Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
838
BEXLEY—BEYLE

1807. During these and the next few years Vansittart’s reputation as a financier was gradually rising. In 1809 he proposed and carried without opposition in the House of Commons thirty-eight resolutions on financial questions, and only his loyalty to Sidmouth prevented him from joining the cabinet of Spencer Perceval as chancellor of the exchequer in October 1809. He opposed an early resumption of cash payments in 1811, and became chancellor of the exchequer when the earl of Liverpool succeeded Perceval in May 1812. Having forsaken Old Sarum, he had represented Helston from November 1806 to June 1812; and after being member for East Grinstead for a few weeks, was returned for Harwich in October 1812.

When Vansittart became chancellor of the exchequer the country was burdened with heavy taxation and an enormous debt. Nevertheless, the continuance of the war compelled him to increase the custom duties and other taxes, and in 1813 he introduced a complicated scheme for dealing with the sinking fund. In 1816, after the conclusion of peace, a large decrease in taxation was generally desired, and there was a loud outcry when the chancellor proposed only to reduce, not to abolish, the property or income tax. The abolition of this tax, however, was carried in parliament, and Vansittart was also obliged to remit the extra tax on malt, meeting a large deficiency principally by borrowing. He devoted considerable attention to effecting real or supposed economies with regard to the national debt. He carried an elaborate scheme for handing over the payment of naval and military pensions to contractors, who would be paid a fixed annual sum for forty-five years; but no one was found willing to undertake this contract, although a modified plan on the same lines was afterwards adopted. Vansittart became very unpopular in the country, and he resigned his office in December 1822. His system of finance was severely criticized by Huskisson, Tierney, Brougham, Hume and Ricardo. On his resignation Liverpool offered Vansittart the post of chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. Accepting this offer in February 1823, he was created Baron Bexley in March, and granted a pension of £3000 a year. He resigned in January 1828. In the House of Lords Bexley took very little part in public business, although he introduced the Spitalfields weavers bill in 1823, and voted for the removal of Roman Catholic disabilities in 1824. He took a good deal of interest in the British and Foreign Bible Mission, the Church Missionary Society and kindred bodies, and assisted to found King’s College, London. He died at Foot’s Cray, Kent, on the 8th of February 1851. His wife, whom he married in July 1806, was Isabella (d. 1810), daughter of William Eden, 1st Baron Auckland, and as he had no issue the title became extinct on his death. There are nine volumes of Vansittart’s papers in the British Museum.

See Spencer Walpole, History of England (London, 1890); S. C. Buxton, Finance and Politics (London, 1888).

BEXLEY, an urban district in the Dartford parliamentary division of Kent, England, 12 m. S.E. by E. of London by the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (1901) 12,918. Bexley, which is mentioned in Domesday Book, has had a church since the 9th century. The present church of St Mary is Early English and later. With the rental of the manor of Bexley, William Camden, the antiquary, founded the ancient history professorship at Oxford. Hall Place, which contains a fine Jacobean staircase and oak-panelled hall, is said to occupy the site of the dwelling-place of the Black Prince. The course of Watling Street may be traced over Bexley Heath, where, too, there exist deep pits, widening into vaults below, and probably of British origin.

BEY (a modern Turk, word, the older form being beg, cf. Pers. baig), the administrator of a district, now generally an honorific title throughout the Turkish empire; the granting of this in Egypt is made by the sultan of Turkey through the khedive. In Tunis “bey” has become the hereditary title of the reigning sovereigns (see Tunisia).

BEYBAZAR, the chief town of a kaza of the Angora vilayet in Asiatic Turkey, situated on an affluent of the Sakaria (anc. Sangarius), about 52 m. W. of Angora. It corresponds to the anc. Lagania, renamed Anastasiopolis under the emperor Anastasius (491-518), a bishopric by the 5th century. Its well-built wooden houses cover the slopes of three hills at the mouth of a gorge filled with fruit gardens and vineyards. The chief products are rice, cotton and fruits. From Beybazar come the fine pears sold in Constantinople as “Angora pears”; its musk-melons are equally esteemed; its grapes are used only for a sweetmeat called jevizli-sujuk (“nutty fruit sausage”). There are few remains of antiquity apart from numerous rock-cut chambers lining the banks of the stream. Pop. about 4000 to 5000.

BEYLE, MARIE HENRI (1783-1842), better known by his nom de plume of Stendhal, French author, was born at Grenoble on the 23rd of January 1783. With his father, who was an avocat in the parlement of Grenoble, he was never on good terms, but his intractable disposition sufficiently explains his unhappy childhood and youth. Until he was twelve years old he was educated by a priest, who succeeded in inspiring him with a lasting hatred of clericalism. He was then sent to the newly established École Centrale at Grenoble, and in 1799 to Paris with a letter of introduction to the Daru family, with which the Beyles were connected. Pierre Daru offered him a place in the ministry for war, and with the brothers Daru he followed Napoleon to Italy. Most of his time in Italy was spent at Milan, a city for which he conceived a lasting attachment. Much of his Chartreuse de Parme seems to be autobiographical of this part of his life.

He was a spectator of the battle of Marengo, and afterwards enlisted in a dragoon regiment. With rapid promotion he became adjutant to General Michaud; but after the peace of Amiens in 1802 he returned to study in Paris. There he met an actress, Mélanie Guilbert, whom he followed to Marseilles. His father cut off his supplies on hearing of this escapade, and Beyle was reduced to serving as clerk to a grocer. Mélanie Guilbert, however, soon abandoned him to marry a Russian, and Beyle returned to Paris. Through the influence of Daru he obtained a place in the commissariat, which he filled with some distinction from 1806 to 1814. Charged with raising a levy in Brunswick of five million francs, he extracted seven; and during the retreat from Moscow he discharged his duties with efficiency. On the fall of Napoleon he refused to accept a place under the new régime, and retired to Milan, where he met Silvio Pellico, Manzoni, Lord Byron and other men of note. At Milan he contracted a liaison with a certain Angelina P., whom he had admired fruitlessly during his earlier residence in that city. In 1814 he published, under the pseudonym of Alexandre César Bombet, his Lettres écrites de Vienne en Aulriche sur le célèbre compositeur, Joseph Haydn, suivies d’une vie de Mozart, et de considérations sur Métastase et l’état présent de la musique en Italie. His letters on Haydn were borrowed from the Haydini (1812) of Joseph Carpani, and the section on Mozart had no greater claim to originality. The book was reprinted (1817) as Vies de Haydn, Mozart et Métastase. His Histoire de la peinture en Italie (2 vols., 1817) was originally dedicated to Napoleon.

His friendship with some Italian patriots brought him in 1821 under the notice of the Austrian authorities, and he was exiled from Milan. In Paris he felt himself a stranger, as he had never recognized French contemporary art in literature, music or painting. He frequented, however, many literary salons in Paris, and found some friends in the “idéologues” who gathered round Destutt de Tracy. He was the most closely allied with Prosper Mérimée, a dilettante and an ironist like himself. He published at this time his Essai sur l’amour (1822), of which only seventeen copies were sold in eleven years, though it afterwards became famous, Racine et Shakespeare (1823-1825), Vie de Rossini (1824), D’un nouveau complot contre les industriels (1825), Promenades dans Rome (1829), and his first novel, Armance, ou quelques scenes de Paris en 1827 (1827). After the Revolution of 1830 he was appointed consul at Trieste, but the Austrian government refused to accept him, and he was sent to Civita Vecchia instead. Le Rouge et le noir, chronique du XIXe siècle (2 vols., 1830) appeared in Paris after his departure, but attracted