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they have ever in their mouths, and their own mean and miserable appearance, is continually giving rise to the most ludicrous associations. It rather makes a man smile to hear a poor hatless, coatless, shoeless wanderer, lugubriously laboring away at “Oh there's nothing in life can sadden us," bleating out “ The young May-moon is beaming, love," or dolefully asseverating
“My heart my heart is breaking,
For the love of Alice Gray.”
“Heaven tempers the wind to the shorn lamb." It must be so; or how these people, exposed to nearly every ill that flesh is heir to, (unless indeed they have become inured to starvation, or else have got into a mechanical habit of living on from day to day, and do not like to give it over,) continue to keep up their hearts and still face existence, is more than I can possibly conjecture.
Heap on more wood !-the wind blows chill;
“A MERRY christmas and a happy new-year !"How many million times will this good-natured salutation be interchanged, wherever the English language is spoken, before the present and following weeks pass over. It is, to be sure, a mere matter of course, a compliment of the season : but yet, methinks there is more right-good will in the delivery of it than in the generality of compliments : the hearty and jovial animation of the countenance, the frank and cheerful tone of the voice, and the rough and friendly pressure of the hand, go along with the words as a commentary, the obvious import of which is, contrary to the ordinary practice of society, "I mean what I say.". There is less selfishness at christmas than at any other time. Men appear to pay more attention to that much-neglected scriptural injunction, “love thy neighbor as thy
self," and the cares and schemes of those who struggle for existence in great cities, are suffered to lię dormant for a brief space.
The stomach is more thought of than the purse; and when a man thinks seriously of his stomach, with a fair prospect of having his visions realized, his natural disposition dies within him, and he becomes a generous, meek, and equitable animal. : Whatever is thought of the poetry there may be reasonable doubts entertained of the policy of Lear's advice,
“Take physic, pomp ; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
And show the heavens more just;". for it is exactly at the time when a man feels most uncomfortable himself, that he thinks least of the discomforts of others; and many a one, who, before breakfast on a cold morning, with no prospect of the fire burning, would not give sixpence to save half the human race from starvation, will, after a satisfactory dinner, talk with unction of the miseries of the poor, and subscribe his dollar without thinking himself guilty of an extravagance. When he is cold and comfortless himself, he is a piece of concentrated selfishness his sympathies are as frozen as his fingers, and he has no superflux benevolence; but as his stomach becomes literally closed bis heart is figuratively opened, and he parts
with his money with fewer pangs than naturally accompany that disagreeable operation.
There is one essential difference between the christmas of the present times and those of a few years ago, namely the weather.
The fine, clear, cold weather fornierly characteristic of this season, is now so no longer; and in its place have come mild, sickly, drizzly days, that properly belong to no particular season. It is a pity that fog and civilization should go hand in hand, and that the clearing away of the immense forests of the west should be one main cause why this pestiferous weather is substituted for the healthy, hardy frosts of former times. It is a great drawback; for with what face can any one wish his friend joy, when he can scarcely discern his lineaments through the fog ; or ask him to be merry, when saturated through and through with villanous vapor? And then the women! What a pleasant sight it was, on a clear, frosty christmas morning, with the snow crackling beneath your feet, and the sleigh-bells tinkling merrily in your ears, to see some comfortably-clad and comfortablelooking damsel tripping cheerfully yet carefully over the slippery side-walk, with cheeks into which the cold and exercise had sent a glow more deep and rich than the most brilliant carnation !-with eyes sparkling and dancing in liquid splendor, and her warm breath playing back upon her face, seeking, as it were, shelter from the sharp air amid her clustering curls-smiling and laughing, she knew not why, and cared not wherefore. Now, the scene is changed they " walk in silk attire,” with artificial flowers on their heads, and soleless shoes on their feet; picking their steps among the multitudinous small pools which the street-inspector leaves for the accommodation of pedestrians, with faces of a neutral tint, alike different from the ruddy glow of winter and the sunny bloom of summer.
But even this change, like every other, bad as it is upon the whole, is not without its advantages:
« There is a soul of goodness in things evil,
and those who are admirers of, and connoisseurs in delicately turned ankles, have now a better opportunity for more particular and impartial observation.
Poultry is the only thing which does not seem to share in the general joy on the approach of this happy period ; and all who have entered deeply into the study of the science of ornithology in general, and domestic fowlology in particular, must have observed in the eyes of turkeys more especially, a sort of melancholy presentiment, as if " coming events” had actually cast their shadows before," and chickens look as if they already beheld the delicate pies, of