Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/730

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

great for anything like a universal spiritualistic creed to have been arrived at. In France the doctrine of successive reincarnations with intervals of spirit life promulgated by Allan Kardec (L. H. D. Rivail) forms a prominent element of spiritualistic belief. This view has, however, made but little way in England and America, where the opinions of the great majority of spiritualists vary from orthodox Christianity to Unitarianism of an extreme kind. Probably it would be impossible to unite spiritualists in any creed, which,, besides the generally ac- cepted belief in God and immortality, should postulate more than the progress of the spirit after death, and the power of some of the dead to communicate with the living by means of mediums.

Spiritualism has been accused of a tendency to produce in- sanity, but spiritualistic sittings carried on by private persons do not appear to be harmful provided those who find in them- selves " mediumistic " powers do not lose their self-control and exercise these powers when they do not desire to do so, or against their better judgment. Public sittings are apt to be means of obtaining money by false pretences, and the great scandal of spiritualism is undoubtedly the encouragement it gives to the immoral trade of fraudulent mediumship.

Bibliography. — In addition to the works already mentioned, the student, for a general idea of the whole subject, should consult the following: F. Podmore, Modern Spiritualism (2 vols., London, 1902), and The Newer Spiritualism (1910) ; F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death (2 vols., 1903); E. W. Capron, Modern Spiritualism, its Facts, &c. (Boston, 1855), fortheearly history of the movement in America; T. W. Edmonds and G. T. Dexter, Spiritualism (New York, 1853-1855); R. Hare, Experimental Investi- gations of the Spirit Manifestations (New York, 1856) ; Allan Kardec, Litre dcs esprits (1st ed., 1853); Mrs De Morgan, From Matter to Spirit (London, 1863), with preface by Professor De Morgan; Alfred Russel Wallace, Miracles and Modern Spiritualism (1876); W. Stainton Moses [M.A. (Oxon.)], Spirit Identity and Spirit Teaching; Zollner, Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen (the part relating to spiritu- alism has been translated into English under the title Transcendental Physics by C. C. Massey) ; Report of the Seybert Commission on Spiritualism (Philadelphia, 1887); Professor Th. Flournoy, Des Indes a. la Planete Mars (Geneva, 1900; there is an English translation published in London) ; Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, passim. A succinct account of typical frauds of spiritu- alism is contained in D. D. Home's Lights and Shadows of Spiritu- alism (2nd ed., 1877-1878), and also in Hereward Carrington's The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism, Fraudulent and Genuine (Boston 1907). (E. M. S.)

SPIT, a rotating bar for roasting meat, game or poultry. A spit usually has one or more prongs to which the meat is fixed; in the case of a basket-spit it is enclosed in an oblong basket of iron wire. The old form of spit was fixed on hooks or upon rachets on the fire-dogs; at one end of the bar is a grooved wheel for a chain connected with a smoke-jack in the chimney, or some similar contrivance for turning the spit so that every surface of the meat is exposed to the fire in turn. The jack was sometimes turned by a boy or a small dog trained for the pur- pose, the boy and the dog were equally known as turn-spits. The spits, when not in use, were placed in a spit-rack over the fireplace. These primitive arrangements eventually gave place to a combined spit and mechanical roasting-jack, which was fixed to a small crane projecting from the mantelpiece. The jack, which was largely of brass, rotated when wound up, and the meat was hung below it immediately in front of the fire, and the gravy and dripping were caught in a large shallow metal pan with a high screen to prevent the diffusion of heat. The almost universal employment in England of closed kitcheners has thrown all forms of spits and jacks into disuse, but in old-fashioned kitchens they are still sometimes seen. The more ancient forms of roasting apparatus are now much sought after by collectors.

SPITALFIELDS, a district of London, England, in the western part of the metropolitan borough of Stepney. The name is derived from the fact that the land belonged to a priory of St Mary Spital, founded in 1197. Excavations have revealed a Roman burial-place here. The name is well known in connexion with the silk industry established here by French refugees after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685.

SPITHEAD, a strait of the English Channel, between the mainland (the coast of Hampshire, England) and the north- eastern coast of the Isle of Wight, forming the eastern entrance to Southampton Water, the Solent being the western. Its length is about 12 m., and its general breadth about 4 m., though the distance between Ryde and Gilkicker Point is almost exactly 3 m. The Spit Sand, extending south-east from this promontory, gives name to the strait. On the north side opens the narrow entry to Portsmouth Harbour, with the towns of Portsmouth and Gosport east and west of it. On the south the coast of Wight rises sharply though to no great elevation; it is well wooded, and studded with country residences. Here is also the favourite watering-place of Ryde. Spithead, which as an anchorage is exposed only to the south-east, shares in the fortifications of Portsmouth Harbour, the principal station of the British navy. In this connexion the strait has been the scene of many splendid naval pageants, such as those attendant upon the jubilee in 1897, and the funeral in 1901 of Queen Victoria, and that which celebrated the coronation of King Edward VII. on the 16th of August 1902.

SPITI, an extensive minor division of Kangra district in the Punjab, India. Area, 2155 sq. m., the population (1901) being only 3231, all Buddhists. It consists of an outlying Tibetan valley among the external ranges of the Himalayas, which has a mean elevation of 12,981 ft. and contains on its borders many peaks over 20,000 ft. and one in the outer Himalayas of 23,064 ft. in altitude. Spiti originally formed part of the kingdom of Ladakh, and came into the hands of the British in 1846. The river Spiti rises at the converging angle of the Kamzam and outer Himalayan ranges at a height of 20,073 ft-, drains the whole valley of Spiti, and falls into the Sutlej after a course of 120 m.

SPITSBERGEN (the name being Dutch is incorrectly, though commonly, spelled Spitzbergen), an Arctic archipelago, almost midway between Greenland and Novaya Zemlya, in 76º 26' to 80º 50' N. and 10º 20' to 32º 40' E., comprising the five large islands of West Spitsbergen or New Friesland, North-East Land, Edge Island, Barents Island and Prince Charles Foreland, the Wiche Islands, and many small islands divided by straits from the main group. The chief island, West Spitsbergen, shaped like a wedge pointed towards the south and deeply indented on the west and north by long branching fjords, has an area of about 15,200 sq. m. At the north-west angle of the island is a region of bold peaks and large glaciers, in the midst of which is the fine Magdalena Bay. Farther south come the series of glaciers called by the whalers “The Seven Icebergs,” which drain a high snowfield reaching east almost to Wood Bay and south to the head of Cross Bay. On the south-east it is drained by glaciers towards or into Dickson and Ekman bays. South of this snowfield comes the mountainous King James Land, consisting of an intricate network of craggy ridges with glaciers between. A deep north-and-south depression is occupied by Wijde and Dickson bays, the one opening on the north coast, the other a head-branch of the great Ice Fjord of the west coast, bordered on the west by a range of fine mountains, a spur of which separates the two bays. East of this depression there is a plateau region. Its edge is eaten away into deep valleys, down which the ice-sheet of New Friesland sends glacier tongues into Wijde Bay. East of Dickson Bay the marginal valleys are larger, and no glaciers come far down them. The plateau between Dickson and Klaas Billen bays is cut up by deep valleys such as the Rendal, Skansdal and Mimesdal (all well known to geologists); it contains no large glaciers. Farther east is found a glaciated area called Garwood Land by Sir Martin Conway. The neck of West Spitsbergen is bounded on the north by a line from near the head of Klaas Billen Bay to Wiche Bay, and on the south by the Sassendal and the depression leading to Agardh Bay. It is a complicated area of fine craggy ridges with beautiful glaciers between. Adventure Land lies south of the neck, and is bounded on the south by a line from the head of Van Keulen Bay to Whales Bay. It is an area of boggy valleys, rounded hills, and small glaciers,