Open main menu

Page:EB1911 - Volume 06.djvu/289

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
273
CHRESMOGRAPHION—CHRISM

condemned and served sentence; but the Revolution, by destroying the inland customs, ruined his trade. On the 15th of August 1792, he led a band of peasants to prevent the departure of the volunteers of St Ouen, near Laval, and retired to the wood of Misdon, where they lived in huts and subterranean chambers. The Chouans then waged a guerrilla warfare against the republicans and, sustained by the royalists and from abroad, carried on their assassinations and brigandage with success. From Lower Maine the insurrection soon spread to Brittany, and throughout the west of France. In 1793 Cottereau came to Laval with some 500 men; the band grew rapidly and swelled into a considerable army, which assumed the name of La Petite Vendée. But after the decisive defeats at Le Mans and Savenay, Cottereau retired again to his old haunts in the wood of Misdon, and resumed his old course of guerrilla warfare. Misfortunes here increased upon him, until he fell into an ambuscade and was mortally wounded. He died among his followers in February 1794. Cottereau’s brothers also perished in the war, with the exception of René, who lived until 1846. Royalist authors have made of Cottereau a hero and martyr, titles to which his claim is not established. After the death of Cottereau, the chief leaders of the Chouans were Georges Cadoudal (q.v.) and a man who went by the name of Jambe d’Argent. For several months the Chouans continued their petty warfare, which was disgraced by many acts of ferocity and rapine; in August 1795 they dispersed; but they were guilty of several conspiracies up to 1815. (See also Vendée.)

See the articles in La Révolution française, vol. 29, La Chouannerie dans la Manche; vol. 32, La Chouannerie dans l’Eure; vol. 40, La Chouannerie dans le Morbihan (1793–1794); Sarot, Les Tribunaux répressifs ordinaires de la Manche en matière politique pendant la première Révolution (Paris, 1881), 4 vols.; Th. de Closmadeux, Quiberon (1795), Émigrés et Chouans, commissions militaires, interrogations et jugements (Paris, 1898), the only authority on the celebrated affair of Quiberon; E. Daudet, La Police et les Chouans dans le Consulat et I’Empire, 1800–1815 (Paris, 1895). Also the works of Ch. L. Chessin mentioned under Vendée.


CHRESMOGRAPHION (from Gr. χρησμός, oracle, and γράφειν, to write), an architectural term sometimes given to the chamber between the pronaes and the cella in Greek temples where oracles were delivered.


CHRESTIEN, FLORENT (1541–1596), French satirist and Latin poet, the son of Guillaume Chrestien, an eminent French physician and writer on physiology, was born at Orleans on the 26th of January 1541. A pupil of Henri Estienne, the Hellenist, at an early age he was appointed tutor to Henry of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV., who made him his librarian. Brought up as a Calvinist, he became a convert to Catholicism. He was the author of many good translations from the Greek into Latin verse,—amongst others, of versions of the Hero and Leander attributed to Musaeus, and of many epigrams from the Anthology. In his translations into French, among which are remarked those of Buchanan’s Jephthé (1567), and of Oppian De Venatione (1575), he is not so happy, being rather to be praised for fidelity to his original than for excellence of style. His principal claim to a place among memorable satirists is as one of the authors of the Satyre Ménippée, the famous pasquinade in the interest of his old pupil, Henry IV., in which the harangue put into the mouth of cardinal de Pelvé is usually attributed to him. He died on the 3rd of October 1596 at Vendôme.


CHRETIEN, or Crestien, DE TROYES, a native of Champagne, and the most famous of French medieval poets. Unfortunately we have few exact details as to his life, and opinion differs as to the precise dates to be assigned to his poems. We know that he wrote the Chevalier de la Charrette at the command of Marie, countess of Champagne (the daughter of Louis VII. and Eleanor, who married the count of Champagne in 1164), and Le Conte del Graal or Perceval for Philip, count of Flanders, who died of the plague before Acre in 1191. This prince was guardian to the young king, Philip Augustus, and held the regency from 1180 to 1182. As Chrétien refers to the story of the Grail as the best tale told au cort roial, it seems very probable that it was composed during the period of the count’s regency. It was left unfinished, and added to at divers times by at least three writers, Wauchier de Denain, Gerbert de Montreuil and Manessier. The second of these states definitely that Chrétien died before he could finish his poem. Probably the period of his literary activity lies between the dates 1150 and 1182, when his patron, Count Philip, fell into disgrace at court. The extant poems of Chrtien de Troyes, in their chronological order are, Érec et Énide, Cligés, Le Chevalier de la Charrette (or Lancelot), Le Chevalier au Lion (or Yvain), and Le Conte del Graal (Perceval), all dealing with Arthurian legend. Besides these he states in the opening lines of Cligés that he had composed a Tristan (of which so far no trace has been found), and had made certain translations from Ovid’s Ars Amatoria and Metamorphoses. A portion of the last has been found by Gaston Paris included in the translation of Ovid made by Chrétien Legouais. There exists also a poem, Guillaume d’ Angleterre, purporting to be by Chrétien, but the authorship is a matter of debate. Professor Foerster claims it as genuine, and includes it in his edition of the poems, but Gaston Paris never accepted it.

Chrétien’s poems enjoyed widespread favour, and of the three most popular (Érec, Yvain and Perceval) there exist old Norse translations, while the two first were admirably rendered into German by Hartmann von Aue. There is an English translation of the Yvain, Ywain and Gawain, and there are Welsh versions of all three stories, though their exact relation to the French has not been determined. Chrétien’s style is easy and graceful, such as might be expected from a court poet; he is analytical, but not dramatic; in depth of thought and power of characterization he is decidedly inferior to Wolfram von Eschenbach, and as a poet he is probably to be ranked below Thomas, the author of the Tristan, and the translator of Thomas, Gottfried von Strassburg. Much that has been claimed as characteristic of his work has been shown by M. Willmotte to be merely reproductions of literary conceits employed by his predecessors; in the words of a recent writer, M. Bédier, “Chrétien semble moins avoir été un créateur épique qu’un habile arrangeur.” The special interest of his pcems lies in the problems surrounding their origin. So far as the MSS. are concerned they are the earliest Arthurian romances we possess. Did Chrétien invent the genre, or did he simply turn to account the work of earlier, and less favoured, poets? Round this point the battle still rages hotly, and though the extensive claims made by the enthusiastic editor of his works are gradually yielding to the force of critical investigation, it cannot be said that the question is in any way settled (see Arthurian Legend).

Chrétien’s poems, except the Perceval, have been critically edited by Professor Foerster (4 vols.). There is no easily available edition of the Perceval, which was printed from the Mons MS. by M. Potvin (6 vols., 1866–1871), but is difficult to procure. For Ywain and Gawain see the edition by Schleich (1887). The German versions are in Deutsche Classiker des Mittelalters, 1888 (Iwein), 1893 (Erec); the Welsh, in Lady Charlotte Guest’s translation of the Mabinogion (Nutt, 1902); Scandinavian translations, ed. E. Kölbing (1872). For general criticism see Willmotte, L’Évolution du roman français aux environs de 1150 (1903); also Legend of Sir Lancelot and Legend of Sir Percival (Grimm Library); and M. Borodine, La Femme et l’amour au XIIe siècle, d’après les poèmes de Chrétien de Troyes (1909).


CHRISM (through Lat. chrisma, from Gr. χρῖσμα, an anointing substance, χρίειν, to anoint; through a Romanic form cresma comes the Fr. crême, and Eng. “cream”), a mixture of olive oil and balm, used for anointing in the Roman Catholic church in baptism, confirmation and ordination, and in the consecrating and blessing of altars, chalices, baptismal water, &c. The consecration of the “chrism” is performed by a bishop, and since the 5th century has taken place on Maundy Thursday. In the Orthodox Church the chrism contains, besides olive oil, many precious spices and perfumes, and is known as “muron” or “myron.” The word is sometimes used loosely for the unmixed olive oil used in the sacrament of extreme unction. The “Chrisom” or “chrysom,” a variant of “chrism,” lengthened through pronunciation, is a white cloth with which the head of a newly baptized child was covered to prevent the holy oil from being rubbed off. If the baby died within a month of its baptism, it was shrouded in its chrisom; otherwise the cloth or its value was given to the church as an offering by the mother at her churching. Children dying within the month were called