BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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104                             THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
better;" and, on such occasions, of course, they set at defiance the restriction which limits them to carrying " four insides." Within and without, the coaches are crammed with the bird of Turkey;—-and a gentleman town-ward bound, who presented himself at a Norwich coach-office, at such a time, to inquire the " fare to London," was pertly answered by the book-keeper, " Turkeys." Our readers will acquit us of exaggeration, when we tell them that Mr. Hone, in his Every Day Book, quotes, from an historical account of Norwich, an authentic statement of the amount of turkeys which were transmitted from that city to Lon­don, between a Saturday morning and the night of Sunday, in the December of 1793;—which statement gives the number as one thousand seven hundred, the weight as nine tons, two cwt., and two lbs., and the value as £680. It is added that, in the two following days, these were followed by half as many more. We are unable to furnish the present statistics of the matter; but, in forty years which have elapsed since that time, the demand, and, of course, the supply must have greatly increased ; and it is pro­bable that the coach proprietors find it convenient to put extra carriages on the road, for these occasions.
Norfolk must be a noisy county. There must be a " pretty considerable deal" of gabble, towards the month of November, in that English Turkistan. But what a silence must have fallen upon its farm-yards, since Christmas has come round ! Turkeys are indisputably born to be killed. That is an axiom. It is the end of their training,—as it ought to be (and, in one sense, cer­tainly is) of their desires. Arid, such being the destiny of this bird, it may probably be an object of ambition with a respectable turkey, to fulfil its fate, at the period of this high festival. Cer­tain it is that, at no other time, can it attain to such dignities as belong to the turkey who smokes on the well stored table of a Christmas dinner, the most honored dish of all the feast.
One of the most striking signs of the season—and which meets the eye in all directions—is that which arises out of the ancient, and still familiar, practice of adorning our houses and churches with evergreens, during the continuance of this festival. The decorations of our mantel-pieces, and, in many places, of our windows,—the wreaths which ornament our lamps and Christmas
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