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.                               69
ties, from the main body, whom the great champion had previously routed. Both these individuals, we think, are looking as vigorous as they can ever have done in their lives;—and offer, in their well-maintained and portly personages, a strong presumption that they, at least, have at no time ceased to be favorite guests at the festivals of the land.
Near them stands, we rejoice to see, their favorite sister Was­sail. She was of a slender figure, in Ben Jonson's day, and is so still. If the garb in which she appears has a somewhat anti­quated appearance, there is a play of the lip and a twinkle of the eye, which prove that the glowing and joyous spirit which made our ancestors so merry " ages long ago," and helped them out with so many a pleasant fancy and quaint device, is not a day older than it was in the time of King Arthur. How should she grow old who bathes in such a bowl ? It is her fount of perpetual youth! Why, even mortal hearts grow younger, and mortal spirits lighter, as they taste of its charmed waters. There it is, with its floating apples and hovering inspirations ! We see, too, that the " tricksy spirit," whose head bears it (and that is more than every head could do), has lost none of his gambols ; and that he is, still, on the best of terms with the Turkey who has been his play-fellow, at these holiday times, for so many years. The latter, we suppose, has just come up from Norfolk, where Father Christmas puts him to school; and the meeting on both sides seems to be of the most satisfactory kind.
Mumming, also, we see, has obeyed the summons, although he looks as if he had come from a long distance, and did not go about much now. We fancy he has become something of a stu­dent. Misrule too, we believe, has lost a good deal of his mer­curial spirit, and finds his principal resource in old books. He has come to the muster, however, with a very long " feather in his cap," as if he considered the present summons portentous of good fortune. He looks as if he were not altogether without hopes of taking office again. We observe, with great satisfaction, that the Lord of Twelfth-night has survived the revolutions which have been fatal to the King of the Cockneys, and so many of his royal brethren ; and that he is still, " every inch a king." Yonder ne
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