Hallowmas — “To speak puling, like a beggar at,” THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, ii. 1. 23 ; “at Hallowmas,” MEASURE FOR MEASURE, ii. 1. 119 ; “like Hallowmas,” RICHARD II., v. 1. 80. Hallowmas is the mass or feast-day of All-Hallows or All-Saints. “It is worth remarking, that on All-Saints-Day the poor people in Staffordshire, and perhaps in other country places, go from parish to parish a souling, as they call it, that is, begging and puling (or singing small, as Bailey's Dict. explains puling) for [a sort of cakes called] soul-cakes, or any good thing to make them merry. This custom is mentioned by Peck, and seems a remnant of Popish superstition to pray for departed souls, particularly those of friends. The souler's song in Staffordshire is different from that which Mr. Peck mentions, and is by no means worthy publication” (TOLLET) . “Several of these terms clearly point out the condition of this benevolence, which was, that the beggars should pray for the souls of the giver's departed friends on the ensuing day, Nov. 2, which was the feast of All Souls.” Nares's Gloss.
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