Imágenes de páginas

William Jones, in an additional note, defines corals and

CORALLINES, according to the approved system of Ellis, as the cretaceous habitations of animals, and one of the links in the great chain of nature. Mr. Macdonald's notion, that an artificial island, for the purpose of safe anchorage, might in time be produced from a quantity of corals, mixed with stones and other substances, transported to the coast of Coromandel, and sunk at the mouth of the dangerous part of Madras, is a very ingenious one, were it practicable; but sir William remarks, that it would, in all probability, occasion, from its quick increase, a dangerous reef of rocks, before that island could be formed.

CORDAGE, a term used for all sorts of cord of every size. Cords were originally made of leather, or the hides of animals: these gave way in this country to the use of iron chains. In more distant nations to the south; thongs and chains were superceded by the use of vegetable shreads, and the arts of combining them into strength. The junci or rushes, in later times were worked up into cordage, by our own ancestors, and hence, perhaps, old cables, and ropes, are now called “old junk."

CORDWAINER, the term whereby the statutes denominate a shoemaker. The word is from the French cordouannier, which Menage derives from cordouan, a kind of leather brought from Cordova, Cordona, or Cordua, a city of Andalusia. The shoemakers of London are incorporated under the name of the 6

company of cordwainers." CORIDOR, in architecture, a gallery leading to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

several chambers, sometimes wholly inclosed, and sometimes open on one side.


CORINTHIANS, epistles to the, in the New Testament, are two letters addressed by the apostle Paul to the inhabitants of Corinth. The first was probably written from Ephesus about the year 56, in Answer to some queries proposed by the Corinthians, and to correct some abuses and disorders which had crept in among them during his absence. The second was written about a year or two later, and upon similar topics.

Cork, the bark of the cork-tree, a species of quercus, or oak, growing, in great abundance, in Spain, Italy, and France. The hark is taken from the tree by making an incision down the whole height of the trunk, and, at each extremity, ano. ther round the girth, The tree is supplied with this coat in a degree so peculiarly abundant, that not only it continues to flourish uninjured by the act of barking, but, in its natural state, regularly sheds the whole, and acquires a new covering: The pieces of bark are flattened artificially, by placing them in water, and under beavy stones. The Spaniards employ them to line stone-walls, where they contribute to warmth, and absorb moisture. Imported into England, this substance furnishes employment to the

Cork-cutter, by whom it is half-burnt, and then, with a sharp knife, cut into pieces adapted, by their soft yet firm texture, for closing liquor-vessels. hi i orkers at this business, wbich is sedentary, med sinple in its operation, are frequently women,

f b

who earn 7, 8, or 10s. a week. Cork is also applied to a few other purposes : among which the most remarkable is that of

CORK-jackets; from the buoyant pature of which, it is asserted, its wearer cannot possibly sink while it adheres to him. Provided with this valuable apparatus, neither strength, nor skill, nor courage, are said to be necessary; and a young lady may safely venture into even a rough sea.

Corn, farinaceous seed, as that of wheat, rye, barley, millet, rice, oats, maize, lentils, peas, or other plants.

Anciently, men ate acorns, and the nuts, or mast, of the beech. The first cultivation of fields of corn was certainly a signal event in human history ; but its date is wholly lost. Agriculture gives a new character to the species ; and strikingly distinguishes its professors, not only from the animal race in general, but from those men who still, like that, subsist on the spontaneous productions of nature. Ceres, whose memory the poets have enveloped in fable, appears, if not to have invented the practice, at least to have introduced it into Greece, and other nations of that age and region. See BREAD and Food.

CORNS, in surgery, hard excrescences on the feet, occasioned by the pressure of shoes. Mr. Anthony Carlisle, surgeon to the Westminster-hospital, in the seventh volume of Medical Facts, gives an ingenious account of the formation and texture of the cuticle, and thence proceeds to show the cause of corns. The cuticle, which is formed, he thinks, of coagulate lymph, is composed of lamina of different degrees of thickness. When injured by pressure, the most usual cause of corns, it is

thrust off by new layers of cuticle, formed underpeath it ; if the new layer be formed before the old one loses its hold, the two will be interwoven together; and if the pressure which occasioned the injury be continued, new layers will go on to be formed, and at length the true-skin will be removed by absorption, thus allowing the diseased mass of cuticle to sink below the level of the living parts ; hence a cone of cuticle is formed, with its apex protruded among sensible substances. Corns may be dissolved, by first soaking in warm water, and afterwards applying the liquid caustic alkali, The management of this process, he says, requires some address, and often considerable patience and perseverance. A more tedious method is by the application of adhesive plaster, spread on leather, having a hole in the centre; by this means, 2 pressure is made on the parts round the corn, by which the root will in time be protruded. This process is perfectly safe, but often requires five or six weeks for its accomplishment. A third method is by blister: the corn is to be cut close, and then a strong blistering-plaster is to be applied, extending á little beyond its circumference. This is particularly used for soft corns.


CORNET, in military economy, the third officer of a large company of cavalry, who bears the colours, and commands in the absence of a lieutenant.

CORNUCOPIA, the horn of plenty, or Amalthea's horn, a source whence, according to the ancient poets, every production of the earth was lavished; a gift from Jupiter to his nurse, the goat Amalthea. Lo elucidation of this fable, it has been said

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

that in Lybia, the ancient name of a part of Africa, there was a little territory, in shape not ill-resem. bling a bullock's horn, which Ammon, the king, gave to his daughter, Amalthea, the nurse of Jupiter.

COROL or corolla, see BOTANY.

COROLLARY, is an useful consequence drawn from something already advanced or demonstrated : thus it being demonstrated that à triangle which has two equal sidès, has also two angles equal ; this corollary will follow, that a triangle which has its three sides equal, has also its three angles equal.

CORONER, an officer in the British polity, whose duties are somewhat of the nature of those of a sheriff. Each county, however, has several coroners, in some instances to the number of six. A coroner is to inquire, with the assistance of a jury, into the cause of the death of any person dying by unnatural means, or in prison. If, by this inquest' of murder, suspicion is found to attach to any one, he is to commit the suspected party for farther trial. He takes cognizance of goods brought on shore by shipwreck; and of all treasure-trove or property found and unclaimed. A coroner is also a substitute for the sheriff; and is to act whenever that officer is supposed to be interested in a process.

CORONET, an inferior crown worn by the nobility. See HERALDRY.

CORPORAL, in military economy, an inferior offi. cer, under a serjeant, in a company of foot, who has charge over one of the divisions, places and rem lieves centinels, and keeps good order. His pay is about one third more than that of a private, above whom he is the first gradation.

« AnteriorContinuar »