Page:EB1911 - Volume 04.djvu/56

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43
BLANTYRE — BLASPHEMY

leading spirit, he was in the following year, 1840, condemned to death, a sentence that was afterwards commuted to imprisonment for life. He was released by the revolution of 1848, only to resume his attacks on existing institutions. The revolution, he declared, was a mere change of name. The violence of the Société républicaine centrale, which was founded by Blanqui to demand a modification of the government, brought him into conflict with the more moderate Republicans, and in 1849 he was condemned to ten years' imprisonment. In 1865, while serving a further term of imprisonment under the Empire, he contrived to escape, and henceforth continued his propaganda against the government from abroad, until the general amnesty of 1869 enabled him to return to France. Blanqui's leaning towards violent measures was illustrated in 1870 by two unsuccessful armed demonstrations: one on the 12th of January at the funeral of Victor Noir, the journalist shot by Pierre Bonaparte; the other on the 14th of August, when he led an attempt to seize some guns at a barrack. Upon the fall of the Empire, through the revolution of the 4th of September, Blanqui established the club and journal La patrie en danger. He was one of the band that for a moment seized the reins of power on the 31st of October, and for his share in that outbreak he was again condemned to death on the 17th of March of the following year. A few days afterwards the insurrection which established the Commune broke out, and Blanqui was elected a member of the insurgent government, but his detention in prison prevented him from taking an active part. Nevertheless he was in 1872 condemned along with the other members of the Commune to transportation; but on account of his broken health this sentence was commuted to one of imprisonment. In 1879 he was elected a deputy for Bordeaux; although the election was pronounced invalid, Blanqui was set at liberty, and at once resumed his work of agitation. At the end of 1880, after a speech at a revolutionary meeting in Paris, he was struck down by apoplexy, and expired on the 1st of January 1881. Blanqui's uncompromising communism, and his determination to enforce it by violence, necessarily brought him into conflict with every French government, and half his life was spent in prison. Besides his innumerable contributions to journalism, he published an astronomical work entitled L'Éternité par les astres (1872), and after his death his writings on economic and social questions were collected under the title of Critique sociale (1885).

A biography by G. Geffroy, L'Enfermé (1897), is highly coloured and decidedly partisan.

Blantyre, the chief town of the Nyasaland protectorate, British Central Africa. It is situated about 3000 ft. above the sea in the Shiré Highlands 300 m. by river and rail N.N.W. of the Chinde mouth of the Zambezi. Pop. about 6000 natives and 100 whites. It is the headquarters of the principal trading firms and missionary societies in the protectorate. It is also a station on the African trans-continental telegraph line. The chief building is the Church of Scotland church, a fine red brick building, a mixture of Norman and Byzantine styles, with lofty turrets and white domes. It stands in a large open space and is approached by an avenue of cypresses and eucalyptus. The church was built entirely by native labour. Blantyre was founded in 1876 by Scottish missionaries, and is named after the birthplace of David Livingstone.

Blantyre (Gaelic, “the warm retreat”), a parish of Lanarkshire, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 14,145. The parish lies a few miles south-east of Glasgow, and contains High Blantyre (pop. 2521), Blantyre Works (or Low Blantyre), Stonefield and several villages. The whole district is rich in coal, the mining of which is extensively carried on. Blantyre Works (pop. 1683) was the birthplace of David Livingstone (1813–1873) and his brother Charles (1821–1873), who as lads were both employed as piecers in a local cotton-mill. The scanty remains of Blantyre Priory, founded towards the close of the 13th century, stand on the left bank of the Clyde, almost opposite the beautiful ruins of Bothwell Castle. High Blantyre and Blantyre Works are connected with Glasgow by the Caledonian railway. Stonefield (pop. 7288), the most populous place in the parish, entirely occupied with mining, lies between High Blantyre and Blantyre Works. Calderwood Castle on Rotten Calder Water, near High Blantyre, is situated amid picturesque scenery.

Blarney, a small town of Co. Cork, Ireland, in the mid parliamentary division, 5 m. N.W. of the city of Cork on the Cork & Muskerry light railway. Pop. (1901) 928. There is a large manufacture of tweed. The name “blarney” has passed into the language to denote a peculiar kind of persuasive eloquence, alleged to be characteristic of the natives of Ireland. The “Blarney Stone,” the kissing of which is said to confer this faculty, is pointed out within the castle. The origin of this belief is not known. The castle, built c. 1446 by Cormac McCarthy, was of immense strength, and parts of its walls are as much as 18 ft. thick. To its founder is traced by some the origin of the term “blarney,” since he delayed by persuasion and promises the surrender of the castle to the lord president. Richard Millikin's song, “The Groves of Blarney” (c. 1798), contributed to the fame of the castle, which is also bound up with the civil history of the county and the War of the Great Rebellion.

Blashfield, Edwin Howland (1848– ), American artist, was born on the 15th of December 1848 in New York City. He was a pupil of Bonnat in Paris, and became (1888) a member of the National Academy of Design in New York. For some years a genre painter, he later turned to decorative work, marked by rare delicacy and beauty of colouring. He painted mural decorations for a dome in the manufacturers' building at the Chicago Exposition of 1893; for the dome of the Congressional library, Washington; for the capitol at St Paul, Minnesota; for the Baltimore court-house; in New York City for the Appellate court house, the grand ball-room of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the Lawyers' club, and the residences of W. K. Vanderbilt and Collis P. Huntington; and in Philadelphia for the residence of George W. Drexel. With his wife he wrote Italian Cities (1900) and edited Vasari's Lives of the Painters (1896), and was well known as a lecturer and writer on art. He became president of the Society of Mural Painters, and of the Society of American Artists.

Blasius (or Blaise), Saint, bishop of Sebaste or Sivas in Asia Minor, martyred under Diocletian on the 3rd of February 316. The Roman Catholic Church holds his festival on the 3rd of February, the Orthodox Eastern Church on the 11th. His flesh is said to have been torn with woolcombers' irons before he was beheaded, and this seems to be the only reason why he has always been regarded as the patron saint of woolcombers. In pre-Reformation England St Blaise was a very popular saint, and the council of Oxford in 1222 forbade all work on his festival. Owing to a miracle which he is alleged to have worked on a child suffering from a throat affection, who was brought to him on his way to execution, St Blaise's aid has always been held potent in throat and lung diseases. The woolcombers of England still celebrate St Blaise's day with a procession and general festivities. He forms one of a group of fourteen (i.e. twice seven) saints, who for their help in time of need have been associated as objects of particularly devoted worship in Roman Catholic Germany since the middle of the 15th century.

See William Hone, Every Day Book, i. 210.

Blasphemy (through the Fr. from Gr. βλασϕημία, profane language, slander, probably derived from root of βλάπτϵιν, to injure, and Φήμη, speech), literally, defamation or evil speaking, but more peculiarly restricted to an indignity offered to the Deity by words or writing. By the Mosaic law death by stoning was the punishment for blasphemy (Lev. xxiv. 16). The 77th Novel of Justinian assigned death as the penalty, as did also the Capitularies. The common law of England treats blasphemy as an indictable offence. All blasphemies against God, as denying His being, or providence, all contumelious reproaches of Jesus Christ, all profane scoffing at the Holy Scriptures, or exposing any part thereof to contempt or ridicule, are punishable by the temporal courts with fine, imprisonment and also infamous corporal punishment. An act of Edward VI. (1547; repealed