Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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west of Cornwall, which may be considered as rough substitutes for some of the games of forfeits practised by children; the first, however, is of much antiquity, as Strutt, in his " Sports and Pastimes," gives a drawing of a similar game of the date of the 14th century. Each end of a round pole, about ten feet long, is placed on a chair, on one of these is a lighted candle; the adventurer mounts the pole with his face towards this, having in his hand a small stick with a piece of paper tied to it: the trial is to get both his heels up crossways upon the pole, and endeavour to light the paper from the candle ; many awkward tumbles are occasioned in the atĀ­tempt, each of the heroes in turn getting a fall " upon the planchen."
Another game is called " The tinkeler's (Tinker's) shop." A large iron pot, with a mixture of soot and water, is placed in the middle of the room ; one of the party acts as master of the shop, having a small mop in his left hand and a short stick in his right, as his comrades have also ; each of these assumes a name, as old Vulcan, Mend-all, Tear'em, All-my-men, &c. They all kneel down round the vessel: the master cries out, " every one and I;" they then all hammer away as fast as they can, some with ridiculous grimaces : the master suddenly cries out, " All-my-men and I," " Mend-all and I," or any other name he chooses, upon which all are to cease workmg except the individual named. If any of them fail in attending to this, they are treated with a salute from the mop, well soaked in the sable liquid; and as the master contrives to puzzle them by frequently changing the names, and sometimes calling two or three together, the faces of most of the party are soon reduced to a state that would make even Warren's jet blacking look pale with envy.

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