Bane of the Land to Bard of Avon

Bane of the Land [Landschaden], the name given to a German robber-knight on account of his reckless depredations on his neighbours property. He was placed under the ban of the empire for his offences.

Bangorian Controversy, a theological paper-war begun by Dr. Hoadly, bishop of Bangor, the best reply being by Law. The subject of this controversy was a sermon preached before George I., on the text, “My kingdom is not of this world” (1717).

Banks, a farmer, the great terror of old mother Sawyer, the witch of Edmonton.—The Witch of Edmonton (by Rowley, Dekker, and Ford, 1658).

Banks o’ Yarrow (The), a “Scotch” ballad, describing how two brothers-in-law designed to fight a duel on the banks of Yarrow, but one of them laid an ambush and slew the other. The anguish of the widow is the chief charm of the ballad.

Bannatyne Club, a literary club which takes its name from George Bannatyne. It was instituted in 1823 by sir Walter Scott, and had for its object the publication of rare works illustrative of Scottish history, poetry, and general literature. The club was dissolved in 1859.

Bannockburn (in Stirling), famous for the great battle between Bruce and Edward II., in which the English army was totally defeated, and the Scots regained their freedom (June 24, 1314).

Departed spirits of the mighty dead! …
Oh! once again to Freedom’s cause return
The patriot Tell, the Bruce of Bannockburn.
   —Campbell: Pleasures of Hope, i. (1799).

Banquo, a Scotch general of royal extraction, in the time of Edward the Confessor. He was murdered at the instigation of king Macbeth, but his son Fleance èscaped, and from this Fleance descended a race of kings who filled the throne of Scotland, ending with James I. of England, in whom were united the two crowns. It was the ghost of Banquo which haunted Macbeth. The witches on the blasted heath hailed Banquo as—

(1) Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
(2) Not so happy, yet much happier.
(3) Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
   —Shakespeare: Macbeth, act i. sc. 3 (1606).

(Historically, no such person as Banquo ever existed, and therefore Fleance was not the ancestor of the house of Stuart.)

Banshee. (See Benshee.)

Bantam (Angelo Cyrus), grand-master of the ceremonies at “Ba-ath,” and a very mighty personage in the opinion of the élite of Bath.—C. Dickens: The Pick-wick Papers (1836).

Banting. Doing Banting means living by regimen for the sake of reducing superfluous fat. William Banting, an undertaker, was at one time a very fat man, but he resolved to abstain from beer, farinaceous foods, and all vegetables, his chief diet being meat (1796–1878).

Bap, a contraction of Baphomet, i.e. Mahomet. An imaginary idol or symbol which the Templars were accused of employing in their mysterious religious rites. It was a small human figure cut in stone, with two heads, one male and the other female, but all the rest of the figure was female. Specimens still exist.

Baptes, priests of the goddess Cotytto, whose midnight orgies were so obscene as to disgust even the very goddess of obscenity. (Greek, bapto, “to baptize,” because these priests bathed themselves in the most effeminate manner.)—Juvenal: Satires, ii. 91.

Baptista, a rich gentleman of Padua, father of Katharina “the shrew” and Bianca.—Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew (1594).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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