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BATTEUX—BATTLE

carbonic acid of the air it is covered with a layer of petroleum oil. Sodium zincate, which is soluble, is formed by the action of the cell, and the hydrogen produced is oxidized by oxygen from the copper oxide. The electromotive force may be about one volt initially, but in practice only about three-quarters of a volt can be relied on.

Primary cells form a convenient means of obtaining electricity for laboratory experiments, and for such light services as working telegraphs, bells, &c.; but as a source of the heavy currents required for electric lighting and traction they are far too expensive in operation, apart from other considerations, to compete with dynamoelectric machinery driven by steam or water power. Certain forms, known as “standard cells,” are also used in electrical measurements as standards of electromotive force (see Potentiometer).

See W. R. Cooper, Primary Batteries (London, 1901); Park Benjamin, The Voltaic Cell (New York, 1893); W. E. Ayrton, Practical Electricity (London, 1896).


BATTEUX, CHARLES (1713–1780), French philosopher and writer on aesthetics, was born near Vouziers (Ardennes), and studied theology at Reims. In 1739 he came to Paris, and after teaching in the colleges of Lisieux and Navarre, was appointed to the chair of Greek and Roman philosophy in the Collège de France. In 1746 he published his treatise Les Beaux-Arts réduits à un même principe, an attempt to find a unity among the various theories of beauty and taste, and his views were widely accepted. The reputation thus gained, confirmed by his translation of Horace (1750), led to his becoming a member of the Académie des Inscriptions (1754) and of the French Academy (1761). His Cours de belles lettres (1765) was afterwards included with some minor writings in the large treatise, Principes de la littérature (1774). The rules for composition there laid down are, perhaps, somewhat pedantic. His philosophical writings were La Morale d’Épicure tirée de ses propres écrits (1758), and the Histoire des causes premières (1769). In consequence of the freedom with which in this work he attacked the abuse of authority in philosophy, he lost his professorial chair. His last and most extensive work was a Cours d’études à l’usage des élèves de l’école militaire (45 vols.). In the Beaux-Arts, Batteux developed a theory which is derived from Locke through Voltaire’s sceptical sensualism. He held that Art consists in the faithful imitation of the beautiful in nature. Applying this principle to the art of poetry, and analysing, line by line and even word by word, the works of great poets, he deduced the law that the beauty of poetry consists in the accuracy, beauty and harmony of individual expression. This narrow and pedantic theory had at least the merit of insisting on propriety of expression. His Histoire des causes premières was among the first attempts at a history of philosophy, and in his work on Epicurus, following on Gassendi, he defended Epicureanism against the general attacks made against it.

See Dacier et Dupuy, “Éloges,” in Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions.


BATTHYÁNY, LOUIS (Lajos), Count (1806–1849), Hungarian statesman, was born at Pressburg in 1806. He supplied the defects of an indifferent education while serving in garrison in Italy as a lieutenant of hussars, and thenceforward adopted all the new ideas, economical and political. According to Széchenyi, he learnt much from a German tutor of the radical school, but it was not till after his marriage with the noble-minded and highly-gifted countess Antonia Zichy that he began working earnestly for the national cause. When Széchenyi drew nearer to the court in 1839–1840, Batthyány became the leader of the opposition in the Upper House, where his social rank and resolute character won for him great influence. Despite his “sardanapalian inclinations,” he associated himself unreservedly with the extremists, and spent large sums for the development of trade and industry. In 1847 he fiercely opposed the government, procured the election of Kossuth as the representative of Pest, took part in the Great Deputation of the 15th of March, and on the 31st of March 1848 became the first constitutional prime-minister of Hungary. His position became extremely difficult when Jellachich and the Croats took up arms. Convinced that the rigid maintenance of the constitution was the sole panacea, he did his utmost, in his frequent journeys to Innsbruck, to persuade the court to condemn Jellachich and establish a strong national government at Pest. Unfortunately, however, he was persuaded to consent to the despatch of Magyar troops to quell the Italian rising, before the Croat difficulty had been adjusted, and thenceforth, despite his perfect loyalty, and his admirable services as Honvéd minister in organizing the national forces, his authority in Hungary declined before the rising star of Kossuth. When Jellachich invaded Hungary, Batthyány resigned with the intention of forming a new ministry excluding Kossuth, but this had now become impossible. Then Batthyány attempted to mediate between the two extreme parties, and subsequently raised a regiment from among his peasantry and led them against the Croats. On the 11th of October he was incapacitated for active service by a fall from his horse which broke his arm. On his recovery he returned to Pest, laboured hard to bring about peace, and was a member of the deputation from the Hungarian diet to Prince Windischgrätz, whom the Austrian commander refused to receive. A few days later (8th of January 1849) he was arrested at Pest. As a magnate he was only indictable by the grand justiciary, as a minister he was responsible to the diet alone. At Laibach, whither he was taken, he asked that Deák might be his advocate, but this being refused he wrote his own defence. Sentence of hanging was finally pronounced upon him at Olmütz for violating the Pragmatic Sanction, overthrowing the constitution, and aiding and abetting the rebellion. To escape this fate he Stabbed himself with a small concealed dagger, and bled to death in the night of the 5th of October 1849.

See Bertalan Szemere, Batthyány, Kossuth, Görgei (Ger.), (Hamburg, 1853).

 (R. N. B.) 


BATTICALOA, the provincial capital of the eastern province of Ceylon, on the E. coast, 69 m. S.S.E. of Trincomalee, situated on an island in lat. 7° 44′ N. and long. 81° 52′ E. It is of importance for its haven and the adjacent salt lagoons. The population of the town in 1901 was 9969; of the district (2872 sq. m.) 143,161. The old Dutch fort dates from 1682. Batticaloa is the seat of a government agent and district judge; criminal sessions of the supreme court are also held. Rice and cocoanuts are the two staples of the district, and steamers trading round the island call regularly at the port. The lagoon is famous for its “singing fish,” supposed to be shell-fish which give forth musical notes. The district has a remnant of Veddahs or wild men of the wood. The average annual rainfall is 55½ in.; the average temperature 80.4° F.


BATTISHILL, JONATHAN (1738–1801), one of the best 18th century English composers of church music. Until 1764 he wrote chiefly for the theatre (incidental songs, pantomime music, and an opera in collaboration with Michael Arne, the son of Thomas Arne), but his later compositions are chiefly glees, part-songs and church music. In 1763 he had married a singer at Covent Garden theatre where he was harpsichordist. She retired from her profession when she married; and her death in 1777 so crushed him that he composed no more.


BATTLE, a market-town in the Rye parliamentary division of Sussex, England, 54½ m. S.E. by S. from London by the South Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 2996. It is pleasantly situated in an undulating well-wooded district, 7 m. from the sea at Hastings. Its name is derived from the conflict in 1066, which insured to William the Norman the crown of England (see also Battle Abbey Roll). Before the battle, in which King Harold fell, William vowed to build an abbey on the spot if he should prove victorious, and in 1094 the consecration took place with great pomp. The gatehouse, forming a picturesque termination to the main street of the town, is Decorated; and there also remain parts of the foundations of the Norman church, of the Perpendicular cloisters, and of the Early English refectory. A mansion occupies part of the site, and incorporates some of the ancient building. The church of St Mary is of various dates, the earliest portions being transitional Norman.

See Chronicles of Battle Abbey. 1066–1176, translated, &c., by M. A. Lower (London, 1851).