Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/74

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important works are Il Parlatore eterno, a musical farce (1873), and a ballet, Clarina (1873). In 1881 Ponchielli was made maestro di cappella of Piacenza Cathedral. His music shows the influence of Verdi, but at its best it has a distinct value of its own, and an inexhaustible flow of typically Italian melody. His fondness for fanciful figures in his accompaniments has been slavishly imitated by Mascagni, Leoncavallo, and many of their contemporaries. Ponchielli died at Milan on the 17th of January 1886.

PONCHO (a South American Spanish word, adopted from the Araucanian poncho or pontho in the 17th century), a form of cloak worn originally by the South American Indians, and afterwards adopted by the Spaniards living in South America. It is merely a long strip of cloth, doubled, with a hole for the head.

POND, JOHN (c. 1767–1836), English astronomer-royal, was born about 1767 in London, where his father made a fortune in trade. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of sixteen, but took no degree, his course being interrupted by severe pulmonary attacks which compelled a long residence abroad. In 1800 he settled at Westbury near Bristol, and began to determine star-places with a line altitude and azimuth circle of 21/2 ft. diameter by E. Troughton. His demonstration in 1806 (Phil. Trans. xcvi. 420) of a change of form in the Greenwich mural quadrant led to the introduction of astronomical circles at the Royal Observatory, and to his own appointment as its head. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on the 26th of February 1807; he married and went to live in London in the same year, and in 1811 succeeded Maskelyne as astronomer-royal.

During an administration of nearly twenty-five years Pondeffected a reform of practical astronomy in England comparable to that effected by Bessel in Germany. In 1821 he began to employ the method of observation by reflection; and in 1825 he devised means (see Mem. Roy. Astron. Soc. ii. 499) of combining two mural circles in the determination of the place of a single object, the one serving for direct and the other for reflected vision. Under his auspices the instrumental equipment at Greenwich was completely changed, and the number of assistants increased from one to six. The superior accuracy of his determinations was attested by S. C. Chandler's discussion of them in 1894, in the course of his researches into the variation of latitude (Astron. Journ. Nos. 313, 315). He persistently controverted (1810–1824) the reality of J. Brinkley's imaginary star-parallaxes (Phil. Trans. cviii. 477, cxiii. 53). Delicacy of health compelled his retirement in the autumn of 1835. He died at Blackheath on the 7th of September 1836, and was buried beside Halley in the churchyard of Lee. The Copley medal was conferred upon him in 1823, and the Lalande prize in 1817 by the Paris Academy, of which he was a corresponding member. He published eight folio volumes of Greenwich Observations, translated Laplace's Système du monde (in 2 vols. 8vo., 1809), and contributed thirty-one papers to scientific collections. His catalogue of 1112 stars (1833) was of great value.

See Mem. Roy. Astron. Soc. x. 357; Proc. Roy. Soc. iii. 434; Penny Cyclopaedia (De Morgan); F. W. Bessel, Pop. Vorlesungen, p. 543; Report Brit. Assoc. i. 128, 136 (Airy); Sir G. Airy's Autobiography, p. 127; Observatory, xiii. 204, xxii. 357; Annual Biography and Obituary (1837); R. Grant, Hist. of Phys. Astron. p. 491; Royal Society's Cat. Scient. Papers.

POND, a small pool or body of standing water, a word often applied to one for which the bed has been artificially constructed. The word is a variant of " pound " (q.v.), an enclosure.

PONDICHERRY, the capital of the French possessions in India, situated on the Coromandel or western coast, 122 m. by rail S. of Madras. The territory, which is entirely surrounded by the British district of South Arcot, has an area of 115 sq. m. with a population (1901) of 174,456. The chief crops are dry grains, rice, earth-nuts and a little indigo. The territory is traversed by a branch of the South Indian railway from Villapuram. The town has a population of 27,448. It is well laid out with fine public buildings; the water-supply is derived from artesian wells. It has an openroad stead, with a small iron pier. The port is visited yearly by 500 vessels, and has trade of the value of about some £1,300,000. The principal imports are areca-nuts, wines and liqueurs, and the chief exports groundnuts, oil, cotton fabrics and rice. Of the export trade more than one-half is with France, but of the import trade only one fourth. The weaving of various fabrics forms the principal industry.

Pondicherry was founded, in 1683 by Francois Martin, on the site of a village given him by the governor of Gingee. In 1693 the Dutch took Pondicherry, but restored it, with the fortifications greatly improved, in 1697, at the peace of Ryswick. In 1748 Admiral Boscawen laid siege to it without success, but in 1761 it was taken by Colonel Coote from Lally. In 1763 it Was restored to the French. In 1778 it was again taken by Sir Hector Munro, and its fortifications destroyed. In 1783 it was retransferred to the French, and in 1793 recaptured by the English. The treaty of Amiens in 1802 restored it to the French, but it was retaken in 1803. In 1816 it was finally restored to the French.

PONDO, a Kaffir people who have given their name to Pondoland, the country comprising much of the seaboard of Kaffraria, Cape province, immediately to the south-west of Natal. The Pondo, who number about 200,000, are divided into several tribal groups, but the native government, since the annexation of the country to Cape Colony in 1894, has been subject to the control of the colonial authorities. (See Kaffirs)

PONDWEED, a popular name for Potamogeton natans, a cosmopolitan aquatic plant found in ponds, lakes and ditches, with broad, more or less oblong-ovate, olive-green, floating leaves. The name is also applied to other species of Potamogeton, one of the characteristic genera of lakes, ponds and streams all over the world, but more abundant in temperate regions. It is the principal genus of the natural order of Monocotyledous Potamogetonaceae, and contains plants with slender branched stems, and submerged and translucent, or floating and opaque, alternate or opposite leaves, often with membranous united stipules. The small flowers are borne above the water in

(After Wossidlo. From Strasburger's Lehrbuch der Botanik.)
Potamogeton natans.

1, Apex of flowering shoot. 3, Flower viewed from the side.
2, Flower viewed from above. 4, Diagram of flower.

axillary or terminal spikes; they have four stamens, which bear at the back four small herbaceous petal-like structures, and four free carpels, which ripen to form four small green fleshy fruits, each containing one seed within a hard inner coat; the seed contains a large hooked embryo. An allied genus Zannichellia (named after Zanichelli, a Venetian botanist), occurring in fresh and brackish ditches and pools in Britain, and also widely distributed in temperate and tropical regions, is 'known as' horned pondweed, from the curved fruit.

PONIARD, a dagger, particularly one of small size, used for stabbing at close quarters. The French word poignard, from