BEAU CLARK, a billiard-maker at the beginning of the nineteenth century. He was called "The Bean," assumed the name of Beauelerc, and paid his addresses to a protegee of lord Fife.
BEAU FIELDING, called "Handsome Fielding" by Charles II., by a play on his name, which was Hendrome Fielding. He died in Scotland Yard.
BEAU HEWITT was the original of sir George Etherege's "Sir Fopling Flutter," in the comedy called The Man of Mode or Sir Fopling Flutter (1676).
BEAU NASH, Richard Nash, called also "King of Bath;" a Welsh gentleman, who for fifteen years managed the bath-rooms of Bath, and conducted the balls with unparalleled splendor and decorum. In his old age he sank into poverty (1674-1761).
BEAU D'ORSAY (Le), father of count d'Orsay, whom Byron calls "Jeune Cupidon."
BEAU SEANT, the Templars' banner, half white and half black; the white signified that the Templars were good to Christians, the black, that they were evil to infidels.
BEAU TIBBS, in Goldsmith's Citizen of the World, a dandy noted for his finery, vanity, and poverty.
BEAUCLERK, Henry I. king of England (1068, 1100-1135).
BEAUFORT, the lover of Maria Wilding, whom he ultimately marries.—A. Murphy, The Citizen (a farce).
BEAUJEU (Mons. le chevalier de), keeper of a gambling-house to which Dalgarno takes Nigel.—Sir W. Scott, Fortunes of Nigel (time, James I.).
Beaujeu (Mons. le comte de), a French officer in the army of the Chevalier Charles Edward, the Pretender.—Sir W. Scott, Waverley (time, George II.).
BEAUMAINS ("big hands"), a nickname which sir Key (Arthur's steward) gave to Gareth when he was kitchen drudge in the palace. "He had the largest hands that ever man saw." Gareth was the son of king Lot and Margawse (king Arthur's sister). His brothers were sir Gaw'ain, sir Agravain, and sir Gaheris. Mordred was his half-brother.—Sir T. Malory, History of Prince Arthur, i. 120 (1470).
His achievements are given under the name "Gareth" (q.v.).
Tennyson, in his Gareth and Lynette, makes sir Key tauntingly address Lancelot thus, referring to Gareth:
Fair and fine, forsooth! Sir Fine-face, sir Fair-hands? But see thou to it That thine own fineness, Lancelot, some fine day, Undo thee not.
Be it remembered that Key himself called Gareth "Beaumain" from the extraordinary size of the lad's hands; but the taunt put into the mouth of Key by the poet indicates that the lad prided himself on his "fine" face and "fair" hands, which is not the case. If "fair hands" is a translation of this nickname, it should be "fine hands," which bears the equivocal sense of big and beautiful.
BEAU'MANOIR (Sir Lucas), Grand-Master of the Knights Templars.—Sir W. Scott, Ivanhoe (time, Richard I.).
BEAUPRE [Bo-pray'], son of judge Vertaigne (2 syl.) and brother of Lami'ra.—Beaumont and Fletcher, The Little French Lawyer (1647).
BEAUTE (2 syl). La dame de Beaute. Agnes Sorel, so called from the chateau de Beaute, on the banks of the Marne, given to her by Charles VII. (1409-1450).
BEAUTIFUL CORISANDE (3 syl). Diane comtesse de Guiche et de Grammont. She was the daughter of Paul d'Andouins, and married Philibert de Grammont, who died in 1580. The widow outlived her husband for twenty-six years. Henri IV., before he was king of Navarre, was desperately smitten by La belle Corisande, and when Henri was at war with the League, she sold her diamonds to raise for him a levy of 20,000 Gascons (1554-1620).
(The letters of Henri to Corisande are still preserved in the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, and were published in 1769.)
BEAUTIFUL PARRICIDE (The), Beatrice Cenci, daughter of a Roman nobleman, who plotted the death of her father because he violently defiled her. She was executed in 1605. Shelley has a tragedy on the subject, entitled The Cenci. Guido Reni's portrait of Beatrice is well known through its numberless reproductions.
BEAUTY (Queen of). So the daughter of Schems'edeen' Mohammed, vizier of Egypt, was called. She married her cousin, Bed'redeen' Hassan, son of Nour'edeen' Ali, vizier of Basora.—Arabian Nights ("Nouredeen Ali," etc.).
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (La Belle et la Bete'), from Les Contes Marines of Mde. Villeneuvre (1740), the most beautiful of all nursery tales. A young and lovely woman saved her father by putting herself in the power of a frightful but kind-hearted monster, whose respectful affection and melancholy overcame her aversion to his ugliness, and she consented to become his bride. Being thus freed from enchantment, the monster assumed his proper form and became a young and handsome prince.
BEAUTY OF BUTTERMERE (3 syl.), Mary Robinson, who married John Hatfield, a heartless impostor executed for forgery at Carlisle in 1803.
BEAUX' STRATAGEM (The), by George Farquhar. Thomas viscount Aimwell and his friend Archer (the two beaux), having run through all their money, set out fortune-hunting, and come to Lichfield as "master and man." Aimwell pretends to be very unwell, and as lady Bountiful's hobby is tending the sick and playing the leech, she orders him to be removed to her mansion. Here he and Dorinda (daughter of lady Bountiful) fall in love with each other, and finally marry. Archer falls in love with Mrs. Sullen, the wife of squire Sullen, who had been married fourteen months but agreed to a divorce on the score of incompatibility of tastes and temper. This marriage forms no part of the play; all we are told is that she returns to the roof of her brother, sir Charles Freeman (1707).
BEDE (Adam and Seth), brothers, carpenters. Seth loves the fair gospeller Dinah Morris, but she marries Adam.—George Eliot, Adam Bede.
Bede (Cuthbert), the Rev. Edward Bradley, author of The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green, an Oxford Freshman (1857).
BED'ER ("the full moon"), son of Gulna're (3 syl.), the young king of Persia. As his mother was an under-sea princess, he was enabled to live under water as well as on land. Beder was a young man of handsome person, quick parts, agreeable manners, and amiable disposition. He fell in love with Giauha're, daughter of the king of Samandal, the most powerful of the under-sea empires, but Giauhare changed him into a white bird with red beak and red legs. After various adventures, Beder resumed his human form and married Giauhare.—Arabian Nights ("Beder and Giauhare").
BED'IVERE (Sir) or BED'IVER, king Arthur's butler and a knight of the Round Table. He was the last of Arthur's knights, and was sent by the dying king to throw his sword Excalibur into the mere. Being cast in, it was caught by an arm "clothed in white samite," and drawn into the stream.—Tennyson, Morte d'Arthur.
Tennyson's Morte d'Arthur is a very close and in many parts a verbal rendering of the same tale in sir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur, iii. 168 (1470).
BEDLOE (Augustus), an eccentric Virginian, an opium-eater, and easily hypnotized, in Edgar Allan Poe's Tale of the Ragged Mountains (1846).
BEDOTT (Widow). (See HEZEKIAH BEDOTT.)
BED'OUINS [Bed'.winz], nomadic tribes of Arabia. In common parlance, "the homeless street poor." Thus gutter-children are called "Bedouins."
BED'REDEEN' HAS'SAN of Baso'ra, son of Nour'edeen' Ali grand vizier of Basora, and nephew to Schems'edeen' Mohammed vizier of Egypt. His beauty was transcendent and his talents of the first order. When twenty years old his father died, and the sultan, angry with him for keeping from court, confiscated all his goods, and would have seized Bedredeen if he had not made his escape. During sleep he was conveyed by fairies to Cairo, and substituted for an ugly groom (Hunchback) to whom his cousin, the Queen of Beauty, was to have been married. Next day he was carried off by the same means to Damascus, where he lived for ten years as a pastry-cook. Search was made for him, and the search party, halting outside the city of Damascus, sent for some cheese-cakes. When the cheese-cakes arrived, the widow of Nouredeen declared that they must have been made by her son, for no one else knew the secret of making them, and that she herself had taught it to him. On hearing this, the vizier ordered Bedredeen to be seized, "for making cheese-cakes without pepper," and the joke was carried on till the party arrived at Cairo, when the pastry-cook prince was reunited to his wife, the Queen of Beauty.—Arabian Nights ("Nouredeen Ali," etc.).
BEDWIN (Mrs.), housekeeper to Mr. Brownlow. A kind, motherly soul, who loves Oliver Twist most dearly.—C. Dickens, Oliver Twist (1837).
BEE OF ATTICA, Soph'ocles the dramatist (B.C. 495-405). The "Athenian Bee" was Plato the philosopher (B.C. 428-347).
The Bee of Attica rivalled AEschylus when in the possession of the stage.—Sir W. Scott, The Drama.
BEEF'INGTON (Milor), introduced in The Rovers. Casimir is a Polish emigrant, and Beefington an English nobleman exiled by the tyranny of king John.—Anti-Jacobin.
"Will without power," said the sagacious Casimir, to Milor Beefington, "is like children playing at soldiers."—Macaulay.
BE'ELZELBUB (4 syl.), called "prince of the devils" (Matt. xii. 24), worshipped at Ekron, a city of the Philistines (2 Kings i. 2), and made by Milton second to Satan.
One next himself in power and next in crime—Beelzebub.
Paradise Lost, i. 80 (1665).
BEE'NIE (2 syl.), chambermaid at Old St. Ronan's inn, held by Meg Dods.—Sir W. Scott, St. Ronan's Well (time, George III.).
BEES (Telling the), a superstition still prevalent in some rural districts that the bees must be told at once if a death occur in the family, or every swarm will take flight. In Whittier's poem, Telling the Bees, the lover coming to visit his mistress sees the small servant draping the hives with black, and hears her chant:
"Stay at home, pretty bees, fly not hence, Mistress Mary is dead and gone."
BEFA'NA, the good fairy of Italian children. She is supposed to fill their shoes and socks with toys when they go to bed on Twelfth Night. Some one enters the bedroom for the purpose, and the wakeful youngters cry out, "Ecco la Befana!" According to legend, Befana was too busy with house affairs to take heed of the Magi when they went to offer their gifts, and said she would stop for their return; but they returned by another way, and Befana every Twelfth Night watches to see them. The name is a corruption of Epiphania.
BEG (Callum), page to Fergus M'Ivor, in Waverley, a novel by sir W. Scott (time, George II.).
Beg (Toshach), MacGillie Chattanach's second at the combat.—Sir W. Scott, Fair Maid of Perth (time, Henry IV.).
BEGGAR OF BETHNAL GREEN (The), a drama by S. Knowles (recast and produced, 1834). Bess, daughter of Albert, "the blind beggar of Bethnal Green," was intensely loved by Wilford, who first saw her in the streets of London, and subsequently, after diligent search, discovered her in the Queen's Arms inn at Romford. It turned out that her father Albert was brother to lord Woodville, and Wilford was his truant son, so that Bess was his cousin Queen Elizabeth sanctioned their nuptials, and took them under her own conduct. (See BLIND.)
BEGGARS (King of the), Bampfylde Moore Carew. He succeeded Clause Patch (1693, 1730-1770).
BEGGAR'S DAUGHTER (The), "Bessee the beggar's daughter of Bethnal Green," was very beautiful, and was courted by four suitors at once—a knight, a country squire, a rich merchant, and the son of an inn-keeper at Romford. She told them all they must first obtain the consent of her poor blind father, the beggar of Bethnal Green, and all slunk off except the knight, who went and asked leave to marry "the pretty Bessee." The beggar gave her for a "dot," L3000, and L100 for her trousseau, and informed the knight that he (the beggar) was Henry, son and heir of sir Simon de Montfort, and that he had disguised himself as a beggar to escape the vigilance of spies, who were in quest of all those engaged on the baron's side in the battle of Evesham.—Percy's Reliques, II. ii 10.
The value of money was about twelve times more than its present purchase value, so that the "dot" given was equal to L36,000.
BEGGAR'S OPERA (The), by Gay (1727). The beggar is captain Macheath. (For plot, see MACHEATH.)
BEGGAR'S PETITION (The), a poem by the Rev. Thomas Moss, minister of Brierly Hill and Trentham, in Staffordshire. It was given to Mr. Smart, the printer, of Wolverhampton.—Gentleman's Magazine, lxx. 41. BEGUINES [Beg-wins], the earliest of all lay societies of women united for religious purposes. Brabant says the order received its name from St. Begga, daughter of Pepin, who founded it at Namur', in 696; but it is more likely to be derived from le Begue ("the Stammerer"); and if so, it was founded at Liege, in 1180.
BEH'RAM, captain of the ship which was to convey prince Assad to the "mountain of fire," where he was to be offered up in sacrifice. The ship being driven on the shores of queen Margia'na's kingdom, Assad became her slave, but was recaptured by Behram's crew, and carried back to the ship. The queen next day gave the ship chase. Assad was thrown overboard, and swam to the city whence he started. Behram also was drifted to the same place. Here the captain fell in with the prince, and reconducted him to the original dungeon. Bosta'na, a daughter of the old fire-worshipper, taking pity on the prince, released him; and, at the end, Assad married queen Margiana, Bostana married prince Amgiad (half-brother of Assad), and Behram, renouncing his religion, became a mussulman, and entered the service of Amgiad, who became king of the city.—Arabian Nights ("Amgiad and Assad").
BELA'RIUS, a nobleman and soldier in the army of Cym'beline (3 syl.) king of Britain. Two villains having sworn to the king that he was "confederate with the Romans," he was banished, and for twenty years lived in a cave; but he stole away the two infant sons of the king out of revenge. Their names were Guide'rius and Arvir'agus. When these two princes were grown to manhood, a battle was fought between the Romans and Britons, in which Cymbeline was made prisoner, but Belarius coming to the rescue, the king was liberated and the Roman general in turn was made captive. Belarius was now reconciled to Cymbeline, and presenting to him the two young men, told their story; whereupon they were publicly acknowledged to be the sons of Cymbeline and princes of the realm.—Shakespeare, Cymbeline (1605).
BEL BREE, wide-awake country girl in The Other Girls, by A.D.T. Whitney. Dissatisfied with rustic life, she accompanies aunt Blin, a dressmaker, to Boston, works hard, is exposed to the temptations that beset a pretty girl in a city, but resists them. She is thrown out of work by the Boston fire, and "enters service" with satisfactory consequences to all concerned.
BELCH (Sir Toby), uncle of Olivia the rich countess of Illyria. He is a reckless roysterer of the old school, and a friend of sir Andrew Ague-cheek.—Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (1614).
BELCOUR, a foundling adopted by Mr. Belcour, a rich Jamaica merchant, who at death left him all his property. He was in truth the son of Mr. Stockwell, the clerk of Belcour, senior, who clandestinely married his master's daughter, and afterwards became a wealthy merchant. On the death of old Belcour, the young man came to England as the guest of his unknown father, fell in love with Miss Dudley, and married her. He was hot-blooded, impulsive, high-spirited, and generous, his very faults serving as a foil to his noble qualities; ever erring and repenting, offending and atoning for his offences.—Cumberland, The West Indian (1771).
BE'LED, one of the six Wise Men of the East, led by the guiding star to Jesus. He was a king, who gave to his enemy who sought to dethrone him half of his kingdom, and thus turned a foe into a fast friend.—Klopstock, The Messiah, v. (1747).
BELERMA, the lady whom Durandarte served for seven years as a knight-errant and peer of France. When, at length, he died at Roncesvalles, he prayed his cousin Montesi'nos to carry his heart to Belerma.
I saw a procession of beautiful damsels in mourning, with white turbans on their heads. In the rear came a lady with a veil so long that it reached the ground: her turban was twice as large as the largest of the others; her eyebrows were joined, her nose was rather flat, her mouth wide, but her lips of a vermilion color. Her teeth were thin-set and irregular, though very white; and she carried in her hand a fine linen cloth, containing a heart. Montesinos informed me that this lady was Belerma.—Cervantes, Don Quixote, II. ii. 6 (1615).
BELE'SES (3 syl.), a Chaldaean soothsayer and Assyrian satrap, who told Arba'ces (3 syl.) governor of Me'dia, that he would one day sit on the throne of Nineveh and Assyria. His prophecy came true, and Beleses was rewarded with the government of Babylon.—Byron, Sardanapalus (1819).
BEL'FIELD (Brothers). The elder brother is a squire in Cornwall, betrothed to Sophia (daughter of sir Benjamin Dove), who loves his younger brother Bob. The younger brother is driven to sea by the cruelty of the squire, but on his return renews his acquaintance with Sophia. He is informed of her unwilling betrothal to the elder brother, who is already married to Violetta, but parted from her. Violetta returns home in the same ship as Bob Belfield, becomes reconciled to her husband, and the younger brother marries Sophia.—Rich. Cumberland, The Brothers (1769).
BEL'FORD, a friend of Lovelace (2 syl.). They made a covenant to pardon every sort of liberty which they took with each other.—Richardson, Clarissa Harlowe (1749).
Belford (Major), the friend of colonel Tamper, and the plighted hnsband of Mdlle. Florival.—G. Colman, sen., The Deuce is in Him (1762).
BELGE (2 syl.), the mother of seventeen sons. She applied to queen Mercilla for aid against Geryon'eo, who had deprived her of all her offspring except five.—Spenser, Faery Queen, v. 10 (1596).
"Beige" is Holland, the "seventeen sons" are the seventeen provinces which once belonged to her; "Geryoneo" is Philip II. of Spain; and "Mercilla" is queen Elizabeth.
BELIAL, sons of, in the Bible passim means the lewd and profligate. Milton has created the personality of Belial:
Belial came last; than whom a spirit more lewd Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love Vice for itself. To him no temple stood Or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he In temples, and at altars, when the priest Tarns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who filled With lust and violence the house of God? In courts and palaces he also reigns, And in luxurious cities, where the noise Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers And injury and outrage; and when night Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 490
On the other side up rose Belial, in act more graceful and humane; A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed For dignity composed, and high exploit. But all was false and hollow; though his tongue. Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dash Maturest counsels; for his thoughts were low To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds Timorous and slothful.
Milton, Paradise Lost, ii. 108.
BELIA'NIS OF GREECE (Don), the hero of an old romance of chivalry on the model of Am'adis de Gaul. It was one of the books in don Quixote's library, but was not one of those burnt by the cure as pernicious and worthless.
"Don Belianis," said the cure, "with its two, three, and four parts, hath need of a dose of rhubarb to purge off that mass of bile with which he is inflamed. His Castle of Fame and other impertinences should be totally obliterated. This done, we would show him lenity in proportion as we found him capable of reform. Take don Belianis home with you, and keep him in close confinement."—Cervantes, Don Quixote, I. i. 6 (1605).
BELINDA, niece and companion of lady John Brute. Young, pretty, full of fun, and possessed of L10,000. Heartfree marries her.—Vanbrugh, The Provoked Wife (1697).
Belin'da, the heroine of Pope's Rape of the Lock. This mock heroic is founded on the following incident:—Lord Petre cut a lock of hair from the head of Miss Arabella Fermor, and the young lady resented the liberty as an unpardonable affront. The poet says Belinda wore on her neck two curls, one of which the baron cut off with a pair of scissors borrowed of Clarissa, and when Belinda angrily demanded that it should be delivered up, it had flown to the skies and become a meteor there. (See BERENICE.)
Belinda, daughter of Mr. Blandford, in love with Beverley the brother of Clarissa. Her father promised sir William Bellmont that she should marry his son George, but George was already engaged to Clarissa. Belinda was very handsome, very independent, most irreproachable, and devotedly attached to Beverley. When he hinted suspicions of infidelity, she was too proud to deny their truth, but her pure and ardent love instantly rebuked her for giving her lover causeless pain.—A. Murphy, All in the Wrong (1761).
Belin'da, the heroine of Miss Edgeworth's novel of the same name. The object of the tale is to make the reader feel what is good, and pursue it (1803).
Belin'da, a lodging-house servant-girl, very poor, very dirty, very kind-hearted, and shrewd in observation. She married, and Mr. Middlewick the butter-man set her husband up in business in the butter line.—H. J. Byron, Our Boys (1875).
BELINE (2 syl.), second wife of Argan the malade imaginaire, and step-mother of Angelique, whom she hates. Beline pretends to love Argan devotedly, humors him in all his whims, calls him "mon fils," and makes him believe that if he were to die it would be the death of her. Toinette induces Argan to put these specious protestations to the test by pretending to be dead. He does so, and when Beline enters the room, instead of deploring her loss, she cries in ecstasy:
"Le ciel en soit loue! Me voila delivree d'un pesant fardeau!... de quoi servait-il sur la terre? Un homme incommode a tout le monde, malpropre, degoutant ... mouchant, toussant, crachant toujours, sans esprit, ennuyeux, de manvaise humeur, fatiguant sans cesse les gens, et grondant jour et nuit servantes et valets."—(iii. 18).
She then proceeds to ransack the room for bonds, leases, and money; but Argan starts up and tells her she has taught him one useful lesson for life at any rate.—Moliere, Le Malade Imaginaire (1673).
BELISA'RIUS, the greatest of Justinian's generals. Being accused of treason, he was deprived of all his property, and his eyes were put out. In this state he retired to Constantinople, where he lived by begging. The story says he fastened a label to his hat, containing these words, "Give an obolus to poor old Belisarius." Marmontel has written a tale called Belisaire, which has helped to perpetuate these fables, originally invented by Tzetzes or Caesios, a Greek poet, born at Constantinople in 1120.
BELISE (2 syl.), sister of Philaminte (3 syl.), and, like her, a femme savante. She imagines that every one is in love with her.—Moliere, Les Femmes Savantes (1672).
BELL (Adam), a wild, north-country outlaw, noted, like Robin Hood, for his skill in archery. His place of residence was Englewood Forest, near Carlisle; and his two comrades were Clym of the Clough [Clement of the Cliff] and William of Cloudesly (3 syl.). William was married, but the other two were not. When William was captured at Carlisle, and was led to execution, Adam and Clym rescued him, and all three went to London to crave pardon of the king, which, at the queen's intercession, was granted them. They then showed the king specimens of their skill in archery, and the king was so well pleased that he made William a "gentleman of fe," and the two others yeomen of the bedchamber.—Percy, Reliques ("Adam Bell," etc.), I. ii. I.
Bell. Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Bronte assumed the noms de plume of Acton, Currer, and Ellis Bell (first half of the nineteenth century). Currer Bell or Bronte married the Rev. Arthur Bell Nicholls. She was the author of Jane Eyre.
It will be observed that the initial letter of both names is in every case preserved throughout—Acton (Anne), Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily), and Bell (Bronte).
Bell (Bessy). Bessy Bell and Mary Gray were the daughters of two country gentlemen near Perth. When the plague broke out in 1666 they built for themselves a bower in a very romantic spot called Burn Braes, to which they retired, and were supplied with food, etc., by a young man who was in love with both of them. The young man caught the plague, communicated it to the two young ladies, and all three died.—Allan Eamsay, Bessy Bell and Mary Gray (a ballad).
Bell (Peter), the subject of a "tale in verse" by Wordsworth. Shelley wrote a burlesque upon it, entitled Peter Bell the Third.
Bell (The Old Chapel) J. G. Saxe's poem under this title is founded upon a legend of a boy, who, wandering in a churchyard, hears a musical articulate murmur from a disused bell hidden by matted grass.
Its very name and date concealed Beneath a cankering crust. (1859.)
BELL-THE-CAT, sobriquet of Archibald Douglas, great-earl of Angus, who died in 1514.
The mice, being much annoyed by the persecutions of a cat, resolved that a bell should be hung about her neck to give notice of her approach. The measure was agreed to in full council, but one of the sager mice inquired, "Who would undertake to bell the cat?" When Lauder told this fable to a council of Scotch nobles, met to declaim against one Cochran, Archibald Douglas started up and exclaimed in thunder, "I will;" and hence the sobriquet referred to.—Sir W. Scott, Tales of a Grandfather, xxii.
BELLA, sweet girl-cousin, the first love and life-long friend of the hero of Dream-Life, by Ik Marvel. Re-visiting his native place after years of foreign travel, he learns that Bella is dead, and goes to her grave, where dry leaves are entangled in the long grass, "giving it a ragged, terrible look" (1851).
BELLA WILFER, a lovely, wilful, lively spoilt darling. She married John Rokesmith (i.e., John Harmon).—C. Dickens, Our Mutual Friend (1864).
BELLAMY, a steady young man, looking out for a wife "capable of friendship, love, and tenderness, with good sense enough to be easy, and good nature enough to like him." He found his beau-ideal in Jacintha, who had besides a fortune of L30,000.—Dr. Hoadly, The Suspicious Husband (1761).
BELLA'RIO, the assumed name of Euphrasia, when she put on boy's apparel that she might enter the service of prince Philaster, whom she greatly loved.—Beaumont and Fletcher, Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding (1622).
BELLASTON (Lady), a profligate, from whom Tom Jones accepts support. Her conduct and conversation may be considered a fair photograph of the "beauties" of the court of George II.—Fielding, History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1750).
The character of Jones, otherwise a model of generosity, openness, and manly spirit, mingled with thoughtless dissipation, is unnecessarily degraded by the nature of his intercourse with lady Bellaston.—Encyc. Brit. Art. "Fielding."
BELLE CORDIERE (La), Louise Labe, who married Ennemond Perrin, a wealthy rope-maker (1526-1566).
BELLE CORISANDE (La), Diane comtesse de Gruiche et de Grammont (1554-1620).
BELLEFONTAINE (Benedict), the wealthy farmer of Grande Pre [Nova Scotia] and father of Evangeline. When the inhabitants of his village were driven into exile, Benedict died of a broken heart as he was about to embark, and was buried on the sea-shore.—Longfellow, Evangeline (1849).
BEL'LENDEN (Lady Margaret), an old Tory lady, mistress of the Tower of Tillietudlem.
Old major Miles Bellenden, brother of lady Margaret.
Miss Edith Bellenden, granddaughter of lady Margaret, betrothed to lord Evendale, of the king's army, but in love with Morton (a leader of the covenanters and the hero of the novel). After the death of lord Evendale, who is shot by Balfour, Edith marries Morton, and this terminates the tale.—Sir W. Scott, Old Mortality (time, Charles II.).
BELLERO'PHON was falsely accused by Antea, wife of Proetos, King of Argos, and the enraged husband sent him to Lycia, to King Iobates, the father of Antea, with sealed tablets, asking that the bearer might be put to death. Iobates sent the youth on dangerous errands, but he came off unharmed from all. Among other exploits he killed the Chimaera and slew the Amazons. Later, he tried to mount to Olympus on the winged horse Pegasus, but he fell and wandered about in melancholy madness on the Aleian field until he died. This peculiar form of madness is called morbus Bellerophonteus. Homer tells the story of Bellerophon in the Iliad, Book VI. Milton alludes to him, Paradise Lost, VII. 15-20. Hawthorne has told the story of the Chimaera in A Wonder Book.
BELLE'RUS is the name of a personage invented by Milton as the supposed guardian of Land's End in Cornwall, the Bellerium of the Romans. In questioning as to where the body of the drowned Lycidas q.v. has been carried by the waves, he asks:
Or whether thou to our moist vows denied Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.
BELLE'S STRATAGEM (The). The "belle" is Letitia Hardy, and her stratagem was for the sake of winning the love of Doricourt, to whom she had been betrothed. The very fact of being betrothed to Letitia sets Doricourt against her, so she goes unknown to him to a masquerade, where Doricourt falls in love with "the beautiful stranger." In order to accomplish the marriage of his daughter, Mr. Hardy pretends to be "sick unto death," and beseeches Doricourt to wed Letitia before he dies. Letitia meets her betrothed in her masquerade dress, and unbounded is the joy of the young man to find that "the beautiful stranger" is the lady to whom he has been betrothed.—Mrs. Cowley, The Belle's Stratagem (1780).
BELLE THE GIANT. It is said that the giant Belle mounted on his sorrel horse at a place since called mount Sorrel. He leaped one mile, and the spot on which he lighted was called Wanlip (one-leap); thence he leaped a second mile, but in so doing "burst all" his girths, whence the spot was called Burst-all; in the third leap he was killed, and the spot received the name of Bellegrave.
BELLEUR', companion of Pinac and Mirabel ("the wild goose"), of stout blunt temper; in love with Rosalu'ra, a daughter of Nantolet.—Beaumont and Fletcher, The Wild Goose Chase (1652).
BELL HAMLYN, young American girl, engaged to one man and in love with another, in Kismet, by George Fleming (Julia C. Fletcher, 1877).
BELLICENT, daughter of Gorlois lord of Tintag'il and his wife Ygerne or Igerna. As the widow married Uther the pen-dragon, and was then the mother of king Arthur, it follows that Bellicent was half-sister of Arthur. Tennyson in Gareth and Lynette says that Bellicent was the wife of Lot king of Orkney, and mother of Gaw'ain and Mordred, but this is not in accordance either with the chronicle or the history, for Geoffrey in his Chronicle says that Lot's wife was Anne, the sister (not half-sister) of Arthur (viii. 20, 21), and sir T. Malory, in his History of Prince Arthur says:
King Lot of Lothan and Orkney wedded Margawse; Nentres, of the land of Carlot, wedded Elain; and that Morgan le Fay was [Arthurs] third sister.—Pt. i. 2, 35, 36.
BEL'LIN, the ram, in the beast-epic of Reynard the Fox. The word means "gentleness" (1498).
BELLINGHAM, a man about town.—D. Boucicault, After Dark.
BEL'LISANT, sister of king Pepin of France, and wife of Alexander emperor of Constantinople. Being accused of infidelity, the emperor banished her, and she took refuge in a vast forest, where she became the mother of Valentine and Orson.—Valentine and Orson.
BELLMONT (Sir William), father of George Bellmont; tyrannical, positive, and headstrong. He imagines it is the duty of a son to submit to his father's will, even in the matter of matrimony.
George Bellmont, son of sir William, in love with Clarissa, his friend Beverley's sister; but his father demands of him to marry Belinda Blandford, the troth-plight wife of Beverley. Ultimately all comes right.—A. Murphy, All in the Wrong (1761).
BELLO'NA'S HANDMAIDS, Blood, Fire, and Famine.
The goddesse of warre, called Bellona, had these thre handmaids ever attendynge on her: BLOOD, FIRE, and FAMINE, which thre damosels be of that force and strength that every one of them alone is able and sufficient to torment and afflict a proud prince; and they all joyned together are of puissance to destroy the most populous country and most richest region of the world.—Hall, Chronicle (1530).
BELLUM (Master), war.
A difference [is] 'twixt broyles and bloudie warres,— Yet have I shot at Maister Bellum's butte, And thrown his ball, although I toucht no tutte [benefit].
G. Gascoigne, The Fruites of Warre, 94 (died 1577).
BELMONT (Sir Robert), a proud, testy, mercenary country gentleman; friend of his neighbor, sir Charles Raymond.
Charles Belmont, son of sir Robert, a young rake. He rescued Fidelia, at the age of twelve, from the hands of Villard, a villain who wanted to abuse her, and taking her to his own home, fell in love with her, and in due time married her. She turns out to be the daughter of sir Charles Raymond.
Rosetta Belmont, daughter of sir Robert, high-spirited, witty, and affectionate. She is in love with colonel Raymond, whom she delights in tormenting.—Ed. Moore, The Foundling (1748).
Belmont (Andrew), the elder of two brothers, who married Violetta (an English lady born in Lisbon), and deserted her. He then promised marriage to Lucy Waters, the daughter of one of his tenants, but had no intention of making her his wife. At the same time he engaged himself to Sophia, the daughter of sir Benjamin Dove. The day of the wedding arrived, and it was then discovered that he was married already, and that Violetta his wife was actually present.
Robert Belmont, the younger of the two brothers, in love with Sophia Dove. He went to sea in a privateer under captain Ironside, his uncle, and changed his name to Lewson. The vessel was wrecked on the Cornwall coast, and he renewed his acquaintance with Sophia, but heard that she was engaged in marriage to his brother. As, however, it was proved that his brother was already married, the young lady willingly abandoned the elder for the younger brother.—K. Cumberland, The Brothers (1769).
BELMOUR (Edward), a gay young man about town.—Congreve, The Old Bachelor (1693).
Belmour (Mrs.), a widow of "agreeable vivacity, entertaining manners, quickness of transition from one thing to another, a feeling heart, and a generosity of sentiment." She it is who shows Mrs. Lovemore the way to keep her husband at home, and to make him treat her with that deference which is her just due.—A. Murphy, The Way to Keep Him (1760).
BELOVED DISCIPLE (The), St. John "the divine," and writer of the fourth Gospel.—John xiii. 23, etc.
BELOVED PHYSICIAN (The), St. Luke the evangelist.—Col. iv. 14.
BEL'PHEGOR, a Moabitish deity, whose orgies were celebrated on mount Phegor, and were noted for their obscenity.
BELPHOE'BE (3 syl.). "All the Graces rocked her cradle when she was born." Her mother was Chrysog'one (4 syl.), daughter of Amphisa of fairy lineage, and her twin-sister was Amoretta. While the mother and her babes were asleep, Diana took one (Belphoebe) to bring up, and Venus took the other.
Belphoebe is the "Diana" among women, cold, passionless, correct, and strong-minded. Amoret is the "Venus," but without the licentiousness of that goddess, warm, loving, motherly, and wifely. Belphoebe was a lily; Amoret a rose. Belphoebe a moonbeam, light without heat; Amoret a sunbeam, bright and warm and life-giving. Belphoebe would go to the battle-field, and make a most admirable nurse or lady-conductor of an ambulance; but Amoret would prefer to look after her husband and family, whose comfort would be her first care, and whose love she would seek and largely reciprocate.—See Spenser, Faery Queen, iii. vi. (1590).
"Belphoebe" is queen Elizabeth. As queen she is Gloriana, but as woman she is Belphoebe, the beautiful and chaste.
Either Grloriana let her choose, Or in Belphoebe fashioned to be;
In one her rule, in the other her rare chastitie.
Spenser, Faery Queen (introduction to bk. iii.).
BELTED WILL, lord William Howard, warden of the western marches (1563-1640).
His Bilboa blade, by Marchmen felt, Hung in a broad and studded belt; Hence in rude phrase the Borderers still Called noble Howard "Belted Will."
Sir W. Scott.
BELTEN'EBROS (4 syl.). Amadis of Graul assumes the name when he retires to the Poor Rock, after receiving a cruel letter from Oria'na his lady-love.—Vasco de Lobeira, Amadis de Gaul, ii. 6 (before 1400).
One of the most distinguishing testimonies which that hero gave of his fortitude, constancy, and love, was his retiring to the Poor Rock when in disgrace with his mistress Oriana, to do penance under the name of Beltenebros or the Lovely Obscure.—Cervantes, Don Quixote, I. iii. 11 (1605).
BELVIDE'RA, daughter of Priu'li a senator of Venice. She was saved from the sea by Jaffier, eloped with him, and married him. Her father then discarded her, and her husband joined the conspiracy of Pierre to murder the senators. He tells Belvidera of the plot, and Belvidera, in order to save her father, persuades Jaffier to reveal the plot to Priuli, if he will promise a general free pardon. Priuli gives the required promise, but notwithstanding, all the conspirators, except Jaffier, are condemned to death by torture. Jaffier stabs Pierre to save him from the dishonor of the wheel, and then kills himself. Belvidera goes mad and dies.—Otway, Venice Preserved (1682).
BEN [LEGEND], sir Sampson Legend's younger son, a sailor and a "sea-wit," in whose composition there enters no part of the conventional generosity and open frankness of a British tar. His slang phrase is "D'ye see," and his pet oath "Mess!"—W. Congreve, Love for Love (1695). I cannot agree with the following sketch:—
What is Ben—the pleasant sailor which Bannister gives us—but a piece of satire ... a dreamy combination of all the accidents of a sailor's character, his contempt of money, his credulity to women, with that necessary estrangement from home?... We never think the worse of Ben for it, or feel it as a stain upon his character.—C. Lamb.
C. Dibdin says: "If the description of Thom. Doggett's performance of this character be correct, the part has certainly never been performed since to any degree of perfection."
BEN BOLT, old schoolmate with whom Thomas Dunn English exchanges reminiscences in the ballad, Ben Bolt, beginning:
Don't you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt? Sweet Alice, whose hair was so brown; Who wept with delight when you gave her a smile, And trembled with fear at your frown. (1845.)
BEN-HUR, a young Jew, who, for accidentally injuring a Roman soldier, is condemned to the galleys for life. Escaping, after three years of servitude, through the favor of Arrius, a Roman Tribune, he seeks his mother and sister to find both lepers. They are healed by Christ, whose devoted followers they become.—Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880).
BEN ISRAEL (Nathan) or NATHAN BEN SAMUEL, the physician and friend of Isaac the Jew.—Sir W. Scott, Ivanhoe (time, Richard I.).
BEN JOC'HANAN, in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel, by Dryden and Tate, is meant for the Rev. Samuel Johnson, who suffered much persecution for his defence of the right of private judgment.
Let Hebron, nay, let hell produce a man So made for mischief as Ben Jochanan. A Jew of humble parentage was he, By trade a Levite, though of low degree.
BENAI'AH (3 syl.), in Absalom and Achitophel, is meant for general George Edward Sackville. As Benaiah, captain of David's guard, adhered to Solomon against Adonijah, so general Sackville adhered to the duke of York against the prince of Orange (1590-1652).
Nor can Benaiah's worth forgotten lie, Of steady soul when public storms were high.
Dryden and Tate, part ii.
BENAS'KAR or BENNASKAR, a wealthy merchant and magician of Delhi.—James Ridley, Tales of the Genii ("History of Mahoud," tale vii., 1751).
BENBOW (Admiral). In an engagement with the French near St. Martha on the Spanish coast in 1701, admiral Benbow had his legs and thighs shivered into splinters by chain-shot, but supported in a wooden frame he remained on the quarter-deck till morning, when Du Casse sheered off.
Similar acts of heroism are recorded of Almeyda, the Portuguese governor of India, of Cynaegiros brother of the poet AEschylos, of Jaafer the standard-bearer of "the prophet" in the battle of Muta, and of some others.
Benbow, an idle, generous, free-and-easy sot, who spent a good inheritance in dissipation, and ended life in the workhouse.
Benbow, a boon companion, long approved By jovial sets, and (as he thought) beloved, Was judged as one to joy and friendship prone, And deemed injurious to himself alone.
Crabbe, Borough, xvi. (1810).
BEND-THE-BOW, an English archer at Dickson's cottage.—Sir W. Scott, Castle Dangerous (time, Henry I.).
BENEDICK, a wild, witty, and light-hearted young lord of Padua, who vowed celibacy, but fell in love with Beatrice and married her. It fell out thus: He went on a visit to Leonato, governor of Messina; here he sees Beatrice, the governor's niece, as wild and witty as himself, but he dislikes her, thinks her pert and forward, and somewhat ill-mannered withal. However, he hears Claudio speaking to Leonata about Beatrice, saying how deeply she loves Benedick, and bewailing that so nice a girl should break her heart with unrequited love. This conversation was a mere ruse, but Benedick believed it to be true, and resolved to reward the love of Beatrice with love and marriage. It so happened that Beatrice had been entrapped by a similar conversation which she had overheard from her cousin Hero. The end was they sincerely loved each other, and became man and wife.—Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing (1600). BENEDICT [BELLEFONTAINE], the wealthiest farmer of Grand Pre, in Acadia, father of Evangeline ("the pride of the village"). He was a stalwart man of seventy, hale as an oak, but his hair was white as snow. Colonel Winslow in 1713 informed the villagers of Grand Pre that the French had formally ceded their village to the English, that George II. now confiscated all their lands, houses, and cattle, and that the people, amounting to nearly 2000, were to be "exiled into other lands without delay." The people assembled on the sea-shore; old Benedict Bellefontaine sat to rest himself, and fell dead in a fit. The old priest buried him in the sand, and the exiles left their village homes forever.—Longfellow, Evangeline (1849).
BEN'ENGEL'I (Cid Hamet), the hypothetical Moorish chronicler from whom Cervantes pretends he derived the account of the adventures of don Quixote.
The Spanish commentators ... have discovered that cid Hamet Benengeli is after all no more than an Arabic version of the name of Cervantes himself. Hamet is a Moorish prefix, and Benengeli signifies "son of a stag," in Spanish Cervanteno.—Lockhart.
Benengeli (Cid Hamet), Thomas Babington lord Macaulay. His signature in his Fragment of an Ancient Romance (1826). (See Cid, etc.)
BENEV'OLUS, in Cowper's Task, is John Courtney Throckmorton, of Weston Underwood.
BENJAMIN PENGUILLAN. The Pioneers, by J. F. Cooper. A servant in the family of Judge Temple. His sobriquet is "Ben Pump." (1823.)
BENJIE (Little), or Benjamin Colthred, a spy employed by Cristal Nixon, the agent of Redgauntlet.—Sir W. Scott, Redgauntlet (time, George III.).
BEN'NET (Brother), a monk at St. Mary's convent.—Sir W. Scott, The Monastery (time, Elizabeth).
Ben'net (Mrs.), a demure, intriguing woman in Amelia, a novel by Fielding (1751).
BEN'OITON (Madame), a woman who has been the ruin of the family by neglect. In the "famille Benoiton" the constant question was "Ou est Madame?" and the invariable answer "Elle est sortie" At the denouement the question was asked again, and the answer was varied thus, "Madam has been at home, but is gone out again."—La Famille Benoiton.
BEN'SHEE, the domestic spirit or demon of certain Irish families. The benshee takes an interest in the prosperity of the family to which it is attached, and intimates to it approaching disaster or death by wailings or shrieks. The Scotch Bodach Glay or "grey spectre" is a similar spirit. Same as Banshee (which see).
How oft has the Benshee cried! How oft has death untied Bright links that glory wove, Sweet bonds entwined by love!
T. Moore, Irish Melodies, ii.
BENVO'LIO, nephew to Montague, and Romeo's friend. A testy, litigious fellow, who would quarrel about goat's wool or pigeon's milk. Mercutio says to him, "Thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street, because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun" (act iii. sc. 1),—Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1598).
BEOWULF, the name of an Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the sixth century. It received its name from Beowulf, who delivered Hrothgar king of Denmark from the monster Grrendel. This Grendel was half monster and half man, and night after night stole into the king's palace called Heorot, and slew sometimes as many as thirty of the sleepers at a time. Beowulf put himself at the head of a mixed band of warriors, went against the monster and slew it. This epic is very Ossianic in style, is full of beauties, and is most interesting.—Kemble's Translation.
(A.D. Wackerbarth published in 1849 a metrical translation of this Anglo-Saxon poem, of considerable merit.)
BEPPO. Byron's Beppo is the husband of Laura, a Venetian lady. He was taken captive in Troy, turned Turk, joined a band of pirates, grew rich, and after several years returned to his native land. He found his wife at a carnival ball with a cavaliero, made himself known to her, and they lived together again as man and wife. (Beppo is a contraction of Guiseppe, as Joe is of Joseph, 1820.)
Beppo, in Fra Diavolo, an opera by Auber (1836).
BERALDE (2 syl.), brother of Argan the malade imaginaire. He tells Argan that his doctors will confess this much, that the cure of a patient is a very minor consideration with them, "toute l'excellence de leur art consiste en un pompeux galimatias, en un specieux babil, qui vous donne des mots pour des raisons, et des promesses pour des effets." Again he says, "presque tous les hommes meurent de leur remedes et non pas de leurs maladies." He then proves that Argan's wife is a mere hypocrite, while his daughter is a true-hearted, loving girl; and he makes the invalid join in the dancing and singing provided for his cure.—Moliere, Le Malade Imaginaire (1673). BERCH'TA ("the white lady"), a fairy of southern Germany, answering to Hulda ("the gracious lady") of northern Germany. After the introduction of Christianity, Berchta lost her first estate and lapsed into a bogie.
BERECYNTHIAN GODDESS (The). Cybele is so called from mount Berecyntus, in Phrygia, where she was held in especial adoration. She is represented as crowned with turrets, and holding keys in her hand.
Her helmed head Rose like the Berecynthian goddess crowned With towers.
Southey, Roderick, etc., ii. (1814).
BERECYN'THIAN HERO (The), Midas king of Phyrgia, so called from mount Berecyn'tus (4 syl.), in Phrygia.
BERENGA'RIA, queen-consort of Richard Coeur de Lion, introduced in The Talisman, a novel by sir W. Scott (1825). Berengaria died 1230.
BERENGER (Sir Raymond), an old Norman warrior, living at the castle of Garde Doloureuse.
The lady Eveline, sir Raymond's daughter, betrothed to sir Hugo de Lacy. Sir Hugo cancels his own betrothal in favor of his nephew (sir Damian de Lacy), who marries the lady Eveline, "the betrothed."—Sir W. Scott, The Betrothed (time, Henry II.).
BERENI'CE (4 syl.), sister-wife of Ptolemy III. She vowed to sacrifice her hair to the gods if her husband returned home the vanquisher of Asia. On his return, she suspended her hair in the temple of the war-god, but it was stolen the first night, and Conon of Samos told the king that the winds had carried it to heaven, where it still forms the seven stars near the tail of Leo, called Coma Berenices.
Pope, in his Rape of the Lock, has borrowed this fable to account for the lock of hair cut from Belinda's head, the restoration of which the young lady insisted upon.
Bereni'ce (4 syl.), a Jewish princess, daughter of Agrippa. She married Herod king of Chalcis, then Polemon king of Cilicia, and then went to live with Agrippa II. her brother. Titus fell in love with her and would have married her, but the Romans compelled him to renounce the idea, and a separation took place. Otway (1672) made this the subject of a tragedy called Titus and Berenice; and Jean Racine (1670), in his tragedy of Berenice, has made her a sort of Henriette d'Orleans.
(Henriette d'Orleans, daughter of Charles I. of England, married Philippe due d'Orleans, brother of Louis XIV. She was brilliant in talent and beautiful in person, but being neglected by her husband, she died suddenly after drinking a cup of chocolate, probably poisoned.)
Berenice, heroine of a tragic-comic fantasy by Edgar Allan Poe, in which Berenice's teeth hold a position as conspicuous as ghastly (1845).
BERINGHEN (The Sieur de), an old gourmand, who preferred patties to treason; but cardinal Richelieu banished him from France, saying:
Sleep not another night in Paris, Or else your precious life may be in danger.
Lord Lytton, Richelieu (1839).
BERIN'THIA, cousin of Amanda; a beautiful young widow attached to colonel Townly. In order to win him she plays upon his jealousy by coquetting with Loveless.—Sheridan, A Trip to Scarborough (1777).
BERKE'LEY (The Old Woman of), a woman whose life had been very wicked. On her death-bed she sent for her son who was a monk, and for her daughter who was a nun, and bade them put her in a strong stone coffin, and to fasten the coffin to the ground with strong bands of iron. Fifty priests and fifty choristers were to pray and sing over her for three days, and the bell was to toll without ceasing. The first night passed without much disturbance. The second night the candles burnt blue and dreadful yells were heard outside the church. But the third night the devil broke into the church and carried off the old woman on his black horse.—R. Southey, The Old Woman of Berkeley (a ballad from Olaus Magnus).
Dr. Sayers pointed out to us in conversation a story related by Olaus Magnus of a witch whose coffin was confined by three chains, but nevertheless was carried off by demons. Dr. Sayers had made a ballad on the subject; so had I; but after seeing The Old Woman of Berkeley, we awarded it the preference.—W. Taylor.
BERKE'LY (The lady Augusta), plighted to sir John de Walton, governor of Douglas Castle. She first appears under the name of Augustine, disguised as the son of Bertram the minstrel, and the novel concludes with her marriage to De Walton, to whom Douglas Castle had been surrendered.—Sir W. Scott, Castle Dangerous (time, Henry I.).
BERKSHIRE LADY (The), Miss Frances Kendrick, daughter of sir William Kendrick, second baronet; his father was created baronet by Charles II. The line, "Faint heart never won fair lady," was the advice of a friend to Mr. Child, the son of a brewer, who sought the hand of the lady.—Quarterly Review, cvi. 205-245.
BERNARD. Solomon Bernard, engraver of Lions (sixteenth century), called Le petit Bernard. Claud Bernard of Dijon, the philanthropist (1588-1641), is called Poor Bernard. Pierre Joseph Bernard, the French poet (1710-1755), is called Le gentil Bernard.
Bernard, an ass; in Italian Bernardo. In the beast-epic called Reynard the Fox, the sheep is called "Bernard," and the ass is "Bernard l'archipetre" (1498).
BERNARD LANGDON, fine young fellow of the "Brahmin Caste," who teaches school while preparing for a profession.—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Elsie Venner (1861).
BERNAR'DO, an officer in Denmark, to whom the ghost of the murdured king appeared during the night-watch at the royal castle.—Shakespeare, Hamlet (1596).
BERNARDO DEL CARPIO, one of the favorite subjects of the old Spanish minstrels. The other two were The Cid and Lara's Seven Infants. Bernardo del Carpio was the person who assailed Orlando (or Rowland) at Roncesvalles, and finding him invulnerable, took him up in his arms and squeezed him to death, as Hercules did Antae'os.—Cervantes, Don Quixote, II. ii. 13 (1615).
The only vulnerable part of Orlando was the sole of the foot.
BERSER'KER, grandson of the eight-handed Starka'der and the beautiful Alfhil'de. He was so called because he wore "no shirt of mail," but went to battle unharnessed. He married the daughter of Swaf'urlam, and had twelve sons. (Baer-syrce, Anglo-Saxon, "bare of shirt;" Scotch, "bare-sark.")
You say that I am a Berserker, and ... bare-sark I go to-morrow to the war, and bare-sark I win that war or die.—Rev. C. Kingsley, Hereward the Wake, i. 247.
BERTHA, the supposed daughter of Vandunke (2 syl.), burgomaster of Bruges, and mistress of Goswin, a rich merchant of the same city. In reality. Bertha is the duke of Brabant's daughter Gertrude, and Goswin is Florez, son of Gerrard king of the beggars.—Beaumont and Fletcher, The Beggars' Bush (1622).
Ber'tha, daughter of Burkhard duke of the Alemanni, and wife of Rudolf II. king of Burgundy beyond Jura. She is represented on monuments of the time as sitting on her throne spinning.
Yon are the beautiful Bertha the Spinner, the queen of Helvetia; ... Who as she rode on her palfrey o'er valley, and meadow, and mountain, Ever was spinning her thread from the distaff fixed to her saddle. She was so thrifty and good that her name passed into a proverb.
Longfellow, Courtship of Miles Standish, viii.
Bertha, alias AGATHA, the betrothed of Hereward (3 syl.), one of the emperor's Varangian guards. The novel concludes with Hereward enlisting under the banner of count Robert, and marrying Bertha.—Sir W. Scott, Count Robert of Paris (time, Rufus).
Ber'tha, the betrothed of John of Leyden. When she went with her mother to ask count Oberthal's permission to marry, the count resolved to make his pretty vassal his mistress, and confined her in his castle. She made her escape and went to Munster, intending to set fire to the palace of "the prophet," who, she thought, had caused the death of her lover. Being seized and brought before the prophet, she recognized in him her lover, and exclaiming, "I loved thee once, but now my love is turned to hate," stabbed herself and died.—Meyerbeer, Le Prophete (an opera, 1849).
BERTHA AMORY, wife of Richard Amory and used by him in political intrigues, in Through One Administration, by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Secretly, and against her will, in love with Trevannion, an army officer whom she has known from childhood (1883).
BERTHE AN GRAND-PIED, mother of Charlemagne, so called from a club-foot.
BERTIE CECIL, noble young Englishman who assumes his brother's crime to save the family name, and exiles himself as a soldier in the French army of Algiers. Eventually his fame is cleared and he returns to England as lord Royalieu.—Ouida, Under Two Flags.
BERTIE THE LAMB, professional dude, with a heart yet softer than his head, in The Henrietta, a play of New York life, by Bronson Howard. Stuart Robson's impersonation of "Bertie" is without a flaw (1887).
BERTOLDE (3 syl.), the hero of a little jeu d'esprit in Italian prose by Julio Caesare Croce (2 syl.). He is a comedian by profession, whom nothing astonishes. He is as much at his ease with kings and queens as with those of his own rank. Hence the phrase Imperturbable as Bertolde, meaning "never taken by surprise," "never thrown off one's guard," "never disconcerted."
BERTOLDO (Prince), a knight of Malta, and brother of Roberto king of the two Sicilies. He was in love with Cami'ola "the maid of honor," but could not marry without a dispensation from the pope. While matters were at this crisis, Bertoldo laid siege to Sienna, and was taken prisoner. Camiola paid his ransom, but before he was released the duchess Aurelia requested him to be brought before her. As soon as the duchess saw him, she fell in love with him, and offered him marriage, and Bertoldo, forgetful of Camiola, accepted the offer. The betrothed then presented themselves before the king. Here Camiola exposed the conduct of the knight; Roberto was indignant; Aurelia rejected her fiance with scorn; and Camiola took the veil.—Massinger, The Maid of Honor (1637).
Bertol'do, the chief character of a comic romance called Vita di Bertoldo, by Julio Cesare Croce, who flourished in the sixteenth century. It recounts the successful exploits of a clever but ugly peasant, and was for two centuries as popular in Italy as Robinson Crusoe is in England. Same as, Bertolde and Bartoldo.
BERTOLDO'S SON, Rinaldo.—Tasso, Jerusalem Delivered (1575).
BERTRAM (Baron), one of Charlemagne's paladins.
Ber'tram, count of Rousillon. While on a visit to the king of France, Helena, a physician's daughter, cured the king of a. disorder which had baffled the court physicians. For this service the king promised her for husband any one she chose to select, and her choice fell on Bertram. The haughty count married her, it is true, but deserted her at once, and left for Florence, where he joined the duke's army. It so happened that Helena also stopped at Florence while on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Jacques le Grand. In Florence she lodged with a widow whose daughter Diana, was wantonly loved by Bertram. Helena obtained permission to receive his visits in lieu of Diana, and in one of these visits exchanged rings with him. Soon after this the count went on a visit to his mother, where he saw the king, and the king observing on his finger the ring he had given to Helena, had him arrested on the suspicion of murder. Helena now came forward to explain matters, and all was well, for all ended well.—Shakespeare, All's Well that Ends Well (1598).
I cannot reconcile my heart to "Bertram," a man noble without generosity, and young without truth; who marries Helena as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate. When she is dead by his unkindness he sneaks home to a second marriage, is accused by a woman whom he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, and is dismissed to happiness.—Dr. Johnson.
Bertram (Sir Stephen), an austere merchant, very just but not generous. Fearing lest his son should marry the sister of his clerk (Charles Ratcliffe), he dismissed Ratcliffe from his service, and being then informed that the marriage had already taken place, he disinherited his son. Sheva the Jew assured him that the lady had L10,000 for her fortune, so he relented. At the last all parties were satisfied.
Frederick Bertram, only son of sir Stephen; he marries Miss Ratcliffe clandestinely, and incurs thereby his father's displeasure, but the noble benevolence of Sheva the Jew brings about a reconciliation and opens sir Bertram's eyes to "see ten thousand merits," a grace for every pound.—Cumberland, The Jew (1776).
Ber'tram (Count), an outlaw, who becomes the leader of a band of robbers. Being wrecked on the coast of Sicily, he is conveyed to the castle of lady Imogine, and in her he recognizes an old sweetheart to whom in his prosperous days he was greatly attached. Her husband (St. Aldobrand), who was away at first, returning unexpectedly is murdered by Bertram; Imogine goes mad and dies; and Bertram puts an end to his own life.—C. Maturin, Bertram (1782-1825).
Bertram (Mr. Godfrey), the laird of Ellangowan.
Mrs. Bertram, his wife.
Harry Bertram, alias captain Vanbeest Brown, alias Dawson, alias Dudley, son of the laird, and heir to Ellangowan. Harry Bertram is in love with Julia Mannering, and the novel concludes with his taking possession of the old house at Ellangowan and marrying Julia.
Lucy Bertram, sister of Harry Bertram. She marries Charles Hazlewood, son of sir Robert Hazlewood, of Hazlewood.
Sir Allen Bertram, of Ellangowan, an ancestor of Mr. Godfrey Bertram.
Dennis Bertram, Donohoe Bertram, and Lewis Bertram, ancestors of Mr. Godfrey Bertram.
Captain Andrew Bertram, a relative of the family.—Sir W. Scott, Guy Mannering (time, George II.).
Bertram, the English minstrel, and guide of lady Augusta Berkely; when in disguise she calls herself the minstrel's son.—Sir W. Scott, Castle Dangerous (time, Henry I.).
Ber'tram, one of the conspirators against the republic of Venice. Having "a hesitating softness, fatal to a great enterprise," he betrayed the conspiracy to the senate.—Byron, Marino Faliero (1819).
BERTRA'MO, the fiend-father of Robert le Diable. After alluring his son to gamble away all his property, he meets him near St. Ire'ne, and Hel'ena seduces him to join in "the Dance of Love." When at last Bertramo comes to claim his victim, he is resisted by Alice (the duke's foster-sister), who reads to Robert his mother's will. Being thus reclaimed, angels celebrate the triumph of good over evil.—Meyerbeer, Roberto il Diavolo (an opera, 1831).
BERTRAND, a simpleton and a villain. He is the accomplice of Robert Macaire, a libertine of unblushing impudence, who sins without compunction.—Daumier, L'Auberge des Adrets.
BERTRAND DU GUESLIN, a romance of chivalry, reciting the adventures of this connetable de France, in the reign of Charles V.
Bertrand du Gueslin in prison. The prince of Wales went to visit his captive Bertrand, and asking him how he fared, the Frenchman replied, "Sir, I have heard the mice and the rats this many a day, but it is long since I heard the song of birds," i.e. I have been long a captive and have not breathed the fresh air.
The reply of Bertrand du Gueslin calls to mind that of Douglas, called "The Good sir James," the companion of Robert Bruce, "It is better, I ween, to hear the lark sing than the mouse cheep," i.e. It is better to keep the open field than to be shut up in a castle.
BERTULPHE (2 syl.), provost of Bruges, the son of a serf. By his genius and energy he became the richest, most honored, and most powerful man in Bruges. His arm was strong in fight, his wisdom swayed the council, his step was proud, and his eye untamed. He had one child, most dearly beloved, the bride of sir Bouchard, a knight of noble descent. Charles "the Good," earl of Flanders, made a law (1127) that whoever married a serf should become a serf, and that serfs were serfs till manumission. By these absurd decrees Bertulphe the provost, his daughter Constance, and his knightly son-in-law were all serfs. The result was that the provost slew the earl and then himself, his daughter went mad and died, and Bouchard was slain in fight.—S. Knowles, The Provost of Bruges (1836).
BER'WINE (2 syl.), the favorite attendant of lady Er'mengarde (3 syl.) of Baldringham, great-aunt of lady Eveline "the betrothed."—Sir W. Scott, The Betrothed (time, Henry II.).
BER'YL MOL'OZANE (3 syl.), the lady-love of George Geith. All beauty, love, and sunshine. She has a heart for every one, is ready to help every one, and is by every one beloved, yet her lot is most painfully unhappy, and ends in an early death.—F.G. Trafford [J.H. Riddell], George Geith.
BESO'NIAN (A), a scoundrel. From the Italian, bisognoso, "a needy person, a beggar."
Proud lords do tumble from the towers of their high descents; and be trod under feet of every inferior besonian.—Thomas Nash, Pierce Pennylesse, His Supplication, etc. (1592).
BESS (Good queen), Elizabeth (1533, 1558-1603).
Bess, the daughter of the "blind beggar of Bethnal Green," a lady by birth, a sylph for beauty, an angel for constancy and sweetness. She was loved to distraction by Wilford, and it turned out that he was the son of lord Woodville, and Bess the daughter of lord Woodville's brother; so they were cousins. Queen Elizabeth sanctioned their nuptials, and took them under her own especial conduct.—S. Knowles, The Beggar of Bethnal Green (1834).
BESS O' BEDLAM, a female lunatic vagrant, the male lunatic vagrant being called a Tom o' Bedlam.
BESSUS, governor of Bactria, who seized Dari'us (after the battle of Arbe'la) and put him to death. Arrian says, Alexander caused the nostrils of the regicide to be slit, and the tips of his ears to be cut off. The offender being then sent to Ecbat'ana, in chains, was put to death.
Lo! Bessus, he that armde with murderer's knyfe And traytrous hart agaynst his royal king, With bluddy hands bereft his master's life. What booted him his false usurped raygne. When like a wretche led in an iron chayne, He was presented by his chiefest friende Unto the foes of him whom he had slayne?
T. Sackville, A Mirrour for Magistraytes ("The Complaynt," 1587).
Bes'sus a cowardly bragging captain, a sort of Bobadil or Vincent de la Rosa. Captain Bessus, having received a challenge, wrote word back that he could not accept the honor for thirteen weeks, as he had already 212 duels on hand, but he was much grieved that he could not appoint an earlier day.—Beaumont and Fletcher, King and No King (1619).
Rochester I despise for want of wit. So often does he aim, so seldom hit ... Mean in each action, lewd in every limb, Manners themselves are mischievous in him ... For what a Bessus has he always lived!
Dryden, Essay upon Satire.
BETH MARCH, the third and gentlest sister in Louisa M. Alcott's novel "Little Women" (1868).
BETSEY, the wife in Will Carleton's farm ballad, Betsey and I are Out. In dictating to a lawyer the terms of separation, the farmer reminds himself of the many excellent points of the offending spouse, and how "she and I was happy before we quarrelled so."
And when she dies, I wish that she would be laid by me, And, lyin' together in silence, perhaps we will agree; And, if ever we meet in heaven I wouldn't think it queer If we loved each other better because we quarrelled here.
BETSEY BOBBET, the sentimental spinster who wears out the patience of Josiah Allen's wife with poetry and opinions.
"She is fairly activ' to make a runnin' vine of herself.... It seems strange to me that them that preach up the doctrine of woman's only spear don't admire one who carries it out to its full extent."—Marietta Holley, My Opinions and Betsey Bobbet's (1872).
BETTINA WARD, a Southern girl, poor and proud, in Constance Fenimore Woolson's story of Rodman the Keeper. "A little creature that fairly radiated scorn at thought of receiving charity from a Yankee" (1880).
BETTY DOXY, Captain Macheath says to her, "Do you drink as hard as ever? You had better stick to good wholesome beer; for, in troth, Betty, strong waters will in time ruin your constitution. You should leave those to your betters."—Gray, The Beggar's Opera, ii. 1 (1727).
BETTY FOY, "the idiot mother of an idiot boy "—W. Wordsworth (1770-1850).
BETTY [HINT], servant in the family of sir Pertinax and lady McSycophant. She is a sly, prying tale-bearer, who hates Constantia (the beloved of Egerton McSycophant), simply because every one else loves her.—C. Macklin, The Man of the World (1764).
BETTY LEICESTER, "vivacious, whole-souled girl of the period," whose summer residence in a New England village introduces elements of fuller and sweeter life. A home-missionary of the better sort.—Sarah Orne Jewett, Betty Leicester (1889).
BEULAH, a poor girl taken from an orphan asylum and brought up in a family of refinement and education. She develops strong traits of character and much intellectual ability. Her long struggles through the mists of rationalism result in clear views of and high faith in revealed religion. Her guardian, and long her teacher, loves her, and after years of waiting, wins her.
"Have you learned that fame is an icy shadow?" he asks upon his return from the protracted wanderings that have taught both how much they need one another. "That gratified ambition cannot make you happy? Do you love me?"
"Better than teaching school and writing learned articles?"
"Rather better, I believe, sir."
Beulah, a novel by Augusta Evans Wilson (1859).
BEUVES (1 syl.), or BUO'VO OF AY'GREMONT, father of Malagigi, and uncle of Rinaldo. Treacherously slain by Ga'no.—Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516).
BEUVES DE HANTONE, French form for Bevis of Southampton (q.v.). "Hantone" is a French corruption of Southampton.
BEV'AN (Mr.), an American physician, who befriends Martin Chuzzlewit and Mark Tapley in many ways during their stay in the New World.—C. Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit (1844).
BEV'ERLEY, "the gamester," naturally a good man, but led astray by Stukely, till at last he loses everything by gambling, and dies a miserable death.
Mrs. Beverley, the gamester's wife. She loves her husband fondly, and clings to him in all his troubles.
Charlotte Beverley, in love with Lewson, but Stukely wishes to marry her. She loses all her fortune through her brother, "the gamester," but Lewson notwithstanding marries her.—Edward Moore, The Gamester (1712-1757).
Beverley, brother of Clarissa, and the lover of Belinda Blandford. He is extremely jealous, and catches at trifles light as air to confirm his fears; but his love is most sincere, and his penitence most humble when he finds out how causeless his suspicions are. Belinda is too proud to deny his insinuations, but her love is so deep that she repents of giving him a moment's pain.—A. Murphy, All in the Wrong (1761).
BEVERLEY THURSTON, a lawyer, belonging to an old New York family, in love with Claire Twining, The Ambitious Woman of Edgar Fawcett's society novel (1883).
He was a man of about forty years old, who had never married. His figure was tall and shapely; his face, usually grave, was capable of much geniality. He had travelled, read, thought, and observed. He stood somewhat high in the legal profession, and came, on the maternal side, of a somewhat noted family.
BEV'IL, a model gentleman, in Steele's Conscious Lovers.
Whatever can deck mankind Or charm the heart, in generous Bevil shewed.
Thomson, The Seasons ("Winter," 1726).
Bevil (Francis, Harry, and George), three brothers—one an M.P., another in the law, and the third in the Guards—who, unknown to each other, wished to obtain in marriage the hand of Miss Grubb, the daughter of a rich stock-broker. The M.P. paid his court to the father, and obtained his consent; the lawyer paid his court to the mother, and obtained her consent; the officer paid his court to the young lady, and having obtained her consent, the other two brothers retired from the field.—O'Brien, Cross Purposes.
BE'VIS, the horse of lord Marmion.—Sir W. Scott, Marmion (1808).
Be'vis (Sir) of Southampton. Having reproved his mother, while still a lad, for murdering his father, she employed Saber to kill him; but Saber only left him on a desert land as a waif, and he was brought up as a shepherd. Hearing that his mother had married Mor'dure (2 syl.), the adulterer, he forced his way into the marriage hall and struck at Mordure; but Mordure slipped aside, and escaped the blow. Bevis was now sent out of the country, and being sold to an Armenian, was presented to the king. Jos'ian, the king's daughter, fell in love with him; they were duly married, and Bevis was knighted. Having slain the boar which made holes in the earth as big as that into which Curtius leapt, he was appointed general of the Armenian forces, subdued Brandamond of Damascus, and made Damascus tributary to Armenia. Being sent, on a future occasion, as ambassador to Damascus, he was thrust into a prison, where were two huge serpents; these he slew, and then effected his escape. His next encounter was with Ascupart the giant, whom he made his slave. Lastly, he slew the great dragon of Colein, and then returned to England, where he was restored to his lands and titles. The French call him Beuves de Hantone.—M. Drayton, Polyolbion, ii. (1612).
The Sword of Bevis of Southampton was Morglay, and his steed Ar'undel. Both were given him by his wife Josian, daughter of the king of Armenia.
BEZA'LIEL, in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel, is meant for the marquis of Worcester, afterwards duke of Beaufort. As Bezaliel, the famous artificer, "was filled with the Spirit of God to devise excellent works in every kind of workmanship," so on the marquis of Worcester—
... so largely Nature heaped her store, There scarce remained for arts to give him more.
Dryden and Tate, part ii.
BEZO'NIAN, a beggar, a rustic. (Italian, bisognoso, "necessitous.")
The ordinary tillers of the earth, such as we call husbandmen; in France, pesants; in Spane, besonyans; and generally cloutshoe.—Markham, English Husbandman, 4.
BIAN'CA, the younger daughter of Baptista of Pad'ua, as gentle and meek as her sister Katherine was violent and irritable. As it was not likely any one would marry Katherine "the shrew," the father resolved that Bianca should not marry before her sister. Petruchio married "the shrew," and then Lucentio married Bianca.—Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew (1594).
Bianca, daughter of a noble family in "The Young Italian," one of the Tales of a Traveller, by Washington Irving. She is beloved passionately by the young Italian and betrothed to him. In his absence Filippo, the false friend of her lover, weds her. The betrayed friend on learning the truth kills Filippo, and is ever afterwards haunted by his dying face (1824).
Bian'ca, a courtesan, the "almost" wife of Cassio. Iago, speaking of the lieutenant, says:
And what was he? Forsooth a great arithmetician. One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife.
Shakespeare, Othello, act i. sc. I (1611).
Bian'ca, wife of Fazio. When her husband wantons with the marchioness Aldabella, Bianca, out of jealousy, accuses him to the duke of Florence of being privy to the death of Bartol'do, an old miser. Fazio being condemned to death, Bianca repents of her rashness, and tries to save her husband, but not succeeding, goes mad and dies.—Dean Milman, Fazio (1815).
BIBBET (Master), secretary to major-general Harrison, one of the parliamentary commissioners.—Sir W. Scott, Woodstock (time, Commonwealth).
BIBBIE'NA (Il), cardinal Bernardo, who resided at Bibbiena, in Tuscany. He was the author of Calandra, a comedy (1470-1520).
"BIBLE" BUTLER, alias Stephen Butler, grandfather of Reuben Butler, the presbyterian minister (married to Jeanie Deans).—Sir W. Scott, Heart of Midlothian (time, George II.).
BIB'LIS, a woman who fell in love with her brother Caunus, and was changed into a fountain near Mile'tus.—Ovid, Met. ix. 662.
Not that [fountain] where Biblis dropt, too fondly light, Her tears and self may dare compare with this.
Phin. Fletcher, The Purple Island, v. (1633).
BIB'ULUS, a colleague of Julius Caesar, but a mere cipher in office; hence his name became a household word for a nonentity.
BIC'KERSTAFF (Isaac), a pseudonym of dean Swift, assumed in the paper-war with Partridge, the almanac-maker, and subsequently adopted by Steele in The Tatler, which was announced as edited by "Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq., astrologer."
BICKERTON (Mrs.), landlady of the Seven Stars inn of York, where Jeanie Deans stops on her way to London, whither she is going to plead for her sister's pardon.—Sir W. Scott, Heart of Midlothian (time, George II.).
BID'DENDEN MAIDS (The), two sisters named Mary and Elizabeth Chulkhurst, born at Biddenden in 1100. They were joined together by the shoulders and hips, and lived to the age of thirty-four. Some say that it was Mary and Elizabeth Chulkhurst who left twenty acres of land to the poor of Biddenden. This tenement called "Bread and Cheese Land," because the rent derived from it is distributed on Easter Sunday in doles of bread and cheese. Halstead says, in his History of Kent, that it was the gift of two maidens named Preston, and not of the Biddenden Maids.
BIDDY, servant to Wopsle's great-aunt, who kept an "educational institution." A good, honest girl who falls in love with Pip, is loved by Dolge Orlick, but marries Joe Grargery.—C. Dickens, Great Expectations (1860).
BIDDY [BELLAIR] (Miss), "Miss in her teens," in love with captain Loveit. She was promised in marriage by her aunt and guardian to an elderly man whom she detested; and during the absence of captain Loveit in the Flanders war, she coquetted with Mr. Fribble and captain Flash. On the return of her "Strephon," she set Fribble and Flash together by the ears; and while they stood menacing each other, but afraid to fight, captain Loveit entered and sent them both to the right-about.—D. Garrick, Miss in Her Teens (1753).
BIDEFORD POSTMAN (The), Edward Capern, a poet, at one time a letter-carrier in Bideford (3 syl).
BIDE-THE-BENT (Mr. Peter), minister of Wolf's Hope village.—Sir W. Scott, Bride of Lammermoor (time, William III.).
BID'MORE (Lord), patron of the Rev Josiah Cargill, minister of St. Ronan's.
The Hon. Augustus Bidmore, son of lord Bidmore, and pupil of the Rev. Josiah Cargill.
Miss Augusta Bidmore, daughter of lord
Bidmore, beloved by the Rev. Josiah Cargill—Sir W. Scott, St. Ronan's Well (time, George III.).
BIE'DERMAN (Arnold), alias count Arnold of Geierstein [Gi'.er.stine], landamman of Unterwalden. Anne of Geierstein, his brother's daughter, is under his charge.
Bertha Biederman, Arnold's late wife.
Ru'diger Biederman, Arnold Biederman's son.
Ernest Biederman, brother of Rudiger.
Sigismund Biederman, nicknamed "The Simple," another brother.
Ulrick Biedermen, youngest of the four brothers.—Sir W. Scott, Anne of Geierstein (time, Edward IV.).
BIG-EN'DIANS (The), a hypothetical religious party of Lilliput, who made it a matter of "faith" to break their eggs at the "big end." Those who broke them at the other end were considered heretics, and called Little-endians.—Dean Swift, Gulliver's Travels (1726).
BIG'LOW (Hosea), the feigned author of The Biglow Papers (1848), really written by Professor James Russell Lowell of Boston, Mass. (1819-1891).
BIG'OT (De), seneschal of prince John.—Sir W. Scott, Ivanhoe (time, Richard I.).
Big'ot, in C. Lamb's Essays, is John Fenwick, editor of the Albion newspaper.
BIL'DAI (2 syl.), a seraph and the tutelar guardian of Matthew the apostle, the son of wealthy parents and brought up in great luxury.—Klopstock, The Messiah, iii. (1748).
BILLINGS (Josh). A.W. Shaw so signs His Book of Sayings (1866).
Ef a man hezn't a well-balanced mind I du admire to see him part his hair in the middle.
Ef thar iz wun sayin' trewer than anuther it is that the devil iz allwaies ready fur kumpany.
Josh Billings's Alminax (1870).
BILLINGSGATE (3 syl.). Beling was a friend of "Brennus" the Gaul, who owned a wharf called Beling's-gate. Geoffrey of Momnouth derives the word from Belin, a mythical king of the ancient Britons, who "built a gate there," B.C. 400 (1142).
BILLY BARLOW, a merry Andrew, so-called from a semi-idiot, who fancied himself "a great potentate." He was well known in the east of London, and died in Whitechapel workhouse. Some of his sayings were really witty, and some of his attitudes truly farcical.
BILLY BLACK, the conundrum-maker.—The Hundred-pound Note.
When Keeley was playing "Billy Black" at Chelmsford, he advanced to the lights at the close of the piece, and said, "I've one more, and this is a good un. Why is Chelmsford Theatre like a half-moon? D'ye give it up? Because it is never full."—Records of a Stage Veteran.
BIMATER ("two-mother"). Bacchus was so called because at the death of his mother during gestation, Jupiter put the foetus into his own thigh for the rest of the time, when the infant Bacchus was duly brought forth.
BIMBISTER (Margery), the old Ranzelman's spouse.—Sir W. Scott, The Pirate (time, William III.).
BIND'LOOSE (John), sheriff's clerk and banker at Marchthorn.—Sir W. Scott, St. Ronan's Well (time, George III.).
BINGEN (Bishop of), generally called bishop Hatto. The tale is that during a famine, he invited the poor to his barn on a certain day, under the plea of distributing corn to them; but when the barn was crowded he locked the door and set fire to the building; for which iniquity he was himself devoured by an army of mice or rats. His castle is the Mouse-tower on the Rhine.
They almost devour me with kisses, Their arms about me entwine, Till I think of the bishop of Bingen, In his Mouse-tower on the Rhine.
Longfellow, Birds of Passage.
BINKS (Sir Bingo), a fox-hunting baronet, and visitor at the Spa.
Lady Binks, wife of sir Bingo, but before marriage Miss Rachael Bonnyrigg. Visitor at the Spa with her husband.—Sir W. Scott, St. Ronan's Well (time, Greorge III.).
BI'ON, the rhetorician, noted for his acrimonious and sharp sayings.
Bioneis sermonibus et sale nigro.
Horace, Epist. ii. 2, 60.
BIONDEL'LO, one of the servants of Lucentio the future husband of Bianca (sister of "the shrew"). His fellow-servant is Tra'nio.—Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew (1594).
BIORN, the son of Heriulf, a Northman, who first touched the shores of the New World.
Across the unpathwayed seas, Shot the brave prow that cut on Vinland sands The first rune in the Saga of the West.
James Russell Lowell, The Voyage to Vinland.
BIRCH (Harvey), a prominent character in The Spy, a novel by J.F. Cooper.
BIRD (My). Fanny Forester (Emily Chubbuck Judson) thus addressed her baby daughter (1848).
There's not in Ind a lovelier bird: Broad earth owns not a happier nest. Oh, God! Thou hast a fountain stirred Whose waters never more shall rest.
* * * * * The pulse first caught its tiny stroke. The blood its crimson hue from mine; The life which I have dared invoke Henceforth is parallel with THINE!
Bird (The Little Green), of the frozen regions, which could reveal every secret and impart information of events past, present, or to come. Prince Chery went in search of it, so did his two cousins, Brightsun and Felix; last of all Fairstar, who succeeded in obtaining it, and liberating the princes who had failed in their attempts.—Comtesse D'Aunoy, Fairy Tales ("Princess Chery," 1682).
This tale is a mere reproduction of "The Two Sisters," the last tale of the Arabian Nights, in which the bird is called "Bulbulhezar, the talking bird."
BIRD SINGING TO A MONK. The monk was Felix.—Longfellow, Golden Legend, ii.
BIRE'NO, the lover and subsequent husband of Olympia queen of Holland. He was taken prisoner by Cymosco king of Friza, but was released by Orlando. Bireno, having forsaken Olympia, was put to death by Oberto king of Ireland, who married the young widow.—Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, iv. v. (1516).
Bire'no (Duke), heir to the crown of Lombardy. It is the king's wish that he should marry Sophia, his only child, but the princess loves Pal'adore (3 syl.), a Briton. Bireno has a mistress named Alin'da, whom he induces to personate the princess, and in Paladore's presence she casts down a rope-ladder for the duke to climb up by. Bireno has Alinda murdered to prevent the deception being known, and accuses the princess of unchastity—a crime in Lombardy punished by death. As the princess is led to execution, Paladore challenges the duke, and kills him. The villainy is fully revealed, and the princess is married to the man of her choice, who had twice saved her life.—Robert Jephson, The Law of Lombardy (1779).
BIRMINGHAM POET (The), John Freeth, the wit, poet, and publican, who wrote his own songs; set them to music, and sang them (1730-1808).
BIRON, a merry mad-cap young lord, in attendance on Ferdinand king of Navarre. Biron promises to spend three years with the king in study, during which time no woman is to approach his court; but no sooner has he signed the compact, than he falls in love with Rosaline. Rosaline defers his suit for twelve months and a day, saying, "If you my favor mean to get, for twelve months seek the weary beds of people sick."
A merrier man, Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour's talk withal. His eye begets occasion for his wit: For every object that the one doth catch, The other turns to a mirth-moving jest; Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) Delivers in such apt and gracious words, That aged ears play truant at his tales, And younger hearings are quite ravished.
Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost, act ii. sc. 1 (1594).
Biron (Charles de Gontaut due de), greatly beloved by Henri IV. of France. He won immortal laurels at the battles of Arques and Ivry, and at the sieges of Paris and Rouen. The king loaded him with honors: he was admiral of France, marshal, governor of Bourgoyne, duke and peer of France. This too-much honor made him forget himself, and he entered into a league with Spain and Savoy against his country. The plot was discovered by Lafin; and although Henri wished to pardon him, he was executed (1602, aged 40).
George Chapman has made him the subject of two tragedies, entitled Biron's Conspiracy and Biron's Tragedy (1557-1634).
Biron, eldest son of count Baldwin, who disinherited him for marrying Isabella, a nun. Biron now entered the army and was sent to the siege of Candy, where he fell, and it was supposed died. After the lapse of seven years, Isabella, reduced to abject poverty, married Villeroy (2 syl.), but the day after her espousals Biron returned, whereupon Isabella went mad and killed herself.—Thomas Southern, Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage.
During the absence of the elder Macready, his son took the part of "Biron" in Isabella. The father was shocked, because he desired his son for the Church; but Mrs. Siddons remarked to him, "In the Church your son will live and die a curate on L50 a year, but if successful, the stage will bring him in a thousand."—Donaldson, Recollections.
BIRTHA, the motherless daughter and only child of As'tragon the Lombard philosopher. In spring she gathered blossoms for her father's still, in autumn, berries, and in summer, flowers. She fell in love with duke Grondibert, whose wounds she assisted her father to heal. Birtha, "in love unpractised and unread," is the beau-ideal of innocence and purity of mind. Grondibert had just plighted his love to her when he was summoned to court, for king Aribert had proclaimed him his successor and future son-in-law. Gondibert assured Birtha he would remain true to her, and gave her an emerald ring which he told her would lose its lustre if he proved untrue. Here the tale breaks off, and as it was never finished the sequel is not known.—Sir W. Davenant, Gondibert (died 1668).
BISHOP MIDDLEHAM, who was always declaiming against ardent drinks, and advocating water as a beverage, killed himself by secret intoxication.
BISHOPS. The seven who refused to read the declaration of indulgence published by James II. and were by him imprisoned for recusancy, were archbishop Sancroft (Canterbury), bishops Lloyd (St. Asaph), Turner (Ely), Kew (Bath and Wells), White (Peterborough), Lake (Chichester), Trelawney (Bristol). Being tried, they were all acquitted (June, 1688).
BISTO'NIANS, the Thracians, so called from Biston (son of Mars), who built Bisto'nia on lake Bis'tonis.
So the Bistonian race, a maddening train, Exult and revel on the Thracian plain.
Pitt's Statius, ii.
BIT'ELAS(3 syl.), sister of Fairlimb, and daughter of Rukenaw the ape, in the beast-epic called Reynard the Fox (1498).
BIT'TLEBRAINS (Lord), friend of sir William Ashton, lord-keeper of Scotland.
Lady Bittlebrains, wife of the above lord.—Sir W. Scott, Bride of Lammermoor (time, William III.).
BIT'ZER, light porter in Bounderby's bank at Coketown. He is educated at M'Choakumchild's "practical school," and becomes a general spy and informer. Bitzer finds out the robbery of the bank, and discovers the perpetrator to be Tom Gradgrind (son of Thomas Gradgrind, Esq., M.P.), informs against him, and gets promoted to his place.—C. Dickens, Hard Times (1854).
BIZARRE [Be.zar'(1)], the friend of Orian'a, forever coquetting and sparring with Duretete [Dure.tait], and placing him in awkward predicaments.—G.K. Farquhar, The Inconstant (1702).
BLACK AG'NES, the countess of March, noted for her defence of Dunbar during the war which Edward III. maintained in Scotland (1333-1338).
Sir Walter Scott says: "The countess was called 'Black Agnes' from her complexion. She was the daughter of Thomas Randolph, earl of Murray."—Tales of a Grandfather, i. 14. (See BLACK PRINCE.)
BLACK COLIN CAMPBELL, general Campbell, in the army of George III., introduced by sir W. Scott in Redgauntlet.
BLACK DOUGLAS, William Douglas, lord of Nithsdale, who died 1390.
He was tall, strong, and well made, of a swarthy complexion, with dark hair, from which he was called "The Black Douglas."—Sir Walter Scott, Tales of a Grandfather, xi.
BLACK DWARF (The), of sir Walter Scott, is meant for David Ritchie, whose cottage was and still is on Manor Water, in the county of Peebles.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN, one of Dibdin's sea-songs.
BLACK GEORGE, the gamekeeper in Fielding's novel, called The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1750).
Black George, Greorge Petrowitsch of Servia, a brigand; called by the Turks Kara George, from the terror he inspired.
BLACK HORSE (The), the 7th Dragoon Guards (not the 7th Dragoons). So called because their facings (or collar and cuffs) are black velvet. Their plumes are black and white; and at one time their horses were black, or at any rate dark.
BLACK KNIGHT OF THE BLACK LANDS (The), sir Pereard. Called by Tennyson "Night" or "Nox." He was one of the four brothers who kept the passages of Castle Dangerous, and was overthrown by sir Gareth.—Sir T. Malory, History of Prince Arthur, i. 126 (1470); Tennyson, Idylls ("Gareth and Lynette").
BLACK LORD CLIFFORD, John ninth lord Clifford, son of Thomas lord Clifford. Also called "The Butcher" (died 1461).
BLACK PRINCE, Edward prince of Wales, son of Edward III. Froissart says he was styled black "by terror of his arms" (c. 169). Similarly, lord Clifford was called "The Black Lord Clifford" for his cruelties (died 1461). George Petrowitsch was called by the Turks "Black George" from the terror of his name. The countess of March was called "Black Agnes" from the terror of her deeds, and not (as sir W. Scott says) from her dark complexion. Similarly, "The Black Sea," or Axinus, as the Greeks once called it, received its name from the inhospitable character of the Scythians.
BLACK'ACRE (Widow), a masculine, litigious, pettifogging, headstrong woman.—Wycherly, The Plain Dealer (1677).
BLACKCHESTER (The countess of), sister of lord Dalgarno.—Sir W. Scott, Fortunes of Nigel (time, James I.).
BLACKGUARDS (Victor Hugo says), soldiers condemned for some offence in discipline to wear their red coats (which were lined with black) inside out. The French equivalent, he says, is Blaqueurs.—L'Homme qui Rit, II. in. 1.
It is quite impossible to believe this to be the true derivation of the word. Other suggestions will be found in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
BLACKLESS (Tomalin), a soldier in the guard of Richard Coeur de Lion.—Sir W. Scott, The Talisman (time, Richard I.).
BLACKMANTLE (Bernard), Charles Molloy Westmacott, author of The English Spy (1826).
BLACK'POOL (Stephen), a power-loom weaver in Bounderby's mill at Coketown. He had a knitted brow and pondering expression of face, was a man of the strictest integrity, refused to join the strike, and was turned out of the mill. When Tom Gradgrind robbed the bank of L150, he threw suspicion on Stephen Blackpool, and while Stephen was hastening to Coketown to vindicate himself he fell into a shaft, known as "the Hell Shaft," and although rescued, died on a litter. Stephen Blackpool loved Rachael, one of the hands, but had already a drunken, worthless wife.—C. Dickens, Hard Times (1854).
BLACKSMITH (The Flemish), Quentin Matsys, the Dutch painter (1460-1529).
Blacksmith (The Learned), Elihu Burritt, United States (1810-1879).
BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE. The vignette on the wrapper of this magazine is meant for George Buchanan, the Scotch historian and poet (1506-1582). He is the representative of Scottish literature generally.
The magazine originated in 1817 with William Blackwood of Edinburgh, publisher.
BLAD'DERSKATE (Lord) and lord Kaimes, the two judges in Peter Peeble's lawsuit.—Sir W. Scott, Redgauntlet (time, George III.).
BLADE O' GRASS, child of the gutter, bright, saucy, and warm-hearted. She is taken from her wretched environment by philanthropists, who would aid her to lead a different life. However great the outward change, she is ever Bohemian at heart.—B.L. Farjeon, Blade o' Grass.
BLA'DUD, father of king Lear. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that "This Prince Bladud was a very ingenious man and taught necromancy in his kingdom; nor did he leave off pursuing his magic operations till he attempted to fly to the upper regions of the air with wings which he had prepared, and fell down upon the temple of Apollo in the city of Trinovantum, where he was dashed to pieces."
BLAIR (Adam), the hero of a novel by J.G. Lockhart, entitled Adam Blair, a Story of Scottish Life (1794-1854).
Blair (Father Clement), a Carthusian monk, confessor of Catherine Glover, "the fair maid of Perth."—Sir W. Scott, Fair Maid of Perth (time, Henry IV.).
Blair (Rev. David), sir Richard Philips, author of The Universal Preceptor (1816), Mother's Question Book, etc. He issued books under a legion of false names.
BLAISE, a hermit, who baptized Merlin the enchanter.
Blaise (St.), patron saint of wool-combers, because he was torn to pieces with iron combs.
BLAKE (Franklin), handsome, accomplished, and desperately in love with his cousin Rachel. Almost wild concerning the safety of the Moonstone which he has conveyed to her, he purloins it while under the influence of opium, taken to relieve insomnia, and gives it to the plausible villain of the book—Godfrey Ablewhite. The latter pawns it to pay his debts, and is murdered by East Indians, who believe that he still has the gem.—Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone.
BLANCHE (1 syl.), one of the domestics of lady Eveline "the betrothed."—Sir W. Scott, The Betrothed (time, Henry II.).
Blanche (La reine), the queen of France during the first six weeks of her widowhood. During this period of mourning she spent her time in a closed room, lit only by a wax taper, and was dressed wholly in white. Mary, the widow of Louis XII., was called La reine Blanche during her days of mourning, and is sometimes (but erroneously) so called afterwards.
Blanche (Lady) makes a vow with lady Anne to die an old maid, and of course falls over head and ears in love with Thomas Blount, a jeweller's son, who enters the army, and becomes a colonel. She is very handsome, ardent, brilliant, and fearless.—S. Knowles, Old Maids (1841).
BLANCHE LOMBARD, girl of the period, who solaces herself for the apparent defection of one lover by flirting with a new acquaintance; registered in his note-book as "Blonde; superb physique; fine animal spirits; giggles."—Robert Grant, The Knave of Hearts (1886).
BLANCHEFLEUR (2 syl.), the heroine of Boccaccio's prose romance called Il Filopoco. Her lover Flores is Boccaccio himself, and Blanchefleur was the daughter of king Robert. The story of Blanchefleur and Flores is substantially the same as that of Dorigen and Aurelius, by Chaucer, and that of "Dianora and Ansaldo," in the Decameron.
BLANDMOUR (Sir), a man of "mickle might," who "bore great sway in arms and chivalry," but was both vainglorious and insolent. He attacked Britomart, but was discomfited by her enchanted spear; he next attacked sir Ferraugh, and having overcome him took him from the lady who accompanied him, "the False Florimel."—Spenser, Faery Queen, iv. 1 (1596).
BLANDEVILLE (Lady Emily), a neighbor of the Waverley family, afterwards married to colonel Talbot.—Sir W. Scott, Waverley (time, George II.).
BLANDFORD, the father of Belinda, who he promised sir William Bellmont should marry his son George. But Belinda was in love with Beverley, and George Bellmont with Clarissa (Beverley's sister). Ultimately matters arranged themselves, so that the lovers married according to their inclinations.—A. Murphy, All in the Wrong (1761).
BLANDIMAN, the faithful man-servant of the fair Bellisant, and her attendant after her divorce.—Valentine and Orson.
BLANDINA, wife of the churlish knight Turpin, who refused hospitality to sir Calepine and his lady Serena (canto 3). She had "the art of a suasive tongue," and most engaging manners, but "her words were only words, and all her tears were water" (canto 7).—Spenser, Faery Queen, iv. (1596).