BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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44                               THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
harneys, white and bright and gilt, with a nest of fethers, of all colors, upon his crest or helm, and a gilt pole ax in his hand,"— and, no doubt, thinking himself a prodigiously fine fellow. He was accompanied by the lieutenant of the Tower, " armed with a fair white armour," also wearing " fethers," and " with a like pole ax in his hand,"—and of course also thinking himself a very fine fellow. With them came sixteen trumpeters, preceded by four drums and fifes, and attended by four men clad in white " harneys," from the middle upwards, having halberds in their hands, and bearing on their shoulders a model of the tower,—and each and every one of these latter personages, in his degree, hav­ing a ». onsciousness that he, too, was a fine fellow. Then, all these fine fellows, with the drums and music, and with all their '; fethers" and finery, went, three times, round the fire,—whereas considering that the boar's head was cooling all the time, we think once might have sufficed. Then the constable marshal, after three curtesies, knelt down before the lord chancellor, with the lieutenant doing the same behind him, and then and there delibe­rately proceeded to deliver himself of an "oration of a quarter of an h' ur's length," the purport of which was to tender his ser­vices to the lord chancellor;—which we think, at such a time, he might have contrived to do in fewer words. To this the chancel­lor was unwise enough to reply that he would " take further advice therein ;"—when it would have been much better for him to settle the matter at once, and proceed to eat his dinner. However, this part of the ceremony ended, at last, by the constable marshal and the lieutenant obtaining seats* at the chancellor's table, upon the former giving up his sword ;—and then enter, for a similar pur­pose, the master of the game, apparelled in green velvet, and the ranger of the forest, in a green suit of " satten," bearing in his hand a green bow, and " divers" arrows, " with either of them a hunting-horn about their necks, blowing together three blasts ot venery." These worthies, also, thought it necessary to parade their finery three times round the fire; and having then made similar obeisances, and offered up a similar petition, in a similar posture, they were finally inducted into a similar privilege.
But though seated at the chancellor's table, and no doubt suffi­ciently aroused by the steam of its good things, they were far
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