Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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The while the meat is a shredding;
For the rare mince-pie,
And the plums stand by, To fill the paste that's a kneading.*
Froissartf mentions a Christmas log of a novel description, at a great feast held by Earl Foix on Christmas day, according to his custom. After dinner he went up into a gallery, ascending a stair­case of twenty-four steps. It being cold, he com­plained that the fire was not large enough, on which a person " named Ervalton of Spayne, went down stairs, and seeing in the court a great many asses laden with wood for the house, took up one of the largest of them, with the woode, and laid him on his back, carried him up stairs, and threw him with the wood on the fire, feet upwards, to the marvel of the beholders."
The Yule-Dough, according to Brand, was a little image of paste, intended for the infant Sa­viour with the Virgin, formerly presented by the bakers to their customers. Presents of sweetmeats and confectionery in the shape of infants, crosses, &c. used to be offered to the holy fathers at Rome. Hone, in his " Every Day Book," mentions a custom at Venice, to eat a kind of pottage, called torta de lasagne, composed of oil, onions, paste, parsley, pine nuts, raisins, currants, and candied orange peel; and in some parts of the North of Europe, the pea­sants make bread in the shape of a boar-pig, and keep it on the table throughout the holidays. In the Noei Borguignon (1720, pp. 236-7), a species of Christmas bread is mentioned, called Foisse, or Fouace, " sorte de pain blanc que les Boulangers cuisent a Dijon la veille de Noel, & dont ils font un
* Herrick's Poems, vol. ii. p. 91.
f Berners' Translation, vol. iv. cap. 23, fol. 24.

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