Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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XXXV
necessary preparations. A Masque of ladies had been prepared for the same occasion, which for some reason was not allowed by the King and Queen.
In 1607 there was a grand exhibition of the Christmas Prince at St. John's College, Oxford, of which a description was printed. It was con­ducted with the accustomed ceremonies, but withx more than usual pomp. A very numerous court was appointed, and pageants and dramatic per­formances were from time to time exhibited, the Prince (Mr. Thomas Tucker) occasionally issuing orders for the good conduct of the common weal, and for raising the supplies, which, as may be sup­posed, were principally in the nature of benevo­lences. The Prince did not resign his office until Shrove Tuesday, and on the following Saturday the sports were concluded with a play, which there had not previously been time for. In the course of it some disturbances arose, caused by the nu­merous persons who were unable to find room within the building, but they were fortunately quelled without any serious mischief. This account was reprinted in 1816, and is therefore within reach of the curious in these matters.
The winter amusements in vogue at this period may be seen by the following extract from Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.*
" The ordinary recreations which we have in winter, and in most solitary times busie our minds with, are Cardes, Tables and Dice> Shovelboard, Chesse-play, the Philosopher's game, small trunkes, shuttle-cocke, billiards, musicke, masks, singing, dancing, ulegames, frolicks, jests, riddles, catches, purposes, questions and commands, merry tales of
* Ed. 1638, p. 271.

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