BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.                               57
" Tucker." From a manuscript account of this exhibition, Wood quofes the titles assumed by this gentleman, in his character of Christmas Prince : and we will repeat them here, for the purpose of showing that the legal cloisters were not the only ones in which mirth was considered as no impeachment of professional gravity— and that humor (such as it is) was an occasional guest of the wisdom which is proverbially said to reside in wigs—of all deno­minations. From a comparison of these titles with those by which Mr. Henry Helmes illustrated his own magnificence at Gray's Inn, our readers may decide for themselves upon the relative de­grees of wit which flourished beneath the shelter of the respective gowns. Though ourselves a Cantab, we have no skill in the measurement of the relations of small quantities. Of the hearty mirth in each case there is little doubt; and humor of the finest quality could not have done more than produce that effect, and might probably have failed to do so much. The appetite is the main point. " The heart's all," as Davy says. A small matter made our ancestors laugh, because they brought stomachs to the feast of Mom us. And, Heaven save the mark! through how many national troubles has that same joyous temperament (which is the farthest thing possible from levity—one of the phases of deep feeling), helped to bring the national mind. The " merry days " of England were succeeded by what may be called her " age of tears,"—the era of the sentimentalists: when young gentlemen ceased to wear cravats, and leaned against pillars, in drawing-rooms, in fits of moody abstraction, or under the influ­ence of evident inspiration ; and young ladies made lachryma­tories of their boudoirs, and met together to weep, and in fact, went through the world weeping. Amid all its absurdity there was some real feeling at the bottom of this too, and, therefore it, too, had its pleasure. But there is to be an end of this also. Truly are we fallen upon the " evil days " of which we may say we " have no pleasure in them." Men are neither to laugh nor smile, now, without distinctly knowing why. We are in the age of the philosophers. All this time, however, Mr. Thomas Tucker is waiting to have his style and titles proclaimed; and thus do we find them duly set forth:—
" The most magnificent and renowned Thomas, by the favour
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