Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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Saints. Edward the Confessor drank wine, mead, ale, pigment, morat, and cyder, and so did his suc­cessors for some centuries, with the addition per­haps of clarre or claret, garhiofilac, and hypocras.* But good Christmas ale is indispensable,
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale, Puts downe all drinke when it is stale, The toast, the nut-meg, and the ginger, Will make a sighing man a singer. Ale giues a buffet in the head,
But ginger vnder proppes the brayne; When ale would strike a strong man dead,
Then nut-megge tempers it againe, The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale, Puts downe all drinke when it is stale, f
* Morat was made of honey, diluted with the juice of mul­berries.—{Henry s Hist. England, vol. iv. 396.) Claret was (red?) wine mixed with honey and spices, and clarified; and garhiofilac (gariophillum, according to Du Cange, mean­ing girofle, or cloves,) probably something similar in white wine. Henry the Third directs the keepers of his wines at York to deliver to Robert de Monte Pessulano two tuns of white wine to make garhiofilac, and one tun of red wine to make claret for his use, at the approaching Christmas.— Henry's Hist. England, vol. viii. 409.)
Ypocras, according to a receipt of the 16th century, was a sort of mulled wine, and thus made on a small scale :— " The crafte to make Ypocras. Take a quarte of red wyne, an unce of synamon, and half an unce of gynger; a quarter of an unce of greynes and of louge pepper, wythe half a pound of sugar; broie all these not too smalle, and then putte them in a bagge of wullen clothe (made therefore) with the wyne, and lette it hange over a vessel tylle the wyne be runne thorow." (N.B. It is presumed the wine should be poured in boiling hot, to gain the spicy flavour.) Andrews' continuation of Henry's Hist. England, vol. ii. 292, n. quoting Arnold's Chronicle of London.
t From "Specimens of Songs, by Dramatic Writers." Brit. Bibliog. vol. ii. p. 167, being "The Player's Song," from Histrio-mastix.

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