SCRUTIN DE LISTE (Fr. scrutin, voting by ballot, and liste, a list), a system of election of national representatives by which the electors of a department vote for all the deputies to be elected in that department (compare the “general ticket” in the United States). It is distinguished from the scrutin d’arrondissement, under which the electors in each arrondissement vote only for the deputy to be elected in it. See Representation.
SCRUTINY (Fr. scrutin, Late Lat. scrutinium, from scrutari, to search or examine thoroughly), careful examination or inquiry. The word is specifically applied in the early church to the examination of the catechumens or those under instruction in the faith. They were taught the creed and the Lord’s Prayer, examined therein, and exorcised prior to baptism. The days of scrutiny varied at different periods from three to seven. From about the beginning of the 12th century, when it became usual to baptize infants soon after their birth instead of at stated times (Easter and Pentecost), the ceremony of scrutiny was incorporated with that of the actual baptism. Scrutiny is also a term applied to a method of electing a pope in the Roman Catholic church, in contradistinction to two other methods, acclamation and accession. (See Conclave.) In the law of elections, scrutiny is the careful examination of votes cast after the unsuccessful candidate has lodged a petition claiming the seat, and alleging that he has the majority of legal votes. Each vote is dealt with separately, notice being given beforehand by one party to the other of the votes objected to and the grounds of objection.
SCUDÉRY, the name of a family said to have been of noble Italian origin and to have transferred itself to Provence, but only known by the singular brother and sister who represented it during the 17th century.
Georges de Scudéry (1601–1667), the elder of the pair, was born at Havre, whither his father had moved from Provence, on the 22nd of August 1601. He served in the army for some time, and, though in the vein of gasconading which was almost peculiar to him he no doubt exaggerated his services, there seems little doubt that he was a stout soldier. But he conceived a fancy for literature before he was thirty, and during the whole of the middle of the century he was one of the most characteristic figures of Paris. He gained the favour of Richelieu by his opposition to Corneille. He wrote a letter to the Academy criticizing the Cid, and his play, L’Amour tyrannique (1640), was patronized by the cardinal in opposition to Corneille. Possibly these circumstances had something to do with his appointment as governor of the fortress of Notre-Dame de la Garde, near Marseilles in 1643, and in 1650 he was elected to the Academy. During the troubles of the Fronde he was exiled to Normandy, where he made his fortune by a rich marriage. He was an industrious dramatist, but L’Amour tyrannique is practically the only piece among his numerous tragi-comedies and pastorals that has escaped oblivion. His other most famous work was the epic of Alaric (1655). He lent his name to his sister’s first romances, but did little beyond correcting the proofs. He died at Paris on the 14th of May 1667. Scudéry’s swashbuckler affectations have been rather exaggerated by literary gossip and tradition. Although possibly not quite sane, he had some poetical power, a fervent love of literature, a high sense of honour and of friendship.
His sister Madeleine (1607–1701), born also at Havre on the 15th of November 1607, was a writer of much more ability and of a much better regulated character. She was very plain and had no fortune, but her abilities were great and she was very well educated. Establishing herself at Paris with her brother, she was at once admitted to the Rambouillet coterie, afterwards established a salon of her own under the title of the Société du samedi, and for the last half of the 17th century, under the pseudonym of “Sapho” or her own name, was acknowledged as the first blue-stocking of France and of the world. She formed with Pellisson a close friendship only terminated by his death in 1693. Her lengthy novels, such as Artaméne, ou Le Grand Cyrus (10 vols. 1648–1653), Clélie (10 vols. 1654–1661), Ibrahim, ou Villustre Bassa (4 vols. 1641), Almahide, ou Vesclave reine (8 vols. 1661–1663) were the delight of all Europe, including persons of the wit and sense of Madame de Sévigné. But neither in conception nor in execution will they bear criticism as wholes. With classical or Oriental personages for nominal heroes and heroines, the whole language and action are taken from the fashionable ideas of the time, and the personages can be identified either really or colour ably with Mademoiselle de Scudéry’s contemporaries. In Clélie, Herminius represents Paul Pellisson; Scaurus and Lyriane were Paul Scarron and his wife (afterwards Mme de Maintenon); and in the description of Sapho in vol. x. of Le Grand Cyrus the author paints herself. It is in Clélie that the famous Carte de Tendre appeared, a description of an Arcadia, where the river of Inclination waters the villages of Billet Doux, Petits Soins and so forth. The interminable length of the stories is made out by endless conversations and, as far as incidents go, chiefly by successive abductions of the heroines, conceived and related in the most decorous spirit, for Mademoiselle de Scudéry is nothing if not decorous. Nevertheless, although the books can hardly now be read through, it is still possible to perceive their attraction for a period which certainly did not lack wit. In that early day of the novel prolixity did not repel. “Sapho” had really studied mankind in her contemporaries and knew how to analyse and describe their characters with fidelity and point. Moreover her novels had the interest always attaching to the roman à clef. She was a real mistress of conversation, a thing quite new to the age as far as literature was concerned, and proportionately welcome. She had a distinct vocation as a pedagogue, and is compared by Sainte-Beuve to Mme de Genlis. She could moralize-a favourite employment of the time-with sense and propriety. Though she was incapable of the exquisite prose of Mme de Sévigné and some other of her contemporaries, her purely literary merits were considerable. Madeleine survived her brother more than thirty years, and in her later days published numerous volumes of conversations, to a great extent extracted from her novels, thus forming a kind of anthology of her work. She outlived her vogue to some extent, but retained a circle of friends to whom she was always the “incomparable Sapho.” She died in Paris on the 2nd of June 1701.
SCULL (the same word as “skull” cf. Swed. skål, basin, hufvud-skål, skull of the head), a light oar with blade more concave than the ordinary racing oar and with shorter hehn, thus allowing the user to hold one in each hand. “Sculling” is therefore the propulsion of a boat by one person with a pair of sculls. The word is also applied to the propulsion of a boat by one scull worked over the stern, the blade being swept through the water from side to side, turning diagonally at each stroke; the sculler usually stands. The principles of sculling with a pair of sculls are the same as those of rowing (q.v.). For the type of boat used in racing see Boat. The Wingfield Sculls, a race which forms the English Amateur championship, was instituted in 1830. It is rowed from Putney to Mortlake. The Diamond Challenge Sculls, instituted in 1844, are rowed for at Henley Regatta. The earliest professional championship sculling race was rowed on the Thames in 1831. Since 1876, when an Australian (E. Trickett, of Sydney) beat J. H. Sadler, the professional championship of the world has been held by Australians or Canadians; the principal champions have been E. Hanlan (Toronto), 1880–1884, W. Beach (New South Wales), 1884–1887; other names are H. E. Searle, J. Stanbury, G. Towns and R. Arnst (New Zealand). Most of the races have been rowed on the Paramatta river. In August 1910 the race was rowed on the Zambezi between E. Barry of England and Arnst, the latter winning.
SCULLERY, a back-kitchen, the place where dishes, plates, kettles, &c., are washed and cleaned, and the rough work connected with the domestic service of a house is performed. The Med.