Old Christmas

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Cosimo, Inc., Dec 1, 2005 - Fiction - 68 pages
After the dance was concluded, the whole party was entertained with brawn and beef, and stout home-brewed. The Squire himself mingled among the rustics, and was received with awkward demonstrations of deference and regard.-from "Christmas Day"Warmly convivial and delightfully festival, this charming and long forgotten holiday classic, by one of American literature's most beloved writers, was inspired, in part, by Dickens' A Christmas Carol and other celebrations of oldtime Yule. Splendid suppers and rural churches, cheerful dances and hearty spirits imbue this short novel with the magic of the season. This festive work, first published in 1896, deserves to be a holiday tradition alongside Dickens in the celebrations of the winter solstice.American author WASHINGTON IRVING (1783-1859) wrote extensively in the areas of history and historical biography but is best known for his short fiction, including "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle."

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A Once in Lifetime story which explains clearly about traditional English Christmas. It is a fantastic read, and takes you back in time to when ancient traditions were of value to everday folk, bringing together all classes at a special time of year. The settings and characters are superbly described. It makes me sad to think a lot of these old English traditions have vanished to the face of commmercialsm. This story should be made more readliy available... Even a film would be so nice to see.  

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Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
13
Section 3
25
Section 4
28
Section 5
46
Section 6
65
Copyright

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Page 7 - But in the depth of winter, when nature lies despoiled of every charm, and wrapped in her shroud of sheeted snow, we turn for our gratifications to moral sources. The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in our feelings also from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasures of the social circle.
Page 46 - Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke, And Christmas blocks are burning ; Their ovens they with baked meats choke, And all their spits are turning. Without the door let sorrow lie ; And if for cold it hap to die, We'll bury't in a Christmas pie, And evermore be merry.
Page 26 - Then let not the dark thee cumber; What though the moon does slumber, The stars of the night Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without number. Then, Julia, let me woo thee, Thus, thus to come unto me : And when I shall meet Thy silvery feet, My soul I'll pour into thee.
Page 11 - Amidst the general call to happiness, the bustle of the spirits, and stir of the affections, which prevail at this period, what bosom can remain insensible? It is, indeed, the season of regenerated feeling— the season for kindling not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart. The scene of early love again rises green to memory beyond the sterile waste of years, and the idea of home, fraught with the fragrance of...
Page 7 - The song of the bird, the murmur of the stream, the breathing fragrance of spring, the soft voluptuousness of summer, the golden pomp of autumn; earth with its mantle of refreshing green, and heaven with its deep delicious blue and its cloudy magnificence, all fill us with mute but exquisite delight, and we revel in the luxury of mere sensation.
Page 21 - Squire seated in his hereditary elbow-chair by the hospitable fireside of his ancestors, and looking around him like the sun of a system, beaming warmth and gladness to every heart. Even the very dog that lay stretched at his feet, as he lazily shifted his position and yawned, would look fondly up in his master's face, wag his tail against the floor, and stretch himself again to sleep, confident of kindness and protection. There is an emanation from the heart in genuine hospitality which cannot be...
Page 11 - gainst that season comes Wherein our saviour's birth is celebrated, This bird of dawning singeth all night long : And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad ; The nights are wholesome ; then no planets strike, No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm, So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.
Page 16 - He used to direct and superintend our games with the strictness that some parents do the studies of their children. He was very particular that we should play the old English games according to their original form, and consulted old books for precedent and authority for every 'merrie disport'; yet, I assure you, there never was pedantry so delightful. It was the policy of the good old gentleman to make his children feel that home was the happiest place in the world, and I value this delicious home...
Page 25 - Since ghost there is none to affright thee. Let not the dark thee cumber ; What though the moon does slumber? The stars of the night Will lend thee their light, Like tapers clear without...
Page 16 - ... that, disturbed by the ring of the porter's bell and the rattling of the chaise, came bounding, open-mouthed, across the lawn. " The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me!" cried Bracebridge, laughing. At the sound of his voice, the bark was changed into a yelp of delight, and in a moment he was surrounded and almost overpowered by the caresses of the faithful animals. We had now come in full view of the old family mansion, partly thrown in deep shadow, and partly...

About the author (2005)

Washington Irving, one of the first Americans to achieve international recognition as an author, was born in New York City in 1783. His A History of New York, published in 1809 under the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker, was a satirical history of New York that spanned the years from 1609 to 1664. Under another pseudonym, Geoffrey Crayon, he wrote The Sketch-book, which included essays about English folk customs, essays about the American Indian, and the two American stories for which he is most renowned--"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." Irving served as a member of the U.S. legation in Spain from 1826 to 1829 and as minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846. Following his return to the U.S. in 1846, he began work on a five-volume biography of Washington that was published from 1855-1859. Washington Irving died in 1859 in New York.

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