Belvawney (Miss), of the Portsmouth Theatre. She always took the part of page, and wore tights and silk stockings. Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby (1838).
Belvidera, daughter of Priuli a senator of Venice. She was saved from the sea by Jaffier, eloped with him, and married him. Her father then discarded her, and her husband joined the conspiracy of Pierre to murder the senators. He told Belvidera of the plot, and Belvidera, in order to save her father, persuaded Jaffier to reveal the plot to Priuli, if he would promise a general free pardon. Priuli gave the required promise, but notwithstanding, all the conspirators, except Jaffier, were condemned to death by torture. Jaffier stabbed Pierre to save him from the dishonour of the wheel, and then killed himself. Belvidera goes mad and dies.Otway: Venice Preserved (1682).
We have to check our tears, although well aware that the Belvidera with whose sorrows we sympathize is no other than our own inimitable Mrs. Siddons.Sir W. Scott: The Drama.
(The Booth used to speak in rapture of Mrs. Porters Belvidera. It obtained for Mrs. Barry the title of famous; Miss ONeill and Miss Helen Faucit were both great in the same part.)
Ben [Legend], sir Sampson Legends younger son, a sailor and a sea-wit, in whose composition there enters no part of the conventional generosity and open frankness of a British tar. His slang phrase is Dye see, and his pet oath Mess!W. Congreve: Love for Love (1695). I cannot agree with the following sketch:
What is Benthe pleasant sailor which Bannister gives usbut a piece of satire a dreamy combination of all the accidents of a sailors character, his contempt of money, his credulity to women, with that necessary estrangement from home? We never think the worse of Ben for it, or feel it as a stain upon his character.C. Lamb
C. Dibdin says, If the description of Thom. Doggetts performance of this character be correct, the part has certainly never been performed since to any degree of perfection.
Ben Jochanan, in the satire of Absalom and Achitophel, by Dryden and Tate, is meant for the Rev. Samuel Johnson, who, it is said suffered a scandalous amour under his own roof.
So made for mischief as Ben Jochanan.
A Jew of humble parentage was he,
By trade a Levite, though of low degree.
Dryden and Tate: pt.ii. 351354 (1682).
Benaiah, in Absalom and Achitophel, is meant for general George Edward Sackville. As Benaiah, captain of Davids guard, adhered to Solomon against Adonijah, so general Sackville adhered to the duke of York against the prince of Orange (15901652).
Of steady soul when public storms were high.
Dryden and Tate: pt. ii. 819, 820 (1682).
Benbow (Admiral). In an engagement with the French near St. Martha on the Spanish coast in 1701, admiral Benbow had his legs and thighs shivered into splinters by chain-shot; but, supported in a wooden frame, he remained on the quarter-deck till morning, when Du Casse sheered off.
Similar acts of heroism are recorded of Almeyda the Portuguese governor of India; of Cynægeros brother of the poet Æschylos; of Jaafer the standard-bearer of the prophet in the battle of Muta; Widdrington (q.v.); and of some others. (see Jaafer.)
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