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CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Gaily on the ear, While the bleak winds blow, Sleigh bells, silver clear, Send across the snove Low, recurring chimellt Liko a poet's rhymes. Sweet the song th".t swells From their tiny throats, Till the distanca quells All the jingling notes While with footsteps light Comes the peaceful night. Tapers white and dim Light the minster panesr, And a Christmas hymn g In triumphant strains Grandly swells the while Through the sacred pile. Sweetly sings the choir, As with one clear voice, | Anthems that inspire Christians to rejoice, And in hymns sublime c- Hail the holy time. < Over hill and plain Music's murmurs roll; Gaily in the lane Waits their oarols troll Harp and violin Swell the cheerful din. Soon to ev'ry ear, Through the midnight air, Bells afar and near, Sounding ev'rywhera^ Tell with notes elate Yule is at the gate
T HOW A PLUM PUDDING WAS MADE IN PARIS. OST of our readers < have heard of a famous attempt to make a real English plum pudding in Paris, and how it failed, in spite of all the art of the kind's cooks, because they were not told to tie the materials in a cloth. One of the French Monarohs wishing to show honour to the English Ambassador on Christmas Day, gave orders that bis cooks should make a plum pudding for the foreign guest, and inasmuch as the aooks had no idea whatever of the way in which the eatable in question was to bo put together—for they had never seen a plum pudding before, perhaps scarcely ever heard of one—he tent to England for a recipe for making it. The recipe came, so many raisins, so much suet, fcnd so much flour, etc. Everything perfect. There could not possibly have been a better recipe given. This was handed over to the cooks, with strict injunctions not to deviate from it by one hair's breadth; to observe it with the most per- fect accuracy. They did so—the weight of the ingredients, their quality, the sizeoftàe copper in which it was to be boiled, the quantity of water, the duration of time-all was attended to. And the King spoke in dark mysterious hints to the Ambassador of some unknown gratification which was in store for him. Well, at the appointed time in ther dinner, up came the pudding. There," said his Majesty, "my friend, there I have prepared a treat for you. There is your national dish, prepared in your national fashion. Eat and be merry." But the ambassador, instead of eating and be- ing merry, only stared and rubbed his eyes. The plum pudding was actually brought up in a tureen, and be was expected to eat it out of a soup plate, like soup, with a spoon The fact was that though the king had had the best possible re- cipe sent him, and had its injunctions most strictly attended to by his cooks, he bad forgotten one little matter-he bad omitted to tell them that it was to be boiled in a clotit. Here is a story of a more successful attempt to get a plum pudding. Dr Schomberg, of Reading, in the early part of his life, spent a Christmas at Paris with some English friends. They were desirous to celebrate the season in the manner of their own country by having, as one dish at their table, an English plum pudding, but no cook was found equal to the task of compounding it. A clergyman of the party had, indeed, an old recipe book, but this did not sufficiently explain the process. Dr Schomberg, however,' supplied all that was wanting, by throwing the recipe into the form of a prescription, and sending it to the apothecary to be made up. To prevent all possibility of error, he directed that it should be boiled in a cloth, and sent in the same cloth, to be applied at in hour specified. At this hour it arrived, borne by the apothe- cary's assistant and preceded by the apothecary himself, dressed, according to the professional formality of the time, with a sword. Seeing when he entered the apartment, instead of signs of sickness, a table well filled and sur- rounded by very merry faces, he perceived that he was made a party in a joke that turned on himself, and indignantly laid his hand on his sword, but an invitation to taste his own cookery appeased him, and all was well.-Cottager and Artisan.
After a Divorce. She was a shy young thing, apparently not long severed from her mother's apron strings and, as she edged her way into the police headquarters with furtive glances and suppressed voice, she was a picture worth gazing at. It required con. siderable clearing of the throat and tracing up Of the n4rvè before she could master up 'sufficient courage to spin her story. Do you know anything about divorces?" The officer' in charge gtasped ttie rail to steady himself. Though used to questions of a thousand hues, he was taken off his guard by that. Be- sides, he, in the method common to guardians of the peace, had already siz'id up the girl, and jumped at a number of conjectures at her errand. But the crestfallen officer didn't come within several lengths of the bull's-eyo. He had supposed that a parent or a brother loomed up in the background of her mission, or, by a chance phot, a lover-never a husband. Nevertheless, he proved equal to the emergency, pulled himself together in gallant style, and made a show of knowledge on the divorce problem. The story in a nutshell is this Married a fortnight or so. Tired of matrimony. Mutual. The spoony bubl,y of a few weeks' standing had failed to settle wifey's board bill. Moral: Don't you think I could get a divorce because he hasn't paid my board ?" 11 Whitt good would that do ?" persisted the ofcwr, maintaining gravity of composure with gr<at erior;. Then you would havo to pay your own hill." Oh, that isn't the idea at all," she exclaim-d, with a look of pity for his obtusfness. Why can't I get a divorce frim him :.nd compel him t., support me until I get married again ?" The olacer rushed to the tank for a glass of ice water to check n. dizzy feeling that crept down his spinal column, and when he recovered he nolit-iy referred the foxy young bride to a divorce lawyer
In the tramcar. Blonde They say Carrie is engaged. Brunette Engaged Why, she was married a month ago and has justJI ued for a divorce. Blonde How romantic Isn't it splen- did ? I Know thyself may be an excellent sort of proverb, but some people wouldn't know very much if they obeyed it implicitly.
THE OAK AND THE MISTLETOE. 0 the Druids, the oak and the mistletoe are objects of veneration and one of their most imposing ceremonies was the cutting of the latter, some daysbefore the New Year, with a golden knife, in a 10 forest dedicated to the gods; and the distri- buting its branches with much ceremony as New Year's gifts among the people. On the day for cutting the mistletoe, a procession was formed to the forest, the bards walking first, singing canticles and hymns. A herald followed; next three Druids with the knife with which the mistletoe was to be cut; then came the Chief of the Druids, and last of all the people. On reaching the oak. the Arch-Druid, stepping on the bended backs of his followers, ascended to th« branches, and cutting the mistletoe, he presented it to the other Druids, who received it with great respect. It was kept till New Year's Day and then dis- tributed among the people as a sacred and holy niant. the Druids wh'D bestowed it crying, Ihe mistletoe for the New Year." The decorating the houses with the mistletoe at Christmas and the burning the Yule-log on Christmas Eve, are customs undoubtedly derived from the ancient practices of the British priests.
Snapdragon. OME quaint'games <r3 indulged in at Christmastide, and one of the most peculiar of these is Snapdragon. It is generally indulged in on Christmas Eve, and has been handed down to us from time immemorial. To Welsh and English readers this game will be familiar enough, but it is almost unknown in Scotland. A quantity of raisins are de- posited in a large dish or bowl (the broader and shallower this is the better), and brandy or some other spirit is poured over the fruit and ignited. The bystanders now cn- deavour, by turns, to grasp a raisin, by plunging their hands through the flames and as this is somewhat of arduous feat, requiring both courage and rapidity of action, a considerable amount of laughter and merriment is evoked at the expense of the unsuccessful competitors. As an appro- priate accompaniment we introduce here The Song of Snapdragon. Here he comes with flowing bowl; Don't be mean to make his toll. Snip! Snap! Dragon! Take care you don't take too much, Be not greedy in your clutch, Snip! Snap! Dragon! With his blue and lapping tongue Many of you will be stung. y Snip! Snap! Dragon? For he snaps at all that comes Snatching at his feast of plums, —— Snip! Snap! Dragon! But Old Christmas makes him come, Though he looks so fe fa! furn 11 Snip Snap! Dragon Don't 'ee fear him, be but bold- Out he goes, his flames are cold. Snip! Snap! Dragon! Whilst the sport of Snapdragon is going on it is BMial t» e*cf$ngai8ti allthoi jgfetsrmfcbo room so that the lurid glare from the flaming spirits may exercise to the full its weifd-like effect. There seems little doubt (says "Chambers Book of Days ") that in this amusement we retain a trace of the fiery ordeal of the Middle Ages, and alsa of the Druidical fire-worship of a still remoter riod. A curious reference to it occurs in a quaint old play of Ltngud, quoted by Mr Sandys in his work on Christmas. "Memory: Ob, I remember this dish well; it was first invented by Pluto to entertain Proser- Itl,ink not 90> Memory; for when Hercules bad killed the flaming dragon of Hesperia, with the apples of that orchard he made this fiery meat; in memory whereof he named it Snapdragon, to personify him, has a poor relation or country cousin, who bears the name f plan'Dragon. This is a favourite amusement among the common people in the western counties nt England, and consists in placing a lighted Lrfle in a can of ale or cider, and drinking up the contents of the vessel. This act entails, of course, considerable risk of having the face singed, and herein lies the essence of the sport.
AN UNMISTAKABLE MISTAKE. Re dad, but that ould vessel's gone off with a passenger that's left behind
FIRESIDE CRACKERS. Why is a sporting nun like a lamb 1—Because ho gambles (gambols) on the turf. Why can't a man starve in the desert?—Be- cause of the sand-whioh-is-there. Why is a widow like an inveterate smoker ?— Because both are fond of their weeds. Why are ladies like arrows ?—Because they can't go off without a bow (beau). What is the first record of a newspaper ?—When Cain took A "Bell's Life." Why is the letter D like a sailor?—Because it follows the C (sea) When was IVljses most destructive ?—When he broke all the Ten Commandments at once. What quadrupeds are admitted to balls and dinner-parties 1—White Kids. Why is a. member of Parliament like a shrimp ? —Because he has M.P. at the end of his name. Why is the fifth letter of the alphabet) like death ?—Because it is the end of life. Why do fishermen possess extraordinary power ? —Because they can cure dead fish. Why is a chrysalis like a hot roll ?—Because it is the grub that makes the butterfly. When is wine like a pig's tooth 1—When it is in a liqg's-head. What kind of apparel did Adam and Eve wear ? —JMt* skin clothes. Why is a dirty woman like flannel ?—-Because ehe shrinks from washing. Why is a lady's belt like a scavenger ?—Because it gees round and gathers up the waist. When is a fowl's neck like a bell ?—When it is (w)rung for dinner. What article was never made to be sold?— Gloves—they are made to be kept on hand. What relation is the doormat to the scraper ?— A step-fa(r)ther. Who is the oldest woman in the world ?—Ann- Tiquity. What tradesman never attends to his business ? —A tailor, because he is so often cutting out. Why are sentries like night and day ?—Because as one comes the other goes. When would a blow from a lady be pleasant ?— When she strikes you agreeably. Why do old maids wear mittens ?—To keep off the chaps. What length ought a lady's dress to be to look nice ?—A little over two feet. What is most like a hen stealing ?—A cock- robin. What female's name would an egg object to be called ?—Addle-laid (Adelaide). When is a soldier a most charitable person ?— When he presents arms (alms). What complaint is a miser most susceptible to ? —Tightness in the chest. Why is kiss spelt with two s's ?—Because it always takes two to complete the spell. Why is an umbrella like a hot-cross bun ?— Because it is seldom seen after Lent. Why are skates like an apple ?—Because both have caused the fall of man. What time of year is it dangerous to walk in the country ?—When the leaves are shooting. Whv is an author more free than a monarch ?— Because he can choose his own subjects. Why are the natives of Ceylon all bachelors ?— Because they are Cingalese (single he's). What is that which everyone can divide, and no one can see where it is divided :—Water. What is that which is too much for one, enough for two, but nothing at all for three ?—A secret. Why is the letter P like uncle's fat wife going up a bill ?—Because it makes ant pant. What tree bears the most fruit to market ?— The axle tree. What is the greatest stand ever made for civilisation ?—Inkstand. If you pull a dog's tail, why is that like your teacaddy ?—Because your teasing it. What is the difference between the late Lord Beaconsfield and a debauchee I—The one was Dizzy and the other dizzy-pated. Why is a successful book-maker like a pre- possessing young lady?—Because he has such winning ways. If a pig wished to build itself a house, how would it set about it 1—Tie a knot in its tail and call it a pig's-tie (pigstye). Why is life a most extraordrnary thing ?— Because it begins with a nurse and ends with cut 'carse. If a library of books were on fire, what acclamation would be apropos ?—Dickens Howitt Burns. How did the sandwiches get into the desert ?— Because Ham was sent there, and his followers mustard (mustered) and bre(a)d. Why is the Emperor of Russia like a greedy boy on Christmas day ?—Because he's confounded Hung(a)ry and longs for Turkey. Why are the guests at an Irish house of mourn- ing like the last trumpet ?—Because they come to a-wake-on the dead. Why does the Queen approve of postage stamps? —Because she lends her countenance to them. What is the difference batmen a tart-dressy and a sculptor ?—The one. cutis up and dies, the other makes faces and busts. Why should a man named Benjamin marry a firl named Annie ?—'Becausehft would-fee&enmew ttpd *vnd she would be Annie-mated. Why is a man who enjoys a good night's rest like a ballet-girl ?—Because both have a fairypose (fair repose). Why are pigeons the most cautious of birds ?— Because they always mind their peas and coos. When is a woman like a newspaper article ?— When she wears a cotton gown and appears m print every, morning. What is the nrst recorded instance of a walking- stick ?—When Eve presented Adam with a little Cain. Why shouldn't a man with a coagh go to church? "Because he would disturb the rest of the congregation. Why do travelling bags resemble handcuffs ?— Because both are made for tourists (two-wrists). What is the difference between a man and a woman ?—One is a mister, and the other a mv«tery. 'What are the most remarkable things in the world ?—Gun*, because having no legs they can kick with their breeches.
ON WHOM THE JOKE WAS—A good story is told cf a little boy in Indiana. He had justlearned the Lord's Prayer in German,and suggested to his father that the following evening he proposed to offer up his new German prayer when he went to bed, in order to surpiise his mother. He added that of course God understands German (even our common-school German) without any trouble. Yes," said his father, but I think it would sound a little sacrilegious, and God might not liko it in that spirit."—" No, but you don't understand it, papa," said the young man "I want to do so to'stonish ma. The joke ain't 0:1 God at all it's on mamma." Dr Holland once said that "the greatest bles- sing that a young man can enjoy is poverty." Still it is one of thoseblesslDgs that brighten as take their flight."
It was bound to come if the country only held off long enough. An enterprising American has offered to light the Bartholdi statue free of charge. He is the president of an electric light company, and has some ideas on the subject of advertising, Some man will now wish to polish the statue, and exhibit the merits of his marvellus preparation for cleaning brass and irons.
Old Yule-Tide Customs. I HE celebration o Christmas during the Anglo-Saxon period, and under the Norman kings, was distinguished by a series of costly banquets, the scanty measure then given to devotion furnishing an ample excuse for the most extraordinary merry-making. Indeed, music and singing were held in greater account than devotion, and eat- ing and drinking were rated far abov-:1 all. The boar's bead and the wassail bowl were the two most important adjuncts to the cere- rrit monies of olden times I he composition of the latter consisted of ale, nutmeg, --ug.r, toast, and roasted apples; while the word wassail was derived from the Anglo- Saxon, Waes hael Be in health." On New Year's Eve they gathered, with their friends and neighbours, around the blazing log on the hospitable hearth, rejoiced in the spicy was- sail bowl, and in the songs and playful mirth that brought in the infant year. This ancient cus- tom of pledging each other from out of the game cup buried many a bitter animosity, for as each took the circling goblet from his friend, all former enmity was expected to be drowned therein. A continual round of pleasure runs its course throughout the twelve days forming the feast of Yule, though formerly the twelve days were pro- longed till Candlemas, when, and not till then the last remnants of Christmastide were pulled down or put away for another year. Herrick writes about this ceremony in the following verses:— Kindle the Christmas brand, and then Till sunset let it burn, Wh!cli quenched, then lay it up again Till Cl-ristmas next return. Part must be kept wherewith to tend The Christmas log next year, And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend Can do no mischief there." And the same divine songster also tell us some- thing of the superstitious dread with which these rites were regarded by our forefathers "Down with the rosemary, and so, Down with the bays and mistletoe; Down with the holly, ivy, all Wherewith ye dressed the Christmas hall. that so the superstitious find Not one least branch there left behind .t or look, how many leaves there be Neglected there—maids, trust tome, So many goblins you shall see." Mistletoe, that annual concession of decorum to love, is never alluded to in connection with Christmas till the 17th century; though now this plant, once the object of Druidie veneration, reigns supreme among the evergreens, in the estimation of the young, at least; and in the social gatherings of our happy homes, it is thought to be as indispensable as the scarlet hplly at this yearly decoration. It is also an important feature of the Christmas rites in the servants' hall or kitchen, when an immense amount of fun and kissing, coquetting and love- making, goes on beneath its branches. Indeed, not to be kissed under the mistletoe, in the days of yore, was regarded as a grave misfortune by the young servant girl, while many a true affec- tion budded into growth from the stolen kiss by the pearly bough, and culminated in a happy union for life. Mumming, which prevailed during the MidjJle Ages throughout the Christmas season, had its origin in some similar amusement in imitation ol the Sigillaria, or festal days of revelry, added to" the Saturnalia. These were great times among the rich and great, ill the way of fetes, banquets, and masked balls, while the lower orders fol- lowed in the footsteps of their lords and masters, and went from house to house with their faces blackened with soot and bedaubed with paint, the men dressed as women and the women as men; everyone alike making merry with will rejoicings. Though mumming has almost: died out, carol singing and the waits are still in- dulged in by young and old in this country, and many would be sorry to miss the carol singing at this season. j "CAROL SINGERS." I Wassailing the orchards is another ancient custom which is rapidly dyin" out, but which is still kept up by some farmers in Sussex and Devon. A troop of boys and girls visit the different orchards, and, encircling the apple trees, pour round their roots the bowl of cider, ale, &c., chanting lustily as they do some doggerel lines of the following character Stand fast root, bear well top. Pray God send us a good howling crop; Every twig, apples big Every bough, apples enow Hats full. caps full, Full quarter sacks full. Opening the Bible cn New Year's Day s another practice still in common use in some parts, and much credit is attached to it. It is generally set about with solemnity on the morn- ing before breakfast, as the ceremony must be performed fasting. The Bible is laid on the table unowned, and the parties who wish to consult it are then to open it in succession. They ars not at liberty to choose any particular part of the book, but must open it at random. Whenever this is done, and wherever it may happen to bfI, the inquirer has to place his finger on one of the chapters contained in the two open pages, but without any previous perusal. The chapter is then read aloud anci commented upon by the people assembled. It is believed that the good or ill-fortune, the happiness or misery G,4 the con. suiting party, during this coming year, will be in some way or other described and.foreshown by the contents of tht- chapter.
JOHNSON Hullo, Jones, you've got your leg straight again. I thought you said it was in- curable." JONES Well, you see I got my damages against the railway ccmpany last week, so now I'm all right."
INEXPENSIVE.—" Mr Skrimpy is paying you a great dfeal of attention, daughter.'—Daughter (who knows that Mr Skrimpy's attentions a.re confined to frequent calls): But he's not paying it out of his pocket-book, mamma.
GOSSIPS' CORNER. I The Ecclesiastical Commissioners are the possessors of 63 public-houses. The Liberator Society has engaged two lady lecturers—Mrs Brignall and Miss Hiiis. The value for the present year of JBlOO tithe is £ 75 18s 3%d, the lowest price since the passing of the Tithe Commutation Act. It is stated that some American paper has offered £1,000 reward for a copy of the Home Rule Bill. Lady Florence Dixie says women's dress is the great and most determined bar to her attainment of liberty. Mr Gladstone has certainly no lack of hosts, for four distinguished Englishmen have sought tc make him their guest on the Riviera. The Government Labour Bureau established at Sydney has proved a success. The numbet of unemployed there has diminished from 13,OOC to 3,000. In consequence of a deficiency of naval on. gineers the Admiralty are about to suspend optional retirement of senior engineers when reaching the age of 50. Mr Stansfeld, M.P., has been offered the chairmanship of the Royal Commission to inquIre into the possibility of amending thf. Poor Law Acts for the benefit of the aged poor. The heaviest spring bridge in this country has just been turned into position on the Shir Canal at Trafford-road, near Manchester. The bridge is 265 feet long, 30 feet deep, and 50 fee* wide. Miss Honor Brooke, the eldest daughter of the Rev Stopford Brooke, is the most recent rccruil to the ranks of the independent young ladies whe have given up their homes for "chambers," in order to go in for literature. The medical officers of Lincoln Infirmary art very anxious respecting a strange case just ad. mitted. An old woman named Helen Savage contrived to swallow a closed razor, an incident which is causing her much suffering. Mr M'Cullagh Torrens, so familiar a figure « member for Finsbury in the Parliament ot 1880 is engaged on a book of reminiscences, politico and general, which will probably be ready foi publication early in the coming year. How to kill and cook a turkey is a very appro priate subject at this season. Franklin, we arc told, killed one by an electric spark at a pionit in 1748, and roasted it by an electric jack befon a fire kindled by the electric jar." The Sunday School Union has suffered a loai by the death of Mr William Groser, its seniot secretary. He reached the good old age of 89 in June last, yet retained his lifelong interest- in work among the young until within sight of grave. The latest idea in insuring the lives of coe- toruers is embodied in an "insurance'' corset. With each corset sold is presented a coupon, insuring, according to the value of the articled the purchaser for £ 25, £ 50, or B100, against death by accident. One day this week a cabman took to New Scotland Yard a parcel left in his vehicle by » gentleman. It was discovered to contain securi- ties to the value of £ 15,003. These were claimed by a stockbroker, but the honest cabman was re warded with J375. With reference to the dafcth of M. Hachette, "it stated that the ^vrit^r tht firm has a salary £ 630 » year and two assistants. M. Zola's fcrsttift in the world was a subordinate post in the advertisement depart- ment at Hachette's. A marriage has been arranged, and will take place at Easter, between Mr Harford, of Blaisf Castlt, Gloucestershire, and Falcondale, Cardi. gan, and Blanche Amabel, second daughter 0; ths late Right Hen. H. C. Raikes, M.P., an<? Mrs Raikes, of 82, Eccleston-square. The Comptroller of the Household of the Prince of Wales, in a letter to a correspondent, says There is no vice that his Royal High. ness so much deprecates as that of drunken- ness," and adds, His Royal Highness has nc public-house on the Sandringham estate." A Royal edition of the Christmas number of the Strand Magazine," containing fac-simiies of her Majesty's letters in Hindustani, has been issued, bound in pale blue satin, and has been forwarded to each member of the Royal Family, the one sent to her Majesty being enclosed in a rich silk plush casket. A circumstance of some interest appears to have escaped remark in connection with the resignation of M. Rouvier. This is that it was M. Rouvier, then Presideut of the Cabinet, who precipitated the bursting of the Wilson scandal, and who, in particular, distinguished himself by his uncompromising hostility to President Gravy. A new luminous fungus has been forwarded to Europe from Tahiti. It is said to emit, at night, a light resembling that of the glowworm, which it retains for a period of 24 hours after having been gathered, and it is used, by the native women, in bouquets of flowers for personal adorn- ment in the hair and dress. It is believed to grow oa the trunks of trees.-Nature. There is no doubt, it appears, that Mis Harrison died of che Presidency. She was wotv out with the perpetual draft upon her time and energy, and constantly compelled to be in evi- dence. There was such a complete absence and impossibility of rest that she yielded to nervous prostration, and when influenza attacked her she had not strength to rally. Ceylon is sending to the Chicago Exhibition a complete reproduction of a Buddhist temple and many interesting specimens of ancient Sinhalese art, including, according to the Ceylon Observer, exquisitely-carved pillars, massive doorways and dados, beautiful windows, and froseoed. panellings of courts. There will also be, among other things, a display of jewellery, lace, and pottery. Maize, or Indian corn, according to Mr C. J. Murphy, was first cultivated by white men on James River, Virginia, in 1608. Although much used far food in America it is still ncglected in Europe, yet its nutritive value is estimated at five-sixths that of wheat. When maize was the staple grain of America 50 years ago dyspepsia was almost unknown. Numerous delicate dishea are now prepared from it, there being 130 recipes for cooking it. The number of locomotives owned by different railway companies in the United Kingdom, according to a list prepared by KrCiOlneot Stretton, is 16,860, of which 14,314 beloaf^ta England and Wales, 1,841 to Scotland, and 70E lie fettkod. lm4*n and North, WwAen Railway Company ranks first with 2,648 loco- motives next comes the Midland with 2,020; followed by the Gre,,tt Western with 1,660, and the North-Eastern with 1,560. In some of the tcwns of Lancashire there bat recently besn adopted a cab indicating devioi that will be, it is stated, shortly transferred to London. It is an indicator of cab fares, When a passencor enters the indicator stands at zero. and it is the driver's duty at once to place the index at the amount which the traveller will be called upen to pay. The instrument also forms a continuous record, so that at the end of the day the proprietor can tell precisely how much t. cabman has taken.
CHRISTMAS BELLS. Ring out, wild bolls, to the will sky, Tin flying cloud, the frosty lwht The year is dying in the night; Itinp., cut wiM bells, and la him die. n C, Ibing out the dd, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow, The yrar is 701 nc:, let him go I\ing c-ut the fal»e, ring in -rtie true. Ring cut false priù") in placs and bk.-od, The civic slander an ] tb» spite; Ring in the low. ef truth and rigit% I'tti,g in th cjunn ^n lore of ?<m4, Rinc in tin valiant man and free. The lawr heart, the kindlier hand; Ring cut the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to ha,"
THE LARGEST PROPRIETARY FURNISHING ESTABLISH MEN L' s* IN THE WORLD. cor • W*. SsJ 7i- 73. ESTABLISHED V7> 1848. HAMPSTEAD ROAD (Near Tottenham W.V/ Court-rd.) LONDON All Carpets nrvl- up Free o Charge, and when prepaid sent Carriage Paid to any Railway 0 Station in England or Wales. _L £ STRATED CATALOGUE POST FREE 4100
ECHOES OF CHRISTMAS. N blust'ring bands at night came forth The ice-tipped breezes of the North, And charged across the snow The stars a. dim white lustre cast, ,.nd seemed like tapers in the blast To flicker to and fro. As from my chamber, warm and bright, Musing, I looked on the night, Methouyht that I could near Unearthly sounds from far away rpy,,t wand sred through the pinewoods grey, Now muffled and now clear. mL. blended noise of horse and horn, Of whips and jingling bells were borne On winds that sighed around. T know not why, and yet to me t.^h separate note appeared to be The spirit of a sound. The ring of skates upon the mere, The sound of voices low and clear, The rattle of the sleigh T caught, and mid the varied dm F,ill inany a harp and violm Did mirthful music play. The nipe of robin on the eaves, The rustle soft of holly leaves, A non I seemed to hear; Wwila songs and anthems by the breeze Were blent in sweetest symphonies Unto my list'ning ear. The roar of fires I heard, methought. The while m minor keys 1 dmgbt The clink of-glass fljid And still as louder grew the blast The mingled noises went at last, INMIGHTY' Then all was still; the wind's lend roar Wis hushed, and on its wings no more The mystic notes were borne Th« srrey dawn through my lattice brcke, And with a stifled sigh I woke, And lo 'twas Christmas morn.
ECONOMICAL.—She (despairingly): My family was always economical, and I am a living exam- le- He (syml-thetic) Indeed! How so?— She: i was born on Christmas-day, and my birthday and Christmas presents have always been combined.
Andrew Fletcher, of Saltoun, m a. letter te the Marquis ef Montrose, wrote :—" I know a very wise man that believed that if a man were permitted te Mah all the ballads he need not ca.re who skould make the laws of the nation."
CHRISTMAS. Kindle the Christmas brand, and then Till sunset let it burn Which quenched, then lay it up again, Till Chrismas next return. Part must be kept, wherewith to tend The Christmas log next year; And where 'tis safely kept, the fiend Can do no mischief thure.
CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE COUNTRY. Bright in the grate the Yule-log is burning The kettle hums its homely, soothing song; We hail the sound of sisters home returning, Laden with presents for the younger throng. Sweet voices mingle in a gentle greeting, While eyes speak greater joy than words ex- press No harsh tones rise to mar the happy meeting, But peace and kindness our home-gathering bless. Without, across the moonlit meadows We hear the swelling music of the chimes, Arising from the tower among the shadows, And waking memories of old Christmas times. The night wears on, and younger ones grow weary, Waiting to hear the early carol's sound; But soon upon the air, all sweet and cheery, We hear thA joyous accents float around.
BALLADE OF CHRISTMAS. A merry Christmas ah, 'twas so Beneath the old-time feudal sway Our ancestors of long ago Gave every pleasure then full play .And we, for all that cynics say, Still hold the season doubly dear, Though winds are chill, and skies are grey For Christinas comes but once a year. A merry Christmas ah, and though The good old" games are gone for aye, The holly-bough and mistletoe Still give us joy, and the boys still pay Love's debts in the sweet old-fashioned way And still we eat" good Christmas cheer," And all the good old customs stay, Though Christmas comes but once a year. Old Santa Claus still brings, we know, His gifts, and still the old folks obey The impulse ot their youth, and grow As children, glad at heart as they And many a wanderer astray, And many old friends, from far and near, For tang syne make home-gatherings gay, For Christmas comes but once a year. ENVOY. Dear friends, the old faces pass away, But many new friendships we revere And we'll be merry whilst we may— For Christmas comes but once a year
I SEASONABLE ECHOES. I APPY, happy, Christ- mas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the aged man the pleasure of his youth that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside, and his quiet home. He Whosaid, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me," was the great founder of the gladsome feast of Christmas, and it is in His honour that we up- hold the feast and gladden the hearts of the little ones we love so dearly. It is a pleasure, a holy pleasure, to make their smiles brighter, their laughter clearer and more musical. —Beecher. With many people Christmas presents will only come through the imagination, which will enable them to exhibit great presents of mind. Song of the young lady who has several infatu- ated beaux of the string, and expects Christmas presents from all of them-" What shall the harvest be ? What time the holidays roll 'round, The bad boy still in frocks, Led by the ear, to his ma draws near, And getteth his Christmas box." Remember that a Christmas gift gains nothing in significance by being costly, and to seek to out- do others in pecuniary outlay, simply because you have the means, is vulgar. Christmas has come around, and the unkind feelings that have struggled against better dis- position during the year have melted away before its genial influence like half-formed ice beneath the morning sun.—Charles Dickens. Our Christmas tree comes from Germany, our Santa Claus from Holland, the Christmas stock- ing from Belgium or France, while the Merrv Christmas" was the old English greeting shouted from window to street and from street back to window, in the long ago. Hang up the baby's stocking; Be sure you don't forget- The dear little dimpled darling She never saw Christmas yet. But I've told her all about it, And she opened her big blue eyes, And I'm sure she understands it, She looked so funny and wise." Christmas is a golden mile stone in the path of youth. The Christmas time comes on apace and charity begins to hum. As the Christmas tree is bent, so is the youth- ful heart made glad. v The best kind of a Christmas slipper-slipper five pound note in your needy neighbour's hand. Many a good fellow will load up on Christmas in order to fire himself off in reform resolutions on New Year's Day. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, bu you had better spend your money .for Christmas presents for all that. Some will hang up their stockings on Christmas Eve, and others will hang up the bartender. The small boy now puts in eight hours a day flattening his nose against the windows of 9011 fectionery and toy shops. <
ECHOES FROM THE CALENDAR. Christmas Days of the Past. Christmas Day was first observed in the year 98, but not as a religious festival till 137, when it was ordained by Pope Telesphorus. Diocletian, when holding his Court at Nicomedia, in 303, hearing that there was a festival of the Christians on Christmas Day, shut the church doors, and set fire to it. Six hundred of its inmates perished in the flames. The Holy Roman Empire was founded by Charlemagne, who was proclaimed Empsror of the West," and crowned at Rome by Leo III., on Christmas Day, 800. On Christmas Day, 1522, Solyman the Magni. ficent, after a siege of six months, captured the city of Rhodes from the Knights of St. John, who, under their Grand Master, had resisted him, with only six hundred men opposed to his thousands. In the year 1066, William, Duke of the Normans, landed in England, and in three short months wholly subdued it, and was crowned King of the English on Christmas Day, by Eldred, the English Archbishop of York, at Westminster Abbey. Six hundred and twenty-three years later, under very similar circumstances, another William took up the Government of England. This was the Prince of Orange, who had been invited over from Holland by the Lords and Commoners. He began his government on Christmas Day, 1688. On the same day the deposed King, James II. who had fled from William, landed at Amble- teuse, and was received by Louis XIV. with great generosity. In the year 1620, the Pilprim Fathers," in order to escape the persecution to which they were subjected at home, set out for the town of Delft, in Holland, in two small vessels, named Speedwell and Mayflower, and, after a long and arduous voyage, they landed at Massachusetts Bay,on Christmas Day, and founded the'town of New Plymouth—the first of the New England colonies. Natal, now a British colony, was discovered on Christmas Day, 1407, by Vasco de Gama, and named by him on that account "Terra Natalis." On Christmas Day, 1777, Capt. Cook discovered Christmas Island. On Christmas Day, 1808, began that disastrous retreat of Sir John More, before the French, to Corunna, which terminated in his death on the 16th of January, 1809. The coldest Christmas Day experienced in this country for the last seventy years was that ef 1860. In the south of Staffordshire the thermo- meter sank as far as fifteen degrees below zedfc. On Christmas Day, 1870, was completed the Mont Cenis tunnel, which had been begun in 1857. It is one of the most famous tunnels in the world. It lies between Bardonneehe and Modani, and is eight miles in length. The Grand Val- lon," under which it passes, is eleven thousand feet above the level of the sea. On the same Christmas Bay |the Belgian Steamer 1?6rHe6"Was'r'wr»elce3voff t?ap'e ^anta Maria on its return from the River Plate, and fchirty-fivWf its crew and passenger# V&fe drowned.
CAUGHT BY A DOG. Highland dogs are clevor at guarding other things besides sheep. Once a young man was going over the stables of the Earl of Fife, an ancestor of the present duke. As there was nobody near he was tempted to put a fine bridle into his coat pocket. He was about to leave the stables when his way was barred by a dog that barked at him furiously, and even bit his leg. j As the young man was not a stranger, and the animal was not given to such conduct, the ser- vants, whom its barking had" drawn to the spot, did not know what to make of the matter. One of them happening to spy the bridle in the man's pocket, however, it was taken from him, where- upon the dog grew quiet and allowed the foolish fellow to depart in peaoe.
A maiden lady said to her little nephew: "No, Je/hnny you go to bed early, and always do so, and you'll be rosy-cheeked and handsome when you grow up.Johnny thought over this a few minutes and then observed: Well, aunty, you must have sat up a good deal when you were young." "You love me?" echoed the fair creature, as her pretty head. oiled the collar of his summer suit.—"Yes, "he said tenderly, "you are my own and only "—"Hush," she interrupted, don t say that—be original, That sounds too much like a circus show-bill." The fact that people are going around buying up old rubber shoes leads us to suspect that there must be new kind of Bologna sausage in the market.
I Christmas in Many Lands. TANLEY, in the siory of his travels Through the Dark- Continent," tells how he spent Christmas Day in the heart of tropical Africa .,and in the history of his three years of Arctic service, Greeley tells how he observed the festival in the frozen region where the ice never melts. The man- ner of celebration neces- sarily differed, but the ruling spirit was the same in each case. Knowledge that millions were then "c keeping Christmas m different clinies was present to both men, and kindred feeling was a bond between them and loved ones in distant lands. The spirit of rejoicing manifests itself in different ways amongst people who are less widely sundered than they who spend Christmas at the Equator and near the North Pole. Yet in the far North the Christoir.3 festival is observed with a heartiness of enjoyment in which the natives of such ungelliallands are supposed seldom to indulge. The celebration of Christmas in Finland re- sembles our own manner of keeping the festival in several points. It may be said to more closely resemble the way in which our fathers kept Christmas, because some %istoms that have become obsolete, or nearly obsolete, in England, are still retained by them. Let us imagine our- selves to be in a Finland village on Christmas Eve, and note the unusual proceedings within a Finlander's hut. Hagmena, Hogmena. Hugmena, or New Year's Eve, is much observed in Scotland. It is sup- posed to be a corruption of a Druid rite, while the world itself would i-eem to have come from Normandy, gue or guy being the Celtic name for oak, and on the 31st of December the boys 0 and youths go about the towns and villages begging for gifts, while by way of wishing si happy New Year, they cry, An Guy L'An Neu (To the mistletoe, the New Year's come!) by which words they designate not only the season, but the gift received. Sing-en ten is the appellation given to Hagasena, in Fifeshire, when, as in other parts of Scotland, the social meeting make a point of remaining together till the clock strikes twelve, when they immediately rise, clink glasses, drink healths, and with hearty handshakings wish each other a mutual and happy New Year. To the superstitious in the Highlands, it is of great moment which way the wind blows on Hagmena. If New Year's Eve night wind blow south, It betokeneth warmth and growth If west, much milk, and nsh in the sea, If north, much cold and storms there will be; If east. the trees will bear much fruit; If north-east, flee it man and brute." The Festival of Fools, at Paris, held on this day, continued for 240 years, when every kind of absurdity was committed. A curious custom, known as the Quaaltagh, is still partially observed in the Isle of Man. The person who first sweeps the floor on New Year's morning must begin to brtish the dust from the door to the hearth, instead of, as usual, sweeping it to the door. It would be considered a most greivous affair it the latter were done, as the good fortune of the family individually would thereby be thought to be swept from the home for that year. No light must either be allowed to be taken out of the house, or a death would be certain to occur before the expiration of the ensuing 12 months. It is also thought an unlucky omen if a female chatiee to he the first visitant. In the Scilly Islands, on Christmas Day, during the service, carols are much in vogue, and when the worship is over a hat is carried round the oongrogatkm far a c.ontnhution of money. Tho same ceremony is also performed in Norwegian churches. In Rome, on New Year's Day, it is customary for all tradesmen to work a little at their business by way of omen, for luck's sake, that they might have constant business during the coming yepr and no one would suffer a neighbour to take tire out of his house, or anything composed of iron neither would he lend any article on that day.' The Romans were great observers of New Year gifts, even the poorest among them contriving then to have some little token of goodwill to give away. Christmas, day and night, in a Laplander's but is passed more quietly than in Finland, yet the Lapps do not take their pleasure less heartily, but with less demonstration. All the members of a family are dressed in their best. In the window of the hut two tallow candles are burning, and on the table stands the three or six-branched light, which is the special feature of Christmas illumination. The Christmas festival in Russia is called Svyatki Vechera-ie., Holy Evenings. It begins on Christmas Eve, and during the twelve days of its continuance is distinctly a sportive seascn. On Christmas Eve commences the singing of the songs called "Kolyadki," in which reference is made to some mysterious being, probably a solar goddess, named Kolyada. One of these wild songs commences with the words, "Kolyada. Kolyada! Kolyada has come. We wandered about; we sought holy Kolyada in all the court- yards." No doubt this song was solemnly sung for many a year by the young people, who went from house to house escorting a sledge, in which sat a girl dressed in white, who represented the goddess. These songs have fallen into disuse amongst grown people in many places. They are, however, retained by the younger branches who go about singing as their elders did erewhile'. Belgium is to be regarded as a minor France in so far as popular customs and popular beliefs are concerned. In both countries many of the customs that were connected with Christmas have been transferred to the open- ing of the New Year. Formerly a curious custom was observed in Belgian villages. After the midnight mass a young man with wings on his shoulders personated the Angel Gabriel. He recited the "Ave Maria" to a girl, who replied Fiat." The angel then kissed her. Subsequently a large figure of a cock was brought in. A child, who had been taught to imitate crowing, was concealed within the effigy, Y, and cried, Puer natus est nobis as if the cock had learned to articulate the words. A proces- sion, in which the figures of an ox and an ass appeared, was then forihed, and marched through the street, singing a hymn, in which the plaintive "moo of the cuw and the bray of the ass were introduced from time to time. In Sicily, the Christmas festival may be said to begin with December 8, the F.ast of the Immaculate Conception. On the eve of that day, as well as on Christmas Eve, the people indulge in social amusement. There the songsters, wKose office corresponds with that of our '^waits are ii&lllkl'' 'Canlast&rie. Their carols were formerly sung in the night time, but siiict, 1867 they have t)6M) elloWed to sing only in the day.
THE MAORIS AND THE BRITISH SOLDIERS. When the Earl of Meath was in New Zealand he met with some settlers whose fathers had been soldiers in the wars against the Maoris as the natives are called. They told him that the Maoris were brave fighters and gallant enemies. The 65th Regiment were great favourites of theirs, and during an engagement the Maoris used to cry out in broken English, "We going to fire. Lie down, Icky-fifth." After another fight, in which the British were defeated, the wounded whites were treated very kindly, some being rescued and attended to by Maoris at the risk of their own lives before the battle was over. During the actual conflict the nativa were at times very cruel, but they seldom forgot to be generous to their foes. There was a chief who hearing that the British soldiers were short of food, sent an ample supply, with the message that he was a Christian, and the Bible taught him to feed his enemies.
NOT WHOLLY SATISFACTORY.— I thought you said you were in love with Miss Do Trop i"—" I djd. And yet you say that there is something about her you dislike." There is—it's Twenilo; he's always about her." AN ORTHOGRAPHICAL COMPLIMKNT —He • I am rather; in favour of the English' than "the American mode of spelling;—She: Yes, indeed. Take parlour." 'for instance. Having "u" makes all the difference in the orld.
Dickens' Christmas Stories. The Christmas Carol. As often as Christmas comes round the name of -Charles Dickens is brought prominently before the great reading public by numerous references to his Christmas stories. It is true that many writers have written beautiful things of Christ- I Parley's Ghost. mas in the best of kindly and sympathetic spirits and couched in glowing language, but none have interwoven their names with thoughts of Christ- mas as Charles Dickens has done by his Christ- mas books. We do net compare the writings cf Dickens on the subject with those of Thackeray or Washington Irving, nor do we write one dero- gatory word of the latter two, but we simply call attention to the fact that Dickens is the one writer whose name has bc-cume inseparably associated with the festive season of Christinas. We do not intend to summarise A Christmas Carol. That would spoil the reading of it to any who have still the great delight before them of a first perusal and acquaintance with this delight- ful little creation of a warm and humane soul. We only intend to write of it and to give the opinions of others. It was the first, as it is the best, of his Christmas books, and there are many capable judges who have placed A Christmas Carol in the catalogue of the masterpieces of English literatine. Dickens had written "Martin Chuzzlewit," and had been greatly disappointed with its reception and sale. During the interval of this greater work lie had also penned his first Christmas story, which became at once a great success. We thoroughly agree with Mr Frank T. Marzials-one of Dickens' biographers—when he says of it All Dickens' great gifts seem reflected, sharp and distinct, in this little book, Scrooge's Third Visitor. as in a convex mirror. His humour, his best pathos, which is not that of grandiloquence, but of simplicity, his bright poetic fancy, his kindli- ness—all here find a place. It is a great painting in miniature, genius in its quintessence, a gem of perfect water. We may apply to it any simile that implies excellence in the smallest compass. None but a fine imagination would have con- ceived the supernatural agency that works old Scrooge's moral regeneration — the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and to come-that each in turn speaks to the wizened heart of the old miser, so that, almost unwittingly, he is softened by the tender memories of childhood, warmed bv sympathy for those who struggle and suffer, and appalled by the prospect of his own ultimate desolation and black solitude. Then the episodes—the scenes to which these ghostly visitants convey Scrooge the story of his earlier years as shown in his vision the household of the Cratch its, and poor little crippled Tiny Tim the party given by Scrooge's nephew nay, before all these, the terrible inter- view with Marley's Ghost. All are admirably executed. Sacrilege would it be to suggest the al teratioll of a word." The Last of the Spirits. j It was in 1843 that it first appeared—nearly half-a-century ago—and it is now more widely popular than when it was first given to the public. How many wizened, flinty hearts and grim consciences it must have touched and melted during 49 Christmases It is a little "tract of the times," and so long as the world lasts A Christmas OiYrcl will be of use. And now let John Foister speak. He knew Dickens as no other man did knew his short- comings, his weaknesses as well us hia etrong points and his manly qualities. He was his life- long friend, his close cop-fidant and adviser. This is what he says about the "Carol" and its author :—There was, indeed, nobody that had not some interest in tho message of the Christmas Carol.' It told the selfish man to Mr Fezziwig's Ball. rid himself of selfishness, the just man to make himself generous, and the good-natured man to enlarge the sphere of his f?cod-natui e. Its cheery voice of faith and hope, ringing from one end of the island to th" other, carried pleasant warning alike to all, that if the duties of Christmas were wanting no trocd could come cf its outward observances that it must shine upon the cold hearth and warm it, and into the sorrowful heart and comfort it; that it must be kindness, benevo- lence, charity, mercy, and forbearance, or its plum pudding would turn to bile and its roast beef be indigestible. Nor could any man have said it with the same appropriateness as Dickens. What was marked in him to the last was manifest now. He had identified himself with Christmas fancies. Its lift, and spirits, its humour and riotous abundance, of right belonged to him. Its imaginations, as weli as its kindly thought-, were his and its privilege to light up with some sort of comfort the squalidest places, he had mads his own." Who can listen," exclaimed Thackeray, to objections regarding such a book as this ? It seems to me a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness." Jeffrey wrote to the author of the "Carol"- Blessings on your kind heart. You should be happy y out self, for you may be sure you have done more good by this little publication, fostered more kindly feelings, and prompted more positive acts of beneficence, than can be traced to all the pulpits and confessionals in Christendom since Christmas, 184-2." In this case Virtue had its own reward, for Dickens received numerous letters from pocr people as well as literary men, thanking him for his Carol. These letters told how the Carol had been read aloud, aud how it was kept by some on a little shelf by itself, and that it bad done no end of good. Have we not matter enough to interest those of our readers who are not familiar with A Christmas Carol," in one of the best things on this most delightful of all seasons ? Those who 1_ The End of It. I know it by heart will not be wearied by bearing of it again, and to our readers who have not yet read it we advise them to procure it at once. The poorest this is not precluded from treat, for it has this year been published complete for a penny, and there are many pretty little editions at sixpence and a shilling. Our illustrations are copied from John Leech's original designs for the work. A Christmas Carol will serve as much as anything Dickens wrote to keep his memory green," and we will close our scribbling on the Carol with the words of Tiny Tim,— "GOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE
DICKENS'S GRAVE. A Boy's Tribute. On Saturday evening a little fellow, apparently about 10 years of age, was seen to enter West. minster Abbey shortly before evening prayers. Going straight up the main aisle towards Poets' Comer with a directness that showed his know- ledge of the position by custom, he stood bare- headed and reverently over the grave of Charles Dickens. Then, looking around in evident doubt as to whether his action might gi'e offence to the authorities, he produced a tiny bunch of violets with %n envelope attached, and kneeling down placed his tribute tenderly upon the tombstone. The little fellow hovered affectionately round the spot for a few moments, and glancing round to see that his tribute remained undisturbed, went with a happy, satisfied look and took his place for the service. Curiosity led a gentleman, who was near at the time, to examine the childish offering, and this was what he found written in half-formed characters on the envelope attached to the unassuming violets For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.—Dickens's 'Christmas Carol. "-Blyton, Christmas, 1892."
THEN AND NOW. H list ye to the Christ. mas bells, How sweet and clear their music swells O'er land and sea; This sacred precept they impart, "Peace and good will" to every heart. Heaven'^ own d< eree. In fancy now, I hear the chime Of happy bells ore Christmas time, «TT, Long, long ago, wnen hearts in childhood s prime were gay, And sorrow's hour was chased away Like winter's snow. Beside a glowing fire I sat, And joined dear friends in pleasant chat And laughter gay, The veil of mem'ry's lifted now, I see each fair unclouded brow As en that day. Those sparkling eyes and smiles so bright, lhosc lips which kiss-d with fond delight, How near they seem The tender clasp of hands I feel, And hear young trusting souls reveal Their sweet love dream. My visirn fades, around I gazo, I see no trace of vanished days, But stand alone. Ah, me, those snowy hands now rest In peace, across cacli pulseless breast Like sculptured stone. How many hearts which now beat high, In undisturbed reposr may lie ma' j Next Christmas time But tho' earth's scenes recede from view, And lips arc sealtd and eyelids too, These bells wilt chime.
THEJJRIGIN OF THE SCOTTISH BADGE. It is said that "tw.mt the year 1010 A.n.. the Danes,'who ier ever making themselves troublesome, invaded Scotland, and, landing at Buchamregs; thought it would fe** good to creep on quietly in the night and storm Stairs Castle, then a fortress of some irr portance. A well-arinod band set out about midnight, silent and shoeless, in order that not a sound might betray them. The inmates of the castle had had no warning of the landing of their enemies all were sleeping except the sentinels, who lazily paced to and fro dozing at their posts, and little thinking that a band of their bitterest foes was within a stone's throw of them. For the Danes had now reached the moat, and were pre- paring to swim across it, and place their seating ladders against the castle wall. So far all had gone well, when suddenly one of the marauders gave a howl of pain, and then-well, the cat was out of the bag at once, the sentinels were wide awake m a moment, lights flashed along the wall, crossbows wore discharged, and the end of it was that the Danes had to retire, and left Scotland without conquering it, as they had flattered themselves they would certainly do. And now see what a little thing turned the fortune of war. The moat, instead of being full of water, was dry, and overgrown with thistles and this proved such an unpleasant surprise to the barefooted Danes that one of them, at least, was unable to control his feelings, and" sang out." °