Priv'y Coun'cil, an institution peculiar to the English government, having its origin in feudal times, when it was the custom of the sovereign to summon his barons and nobles to give him advice in matters of state. The list of privy councilors includes, besides the prime minister and members of the cabinet, the archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishop of London, the lord chief-justice of England, the lord-chancellor and numerous dignitaries. In ordinary cases only the cabinet ministers, the great officers and the archbishop of Canterbury are summoned to the meetings, but in extraordinary cases the whole body is summoned. In theory the cabinet is only a committee of the privy council, but, in fact, power is exercised by the cabinet alone, and the privy council is only occasionally or rarely consulted. The privy council cannot, however, be truthfully described as dead or obsolete, as it still exercises important powers in special cases. In 1788 it took on itself the duty of inquiring into the sanity of George III, and in 1821 it determined the constitutional question of Queen Caroline's right to be crowned as queen-consort. Still, in a general sense, it may be described as a reserve force, kept apart from the active and working forces of government.

Proa (pro') is a peculiarly shaped canoe used by the natives of the Malay Archipelago and on the China Seas, especially by the Ladrone Islanders. It is about 30 feet in length by three in width, and has the stem and stern equally sharp, so as to change its course without being turned around. One side is flat and in a straight line with stem and stern; the other side is rounded like an ordinary boat. This peculiar formation would make it easy to upset, were-it not for a framework which projects to windward and supports a weight which counterbalances the great pressure of the wind on the sail.

Proc'ter, Bryan Waller ("Barry Cornwall"), was born at London, Nov. 21, 1787. Educated at Harrow with Byron and Peel, he came to London when about 20, and soon began to contribute poetry to The Literary Gazette. A few years later he published four volumes of poems, and produced a tragedy at Covent Garden Theater, whose success was largely due to the acting of Macready and Kemble. He was a metropolitan commissioner of lunacy from 1832 to 1861, and died on Oct. 4, 1874. His works, issued under the pseudonym of Barry Cornwall, comprise Dramatic Scenes, A Sicilian Story, Marcian Colonna, The Flood of Thessaly and English Songs, besides Memoirs of Kean and Charles Lamb See Bryan Waller Procter, an Autobiographical Fragment, edited by Coventry Patmore.

Description images/pp0452 1


Proctor, Richard Anthony, a distinguished English astronomer, was born at Chelsea, March 23, 1837, and was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in i860. He published an article on double stars in the Corn-hill Magazine for December, 1865, and from that time wholly devoted himself to astronomy. He came to America on lecturing tours in 1873 and 1875, where he succeeded, as he had previously done in England, in interesting large numbers of people in astronomy. He died at New York, Sept. 12, 1888; and in 1890 a memorial observatory was erected in honor of him near San Diego, Cal. Among his numerous works are Half-Hours with the Telescope, Old and New Astronomy and Myths and Marvels of Astronomy.

Project'iles, specifically objects thrown from larger forms of ordnance, but in the broadest sense all objects thrown forward by quick impulse for any purpose. Projectiles have been used in offensive warfare from very early days. At first they consisted simply of stones, arrows, darts etc., which were thrown from the hand or by some simple device, as sling, ballista, bow or catapult. Gunpowder came into use about the middle of the 14th century, and the invention of guns immediately followed. With the invention of guns, arrows and darts largely passed out of use, but stones continued to be used for more than five centuries after and for more than a century they constituted the chief material for projectiles. They were made to fit the gun loosely, were often smoothly and neatly cut, usually being spherical though sometimes oblong. Bags of small pebbles were sometimes used. Iron came into use in the 15th century, and gradually became of first importance in making projectiles for use in the larger forms of ordnance. At first wrought-iron was used. The use of cast-iron marked a decided advance. Lead has been used from an early date, but only for case-shot and small arms. The first guns made were smoothbore and muzzleloading and it was not until the middle of the 19th century that rifled breechloading guns came into successful use. Projectiles may be divided into two general classes: spherical and oblong. Spherical projectiles were used almost exclusively in smooth-bored guns and with them have about passed out of