Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
610
Manul—Manures

Dom Luiz de Mello, drove him early to soldiering, and having joined a contingent for the Flanders war, he found himself in the historic storm of January 1627, when the pick of the Portuguese fleet suffered shipwreck in the Bay of Biscay. He spent much of the next ten years of his life in military routine work in the Peninsula, varied by visits to the court of Madrid, where he contracted a friendship with the Spanish poet Quevedo and earned the favour of the powerful minister Olivares. In 1637 the latter despatched him in company with the conde de Linhares on a mission to pacify the revolted city of Evora, and on the same occasion the duke of Braganza, afterwards King John IV. (for whom he acted as confidential agent at Madrid), employed him to satisfy King Philip of his loyalty to the Spanish crown. In the following year he suffered a short imprisonment in Lisbon. In 1639 he was appointed colonel of one of the regiments raised for service in Flanders, and in June that year he took a leading part in defending Corunna against a French fleet commanded by the archbishop of Bordeaux, while in the following August he directed the embarcation of an expeditionary force of 10,000 men when Admiral Oquendo sailed with seventy ships to meet the French and Dutch. He came safely through the naval defeat in the channel suffered by the Spaniards at the hands of Van Tromp, and on the outbreak of the Catalonian rebellion became chief of the staff to the commander-in-chief of the royal forces, and was selected to write an account of the campaign, the Historia de la guerra de Cataluña, which became a Spanish classic. On the proclamation of Portuguese independence in 1640 he was imprisoned by order of Olivares, and when released hastened to offer his sword to John IV. He travelled to England, where he spent some time at the court of Charles I., and thence passing over to Holland assisted the Portuguese ambassador to equip a fleet in aid of Portugal, and himself brought it safely to Lisbon in October 1641. For the next three years he was employed in various important military commissions and further busied himself in defending by his pen the king’s title to his newly acquired throne. An intrigue with the beautiful countess of Villa Nova, and her husband’s jealousy, led to his arrest on the 19th of November 1644 on a false charge of assassination, and he lay in prison about nine years. Though his innocence was clear, the court of his Order, that of Christ, influenced by his enemies, deprived him of his commenda and sentenced him to perpetual banishment in India with a heavy money fine, and the king would not intervene to save him. Owing perhaps to the intercession of the queen regent of France and other powerful friends, his sentence was finally commuted into one of exile to Brazil. During his long imprisonment he finished and printed his history of the Catalonian War, and also wrote and published a volume of Spanish verses and some religious treatises, and composed in Portuguese a volume of homely philosophy, the Carta de Guia de Casados and a Memorial in his own defence to the king, which Herculano considered “perhaps the most eloquent piece of reasoning in the language.” During his exile in Brazil, whither he sailed on the 17th of April 1655, he lived at Bahia, where he wrote one of his Epanaphoras de varia historia and two parts of his masterpiece, the Apologos dialogaes. He returned home in 1659, and from then until 1663 we find him on and off in Lisbon, frequenting the celebrated Academia dos Generosos, of which he was five times elected president. In the last year he proceeded to Parma and Rome, by way of England, and France, and Alphonso VI. charged him to negotiate with the Curia about the provision of bishops for Portuguese sees and to report on suitable marriages for the king and his brother. During his stay in Rome he published his Obras morales, dedicated to Queen Catherine, wife of Charles II. of England, and his Cartas familiares. On his way back to Portugal he printed his Obras metricas at Lyons in May 1665, and he died in Lisbon the following year.

Manuel de Mello’s early Spanish verses are tainted with Gongorism, but his Portuguese sonnets and cartas on moral subjects are notable for their power, sincerity and perfection of form. He strove successfully to emancipate himself from foreign faults of style, and by virtue of his native genius, and his knowledge of the traditional poetry of the people, and the best Quinhentista models, he became Portugal’s leading lyric poet and prose writer of the 17th century. As with Camoens, imprisonments and exile contributed to make Manuel de Mello a great writer. His Letters, addressed to the leading nobles, ecclesiastics, diplomats and literati of the time, are written in a conversational style, lighted up by flashes of wit and enriched with apposite illustrations and quotations. His commerce with the best authors appears in the Hospital das lettras, a brilliant chapter of criticism forming part of the Apologos dialogaes. His comedy in redondilhas, the Auto do Fidalgo Aprendiz, is one of the last and quite the worthiest production of the school of Gil Vicente, and may be considered an anticipation of Molière’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.

There is no uniform edition of his works, but a list of them will be found in his Obras morales, and the various editions are set out in Innocencio da Silva’s Diccionario bibliographico portugues. See Dom Francisco Manuel de Mello, his Life and Writings, by Edgar Prestage (Manchester, 1905), “D. Francisco Manuel de Mello, documentos biographicos” and “D. Francisco Manuel de Mello, obras autographas e ineditas,” by the same writer, in the Archivo historico portuguez for 1909. Manuel de Mello’s prose style is considered at length by G. Cirot in Mariana historien (Bordeaux, 1905). pp. 378 seq.  (E. Pr.) 


MANUL (Felis manul), a long-haired small wild cat from the deserts of Central Asia, ranging from Tibet to Siberia. The coat is long and soft, pale silvery grey or light buff in hue, marked with black on the chest and upper parts of the limbs, with transverse stripes on the loins and rings on the tail of the same hue. The Manul preys upon small mammals and birds. A separate generic name, Trichaelurus, has been proposed for this species by Dr K. Satunin.

MANURES and MANURING. The term “manure” originally meant that which was “worked by hand” (Fr. manœuvre), but gradually came to apply to any process by which the soil could be improved. Prominent among such processes was that of directly applying “manure” to the land, manure in this sense being what we now call “farmyard manure” or “dung,” the excreta of farm animals mixed with straw or other litter. Gradually, however, the use of the term spread to other materials, some of home origin, some imported, some manufactured by artificial processes, but all useful as a means of improving the fertility of the soil. Hence we have two main classes of manures: (a) what may be termed “natural manures,” and (b) “artificial manures.” Manures, again, may be divided according to the materials from which they are made—e.g. “bone manure,” “fish manure,” “wool manure,” &c.; or according to the constituents which they mainly supply—e.g. “phosphatic manures,” “potash manures,” “nitrogenous manures,” or there may be numerous combinations of these to form mixed or “compound” manures. Whatever it be, the word “manure” is now generally applied to anything which is used for fertilizing the soil. In America the term “fertilizers” is more generally adopted, and in Great Britain the introduction of the “Fertilizers and Feeding Stuffs Act” has effected a certain amount of change in the same direction. The modern tendency to turn attention less to the consideration of manurial applications given to land and more to the physical and mechanical changes introduced thereby in the soil itself, would seem to be carrying the word “manure” back more to its original meaning.

The subject of manures and their application involves a prior consideration of plant life and its requirements. The plant, growing in the soil, and surrounded by the atmosphere, derives from these two sources its nourishment and means of growth through the various stages of its development.

Chemical analysis has shown that plants are composed of water, organic or combustible matters, and inorganic or mineral matters. Water constitutes by far the greater part of a living plant; a grass crop will contain about 75% of water, a turnip crop 89 or 90%. The organic or combustible matters are those which are lost, along with the water, when the plant is burnt; the inorganic or mineral matters are those which are left behind as an “ash” after the burning. The combustible matter is composed of six elements: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and a little phosphorus. About one-half of the combustible matter of plants is carbon. Along with