MOLTING

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MOMMSEN

of "ribbon men, " disguised as women, carried on their outrages by night. The society in Pennsylvania attempted to obtain political power by a system of terror, committing murders when opposed. A number of the leaders were convicted and executed by the aid of a detective who for three years acted as the secretary of one of the branches of the society.

Mol'ting or Ecdysis, the periodic shedding of the skin or its appendages. Under this are included loss of plumage among birds ; shedding of hair and horns among animals ; and casting of the skin in the lower animal life. Throughout the year among birds there is more or less loss of feathers, but a noticeable molt takes place once or twice a year. Generally the loss of feathers is accomplished gradually, renewal about equalizing loss; but some birds are handicapped by the molt, become quite bare, scarcely able to fly. Wild birds molt during the season of an abundance of food, and during this period birds need a variety and quantity of food. Pet birds often droop at molting time from want of care. The following is recommended for them: a little hemp-seed, some stale white bread soaked in water, partially ripe plantain and other weed-seed for which the bird shows a liking, a bit of fresh fruit, a little grated carrot or beet, while a marigold flower may be placed between the bars for the bird to pick at. An egg-paste is relished, which is made by adding cracker-crumbs and seasoning of cayenne pepper to a grated, hard-boiled egg. For care of birds in molting see Page's Feathered Pets.

Moltke (molt'ke), Hellmuth, Count von, a distinguished German field-marshal, was born, Oct. 2, 1800 at Meek lenburg-Schwerin. His father being a Danish officer, he was sent to a military school at Copenhagen and entered the Danish army as a lieutenant, but left it for the Prussian service. He spent considerable time in the study of military tactics and foreign languages, and was appointed on the staff of Prince Frederick William. He was chief of the general staff of the army in Berlin from 1858 to 1888, and reorganized the Prussian army. He also made plans for coast defenses and the creation of a navy. His great powers as a military leader were shown in the wars with Denmark in 1863, with Austria in 1866 and with France in 1870. He was called The Silent, from his great modesty and reserve. He wrote Letters from Turkey, The Campaign in Turkey, The

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COUNT VON MOLTKE

Italian Campaign of 1859 and Letters from Russia, while the History of the German and French War, by the general staff, was written under his direction and much of it by hm. He died at Berlin, April 24, 1891. See Life by Muller, translated by Pinkerton.

Moluccas (m-lŭk'z), called also Spice Islands, a division of the Malay Archipelago or Dutch East Indies. It includes most of the islands between Celebes and New Guinea, east and west, and between Timor and the Philippines, north and south. It is divided into the northern and the southern Moluccas. The northern group runs from north to south, is surrounded by deep water, includes ten or 12 large islands with smaller ones, and has a population of about 60,000. The largest island is Jilolo, while the smaller islands of Tidor and Ternate have been the most important ones. They were occupied by civilized tribes of Malays, who ruled the ruder tribes on the surrounding islands, and later were the seats of powerful Mohammedan sultans; and now, as the seat of the Dutch government or residency, Ternate has most of the trade of the northern Moluccas, exporting spices, tortoise shell, beeswax and birds of paradise. The southern Moluccas are separated from the northern group by a very deep ocean chasm, and are connected by a shallow ocean bed. There are two large islands, three or four smaller ones and several clusters of small ones, covering about 43,864 square miles, and having a population of 410,190. Amboyna, the capital of the Dutch possessions, carries on a large trade in cloves, 500,000 pounds being raised in some seasons in the clove gardens of the government. ' Banda, the third Dutch residency, is the home of the nutmeg, which grows on the slopes of the volcanic islands. Besides nutmeg and mace, it also exports sago and cocoa-nuts. The region of the Moluccas is volcanic, and there are several still active volcanoes, from one of which, Api in Banda, there was a terrible eruption in 1825. The climate is tempered by the ocean breezes and by the height of the islands, some of them rising 8,000 or 10,000 feet above the sea. The animals are curious. They are the flying opossum, the bird of paradise, the mound-building bird, the long-armed beetle, most gorgeous butterflies and beautiful sea anemones, shells and cor;ls.

Mommsen (mm'zen), Th-odor, a German historian, was born at Garding, Schleswig, Nov. 30, 1817. He spent three years traveling in France and Italy and studying Roman inscriptions, edited a newspaper in Schleswig, and held a professor'r chair at Leipsic, that of Roman law at Zurich and the same professorship at Breslau and that of ancient history at Berlin. His large library was burned in 1880, and a new one was presented him by his English students. He edited, with others, severr.l historical works, and wrote a number on Roman law, Roman coins