Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.

the die-punches are taken. The term “ seal ” should strictly be applied to the impression only on wax of the design of the matrix, but is often used both of the matrix and of the impression (see Seals). In mineralogy, the matrix is the mass in which a crystal mineral or fossil is embedded. In mathematics, the name “ matrix ” is used of an arrangement of numbers or symbols in a rectangular or square figure. (See Algebraic Forms.)

In med. Latin matrix and the diminutive matricula had the meaning of a roll or register, particularly one containing the names of the members of an institution, as of the clergy belonging to a cathedral, collegiate or other church, or of the members of a university. From this use is derived “ matriculation, " the admission to membership of a university, also the name of the examination for such admission. Matricula was also the name of the contributions in men and money made by the various states of the Holy Roman Empire, and in the modern German Empire the contributions made by the federal states to the imperial finances are called M atrikularbeitrdge, matricular contributions. (See Germany: Finance.)

MATROSS, the name (now obsolete) for a soldier of artillery, who ranked next below a gunner. The duty of a matross was to assist the gunners in loading, firing and sponging the guns. They were provided with firelocks, and marched with the store-wagons, acting as guards. In the American army a matross ranked as a private of artillery. The word is probably derived from Fr. matelot, a sailor.

MATSUKATA, Marquis (1835-), Japanese statesman, was born at Kagoshima in 1835, being a son of a samurai of the Satsuma clan. On the completion of the feudal revolution of 1868 he was appointed governor of the province of Tosa, and having served six years in, this office, was transferred to Tokyo as assistant minister of finance. As representative of Japan at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, he took the opportunity afforded by his mission to study the financial systems of the great European powers. On his return home, he held for a short time in 1880 the portfolio of home affairs, and was in 1881 appointed minister of finance. The condition of the currency of ]apan was at that time deplorable, and national bankruptcy threatened. The coinage had not only been seriously debased during the closing years of the Tokugawa régime, but large quantities of paper currency had been issued and circulated, both by many of the feudal lords, and by the central government itself, as a temporary expedient for filling an impoverished exchequer. In 1878 depreciation had set in, and the in convertible paper had by the close of 1881 grown to such an extent that it was then at a discount of 80% as compared with silver. Matsukata showed the government the danger of the situation, and urged that the issue of further paper currency should be stopped at once, the expenses of administration curtailed, and the resulting surplus of revenue used in the redemption of the paper currency and in the creation of a specie reserve. These proposals were acted upon: the Bank of Japan was established, and the right of issuing convertible notes given to it; and within three years of the initiation of these financial reforms, the paper currency, largely reduced in quantity, was restored to its full par value with silver, and the currency as a whole placed on a solvent basis. From this time forward ]apan's commercial and military advancement continued to make uninterrupted progress. But pari passu with the extraordinary impetus given to its trade by the successful conclusion of the war with China, the national expenditure -enormously increased, rising within a few years from 80 to 250 million yen. The task of providing for this expenditure fell entirely on Matsukata, who had to face strong opposition on the part of the diet. But he distributed the increased taxation so equally, and chose its subjects so wisely, that the ordinary administrative expenditure and the interest on the national debt were fully provided for, while the extraordinary expenditure for military purposes was met from the Chinese indemnity. As far back as 1878 Matsukata perceived the advantages of a gold standard, but it was not until 1897 that his scheme could be realized. In this year the bill authorizing it was under his auspices submitted to the diet and passed; and with this hnancial achievement Matsukata saw the fulfilment of his ideas of financial reform, which were conceived during his first visit to Europe. Matsukata, who in 1884 was created Count, twice held the office of prime minister (1891-1892, 1896-1898), and during both his administrations he combined the portfolio of finance with the premiership; from October 1898 to October 1900 he was minister of finance only. His name in Japanese history is indissolubly connected with the financial progress of his country at the end, of the 19th century. In 1902 he visited England and America, and he was created G.C.M, G., and given the Oxford degree of D.C.L. In September'1907 he was advanced to the rank of Marquis.,

MATSYS (Massys or Merzys), QUINTIN (1466-1530), Flemish artist, was born at Louvain, where he first learned a mechanical art. During the greater part of the 15th century the centres in which the painters of the Low Countries most congregated were Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. Towards the close of the same period Louvain took a prominent part in giving employment to workmen of every craft. It was not till the opening of the 16th century that Antwerp usurped the lead which it afterwards maintained against Bruges and Ghent, Brussels, Mechlin and Louvain. Quintin Matsys was one of the first men of any note who gave repute to the gild of Antwerp. A legend relates how the smith of Louvain was induced by affection for the daughter of an artist to change his trade and acquire proficiency in painting. A less poetic but perhaps more real version of the story tells that Quintin had a brother with whom he was brought up by his father josse Matsys, a smith, who held the lucrative offices of clockmaker and architect to the municipality of Louvain. It came to be a question which of the sons should follow the paternal business, and which carve out a new profession for himself. Iosse the son elected to succeed his father, and Quintin then gave himself to the study of painting. We are not told expressly by whom Quintin was taught, but his style seems necessarily derived from the lessons of Dierick Bouts, who took to Louvain the mixed art of Memlinc and Van der Weyden. When he settled at Antwerp, at the age of twenty-five, he probably had a style with an impress of its own, which certainly contributed most importantly to the revival of Flemish art on the lines of Van Eyck and Van der Weyden. What particularly characterizes Quintin Matsys is the strong religious feeling which he inherited from earlier schools. But that again was permeated by realism which frequently degenerated into the grotesque. Nor would it be too much to say that the facial peculiarities of the boors of Van Steen or Ostade have their counterparts in the pictures of Matsys, who was not, however, trained to use them in the same homely way. From Van der Weyden's example we may trace the dryness of outline and shadeless modelling and the pitiless finish even of trivial detail, from the Van Eycks and Memlinc through Dierick Bouts the superior glow and richness of transparent pigments, which mark the pictures of Matsys. The date of his retirement from Louvain is 1491, when he became a master in the gild of painters at Antwerp. His most celebrated picture is that which he executed in 1508 for the joiners' company in the cathedral of his adopted city. Next in importance to that is the Marys of Scripture round the Virgin and Child, which was ordered for a chapel in the cathedral of Louvain. Both altar-pieces are now in public museums, one at Antwerp, the other at Brussels. They display great earnestness in expression, great minuteness of finish, and a general absence of effect by light or shade. As in early Flemish pictures, so in those of Matsys, superfluous care is lavished on jewelry, edgings and ornament. To the great defect of want of atmosphere such faults may be added as affectation, the result of excessive straining after tenderness in women, or common gesture and grimace suggested by a wish to render pictorially the brutality of gaolers and executioners. Yet in every instance an effort is manifest to develop and express individual character. This tendency in Matsys is chiefly illustrated in his pictures of male and female market bankers