DOBSON, WILLIAM (1610-1646), English portrait and historical painter, was born in London. His father was master of the alienation office, but by improvidence had fallen into reduced circumstances. The son was accordingly bound an apprentice to a stationer and picture dealer in Holborn Bridge; and while in his employment he began to copy the pictures of Titian and Van Dyck. He also took portraits from life under the advice and instruction of Francis Cleyn, a German artist of considerable repute. Van Dyck, happening to pass a shop in Snow Hill where one of Dobson’s pictures was exposed, sought out the artist, and presented him to Charles I., who took Dobson under his protection, and not only sat to him several times for his own portrait, but caused the prince of Wales, Prince Rupert and many others to do the same. The king had a high opinion of his artistic ability, styled him the English Tintoretto, and appointed him serjeant-painter on the death of Van Dyck. After the fall of Charles, Dobson was reduced to great poverty, and fell into dissolute habits. He died at the early age of thirty-six. Excellent examples of Dobson’s portraits are to be seen at Blenheim, Chatsworth and several other country seats throughout England. The head in the “Decollation of St John the Baptist” at Wilton is said to be a portrait of Prince Rupert.
DOCETAE, a name applied to those thinkers in the early Christian Church who held that Christ, during his life, had not a real or natural, but only an apparent (δοκεῖν, to appear) or phantom body. Other explanations of the δόκησις or appearance have, however, been suggested, and, in the absence of any statement by those who first used the word of the grounds on which they did so, it is impossible to determine between them with certainty. The name Docetae is first used by Theodoret (Ep. 82) as a general description, and by Clement of Alexandria as the designation of a distinct sect, of which he says that Julius Cassianus was the founder. Docetism, however, undoubtedly existed before the time of Cassianus. The origin of the heresy is to be sought in the Greek, Alexandrine and Oriental philosophizing about the imperfection or rather the essential impurity of matter. Traces of a Jewish Docetism are to be found in Philo; and in the Christian form it is generally supposed to be combated in the writings of John, and more formally in the epistles of Ignatius. It differed much in its complexion according to the points of view adopted by the different authors. Among the Gnostics and Manichaeans it existed in its most developed type, and in a milder form it is to be found even in the writings of the orthodox teachers. The more thoroughgoing Docetae assumed the position that Christ was born without any participation of matter; and that all the acts and sufferings of his human life, including the crucifixion, were only apparent. They denied accordingly, the resurrection and the ascent into heaven. To this class belonged Dositheus, Saturninus, Cerdo, Marcion and their followers, the Ophites, Manichaeans and others. Marcion, for example, regarded the body of Christ merely as an “umbra,” a “phantasma.” His denial (due to his abhorrence of the world) that Jesus was born or subjected to human development, is in striking contrast to the value which he sets on Christ’s death on the cross. The other, or milder school of Docetae, attributed to Christ an ethereal and heavenly instead of a truly human body. Amongst these were Valentinus, Bardesanes, Basilides, Tatian and their followers. They varied considerably in their estimation of the share which this body had in the real actions and sufferings of Christ. Clement and Origen, at the head of the Alexandrian school, took a somewhat subtle view of the Incarnation, and Docetism pervades their controversies with the Monarchians. Hilary especially illustrates the prevalence of naive Docetic views as regards the details of the Incarnation. Docetic tendencies have also been developed in later periods of ecclesiastical history, as for example by the Priscillianists and the Bogomils, and also since the Reformation by Jacob Boehme, Menno Simons and a small fraction of the Anabaptists. Docetism springs from the same roots as Gnosticism, and the Gnostics generally held Docetic views (see Gnosticism).
DOCHMIAC (from Gr. δοχμή, a hand’s breadth), a form of verse, consisting of dochmii or pentasyllabic feet (usually o _ _ o -).
DOCK, a word applied to (1) a plant (see below), (2) an artificial basin for ships (see below), (3) the fleshy solid part of an animal’s tail, and (4) the railed-in enclosure in which a prisoner is placed in court at his trial. Dock (1) in O.E. is docce, represented by Ger. Dockea-blatter, O.Fr. docque, Gael. dogha; Skeat compares Gr. δαῦκος, a kind of parsnip. Dock (2) appears in Dutch (dok) and English in the 16th century; thence it was adopted into other languages. It has been connected with Med. Lat. doga, cap, Gr. δοχή, receptacle, from δέχεσθαι, to receive. Dock (3), especially used of a horse or dog, appears in English in the 14th century; a parallel is found in Icel. docke, stumpy tail, and Ger. Docke, bundle, skein, is also connected with it. This word has given the verb “to dock,” to cut short, curtail, especially used of the shortening of an animal’s tail by severing one or more of the vertebrae. The English Kennel Club (Rules, 1905, revised 1907) disqualifies from prize-winning dogs whose tails have been docked; several breeds are, however, excepted, e.g. varieties of terriers and spaniels, poodles, &c., and such foreign dogs as may from time to time be determined by the club. The prisoners’ dock (4) is apparently to be referred to Flem. dok, pen or hutch. It was probably first used in thieves’ slang; according to the New English Dictionary it was known after 1610 in “bail-dock,” a room at the corner of the Old Bailey left open at the top, “in which during the trials are put some of the malefactors” (Scots. Mag., 1753).
DOCK, in botany, the name applied to the plants constituting the section Lapathum of the genus Rumex, natural order Polygonaceae. They are biennial or perennial herbs with a stout root-stock, and glabrous linear-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate leaves with a rounded, obtuse or hollowed base and a more or less wavy or crisped margin. The flowers are arranged in more or less crowded whorls, the whole forming a denser or looser panicle; they are generally perfect, with six sepals, six stamens and a three-sided ovary bearing three styles with much-divided stigmas. The fruit is a triangular nut enveloped in the three enlarged leathery inner sepals, one or all of which bear a tubercle. In the common or broad-leaved dock, Rumex obtusifolius, the flower-stem is erect, branching, and 18 in. to 3 ft. high, with large radical leaves, heart-shaped at the base, and more or less blunt; the other leaves are more pointed, and have shorter stalks. The whorls are many-flowered, close to the stem and mostly leafless. The root is many-headed, black externally and yellow within. The flowers appear from June to August. In autumn the whole plant may become of a bright red colour. It is a troublesome weed, common by roadsides and in fields, pastures and waste places throughout Europe. The great water dock, R. hydrolapathum, believed to be the herba britannica of Pliny (Nat. Hist. xxv. 6), is a tall-growing species; its root is used as an antiscorbutic. Other British species are R. crispus; R. conglomeratus, the root of which has been employed in dyeing; R. sanguineus (bloody dock, or bloodwort); R. palustris; R. pulcher (fiddle dock), with fiddle-shaped leaves; R. maritimus; R. aquaticus; R. pratensis. The naturalized species, R. alpinus, or “monk’s rhubarb,” was early cultivated in Great Britain, and was accounted an excellent remedy for ague, but, like many other such drugs, is now discarded.
DOCK, in marine and river engineering. Vessels require to lie afloat alongside quays provided with suitable appliances in sheltered sites in order to discharge and take in cargoes conveniently and expeditiously; and a basin constructed for this purpose, surrounded by quay walls, is known as a dock. The term is specially applied to basins adjoining tidal rivers, or close to the sea-coast, in which the water is maintained at a fairly uniform level by gates, which are closed when the tide begins to
- Not a distinct sect, but a continuous type of Christology. Hippolytus, however (Philosophumena, viii. 8-11), speaks of a definite party who called themselves Docetae.
- 1 Ep. iv. 2, ii. 22, v. 6, 20; 2 Ep. 7, cf. Jerome (Dial. adv. Lucifer. § 23 “Apostolis adhuc in saeculo superstitibus, adhuc apud Judaeam Christi sanguine recenti, phantasma Domini corpus asserebatur”).
- Ad Trall. 9 f., Ad Smyrn. 2, 4, Ad Ephes. 7. Cf. Polycarp, Ad Phil. 7.