Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/947

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elsewhere applied is uncertain. At the end of the last century they frequented Romney Marsh in Kent, and in the first quarter of the present century they bred in various suitable spots in Suffolk and Norfolk — the last place known to have been inhabited by them being Salthouse, where the people made puddings of their eggs, while the birds were killed for the sake of their feathers, which were used in making artificial flies for fishing. The extirpation of this settlement took place between 1822 and 1825 (cf. Stevenson, Birds of Norfolk, ii. 240, 241). The avocet's mode of nesting is much like that of the stilt, and the eggs are hardly to be distinguished from those of the latter but by their larger size, the bird being about as big as a lapwing (g.r.), white, with the exception of its crown, the back of the neck, the inner scapulars, some of the wing-coverts and

(After Naumann.)

Fig. 2. — Avocet.

the primaries, which are black, while the legs are of a fine light blue. It seems to get its food by working its bill from side to side in shallow pools, and catching the small crustaceans or larvae of insects that may be swimming therein, but not, as has been stated, by sweeping the surface of the mud or sand — a process that would speedily destroy the delicate bill by friction. Two species of avocet, R. americana and R. andina, are found in the New World ; the former, which ranges so far to the northward as the Saskatchewan, is distinguished by its light cinnamon-coloured head, neck and breast, and the latter, confined so far as known to the mountain lakes of Chile, has no white in the upper parts except the head and neck. Australia produces a fourth species, R. novae-hollandiae or rubricollis, with a chestnut head and neck; but the European R. avocetta extends over nearly the whole of middle and southern Asia as well as Africa. (A. N.)

STILTED, a term in architecture, given to anything raised above its usual level; it is usually applied to the arch, which is said to be stilted when its centre is raised above the capital or impost. In Byzantine architecture this was frequently done in order to give more importance to the twin arches of the windows, and less to the shaft which divided them. In Romanesque and Gothic work the stilted arch was often employed in the semi- circular apses, where in consequence of the closer juxtaposition of the columns round the apse the arches were much narrower than those of the choir; in order, however, that the apex of all the arches should be of the same height, the apse arches were stilted.

STILTS, poles provided at a certain distance above the ground with steps or stirrups for the feet, for the purpose of walking on them. As a means of amusement stilts have been used by all peoples in all ages, as well as by the inhabitants of marshy or flooded districts. The city of Namur in Belgium, which formerly suffered from the overflowing of the rivers Sambre and Meuse, has been celebrated for its stilt-walkers for many centuries. Not only the towns-people but also the soldiers used stilts, and stilt-fights were indulged in, in which parties of a hundred or more attacked each other, the object being to overset as many of the enemy as possible. The governor of Namur having promised the archduke Albert (about 1600) a company of soldiers that should neither ride nor walk, sent a detachment on stilts, which so pleased the archduke that he conferred upon the city perpetual exemption from the beer-tax, no small privilege at that time.

The home of stilt-walking at the present day is the department of Landes in Gascony, where, owing to the impermeability of the subsoil, all low-lying districts are converted into marshes, compelling the shepherds, farmers and marketmen to spend the greater part of their lives on stilts. These are strapped to the leg below the knee, the foot resting in a stirrup about five feet from the ground. Their wearers, who are called tchangues (long-legs) in the Gascon dialect, also carry long staves, which are often provided with a narrow piece of board, used as a seat in case of fatigue. In the last quarter of the 19th century stilt- races, for women as well as men, became very popular in: the Landes district, and still form an important feature of every provincial festivity. One winner of the annual championship races accomplished 490 kilometres (more than 304 m.) in 103 hours, 36 minutes. Silvain Dornon, a baker of the Landes, walked on stilts from Paris to Moscow in 58 days in the spring of 1891. The rapids of the Niagara have been waded on stilts. In many of the Pacific islands, particularly the Marquesas, stilts are used during the rainy season. Stilts used by children are very long, the upper half being held under the arms; they are not strapped to the leg. Stilts play an important part in the Italian masquerades, and are used for mounting the gigantic figures in the grotesque processions of Lisle, Dunkirk, Louvain and other cities.

STINDE, JULIUS (1841-1905), German author, was born at Kirchnuchel near Eutin on the 28th of August 1841, the son of a clergyman. Having attended the gymnasium at Eutin, he was apprenticed in 1858 to a chemist in Liibeck. He soon tired of the shop, and went to study chemistry at Kiel and Giessen where he proceeded to the degree of doctor of philosophy. In 1863 Stinde received an appointment as consulting chemist to a large industrial undertaking in Hamburg; but, becoming editor of the Hamburger Gewerbeblatt, he gradually transferred his energies to journalism. His earliest works were little comedies, dealing with Hamburg life, though he continued to make scientific contributions to various journals. In 1876 Stinde settled in Berlin and began the series of stories of the Buchholz family, vivid and humorous studies of Berlin middle-class life by which he is most widely known. He died at Olsberg near Kassel on the 7th of August 1905.

The first of the series Buchholzens in Italien (translated by H. F. Powell, 1887) appeared in 1883 and achieved an immense success. It was followed by Die Familie Buchholz in 1884 (translated by L. D. Schmitz, 1885); Frau Buchholz im Orient in 1888; Frau Wilhelmine {Der Familie Buchholz letzter Teil; translated by H. F. Powell, 1887) in 1886; Wilhelmine Buchholz' Memoir en, in 1894; and Hotel Buchholz; Ausstellungserlebnisse der Frau Wilhelmine Buchholz, in 1896. Under the pseudonyms of Alfred de Valmy, Wilhelmine Buchholz and Richard E. Ward, he also published various other works of more or less merit, among which his Naturphilosophie (1898) deserves special mention; his Waldnovellen (1881) have been translated into English.

STINK-WOOD, in botany, a South African tree, known botani- cally as Ocotea bullata, and a member of the family Laurineae. Other names for it are Cape Walnut, Stinkhout, Cape Laurel and Laurel wood. It derives its name from having a strong and unpleasant smell when fresh felled. It is used for building in South Africa and is described by Stone ( Timbers of Commerce, p. 174) as " the most beautiful dark-coloured wood that I have yet met with." It is said to be a substitute for teak and equally durable. The wood is dark walnut or reddish brown to black with a yellow sap-wood, and the grain extremely fine, close, dense and smooth.

STIPEND, a fixed periodical payment or salary for services rendered. The word is particularly used of the income from an ecclesiastical benefice or of the salary paid to any minister of religion. In the United Kingdom a paid magistrate or justice of the peace, appointed by the Crown on the advice of the home secretary for certain boroughs are termed "stipendiaries" or "stipendiary magistrates" (see Justice of the Peace). The Latin stipendium (for stipipendium) is derived from slips, a gift, contribution (originally a heap of coins, stipare, to press; mass together) and pendere, to weigh out, pay. This was applied first to the pay of the army, and hence was used in the sense of