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
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
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
BEAUCHAMP, ALPHONSE DE, a historian, born at Monaco; wrote the "Conquest of Peru," "History of Brazil," &c.
BEAUCLERK, Henry I. of England, so called from his superior learning.
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 preference (1585-1615).
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 behalf (1818-1893).
BEAUREPAIRE, a French officer, noted for his noble defence of Verdun against the Prussians; preferred death by
suicide to the dishonour of surrender (1748-1792).
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 Chinese.
BECHER, JOHANN JOACHIM, chemist, born at Spires; distinguished as a pioneer in the scientific study of chemistry
BECHSTEIN, a German naturalist, wrote "Natural History of Cage Birds" (1757-1822).
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. Africa.
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
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
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 (1790-1887).
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 Robes.
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 Cornwall (1803-1849).
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 far off.
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
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" (1796-1856).
BEECHY, SIR WILLIAM, portrait-painter, born in Oxfordshire; among his portraits were those of Lord Nelson, John
Kemble, and Mrs. Siddons (1753-1839).
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' cells.
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 good port.
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;
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 ashes.
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
BEGUINS, a sisterhood confined now to France and Germany, who, without taking any monastic vow, devote
themselves to works of piety and benevolence.
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 hippopotamus.
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
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
BEIRA (1,377), a central province of Portugal, mountainous and pastoral; gives title to the heir-apparent to the
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 classics (1780-1871).
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 absurdity.
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 Night."
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
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
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,
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
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 (1767-1830).
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 (1800-1867).
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
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, James III.
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 (1800-1866).
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 polemic
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
BELLE FRANCE, (i. e. Beautiful France), a name of endearment applied to France, like that of "Merry" applied to
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
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" (1421-1508).
BELLINI, GIOVANNI, brother of the preceding, produced a great many works; the subjects religious, all nobly
treated; had Giorgione and Titian for pupils; among his best works, the "Circumcision," "Feast of the Gods," "Blood
of the Redeemer"; did much to promote painting in oil (1426-1516).
BELLINI, JACOPO, a painter from Florence who settled in Venice, the father and founder of the family; _d_.
BELLINI, VINCENZO, a musical composer, born at Catania, Sicily; his works operas, more distinguished for their
melody than their dramatic power; the best are "Il Pirati," "La Somnambula," "Norma," and "Il Puritani"
BELLMANN, the poet of Sweden, a man of true genius, called the "Anacreon of Sweden," patronised by Gustavus
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
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
BELON, PIERRE, a French naturalist, one of the founders of natural history, and one of the precursors of Cuvier;
wrote in different departments of natural history, the chief, "Natural History of Birds"; murdered by robbers while
gathering plants in the Bois de Boulogne (1518-1564).
BEL`PHEGOR, a Moabite divinity.
BELPHOEBE (i. e. Beautiful Diana), a huntress in the "Faerie Queene," the impersonation of Queen Elizabeth,
conceived of, however, as a pure, high-spirited maiden, rather than a queen.
BELSHAM, THOMAS, a Unitarian divine, originally Calvinist, born at Bedford; successor to the celebrated
Priestley at Hackney, London; wrote an elementary work on psychology (1750-1829).
BELSHAZZAR, the last Chaldean king of Babylon, slain, according to the Scripture account, at the capture of the
city by Cyrus in 538 B.C.
BELT, GREAT and LITTLE, gateways of the Baltic: the Great between Zealand and Fuenen, 15 m. broad; the Little,
between Fuenen and Jutland, half as broad; both 70 m. long, the former of great depth.
BELT OF CALMS, the region in the Atlantic and Pacific, 4 deg. or 5 deg. latitude broad, where the trade-winds
meet and neutralise each other, in which, however, torrents of rain and thunder-storms occur almost daily.
BELTANE, or BELTEIN, an ancient Celtic festival connected with the sun-worship, observed about the 1st of May
and the 1st of November, during which fires were kindled on the tops of hills, and various ceremonies gone
BELTED WILL, name given to Lord William Howard, warden in the 16th and 17th centuries of the Western Marches of
BELU`CHISTAN (200 to 400), a desert plateau lying between Persia and India, Afghanistan and the Arabian Sea; is
crossed by many mountain ranges, the Suliman, in the N., rising to 12,000 ft. Rivers in the NE. are subject to
great floods. The centre and W. is a sandy desert exposed to bitter winds in winter and sand-storms in summer.
Fierce extremes of temperature prevail. There are few cattle, but sheep are numerous; the camel is the draught
animal. Where there is water the soil is fertile, and crops of rice, cotton, indigo, sugar, and tobacco are raised;
in the higher parts, wheat, maize, and pulse. Both precious and useful metals are found; petroleum wells were
discovered in the N. in 1887. The population comprises Beluchis, robber nomads of Aryan stock, in the E. and W.,
and Mongolian Brahuis in the centre. All are Mohammedan. Kelat is the capital; its position commands all the
caravan routes. Quetta, in the N., is a British stronghold and health resort. The Khan of Kelat is the ruler of the
country and a vassal of the Queen.
BE`LUS, another name for BAAL (q. v.), or the legendary god of Assyria and Chaldea.
BEL`VEDERE, name given a gallery of the Vatican at Rome, especially that containing the famous statue of Apollo,
and applied to picture-galleries elsewhere.
BELZO`NI, GIOVANNI BATTISTA, a famous traveller and explorer in Egypt, born at Padua, of poor parents; a man of
great stature; figured as an athlete in Astley's Circus, London, and elsewhere, first of all in London streets;
applied himself to the study of mechanics; visited Egypt as a mechanician and engineer at the instance of Mehemet
Ali; commenced explorations among its antiquities, sent to the British Museum trophies of his achievements;
published a narrative of his operations; opened an exhibition of his collection of antiquities in London and Paris;
undertook a journey to Timbuctoo, was attacked with dysentery, and died at Gato (1778-1823).
BEM, JOSEPH, a Polish general, born in Galicia; served in the French army against Russia in 1812; took part in
the insurrection of 1830; joined the Hungarians in 1848; gained several successes against Austria and Russia, but
was defeated at Temesvar; turned Mussulman, and was made pasha; died at Aleppo, where he had gone to suppress an
Arab insurrection; he was a good soldier and a brave man (1791-1850).
BEMBA, a lake in Africa, the highest feeder of the Congo, of an oval shape, 150 m. long and over 70 m. broad,
3000 ft. above the sea-level.
BEMBO, PIETRO, cardinal, an erudite man of letters and patron of literature and the arts, born at Venice;
secretary to Pope Leo X.; historiographer of Venice, and librarian of St. Mark's; made cardinal by Paul III., and
bishop of Bergamo; a fastidious stylist and a stickler for purity in language (1470-1547).
BEN LAWERS, a mountain in Perthshire, 3984 ft. high, on the W. of Loch Tay.
BEN LEDI, a mountain in Perthshire, 2873 ft. high, 41/2 m. NW. of Callander.
BEN LOMOND, a mountain in Stirlingshire, 3192 ft. high, on the E. of Loch Lomond.
BEN NEVIS, the highest mountain in Great Britain, in SW. Inverness-shire, 4406 ft. high, and a sheer precipice
on the NE. 1500 ft. high, and with an observatory on the summit supported by the Scottish Meteorological
BEN RHYDDING, a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 15 m. NW. of Leeds, with a thoroughly equipped
hydropathic establishment, much resorted to.
BENARES (219), the most sacred city of the Hindus, and an important town in the NW. Provinces; is on the Ganges,
420 m. by rail NW. of Calcutta. It presents an amazing array of 1700 temples and mosques with towers and domes and
minarets innumerable. The bank of the river is laid with continuous flights of steps whence the pilgrims bathe; but
the city itself is narrow, crocked, crowded, and dirty. Many thousand pilgrims visit it annually. It is a seat of
Hindu learning; there is also a government college. The river is spanned here by a magnificent railway bridge.
There is a large trade in country produce, English goods, jewellery, and gems; while its brass-work, "Benares
ware," is famous.
BENBOW, JOHN, admiral, born at Shrewsbury; distinguished himself in an action with a Barbary pirate; rose
rapidly to the highest post in the navy; distinguished himself well in an engagement with a French fleet in the W.
Indies; he lost a leg, and at this crisis some of his captains proved refractory, so that the enemy escaped, were
tried by court-martial, and two of them shot; the wound he received and his vexation caused his death. He was a
British tar to the backbone, and of a class extinct now (1653-1702).
BENCOOLEN, a town and a Dutch residency in SW. of Sumatra; exports pepper and camphor.
BENDER, a town in Bessarabia, remarkable for the siege which Charles XII. of Sweden sustained there after his
defeat at Pultowa.
BENEDEK, LUDWIG VON, an Austrian general, born in Hungary; distinguished himself in the campaigns of 1848-1849;
was defeated by the Prussians at Sadowa; superseded and tried, but got off; retired to Graetz, where he died
BENEDETTI, COUNT VINCENT, French diplomatist, born at Bastia, in Corsica; is remembered for his draft of a
treaty between France and Prussia, published in 1870, and for his repudiation of all responsibility for the
Franco-German war; _b_. 1817.
BENEDICT, the name of fourteen popes: B. I., from 574 to 575; B. II., from 684 to 685; B. III., from 855 to 858;
B. IV., from 900 to 907; B. V., FROM 964 TO 965; B. VI., from 972 to 974; B. VII., from 975 to 984; B. VIII., from
1012 to 1024; extended the territory of the Church by conquest, and effected certain clerical reforms; B. IX., from
1033 to 1048, a licentious man, and deposed; B. X., from 1058 to 1059; B. XI., from 1303 to 1304; B. XII., from
1334 to 1342; B. XIII., from 1724 to 1730; B. XIV., from 1740 to 1758. Of all the popes of this name it would seem
there is only one worthy of special mention.
BENEDICT XIV., a native of Bologna, a man of marked scholarship and ability; a patron of science and literature,
who did much to purify the morals and elevate the character of the clergy, and reform abuses in the Church.
BENEDICT, BISCOP, an Anglo-Saxon monk, born in Northumbria; made two pilgrimages to Rome; assumed the tonsure as
a Benedictine monk in Provence; returned to England and founded two monasteries on the Tyne, one at Wearmouth and
another at Jarrow, making them seats of learning; _b_. 628.
BENEDICT, ST., the founder of Western monachism, born near Spoleto; left home at 14; passed three years as a
hermit, in a cavern near Subiaco, to prepare himself for God's service; attracted many to his retreat; appointed to
an abbey, but left it; founded 12 monasteries of his own; though possessed of no scholarship, composed his "Regula
Monachorum," which formed the rule of his order; represented in art as accompanied by a raven with sometimes a loaf
in his bill, or surrounded by thorns or by howling demons (480-543). See BENEDICTINES.
BENEDICT, SIR JULIUS, musician and composer, native of Stuttgart; removed to London in 1835; author of, among
other pieces, the "Gipsy's Warning," the "Brides of Venice," and the "Crusaders"; conducted the performance of
"Elijah" in which Jenny Lind made her first appearance before a London audience, and accompanied her as pianist to
America in 1850 (1806-1885).
BENEDICTINES, the order of monks founded by St. Benedict and following his rule, the cradle of which was the
celebrated monastery of Monte Casino, near Naples, an institution which reckoned among its members a large body of
eminent men, who in their day rendered immense service to both literature and science, and were, in fact, the only
learned class of the Middle Ages; spent their time in diligently transcribing manuscripts, and thus preserving for
posterity the classic literature of Greece and Rome.
BENEDICTUS, part of the musical service at Mass in the Roman Catholic Church; has been introduced into the
morning service of the English Church.
BENEFIT OF CLERGY, exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge.
BE`NEKE, FRIEDRICH EDUARD, a German philosopher and professor in Berlin of the so-called empirical school, that
is, the Baconian; an opponent of the methods and systems of Kant and Hegel; confined his studies to psychology and
the phenomena of consciousness; was more a British thinker than a German (1798-1854).
BENENGE`LI, an imaginary Moorish author, whom Cervantes credits with the story of "Don Quixote."
BENETIER, the vessel for holding the holy water in Roman Catholic churches.
BENEVENTO (20), a town 33 m. NE. of Naples, built out of and amid the ruins of an ancient one; also the
province, of which Talleyrand was made prince by Napoleon.
BENEVOLENCE, the name of a forced tax exacted from the people by certain kings of England, and which, under
Charles I., became so obnoxious as to occasion the demand of the PETITION OF RIGHTS (q. v.), that no tax should be
levied without consent of Parliament; first enforced in 1473, declared illegal in 1689.
BENFEY, THEODOR, Orientalist, born near Goettingen, of Jewish birth; a great Sanskrit scholar, and professor of
Sanskrit and Comparative Philology at his native place; author of "Lexicon of Greek Roots," "Sanskrit Grammar,"
BENGAL (76,643), one of the three Indian presidencies, but more particularly a province lying in the plain of
the Lower Ganges and the delta of the Ganges-Brahmaputra, with the Himalayas on the N. At the base of the mountains
are great forests; along the seaboard dense jungles. The climate is hot and humid, drier at Behar, and passing
through every gradation up to the snow-line. The people are engaged in agriculture, raising indigo, jute, opium,
rice, tea, cotton, sugar, &c. Coal, iron, and copper mines are worked in Burdwan. The manufactures are of
cotton and jute. The population is mixed in blood and speech, but Hindus speaking Bengali predominate. Education is
further advanced than elsewhere; there are fine colleges affiliated to Calcutta University, and many other
scholastic institutions. The capital, Calcutta, is the capital of India; the next town in size is Patna (165).
BENGA`ZI (7), the capital of Barca, on the Gulf of Sidra, in N. Africa, and has a considerable trade.
BENGEL, JOHANN ALBRECHT, a distinguished Biblical scholar and critic, born at Wuertemberg; best known by his
"Gnomon Novi Testamenti," being an invaluable body of short notes on the New Testament; devoted himself to the
critical study of the text of the Greek Testament (1687-1752).
BENGUE`LA, a fertile Portuguese territory in W. Africa, S. of Angola, with considerable mineral wealth; has sunk
in importance since the suppression of the slave-trade.
BENICIA, the former capital of California, 30 m. NE. of San Francisco; has a commodious harbour and a U.S.
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
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
BENI-SOUEF`, a town in Middle Egypt, on the right bank of the Nile, 70 m. above Cairo; a centre of trade, with
cotton-mills and quarries of alabaster.
BENJAMIN, Jacob's youngest son, by Rachel, the head of one of the twelve tribes, who were settled in a small
fertile territory between Ephraim and Judah; the tribe to which St. Paul belonged.
BENNETT, JAMES GORDON, an American journalist, born at Keith, Scotland; trained for the Catholic priesthood;
emigrated, a poor lad of 19, to America, got employment in a printing-office in Boston as proof-reader; started the
_New York Herald_ in 1835 at a low price as both proprietor and editor, an enterprise which brought him great
wealth and the success he aimed at (1795-1872).
BENNETT, JAMES GORDON, son of preceding, conductor of the _Herald_; sent Stanley out to Africa, and supplied the
BENNETT, SIR STERNDALE, an English musical composer and pianist, born at Sheffield, whose musical genius
recommended him to Mendelssohn and Schumann; became professor of Music in Cambridge, and conductor of the
Philharmonic Concerts; was president of the Royal Academy of Music (1816-1873).
BENNETT, WM., a High-Churchman, celebrated for having provoked the decision that the doctrine of the Real
Presence is a dogma not inconsistent with the creed of the Church of England (1804-1886).
BEN`NINGSEN, COUNT, a Russian general, born at Brunswick; entered the Russian service under Catherine II.; was
commander-in-chief at Eylau, fought at Borodino, and victoriously at Leipzig; he died at Hanover, whither he had
retired on failure of his health (1745-1826).
BENTHAM, GEORGE, botanist, born near Plymouth, nephew of Jeremy and editor of his works, besides a writer on
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
BENTINCK, LORD WILLIAM HENRY CAVENDISH, Indian statesman, governor of Madras in 1806, but recalled for an error
which led to the mutiny at Vellore; but was in 1827 appointed governor-general of India, which he governed wisely,
abolishing many evils, such as Thuggism and Suttee, and effecting many beneficent reforms. Macaulay held office
under him. He returned to England in 1835, became member for Glasgow in 1837, and died before he made any mark on
home politics (1774-1839).
BENTINCK, WILLIAM, a distinguished statesman, first Earl of Portland, born in Holland; a favourite, friend, and
adviser of William III., whom he accompanied to England, and who bestowed on him for his services great honours and
large domains, which provoked ill-will against him; retired to Holland, after the king died in his arms, but
returned afterwards (1648-1709).
BENTIVOGLIO, an Italian family of princely rank, long supreme in Bologna; B., Guido, cardinal, though a disciple
of Galileo, was one of the Inquisitors-General who signed his condemnation (1579-1641).
BENTLEY, RICHARD, scholar and philologist, born in Yorkshire; from the first devoted to ancient, especially
classical, learning; rose to eminence as an authority on literary criticism, his "Dissertation upon the Epistles of
Phalaris," which he proved to be a forgery, commending him to the regard and esteem of all the scholars of Europe,
a work which may be said to have inaugurated a new era in literary historical criticism (1662-1742).
BENUE, an affluent of the Niger, 300 m. long, falling into it 230 m. up, described by Dr. Barth and explored by
Dr. Baikic, and offers great facilities for the prosecution of commerce.
BENVOLIO, a cantankerous, disputatious gentleman in "Romeo and Juliet."
BENYOW`SKY, COUNT, a Hungarian, fought with the Poles against Russia; taken prisoner; was exiled to Kamchatka;
escaped with the governor's daughter; came to France; sent out to Madagascar; was elected king by the natives over
them; fell in battle against the French (1741-1786).
BENZENE, a substance compounded of carbon and hydrogen, obtained by destructive distillation from coal-tar and
other organic bodies, used as a substitute for turpentine and for dissolving grease.
BENZOIN, a fragrant concrete resinous juice flowing from a styrax-tree of Sumatra, used as a cosmetic, and
burned as incense.
BEOWULF, a very old Anglo-Saxon romance consisting of 6356 short alliterative lines, and the oldest extant in
the language, recording the exploits of a mythical hero of the name, who wrestled Hercules-wise, at the cost of his
life, with first a formidable monster, and then a dragon that had to be exterminated or tamed into submission
before the race he belonged to could live with safety on the soil.
BERANGER, PIERRE JEAN DE, a celebrated French song-writer, born at Paris, of the lower section of the middle
class, and the first of his countrymen who in that department rose to the high level of a true lyric poet; his
first struggles with fortune were a failure, but Lucien Bonaparte took him up, and under his patronage a career was
opened up for him; in 1815 appeared as an author, and the sensation created was immense, for the songs were not
mere personal effusions, but in stirring accord with, and contributed to influence, the great passion of the nation
at the time; was, as a Republican--which brought him into trouble with the Bourbons--a great admirer of Napoleon as
an incarnation of the national spirit, and contributed not a little to the elevation of his nephew to the throne,
though he declined all patronage at his hands, refusing all honours and appointments; has been compared to Burns,
but he lacked both the fire and the humour of the Scottish poet. "His poetical works," says Professor Saintsbury,
"consist entirely of chansons political, amatory, bacchanalian, satirical, philosophical after a fashion, and of
almost every other complexion that the song can possibly take" (1780-1859).
BERAR` (896), one of the central provinces of India, E. of Bombay; it occupies a fertile, well-watered valley,
and yields large quantities of grain, and especially cotton.
BERAT, FREDERIC, a French poet and composer, author of a great number of popular songs (1800-1853).
BERBER, native language spoken in the mountainous parts of Barbary.
BERBER (8), a town in Nubia, on the Nile, occupied by the English; starting-point of caravans for the Red Sea;
railway was begun to Suakim, but abandoned.
BER`BERAH, the seaport of Somaliland, under Britain, with an annual fair that brings together at times as many
as 30,000 people.
BERBERS (3,000), a race aboriginal to Barbary and N. Africa, of a proud and unruly temper; though different from
the Arab race, are of the same religion.
BERBICE, the eastern division of British Guiana; produces sugar, cocoa, and timber.
BERBRUGGER, a French archaeologist and philologist; wrote on Algiers, its history and monuments (1801-1869).
BERCHTA, a German Hulda, but of severer type. See BERTHA.
BERCY, a commune on the right bank of the Seine, outside Paris, included in it since 1860; is the great mart for
wines and brandies.
BERE`ANS, a sect formed by John Barclay in 1778, who regard the Bible as the one exclusive revelation of
BERENGER, or BERENGA`RIUS, OF TOURS, a distinguished theologian, born at Tours; held an ecclesiastical office
there, and was made afterwards archdeacon of Angers; ventured to deny the doctrine of transubstantiation, a denial
for which he was condemned by successive councils of the Church, and which he was compelled more than once publicly
to retract, though he so often and openly recalled his retractation that the pope, notwithstanding the opposition
of the orthodox, deemed it prudent at length to let him alone. After this he ceased to trouble the Church, and
retired to an island on the Loire, where he gave himself up to quiet meditation and prayer (998-1088).
BERENGER I., king of Italy, grandson of Louis the Debonnaire, an able general; provoked the jealousy of the
nobles, who dreaded the abridgment of their rights, which led to his assassination at their hands in 934. B. II.,
king of Italy, grandson of the preceding, was dethroned twice by the Emperor Otho, who sent him a prisoner to
Bamberg, where he died, 966.
BERENGER, THOMAS, a French criminalist and magistrate (1785-1866).
BERENI`CE, a Jewish widow, daughter of Herod Agrippa, with whom Titus was fascinated, and whom he would have
taken to wife, had not the Roman populace protested, from their Anti-Jewish prejudice, against it. The name was a
common one among Egyptian as well as Jewish princesses.
BERESFORD, WILLIAM CARR, VISCOUNT, an English general, natural son of the first Marquis of Waterford;
distinguished himself in many a military enterprise, and particularly in the Peninsular war, for which he was made
a peer; he was a member of the Wellington administration, and master-general of the ordnance (1770-1854).
BERESI`NA, a Russian river, affluent of the Dnieper, into which it falls after a course of 350 m.; it is
serviceable as a water conveyance for large rafts of timber to the open sea, and is memorable for the disastrous
passage of the French in their retreat from Moscow in 1812.
BEREZOV`, a town in Siberia, in the government of Tobolsk; a place of banishment.
BERG, DUCHY OF, on right bank of the Rhine, between Duesseldorf and Cologne, now part of Prussia; Murat was
grand-duke of it by Napoleon's appointment.
BER`GAMO (42), a Lombard town, in a province of the same name, and 34 m. NE. of Milan, with a large annual fair
in August, the largest in Italy; has grindstone quarries in the neighbourhood.
BERGASSE, French jurisconsult, born at Lyons; celebrated for his quarrel with Beaumarchais; author of an "Essay
on Property" (1750-1832).
BERGEN (52), the old capital of Norway, on a fjord of the name, open to the Gulf Stream, and never frozen; the
town, consisting of wooden houses, is built on a slope on which the streets reach down to the sea, and has a
picturesque appearance; the trade, which is considerable, is in fish and fish products; manufactures gloves,
porcelain, leather, etc.; the seat of a bishop, and has a cathedral.
BERGEN-OP-ZOOM (11), a town in N. Brabant, once a strong place, and much coveted and frequently contested for by
reason of its commanding situation; has a large trade in anchovies.
BER`GENROTH, GUSTAV ADOLPH, historian, born in Prussia; held a State office, but was dismissed and exiled
because of his sympathy with the revolutionary movement of 1848; came to England to collect materials for a history
of the Tudors; examined in Simancas, in Spain, under great privations, papers on the period in the public archives;
made of these a collection and published it in 1862-68, under the title of "Calendar of Letters, Despatches,
&c., relating to Negotiations between England and Spain" (1813-1869).
BERGERAC (11), a manufacturing town in France, 60 m. E. of Bordeaux, celebrated for its wines; it was a Huguenot
centre, and suffered greatly in consequence.
BERGERAC, SAVINIEN CYRANO DE, an eccentric man with comic power, a Gascon by birth; wrote a tragedy and a
comedy; his best work a fiction entitled "Histoire Comique des Etats et Empires de la Lune et du Soleil"; fought no
end of duels in vindication, it is said, of his preposterously large nose (1619-1655).
BERGHAUS, HEINRICH, a geographer of note, born at Cleves; served in both the French and Prussian armies as an
engineer, and was professor of mathematics at Berlin; his "Physical Atlas" is well known (1797-1884).
BERGHEM, a celebrated landscape-painter of the Dutch school, born at Haarlem (1624-1683).
BERGMAN, TORBERN OLOF, a Swedish chemist, studied under Linnaeus, and became professor of Chemistry at Upsala;
discovered oxalic acid; was the first to arrange and classify minerals on a chemical basis (1735-1784).
BERI, a town in the Punjab, 40 m. NW. of Delhi, in a trading centre.
BERKELEY, a town in Gloucestershire, famous for its cattle.
BERKELEY, GEORGE, bishop of Cloyne, born in Kilkenny; a philanthropic man, who conducted in a self-sacrificing
spirit practical schemes for the good of humanity, which failed, but the interest in whom has for long centred, and
still centres, in his philosophic teaching, his own interest in which was that it contributed to clear up our idea
of God and consolidate our faith in Him, and it is known in philosophy as Idealism; only it must be understood, his
idealism is not, as it was absurdly conceived to be, a denial of the existence of matter, but is an assertion of
the doctrine that the universe, with every particular in it, _as man sees it and knows it_, is not the creation of
matter but the creation of mind, and a reflex of the Eternal Reason that creates and dwells in both it and him; for
as Dr. Stirling says, "the object can only be known in the subject, and therefore is subjective, and if subjective,
ideal." The outer, as regards our knowledge of it, is within; such is Berkeley's fundamental philosophical
principle, and it is a principle radical to the whole recent philosophy of Europe (1684-1753).
BERKSHIRE (238), a midland county of England, with a fertile, well-cultivated soil on a chalk bottom, in the
upper valley of the Thames, one of the smallest but most beautiful counties in the country. In the E. part of it is
Windsor Forest, and in the SE. Bagshot Heath. It is famous for its breed of pigs.
BERLICHINGEN, GOETZ VON, surnamed "The Iron Hand," a brave but turbulent noble of Germany, of the 15th and 16th
centuries, the story of whose life was dramatised by Goethe, "to save," as he said, "the memory of a brave man from
darkness," and which was translated from the German by Sir Walter Scott.
BERLIN` (1,579), capital of Prussia and of the German empire; stands on the Spree, in a flat sandy plain, 177 m.
by rail SE. of Hamburg. The royal and imperial palaces, the great library, the university, national gallery and
museums, and the arsenal are all near the centre of the city. There are schools of science, art, agriculture, and
mining; technical and military academies; a cathedral and some old churches; zoological and botanical gardens. Its
position between the Baltic and North Seas, the Spree, the numerous canals and railways which converge on it,
render it a most important commercial centre; its staple trade is in grain, cattle, spirits, and wool. Manufactures
are extensive and very varied; the chief are woollens, machinery, bronze ware, drapery goods, and beer.
BERLIN DECREE, a decree of Napoleon of Nov. 21, 1806, declaring Britain in a state of blockade, and vessels
trading with it liable to capture.
BERLIOZ, HECTOR, a celebrated musical composer and critic, born near Grenoble, in the dep. of Isere, France;
sent to study medicine in Paris; abandoned it for music, to which he devoted his life. His best known works are the
"Symphonie Fantastique," "Romeo and Juliet," and the "Damnation of Faust"; with the "Symphonie," which he produced
while he was yet but a student at the Conservatoire in Paris, Paganini was so struck that he presented him with
20,000 francs (1803-1869).
BER`MONDSEY, a busy SE. suburb of London, on the S. bank of the Thames.
BERMOO`THES, the Bermudas.
BERMU`DAS (15), a group of 400 coral islands (five inhabited) in mid-Atlantic, 677 m. SE. of New York; have a
delightful, temperate climate, and are a popular health resort for Americans. They produce a fine arrowroot, and
export onions. They are held by Britain as a valuable naval station, and are provided with docks and
BERNADOTTE, JEAN BAPTISTE JULES, a marshal of France, born at Pau; rose from the ranks; distinguished himself in
the wars of the Revolution and the Empire, though between him and Napoleon there was constant distrust; adopted by
Charles XIII., king of Sweden; joined the Allies as a naturalised Swede in the war against France in alliance with
Russia; became king of Sweden himself under the title of Charles XIV., to the material welfare, as it proved, of
his adopted country (1764-1844).
BERNARD, CLAUDE, a distinguished French physiologist, born at St. Julien; he studied at Paris; was Majendie's
assistant and successor in the College of France; discovered that the function of the pancreas is the digestion of
ingested fats, that of the liver the transformation into sugar of certain elements in the blood, and that there are
nervous centres in the body which act independently of the great cerebro-spinal centre (1813-1878).
BERNARD, ST., abbot of Clairvaux, born at Fontaines, in Burgundy; pronounced one of the grandest figures in the
church militant; studied in Paris, entered the monastery of Citeaux, founded in 1115 a monastery at Clairvaux, in
Champagne; drew around him disciples who rose to eminence as soldiers of the cross; prepared the statutes for the
Knights-Templar; defeated Abelard in public debate, and procured his condemnation; founded 160 monasteries; awoke
Europe to a second crusade; dealt death-blows all round to no end of heretics, and declined all honours to himself,
content if he could only awake some divine passion in other men; represented in art as accompanied by a white dog,
or as contemplating an apparition of the Virgin and the Child, or as bearing the implements of Christ's passion
(1091-1174). Festival, Aug. 20.
BERNARD, SIMON, a French engineer, born at Dole; distinguished as such in the service of Napoleon, and for vast
engineering works executed in the United States, in the construction of canals and forts (1779-1839).
BERNARD OF MENTHON, an ecclesiastic, founder of the monasteries of the Great and the Little St. Bernard, in the
passage of the Alps (923-1008). Festival, June 15.
BERNARD OF MORLAIX, a monk of Cluny, of the 11th century; wrote a poem entitled "De Contemptu Mundi," translated
by Dr. Neale, including "Jerusalem the Golden."
BERNARDIN DE SAINT-PIERRE, commonly called Saint-Pierre simply, a celebrated French writer, born at Havre;
author of "Paul and Virginia," written on the eve of the Revolution, called by Carlyle "the swan-song of old dying
BERNARDINE, ST., OF SIENA, born at Massa Carrara, in Italy, of noble family; founder of the Observantines, a
branch, and restoration on strict lines, of the Franciscan order; established 300 monasteries of the said branch;
his works, written in a mystical vein, fill five folio vols. (1380-1444).
BERNAUER, AGNES, wife of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, whom his father, displeased at the marriage, had convicted of
sorcery and drowned in the Danube.
BERNE (47), a fine Swiss town on the Aar, which almost surrounds it, in a populous canton of the same name;
since 1848 the capital of the Swiss Confederation; commands a magnificent view of the Bernese Alps; a busy trading
and manufacturing city.
BERNERS, JOHN BOUCHIER, LORD, writer or translator of romance; was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1516, and
governor of Calais from 1520; translated Froissart's "Huon of Bordeaux," &c.
BERNERS, JULIANA, writer on hunting and hawking; lived in the 14th century; said to have been prioress of a
BERNESE ALPS, a chain in the Middle Alps, of which the eastern half is called the Bernese Oberland; form the
watershed between the Aar and the Rhone.
BERNHARD, DUKE OF WEIMAR, a great German general; distinguished himself on the Protestant side in the Thirty
Years' war; fought under the standard of Gustavus Adolphus; held command of the left wing at the battle of Luetzen,
and completed the victory after the fall of Gustavus; died at Neuburg, as alleged, without sufficient proof, by
BERNHARDT, SARAH, a dramatic artiste, born in Paris; of Jewish descent, but baptized as a Christian;
distinguished specially as a tragedienne; of abilities qualifying her to shine in other departments of the
profession and of art, of which she has given proof; _b_. 1844.
BERNI, FRANCESCO, an Italian poet, born in Tuscany, who excelled in the burlesque, to whom the Italian as a
literary language owes much; remodelled Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato" in a style surpassing that of the
BERNIER, a French physician and traveller, born at Angers; physician for 12 years to Aurungzebe, the Great
Mogul; published "Travels," a work full of interest, and a model of exactitude (1625-1688).
BERNIER, THE ABBE, born in Mayenne, France; one of the principal authors of the Concordat; promoted afterwards
to be Bishop of Orleans (1762-1806).
BERNI`NA, a mountain in the Swiss canton of Grisons, 13,290 ft. high, remarkable for its extensive glaciers.
BERNINI, GIOVANNI LORENZO, an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect, born at Naples; produced his "Apollo and
Daphne" at eighteen, his masterpiece; was architect to the Pope, and designed the colonnade of St. Peter's; he died
BERNOUIL`LI, name of a Swiss family of mathematicians, born at Basel, though of Dutch origin--JAMES, JOHN, and
DANIEL, of whom John is the most celebrated; was professor first at St. Petersburg and then at Basel; discovered
the exponential calculus and the method of integrating rational fractions, as well as the line of swiftest descent
BERNSTORFF, COUNT, a celebrated statesman, diplomatist, and philanthropist of Denmark; called the Danish Oracle
by Frederick the Great; founded an Agricultural Society and an hospital at Copenhagen, and obtained the
emancipation of the serfs (1711-1772).
BERNSTORFF, COUNT, a nephew of the preceding; also statesman and diplomatist (1712-1772).
BERNSTORFF, PIERRE, Danish minister, son of the preceding, a guardian of civil and political liberty
BERO`SUS, a priest of the temple of Belus in Babylon, who, 3rd century B.C., translated into Greek certain
records of Babylonish history, valuable fragments of which are preserved by Josephus and Eusebius; these have been
collected and published by W. Richter, in Germany.
BERRI, an ancient province of France, forms dep. of Indre and Cher, which became crown property in 1100 under
Philippe I., and a duchy in 1630, giving title to a succession of French princes.
BERRI, DUC DE, second son of Charles X. and father of Count de Chambord, a benevolent man; assassinated by a
fanatic, Louvel, as he was leaving the Opera House (1778-1820).
BERRI, DUCHESSE DE, dowager of preceding, distinguished herself by her futile efforts to restore the Bourbon
dynasty in the reign of Louis Philippe (1798-1890).
BERRYER, PIERRE ANTOINE, an eminent French barrister, born at Paris; a red-hot Legitimist, which brought him
into trouble; was member of the National Assembly of 1848; inimical to the Second Empire, and openly protested
against the _coup d'etat_ (1790-1868).
BER`SERKER, a Norse warrior who went into battle unharnessed, whence his name (which means bare of sark or shirt
of mail), and is said to have been inspired with such fury as to render him invulnerable and irresistible.
BERT, PAUL, a French physiologist and statesman, born at Auxerre; was professor of Physiology at Paris; took to
politics after the fall of the Empire; Minister of Public Instruction under Gambetta; sent governor to Tonquin;
died of fever soon after; wrote a science primer for children entitled "La Premiere Annee d'Enseignement
BERTHA, goddess in the S. German mythology, of the spinning-wheel principally, and of the household as dependent
on it, in behalf of which and its economical management she is often harsh to idle spinners; at her festival thrift
is the rule.
BERTHA, ST., a British princess, wife of Ethelbert, king of Kent; converted him to Christianity.
BERTHE "au Grand Pied" (i. e. Long Foot), wife of Pepin the Short, and mother of Charlemagne, so called from her
BERTHELIER, a Swiss patriot, an uncompromising enemy of the Duke of Savoy in his ambition to lord it over
BERTHELOT, PIERRE EUGENE, a French chemist, born at Paris; professor in the College of France; distinguished for
his researches in organic chemistry, and his attempt to produce organic compounds; the dyeing trade owes much to
his discoveries in the extraction of dyes from coal-tar; he laid the foundation of thermo-chemistry; _b_. 1827.
BERTHIER, ALEXANDRE, prince of Wagram and marshal of France, born at Versailles; served with Lafayette in the
American war, and rose to distinction in the Revolution; became head of Napoleon's staff, and his companion in all
his expeditions; swore fealty to the Bourbons at the restoration of 1814; on Napoleon's return retired with his
family to Bamberg; threw himself from a window, maddened at the sight of Russian troops marching past to the French
BERTHOLLET, COUNT, a famous chemist, native of Savoy, to whom we owe the discovery of the bleaching properties
of chlorine, the employment of carbon in purifying water, &c., and many improvements in the manufactures;
became a senator and officer of the Legion of Honour under Napoleon; attached himself to the Bourbons on their
return, and was created a peer (1744-1822).
BERTHOUD, a celebrated clockmaker, native of Switzerland; settled in Paris; invented the marine chronometer to
determine the longitude at sea (1727-1807).
BERTIN "l'Aine," or the Elder, a French journalist, born at Paris; founder and editor of the _Journal des
Debats_, which he started in 1799; friend of Chateaubriand (1766-1841).
BERTIN, PIERRE, introduced stenography into France, invented by Taylor in England (1751-1819).
BERTIN, ROSE, milliner to Marie Antoinette, famed for her devotion to her.
BERTINAZZI, a celebrated actor, born at Turin, long a favourite in Paris (1710-1788).
BERTRAND and RATON, two personages in La Fontaine's fable of the Monkey and the Cat, of whom R. cracks the nut
and B. eats it.
BER`TRAND, HENRI GRATIEN, COMTE, a French general, and faithful adherent of Napoleon, accompanied him in all his
campaigns, to and from Elba, as well as in his exile at St. Helena; conducted his remains back to France in 1840
BERTRAND DE MOLLEVILLE, Minister of Marine under Louis XVI.; a fiery partisan of royalty, surnamed the _enfant
terrible_ of the monarchy (1744-1818).
BERTON, PIERRE, French composer of operas (1726-1780). Henri, his son, composed operas; wrote a treatise on
BERULLE, CARDINAL, born at Troyes; founder of the order of Carmelites, and of the Congregation of the Oratory
BERWICK, JAMES FITZ-JAMES, DUKE OF, a natural son of James II., a naturalised Frenchman; defended the rights of
his father; was present with him at the battle of the Boyne; distinguished himself in Spain, where he gained the
victory of Almanza; was made marshal of France; fell at the siege of Philippsburg; left "Memoirs" (1670-1734).
BERWICK, NORTH, a place on the S. shore of the Forth, in Haddingtonshire; a summer resort, specially for the
BERWICK-ON-TWEED (13), a town on the Scotch side of the Tweed, at its mouth, reckoned since 1835 in
Northumberland, though at one time treated as a separate county; of interest from its connection with the Border
wars, during which it frequently changed hands, till in 1482 the English became masters of it.
BERWICKSHIRE (32), a fertile Scottish county between the Lammermoors, inclusive, and the Tweed; is divided into
the Merse, a richly fertile plain in the S., the Lammermoors, hilly and pastoral, dividing the Merse from Mid and
East Lothian, and Lauderdale, of hill and dale, along the banks of the Leader; Greenlaw the county town.
BERZE`LIUS, JOHAN JAKOB, Baron, a celebrated Swedish chemist, one of the creators of modern chemistry;
instituted the chemical notation by symbols based on the notion of equivalents; determined the equivalents of a
great number of simple bodies, such as cerium and silenium; discovered silenium, and shared with Davy the honour of
propounding the electro-chemical theory; he ranks next to Linnaeus as a man of science in Sweden (1779-1848).
BESANCON (57), capital of the dep. of Doubs, in France; a very strong place; fortified by Vauban; abounds in
relics of Roman and mediaeval times; watchmaking a staple industry, employing some 15,000 of the inhabitants;
manufactures also porcelain and carpets.
BESANT, MRS. ANNIE, _nee_ WOOD, born in London; of Irish descent; married to an English clergyman, from whom she
was legally separated; took a keen interest in social questions and secularism; drifted into theosophy, of which
she is now an active propagandist; is an interesting woman, and has an interesting address as a lecturer; _b_.
BESANT, SIR WALTER, a man of letters, born at Portsmouth; eminent chiefly as a novelist of a healthily realistic
type; wrote a number of novels jointly with James Rice, and is the author of "French Humourists," as well as short
stories; champion of the cause of Authors _versus_ Publishers, and is chairman of the committee; _b_. 1838.
BESENVAL, BARON, a Swiss, commandant of Paris under Louis XVI.; a royalist stunned into a state of helpless
dismay at the first outbreak of the Revolution in Paris; could do nothing in the face of it but run for his life
BESIKA BAY, a bay on the Asiatic coast, near the mouth of the Dardanelles.
BESME, a Bohemian in the pay of the Duke of Guise; assassinated Coligny, and was himself killed by Berteauville,
a Protestant gentleman, in 1571.
BESS, GOOD QUEEN, a familiar name of Queen Elizabeth.
BESSARA`BIA (1,688), a government in the SW. of Russia, between the Dniester and the Pruth; a cattle-breeding
province; exports cattle, wool, and tallow.
BESSAR`ION, JOHN, cardinal, native of Trebizond; contributed by his zeal in Greek literature to the fall of
scholasticism and the revival of letters; tried hard to unite the Churches of the East and the West; joined the
latter, and was made cardinal; too much of a Grecian to recommend himself to the popehood, to which he was twice
over nearly elevated (1395-1472).
BESSEL, FRIEDRICH WILHELM, a Prussian astronomer of prominent ability, born at Minden; professor of Mathematics
at Koenigsberg, and director of the Observatory; discovered--what was a great achievement--the parallax of the
fixed star 61 Cygne; his greatest work, "Fundamenta Astronomiae," on which he spent 10 years, a marvel, like all he
did, of patient toil and painstaking accuracy (1784-1846).
BESSEMER, SIR HENRY, civil engineer and inventor, born at Charlton, Herts; of his many inventions the chief is
the process, named after him, of converting pig-iron into steel at once by blowing a blast of air through the iron
while in fusion till everything extraneous is expelled, and only a definite quantity of carbon is left in
combination, a process which has revolutionised the iron and steel trade all over the world, leading, as has been
calculated, to the production of thirty times as much steel as before and at one-fifth of the cost per ton
BESSEMER PROCESS. See BESSEMER.
BESSIERES, JEAN BAPTISTE, DUKE OF ISTRIA, marshal of France, born at Languedoc, of humble parentage; rose from
the ranks; a friend and one of the ablest officers of Napoleon, and much esteemed by him; distinguished himself in
the Italian campaign, in Egypt, and at Marengo; was shot at Luetzen the day before the battle (1768-1813).
BESSUS, a satrap of Bactria under Darius, who assassinated his master after the battle of Arbela, but was
delivered over by Alexander to Darius's brother, by whom he was put to death, 328 B.C.
BESTIARY, a name given to a class of books treating of animals, viewed allegorically.
BETHANY, village on E. of the Mount of Olives, abode of Lazarus and his sisters.
BETHEL (i. e. house of God), a place 11 m. N. of Jerusalem, scene of Jacob's dream, and famous in the history of
BETHENCOURT, a Norman baron, in 1425 discovered and conquered the Canaries, and held them as a fief of the crown
BETHLEHEM (3), a village 6 m. S. of Jerusalem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and King David, with a convent
containing the Church of the Nativity; near it is the grotto where St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin.
BETHLEN-GABOR, prince of Transylvania, assumed the title of king of Hungary; assisted Bohemia in the Thirty
Years' war (1580-1629).
BETHNAL GREEN (129), an eastern suburb of London, a parliamentary borough, a poor district, and scene of
BETTERTON, THOMAS, born at Westminster, a tragic actor, and as such an interpreter of Shakespeare on, it is
believed, the traditional lines.
BETTINA, the Countess of Arnim, a passionate admirer of Goethe.
BETTY, W. HENRY, a boy actor, known as the Infant Roscius; amassed a fortune; lived afterwards retired
BEULE, a French statesman and archaeologist; superintended excavations on the Acropolis of Athens; held office
under Macmahon (1826-1874).
BEUST, COUNT VON, a German statesman, born at Dresden; Minister for Foreign Affairs in Saxony; of strong
conservative leanings, friendly to Austria; became Chancellor of the Austro-Hungarian empire; adopted a liberal
policy; sympathised with France in the Franco-German war; resigned office in 1871; left "Memoirs" (1809-1886).
BEUTHEN (36), a manufacturing town in Prussian Silesia, in the centre of a mining district.
BEVERLEY (12), a Yorkshire manufacturing town, 8 m. NW. of Hull, with a Gothic minster, which contains the tombs
of the Percys.
BEVERLEY, JOHN, a learned man, tutor to the Venerable Bede, archbishop of York, and founder of a college for
secular priests at Beverley; was one of the most learned men of his time; _d_. 721.
BEVIS OF SOUTHAMPTON, or HAMPTON, SIR, a famous knight of English mediaeval romance, a man of gigantic stature,
whose marvellous feats are recorded in Drayton's "Polyolbion."
BEWICK, THOMAS, a distinguished wood-engraver, born in Northumberland, apprenticed to the trade in Newcastle;
showed his art first in woodcuts for his "History of Quadrupeds," the success of which led to the publication of
his "History of British Birds," in which he established his reputation both as a naturalist, in the truest sense,
and an artist (1753-1828).
BEWICK, WILLIAM, a great wood-engraver; did a cartoon from the Elgin Marbles for Goethe (1795-1866).
BEYLE, MARIE HENRI, French critic and novelist, usually known by his pseudonym "De Stendal," born at Grenoble;
wrote in criticism "De l'Amour," and in fiction "La Chartreuse de Parme" and "Le Rouge et le Noir"; an ambitious
writer and a cynical (1788-1842).
BEYPUR, a port in the Madras presidency, a railway terminus, with coal and iron in the neighbourhood.
BEYROUT (200), the most nourishing commercial city on the coast of Syria, and the port of Damascus, from which
it is distant 55 m.; a very ancient place.
BEZA, THEODORE, a French Protestant theologian, born in Burgundy, of good birth; professor of Greek at Lausanne;
deputed from Germany to intercede for the Huguenots in France, persuaded the king of Navarre to favour the
Protestants; settled in Geneva, became the friend and successor of Calvin; wrote a book, "De Hereticis a Civili
Magistratu Puniendis," in which he justified the burning of Servetus, and a "History of the Reformed Churches" in
France; died at 86 (1519-1605).
BEZANTS, Byzantine gold coins of varying weight and value, introduced by the Crusaders into England, where they
were current till the time of Edward III.
BEZIERS (42), a manufacturing town in the dep. of Herault, 49 m. SW. of Montpellier; manufactures silk fabrics