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GRETRY

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 583 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GRETRY, ANDR$ ERNEST MODESTE (1741–1813), French composer, was born at Liege on the 8th of February 1741, his father being a poor musician. He was a choir boy at the church of St Denis. In 1753 he became a pupil of Leclerc and later of Renekin and Moreau. But of greater importance was the practical tuition he received by attending the performance of an Italian opera company. Here he heard the operas of Galuppi, Pergolesi and other masters; and the desire of completing his own studies in Italy was the immediate result. To find the necessary means he composed in 1759 a mass which he dedicated to the canons of the Liege cathedral, and it was at the cost of Canon Hurley that he went to Italy in the March of 1759. In Rome he went to the College de Liege. Here Gretry resided for five years, studiously employed in completing his musical education under Casali. His proficiency in harmony and counter-point was, however, according to his own confession, at all times very moderate. His first great success was achieved by La Vendemmiatrice, an Italian intermezzo or operetta, composed for the Aliberti theatre in Rome and received with universal statesman and jurist, was born near Lanesville, Harrison county, Indiana, on the 17th of March 1832. He spent two years in an academy at Corydon, Indiana, and one year at the Indiana State University at Bloomington, then studied law, and in 1854 was admitted to the bar. He was active as a campaign speaker for the Republican ticket in 1856, and in 186o was elected to the State House of Representatives as a Republican in a strong Democratic district. In the House, as chairman of the committee on military affairs, he did much to prepare the Indiana troops for service in the Federal army; in 1861 he became colonel of the 53rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and subsequently took part in Grant's Tennessee campaign of 1862, and in the operations against Corinth and Vicksburg, where he commanded a brigade. In August 1863 he was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers, and was placed in command of the Federal forces at Natchez. In 1864 he commanded a division of the 17th Army Corps in Sherman's Atlanta campaign, and before Atlanta, on the loth of July, he received a wound which forced him to retire from active service, and left him lame for life. In 1865 he was brevetted major-general of volunteers. After the war he practised law at New Albany, Indiana, and in 1869 was appointed by President Grant United States District Judge for Indiana. In April 1883 he succeeded Timothy O. Howe. (1816–1883) as postmaster-general in President Arthur's cabinet, taking an active part in the suppression of the Louisiana Lottery, and in September 1884 succeeded Charles J. Folger as secretary of the treasury. In the following month he resigned to accept an appointment as United States Judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit., Gresham was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. in 1884 and 1888, in the latter year leading for some time in the balloting. Gradually, however, he grew out of sympathy with the Republican leaders and policy, and in 1892 advocated the election of the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, for the presidency. From the 7th of March 1893 until his death at Washington on the 28th of May 1895, he was secretary of state in President Cleveland's cabinet. GRESHAM'S LAW, in economics, the name suggested in 18J7 by H. D. Macleod for the principle of currency which may be briefly summarized—" bad money drives out good." Macleod gave it this name, which has been universally adopted, under the impression that the principle was first explained by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1558. In reality it had been well set forth by earlier economic writers, notably Oresme and Copernicus. Macleod states the law in these terms: the worst form of currency in circulation regulates the value of the whole currency and drives all other forms of currency out of circulation. Gresham's law applies where there is under-weight or debased coin in circulation with full-weight coin of the same metal; where there are two metals in circulation, and one is undervalued as compared with the other, and where inconvertible paper money is put into circulation side by side with a metallic currency. See further BIMETALLISM; MONEY.
End of Article: GRETRY
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JEAN BAPTISTE GREUZE (1725-1805)

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