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BARBON—BARBOUR

David, were the predominant school. The romantic movement, with Géricault, Bonington and Delacroix, was gaining favour. In 1824 Constable's pictures were shown in the Salon, and confirmed the younger men in their resolution to abandon the lifeless pedantry of the schools and to seek inspiration from nature. In those troubled times Rousseau and Millet unburdened their souls to their friends, and their published lives contain many letters, some extracts from which will express the ideals which these artists held in common, and show clearly the true and firmly-based foundation on which their art stands. Rousseau wrote, "It is good composition when the objects represented are not there solely as they are, but when they contain under a natural appearance the sentiments which they have stirred in our souls.... For God's sake, and in recompense for the life He has given us, let us try in our works to make the manifestation of life our first thought: let us make a man breathe, a tree really vegetate." And Millet—"I try not to have things look as if chance had brought them together, but as if they had a necessary bond between themselves. I want the people I represent to look as if they really belonged to their station, so that imagination cannot conceive of their ever being anything else. People and things should always be there with an object. I want to put strongly and completely all that is necessary, for I think things weakly said might as well not be said at all, for they are, as it were, deflowered and spoiled—but I profess the greatest horror for uselessness (however brilliant) and filling up. These things can only weaken a picture by distracting the attention toward secondary things." In another letter he says—"Art began to decline from the moment that the artist did not lean directly and naively upon impressions made by nature. Cleverness naturally and rapidly took the place of nature, and decadence then began.... At bottom it always comes to this: a man must be moved himself in order to move others, and all that is done from theory, however clever, can never attain this end, for it is impossible that it should have the breath of life." The ideas of the "Barbizon school" only gradually obtained acceptance, but the chief members of it now rank among the greater artists of their time.

See D. Croal Thomson, The Barbizon School (1891), with a full list of the French authorities to be consulted; Jules Breton, Nos peintres du siècle, Paris, 1900.


BARBON, NICHOLAS (c. 1640-1698), English economist, probably the son of Praise-god Barbon, was born in London, studied medicine at Leiden, graduated M.D. at Utrecht in 1661, and was admitted an honorary fellow of the College of Physicians in 1664. He took a considerable part in the rebuilding of London after the great fire of 1666, and has a claim to be considered the institutor of fire-insurance in England, which he started somewhere about 1680. He was M.P. for Bramber in 1690 and 1695. He founded a land bank which, according to contemporaries, was fairly successful and was united with that of John Briscoe in 1696. He died in 1698. His writings are interesting as expressing views much in advance of his time and very near akin to those of modern times on such important topics as value, rent and foreign trade. The more important were Apology for the Builder; or a Discourse showing the Cause and Effects of the Increase of Building (1685); A Discourse of Trade (1690); and A Discourse Concerning Coining the New Money Lighter (1696).


BARBON (Barebone or Barebones), PRAISE-GOD (c. 1596-1679), English leather-seller and Fifth Monarchy man, was admitted freeman of the Leathersellers Company on the 20th of January 1623 and liveryman on the 13th of October 1634. About the same time he became minister to a congregation which assembled at his own house, "The Lock and Key," in Fleet Street, where his preaching attracted large audiences. The exact nature of his religious opinions is not perfectly clear. He is styled by his enemies a Brownist and Anabaptist, i.e. probably Baptist, but he wrote two books in support of paedobaptism, and his congregation had separated from a larger one of Baptists on that point of controversy. Later he belonged to the sect of Fifth Monarchy men. He was the object of the abuse and ridicule of the opposite party, and his meetings were frequently disturbed by riots. On the 20th of December 1641 his house was stormed by a mob and he narrowly escaped with his life. Barbon, who was a man of substantial property, was summoned by Cromwell on the 6th of June 1653 as a member for London to the assembly of nominees called after him in derision Barebone's Parliament. His name is occasionally mentioned, but he appears to have taken no part in the debates. In 1660 he showed great activity in endeavouring to prevent the Restoration. He published Needham's book, News from Brussels in a Letter from a Near Attendant on His Majesty's Person ..., which retailed unfavourable anecdotes relating to Charles's morals, and on the 9th of February he presented the petition to the Parliament, which proposed that all officials should abjure the Stuarts, and all publicly proposing the Restoration should be deemed guilty of high treason. His conduct drew upon him several royalist attacks. On the 31st of March he was obliged to sign an engagement to the council not to disturb the peace, and on the 26th of November 1661 he was arrested, together with John Wildman and James Harrington, and was imprisoned in the Tower till the 27th of July 1662, when he was released on bail. Barbon, who was married, was buried on the 5th of January 1680. He was the author of A Discourse tending to prove ... Baptism ... to be the ordinance of Jesus Christ. As also that the Baptism of Infants is warentable (1642), the preface of which shows a spirit of wide religious tolerance; and A Reply to the Frivolous and Impertinent answer of R. B. and E. B. to the Discourse of P. B. (1643).


BARBOUR, JOHN (? 1316-1395), Scottish poet, was born, perhaps in Aberdeenshire, early in the 14th century, approximately 1316. In a letter of safe-conduct dated 1357, allowing him to go to Oxford for study, he is described as archdeacon of Aberdeen. He is named in a similar letter in 1364 and in another in 1368 granting him permission to pass to France, probably for further study, at the university of Paris. In 1372 he was one of the auditors of exchequer, and in 1373 a clerk of audit in the king's household. In 1375 (he gives the date, and his age as 60) he composed his best known poem The Brus, for which he received, in 1377, the gift of ten pounds, and, in 1378, a life-pension of twenty shillings. Additional rewards followed, including the renewal of his exchequer auditorship (though he may have continued to enjoy it since his first appointment) and ten pounds to his pension. The only biographical evidence of his closing years is his signature as a witness to sundry deeds in the "Register of Aberdeen" as late as 1392. According to the obit-book of the cathedral of Aberdeen, he died on the 13th of March 1395. The state records show that his life-pension was not paid after that date.

Considerable controversy has arisen regarding Barbour's literary work. If he be the author of the five or six long poems which have been ascribed to him by different writers, he adds to his importance as the father of Scots poetry the reputation of being one of the most voluminous writers in Middle English, certainly the most voluminous of all Scots poets.

(1) The Brus, in twenty books, and running to over 13,500 four-accent lines, in couplets, is a narrative poem with a purpose partly historical, partly patriotic. It opens with a description of the state of Scotland at the death of Alexander III. (1286) and concludes with the death of Douglas and the burial of the Bruce's heart (1332). The central episode is the battle of Bannockburn. Patriotic as the sentiment is, it is in more general terms than is found in later Scots literature. The king is a hero of the chivalric type common in contemporary romance; freedom is a "noble thing" to be sought and won at all costs; the opponents of such freedom are shown in the dark colours which history and poetic propriety require; but there is none of the complacency of the merely provincial habit of mind. The lines do not lack vigour; and there are passages of high merit, notably the oft-quoted section beginning "A! fredome is a noble thing." Despite a number of errors of fact, notably the confusion of the three Bruces in the person of the hero, the poem is historically trustworthy as compared with contemporary verse-chronicle, and especially with the Wallace of the next century. No one