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Vossius, or Vos, Gerard John, a cele- that country, where he died in 1688. brated writer on criticism and philology, Besides editing the works of Scylax, Jusborn near Heidelberg, in 1577, studied at tin the historian, Catullus, Pomponius Dordrecht and Leyden. At the age of Mela, St. Barnabas, and St. Ignatius, he twenty, he commenced his literary career published Dissertatio de vera Ætate Munby the publication of a Latin panegyric di; De Septuaginta Interpretibus eorumque on prince Maurice of Nassau, and, two Translatione et Chronologia Dissertationes, years after, became director of the college in which he defended the chronology of of Dordrecht. In 1614, the chair of phi- the Septuagint version against the Helosophy was offered him at Steinfurt; brew text of the Old Testament; De Pobut he preferred the direction of the ematum Cantu et Viribus Rhythini, &c. theological college established at Leyden; Isaac Vossius was, while in England, and, after having occupied that post four intimate with St. Evremond and the years, amidst the storms of religious con- duchess of Mazarin ; but though he lived troversy, he procured the more peaceable much in the society of the great, his appointment of professor of rhetoric and behavior was sometimes rude, and his chronology. Having declared himself in language by no means decent. In his favor of the Remonstrants, he became writings, he maintained extravagant paraobnoxious to the prevailing party in the doxes, while he was generally considchurch; and, at the synod of Tergou, or ered as an infidel in religion. Hence Gouda, in 1620, he was deprived of his Charles II said he was a strange divine, office. Through the influence of arch- for he believed every thing but the Bible. bishop Laud, the patron of Arminianism VOTIACKS. (See Finns.) in England, Vossius was indemnified for VOTIVE TABLES are those tablets which his loss by a prebendal stall at Canterbury, give information of the circumstances with permission to continue his residence connected with offerings deposited in a in the Netherlands. In 1633, he was temple in consequence of vows. invited to Amsterdam, to occupy the Vouet, Simon, an eminent French chair of history, at the schola illustris, and painter, was born at Paris, in 1582, and continued there till his death, in 1649. was bred up under his father, who was Among his numerous works may be also an artist. He accompanied the specified the treatises De Origine Ido- French embassy at Constantinople, and lolatriæ; De Historicis Græcis, et de drew the grand seignior, from memory, Historicis Latinis ; De Poetis Græcis et alter an audience in the train of the amiLatinis ; De Scientiis Mathematicis ; De bassador. He then visited Venice and Quatuor Artibus popularibus ; Historia Rome, at which latter capital he acquired Pelagiana ; Institutiones Historica, Gram- great distinction. He remained in Italy maticæ, Poetice ; Etymologicon Lingue fourteen years, when he was sent for hy Latinæ ; De Vitiis Sermonis ; De Philo- Louis XIII, to work in his palaces, and sophorum Sectis. A collective edition of furnished some of the apartments of the his works appeared in 6 vols., folio (Am- Louvre, the palace of Luxembourg, and sterdam, 1695-1701).
the galleries of cardinal Richelieu, and Vossius, Isaac, son of the preceding, other public places, with his works. He was born at Leyden, in 1618, and, pos- was a good colorist, but had little genius sessing great natural talents, acquired for grand composition, although France early reputation among the learned. At was certainly indebted to him for introthe age of twenty-one, he published an ducing a better taste. Most of the suc. edition of the Periplus of Seylax, with a ceeding French painters who gained Latin version, and notes. Christina, distinction, were bred under him, inqueen of Sweden, invited him to Stock- cluding Le Brun, Perrier, Mignard, Le holm, and chose him for her preceptor in Sueur, Dorigny, Du Fresnoy, and others. the Greek language. His quarrels with He died in 16 19. Saumaise having rendered the court of VOULGARIANS. (See Bulgaria.) Sweden disagreeable to him, be quitted it Voussoirs; the wedge-shaped stones in 1619, and returned to his native country, which form an arch. where he employed himself in the pro- Vow. “A vow," says the Catholic Drieduction of various learned works. In tionnaire de Théologie (Toulouse, 1817), 1670, he visited England, and was ad- " is a promise made to God of a thing mitted to the degree of LL. D. at Oxford; which we think to be agreeable to him, and, in 1673, having been presented to and which we are not, on other grounds, a canonry, at Windsor, by Charles II, he obliged to render to him. This is what passed the remaining part of his life in the theologians understand by it when they say a vow is promissio de meliori bono. they are the natural expressions of emoTo promise God to do what he com- tions, either with no assistance, or with mands, or to avoid what he forbids, is not but slight assistance from consonants. a vow, because we are already obliged so From the circumstance that the vowel to act.” The Catholics adduce nume- sounds require only breathing, and the rous passages in the Old Testament to opening of the mouth, they are by far the prove that vows are agreeable to God; predominating sounds in the cries or muand their idea of vows is intimately con- sic of animals, the pronunciation of the nected with that of good works. To consonants being more difficult, as reProtestants the theory of vows appears quiring the application of the other oruntenable, because nothing can be agree- gans of speech. In the particular that able to God but what is good in itself; the vowel sounds may be continued as and it is the duty of man, at all times, to long as the breath lasts, some consonants aim at the performance of all the good in resemble them, and are therefore called bis power. They consider vows as be- semi-vowels, or half vowels; these are the longing to ages when the ideas entertained liquids l, m, n, r, and the sibilant s. (See of the Deity, and of our obligations to him, s.) The number of vowels in the differwere very crude; and he was looked ent languages is not uniform ; thus there upon much in the light of a human being. are in Greek seven, in Latin but five, They consider those vows as nothing less and in German, if we consider ä, ő, ú, than impious, which assume that the Deity simple vowels, as they really are, eight. can be made to deviate from the path pre- (For further observations upon this point, scribed by infinite wisdom for the con- and upon others touched on in this article, sideration of a promise which can have no see Voice.) This difference in number, meaning except between finite beings. however, is sometimes founded more on The pope has the power, not to absolve the scarcity or abundance of characters, from vows, but to substitute some equiva- than on a difference of sounds, since, in lent for the specific performance of them. some languages, there are many more vowCatholic writers have therefore main- el sounds than signs. In some languages, tained that liberty, which is given up in the sounds of the vowels are uniform, as the monastic vows, being the highest in Italian and Spanish. Thus a, e, i, good of man, no equivalent can be found 0, U, never change their sound excepi in for it, and therefore the pope cannot dis- as far as they are pronounced long or pense from or commute these vows. short. The same is the case in the Ger(For the monastic vows, see Monastic man language, with the single exception Vows, Monasteries, and Religious Orders.) of e, which, in many cases, is mute, as in
VOWEL (from the French voyelle ; Latin, haben. In French, e is pronounced in three rocalis); a simple articulated sound, which ways—the è ouvert, é fermé, and e muet. is produced merely by breathing and a (See E.) But in no language are the peculiar opening of the mouth, or, at least, same vowel-characters used to designate with very little assistance from any other so great a variety of sounds, and in no organ of speech. We say very little, be- European language are there so many cause the difference of the sounds e sounds falling between the fundamental and i (pronounced as in Italian or Ger- sounds, as in English: such are u in but; man) seems to us to depend, in some i in sir; u in spur; ough in through ; slight measure, on a curvature of the ea in heard, &c. These intermediate tongue. Tubes, with various openings, sounds are by far the most difficult for have been invented, which produce the foreigners to acquire, and are very rarely sounds of the five vowels a, e, i, o, u, as learned so perfectly that the foreign acpronounced in most languages on the cent is not perceptible. Vowels, as has European continent. The circumstance been remarked in the article Consonant, that all vowels, mainly, and most of them very frequently alternate with each other entirely, depend upon the form given to in the fluctuations of language, and are, the opening of the mouth, is the reason therefore, of less importance to the etyalso, 1. that they can be pronounced with- mologist than consonants. In the Gerout the assistance of another sound; hence man language, the change of vowels has they are called, in German, Selbstlauter become a grammatical form, to indicate, (i. e. self-sounds), whilst consonants are generally speaking, the relation of derivacalled Hülsslauter (sounds which need tion. The harmoniousness of a language the assistance of another); 2. that the depends much upon the proportion of the sound of the vowels can be continued as vowels to the consonants. (See the artilong as the breath lasts : for this reason, cle Consonant.)
Voyages of Discovery. (See Trav- He was son of Juno alone, who, in this, els, and North Polar Erpeditions.) wished to imitate Jupiter, who had proVorer. (See Argenson.)
duced Minerva from his brains. AccordVries, Hieronymus van, born at Am- ing to Homer, he was son of Jupiter sterdam, in 1776, is one of the most and Juno; and the mother was so diseminent living scholars and authors of gusted with the deformities of her son, Holland. His Life of Anaxagoras, and that she threw him into the sea as soon as his Eulogy of Hieronymus van Decker, born, where he remained for nine years. laid the foundation of his reputation, and According to the more received opinion, procured him admission into the Dutch Vulcan was educated in heaven with the institute. His History of Dutch Poetry rest of the gods, but his father kicked him (1808, 2 vols.) is a classical work, and down from Olympus, when he attempted gained the prize offered by the society to deliver his mother, who had been fusfor the promotion of Dutch literature and tened by a golden chain for her insolence. poetry. Vries has subsequently been He was nine days in passing from heaven one of the most active members of the upon earth, and fell in the island of Lemsecond class of the institute, which is nos. He broke his leg by the fall, and employed on two numismatical works of ever after remained lame of one foot. He the greatest interest for Netherlandish fixed his residence in Lemnos, where he history. One is intended to forin a built himself a palace, and raised forges supplement to the works of Van Loon to work metals. Bacchus intoxicated him, and Mieris, the other to comprise those and prevailed upon him to come to Olymmedals which were struck subsequently pus, where he was reconciled to his pato 1723, and could not, therefore, be in- rents. Vulcan has been celebrated, by the cluded in the works of Van Loon and ancient poets, for the ingenious works and Mieris.
automatical figures which he made. It Vroon, Henry Cornelius; a Dutch is said, that, at the request of Jupiter, he painter, born at Haerlem, in 1566. Be- made the first woman that ever appeared ing shipwrecked on the coast of Portu- on earth, well known under the name of gal, during a voyage to Spain, he succeed- Pandora. (See Pandora.) The Cyclops of ed so well in painting the storm which Sicily were his ministers and atiendants; caused his misfortune, that he dedi- and with him they fabricated, not only cated himself entirely to sea pieces, on the thunderbolts of Jupiter, but also arms his return home. About this time, the for the gods and the most celebrated heearl of Nottingham, lord high admiral of roes. His forges were supposed to be England, being desirous of preserving the under mount Ætna, in the island of Sicidetails of the defeat of the Spanish ar- ly, as well as in every part of the earth mada, in which he bore so conspicuous a where there were volcanoes. Venus was part, bespoke a suit of tapestry descrip- the wife of Vulcan. Her infidelity is well tive of each day's engagement. For this known. Her amours with Mais were tapestry Vroon was employed to furnish discovered by Phebus, and exposed to designs; and the tapestry has often ex- the gods by her own husband. The worcited great admiration in the house of ship of Vulcan was well established, parlords, where it was placed. The date of ticularly in Egypt, at Athens, and a the death of this artist is not recorded. Rome. He was represented covered with
VULCANISTS; those geological theorists sweat, blowing, with his nervous arm, the who maintain that the earth was at first fires of bis forges. His breast was hairy, in a state of igneous fusion, and that it and his forehead was blackened with gradually cooled, and became covered smoke. Some represent him lame and only at a subsequent period. According deforined, holding a hammer, raised in the to the Vulcanists, the land was raised up air, ready to strike; while, with the other by an internal force; the irregularities hand, he turns with pincers a thunderwhich diversify its surface are the effects bolt on his anvil. He appears, on some of volcanic eruptions; and the transported monuments, with a long beard, dishersoils have been formed by the disintegra- elled hair, half naked, and a small round tions of the higher grounds. The Nep- cap on bis head, while he holds a hamtunists, on the other hand, maintain that mer and pincers in his hand. The Egypthe earth was originally in a state of aque- tians represented him under the figure ous solution. (See Geology.)
of a monkey. Vulcan received many Vulcanus; a god of the ancients, who other names, among which the most compresided over fire, and was the patron of mon is Muleiber. He was father of Cuall artists who worked iron and metals. pid by Venus. Cicero speaks of more
than one deity of the name of Vulcan. were various, and differed essentially. A One he calls son of Cælus, and father committtee was appointed to prepare a of Apollo by Minerva. The second he proper text; but, the pope not liking it, it mentions as son of the Nile, and called was abandoned. Pius IV, Pius V and Phihas by the Egyptians. The third was Sixtus V then took the greatest pains to son of Jupiter and Juno, and fixed his form a correct Vulgate. The latter pubresidence in Lemnos; and the fourth, lished his edition in 1590, with anathemas who built his forges in the Lipari islands, against any who should venture to make was son of Menalius.
changes; but this edition had scarcely apVULGAR ERA; the common era used peared, when pope Clement VIII pubby Christians, dating from the birth of lished a new one, in 1592, accompanied by Christ. (See Epoch.)
a similar bull. Another improved edition VULGAR FRACTIONS. (See Fractions.) was printed in 1593. The differences in
VULGATE; the name of the Latin trans- these editions are very considerable. The lation of the Bible, which has, in the decree of the council above mentioned Catholic church, official authority, and gives the list of the canonical books, as which the council of Trent, in their fourth given in our article Bible. St. Jerome insession, in May 27, 1546, declared "shall serted, it is true, the apocryphal books; be held as authentic, in all public lec- but it is clear that he only considered tures, disputations, sermons and expo- those canonical, which are now regarded sitions; and that no one shall presume to as such by Protestants. reject it
, under any pretence whatsoever.” VULPINITE. (See Anhydrite.) Even in the early period of the church, VULTURE (vultur). The vultures have a Latin translation of the Old Testament been referred, by ornithologists, to the acexisted, called Itala, made after the Septu- cipitres, or rapacious birds, the same famagint. (q. v.) St. Jerome found that this ily with the hawks and owls, although translation was not always accurate, and they differ in many important points. The made a new Latin translation from the feet of the vultures
are incapable of graspHebrew, which, however, was only par- ing and bearing off living prey, although tially adopted by the church, about the sufficiently powerful to permit them to year 387. In the sequel, the translations rest on trees: the mouth is also much were combined, and formed the Vulgate, smaller, the angle not extending beneath so called. This grew up between the the eyes ; the head is disproportionately eighth and sixteenth centuries. Only the small, compared with the size of the body, Psalms were retained in the ancient form. and the neck long and slender; the eyes That its Latin phraseology is impure, if are even with the surface of the head: in the Latin of the classical Roman authors short, their general aspect is widely differis taken as the standard, is not, in allent from the hawks and owls, and most cases, an objection. New ideas require unexpectedly approaches, in some renew terms; but the Vulgate does not give, spects, the gallinaceæ; which similitude in many passages, the sense of the origi- is expressed in many of their common nal, and does not correspond to the pres- names. The head and neck of the vulen advanced state of philology and ar- tures are more or less deprived of feathchæology. Many Catholics have often ers, and covered with short and scattering represented the necessity of a new trans- down. The beak is straight, more or less lation, as much of the old one was made stout, and the superior mandible curved at when scriptural philology was in a very the extremity. Their wings are very long low state ; and all of them admit that the and pointed, and their flight exceedingly church does not consider the Vulgate as a powerful, so much so, that they often soar perfect translation, but only as the most beyond the reach of sight. They are vosatisfactory of all the Latin éditions. Car- racious and cowardly, feeding chiefly on dinal Bellarmin maintains that all which carrion, but sometimes attack young or the counsel of Trent says, is, that the sickly animals. Their bodies exhale a Vulgate contains no errors which affect disgusting odor. They usually live in points of faith or morals: he does not companies; and many of the larger spepretend that it is without fault. The cies do not quit the lofty chains of mounProtestants, however, were of opinion tains, where they build in inaccessible that the Vulgate was to be absolutely re- places. Their piercing sight enables them jected, if they desired to rest their faith to discover carrion at a great distance. on the Bible. But what edition of the The condor, or great vulture of the Andes, Vulgate was to be adopted by the Catho- is particularly described in a separate arlics, after the decree mentioned above, ticle. (See Condor.) The king of vultures, became a question, because the editions V. papa, is about as large as a small tur
key. It is found throughout the greater alike. In the towns and villages of the part of tropical America. The head and Southern States, they are protected by neck are ornamented with brilliant colors. law as scavengers, and may be seen sunThe general color of the plumage is red- ning themselves on the roots of houses, or dish white, with the wings and tail black. sauntering about the streets, as familiarly This and the preceding species are re- as domestic poultry. The lammergeyet markable for having a comb and fleshy inhabits only the loftiest mountains of the caruncles on the head of the male. Two eastern continent. It approaches, il, inother small species of vulture are found deed, it does not equal, the condor in size. throughout tropical America, as well as it differs, however, in some points of in a great part of the U. States, viz. the structure, from the true vultures. There turkey buzzard and the carrion crow of are, besides, several other species of vulthe Southern States. The latter is rarely ture in various parts of the eastern confound north of lat. 35o; but the former tinent. comes into the Middle States. The plu- Vyasa. (See Indian Literature.) mage of both is black, and they are much
W; the twenty-third letter of the Eng. nounce w, use a g instead of it, and say lish alphabet, representing a sound form- guee for we. (See G.) W, like other ased by opening the mouth with a rounding pirates, often does not belong to the rool, of the lips, and a somewhat strong emis- but only serves to strengthen the tone; sion of the breath. It is one of the for instance, the Swedish, Danish and Icesounds which the Germans call Blaselaute landic ord, English word, German wort; (breathing sounds). (See F.) The Eng- the Icelandic and Swedish andra, Ger. lish pronunciation of w is a peculiarity of man wandern, English wander; the Swethat language, though some other lan- dish ila, German weilen (to tarry), the root guages have a sound coming pretty near of the English verb to while ; the Gothie it, as ou, in the French oui : this, howev- ourt, Swedish őrt, German wurz, the same er, is not precisely the same, as the sound which is found in the English comof oo is heard in the pronunciation of pounds liver-wort, &c.; the Swedish oui before the sound of our w. In Ger- önska, in German wünschen, in English man, w has the sound of our v. Gram- to wish, and so on. But w is by no means marians are not agreed respecting the always to be overlooked by the etymolocharacter of x. Doctor Webster says it gist : it often belongs to the root of words, is a vowel; others say it is sometimes a and in many cases it is an onomatopeia, as vowel, sometimes a consonant, like y. It in wave. It has this character particularseems to us that it must be classified with ly in German, which has numerous onoh. The Romans called the h neither a vow- matopeias. W is now pronounced by the el nor a consonant, but simply a breathing: Germans like our v; but it was not also the w is a breathing, though stronger ways so pronounced. It had, with the and somewhat modified. If we consider early Germans, a sound composed of u it, however, as a letter, it is undoubtedly a and v, or f, as we may conjecture from a consonant, as much as h is, and cannot be passage of Otfried, in his preface to the said to be the same with the Spanish, Gospels (he says, Nam interdum tria r r German and Italian u, though, as stated u, ut puto, quærit in sono, priores duo in the article U, that letter is used to indi- consonantes, ut mihi videtur, tertium vocali cate the pronunciation of the English w. sono manente); and also from the former The w, being a strong breathing, is nearly orthography of the German words Frare, related to all aspirated sounds, and through shawen, &c., now written Frau, schauen. them again to the gutturals, so that we 'This passage of Ottfried is interesting, as find w and g often interchanged in differ- respects the English . In ancient times, ent languages, as in the words William, an h was also written before the w in GerGuillaume ; Wales, Galles, &c.; and we man, as hwil, at present welle (wave), have heard Spaniards, unable to pro- hwelcher, at present welcher (Scotch whilk,