Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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errant Knights, Queenes, Lovers, Lords, Ladies, Giants,' Dwarfes, Theeves, Cheaters, Witches, Fayries, Goblins, Friers," &c.
During the reign of Charles the First, until the year 1641, or thereabouts, when the national troubles interfered with all similar amusements, and the spirit of fanaticism endeavoured to abolish any commemoration of the Nativity of our Saviour, masks and pageants were continued at court dur­ing Christmas, and frequently with great splen­dour. In 1630-1, the Queen and her ladies pre­sented a mask called "Love's Triumph through Callipolis," and the King, with certain lords and gentlemen, one called " Chloridia," both written by Ben Jonson. In 1632-3 the Queen got up a Pas­toral in Somerset House, in which it would seem she herself took a part. There were masks at the same time, independently of this performance, the cost of which considerably exceeded £2000, besides that portion of the charge which was borne by the office of the Revels, and charged to the accounts of that department.*
On 23d Dec. 1632, a grant of £450 was made to George Kirke, Esq. Gentleman of the Robes, for the masking attire of the King and his party. The King and Queen, with many of the courtiers, were in the habit of joining in these amusements,—a practice of early date also in France. Margaret de Valois, Queen of Navarre, wrote Moralities in 1540, which she called Pastorals, to be acted by the ladies of her court.f On the 13th Dec. 1637, a warrant under Privy Seal was issued to the same George Kirke for £150 to provide masking apparel
* See Collier's Hist. Dram. Poetry, for particulars of this and many other similar entertainments.
f Warton's History of Poetry, vol. iii. p. 227, n.

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