Old Christmas Recalled - online book

Washington Irving's description of Old Christmas, Illustrated

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upon as a prodigy of book-knowledge by all the grooms, huntsmen, and small sportsmen of the neighbourhood.
While we were talking we heard the distant toll of the village bell, and I was told that the Squire was a little particular in having his house­hold at church on a Christmas morning; con­sidering it a day of pouring out of thanks and re­joicing ; for, as old Tusser observed,
"At Christmas be merry, and thankful withal. And feast thy poor neighbours, the great and the small."
" If you are disposed to go to church," said Frank Bracebridge, " I can promise you a speci­men of my cousin Simon's musical achievements. As the church is destitute of an organ, he has formed a band from the village amateurs, and established a musical club for their improvement; he has also sorted a choir, as he sorted my father's pack of hounds, according to the direc­tions of Jervaise Markham, in his Country Con­tentments ; for the bass he has sought out all the
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