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June 13, 1941

Anonymous Gift


CRANTARA (Gaelic, crean tarigh); the cross of shame, because, says sir Walter Scott, in his note on the passage of the Lady of the Lake (canto 3), in which he has made such a fine use of it, disobedience to what the symbol implied, inferred infamy. The Highlanders of Scotland appear to have borrowed it from the ancient Scandinavians, of the use of it anong whom, for rousing the people to ars, Olaus Magnus gives a particular count. As late as the insurrection in 1745, the crantara, or fiery cross, was cir*;lated in Scotland, and, on one occasion, it passed through the district of Breadalbane, a tract of 32 miles, in three hours. After Charles Edward had marched into England, two of the king's frigates threatened the coast with a descent. The crantara was sent through the district of Appine by Alexander Stuart of Invernahyle (who related the circumstance to sir Walter Scott), and, in a few hours, a sufficient force was collected to render the attempt of the English hopeless.

CRAPE; a light, transparent stuff, like gauze, made of raw silk, gummed and twisted on the mill, woven without crossing, and much used in mourning. Crapes are either craped (i. e., crisped) or smooth. The silk destined for the first is more twisted than that for the second, it being the greater or less degree of twisting, especially of the warp, which produces the crisping given to it, when taken out of the loom, steeped in clear water, and rubbed with a piece of wax for the purpose. Crapes are all dyed raw. This stuff came originally from Bologna; but, till of late years, Lyons is said to have had the chief manufacture of it. It is now manufactured in various parts of Great Britain. The

crape brought from China is of a more substantial fabric.

CRAPELET; father and son; two printers. The father, Charles, born at Bourmont, Nov. 13, 1762, established his printingoffice in 1789, and died Oct. 19, 1809. He might be called the French Baskerville. Like this printer, he endeavored to unite the greatest simplicity with elegance, to deliver the art of printing from the heterogeneous ornaments with which it was so overloaded, particularly in France, and from which even Didot could not entirely free himself; but he surpassed his model in the form of his types and the regularity of his work. His editions are no less correct than neat and beautiful. He has also been successful in printing on parchment, and has shown his skill by producing an impression in gold (13 copies of Audebert's Oiseaux dorés, Paris, 1802, 2 vols., folio).—A. G. Crapelet has extended his father's business, and has even excelled him in elegance. His Lafontaine (1814), Montesquieu (1816), Rousseau and Voltaire (both 1819), are monuments of his taste; and the large vellum-paper copies are truly splendid works. The words "De l'imprimerie de Crapelet" are a great recommendation. Renouard has had all the editions published at his expense printed by Crapelet, who, in 1800, employed 22 presses.

CRASSUS. Two Romans of this name are here to be mentioned. 1. Lucius Licinius Crassus, who was made consul A. U. C. 658 (B. C. 96), and passed for the greatest orator of his time. He was distinguished for talent, presence of mind and integrity. 2. M. Licinius Crassus, surnamed Dives (the rich), so called, like many of his family, on account of his vast


riches. He possessed a fortune equal to $5,000,000. He once gave an entertainment to the whole people, in which 10,000 tables were set, and, besides this, distributed corn enough to last each family three months. In the years of Rome 683 and 698, he was a colleague of Pompey, in the consulship, and, in 688, censor. As he was one of the most influential men in Rome, and very ambitious, his friendship was sought by Cæsar, who formed, with him and Pompey, the famous triumvirate. He perished, with a great part of his army, in an expedition against the Parthians, undertaken from motives of avarice and ambition, B. C. 53.

CRATER. (See Volcano.)

CRAVAT; an unhealthy, uncomfortable, unbecoming article of European and American dress. The ancients were unacquainted with this ridiculous and injurious style of bundling up the neck. They left unconfined that important region of the body, through which so many vessels pass, and in which are situated so many organs, which will endure no constraint with impunity. In some cases, indeed, they defended themselves from the cold by a woollen, cotton or silk band, called, in Latin, focale, from fauces, throat. But no one could venture to use this contrivance publicly, unless he was sick; in which case he might cover his head, and the upper part of the shoulders, and even wear breeches (q. v.), without disgrace. “ Palliolum, sicut fascias et focalia," says Quinctilian, "sola excusare potest valetudo.” It was allowable, indeed, to cover the neck with the toga in bad weather, or to hold the hand over it, for the preservation or restoration of the natural temperature. The Poles never wear any thing round the neck, notwithstanding the severity of their winters. The same custom prevails among the Orientals, by whom a white, round neck is compared to the beauty of an ivory tower. The bare neck gradually became unfashionable in Europe. It was at first surrounded, but not constrained, by a starched band of fine linen, on the upper edge of the shirt, falling back naturally upon the bust, where it was fastened by a small cord. This was the origin of all the different species of collars since used-the innocent parent of those thick, hot folds, in which the neck was destined to be afterwards muffled. Ruffs, stiffened or plaited, single or in many rows, an inconvenient, indeed, but not a dangerous ornament, had their turn, and lasted as long as short hair was in fashion. They were abandoned, when Louis XIII allow

ed his hair to grow: then standing collars, embroidered and pinked, the plaited collarettes, the neck-band, plain or laced and pointed, encompassed the neck chin-deep; and, when Louis XIV adopted those enormous periwigs, which hardly left the throat visible, all these splendid envelopes gave way to ribands, tied in brilliant bows. Next came the epoch of the dangerous subjection of the neck to constriction and compression, from which it had hitherto been exempt. In 1660, a foreign regiment arrived in France, composed of Croats, in whose singular costume one thing was generally admired and imitated. It was a bandage about the neck, consisting of common stuff for the soldiers, and of muslin or silk for the officers. The ends were disposed in a bow, or garnished with a tuft or a tassel, and hung not ungracefully over the breast. This new article of dress was at first called a croate, and afterwards, by corruption, a cravat. The military and the rich, at that time, wore very fine cravats, with the border embroidered, or edged with broad lace. Those of the soldiers consisted of a scrap of cloth, of cotton, or, at the best, of black, plaited taffeta, bound round the neck by two small cords. Afterwards, the place of these cords was supplied by clasps or a buckle, and then cravats took the name of stocks. Under Louis XVI, the stocks yielded to the cravats à la chancelière. The last flourished but for a moment: the revolution came, and with it disappeared cravats, and even tight breeches. Soon after this epoch (1796), the cravat recovered its popularity, and increased to an incredible degree of extravagance. Some persons enveloped the neck with whole pieces of muslin; others, with a padded cushion, on which were wrapped numerous folds. In this way, the neck was puffed out so as to be larger than the head, with which it was imperceptibly confounded. The shirt-collar arose above the ears, and the upper edge of the cravat buried up the chin and the mouth nose-deep; so that the visage, bristling on either side with a grove of bushy whis kers, and its upper regions ensconced to the eyes by the hair flattened down over the brows, absolutely showed nothing except the nose, projecting in all its plenitude. The exquisites thus cravatted resembled any thing rather than men, and afforded excellent subjects for caricatures. If they wished to look any way except straight forward, they were obliged to turn the whole trunk, with which the neck and head formed but one piece. It was im

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