Imatges de pągina

Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by


In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

I. Ashmead & Co. Frinters.

SEP 12 28


MONOTHEISM; the belief in, and worship of, a single God, opposed to a plurality of gods (polytheism). The most ancient written records (the Bible), and the traditions of the most ancient nations, give us cause to regard this religion (in an imperfect state indeed) as the oldest and original religion. The Mosaic annals speak of God as the Creator of heaven and earth; and the ancient doctrines of the Bramins speak of a single divine nature holding preeminence over the three other principal divinities, which are to be regarded, as it were, as the three chief energies of a supreme God, viz. of the Parabrama, who is fully and clearly set forth, with all the attributes of divinity. The Chaldeans,also,besides the light which they opposed to darkness, believed in a higher increate light, which is eternal, almighty, wise and good, and from which first proceeded the corporeal light. The Persians placed above their Ormuzd and Ahriman their Zeruanon Akherme, and the eternal word. Even the Egyptians had, in their Eikton, a Supreme Being, at least for their secret religion. All the different mythologies have, among the host of gods with which they people heaven and earth, some supreme God, more or less defined, but, in every case, distinguished above the others. And in every instance we see, in these mythologies, the gods gradually multiplied, as man departed, farther and farther, from the simple and original revelation, till lost in the multitude of deified personifications which he had himself created; but even in the case of the most refined polytheism, there always remains an idea of something more powerful, to which even the gods are subject, as the Fate of the ancients. The altar at Athens,

"to the unknown God," mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, is also a proof of the prevalence of the same feeling. Reflecting minds, too, were always found, who deviated from the national polytheism, as the heathen philosophers, Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, &c., and many later Platonists, the Egyptian philosopher Psammon, who, according to Plutarch (Life of Alexander), inculcated the doctrine that God is the general Father of all men, choosing the best of them for his children. The history of the Hebrews affords the most striking instance of the preservation of monotheism amid the corruptions of paganism. Notwithstanding the errors into which they were frequently led by the example of the nations around them, they still preserved the idea of one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, till, from their view of Jehovah, whom they regarded and adored, for the most part, only as the original God of the chosen people, was unfolded the purer and more comprehensive monotheism of Christianity.

MONOTHELITE. (See Maronites.)

MONROE, James, one of the presidents of the U. States, was born April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland county, Virginia, on the Potomac, on land of which, a century and a half before, his ancestor, who first migrated to this country, was the original grantee. He was educated at William and Mary college, and, in 1776, entered the revolutionary army as a cadet. He was soon after appointed a lieutenant, and, in the summer of that year, marched to New York, and joined the army under the command of general Washington. He was engaged in the battle of Harlem Heights, in that of White Plains, in the


retreat through the Jerseys, and in the attack on Trenton. In the last, he was in the vanguard, and received a ball through his left shoulder. For his conduct in this action, he was promoted to a captaincy. General Wilkinson, in his Memoirs, bears strong testimony to the gallantry and zeal of Mr. Monroe, in the New Jersey campaign. He was soon after appointed aid to lord Sterling, and served in that capacity during the campaigns of 1777 and 1778, and was engaged in the actions of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. He distinguished himself in these actions. By entering the family of lord Sterling, he lost his rank in the line, which he was anxious to regain; but, as this could not be regularly done, Washington_recommended him to the legislature of Virginia, who authorized the raising of a regiment, and gave him the command. In the exhausted state of Virginia, colonel Monroe failed to raise his regiment, and therefore resumed the study of the law, under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia. He was active as a volunteer in the militia, in the subsequent invasions of Virginia, and, in 1780, visited the southern army, under De Kalb, as a military commissioner, at the request of governor Jefferson. In 1782, he was elected a member of the Virginia assembly, and, the same year, by that body, a member of the executive council, and, in 1783, at the age of twenty-four, a member of the old congress, in which he served three years. He was always at his post, engaged in the most arduous duties. He introduced a resolution to vest in congress the power to regulate the trade with all the states, and other important resolutions. He was appointed a commissioner to settle the controversy between New York and Massachusetts. In 1787, he was again returned to the assembly of Virginia, and, in 1788, was a member of the convention of that state, to decide on the present constitution of the U. States. In 1790, he was elected a member of the senate of the U. States, in which body he served until 1794. In May, 1794, he was appointed minister plenipotentiary to France. Mr. Monroe was recalled from this mission in 1796, by president_Washington, with an implied censure. In 1799, on the nomination of Mr. Madison, he was appointed governor of Virginia, in which situation, he served the constitutional term of three years. In 1803, he was appointed minister extraordinary to France, to act in conjunction with Mr. Livingston, the minister resident there. This mission was of the

greatest consequence to this country, as it terminated in the acquisition of Louisiana. In the same year, he was appointed minister to London, and the next year to Spain. In 1806, in conjunction with the late William Pinkney, he was appointed minister to London, where he pursued the negotiations with the Fox ministry. Mr. Monroe, having been prominently brought forward as a candidate for the presidency, as successor to Mr. Jefferson, had an option given him to remain at the court of London, or return. He returned, but soon after withdrew from the canvass. In 1810, he was again elected a member of the assembly of Virginia, and, in a few weeks after the meeting of that body, governor of that state. Nov. 26, 1811, he was appointed secretary of state. The war department being in a very embarrassed state, on the departure of its head, general Armstrong, Mr. Monroe undertook it, and made extraordinary and very useful exertions to help the war on the lakes, and the defence of New Orleans. After he had reduced to order the war department, he resumed the duties of the department of state, which he continued to exercise until, in 1817, he was chosen by the people of the U. States the successor of James Madison. In 1821, he was reëlected by a vote unanimous with a single exception, one vote in New Hampshire having been given to John Q. Adams. He was wise and fortunate in the selection of his ministers and measures. He went further than either of his two immediate predecessors, in maintaining the necessity of an efficient general government, and in strengthening every arm of the national defence. He encouraged the army, increased the navy, and caused those foreign naval expeditions to be sent out to the West Indies, the Mediterranean, the coast of Africa, and the shores of South America, which have given instruction to our officers, augmented the number of our seamen, protected the national commerce, and caused the country to be universally respected by distant nations. He ordered the principal head lands and exposed points along our borders and the seacoast to be accurately surveyed, plans of fortifications drawn, and the reports made up, with a view to the ultimate complete defence of the frontiers of the U. States, both on the land and sea side. He directed inquiries, surveys and plans, as to the most suitable sites for the northern and southern naval depots for the repair and accommodation of our fleets during times of war and peace. The cession of Flori

da by Spain to the U. States was effected during his administration. It was during his administration that the emancipated Spanish and Portuguese colonies were formally recognised by the American government. He assumed high constitutional grounds in favor of internal improvement and the bank of the U. States. He was mainly instrumental in promoting the pension law for the relief of indigent revolutionary soldiers. During his administration, the illustrious Lafayette was invited to visit these shores as the guest of the nation. He took the most energetic measures in favor of the abolition of the slave-trade, and continued to encourage the establishment of the principles of commerce with all nations, upon the basis of free and equal reciprocity. It is a high compliment to the firmness, judgment and sagacity of Mr. Monroe, that he proclaimed to the world the determination of the U.States not to suffer any European power to interfere with the internal concerns of the independent South American governments. The well-timed expression of this sentiment put an end to all rumors of any armed intervention in the affairs of Spanish America. Colonel Monroe retired from the office of president at the end of his second term. In the late stages of his life, he was associated with the expresidents Jefferson and Madison, in founding and regulating the university of Virginia. Subsequently, he was chosen a member of the convention for amending the constitution of his native state, and presided over the deliberations of that assembly. He did not disdain to act as justice of the peace in the county of Loudon, in which he resided. Mr. Monroe died at New York, on the 4th day of July, 1831, the anniversary of American independence, like the ex-presidents Adams and Jefferson. Colonel Monroe's biography is intimately and honorably connected with the civil and military history of the U. States. We have merely indicated the principal stations which he held, and the nature of the services which he performed. He was one of the leaders of the democratic or Jefferson party, and involved in most of the party questions and occurrences by which the country was divided and agitated. He possessed a very energetic, persevering spirit, a vigorous mind, and extraordinary powers of application. In his unlimited devotion to the public business, he neglected his private affairs. He retired from office extremely deep in debt-a situation from which he was relieved, though when al

most too late, by liberal appropriations of congress to satisfy the large claims which he preferred on the government for moneys disbursed and debts incurred on its account.

MONS (Latin for mountain); found in a great number of geographical names, particularly in languages derived from the Latin, as Montigny (inflamed mountain), Piedmont (foot of the mountain), Montpellier (Mons Puellarum), Montmirail (admirable mountain), Montmartre (mountain of Mars or of the martyrs), Montreal (royal mount), Vermont (green mountain), &c.

MONS (Berghen); a city lately belonging to the kingdom of the Netherlands, at present in the kingdom of Belgium, capital of the province of Hainaut, situated on a steep hill, on the Trouille. Since 1818, its fortifications have been much extended and strengthened, and it now forms one of the strongest frontier fortresses of Belgium. The country around can be easily laid under water. Popula tion, 20,000. Its manufactures have been considerable, consisting of woollen, linen and cotton goods, oil, soap, pottery; and it has carried on an extensive trade in coals, obtained in the neighborhood, hops, grain, cattle, horses, mill-stones, marble. Mons is an old city, and has belonged by turns to Spain, Austria, and France. (See Netherlands.)

MONSEIGNEUR (French, my lord); a title of dignity in France; the dauphin was formerly styled monseigneur, without any addition. Princes, archbishops, bishops, cardinals, marshals of France, presidents of parliament, &c., were addressed by this title. The plural is messeigneurs. The Italian monsignore is used in a similar manner.

MONSIEUR (in French), used simply, without any addition, formerly designated the king's eldest brother. In common use, it answers both to the English sir and Mr., and is also used before titles. In writing, it is expressed by the abbreviation M. The plural is messieurs. Monsieur is sometimes used by English writers as a term of contempt for a Frenchman.

MONSIGNY, Pierre Alexandre, born 1729, in Artois, a popular musical composer, who is considered as the creator of the French comic opera. While young, his talent for music was suddenly awakened by his witnessing the performance of Pergolesi's Serva Padrona, and he devoted himself entirely to the study. He learned composition under Giannotti, who dismissed him in five months, as a pupil who knew all that he could teach. But Gian

notti was astonished to find that his pupil had already composed an opera, Les Aveux indiscrets., which he brought out, after having recast it, three years afterwards (1759). Encouraged by its success, he produced, in 1760, Le Čadi dupé and Le Maître en Droit. The opera On ne s'Avise jamais de tout, brought forward in 1761, completed the musical revolution at the théâtre de la Foire, which then took the name of the Italian opera. Le Roi et le Fermier; Rose et Colas; Aline, Reine de Golconde; L'Isle sonnante; Le Deserteur, &c., were received with great applause. On the death of Grétry, Monsigny succeeded him in the institute, and on the death of Piccini, in 1800, he was appointed director of the conservatoire, at Paris. He died in 1817..

MONSOONS (from the Malay mussin, season); periodical trade-winds, which blow six months in one direction, and the rest of the year in an opposite one. They prevail in the Indian ocean, north of the 10th degree of south latitude. From April to October, a violent south-west wind blows, accompanied with rain, and from October to April a gentle, dry north-east breeze prevails. The change of the winds, or the breaking up of the monsoons, as it is called, is accompanied by storms and hurricanes. These periodical currents of winds do not reach very high, as their progress is arrested by mountains of a moderate height. (See Winds.)

MONSTERS; in physiology, creatures whose formation deviates in some remarkable way from the usual formation of their kind. The deviation consists sometimes in an unusual number of one or several organs; sometimes, on the contrary, in a deficiency of parts; sometimes in a malformation of the whole or some portion of the system, and sometimes in the presence of organs or parts not ordinarily belonging to the sex or species. In most cases, these unusual formations are not incompatible with the regular performance of the natural functions, although they sometimes impede them, and, in some cases, are entirely inconsistent with the continuance of the vital action. It is not surprising that we should be ignorant of the manner in which monsters, or irregular births, are generated or produced; though it is probable that the laws by which these are governed are as regular, both as to cause and effect, as in common or natural productions. Formerly, it was a general opinion, that monsters were not primordial or aboriginal, but that they were caused

subsequently by the power of the imagination of the mother, transferring the imperfection of some external object, or the mark of something for which she longed, and with which she was not indulged, to the child of which she was pregnant, or by some accident which happened to her during her pregnancy. But this has been disproved by common observation, and by philosophy, not, perhaps, by positive proofs, but by many strong negative facts; as the improbability of any child being born perfect, had such a power existed; the freedom of children from any blemish, though their mothers had been in situations most exposed to objects likely to produce them; the ignorance of the mother of any thing being wrong in the child, till, from information of the fact, she begins to recollect every accident which happened during her pregnancy, and assigns the worst or the most plausible as the cause; the organization and color of these adventitious substances; the frequent occurrence of monsters in the brute creation, in which the power of the imagination cannot be great; and the analogous appearances in the vegetable system. Judging, however, from appearances, accidents may perhaps be allowed to have considerable influence in the production of monsters of some kinds, either by actual injury upon parts, or by suppressing or deranging the principle of growth, because, when an arm, for instance, is wanting, the rudiments of the deficient parts may generally be discovered.

MONSTRELET, Enguerrand de, a chronicler of the fifteenth century, born at Cambray, of which he became governor, was the author of a history in French, of his own times. The history extends from 1400 to 1467; but the last fifteen years were furnished by another hand. It contains a narrative of the contentions of the houses of Orleans and Burgundy, the capture of Normandy and Paris by the English, with their expulsion, &c. Monstrelet died in 1453.

MONT BLANC (white mountain); the loftiest mountain of Europe, one of the summits of the Pennine Alps, on the borders of Savoy and Aosta, between the valleys of Chamouni (q. v.) and Entreves; lat. 45° 50′ N.; lon. 6° 52′ E. The following measurements of its elevation above the surface of the Mediterranean sea are deemed the most accurate : by M. Deluc, 15,302 feet; M. Pictet, 15,520; sir George Shuckburgh, 15,662; M. Saussure, 15,670; M. Tralles, 15,780.

« AnteriorContinua »