52 THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
canopic, as the last yeare, or in a chare triumphall, or uppon sn:ne straunge beaste—that I reserve to you ; but the serpente with sevin heddes, cauled hidra. is the chief beast of myne amies, and wholme* (holm) bushe is the devise of my crest, my wordef is semper ferians, I alwaies feasting or keeping holie daies. Uppon Christmas daie I send a solempne ambassad* to the King's Ma'e by an herrald, a trumpet, an orator speaking in a straunge language, an interpreter, or a truchman with hym, to which p'sons ther were requiset to have convenient farnyture, which I referre to you.
" I have provided one to plaie uppon a kettell drom with his boye, and a nother drome wth a fyffe, whiche must be apparelled like turkes garments, according to the paternes I send you herewith. On St. Stephen's daie, I wold, if it were possyble, be with the King's Malie before dynner. Mr. Windham, being my Ad-myrall, is appointed to receive me beneth the brida with the King's Brigandyne, and other vessells apointed for the same purpose ; his desire is to have the poope of his vessell covered wth white and blew, like as I signefie to you by a nother 1".
" Sir George Howard, being my Mr. of the Horsis, rcceiveth me at my landing at Greenwiche with a spare horse and my pages of honor, one carieng my hed pece, a nother my shelde, the thirde my sword, the fourth my axe. As for their furniture I know nothing as yet provided, either for my pages or otherwise, save a hed peece that I caused to be made. My counsailo", with suche other necessarie psons yi attend upon me that daie, also must be consydered. There maie be no fewer than sixe counsailo" at the least; I must also have a divine, a philosopher, an astronomer, a poet, a physician, a potecarie, a m' of requests, a sivilian, a disard, John Smyth, two gentlemen ushers, besides jugglers, tomblers, fooles, friers, and suche other.
" The residue of the wholie daies I will spend in other devises : as one daie in feats of armes, and then wolde I have a challeng pformed with hobbie horsis, where I purpose to be in pson. Another daie in hunting and hawking, the residue of the tyme shalbe
* The evergreen holly is meant, a bearing peculiarly appropriate to the lord of Christmas sports, f His motto, or impress.