Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/116

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96
PUNISHMENTS

and men slain in the heat of the game! Backgammon, under the name of "Tables," was played with double boards and dice, even as it is to-day, as also was the game of draughts, which came over from France under the name of "Dames." There was no card playing as yet, for cards were not introduced into England till quite the end of the fourteenth century, and they did not become universally popular till later, when chess went out of fashion.

Even during the playing of chess and draughts it was no uncommon thing for the domestic jester to enliven the family circle and for troops of jugglers, tumblers, rope-dancers, buffoons, with attendant apes and dogs, to crowd the hall in gay confusion. There was no privacy in those days. In public they ate and drank and talked and played and slept, in public they were punished for their crimes, both great and small. Thus a man would sit on the village green with his feet in the stocks; a scold would sit in the village street on the cuck-stool, to be derided by all who passed; a fraudulent baker or butcher would stand with hands and neck in the pillory, with his name writ large above him, while the disputed goods were burnt under his nose or hung round his