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which they are to form a part. The goose, that most incorrigible bird, it is true, is a goose to the last, turning up a lack-lustre eye at the hand preparing to twist its neck about, and it never occurs to it to flap its wings or offer any resistance until the head is detatched from the body, which, according to the immutable laws of nature, is a little too late. These speculations may seem fanciful, but many ingenious theories have been constructed on as slim a foundation.
How many good things have been said and sung of christmas, from the old poets in Elizabeth's time down to Washington Irving. Indeed, for mirth and music-friendship and flummery_love and liquor poetry and poultry-gaiety and gormandizingdancing and dinner-parties, there is no time like christmas. A spirit of enjoyment-an universal freedom from restraint prevails; the most prudent relax, the most frigid melt; even that anomalous class of bipeds denominated " serious young men,” are guilty of merriment, and sip their wine and lisp their jokes with impunity. A jovial farewell is taken of the parting year, and a jovial welcome given to its
No man attends to his business, unless he be a publican or a pastry cook; and all sorts of profitable employments are looked on as nui
Merchant meets merchant, and the price
of stocks is not inquired after-tradesman meets tradesman, and the shop is unthought of. Friend dines with friend, old intimacies are renewed, differences forgotten, and a spirit of good-will and kindly feeling, well befitting the season, "reigns in all bosoms."
Merry christmas !” even now thy influence, like a charm, is over all. Now are parties projected in the parlor, while through the kitchen rings the din of merciless preparation-now do black cooks rise ten per cent. in the scale of creation, and those who can withstand a hot fire are not to be treated with coolness—now do serenaders take their stand in the damp streets, and, like frogs in a fog, their voices are heard through the thick atmosphere, croaking of love and music, in imitation of Spain and Italy, while the noise of neighboring taverns mingles with their melody; and now do young ladies throw open the windows to testify their grateful acceptance of the homage of those weather-contemning swains, and many catch quinsies by this sacrifice of prudence to passion-now do superlatively witty jokes pass between young ladies and gentlemen concerning their prospects of matrimony before another christmas-now do men eat more than is deemed necessary for the support of nature; apoplexies are prevalent, and the heirs of fat old men look forward with pleasing anticipations now is the air of bar rooms laden with monotonous yet pleasing interrogations of “What will you take to drink?" and no answers are heard in the negative now, as the glass circulates quickly round, friendships become stronger as brains become weaker, and more promises are made than will be kept—now are several men seen reposing in the streets, with the pavement for a bed and the curb-stone for a pillow. Peacefully do they slumber ! having that within them which makes their flinty couch "soft as the thrice-driven down” and now do the
of editors sharpen their pens, and prepare to narrate manifold instances of the “ fatal effects of intemperance,” in their very best stylenow do inveterate moralists indite long essays, stating that there have been many changes in the year that is past, and likewise the probability that there will be many more in the year that is to come-now do the respectable members of the “calliothumpian band" prepare to disturb the peace and quiet of the republic, and the New-York Dogberries hold consultation concerning the powers vested in them by the constitution ; and now, also, is the constabulatory force of the city held in less respect by the juvenile citizens than is due to constituted authorities-now do young aspirants to · Tom and Jerry' fame get well
kicked, bruised, beaten, and carried to the watchhouse, all which they term "sport," and sober, sensible people begin to entertain doubts concerning the meaning of the word—now do many more things take place than are “dreamt of in philosophy," and now do I put a period to the apprehensions of the reader by prudently coming to a conclusion.
THE DRAMA AS IT IS.
The drama is a poetry which, in its legitimate scope, must be addressed to all ranks of society-must wear the common garb and speak the common language of all. It is the forum where all ranks meet and are but equal; where the base of mankind unlearn their ferocity and divest themselves of their callousness; and where, likewise, the noble and gentle must dispense with artificial feelings, and know, whatever be the shell, the kernel is at best but a man.-Anon.
THERE are few subjects, if any, that have elicited a greater flow of words, than what is termed the " decline of the legitimate drama." It is one of the most approved and enduring themes extant for small declamation, and has consequently become the almost exclusive property of “smart young men" and unfledged scribblers, who think it looks well to lament the non-enactment of Shakspeare, and to indulge in little frothy vituperations against the bad taste of the public, and the intellectual depravity of the managers, actors, and modern authors. They discuss in the most flippant aad self-satisfied manner a question involving the most vexing and perplexing difficulties, and pass their silly censures and give