★ A Drinking Custom Story :
A pie sat on a pear tree, A pie sat on a pear tree, A pie sat on a pear tree, Heigh ho! heigh ho! heigh ho!
These lines are sung by a person at the table after dinner. His next neighbour then sings “Once so merrily hopped she,” during which the first singer is obliged to drink a bumper; and should he be unable to empty his glass before the last line is sung, he must begin again till he succeeds. The next line is “Twice so merrily hopped she,” sung by the next person under a similar arrangement, and so on; beginning again after “Thrice so merrily hopped she, heigh ho! heigh ho! heigh ho!” till the ceremony has been repeated around the table. It is to be hoped so absurd a practice is not now in fashion.
When a boy finds anything, and another sees him stoop for it, if the latter cries halves before he has picked it up, he is, by schoolboy law, entitled to half of it. This right may, however, be negatived, if the finder cries out first–
Ricket, racket, find it, tack it, And niver give it to the aunder.
Or, sometimes the following:
No halfers, Findee, keepee; Lossee, seekee.
Boys leaving the schoolroom are accustomed to shout–
Those that go my way, butter and eggs, Those that go your way, chop off their legs.
A sort of persuasive inducement, I suppose, for them to follow the speaker for the sake of forming a party for a game.
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