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Village Feast
Notwithstanding the miseries to which they were generally subject, the rural population had their days of rest and amusement, which were then much more numerous than at present. At that period the festivals of the Church were frequent and rigidly kept, and as each of them was the pretext for a forced holiday from manual labour, the peasants thought of nothing, after church, but of amusing themselves; they drank, talked, sang, danced, and, above all, laughed, for the laugh of our forefathers quite rivalled the Homeric laugh, and burst forth with a noisy joviality.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period, by Paul Lacroix