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.
131
any animals throughout the entire range of nature, except the domesticated ones, who are " broken " to it. For ourselves, we confess that we are not thoroughly broken yet; and experience very uneasy sensations at the approach of one of these alarming choirs. '
" Tis said that the lion will turn and flee, From a maid in the pride of her purity."
We would rather meet him under the protection of a group of London carol-singers. We would undertake to explore the entire of central Africa, well-provisioned, and in such company, without the slightest apprehension, excepting such as was suggested by the music itself.
By these gentry, a very spirited competition is kept up, in the article of annoyance, with the hurdy-gurdies, and other instru­ments of that class, which awaken the echoes of all our streets, —and furnish a sufficient refutation of the assertion that we are not a musical nation. We have heard it said, that the atmosphere of London is highly impregnated with coal-smoke and barrel-organs. The breath of ballad-singers should enter into the ac­count, at this season.
A very curious part of the business, however, is, that these people actually expect to get money, for what they are doing! With the most perfect good faith, they really calculate upon making a profit, by their outrages upon men's feelings ! It is for the purpose of " putting bread into their mouths," that those mouths are opened in that portentous manner. For ourselves, we have a strong conviction that the spread of the emigration mania has been greatly promoted by the increase of ballad-singers in the land. We have frequently resolved to emigrate, on that account, ourselves ; and if we could be perfectly certified of any desirable colony, to which no removals had taken place, from the class in question, we believe we should no longer hesitate. The existence of that class is a grievous public wrong, and calls loudly for legislation. We have frequently thought that playing a hurdy-gurdy in the streets should be treated as a capital crime.
Of the annual sheets,—and of such other carols as may be recoverable, from traditional or other sources,—it is to be regretted
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