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CHRISTMAS WITH THE COOK. But if Christmas is a season of greatness to some, or hilarity to many, of importance to all, it is pre-eminently a season of equal anxiety and splendour to the cook. Her long kitchen range is a perfect bonfire from morning to night, while the various bright uteusils which are placed upon the chimney-piece and on the walls at both sides of it, are profusely interspersed with twigs and boughs of holly. “Now do get out of my way, all of you! don't you see how much I have got on my mind with this Christmas dinner! Where's Jane, Jane Stokes ? Oh! the plague of kitchen maids! they're always out of the way, at the moment they are most wanted. Barbara, are the vegetables washed ?” “Not yet cook !” “ It's always ‘not yet' with them scullery girls !” Oh! how the cook wishes there was no need for any help from any soul alive, if so be, as she could but do every thing herself, which is that is where it is--and all about it! But the Christmas dinner don't get spoiled ; by no means everything turns out excellently, and compliments like full-blown cabbage roses, are showered upon the cook, from the visitors of the hospitable board. They are brought to her, as she sits wiping her forehead, and all her face aud throat, in a cool and remote corner. Her heart expands; she loves all mankind; and she retires to rest, after a glass of cordial, at peace with herself, and all the world.
WASHINGTON. It is something singular, that Washington drew his last breath, in the last hour, of the last day, of the last week, of the last month, of the last year, of the last century. He died on Saturday night, twelve o'clock, December 31st, 1799.
MISTAKEN NOTIONS OF PROVIDENCE. When the poor Hindoo finds his hut surrounded by an inundation of the Ganges, instead of trying to escape, he gets upon the roof, and sitting down upon its apex, lights his pipe, and looks calm on the rise of the waters. Why so ? Because Gunga is the goddess of his worship, and his religious duty is submission to the decrees of her providence. This may be excused and even admired, in the Hindoo, whose ignorant faith is sincere; but there is no excuse at all for the well-taught Christian, confounding the circumstance with the providence, which he knows to be beyond. Such mistakes are mischievous, if it is only because they give a certain appearance of reason to the sarcasm of writers like Voltaire. There is a wellknown story in our own jest book much to the point. A man walking along the road is ridden over by a troop of horse, but unexpectedly escapes unhurt. “ Down on your knees, reprobate !" cries a bystander, as the fellow, after gathering himself up, looks sulkily after the enemy. “ Down on your knees and thank Providence !” “ Thank Providence !" replied he" For whatfor letting a troop of horse ride over me ?" Here the idea of Providence is improperly suggested, because it is suggested in so direct a manner as to confound it with the circumstance. The thankfulness was really due for the scheme of Providence granting a farther period of probation to one who had appeared to be called so abruptly to his account. The bystander saw the finger of a higher power only in the immediate circumstance, and thus gave rise, very naturally, to the profane and ludicrous repartee.
PURGATORY. Maloney says, that the people who don't believe in Purgatory, may go farther and fare worse.
OXFORD, 1852. The following questions were, it is stated, submitted to the Clergy of the Diocese of Oxford, invited to meet the Bishop at Cuddesden :
1. Can we agree upon any rules touching the administration of baptism, which may tend to promote uniformity of practice, and to awaken our people's attention to the importance of the holy ordinance ?
2. Can we agree upon any fixed times for baptism, e.g., after the second lesson, in all cases, on one fixed Sunday in each month ; and with what adaptations, if any, to the needs of populous places ?
3. Can we agree on any rules. First, for requiring notice of baptism according to the rubric ? And secondly, for refusing sponsors of openly immoral life?
4. How can we best bring home to the sponsors a sense of their duties, connected with First, the ordinance of baptism ; secondly, the education of the children; and thirdly, their confirmation ?
5. How can we best carry out the intention of the canonical prohibition of parents being sponsers ?
6. What modes can be adopted for awakening and directing a sense of parental responsibility touching holy baptism ?
THE SUNDIAL. A GENTLEMAN, having a sundial in his garden, which afforded him much pleasure in the regulation of correct time, habituated himself to be often looking at it. Illness, however, at one period, obliged him to relinquish bis purpose, yet the dial much occupied his thoughts. He had a very confidential Irish servant, and what he could not do himself, generally set Dan to do. One day, about the hour of twelve o'clock, the sun was shining most brilliantly, when Dan was by his bedside. His master said—“ Dan, go and look at the sundial, and let me know from it, the exact time of day." Off set Dan, and after looking at it first one way, then t'other, and turning it about, could make nothing out of it, so took it off the pedestal, and carried it to his master, and holding it up before him, said—“Sir, I can make nothing out of it, so have brought it to your honour, thinking perhaps your honour may.”
ADVERTISING FOR A WIFE. The ways of advertising for a wife are various; but, perhaps, the following, mentioned in the Hull Advertiser, is the most extraordinary : A rustic, living near the village of Kirby-under-Dale, wanting a wise, provided himself with a large placard, and printed upon it “ Wanted a woman to make a wife of, with a little money to go to America.” This he placed on his hat, and on Sunday planted himself in front of the church-door when the congregation were leaving
THE DUKE'S MEMORY. To the last, his powers of memory, and the cheerfulness of a wellbalanced mind, remained unimpaired. A day or two before his death, referring to the subject of civic feasts, he told an incident, in the life of Pitt, which is worth recording. The last public dinner, which Pitt attended, was at the Mansion House, when his health was proposed as the saviour of his country. The Duke expressed his admiration of Pitt's speech in reply, which was in substance, that the country had saved herself by her own exertions, and that every other country might do this by following her example.
A GENTLEMAN being asked by a friend, " what o'clock it was ?” replied—“ Little or nothing.” “How so ?” asked the enquirer. is Why,” said the wit, “ it is not quite one, and that which is less than one, is little or nothing.”
Many have been ruined by buying good pennyworths.
Grog is a sea-term for rum and water, and originated from Admiral Vernon, who first introduced it on board a ship. He was called by the seainen,“ Old Grog," from his wearing a crogram coat in bad weather.
AN IMPORTANT POINT. A MAN, named Mangan, was once charged in the Criminal Court of Dublin, with having committed a robbery. The principal evidence against him was his own confession, which had been taken down from him thus :-“ Mangan said he never robbed but twice said it was Crawford.” The confession was not in any way punctuated; but when the prisoner was brought up, the officer read it thus :-“ Mangan said he never robbed but twice. Said it was Crawford.” The prisoner's counsel having looked at the written paper, declared “ that so far from the words showing the prisoner's guilt, they positively declared his innocence !” “This,” he added, “ is the obvious reading : Mangan, said he never robbed; but twice, said it was Crawford.” The jury acquitted the prisoner on that point.
ON THE ELEMENTS OF ASTRONOMY.
With what an awful world revolving power
A FUNNY FACT. SOME years ago, when Etty, the painter, was at Venice, he fell into the canal, and he was immediately called “ Cana letti.” The celebrated double bass player, Dragonetti, happened to be there at the time, and dragged him out. TO KEEP PLANTS IN BLOOM.
NOVEMBER. The great effort of all plants is to reproduce their kind, and the season is now at hand, when they vigorously strive to form seed. As the flowers are produced before seed-vessels, we can give a tendency to the plants, to throw out fresh blossoms, by cutting off from the plant the seed bearing stem, as soon as the flower is off bloom. With a little attention this way, mignionette, nasturtiums, geraniums, roses, and many other plants, may be made to keep in blossom until the cold season stays further the circulation of sap. The common scarlet-runner is a good illustration of this principle, for the more beans (seed-pods) that are picked, the more the plant produces ; but let any one of the seeds ripen, and it will soon cease to bloom—it has fulfilled its office it has produced its kind, and it dies.
A WIFE. SOLITUDE and disappointment enter the history of every man's life; and he is but half provided for his voyage who finds but an associate for happy hours, while for months of darkness and distress no sympathizing partner is prepared.
MUCH WILL HAVE MORE. A BEAUTIFUL woman once said to General Shields, who, by the bye, was an Irishman" How is it that having obtained so much glory, you still seek for more ?" "Ah! madam," he replied, “how is it that you, who have so much beauty, should still put on
CLOUDS AT SEA.
Gathers back o'er the mariner's glee,
All his revels of joy with the sea.
Like a bridegroom, devoted and fond;
For the blue sky is smiling beyond.
When the sunshine of pleasure is gone,
Which she fears are for ever withdrawn.
Look upward and never despond;
The blue sky is smiling beyond.
UTILITY OF A GRANDMOTHER. As two urchins were trotting along together, one of them fell and broke a pitcher which he was carrying. He then commenced crying, when the other boy asked him—“ Why he took on so ?” “ 'Cause said, when I get home, mother will whip me for breaking the mug.” “What,” said the other, “aint you got no grandmother living at your house ?” “No," was the reply. “Well, I have, and I might break two mugs, and they daren't whip me."
A PILL. MRS. SPEKLES says—the best vegetable pill yet invented is an apple dumpling : for destroying a knawing at the stomach, it is a pill that may always be relied on.
HOW TO BEGIN THE NEW YEAR. OPEN the door with the silver key of Hope that it may close on the golden hinge of Prosperity.