JDLY 11, 1931.
NOTES AND QUERIES.
Edward J. Wood's ' The Wedding Day in
all Ages and Countries,' London, 1869, vol. i,
contains the following account of the Jewish
The modern Jews still retain the old custom
of shattering glass or other vessels by clashing
them on the ground at their nuptials. Various
reasons have been assigned for this usage.
One is, that it suggested the frailty of life;
another, that it foretold good fortune and
plenty; another, that it reminded the people
of the destruction of Jerusalem; and another,
that it hinted at the fate of the married pair
if they broke their nuptial vows.
In a description of a Russian wedding
ceremony, Wood mentions another instance
of this custom, where, he says,
the priest then drank the couple's healths in
wine out of a gilt wooden cup or glass, from
which they drank likewise thrice. The vessel
thrown upon the ground, broken, and
trodden1 upon, while, the bridegroom said
words to the following effect: " Let them be
so trampled upon and confounded who maliciously endeavour to create ill-will between us."
MOTTOES (clx. 192, 233,
264, 285, 319, 429, 464). — Yet another.
In an old house in Guildford, Surrey is
carved : —
" If daily thou wouldst rule thyself amidst
•the high and low,
Do not thou credit all thou hearst,
N'or speak all that you know."
MANTLE OF SKELT (clx. 171, 253
377, 409, 462).—I had hoped that my
letter had made it clear that the article
eventually published in the Magazine of
Art was not the one originally referred to
by Stevenson, to which (had it been completed) my father might have justly laid
claim to collaboration, by reason of their conversations about the juvenile drama, and of
the records he was ready to supply. Mr.
Langley Levi was therefore right; and, moreover, his interesting list of the old publishers
should have saved A. C. E. the further mistake of supposing that Clarke of Garrick
Street was one of them. The sheets drawn
an; d printed off by my father of ' The Miller
and his Men ' and ' The Smuggler' could
have been purchased as readily at any other
of the toy shops. But they happened to be
used by R. L. S. without acknowledgment,
and in such a way as to suggest they -were
the work of, perhaps, Redington, or even
H. J. WEBB.
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their entirety, so likewise will it be as impracticable to disunite these two persons who
have now entered into their solemn bonds of
ACABRE ("THE DANCE OF DEATH")
(clx. 342, 411, 449). — An attempt has
been made to trace the derivation of this
word to Macphelah, the name of the field and
cave purchased by Abraham as a buryingp'lace. The meaning of this term, which
always occurs with ithe definite article, is
not clear. According to the Targummim and
to the Septuagint it means " the double,"
while Gesenius connects it with the Ethiopic
for " ithe portion." A more probable derivation is from the Arabic makbarah, a cemetery,
or burial-place. The following Arabic words
may be usefully compared in this connection :
Mawt, " d e a t h " ; mdyt, "dying, dead";
mahtal (pi.) makatil, "place of death";
marrah, " a
thing passing away";
ma baki, "the remainder, the rest." In
Arabic " dance " is raks and jlfat, " corpse.'
In Hebrew, we have mittah, " a bier" ; miti
askim "undertaker?, or attendants at a
A fanciful • explanation of the term,
Macabre, has been given, founded upon the
Hebrew legend that Adam and Eve learned
how to dig a grave, -wherein to deposit the
corpse of Abel (Arabic Habbil), by watching
a raven (Hebrew, oreb) scratching the ground
in order to dig a hole, wherein to place the
dead body of one of its kind, then scratching
the earth over it, and, having succeeded in so
covering it, executed a pas seul, hopping first
on one leg and then on another. Believing
this to be an essential part of the ceremony,
Adam and Eve, after the interment of Abel,
imitated the movements of the raven and
executed a pas de deux, on the grave, the
gyrations thus performed by them being first
termed mitoreb, which has been corrupted to
Macabre, and that is the origin of the
HENRI M. LEON.
T ITTLE WALES (clx. 460). - The earliest
mention appears to be in 1298-9 as " Petit
Walks." North from the Thames to the E.
end of Tower Street (Agas); and see Haiward and Gascoyne's plan of the Tower
Liberties (1597). Stow (p. 138), and
Harben (p. 472) have much about it; the
latter suggests that its name commemorates