BEDDOES, Thomas Lovell, poet. B. July 20, 1803, eldest son of preceding. Ed. Bath Grammar School, Charterhouse, and Oxford (Pembroke College). He began at school to write poetry and drama, and at Oxford he freely expressed republican sentiments. His play, The Bride s Tragedy (1822), opened a successful career in letters; but in 1825 he went to Germany to study medicine. He took an active part in the revolutionary movement, and was driven to Switzerland. His most famous work, Death s Jest-Boole, occupied him for twenty years (1825-45), and was published after his death. In his letters (included in Kelsall s Memoir of him) he frequently expresses his advanced Rationalism. D. Jan. 26, 1849.
BEESLY, Edward Spencer, Positivist. .B.June 23, 1831. Ed. privately and at Oxford (Wadham College), where he mefc Frederic Harrison. He was for some years assistant master of Marlborough College, and was introduced to Positivism by Congreve. In 1860 he became professor of history at University College and Principal of Univer sity College Hall. He began to edit the Positivist Eevieio in 1893, translated Comte s Discourse on the Positive Spirit (1903), and wrote various works. He made two unsuccessful attempts (in 1880 and 1886) to enter Parliament, and did much to secure the recognition of Trade Unions and to further the welfare of the workers. D. July 7, 1915.
BEETHOVEN, Ludwig von, German composer. B. at Bonn, Dec. 16, 1770. Trained by his father, a Catholic choir- singer, he became an assistant organist in 1784, and was then sent to study under Haydn at Vienna. He adopted Goethe s Pantheistic philosophy and abandoned Catholicism (and Christianity). When Moscheles returned to him a manuscript with the words " With God s help " on it, Beethoven wrote: "Man, help thyself." The complete deafness which darkened his brilliant musical career in 1802 deepened his religious sentiment ; but it was never Cl
other than Pantheistic, even when he composed his famous " Missa Solemnis " (1818-21), which Sir G. Macfarren calls " perhaps the grandest piece of musical expression which art possesses." His friend and biographer, A. Schindler, observes that he was " inclined to Deism," and the careful study which Nohl prefixes to his edition of Beethoven s Brevier (1870) shows that he lived and died a Pantheist. Of his later years Nohl says (p. Ixxxvii) : " His religious feelings had now assumed such a character that no dogmas or narrow philosophy of life could satisfy him." At the entreaty of Catholic friends he received the ministrations of the Church before he died. Nohl says (p. Iv) that when the priest left the room Beethoven said to his friends in Latin : " Applaud, friends ; the comedy is over." Schindler, however, states that these words were addressed to himself at an earlier date, and referred to the expected close of Beethoven s life. It is at least clear in all the authorities that he accepted the sacraments only sym bolically. The Catholic Encyclopedia (which includes the more radical Free thinker Berlioz) omits Beethoven. Sir G. Macfarren describes him as " a free thinker " (Imper. Diet. Univ. Biog.). D. Mar. 26, 1827.
BEGBIE, Major-General Elphinstone Waters, C.B., D.S.O. B. June 15, 1842. Ed. Crewkerne Grammar School, Bonn, and Canstatt. He was promoted Ensign of the Madras Infantry in 1859, Colonel in 1889, Major-General in 1898, and D.A.G., Madras Command, with rank of Brigadier- General, 1895. General Begbie served in the Abyssinian Campaign, the Duffla Expe dition, and the Third Burmese War. He wrote several military works, and was a cordial supporter of the R. P. A. D. Feb. 11, 1919.
BEKKER, Balthasar, D.D., Dutch writer. B. Mar. 30, 1634. Ed. Groningen and Francken. He entered the ministry of the Reformed Church, but adopted the