Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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Ixxxix
by the convent of the friars preachers. Warton* gives the following account. It is called in the ritual, The Feast of the Star.
" The three kings appeared crowned on three great horses, richly habited, surrounded by pages, body-guards, and an innumerable retinue. A golden star was exhibited in the sky, going before them. They proceeded to the pillars of S. Law­rence, where king Herod was represented with his scribes and wise-men. The three kings ask Herod where Christ should be born : and his wise-men having consulted their books, answer him at Beth­lehem. On which, the three kings with their golden crowns, having in their hands golden cups filled with frankincense, myrrh, and gold, the star still going before, marched to the church of S. Eu-storgius, with all their attendants; preceded by trumpets and horns, apes, baboons, and a great variety of animals. In the church, on one side of the high altar, there was a manger with an ox and an ass, and in it the infant Christ in the arms of his mother. Here the three kings offer their gifts," &c.
When Henry the Sixth entered Paris, in 1431, as King of France, he was met at the gate of St. Denis, by a dumb show, representing the birth of the Virgin Mary and her marriage, the adoration of the three kings, and the parable of the sower.f This legend afforded the subject of one of the Corpus Christi plays at Newcastle, of which many particulars are preserved in Brand's History of that place. The earliest notice of them by him is in 1426, but they are considered of older date. Each company acted its own play. The glaziers, with plumbers, pewterers, and painters, and an­ciently consisting of goldsmiths, plumbers, glaziers,
* Warton's Hist, of Poetry, vol. ii. p. 128. n. f Ibid. ii. 71. n.
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