Virginal, a keyed and stringed instrument, now out of use, somewhat like the spinet, in shape like the pianoforte. Its compass was about four octaves. In the progress of pianoforte manufacture it succeeded the clavichord, brass wire replacing in its construction the catgut strings formerly used. The wires were set in vibration by a quill attached to the tongue of a piece of wood called a jack, which moved upward as the key was pressed down. It probably derived its name from being much used in convents in accompanying hymns to the Virgin.
Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents in the new world, born at Roanoke in August, 1587, and named after the district of Virginia. She was the granddaughter of John White, governor of the colony sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to found an agricultural state, which sailed from Plymouth April 26, 1587, and reached Virginia in July of the same year. White's daughter was married to Mr. Dare, one of his assistants.
Visceenz Priessmtz, a German peasant, the founder of the water cure, born at Grafen-berg, Austrian Silesia, Oct. 4, 1799, died there, Nov. 28, 1851. He worked on his father's farm, and an accident which happened to him while he was thus engaged suggested the employment of water cure. He then studied medicine, and opened his establishment at Grafenberg in 1826. (See Hydropathy).
Viscount (Lat. Vice-Comes), a dignity in the British peerage, which ranks next below that of earl. The application of the title as a dignity dates from the time of Henry VI., though as a title of office it is much older. Anciently a vice-comes was the deputy of a count or earl, under whom he performed duties similar to that of a sheriff.
Viscount Goderich ,. See Ripon, earl of.
See India, Religions and Religious Llteeatuee Of, Vol. ix., p. 229.
Vistula (Pol. Wista; Ger. Weichsel), a river of central Europe, which has its sources in the Jablunka mountain, a branch of the Carpathians, in the S. E. corner of Austrian Silesia, and traverses Galicia, Russian Poland, and Prussia, passing Cracow, Sandomir, Pulawy, Warsaw, Modlin, Plock, Thorn, Culm, Graudenz, and Marienburg. Near the village of its name in Silesia it has a fall of nearly 200 ft. It flows into the Baltic by three mouths, of which one is at Dantzic, and the other two open upon the sound called the Frisches Haff. Its length is about 650 m., and it is navigable to Cracow, about 550 m. Its principal affluents are the Dunajec, San, Wieprz, Bug, and Drewenz from the right, and the Pilica, Bzura, and Brahe from the left. It is connected by canals with the Dnieper, the Oder, and the Niemen.
See Embryology, vol. vi., p. 561.
Viterbo, a town of central Italy, at the foot of Monte Cimino, an extinct volcano, in the province and 40 m. N. W. of the city of Rome; pop. in 1872, 20,637. It is surrounded by walls and towers, and contains a Gothic cathedral standing on the site of a temple of Hercules, and many other interesting churches and palaces. There are Etruscan antiquities, warm sulphur springs within 2 m. of the town, and sulphur refineries. Early Italian writers called it the city of beautiful fountains and women. Viterbo is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Fanum Voltumnae, where the Etruscan league held its assemblies. The present town dates from the 8th century. In the 11th century it was granted to the pope as part of the territory known as the patrimony of St. Peter. It was the capital of a papal delegation till 1870, when it was incorporated with the kingdom of Italy.