Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

extensively for the ornamentation of goldsmith and silversmith work, electro-plate and similar objects, being employed to produce bold flutings and bosses, and in another manner utilized for imitating engraved surfaces. Minute work can be produced by this method, perfect examples of which may be seen in the watch-cases chased by G. M. Moser, R.A. (1704–1783). The chaser first outlines the pattern on the surface he is to ornament, after which, if the work involves bold or high embossments, these are blocked out by a process termed “snarling.” The snarling iron is a long iron tool turned up at the end, and made so that when securely fastened in a vise the upturned end can reach and press against any portion of the interior of the vase or other object to be chased. The part to be raised being held firmly against the upturned point of the snarling iron, the workman gives the shoulder or opposite end of the iron a sharp blow, which causes the point applied to the work to give it a percussive stroke, and thus throw up the surface of the metal held against the tool. When the blocking out from the interior is finished, or when no such embossing is required, the object to be chased is filled with molten pitch, which is allowed to harden. It is then fastened to a sandbag, and with hammer and a multitude of small punches of different outline the whole details of the pattern, lined, smooth or “matt,” are worked out. Embossing and stamping from steel dies and rolled ornaments have long since taken the place of chased ornamentations in the cheaper kinds of plated works. (See Embossing.)

CHASLES, VICTOR EUPHÉMIEN PHILARÈTE (1798–1873), French critic and man of letters, was born at Mainvilliers (Eure et Loir) on the 8th of October 1798. His father, Pierre Jacques Michel Chasles (1754–1826), was a member of the Convention, and was one of those who voted the death of Louis XVI. He brought up his son according to the principles of Rousseau’s Émile, and the boy, after a régime of outdoor life, followed by some years’ classical study, was apprenticed to a printer, so that he might make acquaintance with manual labour. His master was involved in one of the plots of 1815, and Philarète suffered two months’ imprisonment. On his release he was sent to London, where he worked for the printer Valpy on editions of classical authors. He wrote articles for the English reviews, and on his return to France did much to popularize the study of English authors. He was also one of the earliest to draw attention in France to Scandinavian and Russian literature. He contributed to the Revue des deux mondes, until he had a violent quarrel, terminating in a lawsuit, with François Buloz, who won his case. He became librarian of the Bibliothèque Mazarine, and from 1841 was professor of comparative literature at the Collège de France. During his active life he produced some fifty volumes of literary history and criticism, and of social history, much of which is extremely valuable. He died at Venice on the 18th of July 1873. His son, Émile Chasles (b. 1827), was a philologist of some reputation.

Among his best critical works is Dix-huitième Siècle en Angleterre ... (1846), one of a series of 20 vols. of Études de littérature comparée (1846–1875), which he called later Trente ans de critique. An account of his strenuous boyhood is given in his Maison de mon père. His Mémoires (1876–1877) did not fulfil the expectations based on his brilliant talk.

CHASSE (from the Fr., in full chasse-café, or “coffee-chaser”), a draught of spirit or liqueur, taken with or after coffee, &c.

CHASSE (Fr. for “chased”), a gliding step in dancing, so called since one foot is brought up behind or chases the other. The chassé croisé is a double variety of the step.

CHASSELOUP-LAUBAT, FRANÇOIS, Marquis de (1754–1833), French general and military engineer, was born at St Sernin (Lower Charente) on the 18th of August 1754, of a noble family, and entered the French engineers in 1774. He was still a subaltern at the outbreak of the Revolution, becoming captain in 1791. His ability as a military engineer was recognized in the campaigns of 1792 and 1793. In the following year he won distinction in various actions and was promoted successively chef de bataillon and colonel. He was chief of engineers at the siege of Mainz in 1796, after which he was sent to Italy. He there conducted the first siege of Mantua, and reconnoitred the positions and lines of advance of the army of Bonaparte. He was promoted general of brigade before the close of the campaign, and was subsequently employed in fortifying the new Rhine frontier of France. His work as chief of engineers in the army of Italy (1799) was conspicuously successful, and after the battle of Novi he was made general of division. When Napoleon took the field in 1800 to retrieve the disasters of 1799, he again selected Chasseloup as his engineer general. During the peace of 1801–1805 he was chiefly employed in reconstructing the defences of northern Italy, and in particular the afterwards famous Quadrilateral. His chef-d’oeuvre was the great fortress of Alessandria on the Tanaro. In 1805 he remained in Italy with Masséna, but at the end of 1806 Napoleon, then engaged in the Polish campaign, called him to the Grande Armée, with which he served in the campaign of 1806-07, directing the sieges of Colberg, Danzig and Stralsund. During the Napoleonic domination in Germany, Chasseloup reconstructed many fortresses, in particular Magdeburg. In the campaign of 1809 he again served in Italy. In 1810 Napoleon made him a councillor of state. His last campaign was that of 1812 in Russia. He retired from active service soon afterwards, though in 1814 he was occasionally engaged in the inspection and construction of fortifications. Louis XVIII. made him a peer of France and a knight of St Louis. He refused to join Napoleon in the Hundred Days, but after the second Restoration he voted in the chamber of peers against the condemnation of Marshal Ney. In politics he belonged to the constitutional party. The king created him a marquis. Chasseloup’s later years were employed chiefly in putting in order his manuscripts, a task which he had to abandon owing to the failure of his sight. His only published work was Correspondence d’un général français, &c. sur divers sujets (Paris, 1801, republished Milan, 1805 and 1811, under the title Correspondance de deux générals, &c., essais sur quelques parties d’artillerie et de fortification). The most important of his papers are in manuscript in the Depôt of Fortifications, Paris.

As an engineer Chasseloup was an adherent, though of advanced views, of the old bastioned system. He followed in many respects the engineer Bousmard, whose work was published in 1797 and who fell, as a Prussian officer, in the defence of Danzig in 1807 against Chasseloup’s own attack. His front was applied to Alessandria, as has been stated, and contains many elaborations of the bastion trace, with, in particular, masked flanks in the tenaille, which served as extra flanks of the bastions. The bastion itself was carefully and minutely retrenched. The ordinary ravelin he replaced by a heavy casemated caponier after the example of Montalembert, and, like Bousmard’s, his own ravelin was a large and powerful work pushed out beyond the glacis.

CHASSEPOT, officially “fusil modèle 1866,” a military breech-loading rifle, famous as the arm of the French forces in the Franco-German War of 1870–71. It was so called after its inventor, Antoine Alphonse Chassepot (1833–1905), who, from 1857 onwards, had constructed various experimental forms of breech-loader, and it became the French service weapon in 1866. In the following year it made its first appearance on the battle-field at Mentana (November 3rd, 1867), where it inflicted severe losses upon Garibaldi’s troops. In the war of 1870 it proved very greatly superior to the German needle-gun. The breech was closed by a bolt very similar to those of more modern rifles, and amongst the technical features of interest were the method of obturation, which was similar in principle to the de Bange obturator for heavy guns (see Ordnance), and the retention of the paper cartridge. The principal details of the chassepot are:—weight of rifle, 9 ℔ 5 oz.; length with bayonet, 6 ft. 2 in.; calibre, .433 in.; weight of bullet (lead), 386 grains; weight of charge (black powder), 86.4 grains; muzzle velocity, 1328 f.s.; sighted to 1312 yds. (1200 m.). The chassepot was replaced in 1874 by the Gras rifle, which had a metal cartridge, and all rifles of the older model remaining in store were converted to take the same ammunition (fusil modèle 1866/74).

CHASSÉSRIAU, THÉODORE (1819–1856), French painter, was born in the Antilles, and studied under Ingres at Paris and