Lally, Cardinal de Rohan, Linguet and La Chalotais. While no detestation is too great for that system of “royal pantheism” which led to the unjust and often protracted imprisonment of even men of great ability and stainless character, it is unnecessary to give implicit credence to all the tales of horror which found currency during the excitement of the Revolution, and which historical evidence, as well as a priori considerations, tends to strip of their more dreadful features, and even in many cases to refute altogether. Much light of an unexpected kind has in modern times been shed on the history of the Bastille from the pages of its own records. These documents had been flung out into the courts of the building by the revolutionary captors, and after suffering grievous diminution and damage were finally stored up and forgotten in the vaults of the library of the (so-called) Arsenal. Here they were discovered in 1840 by François Ravaisson, who devoted himself to their arrangement, elucidation and publication.
At the breaking out of the Revolution the Bastille was attacked by the Parisians; and, after a vigorous resistance, it was taken and razed to the ground on the 14th of July 1789. At the time of its capture only seven prisoners were found in it. A very striking account of the siege will be found in Carlyle’s French Revolution, vol. i. The site of the building is now marked by a lofty column of bronze, dedicated to the memory of the patriots of July 1789 and 1830. It is crowned by a gilded figure of the genius of liberty.
See the Memoirs of Linguet (1783), and Latude (ed. by Thierry, tome iii. 18mo, 1791-1793); also François Ravaisson, Les Archives de la Bastille (16 vols. 8vo, 1866-1886); Delort, Histoire de la détention des philosophes à la Bastille (3 vols., 1829); F. Bournon, La Bastille (1893); Fr. Funck-Brentano, Les Lettres de cachet à Paris, étude suivie d’une liste des prisonniers de la Bastille (1904); G. Lecocq, La Prise de la Bastille (1881).
BASTINADO (Span. baston, Fr. bâton, a stick, cudgel), the European name for a form of punishment common in the east, especially in Turkey, Persia and China. It consists in blows with a light stick or lath of bamboo upon the soles of the feet or on the buttocks. The terror of the punishment lies not in the severity of the blows, which are on the contrary scarcely more than tapping, but in its long continuation. A skilful bastinadoist can kill his victim after hours of torture.
BASTION (through the Fr. from late Lat. bastire, to build), a work forming part of a line of fortifications. The general trace of a bastion is similar to an irregular pentagon formed by a triangle and a narrow rectangle, the base of the triangle coinciding with the long side of the rectangle. The two sides of the triangle form the “faces” of the bastion, which join at the “salient” angle, the short sides of the rectangle form the “flanks.” Bastions were arranged so that the fire from the flanks of each protected not only the front of the curtain but also the faces of the adjacent bastions. A “tower bastion” is a case-mated tower built in bastion form; a “demi-bastion” is a work formed by half a bastion (bisected through the salient angle) and by a parapet along the line of bisection; a “flat bastion” is a bastion built on a curtain and having a very obtuse salient angle.
BASTWICK, JOHN (1593-1654), English physician and religious zealot, was born at Writtle, in Essex, in 1593, and after a brief education at Cambridge, wandered on the continent and graduated in medicine at Padua. On his return he settled in Colchester. His celebrity rests on his strong opposition to the Roman Catholic ceremonial. About 1633 he printed in Holland two Latin treatises, entitled Elenchus Religionis Papisticae, and Flagellum Pontificis et Episcoporum Latialium; and as Laud and other English prelates thought themselves aimed at, he was fined £1000 in the court of high commission, excommunicated and prohibited from practising physic, while his books were ordered to be burnt and the author himself consigned to prison. Instead of recanting, however, he wrote Apologeticus ad Praesules Anglicanos, and another book called The Litany, in which he exclaimed vehemently against the proceedings of the court, and charged the bishops with being the enemies of God and “the tail of the beast.” William Prynne and Henry Burton coming under the lash of the star-chamber court at the same time, they were all censured as turbulent and seditious persons, and condemned to pay a fine of £5000 each, to be set in the pillory, to lose their ears, and to undergo imprisonment for life in remote parts of the kingdom, Bastwick being sent to Scilly. The parliament in 1640 reversed these proceedings, and ordered Bastwick a reparation of £5000 out of the estates of the commissioners and lords who had sentenced him. He joined the parliamentary army, but in later years showed bitter opposition to the Independents. He died in the latter part of 1654.
BASUTOLAND (officially “The Territory of Basutoland”), an inland state and British crown colony of S.E. Africa, situated between 28° 35′ and 30° 30′ S. and 27° and 29° 25′ E. It has an area of 10,293 sq. m., being somewhat smaller than Belgium, and is bounded S., S.E., and N.E. by the Drakensberg, N. and N.W. by the Caledon river, S.W. by a range of low hills extending from the Caledon above Wepener to the Orange river, and south of the Orange by the Telle or Tees river to its source in the Drakensberg. Its greatest length S.W. to N.E. is 145 m.; its greatest breadth N. to S. 120 m. On every side it is surrounded by British colonies, north by the Orange River Colony, south-west and south by Cape Colony, and east by Natal.
Basutoland, or Lesuto (Lesotho) as the natives call it, forms the south-eastern edge of the interior tableland of South Africa, and has a rugged and broken surface with a mean elevation of 6000 ft. The Drakensberg (q.v.) forming the buttress of the plateau seaward, attain their highest elevation on the Basuto-Natal border. The frontier line follows the crest of the mountains, three peaks some 10,000 or more ft. high—Giant’s Castle, Champagne Castle or Cathkin Peak and Mont aux Sources—towering high above the general level. Mount Hamilton, which lies north of the waterparting, is over 9000 ft. high. From Mont aux Sources, table-shaped, and called by the Basutos Potong (Antelope), a second range of mountains, the Maluti, runs S.W. through the entire length of Basutoland. The crest of the Maluti is in few places lower than 7000 ft. whilst Machacha, the culminating point, is about 10,500 ft. From the tableland north of the Maluti several isolated hills rise, the most noted being the almost inaccessible Thaba Bosigo—the rallying place of the Basuto in many of their wars. Shut off from the adjacent Indian Ocean by its mountain barrier, the drainage of the country is westward to the distant Atlantic. As its name implies, the chief rivers rise in Mont aux Sources. From the inner sides of that mountain descend the Caledon and the Senku, whilst from its seaward face the Tugela flows through Natal to the Indian Ocean. The Caledon runs north of the Maluti, the Senku south of that range. From the slopes of the Maluti descend many streams, the largest being the Kornet Spruit, which joins the Senku and other torrents from the Drakensberg to form the upper Orange (q.v.). The Caledon also, sweeping southward, unites with the Orange beyond the frontiers of Basutoland. Ordinarily shallow, the rivers after heavy rain fill with great rapidity, sweeping away everything in their path. In the richer soil they cut deep channels; the denudation thus caused threatens to diminish seriously the area of arable and pasture land. The river beds contain dangerous quicksands.
The aspect of the country is everywhere grand, and often beautiful, fully justifying the title, “The Switzerland of South Africa,” often applied to it. Viewed from a distance the mountains appear as dark perpendicular barriers, quite impenetrable; but narrow paths lead round the precipitous face of the hills, and when the inner side is gained a wonderful panorama opens out. In every direction can be seen luxuriant valleys through which rivers thread their silvery way, wild chasms, magnificent waterfalls—that of Maletsunyane has an unbroken leap of over 600 ft.—and, above all, hill crest after hill crest in seeming endless succession. In winter the effect is heightened by the snow which caps all the higher peaks.
Geology.—Basutoland is entirely occupied by the upper division (Stormberg series) of the Karroo formation. The highest strata (Volcanic group) form the rugged elevated spurs of the Drakensberg mountains which extend along the eastern territorial boundary. It has been suggested that these spurs represent