Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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PAGAN SURVIVALS
Foi seventeenth-century banqueting customs and the connec­tion of the cake with the "King of the Bean" Hcnick may he
quoted :—
"Now. now the mirth eomes With the cake full of plums.
Whore bean's the king of the sporl here ;
Besides we must know. The pea ilso
Must revel as queen in the court here.
Begin then to choose This night as ye use.
Who shall for the present delight heie
Be a king hy the lot,
And who shall not Be Twelfth-day queen tor the night here.
Which known, let us make
Joy-sops with the cake ; And let not a man then be seen here.
Who unurg'd will not drink.
To the base from the brink, A health to the king and the queen here." '■
There arc many English references to the custom of electing a
Twelfth Day monarch by means of a bean or pea, and this "king" is mentioned in royal accounts as early as the reign of Edward [1,4 He appears, however, to have been even more popular in France than in England, and he probably still lingers in some of the
remoter French provinces.
33*
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