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10). The Belgian congress, on its assembly, appointed baron Surlet de Chokier provisional regent, but on the 9th July elected prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg king, who entered Brussels on the 21st of the same month, and subscribed the laws of the constitution. This prince proved himself one of the wisest monarchs of modern times. He died in 1865, and was succeeded by his son, Leopold II., the present king of Belgium. Hol. land refused to acknowledge the validity of the decision of the London congress, and declared war against B., which was speedily terminated by France and England-Holland securing that B. should annually pay 8,400,000 guilders as interest for its share in the national debt of Holland. The latter country, however, was still dissatisfied, and ventured to employ force. England and France were compelled to interfere. The block. ade of the coast of Holland brought the Dutch to terms, and the dispute was closed by a treaty signed in London, May 21, 1833.
The monarchy of B. is hereditary, according to the law of primogeniture, but with a perpetual exclusion of females and their descendants. The legislative power is vested in the king and two chambers; and the king has the power to dissolve either the senate or the house of representatives, or both. The number of deputies in 1869 was 116, sent by 41 electoral districts. Electors must be Belgians by birth or naturalization, must have attained 25 years of age, and pay taxes, each to the amount of £1 138. 4d. Members of the chamber of representatives require no property qualitication. The senate consists of half the number of representatives, and is elected by the same constituency, but for 8 years instead of 4. A senator must be 40 years of age, and must pay at least 1000 florins of direct taxes. The budget is annually voted by the chambers, and the contingent of the army is also subject to their annual vote.
In 1842, a law was carried in both chambers, by which it was enacted that the parishioners should be bound to provide elementary schools, according to the wants of the population, in all places where the want of education was not fully supplied by voluntary means. The main regulations for the universities were effected by the ministry of De Theux, 1835; but the organization of intermediate instruction (that is, between the ecoles primaires and the universities) was postponed, as involving some delicate party interests, until 1850; and even then was not concluded in a way satisfactory to the Catholic clergy.
In 1838, it seemed as if Holland and B. were likely to engage in war once more. According to the "twenty-four articles” of the definitive treaty,” B. was under obli. gation to give up Limburg and a part of Luxemburg during the above-mentioned year. This it now refused to do, and put its army on a war-footing; but its obstinacy finally gave way to the unanimous decision of the five great powers.
After 1840, the opposition of the Catholic to the liberal party became more and more decided. The elections of June 8, 1841, were attended with great excitement, and it was & significant fact that the liberal candidates re-elected were everywhere returned by large majorities, while in the principal towns where Catholics were returned, only small majorities appeared. Meantime, however, commerce progressed under a wise and liberal policy.
In July, 1845, the liberal Van de Weyer, at the head of a new administration, endeay. ored to confirm the so-called “union" of Catholics and liberals. But he had scarcely asserted the prerogative of the civil power in matters pertaining to the question of education in the “intermediate schools," when he was forsaken by his colleagues, who acted under the influence of the Catholic priesthood. In Mar., 1846, a purely Catholic ministry was formed under the presidency of De Theux. This was an anachronism, for the elections of 1845 had secured a victory for the liberals.
The elections of 1847 at last brought to a close the system of government in subser. vience to the church. A new liberal ministry was formed by Rogier and others, whose programme of policy promised the maintenance of the independent civil authority in all its subordinate functionaries; a budget favorable to the public with regard to duties on provisions; and measures to promote the interests of agriculture. The institution of numerous agricultural and commercial schools, normal ateliers, popular libraries, and other means used for raising the working classes, were followed by most beneficial results. The revolutionary tempest of 1848, however, menaced the tranquillity of the country; but the king, at the outbreak of the catastrophe in France, promptly declared himself ready to retain or to surrender the crown of B., according to the decision of the people. This frank and ready declaration had a successful result in strengthening the party of order, while it disarmed even those most disaffected to the crown.
In July, 1848, the result of the elections was found to be a great strengthening of the liberal-constitutional party. In Nov., 1849, a new commercial treaty for 10 years was concluded with France, and the duration of the treaty with the German zollverein Was lengthened. In 1850. the educational question was supposed to be settled on sound!y
ral principles; but since then there has been a keen struggle between the progressists authe ultramontanes. At present the question of liberal advance in education and reliBonn B. is, as it is in Prussia, France, and Italy, a question of very considerable interest.
Nothoinb's Travaux Publics en Belgium (Bruss. 1839); Statistique de la B., by the same author (1848); Juste, Histoire de B. (5th ed., 1868); Popliment, La B. depuis l'an 1830
s. 1850); histories by Moke and Hymans (5 vols., 1880); Genonceaux, La Belgique (1879).
BELGOROD (Russian, Bejelgorod, “white town'), a t. of (1880) 16,090 inhabitants, in the Russian government of Kursk. It is situated on the Donetz, in lat. 50° 40' n., long. 36° 35' east. B., which derives its name from a chalk-hill in the vicinity, is divided into two-the old and the new towns. It is built chiefly of wood, is an archbishop's see, has numerous churches, two monasteries, manufactories of leather, soap, etc., and carries on a considerable trade in wax, bristles, and heinp. Three important fairs are held here during the year.
BELGRADE', the ancient Singidunum, styled by the Turks Darol-Jihad, the “house of the holy war," and in German, Weissenburg, is an important fortified and commercial t., capital of Servia. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Save and Danube. The name B. is derived from the Slavonic word bielo, “white," and grad or grod, a “fort" or “town." B. contains (1883) 38,210 inhabitants, and is divided into four parts—the fortress, a very strong place, which, situated on the tongue of land between the rivers, commands the Danube; the Water town, also well protected by walls and ditches, on the n.; the Raitzen town on the w.; and the Palanka on the s. and e. of the citadel, B. contains 14 mosques. The prince's palace, the residence of the metropolitan, the national theatre, and the public offices are the principal buildings. Vessels navigating the Danube anchor between the three islands above Belgrade. B. has manufactories of arms, cutlery, saddlery, silk goods, carpets, etc., and is the seat of the chief Servian authorities, It is the entrepôt of the trade between Turkey and Austria. The position of B. has made it the chief point of communication between Constantinople and Vienna, and the key to Hungary on the s.e. It has consequently been the scene of many hard contests. The Greeks held it until 1073, when it was captured by the Hungarian king, Salomon. After this, it passed through the hands of Greeks, Bulgarians, Bosnians, and Servians, and these last proprietors sold it, in the beginning of the 15th c., to the emperor Sigis. mund. In 1442, it was unsuccessfully besieged by the Turks, with a large and vain outlay of time and money; and when stormed (July 14, 1456), it was retaken from the Turks by the heroism of Hunyades and Capistrano. In 1522, it was carried by the sul tan Soliman II. In 1688, it was stormed and taken by Maximilian, eiector of Bavaria; but in 1690 was recaptured by the Turks, when the Christian garrison had been reduced to 500 men. In 1693, B. was vainly besieged by the duke of Croy; and in 1717, the citadel surrendered to prince Eugene, after he had defeated an army of 200,000 Turks, with a loss to them of 20.000 men. But in 1739, B. again changed owners, the Turks obtain. ing it without a shot. In conformiiy with the treaty then signed, the fortifications were demolished. In 1789, it was again taken by the Austrians under gen. Laudon; but by the treaty of peace, 1791, was restored to the Turks. From 1806 to 1813 it was in the pos session of the insurgent Servians; and though on the founding of the principality of Servia, B. was made the capital, the citadel remained in the hands of the Turks till 1867. In that year the porte was constrained by diplomacy to yield up this important posses sion to the Servian government.
BE'LIAL, or, more accurately, BELI'AL, a Hebrew word, signifying idle, wicked, or unprofitable. The Scripture porase, therefore, “sons of B.,” was originally, in all probability, a mere Hebrew figurative expression denoting worthless or dissolute persons. At a later period, the idea of evil which the word embodies, seems to have been elaborated into a personality, and B. is supposed by some to correspond to the Pluto of the Greeks.
BELIDOR, BERNARD FOREST DE, 1693-1761; a French military engineer, and a member of the academy of sciences; author of works on hydraulic architecture, fortifi. cations, engineering, mathematics for the use of artillery, etc.
BELIEF. This is a word sufficiently intelligible in common speech; but, nevertheless, various subtle problems and protracted controversies have been connected with it. A brief account of the chief of these may be here given.
1. It has been a matter of po small difficulty with mental philosophers, to give an exact rendering of the state of mind so denominated, or to specify the exact import, test, or criterion of the act of believing. It is easy enough to comprehend what is meant by an idea or a notion, as when we speak of having the idea of a rose, its shape, color, odor, etc.; but when we make the further step of affirming our belief in the sweetness of the rose, it is not so easy to describe the exact change that has come over the mind in so doing. In all belief, there must be something intellectual, something thought of, or conceived by the mind; and hence there has been a disposition to recognize the believing function as one of the properties of our intelligence. We believe that the sun will rise and the tides flow to-morrow: here are undoubtedly implied intellectual conceptions of the sun, his rising, and of to-morrow; of the sea, its movements, and so on. But the question comes, what is the difference between conceptions believed in as these are, and conceptions quite as clear and intelligible that are not believed? as the notion that the fluctuation of the sea on the shores of Britain is the same as on the shores of Italy. It is not to the purpose to say, that in the one case we have knov:ledge and evidence, and not in the other; for what is wanted is to define the change that comes over us, when what is a mere notion or supposition passes into a conviction; when a day-dream or hypothesis comes to take rank as truth.
To answer this inquiry, we must bring in a reference to action; for although belief connects itself with our intelligence, as now mentioned, it has action for its root and ultimate criterion. Coming up to the edge of a frozen lake, and looking at the thickness of the ice, we believe that it will bear to be trodden on, and accordingly walk across it. The meaning or purport of the believing state here is, that we do not hesitate to irust our safety to the fact believed. The measure of our confidence is the measure of our readiness to act upon our conviction. If the frozen lake lie between us and our destination, we feel elated by the certainty of arriving there, which we should not under a weak or imperfect trust in the goodness of the ice. Belief, therefore, although embodied in ideas, or intellectual conceptions, is in reality a moral power, operating on our con duct, and affecting our happiness or misery. Belief in coming good cheers us almost as much as if it were already come; a like strength of conviction of approaching evil is to the same degree depressing; “the devils believe, and tremble." These two tests--readi. ness to act according to what we believe, and influence on the mental tone-effectually separate the state in question from mere notions, fancies, or suppositions, unaccompanied with credence. We have firm confidence in the food we eat being able to nourish us; we exert ourselves to procure that food, and when we feel hungry, and see it before us, we have the mental elation arising from a near and certain prospect of relief and gratification. If there be anything that we work languidly to procure, and feel little elated by being near or possessing, our conviction is proved to be feeble as to the utility of that thing, or as to the pleasure we shall derive from it. So, in employing means to compass ends, as when we sow that we may reap, work that we may obtain abundance, study that we may be informed—we have a certain confidence in the connection between the means and the ends; in other words, we are energetically urged to use those means, and having done so, we have the feeling as if the end were already attained.
Even in cases the furthest removed in appearance from any action of ours, there is no other criterion. We believe a great many truths respecting the world, in the shape of general propositions, scientific statements, affirmations on testimony, etc., which are so much beyond our own little sphere, that we can rarely have any occasion to involve them in our own procedure, or to feel any hopeful elation on their account. We likewise give credit to innumerable events of past history, although the greater number of them have never any consequences as regards ourselves. Yet, notwithstanding such remoteness of interest, the tests now mentioned inust apply; otherwise, there is no real conviction in any one instance.
There is a distinction, first characterized by Aristotle, between potentiality and actu. ality (posse and esse), which truly represents two different states of mind of real accur. rence. Besides the actual doing of a thing, we know what it is to be in a state of preparedness to act, before the emergency has arisen, or while it is still at a distance and uncertain. The thirsty traveler, not knowing of a spring where he may drink, is debarred from the act that his condition prompts him to, but he is in an attitude of mind that we call being ready for action the moment the opportunity arrives. We all carry about us a number of unexecuted resolutions, some of them perhaps remaining so to the last, for want of the occasion. They are not, on that account, to be set aside as having no part in our nature; they are genuine phases of our activity. So it is with many things believed in by us, without any actual prospect of grounding actions, or staking our welfare, upon such things. When we say we believe that the circumference of the globe is 25,000 m., if not repeating an empty sound, or indulging an idle conception, we give it out that if any occasion arise for acting on this fact, we are ready to do so. If we were about to circumnavigate the earth, we should commit ourselves to this reck: oning. Should there be any hesitation on the point when the time for action came, the professed belief would be shown to be hollow, no matter how often we heard the statement, or repeated it, with acquiescence. The genuineness of conviction is notoriously open to question, until an opportunity of proceeding upon it occurs. Very often we deceive ourselves and others on the point whether we are in full potentiality or preparedness in some matter of truth or falsehood. There is a very large amount of blind acquiescence in, or tacit acceptance of, propositions which never become the subject of any real or practical stake. These beliefs, falsely so called,confuse the line of demarcation between mere intellectual notions and states of credence or conviction. Of this pature is the acceptance given by the mass of mankind to the statements they are accus. tomed to hear from the better informed class respecting the facts of science and the transactions of history. They do not dispute those statements; and yet they might be little disposed to commit their serious interests to such facts. So with regard to the religious creed handed down from parent to child. Some are found believing, in the full import of the term; others, opposing no negative in any way, yet never perform any actions, or entertain either hopes or fears, as a consequence of their supposed acceptance of the religion of their fathers; their belief, accordingly, must be set down as a nonentity.
2. There is considerable interest attached to the inquiry into the sources or operating causes of this efficacious attribute of our active nature. What are the influences that determine us to adopt some notions as grounds of action and elements of hope or depres. sion, in preference to others? The common answer to this question is the possession of evidence, of which two kinds are reckoned by some schools--namely, experience aud
intuition; while others recognize experience alone, and reject the intuitive as a suflicient foundation of belief.
As regards the actual sources of men's convictions, it is undeniable that many things are credited without any reference to experience. The existence of superstitions is an example. So the partialities arising out of our likings to particular persons, and the undue depreciation of the merits of those whom we dislike, present instances equally removed from the criterion of experience. It is evident, therefore, that men do not abide by that criterion, even granting that they ought to do so. According v it is one of the tasks of the mental philosopher to specify the portions of our con stitution that give birth to false, mistaken, or unfounded beliefs; and in so doing he indicates, first, certain intuitive impulses connected with our active nature; and secondly, our various feelings, or emotions. Whether the intuitive be a source of authentic beliefs, may be a matter of doubt; there is no doubt as to its being a genuine source of real convictions. We have a decided tendency from the first to believe that the present state of things will continue, and that the absent resembles the present. He that has always seen water liquid, cannot at first be convinced that it is ever or anywhere solid. We have always a great difficulty in surmounting the primitive impulse to consider other men's minds as exactly like our own. It is the tendency of the uncultured human being to overgeneralize; and experience comes as a corrective, often very painful to submit to. Then, again, as regards the emotions, it is found that every one of these, if at all strong, is liable to blind us to the realities of the world. Fear is a notable exam. ple. Under a fright, a man will believe in the approach of the direst calamities. Superstition is, for the most part, the offspring of men's fears. The effect of a strong emotion is to exclude from the mind every fact or consideration except those in keeping with itself. Intense vanity so lords it over the current of the thoughts and the course of the observations, as to present to one's mind only the very best side of the character. A fit of self-abasement and remorse will work the contrary effect.
It is plain enough, therefore, that we are very often in the wrong, by trusting to our intuitive tendencies, and as often so under our emotions; while we are as ready to act, and to derive comfort or the opposite, under false beliefs, as under the very soundest that we can ever arrive at. The practice of life points to experience as the check to wrong believing. If we find on trial that another man's feelings differ very much from ours in the same circumstances, we stand corrected, and are perhaps wiser in future. So, in science, experiment is the ultimate canon of truth. There prevails, notwithstanding, in one school of philosophy, comprising the majority of metaphysical philosophers both in England and in Germany and France, the opinion that experience is not the only source even of sound or true beliefs. There are those who contend for an à priori origin of scientific first principles; such, for example, as the axioms of mathematics. “Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to one another,” is one of the class about which this dispute reigns. There is also a doctrine current that the law of causation has an authority derived from intuition. Another class of beliefs relates to matters altogether beyond experience; such is the metaphysical doctrine of the infinite. These various convictions-à priori, as they are called, being grounded solely in the internal impulses of the human mind—are all open to one common remark. It must be conceded that some intuitive beliefs are unsound, seeing that we are obliged to reject a greater or less number because of their being flatly contradicted by our experience. But if any have to be rejected in this way, why may not all be; and what criterion, apart from experience, can be set up for discriminating those that we are to retain? Man undoubtedly has boundless longings; and the doctrine of the infinite corresponds in a manner to these. But in actual life we find very few of our desires fully gratified, not even those most honorable to the human mind, such as curiosity, the passion for self-improvement, and the desire of doing good. How, then, are we to ascertain which of the longings carries with it its own necessary fulfillment ? Moreover, the intuitive tendencies are exceed. ingly various in men; and all cannot be equally true.
Testimony, which is properly reckoned one of the sources of belief, is, in its operation, partly founded on an intuitive tendency, and partly on experience. We at first believe whatever we are told; the primitive phase of our nature is credulity; the experience that we soon attain to of untrue statements puts us on our guard, and we learn to receive testimony under some circumstances, and from some persons, and not in all cases indiscriminately. .
3. Responsibility for Belief.-A lengthened controversy arose some time ago, on the saying of Lord Brougham, that “man is no longer accountable to man for his belief, over which he has himself no control.” Reduced to precise terms, the meaning of this assertion is: a man's belief being involuntary, he is not punishable for it. The question therefore arises, hon far is belief a voluntary function? for it is known that the will does to some extent influence it.
What a man shall see when he opens his eyes is not in his own power; but the opening of the eyes is a voluntary act. So, after listening to a train of arguments on a certain dispute, we might be irresistibly inclined to one side; but, supposing us to live in a country where the adhesion to that side is criminal, and punished severely, we should very likely be deterred from hearing or reading anything in its favor. To this extent, the adoption of a belief is voluntary. The application of strong motives of the nature
of reward or punishment is sufficient to cause one creed to prevail rather than another, as we see in those countries and in those ages where there has been ro toleration of dissent from the established religion. The mass of the people have been in this way so fenced in from knowing any other opinions, that they have become conscientiously attached to the creed of their education.
When the question is asked, therefore, whether punishment can control men's beliefs, and not their professions merely, all history answers in the affirmative, as regards religious and political creeds, on which the majority of mankind, being insulficient judges of themselves, are led by tradition and by education. But in matters of daily practice, where the simplest can judge as well as the wisest, the case is altered. No severity of threat could bring a man into the state of believing that his night's rest was hurtful to him; he might be overawed into saying that it was so, but he would never act out his forced affirmation, and therefore he would show that he did not believe it.
If the sentence of Lord Brougham is held to imply that all beliefs are beyond the power of external motives, and therefore that rewards and punishments can go no further than making outward conformity, we must pronounce it erroneous. For granting that motives cannot have a direct efficacy on the state of a man's convictions—which cannot be conceded in all cases-yet the indirect influence is so great as to produce the unanimity of whole nations for centuries in some one creed. But if it is only meant, that such indirect means ought not to be applied to sway men's convictions, this is merely a way of affirming the right of free thought and inquiry to all mankind, and the iniquity of employing force on such a matter. On the subject of belief generally, see Bain on the Emotions and the Will.
BELISA'RIUS (in Slavonic, Beli-tzar, “White Prince ''). This heroic and loyal sol. dier, to whom the emperor Justinian was principally indebted for the glory of his reign, was born at Germania, in Illyria, about 505 A.D. He first assumed a conspicuous position when he was appointed to the command of the eastern army of the empire, stationed on the confines of Persia, where, in 530 A.D., he gained a victory over a Persian army nearly twice as large as his own. The historian Procopius was at this time secretary to Belisarius. In the following year, when the Persians had penetrated into Syria, intending to attack Antioch, B. being compelled by the impatience of his troops to offer battle at Callinicum, a town at the junction of the rivers Bilecha and Euphrates, was defeated, and in consequence recalled. This petulant injustice, however, did not weaken that principle of duty which ever controlled and inspired the great soldier. He still remained the firm supporter of his sovereign. In Constantinople, the strife of the two parties, styled respectively “the green” and “the blue,” had endangered the authority and even the life of Justinian; already a new emperor, Hypatius, had been elected, when B., at the head of the life-guards, attacked and slew, in the race-course, 30,000 of the green or anti-loyalist party, and thus restored tranquillity. Previous to this, he had married a wealthy but profligate lady, Antonina, whom he loved with the same blind uxoriousness that Marcus Aurelius exhibited towards Faustina. The only points in his history which are not edifying, are those in which he yielded to her noxious solicitations. The military career of B. may be divided into two great epochs; the war against the Vandals in Africa, and the war against the Goths in Italy, which again subdivides itself into two campaigns, with an interval of four years between them. The first of these epochs was commenced by Justinian sending B., in 533 A.D., with an army of 15,000 men into Africa, in order to recover the provinces there held by the Vandal king, Gelimer. After achieving two victories, B. made the king a prisoner, seized his treasures, and after conquering Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic Isles, he brought him to Constantinople, where he appeared in a triumphal procession of the conquerorthe first that a subject had enjoyed since the days of Tiberius. The African Vandals never recovered from this overthrow. Medals were struck in B.'s honor; and on the 1st Jan., 535, he was invested with the dignity of “consul," and granted a second triumph, according to the old republican style. The second war was occasioned by the divisions existing in the royal family of the Ostrogoths, which induced Justinian to attempt to wrest Italy from the hands of the barbarians. In 535, B. conquered Sicily; and in the autumn of 536, he crossed over to lower Italy, where all the cities submitted to him except Naples, which he carried by storm. On the 10th of Dec. he entered Rome, having made an amicable arrangement with the inhabitants. As he found his forces not strong enough to contend with the Goths in open field, he allowed himself to be inclosed and besieged in Rome: after the defense had lasted a year, the Goths raised the siege. In 538, Narses bad been sent with a reinforcement for the army in Italy; but some misunderstanding occurring between the two generals, they were prevented from relieving Milan, which in 539 was carried and devastated by Braias, nephew of the Gothic king, Vitiges. Consequently, Narses was recalled from Italy; and B., now placed at the head of both armies, refused to assent to a treaty proposed to king Vitiges by Justinian's ambassadors. Vitiges had persuaded the Persian king, Chosroes, to invade the eastern Roman territory. B. now drove the Goths back to Ravenna, which he captured in 540, along with Vitiges himself. But before he could complete his conquest of the Goths, he was recalled by Justinian to Constantinople, where he soon appeared, bringing with him the king Vitiges, several Gothic chieftains, and the royal