The Turkish piaster is worth about four cents of United States money.

Pibroch (p'rok), a form of bagpipe music, generally of a warlike character. The rhythm is irregular and difficult for a stranger to follow; but, played by a good piper, it has a powerful effect.

Picayune (pk'ă-ūn'), a name derived from the Carib language and used in Louisiana for a small coin worth six and one quarter cents, current in the United States before 1857 and known by various names in different states — fourpence, fippence, fip and sixpence.

Pick'ens, Francis Wilkinson, an American statesman and diplomatist and a governor of South Carolina, was born at Togadoo, S. C, in 1805, and died at Edgefield, S. C, in 1869. He was a lawyer of prominence, and in 1832 became a member of the legislature. He was a member of Congress for ten years, and in 1857 was appointed minister to Russia. He was an ardent advocate of nullification, extreme democracy and state-sovereignty. As governor of South Carolina in 1861 he demanded the surrender of all Federal property within the state; and he caused the erection of the batteries from which was fired the first shot against Fort Sumter.

Pick'erel. See Pike.

Pick'ering, Edward Charles, a distinguished American astronomer, born at Boston, July 19, 1846; educated at Harvard, where he graduated from Lawrence Scientific School in 1865. He immediately accepted an instructorship in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he founded the first physical laboratory in America. There he remained until 1877, when he went to Harvard as professor of astronomy and director, of the observatory, a position which he has filled with increasing distinction during a quarter of a century. Professor Pickering's most original work perhaps is in stellar photometry and stellar spectroscopy. But the conception and skillful direction of the many lines of work carried on at Harvard Observatory, as well as the building up of the observatory itself, must always remain a great service to science and a monument to Professor Pickering. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, the author of several important volumes and the editor of Harvard Annals, an invaluable series of astronomical reports.

Pick'ett, George Edward, an American soldier who won worldwide distinction in the Confederate service at Gettysburg, where he made one of the most gallant and desperate charges ever known in the history of war. He was born at Richmond, Va., Jan. 25, 1825, and graduated at West Point in time to enter the army as a second-lieutenant during the War with Mexico. He was brevetted first-lieutenant and afterwards

Description images/pp0384 1


captain for conspicuous bravery in Mexico. He served for the most part on the frontier between 1848 and 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War he resigned from the army of the United States and entered the Confederate service as a colonel. He became a major-general in 1862. He was engaged in several desperate battles under Lee, but won special distinction as the leader of the assaulting column, July 3, 1863, upon which hung the fate of the Confederacy. The point reached by his troops in this charge, and from which they were at last driven back, is marked upon the field by a granite monument. In the campaign of 1864-5 he made the final stand at Five Forks, and he prevented the capture of Petersburg by General Butler. At the close of the war he returned to Richmond and engaged in life-insurance, dying at N rfolk, Va., July 30, 1875.

Pick'wick Papers. This novel by Dickens was published in 1837, and at once made its author universally popular. Its principal character is Mr. Pickwick, whose adventures are largely humorous, although pathos also is involved. The most absurd as well as the principal episode is the breach-of-promise suit brought against the hero at the instigation of rascally pettifoggers. It results in his incarceration in Fleet Prison for a considerable period, until he is persuaded to pay the unjust judgment. The adventures are woven into a plot involving several tales of love. The book aims at satirizing many aspects of English life, especially the petty lawyers and the prison-system. It abounds in clever characterizations, the most notable of which, aside from that of Pickwick, probably is that of Sam Weller.

Picts, a people, who from A. D. 296 to 844 inhabited eastern Scotland from the Forth to the Pentland Firth. Sometimes we find them called by the name Cruthnig. The first mention of them in Roman annals is in connection with campaigns in Britain in 296 and 306 A. D. The first mention of the Scots is made in connection with their being united with the Picts in harassing the Romans in 360 A. D. The Pictish kingdom was overthrown about 850, when the Scots became the predominant race. It is undecided what was the language the Picts spoke, though the prevailing opinion is that they were a Celtic race. See Skene's Chronicles of the Picts and Scots.