Meiklewham (Mr. Saunders), “the man of law,” in the managing committee of the Spa hotel.—Sir W. Scott: St. Ronan’s Well (time, George III.).

Meister (Wilhelm), the hero and title of a novel by Goethe, the object of which is to show that man, despite his errors and shortcomings, is led by a guiding hand, and reaches some higher aim at last (1821).

Meistersingers, or minstrel tradesmen of Germany. An association of master tradesmen, to revive the national minstrelsy, which had fallen into decay with the decline of the minnesingers or love-minstrels (1350–1523). Their subjects were chiefly moral or religious, and constructed according to rigid rules. The three chief were Hans Rosenblüt (armorial painter, born 1450), Hans Folz (surgeon, born 1479), and Hans Sachs (cobbler, 1494–1574). The next best were Heinrich von Mueglen, Konrad Harder, Master Altschwert, Master Barthel Regenbogen (the blacksmith), Muscablut (the tailor), and Hans Blotz (the barber).

Mejnoun and Leilah , a Persian love tale, the Romeo and Juliet of Eastern romance. They are the most beautiful, chaste, and impassionate of lovers; the models of what lovers would be if human nature were perfect.

When he sang the loves of Megnôun and Leileh…
tears insensibly overflowed the cheeks of his auditors.
   —Beckford: Vathek (1786).

Melanchates , the hound that killed Actæon, and was changed into a hart.

Melanchates, that hound
That plucked Acteon to the grounde,
Gaue him his mortal wound,…
Was chaungéd to a harte.
   —Skelton: Philip Sparrow (time, Henry VIII.).

Melancholy (The Anatomy of), a book full of quotations, Greek, Latin, German, Italian, French, and English. It treats of philosophy, medicine, poetry, astrology, music, etc. It first shows what melancholy means, then branches off into its seat, varieties, causes, symptoms, cure; it first takes melancholy generally, and then descends to special kinds of melancholy. It is one of the most erudite books ever published, and is a mine of wealth to authors and orators.—Robert Burton (1621).

(Dr. T. Bright wrote a Treatise on Melancholy (1586); and Thomas Wharton a poem on The Pleasures of Melancholy, 1745.)

Nothing so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
   —Beaumont and Fletcher.

Melantius, a rough, honest soldier, who believes every one is true till convicted of crime, and then is he a relentless punisher. Melantius and Diphilus are brothers of Evadnê.—Beaumont and Fletcher: The Maid’s Tragedy (1610).

The master scene between Antony and Ventidius in Dryden’s All for Love is copied from The Maid’s Tragedy. “Ventidius” is in the place of Melantius.

Melchior, one of the three kings of Cologne. He was the “Wise Man of the East” who offered to the infant Jesus gold, the emblem of royalty. The other two were Gaspar and Balthazar. Melchior means “king of light.”

Melchior, a monk attending the black priest of St. Paul’s.—Sir W. Scott: Anne of Geierstein (time, Edward IV.).

Melchior (i.e. Melchior Pfinzing), a German poet who wrote the Teuerdank, an epic poem which has the kaiser Maximilian (son of Frederick III.) for its hero. This poem was the Orlando Furioso of the Germans.

Sat the poet Melchior, singing kaiser Maximilian’s praise.
   —Longfellow: Nuremberg.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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