty guilders, about 24 dollars. He built fort Amsterdam, and defended the claim of the Dutch to rightful possession of the island with great courage and determination, while he administered the affairs of his office judiciously and to the general satisfaction of the colony, which advanced in power and prosperity. The fact that the patroons were successful in establishing titles to enormous Tracts of land became objectionable to the Dutch West India company, who recognized the introduction of abuses in this course and placed the responsibility on the shoulders of gov. Minuit. In 1631 he was accordingly recalled by the company, and sailed for Holland in the following spring, but was driven into Plymouth, Eng., by a gale. Here a charge was set up against him of having prosecuted illegal trading within English dominions, and his vessel was attached on complaint made by the New England council. It required a protest from the ambassador of Holland in London to obtain the release of the vessel, and the discharge of the complaint; and this was not effected until the latter part of May. Minuit now made every effort to re-establish himself in the favor of the Dutch West India company, but without success, and at length offered his services to the government of Sweden for colonizing purposes. His proposition was favorably considered by the celebrated Oxenstiern, who was then chancellor, and through his influence a Swedish West India company was organized, and Minuit was commissioned by the queen to establish a Swedish colony in America. He accordingly gathered together sufficient Swedes and Finns for this purpose, and sailed for the port of Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1637, bound for the w. coast of Delaware bay, which point had been selected for the site of the new colony. He arrived in Chesapeake bay in the spring of 1638, ard built fort Christiana, near where the city of Wilmington, Del., now stands. The Swedish colonization scheme was bitterly opposed by the Dutch, who threw every possible obstacle in the way of its success, and eventually captured the colony and annexed it to their possessions in 1655. But while it was under the direction of Minuit, during which time it was called New Sweden, the Dutch were unable to accomplish its absorption. Minuit died at fort Christiana.
MINUTE, a rough draft of any proceeding or instrument; so called from being taken down shortly and in minute or small writing, to be afterwards engrossed. See ENGROSS. -MINUTE, in law, is a memorandum or record of some act of a court or of parties; in the latter sense, it is used chiefly in Scotland, as in the case of minute of agreement, minute of sale, etc.
MINUTE, the 60th part of an hour; also the 60th part of a degree of a circle. See SEXAGESIMAL ARITHMETIC.-MINUTE, in architecture, is the 60th part of the diameter of the shaft of a classic column, measured at the base. It is used as a measure to determine the proportions of the order.
MI'OCENE (Gr. less recent), a term introduced by Lyell to characterize the middle tertiary strata, which he supposes to contain a smaller proportion of recent species of mollusca than the newer pliocene, and more than the older eocene. He estimates the proportion of living to fossil species in the miocene at 25 per cent.
Strata of this age occur in Britain in two limited and far separated localities-in the island of Mull, and at Dartmoor in the s.e. of England. In this last district, they exist at Bovey Tracey, in a flat area of 10 m. long by 2 m. broad, and consist of clay interstratified with beds of imperfect lignites. Pengelly and Heer have recently examined the strata of this small basin, and have found that all the plants are of miocene age, and belong to the same species as those found in similar deposiis, not only on the continent, but in Iceland, Greenland, and Arctic America. Their facies indicates a warmer climate than the present, and the geographical range of the species is unexampled in the existing flora. The Mull beds are situated at the headland of Ardtun, and consist of interstratified basalts, ashes, and lignites. There are three leaf-beds, varying in thickness from 11 to 24 ft., separated by two beds of ash, the whole resting on and covered by strata of basalt. The whole thickness is 131 feet. It is supposed that the leaf-beds were deposited in a shallow lake or marsh, in the vicinity of an active volcano. One of the beds consists of a mass of compressed leaves without stems, and accompanied with abundant remains of an equisetum, which grew in the marsh into which the leaves were blown. The leaves belong to dicotyledons and coniferæ, and are of species similar to those of Bovey Tracey. See illus., TERTIARY PERIOD, vol. XIV., p. 318, fig. 3.
The Fahluns of France are of this age, as are also part of the Mollassi of Switzerland, and the Mayence and Vienna basins. Of the same period are the highly fossiliferous deposits in the Sewalik hills, India, containing the remains of several elephants, a mammoth, hippopotamus, giraffe, and large ostrich, besides several carnivora, monkeys, and crocodiles, and a large tortoise, whose shell measured 20 ft. across. , The European beds contain the remains of the dinotherium (q.v.).
MIOHIPPUS. See HORSE, Fossil.
MIÖSEN, a lake in Norway, 36 m. n.e, of the city of Christiania, from which it may be reached by railroad. It is formed by the Lougen river, which empties into the lake at the little village of Lillehammer, and is 56 m. long and 12 m. in its greatest width. The scenery is very picturesque, and, as the climate of that part of Norway is most invigorating, the vicinity of the lake is very popular as a summer resort.
MIRABEAU, HONORÉ GABRIEL RIQUETTI, Comte de, was b. Mar. 9, 1749, at Bignon, near Nemours. He was descended, by his own account, from the ancient Florentine family of Arrighetti, who, being expelled from their native city in 1268, on account of Ghibelline politics, settled in Provence. Jean de Riquetti or Arrighetti purchased the estate of Mirabeau in 1562; his grandson, Thomas, happened to entertain here, in 1660, Louis XIV. and cardinal Mazarin, on which occasion he received from the monarch the title of marquis Victor Riquetti. Marquis de Mirabeau (b. 1715, d. 1789), the father of Honoré, was a vain and foolish man, wasted his patrimony, wrote books of philanthropy and philosophy, as L'Ami des Hommes (5 vols Par. 1755), and was a cruel tyrant in his own house. We procured no fewer than 54 lettres de cachet at different times against his wife and his children. Honoré, his eldest son, was endowed with an athletic frame and extraordinary mental abilities, but was of a fiery temper, and disposed to every kind of excess. He became a lieut. in a cavalry regiment; but continued to prosecute various branches of study with great eagerness, whilst outrunning his companions in a career of vice. An intrigue with the youthful wife of an aged marquis brought him into danger, and be fled with her to Switzerland, and thence to Holland, where he subsisted by his pen, amongst other productions of which his Essai sur le Despotisme attracted great attention. Meanwhile, sentence of death was pronounced against him; and the French minister, at his father's instigation, demanding that he should be delivered up to justice, he and his paramour were apprehended at Amsterdam, and he was brought to the dungeon at Vincennes, and there closely in prisoned for 42 months. During this time he was often in great want, but employed himself in literary labors, writing an Essai sur les Lettres de Cachet et les Prisons d'état, which was published at Hamburg (2 vols. 1782), and a number of obscene tales, by which he disgraced his genius, although their sale supplied his necessities. After his liberation from prison, he subsisted chiefly by literary labor, and still led a very profligate life. He wrote many effective political pamphlets, particularly against the financial administration of Calonne, receiving pecuniary assistance, it was said, from some of the great bankers of Paris; and became one of the leaders of the liberal party. When the states-general were convened, be sought to be elected as a representative of the nobles of Provence, but was rejected by them on the ground of his want of property; and left them with the threat that, like Marius, he would overthrow the aristocracy. He purchased a draper's shop, offered himself as a candidate to the third estate, and was enthusiastically returned both at Aix and Marseilles. He chose to represent Marseilles, and by his talents and admirable oratorical powers soon acquired great influence in the states-general and national assenbly. Barnave well characterized him as “the Shakespeare of eloquence.” He stood forth as the opponent of the court and of the aristocracy, but regarded the country as by no means ripe for the extreme changes proposed by political theorists, and labored, not for the overthrow of the monarchy, but for the abolition of despotism, and the establishment of a constitutional throne. To suppress insurrection he effected, on July 8, 1789, the institution of the national guard. In some of the contests which followed, he sacrificed his popularity to maintain the throne. The more that anarchy and revolutionary frenzy prevailed, the more decided did he become in his resistance to their progress; but it was not easy to maintain the cause of constitutional liberty at once against the supporters of the ancient despotism and the extreme revolutionists. The king and his friends were long unwilling to enter into any relations with one so disreputable, but at last, under the pressure of necessity, it was resolved that Mirabeau should be invited to become minister. No sooner was this known than a combination of the most opposite parties, by a decree of Nov. 7, 1789, forbade the appointment of a deputy as minister. From this time forth Mirabeau strove in vain in favor of the most indispensable prerogatives of the crown, and in so doing exposed himself to popular indignation. He still continued the struggle, however, with wonderful ability, and sought to reconcile the court and the revolution. In Dec., 1790, he was elected president of the club of the Jacobins, and in Feb., 1791, of the national assembly. Both in the club and in the assembly he displayed great boldness and energy; but soon after his appointment as president of the latter, he sank into a state of bodily and mental weakness, consequent upon his great exertions and his continued debaucheries, and died April 2, 1791. Ho was interred with great pomp in the church of St. Genevieve, the “Pantheon;" but his body was afterwards removed to make room for that of Marat. A complete edition of his works was published at Paris in 9 vols. in 1825–27. His natural son, Lucas Montigny, published Mémoires Biographiques, Littéraires et Politiques de Mirabeau (2d edit. 8 vols. Par. 1841), the most complete account which we have of his life. See also Carlyle's sketch of Mirabeau in his Miscellaneous Essays and his French Revolution.
MIRACLE, a term commonly applied to certain marvelous works (healing the sick, raising the dead, changing of water into wine, etc.), ascribed in the Bible to some of the ancient prophets, and to Jesus Christ, and one or two of his followers. It signifies simply that which is wonderful-a thing or a deed to be wondered at, being derived directly from the Latin miraculum, a thing unusual-an object of wonder or surprise. The same meaning is the governing idea in the term applied in the New Testament to the Christian miracles, teras, a marvel, a portent; besides which, we also find them designated dunameis, powers, with a reference to the power residing in the miracle-worker; and sēmeia, signs, with a reference to the character or pretensions of which they were assumed to be the witnesses or guarantees. Under these different names, the one fact recognized is a deed done by a man, and acknowledged by the common judgment of men to exceed man's ordinary powers; in other words, a deed supernatural, above or beyond the common powers of nature, as these are understood by men.
In the older speculations on the subject, a miracle was generally detined to be a violation or suspension of the order of nature. While, on the one hand, it was argued (as by Hume) that such a violation or suspension was absolutely impossible and incredible; it was maintained, on the other, that the Almighty, either by his own immediate agency, or by the agency of others, could interfere with the operation of the laws of nature, in order to secure certain ends, which, without that interference, could not have been secured, and that there was nothing incredible in the idea of a law being suspended by the person by whom it had been made. The laws of nature and the will or providence of God were, in this view, thus placed in a certain aspect of opposition to each other, at points here and there clashing, and the stronger arbitrarily asserting its superiority. Such a view has, with the advance of philosophical opinion, appeared to many to be inadequate as a theory, and to give an unworthy conception of the divine character. The great principle of law, as the highest conception not only of nature but of divine Providence, in all its manifestations, has asserted itself more dominantly in the realm of thought, and led to the rejection of the apparently conflicting idea of “interference" implied in the old notion of miracle. Order in nature, and a just and uncapricious will in God, were felt to be first and absolutely necessary principles. The idea of miracle, accordingly, which seems to be now most readily accepted by the advocates of the Christian religion, has its root in this recognized necessity."
All law is regarded as the expression, not of a lifeless force, but of a perfectly wise and just will. All law must develop itself through natural phenomena; but it is not identified with or bound down to any uecessary series of these. if we admit the mainspring of the universe to be a living will, then we may admit that the phenomena through which that will, acting in the form of law, expresses itself, may vary without the will varying or the law being broken. We know absolutely nothing of the mode of operation in any recorded miracle; we only see certain results. To affirm that these results are either impossible in themselves, or necessarily violations of natural law, is to pronounce a judgment on imperfect data. We can only say that, under an impulse which we must believe proceeds from the divine will, in which all law exists, the phenomena which we have been accustomed to expect have not followed on their ordinary conditions. But from our point of view we cannot affirm that the question as to how this happens is one of interference or violation; it is rather, probably, one of higher and lower action. The miracle may be but the expression of one divine order and beneficent will in a new shape—the law of a greater freedom, to use the words of Trench, swallowing up the law of a lesser.
Nature being but the plastic medium through which God's will is ever manifested to us, and the design of that will being, as it necessarily must be, the good of his creatures, that theory of miracle is certainly most rational which does not represent the ideas of
laws, and of the will of God as separate and opposing forces, but which represents the divine will as working out its highest moral ends, not against, but through law and order, and evolving from these a new issue, when it has a special beneficent purpose to serve. And thus, too, we are enabled to see in miracle not only a wonder and a power, but a sign La revelation of divine character, never arbitrary, always generous and loving, the character of one who seeks through all the ordinary courses of nature and operation of law to further His creatures' good, and whose will, when that end is to be served, is not restricted to any one necessary mode or order of expression. Rightly interpreted, miracle is not the mere assertion of power, or a mere device to impress an impressible mind; it is the revelation of a will which, while leaving nature as a whole to its established course, can yet witness to itself as above nature, when, by doing so, it can help man's moral and spiritual being to grow into a higher perfection.
The evidence for the Christian miracles is of a twofold kind-external and internal. As alleged facts, they are supposed to rest upon competent testimony, the testimony of eye witnesses, who were neither deceived themselves, nor had any motive to deceive others. They occurred not in privacy, like the alleged supernatural visions of Mohammed, but for the most part in the open light of day, amidst the professed enemies of Christ. They were not isolated facts; nor wrought tentatively, or with difficulty; but the repeated, the overflowing expression, as it were, of an apparently supernatural life. It seems impossible to conceive, therefore, that the apostles could have been deceived as to their character. They had all the means of scrutinizing and forming a judgment regarding them that they could well have possessed; and if not deceived themselves, they were certainly not deceivers. There is no historical criticism that would now maintain such a theory; even the most positive unbelief has rejected it. The career of the apostles forms throughout an irrefragable proof of the deep-hearted and incorruptible sincerity that animated them. The gospel miracles, moreover, are supposed in themselves to be of an obviously divine character. They are, in the main, miracles of healing, of beneficence, in which the light equally of the divine majesty and of the divine love shines—witnessing to the eternal life which underlies all the manifestations of decay, and all the traces of sorrow in the lower world, and lifting the mind directly to the contemplation of his life.
MIRACLE PLAYS. See MYSTERIES.
MIRACLES, ECCLESIASTICAL. The position of the reformed churches generally with regard to miracles is that they ceased in the church after the apostolic age, while the Romanists contend that the power to perform miracles has remained with the church and will continue forever. The arguments of the reformed are that when the work of the apostles was finished the necessity for miracles ceased, and that during the first hundred years after the death of the apostles we hear little or nothing of the early Christians working miracles. Bishop Douglas says: “I can find no instances of miracles mentioned by the fathers before the 4th century." In the 4th c. they speak of the age of miracles as past, and say that they were no longer to be expected. This is frequently asserted by Augustine, and Chrysostom testifies the same in his sermons on the resurrection and the feast of pentecost. And even when they relate remarkable deeds performed by Christian believers, and which the Roman Catholics pronounce miraculous, they declare them to be natural results. Bishop Douglas says ihat these wonderful workings were confined to “the cures of diseases, particularly the cures of demoniacs, by exorcising them; which last seems, indeed, to be their favorite standing miracle.” Even prof. Newman, contrasting the scriptural and ecclesiastical miracles, says: “The miracles of Scripture are, as a whole, grave, simple, and majestic; those of ecclesiastical history often partake of what may not unfitly be called a romantic character, and of that wildness and inequality which enters into the notion of romance.” Yet Butler says: “Roman Catholics, relying with confidence on the promises of Christ, believe that the power of working miracles was given by Christ to his church, and that it never has been and never will be withdrawn from her.” And Bellarmine argues that the Protestant church, lacking this power, is manifestly not of God. Romanists refer to what Ignatius, of the 1st c. after Christ, relates of the wild beasts let loose upon the martyrs being restrained from hurting them, and to the miracle which prevented the apostate Julian from rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem. As to the first, Ignatius regarded the occurrence as wholly in the line of natural events. It is important to notice the fact that the writings of the ante-Nicene church are more free from miraculous and superstitious elements than the records of the middle ages, and especially of monasticism. Dr. Isaac Taylor remarks: “From the period of the Nicene council and onward, miracles of the most astounding kind were alleged to be wrought from day to day. But these miracles were, in almost every instance, wrought expressly in support of those very practices and opinions which stand forward as the points of contrast distinguishing Romanism from Protestantism, as the ascetic life, the supernatural properties of the eucharistic elements, the invocation of the saints, and the efficacy of their relics, and the reverence or worship due to certain visible and palpable religious symbols." Dr. Schaff makes the following remarks concerning the miracles of the Latin church: 1. Many of them have a much lower tone than those of the Bible, making a stronger appeal to our faculty of belief. 2. They serve not to confirm the Christian faith in general, but to support the ascetic life and many superstitious practices. 3. The farther removed from