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Minneapolis (203), which has great lumber and flour mills; Duluth (33)
has a magnificent harbour and good shipping trade.

MINORCA (34), the second of the Balearic Isles, hilly, with
stalactite caves and rocky coast; is less fertile than Majorca, from
which it is 25 m. distant NE.; it produces oil, wine, and fruits, and
makes boots and shoes, but under Spanish misrule is not prosperous; the
capital Mahon (17), in the SE., is strongly fortified, and has a good

MINOS, an ancient king of Crete, celebrated for his administration
of justice; was fabled to have been appointed, along with Æacus and
Rhadamanthus, one of the judges of the dead on their descent into the
nether world.

MINOTAUR, in the Greek mythology a monster, half-man half-bull with
a bull's head, confined in the Labyrinth of Crete, fed by the annual
tribute of seven youths and seven maidens of Athenian birth, till he was
slain by Theseus with the help of ARIADNE (q. v.).

MINSTRELS, a body of men who during the Middle Ages wandered from
place to place, especially from court to court, singing their own
compositions to the harp for accompaniment.

MINTO, EARL OF, Governor-General of India; was bred to the bar,
served in Parliament and as ambassador, went out to India in 1806,
consolidated the British power, captured Java, and opened diplomatic
relations with powers around (17501814).

born at the mansion-house of Bignon; was a man of massive intellect and
strong physical frame, who came to the front in the French Revolution;
being expelled from his order by the noblesse of Provence, he ingratiated
himself with the Third Estate, and was elected commons-deputy of Aix to
the States-General in 1789, where he became, as the incarnation of the
whole movement, the ruling spirit of the hour, and gave proof, if he had
lived, of being able to change the whole course of the Revolution, for he
was already in communication with the court and in hopes of gaining it
over to accept the inevitable, when he sickened and died, to the
consternation of the entire people, whose affection and confidence he had
won (1749-1791). See CARLYLE'S "FRENCH REVOLUTION" and his Essay

MIRABEAU, VICTOR RIQUETTI, MARQUIS DE, "crabbed old friend of men,"
born at Pertuis, in Provence, claimed to be of Florentine descent; "could
never make the world go to his mind," and set about reforming it by
coercing a family as self-willed as himself, to the driving of his
celebrated son to desperate courses and reckless excesses; advocated the
doctrines of the French economists in a series of writings instinct with
a certain theoretical philanthropy (1716-1783).

MIRACLE PLAYS were strictly speaking dramas founded on legends of
the saints, as distinct from mysteries founded on scriptural subjects,
but the name came to cover all those religious representations for the
instruction of the people fostered by the Church of the Middle Ages,
performed first in churches, afterwards in public places; they were
common in England from the 12th century, but latterly became corrupt
through the introduction of grotesque indecorous comicalities; the rise
of the drama led to their abandonment; on the Continent ecclesiastical
action was taken against them, not by the Reformers, but by the Church
itself in the 18th century, and everywhere they have all but disappeared;
the Passion Play acted every 10 years at Oberammergau, Bavaria, is the
only important survival.

MIRANDA, the beautiful daughter of the magician Prospero in
Shakespeare's "Tempest."

MIRANDA, FRANCESCO DE, a Portuguese poet; wrote sonnets and epistles
in verse; was predecessor of Camoëns (1495-1558).

MISERERE, a carved bracket on the under side of the stall seats in
mediæval churches, which, when the seat was turned up during the standing
portion of the service, afforded support to the older clergy. Miserere,
the Catholic name for the 51st Psalm.

MISHNA, the oral law of the Jews, which is divided into six parts,
and constitutes the text of the Talmud, of which the Gemara is the

MISPRISION, a high offence under, but close upon, the degree of a
capital one; misprision of treason being a concealment of a felony
without consenting to it.

MISSAL, a book containing the service of the mass for the entire
year, such as is now in almost universal use throughout the Catholic

MISSISSIPPI (1,290), an American State on the E. bank of the Lower
Mississippi, abutting on the Gulf of Mexico, between Louisiana and
Alabama; has a hilly surface, traversed by numerous rivers, the Yazoo, a
tributary of the Mississippi, forming a great fertile delta; the climate
is free from extremes; the chief industry is agriculture; the best crops
are grown in the N., and on the alluvial bottom lands; in the centre and
NE. are good grazing farms; cotton, corn, oats, and fruits are the chief
crops; virgin forests of hardwood cover much of the delta; valuable
deposits of pipe and ochre clays and of lignite are found; cotton is
manufactured, and there is trade in lumber; more than half the population
is coloured, and the races are kept distinct in the State schools; the
State university is at Oxford, and there are many other colleges; Jackson
(6), the capital, is the chief railway centre, Meridian (10) has iron
manufactures, Vicksburg (13) and Natchez (10) are the chief riverports;
Mississippi was colonised by the French in 1699, ceded to Britain 1763,
admitted to the Union 1817, joined the South in 1861, but was readmitted
to the Union in 1869.

MISSISSIPPI RIVER rises in Lake Itaska, Minnesota, and flowing S.
for 2800 m., enters the Gulf of Mexico by a large delta; its earlier
course is through picturesque country, often in gorges, with rapids such
as the St. Anthony Falls, the Des Moines and Rock Island Rapids. After
receiving the Missouri, 3000 m. long, from the Rocky Mountains, it flows
2½ m. per hour through great alluvial plains, which are protected from
its overflows by hundreds of miles of earth embankments, and is joined by
the Ohio from the E., the Red and Arkansas Rivers from the W., and many
other navigable streams. The Mississippi is navigable by large steamers
for 2000 m.; St. Louis, Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, and New Orleans are
among the chief ports on its banks.

MISSISSIPPI SCHEME was started in France 1717 by John Law and the
Government, ostensibly to develop the Mississippi basin, but really to
ease the pressure on the exchequer; a company was formed and empowered to
monopolise almost all the foreign trade; 624,000 shares were issued;
depreciated paper currency was accepted in payment, and the national bank
issued notes without stint; in 1719 the demand for shares was enormous;
the nation was completely carried away; next year the crash came; the
Government made every effort to save the position, but in vain; the
distress was extreme, and Law had to leave the country.

MISSOLONGHI (6), Greek seaport and fishing town, on the Gulf of
Patras, chiefly noted for heroic defences in the War of Independence
1821-1826, and as the place of Byron's death 1824.

MISSOURI (2,679), an American State on the right bank of the
Mississippi, between Iowa and Arkansas, is half the size of the British
Isles, and is traversed by the Missouri River; N. of that river the
country is level, S. of it there rise the Ozark tablelands; the soil is
very fertile, and the State principally agricultural; immense crops of
maize, oats, potatoes, cotton, and tobacco are raised; there are large
cattle ranches, and dressed beef and pork are largely exported; the
climate is subject to extremes; coal, iron, lead, zinc, and other
minerals abound, while marble, granite, and limestone are quarried; the
rivers afford excellent transport facilities; the educational system is
very complete; admitted to the Union in 1821, Missouri was divided in the
Civil War, and suffered terribly, but since then has been very
prosperous; the capital, St. Louis (452), is one of the greatest
commercial and manufacturing towns in the Union, does a vast trade in
grain and cotton, and has hardware, leather goods, and tobacco factories;
Kansas City (133), has great pork-packing establishments and railroad

MISTRAL, FREDERICK, poet of Southern France, born near Maillaune,
was a peasant's son, and himself a peasant; his fame rose on the
publication of the epic, "Mirèio," in Provençal dialect, 1859; in 1867 he
published "Calendou," and in 1876 a volume of songs, and in 1884 "Nerto,"
a novel; _b_. 1830.

MITFORD, MARY RUSSELL, authoress, born at Alresford, Hants, lived
with her father, an extravagant physician, at Lyme Regis and London; she
published poems in 1810-11-12, but, forced to earn a living, took to
dramatic work; "Julian," "The Foscari," and "Rienzi" were successful if
ephemeral tragedies; her best work was "Our Village," sketches of homely
English life written with much care, and after appearing in the _London
Magazine_, published in 5 vols., 1824-32 (1786-1855).

MITFORD, WILLIAM, English author; wrote a "History of Greece" and on
the "English Metre, or the Harmony of Language" (1744-1827).

MITHRAS (i. e. the Friend), the highest of the second order of
deities in the ancient Persian religion, the friend of man in this life
and his protector against evil in the world to come, sided with Ormuzd
against Ahriman, incarnated in the sun, and represented as a youth
kneeling on a bull and plunging a dagger into his neck, while he is at
the same time attacked by a dog, a serpent, and a scorpion.

MITHRIDATES THE GREAT, surnamed Eupator, king of Pontus from 123 to
63 B.C.; an implacable enemy of the Romans, between whom and him there
raged from 90 to 63 a succession of wars, till he was defeated by Pompey
near the Euphrates, when, being superseded by his son, he put an end to
his life; he was a great man and conqueror, subdued many surrounding
nations, and was a collector of works of art; he made a special study of
poisons, and familiarised himself with all their antidotes, in view of
possible attempts by means of them to take away his life.

MITRAILLEUSE, a gun consisting of several, as many as 25, barrels,
from which a number of shots may be fired simultaneously or in rapid
succession, used by the French in the Franco-German War.

MIVART, ST. GEORGE, naturalist, a Roman Catholic professor at
Louvain, distinguished for his opposition to Darwinianism; _b_. 1827.

MNEMOSYNË in the Greek mythology the daughter of Uranos, the goddess
of memory, and the mother of the Muses by Zeus.

MOA, the name of several species of New Zealand and Australian
birds, from 2 to 14 ft. high, and quite wingless; almost extinct since
the 17th century; two living specimens were captured in 1876.

MOAB, a pastoral region extending along the E. of lower parts of the
Jordan and the Dead Sea, and inhabited by the descendants of Lot, now
extinct, or merged among the Arabs.

MOABITE STONE, a stone 4 ft. high and 2 ft. broad found by Dr. Klein
in 1868 among the ruins of Dhiban, a town in Moab, now in the Louvre at
Paris, describing a victory of the Moabites over the Israelites; it was
broken by the Arabs, but the fragments have been collected and put into
their proper places.

MOBILE (31), a city and port of Alabama, U.S., 30 m. N. of the Gulf
of Mexico; a thriving place; exports cotton, lumber, &c.

MOBILIER CRÉDIT, a banking and financial company founded in Paris in
1852; lends money on security of property other than real, and takes
shares in public schemes, such as railways.

MODENA (31), Italian town, 62 m. N. of Florence; has a cathedral,
with noted campanile, university, library, and art collections, and
manufactures silk and leather; capital of a duchy (303); incorporated in
the kingdom of Italy 1860.

MODERN ATHENS, Edinburgh, from its resemblance to Athens and its
repute for literary culture; applied also to Boston, in America.

MODERN BABYLON, London, from its huge extent and the miscellaneous
character of its inhabitants.

MODJESKA, HELENA, actress, born in Cracow; went on the stage after
her first marriage in 1861, and from 1868 to 1876 was the favourite of
Warsaw; retired to California on her second marriage, but returned to the
stage, having learned English in seven months in California 1877, and
till her final retirement in 1895, was eminently successful in America
and Britain in such parts as Rosalind, Beatrice, &c.

MODRED, SIR, a treacherous knight, the rebellious nephew of King
Arthur, whose wife he seduced; was slain in battle, and buried in Avalon.

MOFFAT, ROBERT, African missionary, born at Ormiston,
Haddingtonshire; the scene of his nearly lifelong labours was among the
Bechuanas in South Africa, whom he raised from a savage to a civilised
state; he was sent out in 1816 by the London Missionary Society. He
married (1819) Mary Smith, a daughter of his former employer at

MOHAMMED, great prophet of the Arabs, and founder of Islamism, born
at Mecca, the son of Abdallah, of the tribe of the Koreish; left an
orphan, brought up by his uncle Abu Taleb; became steward to a rich
WIDOW KADIJAH (q. v.) whom he married; was given to serious
meditation, would retire into solitude and pray, and one day, by the
favour of Heaven, got answer which left him "in doubt and darkness no
longer, but saw it all," saw into the vanity of all that was not God,
that He alone was great, inconceivably great; that it was with Him alone
we had to do, we must all submit to Him; this revelation made to him he
imparted to Kadijah, and after a time she assented, and his heart leaped
for joy; he spoke or his doctrine to this man and that, but made slow
progress in persuading others to believe it; made only 13 converts in 3
years; his preaching gave offence to the chief people, and his relatives
tried hard to persuade him to hold his peace, but he would not; after 13
years a conspiracy was formed to take his life, and he fled, through
peril after peril, to Medina, in his fifty-third year, and in 622 of our
era; his enemies had taken up the sword against him, and he now replied
with the same weapon, and in 10 years he prevailed; it was a war against
idolatry in all its forms, and idolatry was driven to the wall, the motto
on his banner "God is Great," a motto with a depth of meaning greater
than the Mohammedan world, and perhaps the Christian, has yet realised;
it is for one thing a protest on the part of Mohammed, in which the
Hebrew prophets forestalled him, against all attempts to understand the
Deity and fathom "His ways, which are ever in the deep, and whose
footsteps are not known" (571-631).

MOHAMMEDANISM, the religion of MOHAMMED, or ISLAM, (q. v.),
is essentially much the same as the religion of the Jews with some
elements borrowed from the Christian religion, and is defined by Carlyle
as a bastard Christianity; originating in Arabia it spread rapidly over
the W. of Asia, the N. of Africa, and threatened at one time to overrun
Europe itself; it is the religion to-day of two hundred millions of the
human race, and the profession of it extends over a wide area in western
and southern Asia as also in northern Africa, though its limits in Europe
do not extend beyond the bounds of Turkey.

MOHAWK, a tribe of American Indians, gave name to a band or club of
ruffians who infested the streets of London in 1711-12.

MOHIC`ANS, an American Indian tribe, took sides with the English
settlers against the French and with the former against England.

MOHL, JULIUS, Orientalist, born in Stuttgart; edited the "Shah
Nameh" of Firdushi, a monumental work (1800-1876).

MÖHLER, JOHANN ADAM, a Roman Catholic theologian, born at
Würtemberg, author of "Symbolik," a work which discusses the differences
between the doctrines of Catholics and Protestants, as evidenced in their
respective symbolical books, a work which created no small stir in the
theological world (1796-1838).

MOIR, DAVID MACBETH, the "Delta" of _Blackwood_, born in
Musselburgh, where he practised as a physician; was author of "Mansie
Waugh" (1798-1851).

entered the army 1771, and served against the Americans in the War of
Independence; created Baron Rawdon in 1783; succeeded to his father's
title 1793; entered political life under Fox, and was Governor-General of
India 1813-23, in which period fell the Goorkha War, for the successful
negotiations subsequent on which he was created Marquis of Hastings; his
administration encouraged native education and freedom of the press; from
1824 he was Governor of Malta till his death at Naples (1754-1826).

MOKANNA, AL, "the veiled one," a name given to Hakim ben Allah, who
wore a veil to hide the loss of an eye; he professed to be an incarnation
of the Deity and to work miracles; found followers; founded a sect at
Khorassan; seized some fortresses, but was overthrown at Kash A.D. 780,
whereupon he took poison.

MOLDAU, largest river in Bohemia, rises on the N. of the Böhmerwald
Mountains, flows SE. along their base, then turns northward through
Bohemia, passes Budweis, becomes navigable, is 100 yards broad at Prague,
and joins the Elbe at Melnik after flowing 278 m.

MOLDAVIA, once independent, now the northern division of Roumania,
lies between the Carpathians and the Pruth River, and is well watered by
the Sereth; its chief town is Jassy, in the NE.

MOLÉ, LOUIS MATTHIEU, COMTE, French statesman, born in Paris;
published in 1805 an essay on politics which, defending Napoleon, won for
its author a series of minor offices, and in 1813 a peerage and a seat in
the Cabinet; retaining power under Louis XVIII. and Louis Philippe, he
was Minister of Marine 1817, Foreign Minister 1830, and Premier 1837, but
retired from politics two years later (1781-1855).

MOLECULE, the smallest particle of which an element or a compound
body is composed, and that retains all the properties in a free state.

MOLESWORTH, SIR WILLIAM, British statesman, born in London; was an
advanced Liberal; editor and proprietor of the _Westminster Review_;
edited the works of Hobbes (1810-1855).

MOLIÈRE, JEAN BAPTISTE POQUELIN, great French comic dramatist, born
in Paris; studied law and passed for the bar, but evinced from the first
a proclivity for the theatre, and soon associated with actors, and found
his vocation as a writer of plays, which procured him the friendship of
Lafontaine, Boileau, and other distinguished men, though he incurred the
animosity of many classes of society by the ridicule which he heaped on
their weaknesses and their pretensions, the more that in his satires his
characters are rather abstract types of men than concrete
individualities; his principal pieces are, "Les Précieuses Ridicules,"
"L'École des Femmes," "Le Tartuffe," "Le Misanthrope," "George Dandin,"
"L'Avare," "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme," "Les Fourberies de Scapin," "Le
Malade malgré Lui," "Les Femmes Savantes," and "Le Malade Imaginaire";
though seriously ill, he took part in the performance of this last, but
the effort was too much for him, and he died that night; from the grudge
which the priests bore him for his satires on them he was buried without
a religious service (1622-1673).

MOLINA, LUIS, a Spanish Jesuit and theologian, author of a theory
called Molinism, which resolves the doctrine of predestination into a
mere foreknowledge of those who would accept and those who would reject
the grace of God in salvation.

MOLINOS, MIGUEL DE, a Spanish theologian, born at Saragossa;
published a book called the "Spiritual Guide," which, as containing the
germ of Quietism, was condemned by the Inquisition, and its author
sentenced to imprisonment for life (1627-1696).

MOLLAH, a judge of the highest rank among the Turks on matters of
law, both civil and sacred.

MOLLWITZ, a village in Silesia, 20 m. SE. of Breslau, where
Frederick the Great defeated the Austrians 1741.

MOLOCH or MOLECH, the chief god of the Ammonites, the worship
of whom, which prevailed among all the Canaanites, was accompanied with
cruelties, human sacrifices among others, revolting to the humane spirit
of the Jewish religion; originally it appears to have been the worship of
fire, through which the innocent as well as the guilty have often to pass
for the achievement of the noblest enterprises, which degenerated at
length into selfish sacrifices of others for interests of one's own, into
the substitution of the innocent for the guilty by way of atonement to
the Deity!

MOLTKE, COUNT VON, surnamed the Silent, great German field marshal,
born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, of an old family; was pre-eminent as a
military strategist, planned and conducted the Prussian campaign against
Austria in 1866, and the German campaign against France in 1870-72; was
in the service of Denmark before he entered the Prussian (1800-1891).

MOLUCCAS or SPICE ISLANDS (400), an archipelago of mountainous
islands, mostly volcanic, between Celebes and New Guinea, is in two main
groups; in the N. the largest island is Jilolo, but the most important
Tidor and Ternate, which export spices, tortoise-shell, and bees-wax; in
the S. Buru and Ceram are largest, most important, Amboyna, from which
come cloves; the people are civilised Malays; the islands are equatorial,
but tempered by sea-breezes, and healthy; discovered by the Portuguese in
1521, they have been in Dutch possession since 1607, except when held by
Britain 1810-1814.

MOMBASA (Africans and Arabs 20), capital of British East Africa, on
a rocky islet, close inshore, 50 m. N. of Pemba; was ceded with a tract
of country six times the size of the British Isles, and rich in gold,
copper, plumbago, and india-rubber, to the British East African Company
by the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1888, since when it has been rebuilt, and
the harbour, one of the best and healthiest on the coast, made a naval
coaling-station and head-quarters.

MOMMSEN, THEODOR, historian, born in Schleswig, a man of immense
historical knowledge; his greatest work the "History of Rome"; was
professor of Ancient History at Berlin; his _forte_ was his learning more
than his critical capacity; _b_. 1817.

MOMUS, the god of raillery, the son of Night, a kind of ancient

MONACHISM, or MONASTICISM, is an institution in which
individuals devote themselves, apart from others, to the cultivation of
spiritual contemplation and religious duties, and which has constituted a
marked feature in Pre-Christian Jewish asceticism, and in Buddhism as
well as in Christianity; in the Church it developed from the practice of
living in solitude in the 2nd century, and received its distinctive note
when the vow of obedience to a superior was added to the hermit's
personal vows of poverty and chastity; the movement of St. Benedict in
the 6th century stamped its permanent form on Western Monasticism, and
that of St. Francis in the 12th gave it a more comprehensive range,
entrusting the care of the poor, the sick, the ignorant, &c., to the
hitherto self-centred monks and nuns; during the Middle Ages the
monasteries were centres of learning, and their work in copying and
preserving both sacred and secular literature has been invaluable;
English Monachism was swept away at the Reformation; in France at the
Revolution; and later in Spain, Portugal, and Italy it has been
suppressed; brotherhoods and sisterhoods have sprung up in the Protestant
churches of Germany and England, but in all of them the vows taken are

MONACO (13), a small principality 9 m. E. of Nice, on the
Mediterranean shore, surrounded by French territory and under French
protection; has a mild salubrious climate, and is a favourite winter
resort. The capital, MONACO, is built on a picturesque promontory,
and 1 m. NE. stands Monte Carlo.

MONAD, the name given by Leibnitz to one of the active simple
elementary substances, the plurality of which in their combinations or
combined activities constitutes in his regard the universe both spiritual
and physical; it denotes in biology an elementary organism.

MONAGHAN (82), an inland Ulster county, Ireland, surrounded by
Louth, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Cavan, and Meath; is undulating, with
many small lakes and streams; grows flax and manufactures linen, and has
limestone and slate quarries. The chief towns are CLONES (2), and
the county-town MONAGHAN (3), which has a produce market.

Online LibraryUnknownThe Nuttall Encyclopaedia Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge → online text (page 123 of 197)