Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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xlii
recovered their former splendour. The habits of Charles the Second were of too sensual a nature to induce him to interest himself in such pursuits; besides which the manners of the country had been changed during the sway of the Puritan party. A pastoral however, called " Calisto," written by Crowne, was acted by the daughters of the Duke of York and the young nobility. About the same time the Lady Anne, afterwards Queen, acted the part of Semandra, in Lee's Mithridates. Betterton and his wife instructed the performers: in remem­brance of which, when Anne came to the throne, she gave the latter a pension of £100 a-year.
The Inns of Court also had their Christmas feasts ; but the conduct of them was probably not so much coveted as in former times, as there is an entry in the records of Gray's Inn, on 3rd November 1682, " That Mr. Richard Gipps, on his promise to per­form the office of Master of the Revels, this and the next Term, be called to the Bar of Grace," i. e. without payment of the usual fees : thus hold­ing out a reward for his services, instead of allowing him, as in former times, to spend a large portion of his private fortune, unrequited, except by the honour of the temporary office.
The Rev. Henry Teonge, chaplain of one of our ships of war, gives in his Diary (1825, p. 127-8.) a description of the manner in which the Christmas was spent on board in 1675.
"Dec. 25, 1675—Crismas day wee keepe thus. At 4 in the morning our trumpeters all doe flatt their trumpetts, and begin at our Captain's cabin, and thence to all the officers' and gentlemen's cabins; playing a levite at each cabine door, and bidding good morrow, wishing a merry Crismas. After they goe to their station, viz. on the poope, and sound 3 levitts in honour of the morning. At

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III