this is that the diastole is prolonged, and the pulse thus rendered less frequent. If the heart is beating irregularly the drug tends to make it more regular. The action is similar to that of digitalis—and fifty years ago both these drugs would thus have been regarded, as indeed digitalis was, as cardiac sedatives. As the cardiac muscle receives its blood supply only during diastole, it follows that strophanthus, while increasing the force of each beat, yet lengthens the period during which the muscle rests and is fed—thus being, in a paradoxical sense, a sedative as well as a stimulant. In fatal cases of strophanthus poisoning death is brought about by the arrest of the heart in systole, i.e. in a state of tetanic spasm from over-stimulation. This of course is a striking exception to the natural rule that death finds the heart in a state of relaxation and inability to contract. Strophanthus markedly raises the blood-pressure, but this action is proportional to and almost entirely due to the increased force of the heart; not, as in the case of digitalis, to constriction of the arterioles.
Its action on the heart causes strophanthus to exert a powerful diuretic action, especially in cases of dropsy of cardiac origin. It is a less powerful diuretic than digitalis as a rule. The drug has no action on the nervous system, but in toxic doses it powerfully affects the voluntary striped muscles. This action may be correlated with that exerted upon the cardiac muscle, which is striped, though not voluntary, and contrasted with its want of action upon the muscular fibre of the arteries, which is involuntary and non-striped.
The drug, like onabaïn, has a slight anaesthetic action when locally applied to the eyeball, and also causes contraction of the pupil.
Strophanthin is one of the most active and lethal of all known substances. One-hundredth of a grain will kill a mammal weighing four pounds, and one-third of a grain will kill a man of average weight. Serum containing one part of strophanthin in ten millions will arrest the frog’s heart in systole.
Strophanthus is used therapeutically only as a cardiac stimulant. When given by the mouth it acts somewhat more rapidly than digitalis, being more soluble; but it is of course far less speedy in action than ether, ammonia or such a pseudo-stimulant as ethyl alcohol. In mitral disease of the heart especially strophanthus is an invaluable drug. It frequently succeeds when digitalis has failed ; occasionally it fails where digitalis succeeds. It has the great advantage over digitalis of being non-cumulative, and can be administered continually for many weeks or even months at a time. It is never to be given in acute Bright’s disease, but is frequently of use in chronic Bright’s disease, where digitalis, owing to its influence on the already over-contracted arterioles, is absolutely contra-indicated.
STROPHE (Gr. στροφή, from στρέφειν, to turn), a term in versification which properly means a turn, as from one foot to another, or from one side of a chorus to the other. In its precise choral significance a strophe was a definite section in the structure of an ode, when, as in Milton’s famous phrase in the preface to Samson Agonistes, “strophe, antistrophe and epode were a kind of stanzas framed only for the music.” In a more general sense the strophe is a collection of various prosodical periods combined into a structural unit. In modern poetry the strophe usually becomes identical with the stanza, and it is the arrangement and the recurrence of the rhymes which give it its character. But the ancients called a combination of verse-periods a system, and gave the name strophe to such a system only when it was repeated once or more in unmodified form. It is said that Archilochus first created the strophe by binding together systems of two or three lines. But it was the Greek ode-writers who introduced the practice of strophe-writing on a large scale, and the art was attributed to Stesichorus, although it is probable that earlier poets were acquainted with it. The arrangement of an ode in a splendid and consistent artifice of strophe, antistrophe and epode was carried to its height by Pindar (see Ode). With the development of Greek prosody, various peculiar strophe-forms came into general acceptance, and were made celebrated by the frequency with which leading poets employed them. Among these were the Sapphic, the Elegiac, the Alcaic and the Asclepiadean strophe, all of them prominent in Greek and Latin verse. The briefest and the most ancient strophe is the dactylic distich, which consists of two verses of the same class of rhythm, the second producing a melodic counterpart to the first. The forms in modern English verse which reproduce most exactly the impression aimed at by the ancient ode-strophe are the elaborate rhymed stanzas of such poems as the “Nightingale” of Keats or the “Scholar-Gypsy” of Matthew Arnold (see Verse).
STROSSMAYER, JOSEPH GEORGE [Jošip Juraj Štrosmajer] (1815–1005), Croatian bishop and politician, was born at Esseg in Croatia-Slavonia on the 4th of February 1815. Strossmayer was of German descent and his parents had emigrated from Linz in Austria. He was educated at the Roman Catholic seminary of Djakovo, in his native country, and at Budapest, where he studied theology. In 1838 he took holy orders, and during the next ten years became lecturer on theology at Djakovo, chaplain to the Austrian emperor, and director of the Augustinian body at Rome. In 1849 he was consecrated bishop of Djakovo, with the official title "Bishop of Bosnia, Slavonia and Sirmium." He fostered the growth of Slavonic nationalism in Croatia-Slavonia, in Dalmatia, and among the Slovenes of south Austria, aiding the Ban Jellacic in his campaigns against Hungary (1848–49), and subsequently becoming a recognized leader of the opposition to Hungarian predominance (see Croatia-Slavonia). Besides being foremost among the founders of the South Slavonic Academy in 1867, and of Agram University in 1874, he helped to reorganize the whole educational system of Dalmatia and Croatia-Slavonia. He built a palace and cathedral at Djakovo, founded a seminary for the Bosnian Croats, presented the South Slavonic Academy with a gallery of valuable pictures, and published collections of national songs and tales. He also aided Augustin Theiner, then librarian at the Vatican, to compile his Vetera monumenta Slavorum meridionalium historiam illustrantia (Rome, 1863). As a theologian, Strossmayer became prominent by his energetic opposition to the dogma of infallibility at the Vatican council of 1870, and by his denunciation of the Jesuits, while they in return charged him with allowing Roman Catholics to adopt the orthodox Greek confession. For years he refused to accept the doctrine of infallibility, but ultimately he yielded. Despite this attitude, he enjoyed the confidence of Pope Leo XIII. He headed the Slavonic deputations which visited Rome in 1881 and 1888, and won for them the retention of a Slavonic liturgy by the Roman Catholics of Illyria. Strossmayer withdrew from political life in 1888, in consequence of a rebuke administered to him by the emperor for his public expiession of sympathy with Russia and his consistent hostility to Hungary. He died in his ninety-first year, on the 10th of April 1905. He was a count of the Holy Roman Empire, a bishop of the pontifical throne, and a member of the theological faculties of Budapest and Vienna. By Leo XIII. he was decorated with the archiepiscopal pallium.
STROUD, a market town in the Stroud parliamentary division of Gloucestershire, England, 1021 m. W. by N. of London. Pop. of urban district (1901), 9153. It is served by the Great Western railway and a branch of the west-and-north line of the Midland. It lies on the steep flank of a narrow and picturesque valley and traversed by the Thames and Severn and the Stroudwater canals, which unite at Wallbridge close by. The church of St Lawrence is modern excepting the tower and spire. The Elizabethan town-hall and the school of science and art, commemorating Queen Victoria, are noteworthy. Stroud is the principal seat of the west of England cloth manufacture, the industry extending to Stonehouse and other places in the vicinity. Stroud has also silk-mills, dyeworks, breweries, foundries, and a manufacture of umbrellas and walking-sticks.
There is no evidence of the existence of Stroud before the Conquest, and in 1087 it was still part of the manor of Bisley, from which it was separated in the reign of Edward II. It became a centre of the cloth trade in the Tudor period, and in 1607 Henry, Lord Danvers, lord of the manor, obtained a charter from James I., authorizing a weekly market. During the 18th century the commercial importance of the town increased, though, owing to its distance from any of the great highroads and to the localization of the clothing trade in scattered factories near water power, it was never a great centre of population. By the Reform Act of 1832 Stroud became a borough and returned two members to parliament until 1885, when it was merged in the Stroud division of Gloucestershire. The manufacture of very fine broadcloth and of scarlet-dyed cloth