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as the same monks no doubt termed his disaster. Having waged a feudal war with the Earl of Chester, Marmion's horse fell, as he charged in the van of his troop, against a body of the Earl's followers: the rider's thigh being broken by the fall, his head was cut off by a common foot-soldier, ere he could receive any succour. The whole story is told by William of Newbury.
NOTES TO CANTO SIXTH.
- the savage Dane At lol more deep the mead did drain.-P. 299. The Iol of the heathen Danes, (a word still applied to Christmas in Scotland,) was solemnized with great festivity. The humour of the Danes at table displayed itself in pelting each other with bones; and Torfæus tells a long and curious story in the history of Hrolfe-Kraka, of one Hottus, an inmate of the court of Denmark, who was so generally assailed with these missiles, that he constructed, out of the bones with which he was overwhelmed, a very respectable entrenchment, against those who continued the raillery. The dances of the northern warriors round the great fires of pine-trees are com. memorated by Olaus Magnus, who says, they danced with such fury, holding each other by the hands, that, if the grasp of any failed, he was pitched into the fire with the velocity of a sling. The sufferer, on such occasions, was instantly plucked out, and obliged to quaff off a certain measure of ale, as a penalty for “ spoiling the king's fire.”
On Christmas eve the mass was sung.-P. 300. In Roman Catholic countries, mass is never said at night, excepting on Christmas eve. Each of the frolics with which that holiday used to be celebrated, might admit of a long and curious note; but I shall content myself with the following description of Christmas, and his attributes, as personified in one of Ben Jonson's Masques for the Court.
“ Enter CHRISTMAS, with two or three of the Guard. He is attired in round hose, long stockings, a close doublet, a highcrowned hat, with a broach, a long thin beard, a truncheon, little ruffs, white shoes, his scarfs and garters tied eross, and his drum beaten before him.
“ The names of his children, with their attires.
“ Miss-Rule, in a velvet cap, with a sprig, a short cloak, great yellow roff, like a reveller; bis torch-bearer bearing a rope, a cheese, and a basket.
“ Caroll, a long tawny coat, with a red cap, and a flute at his girdle; his torch-bearer carrying a song-book open.
“ Minc'd-pie, like a fine cook's wife, drest neat, her man carrying a pie, dish, and spoons.
“ Gamboll, like a tumbler, with a hoop and bells; his torchbearer arm’d with cole-staff, and blinding cloth.
“ Post and Pair, with a pair-royal of aces in his hat, bis garment all done over with pairs and purs; his squire carrying a box, cards, and counters.
. * New-year's-gift, in a blue coat, serving-man like, with an orange, and a sprig of rosemary gilt on his head, his hat full of broaches, with a collar of gingerbread; his torch-bearer carrying a niarch-pain, with a bottle of wine on either arm.
“ Mumming, in a masquing pied suit, with a vizor; his torchbearer carrying the box, and ringing it.
“ Wassall, like a neat sempster and songster; her page bearing a brown bowl, drest with ribbands, and rosemary, before her.
“ Offering, in a short gown, with a porter's staff in his hand; a wyth borne before him, and a bason, by his torch-bearer.
“ Baby Cocke, drest like a boy, in a fine long coat, biggin, bib, muckender, and a little dagger; his usher bearing a great cake, with a bean and a pease.”
Who lists, may in their mumming spy
Traces of ancient mystery.-P. 303. It seems certain, that the Mummers of England, who (in Northumberland at least) used to go about in disguise to the neighbouring houses, bearing the then useless ploughshare ; and the Guisards of Scotland, not yet in total disuse, present, in some indistinct degree, a shadow of the old mysteries, which were the origin of the English drama. In Seotland, (me ipso testé,) we were wont, during my boy-hood, to take the characters of the apostles, at least of Peter, Panl, and Judas Iscariot; the first had the keys, the second carried a sword, and the last the bag, in which the dole of our neigbours' plumb-cake