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Victorian Carol Singers, in England more
Three Victorian men are stnading singing Christmas songs; one of them plays the harp. A boy watches, and other figures stand in the background. The dress is from the early Victorian era.
Jolly be our Wassail Bowl, then, my young friends; but do not let us forget, that while songs and mirth, and skipping, and dancing, animate our social hours—that while the red fire is blazing, and the yule log is crackling, and all is bright and sparkling about us, that many, very many are steeped in sorry, and drink deeply of the cup of affliction. How many widows are moaning more plaintively than the night wind over the desolate snow! How many orphans are pining and weeping for their dear fathers, lying low on the battle-field!—sisters are crying for their beloved brothers, whom they shall never see again, and friends lamenting the fall and loss of the young, the generous, the brave, and the tender-hearted, who gave up their lives as sacrifices for their country! What, then, my young friends, shall be our Wassail Bowl? Not the spiced wine and the “jolly fat ale and old” spoken of by the old English poet. Not the accompaniment of the lute and harp. No, indeed! our Wassail Bowl shall be a Loving Cup of succour for the bereaved and afflicted—a cup of comfort for those that are comfortless. Down, then, with your pennies, and sixpences, and shillings, if you will, my merry masters. Let every Christmas community open the year with a Loving-Cup of good cheer to those who pine in sorrow “for the fatherless children and widows.” as we say in one of the very best of books. Open your hearts, my little ones—open your purses with your hearts. Do not let the season pass without thinking of those who have bled so nobly for their country, and of those they leave behind them. Let every Christmas party have its purse for the Patriotic Fund. I am sure the young Prince of Wales will be the first to set the example; a noble heart has he, worthy the prince and heir of the throne of England. “The Children’s Patriotic Fund” will be a glorious thing. Enter upon it at once, and send all your collections in the name of the Prince of Wales to the “fund,” and do it speedily, if you have any love or affection for your old tried friend, Peter Parley.