BELLEROPHON, LETTERS OF, name given to letters fraught with mischief to the bearer. See SUPRA.
BELLES-LETTRES, that department of literature which implies literary culture and belongs to the domain of art, whatever the subject may be or the special form; it includes poetry, the drama, fiction, and criticism.
BELLEVILLE, a low suburb of Paris, included in it since 1860; the scene of one of the outrages of the Communists.
BELLIARD, COMTE DE, a French general and diplomatist; fought in most of the Napoleonic wars, but served under the Bourbons on Napoleon's abdication; was serviceable to Louis Philippe in Belgium by his diplomacy (1769-1832).
BELLI'NI, the name of an illustrious family of Venetian painters.
BELLINI, GENTILE, the son of Jacopo Bellini, was distinguished as a portrait-painter; decorated along with his brother the council-chamber of the ducal palace; his finest picture the "Preaching of St. Mark" (1421-1508).
BELLINI, GIOVANNI, brother of the preceding, produced a great many works; the subjects religious, all nobly treated; had Giorgione and Titian for pupils; among his best works, the "Circumcision," "Feast of the Gods," "Blood of the Redeemer"; did much to promote painting in oil (1426-1516).
BELLINI, JACOPO, a painter from Florence who settled in Venice, the father and founder of the family; d. 1470.
BELLINI, VINCENZO, a musical composer, born at Catania, Sicily; his works operas, more distinguished for their melody than their dramatic power; the best are "Il Pirati," "La Somnambula," "Norma," and "Il Puritani" (1802-1835).
BELLMANN, the poet of Sweden, a man of true genius, called the "Anacreon of Sweden," patronised by Gustavus Adolphus (1741-1795).
BELLO'NA, the goddess of fury in war among the Romans, related by the poets to Mars as sister, wife, or daughter; inspirer of the war-spirit, and represented as armed with a bloody scourge in one hand and a torch in the other.
BELLOT, JOSEPH RENE, a naval officer, born in Paris, distinguished in the expedition of 1845 to Madagascar, and one of those who went in quest of Sir John Franklin; drowned while crossing the ice (1826-1853).
BELLOY, a French poet, born at St. Flour; author of "Le Siege du Calais" and numerous other dramatic works (1727-1775).
BELON, PIERRE, a French naturalist, one of the founders of natural history, and one of the precursors of Cuvier; wrote in different departments of natural history, the chief, "Natural History of Birds"; murdered by robbers while gathering plants in the Bois de Boulogne (1518-1564).
BEL'PHEGOR, a Moabite divinity.
BELPHOEBE (i. e. Beautiful Diana), a huntress in the "Faerie Queene," the impersonation of Queen Elizabeth, conceived of, however, as a pure, high-spirited maiden, rather than a queen.
BELSHAM, THOMAS, a Unitarian divine, originally Calvinist, born at Bedford; successor to the celebrated Priestley at Hackney, London; wrote an elementary work on psychology (1750-1829).
BELSHAZZAR, the last Chaldean king of Babylon, slain, according to the Scripture account, at the capture of the city by Cyrus in 538 B.C.
BELT, GREAT and LITTLE, gateways of the Baltic: the Great between Zealand and Fuenen, 15 m. broad; the Little, between Fuenen and Jutland, half as broad; both 70 m. long, the former of great depth.
BELT OF CALMS, the region in the Atlantic and Pacific, 4 deg. or 5 deg. latitude broad, where the trade-winds meet and neutralise each other, in which, however, torrents of rain and thunder-storms occur almost daily.
BELTANE, or BELTEIN, an ancient Celtic festival connected with the sun-worship, observed about the 1st of May and the 1st of November, during which fires were kindled on the tops of hills, and various ceremonies gone through.
BELTED WILL, name given to Lord William Howard, warden in the 16th and 17th centuries of the Western Marches of England.
BELU'CHISTAN (200 to 400), a desert plateau lying between Persia and India, Afghanistan and the Arabian Sea; is crossed by many mountain ranges, the Suliman, in the N., rising to 12,000 ft. Rivers in the NE. are subject to great floods. The centre and W. is a sandy desert exposed to bitter winds in winter and sand-storms in summer. Fierce extremes of temperature prevail. There are few cattle, but sheep are numerous; the camel is the draught animal. Where there is water the soil is fertile, and crops of rice, cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco are raised; in the higher parts, wheat, maize, and pulse. Both precious and useful metals are found; petroleum wells were discovered in the N. in 1887. The population comprises Beluchis, robber nomads of Aryan stock, in the E. and W., and Mongolian Brahuis in the centre. All are Mohammedan. Kelat is the capital; its position commands all the caravan routes. Quetta, in the N., is a British stronghold and health resort. The Khan of Kelat is the ruler of the country and a vassal of the Queen.
BE'LUS, another name for BAAL (q. v.), or the legendary god of Assyria and Chaldea.
BEL'VEDERE, name given a gallery of the Vatican at Rome, especially that containing the famous statue of Apollo, and applied to picture-galleries elsewhere.
BELZO'NI, GIOVANNI BATTISTA, a famous traveller and explorer in Egypt, born at Padua, of poor parents; a man of great stature; figured as an athlete in Astley's Circus, London, and elsewhere, first of all in London streets; applied himself to the study of mechanics; visited Egypt as a mechanician and engineer at the instance of Mehemet Ali; commenced explorations among its antiquities, sent to the British Museum trophies of his achievements; published a narrative of his operations; opened an exhibition of his collection of antiquities in London and Paris; undertook a journey to Timbuctoo, was attacked with dysentery, and died at Gato (1778-1823).
BEM, JOSEPH, a Polish general, born in Galicia; served in the French army against Russia in 1812; took part in the insurrection of 1830; joined the Hungarians in 1848; gained several successes against Austria and Russia, but was defeated at Temesvar; turned Mussulman, and was made pasha; died at Aleppo, where he had gone to suppress an Arab insurrection; he was a good soldier and a brave man (1791-1850).
BEMBA, a lake in Africa, the highest feeder of the Congo, of an oval shape, 150 m. long and over 70 m. broad, 3000 ft. above the sea-level.
BEMBO, PIETRO, cardinal, an erudite man of letters and patron of literature and the arts, born at Venice; secretary to Pope Leo X.; historiographer of Venice, and librarian of St. Mark's; made cardinal by Paul III., and bishop of Bergamo; a fastidious stylist and a stickler for purity in language (1470-1547).
BEN LAWERS, a mountain in Perthshire, 3984 ft. high, on the W. of Loch Tay.
BEN LEDI, a mountain in Perthshire, 2873 ft. high, 41/2 m. NW. of Callander.
BEN LOMOND, a mountain in Stirlingshire, 3192 ft. high, on the E. of Loch Lomond.
BEN NEVIS, the highest mountain in Great Britain, in SW. Inverness-shire, 4406 ft. high, and a sheer precipice on the NE. 1500 ft. high, and with an observatory on the summit supported by the Scottish Meteorological Society.
BEN RHYDDING, a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 15 m. NW. of Leeds, with a thoroughly equipped hydropathic establishment, much resorted to.
BENARES (219), the most sacred city of the Hindus, and an important town in the NW. Provinces; is on the Ganges, 420 m. by rail NW. of Calcutta. It presents an amazing array of 1700 temples and mosques with towers and domes and minarets innumerable. The bank of the river is laid with continuous flights of steps whence the pilgrims bathe; but the city itself is narrow, crocked, crowded, and dirty. Many thousand pilgrims visit it annually. It is a seat of Hindu learning; there is also a government college. The river is spanned here by a magnificent railway bridge. There is a large trade in country produce, English goods, jewellery, and gems; while its brass-work, "Benares ware," is famous.
BENBOW, JOHN, admiral, born at Shrewsbury; distinguished himself in an action with a Barbary pirate; rose rapidly to the highest post in the navy; distinguished himself well in an engagement with a French fleet in the W. Indies; he lost a leg, and at this crisis some of his captains proved refractory, so that the enemy escaped, were tried by court-martial, and two of them shot; the wound he received and his vexation caused his death. He was a British tar to the backbone, and of a class extinct now (1653-1702).
BENCOOLEN, a town and a Dutch residency in SW. of Sumatra; exports pepper and camphor.
BENDER, a town in Bessarabia, remarkable for the siege which Charles XII. of Sweden sustained there after his defeat at Pultowa.
BENEDEK, LUDWIG VON, an Austrian general, born in Hungary; distinguished himself in the campaigns of 1848-1849; was defeated by the Prussians at Sadowa; superseded and tried, but got off; retired to Graetz, where he died (1804-1871).
BENEDETTI, COUNT VINCENT, French diplomatist, born at Bastia, in Corsica; is remembered for his draft of a treaty between France and Prussia, published in 1870, and for his repudiation of all responsibility for the Franco-German war; b. 1817.
BENEDICT, the name of fourteen popes: B. I., from 574 to 575; B. II., from 684 to 685; B. III., from 855 to 858; B. IV., from 900 to 907; B. V., FROM 964 TO 965; B. VI., from 972 to 974; B. VII., from 975 to 984; B. VIII., from 1012 to 1024; extended the territory of the Church by conquest, and effected certain clerical reforms; B. IX., from 1033 to 1048, a licentious man, and deposed; B. X., from 1058 to 1059; B. XI., from 1303 to 1304; B. XII., from 1334 to 1342; B. XIII., from 1724 to 1730; B. XIV., from 1740 to 1758. Of all the popes of this name it would seem there is only one worthy of special mention.
BENEDICT XIV., a native of Bologna, a man of marked scholarship and ability; a patron of science and literature, who did much to purify the morals and elevate the character of the clergy, and reform abuses in the Church.
BENEDICT, BISCOP, an Anglo-Saxon monk, born in Northumbria; made two pilgrimages to Rome; assumed the tonsure as a Benedictine monk in Provence; returned to England and founded two monasteries on the Tyne, one at Wearmouth and another at Jarrow, making them seats of learning; b. 628.
BENEDICT, ST., the founder of Western monachism, born near Spoleto; left home at 14; passed three years as a hermit, in a cavern near Subiaco, to prepare himself for God's service; attracted many to his retreat; appointed to an abbey, but left it; founded 12 monasteries of his own; though possessed of no scholarship, composed his "Regula Monachorum," which formed the rule of his order; represented in art as accompanied by a raven with sometimes a loaf in his bill, or surrounded by thorns or by howling demons (480-543). See BENEDICTINES.
BENEDICT, SIR JULIUS, musician and composer, native of Stuttgart; removed to London in 1835; author of, among other pieces, the "Gipsy's Warning," the "Brides of Venice," and the "Crusaders"; conducted the performance of "Elijah" in which Jenny Lind made her first appearance before a London audience, and accompanied her as pianist to America in 1850 (1806-1885).
BENEDICTINES, the order of monks founded by St. Benedict and following his rule, the cradle of which was the celebrated monastery of Monte Casino, near Naples, an institution which reckoned among its members a large body of eminent men, who in their day rendered immense service to both literature and science, and were, in fact, the only learned class of the Middle Ages; spent their time in diligently transcribing manuscripts, and thus preserving for posterity the classic literature of Greece and Rome.
BENEDICTUS, part of the musical service at Mass in the Roman Catholic Church; has been introduced into the morning service of the English Church.
BENEFIT OF CLERGY, exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge.
BE'NEKE, FRIEDRICH EDUARD, a German philosopher and professor in Berlin of the so-called empirical school, that is, the Baconian; an opponent of the methods and systems of Kant and Hegel; confined his studies to psychology and the phenomena of consciousness; was more a British thinker than a German (1798-1854).
BENENGE'LI, an imaginary Moorish author, whom Cervantes credits with the story of "Don Quixote."
BENETIER, the vessel for holding the holy water in Roman Catholic churches.
BENEVENTO (20), a town 33 m. NE. of Naples, built out of and amid the ruins of an ancient one; also the province, of which Talleyrand was made prince by Napoleon.
BENEVOLENCE, the name of a forced tax exacted from the people by certain kings of England, and which, under Charles I., became so obnoxious as to occasion the demand of the PETITION OF RIGHTS (q. v.), that no tax should be levied without consent of Parliament; first enforced in 1473, declared illegal in 1689.
BENFEY, THEODOR, Orientalist, born near Goettingen, of Jewish birth; a great Sanskrit scholar, and professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology at his native place; author of "Lexicon of Greek Roots," "Sanskrit Grammar," &c. (1809-1881).
BENGAL (76,643), one of the three Indian presidencies, but more particularly a province lying in the plain of the Lower Ganges and the delta of the Ganges-Brahmaputra, with the Himalayas on the N. At the base of the mountains are great forests; along the seaboard dense jungles. The climate is hot and humid, drier at Behar, and passing through every gradation up to the snow-line. The people are engaged in agriculture, raising indigo, jute, opium, rice, tea, cotton, sugar, &c. Coal, iron, and copper mines are worked in Burdwan. The manufactures are of cotton and jute. The population is mixed in blood and speech, but Hindus speaking Bengali predominate. Education is further advanced than elsewhere; there are fine colleges affiliated to Calcutta University, and many other scholastic institutions. The capital, Calcutta, is the capital of India; the next town in size is Patna (165).
BENGA'ZI (7), the capital of Barca, on the Gulf of Sidra, in N. Africa, and has a considerable trade.
BENGEL, JOHANN ALBRECHT, a distinguished Biblical scholar and critic, born at Wuertemberg; best known by his "Gnomon Novi Testamenti," being an invaluable body of short notes on the New Testament; devoted himself to the critical study of the text of the Greek Testament (1687-1752).
BENGUE'LA, a fertile Portuguese territory in W. Africa, S. of Angola, with considerable mineral wealth; has sunk in importance since the suppression of the slave-trade.
BENICIA, the former capital of California, 30 m. NE. of San Francisco; has a commodious harbour and a U.S. arsenal.
BENI-HASSAN, a village in Middle Egypt, on the right bank of the Nile, above Minieh, with remarkable catacombs that have been excavated.
BENI-ISRAEL (i. e. Sons of Israel), a remarkable people, few in number, of Jewish type and customs, in the Bombay Presidency, and that have existed there quite isolatedly for at least 1000 years, with a language of their own, and even some literature; they do not mingle with the Jews, but they practise similar religious observances.
BENIN', a densely populated and fertile country in W. Africa, between the Niger and Dahomey, with a city and river of the name; forms part of what was once a powerful kingdom; yields palm-oil, rice, maize, sugar, cotton, and tobacco.
BENI-SOUEF', a town in Middle Egypt, on the right bank of the Nile, 70 m. above Cairo; a centre of trade, with cotton-mills and quarries of alabaster.
BENJAMIN, Jacob's youngest son, by Rachel, the head of one of the twelve tribes, who were settled in a small fertile territory between Ephraim and Judah; the tribe to which St. Paul belonged.
BENNETT, JAMES GORDON, an American journalist, born at Keith, Scotland; trained for the Catholic priesthood; emigrated, a poor lad of 19, to America, got employment in a printing-office in Boston as proof-reader; started the New York Herald in 1835 at a low price as both proprietor and editor, an enterprise which brought him great wealth and the success he aimed at (1795-1872).
BENNETT, JAMES GORDON, son of preceding, conductor of the Herald; sent Stanley out to Africa, and supplied the funds.
BENNETT, SIR STERNDALE, an English musical composer and pianist, born at Sheffield, whose musical genius recommended him to Mendelssohn and Schumann; became professor of Music in Cambridge, and conductor of the Philharmonic Concerts; was president of the Royal Academy of Music (1816-1873).
BENNETT, WM., a High-Churchman, celebrated for having provoked the decision that the doctrine of the Real Presence is a dogma not inconsistent with the creed of the Church of England (1804-1886).
BEN'NINGSEN, COUNT, a Russian general, born at Brunswick; entered the Russian service under Catherine II.; was commander-in-chief at Eylau, fought at Borodino, and victoriously at Leipzig; he died at Hanover, whither he had retired on failure of his health (1745-1826).
BENTHAM, GEORGE, botanist, born near Plymouth, nephew of Jeremy and editor of his works, besides a writer on botany (1800-1884).
BENTHAM, JEREMY, a writer on jurisprudence and ethics, born in London; bred to the legal profession, but never practised it; spent his life in the study of the theory of law and government, his leading principle on both these subjects being utilitarianism, or what is called the greatest happiness principle, as the advocate of which he is chiefly remembered; a principle against which Carlyle never ceased to protest as a philosophy of man's life, but which he hailed as a sign that the crisis which must precede the regeneration of the world was come; a lower estimate, he thought, man could not form of his soul than as "a dead balance for weighing hay and thistles, pains and pleasures, &c.," an estimate of man's soul which he thinks mankind will, when it wakes up again to a sense of itself, be sure to resent and repudiate (1748-1832).
BENTINCK, LORD GEORGE, statesman and sportsman, a member of the Portland family; entered Parliament as a Whig, turned Conservative on the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832; served under Sir Robert Peel; assumed the leadership of the party as a Protectionist when Sir Robert Peel became a Free-trader, towards whom he conceived a strong personal animosity; died suddenly; the memory of him owes something to the memoir of his life by Lord Beaconsfield (1802-1848).
BENTINCK, LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH, Indian statesman, governor of Madras in 1806, but recalled for an error which led to the mutiny at Vellore; but was in 1827 appointed governor-general of India, which he governed wisely, abolishing many evils, such as Thuggism and Suttee, and effecting many beneficent reforms. Macaulay held office under him. He returned to England in 1835, became member for Glasgow in 1837, and died before he made any mark on home politics (1774-1839).
BENTINCK, WILLIAM, a distinguished statesman, first Earl of Portland, born in Holland; a favourite, friend, and adviser of William III., whom he accompanied to England, and who bestowed on him for his services great honours and large domains, which provoked ill-will against him; retired to Holland, after the king died in his arms, but returned afterwards (1648-1709).
BENTIVOGLIO, an Italian family of princely rank, long supreme in Bologna; B., Guido, cardinal, though a disciple of Galileo, was one of the Inquisitors-General who signed his condemnation (1579-1641).
BENTLEY, RICHARD, scholar and philologist, born in Yorkshire; from the first devoted to ancient, especially classical, learning; rose to eminence as an authority on literary criticism, his "Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris," which he proved to be a forgery, commending him to the regard and esteem of all the scholars of Europe, a work which may be said to have inaugurated a new era in literary historical criticism (1662-1742).
BENUE, an affluent of the Niger, 300 m. long, falling into it 230 m. up, described by Dr. Barth and explored by Dr. Baikic, and offers great facilities for the prosecution of commerce.
BENVOLIO, a cantankerous, disputatious gentleman in "Romeo and Juliet."
BENYOW'SKY, COUNT, a Hungarian, fought with the Poles against Russia; taken prisoner; was exiled to Kamchatka; escaped with the governor's daughter; came to France; sent out to Madagascar; was elected king by the natives over them; fell in battle against the French (1741-1786).
BENZENE, a substance compounded of carbon and hydrogen, obtained by destructive distillation from coal-tar and other organic bodies, used as a substitute for turpentine and for dissolving grease.
BENZOIN, a fragrant concrete resinous juice flowing from a styrax-tree of Sumatra, used as a cosmetic, and burned as incense.
BEOWULF, a very old Anglo-Saxon romance consisting of 6356 short alliterative lines, and the oldest extant in the language, recording the exploits of a mythical hero of the name, who wrestled Hercules-wise, at the cost of his life, with first a formidable monster, and then a dragon that had to be exterminated or tamed into submission before the race he belonged to could live with safety on the soil.
BERANGER, PIERRE JEAN DE, a celebrated French song-writer, born at Paris, of the lower section of the middle class, and the first of his countrymen who in that department rose to the high level of a true lyric poet; his first struggles with fortune were a failure, but Lucien Bonaparte took him up, and under his patronage a career was opened up for him; in 1815 appeared as an author, and the sensation created was immense, for the songs were not mere personal effusions, but in stirring accord with, and contributed to influence, the great passion of the nation at the time; was, as a Republican—which brought him into trouble with the Bourbons—a great admirer of Napoleon as an incarnation of the national spirit, and contributed not a little to the elevation of his nephew to the throne, though he declined all patronage at his hands, refusing all honours and appointments; has been compared to Burns, but he lacked both the fire and the humour of the Scottish poet. "His poetical works," says Professor Saintsbury, "consist entirely of chansons political, amatory, bacchanalian, satirical, philosophical after a fashion, and of almost every other complexion that the song can possibly take" (1780-1859).
BERAR' (896), one of the central provinces of India, E. of Bombay; it occupies a fertile, well-watered valley, and yields large quantities of grain, and especially cotton.
BERAT, FREDERIC, a French poet and composer, author of a great number of popular songs (1800-1853).
BERBER, native language spoken in the mountainous parts of Barbary.
BERBER (8), a town in Nubia, on the Nile, occupied by the English; starting-point of caravans for the Red Sea; railway was begun to Suakim, but abandoned.
BER'BERAH, the seaport of Somaliland, under Britain, with an annual fair that brings together at times as many as 30,000 people.
BERBERS (3,000), a race aboriginal to Barbary and N. Africa, of a proud and unruly temper; though different from the Arab race, are of the same religion.
BERBICE, the eastern division of British Guiana; produces sugar, cocoa, and timber.
BERBRUGGER, a French archaeologist and philologist; wrote on Algiers, its history and monuments (1801-1869).
BERCHTA, a German Hulda, but of severer type. See BERTHA.
BERCY, a commune on the right bank of the Seine, outside Paris, included in it since 1860; is the great mart for wines and brandies.
BERE'ANS, a sect formed by John Barclay in 1778, who regard the Bible as the one exclusive revelation of God.
BERENGER, or BERENGA'RIUS, OF TOURS, a distinguished theologian, born at Tours; held an ecclesiastical office there, and was made afterwards archdeacon of Angers; ventured to deny the doctrine of transubstantiation, a denial for which he was condemned by successive councils of the Church, and which he was compelled more than once publicly to retract, though he so often and openly recalled his retractation that the pope, notwithstanding the opposition of the orthodox, deemed it prudent at length to let him alone. After this he ceased to trouble the Church, and retired to an island on the Loire, where he gave himself up to quiet meditation and prayer (998-1088).
BERENGER I., king of Italy, grandson of Louis the Debonnaire, an able general; provoked the jealousy of the nobles, who dreaded the abridgment of their rights, which led to his assassination at their hands in 934. B. II., king of Italy, grandson of the preceding, was dethroned twice by the Emperor Otho, who sent him a prisoner to Bamberg, where he died, 966.
BERENGER, THOMAS, a French criminalist and magistrate (1785-1866).
BERENI'CE, a Jewish widow, daughter of Herod Agrippa, with whom Titus was fascinated, and whom he would have taken to wife, had not the Roman populace protested, from their Anti-Jewish prejudice, against it. The name was a common one among Egyptian as well as Jewish princesses.
BERESFORD, WILLIAM CARR, VISCOUNT, an English general, natural son of the first Marquis of Waterford; distinguished himself in many a military enterprise, and particularly in the Peninsular war, for which he was made a peer; he was a member of the Wellington administration, and master-general of the ordnance (1770-1854).
BERESI'NA, a Russian river, affluent of the Dnieper, into which it falls after a course of 350 m.; it is serviceable as a water conveyance for large rafts of timber to the open sea, and is memorable for the disastrous passage of the French in their retreat from Moscow in 1812.
BEREZOV', a town in Siberia, in the government of Tobolsk; a place of banishment.
BERG, DUCHY OF, on right bank of the Rhine, between Duesseldorf and Cologne, now part of Prussia; Murat was grand-duke of it by Napoleon's appointment.
BER'GAMO (42), a Lombard town, in a province of the same name, and 34 m. NE. of Milan, with a large annual fair in August, the largest in Italy; has grindstone quarries in the neighbourhood.
BERGASSE, French jurisconsult, born at Lyons; celebrated for his quarrel with Beaumarchais; author of an "Essay on Property" (1750-1832).
BERGEN (52), the old capital of Norway, on a fjord of the name, open to the Gulf Stream, and never frozen; the town, consisting of wooden houses, is built on a slope on which the streets reach down to the sea, and has a picturesque appearance; the trade, which is considerable, is in fish and fish products; manufactures gloves, porcelain, leather, etc.; the seat of a bishop, and has a cathedral.
BERGEN-OP-ZOOM (11), a town in N. Brabant, once a strong place, and much coveted and frequently contested for by reason of its commanding situation; has a large trade in anchovies.
BER'GENROTH, GUSTAV ADOLPH, historian, born in Prussia; held a State office, but was dismissed and exiled because of his sympathy with the revolutionary movement of 1848; came to England to collect materials for a history of the Tudors; examined in Simancas, in Spain, under great privations, papers on the period in the public archives; made of these a collection and published it in 1862-68, under the title of "Calendar of Letters, Despatches, &c., relating to Negotiations between England and Spain" (1813-1869).
BERGERAC (11), a manufacturing town in France, 60 m. E. of Bordeaux, celebrated for its wines; it was a Huguenot centre, and suffered greatly in consequence.
BERGERAC, SAVINIEN CYRANO DE, an eccentric man with comic power, a Gascon by birth; wrote a tragedy and a comedy; his best work a fiction entitled "Histoire Comique des Etats et Empires de la Lune et du Soleil"; fought no end of duels in vindication, it is said, of his preposterously large nose (1619-1655).
BERGHAUS, HEINRICH, a geographer of note, born at Cleves; served in both the French and Prussian armies as an engineer, and was professor of mathematics at Berlin; his "Physical Atlas" is well known (1797-1884).
BERGHEM, a celebrated landscape-painter of the Dutch school, born at Haarlem (1624-1683).
BERGMAN, TORBERN OLOF, a Swedish chemist, studied under Linnaeus, and became professor of Chemistry at Upsala; discovered oxalic acid; was the first to arrange and classify minerals on a chemical basis (1735-1784).
BERI, a town in the Punjab, 40 m. NW. of Delhi, in a trading centre.
BERKELEY, a town in Gloucestershire, famous for its cattle.
BERKELEY, GEORGE, bishop of Cloyne, born in Kilkenny; a philanthropic man, who conducted in a self-sacrificing spirit practical schemes for the good of humanity, which failed, but the interest in whom has for long centred, and still centres, in his philosophic teaching, his own interest in which was that it contributed to clear up our idea of God and consolidate our faith in Him, and it is known in philosophy as Idealism; only it must be understood, his idealism is not, as it was absurdly conceived to be, a denial of the existence of matter, but is an assertion of the doctrine that the universe, with every particular in it, as man sees it and knows it, is not the creation of matter but the creation of mind, and a reflex of the Eternal Reason that creates and dwells in both it and him; for as Dr. Stirling says, "the object can only be known in the subject, and therefore is subjective, and if subjective, ideal." The outer, as regards our knowledge of it, is within; such is Berkeley's fundamental philosophical principle, and it is a principle radical to the whole recent philosophy of Europe (1684-1753).
BERKSHIRE (238), a midland county of England, with a fertile, well-cultivated soil on a chalk bottom, in the upper valley of the Thames, one of the smallest but most beautiful counties in the country. In the E. part of it is Windsor Forest, and in the SE. Bagshot Heath. It is famous for its breed of pigs.
BERLICHINGEN, GOETZ VON, surnamed "The Iron Hand," a brave but turbulent noble of Germany, of the 15th and 16th centuries, the story of whose life was dramatised by Goethe, "to save," as he said, "the memory of a brave man from darkness," and which was translated from the German by Sir Walter Scott.
BERLIN' (1,579), capital of Prussia and of the German empire; stands on the Spree, in a flat sandy plain, 177 m. by rail SE. of Hamburg. The royal and imperial palaces, the great library, the university, national gallery and museums, and the arsenal are all near the centre of the city. There are schools of science, art, agriculture, and mining; technical and military academies; a cathedral and some old churches; zoological and botanical gardens. Its position between the Baltic and North Seas, the Spree, the numerous canals and railways which converge on it, render it a most important commercial centre; its staple trade is in grain, cattle, spirits, and wool. Manufactures are extensive and very varied; the chief are woollens, machinery, bronze ware, drapery goods, and beer.
BERLIN DECREE, a decree of Napoleon of Nov. 21, 1806, declaring Britain in a state of blockade, and vessels trading with it liable to capture.
BERLIOZ, HECTOR, a celebrated musical composer and critic, born near Grenoble, in the dep. of Isere, France; sent to study medicine in Paris; abandoned it for music, to which he devoted his life. His best known works are the "Symphonie Fantastique," "Romeo and Juliet," and the "Damnation of Faust"; with the "Symphonie," which he produced while he was yet but a student at the Conservatoire in Paris, Paganini was so struck that he presented him with 20,000 francs (1803-1869).
BER'MONDSEY, a busy SE. suburb of London, on the S. bank of the Thames.
BERMOO'THES, the Bermudas.
BERMU'DAS (15), a group of 400 coral islands (five inhabited) in mid-Atlantic, 677 m. SE. of New York; have a delightful, temperate climate, and are a popular health resort for Americans. They produce a fine arrowroot, and export onions. They are held by Britain as a valuable naval station, and are provided with docks and fortifications.
BERNADOTTE, JEAN BAPTISTE JULES, a marshal of France, born at Pau; rose from the ranks; distinguished himself in the wars of the Revolution and the Empire, though between him and Napoleon there was constant distrust; adopted by Charles XIII., king of Sweden; joined the Allies as a naturalised Swede in the war against France in alliance with Russia; became king of Sweden himself under the title of Charles XIV., to the material welfare, as it proved, of his adopted country (1764-1844).
BERNARD, CLAUDE, a distinguished French physiologist, born at St. Julien; he studied at Paris; was Majendie's assistant and successor in the College of France; discovered that the function of the pancreas is the digestion of ingested fats, that of the liver the transformation into sugar of certain elements in the blood, and that there are nervous centres in the body which act independently of the great cerebro-spinal centre (1813-1878).
BERNARD, ST., abbot of Clairvaux, born at Fontaines, in Burgundy; pronounced one of the grandest figures in the church militant; studied in Paris, entered the monastery of Citeaux, founded in 1115 a monastery at Clairvaux, in Champagne; drew around him disciples who rose to eminence as soldiers of the cross; prepared the statutes for the Knights-Templar; defeated Abelard in public debate, and procured his condemnation; founded 160 monasteries; awoke Europe to a second crusade; dealt death-blows all round to no end of heretics, and declined all honours to himself, content if he could only awake some divine passion in other men; represented in art as accompanied by a white dog, or as contemplating an apparition of the Virgin and the Child, or as bearing the implements of Christ's passion (1091-1174). Festival, Aug. 20.
BERNARD, SIMON, a French engineer, born at Dole; distinguished as such in the service of Napoleon, and for vast engineering works executed in the United States, in the construction of canals and forts (1779-1839).
BERNARD OF MENTHON, an ecclesiastic, founder of the monasteries of the Great and the Little St. Bernard, in the passage of the Alps (923-1008). Festival, June 15.
BERNARD OF MORLAIX, a monk of Cluny, of the 11th century; wrote a poem entitled "De Contemptu Mundi," translated by Dr. Neale, including "Jerusalem the Golden."
BERNARDIN DE SAINT-PIERRE, commonly called Saint-Pierre simply, a celebrated French writer, born at Havre; author of "Paul and Virginia," written on the eve of the Revolution, called by Carlyle "the swan-song of old dying France," (1739-1814).
BERNARDINE, ST., OF SIENA, born at Massa Carrara, in Italy, of noble family; founder of the Observantines, a branch, and restoration on strict lines, of the Franciscan order; established 300 monasteries of the said branch; his works, written in a mystical vein, fill five folio vols. (1380-1444).
BERNAUER, AGNES, wife of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, whom his father, displeased at the marriage, had convicted of sorcery and drowned in the Danube.
BERNE (47), a fine Swiss town on the Aar, which almost surrounds it, in a populous canton of the same name; since 1848 the capital of the Swiss Confederation; commands a magnificent view of the Bernese Alps; a busy trading and manufacturing city.
BERNERS, JOHN BOUCHIER, LORD, writer or translator of romance; was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1516, and governor of Calais from 1520; translated Froissart's "Huon of Bordeaux," &c.
BERNERS, JULIANA, writer on hunting and hawking; lived in the 14th century; said to have been prioress of a nunnery.
BERNESE ALPS, a chain in the Middle Alps, of which the eastern half is called the Bernese Oberland; form the watershed between the Aar and the Rhone.
BERNHARD, DUKE OF WEIMAR, a great German general; distinguished himself on the Protestant side in the Thirty Years' war; fought under the standard of Gustavus Adolphus; held command of the left wing at the battle of Luetzen, and completed the victory after the fall of Gustavus; died at Neuburg, as alleged, without sufficient proof, by poison (1604-1639).
BERNHARDT, SARAH, a dramatic artiste, born in Paris; of Jewish descent, but baptized as a Christian; distinguished specially as a tragedienne; of abilities qualifying her to shine in other departments of the profession and of art, of which she has given proof; b. 1844.
BERNI, FRANCESCO, an Italian poet, born in Tuscany, who excelled in the burlesque, to whom the Italian as a literary language owes much; remodelled Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato" in a style surpassing that of the original.
BERNIER, a French physician and traveller, born at Angers; physician for 12 years to Aurungzebe, the Great Mogul; published "Travels," a work full of interest, and a model of exactitude (1625-1688).
BERNIER, THE ABBE, born in Mayenne, France; one of the principal authors of the Concordat; promoted afterwards to be Bishop of Orleans (1762-1806).
BERNI'NA, a mountain in the Swiss canton of Grisons, 13,290 ft. high, remarkable for its extensive glaciers.
BERNINI, GIOVANNI LORENZO, an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect, born at Naples; produced his "Apollo and Daphne" at eighteen, his masterpiece; was architect to the Pope, and designed the colonnade of St. Peter's; he died wealthy (1598-1680).
BERNOUIL'LI, name of a Swiss family of mathematicians, born at Basel, though of Dutch origin—JAMES, JOHN, and DANIEL, of whom John is the most celebrated; was professor first at St. Petersburg and then at Basel; discovered the exponential calculus and the method of integrating rational fractions, as well as the line of swiftest descent (1667-1748).
BERNSTORFF, COUNT, a celebrated statesman, diplomatist, and philanthropist of Denmark; called the Danish Oracle by Frederick the Great; founded an Agricultural Society and an hospital at Copenhagen, and obtained the emancipation of the serfs (1711-1772).
BERNSTORFF, COUNT, a nephew of the preceding; also statesman and diplomatist (1712-1772).
BERNSTORFF, PIERRE, Danish minister, son of the preceding, a guardian of civil and political liberty (1735-1797).
BERO'SUS, a priest of the temple of Belus in Babylon, who, 3rd century B.C., translated into Greek certain records of Babylonish history, valuable fragments of which are preserved by Josephus and Eusebius; these have been collected and published by W. Richter, in Germany.
BERRI, an ancient province of France, forms dep. of Indre and Cher, which became crown property in 1100 under Philippe I., and a duchy in 1630, giving title to a succession of French princes.
BERRI, DUC DE, second son of Charles X. and father of Count de Chambord, a benevolent man; assassinated by a fanatic, Louvel, as he was leaving the Opera House (1778-1820).
BERRI, DUCHESSE DE, dowager of preceding, distinguished herself by her futile efforts to restore the Bourbon dynasty in the reign of Louis Philippe (1798-1890).
BERRYER, PIERRE ANTOINE, an eminent French barrister, born at Paris; a red-hot Legitimist, which brought him into trouble; was member of the National Assembly of 1848; inimical to the Second Empire, and openly protested against the coup d'etat (1790-1868).
BER'SERKER, a Norse warrior who went into battle unharnessed, whence his name (which means bare of sark or shirt of mail), and is said to have been inspired with such fury as to render him invulnerable and irresistible.
BERT, PAUL, a French physiologist and statesman, born at Auxerre; was professor of Physiology at Paris; took to politics after the fall of the Empire; Minister of Public Instruction under Gambetta; sent governor to Tonquin; died of fever soon after; wrote a science primer for children entitled "La Premiere Annee d'Enseignement Scientifique" (1833-1886).
BERTHA, goddess in the S. German mythology, of the spinning-wheel principally, and of the household as dependent on it, in behalf of which and its economical management she is often harsh to idle spinners; at her festival thrift is the rule.
BERTHA, ST., a British princess, wife of Ethelbert, king of Kent; converted him to Christianity.
BERTHE "au Grand Pied" (i. e. Long Foot), wife of Pepin the Short, and mother of Charlemagne, so called from her club foot.
BERTHELIER, a Swiss patriot, an uncompromising enemy of the Duke of Savoy in his ambition to lord it over Geneva.
BERTHELOT, PIERRE EUGENE, a French chemist, born at Paris; professor in the College of France; distinguished for his researches in organic chemistry, and his attempt to produce organic compounds; the dyeing trade owes much to his discoveries in the extraction of dyes from coal-tar; he laid the foundation of thermo-chemistry; b. 1827.
BERTHIER, ALEXANDRE, prince of Wagram and marshal of France, born at Versailles; served with Lafayette in the American war, and rose to distinction in the Revolution; became head of Napoleon's staff, and his companion in all his expeditions; swore fealty to the Bourbons at the restoration of 1814; on Napoleon's return retired with his family to Bamberg; threw himself from a window, maddened at the sight of Russian troops marching past to the French frontier (1753-1815).
BERTHOLLET, COUNT, a famous chemist, native of Savoy, to whom we owe the discovery of the bleaching properties of chlorine, the employment of carbon in purifying water, &c., and many improvements in the manufactures; became a senator and officer of the Legion of Honour under Napoleon; attached himself to the Bourbons on their return, and was created a peer (1744-1822).
BERTHOUD, a celebrated clockmaker, native of Switzerland; settled in Paris; invented the marine chronometer to determine the longitude at sea (1727-1807).
BERTIN "l'Aine," or the Elder, a French journalist, born at Paris; founder and editor of the Journal des Debats, which he started in 1799; friend of Chateaubriand (1766-1841).
BERTIN, PIERRE, introduced stenography into France, invented by Taylor in England (1751-1819).
BERTIN, ROSE, milliner to Marie Antoinette, famed for her devotion to her.
BERTINAZZI, a celebrated actor, born at Turin, long a favourite in Paris (1710-1788).
BERTRAND and RATON, two personages in La Fontaine's fable of the Monkey and the Cat, of whom R. cracks the nut and B. eats it.
BER'TRAND, HENRI GRATIEN, COMTE, a French general, and faithful adherent of Napoleon, accompanied him in all his campaigns, to and from Elba, as well as in his exile at St. Helena; conducted his remains back to France in 1840 (1770-1844).
BERTRAND DE MOLLEVILLE, Minister of Marine under Louis XVI.; a fiery partisan of royalty, surnamed the enfant terrible of the monarchy (1744-1818).
BERTON, PIERRE, French composer of operas (1726-1780). Henri, his son, composed operas; wrote a treatise on harmony (1761-1844).
BERULLE, CARDINAL, born at Troyes; founder of the order of Carmelites, and of the Congregation of the Oratory (1576-1629).
BERWICK, JAMES FITZ-JAMES, DUKE OF, a natural son of James II., a naturalised Frenchman; defended the rights of his father; was present with him at the battle of the Boyne; distinguished himself in Spain, where he gained the victory of Almanza; was made marshal of France; fell at the siege of Philippsburg; left "Memoirs" (1670-1734).
BERWICK, NORTH, a place on the S. shore of the Forth, in Haddingtonshire; a summer resort, specially for the golfing links.
BERWICK-ON-TWEED (13), a town on the Scotch side of the Tweed, at its mouth, reckoned since 1835 in Northumberland, though at one time treated as a separate county; of interest from its connection with the Border wars, during which it frequently changed hands, till in 1482 the English became masters of it.
BERWICKSHIRE (32), a fertile Scottish county between the Lammermoors, inclusive, and the Tweed; is divided into the Merse, a richly fertile plain in the S., the Lammermoors, hilly and pastoral, dividing the Merse from Mid and East Lothian, and Lauderdale, of hill and dale, along the banks of the Leader; Greenlaw the county town.
BERZE'LIUS, JOHAN JAKOB, Baron, a celebrated Swedish chemist, one of the creators of modern chemistry; instituted the chemical notation by symbols based on the notion of equivalents; determined the equivalents of a great number of simple bodies, such as cerium and silenium; discovered silenium, and shared with Davy the honour of propounding the electro-chemical theory; he ranks next to Linnaeus as a man of science in Sweden (1779-1848).
BESANCON (57), capital of the dep. of Doubs, in France; a very strong place; fortified by Vauban; abounds in relics of Roman and mediaeval times; watchmaking a staple industry, employing some 15,000 of the inhabitants; manufactures also porcelain and carpets.
BESANT, MRS. ANNIE, nee WOOD, born in London; of Irish descent; married to an English clergyman, from whom she was legally separated; took a keen interest in social questions and secularism; drifted into theosophy, of which she is now an active propagandist; is an interesting woman, and has an interesting address as a lecturer; b. 1847.
BESANT, SIR WALTER, a man of letters, born at Portsmouth; eminent chiefly as a novelist of a healthily realistic type; wrote a number of novels jointly with James Rice, and is the author of "French Humourists," as well as short stories; champion of the cause of Authors versus Publishers, and is chairman of the committee; b. 1838.
BESENVAL, BARON, a Swiss, commandant of Paris under Louis XVI.; a royalist stunned into a state of helpless dismay at the first outbreak of the Revolution in Paris; could do nothing in the face of it but run for his life (1722-1791).
BESIKA BAY, a bay on the Asiatic coast, near the mouth of the Dardanelles.
BESME, a Bohemian in the pay of the Duke of Guise; assassinated Coligny, and was himself killed by Berteauville, a Protestant gentleman, in 1571.
BESS, GOOD QUEEN, a familiar name of Queen Elizabeth.
BESSARA'BIA (1,688), a government in the SW. of Russia, between the Dniester and the Pruth; a cattle-breeding province; exports cattle, wool, and tallow.
BESSAR'ION, JOHN, cardinal, native of Trebizond; contributed by his zeal in Greek literature to the fall of scholasticism and the revival of letters; tried hard to unite the Churches of the East and the West; joined the latter, and was made cardinal; too much of a Grecian to recommend himself to the popehood, to which he was twice over nearly elevated (1395-1472).
BESSEL, FRIEDRICH WILHELM, a Prussian astronomer of prominent ability, born at Minden; professor of Mathematics at Koenigsberg, and director of the Observatory; discovered—what was a great achievement—the parallax of the fixed star 61 Cygne; his greatest work, "Fundamenta Astronomiae," on which he spent 10 years, a marvel, like all he did, of patient toil and painstaking accuracy (1784-1846).
BESSEMER, SIR HENRY, civil engineer and inventor, born at Charlton, Herts; of his many inventions the chief is the process, named after him, of converting pig-iron into steel at once by blowing a blast of air through the iron while in fusion till everything extraneous is expelled, and only a definite quantity of carbon is left in combination, a process which has revolutionised the iron and steel trade all over the world, leading, as has been calculated, to the production of thirty times as much steel as before and at one-fifth of the cost per ton (1813-1898).
BESSEMER PROCESS. See BESSEMER.
BESSIERES, JEAN BAPTISTE, DUKE OF ISTRIA, marshal of France, born at Languedoc, of humble parentage; rose from the ranks; a friend and one of the ablest officers of Napoleon, and much esteemed by him; distinguished himself in the Italian campaign, in Egypt, and at Marengo; was shot at Luetzen the day before the battle (1768-1813).
BESSUS, a satrap of Bactria under Darius, who assassinated his master after the battle of Arbela, but was delivered over by Alexander to Darius's brother, by whom he was put to death, 328 B.C.
BESTIARY, a name given to a class of books treating of animals, viewed allegorically.
BETHANY, village on E. of the Mount of Olives, abode of Lazarus and his sisters.
BETHEL (i. e. house of God), a place 11 m. N. of Jerusalem, scene of Jacob's dream, and famous in the history of the patriarchs.
BETHENCOURT, a Norman baron, in 1425 discovered and conquered the Canaries, and held them as a fief of the crown of Castile.
BETHLEHEM (3), a village 6 m. S. of Jerusalem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and King David, with a convent containing the Church of the Nativity; near it is the grotto where St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin.
BETHLEN-GABOR, prince of Transylvania, assumed the title of king of Hungary; assisted Bohemia in the Thirty Years' war (1580-1629).
BETHNAL GREEN (129), an eastern suburb of London, a parliamentary borough, a poor district, and scene of benevolent enterprises.
BETTERTON, THOMAS, born at Westminster, a tragic actor, and as such an interpreter of Shakespeare on, it is believed, the traditional lines.
BETTINA, the Countess of Arnim, a passionate admirer of Goethe.
BETTY, W. HENRY, a boy actor, known as the Infant Roscius; amassed a fortune; lived afterwards retired (1791-1874).
BEULE, a French statesman and archaeologist; superintended excavations on the Acropolis of Athens; held office under Macmahon (1826-1874).
BEUST, COUNT VON, a German statesman, born at Dresden; Minister for Foreign Affairs in Saxony; of strong conservative leanings, friendly to Austria; became Chancellor of the Austro-Hungarian empire; adopted a liberal policy; sympathised with France in the Franco-German war; resigned office in 1871; left "Memoirs" (1809-1886).
BEUTHEN (36), a manufacturing town in Prussian Silesia, in the centre of a mining district.
BEVERLEY (12), a Yorkshire manufacturing town, 8 m. NW. of Hull, with a Gothic minster, which contains the tombs of the Percys.
BEVERLEY, JOHN, a learned man, tutor to the Venerable Bede, archbishop of York, and founder of a college for secular priests at Beverley; was one of the most learned men of his time; d. 721.
BEVIS OF SOUTHAMPTON, or HAMPTON, SIR, a famous knight of English mediaeval romance, a man of gigantic stature, whose marvellous feats are recorded in Drayton's "Polyolbion."
BEWICK, THOMAS, a distinguished wood-engraver, born in Northumberland, apprenticed to the trade in Newcastle; showed his art first in woodcuts for his "History of Quadrupeds," the success of which led to the publication of his "History of British Birds," in which he established his reputation both as a naturalist, in the truest sense, and an artist (1753-1828).
BEWICK, WILLIAM, a great wood-engraver; did a cartoon from the Elgin Marbles for Goethe (1795-1866).
BEYLE, MARIE HENRI, French critic and novelist, usually known by his pseudonym "De Stendal," born at Grenoble; wrote in criticism "De l'Amour," and in fiction "La Chartreuse de Parme" and "Le Rouge et le Noir"; an ambitious writer and a cynical (1788-1842).
BEYPUR, a port in the Madras presidency, a railway terminus, with coal and iron in the neighbourhood.
BEYROUT (200), the most nourishing commercial city on the coast of Syria, and the port of Damascus, from which it is distant 55 m.; a very ancient place.
BEZA, THEODORE, a French Protestant theologian, born in Burgundy, of good birth; professor of Greek at Lausanne; deputed from Germany to intercede for the Huguenots in France, persuaded the king of Navarre to favour the Protestants; settled in Geneva, became the friend and successor of Calvin; wrote a book, "De Hereticis a Civili Magistratu Puniendis," in which he justified the burning of Servetus, and a "History of the Reformed Churches" in France; died at 86 (1519-1605).
BEZANTS, Byzantine gold coins of varying weight and value, introduced by the Crusaders into England, where they were current till the time of Edward III.
BEZIERS (42), a manufacturing town in the dep. of Herault, 49 m. SW. of Montpellier; manufactures silk fabrics and confectionary.
BHAGALPUR' (69), a town in Bengal, on the right bank of the Ganges, 265 m. NW. of Calcutta.
BHAGAVAD GITA, (i. e. Song of Krishna), a poem introduced into the Mahabharata, divided into three sections, and each section into six chapters, called Upanishads; being a series of mystical lectures addressed by Krishna to his royal pupil Arjuna on the eve of a battle, from which he shrunk, as it was with his own kindred; the whole conceived from the point of view or belief, calculated to allay the scruples of Arjuna, which regards the extinction of existence as absorption in the Deity.
BHAMO' (6), a town in Burmah, the chief centre of trade with China, conducted mainly by Chinese, and a military station, only 40 m. from the Chinese frontier.
BHARTPUR' (68), a town in Rajputana, in a native state of the name; yielding wheat, maize, cotton, sugar, with quarries of building stone; 30 m. W. of Agra; carries on an industry in the manufacture of chowries.
BHARTRIHARI, Indian author of apothegms, who appears to have lived in the 11th century B.C., and to have been of royal rank.
BHILS, a rude pro-Aryan race of Central India, still untrained to settled life; number 750,000.
BHOD-PA, name given to the aborigines of Thibet, and applied by the Hindus to all the Thibetan peoples.
BHOPAL' (952), a well-governed native state in Central India, under British protection, with a capital city (70) of the same name; under a government that has been always friendly to Britain.
BHUTAN (20), an independent state in the Eastern Himalayas, with magnificent scenery; subsidised by Britain; has a government like that of Thibet; religion the same, though the people are at a low stage of civilisation; the country exports horses, musk, and salt.
BIAF'RA, BIGHT OF, a large bay in the Gulf of Guinea, in W. Africa; includes several islands, and receives into it the waters of the Calabar rivers.
BIARD, AUGUSTE FRANCOIS, French genre painter, born at Lyons; journeyed round the world, sketching by the way; was successful in rendering burlesque groups (1800-1882).
BIARRITZ, a bathing-place on the Bay of Biscay, 6 m. SW. of Bayonne; became a place of fashionable resort by the visits of the Empress Eugenie.
BIAS, one of the seven wise men of Greece, born at Priene, in Ionia; lived in the 6th century B.C.; many wise sayings are ascribed to him; was distinguished for his indifference to possessions, which moth and rust can corrupt, and thieves break through and steal.
BIBLE, THE (i. e. the Book par excellence, and not so much a book as a library of books), a collection of sacred writings divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New; the Old, written in Hebrew, comprehending three groups of books, the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, bearing on the religion, the history, the institutions, and the manners of the Jews; and the New, written in Greek, comprehending the Four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles. The Old Testament was translated into Greek at Alexandria by 72 Jews, 280 B.C., and is known as the Septuagint; and the whole book, Old and New, was translated into Latin in a grotto near Bethlehem by St. Jerome, A.D. 385-404, and is known as the Vulgate, after which the two came to be regarded by the Church as of equal divine authority and as sections of one book. It may be permitted to note that the Bible is written throughout, not in a speculative or a scientific, but a spiritual interest, and that its final aim is to guide men in the way of life. The spirit in which it is composed is the spirit of conviction; its essence, both in the root of it and the fruit of it, is faith, and that primarily in a moral power above, and ultimately a moral principle within, both equally divine. The one principle of the book is that loyalty to the divine commands is the one foundation of all well-being, individual and social.
BIBLIA PAUPERUM (i. e. Bible of the Poor), a book consisting of some 50 leaves, with pictures of scenes in the Life of Christ, and explanatory inscriptions, printed, from wooden blocks, in the 15th century, and before the invention of printing by movable types.
BIBULUS, a colleague of Julius Caesar; a mere cipher, a faineant.
BICETRE, a hospital, originally a Carthusian monastery, in the S. side of Paris, with a commanding view of the Seine and the city; since used for old soldiers, and now for confirmed lunatics.
BICHAT, MARIE FRANCOIS XAVIER, an eminent French anatomist and physiologist; physician to the Hotel-Dieu, Paris; one of the first to resolve the structure of the human body into, as "Sartor" has it, "cellular, vascular, and muscular tissues;" his great work "Anatomie Generale appliquee a la Physiologie et a la Medecine"; died at 31 (1771-1802).
BICKERSTAFF, ISAAC, an Irish dramatist of 18th century, whose name was adopted as a nom de plume by Swift and Steele.
BICKERSTETH, EDWARD, English clergyman; author of several evangelical works, and one of the founders of the Evangelical Alliance (1786-1850).
BICKERTON, SIR RICHARD, vice-admiral, served in several naval engagements, and died commander-in-chief at Plymouth in 1792.
BIDDERY WARE, ware of tin, copper, lead, and zinc, made at Bidar, in India.
BIDDING PRAYER, an exhortation to prayer in some special reference, followed by the Lord's Prayer, in which the congregation joins.
BIDDLE, JOHN, a Socinian writer in the time of Charles I. and the Commonwealth; much persecuted for his belief, and was imprisoned, but released by Cromwell; regarded as the founder of English Unitarianism; author of a "Confession of Faith concerning the Holy Trinity" (1615-1662).
BIDPAI, or PILPAI, the presumed author of a collection of Hindu fables of ancient date, in extensive circulation over the East, and widely translated.
BIELA'S COMET, a comet discovered by Biela, an Austrian officer, in 1826; appears, sometimes unobserved, every six years.
BIELEFELD (39), a manufacturing town in Westphalia, with a large trade in linen, and the centre of the trade.
BIELU'KA, with its twin peaks, highest of the Altai Mountains, 11,100 ft.
BIENNE, LAKE OF, in the Swiss canton of Berne; the Aar is led into it when in flood, so as to prevent inundation below; on the shores of it are remains of lake-dwellings, and an island in it, St. Pierre, the retreat of Rousseau in 1765.
BIFROeST, a bridge in the Norse mythology stretching from heaven to earth, of firm solidity and exquisite workmanship, represented in the rainbow, of which the colours are the reflections of the precious stones.
BIGELOW, ERASTUS BRIGHAM, American inventor of weaving machines, born in Massachusetts (1814-1879).
BIG-ENDIANS, a name given to the Catholics, as Little-endians is the name given to the Protestants, in the imaginary kingdom of Lilliput, of which the former are regarded as heretics by the latter because they break their eggs at the big end.
BIGGAR, a town in Lanarkshire, birthplace of Dr. John Brown and of the Gladstone ancestry.
BIGLOW, imaginary author of poems in the Yankee dialect, written by James Russell Lowell.
BIJAPUR', city in the presidency of Bombay, once the capital of an extensive kingdom, now deserted, but with remains of its former greatness.
BILBA'O (50), capital of the Basque prov. of Biscay, in Spain; a commercial city of ancient date, famous at one time for its steel, specially in Queen Elizabeth's time, when a rapier was called a "bilbo."
BILDERDIJK, WILLEM, Dutch poet, born at Amsterdam (1756-1831).
BILE, a fluid secreted from the blood by the liver to aid in digestion, the secretion of which is most active after food.
BILLAUD-VARENNES, JEAN NICOLAS, "a grim, resolute, unrepentant" member of the Jacobin Club; egged on the mob during the September massacres in the name of liberty; was president of the Convention; assisted at the fall of Robespierre, but could not avert his own; was deported to Surinam, and content to die there rather than return to France, which Bonaparte made him free to do; died at Port-au-Prince (1756-1819).
BILLAUT, ADAM, the carpenter poet, called "Maitre Adam," born at Nevers, and designated "Virgile au Rabot" (a carpenter's plane); d. 1662.
BILLINGS, ROBERT WILLIAM, architect, born in London; delineator of old historical buildings; his great work "Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland," richly illustrated; was engaged in the restoration of old buildings, as well as delineating them (1813-1874).
BILLINGSGATE, a fish-market in London, below London Bridge; also a name given to low, coarse language indulged in there.
BILLINGTON, ELIZABETH, nee WEICHSEL, a celebrated singer, born in London, of German descent; kept up her celebrity to the last; died at Venice in 1817.
BILNEY, THOMAS, martyr, born in Norfolk, a priest who adopted the reformed doctrine; was twice arraigned, and released on promise not to preach, but could not refrain, and was at last burned as a heretic in 1531.
BILOCATION, the power or state, ascribed to certain of the saints, of appearing in two places at the same time.
BIMETALLISM, the employment of two metals (gold and silver) in the currency of a country as legal tender at a fixed relative value, the ratio usually proposed being 1 to 151/2.
BIMINI, a fabulous island with a fountain possessed of the virtue of restoring youth.
BINET, a French litterateur, translator of Horace and Virgil (1732-1812).
BINGEN, a manufacturing and trading town on the left bank of the Rhine, in Grand-Duchy of Hesse Darmstadt, opposite which is the tower associated with the myth of Bishop Hatto.
BINGHAM, JOSEPH, an English divine, born at Wakefield; author of "Origines Ecclesiasticae," a laborious and learned work; lost his all in the South-Sea Scheme and died (1668-1723).
BIOGENESIS, name of the theory that derives life from life, and opposed to ABIOGENESIS (q. v.).
BIOLOGY, the science of animal life in a purely physical reference, or of life in organised bodies generally, including that of plants, in its varied forms and through its successive stages.
BION, a Greek pastoral poet of 3rd century B.C., born at Smyrna; a contemporary of Theocritus; settled in Sicily; was poisoned, it is said, by a rival; little of his poetry survives.
BIOT, JEAN BAPTISTE, an eminent French mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, born at Paris; professor of Physics in the College of France; took part in measuring an arc of the meridian along with Arago; made observations on the polarisation of light, and contributed numerous memoirs to scientific journals; wrote works on astronomy (1774-1862).
BIRAGUE, RENE DE, cardinal and chancellor of France, born at Milan; charged, especially by contemporary historians, as the chief instigator of the St. Bartholomew Massacre (1507-1583).
BIRCH, SAMUEL, archaeologist and Egyptologist, born in London; keeper of Oriental antiquities in the British Museum; had an extensive knowledge of Egyptology, wrote largely, and contributed articles on that and kindred archaeological subjects (1813-1885).
BIRCH, THOMAS, antiquary, born in London; wrote a history of the Royal Society (1705-1765).
BIRCH-PFEIFFER, CHARLOTTE, actress, born in Stuttgart; acted in Berlin; wrote dramas (1800-1868).
BIRD, EDWARD, an English genre painter, born in Wolverhampton, settled in Bristol; among his works are the "Choristers Rehearsing," the "Field of Chevy Chase," and the "Day after the Battle," pronounced his masterpiece (1772-1819).
BIRD, GOLDING, M.D., a great authority in kidney disease, of which he himself died (1815-1854).
BIRD, WILLIAM, a musician in the time of Elizabeth, composed madrigals; "Non Nobis, Domine," is ascribed to him (1563-1623).
BIRD'S NEST, the nest of a species of swift, formed from a marine plant that has been first digested by a bird, and esteemed a great luxury by the Chinese.
BIREN, DUKE OF COURLAND, son of a peasant, favourite of the Russian Empress Anne; held the reins of government even after her death; ruled with great cruelty; was banished to Siberia, but recalled, and had his honours restored to him, which in six years after he relinquished in favour of his eldest son (1687-1772).
BIRKBECK, GEORGE, M.D., a Yorkshireman, a zealous promoter all over the country of mechanics' institutes, was founder of the London Institute, in consociation with Brougham and others interested in the diffusion of useful knowledge (1776-1841).
BIRKENHEAD (100), in Cheshire, on the Mersey, opposite Liverpool and a suburb of it; a town of rapid growth, due to the vicinity of Liverpool; has large shipbuilding-yards and docks.
BIRKENHEAD, SIR JOHN, a political writer, several times imprisoned during the Commonwealth for his obtrusive royalism (1615-1679).
BIRMINGHAM (478), in the NW. of Warwickshire, 112 m. NW. of London by rail; is the chief town of the Midlands, and celebrated all over the world for its metal ware. All kinds of engines and machinery, fine gold, silver, copper, and brass ware, cutlery and ammunition are made here; steel pens, buttons, nails, and screws are specialties. It is a picturesque town with many fine buildings, libraries, art gallery and museums, educational institutions, a cathedral, and a great town-hall, where the triennial musical festival is held. Of this town Burne-Jones was a native, and Priestley, George Dawson, and Dale were dissenting ministers.
BIRNAM, a hill near Dunkeld, in Perthshire; contains part of a forest mentioned in "Macbeth."
BIRON, a madcap lord in "Love's Labour's Lost."
BIRON, BARON DE, marshal of France, born at Perigord; served bravely under Henry IV.; though a Catholic, favoured the Huguenots; narrowly escaped at the Massacre of St. Bartholomew; was killed at the siege of Epernay; carried a note-book with him everywhere, and so observant was he that it passed into proverb, "You will find it in Biron's note-book" (1524-1592).
BIRON, DUC DE, son of the preceding; served also bravely under Henry IV.; but being a man of no principle and discontented with the reward he got for his services, intrigued with the Duke of Savoy and with Spain against Henry; was arrested and sent to the Bastille, where, after trial, he was beheaded (1562-1602).
BISCAY, BAY OF, a bay in the Atlantic, extending from Cape Ortegal, in Spain, to Cape Finisterre, in France, and 400 m. broad, of depth varying from 20 to 200 fathoms, and, under SW. winds particularly, one of the stormiest of seas.
BISCHOF, KARL GUSTAV, chemist, born at Nueremberg, professor at Bonn; experimented on the inflammable power of gas (1792-1870).
BISCHOFF, THEODOR LUDWIG WILHELM, distinguished biologist, born at Hanover; made a special study of embryology; was professor of Anatomy at Heidelberg, of Physiology at Giessen, and of both at Muenich (1807-1882).
BISHOP, originally an overseer of souls, eventually an overseer of churches, especially of a district, and conceived of by High-Churchmen as representing the apostles and deriving his powers by transmission from them.
BISHOP, SIR HENRY ROWLEY, an English composer, born in London, composer and director of music in Covent Garden Theatre for 14 years; produced 60 pieces, of which "Guy Mannering," "The Miller and his Men," are still in favour; was for a brief space professor of Music in Edinburgh University, and eventually held a similar chair in Oxford (1786-1855).
BISHOP OF HIPPO, St. Augustine, as once in office there.
BISHOP-AUCKLAND (10), a market-town 9 m. SW. of Durham, where the bishop of Durham has his residence, a palatial structure; it has coal-mines close by; manufactures machinery and cotton goods.
BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO (188), an archipelago formerly called New Britain, NE. of New Guinea; under the protectorate of Germany.
BISMARCK-SCHOeNHAUSEN, EDUARD LEOPOLD, PRINCE VON, born at Schoenhausen; woke up into civil life by the events of 1848; took a bold stand against revolutionary ideas and measures; conceived the idea of freeing the several States of Germany from foreign control, and welding them into one under the crown of Prussia. Summoned in 1862 by King William to be his political adviser, his influence was at first distrusted, but the annexation of Sleswig-Holstein by force of arms in 1863 raised him into general favour. His next feat, the humiliation of Austria at Koeniggraetz in 1866, and the consequent erection of a German Confederation, with Prussia at its head, made him the idol of the nation. His treatment of Napoleon III. provoked the latter into a declaration of war, and to an advance on the part of the French against Berlin. To the surprise of nearly all Europe, the Germans proved to be a nation of soldiers, marshalled as army never was before, and beat the French ignominiously back from the Rhine. Count Bismarck had the satisfaction of seeing the power of France, that still threatened, as well as that of Austria, helpless at his feet, the German empire restored under a Hohenzollern king, and himself installed as chancellor of the monarch he had served so well. Nothing he did after this—though he reformed the coinage, codified the law, established protection, increased the army, and repressed Socialism—equalled this great feat, and for this a grateful nation must ever honour his name. If he ceased to be chancellor of Germany on the accession of William II., it was because the young king felt he would have a freer hand with a minister more likely to be under his control (1815-1898).
BISSA'GOS, a group of some 20 volcanic islands off the coast of Senegambia, with a large negro population; yield tropical products, and belong now to Portugal.
BISSEN, a Danish sculptor, born in Sleswig; a pupil of Thorwaldsen; intrusted by him to finish a statue he left unfinished at his death; he produced some fine works, but his best known are his "Cupid Sharpening his Arrow" and "Atalanta Hunting" (1798-1868).
BITHUR, a town on the right bank of the Ganges, 12 m. above Cawnpore, where Nana Sahib lived, and concocted the conspiracy which developed into the mutiny of 1857.
BITHYNIA, a country in the NW. of Asia Minor, anciently so called; the people of it were of Thracian origin.
BITLIS (25), a high-lying town in Asiatic Turkey, 62 m. W. of Van; stands in a valley 8470 ft. above, the sea-level, with a population of Mohammedans and Armenians.
BITUMEN, an inflammable mineral substance, presumably of vegetable origin, called Naphtha when liquid and light-coloured, Petroleum when less fluid and darker, Maltha when viscid, and Asphalt when solid.
BITZIUS, a Swiss author, composed stories of Swiss life under the nom de plume of Jeremias Gotthelf, fascinating from their charming simplicity and truth; he is much admired by Ruskin; was by profession a Protestant pastor, the duties of which he continued to discharge till his death (1797-1854).
BIZERTA (10), a seaport of Tunis, northernmost town in Africa, 38 m. NW. of the capital, with an excellent harbour.
BIZET, GEORGES, an operatic composer, born at Paris; his greatest work "Carmen"; died of heart-disease shortly after its appearance (1838-1875).
BJOeRNSEN, a Norwegian author, born at Kvikne; composed tales, dramas, and lyrics, all of distinguished merit and imbued with a patriotic spirit; his best play "Sigurd the Bastard"; an active and zealous promoter of liberalism, sometimes extreme, both in religion and politics; his writings are numerous, and they rank high; his songs being highly appreciated by his countrymen; b. 1832.
BLACK, JOSEPH, a celebrated chemist, born at Bordeaux, of Scotch parents; the discoverer of what has been called latent heat, but what is really transformed energy; professor of Chemistry, first in Glasgow, then in Edinburgh, where his lectures were very popular; his discoveries in chemistry were fruitful in results (1728-1799).
BLACK, WILLIAM, novelist, born in Glasgow; started life as a journalist in connection with the Morning Star; has written several novels, over 30 in number, about the West Highlands of Scotland, rich in picturesque description; the best known and most admired, "A Daughter of Heth," the "Madcap Violet," "Macleod of Dare," "The Strange Adventures of a Phaeton," and "A Princess of Thule." "But when are you going to write a book, Mr. Black?" said Carlyle to him one day (1841-1898).
BLACK ART, name given to the presumed power of evoking evil spirits.
BLACK ASSIZE, a plague at Oxford in 1557, which carried off 300 victims; caught at the assize from the prisoners under trial.
BLACK DEATH, a name given to a succession of fatal epidemics that devastated the world from China to Ireland in the 14th century, believed to be the same as the Oriental plague, though attended with peculiar symptoms; the most serious was that of 1348, which, as is reckoned, stripped England alone of one-third of its inhabitants.
BLACK FOREST (488), a wooded mountain chain 4000 ft. high (so called from the black pines that cover it), which runs parallel with the Rhine, and E. of it, through Wuertemberg and Baden, from the Swiss frontier to Carlsruhe; is remarkable for its picturesque scenery and its mineral wealth; it possesses many health resorts, as Baden-Baden and Wildbad, where are mineral springs; silver, copper, cobalt, lead, and iron are wrought in many places; the women and children of the region make articles of woodwork, such as wooden clocks, &c.
BLACK FRIARS, monks of the Dominican order; name of a district in London where they had a monastery.
BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA, a confined apartment 13 ft. square, into which 146 English prisoners were crammed by the orders of Surajah Dowia on the 19th June 1756; their sufferings were excruciating, and only 23 survived till morning.
BLACK LANDS, lands in the heart of Russia, extending between the Carpathians and the Urals, constituting one-third of the soil, and consisting of a layer of black earth or vegetable mould, of from 3 to 20 ft. in thickness, and a chief source, from its exhaustless fertility, of the wealth of the country.
BLACK MONDAY, Easter Monday in 1351, remarkable for the extreme darkness that prevailed, and an intense cold, under which many died.
BLACK PRINCE, Prince of Wales, son of Edward III., so called, it is said, from the colour of his armour; distinguished himself at Crecy, gained the battle of Poitiers, but involved his country in further hostilities with France; returned to England, broken in health, to die (1330-1376).
BLACK ROD, GENTLEMAN USHER OF, an official of the House of Lords, whose badge of office is a black rod surmounted by a gold lion; summons the Commons to the House, guards the privileges of the House, &c.
BLACK SATURDAY, name given in Scotland to Saturday, 4th August 1621; a stormy day of great darkness, regarded as a judgment of Heaven against Acts then passed in the Scottish Parliament tending to establish Episcopacy.
BLACK SEA, or EUXINE, an inland sea, lying between Europe and Asia, twice the size of Britain, being 700 m. in greatest length and 400 m. in greatest breadth; communicates in the N. with the Sea of Azov, and in the SW., through the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora, and the Dardanelles, with the Mediterranean. It washes the shores of Turkey, Rumelia, Bulgaria, Russia, and Asia Minor; receives the waters of the Danube, Dneister, Bug, and Don, from Europe, and the Kizil-Irmak and Sakaria from Asia—three times as much as is received by the Mediterranean. It has but one island, Adassi, off the mouths of the Danube; no reefs or shoals; hence in summer navigation is very safe. In winter it is harassed by severe storms. Among the chief ports are Odessa, Kherson, Batoum, Trebizond, and Sinope; the first two are ice-bound in January and February. For three centuries the Turks excluded all other nations from its waters; but the Russians (1774), Austrians (1784), French and English (1802) secured trading rights. Russia and Turkey keep fleets in it, but other warships are excluded. Its waters are fresher than those of the ocean, and it has no noticeable tides.
BLACK WATCH, two Highland regiments, the 42nd and 73rd, so called from the dark colour of the tartan; raised originally for the preservation of the peace in the Highlands.
BLACKBURN (120), a manufacturing town in Lancashire, 21 m. NW. of Manchester, a centre of the cotton industry, and the greatest in the world; is the birthplace of Hargreaves, the inventor of the spinning-jenny.
BLACKHEATH, a common 7 m. SE. of London, once a favourite haunt of highwaymen, now a place of holiday resort for Londoners; for long provided the only golfing-course in England.
BLACKIE, JOHN STUART, a man of versatile gifts and warm human sympathies, born in Glasgow; bred to the bar, but devoted to literary pursuits; studied German; executed a metrical translation of Goethe's "Faust," Part I.; filled the chair of Humanity in Aberdeen, and afterwards that of Greek in Edinburgh; was a zealous educational reformer; took an active interest in everything affecting the welfare and honour of Scotland; founded a Celtic Chair in Edinburgh University; spoke much and wrote much in his day on manifold subjects; AEschylus, and Homer's "Iliad" in verse; among his works, which are numerous, "Self-Culture" is the most likely to survive him longest (1809-1895).
BLACKLOCK, THOMAS, a clergyman, born in Annan, blind from early infancy; after occupying a charge for two years, set up as a teacher in Edinburgh; was influential in inducing Burns to abandon his intention to emigrate, and may be credited, therefore, with saving for his country and humanity at large one of the most gifted of his country's sons (1721-1791).
BLACKMORE, RICHARD DODDRIDGE, novelist, born in Berks; bred to the bar; has written several novels, the best known "Lorna Doone," which, though coldly received at first, became highly popular; he is pronounced unrivalled in his day as a writer of rustic comedy; b. 1825.
BLACKMORE, SIR RICHARD, physician, born in Wilts; the most voluminous of poetasters, published four long worthless poems, besides essays and psalms, &c., and made himself the butt of all the wits of the period; d. 1729.
BLACKPOOL (23), a watering-place on the coast of Lancashire, 18 m. NW. of Preston, sometimes called the "Brighton of the North."
BLACKSTONE, SIR WILLIAM, an eminent jurist and judge, born in London, the son of a silk-mercer; was fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, and in 1746 called to the bar; became first Vinerian professor of Law at Oxford; had Jeremy Bentham for one of his pupils; author of the well-known "Commentaries on the Laws of England," an authority on the subject and a work that has appeared in many editions (1723-1780).
BLACKWELL, ALEXANDER, adventurer, born in Aberdeen; studied medicine; took to printing; thrown into prison for debt; was supported by his wife; on his release went to Sweden, was patronised by the king; convicted of conspiracy, and beheaded in 1747.
BLACKWELL, ELIZABETH, a lady doctor, born in Bristol, and the first to hold a medical diploma in the United States; graduated in 1849; was admitted into the Maternity Hospital in Paris, and to St. Bartholomew's in London, and has since distinguished herself as a social reformer; b. 1821.
BLACKWOOD, SIR HENRY, British admiral, much trusted by Nelson; distinguished at Aboukir Bay and Trafalgar; was present at Nelson's death; held subsequently high naval positions (1770-1832).
BLACKWOOD, WILLIAM, born in Edinburgh, originator of Blackwood's Magazine; originally a bookseller; started Maga, as it was called, in 1817, his principal literary advisers being Professor Wilson and Lockhart; conducted it as editor till his death (1776-1834). JOHN, his third son, his successor, no less distinguished in the cause of literature (1818-1879).
BLAEU, WILLEM JANZSOON, Dutch cartographer, born at Alkmaar; his terrestrial and celestial globes have been admired for their excellence and accuracy (1571-1638). His son JAN edited a valuable atlas called "Atlas Major," in 11 volumes; d. 1673.
BLAINVILLE, HENRI MARIE, a French naturalist; devoted himself to medicine; became assistant to Cuvier; succeeded him as professor of Comparative Anatomy; wrote largely on natural science, and particularly on subjects connected with his appointment as a professor (1777-1850).
BLAIR, HUGH, clergyman, born in Edinburgh; held in succession several charges in Scotland, and became professor of Rhetoric in Edinburgh University; author of "Lectures on Rhetoric" and "Sermons," which latter are of the nature of moral essays rather than sermons, were much esteemed at one time for their polished style, and procured him a pension of L200 from the king; he was a man of great critical acumen, and the celebrated Schleiermacher did not think it beneath him to translate some of them into German (1718-1800).
BLAIR, ROBERT, author of "The Grave," a thoughtful and cultured man, born in Edinburgh; minister of Athelstaneford, where he was succeeded by Home, the author of "Douglas." His poem has the merit of having been illustrated by William Blake (1699-1743).
BLAKE, ROBERT, the great English admiral and "Sea King," born at Bridgewater; successful as a soldier under the Commonwealth, before he tried seamanship; took first to sea in pursuit of Prince Rupert and the royalist fleet, which he destroyed; beat the Dutch under Van Tromp de Ruyter and De Witt; sailed under the great guns of Tunis into the harbour, where he fired a fleet of Turkish pirates; and finally, his greatest feat, annihilated a Spanish fleet in Santa Cruz Bay under the shadow of the Peak of Teneriffe, "one of the fiercest actions ever fought on land or water" (1598-1657).
BLAKE, WILLIAM, poet, painter, and engraver, born in London, where, with rare intervals, he spent his life a mystic from his very boyhood; apprenticed to an engraver, whom he assisted with his drawings; started on original lines of his own as illustrator of books and a painter; devoted his leisure to poetry; wrote "Songs of Innocence," "Marriage of Heaven and Hell," "Gates of Paradise," and "Songs of Experience"; was an intensely religious man of deep spiritual insight, most vivid feeling and imagination; illustrated Young's "Night Thoughts," Blair's "Grave," and the "Book of Job." He was a man of stainless character but eccentric habits, and had for wife an angel, Catherine Boucher (1757-1828).
BLANC, CHARLES, a French art critic, brother of Louis Blanc (1813-1882).
BLANC, JEAN JOSEPH LOUIS, a French Socialist, born at Madrid; started as a journalist, founded the Revue du Progres, and published separately in 1840 "Organisation of Labour," which had already appeared in the Revue, a work which gained the favour of the working-classes; was member of the Provisional Government of 1848, and eventually of the National Assembly; threatened with impeachment, fled to England; returned to France on the fall of the Empire, and was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1871; wrote an "elaborate and well-written" "History of the French Revolution"; died at Cannes (1811-1882).
BLANC, MONT, the highest mountain in Europe, 15,780 ft., almost entirely within France; sends numerous glaciers down its slopes, the Mer de Glace the chief.
BLANCHARD, FRANCOIS, a celebrated French aeronaut, inventor of the parachute; he fell from his balloon and was killed at the Hague (1738-1809).
BLANCHARD, LAMAN, a prolific periodical and play writer, born at Yarmouth; a man of a singularly buoyant spirit, crushed by calamities; died by suicide (1803-1845).
BLANCHE OF CASTILE, wife of Louis VIII. of France and mother of St. Louis; regent of France during the minority of her son and during his absence in crusade; governed with great discretion and firmness; died of grief over the long absence of her son and his rumoured intention to stay in the Holy Land (1186-1252).
BLANCHET, THE ABBE, French litterateur; author of "Apologues and Tales," much esteemed (1707-1784).
BLANDRATA, GIORGIO, Piedmontese physician, who for his religious opinions was compelled to take refuge, first in Poland, then in Transylvania, where he sowed the seeds of Unitarianism (1515-1590).
BLANQUI, ADOLPHE, a celebrated French publicist and economist, born at Nice; a disciple of J. B. Say, and a free-trader; his principal work, "History of Political Economy in Europe" (1798-1854).
BLANQUI, LOUIS AUGUSTE, a brother of the preceding, a French republican of extreme views and violent procedure; would appear to have posed as a martyr; spent nearly half his life in prison (1805-1881).
BLARNEY-STONE, a stone in Castle Blarney, Cork, of difficult access, which is said to endow whoso kisses it with a fair-spoken tongue, hence the application of the word.
BLASIUS, ST., bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia; the patron of wool-combers; suffered martyrdom in 316.
BLASPHEMY, defined by Ruskin as the opposite of euphemy, and as wishing ill to anything, culminating in wishing ill to God, as the height of "ill-manners."
BLATANT BEAST, Spenser's name for the ignorant, slanderous, clamour of the mob.
BLAVATSKY, MME., a theosophist, born in Russia; a great authority on theosophy, the doctrines of which she professed she derived from the fountain-head in Thibet (1813-1891).
BLEEK, FRIEDRICH, eminent German Biblical exegete and critic of the Schleiermacher school, born in Holstein; professor at Bonn; his chief work, "Commentary on the Hebrews," a great work; others are Introductions to the Old and to the New Testaments (1793-1859).
BLEEK, WM., son of preceding, a philologist; accompanied Colenso to Natal; author of "Comparative Grammar of the S. African Languages" (1827-1875).
BLEFUSCU, an island separated from Lilliput by a strait 800 yards wide, inhabited by pigmies; understood to represent France.
BLENHEIM, a village in Bavaria, near Augsburg; famous for Marlborough's victory in 1704, and giving name to it.
BLENHEIM PARK, near Woodstock, Oxford, the gift, with the Woodstock estate, of the country to the Duke of Marlborough, for his military services in the Spanish Succession war.
BLESSINGTON, COUNTESS OF, an Irish lady celebrated for her beauty and wit; figured much in intellectual circles in London; had her salon at Kensington; was on intimate terms with Byron, and published "Conversations with Byron," and wrote several novels; being extravagant, fell into debt, and had to flee the country (1789-1849).
BLICHER, STEEN STEENSEN, Danish poet of rural life (1782-1848).
BLIGH, WM., a naval officer; served under Captain Cook; commanded the Bounty at Tahiti, when his crew mutinied under his harsh treatment, and set him adrift, with 18 others, in an open boat, in which, after incredible privations, he arrived in England; was afterwards governor of N.S. Wales, but dismissed for his rigorous and arbitrary conduct (1753-1817).
BLIMBER, MRS. CORNELIA, a prim school-matron in "Dombey & Son."
BLIND, KARL, revolutionist and journalist, born at Mannheim; took part in the risings of 1848, and sentenced to prison in consequence of a pamphlet he wrote entitled "German Hunger and German Princes," but rescued by the mob; found refuge in England, where he interested himself in democratic movements, and cultivated his literary as well as his political proclivities by contributing to magazines, and otherwise; b. 1826.
BLIND HARRY, a wandering Scottish minstrel of the 15th century; composed in verse "The Life of that Noble Champion of Scotland, Sir William Wallace."
BLINKERT DUNE, a dune near Haarlem, 197 ft. above the sea-level.
BLOCH, MARCUS ELIESER, a naturalist, born at Anspach, of Jewish descent; his "Ichthyology" is a magnificent national work, produced at the expense of the wealthiest princes of Germany (1723-1799).
BLOEMAERT, a family of Flemish painters and engravers in 16th and 17th centuries.
BLOIS, capital of the deps. of Loire and Cher, France, on the Loire, 35 m. S. of Orleans; a favourite residence of Francis I. and Charles IX., and the scene of events of interest in the history of France.
BLOMEFLELD, FRANCIS, a clergyman, born at Norfolk; author of "Topographical History of the County of Norfolk" (1705-1751).
BLOMFIELD, bishop of London, born at Bury St. Edmunds; Greek scholar; active in the Church extension of his diocese (1785-1857).
BLONDEL, a troubadour of the 12th century; a favourite of Richard Coeur de Lion, who, it is said, discovered the place of Richard's imprisonment in Austria by singing the first part of a love-song which Richard and he had composed together, and by the voice of Richard in responding to the strain.
BLONDIN, CHARLES, an acrobat and rope-dancer, born at St. Omer, France; celebrated for his feats in crossing Niagara Falls on the tight-rope; b. 1824.
BLOOD, THOMAS, COLONEL, an Irish desperado, noted for his daring attempts against the life of the Duke of Ormonde, and for carrying off the regalia in the Tower; unaccountably pardoned by Charles II., and received afterwards into royal favour with a pension of L500 per annum. He was afterwards charged with conspiracy, and committed to the King's Bench, and released.
BLOODY ASSIZES, the judicial massacres and cruel injustices perpetrated by Judge Jeffreys during Circuit in 1685.
BLOODY BONES, a hobgoblin feared by children.
BLOODY STATUTE, statute of Henry VIII. making it a crime involving the heaviest penalties to question any of the fundamental doctrines of the Romish Church.
BLOOMFLELD, ROBERT, an English poet, born in Suffolk, by trade a shoemaker; author of the "Farmer's Boy," a highly popular production, translated into French and Italian; spent his last days in ill-health struggling with poverty, which brought on dejection of mind (1766-1823).