Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 915 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DECORATED PERIOD, in architecture, the term given by Richman to the second pointed or Gothic style, 1307-1377. It is characterized by its window tracery, geometrical at first and flowing in the later period, owing to the omission of the circles in the tracery of windows, which led to the juxtaposition of the foliations and their pronounced curves of contre-flexure. This flowing or flamboyant tracery was introduced in the first quarter of the century and lasted about fifty years. The arches are generally equilateral, and the mouldings bolder than in the Early English, with less depth in the hollows and with the fillet largely used. The ball flower and a four-leaved flower take the place of the dog-tooth, and the foliage in the capitals is less conventional than in Early English and more flowing, and the diaper patterns in walls are more varied. The principal examples are those of the east end of Lincoln and Carlisle cathedral; the west fronts of York and Lichfield; the crossing of Ely cathedral, including the lantern and three west bays of choir and the Lady Chapel; and Melrose Abbey. (R. P. S.) DE COSTA, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (1831-1904), American clergyman and historical writer, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on the loth of July 1831. He graduated in 1856 at the Biblical Institute at Concord, New Hampshire (now a part of Boston University), became a minister in the Episcopal Church in 1857, and during the next three years was a rector first at North Adams, and then at Newton Lower Falls, Mass. After serving as chaplain in two Massachusetts regiments during the first two years of the Civil War, he became editor (1863) of The Christian Times in New York, and subsequently edited The Episcopalian and The Magazine of American History. He was rector of the church of St John the Evangelist in New York city from 1881 to 1899, when he resigned in consequence of being converted to Roman Catholicism. He was one of the organizers and long the secretary of the Church Temperance Society, and founded and was the first president (1884–1899) of the American branch of the White Cross Society. He became a high authority on early American cartography and the history of the period of exploration. He died in New York city on the 4th of November 1904. In addition to numerous monographs and valuable contributions to Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, he published The Pre-Columbian Discovery of America by the Northmen (1868) ; The Northmen in Maine (187o) ; The Moabite Slone (1871); The Rector of Roxburgh (1871), a novel under the nom de plume of " William Hickling "; and Verrazano the Explorer; being a Vindication of his Letter and Voyage (188o). DE COSTER, CHARLES THEODORE HENRI (1827–1879), Belgian writer, was born at Munich on the loth of August 1827. His father, Augustin de Coster, was a native of Liege, who was attached to the household of the papal nuncio at Munich, but soon returned to Belgium. Charles was placed in a Brussels bank, but in 185o he entered the university of Brussels, where he completed his studies in 1855. He was one of the founders of the Societe des Joyeux, a small literary club, more than one member of which was to achieve literary distinction. De Coster made his debut as a poet in the Revue trimestrielle, founded in 1854, and his first efforts in prose were contributed to a periodical entitled Uylenspiegel (founded r856). A correspondence covering the years 1850-1858, his Lettres d Elisa, were edited by Ch. Potvin in 1894. He was a keen student of Rabelais and Montaigne, and familiarized himself with 16th-century French. He said that Flemish manners and speech could not be rendered faithfully in modern French, and accordingly wrote his best works in the old tongue. The success of his Legendes flamandes (1857) was increased by the illustrations of Felicien Rops and other friends. In 1861 he published his Conies brabancons, in modern French. His masterpiece is his Legende de Thy/ Uylenspiegel et de Lamme Goedzak (1867), a. 16th-century romance, in which Belgian patriotism found its fullest expression. In the preparation for this prose epic of the gueux he spent some tenyears. Uylenspiegel (Eulenspiegel) has been compared to Don Quixote, and even to Panurge. He is the type of the 16th-century Fleming, and the history of his resurrection from the grave itself was accepted as an allegory of the destiny of the race. The exploits of himself and his friend form the thread of a semi-historical narrative, full of racy humour, in spite of the barbarities that find a place in it. This book also was illustrated by Rops and others. In 187o De Coster became professor of general history and of French literature at the military school. His works however were not financially profitable ; in spite of his government employment he was always in difficulties; and he died in much discouragement on the 7th of May 1879 at Ixelles, Brussels. The expensive form in which Uylenspiegel was produced made it open only to a limited class of readers, and when a new and cheap edition in modern French appeared in 1893 it was received practically as a new book in France and Belgium.

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