Beefington to Belfield

Beefington (Milor), in Canning’s burlesque called The Rovers. Casimir is a Polish emigrant, and Beefington an English nobleman exiled by the tyranny of king John.—Anti-Jacobin.

“Will, without power,” said the sagacious Casimir to Milor Beefington, “is like children playing at soldiers”—Macaulay.

Beelzebub , called “prince of the devils” (Matt. xii. 24), worshipped at Ekron, a city of the Philistines (2 Kings i. 2), and made by Milton second to Satan.

One next himself in power and next in crime—
   —Paradise Lost, i. 80 (1665).

Beenie, chambermaid at Old St. Ronan’s inn, held by Meg Dods.—Sir W. Scott: St. Ronan’s Well (time, George III.).

Befana, the good fairy of Italian children. She is supposed to fill their shoes and socks with toys when they go to bed on Twelfth Night. Some one enters the bedroom for the purpose, and the wakeful youngsters cry out, “Ecco la Befana!” According to legend, Befana was too busy with house affairs to take heed of the Magi when they went to offer their gifts, and said she would stop for their return; but they returned by another way, and Befana every Twelfth Night watches to see them. The name is a corruption of Epiphania.

Beg [“lord”] a title generally given to lieutenants of provinces under the grand signior, but rarely to supreme princes. Occasionally, however, the Persian emperors have added the title to their names, as Hagmet beg, Alman beg, Morad beg, etc.—Selden: Titles of Honour, vi. 70 (1672).

Beg (Callum), page to Fergus M’Ivor, in Waverley, a novel by sir W. Scott (time, George II.).

Beg (Toshach), MacGillie Chattanach’s second at the combat.—Sir W. Scott: Fair Maid of Perth (time, Henry IV.).

Beggar of Bethnal Green (The), a drama by S. Knowles (recast and produced, 1834). Bess, daughter of Albert, “the blind beggar of Bethnal Green,” was intensely loved by Wilford, who first saw her in the streets of London, and subsequently, after diligent search, discovered her in the Queen’s Arms inn at Romford. It turned out that her father Albert was brother to lord Woodville, and Wilford was his truant son, so that Bess was his cousin. Queen Elizabeth sanctioned their nuptials, and took them under her own conduct. (See Blind.)

This play is founded on the ballad The Beggar’s Daughter (q.v.).

Beggars (King of the), Bampfylde Moore Carew, who succeeded Clause Patch (1693, 1730–1770).

Beggar’s Bush (The), a comedy by John Fletcher (1622).

Beggar’s Daughter (The). “Bessee the beggar’s daughter of Bethnal Green” was very beautiful, and was courted by four suitors at once—a knight, a country squire, a rich merchant, and the son of an innkeeper at Romford. She told them all they must first obtain the consent of her poor blind father, the beggar of Bethnal Green, and all slunk off except the knight, who went and asked leave to marry “the pretty Bessee.” The beggar gave her for a “dot” £3000, and £100 for her trousseau, and informed the knight that he (the beggar) was Henry, son and heir of sir Simon de Montfort, and that he had disguised himself as a beggar to escape the vigilance of spies, who were in quest of all those engaged on the barons’ side in the battle of Evesham.—Percy: Reliques, II. ii. 10.

As the value of money was about twelve times what it now is, this “dot” would equal £36,000. (See Beggar of Bethnal Green.)

Beggar’s Opera (The), by Gay (1727). The beggar is captain Macheath. (For plot, see Macheath.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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