left her for dead, and made their escape. When Melibeus returned home he resolved upon vengeance, but his wife persuaded him to forgiveness, and Melibeus, taking his wife's counsel, called together his enemies, and told them he forgave them “to this effect and to this ende, that God of His endeles mercy wole at the tyme of oure deyinge forgive us oure giltes that we have trespased to Him in this wreeched world.” (Chaucer: Canterbury Tales.)
   N.B. This prose tale of Melibeus is a literal translation of a French story, of which there are two copies in the British Museum. (MS. Reg. 19. c. vii.; and MS. Reg. 19, c. xi.)

Meliboean Dye A rich purple. Meliboea, in Thessaly, was famous for the ostrum, a fish used in dyeing purple.

“A military vest of purple flowed,
Lovelier than Meliboean.”
Milton: Paradise Lost, xi. 242.
Melicertes (4 syl.). Son of Ino, a sea deity. Athamas imagined his wife to be a lioness, and her two sons to be lion's cubs. In his frenzy he slew one of the boys, and drove the other (named Melicertes) with his mother into the sea. The mother became a sea-goddess, and the boy the god of harbours.

Melior A lovely fairy, who carried off Parthenopex of Blois to her secret island in her magic bark. (French romance called Parthenopex de Blois, 12th cent.)

Melisendra Charlemagne's daughter, married to his nephew Don Gwyferos. She was taken captive by the Moors, and confined seven years in a dungeon, when Gwyferos rescued her. (Don Quixote.)

Melissa (in Orlando Furioso). The prophetess who lived in Merlin's cave. Bradamant gave her the enchanted ring to take to Rogero; so, assuming the form of Atlantes, she went to Alcina's island, and not only delivered Rogero, but disenchanted all the forms metamorphosed in the island. In book xix. she assumes the form of Rodomont, and persuades Agramant to break the league which was to settle the contest by single combat. A general battle ensues.

Mell Supper Harvest supper; so called from the French meler (to mix together), because the master and servants sat promiscuously at the harvest board.

Mellifluous Doctor (The). St. Bernard, whose writings were called a “river of Paradise.” (1091-1153.)

Melon The Mahometans say that the eating of a melon produces a thousand good works. So named from Melos.
   Etre un melon. To be stupid or dull of comprehension. The melon-pumpkin or squash is soft and without heart, hence “être un melon” is to be as soft as a squash. So also “avoir un cœur; de melon (or de citrouille)” means to have no heart at all. Tertullian says of Marcion, the heresiarch, “he has a pumpkin [peponem ] in the place of a heart [cordis loco ].” It will be remembered that Thersites, the railer, calls the Greeks “pumpkins” (pepones).

Melons (French). Children sent to school for the first time; so called because they come from a “hot- bed,” and are as delicate as exotics. At St. Cyr, the new-comers are called in schoolslang “Les melons,” and the old stagers “Les anciens.”

Melons There are certain stones on Mount Carmel called Stone Melons. The tradition is that Elijah saw a peasant carrying melons, and asked him for one. The man said they were not melons but stones, and Elijah instantly converted them into stones.
   A like story is told of St. Elizabeth of Thuringia. She gave so bountifully to the poor as to cripple her own household. One day her husband met her with her lapful of something, and demanded of her what she was carrying. “Only flowers, my lord,” said Elizabeth, and to save the lie God converted the loaves into flowers. (The Schonberg-Cotta Family, p. 19.)

Melpomene (4 syl.). The muse of tragedy. The best painting of this muse is by Le Brun, at Versailles.

Melrose Abbey (Register of) from 735 to 1270, published in Fulman (1684).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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