Militare, Florence. In the following year he published his first book, La Vita Militare, which consisted of sketches of military life, and attained wide popularity. After the overthrow of the pope's temporal power in 1870, De Amicis retired from the army and devoted himself to literature, making his headquarters at Turin. Always a traveller by inclination, he found opportunity for this in his new leisure, and some of his most popular books have been the product of his wanderings. Several of these have been translated into English and the other principal languages of Europe. The most important of these are his descriptions of Spain (1873), Holland (1874), Constantinople (1877) and Morocco (1879). These gained him a well-deserved reputation as a brilliant depicter of scenery and the external aspects of life; solid information is not within their sphere; and much of their success is owing to the opportunities they afford for spirited illustration. Subsequently De Amicis greatly extended his fame as a writer of fiction, especially by Il Romanzo d' un Maestro, and the widely read Il Cuore (translated into English as An Italian Schoolboy's Journal); later volumes from his pen being La Carozza di tutti (centring round an electric tram), Memorie, Speranze e glorie, Ricordi d' infanzia è di scuola, L' Idioma gentile, and a volume of short stories, Nel Regno dell' Amore. He died suddenly of heart disease at Bordighera on the 12th of March 1908.
AMICUS CURIAE (Lat. for “a friend of the court”), a term used primarily in law, signifying a person (usually a member of the bar) who, having special knowledge but not being engaged in the suit, intervenes during its hearing to give information for the assistance of the court, either upon some fact relevant to the issue or upon a point of law, such as the hearing of a local custom, the precedent of some decided case, &c.
AMIDINES, in organic chemistry, the name given to compounds of general formula R·C : (NH)·NH2, which may be considered as derived from the acid-amides by replacement of oxygen by the divalent imino (= NH) group. They may be prepared by the action of ammonia or amines on imide chorides, or on thiamides (O. Wallach, A. Bernthsen); by the action of ammonium chloride or hydrochlorides of amines on nitriles; by condensing amines and amides in presence of phosphorus trichloride; by the action of hydrochloric acid on acid-amides (O. Wallach, Ber., 1882, 15, p. 208); and by the action of ammonia or amines on imino-ethers (A. Pinner, Ber., 1883, 16, p. 1647; 1884, 17, p. 179). They are monacid bases, which are not very stable; they readily take up the elements of water (when boiled with acids or alkalies), yielding amides and ammonia. On dry distillation they yield nitriles and ammonia. When warmed with sulphuretted hydrogen they yield thiamides, R·C : (NH)·NHR + H2S = R·C(NH2)(SH)NHR = R·CSNH2 + NH2·R or RCS·NHR + NH3. With β-ketonic esters, HO(CH3)C : CH·CO2R, they yield oxypyrimidines (A. Pinner, Ber., 1890, 23, p. 3820).
Formamidine, HC : (NH)NH2, is only known in the form of its salts, the hydrochloride being obtained by the action of ammonia on the hydrochloride of formimido-ethyl ether (A. Pinner, Ber., 1883, 16, p. 357). Acetamidine, CH3C : (NH)·NH2, is alkaline in reaction, and readily splits up into acetic acid and ammonia when warmed with acids. Its hydrochloride melts at 163° C., and crystallizes from alcohol in colourless deliquescent prisms. Acetic anhydride converts the base into an acetamino-dimethyl pyrimidine, acetic acid and acetamide being also formed.
Benzamidine, C6H5·C : (NH)NH2, forms colourless crystals which melt at 75-80° C. When warmed it breaks down into ammonia and cyanphenine (s-triphenyl triazine). It condenses with acetic anhydride to form a methyldiphenyl triazine, acetamide being also formed; with acetyl-acetone to form dimethylphenyl pyrimidine (A. Pinner, Ber., 1893, 26, p. 2125); and with trimethylene bromide to form a phenyl tetrahydropyrimidine (Pinner). H. v. Pechmann (Ber., 1895, 28, p. 2362) has shown that amidines of the type R·C : (NY)·NHZ sometimes react as if they possessed the constitution R·C : (NZ)·NHY; but this only appears to occur when Y and Z are groups which function in the same way. If Y and Z are groups which behave very differently, then there is apparently no tautomerism and a definite formula can be given to the compound.
The formulae of the ringed compounds mentioned above are here shown:
AMIEL, HENRI FRÉDÉRIC (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher and critic, was born at Geneva on the 27th of September 1821. He was descended from a Huguenot family driven to Switzerland by the revocation of the edict of Nantes. Losing his parents at an early age, he travelled widely, became intimate with the intellectual leaders of Europe and made a special study of German philosophy in Berlin. In 1849 he was appointed professor of aesthetics at the academy of Geneva, and in 1854 became professor of moral philosophy. These appointments, conferred by the democratic party, deprived him of the support of the aristocratic party; which comprised nearly all the culture of the city. This isolation inspired the one book by which Amiel lives, the Journal Intime, which, published after his death, obtained a European reputation. It was translated into English by Mrs Humphry Ward. Although second-rate as regards productive power, Amiel's mind was of no inferior quality, and his journal gained a sympathy which the author had failed to obtain in his life. In addition to the Journal, he produced several volumes of poetry and wrote studies on Erasmus, Madame de Staël and other writers. He died in Geneva on the 11th of March 1881. His chief poetical works are Grains de mil, Il penseroso, Part du rêve, Les Etrangères, Charles le Téméraire, Romancero historique, Jour à jour.
See Life of Amiel by Mdlle Berthe Vadier (Paris, 1885); Paul Bourget, Nouveaux essais (Paris, 1885); E. Scherer, introd. to the Journal and in Études sur la litt. contemp. (vol. viii.).
AMIENS, a city of northern France, capital of the department of Somme, on the left bank of the Somme, 81 m. N. of Paris on the Northern railway to Calais. Pop. (1906) 78,407. Amiens was once a place of great strength, and still possesses a citadel of the end of the 16th century, but the ramparts which surrounded it have been replaced by boulevards, bordered by handsome residences. Suburbs, themselves bounded by another line of boulevards, have arisen beyond these limits, and the city also extends to the right bank of the Somme. The busy quarter of Amiens lies between the river and the railway, which for some distance follows the inner line of boulevards. The older and more picturesque quarter is situated directly on the Somme; its narrow and irregular streets are intersected by the eleven arms of the river and it is skirted on the north by the canal derived therefrom. Besides its boulevards Amiens has the ample park or Promenade de la Hotoie to the west and several fine squares, notably the Place Longueville and the Place St Denis, in which stands the statue of the famous 17th-century scholar Charles Ducange. The cathedral (see Architecture: Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in France; and Cathedral), which is perhaps the finest church of Gothic architecture in France, far exceeds the other buildings of the town in importance. Erected on the plans of Robert de Luzarches, chiefly between 1220 and 1288, it consists of a nave, nearly 140 ft. in height, with aisles and lateral chapels, a transept with aisles, and a choir (with deambulatory) ending in an apse surrounded by chapels. The total length is 469 ft., the breadth 216 ft. The facade, which is flanked by two square towers without spires, has three portals decorated with a profusion of statuary, the central portal having a remarkable statue of Christ of the 13th century; they are surmounted by two galleries, the upper one containing twenty-two statues of the kings of Judah in its arcades, and by a fine rose-window. A slender spire rises above the crossing. The southern portal is remarkable for a figure of the Virgin and other statuary. In the interior, which contains beautifully carved stalls, a choir-screen