Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/796

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RACINE, L.—RACK

of Ophelia and the remorse of Lady Macbeth, but beside the sincerer if less perfectly expressed passion of Corneille’s Cléopatre and Camille. In men’s parts he fails still more completely. As the decency of his stage would not allow him to make his heroes frankly heroic, so it would not allow him to make them utterly passionate. He had, moreover, cut away from himself, by the adoption of the Senecan model, all the opportunities which would have been offered to his remarkably varied talent on a freer stage. It is indeed tolerably certain that he never could have achieved the purely poetical comedy of As You Like It or the Vida es Sueño, but the admirable success of Les Plaideurs makes it at least probable that he might have done something in a lower and a more conventional style. From all this, however, he deliberately cut himself off. Of the whole world which is subject to the poet he took only a narrow artificial and conventional fraction. Within these narrow bounds he did work which no admirer of literary craftsmanship can regard without admiration. It would be unnecessary to contrast his performances with his limitations so sharply if those limitations had not been denied. But they have been and are still denied by persons whose sentence carries weight, and therefore it is still necessary to point out the fact of their existence.

Bibliography.—Nearly all Racine’s works are mentioned in the above notice. There is here no room for a bibliographical account of their separate appearances. The first collected edition was in 1675–76, and contained the nine tragedies which had then appeared. The last and most complete which appeared in the poet’s lifetime (1697) was perhaps revised by him, and contains the dramas and a few miscellaneous works. Like the edilio princeps, it is in 2 vols. 12mo. The posthumous editions are innumerable and gradually became more and more complete. The most noteworthy are the Amsterdam edition of 1722; that by Abbé d’Olivet, also at Amsterdam, 1743; the Paris quarto of 1760; the edition of Luneau de Boisjermain, Paris and London, 1768; the magnificent illustrated folios of 1805 (Paris); the edition of Germain Garnier with La Harpe’s commentary, 1807; Geoffroy’s of t'he-next year; Aimé Martin’s of 1820; and lastly, the Grands écrivains edition of Paul Mesnarcl (Paris, 1865–73). 'This last contains almost all that is necessary for the study of the poet, and has been chiefly used in preparing the above notice. Louis Racine’s Life was first published in 1747. Translations and imitations of Racine are innumerable. In English the Distressed Mother of Ambrose Philips and the Phaedra and Hippolytus of Edmund Smith (1672–1710), both composed more or less under Addison’s influence, are the most noteworthy.

As for criticism on him, a bibliography of it would be nearlya bibliography of French critical literature. The chief recent instance of substantive work is G. Larroumet’s monograph in the Grands écrivains français (1898), but F. Brunetiére, Emile Faguet, and other critics have constantly and in various ways endeavoured to apply the general reaction from Romanticism to a semi-classical attitude to this greatest of French “classics.” The conclusions above given remain unaffected by this temporary set of opinion.< Racine will never be erifoncé—“put to rout”—as the extravagant Romantics thought him to be for a time. But, on the other hand, his limitations will remain, and no ingenious but arbitrary and extemporized theories of drama as to “conflicts of will” and the like can suffice to veil his defect in universality, his comparative shallowness, and his inadequate appreciation, or at least representation, of the richness, the intricacy and the unconventionality of nature.  (G. Sa.) 


RACINE, LOUIS (1692–1763), French poet, second son of lean Racine, was born in Paris on the 6th of November 1692. Early conscious of a vocation for poetry, he had been dissuaded from following his inclination by Boileau on the ground that the gift never existed in two successive generations. In 1722 his small means induced him to accept a position in the revenue in Provence, but a marriage with a certain Mademoiselle Presle secured his independence. In 1755 he lost his son in the disasters consequent on the Lisbon earthquake. This misfortune, commemorated by Ecouchard Lebrun, broke Racine’s spirit. He sold his library, and gave himself up entirely to the practice of religion. In 1719 he had become a member of the Académie des Inscriptions, but had never offered himself as a member of the Académie Française, for fear, it is said, of incurring refusal on account of his Jansenist opinions. La Grace (1720) and Religion (1742), his most important work, are inspired by a sincere piety, and are written in verse of uniform clearness and excellence. His other works include epistles, odes, among which the Ode sur l’harmonie (1736) should be mentioned, Mémoires (1747) of Jean Racine, and a prose translation of Paradise Lost (1755). Louis Racine died on the 29th of January 1763. He was characterized by Voltaire as “le bon versificateur Racine, fils du grand poete Racine.”

His Œuvres complètes were collected (6 vols.) in 1808.


RACINE, a city and the county-seat of Racine county, Wisconsin, U.S.A., on the W. shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Root river, about 25 m. S.S.E. of Milwaukee and about 60 m. N. of Chicago. Pop. (1890) 21,014; (1900) 29,102, of whom 9242 were foreign-born; (1910 census) $8,002. Racine is served by the Chicago & North Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul railways, by two interurban electric railways, connecting with Milwaukee and Chicago, and by steamboat lines. The river has been deepened and its mouth protected by breakwaters, providing an excellent harbour; in 1909 vessels drawing 19 ft. could pass through the channel. Among the public buildings are the City Hall, the County Court House, the Federal Building, the Carnegie Library, the High School, two hospitals and the Taylor Orphan Asylum (1872). Among educational institutions, besides the public schools, are Racine College (Protestant Episcopal, 1853), St Catherine’s Academy (Roman Catholic) and two business colleges. I Racine is, next to Milwaukee, the most important manufacturing centre in Wisconsin. The value of its factory products in 1905 was $16,458,965, an increase of 41% over that of 1900. Of this, $5,177,079 (or 31.5% of the city’s total) represented agricultural implements and machinery. Carriages and wagons ($2,729,311) and automobiles ranked next in importance.

Racine was the French form of the name of the Root river. The first Europeans positively known to have visited the site of Racine were Vincennes, Tonty and several Jesuit missionaries, who stopped here for a timeon their way down the coast in 1699. Early in the 19th century Jambeau, a French trader, established himself on the Root river, and in 1834 Gilbert Knapp (1798–1889), who had been a lake captain since 1818, induced several residents of Chicago to make their homes at its mouth. The place was at first called Port Gilbert. The settlement grew rapidly, a sawmill was built in 183 5, and the present name was adopted in 1837. In 1841 Racine was incorporated as a. village and in 1848 was chartered as a city.

See S. S. Hurlburt, Early Days at Racine (Racine, 1872); History of Racine and Kenosha Counties. (Chicago, 1879).


RACK, an homonymous word of which the principal branches are the words meaning (1) a mass of cloud driving before the wind in the upper air, (2) to draw off wine or other liquor from the lees, (3) a bar or framework of bars, (4) an instrument of torture. The etymology of (1) shows that it is ultimately to be connected with “wreck” and “wrack,” drifted seaweed, and means that which is driven by or drifts with the wind; cf. Norw. rak, wreckage, refuse, Icel. reka, to drive, toss. In (2) the term seems to have come from the Gascon wine-trade, as Skeat (Etym. Dict., 1910) points out, and was adapted from Prov. arracar, to decant wine, raca, the stems and husks of grapes, dregs. Both (2) and (3) are in origin to be connected. The O. E. reccan and Ger. recken mean “to stretch,” and so “rack” means something stretched out, a straight bar or rail, especially a toothed bar gearing with a cog-wheel, a framework of bars, as in the cradle of upright bars in which fodder can be placed for cattle, and the instrument of torture, which in Ger. is Recke or Rackbank. The “rack” for torture was an oblong frame of wood, slightly raised from the ground, having at one end a fixed bar to which the legs were fastened, and at the other a movable bar to which the hands were tied. By means of pulleys and levers this latter could be rolled on its own axis, thus straining the ropes till the sufferer’s joints were dislocated. Its first employment in England is said to have been due to John Holland, 4th duke of Exeter, constable of the Tower in 1447, whence it was popularly known as “the Duke of Exeter’s daughter.”