Imatges de pągina

produced for her Suzanne, the spirituelle and fascinating soubrette, in which, by the author's confession, she far surpassed his own conceptions of that character. Her versatility of talent was displayed in the Coquette Corrigée, in Julie in the Dissipateur, in Mme. de Volmar (Mariage Secret), and in Mme. Evrard (Vieux Célibataire). Beauty, grace, vivacity, archness and ease were united with dignity, tenderness, delicacy and judgment. She restored to the stage the masterpieces of Molière, which had long been neglected by the public. After a theatrical career of 32 years, 24 of which were a continual series of triumphs, she retired from the stage in 1808, and became the centre of a brilliant circle of friends. Mme. de Parny was remarkable for her powers of conversation. She was lively or severe, grave or gay, as the occasion required; and her remarks were always characterized by sound and ingenious views, elegant taste, and varied information. A few weeks before her death, she threw into the fire a large collection of anecdotes and other writings, in prose and verse, from her pen, because they contained some strokes of personal satire. She died, in 1813, after five months of severe suffering from a cancer in the breast, during which she manifested the greatest firmness, and even maintained her usual cheerfulness and gayety of spirit. M. Arnault, from whom this account is borrowed, owed his liberty and life, in 1792, to her interference, at the risk of her own life.

CONTÉ, Nicolas Jacques, a painter and chemist, but particularly distinguished for the ingenuity of his mechanical contrivances, was born at St. Céneri, near Séez (department of Orne), in 1755, and died in 1805. His mechanical genius was displayed, at the age of 12 years, by the construction of a violin (which was used at several concerts), with no other instrument than a knife. At the age of 18, without having received any instructions, he executed several paintings for the hospital of Séez. This success did not prevent him from the cultivation of the physical and mathematical sciences. He went to Paris, and invented a hydraulic machine, which was mentioned with approbation by the academy of sciences. In 1793, he was appointed one of the committee for making experiments in regard to the decomposition of water by iron, instead of sulphuric acid; and his activity and skill on this commission occasioned his appointment of director of the aerostatic school at Meudon.

Conté sug

gested the idea of establishing a place of deposit for useful machines, tools, &c., in consequence of which the conservatory was instituted. He afterwards introduced the manufacture of an excellent kind of crayons into France, and established a great manufactory, which still supplies all France with them. He was appointed, in 1798, to accompany the French expedition to Egypt, and his services were of the greatest value. He constructed a furnace on the Pharos, near Alexandria, in the space of two days, for red-hot balls, with which the English were repelled, and thus time was given for fortifying that place. The machines and instruments of the army having fallen into the hands of the Arabs, Conte was obliged to furnish every thing, even the tools: he constructed wind-mills, machines for the mint at Cairo, for an Oriental printing establishment, for the fabrication of gunpowder, &c., and cannon founderies; manufactured steel, paper, swords for the soldiers, utensils for the hospitals, instruments for the engineers, telescopes for the astronomers, microscopes for the naturalists, drums, trumpets, in short, every thing necessary for such a military and scientific expedition in such a country as Egypt. On his return to France, he was appointed to superintend the execution of the great work on Egypt, and invented a graving machine, which, by performing certain parts of the labor, spared the artist much time and trouble. The death of his wife, to whom he was tenderly attached, threw him into a lingering disease, and he survived her but a short time. Conté was a member of the legion of honor. simplicity, integrity, courage, disinterestedness and warmth of affection rendered him no less amiable and estimable in private life, than his science and ingenuity made him valuable to the nation.


CONTEMPT. Legislative bodies and judicial tribunals are generally invested with power to protect themselves against interruption; and such a power is essential to enable them to conduct their business. They are usually empowered to commit persons to prison, or punish them otherwise, for disturbances and contempts. The constitution of the U. States expressly gives to the senate and house of representatives authority to punish their own members for contempts; and in the case of Anderson, in the 6th volume of Wheaton's reports, it is decided that the house of representatives has power to imprison other persons than its own members for breach of its privileges and contempt of

the house. Such a right, though not expressly given in the constitution, was considered as incidental to the establishment of a legislative body. So it has been considered and repeatedly decided in England, particularly in 1771, when Crosby, lord-mayor of London and a member of the house of commons, was committed to the Tower for the breach of the privileges of the house, and sir Francis Burdett again in 1811. A legislative body may punish one of its own members for disorderly behavior, as well as a bystander. Judicial tribunals have the same power. The French penal code, article 222, &c., provides, that, when any executive or julicial officer shall, during or on account of his official duties, be insulted, the person guilty of the outrage shall be punished by an imprisonment of not less than two months nor more than two years; unless the offence is committed in open court, in which case the imprisonment is not less than two nor more than five years. Blackstone says, in the 4th volume of his Commentaries, that process for contempt is "an inseparable attendant on every superior tribunal; and, accordingly, we find it actually exercised as far back as the annals of our law extend." This power has a much broader construction in England than in the U. States, being confined, in the latter country, mostly, at least, to cases of actual disturbance and flagrant disrespect to the court, or an attempt to influence a decision by popular appeals, or direct and high-handed or outrageous resistance to, or obstruction of, its proceedings or processes; whereas, in England, it extends to acts or omissions which do not directly disturb the judicial proceedings; such, for instance, as not paying a bill of costs awarded by the court; not obeying the summons of a court of equity, and not answering a bill; refusing to be sworn as a witness, which has also been held to be a contempt in the U. States. Serving a process on an attorney, while attending court, has been held to be a contempt of the court in England; likewise shouting, or giving applause, in court, on a return of a verdict by a jury. It was held, in New York, to be a contempt of the court to bring a suit in the name of another, without his consent. It is a contempt to endeavor, by writings or publications, to prejudice the public mind, or that of a jury, or the court, in a cause pending in court. This is not only an attack upon the public administration of justice, but also upon the right of the individual parties in the suit, since it would be in vain to provide, by law,


that no party shall be adjudged or condemned without a hearing, if practices are permitted which tend to deprive him of a fair hearing. The party may be charged with contempt, either on the view of the court, that is, without taking the testimony of witnesses, for misdemeanors committed in presence of the court, or on the testimony of witnesses; and he is always heard in his own defence, provided he observes decorum in making his defence. The process is necessarily summary, since the cases are generally such as require immediate interposition, and courts do not usually resort to it, except in palpable and flagrant cases. The punishment, assigned by the statutes of the U. States, and those of the separate states, for this offence, is generally fine or imprisonment.

CONTENT and NONCONTENT are the words by which assent and dissent are expressed in the house of lords. AYE and No are used in the house of commons.

CONTESSA, the elder and the younger; two German authors. The former, Christian James Salice Contessa, was born at Hirschberg, in Silesia, in 1767, and died in 1825: the latter, Charles William Salice Contessa, was born, Aug. 9, 1777, at Hirschberg, studied at Halle, and died at Berlin, June 2, 1825. He wrote tales and comedies. Von Houwald, likewise a German poet, published his works in 1826. Hoffmann has described Contessa's character in a masterly manner, under the name of Sylvester, in his Serapionsbrüder. The elder of the two brothers is unimportant as an author.

CONTI, Antonio Schinella, abbate; a Venetian patrician, born at Padua, in 1677, whose mathematical researches attracted the attention of Newton. He had given up the clerical profession, because he disliked to hear confessions. He visited Paris, and, in 1715, London, where he was elected a member of the royal society, on the proposition of Newton. Here he became involved in the controversy between Newton and Leibnitz, and, by attempting to avoid displeasing either of them, dissatisfied both. By chance, Conti came into possession of a manuscript, which contained Newton's system of chronology. From his hands it passed into those of Freret, who published it, with severe notes. Newton was much displeased with Conti's share in the transaction. Feeble health obliged Conti to return, in 1726, to the milder sky of his own country. He lived mostly in Venice, entirely devoted to his literary occupations, which

included poetry. Of the six volumes of his works, which he intended to publish, only the two first appeared (Venice, 1734, 4to.). The first contains a long poem (Il Globo di Venere), intended to illustrate the Platonic ideas of the beautiful. After Conti's death (Padua, 1749), four of his tragedies were published at Florence, in 1751 (Giunio Bruto, Cesare, Marco Bruto, and Druso), which did not establish his poetical reputation beyond all question. In all his works, abstract thinking prevails over poetic imagination. His language is powerful, but is accused of being tinctured with foreign idioms.-There are several other Contis famous in the learned world.

ciple that the flag protects the property was denied by the most powerful maritime nation, and still less was neutral property respected under a belligerent flag. The right of searching, not only neutral vessels sailing singly, but even fleets under public convoys, was introduced in the case of a Swedish merchant fleet, and followed up in respect to others, and the searching vessels were not bound, by the rule adopted in the British admiralty, to take the word of the officers commanding the convoy, that there were no contraband goods on board. A very wide latitude was also given to the term contraband. Not only arms and munitions of war were included as such, but also materials which might be used in their manufacture, or such as were necessary in naval and military equipments, especially where they were destined to a naval or military station of the belligerent enemy. The principle adopted was, that whatever might afford the enemy any direct assistance or facilities in his naval or military enterprises, was contraband of war. The principle of the right of confiscating articles of contraband, and, in some circumstances, the ship also, was carried to the extreme extent of the national law. On the right and extent of blockades, new doctrines, likewise, became prevalent. The old doctrine, that a naval blockade, in order to be valid, in respect to neutrals, must be maintained by an adequate force, so as to render ingress and egress imminently dangerous to neutral vessels, was never denied by the British admiralty; but then the novel practice was introduced, of declaring a whole coast in a state of blockade, and, by a pretty liberal construction as to the force requisite to maintain a valid blockade, and the danger of capture to which a neutral must be exposed, by an attempt to enter the places declared to be thus blockaded, the belligerent possessing the strongest naval force was enabled to interrupt the trade of a neutral with the enemy. These doctrines of blockade were finally carried to such a length, that England declared the whole coast of France and Holland to be in a state of blockade, while Napoleon, in retaliation, declared the whole of Great Britain to be in a state of blockade, though he had not a vessel to enforce the blockade. This subject of contraband of war was violently contested, as long ago as 1780; and it was maintained, by the European powers who joined the armed neutrality of that time, that the flag should cover the property, and that the neutral had the right, during war, to carry on a

CONTI. (See Bourbon.) CONTINENTAL SYSTEM was a plan devised by Napoleon to exclude England from all intercourse with the continent of Europe. All importation of English manufactures and produce, as well as all other intercourse with Great Britain, was prohibited, for the purpose of compelling England to make peace upon the terms prescribed by the French emperor, and to acknowledge the navigation law established at the peace of Utrecht. For a long period, a violent conflict had been carried on between the maritime powers, concerning the rights of neutral flags, which involved the following points:-1. Does the neutral flag protect enemies' property, or not? 2. Is neutral property subject to confiscation under an enemy's flag, or not? 3. How far does the right of belligerent powers extend to search neutral vessels sailing with or without convoy? 4. What is contraband of war at sea, and what are the rights of the captors in respect to it? 5. How far does the right extend to declare places in a state of blockade? and, finally, 6. Have neutrals the right to carry on a trade, in time of war, from which they were prohibited, in time of peace, with one belligerent, without disturbance from the other? or may neutrals carry on trade between a belligerent power and its colonies, during a war, either directly or circuitously, from which they were excluded in time of peace? On all these questions, the interest and policy of Great Britain were at variance with those of neutral nations, and induced her to urge belligerent pretensions, to which they were not willing to submit. This opposition to the previously acknowledged rights of neutrals was not, however, confined to Great Britain; France, likewise, adopted it, and other maritime powers did the same, whenever they were strong enough to maintain their pretensions. The prin


trade between either belligerent and its colonies, by permission of such belligerent, without any interference on the part of the other belligerent, although such trade was not allowed in time of peace. The principles of blockade and contraband gave Great Britain a great preponderance, on account of its maritime superiority; and the question naturally occurs, whether this preponderance is so dangerous as to call for the united efforts of nations to modify the principles of national law on these subjects, or, at least, to resist the construction put upon them by Great Britain. On examination, it will appear that the pretensions of Great Britain, whether well or ill founded, do not immediately threaten the independence of other nations, but only injure their commerce in time of It increased the price of some articles of luxury, in Europe, during the late wars from 1802 to 1812, but could not endanger the political independence of nations; could not, like the preponderance of a continental power, extinguish states, and enslave Europe. The continental nations suffered these evils only in time of war; for, in time of peace, England never has used oppressive measures against the commerce of other countries; and even in time of war, this reproach was most strongly made against her by those who judged of a maritime war solely by the rules established by the laws of nations to regulate wars on shore. But the rules adapted to the one cannot properly be extended to the other. Thus it is a general rule, acknowledged, at least, if not always acted upon, that the private property of the enemy shall be spared. If these rules were extended to maritime war, as France maintained they should be, the war would, in most instances, be entirely illusory. How, for example, could England, in a maritime war against France, after having taken her few colonies, and destroyed her fleets, do her any further injury, if private property were, in all instances, to be respected? If, in such a case, the seizure of private, as well as national property, be not permitted, the war would be at an end. For the same reasons, the neutral flag, during a maritime war, cannot be unconditionally respected, as in time of peace. Were this the case, the flag of the weaker belligerent power would disappear from the seas, whilst neutrals would carry on its trade undisturbedly, un er their flags; and how could deceptions ever be detected? The neutrals, themselves, allow that they have no right to render either belligerent direct

assistance in the war; and yet, if their flag were to protect all property, it would be impossible to prevent neutrals from rendering such assistance, and, in fact, taking a disguised part in the war. The history of the continental system begins with the famous decree of Berlin of Nov. 21, 1806, by which the British islands were declared to be in a state of blockade; all commerce, intercourse and correspondence were prohibited; every Englishman found in France, or a country occupied by French troops, was declared a prisoner of war; all property belonging to Englishmen, fair prize, and all trade in English goods entirely prohibited. No vessel coming direct ly from England or English colonies, or which had been there since the publication of the edict, was to be admitted into any harbor, and all vessels attempting to avoid this edict by false declarations were to be confiscated, with all their goods, as English. The reasons assigned for this decree were, that England did not acknowledge the international law, accepted by civilized nations, but treated every individual belonging to the country of the enemy as if found in arms; made even the crews of merchantmen prisoners of war; extended the right of conquest over merchantmen and private property, and the right of blockade over places and harbors not fortified; over the mouths of rivers; nay, over whole coasts and countries. But many of these measures had always been taken, in maritime wars, even by France herself, as long as she had the means. One great reason for this and all the subsequent decrees of Napoleon was, that he considered England his inveterate enemy, and the enemy of the political doctrines which took their rise from the revolution. He often used to say, "Je ne fais pas ce que je veux, mais ce que je peux. Ces Anglais me forcent à vivre au jour le jour." England immediately directed reprisals against the Berlin decree, first by an order in council of Jan. 7, 1807, by which all neutral vessels were prohibited to sail from one port to another belonging to France, or one of her allies, or to a nation so much under her control that English vessels could not freely have intercourse with it. Every neutral vessel which should violate this order was to be confiscated, with her cargo. A second decree of Nov. 11, 1807, was much more oppressive to commerce. By this, all harbors and places of France and her allies, in Europe and the colonies, as likewise every country with which England was at war, and from which the English flag

was excluded, were subjected to the same restrictions as if they were closely blockaded; all commerce in the manufactures and productions of such countries was prohibited, and vessels engaged in such commerce were to be confiscated, as also all those vessels whose certificates showed that they were built in the enemy's country. Another order in council declared the sale of vessels, by the enemy, to neutrals, unlawful, and the intended transfer of property void. Hardly were these orders promulgated, when France made counter reprisals. By a decree of Milan of Dec. 17, 1807, aggravated by a decree of the Tuileries, Jan. 11, 1808, every vessel, of whatsoever flag, which had been searched by an English vessel, and consented to be sent to England, or had paid any duty whatever to England, was to be declared denationalized, and to have become British property; and in every case, such denationalized vessel, as also those which had broken the blockade declared against the Ionian islands, or had sailed from an English harbor or English colony, or those of a country occupied by the English, or which were destined to any such ports, were declared good prize. In order the more effectually to annihilate the English commerce, the tariff of Trianon, respecting colonial goods, was proclaimed Aug. 3, 1810. This was extended by another decree of Sept. 12 of the same year, and both were followed by the decree of Fontainebleau, Oct. 18 of the same year, directing the burning of all English goods. These decrees were to be executed, with more or fewer modifications, in all countries connected with France. The consequence was, that the price of colonial goods rose enormously; a regular smuggling trade was carried on at different points; for instance, at Heligoland, which was sometimes so crowded with persons concerned in this business, that a ducat was paid for a barrel to sleep in; thousands of substitutes for colonial goods, particularly for coffee and sugar, were invented (which presented the remarkable psychological fact, that people would drink the decoction of any stuff, which resembled coffee in color, if it had not the slightest resemblance in taste; so powerful is imagination), and a variety of manufactures grew up on the continent, which were the germs of very extensive and flourishing branches of industry.-As the holy alliance (a league as obnoxious as its name is arrogant) is composed of European continental powers, and as a chief object of this coalition is the destruction of

liberal institutions by the exercise of the droit d'intervention armée (see Congress, towards the end), a policy very different from that of the English, when Canning was at the head of foreign affairs, this continental policy has sometimes been called the continental system.

CONTINGENT; the name often given to the quota of troops which is to be furnished by each member of a number of states composing a confederation. By the terms of the confederation of the Rhine, each of the states of which it consisted was to furnish 1 man for every 150 inhabitants. The proportion has been increased in the German confederation, and amounts, at the lowest rate (the simplum), to 1 man for every 100 souls. The whole confederation amounting to 30,095,054, the army of the confederates, at the lowest ratio, called simplum, contains over 300,000 troops, divided into 10 corps d'armée, of which Prussia and Austria furnish each 3, Bavaria 1, and the remaining states 3. The quotas of men and money were assigned for a term of 5 years, according to the population of the different states at the time when the union was formed, and remain unaltered to the present time. Such an army has never yet been called together, and, should it ever be, the German confederation, in this case, would show how impotent and fragile is its whole constitution.

CONTORNIATI; ancient medals which have occupied the attention of antiquarians for a long time, and, on account of their rarity, are highly esteemed in cabinets. They are formed of a thin plate of metal (not of two different sorts, as is often supposed), with a flat impression. They differ from other ancient coins, by having a furrow upon both their sides, where the others have a wreath of pearls. These hollowed lines (in Italian, contorno) may have occasioned their name. Another characteristic of genuine contorniati is a cipher composed of the letters EP or PE, of which no satisfactory explanation has, as yet, been discovered, together with numerous impressed characters, and a great number of palm branches, the cavities of which are often filled with silver. They are also added by a second hand, and thereby are essentially distinguished from the monograms, so called in the language of the mint. They resemble the signa incusa (contremarques) on the Roman medals. All the contorniati are of bronze, and equal in size to the large bronze coins called medaglioncini by the Italian collectors. Their form is various, their work

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