BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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NEW-YEAR'S EVE.
197
ing, every day is the commencement of a new year, and the ter­mination of an old one ; but it is only—as we have said at the beginning of this book,—by these emphatic markings, that man is attracted to a consideration of a fact, whose daily recurrence at once makes its weighty importance, and causes it to be forgot­ten, as if it were of none !
But on this particular day, no man fails to remember that—
" Again the silent wheels of time Their annual round have driven ;"—
and how solemn are the reflections which suggest themselves to him who casts his eye over the space of a year,—in a spirit which can look beyond his own personal share in its doings, and embrace the wide human interests that such a retrospect includes ! " What a mighty sum of events," says that excellent writer, William Howitt, " has been consummated !—what a tide of passions and affections has flowed !—what lives and deaths have alternately arrived !—what destinies have been fixed for ever ! * * * * Once more, our planet has completed one of those journeys in the heavens which perfect all the fruitful changes of its peopled surface, and mete out the few stages of our existence ; and every day—every hour of that progress has, in all her wide lands, in all her million hearts, left traces that eternity shall behold." Oh ! blessed they and rich (beyond all other blessedness and all other wealth which " Time's effacing fingers " may have left them), who, on the last night of the year, can turn from reviews like these, to sleep upon the pillow of a good conscience—though that pillow should be moistened—aye ! steeped—in their tears !
No doubt it is in the name of his own private affections that man is first summoned to that review, which the wise will end by thus extending ;—and the first reckoning which each will naturally take, is that of the treasures which may have been lost or gained to himself, in the year which is about to close. Through many, many a heart, that summons rings in the low, sweet mourn­ful voice of some beloved one, whom, in that bereaving space, we have laid in the " narrow house;" and then it will happen (for man is covetous of his griefs, when his attention is once call-ed to them), that the ghost which took him out into the churchyard
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