Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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cxxvi
are large venders of ballads, and single, or broadside pieces. Several of these carols have wood-cuts of the rudest description ; others, again, have embel­lishments that might have been considered very creditable for the price at which they are afforded, until recent examples had shown us the extent of ornament which may be lavished even on a penny publication. Some of these carols, I was informed by the publishers, are in considerable request, and are printed off as the demand requires.—The custom prevails also in Ireland and Wales. In the latter country, in particular, there are several collections known in the Welsh language ; some of which are of ancient date. Others are composed by the mo­dern village-poet; and Mr. Roberts, in his " Cam­brian Popular Antiquities," (1815,) particularly men­tions Hugh Morris as a favourite writer and poetic genius in this line, in modern days. And there was a notice recently of the death of a Welsh poet, David Jones, at Rhuddlan, in Flintshire, aged sixty-nine, who for the last fifty-three years had annually sung a carol, of his own composing, on Christmas day, in the church there.*
In the West of England, and especially in the western parts of Cornwall, carol-singing is still kept up, the singers going about from house to house wherever they can obtain encouragement, and, in some of the parish churches, meeting on the night of Christmas-eve and singing-in the sacred morning. Heath, in his " Account of the Scilly Islands," men­tions the practice of singing carols in churches on Christmas-day in his time (about 1750), and a collection made from the congregation by carrying about a hat for the benefit of the singers.
The modern part of the ensuing collection (with
* Literary Gazette, Oct. 13th, 1832.

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