Friday, December 29, 2017

A Country Christmas--George Eliot

 Returning to Elizabeth David's Christmas, she reprints a passage from George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss (1860) called "A Country Christmas."

"There was the smell of hot toast and ale from the kitchen, at the breakfast hour; the favorite anthem, the green boughs, and the short sermon, gave the appropriate festal character to the church-going; and aunt and uncle Moss, with all of their seven children were looking like so many reflectors of the bright parlour fire, when the church-goers came back, stamping the snow from their feet. 

The plum-pudding was of the same handsome roundness as ever, and came in with the symbolic blue flames around it, as if it had been heroically snatched from the nether fires into which it had been thrown by dispeptic puritans; the dessert was as splendid as ever, with its golden oranges, brown nuts, and the chrystalline light and dark of apple jelly and damson cheese: in all these things Christmas was as it had always been since Tom could remember; it was only distinguished if by anything, by superior sliding and snowballs."

 The Mill on the Floss, 1860, George Eliot

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