Burchell to Byron and the Edinburgh Review

Burchell (Mr.), alias sir William Thornhill, about 30 years of age. When Dr. Primrose, the vicar of Wakefield, loses £1400, Mr. Burchell presents himself as a broken-down gentleman, and the doctor offers him his purse. He turned his back on the two flash ladies who talked of their high-life doings, and cried “Fudge!” after all their boastings and remarks. Mr. Burchell twice rescued Sophia Primrose, and ultimately married her.—Goldsmith: Vicar of Wakefield (1765).

Burgundy (Charles the Bold, duke of), introduced by sir W. Scott in Quentin Durward and in Anne of Geierstein. The latter novel contains the duke’s defeat at Nancy, and his death (time, Edward IV.).

Buridan’s Ass. A man of indecision is so called from the hypothetical ass of Buridan, the Greek sophist. Buridan maintained that “if an ass could be placed between two hay-stacks in such a way that its choice was evenly balanced, it would starve to death, for there would be no motive why he should choose the one in preference to the other.”

Burleigh (William Cecil, lord), lord treasurer to queen Elizabeth (1520–1598), introduced by sir W. Scott in his historical novel called Kenilworth (time, Elizabeth).

(Lord Burleigh is one of the principal characters in The Earl of Essex, a tragedy by Henry Jones, 1745.)

Burleigh (Lord), a parliamentary leader, in The Legend of Montrose, a novel by sir W. Scott (time, Charles I.).

A lord Burleigh shake of the head, a great deal meant by a look or movement, though little or nothing is said. Puff, in his tragedy of The Spanish Armada, introduces lord Burleigh, “who has the affairs of the whole nation in his head, and has no time to talk;” but his lordship comes on the stage and shakes his head, by which he means far more than words could utter. Puff says—

Why, by that shake of the head he gave you to understand that even though they had more justice in their cause and wisdom in their measures, yet, if there was not a greater spirit shown on the part of the people, the country would at last fall a sacrifice to the hostile ambition of the Spanish monarchy.

Sneer. Did he mean all that by shaking his head?

Puff. Every word of it.—Sheridan: The Critic, ii. I (1779).

The original “lord Burleigh” was Irish Moody [1728–1813].—Cornhill Magazine (1867).

Burlesque Poetry (Father of), Hipponax of Ephesus (sixth century B.C.).

Burley (John), “poor, honest, ne’erdo-well, never sober, never solvent, but always genial and witty. On his death, like Falstaff, babbling of green fields.”—, Lord Lytton: My Novel (1853).

Burlong, a giant, whose legs sir Tryamour cut off.—Romance of Sir Tryamour.

Burn Daylight (We), we waste time (in talk instead of action).—Shakespeare: Merry Wives of Windsor, act ii. sc. I (1601).

Burnbill, Henry de Londres, archbishop of Dublin and lord justice of Ireland, in the reign of Henry III. It is said that he fraudulently burnt all the “bills” or instruments by which his tenants of the archbishopric held their estates.

Burnett Prize (The), once in forty years, for the best two essays on “the evidence of an all-powerful and all-wise God.” The first was awarded in 1815.

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