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MASSON, DAVID—MAST

To save her from such humiliation he sent her poison, with which she destroyed herself. Massinissa was now accepted as a loyal ally of Rome, and was confirmed by Scipio in the possession of his kingdom. In the battle of Zama (202) (see Punic Wars), he commanded the cavalry on Scipio’s right wing, and materially assisted the Roman victory. For his services he received the kingdom of Syphax, and thus under Roman protection he became master of the whole of Numidia, and his dominions completely enclosed the Carthaginian territories, now straitened and reduced at the close of the Second Punic War. It would seem that he had thoughts of annexing Carthage itself with the connivance of Rome. In a war which soon followed he was successful; the remonstrances of Carthage with Rome on the behaviour of her ally were answered by the appointment of Scipio as arbitrator; but, as though intentionally on the part of Rome, no definite settlement was arrived at, and thus the relations between Massinissa and the Carthaginians continued strained. Rome, it is certain, deliberately favoured her ally’s unjust claims with the view of keeping Carthage weak, and Massinissa on his part was cunning enough to retain the friendship of the Roman people by helping them with liberal supplies in their wars against Perseus of Macedon and Antiochus. As soon as Carthage seemed to be recovering herself, and some of Massinissa’s partisans were driven from the city into exile, his policy was to excite the fears of Rome, till at last in 149 war was declared—the Third Punic War, which ended in the final overthrow of Carthage. The king took some part in the negotiations which preceded the war, but died soon after its commencement in the ninetieth year of his age and the sixtieth of his reign.

Massinissa was an able ruler and a decided benefactor to Numidia. He converted a plundering tribe into a settled and civilized population, and out of robbers and marauders made efficient and disciplined soldiers. To his sons he bequeathed a well-stored treasury, a formidable army, and even a fleet. Cirta (q.v.), his capital, became a famous centre of Phoenician civilization. In fact Massinissa changed for the better the whole aspect of a great part of northern Africa. He had much of the Arab nature, was singularly temperate, and equal to any amount of fatigue. His fidelity to Rome was merely that of temporary expediency. He espoused now one side, and now the other, but on the whole supported Rome, so that orators and historians could speak of him as “a most faithful ally of the Roman people.”

See Livy xxiv. 49, xxviii. 11, 35, 42, xxix. 27, xxx. 3, 12, 28, 37, xlii. 23, 29, xliii. 3; Polybius iii. 5, ix. 42, xiv. 1, xxxii. 2, xxxvii. 3; Appian, Hisp. 37, Punica, 11, 27, 105; Justin xxxiii. 1; A. H. J. Greenidge, Hist. of Rome (London, 1904).


MASSON, DAVID (1822–1907), Scottish man of letters, was born at Aberdeen on the 2nd of December 1822, and educated at the grammar school there and at Marischal College. Intending to enter the Church, he proceeded to Edinburgh University, where he studied theology under Dr Chalmers, whose friendship he enjoyed until the divine’s death in 1847. However, abandoning his project of the ministry, he returned to his native city to undertake the editorship of the Banner, a weekly paper devoted to the advocacy of Free Kirk principles. After two years he resigned this post and went back to the capital, bent upon pursuing a purely literary career. There he wrote a great deal, contributing to Fraser’s Magazine, Dublin University Magazine (in which appeared his essays on Chatterton) and other periodicals. In 1847 he went to London, where he found wider scope for his energy and knowledge. He was secretary (1851–1852) of the “Society of the Friends of Italy.” In a famous interview with Mrs Browning at Florence he contested her admiration for Napoleon III. He had known De Quincey, whose biography he contributed in 1878 to the “English Men of Letters” series, and he was an enthusiastic friend and admirer of Carlyle. In 1852 he was appointed professor of English literature at University College, London, in succession to A. H. Clough, and from 1858 to 1865, he edited the newly established Macmillan’s Magazine. In 1865 he was selected for the chair of rhetoric and English literature at Edinburgh, and during the early years of his professorship actively promoted the movement for the university education of women. In 1879 he became editor of the Register of the Scottish Privy Council, and in 1893 was appointed Historiographer Royal for Scotland. Two years later he resigned his professorship. His magnum opus in his Life of Milton in Connexion with the History of His Own Time in six volumes, the first of which appeared in 1858 and the last in 1880. He also edited the library edition of Milton’s Poetical Works (5 vols., 1874), and De Quincey’s Collected Works (14 vols., 1889–1890). Among his other publications are Essays, Biographical and Critical (1856, reprinted with additions, 3 vols., 1874), British Novelists and their Styles (1859), Drummond of Hawthornden (187 3), Chatterton (1873) and Edinburgh Sketches (1892). He died on the 6th of October 1907. A bust of Masson was presented to the senate of the university of Edinburgh in 1897. Professor Masson had married Rosaline Orme. His son Orme Masson became professor of chemistry in the university of Melbourne, and his daughter Rosaline is known as a writer and novelist.


MASSON, LOUIS CLAUDE FREDÉRIC (1847–), French historian, was born at Paris on the 8th of March 1847. His father, Francis Masson, a solicitor, was killed on the 23rd of June 1848, when major in the garde nationale. Young Masson was educated at the college of Sainte Barbe, and at the lycée Louis-le-Grand, and then travelled in Germany and in England; from 1869 to 1880 he was librarian at the Foreign Office. At first he devoted himself to the history of diplomacy, and published between 1877 and 1884 several volumes connected with that subject. Later he published a number of more or less curious memoirs illustrating the history of the Revolution and of the empire. But he is best known for his books connected with Napoleon. In Napoleon inconnu (1895), Masson, together with M. Guido Biagi, brought out the unpublished writings (1786–1793) of the future emperor. These were notes, extracts from historical, philosophical and literary books, and personal reflections in which one can watch the growth of the ideas later carried out by the emperor with modifications necessitated by the force of circumstances and his own genius. But this was only one in a remarkable series: Joséphine de Beauharnais, 1763–1796 (1898); Joséphine, impératrice et reine (1899); Joséphine répudiée 1809–1814 (1901); L’Impératrice Marie Louise (1902); Napoléon et les femmes (1894); Napoléon et sa famille (9 vols., 1897–1907); Napoléon et son fils (1904); and Autour de l'ale d’Elbe (1908). These works abound in details and amusing anecdotes, which throw much light on the events and men of the time, laying stress on the personal, romantic and dramatic aspects of history. The author was made a member of the Académie française in 1903. From 1886 to 1889 he edited the review Arts and Letters, published in London and New York.

A bibliography of his works, including anonymous ones and those under an assumed name, has been published by G. Vicaire (Manuel de l’amateur des livres du XIXe siècle, tome v., 1904). Napolèon et les femmes has been translated into English as Napoleon and the Fair Sex (1894).


MAST (1) (O. Eng. maest; a common Teutonic word, cognate with Lat. malus; from the medieval latinized form mastus comes Fr. mât), in nautical language, the name of the spar, or straight piece of timber, or combination of spars, on which are hung the yards and sails of a vessel of any size. It has been ingeniously supposed that man himself was the first mast. He discovered by standing up in his prehistoric “ dugout,” or canoe, that the wind blowing on him would carry his craft along. But the origin of the mast, like that of the ship, is lost in times anterior to all record. The earliest form of mast which prevailed till the close of the middle ages, and is still in use for small vessels, was and is a single spar made of some tough and elastic wood; the conifers supply the best timber for the purpose. In sketching the history of the development of the mast, we must distinguish between the increase in the number erected, and the improvements made in the mast itself. The earliest ships had only one, carrying a single sail. So little is known of the rigging of