BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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204                               THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
Here's to the soldier who bled! To the sailor who bravely did fa'! 0! their fame shall remain, though their spirits are fled, On the wings o' the year that's awa' !
Here's to the friend we can trust, When the sorrows of adversity blaw; Who can join in our song, and be nearest our heart, Nor depart—like the year that's awa'!"
And now are we in the humor, this New-Year's morning, for keeping such vigils as they did in Illyria :—for " were we " too " not born under Taurus !" No advocates do we mean to be for those whose zeal in symposiack matters, like that of Bardolph, " burns in their noses:"—but occasions there are—and this is one—when we hold it lawful to sound the wassail-bowl to some considerable depth. Like honest Isaac Walton, we love to keep within the bounds of " such mirth as does not make friends ashamed to look on one another next morning;"—but we feel that we may venture to be a little intemperate, in the present instance,—and yet hold our heads up, even if we should chance to meet one of those gentry whom Burns presumes to be wise, because they " are sae grave." What says Innocentius ?—and he was a father of the church !—" Foecundi calices quern non fecere disertum ?" " Carry Master Silence to bed !" therefore,— for we are about to be talkative, and expect to be answered. No man need sit with us longer than he likes : but it is the open­ing of another year, and we must see more of it. We find much virtue in Sir Toby's excellent reasoning, that "not to be a-bed after midnight, is to be up betimes ;"—and have no sympathy for those who would insist to-day with the stolid Sir Andrew, that " to be up late is to be up late." " A false conclusion !" says Sir Toby ; and so say we. So fill the, glasses, once more, from the wassail-bowl,—and let us " rouse the night-owl in" another « catch!"
But, alas! it is later than we thought,—and the owl is gone to bed ; for we hear the cry of that other bird whom Herrick calls "the Bellman of the night:"—
" Hark! the cock crows, and yon bright star Tells us the day himself's not far :
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