Beflis, Or Bitlis, a town of Asiatic Turkey, in Kurdistan, about 10 m. S. W. of Lake Van and 60 m. W. of the city of Van; pop. about 10,000, of whom one third are Armenians and Kurds. It is situated in a wide ravine, has several mosques and convents, caravansaries, and an ancient castle on a high rock, formerly the residence of the local khans. Cotton cloths, celebrated for their bright red dye, and various other articles, are manufactured here. Excellent tobacco is exported to Erzerum and Constantinople. The adjoining country is remarkable for its fertility, and abounds in game.
Beftevolejnce, in England, first a voluntary gratuity voted to Edward IV. by his subjects. It was afterward a species of forced loan levied by the kings in violation of Magna Charta. The exaction aroused great indignation, and led to the insertion of an article in the petition of rights, 3 Charles I., by which it was provided that no man should be compelled to yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament. By the statute 1 William and Mary, it is declared that levying money for or to the use of the crown, by pretence of prerogative, without grant of parliament, or for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be so granted, is illegal.
Begiiakmi. See Baghiemi.
Begonia, a genus of plants indigenous to the East and West Indies and South America, closely allied to the cucurbitacece according to
Lindley. Their curiously one-sided leaves, and the brilliant colors these often exhibit, make the various species much sought by florists. B. rex has been varied until the leaves not only attain great size, but are beautifully banded. Other species are remarkable for the brilliant red of the under surface of the leaves, or the abundance and grace and color of their flowers. They are easily propagated under glass on the cutting bench by planting the end of the succulent petiole with a small disk of the leaf attached, the new stem springing from this unusual place.
Begshehr Begsheher, or Beysheher, a lake, river, and town in Karaman, Asia Minor. The lake, which is 20 m. long and from 5 to 10 m. broad, is supposed to be the ancient Carallis or Oaralitis in Isauria. It contains a number of islands. The river is the outlet of the lake, and flows S. E. about 25 m. into Lake Soghla. On the banks of this river, near the S. E. end of the lake, stands the town of the same name, 43 m. W. S. W. of Konieh. It is built on both sides of the stream, the opposite quarters being connected by a stone bridge of seven arches. It was formerly the capital of a sanjak.
Beguards. See Beguines.
Beguiles, a sisterhood in the Roman Catholic church peculiar to Belgium and Holland. Their name is ascribed by some to Saint Beg-ghe, by others to their founder Lambert, sur-named le Begue or the Stammerer, who died in 1177. These Bcguines were associated at first in communities, with or without vows, but agreeing to live in chastity and penance. They now make simple vows before the parish priest to live in obedience and chastity as long as they remain in the beguinage. Their habit is black. The beguinages comprise several houses within the same enclosure, with a church, frequently in the centre, each house having its own prioress. (See Beghaeds).