Special Dinners, Dances and Luncheons 525
the apprehension concerning thirteen at table comes from the Paschal Supper—when the death of One followed so closely, but adding that the same company must have eaten the Passover together before.
The friend at her right suggested, " It is only unlucky to be one of thirteen at table when there is provision made for but twelve!"
Another said: "I have been looking up why salt spilled is accounted a bad omen (to be averted only by throwing a pinch over the left shoulder), and find that the idea comes from the fact that salt being incorruptible was anciently regarded as the symbol of friendship and hospitality. If it was spilled, the persons between whom it fell thought that their friendship would not last," and she, with apparent carelessness, upset the salt-cellar near her.
" It must be a very old superstition," added the hostess, "since in Leonardo da Vinci's painting of 'The Last Supper' the salt is represented as overturned."
Her neighbour volunteered: "I have heard that the idea of Friday's being an unlucky day comes from its having been that of the crucifixion. I have been reading about what used to be known as 'perilous days,' when it was believed that anything begun would not be successful. No man would propose marriage but at 'the waxing of the moon,' nor marry but at that time— the word 'honeymoon' comes from it, and here is a delicious bit: Lord Burghley left to his son a book of precepts in which he cautions him against undertaking anything of moment on the first Monday in April, 'on which day Cain was born and Abel slain.' He does not give his authority for the information."
"I grow more and more pharisaical every moment when I reflect how superior we are to other people who