Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/944

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STILETTO—STILLICIDIUM

Dr Stiles published several sermons, notably, a Discourse on the Christian Union (1761), which has remarkable ecclesiastical breadth of view; an Account of the Settlement of Bristol, Rhode Island (1785); and a History of Three of the Judges of King Charles I.: Major-General Whalley, Major-General Goffe and Colonel Dixwell (1794). He began in 1768 but never finished an Ecclesiastical History of New England and British America. His Literary Diary was published in New York in 3 vols, in 1901, being edited by F. B. Dexter, who quotes largely from Dr Stiles's Itineraries, a daily account of his travels; the Diary gives a valuable picture of the life of New England in 1769-1795 and many interesting estimates of Stiles's contemporaries. See the Life of Ezra Stiles (Boston, 1798), by his daughter's husband, Abiel Holmes, the father of Oliver Wendell Holmes.


STILETTO (an Italian diminutive of stilo, dagger, Lat. stilus, a pointed instrument), a short stabbing dagger, the blade of which is either triangular or square in form. The term is also applied to a pointed bodkin of ivory, bone or metal used for making eyelet holes, &c.


STILICHO, FLAVIUS (?–408), Roman general and statesman, was the son of a Vandal who had served as an officer in the army of the emperor Valens (364–378). He himself entered the imperial army at an early age and speedily attained high promotion. He had already become master of the horse when in 383 he was sent by Theodosius (379–395) at the head of an embassy to the Persian king, Sapor III. His mission was very successful, and soon after his return he was made count of the domestics and received in marriage Serena, the emperor's niece and adopted daughter. In 385 he was appointed master of the soldiery (magister militum) in Thrace, and shortly afterwards directed energetic campaigns in Britain against Picts, Scots and Saxons, and along the Rhine against other barbarians. Stilicho and Serena were named guardians of the youthful Honorius when the latter was created joint emperor in 394 with special jurisdiction over Italy, Gaul, Britain, Spain and Africa, and Stilicho was even more closely allied to the imperial family in the following year by betrothing his daughter Maria to his ward and by receiving the dying injunctions of Theodosius to care for his children. Rivalry had already existed between Stilicho and Rufinus, the praetorian praefect of the East, who had exercised considerable influence over the emperor and who now was invested with the guardianship of Arcadius. Consequently in 395, after a successful campaign against the Germans on the Rhine, Stilicho marched to the east, nominally to expel the Goths and Huns from Thrace, but really with the design of displacing Rufinus, and by connivance with these same barbarians he procured the assassination of Rufinus at the close of the year, and thereby became virtual master of the empire. In 396 he fought in Greece against the Visigoths, but an arrangement was effected whereby their chieftain Alaric was appointed master of the soldiery in Illyricum (397). In 398 he quelled Gildo's revolt in Africa and married his daughter Maria to Honorius. Two years later he was consul. He thwarted the efforts of Alaric to seize lands in Jtaly by his victories at Pollentia and Verona in 402-3 and forced him to return to Illyricum, but was criticized for having withdrawn the imperial forces from Britain and Gaul to employ against the Goths. He maneuvered so skilfully in the campaign against Radagaisus, who led a large force of various Germanic peoples into Italy in 405, that he surrounded the barbarian chieftain on the rocks of Fiesole near Florence and starved him into surrender. Early in 408 he married his second daughter Thermantia to Honorius. It was rumoured about this time that Stilicho was plotting with Alaric and with Germans in Gaul and taking other treasonable steps in order to make his own son Eucherius emperor. There are conflicting accounts of the plots and counterplots and of the court intrigues, the relative truth of which will probably never be known. It is certain, however, that he was suspected by Honorius and abandoned by his own troops, and that he fled to Ravenna, and, having been induced by false promises to quit the church in which he had taken sanctuary, was assassinated on the 23rd of August 408.

The principal sources for the life of Stilicho are the histories of Zosimus and of Orosius and the flattering verses of Claudian. See T. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, vols. i. and ii. (Oxford, 1880); E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, edited by J. B. Bury, vol. iii. (London, 1902) ; P. Villari, The Barbarian Invasions of Italy, translated by L. Villari, vol. i. (New York, 1902) ; S. Dill, Roman Society in the last century of the Western Empire (London, 1899).  (C. H. Ha.) 


STILL. (1) (0. Eng. stille, a word appearing in many Teutonic languages, all derived from the root, meaning to set in position or rest, seen in " stall," Ger. stellen, &c), motionless, noiseless, or when used of wines or mineral waters, having little or no effervescence. As an adverb, " still" has preserved the original sense of " that which preserves its position," and thus means continually, permanently, now as before. (2) From the shortened form of " distil," Lat. distillare, to drip, trickle down, stilla, a drop, dim. of stiria. The older word for a " still " in English was stillatory, Medieval Latin slillatorium, an ap- paratus for heating substances and condensing the vapours (see Distillation and Spirits).


STILL, JOHN (c. 1543-1608), bishop of Bath and Wells, formerly reputed to be the author of Gammer Gur ton's Needle, was born about 1543 at Grantham, Lincolnshire. He became a student of Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1562, M.A. in 1565, and D.D. in 1575. In 1561 he became a fellow of his college and took holy orders. He was appointed in 1570 Lady Margaret professor of divinity, sub- sequently held livings in Suffolk and Yorkshire, and was master successively of St John's College (1574) and of Trinity College (i577)- Still was vice-chancellor of his university in 1575— 1576 and again in 1592-1593, and was raised to the bishopric of Bath and Wells in 1593. He died on the 26th of February 1608, leaving a large fortune from lead mines discovered in the Mendip Hills.

Gammer Gurton's Needle is the second extant English comedy, properly so called. Still, whose reputation as a serious church- man cannot be easily reconciled with the buffoonery of A Ryght Pithy, Pleasaunt and merie Comedie: Intytuled Gammer Gurtons Nedle, was first credited with its authorship by Isaac Reed in his edition (1782) of Baker's Biographia dramalica. The title-page of the piece, which was printed by Thomas Col well in 1575, states that it was played not long ago at Christ's College, Cambridge, and was " made by Mr S. Mr of Art." A play was acted at Christmas 1567, and Still was chosen as being the only M.A. on the register at that time whose name began with S. There are reasons to suppose however that the play had been in Colwell's hands some time before it was printed, and it may well be identical with the Dyccon of Bedlam for which he took out a licence in 1562-1563, " Diccon the Bedlem " being the first of the dramatis personae of Gammer Gurton. In the accounts of Christ's College for 1559-1560 is the entry, " Spent at Mr Stevenson's plaie, 5s." William Stevenson was born at Hunwick, Durham, matriculated in 1546, took his M.A. degree in 1553, and became B.D.in 1560. Stevenson was a fellow of Christ's College from 1559 to 1561, and is perhaps to be identified with a William Stevenson who was a fellow from 1551 to 1554. If such is the case, there is reason to think that the composition of Gammer Gurton's Needle should be referred to the earlier period. He was made prebendary of Durham in 1 560-1 561, and died in 1575. Contemporary Puritan writers in the Marprelate tracts allude to Dr John Bridges, dean of Salisbury, author of A Defence of the Government of the Church of England, as the reputed author of Gammer Gurton's Needle, but he obviously could not be properly described as " Mr S." Dr Bridges took his M.A. degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1560, and the witty and sometimes coarse character of his acknowledged work makes it reasonable to suppose that he may have been a coadjutor of the author.

For the argument on behalf of William Stevenson's authorship, see Henry Bradley's essay prefixed to his edition of the play in Representative English Comedies (1903). The piece is also reprinted in Dodsley's Old Plays (vol. i., 1744; vo '- n -> l 7&°); in Ancient British Drama (1810), vol. i.; and in J. M. Manly 's Specimens of the Pre-Shakspearean Drama (Boston, U.S.A., 1897).


STILLICIDIUM, a dripping of water from the eaves (stilla, drop, cadere, to fall), the term in architecture given by Vitruvius (iv. 7) to the dripping eaves of the roof of the Etruscan temple.