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phers drank hellebore to keep their brain clear before undertaking intellectual labor; and it was pretended that certain precautions were necessary in collecting this plant. It is still sometimes employed as a purgative, but is apt to act violently if an overdose be taken.

HELLENES. (See Hellas.) HELLENISTS; scholars learned in Grecian antiquities, particularly in the Greek language and literature.

HELLENISTS, EGYPTIAN; the Jewish colonists, who settled in Egypt, after the destruction of the kingdom of Judah, about 600 B. C. Their number was increased by the many colonies of Jews planted by Alexander the Great, 336 B. C., and later by Ptolemy Lagus. Under the reign of the emperor Augustus, they amounted to nearly 1,000,000. The mixture of the Jewish and Egyptian national characters, and the influence of the Greek language and philosophy, which were adopted by these Jews, laid the foundation of a new epoch of Greco-Jewish literature, which, from its prevailing character, received the name of the Hellenistic. The systems of Pythagoras and Plato were strangely combined with those Oriental phantasies, which had been reduced to a system in Egypt, and with which the mystical doctrines of the Gnostics were imbued. The most noted of the Jewish Hellenistic philosophers was Philo of Alexandria (q. v.), and the chief of the learned labors of the Alexandrian Jews, was the Greek translation of the Old Testament. (See Septuagint.)

HELLESPONT; the straits between Europe and Asia, now called the Dardanelles. (For the mythological origin of the name, see Helle.) Its shores were lined with pleasant hills, towns and villages. Here were, in ancient times, Lampsacus, with its beautiful vineyards; the mouth of the Egos Potamos, immortalized by the victory of Lysander over the Athenian fleet; the cities of Sestos in Europe, and Abydos in Asia, rendered famous through the poem of Musæus on the loves of Hero and Leander. The strait is here but 7 stadia wide. In this place Xerxes passed from Asia to Europe over a double bridge. Lord Byron swam across the Hellespont, in 1810, in one hour and five minutes, in company with lieutenant Ekenhead. The rapidity of the current is such that no boat can row directly across, and lord Byron calculated that the whole distance, from his place of starting to his landing, on the Asiatic side, was more than four miles, although the strait is but a mile and 20


a half wide at the broadest part, and half a mile at the narrowest. Cocks are heard crowing from the opposite shores. The length of the strait is about 33 miles.

HELL-GATE. (See East River.)

HELM; a long and flat piece of timber, or an assemblage of several pieces, suspended down the hind part of a ship's stern-post, where it turns upon a kind of hinges to the right or left, serving to direct the course of a vessel, as the tail of a fish guides the body. The helm is usually composed of three parts, viz., the rudder, the tiller and the wheel, except in small vessels, where the wheel is unnecessary. The rudder becomes gradually broader in proportion to its distance from the top, or its depth under water. The back or inner part of it, which joins the stern-post, is diminished into the form of a wedge throughout its whole length, so that it may be more easily turned from one side to the other, when it makes an obtuse angle with the keel. The length and thickness of the rudder is nearly equal to that of the stern-post. The tiller is a long bar of timber, fixed horizontally in the upper end of the rudder, within the vessel. The movements of the tiller to the right and left accordingly direct the efforts of the rudder to the government of the ship's course, as she advances, which is called steering. The operations of the tiller are guided and assisted by a sort of tackle, communicating with the ship's side, called the tiller-rope, which is usually composed of untarred rope-yarns, for the purpose of traversing more readily through the blocks or pulleys. In order to facilitate the management of the helm, the tillerrope, in all large vessels, is wound about a wheel, which acts upon it with the powers of a windlass. The rope employed in this service, being conveyed from the fore end of the tiller to a single block on each side of the ship, forms a communication with the wheel, by means of two blocks fixed near the mizzen-mast, and two holes immediately above, leading up to the wheel, which is fixed upon an axis on the quarter-deck, almost perpendicularly over the fore end of the tiller. Five turns of the rope are usually wound about the barrel of the wheel, and when the helm is a-midship, the middle turn is nailed to the top of the barrel with a mark, by which the helmsman readily discovers the situation of the helm. The spokes of the wheel generally reach about eight inches beyond the rim or circumference, serving as handles to the person who steers the vessel. As

the effect of a lever increases in proportion to the length of its arm, it is evident that the power of the helmsman to turn the wheel will be increased according to the length of the spokes beyond the circumference of the barrel, so that if the helmsman employs a force of 30 pounds, it will produce an effect of from 90 to 120 pounds upon the tiller (the barrel being one fourth or one fifth of the radius of the spokes), which again forming the long end of a lever 10 or 15 times the length of its shorter arm, the force of the rudder will, by consequence, be from 10 times 90 to 15 times 120, or from 900 to 1800 pounds. When the helm operates by itself, the centre of rotation of the ship and her movements are determined by estimating the force of the rudder by the square of the ship's velocity. When the helm, instead of lying in a right line with the keel, is turned to one side or the other, it receives an immediate shock from the water, which glides along the ship's bottom in running aft, on the side towards which the helm is turned, and pushes it towards the opposite side, whilst it is retained in this position, so that the stern, to which the rudder is confined, receives the same impression, and accordingly turns in one direction, whilst the head of the ship moves in the opposite. The more the velocity of a ship increases, the more powerful will be the effect of the rudder, because the water will act against it with a force which increases as the square of the swiftness of the fluid, whether the ship advances or retreats. The direction given in the two cases will of course be contrary.

HELMERS, John Frederic, a Dutch poet, born at Amsterdam, in 1767, was destined for commerce, and attended particularly to the study of the modern languages; but the reading of the German, French and English poets soon inspired him with a taste for literature and poetry. Kindled by the classical models of foreign countries, Helmers composed, in his 19th year, an ode On Night, the beauty of which first revealed his talents. His ode The Poet first established his reputation. From this time, he yielded wholly to the impulse of his genius, and, in 1790, published a larger poem, Socrates, in three cantos, which gave him a high rank among the poets of his nation. But his tragedy, Dinomachus, or the Liberation of Athens, met with but little success on its representation. He afterwards undertook a theatrical journal for dramatic criticism; but his attempt did not receive any encourage

ment from the Dutch public. He afterwards devoted himself to lyric and epic poetry. In 1810, a collection of his poems was published at Amsterdam. His national poem, Holland (in six cantos, Amsterdam, 1812), which was universally admired by his countrymen, soon followed. Helmers died February 26, 1813. The works found among his papers appeared, under the title Nalezing van Gedichten, at Haerlem (2 vols., 1814 and 1815), and, almost at the same time, in another better edition, at Amsterdam.

HELMET; a defensive armor, for the protection of the head, composed of skins of animals, or of metals. Some of Homer's heroes are represented as wearing brazen helmets, with towering crests, adorned with plumes of the tails or manes of horses. Among the Romans, the cassis was a metallic helmet; the galea, a leathern one. (See Lipsius, De Militia Romana, III, 5.) In modern times, they have been of different kinds, some with and others without vizors.

HELMINTHAGOGA; medicines against


HELMINTHIASIS; the disease which proceeds from intestinal worms.

HELMONT, John Baptist van, born, in 1577, at Brussels, studied natural philosophy, natural history and medicine, in which he made such rapid proficiency, that, in his 17th year, he gave public lectures on surgery at Louvain. The study of the ancients convinced him of the insufficiency of many of their theories on the nature and cure of diseases; in particular, the system of Galen appeared to him to have great defects. He announced, therefore, his intention of making a reform in medicine. But his inability to cure the itch suddenly inspired him with an aversion to medical science, which be declared to be uncertain, and renounced entirely. He left his country, distributed all that he had gained by his practice in medicine, and, for ten years, wandered about the world; when, having become acquainted with an empirical chemist, he entered eagerly upon the study of chemistry. After the example of Paracelsus, he employed himself in seeking a universal remedy by means of that study. His former passion for medicine now revived, but it was a novel kind of medicine, of his own creation. He styled himself medicus per ignem, alluding to the source from which he derived his remedies. He now married, and retired to the little city of Vilvorde, near Brussels. Here he occupied himself till his death with medical

labors, boasted of having found the means of prolonging life, and composed visionary theories on the spiritual and physical formation of man, and on the causes and treatment of diseases. Though chemistry was still in its cradle, yet he made many discoveries, such as the laudanum of Paracelsus, the spirit of hartshorn, the sal volatile, &c. He intended to have overthrown the whole science of medicine, as it was taught in the schools, which he criticised with much justice; but what he produced himself was much more uncertain than all the existing theories. According to him, life is ruled by a principal power, which he called Archæus, the ruler, and by other subordinate powers. The system of Van Helmont resembles that of Paracelsus, yet it is more clear and scientific. Helmont never quitted his laboratory during the thirty years he lived in Vilvorde, yet he asserts that he cured annually more than a thousand men. The emperors Rodolph II, Matthias and Ferdinand II, invited him to Vienna, with promises of wealth and dignities; but he preferred the independence of his laboratory. He died December 30, 1644. Having given his manuscripts, before his death, to his son, with the request that he would publish them if he thought fit, they were printed by Elzevir.

HELMSTADT; a town, with 5200 inhabitants, in the duchy of Brunswick. The university of Julia Carolina, established in 1576 in Helmstädt, was suppressed by Jerome, ex-king of Westphalia, December 10, 1809. The town has a gymnasium, a seminary for the education of teachers, &c., besides manufactories of linen, cotton, flannel, soap, hats, liqueurs and perfumes. In the neighborhood is a mineral spring.

HELOISE, ELOISE, or LOUISA, celebrated for her beauty and wit, but still more on account of her love for Abelard, was born in Paris, in 1101. After her cruel separation from her illustrious lover, she became prioress of the convent of Argenteuil; but she attended more to study than to the monastic discipline of those under her charge, who, finally, were dispersed, in 1129, on account of their licentiousness. She then accepted the invitation of Abelard, and entered, with soine of her nuns, the oratory of Paraclete, where she found ed a new convent. Here she lived in exemplary piety. The bishops loved her as a daughter, the abbots as a sister, and the laity as a mother. Abelard, at her request, wrote the rules for her convent, which were confirmed by pope Innocent

II. She died in 1164. Contemporary writers speak in high terms of the genius of Heloise. She understood Latin, Greek, Hebrew, was familiar with the ancients, and had penetrated the depths of philosophy and theology. Among Abelard's letters, we find three which are ascribed to her, full of fire, genius and imagination. The two first of her letters, which paint the conflict between her present duties and former feelings, and vividly contrast the inward storm of the passions with the repose of the cell, furnished Pope with some of the finest passages of one of his best productions. (See Abelard.)

HELOTS; slaves in Sparta. The name is generally derived from the town of Helos, the inhabitants of which were carried off and reduced to slavery by the Heraclidæ, about 1000 B. C. They differed from the other Greek slaves in not belonging individually to separate masters; they were the property of the state, which alone had the disposal of their life and freedom. They formed a separate class of inhabitants, and their condition was, in many respects, similar to that of the boors in some countries of Europe. The state assigned them to certain citizens, by whom they were employed in private labors, though not exclusively, as the state still exacted certain services from them. Agriculture and all mechanical arts at Sparta were in the hands of the Helots, since the laws of Lycurgus prohibited the Spartans from all lucrative occupations. But the Helots were also obliged to bear arms for the state, in case of necessity. The barbarous treatment to which they were exposed often excited them to insurrection. Their dress, by which they were contemptuously distinguished from the free Spartans, consisted of cat's-skin, and a leather cap, of a peculiar shape. They were sometimes liberated for their services, or for a sum of money. If their numbers increased too much, the young Spartans, it is said, were sent out to assassinate them. These expeditions were called KOURTEI; but this account has been disputed. Their number is uncertain, but Thucydides says that it was greater than that of the slaves in any other Grecian state. It has been variously estimated, at from 320,000 to 800,000. They several times rose against their masters, but were always finally reduced.

HELSINGFORS, in the grand-duchy of Finland, on the gulf of Finland, a seaport and commercial town, with an excellent and strongly-fortified harbor, has manufactories of sail-cloth and linen; popula

tion, 8000. Since the cession of the grand-duchy to Russia, Helsingfors has been made the capital, on account of its commodious situation and its vicinity to Petersburg. October 1, 1819, all the higher offices of the government were transferred hither from Abo. This has promoted the growth of the place. Lat. 60° 10′ N.; lon. 20° 17′ E.

HELST, Bartholomew van der; painter, born at Haerlem, in 1613. Without having studied the great masters of the Italian school, he attained to a high degree of excellence as a portrait painter. "Before I had seen the works of this painter," says Falconet, "I found it difficult to credit those who thought him superior to Rembrandt, Van Dyke, and similar masters. Since I have examined them closely, I believe that, without prejudice, Helst is, in some respects, superior to those great painters, for his style is more true to nature," &c. All his works show a grand manner; there is nothing frigid nor stiff. His drapery is flowing; his figures well drawn; the accessory parts are closely copied from nature. The year of his death is unknown; it is only certain that he lived in Amsterdam, and that his son was also a good portrait painter.

HELVETIA. Between the Rhone and the Rhine, the Jura and the Rhætian Alps (in the canton of the Grisons), lived the Helvetii, a Gallic or Celtic nation, more numerous and warlike than the neighboring Gallic tribes. They were not known to the Romans until the time of Julius Cæsar, who, as governor of Gaul, prevented their intended emigration, and after many bloody battles, in which even the Helvetian women fought, pressed them back within their frontiers. Helvetia, which was less extensive than the present Switzerland, was divided into four districts, which had an entirely democratical constitution. Cæsar subjected the country to the dominion of the Romans, who established several colonies there, the names of which only have remained (for example, Augusta Rauracorum in the Frickthal), and introduced Roman civilization. Christianity was afterwards introduced into Helvetia. (See Switzerland.)

HELVETIUS, Claude Adrien, born at Paris, 1715, received a careful education. The tales of Lafontaine delighted his childhood, as Homer and Curtius captivated his youth. The study of Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding, at the college of Louis-le-Grand, inspired him with a love of philosophy, to which he remained faithful. After the termina

tion of his law studies, he was placed by his father, a celebrated physician, Adrien Helvétius, at Caen, for the purpose of acquiring a practical knowledge of finance. At the age of 23 years, he obtained, through the patronage of the queen, the honorable and lucrative post of a farmergeneral. Alive to all the pleasures of society, which were now placed within his reach, he did not suffer himself to be alienated from the muses. He kept up his carly intimacy with many distinguished men of letters, and, with a noble liberality, supported several young men of talents. As farmer-general, he was dis tinguished by his mildness and indulgence from his colleagues, whose base practices filled him with indignation. He therefore resigned his office, and purchased the place of maître d'hôtel to the queen. So ambitious was he of every sort of ap plause, that he even danced on one occasion at the opera. He aspired no less after literary fame. At first he directed his efforts to the mathematics, because he once saw a circle of the most beautiful ladies surrounding the ugly geometrician Maupertuis, in the garden of the Tuileries. He next attempted to rival Voltaire by a number of philosophical epistles, and he is also said to have written a tragedy. The brilliant success of Montesquieu's Esprit des Lois, then inspired him with the bold resolution of preparing a similar work. He therefore determined to retire into solitude. But he wished to sweeten his retreat by the society of a wife, and, in 1751, he married Mademoiselle de Ligniville, no less distinguished for her beauty than her wit. In the retirement of his estate of Voré, he devoted himself entirely to the happiness of his dependants, to domestic enjoyments, and to study. In 1758, he published his book De l'Esprit, the materialism of which drew upon him many attacks. Objectionable as the dotrines in this work may be, it undeniably contains the most various information. Helvétius went, in 1764, to England, and, the year afterwards, to Germany, where Frederic the Great and other Gernan princes received him with many proofs of esteem. After his return to France, he published his work De l'Homme, which is to be considered as a continuation of the former, and contains a fuller developement of the doctrines laid down in it; but, at the same time, many new ones, particularly such as relate to the science of education. Helvétius died in 1771. in Paris. Besides the above-mentioned works, he wrote epistles in verse, and an

allegorical poem, Le Bonheur. There are several complete editions of his writings. His wife, daughter of the count Ligniville, was one of the most excellent women of her time. After his death, she retired to Auteuil, where her house, like that of Madame Geoffrin, became the rendezvous of the most distinguished literati and artists of her time. She died Aug. 12, 1800, at Auteuil. (q. v.)

HELVIG, Amalia von; born at Weimar, Aug. 16, 1776, one of the most distinguished female poets of Germany. Her father travelled in France, England, Holland, and resided seven years in the Indies; and the mind of the lively girl was early awakened by his narratives of what he had seen and heard in foreign countries. When eight years old, she spoke English and French fluently, besides her mother tongue. She had just reached the age of 12 years, when she lost her father; and the lady who now had charge of her education kept her so closely employed, that her poetic spirit found no opportunity to develope itself. She had already begun to make rhymes before she was seven years old. In her 15th year, she went to reside at Weimar, and soon after become acquainted with Bürger, Hölty, Stolberg, and other poets of the time. At this period she began to learn Greek, and, four weeks after entering on the study, was able to commence the reading of Homer. A little poem, written by her, was presented to Louisa, duchess of Weimar, and found its way to Schiller, who invited the fair author to his house at Jena. Göthe then passed much of his time at Jena, and the young poetess, in their society, heard the most instructive observations on poetry and literature. She was afterwards appointed lady of the court of Saxe-Weimar. Here she became acquainted with her future husband, whom she afterwards followed to Sweden. Her health suffered there, and she returned to her own country. In 1813, she published the first Taschenbuch der Sagen und Legenden. She has translated several works from the Swedish, among others, the Frithiofs-Sage of Es. Tegner, in 1826.

HELVIN; the name of a rare mineral, bestowed by Werner, in allusion to its sun-yellow color, found in a mine near Schwartzenburg, in Saxony, disseminated through an aggregate of chlorite, blende and fluor, in minute tetrahedral crystals, with their solid angles truncated. These crystals cleave parallel to the faces of the regular octahedron. Its hardness is about the same with quartz; its specific gravity,

3.100. It consists, according to Gmelin, of silex, 33.258; glucine and a little alumine, 12.029; protoxide of manganese, 31.817; protoxide of iron, 5.564; sulphuret of manganese, 14.000; and volatile matter, 1.555. HELVOETSLUYS; a seaport in the province of Holland and kingdom of the Netherlands, on the south side of the island of Voorn; 12 miles W. Dort; 15 S. W. Rotterdam; lon. 4° 8' E.; lat. 51° 50 N.; population, 1208. It has a good harbor, about 12 miles from the open sea, in the middle of a large bay, capable of holding the whole fleet of the country. The town is small, but well defended with strong fortifications. This is the general port for packets from England, chiefly from the port of Harwich. Here is a naval school. The ship channel, from Rotterdam to Helvoetsluys, was completed in November, 1830. William III sailed from this port for England, Nov. 11, 1688, with 14,000 men.

HEMERODROMI; a kind of couriers among the Greeks, famous for their extraordinary swiftness, and used, on that account, by the state, as messengers. They were employed, not only in times of peace, for the conveyance of letters, but also in war, as spies and bearers of orders. Of their great swiftness, the ancients report several instances.

HEMLOCK. It is still a matter in dispute, whether the hemlock, so celebrated among the ancients, and used at Athens for the execution of those condemned to death, was the plant at present denominated by botanists conium maculatum, or the cicuta virosa. These are both umbelliferous plants, resembling each other somewhat in appearance, but differing essentially in the degree of their virulence, the cicuta being by far the most powerful. Another opinion is, that the deadly potion was a compound of the juice of several umbelliferous plants. The conium maculatum is now naturalized in the U. States, and is an upland plant, common in waste places. The confusion of names in our materia medica, has rendered this plant liable to be confounded with the cicuta maculata, a truly native plant, growing in wet places, and possessing a much less nauseous odor than the preceding, but vastly more dangerous in its properties, and which is the cause of many deaths in the U. States, from its being eaten through mistake.


HEMMLING, Or HEMMLINK, Hans; an eminent painter, who lived about the middle of the 15th century. He is

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