Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/202

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MEMBERTON


172


MEMLING


notes on tlio master's life, ami to hiiu we are indebted for the preservation of the wonderful collection of the artist's writings. Wliether he was a painter, how- ever, we are unalile to state. There is not an actual authentic work liy liiiu tluil can he mentioned; Vasari does not say a word .-iliout his artistic talent. Lo- mazzo compliments Melzi in extravagant language, as a wonderful miniature painter, and it was suggested in 1523, in a letter from Hendedei, the ambassador at Milan, to his master Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara, that Melzi was a skilful painter; but the letter only implies that he painted as an amateur or as a tlilettante. He has, however, by some writers been exalted into the position of being Leonardo's favourite and best pupil, most eminent and most skilful, and a picture of Ver- tunnuis and Pomona in the Berlin Gallery, a Madonna at Bergamo, another Madonna at Vaprio, and two por- traits at Isola Bella have been attributed to him, but all of them without definite authority. He is spoken of as II Conte, and is mentioned more than once in let- ters written in France, dealing with Leonardo, as the master's friend, and once as a miniaturist, but in all probaliility he was merely a skilful amateur, devoted to Leonardo, and perhaps a clever draughtsman, who practised painting occasionally as an amusement.

LoMAZZo, Tratiato dcW Arte ddla Pittura (Milan. 1584) ; Idem. GroUeschi (Milan, 15S7); Dolce, Dialogo ddla Pittura (Venice, 1557; Florence. 1735); Amoretti. Memorie di Leonardo da Vinci (Milan. 1804); Morelli, Italian Masters in German Gal- leries (London, 1883); Burckh.^rdt, The Cicerone.

George Charles Williamson.

Memberton, principal chief of the Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia at the time of the establishment of the French colony under De Monts and Poutrincourt in 1605, and noted in mission annals as the first Christian in the tribe. The French form Memberton is a dialec- tic corruption of the llicmac name Maopeltu, which is itself a contracted form for Maoi-Napeltu, " chief of all", i.e. "principal chief ", from maoi (all) and napeltu (chief, or leader). On St. John's Day, 24 June, 1010, he was baptized with twenty others of his family by the secular priest Father Messire Jesse Fleche at Port Royal, now Annapolis, Nova Scotia, Poutrincourt and his son acting as spon- sors for the King and Dauphin of France. He was given the name of Henrj', after Henry IV, his wife was named Marie after the queen regent, while his children and other relatives were called after mem- bers of the royal family. Then very old, although vigorous mentally and physically, he claimed to re- member the first visit of Cartier to the Saint Lawrence in 1534. Formany years the acknowledged chief and war captain, medicine man and priest of tribal cere- monies, in the midst of paganism he led a temperate and moral life, even before baptism limiting himself to one wife, where polygamy was the rule among the great men, one chief having as many as eight. On ac- count of their good offices in the serious illness of his son, he became strongly attached to the Jesuit mis- sionaries Biard and Mass6, who arrived in June, 1611, and proved an earnest, practical Christian, frequently expressing a fervent hope for the conversion of his whole tribe. Towards the end of August, 1611, seized with his last illness, he (vas brought at his own request to Father Biard's house, where he died a week later, after having received every attention, and, hav- ing given consent to be buried in the Christian ceme- tery as an example to his people, whom he repeatedly exhorted to maintain friendship with the French, he was buried with full ecclesiastical solemnity as be- fitted his rank and character. Father Biard says of him, " This was the greatest, most renowned , and most formidable savage within the memory of man; of splendid physique, taller and longer-limbed than is usual among them; bearded like a Frenchman, al- though scarcely any of the others have hair upon the chin; grave and reserved; feeling a proper sense of


dignity for his position as commander. God im- pressed upon his soul a greater idea of Christianity than ho has been able to form from hearing about it, and he has often said to me in his savage tongue, 'Learn our language quickly, for as soon as thou know- est it and hast taught me well I wish to become a preacher like thee'. Even before his conversion he never cared to have more than one living wife. " In accordance with a imiver.sal Indian dislike to name the dead, his people referred to him after his death simply as the "Great Chief". At the Micmac mission town of Sainte-Anne de Ristigouche, Quebec, a monument was unveiled on the third centenary of his baptism to commemorate the beginning of the Micmac mission.

Jesuit Relations, ed. Thwaites, I, II, III (Biard, Lescarbot, etc.) (Cleveland, 1896-1897). Father PacIFIQUE.

Membre, Zenobius, b. 1645 at Bapaume, Depart- ment of Pas-de-Calais, France, was a member of the Franciscan province of St. Antony. He arrived in Canada in 1675, and in 1679 he accompanied Robert de la Salle to the country of the Illinois, of which he wrote a description. Though Membre laboured zeal- ously for the conversion of the natives, owing to their moral degradation the success was small. In 1681 he descended the Mississippi with La Salle to the Gulf of Mexico, returned with the leader of the expedition to Europe by way of Canada, and became superior of the Franciscan monastery in his native city. In 1684 Membre with two Franciscans and three Sulpicians followed La Salle into Texas. The commander erected Fort St. Louis at Espiritu Santo Bay in 1685, but Membre endeavoured to establish a mission among the Cenis Indians. In this he failed. After about two years of toil he was killed by the savages, along with Fr. Maximus Le Cerq, Rev. Chefdeville, and the small garrison which La Salle had left at the settlement.

Barcia, Ensayo Cronologico (Madrid, 1723); Hennepin, Description de la Louisiane (Paris, 1683); Thwaites, A New Discovery of a Vast Country (Chicaso, 190.3); Shea, Cath. Church in Colonial Days (New York, 1886) ; Cath. Missions (New York, 1854): Wall.\ce, Illinois and Louisiana (Cincinnati, 1893).

Z. Engelhardt. Memento. See Canon of the Mass, sub-title III; Diptych.

Memling, Hans, Flemish painter, b. about 1430-35; d. at Bruges 11 August, 1494. This date was discov- ered in 1889 by Pere Henri Dusart, in a MS. chronicle of the hbrary of St. Omer, which adds that this painter, "the best in Christendom", was born at Mainz (oriundus Moguntiaco), and that he was buried in the church of St. Gilles. This valualjle text de- stroys the celebrated legend of Memling, which re- lates that tliis great painter, a soldier of Charles the Bold, was Wounded at the battle of Granson, and was cared for at Bruges by the Hospitallers of St. John, Through gratitude the injured soldier painted the marvellous pictures still to be seen there. Here in an "Adoration of the Magi" is seen his own portrait, wan and bearded, wearing an invalid's cap. It was said at Bruges that he desired to be buried in the con- vent wliich held so many of his masterpieces, but another tradition relates that he died in Spain at the Carthusian monastery of Miraflores near Burgos, where a picture ascribed to him is found. These two accounts of a pleasing hagiographical tint are there- fore mere fables, evidently the tales of sacristans, inspired by the pictures which they endeavoured to explain. They did not arise until the middle of the eighteenth century (cf. Descamps, "Vies des pein- tres flamands", 1753, I, 12). On the other hand, the researches of Mr. James Weale show Memling under quite a different aspect. The wretched and pitiable soldier of Charles the Bold received by charity into a hospital of Bruges becomes in reality an important burgher of that prosperous city. If he had no official station at the court, it was because circumstances no longer permitted; he had nevertheless property of his