Nicholas Breton (1545-1626), "Christmas Day," Fantasticks
(London: Printed for Francis Williams, 1626):
It is now Christmas, and not a Cup of drinke must passe without a Caroll, the Beasts, Fowle, and Fish, come to a generall execution, and the Corne is ground to dust for the Bakehouse, and the Pastry: Cards and Dice purge many a purse, and the Youth shew their agility in shooing of the wild Mare: now good cheere and welcome, and God be with you, and I thanke you, and against the new yeare, prouide for the presents: the Lord of Mis-rule is no meane man for his time, and the ghests of the high Table must lacke no Wine: the lusty bloods must looke about them like men, and piping and dauncing puts away much melancholy: stolne Venison is sweet, and a fat Coney is worth money: Pit-falles are now set for small Birdes, and a Woodcocke hangs himselfe in a gynne: a good fire heats all the house, and a full Almes-basket makes the Beggers Prayers: the Maskers and the Mummers make the merry sport: but if they lose their money, their Drumme goes dead: Swearers and Swaggerers are sent away to the Ale-house, and vnruly Wenches goe in danger of Judgement: Musicians now make their Instruments speake out, and a good song is worth the hearing. In summe, it is a holy time, a duty in Christians, for the remembrance of Christ, and custome among friends, for the maintenance of good fellowship: In briefe, I thus conclude of it. I hold it a memory of the Heauens Loue, and the worlds peace, the myrth of the honest, and the meeting of the friendly. Farewell.