Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
574
COACH—COAHUILA

in the course of excavation is a black steatite vessel in the form of a bull’s head. The modelling is of a very high order, and the one eye which remains perfect is cut out of rock crystal, with the pupil and iris marked by colours applied to the lower face of the crystal.

The work of excavation in the palace has been complicated by the necessity of propping up walls, floors and staircases. In some instances it has been found necessary to replace the original wooden pillars by pillars of stone. Again in the “Queen’s Megaron” in the east wing of the Great Palace it was found that the exposure of the remains to the violent extremes of Cretan weather must soon prove fatal to them. It was therefore decided to restore the columns and part of the wall, and to roof over the whole area.

For recent excavations see R. M. Burrows, The Discoveries in Crete (1907); A. Mosso, The Palaces of Crete (1907); Lagrange, La Crète ancienne (1908); Dr. Evans’s reports in The Times, Oct. 31, 1905, July 15, 1907, Aug. 27, 1908, and 1909 (Index); D. Mackenzie, Cretan Palaces.

COACH (through the Fr. coche, originally from the Magyar kocsi, an adjective from the Hungarian place named Kocs, between Raab and Buda, i.e. the sort of vehicle used there in the 15th century), a large kind of carriage for passengers (see Carriage). As a general term it is used (as in “coach-building”) for all carriages, and also in combination with qualifying attributes for particular forms (stage-coach, mail-coach, mourning-coach, hackney-coach, &c.); but the typical coach involves four wheels, springs and a roof. The stage-coach, with seats outside and in, was a public conveyance which was known in England from the 16th century, and before railways the stage-coaches had regular routes (stages) all over the country; through their carrying the mails (from 1784) the term “mail-coach” arose. Similar vehicles were used in America and on the European continent. The diligence, though not invariably with four horses, was the Continental analogue for public conveyance, with other minor varieties such as the Stellwagen and Eilwagen.

The driving of coaches with four horses was a task in which a considerable amount of skill was required,[1] and English literature is full of the difficulties and humours of “the road” in old days. A form of sport thus arose for enterprising members of the nobility and gentry, and after the introduction of railways made the mail-coach obsolete as a matter of necessity, the old sport of coaching for pleasure still survived, though only to a limited extent. The Four-in-hand Club was started in England in 1856 and the Coaching Club in 1870, as the successors of the old Bensington Driving Club (1807-1852), and Four-Horse Club (1808-1829); and in America the New York Coaching Club was founded in 1875. But coaching remains the sport of the wealthier classes, although in various parts of England (e.g. London to Brighton, and in the Lake district), in America, and in Europe, public coaches still have their regular times and routes for those who enjoy this form of travel. The earliest railway vehicles for passengers were merely the road coaches of the period adapted to run on rails, and the expression “coaching traffic” is still used in England to denote traffic carried in passenger trains.

Of coaches possessing a history the two best known in the United Kingdom are the king’s state coach, and that of the lord mayor of London. The latter is the oldest, having been built, or at least first used, for the procession of Sir Charles Asgil, lord mayor elect, in November 1757. The body of this vehicle is not supported by springs, but hung on leather straps; and the whole structure is very richly loaded with ornamental carving, gilding and paint-work. The different panels and the doors contain various allegorical groups of figures representing suitable subjects, and heraldic devices painted in a spirited manner. The royal state coach, which is described as “the most superb carriage ever built,” was designed by Sir William Chambers, the paintings on it were executed by Cipriani, and the work was completed in 1761. During the later part of Queen Victoria’s reign it was hardly ever seen, but on the accession of Edward VII. the coach was once more put in order for use on state occasions. The following is an official description of this famous coach:—

“The whole of the carriage and body is richly ornamented with laurel and carved work, beautifully gilt. The length, 24 ft.; width, 8 ft. 3 in.; height, 12 ft.; length of pole, 12 ft. 4 in.; weight, 4 tons. The carriage and body of the coach is composed as follows:—Of four large tritons, who support the body by four braces, covered with red morocco leather, and ornamented with gilt buckles, the two figures placed in front of the carriage bear the driver, and are represented in the action of drawing by cables extending round their shoulders, and the cranes and sounding shells to announce the approach of the monarch of the ocean; and those at the back carry the imperial fasces, topped with tridents. The driver’s foot-board is a large scallop shell, ornamented with bunches of reeds and other marine plants. The pole represents a bundle of lances; the splinter bar is composed of a rich moulding, issuing from beneath a voluted shell, and each end terminating in the head of a dolphin; and the wheels are imitated from those of the ancient triumphal chariot. The body of the coach is composed of eight palm-trees, which, branching out at the top, sustain the roof; and four angular trees are loaded with trophies allusive to the victories obtained by Great Britain during the late glorious war, supported by four lions’ heads. On the centre of the roof stand three boys, representing the genii of England, Scotland and Ireland, supporting the imperial crown of Great Britain, and holding in their hands the sceptre, sword of state, and ensigns of knighthood; their bodies are adorned with festoons of laurel, which fall from thence towards the four corners. The panels and doors are painted with appropriate emblematical devices, and the linings are of scarlet velvet richly embossed with national emblems.”

See the Badminton Driving, by the duke of Beaufort (1888); Rogers’s Manual of Driving (Philadelphia, 1900); and “Nimrod’s” Essays on the Road (1876).

COAHUILA, a northern frontier state of Mexico, bounded N. and N.E. by Texas, U.S.A., E. by Nuevo León, S. by San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas, and W. by Durango and Chihuahua. Area, 63,569 sq.m.; pop. (1895) 237,815; (1900) 296,938. Its surface is a roughly broken plateau, traversed N.W. to S.E. by several ranges of mountains and sloping gently toward the Rio Grande. The only level tract of any size in the state is the Bolsón de Mapimí, a great depression on the western side which was long considered barren and uninhabitable. It is a region of lakes and morasses, of arid plains and high temperatures, but experiments with irrigation toward the end of the 19th century were highly successful and considerable tracts have since been brought under cultivation. In general the state is insufficiently watered, the rainfall being light and the rivers small. The rivers flow eastward to the Rio Grande. The climate is hot and dry, and generally healthy. Stock-raising was for a time the principal industry, but agriculture has been largely developed in several localities, among the chief products of which are cotton—Coahuila is the principal cotton-producing state in Mexico—Indian corn, wheat, beans, sugar and grapes. The Parras district in the southern part of the state has long been celebrated for its wines and brandies. The mineral wealth of the state is very great, and the mining industries, largely operated with foreign capital, are important. The mineral products include silver, lead, coal, copper, and iron. The mining operations are chiefly centred in the Sierra Mojada, Sierra Carmen, and in the Santa Rosa valley. The modern industrial development of the state is due to the railway lines constructed across it during the last quarter of the 19th century, and to the investment of foreign capital in local enterprises. The first Spanish settlement in the region now called Coahuila was at Saltillo in 1586, when it formed part of the province of Nueva Viscaya. Later it became the province of Nueva Estremadura under the Spanish régime, and in 1824, under the new republican organization, it became the state of Coahuila and included Texas and Nuevo León. Later in the same year Nuevo León was detached, but Texas remained a part of the state until 1835. The capital of the state is Saltillo; Monclova was the capital from 1833 to 1835. Among the more important towns are Parras (pop. 6476 in 1900), 98 m. W. by N. of Saltillo in a rich grape-producing district, Ciudad Porfirio Diaz, and Monclova (pop. 6684 in 1900), 105 m. N. by W. of Saltillo, on the Mexican International railway.

  1. The idea of “driving” was responsible for the use of the term “coach” and “coaching” to mean a tutor or trainer, for examinations or athletic contests.