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do not move, or which move only with the motions of the eye, are points in the retina which are insensible to light, and are therefore to be dreaded as symptomatic of danger to vision. To decide, then, whether the muscæ volitantes are or are not indicative of danger, the patient should fix his eye on a white surface (as a sheet of letter-paper) after a sudden shake of the head; if they sink gently downwards, they are innocent. It should perhaps be added, that though they seem to descend, they must in reality be ascending; floating up in the vitreous humor as far as the cellular partitions formed by the hyaloid membrane will permit. See EYE. For further information on the differences between the innocent and the dangerous forms of muscæ volitantes, the reader is referred to an article by sir David Brewster in the North British Review for Nov., 1856.

MUS'CARDINE, or SILK-WORM Rot (Botrytis Bassiana), a fungus (see BOTRYTIS) which grows on silk-worms, and often kills them in great numbers. It consists of erect branching threads, with clusters of spores at the end of short lateral branches. The spores of this fungus germinate even on healthful silk-worms, and in circumstances otherwise most favorable to their healthfulness. They germinate also on the caterpillars of other lepidopterous insects. When this pest appears among silk-worms, its progress cannot be checked by any means known. For prevention, it is most important that the silk-worms be not overcrowded.

MUSCAT', or Maskật, an independent Arab state, forming the sea-cost of Omân, in Eastern Arabia. It extends from the strait of Ormus to the island of Moseirah, and nowhere exceeds 150 m, in width. The coast and interior are both sterile, but the country is studded with very fertile oases. The capital is Muscat; pop., 60,000, on the Persian gulf, a fortified town, surrounded with gardens and date-palms. It has a very good harbor, which, in the winter months, is reckoned the best refuge in the Indian ocean, and is a most important center of trade, where the productions of Europe, of Africa, and of the east are exchanged. The principal exports are Arabian coffee and pearls obtained from the Persian gulf; but wheat, dates, raisins, salt, sulphur, drugs, and horses are also exported. The independence of Omân dates from 751, when the people elected a sovereign of their own. For 900 years the Imaums were elected for personal merit, and afterwards from members of a ruling family. Muscat was taken by Albuquerque in 1507, and remained in the hands of the Portuguese till 1648, when the Arabs recovered possession of it. The Imaums afterwards made extensive conquests in eastern Africa, including Zanzibar, Mombas, Quiloa, etc. In 1798 they acquired possession of the coasts of Laristan and Mogistan, the islands of El Kishim and Ormus, and the town of Bender Abbas in Persia, paying to the shah a rent or tribute of 6,000 tomans. The state was very prosperous under the wise and mild sway of Said Seid, the late Imaum. He ascended the throne in 1803, at the age of 16, and reigned till his death in 1856. He was long a faithful ally of England. In 1854 the Imaums were driven from their Persian dependencies, which in their opinion belonged to them in perpetuity so long as they paid the rental. They recaptured Bender Abbas, but in consequence of English interfence, they were compelled to conclude a treaty with Persia in April, 1856. This is said to have broken the heart of the old Seid, who died Oct. 19, 1856. He appointed his son Majid to succeed him in Zanzibar, and his son Thuwany to succeed him in Muscat. The latter was murdered by his son Salim in 1868, who reigned for a short time, but was driven out by his uncle Sayed Tuky. In consequence of the unsettled state of affairs in Muscat, Persia has assumed the government of Bender Abbas and the Persian coast territory. See ZANZIBAR and WAHABIS.—See History of the Imaums and Seyids of Omân, by Sahib-ibn-Razik, from the Arabic, by Rev. G. P. Badger (1781); Markham's History of Persia (1874).

MUSCATEL (Ital. moscado, musk), the name given to many kinds of sweet and strong French and Italian wines, whether white or red. Amongst the finest are the white Rivesalt and red Bagnol wines from Roussillon, and the Lunel from the Pyrenees, the Lacrymæ Christi and Carigliano of Naples, etc.

MUSCATINE', a co. in s. e. Iowa on the Mississippi river; 440 sq.m.; pop. '80, 23,168-19, 192 of American birth. The surface is varied, and the soil fertile. There are rich deposits of coal, and quarries of freestone and limestone. The chief productions are corn, wheat, rye, barley, oats, and wool. The chief articles of manufacture are car. riages, metal-ware, boots and shoes, and clothing. There are also saw, flour, and planing-mills, breweries and machine shops. The Burlington, Cedar Rapids, and Northern, and the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific railroads pass through it. It is drained by the Cedar river. Co. seat, Muscatine.

MUSCATINE', a city of Iowa, U.S., is on the w. bank of the Mississippi, 100 m. above Keokuk, and 32 s.e. of Iowa city. It has a large trade by the river, and several rail. roads, three steam-flour mills, planing-machines, four large saw-mills, which annually produce about 30,000,000 ft. of timber, besides shingles, etc. There are 14 churches, schools, newspapers, etc. Pop. '80, 8,295.

MUSCHELKALK (Ger. shell-lime), the middle member of the triassic, or new red sandstone period, the beds of which are entirely absent from the British strata. Being, typically developed in Germany, the foreign name has been universally adopted to designate hem They consist of (ist) a series of compact, grayish, regularly-bedded limestone,

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MUSCHELKALK PERIOD. – 1. Nautilus bidorsatus. 2. Encrinus liliiformis; 3, stem thereof. 4. C

arenaceum. 8. Miophoria pes anseris. 9. Mytilus eduliformis. 10. Pemplix Sueurii. 11. 15. Tracks of the Cheirosaurus. 16. Teeth and vertebra of the Nothosaurus. 17. Scene in t

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Peratites nodosus. 5. Ocean in the Muschelkalk period. 6. Terebratula vulgaris. 7. Equisetum

Aspidura scutellata. 12. Gervillia socialis. 13. Turbinites dubius. 14. Rhyncholithus hirundo. the Keuper (upper division of triassic period). 18. Voltzia heterophylla. 19. Charitodon Tschudii.

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