Old Christmas Recalled - online book

Washington Irving's description of Old Christmas, Illustrated

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54                                CHRISTMAS EVE
announced, the Squire came out to receive us, accompanied by his two other sons ; one a young officer in the army, home on leave of absence ; the other an Oxonian, just from the university. The Squire was a fine, healthy-looking old gentle­man, with silver hair curling lightly round an open florid countenance; in which a physiogno­mist, with the advantage, like myself, of a previous hint or two, might discover a singular mixture of whim and benevolence.
The family meeting was warm and affection­ate ; as the evening was far advanced, the Squire would not permit us to change our travelling dresses, but ushered us at once to the company, which was assembled in a large old-fashioned hall. It was composed of different branches of a numerous family connection, where there were the usual proportion of old uncles and aunts, comfortably married dames, superannuated spin­sters, blooming country cousins, half-fledged strip­lings, and bright-eyed boarding-school hoydens.
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