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ents to each of his friends, but he can also attend twelve Christmas celebrations.
And when Mr. Bellamy and the others of DISTINCTION is to be drawn be- us Fifth Monarchists have our own way, the tween Christmas and Christmas laws will be so made that there will be no
Day. The Christmas service really business engagements of any kind between lasts twelve days, from Christmas Eve to sunset on the 24th of December and sunTwelfth Night. And you may really give rise on the 7th of January. No committees a Christmas present at any moment up to will meet. No courts nor legislatures will Twelfth Night, without being thought too sit. All notes will lie over; and indeed late. I have said this now every year for no shops be open unless the salesmen forty-six years to two or three thousand choose. People will have to lay in in adchildren, so that it should be familiar truth vance their stores of frozen turkeys. Failto ninety-six thousand persons, at least. But ing this possible civilization, you can now, as, speaking generally, nobody ever listens to with a little skill, command the twelve celeanything, and as, in the second place, very brations, and I am going to write this little few people remember what they have heard, paper to tell you how. I make the remark again now for the bene- But first let me remind you that there fit of the readers of this magazine. were times when you could not have gone
It follows that one not only has the to any celebration in Boston, and there are privilege of making twelve Christmas pres- those of us who remember when it would
Copyright, 1889, by New England Magazine Company, Boston. All rights reserved.
have been hard for you to find one. As the leaders of the Society were always intilate as 1700 or thereabouts, Judge Sewall mate with the best artists from abroad who was distressed almost beyond endurance came here, so that the best of their day at seeing the little wooden King's Chapel always sang in the Messiah. of that day open for public service. When This year you can spend your ChristI was a school-boy, I always went to school mas Eve at the Music Hall, and hear the on Christmas Day, and I think all the other Messiah sung by the Society for the sixtyboys in town did. As we went home, and first time. But for me and mine, with just passed King's Chapel on Adam and Eve's our habits, if by good luck Nature covers Day, which is the 24th, we would see the the Earth “with innocent snow," we will men carrying hemlock for the decorations. make Mr. Smith at the corner of NorthBut that was the only public indication that ampton Street fit out Cleopatra's Barge,
any holiday was approaching. But that or the Mayflower, or the Kearsarge, or evening the Handel and Haydn Society another of those pretty boats on runners would perform Handel's Messiah. This which he has had ready for us all the year. they did from the very beginning of their Miss Pepperell has sent word that she organization, I think ; but in these more would like to take the Asylum children out recent days of which I speak, the perform- on a carol party, and I have sent word ance was in Boylston Hall, which was in a down to that nice matron, and by some fashion their hall. It stood where the mag- arts known to her, five and twenty girls nificent Continental Clothing House is to have been picked out from the others in day, where among other excellent things such guise as to wound nobody's feelings, this coat was made, which I have on as I and here they all are waiting for us with write. It was the best hall in Boston, till their pretty white “nubes” and red tipthe Tremont Temple was built, and even pets, and scarfs, and shawls of all colors, then the Handel and Haydn did not aban- and without names. And they pile in, don it. I think men have heard Malibran Gertrude on Maud, and Maud on Alice, there, but that was too early for me, and I till the barge is quite full; and there are am not at all sure of it. But then as now, enough of them to keep each other warm, with bear-skins and wolf-skins and buffalo church-going on Christmas Day is not a robes enough for the top layers. The little Boston fashion. The Puritans have adwitches deserve the frolic, for they are very mitted it as a festival, and they mean to good about their singing, and the older make the best of their holiday. If there ones are very nice about going to help, are no notes to pay and no bargains to whenever their voices are needed in a make, the average New-Englander does celebration anywhere. And so we start not want to take upon himself the addioff, chattering and merry till we come into tional responsibility of going to church. the broad part of Washington Street; and At least, this is my way of accounting for then Mary starts “ Carol, carol ! Christians, his abstinence from this service. carol merrily," and every one joins in under When I was first in charge of a church,
that “solemn moonlight,” shining just as which was in the town of Worcester in it shone more than eighteen hundred years 1846, I announced that I should have a ago. And we go round through Mt. Pleas- service, if only one person attended beside ant and across to Jamaica Plain, and pull myself. I think the general impression up through Mt. Vernon Street to sing be- was that that would be the state of things. fore houses where the people love these The courts were in session on that day, the orphans: and we are at home at the Asy- markets were open, and I doubt if there had lum in time for the older girls to help Mrs. ever been a religious service on Christmas Rich in hanging up the stockings, and for Day, unless it were Sunday, in that town. the little ones to dream of Santa Claus Even now, I observe that in many of the before midnight comes.
Boston churches there is an effort to throw the service upon Christmas Eve, or in some
other way to inveigle people indoors who I WILL take it for granted that you go to had rather stay outdoors. But the churches church. If you go with me you will have all dress themselves for Christmas, with to hear me preach. But I will let you evergreens, though they be Ultra-Puritan make your choice. I am sorry to say that and Ultra-Evangelical. Take your choice, so you go somewhere, and then go with tember, it is the memories of glorious Octoa better conscience to your Christmas ber and balmy November, which to us who dinner.
know are instilled into every atom of his
life, — and, even with the flavors of the Oh yes! I know that your turkey was sweet marjoram, are not divided from him. well roasted, that his moral character had Know, then, that the turkey when well been such as would permit his entrance on bred, as in Rhode Island,' still preserves the certificate at the University, had he had no habits of his ancestry. Do not wonder if feathers. I know that Bridget cooked him you see a flock of two hundred together. well and that there was marjoram from the And they will arrange themselves in a large Shakers in the cooking. Nay, I will even V, led by the most distinguished and exgrant that the provision store men told you perienced member of the flock. This V the truth, for I am an apostle of the recti- advances across the field, point foremost, tude of man, — and I have confidence and all the grasshoppers flee as the line in dealers of provision, as in men gener- approaches. But they do not fee so fast ally. So I will acknowledge that he was but that the turkeys apprehend them, dea Rhode Island turkey, and not a son of vour them, and from that diet comes in distant Iowa who has been lying, himself that racy flavor of the Rhode Island tura block of ice, in the bottom of an ice- key, which you so enjoyed as you ate that house, since that day three hundred and square inch from the pelvis bone. Now sixty-seven days ago, when he was not this V of flight is the same which you have needed to fill an order for fourteen dozen perhaps seen when a few wild geese passed which came across by telegraph. All this over northward or southward. In old I grant.
But I do not think that you times, remember, the ancestors of these know the full enjoyment of your favorite turkeys did not have their wings trimmed
as these descendants have, and they flew over the countries they now painfully march through. But, for myself, I would rather eat the Rhode Island turkey of today than that tough-winged fellow who had
"Under that 'solemn moonlight,' shining just as it shone more
than eighteen hundred years ago."
morsel, — say that square inch on the side bone, after the second joint has been given to some guest, — unless you have roved with the turkey himself on the downs of Southern Rhode Island. It is that fragrant air of May, June, July, August, and Sep
to fly so far above me. Of the turkey as he was, Wood gave this account:
“Of these, sometimes there will be forty, three-score and a hundred, of a flock; some
1“ We know the best bred men were Brown bred boys." — GEORGE William Curtis.