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Abbas-Mirza, a Persian prince, a reformer of the Persian army, and a leader of it, unsuccessfully, however, against Russia (1783-1833).Abbasides, a dynasty of 37 caliphs who ruled as such at Bagdad from 750 to 1258.The subjects, as hinted, are various, and these the Editor may be permitted to classify in a general way under something like the following rubrics:— 1.Noted people, their nationality, the time when they flourished, and what they are noted for. Epochs, important movements, and events in history, with the dates and their historical significance. Countries, provinces, and towns, with descriptions of them, their sizes, populations, etc., and what they are noted for. Heavenly bodies, especially those connected with the solar system, their sizes, distances, and revolutions. Races and tribes of mankind, with features that characterise them. Mythologies, and the account they severally give of the divine and demonic powers, supreme and subordinate, that rule the world. Religions of the world, with their respective credos and objects and forms of worship. Schools of philosophy, with their theories of things and of the problems of life and human destiny. Sects and parties, under the different systems of belief or polity, and the specialities of creed and policy that divide them. Books of the world, especially the sacred ones, and the spiritual import of them; in particular those of the Bible, on each of which a note or two is given. Legends and fables, especially such as are more or less of world significance. Characters in fiction and fable, both mediæval and modern. Fraternities, religious and other, with their symbols and shibboleths. Families of note, especially such as have developed into dynasties. Institutions for behoof of some special interest, secular or sacred, including universities. Holidays and festivals, with what they commemorate, and the rites and ceremonies connected with them. Science, literature, and art in general, but these chiefly in connection with the names of those distinguished in the cultivation of them.
Now the rapid increase in the vocabulary of a nation, which makes the possession of an up-to-date dictionary almost one of the necessaries of life, is evidently due to the vast increase in the number of facts which the language has to describe or interpret; and if it is difficult to keep pace with the growth in the language, it is obviously more difficult to attain even a working knowledge of the array of facts which in this age come before us for discussion.But it is doubtful whether the mass of information contained in those admirable and bulky works does not either go beyond, or, more frequently than not, fall short of the requirements of those who refer to them.For the special student there is too little, for the general reader too much.Abaca, Manila hemp, or the plant, native to the Philippines, which yield it in quantities. of the Dead Sea, the highest point being Mount Nebo. Abauzit, Firmin, a French Protestant theologian and a mathematician, a friend of Newton, and much esteemed for his learning by Rousseau and Voltaire (1679-1767).
Abacus, a tablet crowning a column and its capital. Abbadie, two brothers of French descent, Abyssinian travellers in the years 1837-1848; also a French Protestant divine (1658-1727).Within the necessary limits of a single volume the Editor persuades himself he has succeeded in including a wide range of subjects, and he trusts that the information he has given on these will meet in some measure at least the wants of those for whom the book has been compiled.