BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

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

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were able to return the salute. Then, to take off the smell of the powder, there were egg shells, filled with rose-water, for the spectators to break, " and throw at one another." Nor must a stag of pastry, filled with claret, be forgotten; which, when wounded, poured forth its blood, free and sparkling as a ruby, for those whose nerves were delicate, and needed the refreshment of a glass of wine. Such were the " subtilties," as these jugglings in confectionary are called, which we now behold represented by the painted figures, " so bad to eat, but so fine to look at," that adorn our twelfth-cakes.
" How to eat twelfth-cake," says Hone, " requires no recipe ; but how to provide it, and draw the characters, on the authority of Rachel Revel's ' Winter Evening Pastimes,' may be accepta­ble. First, buy your cake. Then, before your visitors arrive, buy your characters,—each of which should have a pleasant verse beneath. Next, look at your invitation list, and count the number of ladies you expect, and afterwards the number of gen­tlemen. Then, take as many female characters as you have invited ladies ; fold them up exactly of the same size, and num­ber each on the back ; taking care to make the king No. 1, and the Queen No. 2. Then, prepare and number the gentlemen's characters. Cause tea and coffee to be handed to your visitors, as they drop in. When all are assembled, and tea over, put as many ladies' characters in a reticule as there are ladies present; next, put the gentlemen's characters in a hat. Then call on a gentleman to carry the reticule to the ladies as they sit; from which each lady is to draw one ticket, and to preserve it unopen­ed. Select a lady to bear the hat to the gentlemen, for the same purpose. There will be one ticket left in the reticule, and another in the hat,—which the lady and gentleman who carried each is to interchange, as having fallen to each. Next, arrange your visitors, according to their numbers ;—the king No. 1, the queen No. 2, and so on. The king is then to recite the verse on his ticket; then the queen the verse on hers ; and so the characters are to proceed, in numerical order. This done, let the cake and refreshments go round ; and hey ! for merriment!"
As our contribution towards the merriment of this evening, we cannot do better than present our readers with a copy of the fol-
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