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BERNERS—BERNHARDT

1882-1883). Among the many editions of his translation of Froissart may be mentioned that in the “Tudor Translations” (1901), with an introductory critical note by Professor W. P. Ker.

BERNERS, Barnes or Bernes, JULIANA (b. 1388?), English writer on hawking and hunting, is said to have been prioress of Sopwell nunnery near St Albans, and daughter of Sir James Berners, who was beheaded in 1388. She was probably brought up at court, and when she adopted the religious life, she still retained her love of hawking, hunting and fishing, and her passion for field sports. The only documentary evidence regarding her, however, is the statement at the end of her treatise on hunting in the Boke of St Albans, “Explicit Dam Julyans Barnes in her boke of huntyng” (edition of 1486), and the name is changed by Wynkyn de Worde to “dame Julyans Bernes.” There is no such person to be found in the pedigree of the Berners family, and there is a gap in the records of the priory of Sopwell between 1430 and 1480. Juliana Berners is the supposed author of the work generally known as the Boke of St Albans. The first and rarest edition was printed in 1486 by an unknown schoolmaster at St Albans. It has no title-page. Wynkyn de Worde’s edition (fol. 1496), also without a title-page, begins:—“This present boke shewyth the manere of hawkynge and huntynge: and also of diuysynge of Cote armours. It shewyth also a good matere belongynge to horses: wyth other comendable treatyses. And ferdermore of the blasynge of armys: as hereafter it maye appere.” This edition was adorned by three woodcuts, and included a “Treatyse of fysshynge wyth an Angle,” not contained in the St Albans edition. J. Haslewood, who published a facsimile of that of Wynkyn de Worde (London, 1811, folio), with a biographical and bibliographical notice, examined with the greatest care the author’s claims to figure as the earliest woman author in the English language. He assigned to her little else in the Boke except part of the treatise on hawking and the section on hunting. It is expressly stated at the end of the “Blasynge of Armys” that the section was “translatyd and compylyt,” and it is likely that the other treatises are translations, probably from the French. An older form of the treatise on fishing was edited in 1883 by Mr T. Satchell from a MS. in possession of Mr A. Denison. This treatise probably dates from about 1450, and formed the foundation of that section in the book of 1496. Only three perfect copies of the first edition are known to exist. A facsimile, entitled The Book of St Albans, with an introduction by William Blades, appeared in 1881. During the 16th century the work was very popular, and was many times reprinted. It was edited by Gervase Markham in 1595 as The Gentleman’s Academie.

BERNHARD OF SAXE-WEIMAR, Duke (1604-1639), a celebrated general in the Thirty Years’ War, was the eleventh son of John, duke of Saxe-Weimar. He received an unusually good education, and studied at Jena, but soon went to the court of the Saxon elector to engage in knightly exercises. At the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War he took the field on the Protestant side, and served under Mansfeld at Wiesloch (1622), under the margrave of Baden at Wimpfen (1622), and with his brother William at Stadtlohn (1623). Undismayed by these defeats, he took part in the campaigns of the king of Denmark; and when Christian withdrew from the struggle Bernhard went to Holland and was present at the famous siege of Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-Duc) in 1629. When Gustavus Adolphus landed in Germany Bernhard quickly joined him, and for a short time he was colonel of the Swedish life guards. After the battle of Breitenfeld he accompanied Gustavus in his march to the Rhine and, between this event and the battle of the Alte Veste, Bernhard commanded numerous expeditions in almost every district from the Moselle to Tirol. At the Alte Veste he displayed the greatest courage, and at Lützen, when Gustavus was killed, Bernhard immediately assumed the command, killed a colonel who refused to lead his men to the charge, and finally by his furious energy won the victory at sundown. At first as a subordinate to his brother William, who as a Swedish lieutenant-general succeeded to the command, but later as an independent commander, Bernhard continued to push his forays over southern Germany; and with the Swedish General Horn he made in 1633 a successful invasion into Bavaria, which was defended by the imperialist general Arldinger. In this year he acquired the duchy of Würzburg, installing one of his brothers as Stadthalter, and returning to the wars. A stern Protestant, he exacted heavy contributions from the Catholic cities which he took, and his repeated victories caused him to be regarded by German Protestants as the saviour of their religion. But in 1634 Bernhard suffered the great defeat of Nördlingen, in which the flower of the Swedish army perished. In 1635 he entered the service of France, which had now intervened in the war. He was now at the same time general-in-chief of the forces maintained by the Heilbronn union of Protestant princes, and a general officer in the pay of France. This double position was very difficult; in the following campaigns, ably and resolutely conducted as they were, Bernhard sometimes pursued a purely French policy, whilst at other times he used the French mercenaries to forward the cause of the princes. From a military point of view his most notable achievements were on the common ground of the upper Rhine, in the Breisgau. In his great campaign of 1638 he won the battles of Rheinfelden, Wittenweiher and Thann, and captured successively Rheinfelden, Fieiburg and Breisach, the last reputed one of the strongest fortresses in Europe. Bernhard had in the first instance received definite assurances from France that he should be given Alsace and Hagenau, Würzburg having been lost in the débâcle of 1634; he now hoped to make Breisach the capital of his new duchy. But his health was now broken. He died on the 8/18th of July 1639 at the beginning of the campaign, and the governor of Breisach was bribed to transfer the fortress to France. The duke was buried at Breisach, his remains being subsequently removed to Weimar.

See J. A. C. Hellfeld, Geschichte Bernhards des Grossen, Herzogs v. Saxe-Weimar (Jena, 1747); B. Röse, Herzog Bernhard d. Grosse von Saxe-Weimar (Weimar, 1828-1829); Droysen, Bernhard v. Weimar (Leipzig, 1885).

BERNHARDT, SARAH (Rosine Bernard) (1845-  ), French actress, was born in Paris on the 22nd of October 1845, of mixed French and Dutch parentage, and of Jewish descent. She was, however, baptized at the age of twelve and brought up in a convent. At thirteen she entered the Conservatoire, where she gained the second prize for tragedy in 1861 and for comedy in 1862. Her début was made at the Comédie Française on the 11th of August 1862, in a minor part in Racine’s Iphigénie en Aulide, without any marked success, nor did she do much better in burlesque at the Porte St-Martin and Gymnase. In 1867 she became a member of the company at the Odéon, where she made her first definite successes as Cordelia in a French translation of King Lear, as the queen in Victor Hugo’s Ruy Blas, and, above all, as Zanetto in François Coppée’s Le Passant (1869). When peace was restored after the Franco-German War she left the Odéon for the Comédie Française, thereby incurring a considerable monetary forfeit. From that time she steadily increased her reputation, two of the most definite steps in her progress being her performances of Phèdre in Racine’s play (1874) and of Dona Sol in Victor Hugo’s Hernani (1877). In 1879 she had a famous season at the Gaiety in London. By this time her position as the greatest actress of her day was securely established. Her amazing power of emotional acting, the extraordinary realism and pathos of her death-scenes, the magnetism of her personality, and the beauty of her “voix d’or,” made the public tolerant of her occasional caprices. She had developed some skill as a sculptor, and exhibited at the Salon at various times between 1876 (honourable mention) and 1881. She also exhibited a painting there in 1880. In 1878 she published a prose sketch, Dans les nuages; les impressions d’une chaise. Her comedy L’Aveu was produced in 1888 at the Odéon without much success. Her relations with the other sociétaires of the Comédie Française having become somewhat strained, a crisis arrived in 1880, when, enraged by an unfavourable criticism of her acting, she threw up her position on the day following the first performance of Emile Augier’s L’Aventurière. This obliged her to pay a forfeit of £4000 for breach of contract.