Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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CXXXV111
Dei vo gar, mai che>e aimie, Dit-i d'ene douce voi, &c.
very different from the gravity displayed in the Chester Mysteries, in the Wrightes Play, (about 1328.)
Gabriell. Heale be thou, Marie mother free, Full of grace god is wth thee Amonge all women blessed thou bee And the frute of thy bodye." *
In the fourteenth pageant of the Coventry Plays there is, however, some buffoonery introduced, quite as gross as in this noel, but which was probably well calculated for the amusement of the rude ima­gination of the audiences in those times. Mary is brought to trial before Ahizachar, the Bishop, for infidelity. The accusers are called Primus et Se-cundus Detractor. Primus Detractor observes,
In feyth, I suppose that this woman slepte Withowtyn all coverte, whyle that it dede snowe, And a flake therof into hyre mowthe crepte, And therof the chylde in hyre wombe doth growe.
Secundus Detractor; following up the joke, warns her to take care, when the child is born, not to let the sun shine upon it.f
The fifth of these Noei gives an account of the adoration and offering of the three kings, of which the following is an extract.
Ai lai Nativitai Chanton, je vo suplie. Troi Roi d'autre coutai Moitre an estrologie, De I'anfan novea nai Saivein lai profecie.
*HarleianMS. 2013.
f Collier's History of Dramatic Poetry, vol. ii. p. 178.

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