Character Sketches of Romance Volume I Part 37

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_Bell_ (_Bessy_). Bessy Bell and Mary Gray were the daughters of two country gentlemen near Perth. When the plague broke out in 1666 they built for themselves a bower in a very romantic spot called Burn Braes, to which they retired, and were supplied with food, etc., by a young man who was in love with both of them. The young man caught the plague, communicated it to the two young ladies, and all three died.--Allan Eamsay, _Bessy Bell and Mary Gray_ (a ballad).

_Bell (Peter)_, the subject of a "tale in verse" by Wordsworth.

Sh.e.l.ley wrote a burlesque upon it, ent.i.tled _Peter Bell the Third._

_Bell (The Old Chapel_) J. G. Saxe's poem under this t.i.tle is founded upon a legend of a boy, who, wandering in a churchyard, hears a musical articulate murmur from a disused bell hidden by matted gra.s.s.

Its very name and date concealed Beneath a cankering crust. (1859.)

BELL-THE-CAT, sobriquet of Archibald Douglas, great-earl of Angus, who died in 1514.

The mice, being much annoyed by the persecutions of a cat, resolved that a bell should be hung about her neck to give notice of her approach. The measure was agreed to in full council, but one of the sager mice inquired, "Who would undertake to bell the cat?" When Lauder told this fable to a council of Scotch n.o.bles, met to declaim against one Cochran, Archibald Douglas started up and exclaimed in thunder, "I will;" and hence the sobriquet referred to.--Sir W. Scott, _Tales of a Grandfather_, xxii.

BELLA, sweet girl-cousin, the first love and life-long friend of the hero of _Dream-Life_, by Ik Marvel. Re-visiting his native place after years of foreign travel, he learns that Bella is dead, and goes to her grave, where dry leaves are entangled in the long gra.s.s, "giving it a ragged, terrible look" (1851).

BELLA WILFER, a lovely, wilful, lively spoilt darling. She married John Rokesmith (i.e., John Harmon).--C. d.i.c.kens, _Our Mutual Friend_ (1864).

BELLAMY, a steady young man, looking out for a wife "capable of friends.h.i.+p, love, and tenderness, with good sense enough to be easy, and good nature enough to like him." He found his beau-ideal in Jacintha, who had besides a fortune of 30,000.--Dr. Hoadly, _The Suspicious Husband_ (1761).

BELLA'RIO, the a.s.sumed name of Euphrasia, when she put on boy's apparel that she might enter the service of prince Philaster, whom she greatly loved.--Beaumont and Fletcher, _Philaster, or Love Lies A-Bleeding_ (1622).

BELLASTON (_Lady_), a profligate, from whom Tom Jones accepts support.

Her conduct and conversation may be considered a fair photograph of the "beauties" of the court of George II.--Fielding, _History of Tom Jones, a Foundling_ (1750).

The character of Jones, otherwise a model of generosity, openness, and manly spirit, mingled with thoughtless dissipation, is unnecessarily degraded by the nature of his intercourse with lady Bellaston.--_Encyc. Brit._ Art. "Fielding."

BELLE CORDIERE (_La_), Louise Labe, who married Ennemond Perrin, a wealthy rope-maker (1526-1566).

BELLE CORISANDE (_La_), Diane comtesse de Gruiche et de Grammont (1554-1620).

BELLEFONTAINE _(Benedict)_, the wealthy farmer of Grande Pre [_Nova Scotia_] and father of Evangeline. When the inhabitants of his village were driven into exile, Benedict died of a broken heart as he was about to embark, and was buried on the sea-sh.o.r.e.--Longfellow, _Evangeline_ (1849).

BEL'LENDEN (_Lady Margaret_), an old Tory lady, mistress of the Tower of Tillietudlem.

_Old major Miles b.e.l.l.e.n.den_, brother of lady Margaret.

_Miss Edith b.e.l.l.e.n.den_, granddaughter of lady Margaret, betrothed to lord Evendale, of the king's army, but in love with Morton (a leader of the covenanters and the hero of the novel). After the death of lord Evendale, who is shot by Balfour, Edith marries Morton, and this terminates the tale.--Sir W. Scott, _Old Mortality_ (time, Charles II.).

BELLERO'PHON was falsely accused by Antea, wife of Proetos, King of Argos, and the enraged husband sent him to Lycia, to King Iobates, the father of Antea, with sealed tablets, asking that the bearer might be put to death. Iobates sent the youth on dangerous errands, but he came off unharmed from all. Among other exploits he killed the Chimaera and slew the Amazons. Later, he tried to mount to Olympus on the winged horse Pegasus, but he fell and wandered about in melancholy madness on the Aleian field until he died. This peculiar form of madness is called _morbus Bellerophonteus_. Homer tells the story of Bellerophon in the Iliad, Book VI. Milton alludes to him, _Paradise Lost_, VII.

15-20. Hawthorne has told the story of the Chimaera in _A Wonder Book._

BELLE'RUS is the name of a personage invented by Milton as the supposed guardian of Land's End in Cornwall, the Bellerium of the Romans. In questioning as to where the body of the drowned Lycidas q.v. has been carried by the waves, he asks:

Or whether thou to our moist vows denied Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old.

_Lycidas_, 159-60.

BELLE'S STRATAGEM (_The_). The "belle" is Let.i.tia Hardy, and her stratagem was for the sake of winning the love of Doricourt, to whom she had been betrothed. The very fact of being betrothed to Let.i.tia sets Doricourt against her, so she goes unknown to him to a masquerade, where Doricourt falls in love with "the beautiful stranger." In order to accomplish the marriage of his daughter, Mr.

Hardy pretends to be "sick unto death," and beseeches Doricourt to wed Let.i.tia before he dies. Let.i.tia meets her betrothed in her masquerade dress, and unbounded is the joy of the young man to find that "the beautiful stranger" is the lady to whom he has been betrothed.--Mrs.

Cowley, _The Belle's Stratagem_ (1780).

BELLE THE GIANT. It is said that the giant Belle mounted on his sorrel horse at a place since called mount Sorrel. He leaped one mile, and the spot on which he lighted was called Wanlip (one-leap); thence he leaped a second mile, but in so doing "burst all" his girths, whence the spot was called Burst-all; in the third leap he was killed, and the spot received the name of Bellegrave.

BELLEUR', companion of Pinac and Mirabel ("the wild goose"), of stout blunt temper; in love with Rosalu'ra, a daughter of Nantolet.--Beaumont and Fletcher, _The Wild Goose Chase_ (1652).

BELL HAMLYN, young American girl, engaged to one man and in love with another, in _Kismet_, by George Fleming (Julia C. Fletcher, 1877).

BELLICENT, daughter of Gorlos lord of Tintag'il and his wife Ygerne or Igerna. As the widow married Uther the pen-dragon, and was then the mother of king Arthur, it follows that Bellicent was half-sister of Arthur. Tennyson in _Gareth and Lynette_ says that Bellicent was the wife of Lot king of Orkney, and mother of Gaw'ain and Mordred, but this is not in accordance either with the chronicle or the history, for Geoffrey in his _Chronicle_ says that Lot's wife was Anne, the sister (not half-sister) of Arthur (viii. 20, 21), and sir T. Malory, in his _History of Prince Arthur_ says:

King Lot of Lothan and Orkney wedded Margawse; Nentres, of the land of Carlot, wedded Elain; and that Morgan le Fay was [_Arthurs_]

third sister.--Pt. i. 2, 35, 36.

BEL'LIN, the ram, in the beast-epic of _Reynard the Fox_. The word means "gentleness" (1498).

BELLINGHAM, a man about town.--D. Boucicault, _After Dark_.

BEL'LISANT, sister of king Pepin of France, and wife of Alexander emperor of Constantinople. Being accused of infidelity, the emperor banished her, and she took refuge in a vast forest, where she became the mother of Valentine and Orson.--_Valentine and Orson_.

BELLMONT (_Sir William_), father of George Bellmont; tyrannical, positive, and headstrong. He imagines it is the duty of a son to submit to his father's will, even in the matter of matrimony.

_George Bellmont_, son of sir William, in love with Clarissa, his friend Beverley's sister; but his father demands of him to marry Belinda Blandford, the troth-plight wife of Beverley. Ultimately all comes right.--A. Murphy, _All in the Wrong_ (1761).

BELLO'NA'S HANDMAIDS, Blood, Fire, and Famine.

The G.o.ddesse of warre, called Bellona, had these thre handmaids ever attendynge on her: BLOOD, FIRE, and FAMINE, which thre damosels be of that force and strength that every one of them alone is able and sufficient to torment and afflict a proud prince; and they all joyned together are of puissance to destroy the most populous country and most richest region of the world.--Hall, _Chronicle_ (1530).

BELLUM (_Master_), war.

A difference [_is_] 'twixt broyles and bloudie warres,-- Yet have I shot at Maister Bellum's b.u.t.te, And thrown his ball, although I toucht no tutte [_benefit_].

G. Gascoigne, _The Fruites of Warre_, 94 (died 1577).

BELMONT (_Sir Robert_), a proud, testy, mercenary country gentleman; friend of his neighbor, sir Charles Raymond.

_Charles Belmont_, son of sir Robert, a young rake. He rescued Fidelia, at the age of twelve, from the hands of Villard, a villain who wanted to abuse her, and taking her to his own home, fell in love with her, and in due time married her. She turns out to be the daughter of sir Charles Raymond.

_Rosetta Belmont_, daughter of sir Robert, high-spirited, witty, and affectionate. She is in love with colonel Raymond, whom she delights in tormenting.--Ed. Moore, _The Foundling_ (1748).

_Belmont_ (_Andrew_), the elder of two brothers, who married Violetta (an English lady born in Lisbon), and deserted her. He then promised marriage to Lucy Waters, the daughter of one of his tenants, but had no intention of making her his wife. At the same time he engaged himself to Sophia, the daughter of sir Benjamin Dove. The day of the wedding arrived, and it was then discovered that he was married already, and that Violetta his wife was actually present.

_Robert Belmont_, the younger of the two brothers, in love with Sophia Dove. He went to sea in a privateer under captain Ironside, his uncle, and changed his name to Lewson. The vessel was wrecked on the Cornwall coast, and he renewed his acquaintance with Sophia, but heard that she was engaged in marriage to his brother. As, however, it was proved that his brother was already married, the young lady willingly abandoned the elder for the younger brother.--K. c.u.mberland, _The Brothers_ (1769).

BELMOUR (_Edward_), a gay young man about town.--Congreve, _The Old Bachelor_ (1693).

_Belmour (Mrs_.), a widow of "agreeable vivacity, entertaining manners, quickness of transition from one thing to another, a feeling heart, and a generosity of sentiment." She it is who shows Mrs.

Lovemore the way to keep her husband at home, and to make him treat her with that deference which is her just due.--A. Murphy, _The Way to Keep Him_ (1760).

BELOVED DISCIPLE (_The_), St. John "the divine," and writer of the fourth Gospel.--_John_ xiii. 23, etc.

Character Sketches of Romance Volume I Part 37

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Character Sketches of Romance Volume I Part 37 summary

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