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BASS—BASSARAB

Pale Ale, at that time the standard drink of Englishmen in the East, resulted in Bass being asked to supply a beer which would withstand the Indian climate and be generally suitable to the Indian market. After a series of experiments he produced what is still known as Bass's pale ale. This new and lighter beer at once became popular all over India, and Bass's firm became the largest in Burton. After William Bass's death the business was carried on by his son, M. T. Bass, and then by his grandson, Michael Thomas Bass (1799-1884). In 1827 a vessel laden with Bass's beer was wrecked in the Irish Channel. A large proportion of the cargo was however salved and sold at Liverpool, where it met with great approval in the local market, and through this chance circumstance the firm opened up a regular trade in the north-west of England and Ireland. "Bass" was, however, little drunk in London till 1851, when it was supplied on draught at the Exhibition of that year, since which time its reputation has been world-wide. In 1880 the business was turned into a limited liability company. Michael Thomas Bass, besides actively conducting and extending the firm's operations, was a man of great public spirit and philanthropy, and the towns of Burton and Derby are largely indebted to his munificence. He took a keen interest in all questions affecting the welfare of the working classes, and was largely instrumental in securing the abolition of imprisonment for debt. On his death, prior to which he had taken into partnership Messrs Ratcliff and Gretton, two of the leading officials of the brewery, converting the business into a limited company known as Messrs Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton, Ltd., the control of the firm passed to his sons, Michael Arthur Bass and Hamar Bass (d. 1898). Michael Arthur Bass (1837-1909), after twenty-one years in parliament as member first for Stafford, then for two divisions of Staffordshire, was in 1886 raised to the peerage as Baron Burton; by a special patent of 1897 the peerage descended to his daughter, Nellie, the wife of Mr J. E. Baillie of Dochfour, the baronetcy descending to his nephew W. A. Hamar Bass (b. 1879).


BASS (the same word as "base," and so pronounced, but influenced in spelling by the Ital. basso), deep, low; especially in music, the lower part in the harmony of a composition, the lowest male voice, or the lowest-pitched of a class of instruments, as the bass-clarinet.

Bass or bast (a word of doubtful origin, pronounced băs) is the fibrous bark of the lime tree, used in gardening for tying up plants, or to make mats, soft plaited baskets, &c. Basswood is the American lime-tree, Tilia Americana; white basswood is T. heterophylla.

The name bass is also given to a fish closely resembling the perch.


BASSA, a province of the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria, occupying the angle made by the meeting of the Benue river with the Niger. It has an area of 7000 sq. m., with a population estimated at about one and a half millions. It is bounded N. by the Benue, W. by the Niger, S. by the frontier of Southern Nigeria, and E. by the province of Muri. The province is heavily forested, and is estimated to be one of the richest of the protectorate in natural products. It has never been penetrated by Moslem influence, and is inhabited in the greater part by warlike and unruly pagans. Early in the 16th century the Igbira (Okpoto or Ibo) were one of the most powerful pagan peoples of Nigeria and had their capital at Iddah. At a later period the Bassas conquered the western portion of the state and the Munshis the eastern, while the Okpoto still held the south and a wedge-shaped district partially dividing the Munshis and Bassas. The Bassas are a very remarkable pagan race who permeate the entire protectorate of Northern Nigeria, and are to be found in small colonies in almost every province. They are clever agriculturists, naturally peaceful and industrious. The Munshis, though also good agriculturists, are a warlike and most unruly race, as are also the Okpoto.

The districts which now comprise the province of Bassa came nominally under British control in 1900, but up to the year 1903 administrative authority was confined to the western half with Dekina (in 7° 3′ E., 7° 41′ N.) for its capital. In December of 1903 a disturbance resulting in the murder of the British resident led to the despatch of a military expedition, and as a result of the operations the frontiers of the districts under control were extended to the borders of the Munshi country in about 8° E. The western portion of the province, occupied by friendly and peaceful tribes upon the Niger, has been organized for administration on the same system as the rest of the protectorate. Courts of justice are operative and taxes are peacefully collected. The Okpoto, however, remain turbulent, as do their neighbours the Munshis. Spirits, of which the importation is forbidden in Northern Nigeria, are freely smuggled over the border from Southern Nigeria. Arms and powder are also imported. The slave-trade is still alive in this district, and an overland route for slaves is believed to have been established through eastern Bassa to the Benue. In consequence of the natural wealth of the province, there are trading establishments of the Niger Company and of Messrs Holt on the Niger and Benue, and colonies of native traders have penetrated the country from the north. Roman Catholic and Protestant missions are established at Dekina and Gbebe.


BASSANO, JACOPO, DA PONTE (1510-1592), Venetian painter, was born at Bassano. He was educated by his father, who was himself an artist, and then completed his studies at Venice. On the death of his father he returned to Bassano and settled there. His subjects were generally peasants and villagers, cattle and landscapes, with some portraits and historical designs. His figures are well designed, and his animals and landscapes have an agreeable air of simple nature. His compositions, though they have not much eloquence or grandeur, have abundance of force and truth; the local colours are well observed, the flesh-tints are fresh and brilliant, and his chiaroscuro and perspective are unexceptionable. He is said to have finished a great number of pictures; but his genuine works are somewhat rare and valuable—many of those which are called originals being copies either by the sons of Bassano or by others. Bassano's style varied considerably during his lifetime. He naturally was at first a copier of his father, but his productions in this style are not of great value. He was then strongly attracted by the lightness and beautiful colouring of Titian, and finally adopted the style which is recognized as his own. Although he painted few great pictures, and preferred humble subjects, yet his altar-piece of the Nativity at Bassano is estimated highly by the best judges, and in Lanzi's opinion is the finest work of its class.


BASSANO, a city of Venetia, Italy, in the province of Vicenza, 24 m. N.E. of Vicenza and 30 m. N. of Padua by rail, at the foot of the Venetian Alps. Pop. (1901) town, 7553; commune, 15,097. It is well situated upon the Brenta, which is here spanned by a covered wooden bridge, and commands fine views. The castle, erected by the Ezzelini in the 13th century, lies in the upper portion of the town, above the river; a tower, erected by a member of the same family, is a conspicuous feature. The museum and cathedral and some of the other churches contain pictures by the da Ponte family (16th and early 17th century), surnamed Bassano from their birth-place; Jacopo is the most eminent of them. The museum also contains drawings and letters of the sculptor Antonio Canova. The church of S. Francesco, begun in the 12th century in the Lombard Romanesque style, was continued in the 13th in the Gothic style. Some of the houses have traces of paintings on their façades. In the 11th century Eccelin, a German, obtained fiefs in this district from Conrad II. and founded the family of the Ezzelini, who were prominent in the history of North Italy in the 13th and 14th centuries. Bassano apparently came into existence about A.D. 1000. Its possession was disputed between Padua and Vicenza; it passed for a moment under the power of Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan, who fortified it. At the beginning of the 15th century it went over to Venice; its industries flourished under Venetian government, especially its printing-press and manufacture of majolica, the latter of which still continues. On the 8th of September 1796 an action was fought here between the French and the Austrians, in which the French were victorious.  (T. As.) 


BASSARAB or Bassaraba, the name of a dynasty in Rumania, which ruled Walachia from the dawn of its history until 1658.