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tleman of the bed-chamber, and was employed by her confidentially in various important affairs till her imprisonment in Lochlevencastle. He was sent more than once to the court of Elizabeth, and he maintained correspondences in England in favour of Mary's succession to the crown of that kingdom. Upon the manifestation of her unhappy partiality for Bothwell after her husband's murder, he with true fidelity put into her hands a letter from England expressing the unfavourable sentiments there entertained of her conduct, and supported it with his own strong remonstrances. She not only disregarded these admonitions, but communicated them to Bothwell, in consequence of which Melvil was obliged to absent himself from court till the favourite's rage was mollified. When Mary was detained a prisoner in England, she recommended her faithful servant to her son James VI., who made use of his counsel and services till he acceded to the throne of England. He was always the adviser of prudent and moderate measures, and retained the esteem of his fickle master, who was desirous of taking him to England as one of his ministers. But Melvil, now advanced in years, and void of ambition, preferred a retreat to his family seat of Hallhill, where he died about the year 1606. He left in manuscript an historical work, which, after lying long unknown in the castle of Edinburgh, came into the possession of his grandson, and was published in 1683 in folio, by Geo. Scot, gent, under the title of “Memoirs of Sir James Melvil of Hall-hill, containing an impartial Account of the most remarkable Affairs of State during the last Age not mentioned by other Historians, more particularly relating to the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, under the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth, Mary Queen of Scots, and King James. In all which Transactions the Author was personally and publickly concerned.” These are written with simplicity, and in the principles of a man of honour and virtue. They contain many important facts not met with elsewere, and are considered as of good authority. A brother of sir James was also in the service of Mary; probably the sir Andrew Melvil who was present at her death. A felvil’s Memoirs. Nicholson's Hist. Libr. Robertson's Hist. of Scotl.—A. MEMNON, a native of Rhodes, was a general in the service of the last Persian king, Darius, and served him with great ability and fidelity against Alexander the Great. When
, before the place.
that conqueror had landed in Asia and was advancing up the country, it was the advice of Memnon, who well knew the superiority of the Grecian troops, not to hazard a battle, but to lay waste the country before the invader. The rejection of his counsel was followed by the battle of the Granicus B. C. 334, in which Memnon at the head ofthe Greek mercenaries displayed great valour. After the defeat he threw himself into Miletus, which he defended with great resolution, and when at length compelled to surrender, obtained the most honourable conditions. Darius manifested his confidence in him by creating him his high admiral and governor of the lower Asia. In this quality he took the command of the important city of Halicarnassus when it was besieged by Alexander, and employed every effort of skill and courage to save it. The siege was protracted to a great length, and many of the Macedonians lost their lives Memnon exhibited as much generosity as valour on the occasion; for when others of the fugitive Greek commanders, though hatred of Alexander, opposed the demand from the Macedonians of permission to bury their dead, he would not listen to their remonstrances, alleging that it was unworthy of a Greek to refuse burial to an enemy. And hearing one of his soldiers lavishing abuse upon Alexander, he struck him with his javelin, with the memorable reproof, “I hired you to fight Alexander, not to revile him " Being at length no longer able to hold the town, he threw a strong garrison into the citadel, and with his troops,and the inhabitants with their effects, embarked for the isle of Cos. He then gave Darius the spirited advice, and which alone could have saved him, of making a powerful diversion by carrying the war into Macedonia. Darius,
persuaded by his arguments, gave him full
powers to levy troops for the purpose; and he exerted himself with so much vigour, that he reduced several of the Cyclades, and the
islands of Chios and Lesbos, except Mitylene
the capital of the latter. Whilst he was besieging that city, with the intention of passing over thence into Eubaea and the continent, he was carried off by disease, and thus Alexander was freed from the only foe of whom he stood in awe. Memnon had married Barsine, a Persian lady of high rank, who, with her children, remained at the court of Darius. She fell under the power of the conqueror, who took her to his bed, and had a son by her. Arria”. justin. Plutarch. Univ. Hist.—A.
MEMiNON, a Greck historian, seems to have flourished in the time of Augustus. He wrote a history of the affairs of Heraclea in Pontus, sixteen books of which were epitomised by Photius. They came down to the death of a Heraclean embassador to Julius Caesar, then emperor. Photius speaks of eight more books which he had not seen. Memnon bears the character of a sensible writer, in a plain and perspicuous style. A Latin translation of his history was published by R. Brett, at Oxford, in 1597. Woffii Hist. Grace. Bib(i.gr. Dict.—A. MENA, JUAN DE. Of all the early Castilian poets Juan de Mena has obtained the greatest celebrity. He was born at Cordova about the year 14 1: his parents, who were of respectable rank, both died when he was young, and left him, with an only sister, to the care of their kinsmen. It was not till the age of three-andtwenty that he discovered any propensity towards literature; but then he betook himself passionately to his studies, which he successively pursued at Cordova and Salamanca, and lastly at Rome. On his return he married ; his poetical talents attracted notice, and he was patronised by the marquis de Santillana, by the constable D. Alvaro de Luna, and by Juan II. This king, though in other respects thoroughly despicable, loved learning and encouraged it; he made Juan de Mena his chronicler, communicated to him materials for the history of his reign, and took delight in seeing the progress of his works. The king, as his own physician informed the chronicler, was covetous of praise: how far this intimation might have affected the colouring of his history we do not know, as it was left unfinished, and passing through other hands received some additions and interpolations from a writer of another faction, as hostile to D. Alvaro de Luna as he had been favourable, but with less reason. The chronicle passed under the name of Fernan Perez de Guzman, and Juan de Mena is generally known only as a poet. The longest and most celebrated of his poems is entitled El Labyrintho, but commonly called Las Trezientas, because it consists of three hundred stanzas. The plan is briefly as follows: the poet proposes to sing of the mutability of fortune; while he is addressing her in a strain of remonstrance, Bellona snatches him up into a car, drawn by dragons, and sets him down in the midst of a great plain, where he sees a place surrounded with a wite and transparent wall. His eyes are not strong earliest is the small one of Zaragoza, 1515. This is less complete than the folio of Seville 1528, and than the small octavo of Antwerp 1552, which is the latest. A few lesser poems are scattered in the Cancioneror, and have never been collected. Two other works existed in manuscript in Nicolas Antonio's time, and probably are still preserved : the one memoirs of some of the noble families of Castille, written by command of D. Alvaro de Luna; the other thirty-six sections of the Iliad translated : what these divisions were is not stated, nor whether the translation was in verse or prose; but in the king's library at Madrid, there is an unfinished abridgement of the Iliad made by Juan de Mena at the king's command, but the manuscript is not the one which Nicolas Antonio describes. One remarkable fact may be mentioncd as connected with the life of this poet. When Juan II. was hunting one day near the town of Roam in Castille, there fell from the air a shower of stones, so light and spungy, that though some were as large as a half bushel they did not weigh half a pound, and could not hurt a man had they fallen on his head. Fernan Gomez de Ciudad Real, the king's physician, relates this in one of his letters, and adds that the king sent him with some of these stones to Juan de Mena. . He died in 1456 at Tordelaguna, and was buried in the parochial church of that town, in a sumptuous tomb which his friend the marques de Santillana erected. Nic. Antonio. Sarmiento. Today lar obra; del Famosiosimo Poeta juan de A sena &c. Auvers. 1552.-R. S. MINAGE, GILLEs, a distinguished man of letters of the seventeenth century, was born in 1613 at Angers, of which city his father was a king's advocate. After having finished his early studies with reputation, he was admitted to the bar at Angers in 1632, and began to plead. In the same year he went to Paris, where he was likewise admitted as an advocate. He pursued his profession for some time, till at length, becoming disgusted with it, he adopted the ecclesiastical character so far as to be able to hold some benefices without cure of souls; and thenceforth he gave himself up entirely to literary pursuits, and fixed his residence in the metropolis. Through the means of Chapelain he was received into the house of cardinal de Retz, and soon made himself | own as a man of wit and erudition. The intedom of his remarks upon several of those wo.o frequented the same house involved him
enough to distinguish objects through this medium ; a dark cloud envelopes and blinds him, but there comes from the cloud a beautiful virgin, who restores his sight, tells him her name is Divine Providence, and leads him into this house of fortune, as it proves to be. Twenty stanzas are now employed in a description of the world, of which he here gets a Pisgah-view. His companion recalls him from this survey, and bids him look to the right, and see some of those things for which he was come thither. He turns, and beholds three huge wheels: two were stationary, the middle one in motion ; and under each were many persons who had fallen to the ground, each having his name and history written on his forehead; but those under the farthermost had their foreheads covered with a veil, so that the writing could not be read. Hisguide tells him that these are the yet unborn, the two standing wheels being the past and the future, and that which is in motion the present; she bids him \approach the wheel of the past, and to beware that neither for friend nor foe, nor for love of his own country and her glory, he either feigns what is false, or robs history of what is true. Each wheel had seven circles: an astrologer will understand the description better than a wheelright 5–and in each of these circles those persons were placed who were under the influ-o ence of the respective planets. Going therefore alternately to look at the past and the present, he sees successively the most distinguished persons in the circles of Luna, Mercury, Venus, Phoebus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In the last of these the constable 1). Alvaro de Luna is the prominent figure. The passage is curious ; it relates how, during one of the many combinations which were formed against this great man, some of his adherents consulted a witch to know what the event would be. Lucan is closely imitated here; the dead body which is compelled by her charms to answer, told them that at last the constable would be overthrown and utterly destroyed. Upon this many made excuses to leave him, and forsook his service. Juan de Mcna exclaims against the baseness of disloyalty, and triumphantly remarks that the witch had paltered with them in a double sense; for the copper statue of D. Alvaro which had been made for his own monument, had been broken to pieces by the infante 1). Henrique, and thus the prophecy was accomplished. The commentator observes upon this passage, that the writer little thought it would one day be
more literally fulfilled; and indeed when D. Alvaro was so infamously put to death, the poet must have felt an additional pang at recollecting the vanity of his own predictions. As lions, he says, contrary to their usual nature, will prey upon carcases when they can find no other food, even so do the constellations sometimes change their courses, and when they find a man will not yield to their influence, they take their aspects from his higher power. The simile is clumsy, but there is no other passage of equal merit in the poem. Morning now came on : seeing the dawn, he begins to consider whether all that he had seen was not a dream, and then turning to his companion he asks her to tell him the fortune of the king. Providence then briefly recapitulates the achievements of all the kings of Spain, in one continued eulogy upon Juan, saying that his actions are to obscure them all. The poet very properly wishes to hear a few particulars, but she vanishes: he tries to clasp her, and
finds his arms are wrapping his own shoulders,
and that the whole vision is dissolved; so he concludes by exhorting the king to accomplish these prophecies. It is said that the king bade him add sixtyfive stanzas to the poem, for this wise reason, that there "might be just as many as there are days in the year; the story adds that this order was obeyed, and twenty-four are printed at the end of the poem as part of these. They contain some execrable flattery of Juan, and a very orthodox address to the deity; the rest is declamation against the factious nobles. There is no proof that they are by Juan de Mena, and there is some presumption that they are not ; for had they been a fragment of the supplementary sixty-five, they would surely have shown some connection with the original which those stanzas were to lengthen out. This poet has been extravagantly praised in our own country. It has been said that he unites the merits of Dante and Petrarca. Omne ignotum pro magnifico. Juan de Mena was a great poet in an age when there was no greater; but he was not beyond his age. This brief analysis has been given as a proof that he was utterly deficient in fancy ; the scenery and machinery are despicable: his merits are exclusively what he may possess for his language; there is no glimpse of imagination, and scarcely a trace of feeling. Dante is over-valued ; but the beauties which he has are of the highest order, they are nieteors in a night of utter darkness. In the Trezientas it requires a good
search to discover a glow-worm among the
weeds, a fire-fly in a fog. The comendador Fernan Nunez has written
an elaborate commentary upon this poem, con
taining all that erudition which schoolboys now
learn in the history of the heathen gods and at the end of the dictionary, but which in those days could only be collected from the original courses. Except therefore a few illustrations of allusions to Spanish history, it is of no value. The first note is curious; the poem opens thus: Alinuy propotente Don juan el Segundo, upon which the commentator sagaciously remarks, that this appellation the second shows the difference between him and his grandfather king Juan the first. Ancther poem of some length is La Coronacion, a feeble fiction in honour of the marques de Santillana. Juan de Mena has commented it himself, and prefixed a prologue, an exordium and four preambles. In one of these he expounds, for the benefit of unlearned readers, the title which he had given to this work, but which was suppressed when it was printed. The editors had good reason; it was Calamicleos, compounded of the Latin calamitar, and the Greek xxzog, which, says he, signifies a treatise upon misery and glory. This commentary is the perfection of formal pedantry: two, four, and sometimes eight and nine pages of the smallest possible print to explain the mysteries of a single stanza. First he divides the stanza into its different parts, then explains what each . part is about ; then comes an account of the fiction of the first of these parts, then the truth and history of it, then the application and morality, and this to each of the parts, of which there are sometimes five in a stanza of ten short lines. The only remaining poem of any length is his Tractado de Vicios y Virtudes, which he left unfinished. It was unsuccessfully continued by Gomez Manrique a distinguished knight. and Pero Guillen who is styled the gran trabador. Jeronymo de Olivares, a knight of Alcantara, then took it in hand. He says, both in prose and verse, that while he was meditating so to do, and hesitating in doubt of his talents, Juan de Mena appeared to him, and told him he was let out a little while from purgatory to bid him fulfil his intention. He directed him to insert in the former part of the poem some speeches on the part of the Vices, as his father
had advised when it was first written, then
in so many quarrels, that aster some years he quitted it and took apartments in the cloyster of Notre Dame, where he held weekly assemblies of the learned, to which he gave the title Asercuriales. A prodigious memory rendered his conversation, though pedantic, yet entertaining and instructive from the variety of matter; and he was not deficient in wit and ingenuity to give it a scasoning. He was, however, overbearing and opinionative; and few scholars have passed their lives in the midst of more petty hostilities. His character of abbé was not, in his opinion, inconsistent with gallantry towards the female sex, though it is probable that this was chiefly limited to attentions and compliments. He was a professed admirer of Mesdames de Fayette et Sevigné. The former, whilst yet Mademoiselle de la Vergne, he celebrated in his poems by the unfortunately chosen name of Laverna, the Roman goddess of thieving, which gave occasion to a severe epigram, turning on the thought, that he had done well in adopting Laverna as the object of his vows, considering the perpetual larceny which he practised in the composition of his poems. It appears that he was not very well pleased to be regarded in the light of an innocent lover. Having one day paid a visit to Mad.de Sevigné as she was ready to go out upon some business, she asked him to get into the carriage with her; upon which, apparently jesting, but really piqued, he complained, that not contented with the rigour with which she treated him, she carried her contempt of him so far as to suppose no scandal could possibly arise from their being together. “Come, (said the lady) get in—get in : if you provoke me, I will go and see you at your own lodgings.” Menage was in easy circumstances. He had sold a small paternal estate for a life annuity, enjoyed a considerable rent-charge upon two abbeys, and obtained a royal pension, which, however, like many of the bounties of Lewis XIV. to men of letters, was paid only a short time. He was thus enabled to cultivate literature in the way most agreeable to him, and to print some of his works at his own expence, which the booksellers might not have chosen to undertake. Admission into the French academy at the beginning of his career was precluded to him by his witty satire entitled “Requete des Dictionnaires;” and when he made interest for a place in it at a later period, a candidate who had more friends, though less learning, was preferred to him. It was a remarkable circumstance in his life, that having in advanced age experienced a considerable loss of memory, he afterwards recovered it again; both which occurrences he has recorded in a Latin hymn to Mnemosyne. He died at Paris in 1692, at the age of seventy-nine. Menage was a very various writer, with respect both to subject and language. His principal works are “l)ictionaire Etymologique, ou Origines de la Langue Françoise,” first printed in 1650, and reprinted in 1750 with many corrections and additions by M. Jault in two volumes folio; this is accounted a performance of much utility, though in its first state abounding with false and absurd etymologies: “Origines de la Langue Italienne,’ 1685, folio, a similar work with respect to the Italian language, of which he had an uncommon knowledge for a foreigner; he was assisted in it by several members of the academy Della Crusca, of which he was an associate : “Miscellanea,” 1652, quarto; a collection of pieces in prose and verse and in different languages, among which is his “Requete des Dictionnaires,” one of the most ingenious pieces of literary raillery, directed against the dictionary of the French academy: an edition of “Diogenes Laertius” with valuable notes and corrections, Amst, two volumes quarto, 1692 : “Notes on the Poems of Malherbe,” added to an edition of that poet. “Remarques sur la Langue Françoise :” “Anti-Baillet,” a satirical critique on that author, containing much wit and erudition with no small portion of ill-nature: “Histoire de Sablé:” “Historia Mulierum philosophorum :” “Satirical Pieces against Montmaur the Greek Professor,” of which the best is his metamorphosis into a parrot: “Poesies Latines, Italiennes, Grecques, & Françoises:” with no real genius for poetry, Menage had a facility of versification derived from the abundance of poetical phrases that dwelt on his memory, which gave him more reputation when writing in a foreign language than in his own: “Juris civilis Amaenitates.” After his death a “Menagiana” was compiled from notes of his conversation, anecdotes, remarks,&c. which was one of the most successful of the numerous “Anas,” and was several times reprinted with augmentations. The last, edition by M. de la Monnoye, in 1715, is in four volumes 12mo. Bayle. Moreri. Nouv. Dict. Hist.—A. NíENANDER, the most celebrated of the Greek comic poets, was born at Athens B. C. 342. His father's name was Diopithes, and his master in philosophy was Theophrastus.
Menander is considered as the introducer of the new comedy, which refined upon the grossness and licence of the old, and banished living and real characters from the stage. He is represented as possessing every part of a perfect dramatic writer; elegance of language, force and delicacy of sentiment, and the true and humorous delineation of character. The title of the poet of nature which we bestow on Shakespeare was certainly his due, according to the exclamation of Aristophanes the grammarian, “O Menander and Nature, which of you copied from the workmanship of the other ?” Quintilian gives him the sullest praise for his strength and consistency in the display of the characters of his dramas; and Ovid dwells upon the same merit in enumerating this poet among those whose fame would be immortal. Dum fallax servus, durus pater, improba laena, Wivet; dum meretrix blanda, Menander erit. From which passage we also learn what were the ordinary subjects of his plays ; and Ovid elsewhere says, that “there is no piece of the pleasant Menander without love.” Julius, Caesar, in calling the elegant Terence a “halfMenander,” and at the same time lamenting his deficiency in the vir comica, implies that the Greek dramatist possessed the latter quality, together with the excellencies so much admired in the Roman. It is not extraordinary that the fame of such a man should extend as far as the Greek language; and Pliny the cláer informs us that the kings of Egypt and Macedonia gave him pressing invitations to their courts, and even offered fleets for his conveyance. He preferred, however, a life of freedom in his native city. Yet his tastes and manners seem by no means to have been philosophical. He is called by Plutarch “the chief priest of love,” and Suidas gives him the character of one “mad after women.” Phaedrus, in a curious, but unfortunately mutilated, fable, paints him as paying his compliments to Demetrius Phalereus at Athens, “perfumed all over,with a slowing garment, and advancing with an affected and languid step.” Menander composed 108 comedies, of which eight only gained the theatrical prize. His great rival was Philemon, to whom, upon a victory over himself, he once said, “tell me honestly, Philemon, do you not blush at being preferred to me?” It is said that the mortification he felt at this preference was the cause of his throwing himself into the harbour of Piraeus, where he was drowned B. C. 293, in the fifty-second year of his age. It is extraordi