Monday, October 04, 2004

When a lord gave land to someone in feudal times, he often asked some service of the recipient, such as keeping a bridge in repair or--mirroring the modern tenant-landlord relationship--money rent. Almost anything would do, even a red rose at midsummer. One Roland held 110 acres for which, every Christmas, he was required to perform before the king "altogether, and once, a leap, a puff, and a fart."

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