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Monday, December 24, 2012

Literature's First Republican - Ebenezer Scrooge from The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Republicans who believe revenue sharing through taxation is against their ideological political doctrine, were fortold by Charles Dickens as he described them in this following classic excert, when Ebenezer Scrooge meets his boisterous nephew, on Christmas Eve, in the classic "A Christmas Carol"

"A merry Christmas, uncle!  God save you!" cried a cheerful voice.  It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. 
"Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!"

He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge's, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.
"Christmas, a humbug, uncle!" said Scrooge's nephew.  "You don't mean that, I am sure."
"I do," said Scrooge.  "Merry Christmas!  What right have you to be merry?  What reason have you to be merry?  You're poor enough."
"Come, then," returned the nephew gaily.  "What right have you to be dismal?  What reason have you to be morose?  You're rich enough."
Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said "Bah!" again; and followed it up with "Humbug."
"Don't be cross, uncle!" said the nephew.
"What else can I be," returned the uncle, "when I live in such a world of fools as this?  Merry Christmas!  Out upon merry Christmas!  What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you?  

If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.  He should!"

"Uncle!" pleaded the nephew.
"Nephew!" returned the uncle, sternly, "keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
"Keep it!" repeated Scrooge's nephew.  "But you don't keep it."
"Let me leave it alone, then," said Scrooge.  "Much good may it do you!  Much good it has ever done you!"
"There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say," returned the nephew.  "..And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"


And so, as the story evolved, Scrooge, described by Charles Dickens, described the first literary Republican.  It's distressing to see how this description continues to fit, despite the passage of 160 years since the story was published in 1843.  

"A Christmas Carol" has never been out of print.

A Christmas Carol by English author Charles Dickens, first published on 19 December 1843, tells sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge, who experiences an ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation resulting from supernatural visits from Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim.

The book was written and published in early Victorian Era Britain, a period when there was both strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions and an initiation of new practices such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens's sources for the tale appear to be many and varied but are principally the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Carol

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