Catharine-wheel, a window or compart- ment of a window of circular form, sometimes with radiating divisions or spokes, used in me- diaeval buildings, called a rose, or marigold window. It is a memorial of St. Catharine's martyrdom. The term is also applied to a kind of firework in the shape of a wheel, made to revolve automatically when lighted; a pin- wheel. Cathar'tic, any remedy that will cause an emptying of the intestinal canal. For purposes of general description there are four classes of cathartics. These are mild cathartics, or laxa- tives; simple purges, drastic purges, and hydra- gogues. Catharsis is accomplished either by increasing the amount of water in the intestines or by stimulating the movements of the intes- tines — peristalsis. The laxatives are water, sugar, honey, fruits, stringy vegetables, coarse bread, cassia fistula, sulphur, figs, etc; these act either by giving bulk, stimulation of peristalsis, or by adding water, all of the sugars attracting water from the intestinal wall. The simple purges act usually by stimulating peristalsis. These are castor oil, cascara sagrada, rhubarb, aloes, senna, iris, podophyllum, leptandra, calo- mel, etc.
He inherited from his father, a plebeian, a small estate in the territory of the Sabines, which he cultivated with his own hands. He was a youth at the time of Hannibal's invasion of Italy, and served his first campaign, at the age of 17, under Fabius Maximus, when he besieged Capua. Five years after he fought under the same com- mander at the siege of Tarentum. After the capture of this city he became acquainted with the Pythagorean, Nearchus, who initiated him into the sublime doctrines of his philosophy, with which, in practice, he was already con- versant. After the war was ended Cato re- turned to his farm. As he was versed in the laws, and a fluent speaker, he went at daybreak to the neighboring towns, and acted as counselor and advocate to those who applied to him. Val- erius Flaccus, a noble and powerful Roman, who had an estate in the vicinity, observed the talents and virtue of the youth, conceived an affection for him, and persuaded him to remove to Rome, where he promised to assist him with his influence and patronage. A few rich and high-born families then stood at the head of the republic. Cato was poor and unknown; but his eloquence, which some compared to that of Demosthenes, and the integrity and strength of his character, soon drew public attention to him. At the age of 30 he went as military tribune to Sicily.