صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

ary session attends in the House of Lords, and summons the House of Commons wlieu a royal assent is to be given, and on other occasions.

The HouBe, therefore, on the lust day of the session, just before the Black Rod knocked at the duor, unanimously resolved that William Fuller was a cheat and a false accuser. Macaulay

Black Rood [of Scotland]. A famous gold cross, believed to contain a piece of the true cross, brought to Scotland by Queen Margaret in 1067, and held in reverence by the whole Scottish people. Since the Reformation it has disappeared.

Black Stone of Mecca. A dark colored stone contained in a small oratory of the temple of the Caaba at Mecca, Arabia, and held in the utmost veneration by the Mohammedans as having been given by au angel to Abraham. See Caaba.

sXjjr " To the idolatrous Arabs one of the most ancient universal objects of worship was that Black Stone, still kept in the building called Caabah at Mecca. Diodorus Biculus mentions this Caabah in a wny not to be mistaken, as the oldest, most honored temple in his time; that is, some half century before our Era. Silvestre de Sacy says there is some likelihood that the Black Stone is an aerolite. In that case, some man might see it fall out of Heaven! It stands now beside the Well Zemzenl: the Caabah is built over both." Carlyle.

Black Virgin. See Shkine or The Black Vihoin.

Blackfriars. The district in London between Ludgate Hill and the Thames, so called from the Dominican monks who built a monastery and church here. Here (June 21, 152<l) was decided the divorce of Henry VIII. from Catherine of Arragon, and here assembled the parliament which condemned Cardinal Wolsey. Under Edward VI. part of the monastic buildings was converted into Blackfriars Theatre. See Blackfriars Thkatke.

Dead long since, but not resting; daily doing motions in that Westminster region still,—daily from Vauxhall to Black/Han. and back again; aud cauuot get away at •II1- Carlyle.

Blackfriars Bridge. An iron

bridge across the river Thames, at Loudon, erected in 1760-69 by Robert Mylne, and rebuilt in 1867 by.Cubitt. Blackfriars Theatre. A playhouse in London, built in 1575 upon the site of the monastery of Blackfriars. Shakespeare was one of the proprietors, and acted here in 15518. In 1655 the theatre was taken down, and dwellinghouses were built upon the ground.

Ill 1598 Ren .Tonson's first and best comedy. Every Man tw his Humour, was produced at the Blackfriars; and the author of King Henry the Fourth and Romeo and Juliet mitilit have been seen for two pence by anv London prentice who could command the coin, playing an Inferior purl, probably that of Knotpell. in the new play. Richard Grant White.

In that year [1603] Ben Jonsou's .smarms was produced at the Blackfriars. and the author of Hamlet mis-ht nave been seen playing a subordinate part in it.

Richard Grant White.

Blackwcll's Island. An island within the city limits of New York, noted for its penitentiary aud for its public hospitals.

Blair Castle. The seat of the Duke of Athole, near Blair-Athole, iu Scotland.

Blanche Nef. The ship in which William, the only son of Henry I. of England, with 140 noblemen was wrecked in 1120 upon the rocks of Barfleur, Normandy.

Blarney Stone. About four miles uorth-west of the city of Cork, in Ireland, are the celebrated remains of the ancient Blarney Castle, in which is a wondrous stone, thought to possess the power of imparting to any one who kisses it a fluent, persuasive, and not over-honest tongue. The exact position of the stoue in the ruius is a matter of dispute. Some say that it is lying loose on the ground; others allege that it is at the summit of the large square tower which was originally the doniou or keep of the castle; while there are yet others who maintain that it is inserted in the wall at such a height that he who would kiss it must consent to be suspended by his heels from the top. When or how it first got its siugular reputation is not known; but the superstition concerning it is firmly fixed in the minds of the Irish peasantry, hundreds of whom resort to the castle every year for the purpose of kissing a stone endued with a property so marvellous. It is said that, in the early part of the seventeenth century, the lord of Castle Blarney, having been taken prisoner by the English, made repeated promises that lie would surrender the fortress; but, whenever the fulfilment of his pledges was demanded, he invented some smooth and plausible excuse for delay; and thus the term blarney became a byword, and was used to denote a soft, insinuating, and deceitful manner of speech.

4S" "When or how the stone ohtained it* singular reputation, it is difficult to determine: the exact position among the ruins of the castle is also in doubt; the peasant-guides humor the visitor according to his capacity for climbing, and direct either to the summit or the base the attention of him who desires to * greet it with a holy kiss.*n Mr. and Mrs. Hall.

There is a stone there
That whoever kisses,
O. he never misses
To grow eloquent.
Don't hope to hinder him
Or to bewilder him,
Sure he's a pilgrim
From the Blarney Stone.

R. A. Mittiken.

0 soy, would you find this same 'Blarney*?

There's a castle, not far from Klilarney,

On the top of Its wall

(But lake care you don't fall)

There's a stone that contains all this Blarney.

Like a macnet, its influence such Is,

That attraction it gives all It touches;
If you kiss It, thev Bay,
From that blessed day

Toa may kiss whom you please Avji.1i your
Blarney, Samuel Lover

Blenheim. A noble mansion and estate at Woodstock, near Oxford, England. It was erected in the reign of Queen Anne, and was presented by the British Parliament to the Duke of Marlborough in commemoration of the victory achieved by him at the battle of Bleuheim, Aug. 13,1701.

1&* "I saw Blenheim Palace, neal Woodstock, belonging to the Duke of Marlborough. This is a sort of Louvre, formerly presented by this nation to the great captain, built in the style of the period, much ornamented."

Taint, Tran$.

See, here's the grand approach,
That way is for his Grace's coach;
There lies the bridge, and there the clock,
Observe the lion and the cock;
The spacious court, the colonnade,
And mind how wide the hull Is made;
The chimneys are so well designed,
Th»*y never smoke in any wind;
The galleries contrived tor walking,
The windows to retire and talk In;
The council-chamber to debate.
And all the rest are rooms of state.
"Thanks, sir," cried 1, " 'tis verv fine.
But where d'ye sleep, or where d'ye dine?
1 find by all you have been teUing,
That 'tis a house, but not a dwelling."


Blennerhasset's Island. A little island in the Ohio River, not far from Parkersburg, W. Va., celebrated as the residence of Harman Blennerh asset (1770-l&Jl), a wealthy Irishman, who ruined his fortttne by aiding Aaron Burr, of whose designs, suspected to be treasonable, he was an associate or accomplice.

Who is Blennerhasset? A native of Ireland, a man of letters, who tied from the storms of his own country, to find quiet In ours. On his arrival in America, he retired, even from the population of the Atlantic .States, and sought quiet and solitude in the bosom of our western forests. But he brought with him taste, and science, and wealth; and "lo, the desert smiled!" Possessing himself of a beautiful island In the Ohio, he rears upon it a palace, and decoru.ea it with every romantic embellishment of fancy. A shrubbery that Shenstone might have envied blooms around him. Music that might have charmed Calypso and her nymph* Is his. An extensive library spreads Its treasi res before him. A philosophical apparatus offers to him all the secrets ana mysteries of Nature. Peace, tranquillity, and innocence shed their mingled delights around him. Win. Wirt.

Blois Castle. An ancient royal fortress and residence in Blois, France, possessing great historic interest. It has oeen within a few years restored by the government to something like its former condition.

Blood of St. Januarius. In the Church of San Gennaro (St. Januarius), at Naples, are preserved in a tabernacle behind the altar, two phials, containing a solid, reddish substance, said to be the dried blood of St. Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, in the latter part of the third century, who suffered martyrdom under Diocletian. The tradition runs, that when the saint was exposed to be devoured by lions in the amphitheatre at Pozzuoli, the animals became tame, and prostrated themselves before him. This miracle converted so many to Christianity that the Roman commander ordered him to be decapitated. After death the body was removed to Naples. At the time of the removal, a woman, who collected the blood of the saint, delivered it, in two bottles, to St. Severus.in whose hands it immediately melted. According to the belief of many Catholics, this miracle of liquefaction still takes place at least three times every year; and the occurrence of it is the occasion of the greatest religious festivals observed by the Neapolitans. The head of the martvr, and the phials containing his blood, are carried in solemn procession to the high altar; and, prayer having beeii offered, the head is brought into contact with the phials, the blood in which is thereupon believed to liquefy. The phenomenon, however, does not always take place immediately, and occasionally it fails altogether. The excitement of the congregation., when the pretended miracle takes place, is only surpassed by that caused by its non-occurrence, which is considered an omen of the worst possible import.

H&r " At the same moment [that of liquefaction], the atone (distant Home miles) where the saint Buffered martyr, dom becomes faintiy red. It is said that the officiating priests turn faintly red also, sometimes, when these miracles occur." Dickens.

«ir"Thc.first day the blood liquefies in forty-seven minutes: the church is crammed, then, and time must be allowed the collectors to get around; after that it liquefies a little quicker and a little quicker every day, as the bouses grow smaller, till oa the eighth

day, with only a few dozens present to see the miracle, it liquefies in four minutes." Nark Twain. At Naples they [the English] put SI. Januarius' blood in an alembic.


But as ft was then, so it is now; so will it always be. Does not the blood of Si. Januarius become liquid once a year?

Bayard Taylor.

as 1 lay

Watching Vesuvius from the bay,
I besought St. Janttanus.
But l was a fool to try film;
Nought 1 said could liquefy him.

T. W. Parsons.

Bloody Brook. A locality in Deerfield, Mass., noted as the scene of a terrible battle with the Indians in the early days of New England. On the 18th of September, 1075, Capt. Lathrop, with a company of 84 men, was here attacked by 700 Indian warriors; and all perished with the exception of seven who escaped. In 1835 a marble monument was erected on this battle-field, and an address delivered by Edward Everett.

Bloomsbury Square. A London square, built in 1663, and formerly called Southampton Square from Southampton House, which stood there until 1800. This square was once so fashionable that it was considered one of the wonders of England. On the northern side is a bronze statue of Charles James Fox by Westuiacott. In Palace-yard, at nine, you'll find inc

there, At ten. for certain, sir, in Bloomsbury Square. Pope.

Blue Boy. A celebrated portraitpicture by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788). In the Grosvenor Gallery, London.

O- " Reynolds had laid down the law that blue ought not to be employed in masses In a picture, when, more from a spirit of malice which led Gainsborough to show that such a law Wub not without an exception, than with the intention of expressing his grave dissent from the view, Gainsborough painted the son of Mr. Buttall in an entire suit of blue. The result was a triumph of Gainsborough's art in the treatment of a ditneult subject, so as to produce ail agreeable effect under disadvantage?, rather than an upsetting of Sir Joshua's theory."

Sarah Tytler. tfff- " Gainsborough's Blue Boy already possesses the expressive and wholly modern physiognomy by which a work falling within the painter's province oversteps the limits of painting." Taine, Trans.

Blue Coat School. See Christ's Hospital.

Slue Grotto. [Ital. Grotta Azzvra.] A celebrated cavern on the island of Capri, in the Bay of Naples. The walls and roof of the grotto, as well as the water within it, are of a beautiful ultramarine color, produced by the light from without entering the water, and being refracted upwards into the grotto.

4S" " Here, under a rough round bastion of masonry, was the entrance to the Blue Grotto. We were now trans-shipped to the little shell of a boat which had followed us. The swell rolled rather heavily into the mouth of the cave, and the adventure seemed a little perilous, had the boatmen been less experienced. We lay flat in the bottom, the oars were taken iii, and we had just reached the entrance, when a high wave rolling up threatened to dash us against the iron portals. The young sailor held the boat back with his hands, while the wave rolled under us into the darkness beyond; then, seizing the moment, we shot in after it, and were safe under the expanding roof. At first, all was tolerably dark; I only saw that the water near the entrance was intensely and luminously blue. Gradually, as the eye grew accustomed to the obscurity, the irregular vault of the roof became visible, tinted by a faint reflection from the water. The effect increased, the longer we remained. . . . The silvery, starry radiance of foam or bubbles on the shining blue ground was the loveliest phenomenon of the grotto. To dip one's hand in the sea, and scatter the water, was to create sprays of wonderful, phosphorescent blossoms, jewels of the sirens, flashing and vanishing garlands of the Undines." Bayard Taylor.

J83~ ** The Blue Grotto loses nothing of its beauty, but rather gains by contrast, when passing from dense fog you find yourselves transported to a world of wavering subaqueous sheen. It is only through the opening of the very topmost arch that a boat can glide into

this cavern; the arch itself spreads downward through the water, so that all the light Is transmitted from beneath, and colored by the sea. . . . The flesh of a diver in this water showed like the faces of children playing at snapdragon; all around him the spray leapt up with a living fire; and, when the oars struck the surface, it was as though a phosphorescent sea had been smitten, and the drops ran from the blades in blue pearls."

J. A. Symonds.

Many an arched roof Is bent

Over the wave, But none like thine, from the firmament To the shells that at thy threshold luve. What name shall shadow thy rich-blue

sheen. Violet, sapphire, or ultramarine?

W, Gibson.

Blue-Stocking Clubs. Roswel 1 describes the origin of Blue-Stocking Clubs: "About this time [1781] it was much the fashion for several ladies to have evening assemblies, where the fair sex might participate in conversation with literary and ingenious men, animated by a desire to please. One of the most eminent members of these societies, when they first commenced, was Mr. Stillingfleet (grandson of the Bishop), whose dress was remarkably grave; and in particular it was observed that he wore blue stockings. Such was the excellence of his conversation, that his absence was felt so great a loss that it used to be said, ' We can do nothing without the blue stockirtffs;' and thus by degrees the title was established. Miss Hannah More has admirably described a Blitc-Stork'iny Club in her Bas-Bleu, a poem in which many of the persons who were most conspicuous there are mentioned." The club which met at Mrs. Montagu's, in London, is described as having consisted originally of Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. Vesey, Mrs. Carter, Miss Boscawen,Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Pulteney, Horace Walpole, and Mr. Stillingtieet, anil, according to Forbes, derived its name from the fact that Mr. Stillingtieet, "being somewhat of an humorist in his habits and manners, and a little negligent in his dress, literally wore gray stockings; from which circumstance Admiral Boscawen used, by way of pleasantry, to call them 'The Blue-Stocking Society,' as if to intimate that when these brilliant friends met, it was not for the purpose of forming a dressed assembly. A foreigner of distinction, hearing the expression,.translated it literally, ' Bas-Bleu,'by which these meetings came to be afterwards distinguished."

**- Mills (History of Chivalry) refers the use of the term Blue-Stocking, applied to a literary body, to the Society de la Calza, established at Venice in 1400, the members of which, "when they met in literary discussion, were distinguished by the color of their stockings. The colours were sometimes fantastically blended; and at other times one color, particularly blue, prevailed." The name was afterward applied in France to ladies of literary tastes, as a derisive appellation to denote female pedantry. From France the title crossed over to England. Byron (1788-1824), In "The Blues: a Literary Eclogue," ridicules the blue-stockings of that period.

Boar, Calydonian. See Chace Of Thb Calydonian Boar.

Boar Hunt. See Wild-boar Hunt.

Boar's Head. A celebrated tavern which formerly stood in Eastcheap, London, said to have been the oldest in the city. It was here that Shakespeare represents Prince Henry and his comEanions indulging their revels efore A.D. 1413. The celebrated Boar's Head Tavern of Shakespearean fame was destroyed (afterwards rebuilt) by the great fire of 1(166, a fact forgotten by Goldsmith, Boswell, and Washington Irving, in their references to the tavern as the identical structure frequented by Falstaff.

«J- "The earliest notice of this place occurs in the testament of Sir William Warden, who, in the reign of Richard II., gave 'all that his tenement, called the Boar's Head, Eastcheap,' to a college of priests or chaplains, founded by Sir William Walworth, Lord Mayor, in the adjoining church of St. Michael, Crooked-lane. Whether at that time it was a tavern

or a cook's residence, does not appear; but very early in the next reign, if any confidence can be reposed in the locality of Shakespeare's scenes, it became the resort of old Jack Falstaff and Prince Hal; but subsequently it was converted into a residence for the

§ nests, to whose college it had been eviscd." SrayUy's Londiniana.

M%g~ "Falstaff absolutely requires the frame of an fnn to make bis portrait intelligible, with the buxom figure of Mrs. Quickly in the background; and it may be safely affirmed that no public house of entertainment has afforded such world-wide mirth as the Boar's Head, Eastcheap."

H. T. Tuckernian.

Such were the reflections that naturally arose while I sat at the Hoar's Head tavern, still kept at Eastcheap. Here, by a pleasant Are, in the* very room where old Sir John Falstafferacked his jokes, in the von- chair which Whs sometimes honored by Prince Henry. *»nd sometimes polluted by his immoral merry companions. 1 sat and ruminated on the follies of youth.


[See Goldsmith's essay entitled, A Awtrie at the Boar's Head latent.}

Boboli Gardens. Beautiful and well - known pleasure - grounds contiguous to the Pitti Palace, in Florence, Italy; so named from the Boboli family, who formerly possessed a mansion here; anil affording fine views of the city with its domes and towers.

#$F "All is formal and regular. Trees are planted In rectangular rows, and their branches so trained and interlaced as to form long cathedral aisles of foliage, as If .a lateral shaft had been cut in a solid mass of fresh green. In these very gardens Milton may have had suggested to him his Image of the Indian herdsman,

'that tends his pasturing herds

At loop-holes cut through thickest shade.'" Hillard.

flry "I went into the Boboli Gardens, which are contiguous to the Palace; but found them too sunny for They seem to consist L the portion it rayed was laid out with straight walks, fined with high boxhedges, along which there, was only a narrow margin of shade."

Hawthorne. At Florence, too. what golden hours In those long galleries were ours;

What drives about the fresh Casclne, Or walks iu Boboli's ducal bowers.


enjoyment. They seem partly of a wilderness; but t into which I strayed was lai

« السابقةمتابعة »