MASSEY, SIR EDWARD (c. 1619–c. 1674), English soldier in the Great Rebellion, was the son of John Massey of Coddington, Cheshire. Little is known of his early life, but it is said that he served in the Dutch army against the Spaniards. In 1639 he appears as a captain of pioneers in the army raised by Charles I. to fight against the Scots. At the outbreak of the Great Rebellion he was with the king at York, but he soon joined the Parliamentary army. As lieutenant-colonel under the earl of Stamford he became deputy governor of Gloucester, where he remained till towards the end of the first Civil War, becoming governor early in 1643. He conducted minor operations against numerous small bodies of Royalists, and conducted the defence of Gloucester against the king’s main army in August 1643, with great steadiness and ability, receiving the thanks of parliament and a grant of £1000 for his services. In 1644 Massey continued to keep the field and to disperse the local Royalists, and on several occasions he measured swords with Prince Rupert. In May 1644 he was made general of the forces of the Western Association. In 1645 he took the offensive against Lord Goring and the western Royalists, advanced to the relief of Taunton, and in the autumn co-operated effectively with Sir Thomas Fairfax and the New Model army in the Langport campaign. After taking part in the desultory operations which closed the first war, he took his seat in the House of Commons as member for Gloucester. He then began to take an active part in politics on the Presbyterian side, and was one of the generals who was impeached by the army on the ground that they were attempting to revive the Civil War in the Presbyterian interests. Massey fled from England in June 1647, and though he resumed his seat in the house in 1648 he was again excluded by Pride’s Purge, and after a short imprisonment escaped to Holland. Thence, taking the side of the king openly and definitely like many other Presbyterians, he accompanied Charles II. to Scotland. He fought against Cromwell at the bridge of Stirling and Inverkeithing, and commanded the advanced guard of the Royalist army in the invasion of England in 1651. It was hoped that Massey’s influence would win over the towns of the Severn valley to the cause of the king, and the march of the army on Worcester was partly inspired by this expectation. However, he effected little, and after riding with the king for some distance from the field of Worcester, fell into the hands of his former comrades and was lodged in the Tower. He again managed to escape to Holland. While negotiating with the English Presbyterians for the restoration of Charles, he visited England twice, in 1654 and 1656. In 1660 he was active in preparing for Charles’s return, and was rewarded by a knighthood and a grant of £3000. The rest of his life was spent in political, and occasionally in military and administrative business, and he is said to have died in Ireland in 1674 or 1675.
MASSEY, GERALD (1828–1907), English poet, was born near Tring, Hertfordshire, on the 29th of May 1828. His parents were in humble circumstances, and Massey was little more than a child when he was set to hard work in a silk factory, which he afterwards deserted for the equally laborious occupation of straw-plaiting. These early years were rendered gloomy by much distress and deprivation, against which the young man strove with increasing spirit and virility, educating himself in his spare time, and gradually cultivating his innate taste for literary work. He was attracted by the movement known as Christian Socialism, into which he threw himself with whole-hearted vigour, and so became associated with Maurice and Kingsley. His first public appearance as a writer was in connexion with a journal called the Spirit of Freedom, of which he became editor, and he was only twenty-two when he published his first volume of poems, Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love. These he followed in rapid succession by The Ballad of Babe Christabel (1854), War Waits (1855), Havelock’s March (1860), and A Tale of Eternity (1869). Many years afterwards in 1889, he collected the best of the contents of these volumes, with additions, into a two-volume edition of his poems called My Lyrical Life. He also published works dealing with spiritualism, the study of Shakespeare’s sonnets (1872 and 1890), and theological speculation. It is generally understood that he was the original of George Eliot’s Felix Holt. Massey’s poetry has a certain rough and vigorous element of sincerity and strength which easily accounts for its popularity at the time of its production. He treated the theme of Sir Richard Grenville before Tennyson thought of using it, with much force and vitality. Indeed, Tennyson’s own praise of Massey’s work is still its best eulogy, for the Laureate found in him “a poet of fine lyrical impulse, and of a rich half-Oriental imagination.” The inspiration of his poetry is essentially British; he was a patriot to the core. It is, however, as an Egyptologist that Gerald Massey is best known in the world of letters. He first published The Book of the Beginnings, followed by The Natural Genesis; but by far his most important work is Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World, published shortly before his death. He died on the 29th of October 1907.
MASSICUS, MONS, a mountain ridge of ancient Italy, in the territory of the Aurunci, and on the border of Campania and Latium adjectum—attributed by most authors to the latter. It projects south-west from the volcanic system of Rocca Monfina (see Suessa Aurunca) as far as the sea, and separates the lower course of the Liris from the plain of Campania. It consists of limestone, with a superstratum of pliocenic and volcanic masses, and was once an island; its highest point is 2661 ft. above sea-level.
It was very famous for its wine in ancient times. There was just room along the coast for the road to pass through; the pass was guarded by the Auruncan town of Vescia (probably on the mountain side), which ceased to exist in 314 B.C. after the defeat of the Ausones, but left its name to the spot. Its successor, Sinuessa, on the coast, a station on the Via Appia, was constructed in 312 B.C., and a colony was founded there in 295 B.C. It is not infrequently mentioned by classical writers as a place in which travellers halted. Here Virgil joined Horace on the famous journey to Brundusium. Domitian considerably increased its importance by the construction of the Via Domitiana, which left the Via Appia here and ran to Cumae and Puteoli, and it was he, no doubt, who raised it to the position of colonia Flavia. The town was destroyed by the Saracens, but some ruins of it are still visible two miles north-west of the modern village of Mondragone. The mineral springs which still rise here were frequented in antiquity.
MASSIF, a French term, adopted in geology and physical geography for a mountainous mass or group of connected heights, whether isolated or forming part of a larger mountain system. A “massif” is more or less clearly marked off by valleys.
MASSILLON, JEAN BAPTISTE (1663–1742), French bishop and preacher, was born at Hyères on the 24th of June 1663, his father being a royal notary of that town. At the age of eighteen he joined the Congregation of the Oratory and taught for a time in the colleges of his order at Pézenas, and Montbrison and at the Seminary of Vienne. On the death of Henri de Villars, archbishop of Vienne, in 1693, he was commissioned to deliver a funeral oration, and this was the beginning of his fame. In obedience to Cardinal de Noailles, archbishop of Paris, he left the Cistercian abbey of Sept-Fonds, to which he had retired, and settled in Paris, where he was placed at the head of the famous seminary of Saint Magloire. He soon gained a wide reputation as a preacher and was selected to be the Advent preacher at the court of Versailles in 1699. He was made bishop of Clermont in 1717, and two years later was elected a member of the French Academy. The last years of his life were spent in the faithful discharge of his episcopal duties; his death took place at Clermont on the 18th of September 1742. Massillon enjoyed in the 18th century a reputation equal to that of Bossuet and of Bourdaloue, and has been much praised by Voltaire, D’Alembert and kindred spirits among the Encyclopaedists. His popularity was probably due to the fact that in his sermons he lays little stress on dogmatic questions, but treats generally of moral subjects, in which the secrets of the human heart and the processes of man’s reason are described with poetical feeling. He has usually been contrasted with his predecessor Bourdaloue, the latter having the credit of vigorous denunciation, Massillon that of gentle persuasiveness. Besides the Petit Carême, a sermon which he