Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/75

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Cottesloe
Cotton
63

most Horatian Sapphics and Alcaics since Horace ceased to write.' 'Iophon' (1873) was a similar manual for Greek iambics; and 'Nuces' (1869–70), a series of lessons on the new Latin primer. He defended verse composition in a paper, contributed to the 'Essays on a Liberal Education,' edited by F. W. Farrar; and the Etonian system in general in two pamphlets on 'Eton Reform' published in 1861 in reply to the strictures of 'Pater-familias' (Matthew James Higgins [q. v.]) in the Cornhill Magazine, and of Sir J. T. Coleridge. His 'Guide to Modern English History' from 1815 to 1835, published after his return from Madeira, is a very remarkable book, composed in a singularly concise and pregnant style, almost every sentence embodying a criticism or some view or suggestion of marked originality. The author's very merits, nevertheless, render him an unsafe guide to follow implicitly, his obiter dicta are not supported by reasoning or authority; as a critic of men and events he is as valuable as he is racy and entertaining. It was intended to have been continued, but remained incomplete. The book, however, which would most contribute to preserve his memory were it better known, is the 'Extracts from the Letters and Journals of William Cory,' printed for subscribers at the Oxford University Press, with a good portrait, in 1897. It would not be easy to find a more charming volume of its class, whether in point of expression or of feeling; and the amiability and self-devotion of which the reader might otherwise tire are relieved by an originality amounting to eccentricity, finding vent in paradoxical but suggestive disparagement of Shakespeare, Goethe, Dante, and the middle ages. The extracts cover nearly the whole of the writer's life.

[Extracts from the Letters and Journals of William Cory, selected and arranged by F. W. Cornish ; Miles's Poets and Poetry of the Century.]

R. G.

COTTESLOE, BARON. [See Fremantle, Thomas Francis, 1798–1890.]

COTTON, Sir ARTHUR THOMAS (1803–1899), general and irrigation engineer, was son of Henry Calveley Cotton of Woodcote, Oxford [see Cotton, Richard Lynch, D.D., and Sir Sydney John]. He was born on 15 May 1803, and at fifteen years of age entered the East India Company's military college at Addiscombe, whence at the close of 1819 he obtained a commission in the Madras engineers, and after having served successively with the ordnance survey at Bangor and with the engineer depot at Chatham, he proceeded to Madras as an assistant engineer in 1821. On reaching India he was for a time employed inexamining the Pámbám passage, or channel, which divides the mainland of the Indian peninsula from the island of Raméshwaram off the north coast of Ceylon. Cotton's opinion was favourable to the practicability of deepening the channel, so as to render it navigable for ships of a considerable size; but nothing very material followed from his report, and the traffic is still mainly confined to coasting vessels, although there is some emigration by this route to Burma and the Straits settlements.

In 1824, upon the outbreak of the first war with Burma, Cotton joined the expeditionary force. In the course of the war he led the storming parties against seven forts and stockades, he served in the trenches against the great stockade at Donabew, was present at most of the actions in the war, and was mentioned in despatches at its close. In 1828 he was for the first time employed upon what became the most important duty of his life, viz. the improvement and extension of irrigation in Southern India. The works upon which he was employed, or which owe their existence to his initiative, were, first, the works on the Cávery and Coleroon rivers in the discticts of Trichinopoly, Tarijore, and South Arcot; second, the works on the Godávery river in the district of that name; third, the works on the Krishna river at Bézwada in the Krishna district. The earliest of these works were those on the Cávery and Coleroon rivers, the first of which rises in Coorg, passes through Mysore, and, skirting the British district of Coimbatore, a few miles above Trichinopoly, branches into two main streams. The larger of these streams, called the Coleroon, takes a north-easterly course and divides the districts of Trichinopoly and Tanjore, and then, skirting the southern divisions of the South Arcot district, falls into the Bay of Bengal to the south of Porto Novo; while the other branch, retaining the name of Cávery, passes through the centre of the Tanjore district, and, supplying in its course numerous irrigation channels, debouches into the sea, so much of it as remains, to the south of the French settlement of Káricál.

The Cávery had been used for irrigation from the earliest times all along its course, from its source in the Coorg mountains to its delta in the Tanjore district. In the delta it has many branches, the water-surface of which is generally higher than the surrounding country, and is kept from overflowing by artificial banks. Minor channels have been drawn from these branches, and the whole