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THE OLD CAP, OR TIME'S ALTERATION.

Our ladies, in those days,

In civil habit went;
Broad cloth was then worth praise,

And gave the best content;
French fashions then were scorned;

Fond fangles then none knew; Then modesty women adorned,

When this old cap was new.

The holly tree was polled

At Christmas for each hall; There was fire to curb the cold,

And meat for great and small : The neighbours were friendly bidden,

And all had welcome true; The

poor from the gates were not chidden When this old cap was new.

Black jacks to every man

Were filled with wine and beer ; No pewter pot nor can

Did in those days appear. Good cheer in a nobleman's house

Was counted a seemly show; We wanted no brawn nor souse,

When this old cap was new.

We took not such delight

In cups of silver fine; None under degree of a knight

In plate drunk beer or wine.

Now each mechanical man

Hath a cupboard of plate for show :
Which was a rare thing then,

When this old cap was new.

God save our gracious king,

Oh, send him long to live!
And mischief on them bring

That will not their alms give;
But seek to rob the poor

Of that which is their due:
This was not in time of

yore,
When this old cap was new.

We have been unable to trace the original source from whence the following old ballad has been derived ; but in all probability it was written just after the Restoration, when the limits, within which the festivities of the season had been confined by the over-zealous Puritans, were overstepped, and something like a revival of the old hospitality began to show itself. A paragraph, which appears to form a regular accompaniment of the old ballad, describes it to be “a looking-glass for rich misers, wherein they may see (if not blind) how much they are to blame for their penurious housekeeping; and likewise an encouragement to those noble-minded gentry, who lay out a great part of their estate in hospitality, relieving such persons as have need thereof.

“Who feasts the poor, a true reward shall find,
Or helps the old, the feeble, lame, and blind.”

OLD CHRISTMAS RETURNED.

All you that to feasting and mirth are inclined,
Come here is good news for to pleasure your mind,
Old Christmas is come for to keep open

house,
He scorns to be guilty of starving a mouse!
Then come, boys, and welcome for dict the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

OLD CHRISTMAS RETURNED.

A long time together he hath been forgot,
They scarce could afford for to hang on the pot ;
Such miserly sneaking in England hath been,
As by our forefathers ne'er used to be seen ;
But now he's returnèd you shall have, in brief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

The times were ne'er good since old Christmas was fled,
And all hospitality hath been so dead,
No mirth at our festivals late did appear,
They scarcely would part with a cup of March beer;
But now you shall have, for the ease of your grief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

The butler and baker, they now may be glad,
The times they are mended though they have been bad;
The brewer, he likewise may be of good cheer,
He shall have good trading for ale and strong beer;
All trades shall be jolly, and have, for relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

The holly and ivy about the walls wind,
And show that we ought to our neighbours be kind,
Inviting each other for pastime and sport,
And where we best fare, there we most do resort.
We fail not for victuals, and that of the chief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

The cooks shall be busied by day and by night
In roasting and boiling, for taste and delight;
Their senses in liquor that's nappy they'll steep,
Though they be afforded to have little sleep;

11

They still are employed for to dress us, in brief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

Although the cold weather doth hunger provoke,
”T is a comfort to see how the chimneys do smoke;
Provision is making for beer, ale, and wine,
For all that are willing or ready to dine;
Then haste to the kitchen, for diet the chief-
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

All travellers, as they do pass on their way,
At gentlemen's halls are invited to stay,
Themselves to refresh, and their horses to rest,
Since that he must be Old Christmas's guest;
Nay, the poor shall not want but have, for relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

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Now Mock-beggar Hall it no more shall stand empty,
But all shall be furnished with freedom and plenty ;
The hoarding old misers, who used to preserve
The gold in their coffers, and see the

poor starve,
Must now spread their tables, and give them, in brief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pics, and roast beef.

The court, and the city, and country are glad
Old Christmas is come to cheer up the sad ;
Broad pieces and guineas about now shall fly,
And hundreds be losers by cogging a die,
Whilst others are feasting with diet the chief-
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

Those that have no coin at the cards for to play,
May sit by the fire and pass time away,

OLD CHRISTMAS RETURNED.

And drink of their moisture contented and free--
“My honest good fellow, come, here is to thee!”
And when they are hungry, full to their relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

Young gallants and ladies shall foot it along,
Each room in the house to the music shall throng,
Whilst jolly carouses about they shall pass,
And each country swain trip about with his lass;
Meantime

goes

the caterer to fetch in the chiefPlum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

The cooks and the scullion, who toil in their frocks,
Their hopes do depend upon their Christmas box;
There are very few that do live on the earth
But enjoy at this time either profit or mirth ;
Yea, those that are charged to find all relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

Then well may we welcome Old Christmas to town,
Who brings us good cheer, and good liquor so brown,
To
pass

the cold winter away with delight.
We feast it all day, and we frolic all night;
Both hunger and cold we keep out with relief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

Then let all curmudgeons, who dote on their wealth,
And value their treasure much more than their health,
Go hang themselves up, if they will be so kind,
Old Christmas with them but small welcome shall find :
They will not afford to themselves, without grief,
Plum-pudding, goose, capon, minced pies, and roast beef.

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