Open main menu
This page has been validated.

the Council of Five Hundred, and had voted for the death of Louis XVI.; he had a seat in the tribunate; he belonged to the committees of public instruction, of general security, and of public safety. He was, nevertheless, suspected of moderate sentiments, and before the end of the Terror had become a marked man. His purely political career ended in 1802, when he was eliminated with others from the tribunate for his opposition to Napoleon. In 1801 he was one of the educational jury for the Seine; from 1803 to 1806 he was inspector-general of public instruction. He had allowed himself to be reconciled with Napoleon’s government, and Cyrus, represented in 1804, was written in his honour, but he was temporarily disgraced in 1806 for his Épître à Voltaire. In 1806 and 1807 he delivered a course of lectures at the Athénée on the language and literature of France from the earliest years; and in 1808 at the emperor’s request, he prepared his Tableau historique de l’état et du progrès de la littérature française depuis 1789 jusqu’à 1808, a book containing some good criticism, though marred by the violent prejudices of its author. He died on the 10th of January 1811. The list of his works includes hymns and national songs—among others, the famous Chant du départ; odes, Sur la mort de Mirabeau, Sur l’oligarchie de Robespierre, &c.; tragedies which never reached the stage, Brutus et Cassius, Philippe deux, Tibère; translations from Sophocles and Lessing, from Gray and Horace, from Tacitus and Aristotle; with elegies, dithyrambics and Ossianic rhapsodies. As a satirist he possessed great merit, though he sins from an excess of severity, and is sometimes malignant and unjust. He is the chief tragic poet of the revolutionary period, and as Camille Desmoulins expressed it, he decorated Melpomene with the tricolour cockade.

See the Œuvres complètes de Joseph Chénier (8 vols., Paris, 1823–1826), containing notices of the poet by Arnault and Daunou; Charles Labitte, Études litteraires (1846); Henri Welschinger, Le Théâtre révolutionnaire, 1789–1799 (1881); and A. Lieby, Étude sur le théâtre de Marie-Joseph Chénier (1902).

CHENILLE (from the Fr. chenille, a hairy caterpillar), a twisted velvet cord, woven so that the short outer threads stand out at right angles to the central cord, thus giving a resemblance to a caterpillar. Chenille is used as a trimming for dress and furniture.

CHENONCEAUX, a village of central France, in the department of Indre-et-Loire, on the right bank of the Cher, 20 m. E. by S. of Tours on the Orléans railway. Pop. (1906) 216. Chenonceaux owes its interest to its château (see Architecture: Renaissance Architecture in France), a building in the Renaissance style on the river Cher, to the left bank of which it is united by a two-storeyed gallery built upon five arches, and to the right by a drawbridge flanked by an isolated tower, part of an earlier building of the 15th century. Founded in 1515 by Thomas Bohier (d. 1523), financial minister in Normandy, the château was confiscated by Francis I. in 1535. Henry II. presented it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers, who on his death was forced to exchange it for Chaumont-sur-Loire by Catherine de’ Medici. The latter built the gallery which leads to the left bank of the Cher. Chenonceaux passed successively into the hands of Louise de Vaudémont, wife of Henry III., the house of Vendôme, and the family of Bourbon-Condé. In the 18th century it came into the possession of the farmer-general Claude Dupin (1684–1769), who entertained the most distinguished people in France within its walls. In 1864 it was sold to the chemist Théophile Pélouze, whose wife executed extensive restorations. It subsequently became the property of the Crédit Foncier, and again passed into private occupancy.

CHENOPODIUM, or Goose-foot, a genus of erect or prostrate herbs (natural order Chenopodiaceae), usually growing on the seashore or on waste or cultivated ground. The green angular stem is often striped with white or red, and, like the leaves, often more or less covered with mealy hairs. The leaves are entire, lobed or toothed, often more or less deltoid or triangular in shape. The minute flowers are bisexual, and borne in dense axillary or terminal clusters or spikes. The fruit is a membranous one-seeded utricle often enclosed by the persistent calyx. Ten species occur in Britain, one of which, C. Bonus-Henricus, Good King Henry, is cultivated as a pot-herb, in lieu of asparagus, under the name mercury, and all-good.

CHEOPS, in Herodotus, the name of the king who built the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Following on a period of good rule and prosperity under Rhampsinitus, Cheops closed the temples, abolished the sacrifices and made all the Egyptians labour for his monument, working in relays of 100,000 men every three months (see Pyramid). Proceeding from bad to worse, he sacrificed the honour of his daughter in order to obtain the money to complete his pyramid; and the princess built herself besides a small pyramid of the stones given to her by her lovers. Cheops reigned 50 years and was succeeded by his brother, Chephren, who reigned 56 years and built the second pyramid. During these two reigns the Egyptians suffered every kind of misery and the temples remained closed. Herodotus continues that in his own day the Egyptians were unwilling to name these oppressors and preferred to call the pyramids after a shepherd named Philition, who pastured his flocks in their neighbourhood. At length Mycerinus, son of Cheops and successor of Chephren, reopened the temples and, although he built the Third Pyramid, allowed the oppressed people to return to their proper occupations.

Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus are historical personages of the fourth Egyptian dynasty, in correct order, and they built the three pyramids attributed to them here. But they are wholly misplaced by Herodotus. Rhampsinitus, the predecessor of Cheops, appears to represent Rameses III. of the twentieth dynasty, and Mycerinus in Herodotus is but a few generations before Psammetichus, the founder of the twenty-sixth dynasty. Manetho correctly places the great Pyramid kings in Dynasty IV. In Egyptian the name of Cheops (Chemmis or Chembis in Diodorus Siculus, Suphis in Manetho) is spelt Hwfw (Khufu), but the pronunciation, in late times perhaps Khöouf, is uncertain. The Greeks and Romans generally accepted the view that Herodotus supplies of his character, and moralized on the uselessness of his stupendous work; but there is nothing else to prove that the Egyptians themselves execrated his memory. Modern writers rather dwell on the perfect organization demanded by his scheme, the training of a nation to combined labour, the level attained here by art and in the fitting of masonry, and finally the fact that the Great Pyramid was the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world and now alone of them survives. It seems that representations of deities, and indeed any representations at all, were rare upon the polished walls of the great monuments of the fourth dynasty, and Petrie thinks that he can trace a violent religious revolution with confiscation of endowments at this time in the temple remains at Abydos; but none the less the wants of the deities were then attended to by priests selected from the royal family and the highest in the land. Khufu’s work in the temple of Bubastis is proved by a surviving fragment, and he is figured slaying his enemy at Sinai before the god Thoth. In late times the priests of Denderah claimed Khufu as a benefactor; he was reputed to have built temples to the gods near the Great Pyramids and Sphinx (where also a pyramid of his daughter Hentsen is spoken of), and there are incidental notices of him in the medical and religious literature. The funerary cult of Khufu and Khafrē was practised under the twenty-sixth dynasty, when so much that had fallen into disuse and been forgotten was revived. Khufu is a leading figure in an ancient Egyptian story (Papyrus Westcar), but it is unfortunately incomplete. He was the founder of the fourth dynasty, and was probably born in Middle Egypt near Beni Hasan, in a town afterwards known as “Khufu’s Nurse,” but was connected with the Memphite third dynasty. Two tablets at the mines of Wadi Maghara in the peninsula of Sinai, a granite block from Bubastis, and a beautiful ivory statuette found by Petrie in the temple at Abydos, are almost all that can be definitely assigned to Khufu outside the pyramid at Giza and its ruined accompaniments. His date, according to Petrie, is 3969–3908 B.C., but in the shorter chronology of Meyer, Breasted and others he reigned (23 years) about a thousand years later, c. 2900 B.C.