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It is instructive to note how little influence the origin of this celebration has on the observance of the custom. There is no question of Roman Catholicism versus Protestantism; no preaching in churches against the papists; no defiance of Protestant practice. Gunpowder Plot is an item familiar to every schoolboy who has read his history-book, but the religious significance is a mere nothing compared with the fun of firing off fireworks. And I question whether even that will last another century; for whereas once--not thirty years ago--every part of the countryside would be alight with huge fires, one can now only note their slow decay; and the sale of fireworks is not on the increase. Perhaps it is just as well. If the function is religious, it should be religiously observed; if not, let it become what it has become--the one day in the year when we agree to let off our squibs and crackers. "The search for Guy Fawkes" is still kept up as a formal custom.

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