THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. 27
" Observe how the chimneys
Do smoak all about, The cooks are providing
For dinner, no doubt; But those on whose tables
No victuals appear, O may they keep Lent
All the rest of the year ! "
The same author quotes from a manuscript in the British Museum, an Anglo-Norman carol of the early date of the thirteenth century ; and appends to it a translation by the late Mr. Douce, —the following verse of which translation informs us (what, at any rate, might well be supposed, viz.) that so much good eating on the part of the ancient gentleman Christmas, would naturally suggest the propriety of good drinking, too.—
" Lordings, Christmas loves good drinking,
When of Gascoigne, France, Anjou, English ale, that drives out thinking,
Prince of liquors old or new. Every neighbor shares the bowl,
Drinks of the spicy liquor deep, Drinks his fill without control,
Till he drowns his care in sleep."
In a " Christmas Carroll," printed at the end of Wither's " Juvenilia," a graphic account is given of some of the humors of Christmas;—amongst which the labors of the kitchen are introduced in the first verse, with a due regard to their right of precedency,—and in words which, if few, are full of suggestion.—
" Lo ! now is come our joyful'st feast!
Let every man be jolly. Each roome with yvie leaves is drest,
And every post with holly. Now, all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas Blocks are burning; Their ovens they with bak't-meats choke,
And all their spits are turning."
We must present our readers with another quotation from an old ballad, entitled, " Time's Alteration; or, The Old Man's Rehearsal, what brave dayes he knew a great while agone, when