MARTIAL LAW, law administered by military force, to which civilians are amenable during an insurrection or riot.
MARTIN, the name of five popes: M. I., ST., Pope from 649 to 655; M. II., pope from 882 to 884; M. III., Pope from 942 to 946; M. IV., pope from 1281 to 1285; M. V., Pope from 1417 to 1431, distinguished for having condemned Huss to be burned.
MARTIN, AIME, a French writer, born at Lyons, repaired to Paris, became the pupil and friend of Bernardin de St. Pierre; collected his works and married his widow; his letters to Sophia on "Natural History," &c., highly popular (1781-1844).
MARTIN, HENRI, celebrated French historian, born at Saint-Quentin; devoted his life to the study of the history of France; wrote an account of it, entitled "Histoire de France," a magnificent work in 19 volumes; brought the history down to 1789, and received from the Institute 20,000 francs as a prize (1810-1885).
MARTIN, JOHN, English painter, born near Hexham; was an artist of an ardent temperament and extraordinary imaginative power; his paintings, the first "Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion," characterised as "sublime" and "gorgeous," were 16 in number, and made a great impression when produced; engravings of some of them are familiar, such as the "Fall of Babylon" and "Belshazzar's Feast" (1789-1854).
MARTIN, LADY. See FAUCIT, HELEN.
MARTIN, ST., bishop of Tours, was in early life a soldier, and meeting with a naked beggar one cold day in winter divided his military cloak in two, and gave him the half of it; was conspicuous both as a monk and bishop for his compassion on the poor; seated at a banquet on one occasion between the king and queen, hobnobbed with a poor beggar looking on, and extended his goblet of wine to him; he is the patron saint of topers; d. 397. Festival, November 11.
MARTIN, SARAH, a philanthropist, born at Great Yarmouth; lived by dressmaking, and devoted much of her time among criminals in the jails (1791-1843).
MARTIN, SIR THEODORE, man of letters, born in Edinburgh; acquired his first fame under the pseudonym of Bon Gaultier; is author of the "Life of the late Prince Consort"; wrote along with Aytouna "Book of Ballads," and translated the Odes of Horace, Dante's "Vita Nuova" and Goethe's "Faust"; b. 1816.
MARTINEAU, HARRIET, English authoress, born at Norwich; a lady with little or no genius but with considerable intellectual ability, and not without an honest zeal for the "progress of the species"; she was what is called an "advanced" thinker, and was a disciple of Auguste Comte; wrote a number of stories bearing on social questions, and had that courage of her opinions which commanded respect; it was she who persuaded Carlyle to try lecturing when his finances were low, and she had a real pride at the success of the scheme (1802-1876).
MARTINEAU, JAMES, rationalistic theologian, born in Norwich, brother of the preceding; began life as an engineer, took to theology, and became a Unitarian minister; was at first a follower of Bentham and then a disciple of Kant; at one time a materialist he became a theist, and a most zealous advocate of theistic beliefs from the Unitarian standpoint; he is a thinker of great power, and has done much both to elevate and liberate the philosophy of religion; his views are liberal as well as profound, and he is extensively known as the author of the "Endeavours after the Christian Life" and "Hours of Thought on Sacred Things"; b. 1805.
MARTINIQUE (176, of which a few are white), a West Indian French possession, one of the Lesser Antilles; has a much-indented precipitous coast; a mountain range in the centre is densely wooded; the plains are fertile, and produce sugar, coffee, and cotton, which with fruit are the exports; the climate is hot and not salubrious; the island has been French, with three short intervals, since 1635.
MARTYN, HENRY, a Christian missionary, born at Truro, in Cornwall; was a Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge; went to India as a chaplain, settled in various stations and in Persia; translated the New Testament into Hindi and Persian, as well as the Prayer-book; fell into broken health; did more than he was able for, caught fever and died (1781-1812).
MARVELL, ANDREW, poet and politician, born at Worcester; was first a lyric poet, and in politics much of a Royalist, at last a violent politician on the Puritan side, having become connected with Milton and Cromwell; he wrote a tract "On the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England" after the Restoration, which brought him into trouble; being a favourite with the king, the king sought to bribe him, but he could not be caught; he died suddenly, and an unfounded rumour was circulated that he had been poisoned (1621-1678).
MARX, KARL, a German Socialist, born at Treves, of Jewish descent; was at first a student of philosophy and a disciple of Hegel, but soon abandoned philosophy for social economy on a democratic basis and in a materialistic interest, early adopted socialistic opinions, for his zeal in which he was driven from Germany, France, and finally Belgium, to settle in London, where he spent the last 30 years of his life; founded the "INTERNATIONAL" (q. v.), and wrote a work "Das Kapital," which has become the text-book of Socialism, a remarkable book, and one that has materially promoted the cause it advocates (1818-1866).
MARY, THE VIRGIN. Of her we know nothing for certain except what is contained in the Gospel history, and that almost exclusively in her relation to her Son, in connection with whom, and as His mother, she has become an object of worship in the Roman Catholic and Greek Churches.
MARY I., queen of England, was born at Greenwich, daughter of Henry VIII. and Catharine of Aragon; at first the king's favourite, on her mother's divorce she was treated with aversion; during her brother Edward VI.'s reign she lived in retirement, clinging to her Catholic faith; on her accession in 1553 a Protestant plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne failed; she began cautiously to restore Catholicism, imprisoning Reformers and reinstating the old bishops; on her choosing Philip of Spain for her husband a revolt broke out under Sir Thomas Wyatt, and though easily put down was the occasion for the execution of Lady Jane Grey and the imprisonment of Elizabeth; after her marriage in 1554 the religious reaction gained strength, submission was made to Rome, and a persecution began in which 300 persons, including Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer, perished in three years; ill-health, Philip's cruelty, and her childlessness drove her to melancholy; a war with France led to the loss of Calais in 1558, and she died broken-hearted, a virtuous and pious, but bigoted and relentless woman (1516-1558).
MARY II., queen of England, daughter of the Duke of York (afterwards James II.) and Anne Hyde; was married to her cousin William of Orange in 1677, ascended the English throne along with him on her father's abdication in 1688, and till her death was his much loved, good, and gentle queen; Greenwich Hospital for disabled sailors, which she built, is her memorial (1662-1694).
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, daughter of James V. and Mary of Lorraine, born at Linlithgow, became by her father's death queen ere she was a week old; her early childhood was spent on an island in the Lake of Menteith; she was sent to France in 1548, brought up at court with the royal princes, and married to the dauphin in 1558, who for a year, 1559-60, was King Francis II.; on his death she had to leave France; she returned to assume the government in Scotland, now in the throes of the Reformation; refraining from interference with the Protestant movement she retained her own Catholic faith, but chose Protestant advisers; out of many proposed alliances she elected, against all advice, to be married to her cousin Darnley 1565, and easily quelled the insurrection that broke out under Moray; Darnley, granted the title king, tried to force her to settle the succession in the event of her dying childless on him and his heirs; deeming her favourite Rizzio to stand in the way, he plotted with the Protestant Lords to have him murdered, and Mary was reduced to agree to his demands; the murder was done; the queen was for a time a prisoner in Holyrood, but she succeeded in detaching Darnley, and the scheme fell through; her only son, afterwards James VI., was born three months later in 1566; the murder of Darnley took place in February 1567, being accomplished by Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, almost certainly with Mary's connivance; her marriage with Bothwell in May alienated the nobles; they rose, took the queen prisoner at Carberry, carried her to Edinburgh, then to Loch Leven, where they forced her to abdicate in July; next year, escaping, she fled to England, and was there for many years a prisoner; Catholic plots were formed to liberate her and put her in place of Elizabeth on the English throne (she was next in order of succession, being great-granddaughter of Henry VII.); at last she was accused of complicity in Babbington's conspiracy, tried, found guilty, and executed in Fotheringhay Castle, February 8, 1587; faithful to her religion to the end; she was a woman of great beauty and charm, courage and ability, warm affection and generous temper (1542-1587).
MARYLAND (1,042), a State of the American Union, occupying the basin of the Potomac and of Chesapeake Bay, with Pennsylvania on the N., Delaware on the E., and the Virginias on the W. and S.; has a much indented coast-line affording great facilities for navigation; the soil is throughout fertile; on the level coast plains tobacco and fruit, chiefly peaches, are grown; in the undulating central land wheat; the mountains in the W. are well wooded with pine; there are coal-mines in the W., copper and chrome in the midland, and extensive marble quarries; the shad and herring fisheries are valuable; the manufactures of clothing stuffs, flour, tobacco, and beer are extensive; the climate of Maryland is temperate and genial; education is free, and advanced; the John Hopkins University is in Baltimore; there is a State college in every county, and schools for blind, deaf, and feeble-minded children; colonisation began in 1634, and a policy of religious toleration and peace with the Indians led to prosperity; the State was active in the War of Independence, and remained with the North in the Civil War; the capital is Annapolis (8), but the largest city is Baltimore (434), a great wheat-shipping port and centre of industry; Cumberland (13) has brick and cement works, and Hagerstown (10) has machine, farm implement, and furniture factories.
MASACCIO, an Italian painter, born in Florence; went when very young to Rome, where he painted in the church of St. Clement a series of frescoes, his greatest work being the frescoes in the Brancacci chapel of the Carmine church; he was a great master of perspective and colour (1402-1443).
MASAI, a warlike tribe in Africa, between the coast of Zanzibar and Victoria Nyanza, of the race of the Gallas, men of powerful physique, though far from prepossessing in appearance; when their warlike spirit and prowess are spent they settle down to cattle-breeding.
MASANIELLO, a fisherman of Amalfi, who headed a revolt against the Spanish viceroy in Naples, which proved successful, but turned his head and led to his assassination (1623-1647).
MASHONALAND, a plateau 4000 ft. high crossed by the Umvukwe Mountains, lying to the NE. of Matabeleland and S. of the Zambesi River, of which its streams are tributaries; is a fertile country, and being traversed continually by cold SE. winds is healthy and bracing; the natives, of Bantu stock, are peaceful and industrious, growing rice, maize, tobacco, and cotton, which they also weave, and working with skill in iron; they live in dread of the fierce Matabele tribes; the country is very rich in iron, copper, and gold, and has traces of ancient scientific gold-mining; it has been under British protection since 1888.
MASK, IRON. See IRON MASK.
MASKELYNE, NEVIL, astronomer-royal, born in London; determined the method of finding longitude at sea, and the density of the earth by experiments at Schiehallion, and commenced the "National Almanack," and produced the first volume of "Astronomical Observations at Greenwich" (1732-1811).
MASON, SIR JOSIAH, Birmingham manufacturer and philanthropist, born at Kidderminster; made his fortune by split rings, steel pens, electro-plating; founded an orphanage at Erdington at the cost of nearly L300,000, and the college at Birmingham which bears his name (1795-1881).
MASON, WILLIAM, a minor poet, a friend of poet Gray; the author of two tragedies, "Elfrida" and "Caractacus" (1724-1797).
MASON AND DIXON'S LINE, so called after English engineers who surveyed it 1764-67; is the boundary separating Maryland from Pennsylvania and Delaware; during the Civil War it was inaccurately regarded as dividing the slave-holding from the free States, Maryland and Delaware both recognising slavery.
MASPERO, GASTON CAMILLE CHARLES, French Egyptologist, born at Paris; made extensive explorations and important discoveries in Egypt; has written, among works bearing on Egypt, "Histoire Ancienne des Peuples d'Orient"; b. 1846.
MASSACHUSETTS (2,239), a New England State of the American Union, lies on the Atlantic seaboard between New Hampshire and Vermont on the N. and Rhode Island and Connecticut on the S., with New York on its western border; has a long irregular coast-line and an uneven surface, rising to the Green Mountains in the W.; the scenery is of great beauty, but the soil is in many places poor, the farms raising chiefly hay and dairy produce; the winters are severe; Massachusetts is the third manufacturing State of the Union; its industries include cotton, woollen, worsted, clothing, leather and leather goods, iron and iron goods; school education throughout the State is free and of a high standard; there are several universities and colleges, including Harvard, Boston, Williams, and Amherst; founded in 1620 by the Pilgrim Fathers, Massachusetts had many hardships in early days, and was long the scene of religious intolerance and persecution; the War of Independence began at Bunker's Hill and Lexington in 1776; the capital and chief seaport is Boston (448); Worcester (85) has machinery factories, Springfield (44) paper, and Lowell (78) cotton mills; Concord was for long a literary centre.
MASSAGE, in medicine a process of kneading, stroking, and rubbing, with the fingers and palms of the hands, applied to the body as a whole or to locally affected parts, to allay pain, promote circulation, and restore nervous and vital energy; it was practised in very early times in China and India; was known to the Greeks and Romans, and was revived by Dr. Mezger of Amsterdam in 1853.
MASSAGETAE, a Scythian people on the NE. of the Caspian Sea, who used to kill and eat the aged among them, in an expedition against whom, it is said, Cyrus the Great lost his life.
MASSENA, Duc de Rivoli, Prince of Essling, one of the most illustrious marshals of France, born at Nice; he distinguished himself at Rivoli in 1796, at Zurich in 1799, at the siege of Genoa in 1800, at Eckmuehl and at Wagram in 1809, and was named by Napoleon L'enfant cheri de la Victoire, i. e. the favoured child of victory; he was recalled from the Peninsula by Napoleon for failing to expel Wellington, and it appears he never forgot the affront (1758-1817).
MASSEY, GERALD, English democratic poet, born in Hertfordshire; wrote "Poems and Charms," "Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love"; has written for the reviews, and taken a great interest in spiritualism; b. 1828.
MASSILLON, JEAN BAPTISTE, celebrated French pulpit orator, born at Hieres, in Provence; entered the congregation of the Oratory, and became so celebrated for his eloquence that he was called to Paris, where he gathered round him hearers in crowds; Bourdaloue, when he heard him, said, "He must increase, but I must decrease," and Louis XIV. said to him, "When I hear others preach I go away much pleased with them, but when I hear you I feel displeased with myself"; he was made bishop of Clermont, and next year preached before Louis XV., now king, his famous "Petit Careme," a series of ten sermons for Lent; he was a devoted bishop, and the idol of his flock; his style was perfect, and his eloquence was winning, and went home to the heart (1663-1742).
MASSINGER, PHILIP, English dramatist; little is known of his personal history except that he studied at Oxford without taking a degree, that he lived in London, and was buried as "a stranger" in St. Saviour's, Southwark; of his 37 plays only 18 remain, and of these the most famous is the comedy entitled "New Way to Pay Old Debts," the chief character in which is Sir Giles Overreach, and the representation of which still holds its place on the stage (1583-1640).
MASSON, DAVID, man of letters, born in Aberdeen; elected literature as his profession in preference to theology, with the study of which he commenced; joined the staff of the Messrs. Chambers; settled in London, and became professor of English Literature in University College, from the chair of which he removed to the corresponding one in Edinburgh in 1865; edited Macmillan's Magazine from 1859 to 1868; his great work, the "Life of Milton," in 6 vols., a thorough book, and of great historical value; has written on "British Novelists and their Styles," "Life of Drummond of Hawthornden," &c.; became in 1893 Historiographer-Royal of Scotland; b. 1822.
MASSO'RAH, a body of Biblical references, chiefly handed down by tradition, and calculated to be of great service in verifying the original text of the Hebrew Scriptures.
MASSORETIC POINTS, the vowel points and accents in Hebrew; invented by the Massorites, or authors of the Massorah.
MASTER HUMPHREY, a character in Dickens's "Old Curiosity Shop."
MASTER OF SENTENCES, PETER LOMBARD (q. v.).
MASTODON, one of an extinct species of mammals akin to the elephant.
MASULIPATAM (38), chief seaport in the district of Kistna, Madras Presidency, India, 215 m. N. of Madras, with a large coasting trade.
MATABELELAND, a country stretching northward from the Transvaal, 180 m. by 150 m., towards the Zambesi River; formerly occupied by peaceful Mashona and Makalaka tribes, but conquered by the Matabele in 1840, and since held by them. They are warlike, and have no industries. The women grow mealies, the men make continual forays on their neighbours. Gold exists in various parts, and the country was declared British territory in 1890. It is developed by the British South African Company, whose chief stations are Buluwayo in the SW. and Fort Salisbury in the NE.
MATANZA (50), a fortified town in Cuba, 32 m. E. of Havana.
MATERIALISM, the theory which, denying the independent existence of spirit, resolves everything within the sphere of being into matter, or into the operation and the effect of the operation of forces latent in it, or into the negative and positive interaction of mere material forces, to the exclusion of intelligent purpose and design.
MATHER, COTTON, an American divine, born in Boston; notorious for his belief in witchcraft, and for the persecution he provoked against those charged with it by his zeal in spreading the delusion (1663-1728).
MATHEW, THEOBALD, or FATHER MATHEW, apostle of temperance, born in Tipperary; studied for the Catholic priesthood, but joined the Capuchin Minorites; was in 1814 ordained a priest, and located in Cork, where at sight of the cruel effects of drunkenness on the mass of the people his heart was moved, and he resolved on a crusade against it to stamp it out; he started on this enterprise in 1827, but it took a year and a half before his mission bore any fruit, and then it was accompanied with marvellous success wherever he went, even as far as the New World itself (1790-1856).
MATHEWS, CHARLES, comedian, born in London; abandoned his father's trade of bookseller for the stage in 1794; appeared in Dublin and York, and from 1803 till 1818 played in Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and the Lyceum; the rest of his life he spent as a single-handed entertainer, charming countless audiences in Britain and America with his good singing and incomparable mimicry; he died at Plymouth (1776-1835).
MATHEWS, CHARLES JAMES, light comedian, son of the preceding; married Madame Vestris; was a charming actor, acted with a great grace and delicacy of feeling (1803-1878).
MATLOCK, a watering-place in Derbyshire, on a slope overlooking the Derwent, 15 m. NW. of Derby.
MATILDA, the "Great Countess" of Tuscany, celebrated for her zeal on behalf of the Popes against the Emperor Henry IV., and for the donation of her possessions to the Church, which gave rise to a contest after her death (1046-1115).
MATILDA or MAUD, daughter of Henry I. of England and wife of the Emperor Henry V., on whose decease she was married to Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou and became mother of Henry II.; on the death of her father succeeded to the English throne, but was supplanted by Stephen, whom she defeated and who finally defeated her (1103-1167).
MATADORE, the athlete who kills the bull in a bull-fight.
MATSYS, QUENTIN, a Flemish painter, originally a blacksmith, did altar-pieces and genre paintings (1466-1530).
MATTATHIAS, a Jewish priest, the father of the Maccabees, who in 170 B.C., when asked by a Syrian embassy to offer sacrifice to the Syrian gods, not only refused to do so, but slew with his own hand the Jew that stepped forward to do it for him, and then fell upon the embassy that required the act; upon which he rushed with his five sons into the wilderness of Judea and called upon all to follow him who had any regard for the Lord; this was the first step in the war of the Maccabees, the immediate issue of which was to the Jew the achievement of an independence which he had not enjoyed for 400 years.
MATTERHORN, a sharp Alpine peak 14,700 ft., on the Swiss-Italian border, difficult of ascent; first scaled by Whymper 1865.
MATTHEW, a publican, by the Sea of Tiberias, who being called became a disciple and eventually an apostle of Christ; generally represented in Christian art as an old man with a large flowing beard, often occupied in writing his gospel, with an angel standing by.
MATTHEW, GOSPEL ACCORDING TO, written not later than 62 A.D., is the earliest record we possess of the ministry and teaching of Christ, and is believed to have been originally a mere collection of His sayings and parables; was written in Aramaic, the spoken language of the Jews at the period, of which the version we have in Greek is a translation, as some think by Matthew himself; its aim is to show that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, in a form, however, which led to His rejection by the Jews, and their consequent rejection by Him, to the proclamation of His gospel among the Gentiles (chap. xxviii. 19, 20).
MATTHIAS CORVINUS, conqueror and patron of learning, born at Klausenburg; was elected King of Hungary 1458; though arbitrary in his measures, he promoted commerce, dispensed justice, fostered culture, and observed sound finance; he founded the University of Buda-Pesth, an observatory, and great library, but his reign was full of wars; for nine years he fought the Turks and took from them Bosnia, Moldavia, and Wallachia; from 1470 till 1478 the struggle was with Bohemia, from which he wrested Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia; then followed war with Frederick III., the capture of Vienna 1485, and a large part of Austria 1487; he made Vienna his capital, and died there (1443-1490).
MATURIN, CHARLES ROBERT, novelist, a poor curate in Dublin, where he died; wrote "The Fatal Revenge" and other extravagant tales, and produced one successful tragedy, "Bertram," 1816 (1782-1824).
MAUDSLEY, HENRY, specialist in mental diseases, born near Giggleswick; was educated at University College, London, and graduated M.D. 1857; after being physician in Manchester Asylum, he returned to London 1862, and was professor of Medical Jurisprudence at his own college 1869-79; he is the author of several works on mental pathology; b. 1835.
MAUNDAY-THURSDAY, the Thursday before Good Friday, on which day it was customary for high people to wash the feet of a number of poor people, and on which Royal alms are bestowed by the Royal Almoner to the poor.
MAUPASSANT, GUY DE, a clever French romancer, born at Fecamp; served in the Franco-German War, and afterwards gave himself to letters, producing novels, stories, lyrics, and plays; died insane (1850-1893).
MAUPEOU, chancellor of France, whose ministry was signalised by the banishment of the Parlement of Paris, and the institution of Conseils du roi; the Parlement Maupeou became a laughing-stock under Louis XV., and Louis XVI. recalled the old Parlement on his accession (1714-1792).
MAUPERTUIS, PIERRE LOUIS MOREAU DE, French mathematician and astronomer, born at St. Malo; went to Lapland to measure a degree of longitude, to ascertain the figure of the earth; wrote a book "On the Figure of the Earth"; was invited to Berlin by Frederick the Great, and made President of the Academy of Science there; was satirised by Voltaire much to the annoyance of the king, who patronised him and prided himself in the institution of which he was the head (1698-1759).
MAUR, ST., a disciple of St. Benedict in the 6th century; the congregation of Saint-Maur, founded in 1613, was a perfect nursery of scholarly men, known as Maurists.
MAUREPAS, French statesman, born at Versailles; was minister of France under Louis XV. and again under Louis XVI., an easy-going, careless minister, "adjusted his cloak well to the wind, if so be he might have pleased all parties" (1701-1784).
MAURICE, FREDERICK DENISON, a liberal theologian and social reformer, born at Normanstone, near Lowestoft, the son of a Unitarian minister; started as a literary man, and for a time edited the Athenaeum, and took orders in the English Church in 1834; was chaplain to Guy's Hospital and afterwards to Lincoln's Inn, and incumbent of Vere Street Chapel; held professorships in Literature, in Theology, and Moral Philosophy; was a disciple of Coleridge and a Broad Churchman, who "promoted the charities of his faith, and parried its discussion"; one of the originators of Christian Socialism along with Kingsley, and the founder of the Working-Man's College; his writings were numerous though somewhat vague in their teachings, and had many admirers (1805-1872).
MAURICE OF NASSAU, Prince of Orange; one of the most famous generals of modern times, son of William the Silent, on whose assassination he was elected Stadtholder, and became by his prowess the liberator of the United Provinces from the yoke of Spain; his name is stained by his treatment of Barneveldt, who saw and opposed his selfish designs (1567-1625).
MAURISTS, a congregation of reformed Benedictines, with head-quarters in Paris, disbanded in 1792; were through the 17th and 18th centuries noted for their services to learning; they published many historical and ecclesiastical works, including a "History of the Literature of France," and boasted in their number Montfaucon, Mabillon, and other scholars. See MAUR, ST.
MAURITANIA, was the old name of the African country W. of the Muluya River and N. of the Atlas Mountains, from which supplies of corn and timber were obtained.
MAURITIUS, or ISLE OF FRANCE (372), a volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, 550 m. E. of Madagascar, as large as Caithness, with mountains 3000 feet high, a tableland in the centre, and many short streams; the climate is cool in winter, hot in the rainy season, and subject to cyclones; formerly well wooded, the forests have been cut down to make room for sugar, coffee, maize, and rice plantations; sugar is the main export; the population is very mixed; African and Eastern races predominate; descendants of French settlers and Europeans number 110,000; discovered by the Portuguese in 1510, they abandoned it 90 years later; the Dutch held it for 112 years, and abandoned it in turn; occupied by the French in 1721, it was captured by Britain in 1810, and is now, with some other islands, a crown colony, under a governor and council. PORT LOUIS (62), on the NW., is the capital, and a British naval coaling station.
MAURY, ABBE, born in Vaucluse, son of a shoemaker; came to Paris, and became celebrated as a preacher; "skilfulest vamper of old rotten leather to make it look like new," was made member of the Constituent Assembly, "fought Jesuistico-rhetorically, with toughest lungs and heart, for throne, specially for altar and tithes"; his efforts, though fruitless for throne, gained in the end the "red cardinal plush," and Count d'Artois and he embraced each other "with a kiss" (1740-1817).
MAURY, MATTHEW FONTAINE, American hydrographer, born in Virginia; entered the United States navy in 1825, became lieutenant in 1837, studied the Gulf Stream, oceanic currents, and great circle sailing, and in 1856 published his "Physical Geography of the Sea"; took the side of the Confederates in the Civil War, and was afterwards appointed professor in the Military College at Lexington, in Virginia (1806-1873).
MAUSOLE'UM, a building more or less elaborate, used as a tomb. See MAUSOLUS.
MAUSOLUS, a king of Caria, husband of Artemisia, who in 353 raised a monument to his memory, called the Mausoleum, and reckoned one of the Seven Wonders of the world.
MAX MUeLLER, FRIEDRICH, philologist, born at Dessau, son of a German poet, Wilhelm Mueller; educated at Leipzig; studied at Paris, and came to England in 1846; was appointed Taylorian Professor at Oxford in 1854, and in 1868 professor of Comparative Philology there, a science to which he has made large contributions; besides editing the "Rig-Veda," he has published "Lectures on the Science of Language" and "Chips from a German Workshop," dealing therein not merely with the origin of languages, but that of the early religious and social systems of the East; b. 1823.
MAXIM, HIRAM S., American inventor, born at Tangerville, Maine, U.S.; showed early a decided mechanical talent, and is best known in connection with the invention of the gun named after him, but among his other inventions are the smokeless powder, the incandescent lamp carbons, and search-lights; B. 1840.
MAXIM GUN, an automatic machine-gun invented by Hiram S. Maxim, an American, in 1884, capable of discharging 620 rifle cartridges per minute; the first shot is fired by hand, and the recoil is utilised to reload and fire the next, and so on. A cylinder of water keeps the barrel from heating.
MAXIMILIAN, FERDINAND JOSEPH, archduke of Austria, younger brother of Francis Joseph, born at Schoenbrunn; became emperor of Mexico; issued an edict threatening death to any Mexican who took up arms against the empire, roused the Liberal party against him, and was at the head of 8000 men defeated at Queretaro, taken prisoner, tried by court-martial, and shot (1832-1867).
MAXIMILIAN I., emperor of Germany, son of Frederick III., acquired Burgundy and Flanders by marriage, which involved him in a war with France; became emperor on the death of his father in 1493; became by marriage Duke of Milan, and brought Spain under the power of his dynasty by the marriage of his son Philip to the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella; it was he who assembled the Diet of Augsburg at which Luther made appeal to the Pope (1459-1519).
MAXWELL, JAMES CLERK, eminent physicist, born in Edinburgh, son of John Clerk Maxwell of Middlebie; attained the rank of senior wrangler at Cambridge; became professor in Aberdeen in 1856, in London in 1860, and of Experimental Physics in Cambridge in 1871; in this year appeared the first of his works, "The Theory of Heat," which was followed by "Electricity and Magnetism" and "Matter and Motion," the second being his greatest; he was as sincere a Christian as he was a zealous scientist (1831-1879).
MAXWELL, SIR WILLIAM STIRLING, of Keir, Perthshire, a man of refined scholarship; travelled in Italy and Spain; wrote on subjects connected with the history and the artists of Spain (1818-1878).
MAY, the fifth month of the year, so called from a Sanskrit word signifying to grow, as being the shooting or growing month.
MAY, ISLE OF, island at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, 51/2 m. SE. of Crail on the Fife coast; has a lighthouse with an electric light, flashing out at intervals to a distance of 22 nautical miles.
MAY, SIR THOMAS ERSKINE, English barrister; became Clerk of the House of Commons in 1871; wrote a parliamentary text-book, "Democracy in Europe," and a "Constitutional History of England since the Accession of George III.," in continuation of the works of Hallam and Stubbs (1815-1886).
MAYER, JULIUS ROBERT VON, German physicist, born in Heilbronn; made a special study of the phenomena of heat, established the numerical relation between heat and work, and propounded the theory of the production and maintenance of the sun's temperature; he had a controversy as to the priority of his discoveries with Joule, who claimed to have anticipated them (1814-1878).
MAYHEW, HENRY, litterateur and first editor of Punch, born in London, and articled to his father, a solicitor; chose journalism as a profession, and in conjunction with Gilbert a Beckett started The Thief in 1832, the first of the "Bits" type of papers; he joined the first Punch staff in 1841, in which year his farce "The Wandering Minstrel" was produced; collaborating with his brother Augustus, he wrote "Whom to Marry" and many other novels between 1847 and 1855, thereafter works on various subjects; his principal book, "London Labour and the London Poor," appeared in 1851 (1812-1887).
MAYNOOTH, village in co. Kildare, 15 m. W. of Dublin; is the seat of a Roman Catholic seminary founded by the Irish Parliament in 1795 on the abolition of the French colleges during the Revolution; an annual grant of L9000 was made, increased to L26,000 in 1846, but commuted in 1869 for a sum of L1,100,000, when State connection ceased; the college trains 500 students for the priesthood.
MAYO (245), maritime county in Counaught, west of Ireland, between Sligo and Galway; has many indentations, the largest Broadhaven, Blacksod, and Clew Bays, and islands Achil and Clare, with a remarkable peninsula The Mullet; mountainous in the W., the E. is more level, and has Lough Conn and the Moy River; much of the county is barren and bog, but crops of cereals and potatoes are raised; cattle are reared on pasture lands; there are valuable slate quarries and manganese mines; Castlebar (4), in the centre, is the county town; Westport (4), on Clew Bay, has some shipping.
MAYO, RICHARD SOUTHWARK BOURKE, EARL OF, statesman, born and educated in Dublin; entered Parliament 1847, and was Chief Secretary for Ireland in Conservative Governments 1852, 1858, and 1866, opposing Gladstone's Irish Church resolutions; in 1868 he succeeded Lord Lawrence as Viceroy of India, in which office he proved himself a prudent statesman, a sound financier, and a just and wise administrator; he was murdered by a fanatic in the Andaman Islands, and universally mourned (1822-1872).
MAZARIN, JULES, cardinal, born at Piscina, Abruzzi; having been sent by the Pope one of an embassy to France, he gained the favour of Richelieu, who recommended him to Louis XIII. as his successor, and whose successor, being naturalised as a Frenchman, he became in 1642, an office which he retained under the queen-regent on Louis' death; he brought the Thirty Years' War to an end by the peace of Westphalia, crushed the revolt of the FRONDE (q. v.), and imposed on Spain the treaty of the Pyrenees; at first a popular minister, he began to lose favour when cabals were formed against him, and he was dismissed, but he contrived to allay the storm, regained his power, and held it till his death; he died immensely rich, and bequeathed his library, which was a large one, to the College Mazarin (1602-1661).
MAZARIN BIBLE, the first book printed by movable metal types, a copy of which is in the Mazarin library, and bears the date 1456.
MAZEPPA, IVAN, hetman of the Cossacks, born in Podolia; became page to John Casimir, king of Poland; was taken by a Polish nobleman, who surprised him with his wife, and tied by him to the back of a wild horse, which galloped off with him to the Ukraine, where it had been bred, and where some peasants released him half-dead; life among those people suited his taste, he stayed among them, became secretary to their hetman, and finally hetman himself; he won the confidence of Peter the Great, who made him a prince under his suzerainty, but in an evil hour he allied himself with Charles XII. of Sweden, and lost it; fled to Bender on the defeat of the Swedish king at Pultowa in 1709 (1644-1709).
MAZURKA, a lively Polish dance, danced by four or eight couples, and much practised in the N. of Germany as well as in Poland.
MAZZINI, JOSEPH, Italian patriot, born at Genoa; consecrated his life to political revolution and the regeneration of his country on a democratic basis by political agitation; was arrested by the Sardinian government in 1831 and expelled from Italy; organised at Marseilles the secret society of Young Italy, whose motto was "God and the People"; driven from Marseilles to Switzerland and from Switzerland to London, he never ceased to agitate and conspire for this object; on the outbreak of the Revolution in 1848 at Paris he hastened thither to join the movement, which had spread into Italy, and where in 1849 he was installed one of a triumvirate in Rome and conducted the defence of the city against the arms of France, but refusing to join in the capitulation he returned to London, where he still continued to agitate till, his health failing, he retired to Geneva and died (1805-1872).
MEAD, a brisk liquor made by fermenting honey, and used in civilised and barbarous Europe from very early times.
MEADE, GEORGE GORDON, American general, born at Cadiz, son of an American merchant; he passed through West Point and joined the engineers; he served in the Mexican War, became captain and major, and was employed surveying and lighthouse building till the Civil War; in it, first in command of volunteers and afterwards as general in the regular army, he distinguished himself chiefly by frustrating Lee in 1863; after the war he continued in the service till his death at Philadelphia (1815-1872).
MEANDER. See MAEANDER.
MEATH (77), a county in Leinster, Ireland, touching the Irish Sea between Louth and Dublin, is watered by the Boyne River and its tributary the Blackwater; the surface is undulating, the soil fertile; some oats and potatoes are grown, but most of the county is under pasture; there is a little linen and coarse woollen industry; the chief towns are Navan (4), Kells (2), and the county town Trim (1).
MEAUX (13), on the Marne, 28 m. NE. of Paris, a well-built town, with Gothic cathedral; has a large corn and provision trade, and some copper and cotton industries; Bossuet was bishop here, and it contains his grave.
MECCA, the birthplace of Mahomet, the Holy City and Keblah of the Moslems, the capital of Hedjaz and the true capital of Arabia; in the midst of sandy valleys, and 60 m. distant from Jeddah, its port; a city to which every true Mussulman must make a pilgrimage once in his life; has a population which varies from 30,000 to 60,000. See CAABA.
MECHANICAL POWERS, the lever, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, pulley, and wedge, the elementary contrivances of which all machines are composed.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTES, associations of working-men which aim at providing a general education for artisans, and particularly instruction in the fundamental principles of their own trades; are managed by committees of their own election, usually have a reading-room and library, and provide classes and lectures; Dr. Birkbeck started a journeymen's class in Glasgow 1800, and in 1824 in London organised the first Mechanics' Institute.
MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN (578), a German grand-duchy, on the shores of the Baltic, between Schleswig-Holstein and Pomerania; is mostly a level, fertile plain, with numerous small rivers and many lakes; agriculture is the chief industry; merino sheep are renowned; there are iron-founding, sugar-refining, and tanning works, and amber is found on the coasts; social institutions are very backward; still largely feudal; serfdom was abolished in 1824 only. SCHWERIN (34), on Lake Schwerin, is the capital. ROSTOCK (44), has a university; is a busy Baltic port, from which grain, wool, and cattle are shipped; has important wool and cattle fairs, shipbuilding, and other industries. MECKLENBURG-STRELITZ (98), adjacent to the foregoing on the SE., presents similar characteristics, and is united to it in government; the capital is Neustrelitz (9).
MEDEA, a famous sorceress of Greek legend, daughter of AEetes, king of Colchis, by whose aid JASON (q. v.) accomplished the object of his expedition, and acquired the Golden Fleece, and who accompanied him back to Greece as his wife; by her art she restored the youth of Eson, the father of her husband, but the latter having abandoned her she avenged herself on him by putting the children she had by him to death; the art she possessed was that of making old people young again by first chopping them in pieces and then boiling them in a caldron.
MEDIA, a country on the SW. of the Caspian Sea, originally a province of the Assyrian empire, from which it revolted; was after 150 years of independence annexed to Persia by Cyrus, of which it had formed the NW. portion.
MEDIAEVALISM, a tendency in literature and art to conform in spirit or otherwise to mediaeval models.
MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE OR FORENSIC MEDICINE, is the branch of medical study which bears on legal questions, the detection of crime or the determination of civil rights.
MEDICI, an illustrious family who attained sovereign power in Florence in the 15th century, the most celebrated members of which were: COSMO DE, surnamed the "Father of his Country," was exiled for ten years but recalled, and had afterwards a peaceful and prosperous reign; was a student of philosophy, and much interested in literature (1389-1464). LORENZO DE, the Magnificent, did much to demoralise Florence, but patronised literature and the arts (1448-1492). Other celebrated members of the family were POPES LEO X., CLEMENT VII., and CATHERINE AND MARY DE MEDICI (q. v.).
MEDICINE-MAN, one among the American Indians who professes to cure diseases or exorcise evil spirits by magic.
MEDINA (lit. the city) (76), called also Medina-en-Nabi, 210 m. N. of Mecca, the City of the Prophet, as the place in which he found refuge after his "flight" from Mecca in 632; it was here he from that date lived, where he died, and where his tomb is, in a beautiful and rich mosque called El Haram (i. e. the inviolate), erected on the site of the prophet's house. See HEGIRA.
MEDITERRANEAN SEA, so called by the ancients as lying in the presumed middle of the earth surrounded by Europe, Asia, and Africa; the largest enclosed sea in the world; its communication with the Atlantic is Gibraltar Strait, 9 m. wide; it communicates with the Black Sea through the Dardanelles, and in 1869 a canal through the isthmus of Suez connected it with the Red Sea, 2200 m. long by 100 to 600 m. broad; its S. shores are regular; the N. has many gulfs, and two great inlets, the AEgean and Adriatic Seas; the Balearic Isles, Corsica, and Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus, and Crete, the Ionian Isles, and the Archipelago are the chief islands; the Rhone, Po, and Nile the chief rivers that discharge into it; a ridge between Sicily and Cape Bon divides it into two great basins; it is practically tideless, and salter than the Atlantic; its waters too are warm; northerly winds prevail in the E. with certain regular variations; the surrounding territories are the richest in the world, and the greatest movements in civilisation and art have taken place around it in Africa, Phoenicia, Carthage, Greece, and Rome.
MEDIUM, in modern spiritualism a person susceptible to communication with the spirit-world.
MEDJIDIE, an Ottoman order of knighthood instituted in 1852 by the Sultan Abd-ul-Medjid, as a reward of merit in civil or military service.
MEDOC, a district in the dep. of the Gironde, on the left of the estuary, in the S. of France, famous for its wines.
MEDUSA, one of the THREE GORGONS (q. v.), is fabled to have been originally a woman of rare beauty, with a magnificent head of hair, but having offended Athena, that goddess changed her hair into hideous serpents, and gave to her eyes the power of turning any one into stone who looked into them; PERSEUS (q. v.) cut off her head by the help of Athena, who afterwards wore it on the middle of her breastplate or shield.
MEDWAY, a river in Kent, which rises in Surrey and Sussex, and which after a NE. course of 58 m. falls into an estuary at Sheerness.
MEEANEE, a village in Sind, 6 m. N. of Hyderabad, where Sir Charles Napier defeated an army of the Ameer of Sind in 1843.
MEERSCHAUM (lit. sea-foam), a fine white clay, a hydrate-silicate of magnesia, supposed, as found on the sea-shore in some places, to have been sea-foam petrified.
MEERUT (119), an Indian town in the North-West Provinces, on the Nuddi, 40 m. NE. of Delhi; is capital of a district of the same name, and an Important military station; it is noted as the scene of the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857.
MEGARIS, a small but populous State of ancient Greece, S. of Attica, whose inhabitants were adventurous seafarers, credited with deceitful propensities. The capital, Megara, famous for white marble and fine clay, was the birthplace of Euclid.
MEGATHERIUM, an extinct genus of mammalia allied to the sloth, some 18 or 20 ft. in length and 8 ft. in height, with an elephantine skeleton.
MEHEMET ALI, pasha of Egypt, born in Albania; entered the Turkish army, and rose into favour, so that he was able to seize the pashalic, the Sultan compromising matters by exaction of an annual tribute in acknowledgment of his suzerainty; the Mamelukes, however, proved unruly, and he could not otherwise get rid of them but by luring them into his coils, and slaughtering them wholesale in 1811; he maintained two wars with the Sultan for the possession of Syria, and had Ibrahim Pasha, his son, for lieutenant; compelled to give up the struggle, he instituted a series of reforms in Egypt, and prosecuted them with such vigour that the Sultan decreed the pashalic to remain hereditary in his family (1769-1849).
MEISSEN (15), a town of Saxony, on the Upper Elbe, 15 m. NW. of Dresden; has a very fine Gothic cathedral and an old castle. Gellert and Lessing were educated here. There is a large porcelain factory, where Dresden china is made, besides manufactures of iron.
MEISSONIER, JEAN LOUIS ERNEST, French painter, born at Lyons; began as a book illustrator of "Paul and Virginia" amongst other works, practising the while and perfecting his art as a figure painter, in which he achieved signal success, from his "Chess-player" series to his designs for the decoration of the Pantheon, "The Apotheosis of France," in 1889 (1811-1891).
MEISTER, WILHELM, a great work of Goethe's, fraught with world-wisdom, the hero of which of the name represents a man who is led, in these very days, by a higher hand than he is aware of to his appointed destiny.
MEISTERSAeNGERS or SINGERS, a guild founded in Germany in the 15th century or earlier for the cultivation of poetry, of which HANS SACHS (q. v.) was the most famous member.
MEKHONG, is the great river of Siam. Its source In the mountains of Chiamdo is unexplored. Its course, 3000 m., is southerly to the China Sea; the last 500 m. are navigable. It carries great quantities of silt which goes to form and augment the delta through which it issues.
MELANCHTHON, PHILIP, Protestant Reformer, born in the Palatinate of the Rhine; was the scholar of the German Reformation, and a wise friend of Luther's, having come into contact with him at Wittenberg, where he happened to be professor of Greek; he wrote the first Protestant work in dogmatic theology, entitled "Loci Communes," and drew up the "Augsburg Confession"; the sweetness of temper for which he was distinguished, together with his soberness as a thinker, had a moderating influence on the vehemence of Luther, and contributed much to the progress of the Reformation; he was the Erasmus of that movement, and combined the humanist with the Reformer, as George Buchanan did in Scotland (1497-1560).
MELANESIA, eleven archipelagoes of crystalline, coralline, and volcanic islands in the W. of Polynesia, all S. of the equator, and inhabited by the Melanesian or dark oceanic race; includes the Fiji, Solomon, Bismarck, and New Hebrides islands.
MELBA, NELLIE, a celebrated operatic singer, born in Australia; made her first appearance when she was only six; has often appeared in opera in London; her private name is Mrs. Armstrong, and she resides in Paris; b. 1865.
MELBOURNE (491), the capital of Victoria, at the head of Port Phillip Bay; is the largest and most important city in Australia; built in broad regular streets, with much architectural beauty, and containing, besides the Government buildings, a Roman and an Anglican cathedral, a mint and a university, numerous colleges, hospitals, and other institutions. Its shipping interests are very large; a ship canal enables the largest ships to reach the quays; exports of gold and wool are extensive. Melbourne is the railway centre of the continent. It has manufactures of boots and clothing, foundries and flour-mills. It has a hot climate. Its water supply is abundant, but defective drainage impairs its healthfulness. First settled in 1835, it was incorporated in 1842, and nine years later was made capital of the newly constituted colony. It was the scene of an exhibition in 1888, of a great industrial struggle in 1890, and of a very severe financial crisis in 1893.
MELBOURNE, WILLIAM LAMB, VISCOUNT, English statesman, born in London; educated at Cambridge and Glasgow Universities; entered Parliament as a Whig in 1805, but was Chief Secretary for Ireland in the Governments of Canning, Goderich, and Wellington; succeeding to the title in 1828, he reverted to his old party; was Home Secretary under Earl Grey in 1830, and was himself Prime Minister for four months in 1834, and then from 1835 till 1841, when he retired from public life; he was a man of sound sense, and showed admirable tact in introducing the young queen to her various duties in 1837 (1779-1848).
MELCHIZEDEK (i. e. king of righteousness or justice), a priest-king of Canaan, to whom, though of no lineage as a priest, but as a minister of God's justice, Abraham did homage and paid tithes; a true type of priest as ordained of God, and one in that capacity "without father and without mother."
MELEAGER, a Greek mythic hero, distinguished for throwing the javelin, and by his skill in it slaying a wild boar which devastated his country, and whose life depended on the burning down of a brand that was blazing on the hearth at the time of his birth, but which his mother at once snatched from the flames. But a quarrel having arisen between him and his uncles over the head of the boar, in which they met their death, the mother to be avenged on him for slaying her brothers threw back into the fire the brand on the preservation of which his life depended, and on the instant he breathed his last.
MELIORISM, the theory that there is in nature a tendency to better and better development.
MELODRAMA, a play consisting of sensational incidents, and arranged to produce striking effects.
MELPOMENE, the one of the nine muses which presides over tragedy.
MELROSE, a small town in Roxburghshire, at the foot of the Eildons, on the S. bank of the Tweed, famed for its abbey, founded by David I. in 1136; it is celebrated by Sir Walter Scott in his "Lay of the Last Minstrel."
MELTON-MOWBRAY (6), a town 15 m. NE. of Leicester, the centre of the great hunting district; celebrated for its pork pies.
MELUSINA, a fairy of French legend, who married Raymond, a knight, on condition that on a particular day of the week he would not visit her, a stipulation which he was tempted to break, so that on a day of her seclusion he broke into her chamber, and found the lower part of her body from the waist downwards transformed into that of a serpent, upon which she straightway flew out at the window, to hover henceforth round the castle of her lord and only appear again on the occasion of the death of any of the inmates.
MELVILLE, ANDREW, Scottish Presbyterian ecclesiastic, born near Montrose; of good and even wide repute as a scholar; became Principal first of Glasgow College and then of St. Mary's College, St. Andrews; was zealous for the headship of Christ over the Church, in opposition to the claim of the king, James, and spoke his mind freely both to the king and the bishops, for which he was sent to the Tower; on his release, after four years, he retired to a professorship at Sedan, in France, having been forbidden to return to Scotland (1545-1622).
MELVILLE, WHYTE-, novelist; his novels were chiefly of the hunting field, such as "Katerfelto" and "Black, but Comely," though he wrote historical ones also, such as "The Queen's Maries" (1821-1878).
MEMEL (19), Baltic seaport at the mouth of the Kurisches Haff, in the extreme NE. of Prussia; ships great quantities of Russian and Lithuanian timber, and has some chemical works and shipbuilding yards.
MEMNON, a son of Tithonus and Aurora, who was sent by his father, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, to the assistance of Troy on the death of Hector, and who slew Antilochus, the son of Nestor, and was himself slain by Achilles, whereupon Aurora, all tears, besought Zeus to immortalise his memory, which, however, did not calm her sorrow, for ever since the earth bears witness to her weeping in the dews of the morning; a statue, presumed to be to his memory, was erected near Thebes, in Egypt, which was fabled to emit a musical sound every time the first ray fell on it from the rosy fingers of Aurora.
MEMPHIS, an ancient city of Egypt, of which it was the capital; it was founded by Menes at the apex of the delta of the Nile, and contained 700,000 inhabitants.
MEMPHIS (102), a Tennessee port on the Mississippi, 826 m. above New Orleans, accessible to the largest vessels, is also a great railway centre, and therefore a place of great commercial importance; has many industries, and a great cotton market.
MENADO (549), a Dutch colony in the N. of Celebes.
MENAI STRAIT, a picturesque channel separating Anglesey from Carnarvonshire, 14 m. long and at its narrowest 200 yards wide; is crossed by a suspension bridge (1825) and the Britannia Tubular Bridge for railway (1850).
MENANDER, a Greek comic poet, born at Athens; was the pupil of Theophrastus and a friend of Epicurus; of his works, which were numerous, we have only some fragments, but we can judge of them from his imitator TERENCE (q. v.) (342-291 B.C.).
MENCIUS or MENG-TZE, a celebrated Chinese sage, a disciple, some say a grandson, of Confucius (q. v.); went up and down with his disciples from court to court in the country to persuade, particularly the ruling classes, to give heed to the words of wisdom, though in vain; after which, on his death, his followers collected his teachings in a book entitled the "Book of Meng-tze," which is full of practical instruction (372-289 B.C.).
MENDICANT ORDER, a religious fraternity, the members of which denude themselves of all private property and live on alms.
MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, FELIX, celebrated German composer, grandson of the succeeding, born in Hamburg; he began to compose early in life, and his compositions consisted of symphonies, operas, oratorios, and church music; his oratorios of "St. Paul" and "Elijah" are well known, and are enduring monuments of his genius; he was a man universally loved and esteemed, and had the good fortune to live amidst the happiest surroundings (1809-1847).
MENDELSSOHN, MOSES, a German philosopher, born at Dessau, of Jewish descent, a zealous monotheist, and wrote against Spinoza; was author of the "Phaedon, a Discourse on the Immortality of the Soul," and did a great deal in his day to do away with the prejudices of the Jews and the prejudices against them; he was the friend of Lessing, and is the prototype of his "Nathan" (1720-1786).
MENDOZA (137), province in the extreme W. of Argentina; has the Andes in the W., Aconcagua (23,500 ft.), the highest peak in the New World, otherwise is chiefly worthless pampa, fertile only where irrigated from the small Mendoza River; there vines flourish; copper is plentiful, coal and oil are found. MENDOZA (20), the capital, 640 m. W. of Buenos Ayres by rail, is on the Trans-Andine route to Chili, with which it trades largely; suffers frequently from earthquakes.
MENELAUS, king of Sparta, the brother of Agamemnon and the husband of Helen, the carrying away of whom by Paris led to the Trojan War.
MENHIR, a kind of rude obelisk understood to be a sepulchral monument.
MENINGES, the name of three membranes that invest the brain and spinal cord, and the inflammation of which is called meningitis.
MENNONITES, a Protestant sect founded at Zurich with a creed that combines the tenets of the Baptists with those of the Quakers; have an episcopal form of government, and maintain a rigorous church discipline.
MENSCHIKOFF, ALEXANDER DANILOVITCH, Russian soldier and statesman, born in humble life at Moscow; became servant to Lefort, on whose death he succeeded him as favourite of Peter the Great, whom he accompanied to Holland and England; in the Swedish War (1702-1713) he won renown, and was created field-marshal on the field of Pultowa; he introduced to the Czar Catharine, afterwards czarina, whom he captured at Marienburg, and when Peter died secured the throne for her; during her reign and her successor's he governed Russia, but his ambition led the nobles to banish him to Siberia 1727 (1672-1729).
MENSCHIKOFF, ALEXANDER SERGEIEVITCH, general, great-grandson of the former, served in the wars of 1812-15, in the Turkish campaign of 1828, was ambassador to the Porte in 1853, and largely responsible for the Crimean War, in which he commanded at Alma, Inkermann, and Sebastopol (1789-1869).
MENTEITH, LAKE OF, a small beautiful loch in Perthshire, 13 m. W. of Stirling, with three islets, on one of which stood a priory where, as a child, Mary Stuart spent 1547-48; on another stood the stronghold of the earls.
MENTHOL, a crystalline substance obtained from the oil of peppermint, used in nervous affections, such as neuralgia, as a counter-irritant.
MENTONE (8), town and seaport in France, on the Mediterranean, 11/2 m. from the Italian border; was under the princes of Monaco till 1848, when it subjected itself to Sardinia, which afterwards handed it over to France; protected by the Alps, the climate is delightful, and renders it a favourite health resort in winter and spring; it exports olive-oil and fruit.
MENTOR, a friend of Ulysses, and the tutor of his son Telemachus, whose form and voice Athena assumed in order to persuade his pupil to retain and maintain the courage and astuteness of his father.
MENZEL, ADOLF, German painter, born at Breslau, professor at Berlin; best known for his historical pictures and drawings; b. 1815.
MENZEL, WOLFGANG, German author and critic, born in Silesia; wrote on German history, literature, and poetry, as well as general history, and maintained a vigorous polemic against all who by their writings or their politics sought to subvert the Christian religion or the orthodox policy of the German monarchies (1789-1873).
MEPHISTOPHELES, the impersonation in Goethe's "Faust" of the modern devil, the incarnation of the spirit of universal scepticism and scoffing, who can see not only no beauty in goodness but no deforming in iniquity, alike without reverence for God and fear of his adversary, blind as a mole to all worth and all unworth throughout the universe, yet knowing and boastful of knowledge, by means of which he sees only "the ridiculous, the unsuitable, the bad, but for the solemn, the noble, the worthy is blind as his ancient mother."
MERCATOR, a celebrated Dutch geographer who has given name to a projection of the earth's surface on a plane (1512-1592).
MERCENARIES, originally hired soldiers as distinguished from feudal levies, now bodies of foreign troops in the service of the State; the Scots Guards in France from the 15th to 18th centuries were famous, and Swiss auxiliaries once belonged to most European armies; William III. had Dutch mercenaries in England; under the Georges, German were hired and were used in the American War, the Irish rebellion, and the Napoleonic struggle; in the Crimean War German, Swiss, and Italian were enrolled.
MERCIA, one of the three chief kingdoms of early England; founded by Anglian settlers in the Upper Trent Valley (now South Staffordshire) In the 6th century; it rose to greatness under Penda 626-655, subsequently succeeded Northumberland in the supremacy, but after the death of Cenwulf 819, waned in turn before Wessex and the Danes.
MERCURY, the Roman name for the Greek Hermes, the son of Jupiter and Maia, the messenger of the gods, the patron of merchants and travellers, and the conductor of the souls of the dead to the nether world.
MERCURY, an interior planet of the Solar system, whose orbit is nearest the sun, the greatest distance being nearly 43,000,000 m. and the least over 28,000,000, is one-seventeenth the size of the earth, but is of greater density, and accomplishes its revolution in about 84 days; it is visible just before the sun rises and after it sets, but that very seldom owing to the sun's neighbourhood.
MER-DE-GLACE, the great glacier of the Alps near Chamouni, was the subject of the experiments of Professor J. D. Forbes of Edinburgh about 1843, and on which the movement of the glaciers was first observed.
MEREDITH, GEORGE, poet and novelist, born in Hampshire; began his literary career 1851 as a poet, in which capacity he has since distinguished himself and given expression to his deepest personal convictions, but it is chiefly as a novelist he is most widely known and is generally judged of; as a novel-writer he occupies a supreme place, and is reckoned superior in that department to all his contemporaries in the same line by the unanimous consent of one and all of them; his novels, however, appeal only to a select few, but by them they are regarded with unbounded admiration, some giving preference to this and others to that of the series; "The Ordeal of Richard Feveril," published in 1859, is by many considered his best, though it is over "The Egoist" that Louis Stevenson breaks out into raptures; Meredith has most sympathetic insights into nature and life, has a marvellous power in analysing and construing character, and shows himself alive to all the great immediate interests of humanity; b. 1828.
MEREDITH, OWEN, the nom de plume assumed by Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, from his descent from a Welsh noble of the name.
MERGUI, a small seaport near the mouth of the Tenasserim, British Burma, which exports birds' nests to China.
MERIDIAN, an imaginary great circle passing through the poles at right angles to the equator.
MERIMEE, PROSPER, a great French writer, born in Paris; abandoned law, to which he was bred, for literature; became under Louis Philippe inspector-general of historical documents, and travelled in that capacity in the S. and W. of France, publishing from time to time the fruits of his researches; he wrote in exquisite style stories, historical dissertations, and travels, among other works "Guzla," "Chronicles of Charles IX.," the "History of Don Pedro, King of Castile," "Letters to an Unknown"; he was a man of singularly enigmatic character (1802-1870).
MERIO'NETH (49), a mountainous county of North Wales, abutting on Cardigan Bay, between Carnarvon and Cardigan; lofty peaks, Aran Mowddy, Cader Idris, and Aran Benllyn; rivers, Dee and Dovey, and Lake Bala afford picturesque scenery; the soil is fit only for sheep-grazing; but there are slate and limestone quarries, manganese and gold mines; the county town, Dolgelly (2), on the Wnion, has woollen and tweed manufactures.
MERIVALE, CHARLES, dean of Ely, born at Exeter; held a succession of appointments as lecturer; wrote a history of Rome from its foundation in 753 to the fall of Augustus in 476, but his chief work is the "History of the Romans under the Empire," indispensable as an Introduction to Gibbon (1808-1893).
MERLE D'AUBIGNE, JEAN-HENRI. See D'AUBIGNE, MERLE.
MERLIN, a legendary Welsh prophet and magician, child of a wizard and a princess, who lived in the 5th century, and was subsequently a prominent personage at King Arthur's' court; prophecies attributed to him existed as far back as the 14th century; Tennyson represents him as bewitched by Vivian; legend also tells of a Clydesdale Merlin of the 6th century; his prophecies, published in 1615, include the former; both legends are based on Armorican materials.
MERMAIDS and MERMEN (i. e. sea-maids and sea-men), a class of beings fabled to inhabit the sea, with a human body as far as the waist, ending in the tail of a fish; the females of them represented above the surface of the sea combing their long hair with one hand and holding a mirror with the other; they are supposed to be endowed with the gift of prophecy, and are of an amorous temper.
MEROVINGIANS, a name given to the first dynasty that ruled over France, and which derives its name from Merovig, the founder of the family.
MERRILEES, MEG, a half-crazy Border gipsy; one of the characters in Scott's "Guy Mannering."
MERRY MONARCH, a title by which Charles II. of England was at one time familiarly known.
MERSEY, river rising in NW. Derbyshire, flows westward 70 m. between Lancashire and Cheshire to the Irish Sea; is of great commercial importance, having Liverpool on its estuary; its chief tributary is the Irwell, on which stands Manchester.
MERTHYR-TYDVIL (58), industrial town in Glamorganshire, on the Taff, 15 m. NW. of Cardiff; is the centre of great coal-fields and of enormous iron and steel works, which constitute the only industry.
MERV (500), an oasis in Turkestan, belonging to Russia, being conquered in 1883, 60 m. long by 40 broad, producing cereals, cotton, silk, &c.; breeds horses, camels, sheep, with a capital of the same name, on the Transcaspian railway.
MERYON, CHARLES, etcher of street scenes, born at Paris; son of English doctor; died insane (18211868).
MESMER, FRIEDRICH ANTON, a German physician, born near Constance; bred for the Church, but took to medicine; was the founder of animal magnetism, called mesmerism after him, his experiments in connection with which created a great sensation, particularly in Paris, until the quackery of it was discovered by scientific investigation, upon which he retired into obscurity, "to walk silent on the shore of the Bodensee, meditating on much" (1733-1815).
MESMERISM, animal magnetism so called, or the alleged power which, by operating on the nervous system, one person obtains control over the thoughts and actions of another.
MESOPOTAMIA, the name given after Alexander the Great's time to the territory "between the rivers" Euphrates and Tigris, stretching from Babylonia NW. to the Armenian mountains; under irrigation it was very fertile, but is now little cultivated; once the scene of high civilisation when Nineveh ruled it; it passed from Assyrian hands successively to Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and Arab; now, after many vicissitudes, it is in the deathly grasp of Turkish rule.
MESSENIA, a province of Greece, mainly the fertile peninsula between the Gulfs of Arcadia and Coron; in ancient times the Messenians were prosperous, excited Spartan envy, and after two long wars were conquered in 668 B.C. and fled to Sicily.
MESSIAH (i. e. the Anointed one), one consecrated of God, who the Jewish prophets predicted would one day appear to emancipate the Jewish people from bondage and exalt them in the eyes of all the other nations of the earth as His elect nation, and for the glory of His name.
MESSINA (78), on a bay at the NE. corner of Sicily; is a very ancient city, but rebuilt after the earthquake of 1783; has a 12th-century cathedral, two old castles, and a university, founded 1549; it manufactures light textiles, coral ornaments, and fruit essences; its excellent harbour encourages a good trade.
MESSINA, STRAIT OF, 24 m. long, and at its narrowest 21/2 broad; separates Sicily from the Italian mainland; here were the Scylla and Charybdis of the ancients.
MESSUAGE, a dwelling-house with buildings and land attached for the use of the household.
METABOLISM, name given to a chemical change in the cells or tissues of living matter.
METAMORPHOSIS is a classical name for the changing of a human being into a beast, an inanimate object, or an element, stories of which are common in all folk-lore.
METAPHYSICS, the science of being as being in contradistinction from a science of a particular species of being, the science of sciences, or the science of the ultimate grounds of all these, and presupposed by them, called by Plato dialectics, or the logic of being.
METASTASIO, an Italian poet, born at Rome, the son of a common soldier named Trapassi; his power of improvising verse attracted the attention of one Gravina, a lawyer, who educated him and left him his fortune; he wrote opera librettoes, which were set to music by the most eminent composers, was court poet at Vienna, and died there 40 years after his active powers were spent (1698-1782).
METEORS or SHOOTING STARS are small bodies consisting of iron, stone, and certain other familiar elements which are scattered in immense numbers through planetary space; they revolve round the sun in clouds or in long strings, and when the earth gets close to them numbers are drawn down to its surface, friction with the atmosphere rendering them luminous and grinding them usually to fine dust; larger meteors are known as fireballs and aerolites, many of which have reached the earth; comets are masses of meteors.
METHODISTS, a body of Christians founded by John Wesley in the interests of personal religion, ecclesiastically governed by a Conference with subordinate district synods, and holding and professing evangelical principles, which they teach agreeably to the theology of Arminius; the name is also given to the followers of Whitefield, who are Calvinists in certain respects.
METHYLATED SPIRIT, is alcohol adulterated with 10 per cent. of wood-spirit.
METIS (i. e. wise counsel), in the Greek mythology the daughter of Oceanos and Tethys, and the first wife of Zeus; afraid lest she should give birth to a child wiser and more powerful than himself, he devoured her on the first month of her pregnancy, and some time afterwards being seized with pains, he gave birth to ATHENA (q. v.) from his head.
METRE, the name given to the unit of length in the metric or decimal system, and equal to 39.37 English inches, the tenths, the hundreds, and the thousands of which are called from the Latin respectively decimetres, centimetres, and millimetres, and ten times, a hundred times, and a thousand times, which are called from the Greek respectively decametres, hectometres, and kilometres.
METTERNICH, CLEMENT, PRINCE VON, Austrian diplomatist, born at Coblenz; served as ambassador successively at the courts of Dresden, Berlin, and Paris, and became first Minister of State in 1809, exercising for 40 years from that date the supreme control of affairs in Austria; one of his first acts as such was to effectuate a marriage between Napoleon and the Archduchess Maria Theresa, himself escorting her to Paris; he presided at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and from that date dominated in foreign affairs in the interest of the rights of kings and the repression of popular insurrection; he had to flee from Vienna in 1848, but returned in 1851, after which, though not called back to office, he continued to influence affairs by his advice (1773-1859).
METZ (60), strongest fortress in Lorraine, on the Moselle, 105 m. SW. of Coblenz, captured in 1870 from the French, who had held it since 1552; has a cathedral, library, museum, and school of music; industries are unimportant; the trade is in liquor, leather, and preserved fruits.
MEUNG, JEAN DE, mediaeval French satirist; continued the unfinished "Roman de la Rose," in which he embodied a vivid satiric portraiture of contemporary life (1250-1305 ?).
MEUSE, river, 500 m. long, rises in Haute-Marne, France, and becoming navigable flows N. through Belgium, turns E. at Namur, where the Sambre enters from the left, N. again at Liege, where it receives the Ourthe from the right; enters Holland at Maastricht, is for a time the boundary, finally trends westward, and joins the Rhine at the delta.
MEXICO (12,050), a federal republic of 27 States, a district, and two territories, lying S. of the United States, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, and including the peninsulas of Lower California in the W. and Yucatan in the E.; is nearly half as large as Europe without Russia; it consists of an immense plateau 3000 to 8000 ft. high, from which rises the Sierra Nevada, 10,000 ft., running N. and S., and other parallel ranges, as also single peaks. Toluca (19,340 ft.), Orizaba (18,000), and Popocatapetl (17,000); the largest lake is Chapala, in the centre; the rivers are mostly rapid and unnavigable; the chief seaports are Vera Cruz (29) and Tampico (5) on the E. and Acapulco on the W., but the coast-line is little indented and affords no good harbours; along the eastern seaboard runs a strip of low-lying unhealthy country, 60 m. broad; on the Pacific side the coast land is sometimes broader; these coast-lines are well watered, with tropical vegetation, tropical and sub-tropical fruits; the higher ground has a varied climate; in the N. are great cattle ranches; all over the country the mineral wealth is enormous, gold, silver, copper, iron, sulphur, zinc, quicksilver, and platinum are wrought; coal also exists; the bulk of Mexican exports is of precious metals and ores; there are cotton, paper, glass, and pottery manufactures; trade is chiefly with the United States and Britain; imports being textile fabrics, hardware, machinery, and coal; one-fifth of the population is white, the rest Indian and half-caste; education is backward, though there are free schools in every town; the religion is Roman Catholic, the language Spanish; conquered by Cortez in 1519, the country was ruled by Spain and spoiled for 300 years; a rebellion established its independence in 1821, but the first 50 years saw perpetual civil strife, and wars with the United States in 1848 and France in 1862; since 1867, however, when the constitution was modelled on that of the United States, there has been peace and progress, Ponfirio Diaz, President since 1876, having proved a masterly ruler. MEXICO (327), the capital of the republic, 7000 ft. above the level of the sea, in the centre of the country, is a handsome though unhealthy city, with many fine buildings, a cathedral, a picture-gallery, schools of law, mining, and engineering, a conservatory of music, and an academy of art; there are few manufactures; the trade is chiefly transit.
MEXICO, GULF OF, a large basin between United States and Mexican territory; is shut in by the peninsulas of Florida and Yucatan, 500 m. apart, and the western extremity of Cuba, which lies between them; it receives the Mississippi, Rio Grande, and many other rivers; the coasts are low, with many lagoons; ports like New Orleans, Havana, and Vera Cruz make it a highway for ships; north-easterly hurricanes blow in March and October.
MEYER, CONRAD FERDINAND, Swiss poet and novelist, native of Zurich; has written "Der Heilige" and many other novels; b. 1825.
MEYERBEER, illustrious musical composer, born at Berlin, of Jewish birth; composer of operatic music, and for over 30 years supreme in French opera; produced "Robert le Diable" in 1831, the "Huguenots" in 1833, "Le Prophete" in 1844, "L'Etoile du Nord" in 1854, the "Dinorah" in 1859 (1791-1864).
MEZZOFANTI, GIUSEPPE, cardinal and linguist, born at Bologna; celebrated for the number of languages he knew, some 58 in all; lived chiefly in Rome, and was keeper of the Vatican library; Byron called him "a walking polyglot" (1771-1848).
MEZZOTINT, a mode of engraving on steel or copper in imitation of Indian ink drawings, the lights and shades of the picture being produced by scraping on a black ground.
MIALL, EDWARD, journalist, English apostle of disestablishment, founder of the Liberation Society; sat for Rochdale and Bradford; was presented on his retirement with a sum of ten thousand guineas for his services (1809-1881).
MICAH, one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament, a contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos; his prophecies are in the same strain as those of Isaiah, and numerous are the coincidences traceable between them; though a great sternness of temper and severity of tone appears in his prophecies, a deep tenderness of heart from time to time reveals itself, and a winning persuasiveness (chap. vi. 8); chap. vii. 8-20 has been quoted as one of the sweetest passages of prophetic writing; his prophecies predict the destruction both of Samaria and Jerusalem, the captivity and the return, with the re-establishment of the theocracy, and the advent of the Messiah.
MICAWBER, a character in "David Copperfield," a schemer whose schemes regularly came to grief, yet who always wakes up after his depression, and hopes something will turn up to his advantage.
MICHAEL, an archangel, the leader of the heavenly host, at never-ending war with the devil and his angels in their arrogance of claim; is represented in art as clad in armour, with a sword in one hand and a pair of scales in the other to weigh the souls of men at the judgment. Festival, September 20.
MICHAEL, the name of a succession of eight emperors who, at different periods, occupied the throne of the East from 811 to 1282, the last being Michael VIII., the founder of the Palaeologic dynasty.
MICHAEL ANGELO BUONAROTTI, painter, sculptor, architect, and poet, born at Caprese, in Tuscany, one of the greatest artists that ever lived; studied art as apprentice for three years under Domenico Ghirlandajo, and at seventeen his talents attracted the notice of Lorenzo de' Medici, who received him into his palace at Florence, and employed as well as encouraged him; on the death of his patron he left for Bologna, and afterwards, in 1496, went to Rome, whither his renown as a sculptor had gone before him, and there he executed his antiques "Bacchus" and "Cupid," followed by his "Pieta," or Virgin weeping over the dead Christ; from 1503 to 1513 he was engaged on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel; in 1530 we find him at Florence dividing his time between work as an engineer in the defence of the city and his art as a sculptor; three years after this he was back in Rome, and by-and-by busy painting his great fresco in the Sistine Chapel, the "Last Judgment," which occupied him eight years; in 1542 he was appointed architect of St. Peter's, and he planned and built the dome; sculpture was his great forte, but his genius was equal to any task imposed on him, and he has left poems to show what he might have done in the domain of letters as he has done in those of arts, with which his fame is more intimately associated (1474-1564).
MICHAELIS, JOHANN DAVID, an Orientalist and Biblical scholar, born at Halle; was a man of vast learning; professor of Philosophy as well as of Oriental Languages at Goettingen; wrote an "Introduction to the New Testament," and "Commentaries on the Legislation of Moses"; was one of the first to correlate the history of the Jews with that of the other Oriental nations of antiquity (1717-1791).
MICHAELMAS is the festival in honour of St. Michael and the angels, held on the 20th September, the day being one of the quarter days on which rents are levied.
MICHEL, FRANCESQUE, French antiquary, born at Lyons; was commissioned by the French Government in 1835 to visit the libraries of England in the interest of the history and literature of France; was a most erudite man, and edited a great many works belonging to the Middle Ages; wrote even on the Scottish language and Scottish civilisation (1809-1887).
MICHELET, JULES, French historian, born in Paris; was the author among other works of a "History of France" in 18 vols., and a "History of the Revolution" in 7 vols.; he cherished a great animosity against the priests, and especially the Jesuits, whom he assailed with remorseless invective; he was from 1838, for 13 years, professor of History in the College of France, but he lost the appointment because he refused to take the oath of allegiance to Louis Napoleon; from this date he abandoned all interest in public affairs, and gave himself to the quiet study of nature and animal life; wrote on birds and insects, on the sea, on women, on love, on witchcraft, and the Bible and humanity; as a writer of history he gave his imagination free scope, and he painted it less as it was than as he regarded it from his own personal likes and dislikes (1798-1874).
MICHIGAN (2,094), a State of the American Union, larger than England and Wales, is broken in two by Lake Michigan; the western portion has Wisconsin on its S. border, the eastern portion has Indiana and Ohio on the S.; the rest of the State is surrounded by Lakes Superior, Huron, and Erie. The western section is mountainous, with great forests of pine, little agriculture, rich mines of copper and iron, and some gold; the eastern section is much larger, very flat and low, has coal, gypsum, and marble quarries, but is chiefly a wheat-growing area; in the Saginaw Valley are great salt wells; the climate is modified by the lakes. At first a French colony, the country was handed over to England in 1760, and to the United States in 1776; it was organised as a territory in 1805, and admitted a State in 1837; the chief commercial city is DETROIT (206), on Detroit River, in the E., has manufactures of machinery and railway plant, leather, and beer, and a large shipping trade. GRAND RAPIDS (60), on the Grand River, has furniture works, and makes stucco-plaster and white bricks. LANSING (13) is the State capital, and an important railway centre.
MICHIGAN, LAKE, in the N. of the United States, between Michigan and Wisconsin, is the third largest of the fresh-water seas, its surface being three-fourths that of Scotland; it is 335 m. long and 50 to 80 broad, bears much commerce, has low sandy shores and no islands; the chief ports are Chicago, Milwaukee, and Racine.
MICKIEWICZ, ADAM, Polish poet, born in Lithuania, of a noble family; in 1822 published at Kovno a collection of poems instinct with patriotic feeling; was exiled into the interior of Russia, in 1824, for secret intrigues in the interest of his nation; while there published three epics, conceived in the same patriotic spirit; left Russia in 1829 for Italy by way of Germany; was warmly welcomed by Goethe in passing; in 1834 published his great poem "Sir Thaddeus," and in 1840 was appointed to a professorship of Polish Literature in Paris, where to the last he laboured for his country; died at Constantinople, whence his bones were transferred to lie beside those of Kosciusko at Cracow (1798-1855).
MICKLE, WILLIAM JULIUS, translator of the "Lusiad" (q. v.), born at Langholm, in Dumfriesshire, author of "There's nae Luck aboot the Hoose" (1734-1788).
MICROBE, a minute organism found in the blood of animals, especially when suffering from disease. See BACTERIA.
MICROCOSM, name given by the Middle Age philosophers to man as representing the macrocosm or universe in miniature.
MICROPHONE, an instrument invented in 1878 by Professor Hughes, and consisting of charcoal tempered in mercury, which intensifies and renders audible the faintest possible sound.
MICROZYME, a minute organism which acts as a ferment when it enters the blood and produces zymotic diseases.
MIDAS, a king of Phrygia who, in his lust of riches, begged of Bacchus and obtained the power of turning everything he touched into gold, a gift which he prayed him to revoke when he found it affected his very meat and drink, which the god consented to do, only he must bathe in the waters of the Pactolus, the sands of which ever after were found mixed with gold; appointed umpire at a musical contest between Pan and Apollo, he preferred the pipes of the former to the lyre of the latter, who thereupon awarded him a pair of ass-ears, the which he concealed with a cap, but could not hide them from his barber, who could not retain the secret, but whispered it into a hole in the ground, around which sprang up a forest of reeds, which as the wind passed through them told the tale into the general ear, to the owner's discomfiture.
MIDDLE AGES, is a term used in connection with European history to denote the period beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, and closing with the invention of printing, the discovery of America, and the revival of learning in the 15th century.
MIDDLE ENGLISH, the English in use for two centuries and a half from 1200 to 1460.
MIDDLE PASSAGE, in the slave-trade the part of the Atlantic stretching between Africa and the West Indies.
MIDDLESBROUGH (99), iron manufacturing and shipping town at the mouth of the Tees, in the N. of Yorkshire, 45 m. N. of York; has also shipbuilding yards and chemical works, and exports coal. It owes its growth to the discovery of one of the largest iron-fields in the country in the Cleveland hills, near at hand, in 1850.
MIDDLESEX (560), a small county on the N. of the Thames, adjacent to and W. of London; has no hills and no rivers, only undulating pasture land and small streams. In 1888 the populous part next the metropolis was detached for the new county of London, leaving no big town but many suburban villages, Brentford, reckoned the county town, Harrow with its school, Highgate, and Hornsey. Hampton Court, Hampstead Heath, and Enfield Chase are in the county. There are many market gardens.
MIDDLETON, CONYERS, a liberal theologian, Fellow of Cambridge; was engaged a good deal in controversy, particularly with Bentley; wrote an able Life of Cicero; is distinguished among English authors for his "absolutely plain style" of writing (1683-1750).
MIDDLETON, THOMAS, dramatist, born in London, where he was afterwards City Chronicler, married Mary Morbeck, and died; was fond of collaboration, and received assistance in his best work from Drayton, Webster, Dekker, Rowley, and Jonson; his comedies are smart and buoyant, sometimes indecorous; his masques more than usually elaborate and careful; in the comedy of "The Spanish Gypsy," and the tragedies of "The Changeling," and "Women beware Women," is found the best fruit of his genius (1570-1627).
MIDGARD, a name given in the Norse mythology to the earth as intermediate between the ASGARD (q. v.) of the gods and UTGARD OF THE JOeTUNS (q. v.).
MIDIANITES, a race of Arabs descended from Abraham by Keturah, who dwelt to the E. of Akaba; though related, were troublesome to the Hebrews, but were subdued by Gideon.
MIDRASH, the earliest Hebrew exposition of the Old Testament; included the Halacha, or development of the legal system on Pentateuchal lines, and the Hagada, a commentary on the whole Scripture, with ethical, social, and religious applications. The name Midrash came to refer exclusively to the latter, in which much fanciful interpretation was mixed with sound practical sense.
MIGHTS AND RIGHTS, the Carlyle doctrine that Rights are nothing till they have realised and established themselves as Mights; they are rights first only then.
MIGNE, THE ABBE, French Catholic theologian, born at St. Flour; edited a great many works on theology, such as "Patrologiae Cursus Completus," and "Orateurs Sacres," and founded L'Univers journal (1800-1875).
MIGNET, FRANCOIS AUGUST, French historian, born at Aix, settled at Paris; was a friend of Thiers; became keeper of the archives of the Foreign Office, and had thus access to important historical documents; wrote a number of historical works, among others a "History of the French Revolution," and "History of Marie Stuart" (1796-1884).
MIGNON, an impassioned Italian child, a creation of Goethe's in his "Wilhelm Meister," of mysterious origin and history; represented as a compact of vague aspirations and longings under which, as never fulfilled, she at length pines away and dies.
MIGUEL, DON, king of Portugal, born at Lisbon; usurped the throne in defiance of the right of his brother, Don Pedro, emperor of Brazil, who, however, conceded to him the title of regent on condition of his marrying Donna Maria, his daughter; on his arrival in Portugal he had himself proclaimed king, but refused to marry Maria, who followed him, and prohibited her landing, which, together with his conduct of affairs, provoked a civil war, in which the party of Don Pedro prevailed, and which ended in the capitulation of the usurper and his withdrawal to Italy (1802-1866).
MIKADO, the emperor of Japan, regarded as the head of both Church and State in his dominions.
MIKLOSICH, FRANZ VON, philologist, born at Luttenberg, studied at Graetz; in 1844 was appointed to an office in the Imperial Library, Vienna, where from 1850 to 1885 he was professor of Slavonic; his works, all philological, are the authority on the Slavonic languages; b. 1813.
MILAN (296), the largest city in Italy except Naples, is in Lombardy, 25 m. S. of Lake Como; of old much vexed by war, it is now prosperous, manufacturing silks and velvets, gold, silver, and porcelain ware, and trading in raw silk, grain, and tobacco, with great printing works, and is the chief banking centre of N. Italy; it is rich in architectural treasures, foremost of which is the magnificent Gothic cathedral of white marble; has a splendid picture-gallery, and many rich frescoes; in 1848 it revolted finally from Austrian oppression.
MILAN DECREE, a decree of Napoleon dated Milan, 27th Dec. 1807, declaring the British dominions in a state of blockade, and under penalty prohibiting all trade with them.
MILETUS, the foremost Ionian city of ancient Asia Minor, at the mouth of the Maeander, was the mother of many colonies, and the port from which vessels traded to all the Mediterranean countries and to the Atlantic; its carpets and cloth were far-famed; its first greatness passed away when Darius stormed it in 494 B.C., and it was finally ruined by the Turks; Thales the philosopher and Cadmus the historian were among its famous sons.
MILITARY ORDERS were in crusading times associations of knights sworn to chastity and devoted to religious service; the Hospitallers, the earliest, tended sick pilgrims at Jerusalem; the Templars protected pilgrims and guarded the Temple; the Knights of St. John were also celibate, but the orders of Alcantara and others in Spain, of St. Bennet in Portugal, and others elsewhere, with different objects, were permitted to marry.
MILITIA, a body of troops in the British service for home defence, the members of which have as a rule never served in the regular army, nor have, except for a short period each year, any proper military training.
MILKY WAY. See GALAXY.
MILL, JAMES, economist, born in Logie Pert, near Montrose, the son of a shoemaker, bred for the Church; was a disciple of Locke and Jeremy Bentham; wrote a "History of British India," "Elements of Political Economy," and an "Analysis of the Human Mind"; held an important lucrative post in the East India Company's service (1773-1836).
MILL, JOHN STUART, logician and economist, born in London, son of the preceding; was educated pedantically by his father; began to learn Greek at 3, could read it and Latin at 14, "never was a boy," he says, and was debarred from all imaginative literature, so that in after years the poetry of Wordsworth came to him as a revelation; entered the service of the East India Company in 1823, but devoted himself to philosophic discussion; contributed to the Westminster Review, of which he was for some time editor; published his "System of Logic" in 1843, and in 1848 his "Political Economy"; entered Parliament in 1865, but lost his seat in 1868, on which he retired to Avignon, where he died; he wrote a book on "Liberty" in 1859, on "Utilitarianism" in 1863, on "Comte" in 1865, and on "Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy" the same year, and left an "Autobiography"; he was a calm thinker and an impartial critic; he befriended Carlyle when he went to London, and Carlyle rather took to him, but divergences soon appeared, which, as it could not fail, ended in total estrangement; he had an Egeria in a Mrs. Taylor, whom he married when she became a widow; it was she, it would almost seem, who was responsible for the fate of Carlyle's MS. (1806-1873).
MILLAIS, SIR JOHN EVERETT, painter, born of Jersey parentage, at Southampton; studied at the Royal Academy, and at 17 exhibited a notable historical work; early associated with Rossetti and Holman Hunt, he remained for over 20 years under their influence; to this period belong "The Carpenter's Shop," 1851, "Autumn Leaves," 1856, and "The Minuet," 1866; "The Gambler's Wife" marks the transition from Pre-Raphaelitism; his chief subsequent work, in which technical interest predominates, was portraiture, including Gladstone and Beaconsfield; he was a profuse illustrator, and wrought some etchings; he was made R.A. 1864, a baronet in 1885, and P.R.A. February 1896 (1829-1896).