Part 5 out of 15
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
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,"
BEDWIN (_Mrs._), housekeeper to Mr. Brownlow. A kind, motherly soul,
who loves Oliver Twist most dearly.--C. Dickens, _Oliver Twist_
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
BEEF'INGTON (_Milor_), introduced in _The Rovers._ Casimir is a Polish
emigrant, and Beefington an English nobleman exiled by the tyranny of
"Will without power," said the sagacious Casimir,
to Milor Beefington, "is like children playing
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
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
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,
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_
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).
[Illustration] "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.
_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_
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
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
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,
BEL'LENDEN (_Lady Margaret_), an old Tory lady, mistress of the Tower
_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
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
BELMOUR (_Edward_), a gay young man about town.--Congreve, _The Old
_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.
[Illustration] 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).
[Illustration] "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
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
BENEV'OLUS, in Cowper's _Task_, is John Courtney Throckmorton, of
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,
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
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
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
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
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
(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
_Berenice_, heroine of a tragic-comic fantasy by Edgar Allan Poe,
in which Berenice's teeth hold a position as conspicuous as ghastly
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).
[Illustration] The only vulnerable part of Orlando was the sole of the
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,
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
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
_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
_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
_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_
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
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_
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
BETTY FOY, "the idiot mother of an idiot boy "--W. Wordsworth
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
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
_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_
_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
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
... 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
_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,
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,
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
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.
_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.
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
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
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.
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
BIRD SINGING TO A MONK. The monk was Felix.--Longfellow, _Golden
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,
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
_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
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
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
_Blacksmith_ (_The Learned_), Elihu Burritt, United States
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,
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'
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
_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
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
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,
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_
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).
BLANDISH, a "practised parasite." His sister says to him, "May you
find but half your own vanity in those you have to work on!" (act i.
_Miss Letitia Blandish_, sister of the above, a fawning timeserver,
who sponges on the wealthy. She especially toadies to Miss Alscrip
"the heiress," flattering her vanity, fostering her conceit, and
encouraging her vulgar affectations.--General Burgoyne, _The Heiress_
BLANE (_Niell_), town piper and publican.
_Jenny Blane_, his daughter.--Sir W, Scott, _Old Mortality_ (time,
BLANEY, a wealthy heir, ruined by dissipation.--Crabbe, _Borough_.
BLARNEY (_Lady_), one of the flash women introduced by squire
Thornhill to the Primrose family.--Goldsmith, _Vicar of Wakefield_
BLASPHEMOUS BALFOUR. Sir James Balfour, the Scottish judge, was so
called from his apostacy (died 1583).