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BEAM—BEAN

for a few months she became head teacher of the Clergy Daughters’ school at Casterton, Westmoreland, but narrow religious prejudices on the part of the governors led to her retirement. In 1858 she was appointed principal of the Ladies College at Cheltenham (opened 1854), then in very low water. Her tact and strenuousness, backed by able financial management, led to its success being thoroughly established by 1864, and as the college increased in numbers new buildings were erected from 1873 onwards. Under Miss Beale’s headship it grew into one of the great girls’ schools of the country, and its development and example played an important part in the revolution effected in regard to the higher education of women. Miss Beale retained her post till her death on the 9th of November 1906. Strongly religious by nature, broad-minded and keenly interested in all branches of culture, she exercised a far-reaching influence on her pupils.

Her Life was written by Elizabeth Raikes (1908).


BEAM (from the O. Eng. béam, cf. Ger. Baum, a tree, to which sense may be referred the use of “beam” as meaning the rood or crucifix, and the survival in certain names of trees, as hornbeam), a solid piece of timber, as a beam of a house, of a plough, a loom, or a balance. In the last case, from meaning simply the cross-bar of the balance, “beam” has come to be used of the whole, as in the expression “the king’s beam,” or “common beam,” which refers to the old English standard balance for wholesale goods, for several hundred years in the custody of the Grocers’ Company, London. As a nautical term, “beam” was transferred from the main cross-timbers to the side of the ship; thus “on the weather-beam” means “to windward,” and a ship is said to be “wide in the beam” when she is wide horizontally. The phrase “to be on one’s beam-ends,” denoting a position of extreme peril or helplessness, is borrowed from the position of a ship which has heeled over so far as to stand on the ends of her horizontal beams. The meaning of “beam” for shafts or rays of light comes apparently from the use of the word to translate the Latin columna lucis, a pillar of light.


BEAN (a common Teutonic word, cf. Ger. Bohne), the seed of certain leguminous plants cultivated for food all over the world, and furnished chiefly by the genera Vicia, Phaseolus, Dolichos and others. The common bean, in all its varieties, as cultivated in Britain and on the continents of Europe and America, is the produce of Vicia Faba. The French bean, kidney bean, or haricot, is the seed of Phaseolus vulgaris; but in India several other species of this genus of plants are raised, and form no small portion of the diet of the inhabitants. Besides these there are numerous other pulses cultivated for the food both of man and domestic animals, to which the name bean is frequently given. The common bean is even more nutritious than wheat; and it contains a very high proportion of nitrogenous matter under the form of legumin, which amounts on an average to 24%. It is, however, a rather coarse food, and difficult of digestion, and is chiefly used to feed horses, for which it is admirably adapted. In England French beans are chiefly, almost exclusively, used in the green state; the whole pod being eaten as a table vegetable or prepared as a pickle. It is wholesome and nutritious; and in Holland and Germany the pods are preserved in salt by almost every family for winter and spring use. The green pods are cut across obliquely, most generally by a machine invented for the purpose, and salted in barrels. When wanted for use they are steeped in fresh water to remove the salt, and broiled or stewed they form an agreeable addition to the diet at a time when no other vegetable may be had.

The broad bean—Vicia Faba, or Faba vulgaris, as it is known by those botanists who regard the slight differences which distinguish it from the great majority of the species of the vetch genus (Vicia) as of generic importance—is an annual which has been cultivated fiom prehistoric times for its nutritious seeds.

The lake-dwellers of Switzerland, and northern Italy in the bronze age cultivated a small-fruited variety, and it was grown in ancient Egypt, though, according to Herodotus, regarded by the priests as unclean. The ancient Greeks called it κύαμος, the Latins faba, but there is no suggestion that the plant is a native of Europe. Alphonse de Candolle (Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 320) concludes that the bean was introduced into Europe probably by the western Aryans at the time of their earliest migrations. He suggests that its wild habitat was twofold some thousands of years ago, one of the centres being to the south of the Caspian, the other in the north of Africa, and that its area has long been in process of diminution and extinction. The nature of the plant favours this hypothesis, for its seed has no means of dispersing itself, and rodents or other animals can easily make prey of it; the struggle for existence which was going against this plant as against maize would have gradually isolated it and caused it to disappear, if man had not saved it by cultivation. It was introduced into China a little before the Christian era, later into Japan and more recently into India, though it has been suggested that in parts of the higher Himalayas its cultivation has survived from very ancient times. It is a plant which will flourish in all ordinary good garden soil. The seeds are sown about 4 in. apart, in drills 21/2 ft. asunder for the smaller and 3 ft. for the larger sorts. The soil should, preferably, be a rather heavy loam, deeply worked and well enriched. For an early crop, seeds may be sown in November, and protected during winter in the same manner as early peas. An early crop may also be obtained by dibbling in the seeds in November, sheltering by a frame, and in February transplanting them to a warm border. Successional crops are obtained by sowing suitable varieties from January to the end of June. All the culture necessary is that the earth be drawn up about the stems. The plants are usually topped when the pods have set, as this not only removes the black aphides which often settle there, but is also found to promote the filling of the pods.

The following are some of the best sorts:—for early use, Early Mazagan, Long-pod, Marshall’s Early Prolific and Seville Long-pod; for late use, Carter’s Mammoth Long-pod and Broad Windsor.

The horse-bean is a variety—var. equina.

Cultivation of Field-bean.—Several varieties of Vicia Faba (e.g. the horse bean, the mazagan, the tick bean, the winter bean) are cultivated in the field for the sake both of the grain, which is used as food for live-stock, and of the haulm, which serves for either fodder or litter. They are best adapted for heavy soils such as clays or clayey loams. The time for sowing is from the end of January to the beginning of March, or in the case of winter beans from the end of September to the middle of November. The bean-crop is usually interposed between two crops of wheat or some other cereal. If spring beans are to be sown, the land after harvest is dressed with farmyard manure, which is then ploughed in. In January the soil is levelled with the harrows, and the seed, which should be hard and light brown in colour, is drilled in rows from 15 to 24 in. apart at the rate of from 2 to 21/2 bushels to the acre and then harrowed in. The alternative is to “dibble” the seed in the furrow left by the autumn ploughing and cover it in with the harrows; or the land may be ridged with the double-breasted plough, manure deposited in the furrows and the seed sown broadcast, the ridges being then split back so as to cover both manure and seed. After the plant shows, horse-hoeing and hand-hoeing between the rows is carried on so long as the plant is small enough to suffer no injury therefrom. The routine of cultivation for winter beans hardly differs from that described except as regards the time of sowing.

Beans are cut when the leaf is fallen and the haulm is almost black either with the fagging hook or the reaping machine, though the stoutness of the stalks causes a severe strain on the latter implement. They are tied and stocked, and are so left for a considerable time before stacking. There is less fear of injury to the crop through damp than in the case of other cereals. Their value for feeding purposes increases in the stack, where they may remain for a year or more before threshing. Pea and bean weevils, both striped (Sitones lineatus) and spotted (Sitones crinitus), and the bean aphis (Aphis rumicis), are noted pests of the crop. Winter beans come to maturity earlier than the spring-sown varieties, and are therefore strong enough to resist