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AYUNTAMIENTO—AZALEA

20th of September 1880. He made his way back to Herat, where he remained for some time unmolested. In the summer of 1881 he again invaded Afghanistan, and on the anniversary of the battle of Maiwand obtained a signal victory over Abdur Rahman's lieutenants, mainly through the defection of a Durani regiment. Kandahar fell into his hands, but Abdur Rahman now took the field in person, totally defeated Ayub, and expelled him from Herat. He took refuge in Persia, and for some time lived quietly in receipt of an allowance from the Persian government. In 1887 internal troubles in Afghanistan tempted him to make another endeavour to seize the throne. Defeated and driven into exile, he wandered for some time about Persia, and in November gave himself up to the British agent at Meshed. He was sent to India to live as a state prisoner.

AYUNTAMIENTO, the Spanish name for the district over which a town council has administrative authority; it is used also for a town council, and for the town-hall. The word is derived from the Latin adjungere, and originally meant “meeting.” In some parts of Spain and in Spanish America the town council was called the cabildo or chapter, from the Latin capitulum. The ayuntamiento consisted of the official members, and of regidores or regulators, who were chosen in varying proportions from the “hidalgos” or nobles (hijos de algo, sons of somebody) and the “pecheros,” or commoners, who paid the pecho, or personal tax; pecho (Lat. pectus) is in Spanish the breast, and then by extension the person. The regidores of the ayuntamientos, or lay cabildos, were checked by the royal judge or corregidor, who was in fact the permanent chairman or president. The distinction between hidalgo and pechero has been abolished in modern Spain, but the powers and the constitution of ayuntamientos have been subject to many modifications.

AYUTHIA, a city of Siam, now known to the Siamese as Krung Kao or “the Old Capital,” situated in 100° 32′ E., 14° 21′ N. Pop. about 10,000. The river Me Nam, broken up into a network of creeks, here surrounds a large island upon which stand the ruins of the famous city which was for more than four centuries the capital of Siam. The bulk of the inhabitants live in the floating houses characteristic of lower Siam, using as thoroughfares the creeks to the edges of which the houses are moored. The ruins of the old city are of great archaeological interest, as are the relics, of which a large collection is housed in the local museum. Outside the town is an ancient masonry enclosure for the capture of elephants, which is still periodically used. Ayuthia is on the northern main line of the state railways, 42 m. from Bangkok. Great quantities of paddi are annually sent by river and rail to Bangkok, in return for which cloth and other goods are imported to supply the wants of the agriculturist peasantry. There is no other trade. Ayuthia is the chief town of one of the richest agricultural provincial divisions of Siam and is the headquarters of a high commissioner. The government offices occupy spacious buildings, once a royal summer retreat; the government is that of an ordinary provincial division (Monton).

Historically Ayuthia is the most interesting spot in Siam. Among the innumerable ruins may be seen those of palaces, pagodas, churches and fortifications, the departed glories of which are recorded in the writings of the early European travellers who first brought Siam within the knowledge of the West, and laid the foundations of the present foreign intercourse and trade. The town was twice destroyed by the Burmese, once in 1555 and again in 1767, and from the date of the second destruction it ceased to be the capital of the country.

AZAÏS, PIERRE HYACINTHE (1766-1845), French philosopher, was born at Sorèze and died at Paris. He spent his early years as a teacher and a village organist. At the outbreak of the Revolution he viewed it with favour, but was soon disgusted at the violence of its methods. A critical pamphlet drew upon him the hatred of the revolutionists, and it was not until 1806 that he was able to settle in Paris. In 1809 he published his great work, Des Compensations dans les destinées humaines (5th ed. 1846), which pleased Napoleon so much that he made its author professor at St Cyr. In 1811 he became inspector of the public library at Avignon, and from 1812 to 1815 he held the same position at Nancy. The Restoration government at first suspected him as a Bonapartist, but at length granted him a pension. From that time he occupied himself in lecturing and the publication of philosophical works. In the Compensations he sought to prove that, on the whole, happiness and misery are equally balanced, and therefore that men should accept the government which is given them rather than risk the horrors of revolution. “Le principe de l'inégalité naturelle et essentielle dans les destinées humaines conduit inévitablement au fanatisme révolutionnaire ou au fanatisme religieux.” The principles of compensation and equilibrium are found also in the physical universe, the product of matter and force, whose cause is God. Force, naturally expansive and operating on the homogeneous atoms which constitute elemental matter, is subject to the law of equilibrium, or equivalence of action and reaction. The development of phenomena under this law may be divided into three stages—the physical, the physiological, the intellectual and moral. The immaterial in man is the expansive force inherent in him. Moral and political phenomena are the result of the opposing forces of progress and preservation, and their perfection lies in the fulfilment of the law of equilibrium or universal harmony. This may be achieved in seven thousand years, when man will vanish from the world. In an additional five thousand, a similar equilibrium will obtain in the physical sphere, which will then itself pass away. In addition to his philosophical work, Azaïs studied music under his father, Pierre Hyacinthe Azaïs (1743-1796), professor of music at Sorèze and Toulouse, and composer of sacred music in the style of Gossec. He wrote for the Revue musicale a series of articles entitled Acoustique fondamentale (1831), containing an ingenious, but now exploded, theory of the vibration of the air. His other works are: Système universel (8 vols., 1812); Du Sort de l'homme (3 vols., 1820); Cours de philosophie (8 vols., 1824), reproduced as Explication universelle (3 vols., 1826-1828); Jeunesse, maturité, religion, philosophie (1837); De la phrénologie, du magnétisme, et de la folie (1843).

AZALEA, a genus of popular hardy or greenhouse plants, belonging to the heath order (Ericaceae), and scarcely separable botanically from Rhododendron. The beautiful varieties now in cultivation have been bred from a few originals, natives of the hilly regions of China and Japan, Asia Minor, and the United States. They are perhaps unequalled as indoor decorative plants. They are usually increased by grafting the half-ripened shoots on the stronger-growing kinds, the shoots of the stock and the grafts being in a similarly half-ripened condition, and the plants being placed in a moist heat of 65°. Large plants of inferior kinds, if healthy, may be grafted all over with the choicer sorts, so as to obtain a large specimen in a short time. They require a rich and fibrous peat soil, with a mixture of sand to prevent its getting water-logged. The best time to pot azaleas is three or four weeks after the blooming is over. The soil should be made quite solid to prevent its retaining too much water. To produce handsome plants, they must while young be stopped as required. Specimens that have got leggy may be cut back just before growth commences. The lowest temperature for them during the winter is about 35°, and during their season of growth from 55° to 65° at night, and 75° by day, the atmosphere being at the same time well charged with moisture. They are liable to the attacks of thrips and red spider, which do great mischief if not promptly destroyed.

The following are some well-known species:—A. arborescens (Pennsylvania), a deciduous shrub 10-20 ft. high; A. calendulacea (Carolina to Pennsylvania), a beautiful deciduous shrub 2-6 ft. high, with yellow, red, orange and copper-coloured flowers; A. hispida, a North American shrub, 10-15 ft. high, flowers white edged with red; A. indica (China), the so-called Indian azalea, a shrub 3-6 ft. or more high, the original of numerous single and double varieties, many of the more vigorous of which are hardy in southern England and Ireland; A. nudiflora, a North American shrub, 3-4 ft. high, which hybridizes freely with A. calendulacea, A. pontica and others, to produce single and