British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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Jan. 6.]                             TWELFTH DAY.                                       25
Naogeorgus, The Popish Kingdom, 1570, states that the king, on being elected, was raised up with great cries to the ceiling, where with chalk he inscribed crosses on the rafters to pro­tect the house against evil spirits.—Book of Days, 1863, vol. i. p. 62. See also Every Day Book, 1827, vol. i. p. 51.
Herrick, the poet of our festivals, has several allusions to the celebration of this day of our ancestors, as may be 6een in the subjoined poem:
" Now, now the mirth comes
With the cake full of plums, Where beane's the king of the sport here;
Besides, we must know,
The pea also Must revell, as queene, in the court here.
Begin then to chuse
(This night as ye use) Who shall for the present delight here,
Be a king be the lot,
And who shall not Be Twelfe-day queene for the night here.
Which knowne, let us make
Joy-sops with the cake ; And let not a man then be seene here.
Who unurg'd will not drinke,
To the base from the brink, A health to the king and queene here.
Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle lamb's-wool 1; Adde sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
With store of ale too;
And thus ye must doe To make the wassaile a swinger.
Give them to the king
And queene wassailing; And though with ale ye be whet here:
Yet part ye from hence,
As free from offence, As when ye innocent met here."
In the last century Twelfth Night Cards represented minis­ters, maids of honour, and other attendants of a court, and
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