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CLAPPERTON—CLARE

Naples. The change of climate produced some amelioration, and his energy was attested by two elaborate volumes on the Annelidae of the gulf. He again visited Naples with advantage in 1868; but in 1870, instead of recovering as before, he grew worse, and on the 31st of May he died at Siena on his way home. His Recherches sur la structure des annéiides sédentaires were published posthumously in 1873.

CLAPPERTON, HUGH (1788-1827), Scottish traveller in West-Central Africa, was born in 1788 at Annan, Dumfriesshire, where his father was a surgeon. He gained some knowledge of practical mathematics and navigation, and at thirteen was apprenticed on board a vessel which traded between Liverpool and North America. After having made several voyages across the Atlantic he was impressed for the navy, in which he soon rose to the rank of midshipman. During the Napoleonic wars he saw a good deal of active service, and at the storming of Port Louis, Mauritius, in November 1810, he was first in the breach and hauled down the French flag. In 1814 he went to Canada, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and to the command of a schooner on the Canadian lakes. In 1817, when the flotilla on the lakes was dismantled, he returned home on half-pay.

In 1820 Clapperton removed to Edinburgh, where he made the acquaintance of Walter Oudney, M.D., who aroused in him an interest in African travel. Lieut. G. F. Lyon, R.N., having returned from an unsuccessful attempt to reach Bornu from Tripoli, the British government determined on a second expedition to that country. Dr Oudney was appointed by Lord Bathurst, then colonial secretary, to proceed to Bornu as consul with the object of promoting trade, and Clapperton and Major Dixon Denham (q.v.) were added to the party. From Tripoli, early in 1822, they set out southward to Murzuk, and from this point Clapperton and Oudney visited the Ghat oasis. Kuka, the capital of Bornu, was reached in February 1823, and Lake Chad seen for the first time by Europeans. At Bornu the travellers were well received by the sultan; and after remaining in the country till the 14th of December they again set out for the purpose of exploring the course of the Niger. At Murzuk, on the road to Kano, Oudney died (January 1824). Clapperton continued his journey alone through Kano to Sokoto, the capital of the Fula empire, where by order of Sultan Bello he was obliged to stop, though the Niger was only five days' journey to the west. Worn out with his travel he returned by way of Zaria and Katsena to Kuka, where he again met Denham. The two travellers then set out for Tripoli, reached on the 26th of January 1825. An account of the travels was published in 1826 under the title of Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa in the years 1822-1824.

Immediately after his return Clapperton was raised to the rank of commander, and sent out with another expedition to Africa, the sultan Bello of Sokoto having professed his eagerness to open up trade with the west coast. Clapperton landed at Badagry in the Bight of Benin, and started overland for the Niger on the 7th of December 1825, having with him his servant Richard Lander (q.v.), Captain Pearce, R.N., and Dr Morrison, navy surgeon and naturalist. Before the month was out Pearce and Morrison were dead of fever. Clapperton continued his journey, and, passing through the Yoruba country, in January 1826 he crossed the Niger at Bussa, the spot where Mungo Park had died twenty years before. In July he arrived at Kano. Thence he went to Sokoto, intending afterwards to go to Bornu. The sultan, however, detained him, and being seized with dysentery he died near Sokoto on the 13th of April 1827.

Clapperton was the first European to make known from personal observation the semi-civilized Hausa countries, which he visited soon after the establishment of the Sokoto empire by the Fula. In 1829 appeared the Journal of a Second Expedition into the Interior of Africa, &c., by the late Commander Clapperton, to which was prefaced a biographical sketch of the explorer by his uncle, Lieut.-colonel S. Clapperton. Lander, who had brought back the journal of his master, also published Records of Captain Clapperton's Last Expedition to Africa with the subsequent Adventures of the Author (2 vols., London, 1830).


CLAQUE (Fr. claquer, to clap the hands), an organized body of professional applauders in the French theatres. The hiring of persons to applaud dramatic performances was common in classical times, and the emperor Nero, when he acted, had his performance greeted by an encomium chanted by five thousand of his soldiers, who were called Augustals. The recollection of this gave the 16th-century French poet, Jean Daurat, an idea which has developed into the modern claque. Buying up a number of tickets for a performance of one of his plays, he distributed them gratuitously to those who promised publicly to express their approbation. It was not, however, till 1820 that a M. Sauton seriously undertook the systematization of the claque, and opened an office in Paris for the supply of claqueurs. These people are usually under a chef de claque, whose duty it is to judge where their efforts are needed and to start the demonstration of approval. This takes several forms. Thus there are commissaires, those who learn the piece by heart, and call the attention of their neighbours to its good points between the acts. The rieurs are those who laugh loudly at the jokes. The pleureurs, generally women, feign tears, by holding their handerkerchiefs to their eyes. The chatouilleurs keep the audience in in a good humour, while the bisseurs simply clap their hands and cry bis!  bis!  to secure encores.


CLARA, SAINT (1194-1253), foundress of the Franciscan nuns, was born of a knightly family in Assisi in 1194. At eighteen she was so impressed by a sermon of St Francis that she was filled with the desire to devote herself to the kind of life he was leading. She obtained an interview with him, and to test her resolution he told her to dress in penitential sackcloth and beg alms for the poor in the streets of Assisi. Clara readily did this, and Francis, satisfied as to her vocation, told her to come to the Portiuncula arrayed as a bride. The friars met her with lighted candles, and at the foot of the altar Francis shore off her hair, received her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and invested her with the Franciscan habit, 1212. He placed her for a couple of years in a Benedictine convent in Assisi, until the convent at St Damian's, close to the town, was ready. Her two younger sisters, and, after her father's death, her mother and many others joined her, and the Franciscan nuns spread widely and rapidly (see Clares, Poor). The relations of friendship and sympathy between St Clara and St Francis were very close, and there can be no doubt that she was one of the truest heirs of Francis's inmost spirit. After his death Clara threw herself wholly on the side of those who opposed mitigation's in the rule and manner of life, and she was one of the chief upholders of St Francis's primitive idea of poverty (see Franciscans). She was the close friend of Brother Leo and the other “Companions of St. Francis," and they assisted at her death. For forty years she was abbess at St Damian's, and the great endeavour of her life was that the rule of the nuns should be purged of the foreign elements that had been introduced, and should become wholly conformable to St Francis's spirit. She lived just long enough to witness the fulfilment of her great wish, a rule such as she desired being approved by the pope two days before her death on the 11th of August 1253. The sources for her life are to be found in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum on the 11th of August, and sketches in such Lives of the Saints as Alban Butler's. See also Wetzer und Welte, Kirchenlexicon (2nd ed.), art. “Clara.”


CLARE, the name of a famous English family. The ancestor of this historic house, “which played,” in Freeman's words, “so great a part alike in England, Wales and Ireland,” was Count Godfrey, eldest of the illegitimate sons of Richard the Fearless, duke of Normandy. His son, Count Gilbert of Brionne, had two sons, Richard, lord of Bienfaite and Orbec, and Baldwin, lord of Le Sap and Meulles, both of whom accompanied the Conqueror to England. Baldwin, known as “De Meulles” or “of Exeter,” received the hereditary shrievalty of Devon with great estates in the West Country, and left three sons, William, Robert and Richard, of whom the first and last were in turn