Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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xcii
Part must be kept, wherewith to teend
The Christmas log next yeare ; And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend
Can do no mischiefe there.*
He adds,
End now the white-loafe and the pye, And let all sports with Christmas dye.
The Lords of Mis-rule, or Christmas Princes, frequently had their power extended to this day, when after a cessation from revelling, or nearly so, since Twelfth day, a sort of farewell was given, and then the last lingering relic of the Christmas was passed away.
This Lord of Misrule, or comptroller of the revels, by whatever name he was called, was of considerable antiquity; Faber says he was derived from an old Persico-gothic festival in honour of Budha; during the Saturnalia also a king or ruler of the feast was chosen. Some have deduced this office from the Boy-Bishop, of whom traces may be discovered as far back as the Constantinopolitan synod in 867. This ceremony prevailed in England from an early period; and when Edward the First went to Scotland in 1299, one of these boy-bishops was permitted to sing vespers before him in his chapel at Heton, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and received a present of 40s. in consequence. The custom was put down by Henry the Eighth, in 1542. It was revived during the short and troubled reign of Queen Mary, but again put aside upon the accession of Elizabeth.
The Lord of Misrule, or Christmas Prince (called in Scotland the Abbot of Unreason,f and in France the Abbe de Malgouverne and Abbe de Liesse,)
* Herrick's Works, vol. ii. p. 124. f Suppressed by Parliament in 1555.

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