Giralda to Glass Slipper

Giralda of Seville, called by the Knight of the Mirrors a giantess,whose body was of brass, and who, without ever shifting her place, was the most unsteady and changeable female in the world. In fact, this Giralda was no other than the brazen statue on a steeple in Seville, serving for a weathercock.

“I fixed the changeable Giralda … I obliged her to stand still; for during the space of a whole week no wind blew but from the north.”—Cervantes: Don Quixote, II. i. 14 (1615).

Giraldus Cambrensis, the literary name of Girald de Barri. He was author of the Itinerarium Cambriæ, the Descriptio Cambriæ; and his work on Ireland was criticized by John Lynch, who called his book Cambrensis Eversus. Giraldus was born in Pembroke, and lived 1146–1222 (that is, about the time of Henry II.).

Girder (Gibbie, i.e. Gilbert), the cooper at Wolf’s Hope village.

Jean Girder, wife of the cooper.—Sir W. Scott: Bride of Lammermoor (time, William III.).

Girdle (Armida’s), a cestus worn by Armida, which, like that of Venus, possessed the magical charm of provoking irresistible love.—Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered (1575).

Florimel’s Girdle, the prize of a grand tournament, in which sir Satyrane, sir Brianor, sir Sanglier, sir Artegal, sir Cambel, sir Triamond, Britomart, and others took part. It was accidentally dropped by Florimel in her flight (bk. iii. 7, 31), picked up by sir Satyrane, and employed by him for binding the monster which frightened Florimel to flight; afterwards it came again into sir Satyrane’s possession, when he placed it for safety in a golden coffer. It was a gorgeous girdle, made by Vulcan for Venus, and embossed with pearls and precious stones; but its chief merit was

It gave the virtue of chaste love
And wifehood true to all that it did bear;
But whosoever contrary doth prove,
Might not the same about her middle wear,
But it would loose, or else asunder tear.
   —Spenser: Faërie Queene, iii. 7 (1590).

Other tests of chastity were: “Arthur’s drinking-horn,” mentioned in the Morte d’ Arthur. The “court mantel,” mentioned in the ballad called “The Boy and the Mantel,” in Percy’s Reliques. The “enchanted cup,” mentioned in Orlando Furioso, ii., etc. (See Chastity, p. 198.)

Venus’s Girdle, a gir dle on which was embroidered the passions, desires, joys, and pains of love. It was usually called a ce stus, which means “embroidered,” and was worn lower down than the cingulum or matron’s girdle, but higher up than the zone or maiden’s girdle. It was said to possess the magical power of exciting love. Homer describes it thus—

In this was every art, and every charm,
To win the wisest, and the coolest warm;
Fond love, the gentle vow, the gay desire,
The kind deceit, the still reviving fire,
Persuasive speech, and more persuasive sighs,
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes.
   —Pope: IIiad, xiv.

Girdle of Opakaa, foresight and prudence.

“The girdle of Opakka, with which Kifri the enchanter is endued, what is it,” said Shemshelnar, “but foresight and prudence—the best ‘girdle’ for the sultans of the earth?”—Sir G. Morell [i.e. J. Ridley], Tales of the Genii (“History of Mahoud,” tale vii., 1751).

Girdles, impressed with mystical characters, were bound with certain ceremonies round women in gestation, to accelerate the birth and alleviate the pains of labour. It was a Druid custom, observed by the Gaels, and continued in practice till quite modern times.

Aldo offered to give Erragon, “a hundred steeds, children of the rein; a hundred hawks with fluttering wing, … and a hundred girdles to bind high-bosomed maids, friends of the births of heroes.”—Ossian: The Battle of Lora.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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