Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/88

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66 Collectanea.

are tied four bouquets. The men who keep the rope stop the bridal party and demand toll from the bridegroom. When this is given they present the bouquets to the bride and bridegroom, best man and bridesmaid, and allow them to pass.

When they arrive at the house, before taking her hat off, the bride is led by her husband to the breakfast table, where (with his sword if he has one, or, if not, with the best knife in the house) she makes one cut in the cake, he then takes the knife and makes a cut the other way, thus finishing the slice. The bride should always borrow something, a veil or lace, etc., to be married in.

Burial Custofns. — To keep a corpse from swelling a saucer of salt or a turf should be put on the breast and a pan of water underneath. Rue, hyssop, and wormwood should be put in the coffin. Before starting for the burial ground there should be singing in the house. The corpse should be carried out at the front door feet first, and should then be turned with its face to the east. In Ross funeral cakes made like hot cross buns are baked, and a dole is given to the bearers, consisting of a coin, which may be a penny, sixpence, shilling, or upwards, one for each man. (Mrs. Briton says a relative of hers gave eight half-crowns.) These coins are always given in a pair of kid gloves.

A curious incident took place once at Penallt. A woman and her daughter had been turned out of their house, which had made them furious. Soon afterwards the older woman died, and while her corpse was being carried, to church the daughter suddenly drew a slipper from under her apron and struck with it three times at the coffin, exclaiming as she did so, " Mother, I'm here, fulfilling your commands ! " and with that she threw the slipper into an orchard close by belonging to those people who had turned them out. And for long after that the farm never prospered and no one could stay there, though by this time the curse appears to have been removed, as the present inhabitants are doing well.

Some time ago a terrible quarrel took place about some stolen fowls. The story is too complicated to follow, but it ended in one of the disputants, Mrs. Adams, being sent to Usk goal.