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COLLATION (Lat. collatio, from confer...

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 686 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COLLATION (Lat. collatio, from conferre, to bring together or compare), the bringing together of things for the special purpose of comparison, and thus, particularly, the critical examination of the texts of documents or MSS. and the result of such comparison. The word is also a term in printing and bookbinding for the register of the " signatures," the number of quires and leaves in each quire of a book or MS. In Roman and Scots law " collation " answers to the English law term "hotch-pot" (q.v.). From another meaning of the Latin word, a consultation or conference, and so a treatise or homily, comes the title of a work of Johannes Cassianus (q.v.), the Conferences of the Fathers (Collationes Patrum). Readings from this and similar works were customary in monasteries; by the regula of St Benedict it is ordered that on rising from supper there should be read collationes, passages from the lives of the Fathers and other edifying works; the word is then applied to the discussions arising from such readings. On fast days it was usual in monasteries to have a very light meal after the Collatio, and hence the meal itself came to be called " collation," a meaning which survives in the modern use of the word for any light or quickly prepared repast. COLL$, CHARLES (1709–1783), French dramatist and song-writer, the son of a notary, was born at Paris in 1709. He was early interested in the rhymes of Jean Heguanier, then the most famous maker of couplets in Paris. From a notary's office Colle was transferred to that of M. de Neulan, the receiver-general of finance, and remained there for nearly twenty years. When about seventeen, however, he made the acquaintance of Alexis Piron, and afterwards, through Gallet (d. 1757), of Panard. The example of these three masters of the vaudeville, while determining his vocation, made him diffident; and for some time he composed nothing but amphigouris—verses whose merit was measured by their unintelligibility. The friendship of the younger Crebillon, however, diverted him from this by-way of art, and the establishment in 1729 of the famous "Caveau " gave him a field for the display of his fine talent for popular song. In 1739 the Society of the Caveau, which numbered among its members Helvetius, Charles Duclos, Pierre Joseph Bernard, called Gentil-Bernard, Jean Philippe Rameau, Alexis Piron, and the two Crebillons, was dissolved, and was not reconstituted till twenty years afterwards. His first and his best comedy, La Verite clans le vin, appeared in 1747. Meanwhile, the Regent Orleans, who was an excellent comic actor, particularly in representations of low life, and had been looking out for an author to write suitable parts for him, made Colle his reader. It was for the duke and his associates that Colle composed the greater part of his Theatre de societe. In 1763 Colle produced at the Theatre Francais Dupuis et Desronais, a successful sentimental comedy, which was followed in 1771 by La Veuve, which was a complete failure. In 1774 appeared La Partie de chasse de Henri Quatre (partly taken from Dodsley's King and the Miller of Mansfield), Colle's last and best play. From 1748 to 1772, besides these and a multitude of songs, Colle was writing his Journal, a curious collection of literary and personal strictures on his boon companions as well as on their enemies, on Piron as on Voltaire, on La Harpe as on Corneille. Colle died on the 3rd of November 1783. His lyrics are frank and jovial, though often licentious. The subjects are love and wine; occasionally, however, as in the famous lyric (1756) on the capture of Port Mahon, for which the author received a pension of 600 livres, the note of patriotism is struck with no unskilful hang, while in many others Colle shows himself possessed of considerable epigrammatic force. See also H. Bonhomme's edition (1868) of his Journal et Mimoires (1748–1772); Grimm's Correspondance; and C. A. Sainte-Beuve, Nouveaux lundis, vol. vii.
End of Article: COLLATION (Lat. collatio, from conferre, to bring together or compare)
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