The great hall of Camelot was so full and noisy with the annual Order of the Round Table reunion that Arthur and Merlin were as good as alone.
"You're not serious," said Arthur. "Granted, the birth of God as man is a great thing, but not greater than God's affirmation of man's afterlife. How does this happen?"
Merlin shrugged. "The merchant class grows more powerful and the Christmas tradition of gift-giving is blown all out of proportion."
"I'm glad I live now," said Arthur. "Honor and justice are more rewarding masters than wealth."
"Those days aren't entirely without justice. For instance, there is no death sentence for adultery then."
"I take it back. I should be much happier then," said Arthur promptly.
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