In the days of chivalry it was customary for knights to wear a lady's glove in their helmets, and to defend it with their life.
“One ware on his headpiece his ladies sleve, and another bare on hys
helme the glove of his dearlynge.” —
Glove A bribe. (See Glove Money.)
And prate and preach about what others prove, As if the world and they were hand and glove.
He bit his glove. He resolved on mortal revenge. On the “Border,” to bite the glove was considered a pledge of deadly vengeance.
Stern Rutherford right little said, But bit his glove and shook his head.
Here I throw down my glove. I challenge you. In allusion to an ancient custom of a challenger throwing his glove or gauntlet at the feet of the person challenged, and bidding him to pick it up. If he did so the two fought, and the vanquisher was considered to be adjudged by God to be in the right. To take up the glove means, therefore, to accept the challenge.
“I will throw my glove to Death itself, that there's no maculation in
thy heart.” —
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894