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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/315

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307
The Cow-Mass.

Mary again, and the Child in the manger; and this machine was followed by another fool, like the former, with a hoop and bells.

"The next machine was a fish, fifteen feet long, moved by men on wheels concealed within; upon its back sat a boy, richly dressed, and playing upon a harp. The gold, silver, and jewels which decorated this fish were valued at ten thousand pounds, and were furnished by the city merchants, whose sons and daughters were the principal actors in the show.

"After the fish came another fool with a hoop, as before; then appeared Joseph, as flying from Egypt—a woman representing a virgin with a young child upon her lap, and mounted on an ass, which was led by Joseph, who had a basket of tools on his back, and a long staff in his hand. Joseph and his spouse were attended by several devils, who beat off the people that crowded too close to the procession; these two were followed by a third hoop dancer.

"Then came a large and magnificent carriage, on which sat a penson representing the Grand Monarch on a throne, dressed in his robes, with a crown, ball, and sceptre lying before him on a taole covered with embroidered velvet. His most Christian Majesty was attended by several devils, hoop-dancers, and bannerbearers; then followed another machine, bearing the queen, also in her royal robes, attended by a great many ladies and maids of honour; the jewels of her crown were said to be of vast value. On this stage there was a grand band of music, and many dancers richly attired. Then followed Bacchus, a large, fat figure, dressed in coloured silk, attended by a great number of Bacchanals holding goblets up to their mouths as in the act of drinking, with a few more devils and hoop-dancers.

"Then followed a kind of a sea triumph, in front of which appeared Neptune, with his trident and crown, in a large shell, surrounded by boys dressed in white, who were throwing out and drawing in a deep-sea lead, as sounding for land. After them six men followed in white shirts, with poles twenty-five feet long, decorated with bells and flowers, frequently shaking their poles, or endeavouring to break them: for he who could break one was exempted a whole year from all parish duty.

"The pole-bearers were followed by a large ship, representing a ship of war, drawn on wheels by horses, with sails spread, colours