Christmas his Masque,
as it was presented at court, 1616
Enter Christmas with two or three of the guard. He is attired in round
hose, long stockings, a close doublet, a high-crowned hat with a brooch,˚
a long thin beard, a truncheon, little ruffs, white shoes, his scarfs and
garters tied cross, and his drum beaten before him.
CHRISTMAS Why, gentlemen, do you know what you do? Ha! would 5
you ha' kept me out? Christmas, old Christmas? Christmas of
London, and Captain Christmas? Pray you let me be brought
before my Lord Chamberlain,˚ I'll not be answered else. 'Tis
merry in hall when beards wag all. I ha' seen the time you ha'
wished for me, for a merry Christmas; and now you ha' me, they 10 would not let me in; I must come another time! A good jest, as if I could come more than once a year. Why, I am no dangerous
person, and so I told my friends o' the guard. I am old Gregory
Christmas' still, and, though I come out of Pope's Head Alley,˚ as
good a Protestant˚ as any i' my parish. The truth is, I ha' brought 15 a masque here out o' the City, o' my own making, and do present it by a set of my sons, that come out of the lanes of London,
good dancing boys all. It was intended, I confess, for Curriers'
Hall,˚ but because the weather has been open,˚ and the livery
were not at leisure to see it till a frost come that they cannot work, 20 I thought it convenient, with some little alterations, and the Groom of the Revels' hand to't, to fit it for a higher place--which
I have done; and though I say it, another manner of device than
your New Year's night. [He sees the King] Bones o' bread, the
King! Son Rowland, son Clem, be ready there in a trice; quick, 25 boys.
Enter his sons and daughters, being ten in number, led in in a string by
Cupid, who is attired in a flat cap˚ and a prentice's coat, with wings at