Curse of a Newspaper

Posted by: Maria Atalanti

Published on: 20/11/2023

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Newspaper “Alithia,” March 27, 1891

Canadian newspapers are not very friendly towards their subscribers who do not renew their annual subscriptions. Here is how a newspaper from Quebec curses those who do not renew their subscription:

“May he never have the privilege of embracing a beautiful woman! May he always be bothered by novice musicians! May water enter his shoes and his gun misfire! May a whole troop of cats meow under his window every evening! May his endeavors be destroyed and may he himself go to the devil.”

What would these newspapers say if they had subscribers like us in Cyprus who do not pay their subscription?


How does one characterize these curses? Imaginative, childish, unbelievable? I honestly don’t know! In any case, they are certainly humorous, yet accurate. They begin by addressing the greatest desire of men: the embrace of a beautiful woman! They then pinpoint the suffering one endures listening to discordant music, and considering we are talking about Canada with its polar winters, it is undoubtedly terrible and harmful to have water in one’s shoes! As for the curse of the misfiring gun, it informs us that Canadians of the 19th century were armed. The curse with a troop of cats meowing outside his window at night is interesting! And the most crucial and crushing curses for the end: may his endeavors be destroyed, and may he go to the devil!

And all this why? Because he did not renew his subscription to the newspaper. Not because he did not pay his subscription. The author of the article is right to wonder what the Canadian newspapers would write if their issue was non-payment rather than non-renewal.

I hope this text adds a small piece to the picture these old newspapers paint of the life and behavior of people in the 19th century.

Have a great day, everyone!


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