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CHANT—CHANTARELLE

of Charlemagne with his rebellious vassals. This is what has been defined as the Feudal Epic; it includes Girars de Viane and Ogier the Dane, both of the 13th century, or the end of the 12th. A third group follows Charlemagne and his peers to the East. It is in the principal of these poems, The Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, that Alexandrine verse first makes its appearance in French literature. This must belong to the beginning of the 12th century. A fourth group, antecedent to the Spanish war, is of the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th; it includes Aiquin, Fierabras and Otinel. The fifth class discusses the war in Spain, and it is to this that Roland belongs; there are different minor epics dealing with the events of Roncevaux, and independent chansons of Gui de Bourgogne, Gaidon and Anseïs de Carthage. The Geste du Roi comprises a sixth and last group, proceeding with events up to the death of Charlemagne; this contains Huon de Bordeaux and a vast number of poems of minor originality and importance.

Another cycle is that of Duke William Shortnose, La Geste de Guillaume. This includes the very early and interesting Departure of the Aimeri Children, Aliscans and Rainoart. It is thought that this cycle, which used to be called the Geste de Garin de Monglane, is less artificial than the others; it deals with the heroes of the South who remained faithful in their vassalage to the throne. The poems belonging to this cycle are extremely numerous, and some of them are among the earliest which survive. These chansons find their direct opposites in those which form the great cycle of La Geste de Doon de Mayence, sometimes called “la faulse geste,” because it deals with the feats of the traitors, of the rebellious family of Ganelon. This is the geste of the Northmen, always hostile to the Carlovingian dynasty. It comprises some of the most famous of the chansons, in particular Parise la duchesse and The Four Sons of Aymon. Several of its sections are the production of a known poet, Raimbert of Paris. From this triple division of the main body of the chansons de geste into La Geste du Roi, La Geste de Guillaume and La Geste de Doon, are excluded certain poems of minor importance,—some provincial, such as Amis and Amiles and Garin, some dealing with the Crusades, such as Antioche, and some which are not connected with any existing cycle, such as Ciperis de Vignevaux; most of this last category, however, are works of the decadence.

The analysis which is here sketched is founded on the latest theories of Léon Gautier, who has given the labour of a lifetime to the investigation of this subject. The wealth of material is baffling to the ordinary student; of the medieval chansons de geste many hundreds of thousands of lines have been preserved. The habit of composing became in the 14th century, as has been said, no longer an art but a monomania. Needless to add that a very large proportion of the surviving poems have never yet been published. All the best of the early chansons de geste are written in ten-syllable verse, divided into stanzas or laisses of different length, united by a single assonance. Rhyme came in with the 13th century, and had the effect in languid bards of weakening the narrative; the sing-song of it led at last to the abandonment of verse in favour of plain historical prose. The general character of the chansons de geste, especially of those of the 12th century, is hard, coarse, inflexible, like the march of rough men stiffened by coats of mail. There is no art and little grace, but a magnificent display of force. These poems enshrine the self-sufficiency of a young and powerful people; they are full of Gallic pride, they breathe the spirit of an indomitable warlike energy. All their figures belong to the same social order of things, and all illustrate the same fighting aristocracy. The moving principle is that of chivalry, and what is presented is, invariably, the spectacle of the processional life of a medieval soldier. The age described is a disturbed one; the feudal anarchy of Europe is united, for a moment, in defending western civilization against the inroads of Asia, against “the yellow peril.” But it is a time of transition in Europe also, and Charlemagne, the immortal but enfeebled emperor, whose beard is whiter than lilies, represents an old order of things against which the rude barons of the North are perpetually in successful revolt. The loud cry of the dying Ronald, as E. Quinet said, rings through the whole poetical literature of medieval France; it is the voice of the individuality of the great vassal, who, in the decay of the empire, stands alone with himself and with his sword.

Authorities,—Léon Gautier, Les Épopées françaises (4 vols., 1878–1894); Gaston Paris, La Littérature française au moyen âge (1890); Paul Meyer, Recherches sur l’épopée française (1867); G. Paris, Histoire poétique de Charlemagne (1865); A. Longnon, Les Quatre Fits Aimon, &c. (1879). (E. G.) 


CHANT (derived through the Fr. from the Lat. cantare, to sing; an old form is “chaunt”), a song or melody, particularly one sung according to the rules of church service-books. For an account of the chant or cantus firmus of the Roman Church see Plain-Song. In the English church “chants” are the tunes set to the unmetrical verses of the psalms and canticles. The chant consisted of an “intonation” followed by a reciting note of indefinite length; a “mediation” closed the first part of the verse, leading to a second reciting note; a “termination” closed the second part of the verse. In the English chant the “intonation” disappeared. Chants are “single,” if written for one verse only, “double,” if for two. “Quadruple” chants for four verses have also been written.


CHANTABUN, or Chantaburi, the principal town of the Siamese province of the same name, on the E. side of the Gulf of Siam, in 102° 6′ E., 12° 38′ N. Pop. about 5000. The town lies about 12 m. from the sea on a river which is navigable for boats and inside the bar of which there is good anchorage for light-draft vessels. The trade is chiefly in rubies and sapphires from the mines of the Krat and Pailin districts, and in pepper, of which about 500 tons are exported annually. Cardamoms and rosewood are also exported. In 1905 Chantabun was made the headquarters of a high commissioner with jurisdiction extending over the coast districts from the Nam Wen on the East to Cape Liant on the West, which were thus united to form a provincial division (Monton). In 1893 Chantabun was occupied by a French force of four hundred men, a step taken by France as a guarantee for the execution by Siam of undertakings entered into by the treaty of that year. The occupation, which was merely military and did not affect the civil government, lasted until January 1905, when, in accordance with the provisions of the Franco-Siamese treaty of 1904, the garrison of occupation was withdrawn. Chantabun has been since the 17th century, and still is, a stronghold of the Roman Catholic missionaries, and the Christian element amongst the population is greater here than anywhere else in Siam.


CHANTADA, a town of north-western Spain, in the province of Lugo, on the left bank of the Río de Chantada, a small right-hand tributary of the river Miño, and on the main road from Orerse, 18 m. S. by W., to Lugo, 28 m. N. by E. Pop. (1900) 15,003. Chantada is the chief town of the fertile region between the Miño and the heights of El Faro, which mark the western border of the province. Despite the lack of railway communication, it has a thriving trade in grain, flax, hemp, and dairy produce.


CHANTAGE (a Fr. word from chanter, to sing, slang for a criminal making an avowal under examination), a demand for money backed by the threat of scandalous revelations, the French equivalent of “blackmail.”


CHANTARELLE, an edible fungus, known botanically as Cantharellus cibarius, found in woods in summer. It is golden yellow, somewhat inversely conical in shape and about 2 in. broad and high. The cap is flattened above with a central depression and a thick lobed irregular margin. Running down into the stem from the cap are a number of shallow thick gills. The substance of the fungus is dry and opaque with a peculiar smell suggesting ripe apricots or plums. The flesh is whitish tinged with yellow. The chantarelle is sold in the markets on the continent of Europe, where it forms a regular article of food, but seems little known in Britain though often plentiful in the New Forest and elsewhere. Before being cooked they should be allowed to dry, and then thrown into boiling water. They may