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ANNE JOSEPHE THEROIGNE DE MERICOURT (...

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 837 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ANNE JOSEPHE THEROIGNE DE MERICOURT (1762-1817), a Frenchwoman who was a striking figure in the Revolution, was born at Marcourt (from a corruption of which name she took her usual designation), a small town in Luxembourg, on the banks of the Ourthe, on the 13th of August 1762. She was the daughter of a well-to-do farmer, Peter Th€roige. She With a mercury thermometer a continuous record of temperature can only be obtained by the aid of photography, a method which has been in use for many years at some first-class observatories, but which cannot be generally employed on account of the expense and the elaborate nature of the apparatus required. The commonest type of recording thermometer works on the principle of the Bourdon pressure-gauge. The bulb consists of a curved metallic tube filled with liquid, the expansion of which with rise of temperature tends to straighten the tube. The movements are recorded on a revolving drum by a pen carried at the end of a light lever attached to the bulb. This form of instrument is widely employed for rough work, but it has a very limited range and is unsuitable for accurate work on account of want of sensitiveness and of great liability to change of zero, owing to imperfect elasticity of the metal tube. For accurate work, especially at high temperatures, electrical thermometers possess many advantages, and are often the only instruments available. They are comparatively free from change of zero over long periods, and the thermometer or pyrometer itself may be placed in a furnace or elsewhere at a considerable distance from the recording apparatus. The principal types are the thermocouple and the platinum resistance thermometer already described, which may be employed for recording purposes, without altering the thermometer itself, by connexion to a suitable recording mechanism. The methods in use. for recording the indications of electrical thermometers may be classified as in § 24 under the two headings of (I) deflexion methods and (2) balance methods. Deflexion methods, in which the deflexion of the galvanometer is recorded, are more suitable for rough work, and balance methods for accurate measurements. The most delicate and most generally applicable method of recording the deflexions of a mirror galvanometer is by photographing the movements of the spot of light on a moving film. Almost any required scale or degree of sensitiveness may be obtained in this manner, but the record cannot be inspected at any time without removal and development. Since the forces actuating the needle of the galvanometer are very small, it is out of the question to attach a pen or marking point directly to the end of the pointer for recording a continuous trace on a revolving drum, because the errors due to friction with the recording sheet would be excessive. This difficulty has been avoided in many electrical instruments by appears to have been well educated, having been brought up in the convent of Robermont ; she was quick-witted, strikingly handsome in appearance and intensely passionate in temper ; and she had a vigorous eloquence, which she used with great effect upon the mobs of Paris during that short space of her life (1789-93) which alone is of historical interest. The story of her having been betrayed by a young seigneur, and having in consequence devoted her life to avenge her wrongs upon aristocrats, a story which is told by Lamartine and others, is unfounded, the truth being that she left her home on account of a quarrel with her stepmother. In her career as courtesan she visited London in 1782, was back in Paris in 1785, and in Genoa in 1788, where she was a concert singer. In 1789 she returned to Paris. On the outbreak of the Revolution, she was surrounded by a coterie of well-known men, chief of whom were Potion and Desmoulins; but she did not play the role which legend has assigned her. She took no part in the taking of the Bastille nor in the days of the 5th and 6th of October, when the women of Paris brought the king and queen from Versailles. In 1790 she had a political salon and spoke once at the club of the Cordeliers. The same year she left Paris for Marcourt, whence after a short stay she proceeded to Liege, in which town she was seized by warrant of the Austrian Government, and conveyed first to Tirol and thereafter to Vienna, accused of having been engaged in a plot against the life of the queen of France. After an interview, however, with the emperor Leopold II., she was released; and she returned to Paris in January 1792, crowned of course with fresh laurels because of her captivity, and resumed her influence. In the clubs of Paris her voice was often heard, and even in the National Assembly she would violently interrupt the expression of any nioderatist views. Known henceforth as "la belle Liegoise," she appeared in public dressed in a riding habit, a plume in her hat, a pistol in her belt and a sword dangling at her side, and excited the mob by violent harangues. Associated with the Girondists and the enemies of Robespierre, she became in fact the " Fury of the Gironde." She commanded in person the 3rd corps of the so-called army of the faubourgs on the loth of June 1792, and again won the gratitude of the people. She shares a heavy responsibility for her connexion with the riots of the loth of August. A certain contributor to the journal, the Acts of the Apostles, Suleau by name, earned her savage hatred by associating her name, for the sake of the play upon the word, with a deputy named Populus, whom she had never seen. On the loth of August, just after she had watched approvingly the massacre of certain of the national guard in the Place Vendome, Suleau was pointed out to her. She sprang at him, dragged him among the infuriated mob, and he was stabbed to death in an instant. She took no part in the massacres of September, and, moderating her conduct, became less popular from 1793. Towards the end of May the Jacobin women seized her, stripped her naked, and flogged her in the public garden of the Tuileries. The following year she became mad, a fate not surprising when one considers her career. She was removed to a private house, thence in 1800 to La Salpetriere for a month, and thence to a place of confinement called the Petites Maisons, where she remained—a raving maniac—till 1807. She was then again removed to La Salpetriere, where she died, never having recovered her reason, on the 9th of June THESEUS 837 he had slain the Amazonian queen Penthesilea, bitterly lamented her death; for this he was reviled by Thersites, who even insulted the body of the dead queen. Achilles thereupon slew Thersites with a blow of his fist (Quint. Smyrn. i. 722). There was a play by Chaeremon called Achilles the Thersites-slayer, probably a satyric drama, the materials of which were taken from the Aethiopis of Arctinus.
End of Article: ANNE JOSEPHE THEROIGNE DE MERICOURT (1762-1817)
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