Middlemarch to Milesian Fables

Middlemarch, “a study of provincial life,” by George Eliot (Mrs. J. W. Cross) (1872). The heroine is Dorothea Brooke, first married to Cassaubon and afterwards to Will Ladislaw the artist. It is an excellent novel.

Middlemas (Mr. Matthew), a name assumed by general Witherington.

Mrs. Middlemas, wife of the general (born Zelia de Monçada).

Richard Middlemas, alias Richard Tresham, a foundling, apprenticed to Dr. Gray. He discovers that he is the son of general Witherington, and goes to India, where he assumes the character of Sadoc, a black slave in the service of Mme. Montreville. He delivers Menie Gray by treachery to Tippoo Saib, and Hyder Ali gives him up to be crushed to death by an elephant.—Sir W. Scott: The Surgeon’s Daughter (time, George II.).

Middlewick (Mr. Perkyn), a retired butterman, the neighbour of sir Geoffry Champneys, and the father of Charles. The butterman is innately vulgar, drops his h’s and inserts them out of place, makes the greatest geographical and historical blunders, has a tyrannical temper, but a tender heart. He turns his son adrift for wishing to marry Violet Melrose an heiress, who snubbed the plebeian father. When Charles is reduced to great distress, the old butterman goes to his squalid lodgings, and relents. So all ends happily.

Charles Middlewick, son of the retired butterman, well educated and a gentleman. His father wanted him to marry Mary Melrose, a girl without a penny, but he preferred her cousin Violet an heiress.—H. J. Byron: Our Boys (a comedy, 1875).

Midge, the miller’s son, one of the companions of Robin Hood. (See Much.)

Then stepped forth brave Little John
And Midge the miller’s son.
   —Robin Hood and Allin-a-Dale.

Midian Mara, the Celtic mermaid.

They whispered to each other that they could hear the song of Midian Mara.—The Dark Colleen, i. 2.

Midlothian (The Heart of), a tale of the Porteous riot, in which the incidents of Effie and Jeanie Deans are of absorbing interest. Effie was seduced by Geordie Robertson (alias George Staunton), while in the service of Mrs. Saddletree. She was supposed to have murdered her child, but, although she pleaded not guilty, she was not believed, and was condemned to death. The child was really stolen by gipsies, and grew up an untamed, wild boy of the woods. Her half-sister Jeanie went to London, pleaded her cause before the queen, and obtained her pardon. Jeanie, on her return to Scotland, married Reuben Butler; and Geordie Robertson (then sir George Staunton) married Effie. Sir George was shot by a gipsy boy, Effie’s child really, although she never found this out, the secret being only known to Jeanie, who set the boy free to resume his savage life. Effie (i.e. lady Staunton) retired to a convent on the Continent.—Sir W. Scott: Heart of Midlothian (time, George II.).

Midsummer Moon. Dogs suffer from hydrophobia during the heat of midsummer; hence the term “Midsummer moon” means madness. It will be found amongst Ray’s proverbs, and Olivia (in Twelfth Night) says to Malvolio, “Why, this is very midsummer madness!”

What’s this midsummer moon? Is all the world gone a-madding?—Dryden: Amphitryon, iv. 1 (1690).

Midsummer Night’s Dream (A). Shakespeare s ays there was a law in Athens , that if a daughter refused to

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