A Day For Fools
From Anatomy of Abuses, 1583

Philip Stubbs



First, the wildheads of the parish choose them a Grand Captain, whom they ennoble with the title of Lord of Misrule. This king anointed, chooseth forth a hundred lusty guts, to wait upon his lordly majesty. Then every one of these men he investeth with liveries of green, yellow or some other wanton colour. They bedeck themselves with scarves, ribbons and laces hanged all over with gold rings, precious stones and other jewels. This done, they tie about either leg twenty or forty bells, with rich handkerchiefs in their hands, borrowed from their pretty Mopsies and loving Bessies.


Then they have their hobby horses, dragons and other antics, together with their bawdy pipers and thundering drummers to strike up the devil's dance. Then march these heathen towards the church, their pipers piping, their drummers thundering, their stumps dancing, their bells jingling, their handkerchiefs swinging about their heads like madmen. And in this sort they go into the church (though the minister be at prayer or preaching) dancing like devils incarnate.


Then the foolish people they look, they stare, they laugh, they fleer, and mount upon forms and pews to see this goodly pageant. And so forth into the churchyard where they have their bowers, wherein they feast, banquet and dance all day...



Philip Stubbs, 1583







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