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make a man to be suspected and taken for a Christian, for which he shall
In another pamphlet, published a few years later, Taylor gives us a
After a few words of remonstrance, Christmas proceeds to describe his visit to a “grave, fox-furred mammonist,” by whom he is received with anything but cordiality; and, taking his departure, he makes his way into the country, where he meets with the “ best and freest welcome from some kind country farmers: I will describe one,” he observes, " for all the rest in Devonshire and Cornwali, where the goodman, with the dame of the house, and every body else, were exceeding glad to see me, and, with all country courtesy and solemnity, I was had into the parlour ; there I was placed at the upper end of the table, and my company about me, we had good cheer and free welcome, and we were merry without music.
“ After dinner we arose from the board and sat by the fire -- where the hearth was embroidered all over with roasted apples, piping hot, expecting a bowl of ale for a cooler (which presently was transformed into warm lambswool). Within an hour after we went to church, where a good old minister spoke very reverendly of my Master, Christ, and also he uttered many good speeches concerning me, exciting and exhorting the people to love and unity one with another, and to extend their charities to the needy and distressed.
“ After prayers we returned home, where we discoursed merrily, without cither profaneness or obscenity; supper being ended, we went to cards ; some sung carols and merry songs (suitable to the times); then the poor labouring hinds and the maid-servants, with the plouglıboys, went nimbly to dancing, the poor toiling wretches being all glad of my company, because they had little or no sport at all till I came amongst them; and therefore they leaped and skipped for joy, singing a catch to the tune of her,
“Let's dance and sing, and make good cheer,
For Christmas comes but once a year.'
were very unwilling to let me go; so I left them, quite out of hope to have my company again for a twelvemonths' space, that, if I were not banished in my absence, they should have my presence again next 25th of December, 1653."*
Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning;
And all their spits are turning.
• Christmas In and Out; or, Our Lord and Saviour Christ's Birthday, 1652.
Without the door let sorrow lie;
And ever more be merry.
Now every lad is wondrous trim,
And no man minds his labour ;
A bag-pipe and a tabour;
Perceive that they are merry.
Rank misers now do sparing shun;
Their hall of music soundeth ;
So all things there aboundeth.
And all the town be merry.
Ned Squash hath fetched his bands from pawn,
And all his best apparel ;
With droppings of the barrel ;
And all the day be merry.
Now poor men to the justices
make their errants ;*
They plague them with their warrants :
And then they shall be merry.
• This was an old custom on the part of tenants to their landlords, which, we presume, came to be followed by all the poorer sort who made their annual offering at the great man's shrine at this particular season of the year. Gascoigne, who wrote in the reign of Elizabeth, says
" And when the tenants come to pay their quarter's rent,
And somewhat else at New Year's tide, for fear their lease fly loose."
“Yet must he haunt his greedy landlord's hall,
Good farmers in the country nurse
that else were undone; Some landlords spend their money worse,
On lust and pride at London. There the roysters they do play, Drab and dice their lands away, Which may be ours another day;
And therefore let's be merry.
The client now his suit forbears,
The prisoner's heart is eased : The debtor drinks away
And therefore let's be merry.
Hark! how the wags abroad do call
Each other forth to rambling: Anon
’11 sec them in the hall For nuts and apples scrambling. IIark! how the roofs with laughter sound ! Anon they'll think the house goes round; For they the cellar's depth have found,
And there they will be merry.
The wenches with their wassail bowls
About the streets are singing ; The boys are come to catch the owls,
The wild mare in is bringing.