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CHIABRERA—CHIAPAS

with picturesque groves of tamarind, mango and other shade-giving trees. In the hill-country the climate is temperate and healthy. In the cold season ice is frequently seen in the small tanks at an elevation of about 2000 ft. Until May the hot wind is little felt, while during the rains the weather is cool and agreeable. The average annual rainfall amounts to 36 in. Pop. (1901) 407,927. There are manufactures of cotton cloth and brassware. Coal in this neighbourhood began to be worked after the opening of a branch of the Bengal-Nagpur railway to Chhindwara and the coalfields to the north in 1905.

Chhindwara formed part of the dominions of the ancient Gond dynasty of Chhindwara and Nagpur, whose seat was at Deogarh until, in the 18th century, it was removed by Chand Sultan, son of Bakht Buland (founder of the short-lived greatness of the dynasty, and of the city of Nagpur) to Nagpur (see Gondwana and Nagpur).


CHIABRERA, GABRIELLO (1552–1637), Italian poet, sometimes called the Italian Pindar, was of patrician descent, and was born at Savona, a little town in the domain of the Genoese republic, twenty-eight years after the birth of Ronsard, with whom he has far more in common than with the great Greek whose echo he sought to make himself. As he has told in the pleasant fragment of autobiography prefixed to his works, in which, like Caesar, he speaks of himself in the third person, he was a posthumous child; he went to Rome at the age of nine years, under the care of his uncle Giovanni. There he read with a private tutor, suffered severely from two fevers in succession, and was sent at last, for the sake of society, to the Jesuits’ College, where he remained till his twentieth year, studying philosophy, as he says, “più per trattenimento che per apprendere,”—rather for occupation than for learning’s sake. Losing his uncle about this time, Chiabrera returned to Savona, “again to see his own and be seen by them.” In a little while, however, he returned to Rome, and entered the household of a cardinal, where he remained for several years, frequenting the society of Paulus Manutius and of Sperone Speroni, the dramatist and critic of Tasso, and attending the lectures and hearing the conversation of Mureto. His revenge of an insult offered him obliged him to betake himself once more to Savona, where, to amuse himself, he read poetry, and particularly Greek. The poets of his choice were Pindar and Anacreon, and these he studied till it grew to be his ambition to reproduce in his own tongue their rhythms and structures, and so to enrich his country with a new form of verse—in his own words, “like his countryman, Columbus, to find a new world or drown.” His reputation was made at once; but he seldom quitted Savona, though often invited to do so, saving for journeys of pleasure, in which he greatly delighted, and for occasional visits to the courts of princes whither he was often summoned, for his verse’s sake, and in his capacity as a dramatist. At the ripe age of fifty he took to himself a wife, one Lelia Pavese, by whom he had no children. After a simple and blameless life, during which he produced a vast quantity of verse—epic, tragic, pastoral, lyrical and satirical—he died in 1637, at the patriarchal age of eighty-five. An epitaph was written for him in elegant Latin by Urban VIII.; but on his tombstone are graven two quaint Italian hexameters of his own, in which the gazer is warned from the poet’s own example not to prefer Parnassus to Calvary.

A maker of odes in all their elaborate pomp of strophe and antistrophe, a master of new and complex rhythms, a coiner of ambitious words and composite epithets, an employer of audacious transpositions and inversions, and the inventor of a new system of poetic diction,—it is not surprising that Chiabrera should have been compared with Ronsard. Both were destined to suffer eclipse as great and sudden as had been their glory. Ronsard was succeeded by Malherbe and by French literature, properly so-called; Chiabrera was the last of the great Italians, and after him literature languished till the second renaissance under Manzoni. Chiabrera, however, was a man of merit, apart from that of the mere innovator. Setting aside his epics and dramas (one of the latter received the honours of translation at the hands of Nicolas Chrétien, a sort of scenic du Bartas), much of his work remains yet readable and pleasant. His grand Pindarics are dull, it is true, but some of his Canzonette, like the anacreontics of Ronsard, are exceedingly elegant and graceful. His autobiographical sketch is also extremely interesting. The simple old poet, with his adoration of Greek (when a thing pleased him greatly he was wont to talk of it as “Greek Verse”), his delight in journeys and sight-seeing, his dislike for literary talk save with intimates and equals, his vanities and vengeances, his pride in the memory of favours bestowed on him by popes and princes, his “infinita maraviglia” over Virgil’s versification and metaphor, his fondness for masculine rhymes and blank verse, his quiet Christianity, is a figure deserving perhaps of more study than is likely to be bestowed on that “new world” of art which it was his glory to fancy his own, by discovery and by conquest.

The best editions of Chiabrera are those of Rome (1718, 3 vols. 8vo); of Venice (1731, 4 vols. 8vo); of Leghorn (1781, 5 vols. 12mo); and of Milan (1807, 3 vols. 8vo). These only contain his lyric work; all the rest he wrote has been long forgotten.


CHIANA (anc. Clanis), a river of Tuscany, which rises in the Apennines S. of Arezzo, runs through the valley of Chiusi, and after receiving the Paglia just below Orvieto, falls into the Tiber after a course of 60 m. In Roman times its waters ran entirely into the Tiber. It often caused considerable floods in the valley of Clusium (Chiusi) which were noticeable even in Rome itself, and in A.D. 15 it was proposed to divert part of its waters into the Arnus, a project which was abandoned owing to the opposition of the Florentines (Tac. Ann. i. 76, 79). In the middle ages the whole of its valley from Arezzo to Chiusi was an uninhabitable swamp; but at the end of the 18th century the engineer Count Fossombroni took the matter in hand, and moved the watershed some 25 m. farther south, so that its waters now flow partly into the Arno and partly into the Tiber.


CHIAPAS, a Pacific coast state of southern Mexico on the Guatemalan frontier, bounded by the states of Tabasco on the N. and Vera Cruz and Oaxaca on the W. Pop. (1895) 318,730; (1900) 360,799, a large proportion of which are Indians; area, 27,222 sq.m. largely forested. The Sierra Madre crosses the southern part of the state parallel with the coast, separating the low, humid, forested districts on the frontier of Tabasco from the hot, drier, coastal plain on the Pacific. The mountain region includes a plateau of great fertility and temperate climate, which is one of the best parts of Mexico and contains the larger part of the population of the state. But isolation and lack of transportation facilities have retarded its development. The extension of the Pan-American railway across the state, from San Geronimo, on the Tehuantepec National line, to the Guatemalan frontier, is calculated to improve the industrial and social conditions of the people. The principal industries are agriculture, which is very backward, stock-raising, timber-cutting, fruit-farming and salt-making. Coffee-planting is a new industry on the Pacific slope of the Sierra Madre at elevations of 2000 to 4000 ft., and has met with considerable success. Rubber plantations have also been laid out, principally by American companies, the Castilloa elastica doing well. The exports include cattle, hides, coffee, rubber, fruit and salt. The mineral resources include gold, silver, copper and petroleum, but no mines were in operation in 1906. The capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez (pop. 9395 in 1900), is on the plateau, 3½ m. from the Rio Sabinas, and 138 m. N.E. of the Pacific port of Tonala. The former capital, San Cristobal (pop. about 5000 in 1895), about 40 m. E. of Tuxtla, is an interesting old town and the seat of the bishopric of Chiapas, founded in 1525 and made famous through its associations with Las Casas. Tapachula (pop. in 1895, 6775), the capital of the department of Soconusco, 18 m. from the Guatemalan frontier, is a rising commercial town of the new coffee district. It is 24 m. inland from the small port of San Benito, is 559 ft. above sea-level, and has a healthy climate. Other prominent towns with their populations in 1895, are Comitan, or Comitlan (9316), on the Rio Grijalva about 40 m. S.E. of San Cristobal, and chiefly distinguished for its fine church and convent dedicated to San Domingo; Pichucalco