Part 6 out of 15
BLATANT BEAST (_The_), the personification of slander or public
opinion. The beast had 100 tongues and a sting. Sir Artegal muzzled
the monster, and dragged it to Faery-land, but it broke loose and
regained its liberty. Subsequently sir Calidore (_3 syl._) went in
quest of it.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_, v. and vi. (1596).
[Illustration] "Mrs. Grundy" is the modern name of Spenser's "Blatant
BLATHERS AND DUFF, detectives who investigate the burglary in which
Bill Sikes had a hand. Blathers relates the tale of Conkey Chickweed,
who robbed himself of 327 guineas.--C. Dickens, _Oliver Twist_ (1837).
BLATTERGROWL (_The Rev. Mr._), minister of Trotcosey, near
Monkbarns.--Sir W. Scott, _The Antiquary_ (time, Elizabeth).
BLEEDING-HEART YARD (London). So called because it was the place where
the devil cast the bleeding heart of lady Hatton (wife of the dancing
chancellor), after he had torn it out of her body with his claws.--Dr.
Mackay, _Extraordinary Popular Delusions_.
BLEISE (1 _syl._) of Northumberland, historian of king Arthur's
BLEMMYES (3 _syl._), a people of Africa, fabled to have no head, but
having eyes and mouth in the breast. (See GAOKA.)
Blemmyis traduntur capita abesse, ore et oculis
Ctesias speaks of a people of India near the Ganges, _sine cervice,
oculos in humeris habentes_. Mela also refers to a people _quibus
capita et vultus in pectore sunt_.
BLENHEIM SPANIELS. The Oxford electors are so called, because for
many years they obediently supported any candidate which the duke of
Marlborough commanded them to return. Lockhart broke through this
custom by telling the people the fable of the _Dog and the Wolf_. The
dog, it will be remembered, had on his neck the marks of his collar,
and the wolf said he preferred liberty.
(The race of the little dog called the Blenheim spaniel, has been
preserved ever since Blenheim House was built for the duke of
Marlborough in 1704.)
BLETSON (_Master Joshua_), one of the three parliamentary
commissioners sent by Cromwell with a warrant to leave the royal lodge
to the Lee family.--Sir W. Scott, _Woodstock_ (time, Commonwealth).
BLIFIL, a noted character in Fielding's novel entitled _The History
of Tom Jones, a Foundling_ (1750).
Blifil is the original of Sheridan's "Joseph Surface" in the
_School for Scandal_ (1777).
BLIGH (_William_), captain of the _Bounty_, so well known for the
mutiny, headed by Fletcher Christian, the mate (1790).
BLIMBER (_Dr._), head of a school for the sons of gentlemen, at
Brighton. It was a select school for ten pupils only; but there was
learning enough for ten times ten. "Mental green peas were produced at
Christmas, and intellectual asparagus all the year round." The doctor
was really a ripe scholar, and truly kind-hearted; but his great fault
was over-tasking his boys, and not seeing when the bow was too much
stretched. Paul Dombey, a delicate lad, succumbed to this strong
_Mrs. Blimber_, wife of the doctor, not learned, but wished to be
thought so. Her pride was to see the boys in the largest possible
collars and stiffest possible cravats, which she deemed highly
_Cornelia Blimber_, the doctor's daughter, a slim young lady, who kept
her hair short and wore spectacles. Miss Blimber "had no nonsense
about her," but had grown "dry and sandy with working in the graves
of dead languages." She married Mr. Feeder, B.A., Dr. Blimber's
usher.--C. Dickens, _Dombey and Son_ (1846).
BLIND BEGGAR OF BETHNAL GREEN, Henry, son and heir of sir Simon de
Montfort. At the battle of Evesham the barons were routed, Montfort
slain, and his son Henry left on the field for dead. A baron's
daughter discovered the young man, nursed him with care, and married
him. The fruit of the marriage was "pretty Bessee, the beggar's
daughter." Henry de Montfort assumed the garb and semblance of a blind
beggar, to escape the vigilance of king Henry's spies.
Day produced, in 1659, a drama called _The Blind Beggar of Bethnal
Green_, and S. Knowles, in 1834, produced his amended drama on
the same subject. There is [or was], in the Whitechapel Road a
public-house sign called the Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green.--_History
BLIND EMPEROR (_The_), Ludovig III. of Germany (880, 890-934).
BLIND HARPER (_The_), John Parry, who died 1739.
John Stanley, mnsician and composer, was blind from his birth
BLIND HARRY, a Scotch minstrel of the fifteenth century, blind from
infancy. His epic of _Sir William Wallace_ runs to 11,861 lines. He
was minstrel in the court of James IV.
BLIND MECHANICIAN (_The_). John Strong, a great mechanical genius, was
blind from his birth. He died at Carlisle, aged sixty-six (1732-1798).
BLIND POET (_The_), Luigi Groto, an Italian poet called _Il Cieco_
(1541-1585). John Milton (1608-1674).
Homer is called _The Blind Old Bard_ (fl. B.C. 960).
BLIND TRAVELLER (_The_), lieutenant James Holman. He became blind at
the age of twenty-five, but, notwithstanding, travelled round the
world, and published an account of his travels (1787-1857).
BLINKINSOP, a smuggler in _Redgauntlet_, a novel by sir W. Scott
(time, George III.).
BLISTER, the apothecary, who says, "Without physicians, no one could
know whether he was well or ill." He courts Lucy by talking shop to
her.--Fielding, _The Virgin Unmasked_.
BLITHE-HEART KING (_The_). David is so called by Caedmon.
Those lovely lyrics written by his hand
Whom Saxon Caedmon calls "The Blithe-heart King."
Longfellow, _The Poet's Tale_ (ref. is to _Psalm_
BLOCK (_Martin_), one of the committee of the Estates of Burgundy, who
refuse supplies to Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy.--Sir W. Scott,
_Anne of Geierstein_ (time, Edward IV.).
BLOK (_Nikkel_), the butcher, one of the insurgents at Liege.--Sir W.
Scott, _Quentin Durward_ (time, Edward IV.).
BLONDEL DE NESLE [_Neel_], the favorite trouvere or minstrel of
Richard Coeur de Lion. He chanted the _Bloody Vest_ in presence of
queen Berengaria, the lovely Edith Plantagenet.--Sir W. Scott, _The
Talisman_ (time, Richard I.).
BLONDINA, the mother of Fairstar and two boys at one birth. She was
the wife of a king, but the queen-mother hated her, and taking away
the three babes substituted three puppies. Ultimately her children
were restored to her, and the queen-mother with her accomplices were
duly punished.--Comtesse D'Aunoy, _Fairy Tales_ ("Princess Fairstar,"
BLOOD (_Colonel Thomas_), emissary of the duke of Buckingham
(1628-1680), introduced by sir W. Scott in _Peveril of the Peak_, a
novel (time, Charles II.).
BLOODS (_The Five_): (1) The O'Neils of Ulster; (2) the O'Connors of
Connaught; (3) the O'Brians of Thomond; (4) the O'Lachlans of Meath;
and (5) the M'Murroughs of Leinster. These are the five principal
septs or families of Ireland, and all not belonging to one of these
five septs are accounted aliens or enemies, and could "neither sue nor
be sued," even down to the reign of Elizabeth.
William Fitz-Roger, being arraigned (4th Edward II.) for the murder of
Roger de Cantilon, pleads that he was not guilty of felony, because
his victim was not of "free blood," _i.e._ one of the "five bloods of
Ireland." The plea is admitted by the jury to be good.
BLOODY (_The_), Otho II. emperor of Germany (955, 973-983).
BLOODY-BONES, a bogie.
As bad as Bloody-bones or Lunsford (_i.e._ sir
Thomas Lunsford, governor of the Tower, the
dread of every one).--S. Butler, _Hudibras_.
BLOODY BROTHER (_The_), a tragedy by Beaumont and Fletcher (1639). The
"bloody brother" is Rollo duke of Normandy, who kills his brother Otto
and several other persons, but is himself killed ultimately by Hamond
captain of the guard.
BLOODY BUTCHER (_The_), the duke of Cumberland, second son of George
II., so called from his barbarities in the suppression of the
rebellion in favor of Charles Edward, the young pretender. "Black
Clifford" was also called "The Butcher" for his cruelties (died 1461).
BLOODY HAND, Cathal, an ancestor of the O'Connors of Ireland.
BLOODY MARY, queen Mary of England, daughter of Henry VIII. and elder
half-sister of queen Elizabeth. So called on account of the sanguinary
persecutions carried on by her government against the protestants.
It is said that 200 persons were burned to death in her short reign
BLOOMFIELD (_Louisa_), a young lady engaged to lord Totterly the beau
of sixty, but in love with Charles Danvers the embryo barrister.--C.
Selby, _The Unfinished Gentleman_.
BLOUNT (_Nicholas_), afterwards knighted; master of the horse to the
earl of Sussex.
--Sir W. Scott, _Kenilworth_ (time, Elizabeth).
_Blount_ (_Sir Frederick_), a distant relative of sir John Vesey. He
had a great objection to the letter _r_, which he considered "wough
and wasping." He dressed to perfection, and though not "wich," prided
himself on having the "best opewa-box, the best dogs, the best horses,
and the best house" of any one. He liked Greorgina Vesey, and as she
had L10,000 he thought he should do himself no harm by "mawy-wing the
girl."--Lord E. Bulwer Lytton, _Money_ (1840).
_Blount_ (_Master_), a wealthy jeweller of Ludgate Hill, London. An
old-fashioned tradesman, not ashamed of his calling. He had two sons,
John and Thomas; the former was his favorite.
_Mistress Blount_, his wife. A shrewd, discerning woman, who loved her
son Thomas, and saw in him the elements of a rising man.
_John Blount_, eldest son of the Ludgate jeweller. Being left
successor to his father, he sold the goods and set up for a man of
fashion and fortune. His vanity and snobbism were most gross. He
had good-nature, but more cunning than discretion, thought himself
far-seeing, but was most easily duped. "The phaeton was built after
my design, my lord," he says, "mayhap your lordship has seen it." "My
taste is driving, my lord, mayhap your lordship has seen me handle the
ribbons." "My horses are all bloods, mayhap your lordship has noticed
my team." "I pride myself on my seat in the saddle, mayhap your
lordship has seen me ride." "If I am superlative in anything, 'its in
my wines." "So please your ladyship, 'tis dress I most excel in ...
'tis walking I pride myself in." No matter what is mentioned, 'tis the
one thing he did or had better than any one else. This conceited fool
was duped into believing a parcel of men-servants to be lords and
dukes, and made love to a lady's maid, supposing her to be a countess.
_Thomas Blount_, John's brother, and one of nature's gentlemen. He
entered the army, became a colonel, and married lady Blanche. He is
described as having "a lofty forehead for princely thought to dwell
in, eyes for love or war, a nose of Grecian mould with touch of Rome,
a mouth like Cupid's bow, ambitious chin dimpled and knobbed."--S.
Knowles, _Old Maids_ (1841).
BLOUZELINDA or BLOWZELINDA, a shepherdess in love with Lobbin Clout,
in _The Shepherd's Week_.
My Blouzelinda is the blithest lass,
Than primrose sweeter, or the clover-grass.
My Blouzelind's than gilliflower more fair,
Than daisie, marygold, or kingcup rare.
Gay, _Pastoral_, i. (1714).
Sweet is my toil when Blowzelind is near,
Of her bereft 'tis winter all the year ...
Come, Blowzelinda, ease thy swain's desire,
My summer's shadow, and my winter's fire.
BLOWER (_Mrs. Margaret_), the shipowner's widow at the Spa. She
marries Dr. Quackleben, "the man of medicine" (one of the managing
committee at the Spa).--Sir W. Scott, _St. Ronan's Well_ (time, George
BLUCHER was nicknamed "Marshal Forward" for his dash and readiness in
the campaign of 1813.
BLUE BEARD (_La Barbe Bleue_), from the _contes_ of Charles Perrault
(1697). The chevalier Raoul is a merciless tyrant, with a blue beard.
His young wife is entrusted with all the keys of the castle, with
strict injunctions on pain of death not to open one special room.
During the absence of her lord the "forbidden fruit" is too tempting
to be resisted, the door is opened, and the young wife finds the floor
covered with the dead bodies of her husband's former wives. She drops
the key in her terror, and can by no means obliterate from it the
stain of blood. Blue Beard, on his return, commands her to prepare for
death, but by the timely arrival of her brothers her life is saved and
Blue Beard put to death.
Dr. C. Taylor thinks Blue Beard is a type of the castle-lords in the
days of knight-errantry. Some say Henry VIII. (the noted wife-killer)
was the "academy figure." Others think it was Giles de Retz, marquis
de Laval, marshal of France in 1429, who (according to Mezeray)
murdered six of his seven wives, and was ultimately strangled in 1440.
Another solution is that Blue Beard was count Conomar, and the
young wife Triphyna, daughter of count Guerech. Count Conomar was
lieutenant of Brittany in the reign of Childebert. M. Hippolyte
Violeau assures us that in 1850, during the repairs of the chapel of
St. Nicolas de Bieuzy, some ancient frescoes were discovered with
scenes from the life of St. Triphyna: (1) The marriage; (2) the
husband taking leave of his young wife and entrusting to her a key;
(3) a room with an open door, through which are seen the corpses of
seven women hanging; (4) the husband threatening his wife, while
another female [_sister Anne_] is looking out of a window above; (5)
the husband has placed a halter round the neck of his victim, but the
friends, accompanied by St. Gildas, abbot of Rhuys in Brittany, arrive
just in time to rescue the future saint.--_Pelerinages de Bretagne_.
BLUE KNIGHT (_The_), sir Persaunt of India, called by Tennyson
"Morning Star" _or_ "Phosphorus." He was one of the four brothers
who kept the passages of Castle Perilous, and was overthrown by sir
Gareth.--Sir T. Malory, _History of Prince Arthur_, i. 131 (1470);
Tennyson, _Idylls_ ("Gareth and Lynette").
[Illustration] It is evidently a blunder in Tennyson to call the
_Blue_ Knight "Morning Star," and the _Green_ Knight "Evening Star."
The reverse is correct, and in the old romance the combat with the
Green Knight was at day-break, and with the Blue Knight at sunset.
BLUE-SKIN, Joseph Blake, an English burglar, so called from his
complexion. He was executed in 1723.
BLUFF (_Bachelor_), celibate philosopher upon social, domestic, and
"Give me," he says emphatically, "in our
household, color and cheeriness--not cold art,
nor cold pretensions of any kind, but warmth,
brightness, animation. Bring in pleasing colors,
choice pictures, _bric-a-brac_, and what-not. But
let in, also, the sun; light the fires; and have
everything for daily use."--Oliver Bell Bunce,
_Bachelor Bluff_ (1882).
_Bluff (Captain Noll)_, a swaggering bully and boaster. He says,
"I think that fighting for fighting's sake is sufficient cause for
fighting. Fighting, to me, is religion and the laws."
"You must know, sir, I was resident in Flanders
the last campaign ... there was scarce
anything of moment done, but a humble servant
of yours ... had the greatest share in't....
Well, would you think it, in all this time ...
that rascally _Gazette_ never so much as once mentioned
me? Not once, by the wars! Took no
more notice of Noll Bluff than if he had not been
in the land of the living."--Congreve, _The Old
BLUFF HAL or BLUFF HARRY, Henry VIII.
Ere yet in scorn of Peter's pence,
And numbered bead and shrift,
Bluff Harry broke into the spence,
And turned the cowls adrift.
Tennyson, _The Talking Oak_.
BLUN'DERBORE (3 _syl._), the giant who was drowned because Jack
scuttled his boat.--_Jack the Giant-killer_.
BLUNT (_Colonel_), a brusque royalist, who vows "he'd woo no woman,"
but falls in love with Arbella, an heiress, woos and wins her. T.
Knight, who has converted this comedy into a farce, with the title of
_Honest Thieves_, calls colonel Blunt "captain Manly."--Hon. sir R.
Howard, _The Committee_ (1670).
_Blunt_ (_Major-General_), an old cavalry officer, rough in speech,
but brave, honest, and a true patriot.--Shadwell, _The Volunteers_.
BLUSHINGTON (_Edward_), a bashful young gentleman of twenty-five, sent
as a poor scholar to Cambridge, without any expectations, but by the
death of his father and uncle, left all at once as "rich as a nabob."
At college he was called "the sensitive plant of Brazenose," because
he was always blushing. He dines by invitation at Friendly Hall, and
commits ceaseless blunders. Next day his college chum, Frank Friendly,
writes word that he and his sister Dinah, with sir Thomas and lady
Friendly, will dine with him. After a few glasses of wine, he loses
his bashful modesty, makes a long speech, and becomes the accepted
suitor of the pretty Miss Dinah Friendly.--W.T. Moncrieff, _The
BO or _Boh_, says Warton, was a fierce Gothic chief, whose name was
used to frighten children.
BOADICEA, queen of a tribe of ancient Britons. Her husband having been
killed by the Romans, she took the field in person. She was defeated
and committed suicide.
BOANERGES (_4 syl._), a declamatory pet parson, who anathematizes all
except his own "elect." "He preaches real rousing-up discourses, but
sits down pleasantly to his tea, and makes hisself friendly."--Mrs.
Oliphant, _Salem Chapel_.
A protestant Boanerges, visiting Birmingham,
sent an invitation to Dr. Newman to dispute
publicly with him in the Town Hall.--E. Yates,
[Illustration] Boanerges or "sons of thunder" is the name given by
Jesus Christ to James and John, because they wanted to call down fire
from heaven to consume the Samaritans.--Mark iii. 17.
BOAR (_The_), Richard III., so called from his cognizance.
The bristled boar,
In infant gore,
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Gray, _The Bard_ (1757).
In contempt Richard III. is called _The Hog_, hence the popular
The Cat, the Rat, and Lovell the dog,
Rule all England, under the Hog.
("The Cat" is Catesby, and "the Rat" Ratcliffe).
_Boar (The Blue)_. This public-house sign (Westminster) is the badge
of the Veres earls of Oxford.
_The Blue Boar Lane_ (St. Nicholas, Leicester) is so named from the
cognizance of Richard III., because he slept there the night before
the battle of Bosworth Field.
BOAR OF ARDENNES (_The Wild_), in French _Le Sanglier des Ardennes_
(_2 syl._), was Guillaume comte de la Marck, so called because he was
as fierce as the wild boar he delighted to hunt. The character is
introduced by sir W. Scott in _Quentin_ _Durward_, under the name of
"William count of la Marck."
BOB'ADIL, an ignorant, shallow bully, thoroughly cowardly, but
thought by his dupes to be an amazing hero. He lodged with Cob (the
water-carrier) and his wife Tib. Master Stephen was greatly struck
with his "dainty oaths," such as "By the foot of Pharaoh!" "Body of
Caesar!" "As I am a gentleman and a soldier!" His device to save
the expense of a standing army is inimitable for its conceit and
"I would select 19 more to myself throughout the land; gentlemen they
should be, of a good spirit and able constitution. I would choose them
by an instinct,... and I would teach them the special rules ... till
they could play _[fence]_ very near as well as myself. This done, say
the enemy were 40,000 strong, we 20 would ... challenge 20 of the
enemy; ... kill them; challenge 20 more, kill them; 20 more, kill them
too; ... every man his 10 a day, that's 10 score ... 200 a day; five
days, a thousand; 40,000, 40 times 5,200 days; kill them all."--Ben
Jonson, _Every Man in his Humour_, iv. 7 (1598).
Since his [_Henry Woodward, 1717-1777_] time the part of "Bobadil" has
never been justly performed. It may be said to have died with him.
The name was probably suggested by Bobadilla first governor of Cuba,
who superseded Columbus sent home in chains on a most frivolous
charge. Similar characters are "Metamore" and "Scaramouch" (Moliere);
"Parolles" and "Pistol" (Shakespeare); "Bessus" (Beaumont and
Fletcher). (See also BASILISCO, BOROUGHCLIFF, CAPTAIN BRAZEN, CAPTAIN
NOLL BLUFF, SIR PETRONEL FLASH, SACRIPANT, VINCENT DE LA ROSE, etc.)
BOBOLINKON. Christopher Pearse Cranch calls the bobolink:
Still merriest of the merry birds, and
Pied harlequins of June.
O, could I share without champagne
Or muscadel, your frolic;
The glad delirium of your joy,
Your fun unapostolic;
Your drunken jargon through the fields,
Your bobolinkish gabble,
Your fine Anacreontic glee,
Your tipsy reveller's babble!
Christopher Pearse Cranch, _The Bird and the Bell_ (1875).
BODACH GLAY or "Grey Spectre," a house demon of the Scotch, similar to
the Irish banshee.
BODLEY FAMILY, an American household, father, mother, sisters, and
brothers, whose interesting adventures at home and abroad are detailed
by Horace E. Scudder in _The Bodley Books_ (1875-1887).
BOEMOND, the Christian king of Antioch, who tried to teach his
subjects arts, law, and religion. He is of the Norman race, Rogero's
brother, and son of Roberto Guiscardo.--Tasso, _Jerusalem Delivered_
BOEUF (_Front de_), a gigantic, ferocious follower of prince
John.--Sir W. Scott, _Ivanhoe_ (time, Richard I.).
BOFFIN (_Nicodemus_), "the golden dustman," foreman of old John
Harmon, dustman and miser. He was "a broad, round-shouldered,
one-sided old fellow, whose face was of the rhinoceros build, with
overlapping ears." A kind, shrewd man was Mr. Boffin, devoted to his
wife, whom he greatly admired. Being residuary legatee of John Harmon,
dustman, he came in for L100,000. Afterwards, John Harmon, the son,
being discovered, Mr. Boffin surrendered the property to him, and
lived with him.
_Mrs. Boffin_, wife of Mr. N. Boffin, and daughter of a cat's-meatman.
She was a fat, smiling, good-tempered creature, the servant of old
John Harmon, dustman and miser, and very kind to the miser's son
(young John Harmon). After Mr. Boffin came into his fortune she became
"a high flyer at fashion," wore black velvet and sable, but retained
her kindness of heart and love for her husband. She was devoted to
Bella Wilfer, who ultimately became the wife of young John Harmon,
_alias_ Rokesmith.--C. Dickens, _Our Mutual Friend_ (1864).
BO'GIO, one of the allies of Charlemagne. He promised his wife to
return within six months, but was slain by Dardinello.--Ariosto,
_Orlando Furioso_ (1516).
BOHEMIAN (_A_), a gipsy, from the French notion that the first gipsies
came from Bohemia.
_A Literary Bohemian_, an author of desultory works and irregular
Never was there an editor with less about him of the literary
Bohemian.--_Fortnightly Review_ ("Paston Letters").
_Bohemian Literature_, desultory reading.
_A Bohemian Life_, an irregular, wandering, restless way of living,
like that of a gipsy.
BO'HEMOND, prince of Antioch, a crusader.--Sir W. Scott, _Count Robert
of Paris_ (time, Rufus).
BOIS'GRELIN (_The young countess de_), introduced in the ball given by
king Rene at Aix.--Sir W. Scott, _Anne of Geierstein_ (time, Edward
BOIS-GUILBERT (_Sir Brian de_), a preceptor of the Knights Templars.
Ivanhoe vanquishes him in a tournament. He offers insult to Rebecca,
and she threatens to cast herself from the battlements if he touches
her. "When the castle is set on fire by the sibyl, sir Brian carries
off Rebecca from the flames. The Grand-Master of the Knights Templars
charges Rebecca with sorcery, and she demands a trial by combat. Sir
Brian de Bois-Guilbert is appointed to sustain the charge against her,
and Ivanhoe is her champion. Sir Brian being found dead in the lists,
Rebecca is declared innocent."--Sir W. Scott, _Ivanhoe_ time, (Richard
BOISTERER, one of the seven attendants of Fortunio. His gift was
that he could overturn a windmill with his breath, and even wreck a
Fortunio asked him what he was doing. "I
am blowing a little, sir," answered he, "to set
those mills at work." "But," said the knight,
"you seem too far off." "On the contrary," replied
the blower, "I am too near, for if I did not
restrain my breath I should blow the mills over,
and perhaps the hill too on which they stand."--Comtesse
D'Aunoy, _Fairy Tales_ ("Fortunio,"
BOLD BEAUCHAMP _[Beech-am]_, a proverbial phrase similar to "an
Achilles," "a Hector," etc. The reference is to Thomas de Beauchamp,
earl of Warwick, who, with one squire and six archers, overthrew a
hundred armed men at Hogges, in Normandy, in 1346.
So had we still of ours, in France that famous were,
Warwick, of England then high-constable that was,
...So hardy, great, and strong,
That after of that name it to an adage grew,
If any man himself adventurous happed to shew,
"Bold Beauchamp" men him termed, if none so bold as he.
Drayton, _Polyolbion_, xviii. (1613).
BOLD STROKE FOR A HUSBAND, a comedy by Mrs. Cowley. There are two
plots: one a bold stroke to get the man of one's choice for a husband,
and the other a bold stroke to keep a husband. Olivia de Zuniga fixed
her heart on Julio de Messina, and refused or disgusted all suitors
till he came forward. Donna Victoria, in order to keep a husband,
disguised herself in man's apparel, assumed the name of Florio, and
made love as a man to her husband's mistress. She contrived by an
artifice to get back an estate which don Carlos had made over to his
mistress, and thus saved her husband from ruin (1782).
BOLD STROKE FOR A WIFE. Old Lovely at death left his daughter Anne
L30,000, but with this proviso, that she was to forfeit the money if
she married without the consent of her guardians. Now her guardians
were four in number, and their characters so widely different that
"they never agreed on any one thing." They were sir Philip Modelove,
an old beau; Mr. Periwinkle, a silly virtuoso; Mr. Tradelove, a broker
on 'Change; and Mr. Obadiah Prim, a hypocritical quaker. Colonel
Feignwell contrived to flatter all the guardians to the top of their
bent, and won the heiress.--Mrs. Centlivre (1717).
BOLDWOOD (_Farmer_), one of the wooers of Bathsheba Everdene. He
serves for her seven years and loses her at last, after killing
her husband to free her from his tyranny. He is sentenced to penal
servitude "during Her Majesty's pleasure."--Thomas Hardy, _Far from
the Madding Crowd_ (1874).
BOLSTER, a famous Wrath, who compelled St. Agnes to gather up the
boulders which infested his territory. She carried three apronfuls to
the top of a hill, hence called St. Agnes' Beacon. (See WRATH'S HOLE.)
BOL'TON (_Stawarth_), an English officer in _The Monastery_, a novel
by sir W. Scott (time, Elizabeth).
BOLTON ASS. This creature is said to have chewed tobacco and taken
BOMBA _(King)_, a nickname given to Ferdinand II. of Naples, in
consequence of his cruel bombardment of Messi'na in 1848. His son, who
bombarded Palermo in 1860, is called _Bombali'no_ ("Little Bomba").
A young Sicilian, too, was there...
[_Who_] being rebellious to his liege,
After Palermo's fatal siege,
Across the western seas he fled
In good king Bomba's happy reign.
Longfellow, _The Wayside Inn_ (prelude).
BOMBARDIN'IAN, general of the forces of king Chrononhotonthologos.
He invites the king to his tent, and gives him hashed pork. The king
strikes him, and calls him traitor. "Traitor, in thy teeth,"
replies the general. They fight, and the king is killed.--H. Carey,
_Chrononhotonthologos_ (a burlesque).
BOMBASTES FURIOSO, general of Artaxam'inous (king of Utopia). He is
plighted to Distaffi'na, but Artaxaminous promises her "half-a-crown"
if she will forsake the general for himself. "This bright reward
of ever-daring minds" is irresistible. When Bombastes sees himself
flouted, he goes mad, and hangs his boots on a tree, with this label
Who dares this pair of boots displace,
Must meet Bombastes face to face.
The king, coming up, cuts down the boots, and Bombastes "kills him."
Fusbos, seeing the king fallen, "kills" the general; but at the
close of the farce the dead men rise one by one, and join the dance,
promising, if the audience likes, "to die again to-morrow."--W. B.
Rhodes, _Bombastes Furioso._ [Illustration] This farce is a travesty
of _Orlando_ _Furioso_, and "Distaffina" is Angelica, beloved by
Orlando, whom she flouted for Medoro, a young Moor. On this Orlando
went mad, and hung up his armor on a tree, with this distich attached
Orlando's arms let none displace,
But such who'll meet him face to face.
In the _Rehearsal_, by the duke of Buckingham, Bayes' troops are
killed, every man of them, by Drawcansir, but revive, and "go off on
See the translation of _Don Quixote_, by C. H. Wilmot, Esq., ii. 363
_Bombastes Furioso (The French)_, capitaine Fracasse.--Theophile
BOMBAS'TUS, the family name of Paracelsus. He is said to have kept a
small devil prisoner in the pommel of his sword.
Bombastus kept a devil's bird
Shut in the pommel of his sword,
That taught him all the cunning pranks
Of past and future mountebanks.
S. Butler, _Hudibras_, ii. 3.
BONAS'SUS, an imaginary wild beast, which the Ettrick shepherd
encountered. (The Ettrick shepherd was James Hogg, the Scotch
poet.)--_Noctes Ambrosianae_ (No. xlviii., April, 1830).
BONAVENTU'RE _(Father)_, a disguise assumed for the nonce by the
chevalier Charles Edward, the pretender.--Sir W. Scott, _Redgauntlet_
(time, George III.).
BONDU'CA or BOADICE'A, wife of Praesutagus king of the Ice'ni. For the
better security of his family, Praesutagus made the emperor of Rome
co-heir with his daughters; whereupon the Roman officers took
possession of his palace, gave up the princesses to the licentious
brutality of the Roman soldiers, and scourged the queen in public.
Bonduca, roused to vengeance, assembled an army, burnt the Roman
colonies of London, Colchester [_Camalodunum_], Verulam, etc., and
slew above 80,000 Romans. Subsequently, Sueto'nius Paulinus defeated
the Britons, and Bonduca poisoned herself, A.D. 61. John Fletcher
wrote a tragedy entitled _Bonduca_ (1647).
BONE-SETTER _(The)_, Sarah Mapp (died 1736).
BO'NEY, a familiar contraction of Bo'naparte (3 _syl_.), used by
the English in the early part of the nineteenth century by way of
depreciation. Thus Thom. Moore speaks of "the infidel Boney."
BONHOMME (_Jacques_), a peasant who interferes with politics; hence
the peasants' rebellion of 1358 was called _La Jacquerie_. The words
may be rendered "Jimmy" or "Johnny Goodfellow."
BON'IFACE (_St._), an Anglo-Saxon whose name was Winifrid or Winfrith,
born in Devonshire. He was made archbishop of Mayence by pope Gregory
III., and is called "The Apostle of the Germans." St. Boniface
was murdered in Friesland by some peasants, and his day is June 5
... in Friesland first St. Boniface our best,
Who of the see of Mentz, while there he sat possessed,
At Dockum had his death, by faithless Frisians slain.
Drayton, _Polyolbion_, xxiv. (1622).
_Bon'iface_,(_Father_), ex-abbot of Kennaquhair. He first appears
under the name of Blinkhoodie in the character of gardener at Kinross,
and afterwards as the old gardener at Dundrennan. (_Kennaquhair_, that
is, "I know not where.")--Sir W. Scott, _The Abbot_ (time, Elizabeth).
_Bon'iface_ (_The abbot_), successor of the abbot Ingelram, as
Superior of St. Mary's Convent.--Sir W. Scott, _The Monastery_ (time,
_Boni'face_, landlord of the inn at Lichfield, in league with the
highwaymen. This sleek, jolly publican is fond of the cant phrase, "as
the saying is." Thus, "Does your master stay in town, as the saying
is?" "So well, as the saying is, I could wish we had more of them."
"I'm old Will Boniface; pretty well known upon this road, as the
saying is." He had lived at Lichfield "man and boy above eight and
fifty years, and not consumed eight and fifty ounces of meat." He
"I have fed purely upon ale. I have eat my
ale, drank my ale, and I always sleep upon my
ale."--George Farquhar, _The Beaux' Stratagem_,
i. I (1707).
BONNE REINE, Claude de France, daughter of Louis XII. and wife of
Francois I. (1499-1524).
BONNET ROUGE, a red republican, so called from the red cap of liberty
which he wore.
BONNIBEL, southern beauty in Constance Cary Harrison's tale, _Flower
The perfection of blonde prettiness, with a
mouth like Cupid's bow, a tiny tip-tilted nose,
eyes gold-brown to match her hair, a color like
crushed roses in her cheeks (1891).
BONNIVARD (_Francois de_), the prisoner of Chillon. In Byron's poem he
was one of six brothers, five of whom died violent deaths. The father
and two sons died on the battle-field; one was burnt at the stake;
three were imprisoned in the dungeon of Chillon, near the lake of
Geneva. Two of the three died, and Francois was set at liberty by
Henri the Bearnais. They were incarcerated by the duke-bishop of Savoy
for republican principles (1496-1570).
BONSTET'TIN (_Nicholas_), the old deputy of Schwitz, and one of the
deputies of the Swiss confederacy to Charles duke of Burgundy.--Sir W.
Scott, _Anne of Geierstein_ (time, Edward IV.).
BON'TEMPS (_Roger_), the personification of that buoyant spirit
which is always "inclined to hope rather than fear," and in the very
midnight of distress is ready to exclaim, "There's a good time coming,
wait a little longer." The character is the creation of Beranger.
Vous, pauvres pleins d'envie,
Vous, riches desireux;
Vous, dont le char devie
Apres un cours heureux;
Vous, qui perdrez peut-etre
Des titres eclatans,
Eh gai! prenez pour maitre
Le gros Roger Bontemps.
BON'THORN (_Anthony_), one of Ramorny's followers; employed to murder
Smith, the lover of Catherine Glover ("the fair maid of Perth"), but
he murdered Oliver instead, by mistake. When charged with the crime,
he demanded a trial by combat, and being defeated by Smith, confessed
his guilt and was hanged. He was restored to life, but being again
apprehended was executed.--Sir W. Scott, _Fair Maid of Perth_ (time,
BON TON, a farce by Garrick. Its design is to show the evil effects of
the introduction of foreign morals and foreign manners. Lord Minikin
neglects his wife, and flirts with Miss Tittup. Lady Minikin hates her
husband, and flirts with colonel Tivy. Miss Tittup is engaged to the
colonel. Sir John Trotley, who does not understand _bon ton_, thinks
this sort of flirtation very objectionable. "You'll excuse me, for
such old-fashioned notions, I am sure" (1760).
BOO'BY (_Lady_), a vulgar upstart, who tries to seduce her footman,
Joseph Andrews. Parson Adams reproves her for laughing in church. Lady
Booby is a caricature of Richardson's "Pamela."--Fielding, _Joseph
BOON ISLAND. In Celia Thaxter's poem, _The Watch of Boon Island_, is
told the story of two wedded lovers who tended the lighthouse on Boon
Island until the husband died, when the wife
Bowed her head and let the light die out,
For the wide sea lay calm as her dead love,
When evening fell from the far land, in doubt,
Vainly to find that faithful star men strove.
BOONE (1 _syl._), colonel [afterwards "general"] Daniel Boone, in the
United States' service, was one of the earliest settlers in Kentucky,
where he signalized himself by many daring exploits against the Red
Of all men, saving Sylla the man-slayer...
The general Boone, the back-woodsman of Kentucky,
Was happiest among mortals anywhere, etc.
Byron, _Don Juan_, viii. 61-65 (1821).
BOOSHAL'LOCH (_Neil_), cowherd to Ian Eachin M'Ian, chief of the clan
Quhele.--Sir W. Scott, _The Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.).
BOO'TES (3 _syl_.), Arcas son of Jupiter and Calisto. One day his
mother, in the semblance of a bear, met him, and Arcas was on the
point of killing it, when Jupiter, to prevent the murder, converted
him into a constellation, either _Booetes_ or _Ursa Major_.--Pausanias,
_Itinerary of Greece_, viii. 4.
Doth not Orion worthily deserve
A higher place ...
Than frail Booetes, who was placed above
Only because the gods did else foresee
He should the murderer of his mother be?
Lord Brooke, _Of Nobility_.
BOOTH, husband of Amelia. Said to be a drawing of the author's own
character and experiences. He has all the vices of Tom Jones, with an
additional share of meanness.--Fielding, _Amelia_ (1751).
BORACH'IO, a follower of don John of Aragon. He is a great villain,
engaged to Margaret, the waiting-woman of Hero.--Shakespeare, _Much
Ado about Nothing_ (1600).
_Borach'io_, a drunkard. (Spanish, _borracho_, "drunk;" _borrachuelo_,
"Why, you stink of wine! D'ye think my
niece will ever endure such a borachio? You're
an absolute Borachio."--W. Congreve, _The Way
of the World_ (1700).
_Borachio (Joseph)_, landlord of the Eagle Hotel, in
Salamanca.--Jephson, _Two Strings to your Bow_ (1792).
BOR'AK (_Al_), the animal brought by Gabriel to convey Mahomet to the
seventh heaven. The word means "lightning." Al Borak had the face of
a man, but the cheeks of a horse; its eyes were like jacinths, but
brilliant as the stars; it had eagle's wings, glistened all over with
radiant light, and it spoke with a human voice. This was one of the
ten animals (not of the race of man) received into paradise.
Borak was a fine-limbed, high-standing horse, strong in frame, and
with a coat as glossy as marble. His color was saffron, with one hair
of gold for every three of tawny; his ears were restless and pointed
like a reed; his eyes large and full of fire; his nostrils wide and
steaming; he had a white star on his forehead, a neck gracefully
arched, a mane soft and silky, and a thick tail that swept the
ground.--_Groquemitaine_. ii. 9.
BORDER MINSTREL (_The_), sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).
My steps the Border Minstrel led.
W. Wordsworth, _Yarrow Revisited_.
BO'REAS, the north wind. He lived in a cave on mount Haemus, in Thrace.
Cease, rude Boreas, blustering railer.
G. A. Stephens, _The Shipivreck_.
BOR'GIA _(Lucrezia di)_, duchess of Ferra'ra, wife of don Alfonso. Her
natural son Genna'ro was brought up by a fisherman in Naples, but
when he grew to manhood a stranger gave him a paper from his mother,
announcing to him that he was of noble blood, but concealing his name
and family. He saved the life of Orsi'ni in the battle of Rin'ini, and
they became sworn friends. In Venice he was introduced to a party of
nobles, all of whom had some tale to tell against Lucrezia: Orsini
told him she had murdered her brother; Vitelli, that she had caused
his uncle to be slain; Liverotto, that she had poisoned his uncle
Appia'no; Gazella, that she had caused one of his relatives to be
drowned in the Tiber. Indignant at these acts of wickedness, Gennaro
struck off the B from the escutcheon of the duke's palace at Ferrara,
changing the name Borgia into Orgia. Lucrezia prayed the duke to put
to death the man who had thus insulted their noble house, and Gennaro
was condemned to death by poison. Lucrezia, to save him, gave him an
antidote, and let him out of prison by a secret door. Soon after his
liberation the princess Negroni, a friend of the Borgias, gave a grand
supper, to which Gennaro and his companions were invited. At the close
of the banquet they were all arrested by Lucrezia after having drunk
poisoned wine. Gennaro was told he was the son of Lucrezia, and
died. Lucrezia no sooner saw him die than she died also.--Donizetti,
_Lucrezia di Borgia_ (an opera, 1835).
BOROS'KIE (3 _syl_.), a malicious counsellor of the great-duke of
Moscovia.--Beaumont and Fletcher, _The Loyal Subject_ (1618).
BOR'OUGHCLIFF (_Captain_), a vulgar Yankee, boastful, conceited, and
slangy. "I guess," "I reckon," "I calculate," are used indifferently
by him, and he perpetually appeals to sergeant Drill to confirm his
boastful assertions: as, "I'm a pretty considerable favorite with the
ladies; arn't I, sergeant Drill?" "My character for valor is pretty
well known; isn't it, sergeant Drill?" "If you once saw me in battle,
you'd never forget it; would he, sergeant Drill?" "I'm a sort of a
kind of a nonentity; arn't I, sergeant Drill?" etc. He is made the
butt of Long Tom Coffin. Colonel Howard wishes him to marry his niece
Katharine, but the young lady has given her heart to lieutenant
Barnstable, who turns out to be the colonel's son, and succeeds at
last in marrying the lady of his affection.--E. Fitzball, _The Pilot_.
BORRE (1 _syl_.), natural son of king Arthur, and one of the knights
of the Round Table. His mother was Lyonors, an earl's daughter, who
came to do homage to the young king.--Sir T. Malory, _History of
Prince Arthur_, i. 15 (1470).
[Illustration] Sir Bors de Granis is quite another person, and so is
king Bors of Gaul.
BORRO'MEO (_Charles_), cardinal and archbishop of Milan. Immortalized
by his self-devotion in ministering at Mil'an to the plague-stricken
St. Roche, who died 1327, devoted himself in a similar manner to those
stricken with the plague at Piacenza; and Mompesson to the people of
Eyam. In 1720-22 H. Francis Xavier de Belsunce was indefatigable in
ministering to the plague-stricken of Marseilles.
BORS (_King_) of Gaul, brother of king Ban of Benwicke [Brittany?].
They went to the aid of prince Arthur when he was first established on
the British throne, and Arthur promised in return to aid them against
king Claudas, "a mighty man of men," who warred against them.--Sir T.
Malory, _History of Prince Arthur_ (1470).
There are two brethren beyond the sea, and they kings both ... the one
hight king Ban of Benwieke, and the other hight king Bors of Gaul,
that is, France.--Pt. i. 8.
(Sir Bors was of Ganis, that is, Wales, and was a knight of the Round
Table. So also was Borre (natural son of prince Arthur), also called
sir Bors sometimes.)
_Bors_ (_Sir_), called sir Bors de Ganis, brother of sir Lionell and
nephew of sir Launcelot. "For all women he was a virgin, save for
one, the daughter of king Brandeg'oris, on whom he had a child, hight
Elaine; save for her, sir Bors was a clean maid" (ch. iv.). When he
went to Corbin, and saw Galahad the son of sir Launcelot and Elaine
(daughter of king Pelles), he prayed that the child might prove as
good a knight as his father, and instantly a vision of the holy greal
was vouchsafed him; for--
There came a white dove, bearing a little censer
of gold in her bill ... and a maiden that
bear the Sancgreall, and she said, "Wit ye well,
sir Bors, that this child ... shall achieve the
Sancgreall" ... then they kneeled down ... and
there was such a savor as all the spicery in the
world had been there. And when the dove took
her flight, the maiden vanished away with the
Sancgreall.--Pt. iii. 4.
Sir Bors was with sir Galahad and sir
Percival when the consecrated wafer assumed the visible and bodily
appearance of the Saviour. And this is what is meant by achieving the
holy greal; for when they partook of the wafer their eyes saw the
Saviour enter it.--Sir T. Malory, _History of Prince Arthur_, iii.
101, 102 (1470).
N.B.--This sir Bors must not be confounded with sir Borre, a natural
son of king Arthur and Lyonors (daughter of the earl Sanam, pt. i.
15), nor yet with king Bors of Gaul, _i.e._, France (pt. i. 8).
BORTELL, the bull, in the beast-epic called _Reynard the Fox_ (1498).
BOS'CAN-[ALMOGA'VA], a Spanish poet of Barcelona (1500-1543). His
poems are generally bound up with those of Garcilasso. They introduced
the Italian style into Castilian poetry.
Sometimes he turned to gaze upon his book,
Boscan, or Garcilasso.
Byron, _Don Juan_, i. 95 (1819).
BOSCOSEL, mysterious being, who brings about a reunion on earth of
friends who have long ago departed for the spirit-world.--Francis
Howard Williams, _Boscosel_ (1888).
BOSMI'NA, daughter of Fingal king of Morven (north-west coast of
BOS'N HILL. In _Poems_ by John Albee (1883) we find a legend of a dead
Bos'n (boatswain) whose whistle calls up the dead on stormy nights
The wind blows wild on Bos'n Hill,
But sailors know when next they sail
Beyond the hilltop's view,
There's one amongst them shall not fail
To join the Bos'n's crew.
BOSSU (_Rene le_), French scholar and critic (1631-1680).
And for the epic poem your lordship bade
me look at, upon taking the length, breadth,
height, and depth of it, and trying them at
home upon an exact scale of Bossu's, 'tis out, my
lord, in every one of its dimensions.--Sterne
BOSSUT (_Abbe Charles_), a celebrated mathematician (1730-1814).
(Sir Richard Phillips assumed a host of popular names, among others
that of _M. l'Abbe Bossut_ in several educational works in French.)
BOSTA'NA, one of the two daughters of the old man who entrapped prince
Assad in order to offer him in sacrifice on "the fiery mountain."
His other daughter was named Cava'ma. The old man enjoined these two
daughters to scourge the prince daily with the bastinado and feed him
with bread and water till the day of sacrifice arrived. After a time,
the heart of Bostana softened towards her captive, and she released
him. Whereupon his brother Amgiad, out of gratitude, made her his
wife, and became in time king of the city in which he was already
vizier.--_Arabian Nights_ ("Amgiad and Assad").
BOSTOCK, a coxcomb, cracked on the point of aristocracy and family
birth. His one and only inquiry is "How many quarterings has a person
got?" Descent from the nobility with him covers a multitude of sins,
and a man is no one, whatever his personal merit, who "is not a sprig
of the nobility."--James Shirley, _The Ball_ (1642).
BOT'ANY (_Father of English_), W. Turner, M.D. (1520-1568).
J.P. de Tournefort is called _The Father of Botany_ (1656-1708).
[Illustration] Antoine de Jussieu lived 1686-1758, and his brother
BOTHWELL (_Sergeant_), _alias_ Francis Stewart, in the royal
army.--Sir W. Scott, _Old Mortality_ (time, Charles II.).
_Bothwell (Lady)_, sister of lady Forester.
_Sir Geoffrey Bothwell_, the husband of lady Bothwell.
_Mrs. Margaret Bothwell_, in the introduction of the story. Aunt
Margaret proposed to use Mrs. Margaret's tombstone for her own.--Sir
W. Scott, _Aunt Margaret's Mirror_ (time, William III.).
BOTTLED BEER, Alexander Nowell, author of a celebrated Latin catechism
which first appeared in 1570, under the title of _Christianae pietatis
prima Institutio, ad usum Scholarum Latine Scripta_. In 1560 he was
promoted to the deanery of St. Paul's (1507-1602).--Fuller, _Worthies
of England_ ("Lancashire").
BOTTOM (_Nick_), an Athenian weaver, a compound of profound ignorance
and unbounded conceit, not without good-nature and a fair dash of
mother-wit. When the play of _Pyramus and Thisbe_ is cast, Bottom
covets every part; the lion, Thisbe, Pyramus, all have charms for him.
In order to punish Titan'ia, the fairy-king made her dote on Bottom,
on whom Puck had placed an ass's head.--Shakespeare, _Midsummer
Bottom. An' I may hide my face; let me play
Thisby, too: I'll speak in a monstrous little voice.
* * * * *
Let me play the lion, too; I will roar that I will
do any man's heart good to hear me.
_Midsummer Night's Dream_, i. 2.
BOUBEKIR' MUEZ'IN, of Bag dad, "a vain, proud, and envious iman, who
hated the rich because he himself was poor." When prince Zeyn Alasnam
came to the city, he told the people to beware of him, for probably he
was "some thief who had made himself rich by plunder." The prince's
attendant called on him, put into his hand a purse of gold, and
requested the honor of his acquaintance. Next day, after morning
prayers, the iman said to the people, "I find, my brethren, that the
stranger who is come to Bag dad is a young prince possessed of a
thousand virtues, and worthy the love of all men. Let us protect him,
and rejoice that he has come among us."--_Arabian Nights_ ("Prince
BOUCHARD (_Sir_), a knight of Flanders, of most honorable descent. He
married Constance, daughter of Bertulphe provost of Bruges. In 1127
Charles "the Good," earl of Flanders, made a law that a serf was
always a serf till manumitted, and whoever married a serf became a
serf. Now, Bertulphe's father was Thancmar's serf, and Bertulphe, who
had raised himself to wealth and great honor, was reduced to serfdom
because his father was not manumitted. By the same law Bouchard,
although a knight of royal blood became Thancmar's serf because he
married Constance, the daughter of Bertulphe (provost of Bruges). The
result of this absurd law was that Bertulphe slew the earl and then
himself, Constance went mad and died, Bouchard and Thancmar slew each
other in fight, and all Bruges was thrown into confusion.--S. Knowles,
_The Provost of Bruges_ (1836).
BOU'ILLON (_Godfrey duke of_), a crusader (1058-1100), introduced in
_Count Robert of Paris_, a novel by Sir W. Scott (time, Rufus).
BOUNCE (_Mr. T_.), a nickname given in 1837 to T. Barnes, editor of
the _Times_ (or the _Turnabout_, as it was called).
BOUND'ERBY (_Josiah_), of Coketown, banker and mill-owner, the "Bully
of Humility," a big, loud man, with an iron stare and metallic laugh.
Mr. Bounderby is the son of Mrs. Pegler, an old woman, to whom he pays
L30 a year to keep out of sight, and in a boasting way he pretends
that "he was dragged up from the gutter to become a millionaire." Mr.
Bounderby marries Louisa, daughter of his neighbor and friend, Thomas
Gradgrind, Esq., M.P.--C. Dickens, _Hard Times_ (1854).
BOUNTIFUL (_Lady_), widow of sir Charles Bountiful. Her delight was
curing the parish sick and relieving the indigent.
"My lady Bountiful is one of the best of women.
Her late husband, sir Charles Bountiful, left her
with L1000 a year; and I believe she lays out
one-half on't in charitable uses for the good of
her neighbors. In short, she has cured more
people in and about Lichfield within ten years
than the doctors have killed in twenty; and that's
a bold word."--George Farquhar, _The Beaux'
Stratagem_, i. 1 (1705).
BOUNTY (_Mutiny of the_), in 1790, headed by Fletcher Christian. The
mutineers finally settled in Pitcairn Island (Polynesian Archipelago).
In 1808 all the mutineers were dead except one (Alexander Smith), who
had changed his name to John Adams, and became a model patriarch
of the colony, which was taken under the protection of the British
Government in 1839. Lord Byron, in _The Island_, has made the "mutiny
of the _Bounty_" the basis of his tale, but the facts are greatly
BOUS'TRAPA, a nickname given to Napoleon III. It is compounded of the
first syllables of _Bou_ [logne], _Stra_ [sbourg], _Pa_[ris], and
alludes to his escapades in 1836, 1840, 1851 (_coup d'etat_).
No man ever lived who was distinguished by more nicknames than Louis
Napoleon. Besides the one above mentioned, he was called _Badinguet,
Man of December, Man of Sedan, Ratipol, Verhuel_, etc.; and after his
escape from the fortress of Ham he went by the pseudonym of _count
BOWER OF BLISS, a garden belonging to the enchantress Armi'da. It
abounded in everything that could contribute to earthly pleasure.
Here Rinal'do spent some time in love-passages with Armi'da, but he
ultimately broke from the enchantress and rejoined the war.--Tasso,
_Jerusalem Delivered_ (1575).
_Bower of Bliss_, the residence of the witch Acras'ia, a beautiful and
most fascinating woman. This lovely garden was situated on a floating
island filled with everything which could conduce to enchant the
senses, and "wrap the spirit in forgetfulness."--Spenser, _Faery
Queen_, ii. 12 (1590).
BOWKIT, in _The Son-in-Law._
In the scene where Cranky declines to accept Bowkit as son-in-law on
account of his ugliness, John Edwin, who was playing "Bowkit" at the
Haymarket, uttered in a tone of surprise, "_Ugly?_" and then advancing
to the lamps, said with infinite impertinence, "I submit to the
decision of the British public which is the ugliest fellow of us
three: I, old Cranky, or that gentleman there in the front row of the
balcony box?"--_Cornhill Magazine_ (1867).
BOWLEY (_Sir Joseph_), M.P., who facetiously calls himself "the poor
man's friend." His secretary is Fish.--C. Dickens, _The Chimes_
BOWLING (_Lieutenant Tom_), an admirable naval character in Smollett's
_Roderick Random._ Dibdin wrote a naval song _in memoriam_ of Tom
Bowling, beginning thus:
Here a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling,
The darling of the crew ...
BOWYER (_Master_), usher of the black rod in the court of queen
Elizabeth.--Sir W. Scott, _Kenilworth_ (time, Elizabeth).
BOWZYBE'US (4 _syl._), the drunkard, rioted for his songs in Gray's
pastorals, called _The Shepherd's Week_. He sang of "Nature's Laws,"
of "Fairs and Shows," "The Children in the Wood," "Chevy Chase,"
"Taffey Welsh," "Rosamond's Bower," "Lilly-bullero," etc. The 6th
pastoral is in imitation of Virgil's 6th _Ecl_., and Bowzybeus is a
That Bowzybeus, who with jocund tongue,
Ballads, and roundelays, and catches sung.
Gay, _Pastoral_, vi. (1714).
BOX AND COX, a dramatic romance, by J. M. Morton, the principal
characters of which are Box and Cox.
BOY BACHELOR _(The)_, William Wotton, D.D., admitted at St.
Catherine's Hall, Cambridge, before he was ten, and to his degree of
B.A. when he was twelve and a half (1666-1726).
BOY BISHOP _(The)_, St. Nicholas, the patron saint of boys (fourth
(There was also an ancient custom of choosing a boy from the cathedral
choir on St. Nicholas' Day (December 6) as a mock bishop. This boy
possessed certain privileges, and if he died during the year was
buried _in pontificalibus_. The custom was abolished by Henry VIII. In
Salisbury Cathedral visitors are shown a small sarcophagus, which the
verger says was made for a boy bishop.)
BOY BLUE _(Little)_ is the subject of a poem in Eugene Field's _Little
Book of Western Verse_.
The little toy-dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
And the little toy-soldier is red with rust,
And his musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy-dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.
Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place,
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face. (1889.)
BOY CRUCIFIED. It is said that some time during the dark ages, a boy
named Werner was impiously crucified at Bacharach, on the Rhine, by
the Jews. A little chapel erected to the memory of this boy stands on
the walls of the town, close to the river. Hugh of Lincoln and William
of Norwich are instances of a similar story.
See how its currents gleam and shine ...
As if the grapes were stained with the blood
Of the innocent boy who, some years back,
Was taken and crucified by the Jews
In that ancient town of Bacharach.
Longfellow, _The Golden Legend_.
BOYET', one of the lords attending on the princess of
France.--Shakespeare, _Love's Labor's Lost_ (1594).
BOYTHORN (_Laurence_), a robust gentleman with the voice of a
Stentor; a friend of Mr. Jarndyce. He would utter the most ferocious
sentiments, while at the same time he fondled a pet canary on his
finger. Once on a time he had been in love with Miss Barbary, lady
Dedlock's sister. But "the good old times--all times when old are
good--were gone."--C. Dickens, _Bleak House_ (1853).
("Laurence Boythorn" is a caricature of W. S. Landor; as "Harold
Skimpole," in the same story, is drawn from Leigh Hunt.)
BOZ, Charles Dickens. It was the nickname of a pet brother dubbed
_Moses_, in honor of "Moses Primrose" in the _Vicar of Wakefield_.
Children called the name _Bozes_, which got shortened into _Boz_
BOZZY, James Boswell, the gossipy biographer of Dr. Johnson
BRABAN'TIO, a senator of Venice, father of Desdemo'na; most proud,
arrogant, and overbearing. He thought the "insolence" of Othello in
marrying his daughter unpardonable, and that Desdemona must have
been drugged with love-potions so to demean herself.--Shakespeare,
BRAC'CIO, commissary of the republic of Florence, employed in picking
up every item of scandal he could find against Lu'ria the noble Moor,
who commanded the army of Florence against the Pisans. The Florentines
hoped to find sufficient cause of blame to lessen or wholly cancel
their obligations to the Moor, but even Braccio was obliged to
confess. This Moor hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so
clear in his great office, that his virtues would plead like angels,
trumpet-tongued, against the council which should censure him.--Robert
BRAC'IDAS AND AM'IDAS, the two sons of Mile'sio, the former in love
with the wealthy Philtra, and the latter with the dowerless Lucy.
Their father at death left each of his sons an island of equal size
and value, but the sea daily encroached on that of the elder brother
and added to the island of Amidas. The rich Philtra now forsook
Bracidas for the richer brother, and Lucy, seeing herself forsaken,
jumped into the sea. A floating chest attracted her attention, she
clung to it, and was drifted to the wasted island, where Bracidas
received her kindly. The chest was found to contain property of great
value, and Lucy gave it to Bracidas, together with herself, "the
better of them both." Amidas and Philtra claimed the chest as their
right, and the dispute was submitted to sir Ar'tegal. Sir Artegal
decided that whereas Amidas claimed as his own all the additions which
the sea had given to his island, so Lucy might claim as her own the
chest which the sea had given into her hands.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_,
v. 4 (1596).
BRAEKENBURY _(Lord)_, English peer of nomadic tastes. He disappears
from his world, leaving the impression that he has been murdered, that
he may live unhampered by class-obligations.--Amelia B. Edwards, _Lord
Bracy _(Sir Maurice de_), a follower of prince John. He sues the lady
Rowen'a to become his bride, and threatens to kill both Cedric and
Ivanhoe if she refuses. The interview is interrupted, and at the close
of the novel Rowena marries Ivanhoe.--Sir W. Scott, _Ivanhoe_ (time,
BRAD'AMANT, daughter of Amon and Beatrice, sister of Rinaldo, and
niece of Charlemagne. She was called the _Virgin Knight._ Her armor
was white, and her plume white. She loved Roge'ro the Moor, but
refused to marry him till he was baptized. Her marriage with great
pomp and Rogero's victory over Rodomont form the subject of the last
book of _Orlando Furioso_. Bradamant possessed an irresistible spear,
which unhorsed any knight with a touch. Britomart had a similar
spear.--Bojardo, _Orlando Innamorato_ (1495); Ariosto, _Orlando
BRAD'BOURNE (_Mistress Lilias_), waiting-woman of lady Avenel
(2 _syl_.), at Avenel Castle.--Sir W. Scott, _The Abbot_ (time,
BRADWARDINE (_Como Cosmyne_), baron of Bradwardine and of Tully
Veolan. He is very pedantic, but brave and gallant.
_Rose Bradwardine_, his daughter, the heroine of the novel, which
concludes with her marriage with Waverley, and the restoration of the
manor-house of Tully Veolan.
_Malcolm Bradwardine_ of Inchgrabbit, a relation of the old
baron.--Sir W. Scott, _Waverley_ (time, George II.).
BRADY (_Martha_), a young "Irish widow" twenty-three years of age,
and in love with William Whittle. She was the daughter of sir Patrick
O'Neale. Old Thomas Whittle, the uncle, a man of sixty-three, wanted
to oust his nephew in her affections, for he thought her "so modest,
so mild, so tenderhearted, so reserved, so domestic. Her voice was so
sweet, with just a _soupcon_ of the brogue to make it enchanting." In
order to break off this detestable passion of the old man, the widow
assumed the airs and manners of a boisterous, loud, flaunting,
extravagant, low Irishwoman, deeply in debt, and abandoned to
pleasure. Old Whittle, thoroughly frightened, induced his nephew to
take the widow off his hands, and gave him L5000 as a _douceur_ for so
doing.--Garrick, _The Irish Widow_ (1757).
BRAG (_Jack_), a vulgar boaster, who gets into good society, where his
vulgarity stands out in strong relief.--Theodore Hook, _Jack Brag_ (a
_Brag_ (_Sir Jack_), general John Burgoyne (died 1792).
BRAGANZA (_Juan duke of_). In 1580 Philip II. of Spain claimed the
crown of Portugal, and governed it by a regent. In 1640 Margaret was
regent, and Velasquez her chief minister, a man exceedingly obnoxious
to the Portuguese. Don Juan and his wife Louisa of Braganza being
very popular, a conspiracy was formed to shake off the Spanish yoke.
Velasquez was torn to death by the populace, and don Juan of Braganza
was proclaimed king.
_Louisa duchess of Braganza_. Her character is thus described:
Bright Louisa, To all the softness of her tender sex, Unites the
noblest qualities of man: A genius to embrace the amplest schemes...
Judgment most sound, persuasive eloquence... Pure piety without
religious dross, And fortitude that shrinks at no disaster. Robert
Jephson, _Braganza_, i. 1 (1775).
Mrs. Bellamy took her leave of the stage May 24, 1785. On this
occasion Mrs. Yates sustained the part of the "duchess of Braganza,"
and Miss Farren spoke the address.--F. Reynolds.
BRAGELA, daughter of Sorglan, and wife of Cuthullin (general of the
Irish army and regent during the minority of king Cormac).--Ossian,
BRAGGADOCIO, personification of the intemperance of the tongue. For a
time his boasting serves him with some profit, but being found out,
he is stripped of his borrowed plumes. His _shield_ is claimed by
Marinel; his _horse_ by Guyon; Talus shaves off his beard; and his
lady is shown to be a sham Florimel.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_, iii. 8
and 10, with v. 3.
It is thought that Philip of Spain was the academy figure of
_Braggadocio's Sword_, Sanglamore (_3 syl_).
BRAGMARDO (_Janotus de_), the sophister sent by the Parisians to
Gargantua, to remonstrate with him for carrying off the bells
of Notre-Dame to suspend round the neck of his mare for
jingles.--Rabelais, _Gargantua and Pantagruel_, ii. (1533).
BRAHMIN CASTE OF NEW ENGLAND, term used by Oliver Wendell Holmes in
_Elsie Venner_ to describe an intellectual aristocracy: "Our scholars
come chiefly from a privileged order just as our best fruits come from
well-known grafts."--_Elsie Venner_ (1863).
BRAIN'WORM, the servant of Knowell, a man of infinite shifts, and a
regular Proteus in his metamorphoses. He appears first as Brainworm;
after as Fitz-Sword; then as a reformed soldier whom Knowell takes
into his service; then as justice Clement's man; and lastly as valet
to the courts of law, by which devices he plays upon the same clique
of some half-dozen men of average intelligence.--Ben Jonson, _Every
Man in His Humour_ (1598).
BRAKEL (_Adrian_), the gipsy mountebank, formerly master of Fenella,
the deaf and dumb girl.--Sir W. Scott, _Peveril of the Peak_ (time,
BRAMBLE (_Matthew_), an "odd kind of humorist," "always on the fret,"
dyspeptic, and afflicted with gout, but benevolent, generous, and
_Miss Tabitha Bramble_, an old maiden sister of Matthew Bramble, of
some forty-five years of age, noted for her bad spelling. She is
starched, vain, prim, and ridiculous; soured in temper, proud,
imperious, prying, mean, malicious, and uncharitable. She contrives at
last to marry captain Lismaha'go, who is content to take "the maiden"
for the sake of her L4000.
_Bramble (Sir Robert_), a baronet living at Blackberry Hall, Kent.
Blunt and testy, but kind-hearted; "charitable as a Christian, and
rich as a Jew;" fond of argument and contradiction, but detesting
flattery; very proud, but most considerate to his poorer neighbors. In
his first interview with lieutenant Worthington, "the poor gentleman,"
the lieutenant mistook him for a bailiff come to arrest him, but sir
Roflert nobly paid the bill for L500 when it was presented to him for
signature as sheriff of the county.
_Frederick Bramble_, nephew of sir Robert, and son of Joseph Bramble,
a Russian merchant. His father having failed in business, Frederick is
adopted by his rich uncle. He is full of life and noble instincts,
but thoughtless and impulsive. Frederick falls in love with Emily
Worthington, whom he marries.--G. Colman, _The Poor Gentleman_ (1802).
BRAMINE (_2 syl._) AND BRAMIN (_The_), Mrs. Elizabeth Draper and
Laurence Sterne. Sterne being a clergyman, and Mrs. Draper having been
born in India, suggested the names. Ten of Sterne's letters to Mrs.
Draper are published, and called _Letters to Eliza_.
BRAN, the dog of Lamderg the lover of Gelchossa (daughter of
Tuathal).--Ossian, _Fingal_, v.
[Illustration] Fingal king of Morven had a dog of the same name, and
another named Luaeth.
Call White-breasted Bran and the surly
strength of Luaeth.--Ossian, _Fingal_, vi.
BRAND (_Ethan_), an ex-lime burner in Nathaniel Hawthorne's story of
the same name, who, fancying he has committed the Unpardonable Sin,
commits suicide by leaping into the burning kiln.
_Brand_ (_Sir Denys_), a county magnate, who apes humility. He rides a
sorry brown nag "not worth L5," but mounts his groom on a race-horse
"twice victor for a plate."
BRANDAMOND of Damascus, whom sir Bevis of Southampton defeated.
That dreadful battle where with Brandamond he fought. And with his
sword and steed such earthly wonders wrought As e'en among his foes
him admiration won. M. Drayton, _Polyolbion_, ii. (1612).
BRAN'DAN (_Island of St_.) or ISLAND of SAN BORANDAN, a flying island,
so late as 1755 set down in geographical charts west of the Canary
group. In 1721 an expedition was sent by Spain in quest thereof.
The Spaniards say their king Rodri'go has retreated there, and the
Portuguese affirm that it is the retreat of their don Sebastian. It
was called St. Brandan from a navigator of the sixth century, who went
in search of the "Islands of Paradise."
Its reality was for a long time a matter of firm belief ... the garden
of Armi'da, where Rinaldo was detained, and which Tasso places in
one of the Canary Isles, has been identified with San Borandan.--W.
(If there is any truth at all in the legend, the island must be
ascribed to the Fata Morgana.)
BRAN'DEUM, plu. _Brandea_, a piece of cloth enclosed in a box with
relics, which thus acquired the same miraculous powers as the relics
Pope Leo proved this fact beyond a doubt, for when some Greeks
ventured to question it, he cut a brandeum through with a pair of
scissors, and it was instantly covered with blood.--J. Brady, _Clavis
BRAN'DIMART, brother-in-law of Orlando, son of Monodantes, and husband
of For'delis. This "king of the Distant Islands" was one of
the bravest knights in Charlemagne's army, and was slain by
Gradasso.--Bojardo, _Orlando Innamorata_ (1495); Ariosto, _Orlando
BRAND, a term often applied to the sword in medaeval romances.
Thou therefore take my brand Excalibur,
Which was my pride--
Tennyson, _The Morte d'Arthur._
BRANGTONS (_The_), vulgar, jealous, malicious gossips in _Evelina_, a
novel by Miss Burney (1778).
BRANNO, an Irishman, father of Evirallin. Evirallin was the wife of
Ossian and mother of Oscar.--Ossian.
BRASS, the roguish confederate of Dick Amlet, and acting as his
"I am your valet, 'tis true; your footman
sometimes ... but you have always had the
ascendant, I confess. When we were school-fellows,
you made me carry your books, make your
exercise, own your rogueries, and sometimes take
a whipping for you. When we were fellow-'prentices,
though I was your senior, you made
me open the shop, clean my master's boots, cut
last at dinner, and eat all the crusts. In your
sins, too, I must own you still kept me under;
you soared up to the mistress, while I was content
with the maid."--Sir John Yanbrugh, _The Confederacy_,
iii. 1 (1695).
_Brass (Sampson)_, a knavish, servile attorney, affecting great
sympathy with his clients, but in reality fleecing them without mercy.
_Sally Brass_, Sampson's sister, and an exaggerated edition of her
brother.--C. Dickens, _Old Curiosity Shop_ (1840).
BRAVE (_The_), Alfonzo IV. of Portugal (1290-1357).
_The Brave Fleming_, John Andrew van der Mersch (1734-1792).
_The Bravest of the Brave_, Marshal Ney, _Le Brave des Braves_
BRAY (_Mr._), a selfish, miserly old man, who dies suddenly of
heart-disease, just in time to save his daughter from being sacrificed
to Arthur Gride, a rich old miser.
_Madeline Bray_, daughter of Mr. Bray, a loving, domestic, beautiful
girl, who marries Nicholas Nickleby.--C. Dickens, _Nicholas Nickleby_
_Bray (Vicar of)_, supposed by some to be Simon Aleyn, who lived
(says Fuller) "in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and
Elizabeth. In the first two reigns he was a _protestant_, in Mary's
reign a _catholic_, and in Elizabeth's a _protestant_ again." No
matter who was king, Simon Aleyn resolved to live and die "the vicar
of Bray" (1540-1588).
Others think the vicar was Simon Symonds, who (according to Ray) was
an _independent_ in the protectorate, a _high churchman_ in the reign
of Charles II., a _papist_ under James II., and a _moderate churchman_
in the reign of William III.
Others again give the cap to one Pendleton.
[Illustration] The well-known song was written by an officer in
colonel Fuller's regiment, in the reign of George I., and seems to
refer to some clergyman of no very distant date.
BRAYMORE (_Lady Caroline_), daughter of lord Fitz-Balaam. She was to
have married Frank Rochdale, but hearing that her "intended" loved
Mary Thornberry, she married the Hon. Tom Shuffleton.--G. Colman,
jun., _John Bull_ (1805).
BRAZEN (_Captain_), a kind of Bobadil. A boastful, tongue-doughty
warrior, who pretends to know everybody; to have a liaison with every
wealthy, pretty, or distinguished woman; and to have achieved in war
the most amazing prodigies.
BRAZEN HEAD. The first on record is one which Sylvester II.
(_Gerbert_) possessed. It told him he would be pope, and not die till
he had sung mass at Jerusalem. When pope he was stricken with his
death-sickness while performing mass in a church called Jerusalem
The next we hear of was made by Rob. Grosseteste (1175-1253).
The third was the famous brazen head of Albertus Magnus, which cost
him thirty years' labor, and was broken to pieces by his disciple
Thomas Aquinas (1193-1280).
The fourth was that of friar Bacon, which used to say, "Time is, time
was, time comes." Byron refers to it in the lines:
Like friar Bacon's brazen head, I've spoken,
"Time is, time was, time's past [?]"
_Don Juan_, i. 217 (1819).
Another was made by the marquis of Vilena of Spain (1384-1434). And a
sixth by a Polander, a disciple of Escotillo an Italian.
_Brazen Head_ (_The_), a gigantic head kept in the castle of the giant
Ferragus of Portugal. It was omniscient, and told those who
consulted it whatever they desired to know, past, present, or
future.--_Valentine and Orson_.
BREAKFAST TABLE (_Autocrat of_). See AUTOCRAT.
BREAKING A STICK is part of the marriage ceremony of the American
Indians, as breaking a glass is still part of the marriage ceremony
of the Jews.--Lady Augusta Hamilton, _Marriage Rites, etc._, pp. 292,
In one of Raphael's pictures we see an unsuccessful suitor of the
Virgin Mary breaking his stick, and this alludes to the legend that
the several suitors of the "virgin" were each to bring an almond stick
which was to be laid up in the sanctuary over night, and the owner of
the stick which budded was to be accounted the suitor God ordained,
and thus Joseph became her husband.--B.H. Cowper, _Apocryphal Gospel_
("Pseudo-Matthew's Gospel," 40, 41).
In Florence is a picture in which the rejected suitors break their
sticks on the back of Joseph.
BRECAN, a mythical king of Wales. He had twenty-four daughters by one
wife. These daughters, for their beauty and purity, were changed into
rivers, all of which flow into the Severn. Brecknockshire, according
to fable, is called after this king. (See next art.)
Brecan was a prince once fortunate and great
(Who dying lent his name to that his noble seat),
With twice twelve daughters blest, by one and only wife.
They, for their beauties rare and sanctity of life,
To rivers were transformed; whose pureness doth declare
How excellent they were by being what they are ...
..._[they]_ to Severn shape their course.
M. Drayton, _Polyolbion_, iv. (1612).
BREC'HAN (_Prince_), father of St. Cadock and St. Canock, the former a
martyr and the latter a confessor.
BRECK (_Alison_), an old fishwife, friend of the Mucklebackits.--Sir
W. Scott, _The Antiquary_ (time, Greorge III.).
_Breck (Angus)_, a follower of Rob Roy M'Gregor, the outlaw.--Sir W.
Scott, _Rob Roy_ (time, Greorge I.).
BREITMAN (_Hans_), the giver of the entertainment celebrated in
Charles Godfrey Leland's dialect verses, _Hans Breitman gave a Party_.
A favorite with parlor and platform "readers." (1871.)
BRENDA [TROIL], daughter of Magnus Troil and sister of Minna.--Sir W.
Scott, _The Pirate_ (time, William III.).
BRENGWAIN, the confidante of Isolde (_2 syl._) wife of sir Mark
king of Cornwall. Isolde was criminally attached to her nephew sir
Tristram, and Brengwain assisted the queen in her intrigues.
_Brengwain_, wife of Gwenwyn prince of Powys-land.--Sir W. Scott,
_The Betrothed_ (time, Henry II.).
BRENNETT (_Maurice_), a man whom "life had always cast for the leading
business" and who "bears himself in a manner befitting the title
role." In pursuance of this destiny he becomes a mining speculator,
betrays his confiding partner and everybody else who will trust, and
when success seems within his grasp is thwarted by the discovery of
a man he had supposed to be dead. The woman he would have married to
secure her fortune, around which he had woven the fine web of his
schemes, breaks out impetuously:
"If you will prove his complicity ... I will pursue him to the ends of
At that moment through the window she sees the head-light of the train
that is bearing Maurice Brennett away into the darkness. The thorough
search made for him afterward is futile.--Charles Egbert Craddock,
_Where the Battle was Fought_ (1885).
BRENTANO (_A_), one of inconceivable folly. The Brentanos, Clemens
and his sister Bettina, are remarkable in German literary annals for
the wild and extravagant character of their genius. Bettina's work,
_Goethe's Correspondence with a Child_ (1835), is a pure fabrication of
At the point where the folly of others ceases,
that of the Brentanos begins.--_German Proverb_.
BRENTFORD (_The two kings of_). In the duke of Buckingham's farce
called _The Rehearsal_ (1671), the two kings of Brentford enter
hand-in-hand, dance together, sing together, walk arm-in-arm, and to
heighten the absurdity the actors represent them as smelling at the
same nosegay (act ii. 2).
BRETWALDA, the over-king of the Saxon rulers, established in England
during the heptarchy. In Germany the over-king was called emperor. The
bretwalda had no power in the civil affairs of the under-kings, but in
times of war or danger formed an important centre.
BREWER OF GHENT (_The_), James van Artevelde, a great patriot. His son
Philip fell in the battle of Rosbecq (fourteenth century).
BREWSTER (_William_). _The Life and Death of William Brewster_, elder
in the first church planted in Massachusetts, was written by his
colleague William Bradford (1630-1650). After a feeling eulogy upon
his departed friend, he remarks, parenthetically: "He always thought
it were better for ministers to pray oftener and divide their prayers,
than be long and tedious in the same (except upon solemn and special
occasions, as in days of humiliation and the like). His reason was
that the hearts and spirits of all, especially the weak, continue and
stand bent (as it were) so long towards God as they ought to do in
that duty without flagging and falling off." This is a remarkable
deliverance for a day when two-hour prayers were the rule, and from
a man who, his biographer tells us, "had a singular good gift in
BRIANA, the lady of a castle who demanded for toll "the locks of
every lady and the beard of every knight that passed." This toll was
established because sir Crudor, with whom she was in love, refused
to marry her till she had provided him with human hair sufficient to
"purfle a mantle" with. Sir Crudor, having been overthrown in knightly
combat by sir Calidore, who refused to pay "the toll demanded," is
made to release Briana from the condition imposed on her, and Briana
swears to discontinue the discourteous toll.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_,
vi. 1 (1596).
BRIANOR (_Sir_), a knight overthrown by the "Salvage Knight," whose
name was sir Artegal.--Spenser, _Faery Queen_, iv. 5 (1596).
BRIAREOS (_4 syl._), usually called Briareus [_Bri.a.ruce_], the
giant with a hundred hands. Hence Dryden says, "And Briareus, with
all his hundred hands" (_Virgil_, vi.); but Milton writes the name
Briareos (_Paradise Lost_, i. 199).
Then, called by thee, the monster Titan came,
Whom gods Briareos, men AEgeon name.
Pope, _Iliad_, i.
BRIAREUS (_Bold_), Handel (1685-1757).
BRIAREUS OF LANGUAGES, cardinal Mezzofanti, who was familiar with
fifty-eight different languages. Byron calls him "a walking polyglot"
BRIBOCI, inhabitants of Berkshire and the adjacent counties.--Caesar,
BRICK (_Jefferson_), a very weak pale young man, the war correspondent
of the _New York Rowdy Journal_, of which colonel Diver was
editor.--C. Dickens, _Martin Chuzzlewit_ (1844).
BRIDE OF ABYDOS (_The_), Zuleika (_3 syl._), daughter of Giaffer (_2
syl._), pacha of Abydos. She is the troth-plight bride of Selim; but
Giaffer shoots the lover, and Zuleika dies of a broken heart.--Byron,
_Bride of Abydos_ (1813).
BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR, Lucy Ashton, in love with Edgar master of
Ravenswood, but compelled to marry Frank Hayston, laird of Bucklaw.
She tries to murder him on the bridal night, and dies insane the day
following.--Sir W. Scott, _The Bride of Lammermoor_ (time, William
[Illustration] _The Bride of Lammermoor_ is one of the most finished
of Scott's novels, presenting a unity of plot and action from
beginning to end. The old butler, Caleb Balderston, is exaggerated and
far too prominent, but he serves as a foil to the tragic scenes.
In _The Bride of Lammermoor_ we see embodied
the dark spirit of fatalism--that spirit which
breathes on the writings of the Greek tragedians
when they traced the persecuting vengeance of
destiny against the houses of Laius and Atreus.
From the time that we hear the prophetic rhymes
the spell begins, and the clouds blacken round us,
till they close the tale in a night of horror.--Ed.
BRIDE OF THE SEA, Venice, so called from the ancient ceremony of the
doge marrying the city to the Adriatic by throwing a ring into it,
pronouncing these words, "We wed thee, O sea, in token of perpetual
BRIDGE. The imaginary bridge between earth and the Mohammedan paradise
is called "Al Sirat."
The rainbow bridge which spans heaven and earth in Scandinavian
mythology is called "Bifrost."
BRIDGE OF GOLD. According to German tradition, Charlemagne's spirit
crosses the Rhine on a golden bridge, at Bingen, in reasons of plenty,
and blesses both cornfields and vineyards.
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold.
BRIDGE OF SIGHS, the covered passageway which connects the palace
of the doge in Venice with the State prisons. Called "the Bridge of
Sighs," because the condemned passed over it from the judgment hall to
the place of execution. Hood has a poem called _The Bridge of Sighs_.
BRIDGEMORE (_Mr._), of Fish Street Hill, London. A dishonest merchant,
wealthy, vulgar, and purse-proud. He is invited to a _soiree_ given by
lord Abberville, "and counts the servants, gapes at the lustres, and
never enters the drawing-room at all, but stays below, chatting with
the travelling tutor."
_Mrs. Bridgemore_, wife of Mr. Bridgemore, equally vulgar, but with
more pretension to gentility.
_Miss Lucinda Bridgemore_, the spiteful, purse-proud, malicious
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bridgemore, of Fish Street Hill. She was
engaged to lord Abberville, but her money would not out-balance her
vulgarity and ill-temper, so the young "fashionable lover" made his
bow and retired.--Cumberland, _The Fashionable Lover_ (1780).
BRIDGENORTH (_Major Ralph_), a roundhead and conspirator, neighbor of
sir Geoffrey Peveril of the Peak, a staunch cavalier.
_Mrs. Bridgenorth_, the major's wife.
_Alice Bridgenorth_, the major's daughter and heroine of the
novel. Her marriage with Julian Peveril, a cavalier, concludes the
novel.--Sir W. Scott, _Peveril of the Peak_ (time, Charles II.).
BRIDGET (_Miss_), the mother of Tom Jones, in Fielding's novel called
_The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling_ (1750).
It has been wondered why Fielding should
have chosen to leave the stain of illegitimacy on
the birth of his hero ... but had Miss Bridget
been privately married ... there could have
been no adequate motive assigned for keeping the
birth of the child a secret from a man so reasonable
and compassionate as Allworthy.--_Encyc.
Brit._ Art. "Fielding."
_Bridget (Mrs.)_, in Sterne's novel called _The Life and Opinions of
Tristram Shandy, Gent._ (1759).
_Bridget (Mother)_, aunt of Catherine Seyton, and abbess of St.
Catherine.--Sir W. Scott, _The Abbot_ (time, Elizabeth).
_Bridget (May)_, the milkwoman at Falkland Castle.--Sir W. Scott,
_Fair Maid of Perth_ (time, Henry IV.).
BRIDGEWARD (_Peter_), the bridgekeeper of Kennaquhair ("I know not
where").--Sir W. Scott, _The Abbot_ (time, Elizabeth).
_Bridgeward (Peter)_, warder of the bridge near St. Mary's Convent. He
refuses a passage to father Philip, who is carrying off the Bible of
lady Alice.--Sir W. Scott, _The Monastery_ (time, Elizabeth).
BRIDLE. John Grower says that Rosiphele princess of Armenia,
insensible to love, saw in a vision a troop of ladies splendidly
mounted, but one of them rode a wretched steed, wretchedly accoutred
except as to the bridle. On asking the reason, the princess was
informed that she was disgraced thus because of her cruelty to her
lovers, but that the splendid bridle had been recently given, because
the obdurate girl had for the last month shown symptoms of true love.
Moral--Hence let ladies warning take--
Of love that they be not idle,
And bid them think of my bridle.
_Confessio Amantis_ ("Episode of Rosiphele,"
BRIDLEGOOSE _(Judge)_, a judge who decided the causes brought before
him, not by weighing the merits of the case, but by the more simple
process of throwing dice. Rabelais, _Pantagruel_, iii. 39 (1545.)
BRIDLESLY (_Joe_), a horse-dealer at Liverpool, of whom Julian
Peveril buys a horse.--Sir W. Scott, _Peveril of the Peak_ (time,
BRIDOISON _[Bree.dwoy.zong]_, a stupid judge in the _Mariage de
Figaro_, a comedy in French, by Beaumarchais (1784).
BRIDOON (_Corporal_), in lieutenant Nosebag's regiment.--Sir W. Scott,
_Waverley_ (time, George II.).
BRIENNIUS (_Nicephorus_), the Caesar of the Grecian empire, and
husband of Anna Comnena (daughter of Alexius Comnenus, emperor of
Greece).--Sir W. Scott, _Count Robert of Paris_ (time, Rufus).
BRIGADORE (4 _syl._), sir Guyon's horse. The word means "Golden
saddle."--Spenser, _Faery Queen_, v. 3 (1596).
BRIGANTES (3 _syl._), called by Drayton _Brigants_, the people of
Yorkshire, Lancashire, Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Durham.
Where in the Britons' rule of yore the Brigants swayed,
The powerful English established ... Northumberland [_Northumbria_].
Drayton, _Polyolbion_, xvi. (1613).
BRIGGS, one of the ten young gentlemen in the school of Dr. Blimber
when Paul Dombey was a pupil there. Briggs was nicknamed the "Stoney,"
because his brains were petrified by the constant dropping of wisdom
upon them.--C. Dickens, _Dombey and Son_ (1846).
BRIGLIADORO [_Bril.ye.dor.ro_], Orlando's steed. The word means
"Gold bridle."--Ariosto, _Orlando Furioso_ (1516).
Sir Guyon's horse, in Spenser's _Faery Queen_, is called by a similar
BRILLIANT _(Sir Philip)_, a great fop, but brave soldier, like the
famous Murat. He would dress with all the finery of a vain girl, but
would share watching, toil, and peril with the meanest soldier. "A
butterfly in the drawing-room, but a Hector on the battle-field."
He was a "blade of proof; you might laugh at the scabbard, but you
wouldn't at the blade." He falls in love with lady Anne, reforms his
vanities, and marries.--S. Knowles, _Old Maids_ (1841).
BRILLIANT MADMAN _(The)_, Charles XII. of Sweden (1682, 1697-1718).
BRILLIANTA _(The lady)_, a great wit in the ancient romance entitled
_Tirante le Blanc_, author unknown.
Here (in _Tirante le Blanc_) we shall find the famous knight don Kyrie
Elyson of Montalban, his brother Thomas, the knight Fonseca ... the
stratagems of the widow Tranquil ... and the witticisms of
lady Brillianta. This is one of the most amusing books ever
written.--Cervantes, _Don Quixote_, I. i. 6 (1605).
BRIS _(Il conte di San)_, governor of the Louvre. He is father of
Valenti'na and leader of the St. Bartholomew massacre.--Meyerbeer,
_Les Huguenots_ (1836).
BRISAC' _(Justice)_, brother of Miramont.
_Charles Brisac_, a scholar, son of justice Brisac.
_Eustace Brisac_, a courtier, brother of Charles.--Beaumont and
Fletcher, _The Elder Brother_ (1637).
BRISE'IS _(3 syl.)_, whose real name was Hippodami'a, was the daughter
of Brises, brother of the priest Chryses. She was the concubine of
Achilles, but when Achilles bullied Agamemnon for not giving Chryse'is
to her father, who offered a ransom for her, Agamemnon turned upon
him and said he would let Chryseis go, but should take Briseis
instead.--Homer, _Iliad_, i.
BRISK, a good-natured conceited coxcomb, with a most voluble tongue.
Fond of saying "good things," and pointing them out with such
expressions as "There I had you, eh?" "That was pretty well, egad,
eh?" "I hit you in the teeth there, egad!" His ordinary oath was "Let
me perish!" He makes love to lady Froth.--W. Congreve, _The Double
BRIS'KIE (2 _syl_.), disguised under the name of Putskie. A captain in
the Moscovite army, and brother of general Archas "the loyal subject"
of the great-duke of Moscovia.--Beaumont and Fletcher, _The Loyal
BRIS'SOTIN, one of the followers of Jean Pierre Brissot, an advanced
revolutionist. The Brissotins were subsequently merged in the
Girondists, and the word dropped out of use.
BRISTOL BOY (_The_), Thomas Chatterton, the poet, born at Bristol.
Also called "The Marvellous Boy." Byron calls him "The wondrous boy
who perished in his pride" (1752-1770).
BRITAN'NIA. The Romans represented the island of Great Britain by
the figure of a woman seated on a rock, from a fanciful resemblance
thereto in the general outline of the island. The idea is less
poetically expressed by "An old witch on a broomstick."
The effigy of Britannia on British copper coin dates from the reign
of Charles II. (1672), and was engraved by Roetier from a drawing by
Evelyn. It is meant for one of the king's court favorites, some say
Frances Theresa Stuart, duchess of Richmond, and others Barbara
Villiers, duchess of Cleveland.
BRITISH HISTORY of Geoffrey of Monmouth, is a translation of a Welsh
Chronicle. It is in nine books, and contains a "history" of the
Britons and Welsh from Brutus, great-grandson of Trojan AEneas to the
death of Cadwallo or Cadwallader in 688. This Geoffrey was first
archdeacon of Monmouth and then bishop of St. Asaph. The general
outline of the work is the same as that given by Nennius three
centuries previously. Geoffrey's _Chronicle_, published about 1143,
formed a basis for many subsequent historical works. A compendium by
Diceto is published in Gale's _Chronicles_.
BRIT'OMART, the representative of chastity. She was the daughter and
heiress of king Ryence of Wales, and her legend forms the third book
of the _Faery Queen_. One day, looking into Venus's looking-glass,
given by Merlin to her father, she saw therein sir Artegal, and fell
in love with him. Her nurse Glauce (2 _syl_.) tried by charms "to undo
her love," but love that is in gentle heart begun no idle charm can
remove. Finding her "charms" ineffectual, she took her to Merlin's
cave in Caermarthen, and the magician told her she would be the mother
of a line of kings (_the Tudors_), and after twice 400 years one of
her offspring, "a royal virgin," would shake the power of Spain.
Glauce now suggested that they should start in quest of sir Artegal,
and Britomart donned the armor of An'gela (queen of the Angles), which
she found in her father's armory, and taking a magic spear which
"nothing could resist," she sallied forth. Her adventures allegorize
the triumph of chastity over impurity: Thus in Castle Joyous,
Malacasta _(lust)_, not knowing her sex, tried to seduce her, "but she
flees youthful lust, which wars against the soul." She next overthrew
Marinel, son of Cym'oent. Then made her appearance as the Squire of
Dames. Her last achievement was the deliverance of Am'oret _(wifely
love)_ from the enchanter Busirane. Her marriage is deferred to bk. v.
6, when she tilted with sir Artegal, who "shares away the ventail of
her helmet with his sword," and was about to strike again when he
became so amazed at her beauty that he thought she must be a goddess.
She bade the knight remove his helmet, at once recognized him,
consented "to be his love, and to take him for her lord."--Spenser,
_Faery Queen_, iii. (1590).
She charmed at once and tamed the heart, Incomparable Britomart.
Sir W. Scott.