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SIR JAMES [Giacomo] LACAITA (1813-1895)

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 36 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR JAMES [Giacomo] LACAITA (1813-1895), Anglo-Italian politician and writer. Born at Manduria in southern Italy, he practised law in Naples, and having come in contact with a number of prominent Englishmen and Americans in that city, he acquired a desire to study the English language. Although a moderate Liberal in politics, he never joined any secret society, but in 1851 after the restoration of Bourbon autocracy he was arrested for having supplied Gladstone with Information on Bourbon misrule. Through the intervention of the British and Russian ministers he was liberated, but on the publication of Gladstone's famous letters to Lord Aberdeen he was obliged to leave Naples. He first settled in Edinburgh, where he married Maria Carmichael, and then in London where he made numerous friends in literary and political circles, and was professor of Italian at Queen's College from 1853 to r856. In the latter year he accompanied Lord Minto to Italy, on which occasion he first met Cavour. From 1857 to 1863 he was private secretary (non-political) to Lord Lansdowne, and in 1858 he accompanied Gladstone to the Ionian Islands as secretary, for which services he was made a K.C.M.G. the following year. In 186o Francis II. of Naples had implored Napoleon III. to send a squadron to prevent Garibaldi from crossing over from Sicily to Calabria; the emperor expressed himself willing to do so provided Great Britain co-operated, and Lord John Russell was at first inclined to agree. At this juncture Cavour, having heard of the scheme, entrusted Lacaita, at the suggestion of Sir James Hudson, the British minister at Turin, with the task of inducing Russell to refuse co-operation. Lacaita, who was an intimate friend both of Russell and his wife, succeeded, with the help of the latter, in winning over the British statesman just as he was about to accept the Franco-Neapolitan proposal, which was in con-sequence abandoned. He returned to Naples late in 186o and the following year was elected member of parliament for Bitonto, although he had been naturalized a British subject in 1855. He took little part in parliamentary politics, but in 1876 was created senator. He was actively interested in a number of English companies operating in Italy, and was made one of the directors of the Italian Southern Railway Co. He had a wide circle of friends in many European countries and in America, including a number of the most famous men in politics and literature. He died in 1895 at Posilipo near Naples. An authority on Dante, he gave many lectures on Italian literature and history while in England; and among his writings may be mentioned a large number of articles on Italian subjects in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1857-186o), and an edition of Benvenuto da Imola's Latin lectures on Dante delivered in 1375; he co-operated with Lord Vernon in the latter's great edition of Dante's Inferno (London, 1858-1865), and he compiled a catalogue in four volumes of the duke of Devonshire's library at Chatsworth (London, 1879). LA CALLE, a seaport of Algeria, in the arrondissement of Bona, department of Constantine, 56 m. by rail E. of Bona and to m. W. of the Tunisian frontier. It is the centre of the Algerian and Tunisian coral fisheries and has an extensive industry in the curing of sardines; but the harbour is small and exposed to the N.E. and W. winds. The old fortified town, now almost abandoned, is built on a rocky peninsula about 400 yds. long, connected with the mainland by a bank of sand. Since the occupation of La Calle by the French in 1836 a new town has grown up along the coast. Pop. (1906) of the town, 2774; of the commune, 4612. La Calle from the times of its earliest records in the loth century has been the residence of coral merchants. In the 16th century exclusive privileges of fishing for coral were granted by the dey of Algiers to the French, who first established themselves on a bay to the westward of La Calle, naming their settlement Bastion de France; many ruins still exist of this town. In 1677 they moved their headquarters to La Calle. The company—Compagnie d'Afrique—who owned the concession for the fishery was suppressed in 1798 on the outbreak of war between France and Algeria. In 18o6 the British consul-general at Algiers obtained the right to occupy Bona and La Calle for an annual rent of £it,000; but though the money was paid for several years no practical effect was given to the agreement. The French regained possession in 1817, were expelled during the wars of 1827, when La Calle was burnt, but returned and rebuilt the place in 1836. The boats engaged in the fishery were mainly Italian, but the imposition, during the last quarter of the r9th century, of heavy taxes on all save French boats drove the foreign vessels away. For some years the industry was abandoned, but was restarted on a small scale in 1903. See Abbe Poiret, Voyage en Barbarie . (Paris, 1789) ; E. Broughton, Six Years' Residence in Algiers (London, 1839) and Sir R. L. Playfair, Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce (London, 1877). LA CALPRENEDE, GAUTHIER DE COSTES, SEIGNEUR DE (c. 1610-1663), French novelist and dramatist, was born at the Chateau of Tolgou, near Sarlat (Dordogne), in 1609 or 161o. After studying at Toulouse, he came to Paris and entered the regiment of the guards, becoming in 165o gentleman-in-ordinary of the royal household. He died in 1663 in consequence of a kick from his horse. He was the author of several long heroic romances ridiculed by Boileau. They are: Cassandre (to vols., 1642–1650) ; Cleopatre (1648) ; Faramond (1661) ; and Les Nouvelles, ou les Divertissements de la princesse Alcidiane (1661) published under his wife's name, but generally attributed to him. His plays lack the spirit and force that occasionally redeem the novels. The best is Le Comte d'Essex, represented in 1638, which supplied some ideas to Thomas Corneille for his tragedy of the same name. LA CARLOTA, a town of the province of Negros Occidental, Philippine Islands, on the W. coast of the island and the left bank of San Enrique river, about 18 m. S. of Bacolod, the capital of the province. Pop. (1903), after the annexation of San Enrique, 19,192. There are fifty-four villages or barrios in the town; the largest had a population in 1903 of 3254 and two others had each more than moo inhabitants. The Panayano dialect of the Visayan language is spoken by most of the inhabitants. At La Carlota the Spanish government established a station for the study of the culture of sugar-cane; by the American government this has been converted into a general agricultural experiment station, known as " Government Farm."
End of Article: SIR JAMES [Giacomo] LACAITA (1813-1895)
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