E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The bridegroom who lost his bride on the wedding-day. She was playing at hide-and-seek, and selected an old oak chest for her hiding-place. The chest closed with a spring lock, and many years after her skeleton
told the sad story of The Mistletoe Bough. Samuel Rogers introduces this story in his Italy (part i. 18). He says the bride was Ginevra, only child of Orsini, an indulgent father. The bridegroom was Francesco Doria, her playmate from her birth, and her first love. The chest in which she was buried alive in her bridal dress was an heirloom, richly carved by Antony of Trent, with Scripture stories from the life of Christ. It came from Venice, and had held the ducal robes of some old ancestor. Francesco, weary of his life, flew to Venice and flung his life away in battle with the Turk. Orsini went mad, and spent the live-long day wandering as in quest of something, something he could not find. Fifty years afterwards the chest was removed by strangers and the skeleton discovered.