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CHAT ABOUT CHRISTMAS FARE. A famous Christmas pie presented by an .Earl of Lonsdale to King George III. is said to have turned the scales at 3081b, and to have contained two geese, two tame ducks, two turkeys, four fowls, six pigeons, six wild ducks, three teals, twelve partridges, three starlings, fifteen woodcocks, two guinea fowls, three snipes, six plovers, three water hens, one wild goose, one curlew, forty-six yellow hammers, fifteen sparrows, sixteen chaffinches, two larks, four thrushes, sixteen field fares, five blackbirds, twenty rabbits, one leg of veal, and half a ham, while the crust required three bushels of flour and 281b. of butter. Think you not this was a truly "dainty dish to set before a king?" The gorgeous peacock, with gilded beak and jewelled tail, has graced many a sumptuous holiday feast since Cleopatra served fifteen at the supper she gave to Maro Antony but on tasting one last winter, it struck the writer as being somewhat dry and much inferior to either turkey or chicken. At Queen's College, Oxford, the traditional boar's head is still served up every Christmas, on toast and a silver platter, borne in regal state, and escorted by a procession of choristers chanting the old, old carol commenoing The boar's head in hand bring I. just as has been done ever since 1350, while each year, doubtless, is recounted anew the rather apooryphal legend of a scholar at Queen's College who was attacked by a wild boar while studying in Shotover Wood, but who slew the creature as he rushed upon him with open jaws, by thrusting his Aristotle down his throat, exclaiming at the same time, w Grcecutn est F In Home eels and brocoli form the regulation Christmas Eve supper, while at this season all Italians, as well as the strangers within the gates, consame unlimited quantities of pan gialto, a rich cake or sweet-meat composed of nuts, raisins, and sugar. In the north oountry called Scandinavia, Yole ale nowb like water, and Yule cakes glittering with span sugar are found in every house; the former likely being a remnant of the old wassail bowl," now extinct, but long kept up in merrie England in memory of the fair, brave maiden wassailf, the Saxon Rowena. An adaptation of this ancient holiday drink may also be found in the Christmas eggnog. A very pleasant modern improvement, too, is this foaming mixture, and one perhaps not so very far out of the way, when we recall that one or the earliest wassail songs begins:— Wiifsayle, wassayle, out of the milk payle Wa?style, wassayle, as white as my wail! showing that milk was probably originally used.

The Novelist a Little Biassed.




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