In the town of —— (no matter where) there circulated two local newspapers (no matter when). Now the Flying Post was long established and respectable—alias bigoted and Tory; the Examiner was spirited and intelligent—alias new-fangled and democratic. Every week these newspapers contained articles abusing each other; as cross and peppery as articles could be, and evidently the production of irritated minds, although they seemed to have one stereotyped commencement,—”Though the article appearing in last week’s Post (or Examiner) is below contempt, yet we have been induced,” &c., &c., and every Saturday the Radical shopkeepers shook hands together, and agreed that the Post was done for, by the slashing, clever Examiner; while the more dignified Tories began by regretting that Johnson should think that low paper, only read by a few of the vulgar, worth wasting his wit upon; however the Examiner was at its last gasp.
Sound familiar? That’s from the story “Christmas Storms and Sunshine,” from Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1865 short story collection The Grey Woman and Other Tales. People haven’t changed.
This isn’t a ghost story, so I didn’t add it to yesterday’s post. It is, however, very Christmas. Perhaps its happy ending is a bit naive, or a bit old-fashioned. But that’s very Christmas, too — or at least, it ought to be, in my opinion.
Anyway. For those who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a Very Merry Christmas. For those who don’t, I wish you a Very Beautiful Day.