Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/958

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utero et ovo,” and “De motu musculari et spiritibus animalibus” as Tractatus quinque medico-physici. The contents of this work, which was several times republished and translated into Dutch, German and French, show him to have been an investigator much in advance of his time.

Accepting as proved by Boyle’s experiments that air is necessary for combustion, he showed that fire is supported not by the air as a whole but by a “more active and subtle part of it.” This part he called spiritus igneo-aereus, or sometimes nitro-aereus; for he identified it with one of the constituents of the acid portion of nitre which he regarded as formed by the union of fixed alkali with a spiritus acidus. In combustion the particulae nitro-aereae—either pre-existent in the thing consumed or supplied by the air—combined with the material burnt; as he inferred from his observation that antimony, strongly heated with a burning glass, undergoes an increase of weight which can be attributed to nothing else but these particles. In respiration he argued that the same particles are consumed, because he found that when a small animal and a lighted candle were placed in a closed vessel full of air the candle first went out and soon afterwards the animal died, but if there was no candle present it lived twice as long. He concluded that this constituent of the air is absolutely necessary for life, and supposed that the lungs separate it from the atmosphere and pass it into the blood. It is also necessary, he inferred, for all muscular movements, and he thought there was reason to believe that the sudden contraction of muscle is produced by its combination with other combustible (salino-sulphureous) particles in the body; hence the heart, being a muscle, ceases to beat when respiration is stopped. Animal heat also is due to the union of nitro-aerial particles, breathed in from the air, with the combustible particles in the blood, and is further formed by the combination of these two sets of particles in muscle during violent exertion. In effect, therefore, Mayow—who also gives a remarkably correct anatomical description of the mechanism of respiration—preceded Priestley and Lavoisier by a century in recognizing the existence of oxygen, under the guise of his spiritus nitro-aereus, as a separate entity distinct from the general mass of the air; he perceived the part it plays in combustion and in increasing the weight of the calces of metals as compared with metals themselves; and, rejecting the common notions of his time that the use of breathing is to cool the heart, or assist the passage of the blood from the right to the left side of the heart, or merely to agitate it, he saw in inspiration a mechanism for introducing oxygen into the body, where it is consumed for the production of heat and muscular activity, and even vaguely conceived of expiration as an excretory process.

MAYSVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Mason county, Kentucky, U.S.A., on the Ohio river, 60 m. by rail S.E. of Cincinnati. Pop. (1890) 5358; (1900) 6423 (1155 negroes); (1910) 6141. It is served by the Louisville & Nashville, and the Chesapeake & Ohio railways, and by steamboats on the Ohio river. Among its principal buildings are the Mason county public library (1878), the Federal building and Masonic and Odd Fellows’ temples. The city lies between the river and a range of hills; at the back of the hills is a fine farming country, of which tobacco of excellent quality is a leading product. There is a large plant of the American Tobacco Company at Maysville, and among the city’s manufactures are pulleys, ploughs, whisky, flour, lumber, furniture, carriages, cigars, foundry and machine-shop products, bricks and cotton goods. The city is a distributing point for coal and other products brought to it by Ohio river boats. Formerly it was one of the principal hemp markets of the country. The place early became a landing point for immigrants to Kentucky, and in 1784 a double log cabin and a blockhouse were erected here. It was then called Limestone, from the creek which flows into the Ohio here, but several years later the present name was adopted in honour of John May, who with Simon Kenton laid out the town in 1787, and who in 1790 was killed by the Indians. Maysville was incorporated as a town in 1787, was chartered as a city in 1833, and became the county-seat in 1848.

In 1830, when the question of “internal improvements” by the National government was an important political issue, Congress passed a bill directing the government to aid in building a turnpike road from Maysville to Lexington. President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill on the ground that the proposed improvement was a local rather than a national one; but one-half the capital was then furnished privately, the other half was furnished through several state appropriations, and the road was completed in 1835 and marked the beginning of a system of turnpike roads built with state aid.

MAZAGAN (El Jadīda), a port on the Atlantic coast of Morocco in 33° 16′ N. 8° 26′ W. Pop. (1908), about 12,000, of whom a fourth are Jews and some 400 Europeans. It is the port for Marrákesh, from which it is 110 m. nearly due north, and also for the fertile province of Dukálla. Mazagan presents from the sea a very un-Moorish appearance; it has massive Portuguese walls of hewn stone. The exports, which include beans, almonds, maize, chick-peas, wool, hides, wax, eggs, &c., were valued at £360,000 in 1900, £364,000 in 1904, and £248,000 in 1906. The imports (cotton goods, sugar, tea, rice, &c.) were valued at £280,000 in 1900, £286,000 in 1904, and £320,000 in 1906. About 46% of the trade is with Great Britain and 34% with France. Mazagan was built in 1506 by the Portuguese, who abandoned it to the Moors in 1769 and established a colony, New Mazagan, on the shores of Para in Brazil.

See A. H. Dyé, “Les ports du Maroc” in Bull. Soc. Geog. Comm. Paris, xxx. 325–332 (1908), and British consular reports.

MAZAMET, an industrial town of south-western France in the department of Tarn, 41 m. S.S.E. of Albi by rail. Pop. (1906), town, 11,370; commune, 14,386. Mazamet is situated on the northern slope of the Montagnes Noires and on the Arnette, a small sub-tributary of the Agout. Numerous establishments are employed in wool-spinning and in the manufacture of “swan-skins” and flannels, and clothing for troops, and hosiery, and there are important tanneries and leather-dressing, glove and dye works. Extensive commerce is carried on in wool and raw hides from Argentina, Australia and Cape Colony.

MAZANDARAN, a province of northern Persia, lying between the Caspian Sea and the Elburz range, and bounded E. and W. by the provinces of Astarabad and Gilan respectively, 220 m. in length and 60 m. in (mean) breadth, with an area of about 10,000 sq. m. and a population estimated at from 150,000 to 200,000. Mazandaran comprises two distinct natural regions presenting the sharpest contrasts in their relief, climate and products. In the north the Caspian is encircled by the level and swampy lowlands, varying in breadth from 10 to 30 m., partly under impenetrable jungle, partly under rice, cotton, sugar and other crops. This section is fringed northwards by the sandy beach of the Caspian, here almost destitute of natural harbours, and rises somewhat abruptly inland to the second section, comprising the northern slopes and spurs of the Elburz, which approach at some points within 1 or 2 m. of the sea, and are almost everywhere covered with dense forest. The lowlands, rising but a few feet above the Caspian, and subject to frequent floodings, are extremely malarious, while the highlands, culminating with the magnificent Demavend (19,400 ft.), enjoy a tolerably healthy climate. But the climate, generally hot and moist in summer, is everywhere capricious and liable to sudden changes of temperature, whence the prevalence of rheumatism, dropsy and especially ophthalmia, noticed by all travellers. Snow falls heavily in the uplands, where it often lies for weeks on the ground. The direction of the long sandbanks at the river mouths, which project with remarkable uniformity from west to east, shows that the prevailing winds blow from the west and north-west. The rivers themselves, of which there are as many as fifty, are little more than mountain torrents, all rising on the northern slopes of Elburz, flowing mostly in independent channels to the Caspian, and subject to sudden freshets and inundations along their lower course. The chief are the Sardab-rud, Chalus, Herhaz (Lar in its upper course), Babul, Tejen and Nika, and all are well stocked with trout, salmon (azad-mahi), perch (safid-mahi), carp (kupur), bream (subulu), sturgeon (sag-mahi) and other fish, which with rice form the staple food of the inhabitants; the sturgeon supplies the caviare for the Russian market. Near their mouths the rivers, running counter to the prevailing winds and waves of the Caspian, form long sand-hills 20 to 30 ft. high and about 200 yds. broad, behind which are developed the so-called múrd-áb, or “dead waters,” stagnant pools and swamps characteristic of this coast, and a main cause of its unhealthiness.

The chief products are rice, cotton, sugar, a little silk, and fruits in great variety, including several kinds of the orange, lemon and citron. Some of the slopes are covered with extensive thickets of the pomegranate, and the wild vine climbs to a great height round the trunks of the forest trees. These woodlands