128 THE CHRISTMAS DINNER
boars head : a dish formerly served up with much ceremony, and the sound of minstrelsy and song, at great tables on Christmas day. " I like the old custom," said the Squire, " not merely because it is stately and pleasing in itself, but because it was observed at the College of Oxford, at which I was educated. When I hear the old song chanted, it brings to mind the time when I was young and gamesome—and the noble old college-hall—and my fellow-students loitering about in their black gowns ; many of whom, poor lads, are now in their graves!"
The parson, however, whose mind was not haunted by such associations, and who was always more taken up' with the text than the sentiment, objected to the Oxonian's version of the carol; which he affirmed was different from that sung at college. He went on, with the dry perseverance of a commentator, to give the college reading, accompanied by sundry annotations : addressing himself at first to the