CLACTON-ON-SEA, a watering-place in the Harwich parliamentary division of Essex, England; 71 m. E.N.E. from London by a branch from Colchester of the Great Eastern railway; served also by steamers from London in the summer months. Pop. of urban district (1901) 7456. Clay cliffs of slight altitude rise from the sandy beach and face south-eastward. In the neighbourhood, however, marshes fringe the shore. The church of Great Clacton, at the village 1½ m. inland, is Norman and later, and of considerable interest. Clacton is provided with a pier, promenade and marine parade; and is the seat of various convalescent and other homes.
CLADEL, LEON (1835–1892), French novelist, was born at Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne) on the 13th of March 1835. The son of an artisan, he studied law at Toulouse and became a solicitor’s clerk in Paris. He made a reputation in a limited circle by his first book, Les Martyrs ridicules (1862), a novel for which Charles Baudelaire, whose literary disciple Cladel was, wrote a preface. He then returned to his native district of Quercy, where he produced a series of pictures of peasant life in Eral le dompteur (1865), Le Nommé Qouael (1868) and other volumes. Returning to Paris he published the two novels which are generally acknowledged as his best work, Le Bouscassié (1869) and La Fête votive de Saint Bartholomée Porte-glaive (1872). Une Maudite (1876) was judged dangerous to the public morals and cost its author a month’s imprisonment. Other works by Cladel are Les Va-nu-pieds (1873), a volume of short stories; N’a qu’un œil (1882), Urbains et ruraux (1884), Gueux de marque (1887), and the posthumous Juive errante (1897). He died at Sèvres on the 20th of July 1892.
See La Vie de Léon Cladel (Paris, 1905), by his daughter Judith Cladel, containing also an article on Cladel by Edmond Picard, a complete list of his works, and of the critical articles on his work.
CLAFLIN, HORACE BRIGHAM (1811–1885), American merchant, was born in Milford, Massachusetts, on the 18th of December 1811. He was educated at Milford Academy, became a clerk in his father’s store in Milford, and in 1831, with his brother Aaron and his brother-in-law Samuel Daniels, succeeded to his father’s business. In 1832 the firm opened a branch store in Worcester, Mass., and in 1833 Horace B. Claflin and Daniels secured the sole control of this establishment and restricted their dealing to dry goods. In 1843 Claflin removed to New York City and became a member of the firm of Bulkley & Claflin, wholesale dry goods merchants. In 1851 and in 1864 the firm was reorganized, being designated in these respective years as Claflin, Mellin & Company and H. B. Claflin & Company. Under Claflin’s management the business increased so rapidly that the sales for a time after 1865 probably exceeded those of any other mercantile house in the world. Though the firm was temporarily embarrassed at the beginning of the Civil War, on account of its large business interests in the South, and during the financial panic of 1873, the promptness with which Mr Claflin met these crises and paid every dollar of his liabilities greatly increased his reputation for business ability and integrity. He died at Fordham, New York, on the 14th of November 1885.
CLAIRAULT (or Clairaut), ALEXIS CLAUDE (1713–1765), French mathematician, was born on the 13th or 7th of May 1713, at Paris, where his father was a teacher of mathematics. Under his father’s tuition he made such rapid progress in mathematical studies that in his thirteenth year he read before the French Academy an account of the properties of four curves which he had then discovered. When only sixteen he finished a treatise, Recherches sur les courbes à double courbure, which, on its publication in 1731, procured his admission into the Academy of Sciences, although even then he was below the legal age. In 1736, together with Pierre Louis Maupertuis, he took part in the expedition to Lapland, which was undertaken for the purpose of estimating a degree of the meridian, and on his return he published his treatise Théorie de la figure de la terre (1743). In this work he promulgated the theorem, known as “Clairault’s theorem,” which connects the gravity at points on the surface of a rotating ellipsoid with the compression and the centrifugal force at the equator (see Earth, Figure of the). He obtained an ingenious approximate solution of the problem of the three bodies; in 1750 he gained the prize of the St Petersburg Academy for his essay Théorie de la lune; and in 1759 he calculated the perihelion of Halley’s comet. He also detected singular solutions in differential equations of the first order, and of the second and higher degrees. Clairault died at Paris, on the 17th of May 1765.
CLAIRON, LA (1723–1803), French actress, whose real name was Claire Joseph Hippolyte Leris, was born at Condé sur l’Escaut, Hainaut, on the 25th of January 1723, the natural daughter of an army sergeant. In 1736 she made her first stage appearance at the Comédie Italienne, in a small part in Marivaux’s Île des esclaves. After several years in the provinces she returned to Paris. Her life, meanwhile, had been decidedly irregular, even if not to the degree indicated by the libellous pamphlet Histoire de la demoiselle Cronel, dite Frétillon, actrice de la Comédie de Rouen, écrite par elle-même (The Hague, 1746), or to be inferred from the disingenuousness of her own Mémoires d’Hippolyte Clairon (1798); and she had great difficulty in obtaining an order to make her début at the Comédie Française. Succeeding, however, at last, she had the courage to select the title-rôle of Phèdre (1743), and she obtained a veritable triumph. During her twenty-two years at this theatre, dividing the honours with her rival Mlle Dumesnil, she filled many of the classical rôles of tragedy, and created a great number of parts in the plays of Voltaire, Marmontel, Saurin, de Belloy and others. She retired in 1766, and trained pupils for the stage, among them Mlle Raucourt. Goldsmith called Mlle Clairon “the most perfect female figure I have ever seen on any stage” (The Bee, 2nd No.); and Garrick, while recognizing her unwillingness or inability to make use of the inspiration of the instant, admitted that “she has everything that art and a good understanding with great natural spirit can give her.”
CLAIRVAUX, a village of north-eastern France, in the department of Aube, 40 m. E.S.E. of Troyes on the Eastern railway to Belfort. Clairvaux (Clara Vallis) is situated in the valley of the Aube on the eastern border of the Forest of Clairvaux. Its celebrity is due to the abbey founded in 1115 by St Bernard, which became the centre of the Cistercian order. The buildings (see Abbey) belong for the most part to the 18th century, but there is a large storehouse which dates from the 12th century. The abbey, suppressed at the Revolution, now serves as a prison, containing on an average 800 inmates, who are employed in agricultural and industrial occupations. Clairvaux has iron-works of some importance.
CLAIRVOYANCE (Fr. for “clear-seeing”), a technical term in psychical research, properly equivalent to lucidity, a supernormal power of obtaining knowledge in which no part is played by (a) the ordinary processes of sense-perception or (b) supernormal communication with other intelligences, incarnate, or discarnate. The word is also used, sometimes qualified by the word telepathic, to mean the power of gaining supernormal knowledge from the mind of another (see Telepathy). It is further commonly used by spiritualists to mean the power of seeing spirit forms, or, more vaguely, of discovering facts by some supernormal means.
Lucidity.—Few experiments have been made to test the existence of this faculty. If communications from discarnate minds are regarded as possible, there are no means of distinguishing facts obtained in this way from facts obtained by independent clairvoyance. In practice no evidence has been obtained pointing to the possession by a discarnate spirit of knowledge not possessed by any living person (see Medium). As explanation of the few successful experiments in independent clairvoyance we have the choice of three explanations: (1) lucidity; (2) telepathy from living persons; (3) hyperaesthesia. The second possibility was overlooked in Richet’s diagram experiments; it cannot be assumed that a picture put into an envelope and not consciously recalled has been in reality forgotten. Similarly the clairvoyant diagnosis of diseases may depend on knowledge gained telepathically from the patient, who may be subliminally aware of diseased states of the body. The most elaborate experiments are by Prof. Richet with a hypnotized subject who succeeded in