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BRIGHTEST AND BEST. Brightest and best of the Sons of tiro morning, Dmvu ou our darkness and lend us thine aid Star of the east, tho horizon nilorniti Guide wliero our mlaut Redeemer i.i laid. Cold on liis eradio tho dewdrops aro shiuinjr, Low lies Ins head with the beasts of tho stall, Angels ailoro liim slumber reclining, 3IaUer ami Monarch and Saviour of all. ». Say, shall yo yield lum in costly devotion, Odors from Edom or offerings divine, Ciems from the mountain or pearls from tho ocean, Myrrh from tho forest or gold from the mine? Vainly wo offer each ampler oblation, "Vainly with gifts would his favor secure. Richer by far is the heart's adoration, Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor. —Old Hymn. OXE CHRISTMAS. BY OLIVE IIAnPEII. ''That there Mar thy Avery is the foolish est critter that ever lived, I swan to man! Here's lier father dead, and she left with all that brood of lier stepmother's young ones and instead of seudin' 'em to their grandfather she ups and says she is goin' to Support 'em herself. She won't get my Jabez if that's her idc?e, for I'll just put my foot down." "Martha is a likely girl." "There's three gals and a hoy baby, and they hain't no call nor claim on her. There's them as would make her a good, forehanded provider, but uo man won't take a hull family on his hands to onct. It's had enough marrying widders, but nobody wants a lot of sickly young ones a-eating up all the substance of a farm. No, indeed!" "Wall, you know, Mrs. Hemphill, Mar thy feels as if the children lies as good a right as herself to the farm they was her father's." "Yes but he didn't make 110 will, and the farm and the settin' out was all Mar thy's own mother's, so nobody can't dis pute lier claim. Besides, what does a slip of a girl like that know 'bout carryin' on a farm, I'd like to know?" •'It's too bad but, as you say, she'll find how hard it is to manage a farm. I am greatly oxorcised for her, and I'll ask the sisterhood to make her a subject of an address to the throne of grace," said Mrs. Pringle as she gave a little sigh, and folded up her kitting to take her seat at Mrs. Hemphill's well Ailed tea table, for he had ridden over to spend the after noon and have a good visit. Jabez, Mrs. Hemphill's only son, and liis father came in and took their accus tomed places, and the father asked a very ]ong blessing, and reached his hand out and captured a biscuit at tho same mo ment that he delivered his "amen." Jabez was a handsome, frank young fellow, who worked very hard and had no vices, but who possessed a fair share of manly virtues. He found time, somehow, after the mul tifarious duties on a farm were done, to study, and to slip over to the Avery farm very often. Being a steady and handsome young fellow, his mother naturally looked on him with pride, and now she felt that she •was doing lier duty as a wise mother in discountenancing such a foolish action on Martha's part as adopting her three little half sisters and baby brother. Meanwhile, Martha was working, as i? her life depended upon it, over a refrac tory churning, and lier pretty face was wrinkled into a frown and her cheeks flamed crimson, and little sparks of anger seemed to shoot from her eyes that had yet a suspicion of tears not far off. She jerked the dasher with vindictive little movements, as if she wished she had some particular person under the dasher, and withal it did seem as if that butter was bewitched. 4-I don't wonder it won't come," said Martha, at last. -'Hateful old thing! As if I depended upon her, or as if I wanted lier 'Jabez.' I guess I can manage a farm at any rate, I must try, for with God's help I will take care of those poor little children. Addie can help take care of the others—and I think she is cruel Oh!" This exclamation was bvonght forth by the sudden sight of Jabez, as he sprung over the fence and walked into the well kept kitchen without a word of warning or invitation. He walked directly up to Martha and clasped both of his hands around hers as she held the "dasher," and said cheerily: "Well. Martie, how are you? Here, you sit down and let me do this, and I can look at you all the while, and that will pay me for my work." "IT'S TOO BAB. Martha had intended to be very digni fied and cold, and to show that she did not need the advicc, assistance nor the love of any of tho Hemphill family, after the visit that Mrs. Hemphill had made, and remembering all that she had said but in the presence of Jabez all this heroic resolution passed away like mist before the sunshine, and instead of her dignified reserve she put her two plump little hands before her fucc and began, to sob and cry. Of course Jabez was instantly dis 'tressed to such aa extent that he drr*"---1 ,4» W' tho clasner into tho churn and sprang to Martha's side and there ho knelt, and wiped away her tears, and smoothed the curly tendrils of her hair and before' she knew it his strong arux was around her waist and he had kissed her. lu a few minutes slio recovered her calm, but her dignity had ilown. Slio was only a weak woman after all, who was striving to do her plain duty and sho tried to free herself from tho strong young arms that held her in so close and so com forting a clasp for, poor child, her father was only a week dead! "Don't, Jabez," was all she could say. "And why not, Martie? Why shall I not lovo and" comfort my dear little wife that is to be?" "Oh, dear!" said Martha, despairingly. "Oh, dearl Oh, Jabez, please don't, for this is not possible." "And why not, Martie? Ever since we were able to talk I have known you and loved you an'I all my life I have been trying to deserve you. You have loved mo, too, haven't you? Well, then, why isn't it possible, please tell me?" "Haven't you heard? Don't you know? Jabez, I feel as if it is my solemn duty to take care of these poor little children, and not let them suffer. Father left nothing but tho farm but there was always enough for us all, and I must try to do tho best I can for them. And your—you —I think wo had better not see each other anymore, for" "There, that's just enough. You aro willing to throw me off for tho sake of those children who have no earthly claim upon you. You could send them to their poor old grandfather, but you prefer to shoulder tho burden yourself, and destroy all your dreams of happiness, and devote all your life to them, and forget the life long love I've had for you?" "It is my duty, Jabez." "And you aro willing to sacrifice all to them, and they may turn out ungrateful or wickcd and you know me, and that I love you dearly, littlo Martie, and always will.'' "I can't help it, Jabez. I can't sec it in the same light. I feel as if the liaud of the dead lay upon me, and I must obey. Besides, I do it because I feel it is right. Don't make it harder for me than it is, Jabez." "Martie, my littlo wife." "I would be very happy so, Jabez but I know your mother never would con sent, and I couldn't bear to cause a dis agreement in your family.'' "I can manage that, Martie, if you will agree to bo my wife next Monday. Wc will go over to Wilkes bar re to get married there quietly, and return and settle down at once into anew edition of Darby and Joan. What do you say?" Poor littlo Martha hung her head, and reflected as well as sho could. Mother and father were both dead, and sho had no one to advise or counsel lier all she could do was to let him have one swift glance from her downcast eyes, which was all the answer he needed. "I—I THOUGHT TOP LIKED MARTIIY!" One long embrace, and one shy, sweet kiss ratified this silent promise. "Put on that pretty lilac dress, Martie, Monday morning, and meet me at 8 o'clock just beyond the Swayle brook, and in one hour we will be one, and say noth ing to anybody. Oh, yes one other thing. Will you trust the children to me to bring up? Will you give them into my guardianship completely? Answer yes, without question." "Why certainly. Since we"— "All right. Now I must really go, for there's a thousand things to do. You will be there?" and as she answered yes, he caught her plump little form to hi3 heart again, and kissed her again for goodby and he leaped the fence at a bound, and in a few minutes was at home about his "chores," with alight heart, for he loved Martie truly and well, and he now saw his way to happiness with tho one girl he loved. Sunday he went away in the morning, and was gone all day, and only returned in timo for supper. After the table was cleared, and Mrs. Hemphill sat down to rest, with a clean pocket handkerchief folded over her knees, to save her black silk dress, and her Bible in her hands, for she always held her Bible thus every Sunday evening, though no one could remember ever seeing her read in it, Jabez arose from his seat and walked up and down the room in silence. His mother watched him uneasily. At last he spoke: "Mother, I am thinking of getting mar ried." It was out at last! Her fear was well placed, and the shock was great. "Mother, how would yon like Lucinda Rosencrants for a daughter?" In all her imaginings she had never let her fancy run riot to an extent that could have permitted Lucinda Rosencrants to enter her head as the possible choice of her son. Pretty enough, but coarse and ignorant daughter of two idle, dissolute parents lazy and slovenly herself, and fond of dancing and party going, and all the very things that Mrs. Hemphill abhorred, it is no wonder that she sat pale and shocked and speechless. Of all the girls that she knew, or had ever heard of, Lucinda was the last one that she would have chosen, and she could not bear it. "I—I thought you liked Marthy," she said, tremulously. "I do like Martha but you said so much" "I rather you'd a picked her out" "She refused ine." "Refused you! I guess you're as good as she any time. Any gal ought to be proud to get you." "She did not think so, and her refusal did not hurt me long. What do you think of Lucinda?" "Oh, Jabez, don't ask. I never can give in to your marrying into that awful family. Just think of what a set they nre, and Lucinda'll be just the same. There ain't another girl that can hold a candlc to Marthy if it wasn't for them there children." "She gave them all away yesterday, I heard, to a guardian." "Jabez, don't you think yon could change her resolution? Ye ain't bound to Lucindy, be ye?" "You know, mother, I never break my word.1' Mrs. Hemphill groaned. "I'd rutlier you had a took Marthy with ten young una to feed and raiso than Lucindy," and sho began to cry, where upon Jabez hurried off. Tho next morning Jabez was gone, 110 ono knew where, and tlio whole fagm seemed to want him back though it was noonday, there was no work done, and Mr. and. Mrs. Hemphill sat dejectly in tho "best room." "Father" said at last, knocking the ashes out of his pipe: "I knowed Saturday that sumpin was up, but I never guessed what, and I'm blamed if I ain't sorry for him to go and take up with that shiftless Lucindy, when I10 might a' had Marthy, only for your bein' so sot agin' them poor little young sters and I think Marthy was a-doin' her duty. I'm blamed sorry." "Mr. Hemphill, don't swear, and don't say I broke off tho match. I never done nuthin', only Friday I told Marthy my opinion about it, and she got mad, and I s'pose said something that maddened Jabez, for the next day he went off, and I s'pose he asked Lucindy.. "Oh, what on earth -"hall I do? He is such a good boy, and to throw himself away so!" "Well, if you told her your mind in tho same way you tell it to me I don't blame Marthy a bit for gittin' mad." At this juncture Mrs. Hemphill gave way to tears, until tho noise of wheels 011 the gravel outside aroused them both, and they looked out to see Jabez and Martha both looking very happy in the buggy, and Martha was not in mourning, and something glittered on her wedding fin ger. "Mother, father, let me introduce to you Mrs. Martha Hemphill. I hope you •will bo pleased to form her acquaint ance." "Pleased ain't no word, Jabez," said his mother, who caught lmppy little Martha in her rather long arms, and tho father shook Jabez's hands like pump handles, wliilo he tried hard to speak without tears. After a while everything was explained, and it was a merry Christmas dinner to which they all sat down the next day. Mrs. Hemphill, Sr., said she was thankful above everything that Martlui had upheld her principle, and she added sotto voce, and saved her from that awful "fambly." CHRISTMAS MORNING. Keen blew the wind across tho naked v,-o!d, Glimmered tho snow fields white. Aweary with longing, doubt ami pain, I watched tho silent night. Ah, me! Joy comes and goes, but grief remains My days shall comfort bring But liark! Upon tho frosty winter air Tho Christmas chimings ring. And, like a guilty ghost at breath of dawn, 3Iy coward inoanings fly Echoes again th' adoring song that woke Beneath Judea's sky. And sweeter, clearer, louder, chime on chiinc, Ring out, O, happy bells! For every peal with jubilant refrain, Tho wondrous tidings tells. —Louiso Both-IIeudriksou. TI Mummers of Scotland. The mummers, guisers or guizards oc cupied a prominent place in all Christmas observances in tho early history of Scot land, and this form of Christmas amuse ment was evidently a survival from the Roman Saturnalia. In 1377 thero wero mummers on Christmas Eve in London. Later masking, or "mumming," was for bidden by royal cdict. An old piece of verse anent the mummers reads: To shorten winter's sadness, See where the folks with gladness Disguised are all a-coming, Higlit wantonly Q-mumming, Fa la. .» Whilst youthful sports are lasting. To feasting turn out fasting. With revels and with wassails, 3Iake grief and care our vassals, .j Fa la. For youth it well beseemeth, Tnst pleasure be estecmeth, And sullen age is hated. That mirth would have abated, EE.'. Fa la. A. Christmas Comedy. I Mrs. Porter gives Mr. Porter a gentle hint that she would like a sealskin sack for her Christmas. She gets a sealskin handbag, and her innocent husband can't imagine what she is crying for. Christmas. As commemorating tho birth of the founder of the Christian religion, it is a religious feast. But in the popular ap prehension its religious character has been superseded by its social and char itable significance. It has become the feast of good fellowship in the highest sense—good fellowship with a religious sanction. Nominally it is the birthday of the founder of Christianity. Practically it is the day of St. Nicholas, the feast of Santa Claus, the patron of all children.— Harper's Weekly Come, bring with a noise, My merry, moj-ry boys, Tho ChrisOas log to the firing, While my good rtamo sho t?ids you all be free And drink yo'ir hearty desiring. PETER PERKINS' DREAM. KY EMILY ARTHUR. Inasmuch as yo liavo dono it unto the least of these, my children, ye have done it unto me. "There is that ham, it is too old to sell, and this barrel of wormy dried apples, and a barrel of meal and 0110 of ilour, which aro both a little moldy, but still good enough to givo to the poor, and that half barrel of sugar that tho keroseno was spilt in, and those two sacks of rice that has weevils, and you might add all that stale bread. They will make a good show ing, and I guess my name will head tho list, for nobody clso would givo so much. Tlioso things you can set aside, Mark, and to-morrow I want them carried round to the society's rooms with my compliments. Aha! This will help many a poor family to enjoy a good Christmas dinner, and will help mo with my customers. Every body likes a generous man, but few of the brethren will make as good a display as I shall to-morrow. I guesa I'll go home now, Mark, and, ah, hero aro $2 for your Christmas. I can't afford more. You know business is slack. Well, good night." Ill £5=33 'IT IS TOO OLD TO CELL. And wizened old Peter Perkins got into his old overcoat and went home through tho streets where the snow lay thick and heavy until I10 readied his comfortable looking threo story house. After he rang the bell I10 muttered to himself: "I might just a3 well have only given Mark $1 instead of $2. He'd a'been just as thankful, and I'd a'saved that much. And all those things there—why, I could have sold them at a discount, but then, after it all, I was losing ground in church custom by what they call my stinginess, and now, well, I guess after all I'm glad I give tlieni. The poor who get them can't complain. Oh, here she comes at last! And sho will expect a present, too! It seems as if everybody was beset Christmas time! I'm sick of it. Ha!" At this instant Mrs. Warner, who was servant and housekeeper both, opened the door, her rather long face wreathed in smiles and her form dressed in her best black silk gown. Peter Perkins was as tonished and surprised as sho led tho way to the dining room, where the old man's dinner was laid, for 011 the table smoked splendid turkey, while several other dainty and toothsome dishes stood about, among them a noble mince pie that gave out a mellow, luscious odor that mortal could not withstand, and yet he turned, saying fiercely: 'Mary Warner! Who gave you author ity to do this? Why, here is dinner enough for twenty, and such extrava gance! I told you this morning I didn't believe in holiday nonsense, and I told you to cook half a mackerel and a potato, didn't I?" "You did, sir, and I was going to do it only this morning my sister in tho coun try sent me Christmas box, and these were in it, and as I couldn't cat them all myself I made bold to offer you half, sir, and no offense, I hope." "Oh, well, that alters the case. Well, yes, I don't care if I do," and ho allows himself to fall in the chair sho pushed for ward, and he fell to and in a short timo had eaten a most excellent dinner, which I10 finished with a great golden doughnut and piece of cheese. He took these as in a dream, ono in each hand, and made alternate bites of doughnut and cheesc in a reflective and even retrospective man ner as he thought: "WJiy don't city folks learn to make crullers liko this? For lovo nor money you couldn't buy anything like this in all this great city. They taste just as mother used to mako them. Her tin cruller box was never empty and how good they were tho older they were the mellower and better they were. I re member .- he used to make 1110 a boy and a mouse every timo sho fried crullers, and always two P's for my letters. And Christmas and New Year's she put car away seed candies all over mine. I won der how she did it. That mince pio was good. I think I will take another piece. It hain't cost anything and it makes me think of old times." And so the miserly old man sat and ate until his usual bedtime came, when he lit his candle, for he never would have gas, and went to bed. Scarcely had he got warm and comfort able when he saw standing by his bedside a stranger whoso facc was carefully turned away, and who wore a long, looso garment of some unknown fashion, and instinctively Peter Perkins put liis hand under liis pillow after his revolver, think ing of robbers, but the stranger said in a low voice, which yet had such authority in it that the wretched man dared not disobey: "Arise, dress yourself and follow me." As in a dream the little miser followed, but they went so swiftly that he could not see where they were going until at last the stranger said: "Open your eyes and tell me what you see." Peter Perkins stood and gazed with his wizened face palo and frightened. He seemed to be in a vast place, so vast that it appeared to be visible illimitable space. There was no beginning nor end to any where, and yet he was there in the midst of this infinity of distance, and before him upon nothing stood great tallies upon which was piled a heterogeneous collection of everything imaginable, and while he was trying to understand this confusion, he noticed that there had appeared, rank on rank and file on file, limitless, count less numbers of cherubim and seraphim, .and in the midst of this throng sat upon a crystal throne Christ, the benign, the loving, the pitiful, and his features seemed to exudo sweetness and mercy from every lineament, and his smile was ineffably tender. Tho cherubim and seraphim sang "Glorv, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to men," and as Peter Perkins watched this beauti-j ful countenance he saw its expression change. Sometimes it bocamo that of a little child, sweet and infantine, again it was tender and pitiful, then it looked as it must have dono when he said, "Como to me, all yo weary and heavy laden," then it was filled full of sorrow and merci ful goodness, and then it grew stern and awful. Then Peter Perkins noticed that thero was a throng ever increasing and reach ing far below them so that tho end of them was far out sight, and these people camo singly to the foot of tho Saviour and there laid a gift which was in stantly taken by tho ungels and laid upon a pair of scales, which did not measure by the weight of tho gift itself, but the motive which lay lika living heart in side it. Then Peter Perlcinu a.iw that all who had not yet offered liisir gift had a bur den to carry, large or jmall, and he sud denly became aware that tho burden fast ened upon liis own Lack was enormous and was very heavy. But he turned to the stranger and said: "When will it be my turn?" "When all of these shall have passed." 'And ho had to stand there with the great unknown weight upon his shoulders for long hours, or days, or years, he did not know which, while all these people came by." lie noticed a man who staggered by and laid a heavy weight of gold chalices and church candlesticks and other em blems at liis feet, and Peter Perkins saw writh surprise that they flew up in tho bal ance as if of air. Another offered a church, which was as so much paper, and then a poor old woman in rags staggered .along with a cup of cold water as her only offering. This sent the scales down, down, as if it weighed a ton, and then a pale, thin man came and offered only a tear. This, too, weighed heavier than gold. Sometimes an old broken toy, or some old, worn garments, or even a crust o£ bread was laid at his feet, and these, too, wero very heavy on those wonderful scales. Peter Perkins noticed, too, that those whose gifts were light disappeared from view, and ho watched until he saw them fall into space and fade away in distance, wliilo the angels sent pitying glances after tliem. Suddenly the Saviour said: "Now, Peter Perkins, what gift have von brought to the Lord 011 this his birth day?" "Oh! I am willing to give you all I have, but this bundle upon my back was not intended for you, but for the poor. If you will let me go back I will return with something move worthy of you." "But what have you in that bundle?" "Only some flour, and meal, and sugar, and ham, and rice, which are not quite fresh and good, but I thought they would do for the poor" "And have you never heard of my words, when I said: 'Inasmuch as yo do it unto the least of these', my children, ye do it unto me?' Look, that cup of water was given by a sick and suffering woman to ono who suffered worse. That holy tear was given from a pure heart that had nothing else to offer, but you, out of your abundance, offer only that which is unfit for food, and in offering that to the un fortunato poor you have offered it to me." "I did not know! Oh, please let me go back and I will do differently" "Alas! you have lived youi life, and you must, like all that throng you have seen, take your deeds with you to plead for or against you. You can return no more than they. All men bring tlieir passports of good or evil actions with them here, and onco they have como naught can change. They must bear their fate. Some of them did not know but you had a mother who taughtj you aright, but you forgot her words of wisdom or put them aside. So, now, go your way." And with these words Peter Perkins felt himself falling into perdition, weight ed down by the moldy flour and spoiled bread and sugar. Down, down ho went, faster than many others who were on tho way, and he cried out in his agony of fear, when suddenly with that cry he awoke and sat up in bed. This thon had been a dream! But it had opened his eyes, and he began to see things as he never had done before. He remembered his mother's teachings, and he slept no more that night. But as soon as daylight dawned he dressed and went to the store where poor, faithful Mark, who had slaved ten years for him, was packing thoso wretched things into the wagon. I 1 X- I'ETEIt TERKINS' DREAM. "Mark," said he, "throw all that stuff away and take double the amount of tlio best, and take poultry and fruit and tea and coffee and bread and sugar and but ter, yes, and anything else you fancy, and mako them up into separate parcels and give one good, generous basketful to every poor family you know. Yes, Mark, and hen, if your mother is able to bear it, kc lier in a carriage and come down to ly house this evening to dinner, and wo will discuss our new sign with Perkins and Hancock on it. Yes, God bless us! Oh, uo, I'm not crazy! I've just come to my senses," and lie hurried home and as tonished Mrs. Warner by a handsome crisp note for $o0 and ordered a dinner which would have staggered her if sho had not had so good a beginning from her sister's farm. Ten years have passed since that time. Pet er Perkins is a round, happy man. To see his jolly, benign face glow at you from over his counter makes you involuntarily look round for tho other Clieeryble brother and now if he was called I10 would not go empty handed before hi» Lord and Saviour THE CHILDREN'S FRIEND, /S-. "A BUNDLE OF TOYS HE IIAD FLL'KG 05T IIIS HACK, AXD HE LOOKED LIKE A PEDDLER JUST OFESIXG HIS SACK." THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS. The 25tli of December Was Originally tlio Roman Saturnalia. The celebration of Christmas as the birthday of Jesus is universal among Christians of every sect, and as such it is regarded throughout Christendom as tho sweetest, holiest of all holidays. And with the long mooted question, Is Dec. 25' the anniversary of Christ's birth? we havo nothing to do. For it matters nothing whether it was 011 this particular date that tho Christ Child first lay in Bethlehem's lowly manger. This is the day that has been ac cepted and will be celebrated to tho end of time. It will be of interest to most readers, however, to note that it was not until the Third or Fourth century that the present date was agreed upon, and that Jan. 1, Jan. 0, March 29 and Sept. 2D were variously observed during the earlier centuries by various bodies of Christians. Tho fixing of the date seems to have been accomplished by Julius I, who presided as popo or bishop of Rome from 937 to 852 A. D. Christmas is not alono among Chris tian liolidaj's in being tho follower of a somewhat similar holiday among the pa gans. In Homo it was called the Satur nalia. And tho observance of tho winter feast, now Christmas, was not confined to tho Romans. Tlio holiday appears to have been kept by the Scandinavians, tho Persians and the Phoenicians, and per haps by many other people. All these na tions worshiped the sun, under one form or other, as the giver of all life. Kadi gavo the deity a different name. At Rome I10 was worshiped under one of the characters attributed to Saturn, the father of tho gods among the Scandinavians as Odin, or Woden, tho father of Thor with tho Per sians as Mithras, probably tho same as the Irish Mitlir, and with tho Phoenicians his name was Baal or Bel. All these nations chose about the saino date for this feast. This is supposed to havo been caused by tho feelings of de light experienced shortly after Dec. 21, be cause the days then begin to lengthen. Then the sun begins his upward course, and spring and summer aro approaching. For somewhat similar reasons tho pagans of old held a great midsummer feast at or about Juno 21. The midwinter festival of the Satur nalia was observed for several days in tho most unrestrained manner every body feasted and work was quite sus pended. Even the slaves were allowed complete liberty for the timo being. Laurels and evergreens were everywhere displayed, the same as now, and gifts wero exchanged, and there were especial greet ings for the season. In tho north these rejoicings were carried on in some what ruder fashion, but wero en tered into with not less hearty enthusiasm. Fires were everywhere kin dled, both indoors and out, in honor of Odin and Thor the Druids gathered tho sacred mistletoe, and both men and cattle were sacrificed to the savage divinities. The ancient Persians also burned immense bonfires at this season, and between them and the Druids of western Europe somo sort of relationship existed. In tho later days of the Roman empire the feast of the Saturnalia deteriorated into a gross debauch—so gross, indeed, that few historians havo cared to defilo their pages with its details. It was for the purpose of counteracting the evil influences of the Saturnalia, to the celebration of which the young of both sexes were very prone, that the early Christian teachers fn Rome sought to adapt the rites of heathen rejoicing and render them subservient, instead of an tagonistic, to the cause of religion. Cer tain forms of amusement were forbidden and others not so gross were substituted, but it was along time before the people and the clergy were of one mind regard ing the observances of Christmas. In Britain there were other modifica tions. To the modified Saturnalia wero added first some of the Druidical rites and superstitions, and, after the arrival of the Saxons, some of tho ceremonies of tho ancient Germans and Scandinavians. Of these were the burning of the Yule log and tho superstitions regarding the mis tletoe bough. In England the burning of the Yule log takes place Christmas eve. In feudal times the bringing in of the ponderous block and burning it on the wide hearth of tho great chimney of the baronial hall was observed with the greatest rejoicings. The dragging of the Yule from the forest to the castle was an elaborate ceremony of itself, and r.s it passed, every wayfarer raised his liat, for well ho knew that its flame would light up scenes of feasting and forgiveness of old wrongs, and that all would be welcome. Tho following quaint ditty, apropos of the Yule, is supposed to have been written during tho reign of Henry VI: Welcome be tliou, heavenly King "Welcome, born 011 this morninjy Welcome, for whom wo shall sing "Welcome Yule. "Welcome be ye, Stephen and John Welcome, innocents every one Welcome, Thomas, martyr one: Welcome Yule. Welcome be ye, pood New Year Welcome Twelfth day, both in fere Welcome, saints lovea and dear Welcome Yule. Welcome be ye, Candlemas Welcome be ye, queen of bliss Welcome both to moro and less "Welcome ule. AVelcome be ye that are here Welcome all, and make good cheer Welcome all. another year Welcome Yule. •In company. Among the English the mistletoe bough is always hung over tho center of tho room on Christmas Eve, and any damsel who, either by chance or on purpose, places herself beneath it has to pay the penalty of being kissed by nil the men who are present. Of course none of tho iaJr sex ever places herself tinder the mistletoe with malice aforethought.