Old Christmas Recalled - online book

Washington Irving's description of Old Christmas, Illustrated

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158                         THE CHRISTMAS DINNER
thinks I hear the questions asked by my graver readers, "To what purpose is all this?—how is the world to be made wiser by this talk ?" Alas! is there not wisdom enough extant for the in-struction of the world ? And if not, are there not thousands of abler pens labouring for its improvement ?—It is so much pleasanter to please than to instruct—to play the companion rather than the preceptor.
What, after all, is the mite of wisdom that I could throw into the mass of knowledge ? or how am I sure that my sagest deductions may be safe guides for the opinions of others ? But in writing to amuse, if I fail, the only evil is my own dis­appointment. If, however, I can by any lucky chance, in these days of evil, rub out one wrinkle from the brow of care, or beguile the heavy heart of one moment of sorrow ; if I can now and then penetrate through the gathering film of misanthropy, prompt a benevolent view of human nature, and make my reader more in
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