Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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as the 13th century, with an elegant translation by Mr. Douce, is printed in his " Illustrations of Shak-speare," and also, with some variations, in Brand's " Popular Antiquities," by Ellis. Several collec­tions of carols appear to have been printed in the course of the 16th century, some of which will be more particularly mentioned in a subsequent part.
In the 17th century, carol-singing continued in great repute, and was considered as a necessary ceremony, even in the feasts of the higher orders. During the proceedings of the celebrated Christ­mas Prince, at St. John Baptist's College, Oxford, in 1607, when the boar's head was brought-in in state, a peculiar carol was sung (which will be found in the subsequent pages) wherein the whole company joined by way of chorus. An amusing story, con­nected with carol-singing, is related in " Pasquil's Jests, mixed with Mother Bunche's Merriments, &c. 1609,"* affording another example of the in­fluence which the fair sex (properly) have over us.
"A tale of a merry Christmas Carroll sung by women,
" There was sometime an old knight, who being disposed to make himselfe merry in a Christmas time, sent for many of his tenants, and poore neigh­bors, with their wives, to dinner: when having made meat to be set on the table, would suffer no man to drinke, till he that was master ouer his wife should sing a carroll, to excuse all the company: great nicenesse there was, who should bee the musician, now the cuckow time was so farre off. Yet with much adoe, looking one upon another, after a dry hemme or two, a dreaming companion drew out as much as hee durst, towards an ill-fashioned ditty. When hauing made an end, to
* British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 42.

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