Macaulay, Mrs. Catherine (Sawbridge) (1731–1791). — Daughter of a landed proprietor of Kent, was an advocate of republicanism, and a sympathiser with the French Revolution. She wrote a History of England from the Accession of James I. to the Elevation of the House of Hanover (8 vols., 1763–83), which had great popularity in its day, some critics, e.g. Horace Walpole, placing it above Hume. Though a work of no real research or authority, it is in the main well written.
Macaulay, Thomas Babington, Lord (1800–1859). — Historian, essayist, and statesman, son of Zachary M., a wealthy merchant, and one of the leaders of the anti-slavery party, was born at Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, and ed. at a private school and at Trinity College, Cambridge, of which he became a Fellow in 1824, and where, though he gained distinction as a classical scholar and debater, he did not take a high degree, owing to his weakness in mathematics. About the time of his leaving the University his prospects were entirely changed by the failure of his father’s firm. He accordingly read law, and in 1826 was called to the Bar, which led to his appointment two years later as a Commissioner in Bankruptcy. He had by this time made his first appearance in print, in Knight’s Quarterly Magazine, and in 1825 he formed the connection with the Edinburgh Review which redounded so greatly to the fame of both. His first contribution was the famous essay on Milton, which, although he afterwards said of it that “it contained scarcely a paragraph which his matured judgment approved,” took the reading public by storm, and at once gave him access to the first society in London, in which his extraordinary conversational powers enabled him to take a leading place. He now began to turn his mind towards public life, and by favour of Lord Lansdowne sat in the House of Commons for his family borough of Calne. Entering the House in 1830 in the thick of the Reform struggle, M. at once leaped into a foremost place as a debater, and after the passage of the Reform Bill sat as one of the two members for the new borough of Leeds, and held office as Sec. to the Board of Control. The acquaintance with Indian affairs which he thus gained led to his appointment as a member of the Supreme Council of India, whither he went in 1834. Here his chief work was the codification of the criminal law, which he carried out with great ability, and by which he wrote his name on the history of the empire. By the regard for the rights of the natives which he showed, he incurred much ill-will in interested quarters. For this he consoled himself with the pleasures of literature, which gradually assumed the preponderance in his mind over political ambitions. In 1838 he returned to England. The next year he began The History of England, but for some time to come his energies were still divided between this task, the demands of the Edinburgh Review, and politics. He was elected for Edinburgh, for which he sat until 1847, when he was thrown out on the Maynooth question, and from 1839–41 was Sec. for War. The Lays of Ancient Rome were published in 1842, and a collection of his essays in The Edinburgh the following year. In 1846 he joined the government of Lord John Russell as Paymaster–General, an office with light duties, his retirement from which, however, followed the loss of his seat in the next year. He was now finally set free for his great work, which became thenceforth the leading interest of his life. The first and second vols. appeared in 1848, and were received with extraordinary applause. In 1852 he was offered, but declined, a seat in the coalition government of Lord Aberdeen, accepting, however, the seat in Parliament which Edinburgh, now repentant, gave him unsolicited. His health began about this time to show symptoms of failure, and he spoke in the House only once or twice. In 1855 the third and fourth vols. of the History came out, and meeting with a success both at home and in America unprecedented in the case of an historical work, were translated into various foreign languages. In 1857 M. was raised to the Peerage, a distinction which he appreciated and enjoyed. His last years were spent at Holly Lodge, Kensington, in comparative retirement, and there he died on December 28, 1859. Though never married, M. was a man of the warmest family affections. Outside of his family he was a steady friend and a generous opponent, disinterested and honourable in his public life. Possessed of an astonishing memory, knowledge of vast extent, and an unfailing flow of ready and effective speech, he shone alike as a parliamentary orator and a conversationalist. In his writings he spared no pains in the collection and arrangement of his materials, and he was incapable of deliberate unfairness. Nevertheless, his mind was strongly cast in the mould of the orator and the pleader: and the vivid contrasts, antitheses, and even paradoxes which were his natural forms of expression do not always tend to secure a judicial view of the matter in hand. Consequently he has been accused by some critics of party-spirit, inaccuracy, and prejudice. He has not often, however, been found mistaken on any important matter of fact, and in what he avowedly set himself to do, namely, to give a living picture of the period which he dealt with, he has been triumphantly successful. Unfortunately, strength and life failed before his great design was completed. He is probably most widely known by his Essays, which retain an extraordinary popularity.
Life by his nephew, Sir G.O. Trevelyan. See also J.C. Monson’s Life (English Men of Letters).
Maccarthy, Denis Florence (1817–1882). — Poet, born at Dublin, and ed. at Maynooth with a view to the priesthood, devoted himself, however, to literature, and contributed verses to The Nation. Among his other writings are Ballads, Poems, and Lyrics (1850), The Bell Founder (1857), and Under–Glimpses. He also ed. a collection of Irish lyrics, translated Calderon, and wrote Shelley’s Early Life (1872).
M’cosh, James (1811–1894). — Philosophical writer, son of an Ayrshire farmer, was a minister first of the Church of Scotland, and afterwards of the Free Church. From 1851–68 he was Prof. of Logic at Queen’s College, Belfast, and thereafter Pres. of Princeton College, New Jersey. He wrote several works on philosophy, including Method of the Divine Government (1850), Intuitions of the Mind inductively investigated (1860), Laws of Discursive Thought (1870), Scottish Philosophy (1874), and Psychology (1886).
M’crie, Thomas (1772–1835). — Biographer and ecclesiastical historian, born at Duns, and ed. at the University of Edinburgh, became the leading minister of one of the Dissenting churches of Scotland. His Life of Knox (1813) ranks high among biographies for the ability and learning which it displays, and was the means of vindicating the great Reformer from a cloud of prejudice and misunderstanding in which he had been enveloped. It was followed by a Life of Andrew Melville (1819), Knox’s successor as the leader of the Reformers in Scotland, also a work of great merit. M’C. also published histories of the Reformation in Italy and Spain. He received the degree of D.D. in 1813.
Macdonald, George (1824–1905). — Poet and novelist, son of a farmer, was born at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, and ed. at the University of Aberdeen, and at the Independent College, Highbury. He became minister of a congregation at Arundel, but after a few years retired, on account partly of theological considerations, partly of a threatened, breakdown of health. He then took to literature, and published his first book, Within and Without (1856), a dramatic poem, Poems followed in 1857, and Phantasies, a Faerie Romance, in 1858. He then turned to fiction, and produced numerous novels, of which David Elginbrod (1862), Alec Forbes (1865), Robert Falconer (1868), The Marquis of Lossie (1877), and Sir Gibbie (1879), are perhaps the best. He also wrote stories for children of great charm and originality, including The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood. As a novelist he had considerable narrative and dramatic power, humour, tenderness, a genial view of life and character, tinged with mysticism, and within his limits was a true poet. On retiring from the ministry he attached himself to the Church of England, but frequently preached as a layman, never accepting any remuneration for his sermons.
Mackay, Charles (1814–1889). — Poet and journalist, son of a naval officer, was born at Perth, and ed. at the Royal Caledonian Asylum, London, and at Brussels, but much of his early life was spent in France. Coming to London in 1834, he engaged in journalism, published Songs and Poems (1834), wrote a History of London, Popular Delusions, and a romance, Longbeard. His fame, however, chiefly rests upon his songs, some of which, including Cheer, Boys, Cheer, were in 1846 set to music by Henry Russell, and had an astonishing popularity. In 1852 he became ed. of the Illustrated London News, in the musical supplement to which other songs by him were set to old English music by Sir H.R. Bishop. M. acted as Times correspondent during the American Civil War, and in that capacity discovered and disclosed the Fenian conspiracy. He had the degree of LL.D. from Glasgow in 1846.
Mackenzie, Sir George (1636–1691). — Lawyer and miscellaneous writer, son of Sir Simon M., of Lochslin, a brother of the Earl of Seaforth, was ed. at St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Bourges, called to the Bar in 1659, in 1677 became Lord Advocate, in which capacity he was the subservient minister of the persecuting policy of Charles II. in Scotland, and the inhumanity and relentlessness of his persecution of the Covenanters gained for him the name of “Bloody Mackenzie.” In private life, however, he was a cultivated and learned gentleman with literary tendencies, and is remembered as the author of various graceful essays, of which the best known is A Moral Essay preferring Solitude to Public Employment (1665). He also wrote legal, political, and antiquarian works of value, including Institutions of the Law of Scotland (1684), Antiquity of the Royal Line of Scotland (1686), Heraldry, and Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland from the Restoration of Charles II., a valuable work which was not published until 1821. M. was the founder of the Advocates’ Library in Edinburgh He retired at the Revolution to Oxford, where he died
Mackenzie, Henry (1745–1831). — Novelist and miscellaneous writer, son of a physician in Edinburgh, where he was born and ed. He studied for the law, and became Controller of Taxes for Scotland. He was the author of three novels, The Man of Feeling (1771), The Man of the World (1773), and Julia de Roubigné (1777), all written in a strain of rather high-wrought sentimentalism, in which the influence of Sterne is to be seen. He was also a leading contributor to The Mirror and The Lounger, two periodicals somewhat in the style of the Spectator. In his later days he was one of the leading members of the literary society of Edinburgh.
Mackintosh, Sir James (1765–1832). — Philosopher and historian, was born at Aldowrie, Inverness-shire, son of an officer in the army and landowner, ed. at Aberdeen, whence he proceeded to Edinburgh to study medicine, in which he grad. in 1787. In the following year he went to London, where he wrote for the press and studied law, and in 1791 he published Vindiciæ Gallicæ in answer to Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution, which was well received by those who, in its earlier stages, sympathised with the Revolution, and procured for him the friendship of Fox, Sheridan, and other Whigs. Called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1795, he delivered before that society in 1799 a brilliant course of lectures on The Law of Nature and Nations, which greatly increased his reputation. In 1804 he went out to India as Recorder of Bombay, and two years later was appointed a Judge of the Admiralty Court. He remained in India until 1811, discharging his official duties with great efficiency. After his return he entered Parliament in 1813 as member for Nairnshire, and attained a considerable reputation as a forcible and informing speaker on questions of criminal law and general politics. On the accession of the Whigs in 1830 he was made a member of the Board of Control for India. He also held from 1818–24 the Professorship of Law and General Politics at Haileybury. His true vocation, however, was to literature, and it is to be regretted that so much of his time and strength was withdrawn from it, his writings being confined to a Dissertation on the Progress of Ethical Philosophy in the Encyclopædia Britannica, a sketch of the History of England for Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopædia, a Life of Sir Thomas More for the same, a fragment of a projected History of the Revolution of 1688, and some articles in the Edinburgh Review.
Macklin, Charles (1697?-1797). — Actor and dramatist, born in the north of Ireland, was one of the most distinguished actors of his day, shining equally in tragedy and comedy. Having killed another actor in a quarrel he was tried for murder, but acquitted, and died a centenarian. He wrote, among other comedies, Love à la Mode (1759) and The Man of the World (1781), which were the only ones printed. He was the creator of Sir Pertinax Macsycophant, a famous burlesque character.
M’lennan, John Ferguson (1827–1881). — Sociologist, born at Inverness, and ed. at Aberdeen and Cambridge, was in 1857 called to the Scottish Bar, and was subsequently Parliamentary Draftsman for Scotland. His main contribution to literature is his original and learned book, Primitive Marriage (1865). Another work, The Patriarchal Theory, left unfinished, was completed by his brother (1884). These works and other papers by M. gave a great impulse to the study of the problems with which they deal, and cognate questions. M. received the degree of LL.D. from Aberdeen in 1874.
“Macleod, Fiona,” (see Sharp, William).
Macleod, Norman (1812–1872). — Scottish divine and miscellaneous writer, son of the Rev. Norman M., D.D., a distinguished minister of the Scottish Church, studied at Edinburgh, and was ordained in 1838. He became one of the most distinguished ministers, and most popular preachers of his Church, was made one of the Royal Chaplains in Scotland in 1857, and became a trusted friend of Queen Victoria. He was the first ed. of Good Words, to which he contributed many articles and stories, including Wee Davie, The Starling, and The Old Lieutenant and his Son.
Macneill, Hector (1746–1818). — Poet, was in the West Indies 1780–86, and clerk on a flagship. He wrote various political pamphlets, two novels, and several poems, The Harp (1789), The Carse of Forth, and Scotland’s Skaith, the last against drunkenness, but is best known for his songs, such as My Boy Tammy, I lo’ed ne’er a Laddie but ane, and Come under my Plaidie.
Macpherson, James (1736?-1796). — Alleged translator of the Ossianic poems, son of a small farmer at Ruthven, Inverness-shire, studied for the Church at Aberdeen and Edinburgh, became teacher of the school in his native parish, and afterwards tutor in a gentleman’s family. In 1758 he published The Highlander, an ambitious poem in 6 cantos, which, however, attracted no attention. But in the following year he submitted to John Home (q.v.), the author of Douglas, certain writings which he represented to be translations from ancient Gaelic poems. By the help of Home and some of his friends M. was enabled to published a considerable number of his Fragments of Poetry translated from the Gaelic and Erse Languages. These were received with profound and widely-spread interest, and gave rise to a controversy which can hardly yet be said to be settled. While some authorities received them with enthusiastic admiration, others immediately called their genuineness in question. In the first instance, however, a subscription was raised to enable M. to make a journey in search of further poetic remains, the result of which was the production in 1761 of Fingal, an epic in 6 books, and in 1763 of Temora, also an epic, in 8 books. The fame which these brought to their discoverer was great, and the sales enormous. In 1764 M. went as secretary to the Governor of Pensacola in Florida. Returning in 1766 he settled in London, became an energetic pamphleteer in support of the Government, and in 1780 entered Parliament, and was next year appointed to the lucrative post of Agent for the Nabob of Arcot. He retired in 1789, and bought an estate in his native parish, where he died in 1796. Great doubt still rests upon the subject of the Ossianic poems: it is, however, generally admitted that M. took great liberties with the originals, even if they ever really existed in anything at all resembling the form given in the alleged translations. No manuscripts in the original have ever been forthcoming. Few, however, will deny that M. either discovered, or composed, a body of poetry unlike anything that has preceded it, of unequal merit, indeed, but containing many striking and beautiful passages, and which unquestionably contributed to break up the tyranny of the classical school and thus prepare the way for the romantic revival.
Maginn, William (1793–1842). — Journalist and miscellaneous writer, born at Cork, became a contributor to Blackwood’s Magazine, and afterwards foreign correspondent to The Representative, a paper started by J. Murray, the publisher, and when its short career was run, one of the leading supporters of Fraser’s Magazine. One of the most brilliant periodical writers of his time, he has left no permanent work behind him. In his later years he fell into intemperate habits, and died in poverty.
Mahony, Francis Sylvester (Father Prout) (1804–1866). — Humorist, born at Cork, and ed. at the Jesuit College at Clongoweswood, Co. Kildare, at Amiens, and at Rome, becoming a member of the society, was Prof. of Rhetoric at Clongoweswood, but was soon after expelled from the order. He then came to London, and became a leading contributor to Fraser’s Magazine, under the signature of “Father Prout.” He was witty and learned in many languages. One form which his humour took was the professed discovery of the originals in Latin, Greek, or mediæval French of popular modern poems and songs. Many of these jeux d’esprit were collected as Reliques of Father Prout. He wittily described himself as “an Irish potato seasoned with Attic salt.” Latterly he acted as foreign correspondent to various newspapers, and died at Paris reconciled to the Church.
Maine, Sir Henry James Sumner (1822–1888). — Jurist, ed. at Christ’s Hospital and at Cambridge, where he became Regius Prof. of Civil Law 1847–54. Called to the Bar in 1850, he went in 1862 to India as legal member of the Government. On his return he was in 1870 appointed Prof. of Comparative Jurisprudence at Oxford, which office he held until his election in 1878 as Master of Trinity Hall. He became Whewell Prof. of International Law at Cambridge in 1887, and was the author of many valuable works on law and the history of political institutions, and profoundly influenced the study of jurisprudence. Among his writings are Ancient Law (1861), Village Communities (1871), Early History of Institutions (1875), and Dissertations on Early Law and Customs (1883).
Mair, or Major, John (1469?-1550). — Historian, studied at Cambridge and Paris, was the teacher of John Knox and George Buchanan. In 1506 he was a Doctor of the Sorbonne, and in 1519 became Prof. of Divinity at St. Andrews. He wrote, in Latin, treatises on divinity and morals, and a History of Greater Britain, in which the separate histories of England and Scotland were brought together, published at Paris (1521). In his writings, while upholding the doctrinal teaching of Rome, he was outspoken in condemning the corruptions of the clergy.
Maitland, Sir Richard (1496–1586). — Poet, father of M. of Lethington, Sec. of State to Mary Queen of Scots. In his later years he was blind, and occupied himself in composing a History of the House of Seaton, and by writing poems, e.g. On the New Year, On the Queene’s Maryage, etc. He held various offices, chiefly legal, but appears to have kept as far as possible out of the fierce political struggles of his time, and to have been a genially satirical humorist.
Malcolm, Sir John (1769–1833). — Indian soldier, statesman, and historian, born at Burnfoot, Dumfriesshire, went to India in 1782, studied Persian, was employed in many important negotiations and held various distinguished posts, being Ambassador to Persia and Governor of Bombay 1826–30. He was the author of several valuable works regarded as authorities, viz., A History of Persia (1815), Memoir of Central India (1823), Political History of India from 1784 to 1823 (1826), and Life of Lord Clive (1836).
Mallet, originally Malloch, David (1705–1765). — Poet and miscellaneous writer, ed. at Crieff parish school and the University of Edinburgh, where he became acquainted with James Thomson, and in 1723 went to London as tutor in the family of the Duke of Montrose. In the following year appeared his ballad of William and Margaret, by which he is chiefly remembered, and which made him known to Pope, Young, and others. In 1726 he changed his name to Mallet to make it more pronounceable by Southern tongues. His Excursion, an imitation of Thomson, was published in 1728. At the request of the Prince of Wales, whose secretary he had become, he wrote with Thomson a masque, Alfred (1740), in which Rule Britannia first appeared, which, although he claimed the authorship, is now generally attributed to Thomson. He also wrote a Life of Bacon; and on Bolingbroke bequeathing to him his manuscripts and library, he published an ed. of his works (1754). On the accession of George III., M. became a zealous supporter of Lord Bute, and was rewarded with a sinecure. In addition to the works above named M. wrote some indifferent dramas, including Eurydice, Mustapha, and Elvira. Dr. Johnson said of him that he was “the only Scotsman whom Scotsmen did not commend.”
Malone, Edmund (1741–1812). — Critic, son of an Irish judge, born in Dublin, and ed. at Trinity College there, studied for the law, but coming into a fortune, decided to follow a literary career. Acute, careful, and sensible, he was a useful contributor to the study of Shakespeare, of whose works he published a valuable ed. in 1790. He also aided in the detection of the Rowley forgeries of Chatterton, and the much less respectable Shakespeare ones of Ireland. At his death he was engaged upon another ed. of Shakespeare, which was brought out under the editorship of James Boswell (q.v.). M. also wrote Lives of Dryden and others, and was the friend of Johnson, Goldsmith, Reynolds, and Burke.
Malory, Sir Thomas (fl. 1470). — Translator of Morte d’Arthur. Very little is known of him. An endeavour has been made to identify him with a Sir Thomas Malory of Warwickshire, who fought successively on both sides in the Wars of the Roses, sat in Parliament 1444–45, and died 1471. In his book he strove to make a continuous story of the Arthurian legends, and showed judgment alike in what he included and omitted.
Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766–1834). — Economist, son of a landed proprietor, was born near Dorking, and ed.. at Jesus College, Cambridge, of which he became a Fellow. Taking orders he became incumbent of Albury, Essex. He travelled much on the continent, collecting information as to the means of livelihood and mode of life of various peoples. In 1798 the first ed. of his famous Essay on Population appeared, and in 1803 a second greatly enlarged. Its leading proposition, supported by much learning, is that while population increases approximately in a geometrical ratio, the means of subsistence do so in an arithmetical ratio only, which, of course, opened up an appalling prospect for the race. It necessarily failed to take into account the then undreamed-of developments whereby the produce of the whole world has been made available for all nations. The work gave rise to a great deal of controversy, much of it based on misunderstanding. M. was Prof. of Political Economy at Haileybury.
Mandeville, Bernard De (1670–1733). — Satirist, a native of Dort in Holland, who having studied medicine at Leyden, came over to England to practise his profession. In 1705 he published a short poem, The Grumbling Hive, which in 1714 reappeared with a prose commentary, and various dissertations on the origin of moral virtue, etc., as The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices Public Benefits, and in 1729 was made the subject of a persecution for its immoral tendency. It was also vigorously combated by, among others, Bishop Berkeley and William Law, author of The Serious Call. While the author probably had no intention of subverting morality, his views of human nature were assuredly cynical and degrading in a high degree. Another of his works, A Search into the Nature of Society (1723), appended to the later versions of the Fable, also startled the public mind, which his last works, Free Thoughts on Religion and An Enquiry into the Origin of Honour and the Usefulness of Christianity did little to reassure.
Mandeville, Sir John. — Was the ostensible author only of a book of travels bearing his name, written about the middle of the 14th century, giving an account of journeys in the East, including India and the Holy Land. It appears to have been compiled from the writings of William of Boldensele, Oderic of Pordenone, and Vincent de Beauvais. The name of Mandeville was probably fictitious.
Mangan, James Clarence (1803–1849). — Poet, born at Dublin, son of a small grocer, was brought up in poverty, and received most of his education from a priest who instructed him in several modern languages. He then became a lawyer’s clerk, and was later an assistant in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. He contributed verses of very various merit to a number of Irish newspapers, and translations from the German to The Dublin University Magazine. By some critics his poetical powers were considered to be such as to have gained for him the first place among Irish poets; but his irregular and intemperate habits prevented him from attaining any sure excellence. His best work, generally inspired by the miseries of his country, often rises to a high level of tragic power, and had his strength of character been equal to his poetic gift it is difficult to say to what heights he might have attained. He died of cholera.
Manley, Mrs. Mary De La Riviere (1663 or 1672–1724). — Novelist, dramatist, and political writer, daughter of Sir Roger Manley, was decoyed into a bigamous connection with her cousin, John M. Her subsequent career was one of highly dubious morality, but considerable literary success. Her principal works are The New Atalantis (sic) (1709), a satire in which great liberties were taken with Whig notabilities, Memoirs of Europe (1710), and Court Intrigues (1711). She also wrote three plays, The Royal Mischief, The Lost Lover, and Lucius, and conducted the Examiner. In her writings she makes great havoc with classical names and even with spelling. She was a vivacious and effective political writer.
Manning, Anne (1807–1879). — Miscellaneous writer. Her best known works are Mistress Mary Powell, which first appeared in Sharpe’s Magazine in 1849, and The Household of Sir Thomas More, a delightful picture of More’s home life told in the form of a diary written by his daughter Margaret. Her writings have much literary charm, and show a delicate historical imagination.
Manning, Henry Edward (1808–1892). — Cardinal and theologian. Born at Totteridge, Herts, and ed. at Harrow and Oxford, where he became notable as an eloquent preacher, and as one of the ablest of the Tractarian party. He was rector of Woollavington-cum-Graffham 1833, and Archdeacon of Chichester 1840. In 1851 he entered the Church of Rome, in which he attached himself to the Ultramontane party. More even than Newman he was the leading spirit of the Roman Church in England. His writings consist of sermons, of which he published several vols. before his secession from the Church of England, and controversial works, including Petri Privilegium (1871), The Vatican Decrees (1875), in answer to Gladstone’s Vaticanism, and The Eternal Priesthood (1883). He became Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster 1865, and Cardinal 1875.
Mannyng, Robert, or Robert De Brunne (fl. 1288–1338). — Was a Canon of the Gilbertine Order. His work, Handlynge Sinne (c. 1300), translated with original additions from the Manuel des Péchés, a book written in French verse by William of Waddington, is practically a collection of tales and short stories on the Commandments, Seven Deadly Sins, Sacraments, etc., and is of value as giving a contemporary picture of the time. He also made (c. 1335) a translation in verse of the French Chronicle of Peter Langtoft, the second and more interesting part of which covers the period from the death of Cadwallader to the end of the reign of Edward I.
Mansel, Henry Longueville (1820–1871). — Metaphysician, son of a clergyman, was born at Cosgrave, Northamptonshire, and ed. at Merchant Taylors’ School and Oxford He took orders, was Reader in Theology at Magdalen College 1855, Bampton Lecturer 1858, Prof. of Ecclesiastical History 1867, and Dean of St. Paul’s 1869. Among his writings are Prolegomena Logica (1851), The Limits of Demonstrative Science (1853), Man’s Conception of Eternity (1854), Limits of Religious Thought (1858), Philosophy of the Conditioned (1866). He was also joint ed. of Sir. W. Hamilton’s Lectures.
Map, or Mapes, Walter De (fl. 1200). — Ecclesiastical statesman and romancist. Most of the facts about him are gleaned from his De Nugis Curialium (Of the Trifles of the Courtiers), a miscellany of contemporary notes and anecdotes, throwing much light on the manners and opinions of the Court of Henry II. He was born probably in Herefordshire, and had Celtic blood in his veins, his father had rendered service to the King, and he had studied at Paris, and on his return attended the Court, where he found favour, and obtained preferment both in Church and State, and in 1173 was a travelling justice. Thereafter he attended the King, probably as chaplain, on his foreign wars, represented him at the French Court, and went to Rome to the Lateran Council of 1179. After the death of Henry II. he seems to have continued in favour under Richard I. and John, and was Archdeacon of Oxford in 1196. M. is the reputed author of some at least of the Golias poems, rough satires on the vices of the clergy, but his great work, which has influenced the future of English literature, was his systematising and spiritualising the Arthurian legends with additions of his own, including the legends of Launcelot, of the Quest of the Holy Grail, and of the Morte d’ Arthur.
Markham, Gervase (1568?-1637). — Translator and miscellaneous writer, served as a soldier in the Low Countries and Ireland. Retiring into civil life about 1593 he displayed extraordinary industry as a translator, compiler, and original writer. Among his original writings are a poem on the Revenge (1595) (Sir R. Grenville’s ship), a continuation of Sidney’s Arcadia, The Discourse of Horsemanshippe (1593), The Young Sportsman’s Instructor, Country Contentments (1611), and various books on agriculture; also plays and poems, some of the latter of which are religious.
Marlowe, Christopher (1564–1593). — Dramatist, son of a shoemaker at Canterbury, where he was born, was ed. at the King’s School there, and in 1581 went to Benet’s (now Corpus Christi) College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1583, and M.A. in 1587. Of his life after he left the University almost nothing is known. It has, however, been conjectured, partly on account of his familiarity with military matters, that he saw service, probably in the Low Countries. His first play, Tamburlaine, was acted in 1587 or 1588. The story is drawn from the Spanish Life of Timur by Pedro Mexia. Its resounding splendour, not seldom passing into bombast, won for it immediate popularity, and it long held the stage. It was followed in 1604 by Faustus, a great advance upon Tamburlaine in a dramatic sense. The absence of “material horror” in the treatment, so different in this respect from the original legend, has often been remarked upon. M.’s handling of the subject was greatly admired by Goethe, who, however, in his own version, makes the motive knowledge, while M. has power, and the mediæval legend pleasure. In his next play, The Jew of Malta, M. continues to show an advance in technical skill, but the work is unequal, and the Jew Barabas is to Shylock as a monster to a man. In Edward II., M. rises to his highest display of power. The rhodomontade of Tamburlaine and the piled-up horror of The Jew are replaced by a mature self-restraint, and in the whole workmanship he approaches more nearly to Shakespeare than any one else has ever done. Speaking of it Lamb says, “The death scene of Marlowe’s King moves pity and terror beyond any scene, ancient or modern, with which I am acquainted.” M. is now almost certainly believed to have had a large share in the three parts of Henry VI., and perhaps also he may have collaborated in Titus Andronicus. His next plays, The Massacre of Paris and The Tragedy of Dido (written with Nash, q.v.), both show a marked falling off; and it seems likely that in his last years, perhaps, breaking down under the effects of a wild life, he became careless of fame as of all else. Greene, in his Groat’s Worth of Wit, written on his deathbed, reproaches him with his evil life and atheistic opinions, and a few days before his hapless death an information was laid against him for blasphemy. The informer was next year hanged for an outrageous offence, and his witness alone might not be conclusive, but M.’s life and opinions, which he made no secret of, were notorious. On the other hand, his friends, Shakespeare, Nash, Drayton, and Chapman, all make kindly reference to him. To escape the plague which was raging in London in 1593, he was living at Deptford, then a country village, and there in a tavern brawl he received a wound in the head, his own knife being turned against him by a serving man, upon whom he had drawn it. The quarrel was about a girl of the town. The parish record bears the entry, “Christopher Marlowe, slain by ffrancis Archer, the 1 of June 1593.” M. is the father of the modern English drama, and the introducer of the modern form of blank verse. In imagination, richness of expression, originality, and general poetic and dramatic power he is inferior to Shakespeare alone among the Elizabethans. In addition to his plays he wrote some short poems (of which the best known is Come live with me and be my love), translations from Ovid’s Amores and Lucan’s Pharsalia, and a glowing paraphrase of Musaeus’ Hero and Leander, a poem completed by Chapman.
Ed. of Works by Dyce, Cunningham, and Bullen; Ingram’s C. Marlowe and his Associates, etc.
Marmion, Shackerley (1603–1639). — Dramatist, son of a country gentleman of Northamptonshire, was ed. at Oxford. After a youth of extravagance, he fought in the Low Countries. His writings consist of an epic, Cupid and Psyche, and three comedies, Holland’s Leaguer, A Fair Companion, and The Antiquary. His plays show some power of satire, and were popular, but he had little of the dramatist.
Marryat, Frederick (1792–1848). — Novelist, son of a West India merchant, was born in London. In 1806 he entered the navy as a midshipman under Lord Cochrane (afterwards Earl of Dundonald), and saw much service in the Mediterranean, at Walcheren, and in the Burmese War of 1824. He returned in 1830 as a Captain and C.B. The scenes and experiences through which he had passed were the preparation for and the foundation of his numerous novels, of which the first, Frank Mildmay, was published in 1829. It was followed by over 30 others, of which perhaps the best are Peter Simple, Jacob Faithful (1834), Mr. Midshipman Easy (1836), The Dog Fiend (1837), and The Phantom Ship (1839). M. is the prince of sea story-tellers; his knowledge of the sea, vigorous definition of character, and hearty and honest, if somewhat broad, humour never failing to please.
Marsh, Herbert (1757–1839). — Theologian and controversialist, son of a clergyman, ed. at Canterbury, Cambridge, and Leipsic, was the first to introduce the German methods of Biblical criticism into England, and gave lectures on the subject at Cambridge, which excited great interest and controversy. In 1816 he was made Bishop of Llandaff, and was translated to Peterborough in 1819. His critical views and his opposition to the evangelical party in the Church, to the Bible Society, to hymns in Divine service, and to Catholic emancipation, involved him in controversy with high, low, and broad churchmen alike. He was the author of a History of the Politics of Great Britain and France (1799), Comparative View of the Churches of England and Rome, and Horæ Pelasgicæ.
Marston, John (1575?-1634). — Dramatist and satirist, born at Coventry, was ed. at Oxford In later life he gave up writing for the stage, took orders, and was incumbent of Christchurch, Hants, 1616–31. He began his literary career in 1598 with satire, The Scourge of Villanie and The Metamorphosis of Pygmalion’s Image (1598), the latter of which was burned by order of Archbishop Whitgift. In 1602 appeared The History of Antonio and Mellida, and its sequel, Antonio’s Revenge, ridiculed by Ben Jonson. In repayment of this M. co-operated with Dekker in attacking Jonson in Satiromastix (a Whip for the Satirist). A reconciliation, however, took place, and his comedy, The Malcontent (1604), was dedicated to J., another, Eastward Ho (1605), was written in collaboration with him and Chapman. Other plays of his are Sophonisba, What You Will (1607), and possibly The Insatiate Countess (1613). Amid much bombast and verbiage there are many fine passages in M.’s dramas, especially where scorn and indignation are the motives. Sombre and caustic, he has been called “a screech-owl among the singing birds.”
Marston, Philip Bourke (1850–1887). — Poet, was born in London, and lost his sight at the age of 3. His poems, Song-tide, All in All, and Wind Voices bear, in their sadness, the impress of this affliction, and of a long series of bereavements. He was the friend of Rossetti and of Swinburne, the latter of whom has written a sonnet to his memory.
Martin, Sir Theodore (1816–1909). — Poet, biographer, and translator, son of James M., solicitor in Edinburgh, where he was born and ed. at the High School and University. He practised as a solicitor in Edinburgh 1840–45, after which he went to London and became head of the firm of Martin and Leslie, parliamentary agents. His first contribution to literature was The Bon Gaultier Ballads, written along with W.E. Aytoun (q.v.), full of wit and humour, which still retain their popularity; originally contributed to a magazine, they appeared in book form in 1855. His translations include Dante’s Vila Nuova, Oehlenschläger’s Correggio and Aladdin, Heine’s Poems and Ballads, Schiller’s Song of the Bell, and Hertz’s King René‘s Daughter. He also published a complete translation of Horace with a Life, and one of Catullus. He is, however, perhaps best known for his Life of the Prince Consort (1874–80), the writing of which was committed to him by Queen Victoria, a work which he executed with such ability and tact as to win for him her lifelong friendship. He also wrote Lives of Prof. Aytoun and Lord Lyndhurst. He married in 1851 Miss Helen Faucit (died 1898), the well-known actress, and authoress of studies on Shakespeare’s Female Characters, whose Life he published in 1901. M. kept up his intellectual activity into old age, published in 1905 a translation of Leopardi’s poems, and Monographs (1906). He was Lord Rector of St. Andrews 1881, LL.D. of Edinburgh 1875, and K.C.B. 1880.
Martineau, Harriet (1802–1876). — Novelist and economist, born at Norwich, where her father, descended from a French family, was a manufacturer. From her earliest years she was delicate and very deaf, and took to literary pursuits as an amusement. Afterwards, when her father had fallen into difficulties, they became her means of support. Her first publication was Devotional Exercises for Young Persons (1823). Becoming interested in political economy, she endeavoured to illustrate the subject by tales, of which two were The Rioters and The Turn-out. Later she published a more serious treatment of it in Illustrations of Political Economy (1832–4), Poor Law and Paupers (1833), and Illustrations of Taxation (1834). About this time she went to London, and was regarded as an authority on economic questions, being occasionally consulted by Cabinet Ministers. Among her books of travel are Society in America (1837), and Eastern Life, Present and Past (1848), which she considered her best book: in it she declared herself no longer a believer in revelation. She also wrote two novels, Deerbrook (1839), and The Hour and the Man (1840), also a number of books for children. Perhaps her most important work is her History of England during the Thirty Years’ Peace, 1816–46, which appeared in 1849. She translated Comte’s Philosophy (1853), and published a collection of letters between herself and Mr. H.G. Atkinson On the Laws of Man’s Nature and Development, which encountered severe criticism. In addition to her separate publications she wrote innumerable articles for newspapers, specially the Daily News, and for periodicals. In 1845 she settled in the Lake District, where she died.
Martineau, James (1805–1900). — Unitarian theologian, younger brother of the above, was born at Norwich. Possessed of considerable inventive and mathematical talents, he was originally intended for engineering, but studied for the Unitarian ministry, to which he was ordained in 1828. After serving as pastor in various places he became in 1840 Prof. of Mental and Moral Philosophy in the Manchester New College (subsequently removed to London), and Principal 1869–85. Among his writings, which were very influential, are Rationale of Religious Inquiry (1836), Ideal Substitutes for God (1879), Study of Spinoza (1882), Types of Ethical Theory (1885), Study of Religion (1888), Seat of Authority in Religion (1890), and religious poems and hymns. M. was a man of very elevated character and powerful intellect; of great acuteness, candour, and openness to new ideas. He was D.D. of Edinburgh 1884, and D.C.L. of Oxford 1888.
Marvell, Andrew (1621–1678). — Poet and satirist, son of the Rector of Winestead, Yorkshire, where he was born, ed. Cambridge, and thereafter travelled in various Continental countries. He sat in Parliament for Hull, proving himself an assiduous and incorruptible member, with strong republican leanings. In spite of this he was a favourite of Charles II., who took pleasure in his society, and offered him a place at Court, and a present of £1000, which were both declined. In his own day he was best known as a powerful and fearless political writer, and for some time from 1657 was assistant to Milton as Latin Sec. After the Restoration he wrote against the Government, his chief work in this kind being on the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England (1677). He was also the author of an Historical Essay regarding General Councils. His controversial style was lively and vigorous, but sometimes coarse and vituperative. His fame now rests on his poems which, though few, have many of the highest poetical qualities. Among the best known are The Emigrants in the Bermudas, The Nymph complaining for the Death of her Fawn, and Thoughts in a Garden. Of the last Palgrave says that “it may be regarded as a test of any reader’s insight into the most poetical aspects of poetry,” and his Horatian Ode on Cromwell’s Return from Ireland. The town of Hull voted him a monument, which was, however, forbidden by the Court. His appearance is thus described, “He was of middling stature, pretty strong-set, roundish-faced, cherry-cheeked, hazel-eyed, brown-haired.”
Life and Works by Cooke, 1726, reprinted 1772; Thomson, 1726; Dove, 1832; and specially Grosart (4 vols., 1872–74).
Mason, William (1724–1797). — Poet, son of a clergyman, was born at Hull, and ed. at Cambridge He took orders and rose to be a Canon of York. His first poem was Musæus, a monody on the death of Pope, and his other works include Elfrida (1752), and Caractacus (1759), dramas — an Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers, the architect, in which he satirised some modern fashions in gardening, The English Garden, his largest work, and some odes. He was a close friend of Gray, whose Life he wrote. His language was too magnificent for his powers of thought, but he has passages where the rich diction has a pleasing effect.
Massey, Gerald (1828–1907). — Poet, born near Tring, Herts. As a boy he worked in a silk-factory, and as a straw-plaiter and errand boy. When he was 15 he came to London, where he was taken up by Maurice and Kingsley. His first book was published in 1851, but he first attracted attention by Babe Christabel (1854). This was followed by War Waits, Craigcrook Castle, and Havelock’s March. A selection from these was published 1889, under the title of My Lyrical Life. Later he wrote and lectured on spiritualism, and produced prose works on the origin of myths and mysteries in The Book of Beginnings (1881), The Natural Genesis (1883), and Ancient Egypt: the Light of the World (1907). He also wrote a book on the sonnets of Shakespeare. M. had a true lyrical vein, but though often musical, he was at times harsh and rugged, and did not give sufficient attention to form and finish.
Massinger, Philip (1583–1640). — Dramatist, was probably born at Salisbury. His father appears to have been a retainer of the Earl of Pembroke, by whom and by Queen Elizabeth he was employed in a confidential capacity. M. was at Oxford, but quitted the University suddenly without graduating. He is next found in London writing for the stage, frequently in collaboration with others. Few details of his life have come down, but it seems that he was on the whole unfortunate. He was found dead in bed on March 16, 1640, and was buried in St. Saviour’s, Southwark, by some of the actors. The burial register has the entry, “buried Philip Massinger, a stranger.” Of the many plays which he wrote or had a hand in, 15 believed to be entirely his are extant, other 8 were burned by a servant in the 18th century. He, however, collaborated so much with others — Fletcher, Dekker, etc., that much fine work probably his can only be identified by internal evidence. Among his plays may be mentioned The Unnatural Combat (pr. 1639), The Virgin Martyr (1622) (partly by Dekker), which contains perhaps his finest writing. His best plays on the whole, however, are The City Madam (1632), and A New Way to pay Old Debts (pr. 1633), which latter kept the stage until the 19th century. He is believed to have joined with Fletcher and Shakespeare in Henry VIII. and The Two Noble Kinsmen. Other plays which he wrote or had a hand in are The Duke of Milan, The Bondman, The Renegado, The Roman Actor, The Great Duke of Florence, The Maid of Honour, The Picture, and The Fatal Dowry. His verse is fluent and sweet, and in his grave and reflective passages he rises to a rich and stately music. He often repeats himself, has little humour, and is not seldom coarse. He has, however, much skill in the construction and working out of a story.
Masson, David (1822–1907). — Biographer and historian, born at Aberdeen, and ed. at Marischal College there and at Edinburgh, where he studied theology under Chalmers. He did not, however, enter the Church, but began a literary career by ed. a newspaper in Aberdeen. He then returned to Edinburgh, where he worked for the brothers Chambers, the eminent publishers, and where he became acquainted with Wilson, Sir William Hamilton, and Chalmers, for the last of whom he cherished an extraordinary veneration. Going to London in 1847 he wrote extensively in reviews, magazines, and encyclopædias. In 1852 he became Prof. of English Literature in University College, and in 1858 ed. of Macmillan’s Magazine. He was appointed in 1865 Prof. of English Literature in Edinburgh, where he exercised a profound influence on his students, many of whom have risen to high positions in literature. Though a most laborious student and man of letters, M. took a warm interest in various public questions, including Italian emancipation, and the higher education of women. He was the author of many important works, including Essays Biographical and Critical (1856), British Novelists (1859), and Recent British Philosophy (1865). His magnum opus is his monumental Life of John Milton (6 vols., 1859–80) the most complete biography of any Englishman, dealing as it does not only with the personal life of the poet, but with the history, political, social, and religious of his time. Other books are Drummond of Hawthornden (1873), De Quincey (in English Men of Letters Series) (1878), Edinburgh Sketches and Memories (1892), and Carlyle Personally and in his Writings. He also ed. the standard ed. of De Quincey’s works, and the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, his introductions in connection with which are of great historical value. He was appointed Historiographer for Scotland in 1893. M. was full of learning guided by sagacity, genial, broad-minded, and sane in his judgments of men and things, and thoroughly honest and sincere.
Mather, Cotton (1663–1728). — Divine, son of Increase M., a leading American divine, was ed. at Harvard, became a minister, and was colleague to his father He was laborious, able, and learned, but extremely bigoted and self-sufficient. He carried on a persecution of so-called “witches,” which led to the shedding of much innocent blood; on the other hand he was so much of a reformer as to advocate inoculation for small-pox. He was a copious author, his chief work being Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), an ecclesiastical history of New England. Others were Late Memorable Providences relating to Witchcraft and Possession (1689), and The Wonders of the Invisible World (1693). In his later years he admitted that “he had gone too far” in his crusade against witches.
Mathias, Thomas James (1754?-1835). — Satirist, ed. at Cambridge, and held some minor appointments in the Royal household. He was an accomplished Italian scholar, and made various translations from the English into Italian, and vice versâ. He also produced a fine ed. of Gray, on which he lost heavily. His chief work, however, was The Pursuits of Literature (1794), an undiscriminating satire on his literary contemporaries which went through 16 ed., but is now almost forgotten.
Maturin, Charles Robert (1782–1824). — Novelist, born in Dublin of Huguenot ancestry, was ed. at Trinity College there, and taking orders held various benefices. He was the author of a few dramas, one of which, Bertram, had some success. He is, perhaps, better known for his romances in the style of Mrs. Radcliffe and “Monk” Lewis. The first of these, The Fatal Revenge appeared in 1807, and was followed by, among others, The Milesian Chief (1812), Women, which was the most successful, and lastly by Melmoth, in which he outdoes his models in the mysterious, the horrible, and indeed the revolting, without, except very occasionally, reaching their power. His last work, The Albigenses, in a somewhat different style, was published in the year of his death.
Maurice, Frederick Denison (1805–1872). — Divine, son of a Unitarian minister, was born at Normanston, near Lowestoft, and studied at Cambridge, but being then a Dissenter, could not graduate. He went to London, and engaged in literary work, writing for the Westminster Review and other periodicals, and for a short time ed. the Athenæum. His theological views having changed, he joined the Church of England, went to Oxford, graduated, and was ordained 1834. He became Chaplain to Guy’s Hospital, and held other clerical positions in London. In 1840 he was appointed Prof. of English Literature and History at King’s College, and subsequently Prof. of Theology. He became a leader among the Christian socialists, and for a short time ed. their paper. On the publication of his Theological Essays in 1853 he was asked to resign his professorship at King’s College In 1854 he was one of the founders of the Working Men’s College, of which he became Principal, and in 1866 he was made Prof. of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge Among his writings are The Religions of the World and their Relation to Christianity, Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy, The Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament (1853), The Doctrine of Sacrifice, and Theological Essays. M.’s style was copious, and was often blamed as obscure; nevertheless, he exercised an extraordinary influence over some of the best minds of his time by the originality of his views, and the purity and elevation of his character.
Maxwell, William Hamilton (1792–1850). — Novelist, a Scoto–Irishman, born at Newry, and ed. at Trinity College, Dublin, entered the army, and saw service in the Peninsula, and at Waterloo. Afterwards he took orders, but was deprived of his living for non-residence. His novels, O’Hara, and Stories from Waterloo, started the school of rollicking military fiction, which culminated in the novels of Lever. M. also wrote a Life of the Duke of Wellington, and a History of the Irish Rebellion.
Max-MÜLler, Friedrich (1823–1900). — Philologist, son of the German poet, Wilhelm M., was born at Dessau, and ed. at Leipzig, Berlin, and Paris. In 1846 he was requested by the East India Company to ed. the Rig Veda. He settled at Oxford in 1848, and in 1850 was appointed deputy Taylorian Prof. of Modern European languages, becoming Prof. 4 years later, and Curator of the Bodleian Library in 1856. In 1868 he was elected first Prof. of Comparative Philology. He ed. Sacred Books of the East, and wrote in English Chips from a German Workshop (1867–75). He did much to stimulate the study of comparative religion and philology. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1896.
May, Thomas (1595–1650). — Poet and historian, born in Sussex, son of Sir Thomas M., of Mayfield, went to Cambridge, and thence to Gray’s Inn, but discarded law for literature. In 1622 he produced his first comedy, The Heir, and also a translation of Virgil’s Georgics. Six years later, 1627, appeared his translation of Lucan, which gained him the favour of Charles I. at whose command he wrote two poems, The Reigne of King Henry II., and The Victorious Reigne of King Edward III., each in 7 books. When the Civil War broke out M., to the disappointment of his friends, took the side of the Parliament, and was made Sec. to the Long Parliament, the historian of which he became, published 1647, The History of the Parliament of England, which began Nov. 3, 1640. This work he prefaced with a short review of the preceding reigns from that of Elizabeth. The narrative closes with the Battle of Newbury, 1643, and is characterised by fulness of information and candour. M. was also the author of several tragedies, including Antigone, of no great merit.
May, Sir Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Farnborough (1815–1886). — Jurist and historian, ed. at Bedford School, and after holding various minor offices became in 1871 clerk to the House of Commons, retiring in 1886, when he was raised to the peerage. He had previously, 1866, been made K.C.B. He was the author of a treatise on the laws, privileges, etc., of Parliament, which, first published in 1844, reached in 1901 its tenth ed., and was translated into various languages. His Constitutional History of England, 1760–1860 is practically a continuation of Hallam’s great work. He also wrote Democracy in Europe. As an historical writer M. was learned, painstaking, and impartial.
Mayne, Jasper (1604–1672). — Dramatist, was at Oxford, entered the Church, and became Archdeacon of Chichester. He wrote two dramas, The City Match (1639), and The Amorous War (1648), in neither of which did he sustain the clerical character. He had, however, some humour.
Mayne, John (1759–1836). — Poet, was born in Dumfries. In 1780 he published the Siller Gun in its original form in Ruddiman’s Magazine. It is a humorous poem descriptive of an ancient custom in Dumfries of shooting for the “Siller Gun.” He was continually adding to it, until it grew to 5 cantos. He also wrote a poem on Hallowe’en, and a version of the ballad, Helen of Kirkconnel. His verses were admired by Scott.
Melville, Herman (1819–1891). — Novelist, born in New York, and took to the sea, which led to strange adventures, including an imprisonment of some months in the hands of cannibals in the Marquesas Islands. His first novel, Typee (1846), is based upon this experience. Omoo followed in 1847, Moby Dick, or the White Whale, a powerful sea story, in 1852, and Israel Potter in 1855. He was a very unequal writer, but occasionally showed considerable power and originality.
Melville, James (1556–1614). — Scottish divine and reformer, son of the laird of Baldovie, in Forfarshire, and nephew of the great reformer and scholar, Andrew M., by whom, when Principal of the University of Glasgow, he was chosen to assist him as a regent or professor. When, in 1580, Andrew became Principal of St. Mary’s College, St. Andrews, James accompanied him, and acted as Prof. of Hebrew and Oriental Languages. He wrote many poems, but his chief work was his Diary, an original authority for the period, written with much naïveté, and revealing a singularly attractive personality. M., who for his part in Church matters, had been banished to England, died at Berwick on his way back to Scotland.
Melville, Sir James (1535–1617). — Historian, son of Sir John M., of Hallhill, was a page to Mary Queen of Scots at the French Court, and afterwards one of her Privy Council. He also acted as her envoy to Queen Elizabeth and the Elector Palatine. He was the author of an autobiography which is one of the original authorities for the period. The MS., which lay for long hidden in Edinburgh Castle, was discovered in 1660, and published 1683. A later ed. was brought out in 1827 by the Bannatyne Club. The work is written in a lively style, but is not always to be implicitly relied upon in regard either to facts or the characters attributed to individuals.
Meredith, George (1828–1909). — Novelist and poet, born at Portsmouth, son of Augustus M., a naval outfitter, who afterwards went to Cape Town, and ed. at Portsmouth and Neuwied in Germany. Owing to the neglect of a trustee, what means he had inherited were lost, and he was in his early days very poor. Articled to a lawyer in London, he had no taste for law, which he soon exchanged for journalism, and at 21 he was writing poetry for magazines, his first printed work, a poem on the Battle of Chillianwallah, appearing in Chambers’s Journal. Two years later he published Poems (1851), containing Love in the Valley. Meantime he had been ed. a small provincial newspaper, and in 1866 he was war correspondent in Italy for the Morning Post, and he also acted for many years as literary adviser to Chapman and Hall. By this time, however, he had produced several of his novels. The Shaving of Shagpat had appeared in 1856, Farina in 1857, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel in 1859, Evan Harrington in 1861, Emilia in England (also known as Sandra Belloni) in 1864, its sequel, Vittoria, in 1866, and Rhoda Fleming in 1865. In poetry he had produced Modern Love and Poems of the English Roadside (1862), generally regarded as his best poetical work. These were followed by The Adventures of Harry Richmond (1871), Beauchamp’s Career (1875), said to be the author’s favourite, The Egoist (1879), which marks the beginning of a change in style characterised by an even greater fastidiousness in the choice of words, phrases, and condensation of thought than its predecessors, The Tragic Comedians (1880), and Diana of the Crossways, the first of the author’s novels to attain anything approaching general popularity. The same period yielded in poetry, Poems and Lyrics of the Joy of Earth (1883), Ballads and Poems of Tragic Life (1887), and A Reading of Earth (1888). His later novels, One of our Conquerors (1891), Lord Ormont and his Aminta (1894), and The Amazing Marriage (1895), exhibit a tendency to accentuate those qualities of style which denied general popularity to all of M.’s works, and they did little to add to his reputation. The contemporary poems include The Empty Purse and Jump to Glory Jane (1892). In 1905 he received the Order of Merit, and he died on May 19, 1909. He was twice married, his first wife, who died 1860, being a daughter of Thomas Love Peacock (q.v.). This union did not prove in all respects happy. His second wife was Miss Vulliamy, who died 1885. In his earlier life he was vigorous and athletic, and a great walker; latterly he lost all power of locomotion.
Though the writings of M. never were and probably never will be generally popular, his genius was, from the very first, recognised by the best judges. All through he wrote for the reader who brought something of mind, thought, and attention, not for him who read merely to be amused without trouble; and it is therefore futile to attribute failure to him because he did not achieve what he did not aim at. Nevertheless, the long delay in receiving even the kind of recognition which he sought was a disappointment to him. Few writers have striven to charge sentences and even words so heavily with meaning, or to attain so great a degree of condensation, with the result that links in the chain of thought are not seldom omitted and left for the careful reader to supply. There is also a tendency to adopt unusual words and forms of expression where plainness and simplicity would have served as well, and these features taken together give reason for the charges of obscurity and affectation so often made. Moreover, the discussion of motive and feeling is often out of proportion to the narrative of the events and circumstances to which they stand related. But to compensate us for these defects he offers humour, often, indeed, whimsical, but keen and sparkling, close observation of and exquisite feeling for nature, a marvellous power of word-painting, the most delicate and penetrating analysis of character, and an invincible optimism which, while not blind to the darker aspects of life, triumphs over the depression which they might induce in a weaker nature. In matters of faith and dogma his standpoint was distinctly negative.
Meres, Francis (1565–1647). — Miscellaneous author, was of a Lincolnshire family, studied at Cambridge and Oxford, and became Rector of Wing in Rutland. He published in 1598 Palladis Tamia: Wit’s Treasury, containing a comparison of English poets with Greek, Latin, and Italian.
Merivale, Charles (1808–1893). — Historian, son of John Herman M., a translator and minor poet, born in London, ed. at Harrow, Haileybury, and Cambridge, he took orders, and among other preferments held those of chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, 1863–69, and Dean of Ely. From his college days he was a keen student of Roman history, and between 1850 and 1864 he published his History of the Romans under the Empire, an able and scholarly work, though considered by some critics to be too favourable to the Emperors, and the imperial idea. An earlier work was The Fall of the Roman Republic (1853).
Merriman, H. Seton, (see Scott, H.S.).
Meston, William (1688?-1745). — S. of a blacksmith, was ed. at Marischal College, Aberdeen, took part in the ‘15, and had to go into hiding. His Knight of the Kirk (1723) is an imitation of Hudibras. It has little merit.
Mickle, William Julius (1735–1788). — Poet, son of the minister of Langholm, Dumfriesshire, was for some time a brewer in Edinburgh, but failed. He went to Oxford, where he was corrector for the Clarendon Press. After various literary failures and minor successes he produced his translation of the Lusiad, from the Portuguese of Camoens, which brought him both fame and money. In 1777 he went to Portugal, where he was received with distinction. In 1784 he published the ballad of Cumnor Hall, which suggested to Scott the writing of Kenilworth. He is perhaps best remembered, however, by the beautiful lyric, There’s nae luck aboot the Hoose, which, although claimed by others, is almost certainly his.
Middleton, Conyers (1683–1750). — Divine and scholar, born at Richmond, Yorkshire, and ed. at Cambridge He was the author of several latitudinarian treatises on miracles, etc., which brought him into controversy with Waterland (q.v.) and others, and of a Life of Cicero (1741), largely plagiarised from William Bellenden, a Scottish writer of the 17th century. Another of his controversies was with Bentley on college administration. He was master of a very fine literary style.
Middleton, Thomas (1570–1627). — Dramatist, was a Londoner and city chronologer, in which capacity he composed a chronicle of the city, now lost. He wrote over 20 plays, chiefly comedies, besides masques and pageants, and collaborated with Dekker, Webster, and other playwrights. His best plays are The Changeling, The Spanish Gipsy (both with Rowley), and Women beware Women. Another, The Game of Chess (1624), got the author and the players alike into trouble on account of its having brought the King of Spain and other public characters upon the stage. They, however, got off with a severe reprimand. M. was a keen observer of London life, and shone most in scenes of strong passion. He is, however, unequal and repeats himself. Other plays are: The Phoenix, Michaelmas Term (1607), A Trick to Catch the old One (1608), The Familie of Love (1608), A Mad World, My Masters (1608), The Roaring Girl (1611) (with Dekker), The Old Law (1656) (with Massinger and Rowley), A Faire Quarrel (1617); and among his pageants and masques are The Triumphs of Truth (1613), The Triumphs of Honour and Industry (1617), The Inner Temple Masque (1619), etc.
Mill, James (1773–1836). — Philosopher and historian, son of a shoemaker, was born at Montrose, and showing signs of superior ability, was sent to the University of Edinburgh with a view to the ministry. He was licensed as a preacher in 1798, but gave up the idea of the Church, and going to London in 1802 engaged in literary work, ed. the St. James’s Chronicle, and wrote for the Edinburgh Review. In 1806 he began his History of British India (1817–18), and in 1819 received the appointment of Assistant Examiner to the India Office, and in 1834 became head of the department. M. had meanwhile become the intimate friend of Jeremy Bentham, was perhaps the chief exponent of the utilitarian philosophy, and was also one of the founders of the London University His philosophical writings include Elements of Political Economy (1821), and Analysis of the Human Mind (1824). M.’s intellect was powerful, though rigid and somewhat narrow; his style was clear and precise, and his conversational powers very remarkable, and influential in moulding the opinions of those who came into contact with him, especially his distinguished son, John Stuart (q.v.).
Mill, John Stuart (1806–1873). — Philosopher, son of the above, born in London, was ed. by his father with the view of making him the successor of Bentham and himself, as the exponent of the Utilitarian philosophy. In all respects he proved an apt pupil, and by his 15th year had studied classical literature, logic, political economy, and mathematics. In that year he went to France, where he was under the charge of Sir S. Bentham, a brother of Jeremy. His studies had led him to the adoption of the utilitarian philosophy, and after his return he became acquainted with Grote, the Austins, and other Benthamites. In 1823 he entered the India House as a clerk, and, like his father, rose to be examiner of Indian correspondence; and, on the dissolution of the Company, retired on a liberal pension. In 1825 he ed. Bentham’s Rationale of Judicial Evidence. During the following years he was a frequent contributor to Radical journals, and ed. the London Review. His Logic appeared in 1843, and produced a profound impression; and in 1848 he published Principles of Political Economy. The years between 1858 and 1865 were very productive, his treatises on Liberty, Utilitarianism, Representative Government, and his Examination of Sir W. Hamilton’s Philosophy being published during this period. In 1865 he entered the House of Commons as one of the members for Westminster, where, though highly respected, he made no great mark. After this political parenthesis he returned to his literary pursuits, and wrote The Subjection of Women (1869), The Irish Land Question (1870), and an Autobiography. M. had married in 1851 Mrs. Taylor, for whom he showed an extraordinary devotion, and whom he survived for 15 years. He died at Avignon. His Autobiography gives a singular, and in some respects painful account of the methods and views of his father in his education. Though remaining all his life an adherent of the utilitarian philosophy, M. did not transmit it to his disciples altogether unmodified, but, finding it too narrow and rigid for his own intellectual and moral requirements, devoted himself to widening it, and infusing into it a certain element of idealism.
Bain’s Criticism with Personal Recollections (1882), L. Courtney’s John Stuart Mill (1889), Autobiography, Stephens’s Utilitarians, J. Grote’s Examination of the Utilitarian Philosophy of Mill, etc.
Miller, Hugh (1802–1856). — Geologist, and man of letters, born at Cromarty, had the ordinary parish school education, and early showed a remarkable love of reading and power of story-telling. At 17 he was apprenticed to a stonemason, and his work in quarries, together with rambles among the rocks of his native shore, led him to the study of geology. In 1829 he published a vol. of poems, and soon afterwards threw himself as an ardent and effective combatant into the controversies, first of the Reform Bill, and thereafter of the Scottish Church question. In 1834 he became accountant in one of the local banks, and in the next year brought out his Scenes and Legends in the North of Scotland. In 1840 the popular party in the Church, with which he had been associated, started a newspaper, The Witness, and M. was called to be ed., a position which he retained till the end of his life, and in which he showed conspicuous ability. Among his geological works are The Old Red Sandstone (1841), Footprints of the Creator (1850), The Testimony of the Rocks (1856), and Sketch-book of Popular Geology. Other books are: My Schools and Schoolmasters, an autobiography of remarkable interest, First Impressions of England and its People (1847), and The Cruise of the Betsy. Of the geological books, perhaps that on the old red sandstone, a department in which M. was a discoverer, is the best: but all his writings are distinguished by great literary excellence, and especially by a marvellous power of vivid description. The end of his life was most tragic. He had for long been overworking his brain, which at last gave way, and in a temporary loss of reason, he shot himself during the night.
Life and Letters, P. Bayne (1871), etc.
Miller, Thomas (1807–1874). — Poet and novelist, of humble parentage, worked in early life as a basket-maker. He published Songs of the Sea Nymphs (1832). Going to London he was befriended by Lady Blessington (q.v.) and S. Rogers (q.v.), and for a time engaged in business as a bookseller, but was unsuccessful and devoted himself exclusively to literature, producing over 40 vols., including several novels, e.g., Royston Gower (1838), Gideon Giles the Roper, and Rural Sketches. In his stories he successfully delineated rural characters and scenes.
Milman, Henry Hart (1791–1868). — Poet and historian, son of Sir Francis M., a distinguished physician, ed. at Eton and Oxford Taking orders he became in 1835 Rector of St. Margaret’s, Westminster, and in 1849 Dean of St. Paul’s. He also held the professorship of Poetry at Oxford 1821–31. Among his poetical works may be mentioned Fazio (drama) (1815), Samor (epic) (1818), The Fall of Jerusalem (1820), The Martyr of Antioch (1822), and Anne Boleyn (1826). It is, however, on his work as an historian that his literary fame chiefly rests, his chief works in this department being his History of the Jews (1830), History of Christianity (1840), and especially The History of Latin Christianity (6 vols. 1854–56), which is one of the most important historical works of the century, characterised alike by literary distinction and by learning and research. M. also brought out a valuable ed. of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, and wrote a History of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Milnes, R. Monckton, (see Houghton).
Milton, John (1608–1674). — Poet, was born 9th December 1608 in Bread Street, London. His father, also John, was the son of a yeoman of Oxfordshire, who cast him off on his becoming a Protestant. He had then become a scrivener in London, and grew to be a man of good estate. From him his illustrious son inherited his lofty integrity, and his love of, and proficiency in, music. M. received his first education from a Scotch friend of his father’s, Thomas Young, a Puritan of some note, one of the writers of Smectymnuus. Thereafter he was at St. Paul’s School, and in 1625 went to Christ’s College, Cambridge, where for his beauty and his delicacy of mind he was nicknamed “the lady.” His sister Anne had married Edward Phillips, and the death of her first child in infancy gave to him the subject of his earliest poem, On the death of a Fair Infant (1626). It was followed during his 7 years’ life at the University, along with others, by the poems, On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity (1629), On the Circumcision, The Passion, Time, At a Solemn Music, On May Morning, and On Shakespeare, all in 1630; and two sonnets, To the Nightingale and On arriving at the Age of Twenty-three, in 1631. In 1632, having given up the idea of entering the Church, for which his father had intended him, he lived for 6 years at Horton, near Windsor, to which the latter had retired, devoted to further study. Here he wrote L’Allegro and Il Penseroso in 1632, Arcades (1633), Comus in 1634, and Lycidas in 1637. The first celebrates the pleasures of a life of cheerful innocence, and the second of contemplative, though not gloomy, retirement, and the last is a lament for a lost friend, Edward King, who perished at sea. Arcades and Comus are masques set to music by Henry Lawes, having for their motives respectively family affection and maiden purity. Had he written nothing else these would have given him a place among the immortals. In 1638 he completed his education by a period of travel in France and Italy, where he visited Grotius at Paris, and Galileo at Florence. The news of impending troubles in Church and State brought him home the following year, and with his return may be said to close the first of three well-marked divisions into which his life falls. These may be called (1) the period of preparation and of the early poems; (2) the period of controversy, and of the prose writings; and (3) the period of retirement and of the later poems. Soon after his return M. settled in London, and employed himself in teaching his nephews, Edward and John Phillips, turning over in his mind at the same time various subjects as the possible theme for the great poem which, as the chief object of his life, he looked forward to writing. But he was soon to be called away to far other matters, and to be plunged into the controversies and practical business which were to absorb his energies for the next 20 years. The works of this period fall into three classes — (1) those directed against Episcopacy, including Reformation of Church Discipline in England (1641), and his answers to the writings of Bishop Hall (q.v.), and in defence of Smectymnuus (see under Calamy); (2) those relating to divorce, including The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (1643), and The Four Chief Places of Scripture which treat of Marriage (1645); and (3) those on political and miscellaneous questions, including the Tractate on Education (1644), Areopagitica (1644), A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing (his greatest prose work), Eikonoklastes, an answer to the Eikon Basiliké of Dr. Gauden (q.v.), The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649), in defence of the execution of Charles I., which led to the furious controversy with Salmasius, the writing of Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio (1650), the second Defensio (1654), which carried his name over Europe, and The Ready and Easy Way to establish a Free Commonwealth, written on the eve of the Restoration. In 1643 M. had married Mary Powell, the daughter of an Oxfordshire cavalier, a girl of 17, who soon found her new life as the companion of an austere poet, absorbed in severe study, too abrupt a change from the gay society to which she had been accustomed, and in a month returned to her father’s house on a visit. When the time fixed for rejoining her husband arrived, she showed no disposition to do so, upon which he began to aim at a divorce, and to advocate in the works above mentioned “unfitness and contrariety of mind” as a valid ground for it, views which incurred for him much notoriety and unpopularity. A reconciliation, however, followed in 1645, and three daughter were born of the marriage. In 1649 the reputation of M. as a Latinist led to his appointment as Latin or Foreign Sec. to the Council of State, in the duties of which he was, after his sight began to fail, assisted by A. Marvell (q.v.) and others, and which he retained until the Restoration. In 1652 his wife died, and four years later he entered into a second marriage with Katharine Woodcock, who died in child-birth in the following year. To her memory he dedicated one of the most touching of his sonnets. At the Restoration he was, of course, deprived of his office, and had to go into hiding; but on the intercession of Marvell (q.v.), and perhaps Davenant (q.v.), his name was included in the amnesty. In 1663, being now totally blind and somewhat helpless, he asked his friend Dr. Paget to recommend a wife for him. The lady chosen was Elizabeth Minshull, aged 25, who appears to have given him domestic happiness in his last years. She survived him for 53 years. The Restoration closed his second, and introduced his third, and for his fame, most productive period. He was now free to devote his whole powers to the great work which he had so long contemplated. For some time he had been in doubt as to the subject, had considered the Arthurian legends, but had decided upon the Fall of Man. The result was Paradise Lost, which was begun in 1658, finished in 1664, and published in 1667. A remark of his friend, Thomas Ellwood (q.v.), suggested to him the writing of Paradise Regained, which, along with Samson Agonistes, was published in 1671. Two years before he had printed a History of Britain, written long before, which, however, is of little value. The work of M. was now done. In addition to his blindness he suffered from gout, to which it was partly attributable, and, his strength gradually failing, but with mind unimpaired and serene, he died peacefully on November 8, 1674. In M. the influences of the Renaissance and of Puritanism met. To the former he owed his wide culture and his profound love of everything noble and beautiful, to the latter his lofty and austere character, and both these elements meet in his writings. Leaving Shakespeare out of account, he holds an indisputable place at the head of English poets. For strength of imagination, delicate accuracy and suggestiveness of language, and harmony of versification, he is unrivalled, and almost unapproached; and when the difficulties inherent in the subject of his great masterpiece are considered, the power he shows in dealing with them appears almost miraculous, and we feel that in those parts where he has failed, success was impossible for a mortal. In his use of blank verse he has, for majesty, variety, and music, never been approached by any of his successors. He had no dramatic power and no humour. In everything he wrote, a proud and commanding genius manifests itself, and he is one of those writers who inspire reverence rather than affection. His personal appearance in early life has been thus described, “He was a little under middle height, slender, but erect, vigorous, and agile, with light brown hair clustering about his fair and oval face, with dark grey eyes.”
Summary. — Born 1608, ed. at St. Paul’s School and Cambridge, and while at the latter wrote earlier poems including The Nativity and Sonnets, lived for 6 years at Horton and wrote L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, and Lycidas, travelled in France and Italy 1638, settled in London, entered on his political and controversial labours, and wrote inter alia on Reform of Discipline 1641, Divorce 1643–45, Education 1644, Areopagitica 1644, and the two Defences 1650 and 1654, appointed Latin Sec. 1649, this period closed by Restoration 1660, Paradise Lost written 1658–64, published 1667, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes 1671, died 1674, married first 1643 Mary Powell, second 1652 Katharine Woodcock, third 1663 Eliz. Minshull, who survived till 1727.
Life by Prof. Masson (6 vols. 1859–80), also short Lives by M. Patteson (1880), Garnett (1889). Ed. of Works by Boydell, Sir E. Brydges, and Prof. Masson.
Minot, Laurence (1300?-1352?). — Poet. Nothing is certainly known of him. He may have been a soldier. He celebrates in northern English and with a somewhat ferocious patriotism the victories of Edward III. over the Scots and the French.
Minto, William (1845–1893). — Critic and biographer, born at Alford, Aberdeenshire, and ed. at Aberdeen and Oxford, went to London, and became ed. of the Examiner, and also wrote for the Daily News and the Pall Mall Gazette. In 1880 he was appointed Prof. of Logic and Literature at Aberdeen. He wrote a Manual of English Prose Literature (1873), Characteristics of the English Poets (1874), and a Life of Defoe for the Men of Letters Series.
Mitchell, John (1815–1875). — Journalist and political writer, son of a Presbyterian minister, was born in Ulster. For some time he practised as a solicitor, but becoming acquainted with Thomas Davis (q.v.), he associated himself with the Young Ireland party, and was a leading contributor to the Nation newspaper. His political sympathies and acts were carried so far as to bring about in 1848 his trial for treason-felony, and his transportation for 14 years. After his release he resided chiefly at New York, and ed. various papers, and opposed the abolition of slavery; but in 1874 he was elected M.P. for Tipperary, for which, however, he was declared incapable of sitting. On a new election he was again returned, but died before the resulting petition could be heard. He wrote a Jail Journal, a work of great power, The Last Conquest of Ireland (perhaps) (1860), and a History of Ireland of little value.
Mitford, Mary Russell (1787–1855). — Poetess and novelist, born at Alresford, Hants, daughter of a physician, without practice, selfish and extravagant, who ran through three fortunes, his own, his wife’s, and his daughter’s, and then lived on the industry of the last. After a vol. of poems which attracted little notice, she produced her powerful tragedy, Julian. In 1812, what ultimately became the first vol. of Our Village appeared in the Lady’s Magazine. To this four additional vols. were added, the last in 1832. In this work Miss M. may be said to have created a new branch of literature. Her novel, Belford Regis (1835), is somewhat on the same lines. She added two dramas, Rienzi (1828), and Foscari, Atherton and other Tales (1852), and Recollections of a Literary Life, and died at her cottage at Swallowfield, much beloved for her benevolent and simple character, as well as valued for her intellectual powers.
Mitford, William (1744–1827). — Historian, e.s. of John M. of Exbury, Hants, descended from an old Northumbrian family, was born in London, and ed. at Cheam School and Oxford He studied law, but on succeeding to the family estates devoted himself to study and literature, and to his duties as an officer of the militia. His first published was an Essay on the Harmony of Language (1774). His great work, The History of Greece, is said to have been undertaken at the suggestion of Gibbon, who was a fellow-officer in the South Hants Militia. This work, the successive vols. of which appeared at considerable intervals between 1784 and 1810, was long a standard one, though it is now largely superseded by the histories of Thirwall and Grote. M. wrote with strong prejudices against democracy, and in defence of tyrants, but his style is forcible and agreeable, and he brought learning and research to bear on his subject. He sat for many years in Parliament.
Moir, David Macbeth (1798–1851). — Poet and miscellaneous writer, was a doctor at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, and a frequent contributor, under the signature of [Greek: D], to Blackwood’s Magazine in which appeared Mansie Waugh, a humorous Scottish tale. He also wrote The Legend of Genevieve (1824), Domestic Verses (1843), and sketches of the poetry of the earlier half of the 19th century. His poetry was generally grave and tender, but occasionally humorous.
Monboddo, James Burnett, Lord (1714–1799). — Philosopher and philologist, born at the family seat in Kincardineshire, was ed. at the University of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Groningen, and called to the Scottish Bar in 1737. Thirty years later he became a judge with the title of Lord Monboddo. He was a man of great learning and acuteness, but eccentric and fond of paradox. He was the author of two large works alike learned and whimsical, An Essay on the Origin and Progress of Language (6 vols. 1773–92), and Ancient Metaphysics (6 vols. 1779–99). He mooted and supported the theory that men were originally monkeys, and gradually attained to reason, language, and civilisation by the pressure of necessity. His doctrines do not sound so absurd now as they did in his own day. He was visited by Dr. Johnson at Monboddo.
Montagu, Elizabeth (Robinson) (1720–1800). — Critic, daughter of a gentleman of Yorkshire, married a grandson of Lord Sandwich. She was one of the original “blue-stockings,” and her house was a literary centre. She wrote an Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespeare (1769), in which she compared him with the classical and French dramatists, and defended him against the strictures of Voltaire. It had great fame in its day, but has long been superseded.
Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley (Pierrepont) (1690–1762). — Letter-writer, was the eldest daughter of the 1st Duke of Kingston. In her youth she combined the attractions of a reigning beauty and a wit. Her early studies were encouraged and assisted by Bishop Burnet, and she was the friend of Pope, Addison, and Swift. In 1712 she married, against the wishes of her family, Edward Wortley–Montagu, a cousin of the celebrated Charles Montagu, afterwards Earl of Halifax. Her husband having been appointed Ambassador to the Porte, she accompanied him, and wrote the sparkling Letters from the East which have given her a place high among the great letter-writers of the world. While in Turkey she became acquainted with the practice of inoculation against smallpox, which she did much to introduce into western countries. After her return to England she settled at Twickenham, and renewed her friendship with Pope, which, however, ended in a violent quarrel, arising out of her publication of Town Eclogues. She was furiously attacked by both Pope and Swift, and was not slow to defend herself. In 1737, for reasons which have never been explained, she left her husband and country, and settled in Italy. Mr. M. having died 1761, she returned at the request of her daughter, the Countess of Bute, but died the following year.
Montgomerie, Alexander (1545?-1610?). — Poet, probably born in Ayrshire, was in the service of the Regent Morton and James VI., by whom he was pensioned. He is sometimes styled “Captain,” and was laureate of the Court. He appears to have fallen on evil days, was imprisoned on the Continent, and lost his pension. His chief work is The Cherrie and the Slae (1597), a somewhat poor allegory of Virtue and Vice, but with some vivid description in it, and with a comparatively modern air. He also wrote Flyting (scolding) betwixt Montgomerie and Polwart, published 1621, and other pieces.
Montgomery, James (1771–1854). — Poet, son of a pastor and missionary of the Moravian Brethren, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, and ed. at the Moravian School at Fulneck, near Leeds. After various changes of occupation and abode, he settled in Sheffield in 1792 as clerk to a newspaper. In 1796 he had become ed. of the Sheffield Iris, and was twice imprisoned for political articles for which he was held responsible. In 1797 he published Prison Amusements; but his first work to attract notice was The Wanderer of Switzerland (1806). It was followed by The West Indies (1809), The World before the Flood (1812), Greenland (1819), and The Pelican Island (1828), all of which contain passages of considerable imaginative and descriptive power, but are lacking in strength and fire. He himself expected that his name would live, if at all, in his hymns, and in this his judgment has proved true. Some of these, such as For ever with the Lord, Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, and Prayer is the Soul’s sincere Desire, are sung wherever the English language is spoken. M. was a good and philanthropic man, the opponent of every form of injustice and oppression, and the friend of every movement for the welfare of the race. His virtues attained wide recognition.
Montgomery, Robert (1807–1855). — Poet, a minister of the Scottish Episcopal Church, wrote some ambitious religious poems, including The Omnipresence of the Deity and Satan, which were at first outrageously puffed, and had a wide circulation. Macaulay devoted an essay to the demolition of the author’s reputation, in which he completely succeeded.
Moore, Edward (1712–1757). — Fabulist and dramatist, son of a dissenting minister, was born at Abingdon. After being in business as a linen-draper, in which he was unsuccessful, he took to literature, and wrote a few plays, of which The Gamester (1753) had a great vogue, and was translated into various languages. He is best known by his Fables for the Female Sex (1744), which rank next to those of Gay (q.v.).
Moore, John (1729 or 1730–1802). — Physician and miscellaneous writer, son of an Episcopal minister, was born in Stirling. After studying medicine at Glasgow, he acted as a surgeon in the navy and the army, and ultimately settled in Glasgow as a physician. In 1779 he published View of Manners and Society in France, Switzerland, and Germany, which was well received. A similar work, relating to Italy, followed in 1781. He is, however, chiefly remembered by his romance Zeluco (1786?). One or two other novels followed, and his last works are a Journal during a Residence in France (1792), and Causes and Progress of the French Revolution (1795), the latter of which was used both by Scott and Carlyle. M. was one of the friends of Burns, and was the father of Sir John M., the hero of Corunna.
Moore, Thomas (1779–1852). — Poet, born in Dublin, son of a grocer and wine-merchant in a small way, was ed. at Trinity College, after which he went to London, and studied law at the Middle Temple, 1799. He took with him a translation of Anacreon, which appeared, dedicated to the Prince Regent, in 1800, was well received, and made a position for him. In the following year appeared Poems by Thomas Little. In 1803 he received the appointment of Admiralty Registrar at Bermuda, and after visiting the island and travelling in America, he committed his official duties to a deputy (an unfortunate step as it proved), and returned to England. The literary fruit of this journey was Epistles, Odes, and other Poems (1806). In 1807 M. found his true poetic vocation in his Irish–Melodies — the music being furnished by Sir John Stevenson, who adapted the national airs. The reception they met with was enthusiastic, and M. was carried at once to the height of his reputation. They continued to appear over a period of 25 years, and for each of the 130 songs he received 100 guineas. His charming singing of these airs, and his fascinating conversational and social powers made him sought after in the highest circles. In 1815 there appeared National Airs which, however, cannot be considered equal to the Melodies. After making various unsuccessful attempts at serious satire, he hit upon a vein for which his light and brilliant wit eminently qualified him — the satirical and pungent verses on men and topics of the day, afterwards collected in The Twopenny Post Bag, in which the Prince Regent especially was mercilessly ridiculed, and about the same time appeared Fables for the Holy Alliance. In 1818 he produced the Fudge Family in Paris, written in that city, which then swarmed with “groups of ridiculous English.” Lalla Rookh, with its gorgeous descriptions of Eastern scenes and manners, had appeared in the previous year with great applause. In 1818 the great misfortune of his life occurred through the dishonesty of his deputy in Bermuda, which involved him in a loss of £6000, and necessitated his going abroad. He travelled in Italy with Lord John Russell, and visited Byron. Thereafter he settled for a year or two in Paris, where he wrote The Loves of the Angels (1823). On the death of Byron his memoirs came into the hands of Moore, who, in the exercise of a discretion committed to him, destroyed them. He afterwards wrote a Life of Byron (1830), which gave rise to much criticism and controversy, and he also ed. his works. His last imaginative work was The Epicurean (1827). Thereafter he confined himself almost entirely to prose, and published Lives of Sheridan (1827), and Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1831). His last work, written in failing health, was a History of Ireland for Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopædia, which had little merit. Few poets have ever enjoyed greater popularity with the public, or the friendship of more men distinguished in all departments of life. This latter was largely owing to his brilliant social qualities, but his genuine and independent character had also a large share in it. He left behind him a mass of correspondence and autobiographical matter which he committed to his friend Lord John (afterwards Earl) Russell for publication. They appeared in 8 vols. (1852–56).
Memoir, Journal, and Correspondence, by Lord John Russell (1856).
More, Hannah (1745–1833). — Miscellaneous and religious writer, was one of the five daughters of a schoolmaster at Stapleton, Gloucestershire. The family removed to Bristol, where Hannah began her literary efforts. Some early dramas, including The Search after Happiness and the Inflexible Captive brought her before the public, and she went to London in 1774, where, through her friend, Garrick, she was introduced to Johnson, Burke, and the rest of that circle, by whom she was highly esteemed. After publishing some poems, now forgotten, and some dramas, she resolved to devote herself to efforts on behalf of social and religious amelioration, in which she was eminently successful, and exercised a wide and salutary influence. Her works written in pursuance of these objects are too numerous to mention. They included Hints towards forming the Character of a young Princess (1805), written at the request of the Queen for the benefit of the Princess Charlotte, Coelebs in search of a Wife (1809), and a series of short tales, the Cheap Repository, among which was the well-known Shepherd of Salisbury Plain. This enterprise, which had great success, led to the formation of the Religious Tract Society. The success of Miss M.’s literary labours enabled her to pass her later years in ease, and her sisters having also retired on a competency made by conducting a boarding-school in Bristol, the whole family resided on a property called Barley Grove, which they had purchased, where they carried on with much success philanthropic and educational work among the people of the neighbouring district of Cheddar. Few persons have devoted their talents more assiduously to the well-being of their fellow-creatures, or with a greater measure of success.
More, Henry (1614–1687). — Philosopher, born at Grantham, and ed. at Cambridge, took orders, but declined all preferment, including two deaneries and a bishopric; and also various appointments in his University, choosing rather a quiet life devoted to scholarship and philosophy, especially the study of writings of Plato and his followers. He led a life of singular purity and religious devotion, tinged with mysticism, and his writings had much popularity and influence in their day. Among them may be mentioned Psychozoia Platonica (1642), repub. (1647) as Philosophicall Poems, Divine Dialogues (prose) (1668), The Mystery of Godliness, and The Mystery of Iniquity. His life was written by his friend Richard Ward.
More, Sir Thomas (1478–1535). — Historical and political writer, son of Sir John M., a Justice of the King’s Bench, was born in London. In his 16th year he was placed in the household of Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was wont to say, “This child here waiting at the table . . . will prove a marvellous man.” In 1497 he went to Oxford, where he became the friend of Erasmus and others, and came in contact with the new learning. He studied law at New Inn and Lincoln’s Inn, and for some time thought of entering the Church. He was, however, in 1504 sent up to Parliament, where his powerful speaking gained for him a high place. Meanwhile, he had brilliant success in the Law Courts, and was introduced by Wolsey to Henry VIII., with whom he soon rose into high favour. He became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Speaker of the House of Commons, 1523, and was sent on missions to Charles V. and Francis I. At length, on the fall of Wolsey, M. was, much against his will, appointed Lord Chancellor, an office which he filled with singular purity and success, though he was harsh in his dealings with persons accused of heresy. But differences with the King soon arose. M. disapproved of Henry’s ecclesiastical policy, as well as of his proceedings in regard to the Queen, and in 1532 he resigned his office. In 1534 he refused the oath which pledged him to approval of the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, and for this he was imprisoned in the Tower, and on July 7, 1535, beheaded. His body was buried in St. Peter’s in the Tower, and his head exhibited on London Bridge, whence it was taken down and preserved by his daughter, the noble Margaret Roper. All Catholic Europe was shocked at the news of what was truly a judicial murder. Among his works are a Life of Picus, Earl of Mirandula (1510), and a History of Richard III., written about 1513. His great work, Utopia, was written in Latin in two books — the second 1515, and the first 1516. It had immediate popularity, and was translated into French 1530, English 1551, German 1524, Italian 1548, and Spanish 1790. It gives an account of an imaginary island and people, under cover of which it describes the social and political condition of England, with suggested remedies for abuses. The opinions on religion and politics expressed in it are not, however, always those by which he was himself guided. M. wrote many works of controversy, among which are Dyaloge concerning Heresies, also epigrams and dialogues in Latin. His pure and religious character, his sweet temper, his wit, his constancy and fortitude under misfortune combine to render him one of the most attractive and admirable figures in English history.
Life by W. Roper (son-inlaw), Lord Campbell, Lives of Chancellors, Utopia was translated by Robinson (1551, etc.), Bishop Burnet (1684, etc.), and ed. by Lupton (1895), and Michelis (1896).
Morgan, Lady (Sydney Owenson) (1780?-1859). — Novelist, daughter of Robert Owenson, an actor, was the author of several vivacious Irish tales, including The Wild Irish Girl (1806), O’Donnel (1814), and The O’Briens and the O’Flaherties (1827); also two books on society in France and in Italy characterised by “more vivacity and point than delicacy,” and a Life of Salvator Rosa.
Morier, James Justinian (1780?-1849). — Traveller and novelist, son of Isaac M., descended from a Huguenot family resident at Smyrna, where he was born, was ed. at Harrow. Returning to the East he became in 1809 Sec. of Legation in Persia. He wrote accounts of travels in Persia, Armenia, and Asia Minor; also novels, in which he exhibits a marvellous familiarity with Oriental manners and modes of thought. The chief of these are The Adventures of Hajji Baba (1824), and Hajji Baba in England (1828), Zohrab the Hostage (1832), Ayesha (1834), and The Mirza (1841). All these works are full of brilliant description, character-painting, and delicate satire.
Morison, James Cotter (1832–1888). — Was ed. at Oxford He wrote Lives of Gibbon (1878), and Macaulay (1882); but his best work was his Life of St. Bernard (1863). The Service of Man (1887) is written from a Positivist point of view.
Morley, Henry (1822–1894). — Writer on English literature, son of an apothecary, was born in London, ed. at a Moravian school in Germany, and at King’s College, London, and after practising medicine and keeping schools at various places, went in 1850 to London, and adopted literature as his profession. He wrote in periodicals, and from 1859–64 ed. the Examiner. From 1865–89 he was Prof. of English Literature at University College. He was the author of various biographies, including Lives of Palissy, Cornelius Agrippa, and Clement Marot. His principal work, however, was English Writers (10 vols. 1864–94), coming down to Shakespeare. His First Sketch of English Literature — the study for the larger work — had reached at his death a circulation of 34,000 copies.
Morris, Sir Lewis (1833–1907). — Poet, born at Penrhyn, Carnarvonshire, and ed. at Sherborne and Oxford, was called to the Bar, and practised as a conveyancer until 1880, after which he devoted himself to the promotion of higher education in Wales, and became honorary secretary and treasurer of the New Welsh University. In 1871 he published Songs of Two Worlds, which showed the influence of Tennyson, and was well received, though rather by the wider public than by more critical circles. It was followed in 1876–77 by The Epic of Hades, which had extraordinary popularity, and which, though exhibiting undeniable talent both in versification and narrative power, lacked the qualities of the higher kinds of poetry. It deals in a modern spirit with the Greek myths and legends. Other works are A Vision of Saints, Gwen, The Ode of Life, and Gycia, a tragedy.
Morris, William (1834–1896). — Poet, artist, and socialist, born at Walthamstow, and ed. at Marlborough School and Oxford After being articled as an architect he was for some years a painter, and then joined in founding the manufacturing and decorating firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., in which Rossetti, Burne–Jones, and other artists were partners. By this and other means he did much to influence the public taste in furnishing and decoration. He was one of the originators of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, to which he contributed poems, tales, and essays, and in 1858 he published Defence of Guenevere and other Poems. The Life and Death of Jason followed in 1867, The Earthly Paradise in 1868–70, and Love is Enough in 1875. In the last mentioned year he made a translation in verse of Virgil’s Æneid. Travels in Iceland led to the writing of Three Northern Love Stories, and the epic of Sigurd the Volsung (1876). His translation of the Odyssey in verse appeared 1887. A series of prose romances began with The House of the Wolfings (1889), and included The Roots of the Mountains, Story of the Glittering Plain, The Wood beyond the World, The Well at the World’s End (1896), and posthumously The Water of the Wondrous Isles, and Story of the Sundering Flood. In addition to poems and tales M. produced various illuminated manuscripts, including two of Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam, and many controversial writings, among which are tales and tracts in advocacy of Socialism. To this class belong the Dream of John Ball (1888), and News from Nowhere (1891). In 1890 M. started the Kelmscott Press, for which he designed type and decorations. For his subjects as a writer he drew upon classic and Gothic models alike. He may perhaps be regarded as the chief of the modern romantic school, inspired by the love of beauty for its own sake; his poetry is rich and musical, and he has a power of description which makes his pictures live and glow, but his narratives sometimes suffer from length and slowness of movement.
Life by J.W. Mackail (2 vols., 1899), The Books of W. Morris, Forman, etc.
Morton, Thomas (1764–1838). — Dramatist, born in Durham, came to London to study law, which he discarded in favour of play-writing. He wrote about 25 plays, of which several had great popularity. In one of them, Speed the Plough, he introduced Mrs. Grundy to the British public.
Motherwell, William (1797–1835). — Poet, born and ed. in Glasgow, he held the office of depute sheriff-clerk at Paisley, at the same time contributing poetry to various periodicals. He had also antiquarian tastes, and a deep knowledge of the early history of Scottish ballad literature, which he turned to account in Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern (1827), a collection of Scottish ballads with an historical introduction. In 1830 he became ed. of the Glasgow Courier, and in 1832 he collected and published his poems. He also joined Hogg in ed. the Works of Burns.
Motley, John Lothrop (1814–1877). — Historian, born at Dorchester, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, was ed. at Harvard, where O.W. Holmes (q.v.), afterwards his biographer, was a fellow-student. After graduating he went to Europe, studied at Göttingen and Berlin, and visited Italy. On his return he studied law, and was admitted to the Bar in 1837. He did not, however, practise, and was in 1840 sent to St. Petersburg as Sec. of Legation. Meanwhile, having published two novels, Morton’s Hope and Merry Mount, which had little success, he turned to history, and attracted attention by some essays in various reviews. Having decided to write an historical work on Holland, he proceeded in 1851 to Europe to collect materials, and in 1856 published The Rise of the Dutch Republic. It was received with the highest approval by such critics as Froude and Prescott, and at once took its place as a standard work. It was followed in 1860 by the first two vols. of The United Netherlands. The following year M. was appointed Minister at Vienna, and in 1869 at London. His latest works were a Life of Barneveldt, the Dutch statesman, and A View of . . . the Thirty Years’ War. M. holds a high place among historical writers both on account of his research and accuracy, and his vivid and dramatic style, which shows the influence of Carlyle.
Moultrie, John (1799–1874). — Poet, ed. at Eton and Cambridge, took orders and was Rector of Rugby. He wrote several books of poetry, his best known pieces are My Brother’s Grave, and Godiva.
Mulock, Dinah Maria (Mrs. Craik) (1826–1887). — Novelist, daughter of a Nonconformist minister of Irish descent. Beginning with stories for children, she developed into a prolific and popular novelist. Her best and most widely known book is John Halifax, Gentleman (1857), which had a wide popularity, and was translated into several languages. Others are The Head of the Family, Agatha’s Husband, A Life for a Life, and Mistress and Maid. She also wrote one or two vols. of essays.
Munday, Anthony (1553–1633). — Dramatist, poet, and pamphleteer, son of a draper in London, appears to have had a somewhat chequered career. He went to Rome in 1578, and published The Englyshe Romayne Life, in which he gives descriptions of rites and other matters fitted to excite Protestant feeling; and he appears to have acted practically as a spy upon Roman Catholics. He had a hand in 18 plays, of which four only are extant, including two on Robert, Earl of Huntingdon (Robin Hood) (1598), and one on the Life of Sir John Oldcastle. He was ridiculed by Ben Jonson in The Case is Altered. He was also a ballad-writer, but nothing of his in this kind survives, unless Beauty sat bathing in a Spring be correctly attributed to him. He also wrote city pageants, and translated popular romances, including Palladino of England, and Amadis of Gaule. He was made by Stow the antiquary (q.v.) his literary executor, and published his Survey of London (1618).
Mure, William (1799–1860). — Scholar, laird of Caldwell, Ayrshire, ed. at Westminster, Edinburgh, and Bonn, sat in Parliament for Renfrewshire 1846–55. He was a sound classical scholar, and published A Critical History of the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece (5 vols., 1850–57). He held the view that the Iliad and Odyssey are now substantially as they were originally composed. M. was Lord Rector of Glasgow University 1847–48.
Murphy, Arthur (1727–1805). — Actor and dramatist, born in Ireland, and ed. at St. Omer, went on the stage, then studied for the Bar, to which he was ultimately admitted after some demur on account of his connection with the stage. His plays were nearly all adaptations. They include The Apprentice (1756), The Spouter, and The Upholsterer. He also wrote an essay on Dr. Johnson, and a Life of Garrick.
Murray, Lindley (1745–1826). — Grammarian, was born in Pennsylvania, and practised as a lawyer. From 1785 he lived in England, near York, and was for his last 16 years confined to the house. His English Grammar (1795) was long a standard work, and his main claim to a place in literature. His other writings were chiefly religious.
Myers, Frederic William Henry (1843–1901). — Poet and essayist, son of a clergyman, was born at Keswick, and ed. at Cheltenham and Cambridge He became an inspector of schools, and was the author of several vols. of poetry, including St. Paul (1867). He also wrote Essays Classical and Modern, and Lives of Wordsworth and Shelley. Becoming interested in mesmerism and spiritualism he aided in founding the Society for Psychical Research, and was joint author of Phantasms of the Living. His last work was Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death (1903).
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:07