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BERSERKER—BERTAT

assisted his father and Dupin in the unsuccessful defence of Marshal Ney before the chamber of peers; and he undertook alone the defence of General Cambronne and General Debelle, procuring the acquittal of the former and the pardon of the latter. By this time he had a very large business as advocate, and was engaged on behalf of journalists in many press prosecutions. He stood forward with a noble resolution to maintain the freedom of the press, and severely censured the rigorous measures of the police department. In 1830, not long before the fall of Charles X., Berryer was elected a member of the chamber of deputies. He appeared there as the champion of the king and encouraged him in his reactionary policy. After the revolution of July, when the Legitimists withdrew in a body, Berryer alone retained his seat as deputy. He resisted, but unsuccessfully, the abolition of the hereditary peerage. He advocated trial by jury in press prosecutions, the extension of municipal franchises and other liberal measures. In May 1832 he hastened from Paris to see the duchess of Berry on her landing in the south of France for the purpose of organizing an insurrection in favour of her son, the duke of Bordeaux, since known as the Comte de Chambord. Berryer attempted to turn her from her purpose; and failing in this he set out for Switzerland. He was, however, arrested, imprisoned and brought to trial as one of the insurgents. He was immediately acquitted. In the following year he pleaded for the liberation of the duchess, made a memorable speech in defence of Chateaubriand, who was prosecuted for his violent attacks on the government of Louis Philippe, and undertook the defence of several Legitimist journalists. Among the more noteworthy events of his subsequent career were his defence of Louis Napoleon after the ridiculous affair of Boulogne, in 1840, and a visit to England in December 1843, for the purpose of formally acknowledging the pretender, the duke of Bordeaux, then living in London, as Henry V. and lawful king of France. Berryer was an active member of the National Assembly convoked after the revolution of February 1848, again visited the pretender, then at Wiesbaden, and still fought in the old cause. This long parliamentary career was closed by a courageous protest against the coup d’état of December 2, 1851. After a lapse of twelve years, however, he appeared once more in his forsaken field as a deputy to the Corps Législatif. Berryer was elected member of the French Academy in 1854. A visit paid by this famous orator to Lord Brougham in 1865 was made the occasion of a banquet given in his honour by the benchers of the Temple and of Lincoln’s Inn. In November 1868 he was removed by his own desire from Paris to his country seat at Augerville, and there he died on the 29th of the same month.

BERSERKER (from the “sark” or shirt of the “bear,” or other animal-skins worn by them), in Scandinavian mythology, the name of the twelve sons of the hero Berserk, grandson of the eight-handed Starkadder and Alfhilde. Berserk was famed for the reckless fury with which he fought, always going into battle without armour. By the daughter of King Swafurlam, whom he had killed, he had the twelve sons who were his equals in bravery. In Old Norse the term berserker thus became synonymous with reckless courage, and was later applied to the bodyguards of several of the Scandinavian heroes.

BERT, PAUL (1833-1886), French physiologist and politician, was born at Auxerre (Yonne) on the 17th of October 1833. He entered the École Polytechnique at Paris with the intention of becoming an engineer; then changing his mind, he studied law; and finally, under the influence of the zoologist, L. P. Gratiolet (1815-1865), he took up physiology, becoming one of Claude Bernard’s most brilliant pupils. After graduating at Paris as doctor of medicine in 1863, and doctor of science in 1866, he was appointed professor of physiology successively at Bordeaux (1866) and the Sorbonne (1869). After the revolution of 1870 he began to take part in politics as a supporter of Gambetta. In 1874 he was elected to the Assembly, where he sat on the extreme left, and in 1876 to the chamber of deputies. He was one of the most determined enemies of clericalism, and an ardent advocate of “liberating national education from religious sects, while rendering it accessible to every citizen.” In 1881 he was minister of education and worship in Gambetta’s short-lived cabinet, and in the same year he created a great sensation by a lecture on modern Catholicism, delivered in a Paris theatre, in which he poured ridicule on the fables and follies of the chief religious tracts and handbooks that circulated especially in the south of France. Early in 1886 he was appointed resident-general in Annam and Tonkin, and died of dysentery at Hanoi on the 11th of November of that year. But he was more distinguished as a man of science than as a politician or administrator. His classical work, La Pression barométrique (1878), embodies researches that gained him the biennial prize of 20,000 francs from the Academy of Sciences in 1875, and is a comprehensive investigation on the physiological effects of air-pressure, both above and below the normal. His earliest researches, which provided him with material for his two doctoral theses, were devoted to animal grafting and the vitality of animal tissues, and they were followed by studies on the physiological action of various poisons, on anaesthetics, on respiration and asphyxia, on the causes of the change of colour in the chameleon, &c. He was also interested in vegetable physiology, and in particular investigated the movements of the sensitive plant, and the influence of light of different colours on the life of vegetation. After about 1880 he produced several elementary text-books of scientific instruction, and also various publications on educational and allied subjects.

BERTANI, AGOSTINO (1812-1886), Italian revolutionist, was born at Milan on the 19th of October 1812. He took part in the insurrection of 1848, though opposed to the fusion of Lombardy with Piedmont. During the Roman republic of 1849, he, as medical officer, organized the ambulance service, and, after the fall of Rome, withdrew to Genoa, where he worked with Sir James Hudson for the liberation of the political prisoners of Naples, but held aloof from the Mazzinian conspiracies. In 1859 he founded a revolutionary journal at Genoa, but, shortly afterwards, joined as surgeon the Garibaldian corps in the war of 1859. After Villafranca he became the organizer-in-chief of the expeditions to Sicily, remaining at Genoa after Garibaldi’s departure for Marsala, and organizing four separate volunteer corps, two of which were intended for Sicily and two for the papal states. Cavour, however, obliged all to sail for Sicily. Upon the arrival of Garibaldi at Naples, Bertani was appointed secretary-general of the dictator, in which capacity he reorganized the police, abolished the secret service fund, founded twelve infant asylums, suppressed the duties upon Sicilian products, prepared for the suppression of the religious orders, and planned the sanitary reconstruction of the city. Entering parliament in 1861, he opposed the Garibaldian expedition, which ended at Aspromonte, but nevertheless tended Garibaldi’s wound with affectionate devotion. In 1866 he organized the medical service for the 40,000 Garibaldians, and in 1867 fought at Mentana. His parliamentary career, though marked by zeal, was less brilliant than his revolutionary activity. Up to 1870 he remained an agitator, but, after the liberation of Rome, seceded from the historic left, and became leader of the extreme left, a position held until his death on the 30th of April 1886. His chief work as deputy was an inquiry into the sanitary conditions of the peasantry, and the preparation of the sanitary code adopted by the Crispi administration.  (H. W. S.) 

BERTAT (Arab. Jebalain), negroes of the Shangalla group of tribes, mainly agriculturists. They occupy the valleys of the Yabus and Tumat, tributaries of the Blue Nile. They are shortish and very black, with projecting jaws, broad noses and thick lips. By both sexes the hair is worn short or the head shaved; on cheeks and temple are tribal marks in the form of scars. The huts of the Bertat are circular, the floor raised on short poles. Their weapons are the spear, throwing-club, sword and dagger, and also the kulbeda or throwing-knife. Blocks of salt are the favourite form of currency. Gold washing is practised. Nature worship still struggles against the spread of Mahommedanism. The Bertat, estimated to number some 80,000, c. 1880, were