|• Main||• Contacts|
 See, e.g., Cheetham's Hulsean Lectures, _The Mysteries, Pagan and
Christian_, pp. 123, 136.
 Hormayr's _Taschenbuch_, 1835, p. 255. Hagelstange, in a chapter on
mediaeval festivals in his _Sueddeutsches Bauernleben im Mittelalter_,
shows how, in these Christian orgies which were really of pagan origin, the
German people reacted with tremendous and boisterous energy against the
laborious and monotonous existence of everyday life.
 This was clearly realized by the more intelligent upholders of the
Feast of Fools. Austere persons wished to abolish this Feast, and in a
remarkable petition sent up to the Theological Faculty of Paris (and
quoted by Flogel, _Geschichte des Grotesk-Komischen_, fourth edition, p.
204) the case for the Feast is thus presented: "We do this according to
ancient custom, in order that folly, which is second nature to man and
seems to be inborn, may at least once a year have free outlet. Wine casks
would burst if we failed sometimes to remove the bung and let in air. Now
we are all ill-bound casks and barrels which would let out the wine of
wisdom if by constant devotion and fear of God we allowed it to ferment.
We must let in air so that it may not be spoilt. Thus on some days we give
ourselves up to sport, so that with the greater zeal we may afterwards
return to the worship of God." The Feast of Fools was not suppressed until
the middle of the sixteenth century, and relics of it persisted (as at
Aix) till near the end of the eighteenth century.
 A Meray, _La Vie au Temps des Libres Precheurs_, vol. ii, Ch. X. A
good and scholarly account of the Feast of Fools is given by E.K.
Chambers, _The Mediaeval Stage_, Ch. XIII. It is true that the Church and
the early Fathers often anathematized the theatre. But Gregory of
Nazianzen wished to found a Christian theatre; the Mediaeval Mysteries were
certainly under the protection of the clergy; and St. Thomas Aquinas, the
greatest of the schoolmen, only condemns the theatre with cautious
 Spencer and Gillen, _Northern Tribes of Central Australia_, Ch. XII.
 _Journal Anthropological Institute_, July-Dec., 1904, p. 329.
 Westermarck (_Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_, vol. ii,
pp. 283-9) shows how widespread is the custom of setting apart a
periodical rest day.
 A.E. Crawley, _The Mystic Rose_, pp. 273 et seq., Crawley brings
into association with this function of great festivals the custom, found
in some parts of the world, of exchanging wives at these times. "It has
nothing whatever to do with the marriage system, except as breaking it for
a season, women of forbidden degree being lent, on the same grounds as
conventions and ordinary relations are broken at festivals of the
Saturnalia type, the object being to change life and start afresh, by
exchanging every thing one can, while the very act of exchange coincides
with the other desire, to weld the community together" (Ib., p. 479).
 See "The Analysis of the Sexual Impulse" in vol. iii of these
 G. Murray, _Ancient Greek Literature_, p. 211.
 The Greek drama probably arose out of a folk-festival of more or
less sexual character, and it is even possible that the mediaeval drama had
a somewhat similar origin (see Donaldson, _The Greek Theatre_; Gilbert
Murray, loc. cit.; Karl Pearson, _The Chances of Death_, vol. ii, pp.
135-6, 280 et seq.).
 R. Canudo, "Les Choreges Francais," _Mercure de France_, May 1,
1907, p. 180.
 "This is, in fact," Cyples declares (_The Process of Human
Experience_, p. 743), "Art's great function--to rehearse within us greater
Page 1 from 5:  2 3 4 5 Forward