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363
BANVILLE—BAPHOMET

ao Muata Yanvo goes deeply into Bantu language questions. The Duala language of Cameroon, has been illustrated by the Baptist missionary Saker in his works published about 1860, and since 1900 by German missionaries and explorers (such as Schuler). The German work on the Duala language is mostly published in the Mittheilungen des Seminars fur Orientalische Sprachen (Berlin); see also Schuler's Grammatik des Duala. The Rev. S. Koelle, in his Polyglotta Africana, published in 1851, gave a good many interesting vocabularies of the almost unknown north-west Bantu borderland, as well as of other forms of Bantu speech of the Congo coast and Congo basin. J. T. Last, in his Polyglotta Africana Orientalis, has illustrated briefly many of the East African dialects and languages, some otherwise touched by no one else. He has also published an excellent grammar of the Kaguru language of the East African highlands (Usagara). The fullest information is now extant regarding the languages of Uganda and Unyoro, in works by the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society (Pilkington, Blackledge, Hattersley, Henry Duta and others). Mr Crabtree, of the same mission, has collected information regarding the Masaba dialects of Elgon, and these have also been illustrated by Mr C. W. Hobley, and by Sir H. H. Johnston (Uganda Protectorate), and privately by Mr S. A. Northcote. Mr A. C. Madan has published works on the Swahili language and on the little-known Senga of Central Zambezia and Wisa of North-East Rhodesia (Oxford University Press). Jacottet (Paris, 1902) has in his Grammaire Subiya provided an admirable study of the Subiya and Luyi languages of Barotseland, and in 1907, Edwin W. Smith (Oxford University Press) brought out a Handbook of the Ila Language (Mashukulumbwe). The Rev. W. Govan Robertson is the author of a complete study of the Bemba language. Mrs Sydney Hinde has illustrated the dialects of Kikuyu and Kamba. F. Van der Burgt has published a Dictionary of Kirundi (the language spoken at the north end of Tanganyika). Oci-herero of Damaraland has chiefly been illustrated by German writers, old and new; such as Dr Kolbe and Dr P. H. Brincker. The northern languages of this Herero group have been studied by members of the American Mission at Bailundu under the name of Umbundu. Some information on the languages of the south-western part of the Congo basin and those of south-eastern Angola may be found in the works of Capello and Ivens and of Henrique de Carvalho and Commander V. L. Cameron. The British, French and German missionaries have published many dictionaries and grammars of the different Secuana dialects, notable amongst which is John Brown's Dictionary of Secuana and Meinhof's Study of the Tsi-venda. The grammars and dictionaries of Zulu-Kaffir are almost too numerous to catalogue. Among the best are Maclaren's Kafir Grammar and Roberts' Zulu Dictionary. The works of Boyce, Appleyard and Bishop Colenso should also be consulted. Miss A. Werner has written important studies on the Zulu click-words and other grammatical essays and vocabularies of the Bantu languages in the Journal of the African Society between 1902 and 1906. The Tebele dialect of Zulu has been well illustrated by W. A. Elliott in his Dictionary of the Tebele and Shuna languages (London, 1897). The Ronga (Tonga, Si-gwamba, Hlengwe, &c.) are dealt with in the Grammaire Ronga (Lausanne, 1896) of Henri Junod. Bishop Smyth and John Mathews have published a vocabulary and short grammar of the Xilenge (Shilenge) language of Inhambane (S.P.C.R., 1902). The journal Anthropos (Vienna) should also be consulted.

 (H. H. J.) 


BANVILLE, THÉODORE FAULLAIN DE (1823-1891), French poet and miscellaneous writer, was born at Moulins in the Bourbonnais, on the 14th of March 1823. He was the son of a captain in the French navy. His boyhood, by his own account, was cheerlessly passed at a lycée in Paris; he was not harshly treated, but took no part in the amusements of his companions. On leaving school with but slender means of support, he devoted himself to letters, and in 1842 published his first volume of verse (Les Cariatides), which was followed by Les Stalactites in 1846. The poems encountered some adverse criticism, but secured for their author the approbation and friendship of Alfred de Vigny and Jules Janin. Henceforward Banville's life was steadily devoted to literary production and criticism. He printed other volumes of verse, among which the Odes funambulesques (Alençon, 1857) received unstinted praise from Victor Hugo, to whom they were dedicated. Later, several of his comedies in verse were produced at the Théâtre Français and on other stages; and from 1853 onwards a stream of prose flowed from his industrious pen, including studies of Parisian manners, sketches of well-known persons (Camées parisiennes, &c.), and a series of tales (Contes bourgeois, Contes héroïques, &c.), most of which were republished in his collected works (1875-1878). He also wrote freely for reviews, and acted as dramatic critic for more than one newspaper. Throughout a life spent mainly in Paris, Banville's genial character and cultivated mind won him the friendship of the chief men of letters of his time. He was also intimate with Frédérick-Lemaître and other famous actors. In 1858 he was decorated with the legion of honour, and was promoted to be an officer of the order in 1886. He died in Paris on the 15th of March 1891, having just completed his sixty-eighth year. Banville's claim to remembrance rests mainly on his poetry. His plays are written with distinction and refinement, but are deficient in dramatic power; his stories, though marked by fertility of invention, are as a rule conventional and unreal. Most of his prose, indeed, in substance if not in manner, is that of a journalist. His lyrics, however, rank high. A careful and loving student of the finest models, he did even more than his greater and somewhat older comrades, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Théophile Gautier, to free French poetry from the fetters of metre and mannerism in which it had limped from the days of Malherbe. In the Odes funambulesques and elsewhere he revived with perfect grace and understanding the rondeau and the villanelle, and like Victor Hugo in Les Orientales, wrote pantoums (pantuns) after the Malay fashion. He published in 1872 a Petit traité de versification française in exposition of his metrical methods. He was a master of delicate satire, and used with much effect the difficult humour of sheer bathos, happily adapted by him from some of the early folk-songs. He has somewhat rashly been compared to Heine, whom he profoundly admired; but if he lacked the supreme touch of genius, he remains a delightful writer, who exercised a wise and sound influence upon the art of his generation.

Among his other works may be mentioned the poems, Idylles prussiennes (1871), and Trente-six ballades joyeuses (1875); the prose tales, Les Saltimbanques (1853); Esquisses parisiennes (1859) and Contes féeriques; and the plays, Le Feuilleton d'Aristophane (1852), Gringoire (1866), and Deidamia (1876).

See also J. Lemaître, Les Contemporains (first series, 1885); Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi, vol. xiv; Maurice Spronck, Les Artistes littéraires (1889).

 (C.) 


BANYAN, or Banian (an Arab corruption, borrowed by the Portuguese from the Sanskrit vanij, "merchant"), the Ficus Indica, or Bengalensis, a tree of the fig genus. The name was originally given by Europeans to a particular tree on the Persian Gulf beneath which some Hindu "merchants" had built a pagoda. In Calcutta the word was once generally applied to a native broker or head clerk in any business or private house, now usually known as sircar. Bunya, a corruption of the word common in Bengal generally, is usually applied to the native grain-dealer. Early writers sometimes use the term generically for all Hindus in western India. Banyan was long Anglo-Indian for an undershirt, in allusion to the body garment of the Hindus, especially the Banyans.

Banyan days is a nautical slang term. In the British navy there were formerly two days in each week on which meat formed no part of the men's rations. These were called banyan days, in allusion to the vegetarian diet of the Hindu merchants. Banyan hospital also became a slang term for a hospital for animals, in reference to the Hindu's humanity and his dislike of taking the life of any animal.


BAOBAB, Adansonia digitata (natural order Bombaceae), a native of tropical Africa, one of the largest trees known, its stem reaching 30 ft. in diameter, though the height is not great. It has a large woody fruit, containing a mucilaginous pulp, with a pleasant cool taste, in which the seeds are buried. The bark yields a strong fibre which is made into ropes and woven into cloth. The wood is very light and soft, and the trunks of living trees are often excavated to form houses. The name of the genus was given by Linnaeus in honour of Michel Adanson, a celebrated French botanist and traveller.


BAPHOMET, the imaginary symbol or idol which the Knights Templars were accused of worshipping in their secret rites. The term is supposed to be a corruption of Mahomet, who in several medieval Latin poems seems to be called by this name. J. von Hammer-Purgstall, in his Mysterium Baphometis relevatum, &c., and Die Schuld der Templer, revived the old charge against the Templars. The word, according to his interpretation, signifies the baptism of Metis, or of fire, and is, therefore, connected with the impurities of the Gnostic Ophites (q.v.). Additional