|Preparations for Christmas: the Waits||Bull Week and Christmas Eve|
|Christmas Day and Week||Public-House Conviviality|
Open the door as I come in,The poor old horse was exhibited and the song was sung: the "Derby Tup" was also sung and performed in character. The public houses generally were filled. The blind fiddler enters, and asks if "Any of you gentlemen are disposed for a tune?" "Aye, sit thee down, and let's have one." When he had played a little time he says, "Gentlemen, if you please to let me at liberty as soon as you can: yo know it's Christmas E'en." "Cum, then, Sam lad; here's moi penny to begin wi." He goes round, and at last one says, "Here, Sam, here's tenpence hopenny for thee." "Thank yo, gentlemen."
I hope your favour I shall win;
But whether I rise or whether I fall,
I'll do my endeavour to please you all.
"Grace's cheeks were like the rising sun,But the mourning coaches return pretty well loaded, and the owner of the coach accompanied it, well satisfied with its appearance and behaviour.
And Ann felt warm within."
"A merry Christmas and a happy new year,In the afternoon those who had been so provident went to receive the dividends of their threepenny club money, at the public-house where they had made their deposit, some of 3d., 6d., 9d., or 1s. per week the year round. Some persons have a respectable sum of money to receive, which is of benefit to them and their families; others it enables to try their luck at swiscoe, hazard, whist, dominoes, bagatelle, &c., &c., when it soon goes into the hands and pockets of those who beforehand came to the place to entrap the unwary or to catch a flat, if he will stand it. This generally winds up Christmas-Day-night, where we will let those who can make it convenient go home and rest. In some part of the next day you may make yourself certain of having for their Christmas boxes the colliers, the ringers, the singers, the waits, the bellman, the watchman, the coal leader, the milk lad, the scavenger, or any person who is a servant of the public, except the pinder, whose office was never held in much respect by those persons who were in the habit of keeping pigs, and letting them run at large in the streets without some person having the charge of them; for if he saw them he was sure to put them in the pinfold, where they could not be liberated without paying a fine of 4d. per head for all swine, and more if any damage were done to any property by them. Pigs were fed at the owner's door in the street, and were accustomed to come there by the sound of the rattling of the bucket or pig trough; and many a time when the pinder was driving them away to the pinfold the bucket was rattled and the pig came running home faster than old Clarke, the pinder, could run, and got stowed away in the hull, much to his chagrin. In this week, and the week before, there generally was a great slaughter among the pigs, for most parties who had families and were sufficiently provident endeavoured to have a good fat pig ready for killing at Christmas. Many working men were pig-proud as well as garden-proud, although at the same time, while the pig was feeding it materially straightened them in their family circumstances. Two lads, who it seems were more thoughtful than many are, were once talking family matters over, when one said, "Thau sees ween kill'd aur pig, and that keeps us aut et market rarely." The other replied, "Wa lad, but aur pig's livin, en it keeps us aut et market rarely — for't pig taks ole't meat brass to keep it wi'." If the weather was suitable, the skaters took their exercise and recreation. Little London dam was generally the chief place of resort on that occasion; there you would see them cutting their figures, from a cipher to any S or 9, besides all the letters in the alphabet. At one time there was a cricket match in skates upon this ice, which was an interesting sight to some thousands of persons on the occasion.
A pocket full of money, and a cellar full of beer.
An apple and a pear, a plum and a cherry,
And a cup of good ale which makes a man merry."
"No joys can compare to the hunting of the hare,This song was followed by —
In the morning, in the morning, when it's fine and pleasant weather."
"Bright Phœbus has mounted the chariot of day,Then comes —
While the hounds and the horn call each sportsman away;
Thropugh woods and through valleys with speed now they bound,
And health, rosy health, is in exercise found."
"Poor Bill Brown, of Brightside town,Old Jacky Harris then gave them the "Hallam Hunt," and all was then concluded with three view halloos.
A lad of well-known fame then,
That took delight, both day and night,
To chase the timid hair then."
God bless the master of this house,By this means the women collect money; but this is more common in country places than in towns.
The mistress also;
And all the pretty children
That round the table go.