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dress for dinner I heard the sound of music

a small court, and looking through a window that commanded it, I perceived a band 'of wandering musicians, with pandean pipes and tambourine; a pretty coquettish housemaid was dancing a jig with a smart country lad, while several of the other servants were looking on.

In the midst of her sport the girl caught a glimpse of my face at the window, and colouring up, ran off with an air of roguish affected confusion.

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THE CHRISTMAS DINNER.

Lo, now is come our joyful'st feast!

Let every man be jolly,
Eache roome with yvie leaves is drest,

And every post with holly.
Now all our neighbours' chimneys smoke,

And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with bak’t meats choke,
And all their spits are turning.

Without the door let sorrow lie,
And if, for cold, it hap to die,
Wee'le bury't in a Christmas pye,
And evermore be merry.

WITHERS' JUVENILIA.

I had finished my toilet, and was loitering with Frank Bracebridge in the library, when we heard a distant thwacking sound, which he informed me was a signal for the serving up of the dinner. The Squire kept up old customs in kitchen as well as hall; and the

rolling-pin, struck upon the dresser by the cook, summoned the servants to carry in the

meats.

Just in this nick the cook knock'd thrice,
And all the waiters in a trice

His summons did obey;
Each serving map, with dish in hand,
March'd boldly up, like our train band,

Presented and away. (a)

The dinner was served ир in the great hall, where the Squire always held his Christmas banquet. A blazing crackling fire of logs had been heaped on to warm the spacious apartment, and the flame went sparkling and wreathing up the wide-mouthed chimney. The great picture of the crusader and his white horse had been profusely decorated with greens for the occasion; and holly and ivy had likewise been wreathed round the helmet and weapons on the opposite wall, which I understood were the arms of the same warrior.

I must own, by the by, I had strong doubts about the authenticity of the

(a) Sir John Suckling.

painting and armour as having belonged to the crusader, they certainly having the stamp of more recent days; but I was told that the painting had been so considered time out of mind; and that, as to the armour, it had been found in a lumber room, and elevated to its present situation by the Squire, who at once determined it to be the armour of the family hero; and as he was absolute authority on all such subjects in his own household, the matter had passed into current acceptation. A sideboard was set out just under this chivalric trophy, on which was a display of plate that might have vied (at least in variety) with Belshazzar's parade of the vessels of the temple:

flagons, cans, cups, beakers, goblets, basins, and ewers ; » the gorgeous utensils of good companionship that had gradually accumulated through many generations of jovial housekeepers. Before these stood the two yule candles, beaming like two stars of the first magnitude; other lights were distributed in branches, and the whole array glittered like a firmament of silver.

We were ushered into this banqueting

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