Saturday, December 19, 2015



Nicholas Breton (1545-1626), "December," Fantasticks (London: Printed for Francis Williams, 1626):
It is now December, and hee that walkes the streets, shall find durt on his shooes, Except hee goe all in bootes: Now doth the Lawyer make an end of his haruest, and the Client of his purse: Now Capons and Hennes, beside Turkies, Geese and Duckes, besides Beefe and Mutton, must all die for the great feast, for in twelue dayes a multitude of people will not bee fed with a little: Now plummes and spice, Sugar and Honey, square it among pies and broth, and Gossip I drinke to you, and you are welcome, and I thanke you, and how doe you, and I pray you bee merrie: Now are the Taylors and the Tiremakers full of worke against the Holidayes, and Musicke now must bee in tune, or else neuer: the youth must dance and sing, and the aged sit by the fire. It is the Law of Nature, and no Contradiction in reason: The Asse that hath borne all the yeare, must now take a little rest, and the leane Oxe must feed till hee bee fat: The Footman now shall haue many a foule step, and the Ostler shall haue worke enough about the heeles of the Horses, while the Tapster, if hee take not heed, will lie drunke in the Seller: The prices of meat will rise apace, and the apparell of the proud will make the Taylor rich: Dice and Cardes, will benefit the Butler: And if the Cooke doe not lacke wit, hee will sweetly licke his fingers: Starchers and Launderers will haue their hands full of worke, and Periwigs and painting wil not bee a little set by, Strange stuffes will bee well sold, Strange tales well told, Strange sights much sought, Strange things much bought, and what else as fals out. To conclude, I hold it the costly Purueyour of Excesse, and the after breeder of necessitie, the practice of Folly, and the Purgatory of Reason. Farewell.

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