: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales

It is greatly to be feared that, notwithstanding the efforts made within

the last few years by individuals who have desired to see the

resuscitation of the merry sports and customs of old England, the spirit

which formerly characterised them is not to be recovered. The mechanical

spirit of the age has thrown a degree of ridicule over observances which

have not been without use in their day; and might even now be rendered

beneficial to the public, were it possible to exclude the influence

which tells the humbler subject such matters are below his regard. Yet

it must be confessed that most of our ancient customs are only suited to

the thinly-populated rural districts, where charity, goodwill, and

friendship may be delicately cultivated under the plea of their