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the worm in a very young state having never been found in the intestines of man or of quadrupeds, the situation of its perfect development. The inhabitants of damp valleys are believed to suffer more than others from the A. lumbricoides. It is said also to be particularly frequent in persons who are much accustomed to eat raw leaves and roots; aud it has been supposed that the young may exist, perhaps in an encysted state, in the bodies of insects or other very small animals which are accidentally eaten along with such food, as the young tapeworm finds it way into the human intestines from its residence as a creature of very different size and form in the flesh of the sheep or the pig. The once prevalent idea of the equivocal generation of these worms is now completely abandoned.
A. vermicularis is another species usually referred to this genus, and is the only other species troublesome to mankind. It is known as the Thread-worm or Mawworm, and is very common both in children and adults. It infests chiefly the lower part of the intestines, and particularly the rectum, great numbers being often present together, and occasioning intolerable itching, irritation, and loss of sleep, although there is not in general much serious injury to health. The same anthelmintics employed against other intestinal worms are found efficacious also in the expulsion of this; and clysters are often employed with great success. The thread-worm is white, not more than half an inch in length, the male much less. Some recent authors of high reputation have separated this species from A, and call it Oxyuris vermicularis, but the term Ascarides is often employed in medical works with exclusive reference to it; and indeed this name, derived from the Greek askarizo, to jump or move briskly, probably owes its origin to the liveliness of motion which this species exhibits. It has been recently discovered that its nervous system is very highly developed, consisting of many ganglia, with connecting and ramifying cords.
ASCENSION, one of the comparatively few single islands on the globe, being about 800 miles to the north-west of St Helena, and almost as far to the south-southwest of St Matthew. It is said to have received its name from the circumstance of its having been discovered by a Spanish navigator on Ascension-day. It is nearly in the middle of the South Atlantic, the lat. of its fort being 7° 55' 55" s., and its long. 14° 25′ 5′′ w. A. is 8 miles long by 6 broad; its area being about 35 square miles. Though it was discovered as early as 1501, yet it remained uninhabited till 1815, when, in connection with Napoleon Bonaparte's detention in St Helena, the English took possession of it. It is now used as a naval victualling-station and hospital. Pop. (census of 1871) 27, 15 being residents on the island, and 12 being in the Royal Naval Hospital. Like St Helena, it is of volcanic origin, and generally mountainous-one peak rising to a height of 2870 feet. From the extreme dryness of the climate, which, however, is healthy, the surface is nearly destitute of verdure. Amoug indigenous productions are the tomato, castor-oil plant, and pepper; and various European vegetables are successfully cultivated.
ASCENSION, Right (Lat. ascensio, a rising; Ger. gerade aufsteigung) the name given in astronomy to one of the arcs which determine the position relatively to the equator of a heavenly body on the celestial sphere, the other being the declination. See ARMILLARY SPHERE. It is the arc of the equator intercepted between the first point of Aries (q. v.), and the point at which the circle of declination passing through the star cuts the equator. Measured always from west to east, right A. on the heavens corresponds to longitude on the earth. The right A. of a heavenly body is ascertained by means of the transit instrument and clock. The transit instrument determines its meridian passage, and the transit clock gives the time at which this takes place. When the first point of Aries is in the meridian, the clock stands at 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, and it is so arranged as to indicate 24 sidereal hours, the time that elapses between two successive passages of that point. The reading of the clock, therefore, at the passage of any heavenly body, gives its right A. in time, and this, when multiplied by 15, gives the same in degrees, minutes, and seconds. The old term, oblique A., was given to the right A. of the point of the equator that rose simultaneously with the heavenly body; and the difference of the oblique and right A. was called the "ascensional difference."
ASCENSION-DAY, or Holy Thursday, one of the great religious festivals of
the Episcopal, and also of the Roman Catholic Church. It is held on the fortieth day after Easter, and is intended to commemorate the ascension of Christ into heaven. It is one of the six days occurring in the year for which the Church of England appoints special psalms, and the same church also particularly recommends it as a fi ting day for the receiv ng of the communion. Ascension-day has been observed from the earliest times of the Christian Church. St Augustine believes it to have been instituted either by the apostles themselves, or the primitive bishops succeeding them. Connected with the religious observances of this day were certain civic ones. which in some parts of England and Scotland are continued to this day-viz., beating the bounds or riding the marches, though their religious connection is apparently forgotten. See ROGATION DAYS and PERAMBULATION.
ASCETICISM. Among the Greeks, askesis denoted the exercise and discipline practised by the athletes or wrestlers, who had to harden their bodies by exertion and to avoid all sensual and effeminating indulgences. In the schools of the philosophers, especially of the Stoics, the same word signified the practise of mastering the desires and passions, or of severe virtue. In these senses it passed into the language of the early Christians. The language of St Paul in comparing the Christians to wrestlers who had to contend with Satan, the world, and the flesh, contributed to this. But the philosophy of the time had more to do with it, which held the freeing of mind from matter to be the means of union with God; or, at least, that the refraining from all luxurious pleasure was the way to restore the soul to its original purity. To understand the vast influence that ascetic ideas have exercise d on the Christian religion, we must look beyond the bounds of its history. Their root lies in the oriental notion, that the Absolute or All is the on y real existence; and that individual phenomena, especially matter in all its shapes, are really nothing, and are to be despised and avoided, as involving the principle of separation from the Absolute. The East, accordingly, is the native soil of A. The glowing imagination of the oriental carries the practise of it to a monstrous extravagance, as is seen in the frightful self-tortures of the yogis and fakirs, the suicides in the sacred Ganges and under the wheels of Juggernauth, and the practises now or recently prevalent of offering children in sacrifice, and of burning widows; most of which, however, have been humanely suppressed by the efforts of the British government. Buddhism, which may be considered as a kind of puritan revival or reformation-the methodism of the Indian religion-carried the principle beyond its previous bounds. In its contemning the world; in its inculcating a life of solitude and beggary, mortification of the body, and abstinence from all uncleanness and from all exciting drinks, the object was to keep as distant and detached as possible from this "Vale of Sorrow" (see BUDDHISM and NIRVANA). The sober Chinese, and the more moral and rational Persians, never carried asceticism to these extravagances; and the earnest Egyptians sought to confine it to monogamy of the priests, abstaining from the flesh of swine and from beans, rigid purity. circumcision, moderate flagellation, and frequent contemplation of death (which there were arrangements for bringing to remembrance, even in the midst of festivities). These are certainly milder forms of A., but the principle is the same.
It is in the light of this fore-history that we must consider Judaic and Christian asceticism. In the oriental mind, especially in Egypt, circumcision, avoiding of all uncleanness, and fasting, were signs of humiliation before God; and in the Mosaic ritual they were conditions of the favor of the holy Jehovah. Voluntary vows, abstaining even from law ul food, wine, &c, were held to have a special purifying, consecrating efficacy, particularly for prophets and men of special callings. But self-castigation continued for long foreign to the sobriety of Judaism, and even her mitism came into established practise only shortly before Christ, in Palestine among the Essenes (q. v.), in Egypt among the Therapeutæ (q. v.); though doubtless Jewish A. had become more st rn and gloomy since the exile in Babylon.
A. was far less congenial to the reflective nations of the West, above all to the cheerful Greeks. A Greek felt hims If entitled to enjoyment as well as his gods; hence Greek religious festivals were pervaded by cheerfulness. The only exc ption appears to be the Eleusinian mysteries, which never took hold of the people generally, and the passing phenomenon of the Pythagorean fraternity. The attack made by the Socratic school upon the body as the prison of the soul-a view reminding
one of the East-and the extravagant contempt for the elegances, and even decencies, of life, professed by the later Stoics and Cynics, were no genuine fruits of the popular Greek mind; and we must also ascribe to the infusion of oriental philosophy the ascetic tendencies of Neopiatonism, in holding ab-tinence from flesh and from marriage as chief couditions of absorption into the divinity.
It was into the midst of these ideas that Christianity was introduced. The Jewish converts brought with them their convictions about fasting. Fasting and Nazaritic observances were thought sanctifying preparatives for great undertakings; and the inculcation of abstinence from marriage, on the ground of the expected speedy reappearance of Christ. falls in with the same notion, namely, that the flesh, that is, the sensuous part of our nature, is the seat of sin, and must therefore, before all things, be rigorously chained. The old oriental traditions of A.; the spirituality of Christianity, pointing away from earth to heaven; opposition to the corruption of the heathen world; the distinction made between belief and knowledge, as a higher and lower stage of intelligence, leading to a corresponding distinction of a higher and lower stage of virtue: all combined to make the Christians of the first two centuries hold aloof from the world and its wisdom, and favor abstinence from marriage, more especially on the part of the clergy. This ascetic spirit began as early as the commencement of the 2d c. to court trial in the perilous practise of men and women living together under vows of continence. We find Cyprian dissuading from the dangerous experiment, and even the authority of the church interposed to the same effect. But during the first three centuries no irrevocable vows yet bourd the devotees to a lifelong A. Fasting was also comparatively rare.
But the tendency to outward manifestations now began to grow stronger. The inward and spiritual life of the Christians had greatly declined; and if the previous bloody persecutions had driven individuals from human society into the deserts, the growing secularisation of the church, after Christianity became the stater ligion, had the same effect to a still greater degree. All this paved the way for the chief manifestation of A.-namely, mouasticism, which the church found herself compelled by the overwhelming tide of opinion within and without to recognise, and to take it under her protection and care. See MONACHISM. From the African Church, represented by Tertullian and Augustine a spirit of gloomy and crushing supernaturalism spread deeper and deeper over the Western Church generally, intensifying the ascetic tendencies, and leading to still more marked separation from a despised world. There were not wanting healthier minds-as Jovianus, Vigilantius, and others--to raise their voices against fasting, monkery, and the outward works of A. generally; but such protests were vain, and became ever rarer.
From the 11th c., the Cathari, Waldenses, and other sects, though ascetics themFelves in a way, yet assailed the external A. of the church; the classic Petrarch fought on the same side; and so did Wickliffe, Huss, and Jerome of Prague, in their premature st uggies at reformation. After a preliminary skirmish by Erasmus, the struggle was decided in the reformation of the 16th c. The fundamental principle of that movement, that salvation is secured by justification through faith, and not through dead works, struck at the root of monkery and mortification in general. But the victory has not been so complete as is often assumed. The ascetic spirit often shews itself still alive under various disguises even in Protestantism. The Mennonites inculcated a rigid A. ; and with the Shakers of America, celibacy is practised as a virtue. The essence of A. is to hold self-denial and suffering to be meritorious in the sight of God, in and for itself, without regarding whether it promotes in any way the good of others or the improvement of the individual's own character. this light, many traits presented by Puritanism, Methodism, and Quakerism appear ascetic. It is not impossible that vegetarianism, total abstinence, and other recent austerities. though advocated on other grounds, recommend themselves to the feelings of many from their falling in with this deep-seated propensity to A.; which seems a relic of that dread of the malignity of the invisible and supernatural powers which haunts the human mind in an unenlightened and savage stare.
Even in the Romish Church, ascetic practises have been modified in recent times; fastings are less rigorous, and the self-sacrifice of conventual life is more directed to beneficial ends. Mohammedanism has undergone the same change. In the Greek Church, monasticism bad always a milder form.
ASCH, a town in the west of Bohemia, 100 miles west-north-west from Eger. It has cotton, linen, and woollen manufactures. Pop. (1869) 9405.
ASCHAFFENBURG, the chief town on the right bank of the Maine, in the Bavarian district of Unterfranken (lat. 50° 1' n., long. 9° 7' e.). It is built upon an eminence, and has both a healthy and attractive situation; but the streets are narrow, irregular, and slope steeply towards the river. The castle of Johannisburg, built between 1605-1614, by Johann Schweikhardt, Elector of Mentz, and the favorite hunting residence of many of his successors, forms a quadrangle, with towers at each corner, and overlooks the whole town. Besides the collegiate church, the military barracks, and the town-hospital, A. possesses a Roman villa, built by the late King Louis, in imitation of the Castor and Pollux edifice discovered at Pompeii. It is celebrated for its manufacture of colored papers, besides carrying on a considerable trace in wood, building-stone, tobacco, wine, &c. Pop. (1875) 10,849, principally Catholics. A. existed as early as the invasion of Germany by the Romans, who built a castle here. In 974. Otto I., Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, founded the collegiate church, which greatly increased the prosperity of the piace. After Otto's death, it came into the possession of the archbishops of Mentz, and remained with them until the dissolution of the Germanic empire. In 1814, along with the principality of which it is the capital, it was ceded to Bavaria by Austria.
ASCHAM, Roger, a distinguished English writer and classical scholar, was born in 1515 at Kirby Wiske, in Yorkshire. He received his early education in the family of Sir Anthony Wingfield, and in 1530 entered St John's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree of M. A. in 1536. The study of the classics, especially Greek, had recently been revived at Cambridge, and the natural bent of A. impelled him with ardor to these studies. His reputation as a classical scholar soon brought him numerous pupils; and there being at that time no Greek chair, he was appointed by the university to read lectures in the public schools. He at first opposed the then new method of pronunciation which is still used in England; but afterwards adopted and defended it. His leisure hours were devoted to music, penmanship, in which he excelled, and archery. In defence of the latter art, he wrote, in 1544, a treatise entitled "Toxophilus," the pure English style of which, independently of its other merits, ranks it among the classical pieces of English literature. For this treatise, which was dedicated to Henry VIII. he was rewarded with an annual pension of £10, equivalent to about £100 of our present money. About the same time he was appointed university orator. In 1548, on the death of his former pupil, Grindal, he was called to supply his place as master of ranguages to the Lady Elizabeth. In this office he gave the highest satisfaction; but at the end of two years abruptly resigned it, on account of some offence he had taken at some persons in the princess's household. That he did not lose favor at court, however, is manifest, from his having soon after been appointed secretary to Sir Richard Morysine, ambassador to the court of Charles V. He spent three years in Germany, and published an account of his observations in that country. He also made a short tour in Italy. During his absence, he had been appointed Latin secretary to Edward VI. On his return, after the death of the king, the interest of Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, secured his appointment to the same office under Mary; his pension also was doubled. His prudence and moderation preserved him from offending by his Protestantism. Afier the death of Mary, Elizabeth retained him at court in the double capacity of secretary and tutor, which he discharged till his death, in 1568. His principal work, "The Schoolmaster," a treatise on classical education, was published in 1571 by his widow. His Latin Letters and poems have been frequently reprinted. The best edition of the former is that of Elstoh (Oxford, 1703). To an edit on of his English works, by the Rev J. Bennet (1767), is prefixed a life by Dr Johnson.-ASCHAM, a case for the reception of the bow, arrows, strings, and other accoutrements of the archer, derives its name from the author of the "Toxophilus."
ASCHERSLEBEN, a town in the district of Magdeburg, in the province of Prussian Saxony, lat. 51° 46' n., long. 11° 27′ e. It is situat d on the river Eine, is 32 miles distant from Magdeburg, and has a pop. of (1875) 17,532. The inhabitants are chiefly occupied in agriculture and gardening, but its trade is not very important. It has, however, considerable manufactures of woollens, linens, earthenware,
&c. In the vicinity are some ruins erroneously supposed to be those of the old burgh of Ascania, the original seat of the House of Anhalt.
ASCIATO, a town of North Italy, 12 miles south-east from Siena, on the left bank of the Ombrone. Pop. (1871) 3430.
ASCI'DIA. a Linnæan genus of marine mollusca, now much restricted as a genus, but the type of a family called Ascidiada. The name Ascidians is also commonly employed to designate all those tunicated mollusca which form the order Saccobranchiata of Owen, or in which respiration is carried on by means of gill-sacs (branchial sacs); and these are divided into Compound and Solitary Ascidians (Aggregata and Solitaria). The ascidians, along with the other Tunicato, are acephalous, or destitute of a head, and are enclosed, not in a shell, but in an elastic Tunic with two orifices, composed of a substance apparently identical with the cellulose of plants, consisting only of carbon and hydrogen. Within the external unic is a muscular membrane, regarded as corresponding to the mant'e of other mollusca, and the openings of which agree with those of the tunic. The greater part of the cavity of the mantle forms a branchial sac, the lining of which, folded in various ways, constitutes the gills (branchia); and into it currents of sea-water are continually brought by the respiratory movements, passing out through the vent or anal orifice. Multitudinous cilia in the mouth and branchial sac, cause by their action this continual flow of water. The motion of the cilia is apparently quite involuntary. By this flow of water, the particles of food requisite for the animal are brought in, so that the aëration of the blood and the supply of the stomach are carried on together and by the same means. The esophagus or gullet opens from the branchial sac, which is indeed_ regarded as probably an expansion of the upper part of it-a dilated pharynx. Under the branchial sac is the stomach; and the alimentary canal, which is more or less tortuous, finally returns upon itself, so that the two orifices are not far separate. The liver consists of follicles produced into tubes, and communicating with the stomach by a single opening. There is a heart and a circulation of blood, with the remarkable peculiarity of alternations in its course, the circulation every now and then pausing and being reversed. The transparency of many of the ascidians permits these and other internal movements to be easily observed. The nervous system is very simple, consisting of a s'ngle ganglion, situated between the mouth and the anal orifice, and which sends out filaments to both of them, and other branches over the surface of the mantle. The mantle is capable of contracting suddenly to eject a jet of water, and along with it any body the presence of which is disagreeable. It also contracts and ejects water, if the animal is touched, and this appears to be the only means of defence which these creatures possess. There is no trace of eyes or of other organs of special sense.
The ascidians are found in all seas, and often constitute an important part of the food of fishes. Some of them are occasionally used as human food, as Cynthia microcosmus on the shores of the Mediterranean. Many of them are very small, but some attain a size of five or six inches in diameter, and when touched, eject water to a considerable height, the largest of them to about three feet. They are all fixed by the base, in their mature state, to some solid substance, as a rock or seaweed; sometimes by the intervention of a stalk or peduncle. In some kinds (Social Ascidians), the peduncles of a number of individuals are connected by a tubular stem, and to some extent they have a common circulation of blood, although each has its own heart, respiratory apparatus, and digestive system; and if a ligature is drawn around the peduncle of one so as to cut it off from the common circulation, circulation takes place in it as in a solitary ascidian. In other kinds (more strictly called Compound Ascidians--which designation, however, is by some authors applied to those just described, whilst these are called Aggregate Ascidians), the tunics of many are united into a mass, and they form systems like zoophytes. The compound system sometimes bears a general resemblance to an actinia. Very frequently it forms a slimy crust upon algæ, shells, &c., or projects in globular or conical masses, more like a lump of inanimate matter than a being endowed with vitality"-"a curious and interesting internal organisation, veiled by the coarsest ext rior." The individuals are sometimes connected by a gelatinous flesh, which consists of cellulose, and there is sometimes a calcareous deposition in this connecting substance as in the compound