Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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panying ceremony on introducing the head. The boar's head, with a lemon in his mouth, continued long after this to be the first dish at Christmas in great houses, nor is the practice yet entirely obso­lete, though in most cases brawn is now substituted for itj the former being rather an expensive dainty, for a dainty it is, experto crede. Brawn is a dish of great antiquity, and may be found in most of the old bills of fare, for coronation, and other great feasts. It appears in that for the coronation of Henry the Fourth; and in that of Henry the Se­venth, there is a distinction made between " brawne royair and " brawne ;"* the former being probably for the king's table. The begging frere in Chau­cer's Sompnoure's Tale (v. 7328-32) applies for brawn, amongst other articles, from which it would appear then not to have been a great rarity.
Brawn, mustard, and malmsey, were directed for breakfast at Christmas during Queen Elizabeth's reign; and Dugdale, in his account of the Inner Temple revels of the same age, states the same directions for that Society.
The French do not appear to have been so well acquainted with it, for on the capture of Calais by them, they found a large quantity, which they guessed to be some dainty, and tried every means of preparing it; in vain did they roast it, bake it, and boil it, it was impracticable and impenetrable to their culinary arts. Its merits, however, being at length discovered, " Ha!" said the monks, " what
* Sloane MS. 4712.

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