Melibee to Melville

Melibee, a shepherd, and the reputed father of Pastorella. Pastorella married sir Calidore.—Spenser: Faërie Queene, vi. 9 (1596).

(“Melibee” is sir Francis Walsingham. In the Ruins of Time Spenser calls him “Melibœ.” Sir Philip Sidney (the “sir Calidore” of the Faërie Queene) married his daughter Frances. Sir Francis Walsingham died in 1590, so poor that he did not leave enough to defray his funeral expenses.)

Melibœan Dye, a rich purple. So called because Melibœa of Thessaly was famous for the ostrum, a fish used in dying purple.

A military vest of purple flowed,
Livelier than Melibœan.
   —Milton: Paradise Lost, xi. 242 (1665).

Melibœus, one of the shepherds in Eclogue i. of Virgil.

Spenser, in the Ruins of Time (1591), calls sir Francis Walsingham “the good Melibœ;” and in the last book of the Faërie Queene he calls him “Melibee.”

Melinda, cousin of Sylvia. She loves Worthy, whom she pretends to dislike, and coquets with him for twelve months. Having driven her modest lover to the verge of distraction, she relents, and consents to marry him.—Farquhar: The Recruiting Officer (1705).

Melior, a lovely fairy, who carried off in her magic bark, Parthenopex of Blois to her secret island.—Parthenopex de Blois (a French romance, twelfth century).

Melisendra (The princess), natural daughter of Marsilio, and the “supposed daughter of Charlemagne.” She eloped with don Gayferos. The king Marsilio sent his troops in pursuit of the fugitives. Having made Melisendra his wife, don Gayferos delivered her up captive to the Moors at Saragossa. This was the story of the puppet-show of Master Peter, exhibited to don Quixote and his ’squire at “the inn beyond the hermitage.”—Cervantes: Don Quixote, H. ii. 7 (1615).

Melissa, a prophetess who lived i n Merlin’s cave. Bradamant gave her the enchanted ring to take to Rogero; so, under the form of Atlantês, she went to Alcina’s isle, delivered Rogero, and disenchanted all the captives in the island.

In bk. xix. Melissa, under the form of Rodômont, persuaded Agramant to break the league which was to settle the contest by single combat, and a general battle ensued.—Ariosto: Orlando Furioso (1516).

This incident of bk. xix. is similar to that in Homer’s Iliad, iii., iv., where Paris and Menelaos agree to settle the contest by single combat; but Minerva persuades Pandâros to break the truce, and a general battle ensues.

(There is a Melissa in Tennyson’s Princess, 1847.)

Melita (now Malta). The point to which the vessel that carried St. Paul was driven was the “Porto de San Paolo,” and according to tradition the cathedral of Citta Vecchia stands on the site of the house of Publius the Roman governor. St. Paul’s grotto, a cave in the vicinity, is so named in honour of the great apostle.

Melitus, a gentleman of Cyprus, in the drama called The Laws of Candy, by Beaumont and Fletcher (1647).

Melizyus, king of Thessaly, in the golden era of Saturn. He was the first to tame horses for the use of man.

In whose time reigned also in Thessayle ,
A parte of Grece, the kyng Melizyus,
That was right strong and fierce in battaile;
By whose laboure, as the storye sheweth us,
He brake first horses, wilde and rigorous,

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.