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Honour (1814). Besides his many tech nical works he published an enthusiastic eulogy of Montaigne (Eloge de Montaigne, 1812), and throughout the period of re action he was loyal to the Rationalism of his early years. D. Feb. 3, 1862.

BIRCH, William John, M.A., lawyer. B. Jan. 4, 1811. Ed, Oxford (Balliol) and New Inn. He was admitted to the bar in 1841. Birch was a very versatile man and an outspoken friend of reform. He was a member of the Italian Asiatic Society and a generous supporter of the Mazzinians. The early Rationalist movement had his constant sympathy and aid. He edited the account of the trial of Thomas Paterson for blasphemy, brought out the " Library of Reason," and supported and contributed to the Reasoner and the Investigator. He wrote An Inquiry into the Philosophy and Religion of Shakespeare (1848 a work of great value), An Inquiry into the Philosophy and Religion of the Bible (1856), and other works. D. 1863.

BIRKBECK, George, M.D., founder of the Mechanics Institutions. B. Jan. 10, 1776. Ed. Edinburgh and London. Graduating in medicine in 1799, he was appointed professor of philosophy at the Andersonian University, Glasgow. In 1800 he established courses of lectures for the workers, and these became in 1823 the Glasgow Mechanics Institution. In 1804 he resigned his chair, and engaged in legal practice at London, where he founded the Mechanics Institution which is now known as the Birkbeck Institution. He gave it very generous financial and personal aid, and he was also one of the founders of University College in 1827. J. S. Godard says in his biography (George Birkbeck, 1884) that he came of a Quaker family, and never abandoned Theism, but that in his later years he " does not appear to have identified himself with any special denomination" (p. 185). D. Dec. 1, 1841.

BITHELL, Richard, Ph.D., B.Sc.,

author. B. Mar. 22, 1821. Ed. Gottingen and London Universities. Dr. Bithell, who was in the service of the Rothschilds, was a cultivated and outspoken Rationalist. His Creed of a Modern Agnostic (1883) and Agnostic Problems (1887) were of consider able service in the early days of the move ment. He was a member of the Ration alist Press Committee, which founded the Rationalist Press Association.

BIZET, Alexandre Cesar Leopold

(generally known as "Georges" Bizet), French composer. B. Oct. 25, 1838. He entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of nine, and for ten years won nearly every available prize there. Among others he won the Prix de Rome, and went to Italy to complete his education. After his return he produced several operas of dis tinction, but he had little public success until he composed Carmen in 1875 ; though the merit of even this work was not recog nized until after his premature death. His letters (edited by L. Ganderax, 1908) are full of drastic Rationalism. " I have," he says, " always read the ancient pagans with infinite pleasure, while in Christian writers I find only system, egoism, in tolerance, and a complete lack of artistic taste" (p. 238). D. June 3, 1875.

BJORKMANN, Edwin August, Ameri can writer. B. (Sweden) Oct. 19, 1866. Ed. Stockholm Higher Latin School. After spending some years as clerk, actor, and journalist, he migrated to America in 1891, and definitely adopted journalism. He edited the Minnesota Post (1892-94), and worked on the Minneapolis Times (1894- 97) and the New York Sun and Times (1897-1905). From 1906 to 1912 he was on the editorial staff of the Evening Post, and he then became Department-Editor of The World s Work. In 1914 he won a scholarship of the American- Scandinavian Foundation for literary study in Europe. Bjorkmann has written a number of works, which are all tinged with Rationalism. In Gleams (1912) he appreciates "the diminish- 78