The custom of giving a feast at funerals came to us from the
Romans, who not only feasted the friends of the deceased, but also
distributed meat to the persons employed.
Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Shakespeare: Hamlet, i. 2.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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