CHRISTMAS AT THE COURT
room where the candles in the chandeliers cast a softening light on their charms, she seemed this Christmas Eve the most unnerved, the most excited. Courtiers came strolling in by twos and threes, and the scene became animated and gay.
For as history shows, it was the custom at the Court of King Jorum, by special decree of the Monarch, that every man, woman, and child should dress themselves in costumes of any distinctive style they liked—whatever suited their fancy best. (That was the origin, ages after, of the term— fancy-dress.) There was thus no slavish following of fashion, and consequently every one looked, or fancied they looked, their very, very best, and were thoroughly at ease in their quaint and, mostly, fascinating attire.
"Here's Little Love!" exclaimed a bevy of fair dames, pressing forward as a handsome child stepped into their midst, dressed as Cupid, and looking the realest of little Loves from the tips of his tiny bare toes to the tips of his tiny bare wings. He was the King's godson and pet.
" He's sure to know ! Perhaps he can give us a hint of the news !" exclaimed Countess Spinx with eyes blazing eagerly as she placed herself in his path, with her crook firmly planted on the ground : she was dressed as a shepherdess, which showed to advantage the curls on her fair neck, and her small