HEALTH , a
See also:condition of
See also:physical soundness or well-being, in which an organism discharges its functions efficiently; also in a transferred sense a state of moral or intellectual well-being (see HYGIENE, THERAPEUTICS and PUBLIC HEALTH) . " Health " represents the O . Eng. hcellh, the condition or state of being hdl, safe or sound . This word took in
See also:northern dialects the
See also:form "
See also:hale," in
See also:southern or midland
See also:English hole, hence " whole," with the addition of an initial w, as in " whoop," and in the pronunciation of " one." "
See also:Hail," properly an exclamation of greeting,
See also:good health to you, hence, to greet, to
See also:call out to, is directly Scandinavian in origin, from Old
See also:Norwegian heill, cognate with the O . Eng. hdl, used also in this sense . " To heal (0 . Eng. hcelan), to make in sound health, to cure, is also cognate . Drinking of .Healths.—The
See also:custom of drinking " health " to the living is most probably derived from the
See also:ancient religious rite of drinking to the gods and the dead . The Greeks and Romans at meals poured out libations to their gods, and at ceremonial banquets drank to them and to the dead . The Norsemen drank the " minni " of
See also:Odin and Freya, and of their
See also:kings at their funeral feasts . With the advent of
See also:Christianity the
See also:pagan custom survived among the Scandinavian and Teutonic peoples . Such festal formulae as "
See also:God's minne!" "A bowl to God in
See also:Heaven!" occur, and Christ, the Virgin and the
See also:Saints were invoked, instead of
See also:heathen gods and heroes .
The Norse " minne " was at once love, memory and thought of the absent one, and it survived in
See also:medieval and later England in the " minnying " or " mynde " days, on which the memory of the dead was celebrated by services and feasting . Intimately associated with these quasi-sacrificial drinking customs must have ever been the drinking to the health of living men . The Greeks drank to one another and the Romans adopted the custom . The Goths pledged each other with the cry "Hails ! " a greeting which had its counterpart in the Anglo-Saxon " waes hael " (see WASSAIL) . Most
See also:modern drinking-usages have had their equivalents in classic times . Thus the Greek practice of drinking to the Nine Muses as three times three survives to-
See also:day in England and elsewhere . The
See also:Roman gallants drank as many glasses to their mistresses as there were letters in each one's name . Thus
See also:Martial: " Six cups to Naevia's health go quickly
See also:round, 'And be with seven the
See also:fair Justina's
See also:crown'd." The English drinking phrase—a "
See also:toast," to "toast" anyone— not older than the r7th century, had reference at first to this custom of drinking to the ladies . A toast was at first invariably a woman, and the origin of the phrase is curious . In
See also:Stuart days there appears to have been a
See also:time-honoured custom of putting a piece of toast in the
See also:cup before drinking, from a fanciful notion that it gave the liquor a better flavour . In the Taller No .
24 the connexion between this sippet of toast and the fair one pledged is explained as follows: " It happened that on a publick day " (speaking ofBath in
See also:Charles II.'s reign) " a celebrated beauty of those times was in the
See also:cross bath, and one of the
See also:crowd of her admirers took a
See also:glass of. the
See also:water in which the fair one stood, and drank her health to the
See also:company . There was in the place a gay
See also:half fuddled, who offered to jump in, and swore, though he liked not the liquor, he would have the toast . He was opposed in his
See also:resolution; yet this whim gave foundation to the
See also:honour which is done to the
See also:lady we mention in our liquor, who has ever since been called a toast."
See also:Skeat adds (Etym .
See also:Diet., 1908), "whether the
See also:story be true or not, it may be seen that a ` toast,' i.e. a health, easily took its name from being the usual accompaniment to liquor, especially in loving cups," &c . Health drinking had by the beginning of the 17th century become a very ceremonious business in England . At
See also:Christmas 1623 the members of the
See also:Temple, according to one of the Harleian
See also:MSS. quoted in The
See also:Life of
See also:Sir Simonds D'Ewes, drank to the health of the princess
See also:Elizabeth, who, with her
See also:husband. the
See also:king of Bohemia, was then suffering
See also:great misfortunes, and stood up, one after the other, cup in one
See also:hand, sword in the other, and pledged her,
See also:swearing to die in her service . Toasts were often drunk solemnly on bended knees; according to one authority,
See also:Ward of
See also:Ipswich, in his Woe to Drunkards (1622), on
See also:bare knees . In 1668 at Sir
See also:Carteret's at Cranbourne the health of the duke of
See also:York was drunk by all in turn, each on his knees, the king, who was a
See also:guest, doing the like . A Scotch custom, still surviving, was to drink a toast with one
See also:foot on the table and one on the
See also:chair . Healths, too, were drunk in a definite
See also:order . Braithwaite says: " These cups proceed either in order or out of order . In order when no
See also:person transgresseth or drinkes out of course, but the cup goes round according to their manner of sitting: and this we call a health-cup, because in our wishing or confirming of any one's health, bare headed and
See also:standing, it is performed by all the company " (
See also:Laws of Drinking, 1617) .
See also:Douce's MSS. notes say: " It was the custom in
See also:Beaumont and
See also:Fletcher's time for the
See also:young gallants to stab themselves in the arms or elsewhere, in order to drink the health of their mistresses."
See also:Pepys, in his
See also:Diary for the 19th of
See also:June 1663, writes: " To the Rhenish wine
See also:house, where Mr
See also:Moore showed us the French manner when a health is drunk, to
See also:bow to him that drunk to you, and then apply yourself to him, whose lady's health is drunk, and then to the person that you drink to, which I never knew before; but it seems it is now the fashion." A Frenchman visiting England in Charles II.'s time speaks of the custom of drinking but half your cup, which is then filled up again and presented to him or her to whose health you drank . England's divided
See also:loyalty in the 18th century bequeathed to modern times a custom which possibly yet survives . At dinners to royalties, until the accession of
See also:Edward VII.,
See also:finger-glasses were not placed on the table, because in early Georgian days those who were secretly
See also:Jacobites passed their wine-glasses over the finger-
See also:bowls before drinking the loyal toasts, in allusion to the royal exiles " over the water," thus salving their consciences .
See also:Cockburn (1779–1854),, in his Memorials of his Time (1856), states that in his day the drinking of toasts had become a perfect social tyranny; "every glass during
See also:dinner had to be dedicated to some one . It was thought sottish and
See also:rude to take wine without this, as if forsooth there was nobody present worth drinking with . I was present about 1803 when the
See also:late duke of
See also:Buccleuch took a glass of
See also:sherry by himself at the table of Charles Hope, then lord
See also:advocate, and this was noticed afterwards as a piece of
See also:direct contempt." In Germany to-day it is an insult to refuse to drink with any one; and at one time in the west of
See also:America a man took his life in his hands by declining to
See also:pledge another . All this is a survival of that very early and universal belief that drinking to one another was a
See also:proof of fair
See also:play, whether it be in a
See also:simple bargain or in matters of life and
See also:death . The ceremony surrounding the Loving Cup to-day is reminiscent of the perils of those times when every man's hand was raised against his fellow . This cup, known at the
See also:universities as the
See also:Grace Cup, was originated, says
See also:Miss Strickland in her Lives of the Queens of Scotland, by
See also:Margaret Atheling, wife of Malcolm Canmore, who, in order to induce the Scots to remain at table forgrace had a cup of the choicest wine handed round immediately after it had been said . The modern "loving cup" sometimes has a cover, and in this case each guest rises and bows to his immediate neighbour on the right, who, also rising, removes and holds the cover with his right hand while the other drinks; the little
See also:comedy is a survival of the days when he who drank was glad to have the assurance that the right or
See also:dagger hand of his neighbour was occupied in holding the lid of the chalice . When there is no cover it is a
See also:common custom for both the lef t-and the right-hand neighbour to rise while the loving cup is drunk, with the similar
See also:object of protecting the drinker from attack . The
See also:Stirrup Cup is probably the Roman poculum
See also:boni genii, the last glass drunk at the banquet to a general " good
See also:night." See
See also:Book of Days;
See also:History of Toasting (1881); F .
W . Hackwood, Inns,Ales, and Drinking Customs (
See also:London, 1909) .
BART SIR FRANCIS BOND HEAD
GEORGE PETER ALEXANDER HEALY (1808-1894)
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