Birmingham of Russia, Tula, south of Moscow.

Birmingham Poet (The), John Freeth, the wit, poet, and publican, who wrote his own songs, set them to music, and sang them (1730–1808).

Birnam Wood. Macbeth said he was told—

… “Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane;” and now a wood
Comes towards Dunsinane.
   —Shakespeare: Macbeth, act v. sc. 5.

This has been often repeated in history, as by Alexander, the Spanish mutineers, Hassan, and others.

When Al exander marched against Darius, he commanded his soldiers “ut inciderent ramos arborum … easque inferent equorum pedibus … quos videntes Perses ab excelsis montibus stupebant.’—Historia Alexandri Magni (1490).

At the siege of Antwerp, 1576, the Spanish mutineers wore green branches when they came from Alost, and looked like a moving wood approaching the citadel.—Motley : The Dutch Republic, iv. 5.

For Hassan’s incident, see Notes and Queries (March 13, 1880).

BIRON, a merry mad-cap young lord, in attendance on Ferdinand king of Navarre. Biron promised to spend three years with the king in study, during which time no woman was to approach his court; but no sooner has he signed the compact than he falls in love with Rosaline. Rosaline defers his suit for twelve months and a day, saying, “If you my favour mean to get, for twelve months seek the weary beds of people sick.”

A merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour’s talk withal.
His eye begets occasion for his wit :
For every object that the one doth catch,
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest;
Which his fair tongue (conceit’s expositor)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished.
   —Shakespeare: Love’s Labour’s Lost, act ii. sc. 1(1594)

Biron (Charles de Gontaut duc de), greatly beloved by Henri IV. of France. He won immortal laurels at the battles of Arques and Ivry, and at the sieges of Paris and Rouen. The king loaded him with honours: he was admiral of France, marshal, governor of Bourgoyne, duke and peer of France. This too-much honour made him forget himself, and he entered into a league with Spain and Savoy against his country. The plot was discovered by Lafin; and although Henri wished to pardon him, he was executed (1602, aged 40). George Chapman has made him the subject of two tragedies, entitled Biron’s Conspiracy and Biron’s Tragedy (1557–1634).

Biron, eldest son of count Baldwin, who disinherited him for marrying Isabella, a nun. (For the rest of the tale, see Isabella.)—Southern : Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage.

During the absence of the elder Macready, his son took the part of “Biron” in Isabella. The father was shocked, because he desired his son for the Church; but Mrs.Siddons remarked to him, “In the Church your son will live and die a curate on £50 a year, but if successful, the stage will bring him in a thousand.”—Donaldson: Recollections.

Biron (Harriet), the object of sir Charles Grandison’s affections.

One would prefer Dulcinea del Toboso to Miss Biron as soon as Grandison becomes acquainted with the amiable, delicate, virtuous, unfortunate Clementina.—Epilogue of the Editor on the Story of Habib and Dorathilgoase.

Birth. It was lord Thurlow who called high birth “the accident of an accident.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.