Maid Marian to Maimuna

Maid Marian, a name assumed by Matilda, daughter of Robert lord Fitzwalter, while Robin Hood remained in a state of outlawry. She was poisoned with a poached egg at Dunmow Priory, by a messenger of king John sent for the purpose. This was because Marian was loved by the king, but rejected him. Drayton has written her legend.

He to his mistress dear, his lovëd Marian,
Was ever constant known; which wheresoe’er she came,
Was sovereign of the woods, chief lady of the game.
Her clothes tucked to the knee, and dainty braided hair,
With bow and quiver armed, she wandered here and there
Amongst the forest wild. Diana never knew
Such pleasures, nor such harts as Mariana slew.

   —Drayton: Polyolbion, xxvi. (1622).

Maid Marian, introduced into the May-day morris-dance, was a boy dressed in girl’s clothes. She was queen of the May, and used to wear a tinsel crown, and carry in her left hand a flower. Her coif was purple, her surcoat blue, her cuffs white, the skirts of her robe yellow, the sleeves carnation, and the stomacher red with yellow cross bars. (See Morris-Dance.)

(Thomas Love, in 1822, published a novel called Maid Marian.)

Maid of Athens, Theresa Macri, rendered famous by Byron’s song—

Maid of Athens, ere we part,
Give, oh give me back my heart!

Twenty-four years after this song was written, an Englishman sought out “the Athenian maid,” and found a beggar without a single vestige of beauty. She was married and had a large family; but the struggle of her life was to find bread to keep herself and family from positive starvation.

Maid of Bath (The), Miss Linley, who married R. B. Sheridan. Samuel Foote wrote a farce entitled The Maid of Bath, in which he gibbets Mr. Walter Long under the name of “Flint.”

Maid of Honour (The), by P. Massinger (1637). Camiola, a very wealthy, high-minded lady, was in love with prince Bertoldo, brother of Roberto king of the Two Sicilies; but Bertoldo, being a Knight of Malta, could not marry without a dispensation from the pope. While matters were in this state, Bertoldo led an army against Aurelia duchess of Sienna, and was taken prisoner. Camiôla paid his ransom, and Aurelia commanded the prisoner to be brought before her. Bertoldo came; the duchess fell in love with him and offered marriage; and Bertoldo, forgetful of Camiola, accepted the offer. The betrothed then presented themselves to the king, when Camiola exposed the conduct of Bertoldo. The king was indignant at the baseness, Aurelia rejected Bertoldo with scorn, and Camiola took the veil.

Maid of Mariendorpt (The), a drama by S. Knowles, based on Miss Porter’s novel of The Village of Mariendorpt (1838). The “maid” is Meeta, daughter of Mahldenau minister of Mariendorpt, and betrothed to major Rupert Roselheim. The plot is this: Mahldenau starts for Prague in search of Meeta’s sister, who fell into some soldiers’ hands in infancy during the siege of Magdeburg. On entering Prague, he is seized as a spy, and condemned to death. Meeta, hearing of his capture, walks to Prague to plead for his life, and finds that the governor’s “daughter” is her lost sister. Rupert storms the prison and releases Mahldenau.

Maid of Norway, Margaret, daughter of Eric II. and Margaret of Norway. She was betrothed to Edward, son of Edward I. of England, but died on her passage (1290).

Maid of Orleans, Jeanne d’Arc, famous for having raised the siege of Orleans, held by the English. The general tradition is that she was burnt alive as a witch, but this is doubted (1412–1431).

Maid of Perth (Fair), Catharine Glover, daughter of Simon Glover, the old glover of Perth. She kisses Henry Smith while asleep on St. Valentine’s morning, and ultimately marries him.—Sir W. Scott: Fair Maid of Perth (time, Henry IV.).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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