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story. It cannot be read by too many people,
for it is a thoroughly good book. Among
other things, all people will be glad to hear
and most old people too, for that matter
that there arrived at Berezov a certain Doctor
Wakulinski, a young government physician,
that he won the love of Josephine, and
married her, and that her friend, Eve Felinska
was restored to her familyalthough not
until she had endured many weary years of
exile. So that she also at length came back
to her own home, and nobody of whom we
have been speaking, was left unhappy.



AT Christiania, and in other Norwegian
towns, there is a delicate Christmas way of
offering to a lady a brooch, or a pair of
earrings, in a truss of hay. The house door of
the person complimented is pushed open, and
there is thrown into the house a truss of hay
or straw, a sheaf of corn, or bag of chaff. In
some part of this "bottle of hay" envelope,
there is a "needle" of a present to be hunted
for. A friend of mine received from her
betrothed, according to this Christmas custom,
an exceedingly large brown paper parcel,
which, on being opened, revealed a second
parcel with a loving motto on the cover. And
so on, parcel within parcel, motto within motto,
till the kernel of this paper huskwhich was
at length discovered to be a delicate piece of
minute jewellerywas arrived at.

One of the prettiest of Christmas customs
is the Norwegian practice of giving, on
Christmas-day, a dinner to the birds. On
Christmas morning, every gable, gateway, or
barn-door, is decorated with a sheaf of corn
fixed on the top of a tall pole, wherefrom it is
intended that the birds shall make their
Christmas dinner. Even the peasant will
contrive to have a handful set by for this
purpose, and what the birds do not eat on
Christmas-day, remains for them to finish at
their leisure through the winter. The carolling
of birds about these poles made a Norwegian
Christmas in the fields quite holy to me.

On New Year's day, in Norway, friends
and acquaintances exchange calls and good
wishes. In the corner of each reception-room
there stands a little table, furnished all
through the day, with wine and cakes, and
due refreshment for the visitors; who talk,
and compliment, and flirt, and sip wine, and
nibble cake from house to house with great

Between Christmas and Twelfth-day
mummers are in season. They are called "Julebukker,"
or Christmas Goblins. They invariably
appear after dark, and in masks and fancy
dresses. A host may, therefore, have to entertain
in the course of the season, a Punch,
Mephistopheles, Charlemagne, Number Nip,
Gustavus, Oberon, and whole companies of
other fanciful or historic characters; but, as
their antics are performed in silence, they are
not particularly cheerful company.

            TIME AND THE HOUR.

THERE are few persons, I believe, belonging
to what I may call the middle class of
society who have not at some period of
their lives been seized or possessed of a
cylindrical metal box, containing a spring of
blueish hue, and a certain number of wheels
cogged, or otherwise called a watch. At this
present moment of writing, I have such
a cylindrical boxsuch a watch. It is not
by any means a handsome watch. It is not
jewelled in any of its holes, neither has
it a lever, or escape or horizontal movement,
but simply an old-fashioned adjustment
of the "verge" principle. Nor
does its old-fashionedness give it value. It
is old, but I suspect worthless, as an old
hat, or an old pair of boots, or an old
umbrella. It is not a little enamelled bijou
of a thing to nestle in a lady's bracelet,
or garnished with a fairy key, and some
elfin ch√Ętelaine of "charms to lie in a
white velvety hand." It has no second
handno engraved dial, no view of the Bay
of Naples, or true lover's knot in diamonds,
or rubies on its outer lid. It does not strike
chimes, or play opera tunes. It is a watch
a hideous, turnip-shaped affair, with a tallow
face, begrimed with fat mis-shapen letters,
and with a huge keyhole in its countenance
like a bleary eye. Its hour hand is crooked
and tarnished, its minute hand is shorn of
three parts of its proper length. A friend
of mine, to whom I once offered it for sale,
called it, less reverently than emphatically, a
"duffer;" and I doubt, were I to offer to
raffle it, that I could secure a subscription of
a dozen members at even sixpence a head
even on the signature of a preliminary treaty
that the winner was to spend half its value,
and the "putter-up" the other half. It goes,
sometimes, after a great deal of winding up,
and ticks with a harsh, creaking, discordant
noise. But it soon grows sluggish and
moroseits hands moving, I am inclined to
think, rather backwards than forwards, and
requiring to be shaken violently, or banged
sharply against a hard surface, or kept in a
very hot room to prevent its stopping. Such
is my watch with a battered old case, which
I please myself sometimes to consider silver,
but into whose real composition I am nervous
of inquiring, lest it should turn out to be old
iron or lacquered copper, or rusted pinchbeck,
or some other marine store. Yet, seedy and
feeble, and superannuated as it isit sticks
to me, this time-piece.

Watches of greater value and more precious
materials, together with chains, pins, rings,
and other articles of jewellery, I have found
to inherit a marvellous property of departing
from me; they take unto themselves wings

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