« السابقةمتابعة »
lord-lieutenant, Lajos Tisza. and powerfully promoted the popular cause by his eloquence and agitation. After 1843 the conservatives succeeded in excluding him both from parliament and from his official position in the county; but during the famous " March Days" (1848) he regained all his authority, becoming at the same time a commander of militia, a deputy and lord-lieutenant. At the first session of the Upper House (5th of July 1848), he moved that it should be radically reformed, and during the war of Independence he energetically served the Hungarian government as a civil commissioner and lord justice, Towards the end of the war he reappeared as a deputy at the SUcged diet, and on the flight of the government took refuge first with Richard Cobden in Lou Jon and subsequently in Jersey, where he made the acquaintance of Victor Hugo. Thence he went to Hamburg, to meet his wife, and died there on the ?th of December 1854. Bcothy was a man of extraordinary ability and character, and an excellent debater. He also exercised as much influence socially over his contemporaries as politically, owing to his unfailing tact and pleasant wit.
See Antal Csengcry, Hungarian Orators and Statesman (Hung., Budapest, 1851). (R. N. B.)
BEOWULF. The epic of Beowulf, the most precious relic of Old English, and, indeed, of all early Germanic literature, has come down to us m a single MS., written about A.d. 1000, which contains also the Old English poem of Judith, and is bound up with other MSS. in a volume in the Cottonian collection now at the British Museum. The subject of the poem is the exploits of Beowulf, son of Ecgtheow and nephew of Hygclac, king of the "GCatas," i.e. the people, called in Scandinavian records Gautar, from whom a part of southern Sweden has received its present name Gotland.
The Story.—The following is a brief outline of the story, which naturally divides itself into five parts.
i. Beowulf, with fourteen companions, sails to Denmark, to offer his help to Hrothgar, king of the Danes, whose hall (called *' Heorot ") has for twelve years been rendered uninhabitable by the ravages of a devouring monster (apparently in gigantic human shape) called Grendel, a dweller In the waste, who used nightly to force an entrance and slaughter some of the inmates. Beowulf and his friends are feasted in the long-deserted Heorot. At night the Danes withdraw, leaving the strangers alone. When ajt but Beowulf are asleep, Grendel enters, the iron-barred doors having yielded in a moment to his hand. One of Beowulf's friends is killed; but Beowulf, unarmed, wrestles with the monster, and tears his arm from the shoulder. Grendel, though mortally wounded, breaks from the conqueror's grasp, and escapes from the hall. On the morrow, his bloodstained track is followed until it ends in a distant mere.
3. All fear being now removed, the Danish king and his followers pass the night in Heorot, Beowulf and his comrades being lodged elsewhere. The hall is invaded by Grendel's mother, who kills and carries -off one of the Danish nobles. Beowulf proceeds to the mere, and, armed with sword and corslet, plunges into the water. In a vaulted chamber under the waves, he fights with Grendel's mother, and kills her. In the vault he finds the corpse of Grendel; he cuts off the bead, and brings it back in triumph.
3. Richly rewarded by Hrothgar, Beowulf returns to his native land. He is welcomed by Hygelac, and relates to him the story of his adventures, with some details not contained in the former narrative. The king bestows on him lands and honours, and during the reigns of Hygelac and his son Heardred he is the greater* man in the kingdom. When Heardrcd is killed in battle with the Swedes, Beowulf becomes king in his stead.
4. After Beowulf has reigned prosperously for fifty years, his country is ravaged by a fiery dragon, which inhabits an ancient burial-mound, full of costly treasure. The royal hall itself is burned to the ground. The aged king resolves to fight, unaided, with the dragon. Accompanied by eleven chosen warriors, he journeys to the barrow. Bidding his companions retire to a distance, he takes up his position near the entrance to the mound—an arched opening whence issues a boiling stream.
The dragon hears Beowulf's shout of defiance, and rushes forth, breathing flames. The tight begins; Beowulf u .ill but overpowered, and the sight is so terrible that his men, all but one, seek safety in flight. The young Wiglaf, son of Weohstun. though yet untried in battle, cannot, even in obcdic'nce to hi* lord's prohibition, refrain from going to his help. With Wigla.fi aid, Beowulf slays the dragon, but not before he has received his own death-wound. Wiglaf enters the barrow, and returns to show the dying king the treasure* that he* has found there. With his last breath Beowulf names Wiglaf hi» successor, and ordains that his ashes shall be enshrined in a great mound, placed on a lofty cliff, so that it may be a mark for sailors far out at sea.
5. Tho news of Beowulf's dear-bought victory is carried to the army. Amid great lamentation, the hero's body is laid on the funeral pile and consumed. The treasures of the dragon's, hoard are buried with his ashes; and when the great mound is finished, twelve of Beowulf's most famous warriors ride around it, celebrating the praises of ib«t bravest, gentlest and most generous of kings.
The Hero.—Those portions of the poem that are summarized above—that is to say, those which relate the career of the hero in progressive order—contain a lucid and well-constructed story, told with a vividness of imagination and a degree of narrative skill that may with little exaggeration be called Homeric. And yet it is probable that there arc few readers of Beowulf who have not felt—and there arc many who after repeated perusal continue to feel—that the general impression produced by it is that of a bewildering chaos. This effect is due to the. multitude and the character of the episodes. In the first place, a very great part of what the poem tells about Beowulf himself is not presented in regular sequence, but by way of retrospective mention or narration. The extent of the material thus introduced out of course may be seen from the following abstract.
When seven years old the orphaned Beowulf was adopted by his grandfather king Hrclhet, the father of Hygclac, and was regarded by him with as much affection as any of his own sons. In youth, although famed for his wonderful strength of grip, he was generally despised as sluggish and unwarlikc. Yet even before his encounter with Grendel, he had won renown by his swimming contest with another youth named Brcca, when after battling for seven days and nights with the waves, and slaying many sea-monsters, he came to land in the country of the Finns. In the disastrous invasion of the land of the Hetwarc, in which Hygelac was killed, Beowulf killed many of the enemy, dtaongst them a chieftain of the Hugas, named Dxghrefn, apparently the slayer of Hygclac In the retreat he once more displayed his powers as a swimmer, carrying to his ship the armour of thirty slain enemies. When he reached his native land, the widowed queen offered him the kingdom, her son Hcardrcd being too young to rule. Beowulf, out of loyalty, refused to be made king, and acted as the guardian of Heardred during his minority, and as his counsellor after he came to man's estate. By giving shelter to the fugitive Eadgils, a rebel against his uncle the lung of the " SwCon" (the Swedes, dwelling to the north of the Gautar), Hcardred brought on himself an invasion, in which be lost his life. When Beowulf became king, he supported the cause of Eadgils by force of arms; the king of the Swedes was killed, and his nephew placed on the throne.
Hiftorical Value.—Now, with one brilliant exception—the story of the swimming*match, which is felicitously introduced and finely told—these, retrospective passages are brought in more or less awkwardly, interrupt inconveniently the course of the narrative, and are too condensed and allusive in style to make any strong poetic impression. Still, they do serve to complete the portraiture of the hero's character. There are, however, many other episodes that have nothing to do with Beowulf himself, but seem to have been inserted with a deliberate intention of making the poem into a sort of cyclopaedia of Germanic tradition. They include many particulars of what purports to be the history of the royal houses, not only of the Gautar and the Danes, but also of the Swedes, the continent*) Angles, the Ostrogoths, the Frisians and the Heathobeards, besides references to matters of unlocalized heroic story such as the exploits of Sigismund. The Saxons are not named, and the Franks appear only as a dreaded hostile power. Of Britain there is no mention; And though there are some distinctly Christian passages, they are so incongruous in tone with the rest of the poem that they must be regarded as interpolations. In general the extraneous episodes have no great appropriateness to their context, nnd have the appearance of being abridged versions of stories that had been related at length in poetry. Their confusing effect, for modern readers, is increased by a curiously irrelevant prologue. It begins by celebrating the ancient glories of the Danes, tells in allusive style the story of Scyld, the founder of the " ScyMing " dynasty of Denmark, and praises the virtues of his ion Beowulf. If this Danish Beowulf had been the hero of the poem, the opening would have been appropriate; but it seems strangely out of place as an Introduction to. the story of hU namesake.
However detrimental these redundancies may be to the poetic beauty of the epic, they add enormously to its interest for •tudents of Germanic history or legend. If the mass of traditions which it purports to contain be genuine, the poem is of unique Importance as a source of knowledge respecting the early history of the peoples of northern Germany and Scandinavia. But the value lo be assigned to Bcmmlf in this respect can be determined only by ascertaining Its probable date, origin and manner of composition. The criticism of the Old English epic has therefore for nearly a century been justly regarded as indispensable to the investigation of Germanicantfquities.
The starting-point of all Beowulf criticism is the fact (discovered by N. F. S. Grundtvig In 1815) that one of the episodes of the poem belongs to authentic history. Gregory of Tours, who died in 504, relates that In the reign of Theodoric of Metz (511-534) the Danes invaded the kfhgdom, and carried off many captives and much plunder to their ships. Their king, whose name appears in the best MSS. as Chloehilalcus (other copies read Chrochilaicus, Hrodolaicus, Sic.), remained on shore intending to follow afterwards, but was attacked by the Franks under Theodobert, son of Theodoric, and killed. The Franks then defeated the Danes in a naval battle, and recovered the booty. The dale of these event* l» ascertained to have been between 51 > and $ to. An anonymous history written early In the eighth century (Liber*Hisl. Francorum, cap. 19) gives the name of the Danish king as Chochilalcui, and says that he was killed in the land of the Attoaril. Now it h related in Bemmlf that Hygelac met his death in fighting against the Franks and the Hetwarc (the Old English form of Attoaril). The forms of the Danish king's name given by the Frankish historians are corruptions of the name of which the priraltrte Germanic form was Hugilaikaz, and which by regular phonetic change became in Old English Hygelif, and In Old Norse Huglcikr. It Is true that the invading king J6 said in the histories to have been a Dane, whereas the Hygelac of Bnmtilf belonged to the " GC.itas " or Gautar. But • work called Liber Monslrorvm? preserved in two MSS. of the loth century, cites as an example of extraordinary stature a certain " Huiglaurus, king of the Getac," who was killed by the Franks, and whose bonce were preserved on an island at the mouth of the Rhine, and exhibited as a marvel. It Is therefore evident that the personality of Hygelac, and the expedition in which, according to Btffwulf, he died, belong not to the region of legend or poetic Invention, but to that of historic fact.
This noteworthy result suggests the possibility that what the poem tells of Hygelac's near relatives, and of the events of his reign aad that of his successor, is based on historic fact. There is really nothing to forbid the supposition; nor is there any unlikelihood in the view that the persons mentioned as belonging to the royal houses of the Danes and Swedes had a real existence. It can be proved, at any rate, that several of the names are
1 Printed in Berjrer de Xivrey. Traditions rfratetaguues (1836), from a MS. in private hands. Another MS., now at Wolfenbuttel, reads" Hun;;!acu>"lorHuigUucus. and (ungrammatically) "gentci" for Gail
derived from the native traditions of these two peoples. The Danish king Hrothgar and his brother Halga, the sons of Healfdenc, appear in the Historia Danica of Saxo as Roe (the founder of Roskilde) and Hclgo, the sons of Haldanus. The Swedish princes Eadgils, son of Ohthere, and Oncla, who are mentioned in Beowulf, are in the Icelandic Hcimskringla called Adils son of Ottarr, and All; the correspondence of the names, according to the phonetic laws of Old English and Old None, being ;trictly normal. There are other points of contact between BeowvlJ on the one hand and the Scandinavian records on the other, confirming the conclusion that the Old English poem contains much of the historical tradition of the Gautar, the Danes and the Swedes, in its purest accessible form.
Of the hero of the poem no mention has been found elsewhere. But the name (the Icelandic form of which is Bjolfr) is genuinely Scandinavian. It was borne by one of the early settlers In Iceland, and a monk named Biuulf is commemorated in the Liber Vilae of the church of Durham. As the historical character of Hygelac has been proved, it is not unreasonable to accept the authority of the poem for the statement that his nephew Beowulf succeeded Hcardrcd on the throne of the Gautar, and interfered in the dynastic quarrels of the Swedes. His swimming exploit among the Hetware, allowance being made for poetic exaggeration, fits remarkably well into the circumstances of the story told by Gregory of Tours; and perhaps his contest with Breca may have been an exaggeration of a real incident in his career; and even if it was originally related of some other hero, its attribution to the historical Beowulf may have been occasioned by his renown as a swimmer.
On the other hand, it would be absurd to imagine that the combats with Grendel and his mother and with the fiery dragon can be exaggerated representations of actual occurrences. These exploits belong to the domain of pure mythology. That they have been attributed to Beowulf in particular might seem to be adequately accounted for by the general tendency to connect mythical achievements with the name of any famous hero. There are, however, some facts that*seem to point to a more definite explanation. The Danish king " Scyld Setting," whose story is told in the opening lines of the poem, and his son Beowulf, are plainly identical with Sceldwea, son of Sceaf, and his son Beaw, who appear among the ancestors of Woden in the genealogy of the kings of Wessex given in the Old English Chronicle. The story of Scyld is related, with some details not found in Beovrulf, by William of Malmesbury, and, less fully, by the loth-century English historian Ethelwerd, though it is told not of Scyld himself, but of his father Sceaf. According to William's version, Sceaf was found, as an infant, alone in a boat without oars, which had drifted to tile island of " Scandia." The child was asleep with his head on a shtaf, and from this circumstance be obtained his name. When he grew up he reigned over the Angles at "Slaswic." In BeamJf the same story is told of Scyld, with the addition that when he died his body was placed in a ship, laden with rich treasure, which was sent out to sea unguided. It is clear that in the original form of the tradition the name of the foundjing was Scyld or Sceldwea, and that his cognomen Stffini (derived from sclaf, a sheaf) was misinterpreted as a patronymic. Sceaf, therefore, is no genuine personage of tradition, but merely an etymological figment.
The position of Sceldwea and Beaw (In Malmesbury's Latin called Sceldius and Beowius) in the genealogy as anterior to Woden would not of itself prove that they belong to divine mythology and not to heroic legend. But there are independent reasons for believing that they were originally gods or dcmi-gods. It is a reasonable conjecture that the tales of victories over Crondcl and the fiery dragon belong properly to the myth of Beaw. If Beowulf, the champion of the Gautar, had already become a theme of epic song, the resemblance of name might easily suggest the idea of enriching his story by adding to it the achievements of Beaw. At the same time, the tradition that the hero of these adventures was a son of Scyld, who was identified (whether rightly or wrongly) with the eponymus of the Danish dynasty of the Scyldings, may well have prompted the supposition t h.it they took place in Denmark. There i-,. as we shall see afterwards, some ground for believing that there were circulated in England two rival poetic versions of the story of the encounters with supernatural beings: the one referring then} to Beowulf the Dane, while the other (represented by the existing poem) attached them to the legend of the son of Ecgtheow, but ingeniously contrived to do some justice to the alternative tradition by laying the scene of the Grcndel incident at the court of a Scylding king.
As the name of Beaw appears in the genealogies of English kings, it seems likely that the traditions of his exploits may have been brought over by the Angles from their continental home. This supposition is confirmed by evidence that seems to show that the Grendcl legend was popularly current in this country. In the schedules of boundaries appended to two Old English charters there occurs mention of pools called " Grcndcl's mere," one In Wiltshire and the other in Staffordshire. The charter that mentions the Wiltshire " Grendel's mere " speaks also of a place called Simian him (" Beowa's home "), and another Wiltshire charter lias a " Scyld's tree " among the landmarks enumerated. The notion that ancient burial mounds were liable to be inhabited by dragons was common in the Germanic world: there is perhaps a trace of it in the Derbyshire place-name Drakelow, which means " dragon's barrow."
While, however, it thus appears that the mythic part of the Beowulf story is a portion of primeval Angle tradition, there is no proof that it was originally peculiar to the Angles; and even if it was so, it may easily have passed from them into the poetic cycles of the related peoples. There are, indeed, some reasons for suspecting that the blending of the stories of the mythic Beaw and the historical Beowulf may have been the work of Scandinavian and not of English poets. Prof. G. Sarrazin has pointed out the striking resemblance between the Scandinavian legend of Biidvarr Biarki and that of the Beowulf of the poem. In each, a hero from Gautland slays a destructive monster at the court of a Danish king, and afterwards is found fighting on the side of Eadgils (Adds) in Sweden* -This coincidence cannot well be due to mere chance,' but its exact significance is doubtful. On the one band, it is possible that the English epic, which unquestionably derived its historical elements from Scandinavian song, may be indebted to the same source for its general plan, including the blending of history and myth. On the other hand, considering the late date of the authority for the Scandinavian traditions, we cannot be sure that the latter may not owe some of their material to English minstrels. There are similar alternative possibilities with regard to the explanation of the striking resemblances which certain incidents of the adventures with Grendel and the dragon bear to incidents in the narratives of Saxo and the Icelandic sagas.
Date and Origin.—It is now time to speak of the probable date and origin of the poem. The conjecture that most naturally presents itself to those who have made no special study of the question,!^ that an English epic treating of the deeds of aScandinavian hero on Scandinavian ground must have been composed in the days of Norse or Danish dominion in England. This, however, is impossible. The forms under which Scandinavian names appear in the poem show clearly that these names must have entered English tradition not later than the beginning of the 7th century. It does not indeed follow that the extant poem is of so early a date; but its syntax is remarkably archaic in comparision wiUi that of the Old English poetry of the 8th century. The hypothesis that Beowulf is in whole or in part a translation from a Scandinavian original, although still maintained by some scholars, introduces more difficulties than it solves, and must be dismissed as untenable. The limits of this article do not permit us to state and criticize the many elaborate theories that have been proposed respecting the origin of the poem. All that can.be done is to set forth the view that appears to us to be most free from objection. It may be premised that although the existing MS. Is written in the West-Saxon dialect, the phenomena of the language indicate transcription from an Anglian (i.e. a Northumbrian or Mercian) original; and this conclusion is supported by the fact that while
the poem contains one important episode relating to the Angles, the name of the Saxons does not occur in it at all.
In its original form, Btmmlf was a product of the time when poetry was composed not to be read, but to be recited in the halls of kings and nobles. Of course an entire epic could not be recited on a single occasion; nor can we suppose that it would be thought out from beginning to end before any part of it was presented to an audience. A singer who had pleased his hearers with a tale of adven'.urc would be called on to tell them of earlier or later event* in the career of the hero; and so the story would grow, until it included all that the poet knew from tradition, or could invent in harmony with it. That Beowulf is concerned with the deeds of a foreign hero is less surprising than it seems at first sight. The minstrel of early Germanic times was required to be learned not only in the traditions of his own people, but also in those of the other peoples with whom they felt their kinship. He had a double task to perform. It was not enough that his songs should give pleasure; his patrons demanded that he should recount faithfully the history and genealogy both of their own line and of those other royal houses who shared with them the same divine ancestry, and who might be connected with them by ties of marriage or warlike alliance. Probably the singer was always himself an original poet; he might often be content to reproduce the songs that he bad learned, but be was doubtless free to improve or expand them as he chose, provided that his invention diij not conflict with \\hat wassupposed tobehistoric truth. For all we know, the intercourse of the Angles with Scandinavia, which enabled their poets to obtain new knowledge of the legends of Danes, Gautar and Swedes, may not have cca.sed until their conversion to Christianity in the 7th century. And even after this event, whatever may have been the attitude of churchmen towards the old heathen poetry, the kings and warriors would be slow to lose their interest in the heroic tales that had delighted their ancestors. It is probable that down to the end of the jth century, if not still later, the court poets of Northumbria and Mercia continued to celebrate the deeds of Beowulf and of many another hero of ancient days.
Although the heathen Angles had their own runic alphabet, it is unlikely that any poetry was written down until a generation had grown up trained in the use of the Latin letters learned from Christian missionaries. We cannot determine the date at which some book-learned nun, interested in poetry, took down from the lips of a minstrel one of the stories that he had been accustomed to sing. It may have been before ;oo; much latex it can hardly have been, for the old heathen poetry, though its existence might be threatened by the influence of the church, was still in vigorous life. The epic of Beowulf was not the only one that was reduced to writing: a fragment of the song about Finn, king of the Frisians, still survives, and possibly several other heroic poems were written down about the same time. As originally dictated, Beourulf probably contained the story outlined at the beginning of this article, with the addition of one or two of the episodes relating to the hero himself—among them the legend of the swimmiug-match. This story had doubtless been told at greater length in verse, but its insertion in-iu present place is the work of a poet, not of a mere redactor. The other episodes were introduced by some later writer, who had heard recited, or perhaps bad read, a multitude of the old heathen songs, the substance of which he piously sought to preserve from oblivion by weaving it in an abridged form, into the texture of the one great poem which he was transcribing. The Christian passages, which are poetically of no value, are evidently of literary origin, and may be of any date down to that of the extant MS. The curious passage which says that the subject! of Hrothgar sought deliverance from Grendel in prayer at the temple of the Devil, "because they knew not the true God," must surely have been substituted for a passage referring sympathetically to the worship of the ancient gods.
An interesting light on the history of the written text «c«ms to be afforded by the phenomena of the existing MS. The porm is divided into numbered sections, the length of which was probably determined by the size of the pieces of parchment gl which an earlier exemplar consisted. Now the 6rst fifty-two lines, which are concerned with Scyld and his son Beowulf, stand outside this numbering. It may reasonably be inferred that there once existed a written text of the poem that did not include these lines. Their substance, however, is clearly ancient. Many difficulties will be obviated if we may suppose that this passage is the beginning of a different poem, the hero of which was not Beowulf the son of Ecgtheow, but his Danish namesake. It is true that Beowulf the Scylding is mentioned at the beginning of the first numbered section; but probably the opening lines of this section have undergone alteration in order to bring them into connexion with the prefixed matter.
Bibliography.—The volume containing the Beowulf MS. (then, a* now, belonging to the Cottonian collection, and numbered "Vitcllius A. xv. ) was first described by Humphrey Wanley in 1705, in his catalogue of MSS., published as vol. rii. of G. Hickcs's Thesaurus Vettrum Linguarwn Septentrional ium. In 1786 G. J. Thorkclin, an Icelander, made or procured two transcripts of the poem, which arc still preserved tn the Royal Library at Copenhagen, and arc valuable for the criticism of the text, the MS. having subsequently become in places less legible. Thprkelin's edition (1815) is of merely historic interest. The first edition showing competent knowledge of the language was produced in 1833 by J. M. Kcmblc. Since then editions have been very numerous. The text of the poem was edited l»y C. W. M. Groin in his BiWiotfifk dcr angelsdchsiscJien Poesie (185?). and again separately in 1867. Autotypes of the MS. with transliteration hy Julius Xupitza, were issued by the Early English Tent Society in i88a. The new edition of Groin s BiUiothtk, by R. P. Wulkcr. vol. i. (1883). contains a revised text with critical notes. The most serviceable separate edit ions a re those of M. Ilcyne (7th cd., revised by A. Socin. iQOi), A. J. Wyatt (with English notes and glossary. 1*0*). and F. HoHhauften (vol. i., 1905).
Eleven English translations of the poem have been published (•ee C. B. Tinker, 7"A< Translations of Beowulf . 1903). Among the*c may be mentioned those of J. M. Garnctt (6th etl., 1900), a literal rendering in a metre imitating that of the original; J. Earlc (180.2) in prose: \V. Morri* (1895) in imitative metre, and almost unintelligibly archamic in diction; and C- B. Tinker (1902) in prose.
For the bibliography of the curlier literature on Beowulf, and a detailed exposition of the theories therein advocated, see R- P. VVGlkcr, Grundriss dtr angel sac hsisc hen Littcratw (1882). The views of Karl Mullrnhoff, which, though no longer tenable as a whole, have formed the ba*is of most of the subsequent criticism, may bo best studied in hi* posthumous work, Bcovulf, Unlcrsttchungcn uber das antehiickniche Epos (1880). Much valuable matter may be found in H. ten Brink. Beowulf, Uatfrsuchungen (1888). The work of G. Sarr.uin, Beowulf-studien (1888), which advocates the strange theory that Beowulf is a translation by Cyncwulf of a poem by the Danish singer Starkadr, contains, amid much that is fanciful, not a little that deserves careful consideration. The many articles by E. Sievers and S. Bugge, in Beitrdge zur Getchichte aer dfutscken Spractu und Litteratur and other periodicals, are of the utmost importance for the textual criticism and interpretation of the poem. (H. Br.)
BEQUEST (from O. Eng. btcwetkan, to declare or express in words; cf. "quoth"), the disposition of property by will. Strictly, "bequest " is used of personal, and "devise " of real property. (Sec Legacy; Will Or Testament.)
BERAIN. JEAN <x638-i7ii), known as " the Elder," Belgian draughtsman and designer, painter and engraver of ornament, was born in 1638 or 1639 at Saint Mihiel (Meuse) and died in Paris on the 24th of January 1711. In 1674 he was appointed dfsstnateur de fa ckambre et du cabinet de Roi, ift succession to Gissey, whose pupil he is believed to have been. From 1677 onward he had apartments, near to those of Andrf Charles Boullfr (7.0.). for whom he made many designs, in the Louvre, where he died. After the death of Lc Brun he was commissioned to compose and supervise the whole of the exterior decoration of the king's ships. Without possessing great originality he was inventive and industrious, and knew so well how to assimilate the work of those who had preceded him (especially Raffaclle's arabesques) and to adapt it to the taste of the time that his designs became the rage. He furnished designs for the decorations and costumes used in the opera performances, for court festivals, and for public solemnities such as funeral processions, and inspired the ornamentations of rooms and of furniture to such an extent that a French writer says that nothing was done during his later years which he had not designed, or at least which was not in his manner. He was, in fact, the oracle of taste and the supreme pontiff »phose 6>t wa* ^w ;>» all matters of decora
tion. His numerous designs were for the most part engraved under his own superintendence, and a collection of them was published in Paris in 1711 by his son-in-law, Thuret, clockmakcr to the king. There arc three books, (Euvrc dc J. Bfrain, Ornements inventts par J. Strain and (Euvres dc J. Strain nontenant desornements ^architecture. His earliest known works showhim as engraver—twelve plates in the collection of Diverse* pikes de scrrurerit twenties par Hughes BrisvilU et gravies par Jean Strain (Paris, 1663), and in 1667 ten plates of designs for the use of gunsmiths. M. Guilmard in Les Mattres orncmanistes, giye^ a complete list of his published works.
His son Jean Berain, "the Younger " (1678-1726), was born in Paris, where he also died. He was his father's pupil, and exercised the same official functions after his death. "Thus he planned the funeral ceremonies at St Denis on the death of the dauphin, and afterwards made the designs for the obsequies of Louis XIV. He is perhaps best known as an engraver. He engraved eleven plates of the collection Ornemcnts de peinture et de sculpture qui sent dens la galcrie d'Apollon au chasteau du Louvre, et dans le grand appartcmcnt du roy au palais des Tailfries (Paris, 1710), which have been wrongly attributed to his father, the Mausolei du due de Bourgogne1 and that of Marie-Louise Cabrielle de Savoie, reine d*Espagne (1714), &c. His work is exceedingly difficult to distinguish from his father's, the similarity of style being remarkable.
Clatjde B£rain, brother of the cider Jean, was still living in 1726. He was engraver to the king, and executed a good number of plates of ornament and arabesque of various kinds, some of which are included in his more distinguished brother's works. (J. P.-B.)
B&RANGER, PIERRE JEAN DE (1780-1857), French songwriter, was born in Paris on the igth of August 1780. The aristocratic de was a piece of groundless vanity on the part of his father, .who had assumed the name of B€rangcr de Mcrsix. He was descended in truth from a country innkeeper on the one side, and, on the other, from a tailor in the rue Montorgueil. Of education, in the narrower sense, he had but little. From the roof of his first School he beheld the capture of the Bastille, and this stirring memory was all that he acquired. Later on he passed some time in a school at Peronne, founded by one Bellcnglise on the principles of Rousseau, where the boys were formed into clubs and regiments, and taught to play solemnly at politics and war. Beranger was president of the club, made speeches before such members of Convention as passed through Peronne, and drew up addresses to Tallicn or Robespierre at Paris. In the meanwhile he learned neither Greek nor Latin —not even French, it would appear; for it was after he left school, from the printer Laisncy, that he acquired the elements of grammar. His true education was of another sort. In his childhood, shy, sickly and skilful -with his hands, as he sat at home alone to carve cherry stones, he was already forming for himself those habits of retirement and patient elaboration which influenced the whole tenor of his life and the character of all that he wrote. At Pcronne he learned of his good aunt to be a stout republican; and from the doorstep of her inn, on quiet evenings, he would listen to the thunder of the guns before Valenciennes, and fortify himself in his passionate love of France and distaste for all things foreign. Although he could never read Horace save in a translation, he had been educated on T&fmaquc, fcacinc and the dramas of Voltaire, and taught, from a child, in the tradition of all that is highest and most correct in French.
After serving his aunt for some time in the capacity of waiter, and passing some time also in the printing-office of one Laisney, he was taken to Paris by his father. Here he saw much low speculation, and many low royalist intrigues. In 1802, in consequence of a distressing quarrel, he left his father and,began life for himself in the garret of his ever memorable song. For two years he did literary hackwork, when he could get it, and wrote pastorals, epics and all manner of ambitious failures. At the end of that period (1804) he wrote to Lucicn Bonaparte, enclosing some of these attempts. He was then in bad health, and in the last state of misery. His watch was pledged. His wardrobe consisted of one pair of boots, one greatcoat, one pair of trousers with a hole in the knee, and " three bad shirts which a friendly hand weaned itself in endeavouring to mend." The friendly hand was that of Judith Frerc, with whom be had been already more or less acquainted since 1796, and who continued to be his faithful companion until her death, three months before his own, in 1857. She must not be confounded with the Lin-tic of the songs; the pieces addressed to her (La Bonne Yicil'.c, tf audit printemfs, &c.) are in a very different vein, L^icien Bonaparte interested hiirnflf in the young poet, transferred to him his own pension of xooo francs from the Institute, and set him to work on a Deatk of Nero, Five years later, through the same patronage, although indirectly, B£ranger became a clerk in the university at a salary of another thousand.
Meanwhile he had written many songs for convivial occasions, and " to console himself under all misfortunes "; some, according to M. Boiteau, had been already published by bis father, but be set no great store on them himself; and it was only in 1812, while watching by the sick-bed of a friend, that it occurred to him to write down the best he could remember. Next year he was elected to the Caveau Modemc, and his reputation as a song-writer began to spread. Manuscript copies of Lfs Cueux, Le Stnattur, above all, of Le Rot d' Y-ttot, a satire against Napoleon, whom he was to magnify so much in the sequel, passed from hand to hand wijh acclamation. It was thus that all his best works went abroad; one man sang them to another over all the land of France. He was the only poet of modern fim<^ who could altogether have dispensed with printing.
His first collection escaped censure. "We must pardon many things to the author of Le Roi d' Yntol," said Louis XVIII. The second (1831) was more daring. The apathy of the Liberal camp, he says, had convinced him of the need for some bugle call of awakening. This publication lost him his situation in the university, and subjected him to a trial, a fine of 500 francs and an imprisonment of three months. Imprisonment was a small affair for Bcrangcr. At Sainte Pelagic he occupied a room (it had just been quitted by Paul Louis Courier), warm, well furnished, and preferable in every way to his own poor lodging, where the water froze on winter nights. He adds, on the occasion of his second imprisonment, that he found a certain charm in this quiet, claustral existence, with its regular hours and long evenings alone over the fire. This second imprisonment of nine months, together with a fine and nrpfnsfs amounting to uoo francs, • followed on the appearance of his fourth collection. The government proposed through Laffitte that, if he would submit to judgment without appearing or making defences, he should only be condemned in the smallest penalty. But his public spirit made him refuse the proposal; and be would not even ask permission to pass his term of imprisonment in a Ifaison dc santt, although his health was more than usually feeble at the time. "When you have taken your stand in a contest with government, it seems to me," he wrote, " ridiculous to complain of the blows it inflicts on you, and impolitic to furnish it with any occasion of generosity." His first thought in La Force was to alleviate the condition of the other prisoners.
In the revolution of July he took no inconsiderable part. Copies of his song, Le Viauc Droptau, were served out to the insurgent crowd. He had been for l«ig the intimate friend and adviser of the leading men; and during the decisive week his counsels went a good way towards shaping the ultimate result. "As for the republic, that dream of my whole life," he wrote in 1831, "I did not wish it should be given to us a second time unripe." Louis Philippe, hearing hew much the song-writer had done towards his elevation, expressed a wish to sec and speak with him; but Beranger refused to present himself at court, and used his favour only to ask a place for a friend, and a pension for Rouget de lisle, author of the famous UarteiUaiie, who was now old and poor, and whom he had botn already succouring lor five years.
In 1848, in spite of every possible expression of his reluctance, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly, and that by so large a number of votes (104,471) that he felt him.«4f obliged to
accept the seat. Not long afterwards, and with great difficulty be obtained leave to resign. This was the last public event of Beranger's life. He continued to polish his songs in retirement, visited by nearly all the famous men of France. He numbered among his friends Chateaubriand, Thicrs, Jacques Lafiutr, Michelet, Lamennais, Mignct. Nothing could exceed the amiability of his private character; so poor a man has rarciy been so rich in good actions; he was always ready to receive help from his friends when he was in need, and always forward to help others. His correspondence is full of wisdom and kindness, with a smack of Montaigne, and now and then a vein of pleasantry that will remind the English reader of Charles Lamb. He occupied some of his leisure in preparing his own memoir-. and a certain treatise on Social and Political Morality, intended for the people, a work he had much at heart, but judged at lau to be beyond his strength. He died on the i6lh July 1857. It was feared that his funeral would be the signal for some political disturbance; but the government took immediate measures, and all went quietly. The streets of Paris were linej with soldiers and full of townsfolk, silent and uncovered. Froa time to time cries arose:—" Honntur, honnew d Bfranftrl"
The songs of Beranger would scarcely be called songs ia England. They are elaborate, written in a clear and sparkling style, full of wit and incision. It is not so much for any lyriczi Sow as for the happy turn of the phrase that they claim superiority. Whether the subject be gay or serious, light or passionate, the medium remains untroubled. The special menu of tie songs arc merits to be looked for rather in English prose *kjp in English verse. He worked deliberately, never wrote more than fifteen songs a year and often less, arid was so fastidicca that he has not preserved a quarter of what he finished. "I am a good little bit of a poet," he says himself, "clever in tic craft, and a conscientious worker to whom old airs and a modes: choice of subjects (If coin oitjc me suit confinf) have brought socnr success." Nevertheless, he makes a figure of importance ia literary history. When he first began to cultivate the cka*^x. this minor form lay under some contempt, and was restricit-J to slight subjects and a humorous guise of treatment. GnduaL'r he filled these little chiselled toys of verbal perfection with ere? more and more of sentiment. From a dale comparatively early he had determined to sing for the people. It was for this reason that he fled, as far as possible, the houses of his influential friends and came back gladly to the garret and the street corner. Thus it was, also, that he came to acknowledge obligations to Enak Debraux, who had often stood between him and the m^tjq u interpreter, and given him the key-note of the popular humour. Now, he had observed in the songs of sailors, and all who labour, a prevailing tone of sadness; and so, as he grew more mastcn'ul in this sort of expression, he sought more and more after what is deep, serious and constant in the thoughts of common men. The evolution was slow; and we can see in his own works examples of every stage, from that of witty indifference in city pieces of the first collection, to that of grave and even tragic feeling in Let Sottrtnirs du pcuple or Lt Vititx Vagabond. And this innovation involved another, which was as a sort of prelude to the great romantic' movement. For the dtanxon, as he ss>i himself, opened up to him a path in which his genius could develop itself at ease; he escaped, by this literary postern, from strict academical requirements, and had at his dispotal the whole dictionary, four-fifths of which, according to La Uarpc. were forbidden to the use of more regular and pretentious poe try. If he still kept some of the old vocabulary, some of the oM imagery, he was yet accustoming people to hear moxing subjects treated in a manner more free and simple than herclofort. so that his was a sort of conservative reform, preceding the violent revolution of Victor Hugo and his army of uncompromising romantics. He seems himself to have had glimmerings c4 some such idea; but be withheld his full approval from tbt new movement on two grounds:—first, because the romxnix school misused somewhat brutally the delicate organism oi iha French language; and second, as be wrote to Sainte-Bc^vt , because the)- adopted the motto of "An foe an," tad