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BALASSA—BALBI

vegetation of low scrub jungle. Sluggish brackish streams creep along between banks of fetid black mud. The sandhills on the verge of the ocean are carpeted with creepers and the wild convolvulus. Inland, it spreads out into prairies of coarse long grass and scrub jungle, which harbour wild animals in plenty; but throughout this vast region there is scarcely a hamlet, and only patches of rice cultivation at long intervals. From any part of the salt tract one may see the boundary of the inner arable part of the district fringed with long lines of trees, from which every morning the villagers drive their cattle out into the saliferous plains to graze. The salt tract is purely alluvial, and appears to be of recent date. Towards the coast the soil has a distinctly saline taste.

Salt used to be largely manufactured in the district by evaporation, but the industry is now extinct. The arable tract lies beyond the salt lands, and embraces the chief part of the district. It is a long dead-level of rich fields, with a soil lighter in colour than that of Bengal or Behar; much more friable, and apt to split up into small cubes with a rectangular cleavage. A peculiar feature of the arable tract is the Pāts (literally cups) or depressed lands near the river-banks. They were probably marshes that have partially silted up by the yearly overflow of the streams. These pāts bear the finest crops. As a whole, the arable tract is a treeless region, except around the villages, which are encircled by fine mango, pipal, banyan and tamarind trees, and intersected with green shady lanes of bamboo. A few palmyras, date-palms and screw-pines (a sort of aloe, whose leaves are armed with formidable triple rows of hook-shaped thorns) dot the expanse or run in straight lines between the fields. The submontane tract is an undulating country with a red soil, much broken up into ravines along the foot of the hills. Masses of laterite, buried in hard ferruginous clay, crop up as rocks or slabs. At Kopari, in Kila Ambohata, about 2 sq. m. are almost paved with such slabs, dark-red in colour, perfectly flat and polished like plates of iron. A thousand mountain torrents have scooped out for themselves picturesque ravines, clothed with an ever-fresh verdure of prickly thorns, stunted gnarled shrubs, and here and there a noble forest tree. Large tracts are covered with sal jungle, which nowhere, however, attains to any great height.

Balasore district is watered by six distinct river systems: those of the Subanrekha, the Burabalang, the Jamka, the Kansbans and the Dhamra.

The climate greatly varies according to the seasons of the year. The hot season lasts from March to June, but is tempered by cool sea-breezes; from June to September the weather is close and oppressive; and from October to February the cold season brings the north-easterly winds, with cool mornings and evenings.

Almost the only crop grown is rice, which is largely exported by sea. The country is exposed to destructive floods from the hill-rivers and also from cyclonic storm-waves. The district is traversed throughout its entire length by the navigable Orissa coast canal, and also by the East Coast railway from Calcutta to Madras. The seaports of Balasore, Chandbali and Dhamra conduct a very large coasting trade. The exports are almost confined to rice, which is sent to Ceylon, the Maldives and Mauritius. The imports consist of cotton twist and piece goods, mineral oils, metals, betel-nuts and salt. In 1901 the population was 1,071,197, an increase of 9% in the decade.

BALASSA, BÁLINT, Baron of Kékkö and Gyarmat (1551-1594), Magyar lyric poet, was born at Kékkö, and educated by the reformer, Péter Bornemissza, and by his mother, the highly gifted Protestant zealot, Anna Sulyok. His first work was a translation of Michael Bock's Würtzgertlein für die krancken Seelen, to comfort his father while in prison (1570-1572) for some political offence. On his father's release, Bálint accompanied him to court, and was also present at the coronation diet of Pressburg in 1572. He then joined the army and led a merry life at the fortress of Eger. Here he fell violently in love with Anna Losonczi, the daughter of the hero of Temesvár, and evidently, from his verses, his love was not unrequited. But a new mistress speedily dragged the ever mercurial youth away from her, and deeply wounded, she gave her hand to Krisztóf Ungnad. Naturally Balassa only began to realize how much he loved Anna when he had lost her. He pursued her with gifts and verses, but she remained true to her pique and to her marriage vows, and he could only enshrine her memory in immortal verse. In 1574 Bálint was sent to the camp of Gáspár Békesy to assist him against Stephen Báthory; but his troops were encountered and scattered on the way thither, and he himself was severly wounded and taken prisoner. His not very rigorous captivity lasted for two years, and he then disappears from sight. We next hear of him in 1584 as the wooer and winner of Christina Dobo, the daughter of the valiant commandant of Eger. What led him to this step we know not, but it was the cause of all his subsequent misfortunes. His wife's greedy relatives nearly ruined him by legal processes, and when in 1586 he turned Catholic to escape their persecutions they declared that he and his son had become Turks. His simultaneous desertion of his wife led to his expulsion from Hungary, and from 1589 to 1594 he led a vagabond life in Poland, sweetened by innumerable amours with damsels of every degree from cithara players to princesses. The Turkish war of 1594 recalled him to Hungary, and he died of his wounds at the siege of Esztergom the same year. Balassa's poems fall into four divisions: religious hymns, patriotic and martial songs, original love poems, and adaptations from the Latin and German. They are all most original, exceedingly objective and so excellent in point of style that it is difficult even to imagine him a contemporary of Sebastian Tinodi and Peter Ilosvay. But his erotics are his best productions. They circulated in MS. for generations and were never printed till 1874, when Farkas Deák discovered a perfect copy of them in the Radvanyi library. For beauty, feeling and transporting passion there is nothing like them in Magyar literature till we come to the age of Michael Csokonai and Alexander Petöfi. Balassa was also the inventor of the strophe which goes by his name. It consists of nine lines—a a b c c b d d b, or three rhyming pairs alternating with the rhyming third, sixth and ninth lines.

See Áron Szilády, Bálint Balassa's Poems (Hung.) Budapest, 1879.

 (R. N. B.) 

BALATON (Plattensee), the largest lake of middle Europe, in the south-west of Hungary, situated between the counties of Veszprém, Zala and Somogy. Its length is 48 m., average breadth 3½ to 4½ m., greatest breadth 7½ m., least breadth a little less than 1 m. It covers 266 sq. m. and has an extreme depth of 149 ft. Its northern shores are bordered by the beautiful basaltic cones of the Bakony mountains, the volcanic soil of which produces grapes yielding excellent wine; the southern consist partly of a marshy plain, partly of downs. The most beautiful point of the lake is that where the peninsula of Tihany projects in the waters. An ancient church of the Benedictines is here situated on the top of a hill. In a tomb therein is buried Andrew I. (d. 1061), a king of the Hungarian Arpadian dynasty. The temperature of the lake varies greatly, in a manner resembling that of the sea, and many connect its origin with a sea of the Miocene period, the waters of which are said to have covered the Hungarian plain. About fifty streams flow into the lake, which drains into the Danube and is well stocked with fish. It often freezes in winter. Lake Balaton is of growing importance as a bathing resort.

BALAYAN, a town and port of entry of the province of Batangas, Luzon, Philippine Islands, at the head of the Gulf of Balayan, about 55 m. S. by W. of Manila. Pop. (1903) 8493. Subsequently in October 1903, Calatagan (pop. 2654) and Tuy (pop. 2430) were annexed. Balayan has a healthful climate, and is in the midst of a fertile district (with a volcanic soil), which produces rice, cane-sugar, cacao, coffee, pepper, cotton, Indian corn, fruit (oranges, bananas, mangoes, &c.) and native dyes. Horses and cattle are raised for market in considerable numbers. The fisheries are important. The native language is Tagalog.

BALBI, ADRIAN (1782-1848), Italian geographer, was born at Venice on the 25th of April 1782. The publication of his Prospetto politico-geografico dello stato attuale del globo (Venice,