Thursday, May 8


Anselme de Cays: The Tomb of the World's Most Paranoid Knight of Malta

A friend who visited the Catholic nerd mecca (cough) of Malta* mentions one great church in the island's capital (the cathedral, I believe), the floor of which is literally paved wall-to-wall with the tombs of the grand masters of the old Maltese Knights. One of them, over in one transcept near the tourist entrance, and thus in a high-traffic zone, is that of Anselme de Cays, who apparently must have had a gigantic chip on his shoulder. Despite the obvious fact he was sticking his tomb into the floor of a well-travelled church, he marked his slab with the cockily ominous inscription that read, I'm told, "If you tread on me, I will tread on you" (though as you see above, it also concludes with a polite Ora pro me, which seems a bit like asking someone to go pick up the laundry after slamming a door in their face.)

The ever-practical (and apparently both hyper-literal and it would seem somewhat superstitious or at the very least cautious) Maltese have gotten round the problem by putting a sheet of plate-glass a few inches above the surface of the grave, just there and nowhere else in the church. As far as I know, nobody has gotten tread on, so something must be working.

*Well, they do speak a sort of version of Arabic there.

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