Mugwump Press to Mundilfori

Mugwump Press (The). Those newspapers which are not organs of any special political party, but being “neither hot nor cold,” are disliked by all party men.”

“The Mugwump Press, whose function it is to enlighten the feeble minded ...”- The New York Tribune, 1892.
Mulatto (Spanish). A mule, a mongrel; applied to the male offspring of a negress by a white man. A female offspring is called a “Mulatta.” (See Creole .)

Mulberry The fruit was originally white and became blood-red from the blood of Pyramus and Thisbe. The tale is, that Thisbe was to meet her lover at the white mulberry-tree near the tomb of Ninus, in a suburb of Babylon. Being scared by a lion, Thisbe fled, and, dropping her veil, it was besmeared with blood. Pyramus, thinking his lady-love had been devoured by a lion, slew himself, and Thisbe, coming up soon afterwards, stabbed herself also. The blood of the lovers stained the white fruit of the mulberry- tree into its present colour.
   The botanical name is Morus, from the Greek moros (a fool); so called, we are told in the Hortus Anglicus, because “it is reputed the wisest of all flowers, as it never buds till the cold weather is past and gone.”
   In the Seven Champions (pt. i. chap. iv.) we are told that Eglantine, daughter of the King of Thessaly, was transformed into a mulberry-tree.

Mulciber - i.e. Vulcan. It is said that he took the part of Juno against Jupiter, and Jupiter hurled him out of heaven. He was three days in falling, and at last was picked up, half-dead and with one leg broken, by the fishermen of the island of Lemnos. (See Milton: Paradise Lost, book i., 740, etc.)

Mule Mahomet's favourite white mule was Daldah. (See Fadda .)
   To shoe one's mule. To appropriate part of the money committed to one's trust. This is a French locution-

Ferrer la mule- i.e. l'action d'un domestique qui trompe son maitre sur le prix réel des choses qu'il a achetées en son nom. Elle doit son origine an pretexte, facile a employer, de la depense faite pour ferrer la mule. ”- Encyclopedie des Proverbes Français.

“He had the keeping and disposall of the moneys, and yet shod not his own mule.”- History of Francion (1655).
Mull To make a mull of a job is to fail to do it properly. The failure of a peg-top to spin is called a mull, hence also any blunder or failure. (Scotch, mull, dust, or a contraction of muddle.) The people of Madras are called “Mulls,” because they are in a less advanced state of civilisation than the other two presidencies, in consequence of which they are held by them in low estimation. (Anglo-Saxon, myl, dust.)

Mulla Awbeg, a tributary of the Blackwater, in Ireland, which flowed close by Spenser's home. Spensor is called by Shenstone “the bard of Mulla's silver stream.”

Mulmutine Laws The code of Dunvallo Mulmutius, sixteenth King of the Britons (about B.C. 400). This code was translated by Gildas from British into Latin, and by Alfred into Anglo-Saxon. These laws obtained in England till the Conquest. (Holinshed: History of England, iii. 1.).

“Mulmutius made our laws,
Who was the first of Britain which did put
His brows within a golden crown, and called
Himself a king.”
Shakespeare: Cymbeline, iii. 1.
Mulmutius was the son of Cloten, King of Cornwall. (See Geoffrey of Monmouth, British History, ii. 17.)
Mulready Envelope (The, 1840), is an envelope resembling a half-sheet of letter-paper, when folded. The space left for the address formed the centre of an ornamental design by Mulready, the artist. When the penny postage envelopes were first introduced, these were the stamped envelopes of the day, which, however, remained in circulation only one year, and were more fit for a comic annual than anything else.

“A set of those odd-looking envelope-things,'
Where Britannia (who seems to be crucifiedt flings
To her right and her left, funny people with wings
Amongst elephants, Quakers, and Catabaw kings,-
And a taper and wax, and small Queen's-heads in packs,
Which, when notes are too big you must stick on their backs.”
Ingoldsby: Legends.
Multipliers Alchemists, who pretended to multiply gold and silver. An act was passed (2 Henry IV., c. iv.) making the “art of multiplication” felony. In the Canterbury Tales, the Chanoun Yeman says he was

  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.