Aerolites, or stones which have fallen from heaven. J. Norman Lockyer
says the number of meteors which fall daily to the earth “exceeds 21
millions.” (Nineteenth Century, Nov., 1880, p. 787.) The largest
aerolith on record is one that fell in Brazil. It is estimated to weigh
14,000 lbs. In 1806 a shower of stones fell near
L'Aigle, and M. Biot was deputed by the French Government to report
on the phenomenon. He found between two and three thousand stones, the
largest being about 17 lbs. in weight.
(See Eagle-Stones.) Health stones. Purites (2 syl.)
found in Geneva and Savoy. So called from the notion that it loses its
steel-blue colour if the person in possession of one is in
Square stones. The most ancient idols were square stones. The head
and limbs were subsequent additions. Touchstones. (q.v.)
Stones. After the Moslem pilgrim has made his seven processions round
the Caaba, he repairs to Mount Arafat, and before sunrise enters the
valley of Mena. where he throws seven stones at each of three pillars,
in imitation of Abraham and Adam, who thus drove away the devil when he
disturbed their devotions.
The most celebrated groups are those of Stonehenge, Avebury, in
Wiltshire, Stennis in the Orkneys, and Carnac in Brittany.
The Standing Stones of Stennis,
in the Orkneys, resemble Stonehenge, and, says Sir W. Scott,
furnish an irresistible refutation of the opinion that these circles
are Druidical. There is every reason to believe that the custom was
prevalent in Scandinavia as well as in Gaul and Britain, and as common
to the mythology of Odin as to Druidism. They were places of public
assembly, and in the Eyrbiggia Saga is described the manner of setting
apart the Helga Feli (Holy Rocks) by the pontiff Thorolf for solemn
Stones fallen down from Jupiter.
Anaxagoras mentions a stone that fell from Jupiter in Thrace, a
description of which is given by Pliny. The Ephesians asserted that
their image of Diana came from Jupiter. The stone at Emessa, in Syria,
worshipped as a symbol of the sun, was a similar meteorite. At Abydos
and Potidæ'a similar stones were preserved. At Corinth was one
venerated as Zeus. At Cyprus was one dedicated to Venus, a description
of which is given by Tacitus and Maximus Tyrius. Herodian describes a
similar stone in Syria. The famous Caaba stone at Mecca is a similar
meteor. Livy recounts three falls of stones. On November 27th, 1492,
just as Maximilian was on the point of engaging the French army near
Ensisheim, a mass weighing 270 lbs. fell between the combatants; part
of this mass is now in the British Museum. In June, 1866, at Knyahinya,
a village of Hungary, a shower of stones fell, the largest of which
weighs above 5 cwt.; it was broken in the fall into two pieces, both of
which are now in the Imperial Collection at Vienna. On December 13th,
1795, in the village of Thwing, Yorkshire, an aërolite fell weighing 56
lbs., now in the British Museum. On September 10th, 1813, at Adare, in
Limerick,. fell a similar stone, weighing 17 lbs., now in the Oxford
Museum. On May 1st, 1860, in Guernsey county, Ohio, more than thirty
stones were picked up within a space of ten miles by three; the largest
weighed 103 lbs. (Kesselmeyer and Dr. Otto Buchner: The Times, November 14th, 1866.)
You have stones in your mouth.
Said to a person who stutters or speaks very indistinctly. The
allusion is to Demosthenes, who cured himself of stuttering by putting
pebbles in his mouth and declaiming on the
The orator who once
Did fill his mouth with pebble stones
When he harangued,
Said to be dew-drops condensed and hardened by the sun.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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