BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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3 I                                 THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.
" This book of Christmas is a sound and good persuasion for gentlemen, and all wealthy men to keep a good Christmas."
A Ha ! Christmas ! By T. H. London. 1647.
" Any man or woman * * * that can give any knowledge, or tell any tidings, of an old, old, very old grey-bearded gentleman, called Christmas, who was wont to be a verie familiar ghest, and visite all sorts of people, both pore and rich, and used to appeare in glittering gold, silk, and silver, in the Court, and in all shapes in the Theater in Whitehall, and had ring­ing, feasts, and jollitie in all places; both in the citie and countrie, for hie comming: * * * whosoever can tel what is become of him, or where he may be found, let them bring him back againe into England."
An Hue and Cry after Christmas.
In Ben Jonson's " Mask of Christmas," presented before the court in 1616,—wherein the ancient gentleman, so earnestly-inquired after in one of the quotations which heads this chapter, and a number of his children, compose the dramatis persona—that venerable personage (who describes himself as " Christmas, Old Christmas, Christmas of London, and Captain Christmas") is made to give a very significant hint to some parties, who fail to receive him with due ceremony: which hint we will, in all cour­tesy, bestow upon our readers.—" I have seen the time you have wished for me," says he,.... " and now you have me, they would not let me in. I must come another time !—a good jest \ as if I could come more than once a year /" Over and over again, too, has this same very pregnant argument been enforced in the words of the old ballad, quoted in the " Vindication of Christmas,"—
" Let's dance and sing, and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year ! "—
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