BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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SIGNS OF THE SEASON. ,                               101
Matris et oscula, Suaviter et repetamus.
Domum, domum, &c.
" Concinamus ad Penates, Vox et audiatur; Phosphore! quid jubar, Segnius emicans,
Gaudia nostra moratur.
Domum, domum, &c."
And away they go!—well inclined to act up to the injunctions of the ancient song. " Concinamus, O Sodales /"—our readers will do well, on the present occasion, to translate the verb by its Eng­lish equivalent, to shout. " Vox et audiatur /"—small doubt of that! That deaf-looking old woman, by the way-side, must be " very deaf indeed," if the sounds of that merriment have failed at least to reach her ears,—though they may get no further; for she looks like one of those in whom all the avenues by which mirth reaches the heart, where they have not been closed at their exter­nal outlets, by the infirmities of age, are choked up within, by the ruins of that heart itself. But the entire progress of these glad hearts, to-day, is in the nature of a triumph; and all objects, in its course, are ministers to their unreflecting mirth. Theirs is the blessed age (and this its most privileged day), when the spirit can extract from all things the chyle of cheerfulness. That urchin who is flinging alms (a most gracious act in childhood !) is doing so to the sound of his merry neighbor's trumpet,—and yet the act performed (and the duty remembered) amid all the heyday and effervescence of the spirits, has not lost its gracefulness, for the frolicsome mood by which it is attended. There are men in this world, who dispense their charities to the flourish of their own trumpets; and though they are practised performers on that in­strument, and play with considerable skill, the effect is unpleas-ing, and the act a mockery. Away go the light-hearted boys!— away past the aged and the poor (as happiness has long since done, and the happy have long continued to do!) awaking the shrill echoes of the road, and all its adjacent fields with the sound of their revelry! Every school-boy knows the programme. Flags flying—horns blowing,—racing against rival chaises—
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