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and was in great favour with king James V. as himself informs us, which he might very probably owe to his fine vein in poetry, that prince being a great admirer, and a proficient in poetical studies. Having this interest with his prince, he attained extraordinary preferment in the church, being made canon of Ross, and archdeacon of Murray, to which last dignity perhaps he opened his passage, by taking the degree of doctor of divinity at the Sorbonne. He likewise obtained his father's employment of clerk of accounts, which was very considerable, in the minority of the king before mentioned; but he was afterwards turned out by the struggle of factions, in the same reign. We bave no direct authority to prove that he had any share in the education of king James V. but from some passages in his poems, and from his addressing many of them to that king, he appears to have been in some measure particularly attached to his person; and from one of them, we may infer that he had an interest beyond that of bare duty, in forming a right disposition, and giving wholesome instructions to that prince. But the work which has transmitted his name to posterity, is his translation of Hector Boëthius, or, as his countrymen call him, Hector Boeis's History, from the Latin into the Scottish tongue, which he performed at the command of his royal master admirably, but with a good deal of freedom, departing often from his author, although generally for the sake of truth, and sometimes also adding circumstances, which perhaps might not be known to Hector Boece. This version, as he called it, was very well received both in Scotland and England. It does not appear either from his own writings or otherwise, how he came to lose his office of clerk of accounts; but he certainly recovered it in the succeeding reign, was likewise made one of the lords of session; and had credit then at court, perhaps from his zeal in respect to his religion, for he was a very warm and inflexible Romanist, and laboured assiduously, in conjunction with Dr. Laing, to impede the progress of the reformation.
of the reformation. It may with great probability be conjectured, that the disputes into which he plunged himself on this subject, made him so uneasy, that he chose to quit his native country, that he might reside in sa place, where that disposition, instead of being an hin drance, would infallibly recommend him. This (as it is supposed) carried him 'to Rome, where, as Dempster tells us, he died in 1550. He was unquestionably a man of
great parts, and one of the finest poets his country had to boast, and notwithstanding the obsolete language of his works, they are not slightly imbued with that enthusiasm which is the very soul of poesy. His great work appeared in folio at Edinburgh, in 1536, entitled “The History and Chronicles of Scotland, compilit and newly correctit and amendit be the reverend and noble clerk Mr. Hector Boeis, chanon of Aberdene, translated lately be Mr. John Bellenden, archdene of Murray, and chanon of Rosse, at command of James the Fyfte, king of Scottis, imprintet in Edinburgh be Thomas Davidson, dwelling fornens the Fryere-Wynde.” This translation, as has been observed, was very far from being close, our author taking to himself the liberty of augmenting and amending the history he published as he thought proper. He, likewise, distinguished it into chapters as well as books, which was the only distinction employed by Boëthius; which plainly proves, that it was this translation, and not the original, that Richard Grafton made use of in penning his chronicle, which Buchanan could scarcely avoid knowing, though he never misses any opportunity of accusing Grafton, as if he had corrupted and falsified this author, in order to serve his own purposes and abuse the people of Scotland; which, however, is a groundless charge. Our author's work was afterwards taken into the largest of our British histories, of which the bishop of Carlisle has given us the following ac
“ R. Holinshed published it in English, but was not the translator of it himself: his friend began the work and had gone a good way in it, but did not, it seems, live to finish it. In this there are several large interpolations and additions out of Major, Lesley, and Buchanan, by Fr. Thinne, who is also the chief author of the whole story after the death of king James the First, and the only penman of it from 1571 to 1586. Towards the latter end, this learned antiquary occasionally intermixes catalogues of the chancellors, archbishops, and writers of that king
BELLENDEN (WILLIAM), more generally known by his Latin name of Gulielmus Belendenus, a native of Scotland, was born in the sixteenth century. We find him mentioned by Dempster as humanity professor at Paris, in
I Biog. Brit. -- Irvine's Lives of the Scottish Poets, where there is a more accurate inquiry into Bellenden's family, and some extraats from his poems.Warton's Hist, of Poetry, vol. II. p. 321,
1602. He is reported by the Scots to have possessed an eminent degree of favour with James VI. to whom he was master of requests, and “Magister Supplicum Libellorum," or reader of private petitions, which, it is conceived, must have been only a nominal office, as his more constant residence was in France. By the munificence of that mo. narch, Bellenden was enabled to enjoy at Paris all the conveniences of retirement. While he continued thus free from other cares, he suffered not his abilities to languish; but employed his time in the cultivation of useful literature. His first work, entitled “ Ciceronis princeps," was printed at Paris in 1608, a work in which he extracted from Cicero's writings, detached passages, and comprised them into one regular body, containing the rules of monarchical government, and the duties of the prince. To this first edition was prefixed “ Tractatus de processu et scriptoribus rei politicæ.” “ Ciceronis Consul” was the next publication of Bellenden. It appeared also at Paris in 1612, and both were inscribed to Henry prince of Wales. In 1616 was published a second edition, to which was added “ Liber de statu prisci orbis,” with a dedication to prince Charles, the surviving brother of Henry. While Bellenden was occupied in the composition of these three treatises, he was so much attracted by the admiration of Cicero, that he projected a larger work, “ De Tribus Luminibus Romanorum," and what he had already written concerning Cicero he disposed in a new order. Death, however, interrupted his pursuit, before he could collect and arrange the materials which related to Seneca and Pliny, but of the time of his death we have no account. The treatises of Bellenden which remain, have been esteerned as highly valuable, and worthy the attention of the learned. They were extremely scarce, but had been much admired by all who could gain access to them. At length they were rescued from their obscure confinement in the cabinets of the curious, by a new edition which appeared at London in 1787, in a form of typography and an accuracy
of printing which so excellent an author may justly be said to merit. It was accompanied with an eloquent Latin preface in honour of three modern statesmen. Dr. Samuel Parr, the author of the preface, and to whom literature is indebted for the restoration of such a treasure, has charged Middleton with having meanly withheld his acknowledgments, after having embellished the life of Cicero
by extracting many useful and valuable materials from the works of Bellenden. This, if we mistake not, had been before pointed out by Dr. Warton in the second volume of his “ Essay on Pope."l
BELLENGER (FRANCIS), doctor of the Sorbonne, was born in the diocese of Lisieux, and died at Paris the 12th of April 1749, aged sixty-one. He was master of the Greek and Latin, and of several of the living languages. He published, 1. A French translation of Dionysius Halicarnensis, 1723, 2 vols. 4to. 2. A translation of the continuation of Plutarch's Lives by Rowe, and of Derham's Astrotheology. 3. An edition of the 66 Vulgate Psalms," with an excellent preface and notes, 1728, 4to, concealing his name under the letters V. E. S. P. D. F. B. P. I. V. 4. A critical essay on the works of Rollin, on the translators of Herodotus, and the dictionary of la Martiniére, in 8vo. with a continuation. This work, though heavily written, is esteemed. The result of the first part is, that Rollin had but a slight knowledge of Greek, and that he often appropriated the sentiments and observations of French authors, without citing them. Rollin answered him in the preface to the fourth vol. of his Roman History. The two other parts are neither less just nor less learned. He left in MS. a French version of Herodotus, with notes replete with erudition. His translations are faithful ; but he had neither the ease nor the elegance of style of Rollin, although he surpassed him in the knowledge of Greek.”
BELLET (CHARLES), member of the academy of Montauban, and who held a benefice in the cathedral there, was born at Querci, and died at Paris in 1771. Several prizes gained at Marseilles, at Bourdeaux, at Pau, at Rouen, his literary and ecclesiastical learning, and the purity of his manners, caused him to be respected at Montauban. By him are, 1. “L'Adoration Chrétienne, dans la dévotion du rosaire," 1754, 12mo. 2. Several pieces of eloquence. 3. “ Les droits de la religion sur le cæur de l'homme," 1764, 2 vols. 12mo.3
BELLIN (NICHOLAS), geographical engineer of the marine, and member of the royal society of London, was born at Paris in 1703, and died the 21st of March 1772. He had a singular knowledge in his art, which he employed | Parr's Introduction. Remarks on the new edition of Bellendenus, 1787, 8vo. 9 Dict. Hist.
with great industry. He published, under the title of “Hydrographie Françoise," a series of marine charts, to the number of fourscore. 2. “ Essais géographiques sur les isles Britanniques,” 1763, in 4to. 3. “ Essais sur le Guyane," 1757, 4to. 4.“ Le petit Atlas Maritime," 4 vols. 4to. 5. “ Le Neptune Français,” 1753, fol. and some other works very imperfectly catalogued in our authority.'
BELLINI (GENTILE), an eminent artist, was the son of Giacopo Bellini, also an artist, and born at Venice, 1421. He was instructed by his father in the art of painting in distemper as well as in oil. He was accounted the most knowing of any artist in his time, and was employed by the doge to paint the hall of the great council; and for others of the nobility he executed several noble works. His reputation was at that time so extensive, that it reached the Ottoman court *; and the emperor Mahomet II. having seen some of his performances, invited him to Constantinople, received him with great respect, sat to him for his portrait, and engaged him there for some time, giving him many rich presents, and many marks of his regard. But the emperor having ordered the head of a slave to be cut off before the face of Gentile, to convince him of an incorrectness in a picture of the decollation of St. John, he was so affected, and so terrified at the sight, that he never enjoyed peace of mind till he obtained leave to return to his own country. Mahomet, to do him honour, put a gold chain about his neck, and wrote to the senate of Venice in his favour, which at his return procured him a pension for life, and the honourable distinction of the order of St. Mark. Vasari mentions a Sea-fight, painted by this master, which bad extraordinary merit, in the variety of the figures, the truth of the expressions, the great propriety of the attitudes, the perspective distances of the vessels, and the grandeur of the composition. He died 1501.:
* De Piles and other writers repre Giovanni, as he was then engaged in a sent the transaction of Gentile at Con large work, and the doge was unwil. stantinople, agreeable to what is re ling to deprive his country of so falated above; but Vasari says that Ma mous an artist; Giovanni being esteemhomet II. had seen some of the works ed the best painter, not only of his own of Giovanni Bellini, which he admired family, who were all painters, but the exceedingly, and desired that the paint- ablest artist of his time. The circumer of those pictures might be sent to stance of beheading the slave is not him from Venice; but that the senate mentioned by Vasari. prevailed on Gentile to go instead of I Dict. Hist.