Old Christmas Recalled - online book

Washington Irving's description of Old Christmas, Illustrated

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44                                   CHRISTMAS EVE
himself upon keeping up something of old English hospitality. He is a tolerable specimen of what you will rarely meet with now-a-days in its purity, the old English country gentleman ; for our men of fortune spend so much of their time in town, and fashion is carried so much into the country, that the strong rich peculiarities of ancient rural life are almost polished away. My father, how­ever, from early years, took honest Peacham # for his text book, instead of Chesterfield : he deter­mined, in his own mind, that there was no condi­tion more truly honourable and enviable than that of a country gentleman on his paternal lands, and, therefore, passes the whole of his time on his estate. He is a strenuous advocate for the revival of the old rural games and holiday observances, and is deeply read in the writers, ancient and modern, who have treated on the subject. Indeed, his favourite range of reading is among the authors who flourished at least two centuries
* Peacham's Complete Gentleman, 1622.
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