See Water Lily.
Victorien Sardou, a French dramatist, born in Paris, Sept. 7, 1831. His early life was passed in penury, as a teacher and writer, and his first play (1854) was a failure. After his marriage in 1858 with Mlle. de Brécourt, an actress, he formed the acquaintance of Mlle. Déjazet, who brought out at her theatre several of his plays; but his reputation was not fully established until after the performances in 1861 of Nos intimes. Among his best known later plays are: Candide and Les premières armes de Figaro (1862); Don Quichotte (1864); Les vieux garçons (1865); La famille Benoiton (1865); Patrie (1869); Fernande (1870).; and L'Oncle Sam, a satire on American society (1872). His La Haine (1874) failed. He has made an immense fortune from his plays, in which striking plagiarisms have been detected.
Vienne (Anc. Vienna), a town of Dauphiny, France, in the department of Isére, on the left bank of the Rhone, at the mouth of the Gere, 49 m. N. W. of Grenoble; pop. in 1872, 26,017. The cathedral of St. Maurice and St. Peter's are the most interesting churches. The college dates from 1605. The abbey of St. Peter is now a museum for the Roman antiquities which abound here, including remains of aqueducts and an amphitheatre, and a well preserved temple dedicated to Augustus and Livia. - Vienne was the capital of the first and second kingdoms of Burgundy. The 15th general council was held here in 1311-'12.
Viersen, a town of Rhenish Prussia, in the district of Düsseldorf, near the Niers and the Nordkanal, 10 m. S. W. of Crefeld; pop. in 1871, 18,550. It is an important centre of cotton, flax, woollen, silk, ribbon, and velvet manufactures, employing 10,000 persons.
Vieta, Or Viete, Francois, a French mathematician, born at Fontenay-le-Comte in 1540, died in Paris in December, 1603. He was master of requests during the reigns of Henry III. and Henry IV. He was once saved from imprisonment and death by the duchess de Rohan. For Henry IV. he deciphered the communications made by the Spaniards with one another, through a cipher composed of more than 500 characters signifying different tilings at different times. He was the first to combine symbols of operation with symbols of quantity, and thus to render algebra a purely symbolical science. An edition of most of his works was published at Leyden in 1646, edited by Van Schooten.
Vilayet, the designation of the chief administrative divisions or provinces of the Ottoman empire, each under the authority of a governor general (vali) and a council. The vilayets are divided into livas or sanjaks, under governors appointed by the Porte, but receiving their instructions through the governors general, and these into cazas or districts. Some of the Turkish provinces were until recently governed by pashas, and hence also called pashalics; but this name has been replaced by the term vilayet or its equivalent eyalet (government), which two terms are used more or less indiscriminately.