ROSSETTI

1636

ROTHSCHILDS

sists of The Earlier Italian Poets (translated in the original meters), Poems and Ballads. All rank high ; in fact, competent critics rank his poetry much higher than his painting, as he never adequately reached the mere technique of bis art. He painted both in oil and in watercolor. His subjects were taken from medieval legends, especially from those about King Arthur, and from ancient ballads. Among his principal pictures are Dante's Dream, Dying Beatrix, Sibylla Palmi-fera and The Blessed Damozel. His reputation as a painter rests mainly on the enthusiasm of the critics, "few but fit," who have seen his pictures in private collections. Consult Benson's Rossetti in the English Men of Letters Series and W. M. Rossetti's Memoirs. See Pre-Raphaelitism.

Rossetti, Gabriele, a celebrated Italian author, was born at Vasto in the kingdom of Naples, Feb. 28, J783, and at an early age was placed by the Marchese del Vasto to study in the University of Naples. His boyhood and youth were in a time of great political commotion; and in 1824 he went to London as a political refugee. In that city he lived a quiet and studious life. Among his works was a commentary on Dante (a v.), in which he tried to show that the works of that great poet were antipapal in their hidden meaning and that Beatrice was a symbolic personage, not a real woman. Rossetti's views in reference to Dante excited a controversy that has not ceased His memory is much revered in Italy, especially in his native town, where the house of his birth has been purchased as public property, and a theater and the chief public square have been" named after him. He died at London, April 26, 1854.

Rossini (ros-se'nę), Qioacchino, a great Italian operatic composer, was born at Pesaro on Feb. 29, 1792. At 15 he was sent to study at the Lyceum of Bologna. His first important opera was Tancredi (1813), which immediately raised him to honor and fame. In 1823 he produced Semiramide, the most gorgeous of his operas, in Venice, after which he visited Paris and London, at both of which he was received with the greatest enthusiasm. Being appointed director of the Italian opera in Paris, in 1829 he produced his greatest work, William. Tell, which was conceived and written in a style very different from his Italian operas and more in conformity with modern dramatic ideas. With the exception of his well-known Stabat Mater, he may be said to have closed his career with William Tell, large offers from the managers of opera-houses failing to draw him from his retirement. He died at Paris, Nov. 13, 1868. See biography by H. S. Edwards and Life in the Great Musician Series, by the same author.

Ross'land, Can., . the center of the important mining district of the West Koot-enay, lies six miles north of the international

frontier in British Columbia, and has a population of 6,159, which is being rapidly augmented. Gold, silver and copper in marked abundance underlie the countryside about, and its prosperity and growth are assured.

Rota'tion of Crops refers to the growth of two or more different kinds of farm-crops in regular order during successive years. It is practiced primarily to keep up the fertility of the soil and, incidentally, to keep down weeds. Available plant-food is being continually added to the soil by the decay of its mineral constituents. (See Soil.) But a crop needing more of a given substance than is naturally made available will, in time, use up the surplus already accumulated. The value of crop-rotation depends upon the facts (1) that not all plants use the same amounts of the plant-foods in the soil, though but five per cent, of the total plant-body comes from this source; (2) that they get their mineral foods from different depths of the soil by having roots of different lengths; (3) that some plants can use mineral food in a less advanced stage of decay than can others; (4) that some crops with large root-systems leave much vegetable matter in the soil after harvest to change its physical properties (see Capillarity) ; (5) that the extra cultivation required by some farm-crops to save the soil-moisture operates also to keep down weeds and insect-pests or to clean out such as have gotten a foot-hold while another crop was growing; (6) that leguminous crops bring about a positive addition of nitrogen, which is most likely to be lacking (see Nitrogen-Gathering Crops) ; (7) that different crops, by ripening at different times, serve to simplify the farm-labor problem ; and (8) that the resulting diversified farming minimizes the financial loss from climatic conditions that are apt to hurt one crop more than another. Some of the most approved systems of crop-rotation are here given ; In the central states a four-year rotation-series of clover, corn and oats or potatoes, followed by wheat; in the higher latitudes, as the wheat-belt of the northwest, a crop of corn or potatoes or even a summer fallowing after two or three crops of wheat and flax. In such a four-year rotation three crops of wheat yield as much as would four without rotation being practiced. When the soil lacks nitrogen, clover or alfalfa should find a place in the series. In the southern states a specially recommended series is cotton, corn, oats and cowpeas, distributed over three years, in which oats, sown in the fall, will be followed by cowpeas the next spring. Peas are also sown between the cotton rows. Consult Roberts's The Fertility of the Land and the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture's Year-book for 1902: Practices in Crop-Rotation.

Rothschilds (roths'childs), the well-known family of bankers, take their name from the sign of the house (Zum Rothen Schilde or