Benefit-Play to Berinthia

Benefit-Play. The first actress indulged with a benefit-play was Mrs. Elizabeth Barry (1682–1733).

Benengeli (Cid Hamet), the hypothetical Moorish chronicler from whom Cervantês pretends he derived the account of the adventures of don Quixote.

The Spanish commentators … have discovered that cid Hamet Benengeli is after all no more than an Arabic version of the name of Cervantes himself. Hamet is a Moorish prefix, and Benengeli signifies “son of a stag,” in Spanish Cervanteno.—Lockhart.

Benengeli (Cid Hamet), Thomas Babington lord Macaulay. His signature in his Fragment of an Ancient Romance (1826).

Benevolus, in Cowper’s Task, is John Courtney Throckmorton, of Weston Underwood.

Benjie (Little), or Benjamin Colthred, a spy employed by Cristal Nixon, the agent of Redgauntlet.—Sir W. Scott: Redgauntlet (time, George III.).

Bennet (Brother), a monk at St. Mary’s convent.—Sir W. Scott: The Monastery (time, Elizabeth).

Bennet (Mrs.), a demure, intriguing woman in Amelia, a novel by Fielding (1751).

Benoiton (Madame), a woman who has been the ruin of the family by neglect. In the “famille Benoiton” the constant question was, “Où est Madame?” and the invariable answer, “Elle est sortie.” At the dénouement the question was asked again, and the answer was varied thus: “Madam has been at home, but is gone out again.”—La Famille Benoiton.

Benshee or Banshee, the domestic spirit of certain Irish families. The benshee takes an interest in the prosperity of the family to which it is attached, and intimates to it approaching disaster or death by wailings or shrieks. The Scotch Bodach Glay, or “grey spectre,” is a similar spirit. (See White Lady.)

How oft has the Benshee cried!
How oft has death untied
Bright links that glory wove,
Sweet bonds entwined by love!
   —T. Moore: Irish Melodies, il.

Bentinck Street (London), named after William Bentinck, second duke of Portland, who married Margaret, only child of Edward second earl of Oxford and Mortimer.

Benvolio, nephew to Montague, and Romeo’s friend. A testy, litigious fellow, who would quarrel about goat’s wool or pigeon’s milk. Mercutio says to him, “Thou hast quarrelled with a man for coughing in the street, because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun” (act iii. SC. I).—Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (1598).

Benwicke, the kingdom of king Ban, father of sir Launcelot. It was situated in that extremely shadowy locality “beyond seas;” but whether it was Brittany or Utopia, “non nostrum tantas componere lites.”

Probably it was Brittany, because it was across the channel, and was in France. Ban king of Benwicke was brother of Bors king of Gaul.—Malory: History of Prince Arthur, i. 8 (1470).

Beowulf, the name of an Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the sixth century. It received its name from Beowulf, who delivered Hrothgar king of Denmark from the monster Grendel. This Grendel was half monster and half man, and night after night stole into the king’s palace called Heorot, and slew sometimes as many as thirty of the sleepers at a time. Beowulf put himself at the head of a mixed band of warriors, went against the monster and slew it. This epic is very Ossianic in style, is full of beauties, and is most interesting.—Kemble’s Translation.

(A. D. Wackerbarth published in 1849 a metrical translation of this Anglo-Saxon poem, of considerable merit; and T. Arnold, in 1876, published an edition of the fragment, consisting of 6337 lines.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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