Bion to Bishops

Bion, the rhetorician, noted for his acrimonious and sharp sayings.

Bionis sermonibus et sale nigro.
   —Horace: 2 Epistles, ii. 60.

Biondello, one of the servants of Lucentio the future husband of Bianca (sister of “the shrew”). His fellow-servant is Tranio.—Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew (1594).

Birch.Dr. Birch and his Young Friends.” A “Christmas Tale” by Thackeray (1849).

Birch (Harvey), a prominent character in The Spy, a novel by J. F. Cooper (1821).

Birchover Lane (London), so called from Birchover, the builder, who owned the houses there.

Bird (The Little Green), of the frozen regions, which could reveal every secret and impart information of events past, present, or to come. Prince Chery went in search of it, so did his two cousins, Brightsun and Felix; last of all went Fairstar, who succeeded in obtaining it, and liberated the princes who had failed in their attempts.—Comtesse D’Aulnoy: Fairy Tales (“Princess Cherry,” 1682).

This tale is a mere reproduction of “The Two Sisters,” the last tale of the Arabian Nights, in which the bird is called “Bulbul-hezar, the talking bird.”

Bird Singing to a Monk. The monk was Felix.—Longfellow: Golden Legend, ii.

Archbishop Trench has written a version of this legend in verse; bishop Ken tells the same story in verse; and cardinal Newman repeats it in his Grammar of Assent.

Bird Told Me (A Little). “A bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter” (Eccles.x. 20). In the old Basque legends a “little bird” is introduced “which tells the truth.” The sisters had deceived the king by assuring him that his first child was a cat, his second a dog, and his third a bear; but the “little bird” told him the truth—the first two were daughters and the third a son. This little truth-telling bird appears in sundry tales of great antiquity; it is introduced in the tale of “Princess Fairstar” (Comtesse D’Aulnoy) as a “little green bird who tells everything;” also in the Arabian Nights (the last tale, called “The Two Sisters”).

I think I hear a little bird who sings,
“The people by-and-by will be the stronger.”
   —Byron: Don Juan, viii. 50 (1821).

When Kenelm or Cenhelm, was murdered by the order of his sister Cwenthryth, “at the very same hour a white dove flew to Rome, and, lighting on the high altar of St.Peter’s, deposited there a letter containing a full account of the murder.” So the pope sent men to examine into the matter, and a chapel was built over the dead body, called “St. Kenelm’s Chapel to this day” (Shropshire).

Bireno, the lover and subsequent husband of Olympia queen of Holland. He was taken prisoner by Cymosco king of Friza, but was released by Orlando. Bireno, having forsaken Olympia, was put to death by Oberto king of Ireland, who married by the young widow.—Ariosto : Orlando Furioso, iv., v. (1516).

Bireno (Duke), heir to the crown of Lombardy. It was the king’s wish he should marry Sophia, his only child, but the princess loved Paladore, a Briton. Bireno had a mistress named Alinda, whom he induced to personate the princess, and in Paladore’s presence she cast down a rope-ladder for the duke to climb up by. Bireno has Alinda murdered to prevent the deception being known, and accuses the princess of inchastity—a crime in Lombardy punished by death. As the princess is led to execution, Paladore challenges the duke, and kills him. The villainy is fully revealed, and the princess is married to the man of her choice, who had twice saved her life.—Jephson : The Law of Lombardy (1779).

Birmingham of Belgium, Liège.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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