hedges trees resin kept cent maze centre resinous appearance substance
LABYRINTH. I. The legendary labyrinth is one of the clearest examples of the close relation between mythology and the early stages of the industrial arts. The word Ao./31.1pLvOos is derived from the hatIpac or passages of a mine ; the digamma before the p has become in the latter a vowel, while in the former it retains its consonantal value. The mines of Greece, like those of Thrace and the .tEgeau Islands, were probably first worked by the Plicenician traders ; and the simple-minded natives regarded the strange holes in the ground with wonder and awe. To the natural fear of darkness was added the invariable tendency of the uneducated to regard as supernatural the power conferred by superior knowledge ; moreover, the god of the riches of the lower world was also the god of death and the dead. Their fear expressed itself in tales of the extraordinary ramifications of the dark passages and of the danger to which any heedless intruder into them was exposed. The maze of passages was called a labyrinth ; the word became a proper name and gained a life and meaning of its own in legend, quite unconnected with its original application. It retained a more antique form, as proper names frequently do, whereas the mining term A.ailpa lost the older character of the diganana. It must have been comparatively late before the word labyrinth acquired this new independence and connotation. The best-known instance of its mythic character is found in the legends of Crete. It was interwoven with the tales, partly founded on historical events and partly derived from ancient religion, which clustered round the name of Minos. The skilful workman, Da_idalas, who sums up all the legendary conceptions of skill in handicraft, made for King Minos a labyrinth, in the centre of which the Minotaur was placed. No one who entered this labyrinth could find his way out again ; he became the prey of the monster. The seven youths and seven maidens sent regularly by the Athenians as tribute were thus devoured, until Theseus slew the Minotaur, and escaped out of the labyrinth by the help of the clue which Ariadne had given him.
Pliny says that there had been in Crete a building called the labyrinth, of which no remains existed in his time ; but Hock has proved quite certainly from the discrepancies and contradictions in accounts and in representations on coins that it had never a real existence. The rocks of Crete are full of winding caves, and these gave the first hint of the legendary labyrinth. This labyrinth is, by the older writers, placed beside Cnossus, and is figured on coins of that city. Late writers, such as Claudian, represent it as being beside Gortyna, and there is a wonderful set of winding passages and chambers iu the racks near that place, which is still pointed out as the labyrinth. When the name had once acquired this meaning, it was applied to several real buildings, of which the following are the most famous. 1. The Egyptian labyrinth, beside the town of Arsinoe or Crocodilopolis, was in two stories, one of them underground, and contained three thousand rooms. Strabo thinks it was Via as a common place of meeting for the people of the various flumes; Herodotus and Diodorus say that it was the burial place of the twelve kings who ruled Egypt about 700 B. c. Mailer (Hist. Greek Art, § 50-2) also thinks the object of such buildings must have been sepulchral. 2, The Samian labyrinth was built by Theodorus, one of the Samian school of sculptors, for the tyrant Polycrates. It had a hundred and fifty columns, and Pliny says that some scanty remains of it existed in his time. 3. The Lemnian labyrinth, mentioned by Pliny, seems to be a confusion with the Samian (cf. Pliny, xxxvi. 19, 3 with 83). 4. The Italian labyrinth was a series of chambers in the lower part of the grave of Porsenna, at Clusium. Some maintain that this tomb has been found in the mound named Poggio Gajella near Chiusi.
See Herod. ii. 148 ; Str. p. 811 ; Plin. xxxvi. 13 and 19 ; E6rusker ; Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria ; Hoek, Evela. Cockerell (Travels), and Prokesch (Denkuurdicjkeiten) describe the so-called labyrinth of Gortyna.
II. In gardening, a labyrinth or maze means an intricate network of pathways enclosed by hedges or plantations, so that those who enter become bewildered in their efforts to find the centre or make their exit. It is a remnant of the old geometrical style of gardening, but is yet occasionally introduced into pleasure grounds. There are two methods of forming it. That which is perhaps the more common consists of walks, or alleys as they were formerly called, laid out and kept to an equal width or nearly so by parallel hedges, which should be kept so close and thick that the eye cannot readily penetrate through them. The task is to get to the centre, which is often raised, and generally contains a covered seat, a fountain, a statue, or even a small group of trees. After reaching this point the next thing is to return to the entrance, when it is found that egress is as difficult as ingress. To every design of this sort there should be a key, but even those who know the key are apt to be perplexed. Sometimes the design consists of alleys only, as in fig. 1, published in 1706 by London and Wise. In such a case, when the further end is reached, there only remains t.o travel back again. Of a more pretentious character was a design published by Switzer in 1742. This is of octagonal form, with very numerous parallel hedges and paths, and "six different entrances, whereof there is but one that leads to the centre, and that is attended with some difficulties and a great many stops." Some of the older designs for labyrinths, on the other hand, avoid this close parallelism of the alleys, which, though equally involved and intricate in their wildernesses. To this latter class belongs the celebrated labyrinth at Versailles (fig. 3), of which Switzer observes, that it "is allowed by all to be the noblest of its kind in the world."
Whatever style be adopted, it is essential that there should be a thick healthy growth of the hedges OF shrubberies that confine the wanderer. The trees used should be impenetrable to the eye, and so tall that no one can look over them: and the paths should be of gravel and well kept. The trees chiefly used Ii• the hedges, and the best for the purpose, are the hornbeam among deciduous trees, ca- the yew among evergreens. The beech might be used instead of th hornbeam en suitable soil. The green holly might Lr ! tat red as an evergreen with very good results, and so might the American arbor vita= if the natural soil presented no obstacle, The ground must be well prepared, so as to give the trees a good start, and a mulching of manure during the early years of their growth would he of much advantage to them. They must be kept trimmed in or clipped, especially in their earlier stages ; trimming with the knife is much to be preferred to clipping with shears. It is not advisable to allow the hedge to run up too quickly or irregularly, so that any plants getting much in advance of the rest should be topped, and the whole kept to some 4 feet or 5 feet in height until the lower parts are well thickened, when it may be allowed to acquire the allotted height by moderate annual increments. In cutting, the hedge (as indeed all hedges) should be kept broadest at the base and narrowed upwards, which prevents it from getting thin and bare below by the stronger growth being drawn to the tops.
The maze in the gardens at Hampton Court Palace (fig. 4) is considered to be one of the finest examples in England. It was planted in the early part of the reiem of William Ill., though it has been supposed that a maze had existed there since the time of Henry VIII. It is constructed on the hedge and alley system, and was, we believe, originally planted with hornbeam, but many of the plants have died out, and been replaced by Dollies, yews, Fee., so that the vegetation is mixed. The walks are about half a mile in length, and the extent of ground occupied is a little over a quarter of an acre. The centre contains two large trees, with a seat beneath each. The key to reach this resting place is to keep the right hand continuously in contact with the hedge from first to last, going round all the stops.
of James I, Another is said to have existed at Wimbledon House, the seat of Earl Spencer, which was probably laid out by 1 iTOW II in the last century. There is an interesting labyrinth, somewhat after the plan of fig. 2, at Mistley Place, Ma ningtree, the seat of the Rev. C. F. Norman.
When the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society at South Kensington were being planned, the Prince Consort; the president of the society, especially desired that there should be a maze formed in the ante-garden, which was made in the form shown in fig. 6. This labyrinth, which was designed by the late Lieut.
W. A. Nesfield, was for many years the chief point of attraction to the younger class of visitors to the gardens ; but at last it was allowed to go to ruin, and had to be destroyed. (T. MO.) LAC is a compound resinous and tinctorial incrustation formed on the twigs and young branches of various trees by an insect, Coccus lacca (Carteria lacca of Signoret), which infests them. The species of trees upon which it is principally obtained include Urostigma religiosa, C. indica, Croton laccifera, C. sanguifera, illeurites laccifera, Carissa spinarum, Mimosa cinerea, Erythrina indica, Iva du!cis, Butea frondosa, Zizyphus Jujuba, Tiemice laccifera, •eronia elephant um, and Vatica laccifera. Lac is a product of the East Indies, coming especially from Eengal, Pegn, Siam, and Assam. The insect which yields it is closely allied to the cochineal insect, Coccus cacti, kermes, C, zlicis, and Polish grains, C. polonicus, all of which, like the lac insect, yield a red dye colour. The term lac (Laksha, Sanskrit ; Lakh, Hindi) is the same as the numeral lakh - a hundred thousand - and is indicative of the countless hosts of insects which make their appearance with every successive generation. Two evolutions of the young of the lac coccus make their appearance annually, one about the beginning of July and the other early in December. As soon as the minute larval insects make their appearance they- fasten in myriads on the young shoots, and, inserting their long proboscides into the bark, draw their nutriment from the sap of the plant. The insects begin at once to exude the resinous secretion over their entire bodies, which forms in effect a cocoon, and, the separate exudations coalescing, a continuous hard resinous layer re's nlarly honeycombed with small cavities is deposited The maze in the gardens at Somerleyton Hall, near Lowestoft (fig. 51, was designed by Mr John Thomas. The hedges are of English yew, and are in very fine condition, without a break or flaw. 'Tlev are about 6i feet high, and have been planted a little over thirty years. In the centre is a grass mound, which is raised to the height of the hedges, and on this mound is erected a pagoda, which is approached by a curved grass path. At the two corners on the western side are banks of laurels sonic 15 or 16 feet high, which are kept ti mined with the knife. On each side of the hedges throughout the labyrinth is a small strip of grass.
There was also a labyrinth at Theobald's Park, near Cheshunt, when this place passed from the earl of Salisbury into the pes,essien over and around the twig. From this living tomb the female insects, which form the great bulk of the whole, never escape. After their impregnation, which takes place on the liberation of the males, about three months from their first appearance, the females develop into a singularly amorphous-like organism consisting in its main features of a large smooth shining crimson-coloured sac - the ovary - with a beak stuck into the bark, and a few papillary processes projected above the resinous surface. The red fluid in the ovary is the substance which forms the lac dye of commerce, and, when the young are allowed to hatch out, the greater part of this colouring matter is lost, and only a dead resinous substance remains on the twig. To obtain the largest amount of both resin and dye-stuff therefore it is necessary to gather the twigs with their living inhabitants in or near June and November. Lac encrusting the twigs as gathered is known in commerce as "stick lac "; the resin crushed to small fragments and washed free from colouring matter constitutes " seed lac " ; when melted, strained through thick canvas, and spread out into thin layers, this is known as "shell lac," and it is in this last form that the resin is usually brought to European markets. Shell lac, which varies in colour from a dark amber to an almost pure black appearance, may be bleached by dissolving in a boiling lye of caustic potash and passing chlorine through the solution till all the resin is precipitated. Bleached lac takes light delicate shades of colour, and dyed a golden yellow it is much used in the East Indies for working into chain ornaments for the head and for other personal adornments. Lac is a principal ingredient in sealing wax, and forms the basis of some of the most valuable varnishes, besides being useful in various cements, &c. (see LACQUER). Average stick lac contains about 68 per cent. of resin, 10 of lac dye, and 6 of a waxy substance. The resin of lac is a composite body, whose constituents behave differently in presence of chemical reagents.
Lac dye, which is separated by washing stick lac in hot or cold water or in a weak alkaline solution, and dried either by exposure over a fire or in the sun, comes into commerce in the form of small square cakes. It is in many respects similar to, although not identical with, cochineal, and will dye less brilliant shades than that colour. It contains about 50 per cent. of colouring matter, with 25 per cent. of resin and 22 per cent. of earthy admixture, &c. It is used for dyeing silk and wool, for which purposes it is dissolved in dilute sulphuric acid or somewhat stronger hydrochloric acid ; and the substance to be dyed is prepared with a mordant of strong lac spirit, which consists of a solution of stannous chloride. Lac dye has been used from time immemorial in the East, but the knowledge of the substance in the West is comparatively recent. It was first brought to Europe by the East India Company as a substitute for cochineal. The best lac dye comes from Calcutta. Lac lake is an alumina lake containing about 50 per cent. of colouring matter, 40 per cent. of resin, and 9 or 10 per cent. of alumina.