BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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. ST. STEPHEN'S DAY.                                       187
were formerly urged, without literary pretensions; but now, " the march of intellect" has rendered it necessary for them to issue their addresses in print. One of these, which lies before us, represents that " the United Association of Dustmen and Scaven­gers, of the Parish of------, have the honor to pay their humble
duty and respects tc the good [Master or Mistress] of this house, and to solicit a Christmas mark of approbation of their unwearied exertions, which they flatter themselves conduce so emin'ently to the comfort and salubrity of the greatest metropolitan city of civilized Europe." Here, however, is another,—in which the spirit of St. Stephen's day is embittered by the rivalries of busi­ness ; and the harmony of those two respectable bodies, the Scav­engers and Dustmen, appears to have been disturbed. The dust­men, it will be seen, repudiate the scavengers,—and appeal to St. Stephen, on a separate interest.
" Ladies and Gentlemen,—At this season, when you are pleased to give to laboring men, employed in collecting your dust, a dona­tion, called Christmas-box, advantage of which is often taken by persons assuming the name of Dustmen, obtaining, under false. pretences, your bounty, we humbly submit to your consideration, to prevent such imposition, to bestow no gift on any not producing a brass figure of the following description—A Scotch Fifer, french horn, &c, between his legs.—James Dee and Jerry Cane.— Southampton Paving Act—on the bell.—Contractor—Thomas Salisbury.
" No connexion with scavengers—Please not to return this bill to any one."
The principal Wait, also, leaves a notice of a more imposing description,—stating a regular appointment to the office, by war­rant, and admission,—with all the ancient forms of the City and Liberty of Westminster; and bears a silver-badge and chain, with the arms of that city.
We cannot dismiss the various modes of collecting Christmas-boxes, without a few words upon the pieces of writing carried about by parish boys ; and which, once, presented the only evi­dence that the schoolmaster was abroad. It appears formerly to
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