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Their ovens they with baked meat choke,

And all their spits are turning.
Without the door let sorrow lye;
And if for cold it hap to die,
We'll bury't in a Christmas pie,

And evermore be merry.
Now every lad is wond'rous trim,

And no man minds his labour;
Our lasses have provided them

A bagpipe and a tabor;
Young men and maids, and girls and boys,
Give life to one another's joys;
And you anon shall by their noise

Perceive that they are merry.
Rank misers now do sparing shun;

Their hall of music soundeth;
And dogs thence with whole shoulders run,

So all things there aboundeth.
The country folks, themselves advance,
With crowdy-muttons out of France;
And Jack shall pipe and Jyll shall dance,

And all the town be merry.
Ned Squash hath fetcht his bands from pawn, .

And all his best apparel;
Brisk Nell hath bought a ruff of lawn

With dropping of the barrel.
And those that hardly all the year
Had bread to eat, or rags to wear,
Will have both clothes and dainty fare,

And all the day be merry.
Now poor men to the justices

With capons make their errants;
And if they hap to fail of these,

They plague them with their warrants :
But now they feed them with good cheer,
And what they want, they take in beer,
For Christmas comes but once a year,

And then they shall be merry.
Good farmers in the country nurse

The poor, that else were undone; Some landlords spend their money worse,

On lust and pride at London. There the roysters they do play, Drab and dice their lands away, Which may be ours another day,

And therefore let's be merry.

The client now bis suit forbears,

The prisoner's heart is eased;
The debtor drinks away his cares, .

And for the time is pleased.
Though others' purses be more fat,
Why should we pine, or grieye at that?
Hang sorrow! care will kill a cat,

And therefore let's be merry.
Hark! now the wags abroad do call,

Each other forth to rambling;.
Anon you'll see them in the hall,
✓ For nuts and apples scrambling.
Hark! how the roofs with langhter sound,
Anon they'll think the house goes round,
For they the cellar's depth have found,

And there they will be merry.
The wenches with their wassel bowls

About the streets are singing';
The boys are come to catch the owls,

The wild mare in it bringing
Our kitchen boy hath broke his box,
And to the dealiug of the ox,,
Our honest neighbours come by flocks,

And here they will he merry.
Now kings and queens poor sheepcotes have,

And mute with every body;
The honest now may play the knave,

And wise mep play the noddy.
Some youths will now a mumming go,
Some others play at Rowland-bo,
And twenty other game boys mo,

Because they will be merry.
; : Then wherefore, in these merry daies,

Should we, I pray, be duller?
No, let us sing some roundelayes,

To make our mirth the fuller.
And, while thus inspired we sing,
Let all the streets with echoes ring;
Woods and bills, and every thing,

Bear witness we are merry. The Venetians, on Christmas eve, eat a kind of pottage, called torta de lasagne, composed of oil, onions, paste, parsley, pine-nuts, raisins, currants, and candied orange-peel.

26.-SAINT STEPHEN. Stephen was the first deacon chosen by the apostles. He was cited before the Sanhedrin, or Jewish Council, for prophesying the fall of the Jewish Temple and economy; and while vindicating his doctrine by several passages of the Old Testament, he was violently carried out of the city, and stoned to death in the year 33.

Bishop Hall, who always writes in an interesting and pleasing manner, and sometimes with wonderful force, says of this saint, in his Remedy of Profaneness :— St. Stephen was a true eagle. That blessed protomartyr's cleared, exalted, fortified sight pierced the heavens; and saw Jesus standing at the right-hand of God. Whence was this vigour and perspicacity? He was full of the Holy Ghost. That spirit of God that was within him, gave both clearness and strength, in such miraculous manner, to the eyes of him who should straightway see, as he was seen; who should instantly, by the eye of his glorified soul, no less see the incomprehensible majesty of God the Father, than now, by his bodily eye, he saw the glorified body of the Son of God. It must be the only work of the same Spirit of God within us, that must enable us, both to the faculty and exercise of seeing the Invisible? And, again, • What, but cheerfulness and ease, could holy Stephen find in the stones of his enraged murderers; when, through that hail-storm, he could see his Jesus standing at the right-hand of God, ready to revenge and crown him ???

For an elegant jeu d'esprit, entitled the “Abbot of St. Stephen,' see T. T. for 1819, p. 309.

27.-SAINT JOHN EVANGELIST. He was brother of James the Great, and son of

* See Bp. Hall's Works by Pratt, vol. vii, p. 341. ' 2 Ibid. p. 348.

e api Jem

is de



Zebedee and Salome. He preached the Gospel in Asia, penetrated as far as Parthia, and then fixed his residence at Ephesus. During the persecutions of Domitian, he was dragged to Rome, and thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, from which he received no injury, and then was banished to Patmos, where he saw his visions and wrote his Apocalypse. Under Nero, he returned to Ephesus, and wrote his Gospel. He died at Ephesus in Trajan's reign, A.D. 100, aged 94.

The slaughter of the Jewish children, by Herod,
is commemorated on this day. The festival is very
antient, for Tertullian and Saint Cyprian call these
Innocents martyrs, and Prudentius has written a
hymn upon the subject. Childermas-day is another
name for this feast.

Innocens et perbeatus

More florum decidi;
Nil, viator, Ale sepultum
Flente sam beatior.

While innocent, and therefore blest,
Like dying flowers, I sank to rest ;
Then weep not, for iu peace I sleep,
And happier am than you that weep!

31.-SAINT SILVESTER. He was Bishop of Rome; and succeeded Miltiades in the papacy, in 314. Silvester is accounted the author of several rites and ceremonies of the Romish church, as asylums, unctions, palls, corporals, mitres, &c. He died in 334. ; *DEC. 1724.---JOHN KYRLE DIED, Ær. 84.

That distinguished model of benevolence, the Man of Ross,' was a native of Gloucestershire. The exemplary tenour of his actions, his extensive

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charities, and goodness of heart, procured him the love and veneration of all his contemporaries; and, happily for his fame, Pope, during his visits at Holm-Lacey, obtained a sufficient knowledge of his beneficence to render due homage to his worth in his Moral Essays.

In the Appendix to Mr. Singer's edition of Spence's Anecdotes, are some curious particulars of the Man of Ross; we extract the following from a letter to Mr. Spence, written by Mr. Stephen Duck, the poet. He was, it seems, a tall thin man; sensible and well bred; and went so very plain in his dress, that when he worked in the fields with his own labourers (which he frequently did), he was not distinguished from them by any thing more than a certain dignity in his air and countenance, which always accompanied him. He kept two public days in a week-the market-day and Sunday. On the former, the neighbouring gentlemen and farmers dined with him ; and if they had any differences or disputes with one another, instead of going to law, they appealed to the Man of Ross to decide and settle them; and his decisions were generally final. On Sunday, he feasted the poor people of the parish at his house; and not only so, but would often send them home loaded with broken meat and jugs of beer. At these entertainments he did not treat with wine, but good strong beer and cyder. On these two days, great plenty and generosity appeared; at other times, he lived frugal. He had, it seems, a most incorrigible: passion for planting, insomuch that he embellished the parish with many beautiful groves of trees, some of which were a mile in length. În works of this nature he chiefly employed very old men, such w.hose age or infirmities rendered them incapable of doing such very hard labour as the farmers required their servants to doo. With these old men he would frequently work with a spade him

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