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CARISSIMI—CARLILE

CARISSIMI, GIACOMO (c. 1604–1674), one of the most celebrated masters of the Italian, or, more accurately, the Roman school of music, was born about 1604 in Marino (near Rome). Of his life almost nothing is known. At the age of twenty he became chapel-master at Assisi, and in 1628 he obtained the same position at the church of St Apollinaris belonging to the Collegium Germanicum in Rome, which he held till his death on the 12th of January 1674, at Rome. He seems never to have left Italy. The two great achievements generally ascribed to him are the further development of the recitative, lately introduced by Monteverde, and of infinite importance in the history of dramatic music; and the invention of the chamber-cantata, by which Carissimi superseded the madrigals formerly in use. His position in the history of church music and vocal chamber music is somewhat similar to that of Cavalli in the history of opera. It is impossible to say who was really the inventor of the chamber-cantata; but Carissimi and Luigi Rossi were the composers who first made this form the vehicle for the most intellectual style of chamber-music, a function which it continued to perform until the death of Alessandro Scarlatti, Astorga and Marcello. Of his oratorios Jephthah has been published by Novello & Co., and is well known; this work and others are important as definitely establishing the form of oratorio unaccompanied by dramatic action, which has maintained its hold to the present day. He also may claim the merit of having given greater variety and interest to the instrumental accompaniments of vocal compositions. Dr Burney and Sir John Hawkins published specimens of his compositions in their works on the history of music; and Dr Aldrich collected an almost complete set of his compositions, at present in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. The British Museum also possesses numerous valuable works by this great Italian master. Most of his oratorios are in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris.


CARLETON, WILLIAM (1794–1869), Irish novelist, was born at Prillisk, Clogher, Co. Tyrone, on the 4th of March 1794. His father was a tenant farmer, who supported a family of fourteen children on as many acres, and young Carleton passed his early life among scenes precisely similar to those he afterwards delineated with so much power and truthfulness. His father was remarkable for his extraordinary memory, and had a thorough acquaintance with Irish folklore; the mother was noted throughout the district for the sweetness of her voice. The beautiful character of Honor, the miser’s wife, in Fardorougha, is said to have been drawn from her.

The education received by Carleton was of a very humble description. As his father removed from one small farm to another, he attended at various places the hedge-schools, which used to be a notable feature of Irish life. The admirable little picture of one of these schools is given in the sketch called “The Hedge School” included in Traits and Stories of Irish Peasantry. Most of his learning was gained from a curate named Keenan, who taught a classical school at Donagh (Co. Monaghan), which Carleton attended from 1814 to 1816. Before this Carleton had resolved to prosecute his education as a poor scholar at Munster, with a view to entering the church; but in obedience to a warning dream, the story of which is told in the Poor Scholar, he returned home, where he received the unbounded veneration of the neighbouring peasantry for his supposed wonderful learning. An amusing account of this phase of his existence is given in the little sketch, “Denis O’Shaughnessy.” About the age of nineteen he undertook one of the religious pilgrimages then common in Ireland. His experiences as a pilgrim, narrated in “The Lough Derg Pilgrim,” made him resign for ever the thought of entering the church, and he eventually became a Protestant. His vacillating ideas as to a mode of life were determined in a definite direction by the reading of Gil Blas. He resolved to cast himself boldly upon the world, and try what fortune had in store for him. He went to Killanny, Co Louth, and for six months acted as tutor in the family of a farmer named Piers Murphy, and after some other experiments he set out for Dublin, and arrived in the metropolis with 2s 9d. in his pocket. He first sought occupation as a bird-stuffer, but a proposal to use potatoes and meal as stuffing failed to recommend him. He then determined to become a soldier, but the colonel of the regiment in which he desired to enlist persuaded him—Carleton had applied in Latin—to give up the idea. He obtained some teaching and a clerkship in a Sunday School office, began to contribute to the journals, and his paper “The Pilgrimage to Lough Derg,” which was published in the Christian Examiner, excited great attention. In 1830 appeared the first series of Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (2 vols.), which at once placed the author in the first rank of Irish novelists. A second series (3 vols.), containing, among other stories, “Tubber Derg, or the Red Well,” appeared in 1833, and Tales of Ireland in 1834. From that time till within a few years of his death Carleton’s literary activity was incessant. “Fardorougha the Miser, or the Convicts of Lisnamona” appeared in 1837–1838 in the Dublin University Magazine. Among his other famous novels are: Valentine McClutchy, the Irish Agent, or Chronicles of the Castle Cumber Property (3 vols., 1845); The Black Prophet, a Tale of the Famine, in the Dublin University Magazine (1846), printed separately in the next year; The Emigrants of Ahadarra (1847); Willy Reilly and his dear Colleen Bawn (in The Independent, London, 1850); and The Tithe Proctor (1849), the violence of which did his reputation harm among his own countrymen. Some of his later stories, The Squanders of Castle Squander (1852) for instance, are defaced by the mass of political matter with which they are overloaded. In spite of his very considerable literary production Carleton remained poor, but his necessities were relieved in 1848 by a pension of £200 a year granted by Lord John Russell in response to a memorial on Carleton’s behalf signed by numbers of distinguished persons in Ireland. He died at Sandford, Co. Dublin, on the 30th of January 1869.

Carleton’s best work is contained in the Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. He wrote from intimate acquaintance with the scenes he described; and he drew with a sure hand a series of pictures of peasant life, unsurpassed for their appreciation of the passionate tenderness of Irish home life, of the buoyant humour and the domestic virtues which would, under better circumstances, bring prosperity and happiness. He alienated the sympathies of many Irishmen, however, by his unsparing criticism and occasional exaggeration of the darker side of Irish character. He was in his own words the “historian of their habits and manners, their feelings, their prejudices, their superstitions and their crimes.” (Preface to Tales of Ireland.)

During the last months of his life Carleton began an autobiography which he brought down to the beginning of his literary career. This forms the first part of The Life of William Carleton ... (2 vols., 1896), by D. J. O’Donoghue, which contains full information about lis life, and a list of his scattered writings. A selection from his stories (1889), in the “Camelot Series,” has an introduction by Mr W. B. Yeats. He must not be confused with Will Carleton (b. 1845), the American author of Farm Ballads (1873).


CARLETON PLACE, a town and port of entry of Lanark county, Ontario, Canada, 28 m. S.W. of Ottawa, on the Mississippi river, and at the junction of the main line and Brockville branch of the Canadian Pacific railway. It has abundant water-power privileges, and extensive railway-repair shops and woollen mills. Pop. (1901) 4059.


CARLILE, RICHARD (1790–1843), English freethinker, was born on the 8th of December 1790, at Ashburton, Devonshire, the son of a shoemaker. Educated in the village school, he was apprenticed to a tinman against whose harsh treatment he frequently rebelled. Having finished his apprenticeship, he obtained occupation in London as a journeyman tinman. Influenced by reading Paine’s Rights of Man, he became an uncompromising radical, and in 1817 started pushing the sale of the Black Dwarf, a new weekly paper, edited by Jonathan Wooler, all over London, and in his zeal to secure the dissemination of its doctrines frequently walked 30 m. a day. In the same year he also printed and sold 25,000 copies of Southey’s Wat Tyler, reprinted the suppressed Parodies of Hone, and wrote himself, in imitation of them, the Political Litany. This work cost him eighteen weeks imprisonment. In 1818 he published Paine’s works, for which