MEGASPORANGIUM                                "99                                        MELANCHTHON

trumpet. The principle is that which is employed in the headlight of a locomotive, where the light-waves are reflected and sent out in a more or less parallel beam along the track. The only difference is that in the megaphone sound-waves, and not lightwaves, are reflected. The two principal uses of the megaphone at present are, first, to transmit the sound of a phonograph in the direction desired and, second, to transmit the human voice to a long distance or to a large audience, as at horse-races and ball-games.

Megasporangium ( nieg' ă-sp-ran' j-ŭm ) (in plants), the sporangium which produces megaspores. In pteridophytes g (fern-plants) they are produced by the water-ferns, selaginella and isoetes; while in all seed-plants (spermatophytes) the so-called ovules are megasporangia, sometimes called macro-sporangium. See Heterospory.

Megaspore (mĕg'-spr) (in plants). In cases of heterospory (which see) the large asexual spores are called megaspores, sometimes macrospores. In germination a megaspore produces a female gametophyte, that is, one which bears the eggs. Megaspores are found in a few pteridophytes and in all spermatophytes. In the latter group but a single megaspore is produced by the megasporangium (ovule), and is not shed, often being called the embryo-sac. It is this single, retained megaspore which results in the formation of a seed by the ovule. See Heterospory.

Megasporophyll (měg'-spōr'ō-f) (in plants) the sporophyll which bears megasporangia, sometimes called macrosporo-phyll. Megasporophylls are chiefly developed in seed-plants and in the angiosperms (true flowering plants); they have been called carpels, the innermost organs of flowers. See Heterospory. . Mehemet. See Mohammed Alt.

Meissonier ( m's'ny"), Jean Louis Ernest, a French artist, was born at Lyons, Feb. ax, 1815, in great poverty. As a youth he painted several early pieces which he sold at one dollar the square yard. When 19, he succeeded in getting to Paris, where he was soon admitted to the studio of Leon Cogniet, by whom his ability was soon recognized. His distinctive excellence in small paintings finished with exquisite precision was soon developed, and many of his most celebrated pieces are but a few inches in height or breadth. His first public exhibition occurred in 1834. From that time he was popular and prosperous. In 1861 he became a member of the Institute. No one has excelled, few have ever approached, him in his chosen field. Nearly all of his pieces have to do with the military, and his masterpiece, Friedland — 1807, one of the largest, by the way, he ever painted, was brought to New York and now is in its Metropolitan Museum. He

died at Paris, Jan. 31, 1891. See Life by Mollet.

Meistersinger von Niirnberg Die (dē

mis'tĕr-sing'r fan niirn'berg). A music drama, words and music by Richard Wagner (1813-33). The first sketches for this work were made as early as the summer holidays of 1845 but it was 22 years before it was completed. In 1868 it had its first performance under Von Blow (1830-94). It is the only comic opera by Wagner, and by some good musicians is considered his most satisfactory work. It is characterized by nobility and dignity, highly finished melody and the spirit of true comedy. The prelude often finds a place in the concert-room, and few songs for tenors awaken popular interest as does the famous prize-song.

Me'kong' River, Cambodia, flows southeastward from Tibet through the Chinese Empire and Indo-China to the China Sea. Cochin-China is simply the delta of this great river, which has a length of more than 2,500 miles. Unfortunately, navigation is impeded, except near the mouth, by many falls and rapids. As one passes down the navigable portion villages of from ten to one hundred huts are to be seen upon the banks, with their rows of poles for hanging nets and large platforms upon which the fish are dried. Smoked and salted fish are exported in vast quantiues from the Mekong to Asiatic ports. For fuller description consult Vincent's Land of the White Elephant.

Melanchthon ( m-lnk'Ihŭn ), Philip, a German reformer and friend of Luther, was born on Feb. 16, 1497, at Bretten in Baden, Germany. He studied at Heidelberg and Tubingen. He lectured on the philosophy of Aristotle in 1514, and soon after published a Greek grammar. His appointment to a Greek professorship at Wittenberg in 1518 brought him into contact with Luther. He threw himself at once into the work of the Reformation, bringing to it an extent of learning nearly equal to that of Erasmus and a gift of clear thinking and expression unequaled among his fellow workers. The first great Protestant work on theology was written by him and published in 1521, going through more than 50 editions in his lifetime. In 1530 he published his defense of what is known as the Augsburg confession of faith, the foundation of the Protestant religion in Germany, which confession had been prepared by him and submitted to the assembly of German princes at Augsburg. Melanch-thon's works are very numerous, including commentaries on parts of the Bible and classical works, books of doctrine and moral philosophy. He ranks among the highest names in the history of learning and education. He died at Wittenberg, April 19, 1560. See Life by Cox and History 0} the Reformation by D'Aubigne.