Merlin the Wild to Metastasio

Merlin the Wild, a native of Caledonia, who lived in the sixteenth century, about a century after the great Ambrose Merlin the sorcerer. Fordun, in his Scotichronicon, gives particulars about him. It was predicted that he would die by earth, wood, and water, which prediction was fulfilled thus: A mob of rustics hounded him, and he jumped from a rock into the Tweed, and was impaled on a stake fixed in the river- bed. His grave is still shown beneath an aged hawthorn bush at Drummelzier, a village on the Tweed.

Merlin’s Cave, in Dynevor near Carmarthen, noted for its ghastly noises of rattling iron chains, brazen caldrons, groans, strokes of hammers, and ringing of anvils. The cause is this: Merlin set his spirits to fabricate a brazen wall to encompass the city of Carmarthen, and, as he had to call on the Lady of the Lake, bade them not slacken their labour till he returned; but he never did return, for Vivian by craft got him under the enchanted stone, and kept him there. Tennyson says he was spell-bound by Vivien in a hollow oak tree, but the History of Prince Arthur (sir T. Malory) gives the other version.—Spenser: Faërie Queene, iii. 3 (1590).

Merop’s Son, a nobody, a terrœ filius, who thinks himself somebody. Thus Phaëton (Merop’s son), forgetting that his mother was an earthborn woman, thought he could drive the horses of the sun, but, not being able to guide them, nearly set the earth on fire. Many presume, like him, and think themselves capable or worthy of great things, forgetting all the while that they are only “Merop’s son.”

Why, Phaëton (for thou art Merop’s son),
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car,
And with thy daring folly burn the world?
   —Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, act iii. sc. 1 (1594).

Merrilies (Meg). (See Meg Merrilies, p. 692.)

Merry Andrew, Andrew Borde, physician to Henry VIII. (1500–1549).

(Prior has a poem on Merry Andrew.)

Merry Monarch (The), Charles II. of England (1630, 1660–1685).

Merry Wives of Windsor (The), a comedy by Shakespeare (1596). The plot is this: Sir John Falstaff makes love to Mrs. Ford, but Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page, the “merry wives,” befool him to the top of their bent. They play him three tricks: (1) In his love-making he is interrupted by the approach of Ford, so they cram him into a buck-basket, cover him with foul linen, and toss him into the Thames. (2) Being invited again to visit Mrs. Ford, he is again interrupted by the approach of Mr. Ford, and he is disguised as Old Mother Prat. Ford hates Old Mother Prat, and, meeting sir John thus disguised, beats him black and blue. (3) He is next invited to meet the “merry wives” in Windsor Park, disguised as Herne the Hunter, with a buck’s head. Here pretended fairies burn him with “trial-fire,” and pinch him without mercy. Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Page, and Mr. Ford make him their laughing-stock, and the moral is that women may make themselves merry and have their jokes, and yet remain virtuous and true.

Merrylegs, a highly trained performing dog, belonging to signor Jupe, clown in Sleary’s circus. This dog leaves the circus when his master disappears, but several years afterwards finds his way back and dies.—Dickens: Hard Times (1854).

Merse , Berwick, the mere or frontier of England and Scotland.

Merthyr Tydvil (Welsh). The English version of the name is Martyr St. Tidfil, a Welsh martyr-princess.

Merton (Tommy), one of the chief characters in Sandford and Merton, a tale for boys, by Thomas Day (1783–9).

Merton (Tristram). Thomas Babington lord Macaulay so signs the ballads and sketches which he inserted in Knight’s Quarterly Magazine.

Mertoun (Basil), alias Vaughan, formerly a pirate.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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