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A Fool's Dance.—XIV. Century

A Fool's Dance.—XIV. Century.jpg A Horse baited with DogsThumbnailsA Feat in the XIV. CenturyA Horse baited with DogsThumbnailsA Feat in the XIV. CenturyA Horse baited with DogsThumbnailsA Feat in the XIV. Century

The fool's dance, or a dance performed by persons equipped in the dresses appropriated to the fools, is very ancient, and originally, I apprehend, formed a part of the pageant belonging to the festival of fools. This festival was a religious mummery, usually held at Christmas time; and consisted of various ceremonials and mockeries, not only exceedingly ridiculous, but shameful and impious. A vestige of the fool's dance, preserved in a MS. in the Bodleian Library, written and illuminated in the reign of king Edward III. and completed in 1344, is copied below.

Author
The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England from the Earliest Period to the Present Time
By Joseph Strutt
Published 1845
Available from gutenberg.org
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