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BI'SHOP'S WA'LTHAM, a town of Hampshire, , several oxides, of which the teroxide (Bi03) is the about 10 miles east-north-east of Southampton. most important. It may be prepared by evaporating Pop. of parish (1861), 2267. Corn, leather, and malt the solution of the ternitrate of B. (Bi03,3N05) to form the chief trade of the town. It has been dryness, and then heating, when the nitric acid immemorially the property of the see of Winchester. (3NO:) escapes, and leaves the teroxide of B. (Bi0x)
) There are the remains of a bishop's castle, built in as a yellowish powder. It is employed in the 1135 by Henry de Bloisking, King Stephen's brother, procelain manufacture as an agent for fixing the and which was reduced to ruins during the civil gilding, and for increasing the fusibility of fluxes, wars of the 17th c. A gang of Waltham Blacks,' at the same time neutralising the colours which or deer-stealers, infested the forest in this vicinity are often communicated by them. The ternitrate in the early part of the 18th c. The Black Act (q. v.) i of B. is prepared by acting upon the metal B. with was passed in 1723, to put them down.
a mixture of one part of commercial nitric acid and BISIGNA'NO, a town of Naples, in the province one part of water, and applying heat. The subnitrate of Calabria Citra, is situated on the hill near the or basic nitrate of B. receives the names of Pearl junction of the Mucone with the Crati, about 15 White, Pearl Powder, Blanc de Fard, Blanc d'E'smiles north of Cosenza. It has a cathedral, a castle, pagne, Majestery of B., and Perlweiss and Schmink
It is used as a cosmetic, but is and a trade in silk, and gives the title of prince weiss (German). to the existing branch of the Sanseverino family. apt to become grey in tint, and even brown or Pop. 5000.
black, when sulphuretted hydrogen, often evolved
from sewers, cesspools, and drains, comes in contact BI'SLEY, a town of Gloucestershire, 11 miles
with it. south-east of Gloucester. Pop. of parish, 4692.
The subnitrate of B., the only medicinal preparaThe chief manufacture is coarse clothing. The
tion formed from this metal, acts as a local irritant church contains some interesting monuments, a and caustic poison on animals. cross-legged knight in armour, and an ancient stone given in small doses, it acts locally as an astringent,
On .man, when font. There is also an ancient octagonal stone
diminishing secretion. On account of the frequent cross in the churchyard. The canal uniting the Severn and the Thames passes through the parish, stomach, where there is no organic disease, but
relief given by it in painful affections of the the highest part being 370 feet above the sea
where sickness and vomiting take place, accomlevel.
panied by cramp or nervous disorder, it is supposed BIS'MUTH is a brittle metal of a crystalline to act on the nerves of this viscus as a sedative. It texture, and of white colour tinged with a faint has also been denominated tonic and antispasmodic. red hue. It is found native in Cornwall, Germany, Vogt says, that when used as a cosmetic, it has been France, and Sweden, where it occurs in veins or known to produce a spasmodic trembling of the face, fissures passing through other rocks. The princi- ending in paralysis. pal natural source is an impure metal; but it is likewise found in combination with oxygen, sulphur, animal of the same genus with the ox (q. v.), still
BI'SON, a name given by the ancients to an and arsenic. The pure metal is generally obtained called the B., or the European B. (Bos Bison of some by heating the impure native B. in iron tubes in a naturalists, Bos Urus of others); also known as the furnace, when the metal volatilises, and the vapour, Aurochs (Gerin., wild animal, or wild ox).
This condensing into a liquid in a somewhat cool part animal at one time abounded in niost parts of ultimately transferred to moulds, where it solidifies Europe, but is now found only in the forests of with a crystalline texture. B. is represented by Herds of bisons, carefully protected by the
Moldavia, Wallachia, Lithuania, and Caucasus. the chemist by the symbol Bi; has the atomic of Russia, and believed to amount to about 800 in
emperor weight or equivalent of 213, and has the specific all, roam through the great forest of Bialowieza, in gravity of 9783 to 9833 (water 1000). The metal
Lithuania, The B. differs from all varieties of the B. is seldom employed by itself in the arts. The
common ox, in the arched line of the back, which rises in a sudden clevation behind the neck; the hump which is formed not consisting, however, of mere fat, but in great part of the very thick and strong muscles which support the large head. It is remarkable for strength in the fore-parts, and trees
of five or six inches in diameter cannot withstand 6
the thrusts of old bulls. It is capable of repelling all attacks of the wolf or bear, rushing upon, overthrowing, and then trampling an adversary. Its horns are short, tapering, very distant, spreading, a little curved inwards at the point. They are
affixed not at the extremities of the most elevated A, example of native bismuth from Redruth, in Cornwall; salient line of the head, as in the ox, but considerb, crystal of bismuth.
ably in front of it. The figure of the forehead
differs also from that of the ox in its greater breadth, alloys of B. are of considerable commercial import- and in its convex profile. Another important
In combination with tin, B. forms an alloy anatomical difference is in the number of ribs, of possessing great sonorousness, and therefore suitable which the B. has fourteen pair, whilst the ox has for bells. The alloy of 8 of B., 5 of lead, and 3 of only thirteen; and the vertebræ of the tail are tin, readily fuses at 202° F., and therefore melts in fewer, being only nineteen instead of twenty-one. boiling water; and the alloy of 2 of B., 1 of lead, The hair of the forehead is long and shaggy ; that and I of tin, at 200-75° F. Either of the latter under the chin and on the breast forms a sort of allors is entitled to the term fusible alloy, and when beard; and in winter the neck, hump, and shoulders mixed with some mercury, becomes still more fusible, are covered with long woolly hair, of a dusky and may then be used in forming moulds for toilet- brown colour, intermingled with a short, soft, fawnsoaps, and in taking casts.
coloured fur. This long hair is gradually cast in B. forms several compounds of service in the arts summer. The legs, back, and hinder-parts are and in medicine; it combines with oxygen to form Icovered with short dark-brown hair. The tail
terminates in a large tuft. The females are not so About 300,000 Indians are supposed to subsist large as the males, nor do they exhibit the same almost entirely on the flesh of the B. The spear shagginess of the fore-parts. The B. is the largest and the bow and arrow are still much employed by quadruped now existing in Europe, although within them in hunting it, although many of thein also use the historic period there appears to have existed firearms. They frequently pursue it on horseback; along with it an ox exceeding it in size; and it but the hunter, whether on horseback or on foot, appears to have been this ox, and not the B., which has often much difficulty in getting within shot, was called Urus (q. v.) by the ancients, although on account of its keenness of scent, and the speed their Bonasus (or Bonassus) was probably the same with which it runs. The chase of the B. is also very with the bison.—The food of the B. consists of grass | dangerous, as it is apt to turn upon an adversary, and brushwood, and the leaves and bark of young and even a fleet horse cannot always escape it. trees. Its vry is peculiar, resembling a groan or a Great numbers, however, are sometimes killed when grunt, more than the lowing of an ox. It does not the hunters can succeed in throwing the herds that attain its full stature till after its sixth year, and are scattered over the plains into confusion, so that lives for about thirty or forty years. The period they run wildly, without heeding whither. Another of gestation appears to be the same with that of the expedient of the Indians is to set fire to the grass of
The B. has never been reduced to subjection the prairies around them, when they retire in great by man, and the domestication even of individuals consternation to the centre, and are easily killed. taken young, has been very partial. It generally A sort of pound or enclosure is sometimes made, shews a great aversion to the domestic ox. The with a long avenue leading to it, and an einbankcommon statement, however, that the B. calf invari- ment of snow, such that when the animals have ably refuses to be suckled by the domestic cow, is descended over it they cannot return, and by this contradicted on the excellent authority of the master means great numbers are often captured and killed. of the imperial forests in the Russian govern- Livingstone describes a similar expedieut as in use ment of Grodno.—The B. is generally very shy, and for killing wild animals in South Africa. Somecan only be approached from the leeward, its smell times, also, the Indians contrive to throw them into being very acute. It is easily provoked, and is not consternation, and to make them run towards a approached without danger. It runs very swiftly, precipice, over which many of the foremost are althougu it cannot long continue its flight, galloping driven by the crowds which throng up behind. with its head very low, so that the hoofs are raised The American B. is very similar to the European. higher than the head.
In general, it is of rather smaller size, but this does There is no historical evidence that the B. ever not appear to be always the case, and it is said existed in Britain ; but remains of this, or of a very sometimes to attain a weight of 2000 lbs. Its limbs closely allied species, are found in pliocene fresh- and tail are shorter, and the tail consists of fewer water beds in several parts of England, as well as vertebræ. The horns are shorter and more blunt. on the continent of Europe. The size of these B. The fore-parts are still more shaggy, and retain bones is, however, so great as of itself to cause a more of their shagginess in summer. The ground doubt of the identity of the species, and the horns upon which many naturalists have rested their chief are longer in proportion. The fossil B. has been confidence of specific difference has been, however, called Bison priscus ; Bison being by some natu- the presence of an additional pair of ribs, the ralists separated as a genus from Bos, upon the ground chiefly of the osteological differences in the head.
The American B. (Bos Americanus of some naturalists, B. Bison of others) is interesting as the only species of the ox family indigenous to America, except the Musk Ox (q. v.) of the subarctic regions. It is commonly called Buffalo by the Anglo-Americans, although it is very different from the Buffaloes (q. v.) of the old world. It is found in vast numbers in the great prairies between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains; it occurs as far north as the vicinity of Great Marten Lake, in lat. 63° or 64°; extensive level and marshy tracts there affording it suitable food, although it is nowhere else to be met with in so high a latitude. Its southern limit appears to be in New Mexico. It is comparatively
American Bison. rare to the west of the Rocky Mountains, and appears to have been rare to the east of the Appalachiaus, even on the first settlement of Europeans. American B. being said to have fifteen pair; but Within the present century, however, it was found Mr. Vasey has recently ascertained that, like the in the western parts of the State of New York, and European B., it has only fourteen.
The more in large numbers in that of Ohio ; but it has now gregarious habit may perhaps be accounted for, like disappeared from the whole region east of the that of the American beaver, by difference of cirMississippi, and it is necessary to advance about cumstances. one hundred miles to the westward of that river The wolf is quite unable to contend with the B., before considerable numbers are anywhere to be but many wolves often hang around the herds, to found. In the western prairies, enormous herds devour calves which may stray, or aged animals still congregate; great plains are sometimes spotted which have become too weak to keep up with the and darkened with them as far as the eye can reach ; rest. These have sometimes been seen assailed by *countless thousands' are described as coming to whole packs of wolves, and dealing death to many refresh themselves in stagnant pools; and their of their assailants, before they were compelled to paths are said to be, in some parts of the wilder- yield to numbers and hungry pertinacity. The ness, as frequent and almost as conspicuous as the only American animal that is singly capable of overroads in the most populous parts of the United coming the B. is the grisly bear. See BEAR. States.
The flesh of the B. is very good, and differs from
that of the ox in having a sort of venison flavour. | much employed in medicine, both internally and The hump, in particular, is esteemed a delicacy.- externally, in hemorrhages and many other comPemmican (q. v.), so much the food of fur-hunters plaints. B. is a native of meadows in Europe, and and northern voyageurs, is made of the flesh and fat of the bison.--The tallow forms an important article of trade. One bull sometimes yields 150 lbs. The skins are much used by the Indians for blankets, and when tanned, as coverings for their lodges and beds. A blanket of B.'s skin is not unfrequently sold for three or four pounds sterling in Canada, to be used as a travelling cloak or wrapper. The Mandan Indians make canoes of B. skins spread upon wicker-work frames. These canoes have the round form of the Welsh coracle (q. v.). The long hair or fleece is spun and woven into cloth; and some of it which has been brought to England has been made into very fine cloth; stockings, gloves, &c., are also knitted of it. A male B. yields from six to eight pounds of this long hair.
The few attempts which have been made to domesticate the American B., have been so far successful, that they afford encouragement to further experiments. The size and strength of the animal make it probable that, if domesticated, it would be of great use.
BISSA'GOS or BIJU'GA ISLANDS, a group of small volcanic islands, about 20 in all, off the west coast of Africa, lat. 10° 2'-11° 42' N., and long. 15°—17° W., opposite the mouth of the Rio Grande. The islands are enclosed by a reef, and with a few exceptions, are thickly wooded. Many of them appear to be densely peopled by a savage, thievish, negro race, who cultivate maize, bananas, and palms, and feed cattle and goats, which constitute their chief wealth. There are several fine ports. On one of the islands, Bulama, the British formed a settlement in 1792, but were obliged to abandon it the following year, on account of its unhealthiness.
Bistort (Polygonum Bistorta). Bassao, one of the group, on which there is a Portuguese settlement, has a population of 8000. It carries on a large trade in slaves, nearly all its European is found in Britain, but is by no means common. inhabitants being engaged in the traffic. It has See POLYGONUM. also a trade in rice, wax, hides, &c., and imports BI'STRE, or BIÄSTER, a pigment of a warm annually about £20,000 worth of British manufac- brown colour, prepared from the soot of wood, tured goods.
especially beech. It is used in water colours after BISSEN, Wilhem, a distinguished Danish sculp- the manner of Indian ink. tor of the present time, was born near Schleswig BI'STRITZ, a fortified town of Transylvania, in 1798, and studied his art for ten years in Rome, beautifully situated on the Bistritz River, in a under the guidance of his countryman, Thorwaldsen. fine valley about 50 miles north-east of KlausenReturning home, he executed a number of excellent burg. In its vicinity are the remains of an ancient works (a bust of Oersted, Atalante hunting, &c.). castle, once the residence of the illustrious Hunyads. In 1841, he returned to Rome, being commissioned It has several large cattle-fairs, but the extensive by the government to make 18 statues larger than general trade it once carried on is now entirely life. Along with these he produced a Venus, and gone. Forming, as it does, the last strong position a charming piece, Cupid sharpening his Arrow.' in the north-east of Transylvania, it was repeatedly Being recalled to Copenhagen, he was commissioned during 1848–1849 the scene of hot strife between to execute a frieze of several hundred feet long the Hungarian and Austrian generals. Pop. 6500. for the great hall of the palace, representing the —B. is also the name of a river which, rising in development of the human race according to East Hungary, flows south-east through Bukowina the Greek mythology. Thorwaldsen, in his will, and Moldavia, and joins the Sereth near Baku, after appointed B. to complete his unfinished works and a course of 110 miles, and is called the Golden B., on have charge of his museum. In 1850 he was made account of the auriferous character of its sands. director of the Academy of Arts, Copenhagen. At BIT, or BITT, in ship-building, is a frame comthe Paris Exhibition in 1855, he was the only | posed chiefly of two short but strong vertical sculptor who represented Danish art.
timbers, fixed into or upon the deck in the fore-part BI'STORT (Polygonum Bistorta), a perennial of the vessel. Its main purpose is for fastening the plant, 1-11 ft. high, with a simple stem, ovate sub-cable when the ship rides at anchor, and for leadcordate and wavy leaves, the radical leaves tapering ing the principal ropes of the rigging. To “bit the into a long footstalk, and one dense terminal cable,' is to fasten it round the bit. Various kinds cylindrical spiked raceme of flesh-coloured flowers. are called riding bits,' 'Elliott's bits,' 'CarrickThe root is about the thickness of the little-finger, bits,' paul-bits,' 'jeer-bits,' "top-sail-sheet-bits,' &c, blackish brown externally, reddish within, and tor- Having to resist great strains, the bits are strongly tuous (whence the name bistort). The whole plant bolted to the beams that support the deck. is astringent, containing much tannin; the root is BITCHE, a town of France, in the department one of the strongest vegetable astringents, and is of the Moselle, in a wild and wooded pass of