MESAS                                                       1209                                            MESOPHYTES

1,600 square miles. It has a hot, dry climate and produces wheat, sugar, cotton and silk. About 250,000 Turkomans live in the oasis, where there are a town also called Merv and a Russian fort opposite, with a garrison of 3,000 men. The Russians, who have held it since 1883, have built a railroad across it from the Caspian to the Oxus. The oasis is 200 miles from Herat. See The Merv Oasis by O'Donovan.

Mesas (mă sás), Spanish for tables, are table-shaped plateaus in the Colorado district. There are many such, indicating the places where a hard surface-rod!- has protected the underlying strata from the action of water, which has eroded the greater part of the ad-jacent plain. Some of the Col-oradan and New Mexican plateaus were the strongholds o f primitive races. Dwellings in the rocks, stone im-plements and even mummies have been found upon Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado and almost inaccessi-b 1 e Enchanted Mesa in central New Mexico.

Meshed (měsh-hìêd') (place of martyrdom), is the principal city of northeastern Persia. It is the capital of Kho-rasan, and the sacred city of the Shiites, the heterodox Mohammedans, 100,000 pilgrims visiting it yearly. There are splendid sepulchres of Haroun-al-Raschid and Nadir Shah and, near by, that of Firdusi the Persian poet, several colleges and a palace. Rugs, carpets, velvets, swords and silk and cotton goods are manufactured, and turquoise jewelry from the turquoise mines of the region. Population 60,000 See Persia by J. Bassett and Benjamin's Persia and the Persians in the Story of the Nations Series.

Mes'mer, Friedrich Anton, a German physician, was born near Constance, Switzerland, May 23, 1733. He studied medicine at Vienna, and, when he took his degree, presented a paper in which he tentatively introduced his theory of animal magnetism. Studying the properties of the magnet still further, in 1772 he concluded that there was a power in the universe like magnetism, which

exercises a secret influence on the human body, which he called animal m?gnetism. (It is also called mesmerism.) In 1775 he published an account of his discovery, and in 1778 went to Paris, where he created a great sensation and received large sums of money. The French government offered him the use of a hospital and a pension of $4,000 yearly, if he would instruct three assistants in his new methods, but he refused to reveal his secret. The government appointed a commission in 1785 to investigate the system. This commission, composed of such men as Franklin, Lavoisier and Bailly, reported unfavorably, and he lost his pupils and a large practice, retiring to Switzerland, where he

died at Baden, March 5, 1815. See Mesmer the Magnétiser by P. Anderson-Graham.

Mesophyll (mĕs'Ô-fíl) (in plants), the tissue of foliage leaves whose cells contain chloroplasts. As a consequence, the mesophyll is the essential working tissue of leaves and gives their green color. It is bounded above and below by colorless epidermal layers, and is traversed by the vein system. See Leap.

Mesophytes ( mes'o-jlts ), plants which live in conditions of medium moisture and fertile soil. They are distinguished in this legard from the hydrophytes or water-plants, and the xerophytes or plants of dry soil and air. Mesophytic conditions are those adapted to plants which man cultivates. In case an area is hydrophytic, it is drained and made mesophytic; in case it is xerophytic, it is irri-

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