Abbildungen der Seite


4. Myopia, from too great a density of called, scorpion-grass ; a plant indigenous to the cornea, or humours of the eye. Optics the walls and sands of our

own country, with teach us, by so much sooner the rays of light smooth seeds ; lance-elliptic leaves; racemes are forced into a focus, by so much the dia- many-flowered without bractes ; more or less phanous body is denser. 5. Myopia, from a hairy, varying in the colour of its flowers. inydriasis or too dilated a pupil; for so much MÝOSURUS. Mouse-tail. In botany, a the wider the aperture of the diaphragma is in genus of the class pentandria, order polygynia. an optical instrument, so much the nearer is Calyx five-leaved, each with a spur at the base; the focus. 6. Myopia infantilis. Infants, petals five, with a tubular, nectariferous claw from the great convexity of the cornea, are seeds numerous, naked. One species only; often myopes; but by degrees, as they advance a weed found in the corn-fields of our own in years, they perceive objects more remotely, country, with fibrous root, radical linear-spaby the cornea becoming less convex.

lulate, rather obtuse leaves, and small, erect, MYOPORUM, in botany, a genus of the yellowish-green flowers.

ves, aud su class didynamia, order angiospermia. Calyx

MYOXUS. Dormouse. In zoology, a five-parted; corol campanulate, with a spread- genus. of the class mammalia, order glires. ing, nearly equal, five-paried border ; drupe Fore-teeth two, upper wedged, lower compressed one or two-seeded, with iwo-celled outs. Four sideways; whiskers long; tail hairy, round, species, natives of New Zealand or New Cale- thicker towards the tip; feet nearly equal in donia, very nearly related to the genus citha- length, four toes before. These animals remain rexylon.

torpid during the winter; walk or rather leap MYOPS. (myops, opis, www.t, from uww, to on their hind legs, bounding three or four feet wink, and fw, the eye). One who is near- at a time, in which they are assisted by their sighted.

long stiff tail; feed only on vegetables ; burrow MYOSIS. (myosis, urwois). A contraction under ground : sleep by day, watch by night; or too small perforation of the pupil; it is carry food to the mouth by the fore-paws, and known by viewing the diameter of the pupil, drink by dipping the fore-palms in water. which is smaller than usual, and remains so Four species, as follow: in an obscure place, where, naturally, if not 1. M. glis. Fat dormouse. The glis of diseased, it dilates. It occasions weak sight, Pliny, and the old naturalists : mus glis of or a vision that remains only a certain number Pallas. Sciurus glis of the Systema Naturæ. of hours in the day; but if wholly closed, total Le 'loir of Buffon. Body hoary; beneath blindness. The species of this disorder ate, whitish; ears thin, naked; cheeks white; 1. Myosis spasmodica, which is observed in whiskers longer than the head; teats ten, six the hysteric, hypochondriac, and in other spas- pectoral, four abdominal. Inhabits the woods modic or nervous affections; it arises from a of Europe and southern Asia ; feeds op nuts, spasm of the orbicular fibres of the iris. 2. walnuts, apple-seeds : forms its nest in hollow Myosis paralytica arises in paralytic disorders. trees: bites ; sleeps by day; grows very fat in 3. Myosis inflammatoria, which arises from an autumn; about October retires by troops into inflammation of the iris or uvea, as in the in- subterraneous caverns, and reinains torpid till ternal ophthalmia, hypopium, or wounded eye. the end of May; brings from mine to twelve 4. Myosis, from an accustomed contraction of young; six inches long, the tail five. The the pupil. This frequently is experienced by Aesh was formerly esteemed a great delicacy by those who contemplate very minute objects"; the Romans, who fattened them as food in reby persons who write; by the workers of fine ceptacles, pamed gliraria. Its general manners needle-work; and by frequent attention to resemble those of the squirrel; it is not easily microscopical enquiries. 5. Myosis, from a tamed. defect of the aqueous humour, as after extrac- 2. M. dryas. Wood dormouse. Body above tion. 6. Myosis nativa, with which infants tawny grey, beneath dirty-white; a straight are born. 7. Myosis naturalis, is a coarcta- black line from ear to ear across the eyes. Intion of the pupil by light, or from an intense habits Europe; differs from the rest only in examination of minutest objects. These co- colour ; tail shorter, more bushy; no black arctations of the pupil are temporary, and spon- spots near the ears. taneously vanish.

3. M. nitela. Garden dormouse, Body MYOSITIS. (myositis, MUOSITIS,


abore tawny, beneath whitish ash; a black a muscle). Inflammation of a muscle. It circle round the eyes, and a black spot behind is the term given by Sagar to acute rheu- the ears, which are oblong; eyes large, black. matism.

Inbabits Siberia, and the southern parts of Myosotis. (myosotis, muaçuotos, from puus, Europe, chiefly in gardens, where it destroys all a muscle, and es, WTOs, an ear; so called be- kinds of fruits, especially peaches; inakes its cause its leaves are hairy, and grow longitu- nest in holes of walls and hollow trees; smells dinally like the car of a mouse). In botany, like a rat; brings from five to six young; body a genus of the class pentandria, order mono- five inches long, tail four. gynia. Corol salver-shaped, five-cleft, slightly 4. M. muscardinus. Comnion dormouse, notched; the throat closed with concave valves. Body tawny; throat whitish; hind-thumbs Eleven species, scattered over the globe; of without claws ; eyes large, black, prominent; which the most_remarkable is M. scorpioides, ears short, round, naked, thin; tail bushy at common mouse-ear, or, as it is sometimes the tip; body plumper than that of the mouse.


Inhabits Great Britain and other parts of to the surface. When cold it hardens to the Europe in woods, and thick hedges, seldom in consistency of wax, and is of a dirty green cogardens; collects nuts and waluuts, which it lour. It is then boiled again, and clarified in eats sitting upright, and buries what is left; brass kettles, which gives it a transparent green forms a nest of grass, moss, or leaves, in the hue. The candles manufactured from this hollow of a tree or low bush ; torpid in winter; wax burn for a long time, and produce a brings from three to four young: body three fragrant smell : a small proportion of vallow inches long, tail rather longer.

however is usually added, which makes them MYOTOMY. (myotomia, muotopsa, from burn clearer. MURY, a muscle, and tileyw, to cut.) Dissection . 3. M. quercifolia. Oak-leaved candleberry of the muscles.

myrtle. Shrubby, with slender stalks, and MYRIAD, s. (usupiers.) 1. The number oblong, oppositely pinnate leaves, with oval of ten thousand. 2. Proverbially any great aments between them. The plant retains its pumber (Milton).

leaves all the year, and flowers in June and MYRICA. Candleberry myrtle. In botany, July, a genus of the class monoecia, order tetrandria. The two first species may be raised from Calyx, a concare scale of the ament; corolless. seeds, the last by layers. The former require Female : styles two; berry one-seeded. Nine a boggy moist situation, or a cultivation in boge species scattered over the globe ; of which the earth. The layers of M.quercifolia should be following are chiefly cultivated :

atteinpted towards the latier end of the sum1. M. gale. Sweet gale, sweet willow, mer, or in the autumn, the shoots being twined common candleberry myrtle, Dutch myrtle. at a joint when laid down, and well watered. It is found wild in our own marshes; rises The first two are introduced into the midst with many shrubby stalks from two to near of sheltered clumps and borders, and the last four feet high, dividing into several slender into collections of the green-house kind, when branches, covered with a dusty bark, sprinkled their leaves afford an exquisite fragrance. with white dots ; leaves alternate, rigid, light

MYRIOPHYLLUM. Water millfoil. In or yellowish green, smooth, a little serrate to- botany, a genus of the class monoecia, order wards their point, and emitting a fragrant hexandria. Calyx four-leaved ; petals four. odour when bruised ; aments of a short ovate Male: stamens eight, longer than the calyx. figure, yellowish-brown colour, and frequently Female: stigmas four; seeds four, covered sprinked with shining, resinous, golden par- with a bark. Two species, both common to ticles; fruit a coriaceous berry. It is said that the ditches of our own country. in the north of Europe this plant was used in- MYRISTICA. Notmez-tree. In botany, stead of hops in former times, and that it is a genus of the class dioecia, order triandria. still applied to the same use in the Hebrides, Calyx three-cleft, corolless. Male : anthers and some parts

of the highlands of Scotland. uniting round the upper part of the filament. 2. M. cerifera, American candleberry myr- Female: stigina cloven, capsule superior, drutle

. Leaves lanceolate, slightly serrate, stem paceous, two-valved ; nut invested with a variarboreous, rising to about thirty feet in height; ously lacerated membrane. Three species : flowers in aments on different individuals; 1. M. sebifera. A Guiana tree, with leaves male aments about an inch long, erect; female, hearted, oblong, downy underneath, and downy sessile, axillary, shorter than the leaves : the fruit. The tree rises from forty to sixty feet branches of the old plants shed their leaves in high, discharging a thick acrid red juice from autumn; but the young plants raised from its trunk on its being wounded ; and yields a seeds retain them through the greatest part of nutmeg, from which a considerable portion of the winter, and offer the appearance of an ever- fatty oil is expressed, employed by the natives green. The flowers are small, of a whitish of Gujana in the manufacture of candles. colour, and mean to the eye. Its leaves re- 2. M. fatua. A nutmeg.tree of Tobago, semble myrtle leaves, and like them, on being rising to the height of our common applerubbed in the hand, emit a most refreshing and tree; with oblong, lanceolate, downy leaves, delightful fragrance.

and downy fruit. The nutmeg is aromatic, It is from the berries of this plant that the but narcotic; and when taken in considerable inhabitants of Carolina, and other parts of quantity produces delirium. America collect a wax, of which they very ge- 3. M. aromatica. Calyx ovate, three-cleft nerally make candles. The wax is produced as at the top : leaves elliptic, pubescent underfollows. Iu November or December the wild neath, alternate, pointed, undulate; peduncles berries are gathered by persons who are used axillary, solitary, two or three-flowered ; fruit to this occupation, and travel for this purpose glabrous; nut" surrounded with a fulvous, with keuiles towards the sand-banks or sea-side, tough, reticulate covering, which is the mace in which these plants most abound; they build of the shops. huts for themselves and their families with It is doubtful whether the Greeks or Ro. palmetto leaves, and usually continue about five mans were acquainted with the nutneg. It weeks in a station. The trees are cut down, is said by some that Theophrastus alludes to it the berries put into porridge-pots, and after- under the name of comacum, and by others wards boiled in water till the oil Hoats; this is that it is the chrysobalanos of Galen. Yet we then skimıned off into another vessel, and the know nothing decisively upon the subject. It skimming is continued as long as any oil rises was first introduced into modern Europe by VOL.VII.


the Arabians, and in Avicenna it appears of nutmeg, see the article Nux MOSCRATA, under the name of jiansiban, or jansiband, under which naine it has been generally prewhich signifies nut of Banda.

scribed in the different pharmacopeias. Both ihe male and female flowers yield a MYRMECIA, in botany, a genus of the nut. The female nut is that in common use; class tetrandria, order monogynia. Calyx canthe male is longer and more cylindric, but it panulate, five-toothed; corol tubular, with an has less of fine aromatic Aavour. It is more inflated throat; glands five, surrounding the subject to be worm-eaten, and to harbour the base of the germ; capsule two-celled, iwoinsect that preys upon the nutmeg, than the valved, many-seeded. 'One species : a climbfemale; and hence the Dutch strictly prohibiting shrub of Guiana, with knotty square its being packed up with the latter, lest the branches ; leaves opposite, oblong i fowers worm should be communicated to the whole small, solitary, axillary. package. The chief nutmeg trade lies at Cey- MYRMECOPHAGA. Ant-eater. In 209lon; and has passed, with the islands, froin logy, a genus of the class mammalia, order the hands of the Dutch to those of the En- bruta. Toothless; tongue round, extensile ; glish.

mouth narrowed into a snout; body covered When the fruit is ripe the natives ascend the with hair. Seven species, inhabitants of South trees, and gather it by pulling the branches to- America, Cape of Good Hope, Australasia, or wards them with long hooks. The first rind India. The following are the chief. is instantly taken off, and the soil on which 1. M. jubata. Great ant-eater. Toes on any large quantity of this is deposited shoots the fore-feet four, on the hind-feet five; tail forth very speedily a nutmeg-boletus, or mush- bushy. room, from the putrefaction of the general Another variety, with face and legs shorter, mass, which is regarded by the natives as a without a stripe on the sides and breast. The very delicate food.

former and more common variety has a long The mace is a filamentous substance, ad- slender nose ; small black eyes ; short round hering to the nut, and traced after the external ears; slender tongue, two feet long, which rind has been removed. Its first appearance lies double in its mouth ; slender legs; the two presents a beautiful red; but the colour middle claws on the fore-feet very large, strong, changes on exposure to the air to a darker and hooked. The hair on the upper part of hue. The mace being taken off with the knife, the body half a foot long, black mixed with is laid to dry in the sun for eight or nine hours, grey. Across its shoulders there is a black stripe and is then removed to a place less heating, bounded above with white. The forelegs that it may not become too dry; to prevent whitish, with a black spot above the feet. which, in a still greater degree, it is moistened The hair of the tail coarse, black, and about a with a small quantity of sea-water; and is foot long. This animal is about three feet ten afterwards put into small bags, and packed up inches long; its tail two : it weighs above a very close.

hundred pounds. Inhabits Brazil and Guiana; The mace being thus stripped off, the nuts runs slowly; swims over the great rivers, at are still covered with their ligneous shell; and which time it Alings its tail over its back : lives are exposed for three days to the sun, and on ants; overturns their nests, or digs them up afterwards to the fire, till they emit a sound on with its feet, then thrusts its long tongue into being shaken : they are then beaten with small their retreats, and withdraws it into its mouth sticks, which break the remaining shells, and loaded with prey: is afraid of rain, and protects make them fly off in small pieces. The nuts itself from it by covering its body with its long are then distributed into three parts: the tail : it does not attainits full growth under four largest and most beautiful are selected for the years. Each species of this genus brings but one European market; those of less beauty are young one at a time. Notwithstanding its want reserved for the use of the inhabitants, or of teeth, it is fierce and dangerous, especially are employed for the purpose of affording oil when it has young. Nothing that it has once got by pressure : while the remainder, which con- between its' fore-feet can disengage itself; the sists of the smallest and the unripe, are burnt. very panthers of America are often unequal to A pound of nutmegs generally affords about the combat

. So great is its obstinacy and three ounces of oil, of the consistence of tallow, stupidity, that it will not extricate itself even and has all the taste of the nutmeg. This from a dead adversary. It sleeps in the day, is the genuine oil of mace of the shops. and preys by night. Its flesh has a strong

To preserve the select nutmegs, and fit them disagreeable taste; but it is eaten by the Infor an European voyage, they are plunged in dians. small baskets, two or three times, into a thick 2. M. didactyla. Least ant-eater. Toes on lime-water prepared with the calcined shells of the fore-feet two, on the hind-feet four: tail testaceous fishes, to which a considerable quan- bushy: nose conic, bending a little down; tity of sea-salt has been added. With this cal- small ears, hid in its fur ; upper parts covered careous matter they soon become completely with long soft silky hair, or rather wool, of a covered over; when they are laid in a heap, yellowish brown colour : seven inches and a and lose their superfluous water by evaporation. half long : its tail, which is thick at the base, They are then properly prepared for sea-car- and tapers to a point, measures eight and a riage.

half, and is naked on the under side

the last For the medical properties and preparations four: it inhabits Guiana, and climbs trees in

« ZurückWeiter »