Part 6 out of 53
BARTHOLOMEW, ST., an apostle of Christ, and martyr; represented in
art with a knife in one hand and his skin in the other; sometimes been
painted as being flayed alive, also as headless. Festival, Aug. 24.
BARTHOLOMEW FAIR, an annual market held at Smithfield, London, and
instituted in 1133 by Henry I., to be kept on the saint's day, but
abolished in 1853, when it ceased to be a market and became an occasion
for mere dissipation and riot.
BARTHOLOMEW HOSPITAL, an hospital in Smithfield, London, founded in
1123; has a medical school attached to it, with which the names of a
number of eminent physicians are associated.
BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY, ST., 24th August, day in 1572 memorable for the
wholesale massacre of the Protestants in France at the instance of
Catharine de Medici, then regent of the kingdom for her son, Charles IX.,
an event, cruelly gloried in by the Pope and the Spanish Court, which
kindled a fire in the nation that was not quenched, although it
extinguished Protestantism proper in France, till Charles was coerced to
grant liberty of conscience throughout the realm.
BARTIZAN, an overhanging wall-mounted turret projecting from the
walls of ancient fortifications.
BARTLETT, JOHN H., an American ethnologist and philologist, born at
Rhode Island, U.S.; author of "Dictionary of Americanisms," among other
works particularly on ethnology (1805-1886).
BARTOLI, DANIELE, a learned Italian Jesuit, born at Ferrara
BARTOLI, PIETRO, Italian engraver, engraved a great number of
ancient works of art (1635-1700).
BARTOLINI, LORENZO, a Florentine sculptor, patronised by Napoleon;
produced a great number of busts (1777-1850).
BARTOLOMME`O, FRA, a celebrated Florentine painter of sacred
subjects, born at Florence; an adherent of Savonarola, friend of Raphael;
"St. Mark" and "St. Sebastian" among his best productions (1469-1517).
BARTOLOZ`ZI, FRANCESCO, an eminent engraver, born at Florence;
wrought at his art both in England and in Portugal, where he died; his
chief works, "Clytie," after Annibale Caracci, the "Prometheus," after
Michael Angelo, and "Virgin and Child," after Carlo Dolci; he was the
father of Madame Vestris (1725-1815).
BARTON, BERNARD, the "Quaker poet," born in London; a clerk nearly
all his days in a bank; his poems, mostly on homely subjects, but
instinct with poetic feeling and fancy, gained him the friendship of
Southey and Charles Lamb, as well as more substantial patronage in the
shape of a government pension (1784-1849).
BARTON, ELIZABETH, "the Maid of Kent," a poor country servant-girl,
born in Kent, subject from nervous debility to trances, in which she gave
utterances ascribed by Archbishop Warham to divine inspiration, till her
communications were taken advantage of by designing people, and she was
led by them to pronounce sentence against the divorce of Catharine of
Aragon, which involved her and her abettors in a charge of treason, for
which they were all executed at Tyburn (1506-1534).
BARUCH, (1) the friend of the prophet Jeremiah, and his scribe, who
was cast with him into prison, and accompanied him into Egypt; (2) a book
in the Apocrypha, instinct with the spirit of Hebrew prophecy, ascribed
to him; (3) also a book entitled the Apocalypse of Baruch, affecting to
predict the fall of Jerusalem, but obviously written after the event.
BARYE, a French sculptor, distinguished for his groups of statues of
wild animals (1795-1875).
BASAITI, a Venetian painter of the 15th and 16th centuries, a rival
of Bellini; his best works, "Christ in the Garden" and the "Calling of
St. Peter and St. Andrew."
BASEDOW, JOHANN BERNARD, a zealous educational reformer, born at
Hamburg; his method modelled according to the principles of Rousseau;
established a normal school on this method at Dessau, which, however,
failed from his irritability of temper, which led to a rupture with his
BASEL (74), in the NW. of Switzerland, on the Rhine, just before it
enters Germany; has a cathedral, university, library, and museum; was a
centre of influence in Reformation times, and the home for several years
of Erasmus; it is now a great money market, and has manufactures of silks
and chemicals; the people are Protestant and German-speaking.
BASEL, COUNCIL OF, met in 1431, and laboured for 12 years to effect
the reformation of the Church from within. It effected some compromise
with the Hussites, but was hampered at every step by the opposition of
Pope Eugenius IV. Asserting the authority of a general council over the
Pope himself, it cited him on two occasions to appear at its bar, on his
refusal declared him contumacious, and ultimately endeavoured to suspend
him. Failing to effect its purpose, owing to the secession of his
supporters, it elected a rival pope, Felix V., who was, however, but
scantily recognised. The Emperor Frederick III. supported Eugenius, and
the council gradually melted away. At length, in 1449, the pope died,
Felix resigned, and Nicholas V. was recognised by the whole Church. The
decrees of the council were directed against the immorality of the
clergy, the indecorousness of certain festivals, the papal prerogatives
and exactions, and dealt with the election of popes and the procedure of
the College of Cardinals. They were all confirmed by Nicholas V., but are
not recognised by modern Roman canonists.
BA`SHAN, a fertile and pastoral district in NE. Palestine of
considerable extent, and at one time densely peopled; the men of it were
remarkable for their stature.
BASHAHR, a native hill state in the Punjab, traversed by the Sutlej;
tributary to the British Government.
BASHI-BAZOUKS`, irregular, undisciplined troops in the pay of the
Sultan; rendered themselves odious by their brutality in the Bulgarian
atrocities of 1876, as well as, more or less, in the time of the Crimean
BASHKIRS, originally a Finnish nomad race (and still so to some
extent) of E. Russia, professing Mohammedanism; they number some 500,000.
BASHKIRTSEFF, MARIE, a precocious Russian young lady of good family,
but of delicate constitution, who travelled a good deal with her mother,
noted her impressions, and left a journal of her life, which created,
when published after her death, an immense sensation from the confessions
it contains (1860-1884).
BASIL, ST., THE GREAT, bishop of Caesarea, in Cappadocia, his
birthplace; studied at Athens; had Julian the Apostate for a
fellow-student; the lifelong friend of Gregory Nazianzen; founded a
monastic body, whose rules are followed by different monastic
communities; a conspicuous opponent of the Arian heresy, and defender of
the Nicene Creed; tried in vain to unite the Churches of the East and
West; is represented in Christian art in Greek pontificals, bareheaded,
and with an emaciated appearance (326-380). There were several Basils of
eminence in the history of the Church: Basil, bishop of Ancyra, who
flourished in the 4th century; Basil, the mystic, and Basil, the friend
of St. Ambrose.
BASIL I., the Macedonian, emperor of the East; though he had raised
himself to the throne by a succession of crimes, governed wisely;
compiled, along with his son Leo, surnamed the Philosopher, a code of
laws that were in force till the fall of the empire; fought successfully
against the Saracens; _d_. 886.
BASILICA, the code of laws, in 60 books, compiled by Basil I., and
Leo, his son and successor, first published in 887, and named after the
BASILICA, a spacious hall, twice as long as broad, for public
business and the administration of justice, originally open to the sky,
but eventually covered in, and with the judge's bench at the end opposite
the entrance, in a circular apse added to it. They were first erected by
the Romans, 180 B.C.; afterwards, on the adoption of Christianity, they
were converted into churches, the altar being in the apse.
BASILICON DORON (i. e. Royal Gift), a work written by James I. in
1599, before the union of the crowns, for the instruction of his son,
Prince Henry, containing a defence of the royal prerogative.
BASILI`DES, a Gnostic of Alexandria, flourished at the commencement
of the 2nd century; appears to have taught the Oriental theory of
emanations, to have construed the universe as made up of a series of
worlds, some 365 it is alleged, each a degree lower than the preceding,
till we come to our own world, the lowest and farthest off from the
parent source of the series, of which the God of the Jews was the ruler,
and to have regarded Jesus as sent into it direct from the parent source
to redeem it from the materialism to which the God of the Jews, as
Creator and Lord of the material universe, had subjected it; which
teaching a sect called after his name accepted and propagated in both the
East and the West for more than two centuries afterwards.
BAS`ILISK, an animal fabled to have been hatched by a toad from the
egg of an old cock, before whose breath every living thing withered and
died, and the glance of whose eye so bewitched one to his ruin that the
bravest could confront and overcome it only by looking at the reflection
of it in a mirror, as PERSEUS (q. v.) was advised to do, and
did, when he cut off the head of the Medusa; seeing itself in a mirror,
it burst, it as said, at the sight.
BASKERVILLE, JOHN, a printer and typefounder, originally a
writing-master in Birmingham; native of Sion Hill, Worcestershire;
produced editions of classical works prized for their pre-eminent beauty
by connoisseurs in the art of the printer, and all the more for their
BASNAGES, JACQUES, a celebrated Protestant divine, born at Rouen;
distinguished as a linguist and man of affairs; wrote a "History of the
Reformed Churches" and on "Jewish Antiquities" (1653-1723).
BASOCHE, a corporation of lawyers' clerks in Paris. See
BASQUE PROVINCES, a fertile and mineral district in N. of Spain,
embracing the three provinces of Biscaya, Guipuzcoa, and Alava, of which
the chief towns are respectively Bilbao, St. Sebastian, and Vittoria; the
natives differ considerably from the rest of the Spaniards in race,
language, and customs. See BASQUES.
BASQUE ROADS, an anchorage between the Isle of Oleron and the
mainland; famous for a naval victory gained in 1809 over a French fleet
under Vice-Admiral Allemand.
BASQUES, a people of the Western Pyrenees, partly in France and
partly in Spain; distinguished from their neighbours only by their
speech, which is non-Aryan; a superstitious people, conservative,
irascible, ardent, proud, serious in their religious convictions, and
pure in their moral conduct.
BAS-RELIEF (i. e. low relief) a term applied to figures very
slightly projected from the ground.
BASS ROCK, a steep basaltic rock at the mouth of the Firth of Forth,
350 ft. high, tenanted by solan geese; once used as a prison, specially
in Covenanting times.
BASS STRAIT, strait between Australia and Tasmania, about 150 m.
BASSANIO, the lover of Portia in the "Merchant of Venice."
BASSANO, a town in Italy, on the Brenta, 30 m. NW. of Padua;
printing the chief industry.
BASSANO, DUC DE, an intriguing French diplomatist in the interest of
Bonaparte, and his steadfast auxiliary to the last (1763-1839).
BASSANO, JACOPO DA PONTE, an eminent Italian painter, chiefly of
country scenes, though the "Nativity" at his native town, Bassano, shows
his ability in the treatment of higher themes (1510-1592).
BASSOMPIERRE, FRANCOIS DE, a marshal of France, born in Lorraine;
entered military life under Henry IV., was a gallant soldier, and one of
the most brilliant wits of his time; took part in the siege of Rochelle;
incurred the displeasure of Richelieu; was imprisoned by his order twelve
years in the Bastille; wrote his Memoirs there; was liberated on the
death of Richelieu; his Memoirs contain a lively description of his
contemporaries, the manners of the time, his own intrigues, no less than
those of his friends and enemies (1579-1646).
BASSORAH (40), a port in Asiatic Turkey, on the Shatt-el-Arab; a
place of great commercial importance when Bagdad was the seat of the
caliphate; for a time sank into insignificance, but has of late revived.
BASTI`A (22), a town in NE. Corsica, the most commercial in the
island, and once the capital; was founded by the Genoese in 1383, and
taken by the French in 1553; exports wine, oil, fruits, &c.
BASTIAN, ADOLF, an eminent ethnologist, born at Bremen; travelled
over and surveyed, in the interest of his science, all quarters of the
globe, and recorded the fruits of his survey in his numerous works, no
fewer than thirty in number, beginning with "Der Mensch in der
Geschichte," in three vols.; conducts, along with Virchow and R. Hartman,
the _Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie_; _b_. 1826.
BASTIAN, DR. H. C., a physiologist, born at Truro; a materialist in
his theory of life; a zealous advocate of the doctrine of spontaneous
generation; _b_. 1837.
BASTIAT, FREDERIC, an eminent political economist, born at Bayonne;
a disciple of Cobden's; a great advocate of Free Trade; wrote on behalf
of it and against Protection, "Sophismes Economiques"; a zealous
Anti-Socialist, and wrote against Socialism (1801-1850).
BASTIDE, JULES, French Radical writer, born in Paris; took part in
the Revolution of 1848, and became Minister of Foreign Affairs
BASTILLE (lit. the Building), a State prison in Paris, built
originally as a fortress of defence to the city, by order of Charles V.,
between 1369 and 1382, but used as a place of imprisonment from the
first; a square structure, with towers and dungeons for the incarceration
of the prisoners, the whole surrounded by a moat, and accessible only by
drawbridges; "tyranny's stronghold"; attacked by a mob on 14th July 1789;
taken chiefly by noise; overturned, as "the city of Jericho, by
miraculous sound"; demolished, and the key of it sent to Washington; the
taking of it was the first event in the Revolution. See Carlyle's "French
Revolution" for the description of the fall of it.
BASUTOLAND (250), a fertile, healthy, grain-growing territory in S.
Africa, SE. of the Orange Free State, under protection of the British
crown, of the size of Belgium; yields large quantities of maize; the
natives keep large herds of cattle.
BASUTOS, a S. African race of the same stock as the Kaffirs, but
superior to them in intelligence and industry.
BATANGAS, a port in the island of Luzon, one of the Philippine
Islands, which has a considerable trade.
BATAVIA (105), the capital of Java, on the N. coast, and of the
Dutch possessions in the Eastern Archipelago; the emporium, with a large
trade, of the Far East; with a very mixed population. Also the ancient
name of Holland; _insula Batavorum_ it was called--that is, island of the
Batavi, the name of the native tribes inhabiting it.
BATES, HENRY WALTER, a naturalist and traveller, born at Leicester;
friend of, and a fellow-labourer with, Alfred R. Wallace; author of "The
Naturalist on the Amazons"; an advocate of the Darwinian theory, and
author of contributions in defence of it (1825-1892).
BATH (54), the largest town in Somerset, on the Avon; a cathedral
city; a place of fashionable resort from the time of the Romans, on
account of its hot baths and mineral waters, of which there are six
springs; it was from 1704 to 1750 the scene of Beau Nash's triumphs; has
a number of educational and other institutions, and a fine public park.
BATH, MAJOR, a gentleman in Fielding's "Amelia," who stoops from his
dignity to the most menial duties when affection prompts him.
BATH, ORDER OF THE, an English order of knighthood, traceable to the
reign of Henry IV., consisting of three classes: the first, Knights Grand
Cross; the second, Knights Commanders, and the third, Knights Companions,
abbreviated respectively into G.C.B., K.C.B., and C.B.; initiation
into the order originally preceded by immersion in a bath, whence the
name, in token of the purity required of the members by the laws of
chivalry. It was originally a military order, and it is only since 1847
that civil Knights, Knights Commanders, and Companions have been admitted
as Knights. The first class, exclusive of royal personages and
foreigners, is limited to 102 military and 28 civil; the second, to 102
military and 50 civil; and the third, to 525 military and 200 civil. The
motto of the order is _Tria juncta in uno_ (Three united in one); and
Henry VI.'s chapel at Westminster is the chapel of the order, with the
plates of the Knights on their stalls, and their banners suspended over
BATHGATE (5), largest town in Linlithgowshire; a mining centre; the
birthplace of Sir J. Simpson, who was the son of a baker in the place.
BATHILDA, ST., queen of France, wife of Clovis II., who governed
France during the minority of her sons, Clovis III., Childeric II., and
Thierry; died 680, in the monastery of Chelles.
BATH`ORI, ELIZABETH, a Polish princess, a woman of infamous memory,
caused some 650 young girls to be put to death, in order, by bathing in
their blood, to renew her beauty; immersed in a fortress for life on the
discovery of the crime, while her accomplices were burnt alive; _d_.
BATHOS, an anti-climax, being a sudden descent from the sublime to
BATH`URST (8), the capital of British Gambia, at the mouth of the
river Gambia, in Western Africa; inhabited chiefly by negroes; exports
palm-oil, ivory, gold dust, &c.
BATHURST (10), the principal town on the western slopes of New South
Wales, second to Sydney, with gold mines in the neighbourhood, and in a
fertile wheat-growing district.
BATHURST, a district in Upper Canada, on the Ottawa, a thriving
place and an agricultural centre.
BATHYB`IUS, (i. e. living matter in the deep), substance of a
slimy nature found at great sea depth, over-hastily presumed to be
organic, proved by recent investigation to be inorganic, and of no avail
to the evolutionist.
BATLEY (28), a manufacturing town in the W. Riding of Yorkshire, 8
m. SW. of Leeds; a busy place.
BATN-EL-HAJAR, a stony tract in the Nubian Desert, near the third
cataract of the Nile.
BATON-ROUGE (10), a city on the E. bank of the Mississippi, 130 m.
above New Orleans, and capital of the state of Louisiana; originally a
BATON-SINISTER, a bend-sinister like a marshal's baton, an
indication of illegitimacy.
BATOUM` (10), a town in Transcaucasia, on the E. of the Black Sea; a
place of some antiquity; recently ceded by Turkey to Russia, but only as
a mere trading port; has an excellent harbour, and has improved under
BATRACHOMYOMACHIA, a mock-heroic poem, "The Battle of the Frogs and
Mice," falsely ascribed to Homer.
BATTAS, a Malay race, native to Sumatra, now much reduced in
numbers, and driven into the interior.
BATTERSEA, a suburb of London, on the Surrey side of the Thames,
opposite Chelsea, and connected with it by a bridge; with a park 185
acres in extent; of plain and recent growth; till lately a quite rural
BATTHYA`NI, COUNT, an Hungarian patriot, who fought hard to see his
country reinstated in its ancient administrative independence, but failed
in his efforts; was arrested, tried for high treason by court-martial,
and sentenced to be shot, to the horror, at the time, of the civilised
BATTLE, a market-town in Sussex, near Hastings, so called from the
battle of Senlac, in which William the Conqueror defeated Harold in 1066.
BATTLE OF THE SPURS, (_a_) an engagement at Courtrai in 1302 where the
burghers of the town beat the knighthood of France, and the spurs of 4000
knights were collected after the battle; (_b_) an engagement at
Guinegate, 1513, in which Henry VIII. made the French forces take to
their spurs; OF THE BARRIERS (see BARRIERS); OF THE BOOKS, a satire by
Swift on a literary controversy of the time; OF THE STANDARD, a battle in
1138, in which the English, with a high-mounted crucifix for a standard,
beat the Scots at Northallerton.
BATTUE, method of killing game after crowding them by cries and
beating them towards the sportsmen.
BAUCIS. See PHILEMON.
BAUDELAIRE, CHARLES, French poet of the romantic school, born in
Paris; distinguished among his contemporaries for his originality, and
his influence on others of his class; was a charming writer of prose as
well as verse, as his "Petits Poemes" in prose bear witness. Victor Hugo
once congratulated him on having "created a new shudder"; and as has been
said, "this side of his genius attracted most popular attention, which,
however, is but one side, and not really the most remarkable, of a
singular combination of morbid but delicate analysis and reproduction of
the remotest phases and moods of human thought and passion" (1821-1867).
BAUDRICOURT, a French courtier whom Joan of Arc pressed to conduct
her into the presence of Charles VII.
BAUDRY, PAUL, French painter, decorated the _foyer_ of the Grand
Opera in Paris; is best known as the author of the "Punishment of a
Vestal Virgin" and the "Assassination of Marat" (1828-1886).
BAUER, BRUNO, a daring Biblical critic, and violent polemic on political
as well as theological subjects; born at Saxe-Altenburg; regarded the
Christian religion as overlaid and obscured by accretions foreign to it;
denied the historical truth of the Gospels, and, like a true disciple of
Hegel, ascribed the troubles of the 19th century to the overmastering
influence of the "ENLIGHTENMENT" or the "AUFKLAeRUNG" (q. v.) that
characterised the 18th. His last work was entitled "Disraeli's Romantic
and Bismarck's Socialistic Imperialism" (1809-1882).
BAUMGARTEN, ALEXANDER GOTTLIEB, professor of Philosophy at
Frankfort-on-the-Oder; disciple of Wolf; born at Berlin; the founder of
AEsthetics as a department of philosophy, and inventor of the name
BAUMGARTEN-CRUSIUS, a German theologian of the school of
Schleiermacher; professor of Theology at Jena; born at Merseburg; an
authority on the history of dogma, on which he wrote (1788-1843).
BAUR, FERDINAND CHRISTIAN, head of the Tuebingen school of
rationalist divines, born near Stuttgart; distinguished by his
scholarship and his labours in Biblical criticism and dogmatic theology;
his dogmatic treatises were on the Christian Gnosis, the Atonement, the
Trinity, and the Incarnation, while his Biblical were on certain epistles
of Paul and the canonical Gospels, which he regarded as the product of
the 2nd century; regarded Christianity of the Church as Judaic in its
origin, and Paul as distinctively the first apostle of pure Christianity
BAUSSET, cardinal, born at Pondicherry, who wrote the Lives of
Bossuet and Fenelon (1748-1824).
BAUTZEN, a town of Saxony, an old town on the Spree, where Napoleon
defeated the Prussians and Russians in 1813; manufactures cotton, linen,
wool, tobacco, paper, etc.
BAVARIA (5,590), next to Prussia the largest of the German States,
about the size of Scotland; is separated by mountain ranges from Bohemia
on the E. and the Tyrol on the S.; Wuertemburg lies on the W., Prussia,
Meiningen, and Saxony on the N. The country is a tableland crossed by
mountains and lies chiefly in the basin of the Danube. It is a busy
agricultural state: half the soil is tilled; the other half is under
grass, planted with vineyards and forests. Salt, coal, and iron are
widely distributed and wrought. The chief manufactures are of beer,
coarse linen, and woollen fabrics. There are universities at Muenich,
Wuerzburg, and Erlangen. Muenich, on the Isar, is the capital; Nueremberg,
where watches were invented, and Angsburg, a banking centre, the other
chief towns. Formerly a dukedom, the palatinate, on the banks of the
Rhine, was added to it in 1216. Napoleon I. raised the duke to the title
of king in 1805. Bavaria fought on the side of Austria in 1866, but
joined Prussia in 1870-71.
BAVIE`CA, the famous steed of the Cid, held sacred after the hero's
BAVOU, ST., a soldier monk, the patron saint of Ghent.
BAXTER, RICHARD, an eminent Nonconformist divine, native of
Shropshire, at first a conformist, and parish minister of Kidderminster
for 19 years; sympathised with the Puritans, yet stopped short of going
the full length with them; acted as chaplain to one of their regiments,
and returned to Kidderminster; became, at the Restoration one of the
king's chaplains; driven out of the Church by the Act of Uniformity, was
thrown into prison at 70, let out, spent the rest of his days in peace;
his popular works, "The Saint's Everlasting Rest," and his "Call to the
BAY CITY (27), place of trade, and of importance as a great railway
centre in Michigan, U.S.; the third city in it.
BAYADERE, a dancing-girl in India, dressed in loose Eastern costume.
BAYARD, a horse of remarkable swiftness belonging to the four sons
of Aymon, and which they sometimes rode all at once; also a horse of
Amadis de Gaul.
BAYARD, CHEVALIER DE, an illustrious French knight, born in the
Chateau Bayard, near Grenoble; covered himself with glory in the wars of
Charles VIII., Louis XII., and Francis I.; his bravery and generosity
commanded the admiration of his enemies, and procured for him the
thrice-honourable cognomen of "The Knight _sans peur et sans reproche_";
one of his most brilliant feats was his defence, single-handed, of the
bridge over the Garigliano, in the face of a large body of Spaniards; was
mortally wounded defending a pass at Abblategrasso; fell with his face to
the foe, who carried off his body, but restored it straightway afterwards
for due burial by his friends (1476-1524).
BAYEUX (7), an ancient Norman city in the dep. of Calvados, France;
manufactures lace, hosiery, &c.; is a bishop's seat; has a very old
BAYEUX TAPESTRY, representations in tapestry of events connected
with the Norman invasion of England, commencing with Harold's visit to
the Norman court, and ending with his death at the battle of Hastings;
still preserved in the public library of Bayeux; is so called because
originally found there; it is 214 ft. long by 20 in. wide, divided into
72 scenes, and contains a variety of figures. It is a question whose work
BAYLE, PIERRE, a native of Languedoc; first Protestant (as the son
of a Calvinist minister), then Catholic, then sceptic; Professor of
Philosophy at Padua, then at Rotterdam, and finally retired to the
Boompjes in the latter city; known chiefly as the author of the famous
_Dictionnaire Historique et Critique_, to the composition of which he
consecrated his energies with a zeal worthy of a religious devotee, and
which became the fountain-head of the sceptical philosophy that flooded
France on the eve of the Revolution; pronounced by a competent judge in
these matters, a mere "imbroglio of historical, philosophical, and
anti-theological marine stores" (1647-1700).
BAYLEN, a town in the province of Jaen, Spain, where General
Castanos defeated Dupont, and compelled him to sign a capitulation, in
BAYLEY, SIR JOHN, a learned English judge; author of a standard work
"On the Law of Bills of Exchange"; _d_. 1841.
BAYONNE (24), a fortified French town, trading and manufacturing, in
the dep. of Basses-Pyrenees, at the confluence of the Adour and Nive, 4
m. from the Bay of Biscay; noted for its strong citadel, constructed by
Vauban, and one of his _chef-d'oeuvres_, and its 12th-century cathedral
church; it belonged to the English from 1152 to 1451.
BAZAINE, FRANCOIS ACHILLE, a marshal of France, born at Versailles;
distinguished himself in Algiers, the Crimea, and Mexico; did good
service, as commander of the army of the Rhine, in the Franco-German war,
but after the surrender at Sedan was shut up in Metz, surrounded by the
Germans, and obliged to surrender, with all his generals, officers, and
men; was tried by court-martial, and condemned to death, but was
imprisoned instead; made good his escape one evening to Madrid, where he
lived to write a justification of his conduct, the sale of the book being
prohibited in France (1811-1888).
BAZARD, SAINT-AMAND, a French socialist, founder of the
_Charbonnerie Francaise_; a zealous but unsuccessful propagator of St.
Simonianism, in association with ENFANTIN (q. v.), from whom he
at last separated (1791-1832).
BAZOCHE, a guild of clerks of the parliament of Paris, under a mock
king, with the privilege of performing religious plays, which they
BEACHES, RAISED, elevated lands, formerly sea beaches, the result of
upheaval, or left high by the recession of the sea, evidenced to be such
by the shells found in them and the nature of the debris.
BEACHY HEAD, a chalk cliff in Sussex, 575 ft. high, projecting into
the English Channel; famous for a naval engagement between the allied
English and Dutch fleets and those of France, in which the latter were
BEACONSFIELD, capital of the gold-mining district in Tasmania; also
a town in Buckinghamshire, 10 m. N. of Windsor, from which Benjamin
Disraeli took his title on his elevation to the peerage.
BEACONSFIELD, BENJAMIN DISRAELI, EARL OF, English novelist and
politician, born in London; son of Isaac D'Israeli, litterateur, and thus
of Jewish parentage; was baptized at the age of 12; educated under a
Unitarian minister; studied law, but did not qualify for practice. His
first novel, "Vivian Grey," appeared in 1826, and thereafter, whenever
the business of politics left him leisure, he devoted it to fiction.
"Contarini Fleming," "Coningsby," "Tancred," "Lothair," and "Endymion"
are the most important of a brilliant and witty series, in which many
prominent personages are represented and satirised under thin disguises.
His endeavours to enter Parliament as a Radical failed twice in 1832; in
1835 he was unsuccessful again as a Tory. His first seat was for
Maidstone in 1837; thereafter he represented Shrewsbury and
Buckinghamshire. For 9 years he was a free-lance in the House, hating the
Whigs, and after 1842 leading the Young England party; his onslaught on
the Corn Law repeal policy of 1846 made him leader of the Tory
Protectionists. He was for a short time Chancellor of the Exchequer under
Lord Derby in 1852, and coolly abandoned Protection. Returning to power
with his chief six years later, he introduced a Franchise Bill, the
defeat of which threw out the Government. In office a third time in 1866,
he carried a democratic Reform Bill, giving household suffrage in
boroughs and extending the county franchise. Succeeding Lord Derby in
1868, he was forced to resign soon afterwards. In 1874 he entered his
second premiership. Two years were devoted to home measures, among which
were Plimsoll's Shipping Act and the abolition of Scottish Church
patronage. Then followed a showy foreign policy. The securing of the half
of the Suez Canal shares for Britain; the proclamation of the Queen as
Empress of India; the support of Constantinople against Russia,
afterwards stultified by the Berlin Congress, which he himself attended;
the annexation of Cyprus; the Afghan and Zulu wars, were its salient
features. Defeated at the polls in 1880 he resigned, and died next year.
A master of epigram and a brilliant debater, he really led his party. He
was the opposite in all respects of his protagonist, Mr. Gladstone.
Lacking in zeal, he was yet loyal to England, and a warm personal friend
of the Queen (1804-1881).
BEAR, name given in the Stock Exchange to one who contracts to
deliver stock at a fixed price on a certain day, in contradistinction
from the _bull_, or he who contracts to take it, the interest of the
former being that, in the intervening time, the stocks should fall, and
that of the latter that they should rise.
BEAR, GREAT. See URSA MAJOR.
BEAM, an ancient prov. of France, fell to the crown with the
accession of Henry IV. in 1589; formed a great part of the dep. of
Basses-Pyrenees, capital Pau.
BEATIFICATION, religious honour allowed by the pope to certain who
are not so eminent in sainthood as to entitle them to canonisation.
BEATON, or BETHUNE, DAVID, cardinal, archbishop of St. Andrews,
and primate of the kingdom, born in Fife; an adviser of James V., twice
over ambassador to France; on the death of James secured to himself the
chief power in Church and State as Lord High Chancellor and Papal Legate;
opposed alliance with England; persecuted the Reformers; condemned George
Wishart to the stake, witnessed his sufferings from a window of his
castle in St. Andrews, and was assassinated within its walls shortly
after; with his death ecclesiastical tyranny of that type came to an end
in Scotland (1494-1546).
BEATON, JAMES, archbishop of Glasgow and St. Andrews, uncle of the
preceding, a prominent figure in the reign of James V.; was partial to
affiliation with France, and a persecutor of the Reformers; _d_. 1539.
BEATTIE, JAMES, a poet and essayist, born at Laurencekirk; became
professor of Logic and Moral Philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen;
wrote an "Essay on Truth" against Hume; his most admired poem, "The
Minstrel," a didactic piece, traces the progress of poetic genius,
admitted him to the Johnsonian circle in London, obtained for him the
degree of LL.D. from Oxford, and brought him a pension of L200 per annum
from the king; died at Aberdeen (1735-1803).
BEATRICE, a beautiful Florentine maiden, Portinari, her family name,
for whom Dante conceived an undying affection, and whose image abode with
him to the end of his days. She is his guide through Paradise.
BEAU NASH, a swell notability at Bath; died in beggary (1674-1761).
BEAU TIBBS, a character in Goldsmith's "Citizen of the World," noted
for his finery, vanity, and poverty.
BEAUCAIRE (8), a French town near Avignon, on the Rhone, which it
spans with a magnificent bridge; once a great centre of trade, and
famous, as it still is, for its annual fair, frequented by merchants from
all parts of Europe.
BEAUCHAMP, ALPHONSE DE, a historian, born at Monaco; wrote the
"Conquest of Peru," "History of Brazil," &c. (1769-1832).
BEAUCLERK, Henry I. of England, so called from his superior
BEAUCLERK, TOPHAM, a young English nobleman, the only son of Lord
Sydney Beauclerk, a special favourite of Johnson's, who, when he died,
lamented over him, as one whose like the world might seldom see again
BEAUFORT, DUKE OF, grandson of Henry IV. of France; one of the
chiefs of the Fronde; was surnamed Roi des Halles (King of the
Market-folk); appointed admiral of France; did good execution against the
pirates; passed into the service of Venice; was killed at the siege of
Candia in 1669.
BEAUFORT, HENRY, cardinal, bishop of Winchester, son of John of
Gaunt, learned in canon law, was several times chancellor; took a
prominent part in all the political movements of the time, exerted an
influence for good on the nation, lent immense sums to Henry V. and Henry
VI., also left bequests for charitable uses, and founded the hospital of
St. Cross at Winchester (1377-1447).
BEAUHAR`NAIS, ALEXANDRE, VICOMTE DE, born at Martinique, where he
married a lady who, afterwards as wife of Napoleon, became the Empress
Josephine; accepted and took part in the Revolution; was secretary of the
National Assembly; coolly remarked, on the news of the flight of the
king, "The king's gone off; let us pass to the next business of the
House"; was convicted of treachery to the cause of the Revolution and put
to death; as the father of Hortense, who married Louis, Napoleon's
brother, he became grandfather of Napoleon III. (1760-1794).
BEAUHARNAIS, EUGENE DE, son of the preceding and of Josephine, born
at Paris, step-son of Napoleon, therefore was made viceroy of Italy; took
an active part in the wars of the empire; died at Muenich, whither he
retired after the fall of Napoleon (1781-1824).
BEAUHARNAIS, HORTENSE EUGENIE, sister of the preceding, ex-queen of
Holland; wife of Louis Bonaparte, an ill-starred union; mother of
Napoleon III., the youngest of three sons (1783-1837).
BEAUMAR`CHAIS, PIERRE AUGUSTIN CARON DE, a dramatist and pleader of
the most versatile, brilliant gifts, and French to the core, born in
Paris, son of a watchmaker at Caen; ranks as a comic dramatist next to
Moliere; author of "Le Barbier de Seville" (1775), and "Le Mariage de
Figaro" (1784), his masterpiece; astonished the world by his conduct of a
lawsuit he had, for which "he fought against reporters, parliaments, and
principalities, with light banter, clear logic, adroitly, with an
inexhaustible toughness of resource, like the skilfullest fencer." He was
a zealous supporter of the Revolution, and made sacrifices on its behalf,
but narrowly escaped the guillotine; died in distress and poverty. Of the
two plays he wrote, Saintsbury says, "The wit is indisputable, but his
chansons contain as much wit as the Figaro plays." He made a fortune by
speculations in the American war, and lost by others, one of them being
the preparation of a sumptuous edition of Voltaire. For the culmination
and decline, as well as appreciation, of him, see the "French
Revolution," by Carlyle (1732-1799).
BAUMA`RIS, principal town in Anglesea, Wales, on the Menai Strait,
near Bangor, a favourite watering-place, with remains of a castle erected
by Edward I.
BEAUMONT, CHRISTOPHE DE, archbishop of Paris, born at Perigord,
"spent his life in persecuting hysterical Jansenists and incredulous
non-confessors"; but scrupled to grant, though he fain would have
granted, absolution on his deathbed to the dissolute monarch of France,
Louis XV.; issued a charge condemnatory of Rousseau's "Emile," which
provoked a celebrated letter from Rousseau in reply (1703-1781).
BEAUMONT, FRANCIS, dramatic poet, born in Leicestershire, of a
family of good standing; bred for the bar, but devoted to literature; was
a friend of Ben Jonson; in conjunction with his friend Fletcher, the
composer of a number of plays, about the separate authorship of which
there has been much discussion, the dramatic power of which comes far
short of that so conspicuous in the plays of their great contemporary
Shakespeare, though it is said contemporary criticism gave them the
BEAUMONT, JEAN BAPTISTE ELIE DE, French geologist, born in Calvados;
became secretary to the Academy of Sciences; was joint-editor of a
geological map of France. He had a theory of his own of the formation of
the crust of the earth (1798-1874).
BEAUREGARD, PIERRE GUSTAVE TOUTANT, American Confederate general,
born at New Orleans; adopted the cause of the South, and fought in its
BEAUREPAIRE, a French officer, noted for his noble defence of Verdun
against the Prussians; preferred death by suicide to the dishonour of
BEAUSOBRE, ISAAC, a Huguenot divine, born at Poitou; fled to Holland
on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, settled in Berlin, and became a
notability in high quarters there; attracted the notice of the young
Frederick, the Great that was to be, who sought introduction to him, and
the young Frederick "got good conversation out of him"; author of a
"History of Manichaeism," praised by Gibbon, and of other books famous in
their day, a translation of the New Testament for one (1659-1738).
BEAUTIFUL PARRICIDE, BEATRICE CENCI (q. v.).
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the hero and heroine of a famous fairy tale.
Beauty falls in love with a being like a monster, who has, however, the
heart of a man, and she marries him, upon which he is instantly
transformed into a prince of handsome presence and noble mien.
BEAUVAIS (19), capital of the dep. of Oise, in France, 34 in. SW. of
Amiens, an ancient town, noted for its cathedral, its tapestry weaving,
and the feat of Jeanne-Hachette and her female following when the town
was besieged by Charles the Bold.
BEAUVAIS, a French prelate, born at Cherbourg, Bishop of Senez,
celebrated as a pulpit orator (1731-1790).
BEAUVILLIER, a statesman, patron of letters, to whom Louis XIV.
committed the governorship of his sons; died of a broken heart due to the
shock the death of the dauphin gave him (1607-1687).
BEBEK BAY, a fashionable resort on the Bosphorus, near
Constantinople, and with a palace of the sultan.
BECCAFUMI, DOMENICO, one of the best painters of the Sienese school,
distinguished also as a sculptor and a worker in mosaic (1486-1550).
BECCA`RIA, CAESARE BONESANA, MARQUIS OF, an Italian publicist, author
of a celebrated "Treatise on Crimes and Punishments," which has been
widely translated, and contributed much to lessen the severity of
sentences in criminal cases. He was a utilitarian in philosophy and a
disciple of Rousseau in politics.
BECHE-DE-MER, a slug, called also the trepang, procured on the coral
reefs of the Pacific, which is dried and eaten as a dainty by the
BECHER, JOHANN JOACHIM, chemist, born at Spires; distinguished as a
pioneer in the scientific study of chemistry (1635-1682).
BECHSTEIN, a German naturalist, wrote "Natural History of Cage
BECHUANA-LAND, an inland tract in S. Africa, extends from the Orange
River to the Zambesi; has German territory on the W., the Transvaal and
Matabele-land on the E. The whole country is under British protection;
that part which is S. of the river Molopo was made a crown colony in
1885. On a plateau 4000 ft. above sea-level, the climate is suited for
British emigrants. The soil is fertile; extensive tracts are suitable for
corn; sheep and cattle thrive; rains fall in summer; in winter there are
frosts, sometimes snow. The Kalahari Desert in the W. will be habitable
when sufficient wells are dug. Gold is found near Sitlagoli, and diamonds
at Vryburg. The Bechuanas are the most advanced of the black races of S.
BECHUA`NAS, a wide-spread S. African race, totemists, rearers of
cattle, and growers of maize; are among the most intelligent of the Bantu
peoples, and show considerable capacity for self-government.
BECKER, KARL, German philologist; bred to medicine; author of a
German grammar (1775-1842).
BECKER, NICOLAUS, author of the "Wacht am Rhein," was an obscure
lawyer's clerk, and unnoted for anything else (1810-1845).
BECKER, WILLIAM ADOLPHE, an archaeologist, born at Dresden; was
professor at Leipzig; wrote books in reproductive representation of
ancient Greek and Roman life; author of "Manual of Roman Antiquities"
BECKET, THOMAS A, archbishop of Canterbury, born in London, of
Norman parentage; studied at Oxford and Bologna; entered the Church; was
made Lord Chancellor; had a large and splendid retinue, but on becoming
archbishop, cast all pomp aside and became an ascetic, and devoted
himself to the vigorous discharge of the duties of his high office;
declared for the independence of the Church, and refused to sign the
CONSTITUTIONS OF CLARENDON (q. v.); King Henry II. grew restive
under his assumption of authority, and got rid of him by the hands of
four knights who, to please the king, shed his blood on the steps of the
altar of Canterbury Cathedral, for which outrage the king did penance
four years afterwards at his tomb. The struggle was one affecting the
relative rights of Church and king, and the chief combatants in the fray
were both high-minded men, each inflexible in the assertion of his claims
BECKFORD, WILLIAM, author of "Vathek," son of a rich alderman of
London, who bequeathed him property to the value of L100,000 per annum;
kept spending his fortune on extravagancies and vagaries; wrote "Vathek,"
an Arabian tale, when a youth of twenty-two, at a sitting of three days
and two nights, a work which established his reputation as one of the
first of the imaginative writers of his country. He wrote two volumes of
travels in Italy, but his fame rests on his "Vathek" alone (1759-1844).
BECKMANN, a professor at Goettingen; wrote "History of Discoveries
and Inventions" (1738-1811).
BECKX, PETER JOHN, general of the Jesuits, born in Belgium
BECQUEREL, ANTOINE CAESAR, a French physicist; served as engineer in
the French army in 1808-14, but retired in 1815, devoting himself to
science, and obtained high distinction in electro-chemistry, working with
Ampere, Biot, and other eminent scientists (1788-1878).
BED OF JUSTICE, a formal session of the Parlement of Paris, under
the presidency of the king, for the compulsory registration of the royal
edicts, the last session being in 1787, under Louis XVI., at Versailles,
whither the whole body, now "refractory, rolled out, in wheeled vehicles,
to receive the order of the king."
BEDCHAMBER, LORDS or LADIES OF, officers or ladies of the royal
household whose duty it is to wait upon the sovereign--the chief of the
former called Groom of the Stole, and of the latter, Mistress of the
BEDDOES, THOMAS LOVELL, born at Clifton, son of Thomas Beddoes; an
enthusiastic student of science; a dramatic poet, author of "Bride's
Tragedy"; got into trouble for his Radical opinions; his principal work,
"Death's Jest-Book, or the Fool's Tragedy," highly esteemed by Barry
BEDE, or BEDA, surnamed "The Venerable," an English monk and
ecclesiastical historian, born at Monkwearmouth, in the abbey of which,
together with that of Jarrow, he spent his life, devoted to quiet study
and learning; his writings numerous, in the shape of commentaries,
biographies, and philosophical treatises; his most important work, the
"Ecclesiastical History" of England, written in Latin, and translated by
Alfred the Great; completed a translation of John's Gospel the day he
died. An old monk, it is said, wrote this epitaph over his grave, _Hac
sunt in fossa Bedae ... ossa_, "In this pit are the bones ... of Beda,"
and then fell asleep; but when he awoke he found some invisible hand had
inserted _venerabilis_ in the blank which he had failed to fill up,
whence Bede's epinomen it is alleged.
BEDELL, bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh, born in Essex; studied at
Cambridge; superintended the translation of the Old Testament into Irish;
though his virtues saved him and his family for a time from outrage by
the rebels in 1641, he was imprisoned at the age of 70, and though
released, died soon after (1571-1642).
BEDFORD (160), a midland agricultural county of England, generally
level, with some flat fen-land; also the county town (28), on the Great
Ouse, clean and well paved, with excellent educational institutions,
famous in connection with the life of John Bunyan, where relics of him
are preserved, and where a bronze statue of him by Boehm has been erected
to his memory by the Duke of Bedford in 1871; manufactures agricultural
implements, lace, and straw plaiting; Elstow, Bunyan's birthplace, is not
BEDFORD, JOHN, DUKE OF, brother of Henry V., protector of the
kingdom and regent of France during the minority of Henry VI., whom, on
the death of the French king, he proclaimed King of France, taking up
arms thereafter and fighting for a time victoriously on his behalf, till
the enthusiasm created by Joan of Arc turned the tide against him and
hastened his death, previous to which, however, though he prevailed over
the dauphin, and burnt Joan at the stake, his power had gone (1389-1435).
BEDFORD LEVEL, a flat marshy district, comprising part of six
counties, to the S. and W. of the Wash, about 40 m. in extent each way,
caused originally by incursions of the sea and the overflowing of rivers;
received its name from the Earl of Bedford, who, in the 17th century,
undertook to drain it.
BEDLAM, originally a lunatic asylum in London, so named from the
priory "Bethlehem" in Bishopsgate, first appropriated to the purpose,
Bedlam being a corruption of the name Bethlehem.
BEDMAR, MARQUIS DE, cardinal and bishop of Oviedo, and a Spanish
diplomatist, notorious for a part he played in a daring conspiracy in
1618 aimed at the destruction of Venice, but which, being betrayed, was
defeated, for concern in which several people were executed, though the
arch-delinquent got off; he is the subject of Otway's "Venice Preserved";
it was after this he was made cardinal, and governor of the Netherlands,
where he was detested and obliged to retire (1572-1655).
BEDOUINS, Arabs who lead a nomadic life in the desert and subsist by
the pasture of cattle and the rearing of horses, the one element that
binds them into a unity being community of language, the Arabic namely,
which they all speak with great purity and without variation of dialect;
they are generally of small stature, of wiry constitution, and dark
complexion, and are divided into tribes, each under an independent chief.
BEE, THE, a periodical started by Goldsmith, in which some of his
best essays appeared, and his "Citizen of the World."
BEECHER, HENRY WARD, a celebrated American preacher, born at
Litchfield, Connecticut; pastor of a large Congregational church,
Brooklyn; a vigorous thinker and eloquent orator, a liberal man both in
theology and politics; wrote "Life Thoughts"; denied the eternity of
punishment, considered a great heresy by some then, and which led to his
secession from the Congregational body (1813-1887).
BEECHER-STOWE, HARRIET ELIZABETH, sister of the above, authoress of
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," of which probably over a million copies have been
sold. Born at Litchfield, Connecticut, U.S.A., in 1812; _d_. 1896.
BEECHY, REAR-ADMIRAL, born in London, son of the following;
accompanied Franklin in 1818 and Parry in 1819 to the Arctic regions;
commanded the _Blossom_ in the third expedition of 1825-1828 to the same
regions; published "Voyage of Discovery towards the North Pole"
BEECHY, SIR WILLIAM, portrait-painter, born in Oxfordshire; among
his portraits were those of Lord Nelson, John Kemble, and Mrs. Siddons
BEEF-EATERS, yeomen of the royal guard, whose institution dates from
the reign of Henry VII., and whose office it is to wait upon royalty on
high occasions; the name is also given to the warders of the Tower,
though they are a separate body and of more recent origin; the name
simply means (royal) dependant, a corruption of the French word
_buffetier_, one who attends the sideboard.
BEEHIVE HOUSES, small stone structures, of ancient date, remains of
which are found (sometimes in clusters) in Ireland and the W. of
Scotland, with a conical roof formed of stones overlapping one another,
undressed and without mortar; some of them appear to have been monks'
BEEL`ZEBUB, the god of flies, protector against them, worshipped by
the Phoenicians; as being a heathen deity, transformed by the Jews into a
chief of the devils; sometimes identified with Satan, and sometimes his
BEERBOHM TREE, HERBERT, actor, born in London, son of a grain
merchant; his first appearance was as the timid curate in the "Private
Secretary," and then as the spy Macari in "Called Back"; is lessee of the
Haymarket Theatre, London, and has had many notable successes; he is
accompanied by his wife, who is a refined actress; _b_. 1852.
BEER`SHEBA, a village in the S. of Canaan, and the most southerly,
27 m. from Hebron; associated with Dan, in the N., to denote the limit of
the land and what lies between; lies in a pastoral country abounding in
wells, and is frequently mentioned in patriarchal history; means "the
Well of the Oath."
BEESWING, a gauze-like film which forms on the sides of a bottle of
BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VON, one of the greatest musical composers, born
in Bonn, of Dutch extraction; the author of symphonies and sonatas that
are known over all the world; showed early a most precocious genius for
music, commenced his education at five as a musician; trained at first by
a companion named Pfeiffer, to whom he confessed he owed more than all
his teachers; trained at length under the tuition of the most illustrious
of his predecessors, Bach and Haendel; revealed the most wonderful musical
talent; quitted Bonn and settled in Vienna; attracted the attention of
Mozart; at the age of 40 was attacked with deafness that became total and
lasted for life; continued to compose all the same, to the admiration of
thousands; during his last days was a prey to melancholy; during a
thunderstorm he died. Goethe pronounced him at his best "an utterly
untamed character, not indeed wrong in finding the world detestable,
though his finding it so did not," he added, "make it more enjoyable to
himself or to others" (1770-1827).
BEETS, NICOLAS, a Dutch theologian and poet, born at Haarlem; came,
as a poet, under the influence of Byronism; _b_. 1814.
BEFA`NA, an Italian female Santa Claus, who on Twelfth Night fills
the stockings of good children with good things, and those of bad with
BEGG, JAMES, Scotch ecclesiastic, born at New Monkland, Lanark; was
a stalwart champion of old Scottish orthodoxy, and the last (1808-1883).
BEGHARDS, a religious order that arose in Belgium in the 13th
century, connected with the Beguins, a mystic and socialistic sect.
BEGUINS, a sisterhood confined now to France and Germany, who,
without taking any monastic vow, devote themselves to works of piety and
BEGUM, name given in the E. Indies to a princess, mother, sister, or
wife of a native ruler.
BEHAIM, MARTIN, a geographer and chartographer, born in Nueremberg;
accompanied Diego Cam on a voyage of discovery along W. coast of Africa;
constructed and left behind him a famous terrestrial globe; some would
make him out to be the discoverer of America (1459-1507).
BEHAR (24,393), a province of Bengal, in the valley of the Ganges,
which divides it into two; densely peopled; cradle of Buddhism.
BEHE`MOTH, a large animal mentioned in Job, understood to be the
BEHIS`TUN, a mountain in Irak-Ajemi, a prov. of Persia, on which
there are rocks covered with inscriptions, the principal relating to
Darius Hystaspes, of date about 515 B.C., bearing on his genealogy,
domains, and victories.
BEHM, ERNST, a German geographer, born in Gotha (1830-1884).
BEHN, AFRA, a licentious writer, born in Kent, for whom, for her
free and easy ways, Charles II. took a liking; sent by him as a spy to
Holland, and through her discovered the intention of the Dutch to burn
the shipping in the Thames. She wrote plays and novels (1640-1689).
BEHRING STRAIT, a strait about 50 m. wide between Asia and N.
America, which connects the Arctic Ocean with the Pacific; discovered by
the Danish navigator Vitus Behring in 1728, sent out on a voyage of
discovery by Peter the Great.
BEIRA (1,377), a central province of Portugal, mountainous and
pastoral; gives title to the heir-apparent to the Portuguese throne.
BEKE, DR., traveller, born in London; travelled in Abyssinia and
Palestine; author of "Origines Biblicae," or researches into primeval
history as shown not to be in keeping with the orthodox belief.
BEKKER, IMMANUEL, philologist, born in Berlin, and professor in
Halle; classical textual critic; issued recensions of the Greek and Latin
BEL AND THE DRAGON, HISTORY OF, one of the books of the Apocrypha, a
spurious addition to the book of Daniel, relates how Daniel persuaded
Cyrus of the vanity of idol-worship, and is intended to show its
BELA I., king of Hungary from 1061 to 1063; an able ruler;
introduced a great many measures for the permanent benefit of the
country, affecting both religion and social organisation.
BELA IV., king of Hungary, son of Andreas II., who had in 1222 been
compelled to sign the Golden Bull, the _Magna Charta_ of Hungarian
liberty; faithfully respected the provisions of this charter, and
incurred the enmity of the nobles by his strenuous efforts to subdue them
to the royal power.
BELCH, SIR TOBY, a reckless, jolly, swaggering character in "Twelfth
BELCHER, SIR EDWARD, admiral, was engaged in several exploring and
surveying expeditions; sailed round the world, and took part in the
operations in China (1812-1877).
BELFAST (256), county town of Antrim, and largest and most
flourishing city in the N. of Ireland; stands on the Lagan, at the head
of Belfast Lough, 100 m. N. of Dublin; is a bright and pleasant city,
with some fine streets and handsome buildings, Presbyterian, Catholic,
and Methodist colleges. It is the centre of the Irish linen and cotton
manufactures, the most important shipbuilding centre, and has also
rope-making, whisky, and aerated-water industries. Its foreign trade is
larger than even Dublin's. It is the capital of Ulster, and head-quarters
of Presbyterianism in Ireland.
BELFORT (83), a fortified town in dep. of Haut-Rhin, and is its
capital, 35 m. W. by N. of Basel; capitulated to the Germans in 1870;
restored to France; its fortifications now greatly strengthened. The
citadel was by Vauban.
BELGAE, Caesar's name for the tribes of the Celtic family in Gaul N.
of the Seine and Marne; mistakenly rated as Germans by Caesar.
BELGIUM (6,136), a small European State bordering on the North Sea,
with Holland to the N., France to the S., and Rhenish Prussia and
Luxemburg on the E.; is less than a third the size of Ireland, but it is
the most densely populated country on the Continent. The people are of
mixed stock, comprising Flemings, of Teutonic origin; Walloons, of Celtic
origin; Germans, Dutch, and French. Roman Catholicism is the predominant
religion. Education is excellent; there are universities at Ghent, Liege,
Brussels, and Louvain. French is the language of educated circles and of
the State; but the prevalence of dialects hinders the growth of a
national literature. The land is low and level and fertile in the N. and
W., undulating in the middle, rocky and hilly in the S. and E. The Meuse
and Scheldt are the chief rivers, the basin of the latter embracing most
of the country. Climate is similar to the English, with greater extremes.
Rye, wheat, oats, beet, and flax are the principal crops. Agriculture is
the most painstaking and productive of the world. The hilly country is
rich in coal, iron, zinc, and lead. After mining, the chief industries
are textile manufactures and making of machinery: the former at Antwerp,
Ghent, Brussels, and Liege; the latter at Liege, Mons, and Charleroi. The
trade is enormous; France, Germany, and Britain are the best customers.
Exports are coal to France; farm products, eggs, &c., to England; and raw
material imported from across seas, to France and the basin of the Rhine.
It is a small country of large cities. The capital is Brussels (480), in
the centre of the kingdom, but communicating with the ocean by a ship
canal. The railways, canals, and river navigation are very highly
developed. The government is a limited monarchy; the king, senate, and
house of representatives form the constitution. There is a conscript army
of 50,000 men, but no navy. Transferred from Spain to Austria in 1713.
Belgium was under French sway from 1794 till 1814, when it was united
with Holland, but established its independence in 1830.
BELGRADE (54), the capital of Servia, on the confluence of the Save
and Danube; a fortified city in an important strategical position, and
the centre of many conflicts; a commercial centre; once Turkish in
appearance, now European more and more.
BELGRA`VIA, a fashionable quarter in the southern part of the West
End of London.
BELIAL, properly a good-for-nothing, a child of worthlessness; an
incarnation of iniquity and son of perdition, and the name in the Bible
for the children of such.
BELIEF, a word of various application, but properly definable as
that which lies at the heart of a man or a nation's convictions, or is
the heart and soul of all their thoughts and actions, "the thing a man
does practically lay to heart, and know for certain concerning his vital
relations to this mysterious universe, and his duty and destiny there."
BELINDA, ARABELLA FERMOR, the heroine in Pope's "Rape of the Lock."
BELISA`RIUS, a general under the Emperor Justinian, born in Illyria;
defeated the Persians, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; was falsely
accused of conspiracy, but acquitted, and restored to his dignities by
the emperor; though another tradition, now discredited, alleges that for
the crimes charged against him he had his eyes put out, and was reduced
to beggary (505-565).
BELIZE, British Honduras, a fertile district, and its capital (6);
exports mahogany, rosewood, sugar, india-rubber, &c.
BELL, ACTON. See BRONTE.
BELL, ANDREW, LL.D., educationist, born at St. Andrews; founder of
the Monitorial system of education, which he had adopted, for want of
qualified assistants, when in India as superintendent of an orphanage in
Madras, so that his system was called "the Madras system"; returned from
India with a large fortune, added to it by lucrative preferments, and
bequeathed a large portion of it, some L120,000, for the endowment of
education in Scotland, and the establishment of schools, such as the
Madras College in his native city (1753-1832).
BELL, BESSY, and MARY GRAY, the "twa bonnie lassies" of a
Scotch ballad, daughters of two Perthshire gentlemen, who in 1666 built
themselves a bower in a spot retired from a plague then raging; supplied
with food by a lad in love with both of them, who caught the plague and
gave it to them, of which they all sickened and died.
BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE, a ceremony at one time attending the greater
excommunication in the Romish Church, when after sentence was read from
the "book," a "bell" was rung, and the "candle" extinguished.
BELL, CURRER. See BRONTE.
BELL, ELLIS. See BRONTE.
BELL, GEORGE JOSEPH, a brother of Sir Charles, distinguished in law;
author of "Principles of the Law of Scotland" (1770-1843).
BELL, HENRY, bred a millwright, born in Linlithgowshire; the first
who applied steam to navigation in Europe, applying it in a small
steamboat called the _Comet_, driven by a three horse-power engine
BELL, HENRY GLASSFORD, born in Glasgow, a lawyer and literary man,
sheriff of Lanarkshire; wrote a vindication of Mary, Queen of Scots, and
some volumes of poetry (1803-1874).
BELL, JOHN, of Antermony, a physician, born at Campsie; accompanied
Russian embassies to Persia and China; wrote "Travels in Asia," which
were much appreciated for their excellency of style (1690-1780).
BELL, PETER, Wordsworth's simple rustic, to whom the primrose was
but a yellow flower and nothing more.
BELL, ROBERT, journalist and miscellaneous writer, born at Cork;
edited "British Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper," his best-known work,
which he annotated, and accompanied with careful memoirs of each
BELL, SIR CHARLES, an eminent surgeon and anatomist, born in
Edinburgh, where he became professor of Surgery; distinguished chiefly
for his discoveries in connection with the nervous system, which he
published in his "Anatomy of the Brain" and his "Nervous System," and
which gained him European fame; edited, along with Lord Brougham, Paley's
"Evidences of Natural Religion" (1774-1842).
BELL, THOMAS, a naturalist, born at Poole; professor of Zoology in
King's College, London; author of "British Quadrupeds" and "British
Reptiles," "British Stalk-eyed Crustacea," and editor of "White's Natural
History of Selborne" (1792-1880).
BELL ROCK, or INCHCAPE ROCK, a dangerous reef of sandstone
rocks in the German Ocean, 12 m. SE. of Arbroath, on which a lighthouse
120 ft. high was erected in 1807-10; so called from a bell rung by the
sway of the waves, which the abbot of Arbroath erected on it at one time
as a warning to seamen.
BELL-THE-CAT, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Arran, so called from his
offer to dispose by main force of an obnoxious favourite of the king,
BELLA, STEPHANO DELLA, a Florentine engraver of great merit,
engraved over 1000 plates; was patronised by Richelieu in France, and the
Medici in Florence (1610-1664).
BELL`AMY, JACOB, a Dutch poet, born at Flushing; his poems highly
esteemed by his countrymen (1752-1821).
BELLANGE, a celebrated painter of battle-pieces, born at Paris
BELLAR`MINE, ROBERT, cardinal, born in Tuscany; a learned Jesuit,
controversial theologian, and in his writings, which are numerous, a
valiant defender at all points of Roman Catholic dogma; the greatest
champion of the Church in his time, and regarded as such by the
Protestant theologians; he was at once a learned man and a doughty
BELLAY, JOACHIM DU, French poet; author of sonnets entitled
"Regrets," full of vigour and poetry; wrote the "Antiquites de Rome"; was
called the Apollo of the Pleiade, the best poet and the best prose-writer
among them (1524-1560).
BELLE FRANCE, (i. e. Beautiful France), a name of endearment
applied to France, like that of "Merry" applied to England.
BELLE-ISLE (60), a fortified island on the W. coast of France, near
which Sir Edward Hawke gained a brilliant naval victory over the French,
under M. de Conflans, in 1759.
BELLEISLE, CHARLES LOUIS AUGUSTE FOUQUET, COUNT OF, marshal of
France; distinguished in the war of the Spanish Succession; an ambitious
man, mainly to blame for the Austrian Succession war; had grand schemes
in his head, no less than the supremacy in Europe and the world of
France, warranting the risk; expounded them to Frederick the Great;
concluded a fast and loose treaty with him, which could bind no one;
found himself blocked up in Prague with his forces; had to force his way
out and retreat, but it was a retreat the French boast comparable only to
the retreat of the Ten Thousand; was made War Minister after, and wrought
important reforms in the army (1684-1761). See CARLYLE'S
"FREDERICK" for a graphic account of him and his schemes, specially
in Bk. xii. chap. ix.
BELLENDEN, JOHN, of Moray, a Scottish writer in the 16th century;
translated, at the request of James V., Hector Boece's "History of
Scotland," and the first five books of Livy, which remain the earliest
extant specimens of Scottish prose, and remarkable specimens they are,
for the execution of which he was well rewarded, being made archdeacon of
Moray for one thing, though he died in exile; _d_. 1550.
BELLENDEN, WILLIAM, a Scottish writer, distinguished for diplomatic
services to Queen Mary, and for the purity of his Latin composition; a
professor of belles-lettres in Paris University (1550-1613).
BELLER`OPHON, a mythical hero, son of Glaucus and grandson of
Sisyphus; having unwittingly caused the death of his brother, withdrew
from his country and sought retreat with Proetus, king of Argos, who,
becoming jealous of his guest, but not willing to violate the laws of
hospitality, had him sent to Iobates, his son-in-law, king of Lycia, with
instructions to put him to death. Iobates, in consequence, imposed upon
him the task of slaying the Chimaera, persuaded that this monster would
be the death of him. Bellerophon, mounted on Pegasus, the winged horse
given him by Pallas, slew the monster, and on his return received the
daughter of Iobates to wife.
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
BEN LEDI, a mountain in Perthshire, 2873 ft. high, 41/2 m. NW. of
BEN LOMOND, a mountain in Stirlingshire, 3192 ft. high, on the E. of
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
BEN RHYDDING, a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 15 m. NW.
of Leeds, with a thoroughly equipped hydropathic establishment, much
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
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;
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
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
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
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
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
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
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