Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/226

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CHAPTER VII

OUT-OF-DOOR SPORTS

THE Elizabethans were such fun-loving people that it is useless to attempt here to catalogue their amusements, either indoor or out. In the following chapter and the next a brief description is given of those sports that were the most popular and therefore most typical of the time:

Ale was the staple drink of our ancestors of this period and ales one of their staple amusements. An ale was nothing more nor less than a fair at which practically nothing of importance was sold except ale. There were many of them. Some took their names from the dates on which they were given as the Whitsun Ale; some were named from the place at which they were given, and might occur at any time, as the Church Ale. The Leet Ale was rather a dinner than an ale, given upon the occasion of the courtleet of a manor. The Bride Ale is mentioned elsewhere. The Clerk Ale owes its name to its purpose, namely, that of a benefit for the clerk. Of all these, the first two are the most important.

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