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44

ELECTIONS

it is almost superfluous to say that everything in Eatanswill was made a party question. If the Buffs proposed to new skylightx) the market-place, the Blues got up public meetings, and denounced the proceeding; if the Blues proposed the erection of an additional pump in the High Street, the Buffs rose as one man and stood aghast at the enormity. There were Blue shops and Buff shops, Blue inns and Buff inns;—there was a Blue aisle *) and a Buff aisle in the very church itself.

Of course it was essentially and indispensably necessary that each of these powerful parties -should have its chosen organ and representative: and, accordingly, there were two newspapers in the town—the Eatanswill Gazette and the Eatanswill Independent; the former advocating Blue principles, and the latter conducted on grounds decidedly Buff. Fine newspapers they were. Such leading articles, and such spirited attacks!—"Our worthless contemporary, the Gazette"—"That disgraceful and dastardly journal, the Independent"—"That false and scurrilous3) print, the Independent."—"That vile and slanderous calumniator, the Gazette;" these, and other spirit-stirring denunciations were strewn plentifully over the columns of each, in every number, and excited feelingsof the most intense delight and indignation in the bosoms of the townspeople.

Mr. Pickwick, with his usual foresight and sagacity, had chosen a peculiarly desirable moment for his visit to the borough4). Never was such a contest known. The

1. skylight: window in a roof or a ceiling; the market was evidently covered.

2. aisle [ai 1]: in larger churches the divisions north and south of the nave. Two rows of pi Hars separate the nave from the aisles.

3. scurrilous: grossly abusive.

4. The town was a borough, i.e. had the right to send one or more members to Parliament.

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