BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.                               51
monarch himself over the weightier matters of the state. But the most curious part of the arrangements is, that by which (as appears from one of the lists printed from one of these MSS), he seems to have been accompanied in his procession by an heir-at law, and three other children, besides two base sons. These two base sons, we presume, are bastards ; and that the establish­ment of a potentate could not be considered complete without them. The editor also mentions that he was attended by an almoner, who scattered amongst the crowd, during his progresses, certain coins made by the wire-drawers; and remarks that, if these bore the portrait and superscription of the Lord of Misrule, they would be rare pieces in the eye of a numismatist.
The following very curious letter, which we will give entire, will furnish our readers with a lively picture of the pageantries of that time, and of the zeal with which full-grown men set about amusements of a kind which are now usually left to children of a smaller growth. Playing at kings is, in our day, one of the sports of most juvenile actors. The letter is addressed by Master George Ferrers to Sir Thomas Cawarden; and gives some account of his intended entry at the court at Christmas, and of his devices for furnishing entertainment during the festival.
" Sir,
" Whereas you required me to write, for that yr busynes is great, I have in as few wordes as I maie signefied to you such things as I thinke moste necessarie for my purpose.
" ffirst, as towching my Introduction. Whereas the laste yeare my devise was to cum of oute of the mone (moon), this yeare I imagine to cum oute of a place called vastum vacuum, the great waste, as moche to saie as a place voide or emptie w<hout the worlde, where is neither fier, ayre, nor earth; and that I have bene remayning there sins the last yeare. And, because of cer-taine devises which I have towching this matter, I wold, yf it were possyble, have all myneapparell blewe, the first daie that I p'sent my self to the King's Matie; and even as I shewe my self that daie, so my mynd is in like order and in like suets (suits) to shew myself at my comyng into London after the halowed daies.
" Againe, how I shall cum into the Courte, whether under a
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