PRAXITELES                                           1544                                                  PRESCOTT

students provides abundant facilities for the occupation of leisure time.

For admission to the normal courses the completion of a four years' high-school course or its equivalent is required, and the candidate must be 18 years of age. In the other courses sufficient maturity and training to undertake the work involved ai e required. As a rule entrants must be at least 16.

Praxiteles (prx-t'e-lēz), one of the greatest sculptors of ancient Greece. Of his life little is known, except that he was a citizen of Athens in the 4th century B. C. His principal works, most of which have perished, were statues of Aphrodite, Eros, Dionysius, Apollo and Hermes carrying Dionysius. Feminine beauty and Bacchic pleasures were his favorite subjects, and in his treatment of these he displayed the greatest sweetness, grace and naturalness. He has been justly called the sculptor of the beautiful.

Preces'sion, is the name given to that slow motion of the earth which causes the equinoxes to recede slowly along the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun around the earth), so that the sun comes to them in its annual revolution a little earlier than it otherwise would. The cause of this motion is the attraction of the sun and moon upon the protuberant part of the earth about the equator — the equatorial diameter of the earth being 2 6 miles longer than the polar diameter. The moment of force thus exerted tends to tilt the earth, which, like a top, " precesses " instead of falling over. As this disturbing force on the earth is very small relatively to its mass, this turning of its axis about the pole of the ecliptic takes place at about the rate of 50.1" per annum, and it therefore requires 25,868 years for the equinoxes to describe a complete circle on the ecliptic. See Earth, Pole-Star and Top.

Pre'cious Stones. See Stones, Precious.

Pre-Emp'tion. Under the laws of the United States, an actual settler on the public lands enjoys the right, in preference to any one else, of purchasing at a fixed price the land on which he has settled, to the extent of 160 acres. In the case of offered lands, the settler must file his declaratory statement within 30 days after entry, and within a year proof must be made of settlement and cultivation and the land paid for at $1.25 per acre if outside the limits of k railroad grant or $2.50 if within such limits.~~~ĭf the tract settled on is unoffered, an approved plan of the township must first be received at the district land-offiee; the statement must then be filed within three months ; and final proof and payment must be made within 30 months thereafter. Title to land is thus obtained much sooner than under the homestead laws; but a homestead settler may at any time after six months purchase the land under the pre-emption laws; as, on

the other hand, the holder of a pre-emption claim may convert it into a homestead. See Homestead Laws.

Pre-Raph'aelitism, a term used by Hol-man Hunt, J. E. Millais and W. M. Rossetti, three English painters of the 19th century, to denote their predilection for the great masters before the time of Raphael, who studied nature rather than technical rules and dogmas. The three representatives of the pre-Raphaelite school appeared in the exhibition-season of 1849, Millais with Lorenzo and Isabella, Hunt with Rienzi and Rossetti with The Girlhood of the Virgin, and excited the most flattering attention; but numerous critics and enemies arose, and in the third year of its existence the new school was threatened on all hands with the most powerful opposition. Happily, however, there appeared in the London Times three letters from Ruskin, denouncing the spirit of jealousy and injustice with which the young men had been assailed and pointing out the merits of their works and the great influence for good which the revival of their principles was likely to have. There followed later a succession of pictures from the three artists, whose titles have become as familiar as household-words. See Hunt, Millais and Rossetti.

Pres'cott, Ariz., a city, county-seat ot Yavapai County, on the Santa F, Prescott and Phcenix Railroad, formerly was the capital of Arizona. It now is an important mining-center. Cattle and timber are also produced in the district. Population 5,092.

Prescott, William Hickling, a distinguished American historian, was born at Salem, Mass., May 4, 1796, and graduated at Harvard College in 1814. During his college-course his left eye was put out by a piece of bread playfully thrown by a fellow-student, and the other eye was soon sympathetically affected, so that he was obliged to live for many months in a darkened room. He next traveled in England, France and Italy, married in 1820, and abandoned the study of law for literature, devoting himself to intense study, although able to use his eye only a portion of the time. His first studies were in Italian literature; and it was not until 1826 that he entered on the work of his life,—the study of Spanish history. After laboring with great patience for years, in 1838 he issued his History of Ferdinand and Isabella, which at once gave him a brilliant reputation in America and also in Europe, and was translated into French, Spanish and German. In 1843 he published The Conquest of Mexico and in 1847 The Conquest of Peru. In 1855 he published two volumes of The History of Philip II, but before the third volume was completed he died of apoplexy at Boston, Jan. 28, 1859. Prescott's style alone would have given him great popularity ; and to this day he is without a rival for clear and vigorous narrative and sustained