Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/351

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PRIME—PRIME MINISTER

present the pattern found in the Cercopithecidae, while in one species the lachrymal bone and foramen are within the orbit. The resemblances to apes are not confined to the skull, but afre found in almost all the bones. Probably the genus may be regarded as af specialized lemuroid. The Oligocene and Eocene formations of Europe and North America have yielded remains of a number of primitive lemuroids, grouped together under the name of Mesodonta or Pseudolemures, and divided into families severally typified by the genera H yopsodus, N otharctus, Anaptomorphus and M icrochoerns (Necrolemur), of which the last two are European and the others American. To particularize the characteristics of the different families would occupy too much space, and only the following features of the group can be mentioned. The dental formula is i.=§ , ci, pi or § , mafg. The canines are often large; the upper molars carry from three to six cusps, while the lower ones are of the tuberculo-sectoral type with either four or five cusps. The lachrymal foramen may be either within or without the orbit, which is in free communication with the temporal fossa, with or without a complete bony ring. The humerus has an entepicondylar foramen. It is specially noteworthy that Adapis resembles the Lemuridae in the form and relations of the tympanic ring. Anaptomorphus has large orbits and tritubercular molars. Certain Middle and Lower Eocene North American genera, such as Mixodectes and Pelycodus, together with the European Plesiadapis and Protoadapir, which have been regarded as lemuroids, are now frequently referred to the RODENTIA (q. v.). On the other hand, Metachiromys, of the Bridger Eocene of America, originally described as a relative of Chiromys, has been stated to be an armadillo.

LITERATURE.-The above article is based on the articles APE and LEMUR in the 9th edition of this encyclopedia. The following are the chief works on the subject: H. O. Forbes, “A Handbook to the Primates, " Allen's Naturalists' Library (2 vols., 1904); A. A. W. Hubrecht, “The Descent of the Primates" (New York, 1897); “ Furchung und Keimblatt-bildung bei Tarsius spectrum, " Verh. Ac. Amsterdam (1902); C. J. Forsyth Major, “Our Knowledge of Extinct Primates from Madagascar, ” Geal. Magazine, decade 7, vol. vii. (1900); “Skulls of Foetal Malagasly Lemurs, " Proc. Zool. Soc. (London, 1899); “The Skull in emurs and Monkeys, ” ibid. (1904); H. Winge, “]ordfundne og nulevende Aber " (Primates), E. Mus. Lundi (1895); C- Earle, “ On the Affinities of Tarsius, " American Naturalist (1397); W. Leche, “ Untersuchungen iiber das Zahnsystem lebender und fossiler Halbaffen, " Gegenbaurs Festsehrift (Leipzig, 1896); E. Dubois, “ Pithecanthropus erectus, eine menschenahnliche Uebergangsform aus lava " (Batavia, 1894); A. Keith, “ On the Chimpanzees and their relationship to the Gorilla, " Proc. Znol. Sap. London (1899); W. Rothschild, " Notes on Anthropoid Apes, " ibid. (1905); O. Schlaginhaufen, “ Das Hautleistensystem der Primatenplanta, " Morphologisches Jahrbuch, vols. iii. and xxxiv. (1905); G. E. Smith, “ The Morphology of the Occipital Region of the Cerebral Hemisphere in Man and Apes, ” Anatomischer Anzeiger, vol. xxiv. (1904); H. F. Standing, “Primates from Madagascar, ” Trans. Zool. Soc., 1908, 18, pp. 59-216. (R. Lf)


PRIME, PRIMER AND PRIMING. These three words are to be referred to Lat. primus, first, “ prime, ” in O. Eng. prim, occurs first in the ecclesiastical sense of the Latin prima hora, the first hour, one of the lesser canonical hours of the Roman Church (see BREVIARY). Hence the word “primer” (Med. Lat. primaries), i.e. a book of hours. This was a book for the use of the laity andnot strictly a service book. These books originally contained parts of the offices for the canonical hours, the penitential and other psalms, the Litany, devotional prayers and other matter. There were several “ Primers” printed in the reign of Henry VIII.; the King's Primer of 1 54 5 contained the Calendar, the Commandments, Creed, Lord's Prayer, the penitential psalms, Litany and prayers for special occasions. The primer of William Marshall, the printer and reformer, 1534, is entitled The Prymer in Englyshe, with certeyn prayers and godly meditations, very necessary for all people that understander notlhe Latyne Tongue. Later these primers contained the Catechism, graces before and after meals, and the A. B. C. They were published for children, like the earlier Sarum Primer (1537), and became educational in purpose, as reading books. The earlier primers were also used in this way, as is shown by the “ litelchild ” of Chaucer's Prioress's Tale, who sitting “ at his prymer, redemptorie herde synge.” Thus “ primer” or “primmer” became the regular name for an elementary book for learners. For the type known as “ great primer ” and “ long primer, ” see TYPOGRAPHY.

Apart from the use of “prime” as the period of greatest vigour of life, the first of the guards in fencing, and for those numbers which have no divisors except themselves and unity (see ARITHMETIC), the principal use is that of the verb, in the sense of to insert in the pan of an old-fashioned small arm, the “ primer, ” containing powder which, on explosion by percussion, fires the charge. This use seems to be clue to “ priming ” being the first stage in the discharge of the weapon. Finally “ priming ” is the first coat of size or colour laid on a surface as a preparation for the body colour.


PRIME MINISTER, or PREMIER, in England, the first minister of the Crown. Until 1905 the office of prime minister was unknown to the law) but by a royal warrant of the and of December of that year the holder of the office, as such, was given precedence next after the archbishop of York. The prime minister is the medium of intercourse between the cabinet and the sovereign; he has to be cognizant of all matters of real importance that take place in the different departments so as to exercise a controlling influence in the cabinet; he is virtually responsible for the disposal of the entire patronage of the Crown; he selects his colleagues, and by his resignation of office dissolves the ministry. Yet he was until 1905, in theory at least, but the equalof the colleagues he-appointed. The prime minister is nominated by the sovereign. “ I offered, ” said Sir Robert Peel on his resignation of office, “ no opinion as to the choice of a successor. That is almost the only act which is the personal act of the sovereign;»it is for the sovereign to determine in whom her confidence shall be placed.” Yet this selection by the Crown is practically limited. No prime minister could- carry on the government of the country for any length of time who did not possess the confidence of the House of Commons. The prime minister has no salary as prime minister, but he usually holds the premiership in Connexion with the first lordship of the treasury, the chancellorship of the exchequer, a secretaryship of state or the privy seal. Sir Robert Walpole must be regarded as the first prime rninister-that is, a minister who imposed harmonious action upon his colleagues in the cabinet. This was brought about partly by the capacity of the man himself, partly by the lack of interest of George I. and II. in English home affairs. This creation, as it were, of a superior .minister was so gradually and silently effected that it is difficult to realize its full importance. In previous ministries there was no -prime minister except so far as one member of the administration dominated over his colleagues by the force of character and intelligence. In the reign of George III. even North and Addington were universally acknowledged by the title of prime minister, though they had little claim to the independence of action of a Walpole or a Pitt.

British Prime Ministers.

Sir R. Walpole . . 1721-1742 Earl of Shelburne John, Lord Carteret (afterwards Mar(afterwards Earl quess of Lans-Granville)

1742~174 downe) . 1782-1783

Henry Pelham . . 1744-17§ '4 Lord North (after-Duke of Newcastle . 1754-1756 wards Earl of Guil- 7, William Pitt and ford .... 1783

Duke of Newcastle 1756-1762 W Pitt 1733-1301 Earl of Bute . . 1762-1763 H Addington (after, George Grenville 1763-1765 Wa, -ds Viscount .. M~?1'fll1€SS Of Rock- Sidmouth) . A . 1801-1-804 Wmggiam E~ 1° &»1765'1766 W. Pitt . . 1804, -1806 th '§ ' ar 0 Lord Grenville . 1806-1807

at am ' ' ~ '766"767 D 1< fPotl d iso -is

Duke of Grafton . -1767¢177O U e 0 r an ' 7 09 Lord NO, -th 17704732 Spencer Perceval . 1809-1812 Marquess Of Rgck- Earl of L1V€I'pOOl . 1812-1827 ingham . . 1782 G. Canning . . 1827

The first formal mention in a public document appears to be in 1878, where, in the o ening clause of the treaty of Berlin, the earl of Beaconsfield is ref cir red toas “ First Lord of Her Majesty/'s Treasury, Prime Minister of England.”