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A Christmas Carol
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D. December, 1843.
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A Christmas Carol
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Stave 1: Marley’s Ghost
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffinnail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad
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than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot — say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance — literally to astonish his son’s weak mind. but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral. It was all the same to him. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. but he answered to both names. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night. from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire. old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. in an easterly wind. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind.stone. and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. This must be distinctly understood. There it stood. and sometimes Marley. 4 of 138 . or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. Scrooge! a squeezing. scraping. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge.A Christmas Carol event. above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. covetous. upon his own ramparts. grasping. wrenching. years afterwards. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began. clutching.
no children asked him what it was o’clock. and self-contained. no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say. The cold within him froze his old features. shrivelled his cheek. stiffened his gait. and on his eyebrows. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. ‘My dear Scrooge. made his eyes red. no pelting rain less open to entreaty. and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. and when they saw him coming on. no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose. and snow. could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. his thin lips blue. with gladsome looks. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. and his wiry chin. No wind that blew was bitterer than he. would tug their owners into doorways 5 of 138 . and Scrooge never did. He carried his own low temperature always about with him. No warmth could warm. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him.A Christmas Carol secret. and sleet. of Scrooge. no wintry weather chill him. and solitary as an oyster. and hail. he iced his office in the dogdays. how are you? When will you come to see me?’ No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle. A frosty rime was on his head. The heaviest rain. nipped his pointed nose. They often ‘came down’ handsomely.
A Christmas Carol and up courts. It was cold. ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye. go wheezing up and down. that although the court was of the narrowest. obscuring everything. warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. dark master!’ But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge. and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. the houses opposite were mere phantoms. but it was quite dark already — it had not been light all day — and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices. and then would wag their tails as though they said. Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year. and was brewing on a large scale. biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside. like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. one might have thought that Nature lived hard by. bleak. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down. and was so dense without. 6 of 138 . To edge his way along the crowded paths of life. The city clocks had only just gone three. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole. beating their hands upon their breasts. on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse.
in which effort. this nephew of Scrooge’s. uncle! God save you!’ cried a cheerful voice. ‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. his face was ruddy and handsome. and tried to warm himself at the candle. and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel. was copying letters. that he was all in a glow. he failed. and his breath smoked again. who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. ‘A merry Christmas. But he couldn’t replenish it. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew. but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. a sort of tank. his eyes sparkled. not being a man of a strong imagination. for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room. the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. ‘You don’t mean that. ‘Christmas a humbug. I am sure?’ 7 of 138 . Scrooge had a very small fire. ‘Humbug!’ He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter. who in a dismal little cell beyond.A Christmas Carol The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk. uncle!’ said Scrooge’s nephew.
‘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. ‘What else can I be. 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.’ returned the nephew gaily. and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.’ said Scrooge. but not an hour richer. should be boiled with his own pudding. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough. and followed it up with ‘Humbug. then.’ 8 of 138 . ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough. said ‘Bah!’ again.’ said Scrooge indignantly. ‘keep Christmas in your own way.’ Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment. a time for finding yourself a year older.’ ‘Don’t be cross. He should!’ ‘Uncle!’ pleaded the nephew.’ ‘Come. ‘every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips. ‘Nephew!’ returned the uncle sternly. and let me keep it in mine.A Christmas Carol ‘I do.’ returned the uncle. uncle!’ said the nephew.
’ said Scrooge. when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin. charitable. and extinguished the last frail spark for ever. though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket. forgiving. I dare say. if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time. when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. and I say. uncle. then.’ ‘Let me leave it alone. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety. in the long calendar of the year.’ returned the nephew. a kind. pleasant time: the only time I know of. ‘Christmas among the rest. God bless it!’ The clerk in the Tank involuntarily applauded. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time. And therefore. I believe that it has done me good. he poked the fire. ‘Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!’ ‘There are many things from which I might have derived good. and will do me good.A Christmas Carol ‘Keep it!’ repeated Scrooge’s nephew. by which I have not profited. and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave. 9 of 138 . and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ‘But you don’t keep it.
but you never came to see me before that happened.’ ‘Don’t be angry. ‘I want nothing from you.’ said Scrooge. indeed he did. ‘But why?’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. why cannot we be friends?’ ‘Good afternoon. and said that he would see him in that extremity first. ‘Because I fell in love.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. uncle. ‘and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You’re quite a powerful speaker. He went the whole length of the expression. ‘Why?’ ‘Why did you get married?’ said Scrooge. ‘I am sorry. Come! Dine with us tomorrow. uncle.’ ‘Because you fell in love!’ growled Scrooge. 10 of 138 . to find you so resolute. with all my heart. to which I have been a party. sir. ‘I wonder you don’t go into Parliament. We have never had any quarrel.’ Scrooge said that he would see him — yes. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas. ‘Good afternoon!’ ‘Nay.A Christmas Carol ‘Let me hear another sound from you. as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas.’ he added. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?’ ‘Good afternoon. turning to his nephew. I ask nothing of you.
this very night. had let two other people in. They had books and papers in their hands. with their hats off. Marley has been dead these seven years. and now stood.’ muttered Scrooge. notwithstanding. for he returned them cordially. ‘He died seven years ago. ‘And A Happy New Year!’ ‘Good afternoon.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. talking about a merry Christmas. or Mr. ‘Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. I believe. So A Merry Christmas. and a wife and family. with fifteen shillings a week. Marley?’ ‘Mr. ‘Scrooge and Marley’s. was warmer than Scrooge.’ Scrooge replied. in letting Scrooge’s nephew out. pleasant to behold. They were portly gentlemen. uncle!’ ‘Good afternoon. who overheard him: ‘my clerk. in Scrooge’s office.’ This lunatic. ‘There’s another fellow.’ said one of the gentlemen.A Christmas Carol and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. referring to his list.’ 11 of 138 . He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk. I’ll retire to Bedlam. Scrooge. who cold as he was. and bowed to him. His nephew left the room without an angry word.
hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts. laying down the pen again. and shook his head. ‘Are they still in operation?’ ‘They are. At the ominous word ‘liberality. and handed the credentials back.’ said the gentleman.’ ‘The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries.A Christmas Carol ‘We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner.’ said the gentleman. Mr.’ returned the gentleman. who suffer greatly at the present time. then?’ said Scrooge. Scrooge. taking up a pen.’ 12 of 138 . ‘I wish I could say they were not.’ Scrooge frowned. ‘At this festive season of the year.’ ‘Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge. sir. Still. It certainly was. sir. ‘Plenty of prisons. for they had been two kindred spirits.’ said the gentleman. ‘Both very busy. ‘it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute. ‘And the Union workhouses?’ demanded Scrooge. presenting his credentials.
I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough. We choose this time. and means of warmth. ‘they had better do it. and those who are badly off must go there.A Christmas Carol ‘Oh! I was afraid. ‘I’m very glad to hear it. Besides — excuse me — I don’t know that. from what you said at first.’ ‘If they would rather die. and many would rather die. gentlemen. when Want is keenly felt.’ returned the gentleman.’ ‘Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude. 13 of 138 . that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. ‘You wish to be anonymous?’ ‘I wish to be left alone. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. ‘a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. and Abundance rejoices. because it is a time.’ observed the gentleman.’ ‘Many can’t go there. that is my answer.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. and decrease the surplus population.’ ‘But you might know it. of all others. ‘Since you ask me what I wish. What shall I put you down for?’ ‘Nothing!’ Scrooge replied.’ said Scrooge.
A Christmas Carol ‘It’s not my business. Scrooge returned his labours with an improved opinion of himself. its overflowing sullenly congealed. The water-plug being left in solitude. Good afternoon. with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall. and had lighted a great fire in a brazier. and turned to misanthropic ice. the gentlemen withdrew. ‘It’s enough for a man to understand his own business. The ancient tower of a church. and not to interfere with other people’s. and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds. Mine occupies me constantly. and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him. round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture. gentlemen!’ Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point. some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes.’ Scrooge returned. Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so. and conduct them on their way. The cold became intense. that people ran about with flaring links. The brightness of the shops where holly 14 of 138 . became invisible. proffering their services to go before horses in carriages. In the main street at the corner of the court.
and edit PDF. then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose. made pale faces ruddy as they passed. whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets. The owner of one scant young nose. searching. The Lord Mayor. view.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!’ 15 of 138 . instead of using his familiar weapons. gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs. and even the little tailor. a glorious pageant. Download the free trial version. Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke. sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows. while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef. biting cold. in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House. stirred up to-morrow’s pudding in his garret. gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s household should. and colder! Piercing. with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of ‘God bless you. Foggier yet. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that.
buttoning his great-coat to the chin. I suppose?’ said Scrooge. I’ll be bound?’ The clerk smiled faintly. The office was closed in a twinkling. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool. ‘But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning. ‘A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank.’ The clerk observed that it was only once a year. and put on his hat. At length the hour of shutting up the counting. and Scrooge walked out with a growl. you’d think yourself illused.’ The clerk promised that he would. that the singer fled in terror. leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost. ‘and it’s not fair.house arrived.’ ‘It’s not convenient. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it. sir. 16 of 138 . ‘And yet.A Christmas Carol Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action. when I pay a day’s wages for no work. ‘you don’t think me ill-used. ‘You’ll want all day to-morrow. ‘If quite convenient.’ said Scrooge. who instantly snuffed his candle out.
in honour of its being Christmas Eve. and forgotten the way out again. that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold. It was old enough now. in a lowering pile of building up a yard. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house. and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’sbook.A Christmas Carol and the clerk. 17 of 138 . for nobody lived in it but Scrooge. playing at hide-and-seek with other houses. who knew its every stone. to play at blindman’s-buff. The yard was so dark that even Scrooge. and dreary enough. at the end of a lane of boys. the other rooms being all let out as offices. that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house. and having read all the newspapers. twenty times. was fain to grope with his hands. went home to bed. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat). where it had so little business to be. They were a gloomy suite of rooms. Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern. and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt. went down a slide on Cornhill.
without its undergoing any intermediate process of change — not a knocker. even including — which is a bold word — the corporation. saw in the knocker. and its livid colour. though the eyes were wide open. It was not angry or ferocious. also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the city of London. Marley’s face. except that it was very large. night and morning. made it horrible. they were perfectly motionless. And then let any man explain to me. The hair was curiously stirred. having his key in the lock of the door. since his last mention of his seven years’ dead partner that afternoon. if he can. but Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were. during his whole residence in that place. that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door. aldermen. like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. it is a fact. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley. and. but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. that Scrooge had seen it. That. but had a dismal light about it. but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face 18 of 138 . as if by breath or hot air. how it happened that Scrooge.A Christmas Carol Now. It is also a fact. and livery.
The sound resounded through the house like thunder. and up the stairs. it was a knocker again. before he shut the door. But there was nothing on the back of the door. turned it sturdily. would be untrue. Every room above. as if he half-expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley’s pigtail sticking out into the hall. rather than a part or its own expression. He did pause. Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished. appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. To say that he was not startled. and lighted his candle. and he did look cautiously behind it first. or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy.A Christmas Carol and beyond its control. and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below. slowly too: trimming his candle as he went. walked in. so he said ‘Pooh. pooh!’ and closed it with a bang. He fastened the door. and walked across the hall. As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon. with a moment’s irresolution. 19 of 138 . except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on.
nobody under the sofa. bedroom. Lumber-room 20 of 138 . but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase. Nobody under the bed. nobody in the closet. not caring a button for that. and room to spare. All as they should be. lumber-room. and Scrooge liked it. Nobody under the table. or through a bad young Act of Parliament. But before he shut his heavy door. which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that.A Christmas Carol You may talk vaguely about driving a coach-and-six up a good old flight of stairs. a small fire in the grate. and the little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. which is perhaps the reason why Scrooge thought he saw a locomotive hearse going on before him in the gloom. so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip. Darkness is cheap. and taken it broadwise. with the splinterbar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. Up Scrooge went. Half a dozen gas-lamps out of the street wouldn’t have lighted the entry too well. There was plenty of width for that. Sitting-room. spoon and basin ready. nobody in his dressing-gown.
Belshazzars. nothing on such a bitter night. seven years dead. which was not his custom.A Christmas Carol as usual. Old fire-guards. Pharaohs’ daughters. It was a very low fire indeed. He was obliged to sit close to it. old shoes. there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one. and his nightcap. put on his dressing-gown and slippers. Quite satisfied. he closed his door. 21 of 138 . and locked himself in. before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel. and a poker. hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts — and yet that face of Marley. Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats. Abrahams. There were Cains and Abels. Thus secured against surprise. The fireplace was an old one. and sat down before the fire to take his gruel. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first. washing-stand on three legs. built by some Dutch merchant long ago. and swallowed up the whole. with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts. and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles. two fish-baskets. and brood over it. came like the ancient Prophet’s rod. Queens of Sheba. Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds. designed to illustrate the Scriptures. double-locked himself in. he took off his cravat.
and then he heard the noise much louder. but it seemed an hour. ‘It’s humbug still!’ said Scrooge. inexplicable dread. This might have lasted half a minute. and so did every bell in the house. together. and with a strange.’ His colour changed though. as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant’s cellar. deep down below. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains. he saw this bell begin to swing. then coming up the stairs. ‘I won’t believe it. The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound. They were succeeded by a clanking noise. and walked across the room. As he threw his head back in the chair. It was with great astonishment. but soon it rang out loudly. it came on through the heavy door. on the floors below. that hung in the room.A Christmas Carol ‘Humbug!’ said Scrooge. and passed into the 22 of 138 . his glance happened to rest upon a bell. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound. a disused bell. when. without a pause. then coming straight towards his door. or a minute. and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building. After several turns. that as he looked. he sat down again. The bells ceased as they had begun.
The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. keys. Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels. and looking through his waistcoat. and the hair upon his head. ‘What do you want with me?’ 23 of 138 . so that Scrooge. The same face: the very same. and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cashboxes. but he had never believed it until now. and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin. observing him. Upon its coming in. which wrapper he had not observed before. Marley in his pigtail. and fought against his senses. and his coat-skirts. No. His body was transparent. tights and boots. the dying flame leaped up. he was still incredulous. could see the two buttons on his coat behind.A Christmas Carol room before his eyes. It was long. and wound about him like a tail. though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes. and saw it standing before him. padlocks. as though it cried ‘I know him. usual waistcoat. like his pigtail. the tassels on the latter bristling. caustic and cold as ever. Marley’s Ghost!’ and fell again. and heavy purses wrought in steel. ledgers. deeds. ‘How now!’ said Scrooge. nor did he believe it even now. Though he looked the phantom through and through.
‘Who are you?’ ‘Ask me who I was.’ but substituted this. for a shade. ‘In life I was your partner. ‘I don’t. because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair.A Christmas Carol ‘Much!’ — Marley’s voice. then. as more appropriate. as if he were quite used to it. ‘I can. and felt that in the event of its being impossible. raising his voice. Jacob Marley.’ ‘Can you — can you sit down?’ asked Scrooge. it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation. ‘What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Do it.’ ‘Who were you then?’ said Scrooge.’ Scrooge asked the question. ‘You don’t believe in me.’ said Scrooge. no doubt about it.’ said Scrooge. ‘You’re particular.’ He was going to say ‘to a shade. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace. looking doubtfully at him. ‘Why do you doubt your senses?’ 24 of 138 .’ observed the Ghost.
in silence for a moment. as a means of distracting his own attention. To sit. were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven. You may be an undigested bit of beef. whatever you are!’ Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. The truth is. for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones. for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless. a blot of mustard.’ said Scrooge. Scrooge could not feel it himself. but this was clearly the case. that he tried to be smart. and tassels. nor did he feel. and keeping down his terror. staring at those fixed glazed eyes. ‘a little thing affects them. 25 of 138 . Scrooge felt. to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself. the very deuce with him. a fragment of an underdone potato. and skirts. by any means waggish then. though it were only for a second. for the reason just assigned. too. a crumb of cheese. in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. in his heart.A Christmas Carol ‘Because. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you. returning quickly to the charge. ‘You see this toothpick?’ said Scrooge. There was something very awful. and wishing. its hair. would play.
But why do spirits walk the earth. its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast! Scrooge fell upon his knees. ‘I must. Humbug. ‘But I see it. ‘notwithstanding. ‘Mercy!’ he said.’ said Scrooge. as if it were too warm to wear indoors. when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head. and why do they come to me?’ ‘It is required of every man. and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins. that Scrooge held on tight to his chair.’ replied the Ghost. all of my own creation. to save himself from falling in a swoon. ‘that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his 26 of 138 . I tell you! humbug!’ At this the spirit raised a frightful cry. ‘You are not looking at it.A Christmas Carol ‘I do.’ said the Ghost. ‘Dreadful apparition.’ ‘Well!’ returned Scrooge. and clasped his hands before his face. ‘do you believe in me or not?’ ‘I do.’ the Ghost returned. why do you trouble me?’ ‘Man of the worldly mind!’ replied the Ghost.’ said Scrooge. ‘I have but to swallow this. and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise. But how much greater was his horror.
It is doomed to wander through the world — oh. trembling.’ replied the Ghost. and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands. and of my own free will I wore it. woe is me! — and witness what it cannot share. ‘Jacob. view. ‘You are fettered. seven Christmas Eves ago. ‘Old Jacob Marley. You have laboured on it. fellowmen. and edit PDF.’ he said. Jacob!’ 27 of 138 . ‘the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this. it is condemned to do so after death. and if that spirit goes not forth in life.’ said Scrooge. imploringly. but might have shared on earth. Speak comfort to me. It is a ponderous chain!’ Scrooge glanced about him on the floor. Download the free trial version. I girded it on of my own free will.’ pursued the Ghost. tell me more. and turned to happiness!’ Again the spectre raised a cry. ‘I made it link by link. and travel far and wide. and yard by yard. ‘Tell me why?’ ‘I wear the chain I forged in life. since. Is its pattern strange to you?’ Scrooge trembled more and more. ‘Or would you know.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.
whenever he became thoughtful. ‘And travelling all the time!’ ‘The whole time.’ ‘You travel fast?’ said Scrooge. ‘Slow!’ the Ghost repeated. 28 of 138 . to put his hands in his breeches pockets. though with humility and deference. I cannot rest. but without lifting up his eyes. in a business-like manner. Jacob. I cannot stay. A very little more. he did so now. and weary journeys lie before me!’ It was a habit with Scrooge. ‘On the wings of the wind. and is conveyed by other ministers.’ replied the Ghost. no peace. is all permitted to me. ‘You must have been very slow about it.A Christmas Carol ‘I have none to give.’ mused Scrooge. Pondering on what the Ghost had said. ‘No rest. ‘Seven years dead. to other kinds of men.’ Scrooge observed. Ebenezer Scrooge. I cannot linger anywhere.’ the Ghost replied. Nor can I tell you what I would. ‘It comes from other regions. Incessant torture of remorse. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house — mark me! — in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole. or getting off his knees.’ said the Ghost.
on hearing this. were. ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost.’ cried the phantom. bound. ‘Mankind was my business.’ faltered Scrooge. ‘not to know. forbearance. that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance.’ said Scrooge. by immortal creatures. and benevolence. set up another cry.A Christmas Carol ‘You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years. and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!’ ‘But you were always a good man of business. The common welfare was my business. charity. Jacob. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere. for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. who now began to apply this to himself. and double-ironed. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’ 29 of 138 . that ages of incessant labour. my business. will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. The Ghost. wringing its hands again. mercy. all. ‘Oh! captive. whatever it may be.
I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day. that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. ‘At this time of the rolling year. ‘That is no light part of my penance.’ It was not an agreeable idea. and began to quake exceedingly. ‘Hear me!’ cried the Ghost.’ ‘You were always a good friend to me. and wiped the perspiration from his brow. Ebenezer. I may not tell. as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief. ‘But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery.’ the spectre said ‘I suffer most. ‘I am here to-night to warn you. A chance and hope of my procuring.’ said Scrooge. and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!’ Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate. ‘My time is nearly gone. Why did I walk through crowds of fellowbeings with my eyes turned down. ‘Thank ‘ee!’ 30 of 138 .’ ‘I will.’ pursued the Ghost. Jacob! Pray!’ ‘How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see.’ said Scrooge. and flung it heavily upon the ground again. Scrooge shivered.A Christmas Carol It held up its chain at arm’s length.
by the smart sound its teeth made.’ said the Ghost. and bound it round its head. Look to see me no more. and found 31 of 138 . as before.’ Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done. Expect the first tomorrow.’ said Scrooge. Jacob?’ he demanded. for your own sake. when the bell tolls One.’ ‘Couldn’t I take ‘em all at once.’ ‘I — I think I’d rather not. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate. when the jaws were brought together by the bandage.A Christmas Carol ‘You will be haunted. ‘by Three Spirits. in a faltering voice. ‘you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. the spectre took its wrapper from the table. and have it over. ‘Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. He ventured to raise his eyes again. ‘It is.’ resumed the Ghost. you remember what has passed between us!’ When it had said these words. Jacob?’ hinted Scrooge. ‘Is that the chance and hope you mentioned. Scrooge knew this. ‘Without their visits. and look that.
When they were within two paces of each other. it was wide open. The air was filled with phantoms. none were free.A Christmas Carol his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude. dark night. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost. and floated out upon the bleak. with its chain wound over and about its arm. and moaning as they went. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand. It beckoned Scrooge to approach. He had been quite familiar with one 32 of 138 . some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together. which he did. he became sensible of confused noises in the air. the window raised itself a little. incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret. Scrooge stopped. wandering hither and thither in restless haste. Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. joined in the mournful dirge. He looked out. Not so much in obedience. wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The apparition walked backward from him. and at every step it took. so that when the spectre reached it. warning him to come no nearer. after listening for a moment. The spectre. Marley’s Ghost held up its hand.
or the dull conversation of the Ghost.A Christmas Carol old ghost. and the night became as it had been when he walked home. without undressing. clearly. And being. The misery with them all was. But they and their spirit voices faded together. and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered. or the fatigues of the day. whom it saw below. or his glimpse of the Invisible World. as he had locked it with his own hands. and the bolts were undisturbed. who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant. from the emotion he had undergone. with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle. He tried to say ‘Humbug!’ but stopped at the first syllable. much in need of repose. he could not tell. that they sought to interfere. It was double-locked. Whether these creatures faded into mist. or the lateness of the hour. Scrooge closed the window. or mist enshrouded them. for good. upon a door-step. in a white waistcoat. and fell asleep upon the instant. went straight to bed. in human matters. 33 of 138 . and had lost the power for ever.
It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun. that looking out of bed.A Christmas Carol Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits When Scrooge awoke. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown 34 of 138 . it was so dark. when the chimes of a neighbouring church struck the four quarters. He was endeavouring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes. The clock was wrong. It was past two when he went to bed. ‘Why. and this is twelve at noon.’ The idea being an alarming one. He touched the spring of his repeater. he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber. Its rapid little pulse beat twelve: and stopped.’ said Scrooge. he scrambled out of bed. An icicle must have got into the works. To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven. then stopped. Twelve. it isn’t possible. ‘that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. Twelve. and from seven to eight. to correct this most preposterous clock. and groped his way to the window. So he listened for the hour. and regularly up to twelve.
andpresented the same problem to be worked all through. after mature inquiry that it was all a dream. The more he thought. and thought. as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day. the more he endeavoured not to think. his mind flew back again. and thought. Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly.A Christmas Carol before he could see anything. All he could make out was. and thought it over and over. to its first position. that the Ghost hadwarned him of a visitation when the 35 of 138 . and that there was no noise of people running to and fro. Every time he resolved within himself. ‘Was it a dream or not?’ Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more. would have become a mere United States security if there were no days to count by. and could make nothing of it. that it was still very foggy and extremely cold. the more perplexed he was. This was a great relief. and could see very little then. the more he thought. and. like a strong spring released. when he remembered. on a sudden. and making a great stir. Ebenezer Scrooge on his order.’ and so forth. Scrooge went to bed again. and taken possession of the world. because ‘Three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr.
hollow. dong!’ ‘A quarter past.’ said Scrooge. Not the curtains at his feet. ‘Ding. and. dong!’ ‘A quarter to it. At length it broke upon his listening ear.’ said Scrooge triumphantly. ‘Ding. He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed. dong!’ ‘Half past. and the curtains of his bed were drawn. ‘Ding. The quarter was so long. which it now did with a deep. ‘Ding. the wisest resolution in his power. dull. by a hand.A Christmas Carol bell tolled one. and missed the clock. counting. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. this was. dong!’ ‘The hour itself. starting 36 of 138 . and Scrooge. I tell you. nor the curtains at his back.’ said Scrooge. but those to which his face was addressed. ‘and nothing else!’ He spoke before the hour bell sounded. melancholy ONE. considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to heaven.’ said Scrooge. perhaps. that he was more than once convinced he must have sunk into a doze unconsciously. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside.
Its legs and feet. which it now held under its arm. the hands the same. like those upper members. But the strangest thing about it was. in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem. a great extinguisher for a cap. that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light. in its duller moments. 37 of 138 . It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair. and which was doubtless the occasion of its using.A Christmas Carol up into a half-recumbent attitude. It wore a tunic of the purest white. was white as if with age. by which all this was visible. viewed through some supernatural medium. were. had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt. found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you. which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view. the sheen of which was beautiful. The arms were very long and muscular. which hung about its neck and down its back. and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. most delicately formed. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. bare. as if its hold were of uncommon strength. and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. and. and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it.
A Christmas Carol
Even this, though, when Scrooge looked at it with increasing steadiness, was not its strangest quality. For as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part and now in another, and what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness: being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away. And in the very wonder of this, it would be itself again; distinct and clear as ever. ‘Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me.’ asked Scrooge. ‘I am.’ The voice was soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if instead of being so close beside him, it were at a distance. ‘Who, and what are you.’ Scrooge demanded. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.’ ‘Long Past.’ inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature. ‘No. Your past.’ Perhaps, Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered. 38 of 138
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‘What.’ exclaimed the Ghost, ‘would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give. Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow.’ Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully bonneted the Spirit at any period of his life. He then made bold to inquire what business brought him there. ‘Your welfare.’ said the Ghost. Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end. The Spirit must have heard him thinking, for it said immediately: ‘Your reclamation, then. Take heed.’ It put out its strong hand as it spoke, and clasped him gently by the arm. ‘Rise. and walk with me.’ It would have been in vain for Scrooge to plead that the weather and the hour were not adapted to pedestrian purposes; that bed was warm, and the thermometer a long way below freezing; that he was clad but lightly in his slippers, dressing-gown, and nightcap; and that he had a cold upon him at that time. The grasp, though gentle as a 39 of 138
A Christmas Carol
woman’s hand, was not to be resisted. He rose: but finding that the Spirit made towards the window, clasped his robe in supplication. ‘I am mortal,’ Scrooge remonstrated, ‘and liable to fall.’ ‘Bear but a touch of my hand there,’ said the Spirit, laying it upon his heart,’ and you shall be upheld in more than this.’ As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground. ‘Good Heaven!’ said Scrooge, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. ‘I was bred in this place. I was a boy here.’ The Spirit gazed upon him mildly. Its gentle touch, though it had been light and instantaneous, appeared still present to the old man’s sense of feeling. He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long, forgotten. ‘Your lip is trembling,’ said the Ghost. ‘And what is that upon your cheek.’ 40 of 138
‘I could walk it blindfold. ‘Let us go on. and shouted to each other. who called to other boys in country gigs and carts.A Christmas Carol Scrooge muttered. and post. until a little market-town appeared in the distance. and as they came. Scrooge recognising every gate. that it was a pimple. ‘Remember it.’ observed the Ghost.’ They walked along the road. ‘These are but shadows of the things that have been.’ The jocund travellers came on.’ said the Ghost. with its bridge. with an unusual catching in his voice. and tree. its church. Scrooge knew and named them every one. and begged the Ghost to lead him where he would. and his heart leap up as they went past. All these boys were in great spirits. that the crisp air laughed to hear it. and winding river. Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each 41 of 138 . driven by farmers. ‘They have no consciousness of us. ‘You recollect the way.’ ‘Strange to have forgotten it for so many years. until the broad fields were so full of merry music. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them.’ inquired the Spirit. Why did his cold eye glisten.’ cried Scrooge with fervour. Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs.
to a door at the back of the house. Out upon merry Christmas. a chilly bareness in the place. is left there still. across the hall. What good had it ever done to him. What was merry Christmas to Scrooge. Fowls clucked and strutted in the stables. and 42 of 138 . with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola. their windows broken. which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle-light. and glancing through the open doors of many rooms. They left the high-road. for the spacious offices were little used. It was a large house. for their several homes.A Christmas Carol other Merry Christmas. And he sobbed. ‘A solitary child. and vast. cold. as they parted at cross-roads and bye-ways. There was an earthy savour in the air. They went. the Ghost and Scrooge. and a bell hanging in it. ‘The school is not quite deserted. for entering the dreary hall. but one of broken fortunes. by a well-remembered lane.’ Scrooge said he knew it. and the coach-houses and sheds were over-run with grass.’ said the Ghost. their walls were damp and mossy. neglected by his friends. on the roof. they found them poorly furnished. Nor was it more retentive of its ancient state. and soon approached a mansion of dull red brick. within. and not too much to eat. It opened before them. and their gates decayed.
when yonder solitary child was left here all alone. melancholy room. I know. not the idle swinging of an empty store-house door.A Christmas Carol disclosed a long. and pointed to his younger self.’ and his wild brother. And Valentine. ‘It’s dear old honest Ali Baba. and gave a freer passage to his tears. And what’s his name. Orson. bare. The Spirit touched him on the arm.’ said Scrooge. Poor boy. not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the panelling. in foreign garments: wonderfully real and distinct to look at: stood outside the window. Suddenly a man. and Scrooge sat down upon a form. Yes. there they go. he did come. yes. who 43 of 138 . intent upon his reading. but fell upon the heart of Scrooge with a softening influence. no. made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. not a clicking in the fire. just like that. not a sigh among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar.’ Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy. ‘Why. it’s Ali Baba. One Christmas time. for the first time. At one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire. not a drip from the half-thawed water-spout in the dull yard behind. Not a latent echo in the house. and leading by the bridle an ass laden with wood. and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. with an axe stuck in his belt.
‘Poor boy. would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city. Hoop.’ Then. I’m glad of it. when he came home again after sailing round the island. he called him.’ The man thought he was dreaming. ‘Green body and yellow tail. with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head.’ cried Scrooge. indeed. ‘There’s the Parrot. where have you been. at the Gate of Damascus. there he is. It was the Parrot. Serve him right. Poor Robin Crusoe. Robin Crusoe. What business had he to be married to the Princess. There goes Friday. running for his life to the little creek.’ To hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects. but he wasn’t. there he is upon his head. asleep. and to see his heightened and excited face. ‘Poor Robin Crusoe.’ and cried again. you know. in pity for his former self. don’t you see him. in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying. 44 of 138 . he said. Halloa. with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character. Hallo.A Christmas Carol was put down in his drawers. And the Sultan’s Groom turned upside down by the Genii.
that everything had happened so. and waved its hand: saying as it did so. and the naked laths were shown instead. and with a mournful shaking of his head. ‘Nothing. ‘Nothing.’ Scrooge muttered. and putting her arms about his neck.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘I wish.’ The Ghost smiled thoughtfully. Scrooge knew no more than you do. much younger than the boy. when all the other boys had gone home for the jolly holidays. the windows cracked. that there he was. and the room became a little darker and more dirty.’ Scrooge’s former self grew larger at the words. and looking about him. alone again. glanced anxiously towards the door. He only knew that it was quite correct. came darting in. Scrooge looked at the Ghost. but walking up and down despairingly. It opened. He was not reading now. ‘Let us see another Christmas.’ ‘What is the matter. but how all this was brought about. and 45 of 138 . after drying his eyes with his cuff: ‘but it’s too late now. and a little girl. fragments of plaster fell out of the ceiling.’ asked the Spirit. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something: that’s all. putting his hand in his pocket. The panels shrunk.
there. but first. ‘To bring you home. Father is so much kinder than he used to be. dear brother. Then she began to drag him. ‘Bring down Master Scrooge’s box. A terrible voice in the hall cried. Home. you should. addressed him as her ‘Dear.’ and are never to come back here.’ ‘You are quite a woman. and stood on tiptoe to embrace him. and sent me in a coach to bring you. brimful of glee. little Fan.’ and in the hall appeared the 46 of 138 .’ exclaimed the boy.A Christmas Carol often kissing him. that home’s like Heaven. and bending down to laugh. we’re to be together all the Christmas long. nothing loth to go. He spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed. And you’re to be a man. home. ‘Home. dear brother. for ever and ever. opening her eyes. and he said Yes. and he. and tried to touch his head. home. accompanied her.’ said the child. little Fan.’ returned the boy. towards the door. clapping her tiny hands.’ said the child. and have the merriest time in all the world. She clapped her hands and laughed.’ said the child. that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home. in her childish eagerness. ‘Yes. but being too little. laughed again.’ ‘I have come to bring you home. for good and all.’ ‘Home.
who glared on Master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension. drove gaily down the garden-sweep: the quick wheels dashing the hoar-frost and snow from off the dark leaves of the evergreens like spray. ‘You’re right.’ 47 of 138 . and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time. whom a breath might have withered. Spirit. and getting into it. and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him. ‘Always a delicate creature.’ said the Ghost. I will not gainsay it. where the maps upon the wall. Master Scrooge’s trunk being by this time tied on to the top of the chaise. and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows.A Christmas Carol schoolmaster himself. ‘But she had a large heart. sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of something to the postboy. He then conveyed him and his sister into the veriest old well of a shivering best-parlour that ever was seen.’ ‘So she had. who answered that he thanked the gentleman. were waxy with cold. he had rather not. the children bade the schoolmaster good-bye right willingly. God forbid. Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine.’ cried Scrooge. and a block of curiously heavy cake. but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before.
but it was evening.’ Although they had but that moment left the school behind them.’ ‘One child.’ said the Ghost.’ Scrooge returned. ‘Your nephew. as I think. and the streets were lighted up. It was made plain enough. by the dressing of the shops. Scrooge cried in great excitement: ‘Why. where shadowy passengers passed and repassed. The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door. it’s Fezziwig alive again. and answered briefly.’ They went in. they were now in the busy thoroughfares of a city. and asked Scrooge if he knew it. ‘Know it. it’s old Fezziwig. where shadowy carts and coaches battle for the way. that here too it was Christmas time again. ‘True. ‘Yes. and all the strife and tumult of a real city were.’ 48 of 138 . children.A Christmas Carol ‘She died a woman. sitting behind such a high desk.’ Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind. ‘and had. Bless his heart. At sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig.’ said the Ghost.’ said Scrooge. that if he had been two inches taller he must have knocked his head against the ceiling. ‘I was apprenticed here.
’ You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. adjusted his capacious waistcoat. He rubbed his hands. three — had them up in their places — four. with wonderful agility. Ebenezer. There he is. my boys. 49 of 138 . Christmas. from his shows to his organ of benevolence. rich. nine — and came back before you could have got to twelve.’ said Scrooge to the Ghost. ‘No more work tonight.’ ‘Yo ho.’ Scrooge’s former self. accompanied by his fellow-prentice. dear. now grown a young man. was Dick.’ cried old Fezziwig. ‘Bless me. laughed all over himself. Dick. Christmas Eve. oily.A Christmas Carol Old Fezziwig laid down his pen. and called out in a comfortable. my lads.’ said Fezziwig. ‘Hilli-ho!’ cried old Fezziwig. six — barred them and pinned then — seven. eight. there.’ before a man can say Jack Robinson. which pointed to the hour of seven. to be sure. with a sharp clap of his hands. Poor Dick. two. and looked up at the clock. came briskly in. jovial voice: ‘Yo ho. Dear. Dick. yes. ‘Dick Wilkins. Let’s have the shutters up. Ebenezer. ‘Clear away. They charged into the street with the shutters — one. fat. skipping down from the high desk. five. He was very much attached to me. panting like race-horses.
and warm. who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress. as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night. and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. Dick. Chirrup. and the warehouse was as snug. There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away. beaming and lovable. and bright a ball-room. Hilli-ho. the milkman. and went up to the lofty desk. the baker. Ebenezer. or couldn’t have cleared away. and made an orchestra of it. In came a fiddler with a music-book. Every movable was packed off. who was suspected of not having board enough from his master. It was done in a minute. In came the boy from over the way. the floor was swept and watered. In came the cook. one vast substantial smile. and dry.A Christmas Carol and let’s have lots of room here. with old Fezziwig looking on. In came all the young men and women employed in the business. the lamps were trimmed. In came the housemaid. In they all 50 of 138 .’ Clear away. with her cousin. trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one. with her brother’s particular friend. In came Mrs Fezziwig. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs. fuel was heaped upon the fire.
and there was a great piece of Cold Roast. some gracefully. one after another. and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled. though there were no dancers yet. and there was negus. hands half round and back again the other way. old top couple always turning up in the wrong place. and not a bottom one to help them. and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight. came. or perish. and more dances. when the fiddler (an 51 of 138 . and there were forfeits. in they all came.’ and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter. he instantly began again. and there was cake. especially provided for that purpose. new top couple starting off again. clapping his hands to stop the dance. view. Download the free trial version. some shyly. There were more dances. anyhow and everyhow. as soon as they got there.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. old Fezziwig. down the middle and up again. round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping. some pushing. and plenty of beer. and edit PDF. all top couples at last. twenty couples at once. exhausted. upon his reappearance. cried out. When this result was brought about. some boldly. as if the other fiddler had been carried home. Away they all went.’ Well done. and there were mince-pies. some pulling. on a shutter. some awkwardly. But scorning rest. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled.
and back again to your place. tell me higher. she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. mind.) struck up Sir Roger de Coverley. one on 52 of 138 .’ Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs Fezziwig. too. Top couple. and so would Mrs Fezziwig. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations. You couldn’t have predicted. people who would dance. and had no notion of walking. that he appeared to wink with his legs. As to her. and came upon his feet again without a stagger. what would have become of them next. Fezziwig cut — cut so deftly. both hands to your partner. corkscrew. advance and retire. with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them.A Christmas Carol artful dog. four times — old Fezziwig would have been a match for them. When the clock struck eleven. They shone in every part of the dance like moons. bow and curtsey. three or four and twenty pair of partners. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs Fezziwig had gone all through the dance. and I’ll use it. at any given time. this domestic ball broke up. But if they had been twice as many — ah. The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him. thread-theneedle. people who were not to be trifled with. If that’s not high praise.
It was not until now.’ ‘Small.’ said the Ghost. ‘Why. His heart and soul were in the scene. while the light upon its head burnt very clear. they did the same to them. The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices. that he remembered the Ghost. Is it not. and thus the cheerful voices died away. remembered everything. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. ‘to make these silly folks so full of gratitude. During the whole of this time.’ 53 of 138 . said. when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them. and the lads were left to their beds. and underwent the strangest agitation. and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out. He corroborated everything. Is that so much that he deserves this praise. and became conscious that it was looking full upon him. When everybody had retired but the two prentices.’ echoed Scrooge. Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. which were under a counter in the back-shop. ‘A small matter. and with his former self.A Christmas Carol either side of the door. who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so. enjoyed everything. wished him or her a Merry Christmas.
to make our service light or burdensome.’ asked the Ghost. a pleasure or a toil. self. That’s all. but it produced an immediate effect. The happiness he gives. ‘It isn’t that.’ said Scrooge. restless 54 of 138 . For again Scrooge saw himself. ‘Something. His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years. is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. ‘My time grows short. ‘No. a man in the prime of life.’ His former self turned down the lamps as he gave utterance to the wish.’ This was not addressed to Scrooge. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy. ‘Nothing in particular.’ He felt the Spirit’s glance.’ No.A Christmas Carol ‘It isn’t that. ‘Quick. not his latter. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. and speaking unconsciously like his former. He was older now. but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice. in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then.’ the Ghost insisted. Say that his power lies in words and looks.’ said Scrooge. ‘What is the matter. or to any one whom he could see. There was an eager.’ observed the Spirit. I think. heated by the remark. greedy.’ said Scrooge. and Scrooge and the Ghost again stood side by side in the open air. and stopped. Spirit.
softly.A Christmas Carol motion in the eye.’ ‘This is the even-handed dealing of the world. as I would have tried to do. ‘A golden one. and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall.’ she said.’ she answered. until the masterpassion.’ ‘You fear the world too much. which sparkled in the light that shone out of the Ghost of Christmas Past. which showed the passion that had taken root. engrosses you.’ ‘What then. but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a mourning-dress: in whose eyes there were tears. Gain. Another idol has displaced me. and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth. what then. He was not alone. gently.’ he rejoined. ‘Even if I have grown so much wiser.’ he retorted.’ 55 of 138 . ‘To you. I have no just cause to grieve. ‘All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach. ‘There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty. ‘It matters little.’ he said. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one. Have I not.’ ‘What Idol has displaced you. and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come. very little. I am not changed towards you.
and can release you. we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry. ‘Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are.’ he said impatiently.’ ‘Have I ever sought release.’ 56 of 138 . until.’ ‘Our contract is an old one. Ah. in another atmosphere of life.’ ‘In a changed nature.’ tell me. If this had never been between us. When it was made. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so. In everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight. you were another man. another Hope as its great end.’ said the girl. No. looking mildly. but with steadiness.’ ‘I was a boy. in good season. no.’ she returned. upon him.’ ‘In words. ‘Am I. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart. How often and how keenly I have thought of this. You are changed. ‘I am. in an altered spirit.’ ‘In what. Never.A Christmas Carol She shook her head. then. is fraught with misery now that we are two. It is enough that I have thought of it. I will not say. would you seek me out and try to win me now.
gladly. I know how strong and irresistible it must be. in spite of himself. in your very confidence with her. and I release you.’ You think not.’ ‘I would gladly think otherwise if I could. When I have learned a Truth like this. 57 of 138 . With a full heart.’ She left him. she resumed. But he said with a struggle. but with her head turned from him. May you be happy in the life you have chosen. can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl — you who. I do. yesterday. weigh everything by Gain: or. very brief time. But if you were free to-day.A Christmas Carol He seemed to yield to the justice of this supposition. A very. choosing her. from which it happened well that you awoke. as an unprofitable dream. and they parted. for the love of him you once were. to-morrow. do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow. and you will dismiss the recollection of it. ‘You may — the memory of what is past half makes me hope you will — have pain in this.’ she answered.’ He was about to speak. if for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so. ‘Heaven knows.
’ cried Scrooge. but every child was conducting itself like forty. The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous. until he saw her. they were not forty children conducting themselves like one. sitting opposite her daughter. now a comely matron. not very large or handsome. and. unlike the celebrated herd in the poem.’ exclaimed the Ghost. What would I not have given to one of them. and the latter. Conduct me home. ‘No more. a room.’ But the relentless Ghost pinioned him in both his arms. Though I never could have been so rude. for there were more children there. and forced him to observe what happened next. Why do you delight to torture me. so like that last that Scrooge believed it was the same.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit.’ show me no more. soon beginning to mingle in the sports.’ said Scrooge. the mother and daughter laughed heartily. but no one seemed to care. got pillaged by the young brigands most ruthlessly. but full of comfort.’ ‘One shadow more. The consequences were uproarious beyond belief. Near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl. I don’t wish to see it. than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count. and enjoyed it very much. on the contrary. I wouldn’t for the 58 of 138 . Show me no more. no. ‘No more. They were in another scene and place. no.
bold young brood. and yet to have been man enough to know its value. and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter. and torn it down. Then the shouting and the struggling. who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. despoil him of brown-paper parcels. to have questioned her. an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price: in short. And yet I should have dearly liked. and for the precious little shoe.A Christmas Carol wealth of all the world have crushed that braided hair. that she might have opened them. hug him round his 59 of 138 . hold on tight by his cravat. God bless my soul. and never come straight again. to have had the lightest licence of a child. I do confess. and never raised a blush. I should have liked. I wouldn’t have plucked it off. The scaling him with chairs for ladders to dive into his pockets. But now a knocking at the door was heard. as they did. I own. I should have expected my arm to have grown round it for a punishment. to have touched her lips. to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes. I couldn’t have done it. and such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing face and plundered dress was borne towards it the centre of a flushed and boisterous group. As to measuring her waist in sport. just in time to greet the father. to save my life. to have let loose waves of hair.
and ecstasy. pommel his back. and been a spring-time in the haggard winter of his life.’ said the husband. They are all indescribable alike. sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside. ‘Belle. when the master of the house. having his daughter leaning fondly on him. The joy. and by one stair at a time. glued on a wooden platter. And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever. his sight grew very dim indeed. up to the top of the house. and so subsided.’ ‘Guess. might have called him father. The terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a doll’s frying-pan into his mouth. and kick his legs in irrepressible affection.’ I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. and when he thought that such another creature. where they went to bed.A Christmas Carol neck. and gratitude.’ ‘Who was it. turning to his wife with a smile. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour. and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey. The immense relief of finding this a false alarm.’ 60 of 138 . The shouts of wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received. quite as graceful and as full of promise.
’ ‘Spirit.’ He turned upon the Ghost.’ she added in the same breath.’ I cannot bear it.A Christmas Carol ‘How can I. laughing as he laughed. and as it was not shut up.’ said Scrooge in a broken voice. ‘Leave me. Quite alone in the world.’ said the Ghost.’ ‘Remove me. I passed his office window. Take me back.’ In the struggle. ‘That they are what they are. don’t I know. Haunt me no longer. and there he sat alone. do not blame me. wrestled with it. I do believe. and seeing that it looked upon him with a face. Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright. if that can be called a struggle in which the Ghost with no visible resistance on its own part was undisturbed by any effort of its adversary. I hear.’ Scrooge exclaimed. I could scarcely help seeing him. His partner lies upon the point of death. Tut. in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him.’ ‘Mr Scrooge it was. and he had a candle inside.’ ‘I told you these were shadows of the things that have been. and dimly connecting that with its influence over him.’ remove me from this place. ‘Mr Scrooge. he 61 of 138 .
He was conscious of being exhausted. He gave the cap a parting squeeze. and. in which his hand relaxed.A Christmas Carol seized the extinguisher-cap. and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness. he could not hide the light. The Spirit dropped beneath it. and had barely time to reel to bed. which streamed from under it. before he sank into a heavy sleep. of being in his own bedroom. further. but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force. and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head. in an unbroken flood upon the ground. so that the extinguisher covered its whole form. 62 of 138 .
and being usually equal to the time-of-day. between which opposite extremes. But.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. finding that he turned uncomfortably cold when he began to wonder which of his curtains this new spectre would draw back. who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two. and edit PDF. Scrooge had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of One. For. established a sharp look-out all round the bed. no 63 of 138 . he put them every one aside with his own hands. for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley’s intervention. Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort. view. and made nervous. and did not wish to be taken by surprise. and lying down again. he wished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of its appearance. Download the free trial version. express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter. He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time. Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore. and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together.
was more alarming than a dozen ghosts. being prepared for almost anything. ten minutes. being only light. however. and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion. when the Bell struck One. he lay upon his bed. and that nothing between a baby and rhinoceros would have astonished him very much.A Christmas Carol doubt. and. Now. he was not by any means prepared for nothing. At last. without having the consolation of knowing it. for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it. and no shape appeared. and would unquestionably have done it too — at last. there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects. a quarter of an hour went by. the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light. Without venturing for Scrooge quite as hardily as this. he was taken with a violent fit of trembling. and which. All this time. consequently. which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour. he began to think — as you or I would have thought at first. I say. or would be at. Five minutes. yet nothing came. as he was powerless to make out what it meant. I don’t mind calling on you to believe that he was ready for a good broad field of strange appearances. he began to think that the source and secret of this 64 of 138 .
and seething bowls of punch. barrels of oysters. on further tracing it. He obeyed. long wreaths of sausages. The crisp leaves of holly. mince-pies. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. and ivy reflected back the light. brawn. to form a kind of throne. he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door. great joints of meat. or Marley’s.A Christmas Carol ghostly light might be in the adjoining room. game. immense twelfth-cakes. juicy oranges. This idea taking full possession of his mind. Heaped up on the floor. cherry-cheeked apples. luscious pears. that it looked a perfect grove. or for many and many a winter season gone. There was no doubt about that. plum-puddings. sucking-pigs. mistletoe. that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. poultry. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green. were turkeys. In easy 65 of 138 . it seemed to shine. red-hot chestnuts. as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time. The moment Scrooge’s hand was on the lock. as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there. from whence. a strange voice called him by his name. and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney. It was his own room. bright gleaming berries glistened. from every part of which. geese. and bade him enter.
’ exclaimed the Ghost. its unconstrained demeanour. and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath. as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. high up. or mantle. to shed its light on Scrooge. bordered with white fur. that its capacious breast was bare.’ said the Spirit. there sat a jolly Giant. were also bare. and held it up. and its joyful air. set here and there with shining icicles.A Christmas Carol state upon this couch. He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been. its sparkling eye. free as its genial face. and know me better. Its dark brown curls were long and free. observable beneath the ample folds of the garment. glorious to see.’ Scrooge entered timidly. It was clothed in one simple green robe. ‘Come in. Its feet. he did not like to meet them.’ Scrooge reverently did so. and though the Spirit’s eyes were clear and kind. ‘Look upon me. as he came peeping round the door. and hung his head before this Spirit. its cheery voice. man. This garment hung so loosely on the figure. ‘Come in. who bore a glowing torch. Girded round its middle was an antique 66 of 138 . in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn. its open hand. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Present.
’ said Scrooge. Spirit.’ Scrooge did as he was told. The Ghost of Christmas Present rose. brawn.’ muttered Scrooge.’ pursued the Phantom. ‘Spirit. the ruddy glow. fruit. sausages. ‘A tremendous family to provide for.’ conduct me where you will.’ Scrooge made answer to it. and punch. all vanished instantly. the hour of night. geese. To-night.’ exclaimed the Spirit. So did the room. puddings. turkeys. ivy. let me profit by it. and held it fast.’ said the Ghost. ‘Have never walked forth with the younger members of my family. ‘You have never seen the like of me before.A Christmas Carol scabbard. meaning (for I am very young) my elder brothers born in these later years.’ ‘Touch my robe. and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.’ said Scrooge submissively. red berries. Holly. ‘I am afraid I have not. but no sword was in it. pigs. mistletoe. if you have aught to teach me. ‘Never. and I learnt a lesson which is working now. poultry. the fire. meat.’ ‘More than eighteen hundred. Have you had many brothers. oysters. ‘I don’t think I have. I went forth last night on compulsion. game. pies. and 67 of 138 .
hard to trace in the thick yellow mud and icy water.A Christmas Carol they stood in the city streets on Christmas morning. but brisk and not unpleasant kind of music. in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of their dwellings. which last deposit had been ploughed up in deep furrows by the heavy wheels of carts and waggons. where (for the weather was severe) the people made a rough. and with the dirtier snow upon the ground. contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs. half frozen. and yet was there an air of cheerfulness abroad that the clearest summer air and 68 of 138 . half thawed. and from the tops of their houses. as if all the chimneys in Great Britain had. by one consent. There was nothing very cheerful in the climate or the town. and the shortest streets were choked up with a dingy mist. The house fronts looked black enough. and the windows blacker. The sky was gloomy. furrows that crossed and recrossed each other hundreds of times where the great streets branched off. whose heavier particles descended in shower of sooty atoms. and made intricate channels. caught fire. whence it was mad delight to the boys to see it come plumping down into the road below. and were blazing away to their dear hearts’ content. and splitting into artificial little snow-storms.
round. and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by. in their fragrance.A Christmas Carol brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain. The poulterers’ shops were still half open. and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball — better-natured missile far than many a wordy jest — laughing heartily if it went right and not less heartily if it went wrong. clustered high in blooming pyramids. shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen. and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts. round. that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed. There were ruddy. lolling at the doors. made. in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks. mossy and brown. There were great. there were piles of filberts. and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. For. broad-girthed Spanish onions. the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee. and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. There were pears and apples. shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars. there were bunches of grapes. recalling. ancient walks among the woods. and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through 69 of 138 . calling out to one another from the parapets. brown-faced.
and. in the great compactness of their juicy persons. nearly closed. and. the almonds so extremely white. there were Norfolk Biffins. the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight. or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose. or that the French plums blushed in 70 of 138 . appeared to know that there was something going on. to a fish. set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl. or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly. with perhaps two shutters down. squab and swarthy. Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy. went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement. or one. setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons. the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. the other spices so delicious.A Christmas Carol withered leaves. or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks. It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound. urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare. oh the Grocers’. The very gold and silver fish. but through those gaps such glimpses. though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race. The Grocers’.
The sight of these poor revellers appeared to interest the Spirit very much. sprinkled incense on their dinners from his torch. but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day. in the best humour possible. while the Grocer and his people were so frank and fresh that the polished hearts with which they fastened their aprons behind might have been their own. and left their purchases upon the counter. and taking off the covers as their bearers passed. And at the same time there emerged from scores of byestreets. and away they came. innumerable people. that they tumbled up against each other at the door. to church and chapel. and nameless turnings. worn outside for general inspection. carrying their dinners to the baker’ shops. But soon the steeples called good people all. flocking through the streets in their best clothes. and came running back to fetch them. or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress. and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose. And it was a very uncommon kind of torch. for once or twice 71 of 138 .A Christmas Carol modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes. and committed hundreds of the like mistakes. lanes. crashing their wicker baskets wildly. for he stood with Scrooge beside him in a baker’s doorway. and with their gayest faces.
‘To any kindly given. in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker’s oven. and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking.A Christmas Carol when there were angry words between some dinnercarriers who had jostled each other. it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day.’ ‘I. My own. and the bakers were shut up. God love it. so it was.’ cried the Spirit. To a poor one most. where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too. of all the beings in the many worlds about us. he shed a few drops of water on them from it. For they said.’ asked Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment.’ asked Scrooge.’ ‘Spirit. And so it was. after a moment’s thought.’ asked Scrooge. In time the bells ceased. ‘There is.’ I wonder you. ‘Is there a peculiar flavour in what you sprinkle from your torch.’ ‘Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day. ‘Because it needs it most.’ ‘Why to a poor one most. and their good humour was restored directly. 72 of 138 .
’ said Scrooge.’ cried the Spirit. and selfishness in our name.’ said Scrooge.’ Scrooge promised that he would. envy. pride.’ exclaimed the Spirit. bigotry.’ returned the Spirit.’ said Scrooge. as it was possible he could have done in any lofty hall. and who do their deeds of passion. often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all. ‘There are some upon this earth of yours. into the suburbs of the town. It has been done in your name. not us. or at least in that of your family. Remember that. 73 of 138 . and that he stood beneath a low roof quite as gracefully and like a supernatural creature. hatred. who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin. invisible. and charge their doings on themselves. ill-will. ‘Wouldn’t you. It was a remarkable quality of the Ghost (which Scrooge had observed at the baker’s). ‘And it comes to the same thing. he could accommodate himself to any place with ease.’ ‘I seek. as if they had never lived. as they had been before. that notwithstanding his gigantic size. and they went on.A Christmas Carol ‘You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day. ‘Forgive me if I am wrong. ‘You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day.’ who lay claim to know us.’ ‘I.
conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day) into his mouth. and getting the corners of his monstrous shirt collar (Bob’s private property. and yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house. holding to his robe. Cratchit’s wife.A Christmas Carol And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his. and took Scrooge with him. boy and girl. and known it for their 74 of 138 . came tearing in. that led him straight to Scrooge’s clerk’s. Think of that. and his sympathy with all poor men. And now two smaller Cratchits. for there he went. hearty nature. assisted by Belinda Cratchit. also brave in ribbons. and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled. rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired. screaming that outside the baker’s they had smelt the goose. generous. and yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks. he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name. and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit’s dwelling with the sprinkling of his torch. second of her daughters. but brave in ribbons. dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown. or else it was his own kind. which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence. and she laid the cloth. Bob had but fifteen bob a-week himself. while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes. Then up rose Mrs Cratchit.
’ said Mrs Cratchit. And Martha warn’t as late last Christmas Day by half-an-hour. my dear. There’s father coming.’ said Mrs Cratchit.’ cried the two young Cratchits.’ ‘Well. view. Martha. mother. Martha.’ replied the girl. Download the free trial version. who were everywhere at once.’ ‘Why. Lord bless ye. while he (not proud. kissing her a dozen times. and have a warm. ‘Here’s Martha. ‘And your brother.’ said Mrs Cratchit. bless your heart alive. ‘We’d a deal of work to finish up last night. ‘Hurrah. and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion. these young Cratchits danced about the table.’ ‘Here’s Martha. own. Tiny Tim. and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies. and edit PDF. although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire.’ cried the two young Cratchits. mother.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create.’ 75 of 138 . ‘Sit ye down before the fire. ‘Hide. and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with officious zeal.’ said a girl. There’s such a goose. until the slow potatoes bubbling up.’ ‘No. knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled. my dear. no. Never mind so long as you are come. appearing as she spoke. ‘What has ever got your precious father then.’ and had to clear away this morning. mother. how late you are. hide.
‘Not coming. and in came little Bob. and thinks the 76 of 138 . while the two young Cratchits hustled Tiny Tim. and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. ‘And how did little Tim behave. ‘Not coming. ‘Why.’ said Bob.’ Martha didn’t like to see him disappointed. the father.’ said Bob. if it were only in joke. and ran into his arms. to look seasonable.’ cried Bob Cratchit.’ and better. that he might hear the pudding singing in the copper. sitting by himself so much. he bore a little crutch. looking round. when she had rallied Bob on his credulity. ‘As good as gold. where’s our Martha. for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church. hanging down before him. and had come home rampant. so she came out prematurely from behind the closet door. ‘Not coming upon Christmas Day. and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed. with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe. with a sudden declension in his high spirits. and bore him off into the wash-house. asked Mrs Cratchit.A Christmas Carol So Martha hid herself. and had his limbs supported by an iron frame. and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content. Alas for Tiny Tim.’ said Mrs Cratchit. Somehow he gets thoughtful.
coming home. that he hoped the people saw him in the church. with which they soon returned in high procession. and stirred it round and round and put it on the hob to simmer. and while Bob. Such a bustle ensued that you might have thought a goose the rarest of all birds. Master Peter. Master Peter mashed the potatoes with 77 of 138 . and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day.’ Bob’s voice was tremulous when he told them this. His active little crutch was heard upon the floor. because he was a cripple. who made lame beggars walk. a feathered phenomenon. and blind men see. and back came Tiny Tim before another word was spoken. they were capable of being made more shabby — compounded some hot mixture in a jug with gin and lemons. escorted by his brother and sister to his stool before the fire.A Christmas Carol strangest things you ever heard. and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits went to fetch the goose. poor fellow. turning up his cuffs — as if. to which a black swan was a matter of course — and in truth it was something very like it in that house. He told me. and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty. Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot.
size and cheapness. and even Tiny Tim. and grace was said. At last the dishes were set on. one murmur of delight arose all round the board.A Christmas Carol incredible vigour. crammed spoons into their mouths. Miss Belinda sweetened up the applesauce. beat on the table with the handle of his knife. prepared to plunge it in the breast. indeed. looking slowly all along the carving-knife. were steeped in sage and 78 of 138 . it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family. not forgetting themselves. and feebly cried Hurrah. lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped. excited by the two young Cratchits. and the youngest Cratchits in particular. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes. as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish). There never was such a goose. Yet every one had had enough. as Mrs Cratchit. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. they hadn’t ate it all at last. and when the long expected gush of stuffing issued forth. It was succeeded by a breathless pause. and mounting guard upon their posts. Martha dusted the hot plates. were the themes of universal admiration. Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table. but when she did. Its tenderness and flavour. the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody.
All sorts of horrors were supposed. Hallo. and calmly too. blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy. while they were merry with the goose — a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid. she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity 79 of 138 . a wonderful pudding. but smiling proudly — with the pudding. Oh. like a speckled cannon-ball. so hard and firm. The pudding was out of the copper. that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other.A Christmas Carol onion to the eyebrows. But now. A great deal of steam. the plates being changed by Miss Belinda. That was the pudding. That was the cloth. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed. with a laundress’s next door to that. and stolen it. A smell like a washing-day. Suppose it should break in turning out. Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard. Suppose it should not be done enough. and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top. Mrs Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind. Bob Cratchit said. Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in.
’ Which all the family re-echoed. Everybody had something to say about it. He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. and considered perfect. and the fire made up. Then Bob proposed: ‘A Merry Christmas to us all. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth. my dears. It would have been flat heresy to do so. and Bob served it out with beaming looks. apples and oranges were put upon the table. and wished to keep him by his side. At last the dinner was all done. the cloth was cleared.’ said Tiny Tim. 80 of 138 . These held the hot stuff from the jug.A Christmas Carol of flour. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing. Bob held his withered little hand in his. the last of all. meaning half a one. as if he loved the child. in what Bob Cratchit called a circle. and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire. ‘God bless us every one. however. and a custard-cup without a handle. and dreaded that he might be taken from him. God bless us. while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. Two tumblers. the hearth swept. and at Bob Cratchit’s elbow stood the family display of glass. but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. as well as golden goblets would have done. The compound in the jug being tasted.
not adamant.’ returned the Ghost. to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust. that in the sight of Heaven. carefully preserved. no. kind Spirit. the child will die. and Where it is.’ ‘I see a vacant seat. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. what men shall die.’ 81 of 138 . ‘Man. he had better do it. It may be. What then.’ said Scrooge. ‘if man you be in heart.’ replied the Ghost. and was overcome with penitence and grief.’ said the Ghost. no.’ Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit. say he will be spared. and decrease the surplus population. you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child.’ ‘No. Will you decide what men shall live. ‘tell me if Tiny Tim will live. none other of my race. If he be like to die. ‘will find him here.’ ‘If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. Oh God.’ said Scrooge. ‘in the poor chimney-corner. forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit. with an interest he had never felt before. and a crutch without an owner. ‘Oh.
’ ‘It should be Christmas Day.’ ‘My dear.’ ‘I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s. Nobody knows it better than you do. ‘I wish I had him here. Christmas Day. A merry Christmas and a happy new year. the Founder of the Feast. Tiny Tim drank it last of all. unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge.’ said Bob.’ was Bob’s mild answer. ‘Christmas Day. I have no doubt. ‘I’ll give you Mr Scrooge. on hearing his own name.’ said Bob. He’ll be very merry and very happy. and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it.’ said she.’ ‘My dear.’ cried Mrs Cratchit. I am sure. hard.’ The children drank the toast after her. poor fellow. It was the first of their proceedings which had no heartiness. stingy. Scrooge was the Ogre of the family. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon. but he didn’t care twopence for it.’ said Mrs Cratchit. But he raised them speedily. You know he is.A Christmas Carol Scrooge bent before the Ghost’s rebuke. ‘not for his. The mention of his 82 of 138 . Robert. and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground. ‘Mr Scrooge.’ ‘The Founder of the Feast indeed. ‘on which one drinks the health of such an odious. reddening. ‘the children. Long life to him.
After it had passed away. at which Peter pulled up his collars so high that you couldn’t have seen his head if you had been there. they were ten times merrier than before. and how the lord was much about as tall as Peter. who was a poor apprentice at a milliner’s. and how she meant to lie abed to-morrow morning for a good long rest. to-morrow being a holiday she passed at home. Also how she had seen a countess and a lord some days before. as if he were deliberating what particular investments he should favour when he came into the receipt of that bewildering income. and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars. Martha. about a lost child travelling in the 83 of 138 . full five-and-sixpence weekly. All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round. The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter’s being a man of business. and by-andbye they had a song. which was not dispelled for full five minutes. Bob Cratchit told them how he had a situation in his eye for Master Peter. and how many hours she worked at a stretch. if obtained. from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with. then told them what kind of work she had to do. which would bring in.A Christmas Carol name cast a dark shadow on the party.
the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens. and be the first to greet them.A Christmas Carol snow. who had a plaintive little voice. the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner. and contented with the time. were shadows on the windowblind of guests assembling. and especially on Tiny Tim. they were happy. and looked happier yet in the bright sprinklings of the Spirit’s torch at parting. and as Scrooge and the Spirit went along the streets. and deep red curtains. and when they faded. parlours. they were not well dressed. grateful. brothers. There all the children of the house were running out into the snow to meet their married sisters. There was nothing of high mark in this. cousins. aunts. and very likely did. and sang it very well indeed. and snowing pretty heavily. the inside of a pawnbroker’s. uncles. and all sorts of rooms. and Peter might have known. their shoes were far from being water-proof. Here. with hot plates baking through and through before the fire. was wonderful. Scrooge had his eye upon them. But. their clothes were scanty. from Tiny Tim. They were not a handsome family. pleased with one another. again. until the last. By this time it was getting dark. ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness. Here. and there a group of handsome 84 of 138 .
and who was dressed to spend the evening somewhere. How it bared its breadth of breast. without a word of warning from the Ghost. who ran on before. Blessings on it. they stood upon a bleak and desert moor. with a generous hand. But. but for the frost that held it prisoner. And now. as though it were the burial-place of giants. instead of every house expecting company. and water spread itself wheresoever it listed. woe upon the single man who saw them enter — artful witches. and piling up its fires half-chimney high. all hooded and fur-booted. and opened its capacious palm. where. and nothing grew but moss and 85 of 138 . and all chattering at once. outpouring. where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about. tripped lightly off to some near neighbour’s house. though little kenned the lamplighter that he had any company but Christmas. laughed out loudly as the Spirit passed. and floated on. The very lamplighter.A Christmas Carol girls. its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach. or would have done so. how the Ghost exulted. if you had judged from the numbers of people on their way to friendly gatherings. dotting the dusky street with specks of light. you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there. well they knew it — in a glow.
they found a cheerful company assembled round a glowing fire. old man and woman. and another generation beyond that. and so surely as they stopped. was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night. in a voice that seldom rose above the howling of the wind upon the barren waste. Passing through the wall of mud and stone. The old man. and frowning lower. Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red. The Spirit did not tarry here. his vigour sank again. sped — whither. ‘A place where Miners live.’ asked Scrooge. the old man got quite blithe and loud. ‘What place is this. So surely as they raised their voices.’ returned the Spirit. and coarse rank grass. An old.A Christmas Carol furze. See. which glared upon the desolation for an instant. and passing on above the moor. was singing them a Christmas song — it had been a very old song when he was a boy — and from time to time they all joined in the chorus. and swiftly they advanced towards it. but bade Scrooge hold his robe. lower yet. all decked out gaily in their holiday attire. like a sullen eye. ‘But they know me.’ A light shone from the window of a hut. 86 of 138 . who labour in the bowels of the earth. lower. with their children and their children’s children.
on which the waters chafed and dashed. To Scrooge’s horror. some league or so from shore. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base. and edit PDF. and storm-birds — born of the wind one might suppose. Not to sea. as sea-weed of the water — rose and fell about it. with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather. a frightful range of rocks. Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks. Again the Ghost sped on. being far away. as he told Scrooge. and one of them: the elder. two men who watched the light had made a fire.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. there stood a solitary lighthouse. too. on — until. as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself. 87 of 138 . Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat. above the black and heaving sea — on. But even here. view. and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water. that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. as it rolled and roared. Download the free trial version. they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog. behind them. looking back. he saw the last of the land. and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn. like the waves they skimmed. and fiercely tried to undermine the earth. To sea. the wild year through.
with homeward hopes belonging to it. dark. while listening to the moaning of the wind. waking or sleeping.A Christmas Carol from any shore. and had known that they delighted to remember him. or had a Christmas thought. ghostly figures in their several stations. ‘Ha. but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune. good or bad. ‘Ha. the officers who had the watch. had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year. while thus engaged. whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel.’ 88 of 138 . or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day. It was a great surprise to Scrooge. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright. gleaming room. and had remembered those he cared for at a distance. and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss. with the Spirit standing smiling by his side. and had shared to some extent in its festivities.’ laughed Scrooge’s nephew. And every man on board. the look-out in the bow. to hear a hearty laugh. they lighted on a ship. ha. ha. dry. ha. and looking at that same nephew with approving affability.
With a dimpled. that while there is infection in disease and sorrow. they never do anything by halves. by any unlikely chance. and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece. by marriage. ‘Ha. there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. and the 89 of 138 . Introduce him to me. Bless those women. that melted into one another when she laughed.’ ‘He said that Christmas was a humbug. surprised-looking. ha. and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew. Fred.A Christmas Carol If you should happen.’ said Scrooge’s niece. ha. ha. even-handed. They are always in earnest. roared out lustily. indignantly. all I can say is. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand. It is a fair. all kinds of good little dots about her chin. that seemed made to be kissed — as no doubt it was. I should like to know him too. ‘He believed it too. capital face. ha. noble adjustment of things. She was very pretty: exceedingly pretty. Ha. as I live.’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. rolling his head. laughed as heartily as he. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides. a ripe little mouth.’ ‘More shame for him.
Everybody else said the same. Himself. However.’ that’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be. He don’t do any good with it. expressed the same opinion.’ interrupted Scrooge’s niece. and he won’t come and dine with us. Fred. and I have nothing to say against him. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking — ha. ha. ha.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. What’s the consequence.A Christmas Carol sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little creature’s head.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. ‘His wealth is of no use to him. — that he is ever going to benefit us with it.’ ‘I’m sure he is very rich.’ hinted Scrooge’s niece. He don’t lose much of a dinner. Here. Who suffers by his ill whims. but satisfactory. my dear. I think he loses a very good dinner. and all the other ladies. I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. always. ‘Oh. his offences carry their own punishment. ‘At least you always tell me so. ‘I am sorry for him. Altogether she was what you would have called provoking.’ ‘Indeed. He don’t make himself comfortable with it.’ observed Scrooge’s niece. I have. Scrooge’s niece’s sisters.’ ‘I have no patience with him.’ ‘What of that. you know. 90 of 138 .’ said Scrooge’s nephew. he takes it into his head to dislike us. ‘He’s a comical old fellow.
though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar.’ Topper had clearly got his eye upon one of Scrooge’s niece’s sisters. and as it was impossible to keep the infection off. which could do him no harm. He is such a ridiculous fellow. I’m very glad to hear it.’ said Scrooge’s niece.’ Scrooge’s nephew revelled in another laugh. with the dessert upon the table. Topper.’ that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us. ‘I was only going to say. ‘because I haven’t great faith in these young housekeepers. I am 91 of 138 . ‘Do go on. ‘Well. his example was unanimously followed.A Christmas Carol and they must be allowed to have been competent judges. because they had just had dinner. is. clapping her hands. as I think. Whereat Scrooge’s niece’s sister — the plump one with the lace tucker: not the one with the roses — blushed. were clustered round the fire. What do you say. and.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. and not making merry with us. that he loses some pleasant moments. for he answered that a bachelor was a wretched outcast. Fred. who had no right to express an opinion on the subject.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. by lamplight. ‘He never finishes what he begins to say.
A Christmas Carol sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts. and knew what they were about. He may rail at Christmas till he dies. but he can’t help thinking better of it — I defy him — if he finds me going there. when they sung a Glee or Catch.’ It was their turn to laugh now at the notion of his shaking Scrooge. For they were a musical family. or get red in the face over it. Scrooge’s niece played well upon the harp. and played among other tunes a simple little air (a mere nothing: you might learn to whistle it in two minutes). I can assure you: especially Topper. But being thoroughly good-natured. they had some music. either in his mouldy old office. year after year. who could growl away in the bass like a good one. which had been familiar to the child who 92 of 138 . and never swell the large veins in his forehead. and saying Uncle Scrooge. in good temper. he encouraged them in their merriment. so that they laughed at any rate. and not much caring what they laughed at. whether he likes it or not. I mean to give him the same chance every year. If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds. for I pity him. and I think I shook him yesterday. and passed the bottle joyously. After tea. or his dusty chambers. that’s something. how are you.
and thought that if he could have listened to it often. and never better than at Christmas. years ago. When this strain of music sounded. Stop. when its mighty Founder was a child himself. for it is good to be children sometimes. he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands. on 93 of 138 . Knocking down the fire-irons. all the things that Ghost had shown him. tumbling over the chairs. If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did). He always knew where the plump sister was. He wouldn’t catch anybody else. My opinion is. without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley. smothering himself among the curtains. he softened more and more. was an outrage on the credulity of human nature.A Christmas Carol fetched Scrooge from the boarding-school. wherever she went. But they didn’t devote the whole evening to music. that it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew. And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots. bumping against the piano. and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it. came upon his mind. After a while they played at forfeits. The way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker. There was first a game at blind-man’s buff. Of course there was. there went he. as he had been reminded by the Ghost of Christmas Past.
and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister. beat her sisters hollow: though they 94 of 138 . and to the secret joy of Scrooge’s nephew. and a certain chain about her neck. where the Ghost and Scrooge were close behind her. For his pretending not to know her. She often cried out that it wasn’t fair. he got her into a corner whence there was no escape. he would have made a feint of endeavouring to seize you. But she joined in the forfeits. another blind-man being in office. and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger. his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress. he caught her. Scrooge’s niece was not one of the blind-man’s buff party. when.A Christmas Carol purpose. in spite of all her silken rustlings. and it really was not. when. was vile. No doubt she told him her opinion of it. but was made comfortable with a large chair and a footstool. But when at last. they were so very confidential together. behind the curtains. she was very great. then his conduct was the most execrable. When. which would have been an affront to your understanding. Likewise at the game of How. monstrous. and her rapid flutterings past him. and Where. in a snug corner. and loved her love to admiration with all the letters of the alphabet.
he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud. best Whitechapel. only one. as the case was. ‘Here is a new game. for the sharpest needle. and wasn’t made a show of. for. and walked about the streets. but they all played. There might have been twenty people there. a live animal. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed. and looked upon him with such favour. and lived in London. and very often guessed quite right. where Scrooge’s nephew had to think of something. blunt as he took it in his head to be. young and old. and so did Scrooge. and talked sometimes. Spirit. warranted not to cut in the eye. that his voice made no sound in their ears. rather a disagreeable animal.’ It was a Game called Yes and No. he only answering to their questions yes or no. an animal that growled and grunted sometimes. and wasn’t 95 of 138 . too. wholly forgetting the interest he had in what was going on. The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him in this mood. ‘One half hour. a savage animal. that he begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guests departed.A Christmas Carol were sharp girls too. But this the Spirit said could not be done.’ said Scrooge. as could have told you. elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal. and the rest must find out what. was not sharper than Scrooge.
Uncle Scrooge. ‘It’s your Uncle Scrooge. falling into a similar state. or a dog. or a tiger.’ and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health.’ ought to have been ‘Yes. At last the plump sister.‘‘ ‘Well.’ they cried. ‘Uncle Scrooge. and was not a horse. and was so inexpressibly tickled. though some objected that the reply to ‘Is it a bear. I know what it is. I know what it is. 96 of 138 .A Christmas Carol led by anybody. or a cat. or a cow. this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter.’ said Fred. supposing they had ever had any tendency that way. Admiration was the universal sentiment. and I say. Fred. or a pig. and was never killed in a market. or a bear. or an ass. ‘He has given us plenty of merriment. cried out: ‘I have found it out. I am sure. that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp. At every fresh question that was put to him.’ ‘What is it.’ cried Fred.’ inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge. and didn’t live in a menagerie.’ Which it certainly was. or a bull. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment.
and far they went. Uncle Scrooge. by struggling men. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew. and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels. whatever he is. Much they saw. too. and thanked them in an inaudible speech. and they were cheerful. In almshouse. but Scrooge had his doubts of this.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. that while Scrooge 97 of 138 . where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out. nevertheless. and jail. but always with a happy end. hospital.A Christmas Carol ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man. ‘He wouldn’t take it from me. It was strange. but may he have it. The Spirit stood beside sick beds. because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. and they were close at home. on foreign lands. that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return. It was a long night. in misery’s every refuge. he left his blessing. by poverty. and it was rich. if the Ghost had given him time.’ Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart. and they were patient in their greater hope. if it were only a night. and taught Scrooge his precepts. and many homes they visited.
‘My life upon this globe. wretched. is very brief. until they left a children’s Twelfth Night party.’ From the foldings of its robe.A Christmas Carol remained unaltered in his outward form. hideous. Hark. it brought two children. abject. when.’ asked Scrooge. but never spoke of it. looking intently at the Spirit’s robe. ‘It ends to-night.’ replied the Ghost. 98 of 138 . and not belonging to yourself. for the flesh there is upon it.’ ‘To-night.’ The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.’ ‘It might be a claw. Scrooge had observed this change. ‘Look here. They knelt down at its feet. the Ghost grew older. Is it a foot or a claw. ‘Are spirits’ lives so short. looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place. ‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask.’ was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. ‘To-night at midnight. miserable. clearly older.’ cried Scrooge. The time is drawing near. he noticed that its hair was grey. and clung upon the outside of its garment.’ but I see something strange. protruding from your skirts. frightful.’ said Scrooge.
‘They are Man’s. and pulled them into shreds.’ exclaimed the Ghost. Where angels might have sat enthroned. no degradation. appalled. This boy is Ignorance. down here. he tried to say they were fine children. look here.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. but the words choked themselves. This girl is Want. and edit PDF. ‘Oh. ragged. appealing from their fathers. are they yours. No change. but most of all beware this boy.’ cried the Spirit. in their humility. Man. They were a boy and a girl. had pinched. 99 of 138 . unless the writing be erased. ‘Spirit. rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. Yellow. no perversion of humanity. and all of their degree. meagre. Scrooge started back. Download the free trial version. scowling. for on his brow I see that written which is Doom. like that of age. has monsters half so horrible and dread.’ said the Spirit. Deny it. a stale and shrivelled hand. and glared out menacing. and touched them with its freshest tints. too. devils lurked. look. Beware them both.’ Scrooge could say no more. and twisted them. through all the mysteries of wonderful creation. view. in any grade. wolfish. Look. Having them shown to him in this way. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out. looking down upon them. but prostrate. ‘And they cling to me.
’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource. he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley. draped and hooded. and saw it not. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate. towards him. 100 of 138 . Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost. like a mist along the ground. turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no prisons.A Christmas Carol stretching out its hand towards the city. Admit it for your factious purposes. beheld a solemn Phantom. And abide the end. and make it worse.’ The bell struck twelve. ‘Slander those who tell it ye. coming.’ said the Spirit. and lifting up his eyes. ‘Are there no workhouses.’ cried Scrooge.
It was shrouded in a deep black garment. but pointed onward with its hand. its face. silently approached. ‘You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened. for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved. He knew no more.’ said Scrooge. but will happen in the time before us. Spirit. and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. When it came. its form. and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. The Spirit answered not.’ 101 of 138 . which concealed its head. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night. Scrooge bent down upon his knee. for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. ‘Is that so. ‘I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. gravely. He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him. and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.A Christmas Carol Stave 4: The Last of the Spirits The Phantom slowly.’ Scrooge pursued.
It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror. while he. 102 of 138 . and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was. as if the Spirit had inclined its head. That was the only answer he received. Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him. ‘Ghost of the Future.A Christmas Carol The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds. I am prepared to bear you company. and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it. though he stretched his own to the utmost. But as I know your purpose is to do me good. The Spirit pauses a moment. to know that behind the dusky shroud.’ It gave him no reply. and giving him time to recover. as observing his condition. But Scrooge was all the worse for this.’ I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. Although well used to ghostly company by this time.’ he exclaimed. Will you not speak to me. could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black. there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him. and do it with a thankful heart. The hand was pointed straight before them.
in the heart of it. who hurried up and down. and so forth. he thought. Scrooge followed in the shadow of its dress. which bore him up. amongst the merchants. and it is precious time to me. Spirit. The night is waning fast. and conversed in groups.A Christmas Carol ‘Lead on.’ said Scrooge. on Change. as Scrooge had seen them often. and looked at their watches.’ said a great fat man with a monstrous chin. ‘No.’ The Phantom moved away as it had come towards him. But there they were. Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk. and trifled thoughtfully with their great gold seals. ‘Last night. and encompass them of its own act. and carried him along. and chinked the money in their pockets. I only know he’s dead.’ inquired another.’ I don’t know much about it. I believe. Observing that the hand was pointed to them. ‘Lead on. either way. for the city rather seemed to spring up about them. The Spirit stopped beside one little knot of business men. I know.’ ‘When did he die. Lead on.’ 103 of 138 . They scarcely seemed to enter the city.
’ observed the gentleman with the excrescence on his nose. for we used to stop and speak whenever we met. Bye.’ said the first speaker.A Christmas Carol ‘Why. When I come to think of it. taking a vast quantity of snuff out of a very large snuffbox. if I make one. But I’ll offer to go. ‘But I must be fed.’ Another laugh. ‘Well. ‘It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral.’ for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it.’ asked a red-faced gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end of his nose.’ asked a third.’ for I never wear black gloves. He hasn’t left it to me.’ said the first.’ said the man with the large chin. I’m not at all sure that I wasn’t his most particular friend. and I never eat lunch. after all. I am the most disinterested among you. That’s all I know. if anybody else will. with a yawn. ‘Left it to his company. that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer.’ This pleasantry was received with a general laugh.’ 104 of 138 . bye.’ ‘God knows. perhaps. ‘I haven’t heard. what was the matter with him. yawning again.’ said the same speaker. ‘What has he done with his money. ‘I thought he’d never die.’ ‘I don’t mind going if a lunch is provided.
’ ‘No. ‘Cold.’ said the first.A Christmas Carol Speakers and listeners strolled away.’ ‘So I am told. Its finger pointed to two persons meeting. also. their conversation. Good morning.’ ‘Seasonable for Christmas time. No. perfectly. You’re not a skater.’ Not another word. ‘Well. Scrooge knew the men. I suppose. Scrooge listened again. and their parting. Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial. and mixed with other groups. The Phantom glided on into a street.’ said one. ‘How are you.’ returned the second. ‘Old Scratch has got his own at last. and looked towards the Spirit for an explanation. He knew these men. ‘How are you.’ returned the other. They were men of aye business: very wealthy. isn’t it. strictly in a business point of view. Something else to think of. hey. but feeling assured that they must 105 of 138 . He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view. That was their meeting. that is. and of great importance. thinking that the explanation might lie here.
But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. It gave him little surprise. however. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. 106 of 138 . and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared.A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. his old partner. he fancied from the turn of the hand. with its outstretched hand. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. He looked about in that very place for his own image. They could scarcely be supposed to have any bearing on the death of Jacob. Nor could he think of any one immediately connected with himself. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life. beside him stood the Phantom. and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there. and this Ghost’s province was the Future. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. but another man stood in his accustomed corner. and everything he saw. he saw no likeness of himself among the multitudes that poured in through the Porch. Quiet and dark. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard. for that was Past. and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this. to whom he could apply them.
nearly seventy years of age. and sepulchres of bones. and misery. although he recognised its situation. The ways were foul and narrow. masses of corrupted fat. disgorged their offences of smell. who had screened himself from the cold air without. weights. where iron. by a charcoal stove. Upon the floor within. beetling shop. upon the straggling streets. that the Unseen Eyes were looking at him keenly. old rags. and its bad repute. 107 of 138 . Far in this den of infamous resort. They left the busy scene. Alleys and archways. and refuse iron of all kinds. the people half-naked. like so many cesspools. were piled up heaps of rusty keys. Secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags. hinges. there was a lowbrowed. with filth. bones. by a frousy curtaining of miscellaneous tatters. It made him shudder. bottles. the shops and houses wretched. and life. drunken. chains. where Scrooge had never penetrated before.A Christmas Carol and its situation in reference to himself. Sitting in among the wares he dealt in. was a grey-haired rascal. files. and greasy offal. nails. were bought. and feel very cold. and the whole quarter reeked with crime. ugly. scales. and went into an obscure part of the town. and dirt. slipshod. below a pent-house roof. made of old bricks.
in which the old man with the pipe had joined them. There an’t such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges. came in too. old Joe. Ah. and the other two an’t strangers. and smoked his pipe in all the luxury of calm retirement. 108 of 138 . ha. and she was closely followed by a man in faded black. as mine. I believe. After a short period of blank astonishment. than they had been upon the recognition of each other. here’s a chance. Ha. who was no less startled by the sight of them. removing his pipe from his mouth.’ cried she who had entered first. How it skreeks. Scrooge and the Phantom came into the presence of this man. Stop till I shut the door of the shop. they all three burst into a laugh. Look here. ‘Come into the parlour. ‘Let the charwoman alone to be the first. and I’m sure there’s no such old bones here. ‘Let the laundress alone to be the second. just as a woman with a heavy bundle slunk into the shop.A Christmas Carol hung upon a line. and let the undertaker’s man alone to be the third. similarly laden. But she had scarcely entered. you know. when another woman.’ ‘You couldn’t have met in a better place. You were made free of it long ago. If we haven’t all three met here without meaning it.’ said old Joe.
‘Every person has a right to take care of themselves. indeed. While he did this. What odds.’ said Mrs Dilber and the man together. I suppose. who’s the wiser. ‘No man more so. then. He always did.’ cried the woman. Not a dead man. with the stem of his pipe. The old man raked the fire together with an old stair-rod.’ said Mrs Dilber. woman.’ said the woman. 109 of 138 . Come into the parlour. and sat down in a flaunting manner on a stool.’ ‘No. ‘That’s enough.’ ‘Very well. we’re well matched.’ ‘That’s true. ‘We should hope not. Mrs Dilber. crossing her elbows on her knees. Come into the parlour. I suppose. the woman who had already spoken threw her bundle on the floor. don’t stand staring as if you was afraid. Who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these. and having trimmed his smoky lamp (for it was night).’ said the laundress.’ ‘No.A Christmas Carol We’re all suitable to our calling. indeed. laughing. put it in his mouth again.’ The parlour was the space behind the screen of rags. indeed.’ ‘Why then. We’re not going to pick holes in each other’s coats. ‘What odds then. and looking with a bold defiance at the other two.
alone by himself. a pencil-case. and added them up into a total when he found there was nothing more to come. and the man in faded black. a pair of sleeve-buttons.’ ‘I wish it was a little heavier judgment. who chalked the sums he was disposed to give for each. were all.A Christmas Carol ‘If he wanted to keep them after he was dead.’ said Mrs Dilber. you may depend upon it. I’m not afraid to be the first. and a brooch of no great value. a wicked old screw. It’s no sin. Speak out plain. Open that bundle. We know pretty well that we were helping ourselves. if I could have laid my hands on anything else. nor afraid for them to see it. instead of lying gasping out his last there. A seal or two. I believe. They were severally examined and appraised by old Joe. Open the bundle. ‘It’s a judgment on him.’ and it should have been. If he had been. upon the wall. 110 of 138 . before we met here. old Joe.’ why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime. produced his plunder.’ replied the woman. mounting the breach first.’ pursued the woman. It was not extensive.’ But the gallantry of her friends would not allow of this.’ ‘It’s the truest word that ever was spoke. and let me know the value of it. Joe. he’d have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death.
a little wearing apparel.’ ‘Ah.’ said the first woman. rings and all. ‘Bed-curtains. with him lying there. and edit PDF. If you asked me for another penny. It’s a weakness of mine.’ said Joe.’ returned the woman.’ and I wouldn’t give another sixpence. if I was to be boiled for not doing it. two old-fashioned silver teaspoons. Download the free trial version.’ replied the woman.’ said Joe.’ ‘You don’t mean to say you took them down.’ Mrs Dilber was next. Joe.’ ‘And now undo my bundle. and having unfastened a great many knots. Who’s next. ‘That’s your account. ‘That’s your account. I’d repent of being so liberal and knock off half-a-crown.’ 111 of 138 . ‘Bed-curtains. Her account was stated on the wall in the same manner.’ said Joe. dragged out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. and made it an open question.’ said old Joe. a pair of sugar-tongs. view. and that’s the way I ruin myself. ‘Yes I do. laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms. ‘What do you call this. Joe went down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening it. ‘Why not. Sheets and towels. and a few boots. ‘I always give too much to ladies.
’ replied the woman. and looking up. I promise you.’ and you’ll certainly do it. and a fine one too. ‘Don’t drop that oil upon the blankets. Ah. It’s quite as becoming to the body.’ returned the woman coolly. ‘He isn’t likely to take cold without them. ‘Somebody was fool enough to do it. They’d have wasted it. if he did. if it hadn’t been for me. stopping in his work.’ said Joe. for the sake of such a man as he was. It’s the best he had.’ ‘I certainly shan’t hold my hand. nor a threadbare place.’ asked old Joe. when I can get anything in it by reaching it out.’ replied the woman with a laugh. He can’t look uglier than he did in that one.’ ‘I hope he didn’t die of any thing catching.A Christmas Carol ‘You were born to make your fortune. ‘Don’t you be afraid of that. to be sure. ‘I an’t so fond of his company that I’d loiter about him for such things. Eh. ‘Putting it on him to be buried in.’ ‘His blankets. it isn’t good enough for anything. but I took it off again.’ 112 of 138 .’ returned the woman.’ said old Joe. now. If calico an’t good enough for such a purpose. ‘Whose else’s do you think.’ ‘What do you call wasting of it.’ asked Joe. Joe. you may look through that shirt till your eyes ache. I dare say. but you won’t find a hole in it.
he viewed them with a detestation and disgust. As they sat grouped about their spoil. Merciful Heaven.’ ‘Spirit. now. which could hardly have been greater. beneath a ragged sheet. Ha. in the scanty light afforded by the old man’s lamp. A pale light. for the scene had changed. rising in the outer air. ‘Ha. ha. and on it. told out their several gains upon the ground. My life tends that way. uncurtained bed: on which. I see.’ said Scrooge. 113 of 138 . though the demons. shuddering from head to foot. announced itself in awful language. there lay a something covered up. anxious to know what kind of room it was. when old Joe. ha. fell straight upon the bed.’ laughed the same woman. what is this. marketing the corpse itself. The case of this unhappy man might be my own.’ He recoiled in terror. producing a flannel bag with money in it.A Christmas Carol Scrooge listened to this dialogue in horror. though Scrooge glanced round it in obedience to a secret impulse. ‘This is the end of it. to profit us when he was dead. plundered and bereft. too dark to be observed with any accuracy. ‘I see. you see. though it was dumb. which. ha. The room was very dark. He frightened every one away from him when he was alive. and now he almost touched a bed: a bare.
set up thine altar here. Its steady hand was pointed to the head. Strike. Oh cold. strike. what would 114 of 138 . the heart brave. rigid. He thought of it. and the pulse a man’s. felt how easy it would be to do. It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released. And see his good deeds springing from the wound. the motion of a finger upon Scrooge’s part. He thought. and dress it with such terrors as thou hast at thy command: for this is thy dominion. to sow the world with life immortal. revered. Shadow. and true. was the body of this man. unwept. Scrooge glanced towards the Phantom. it is not that the heart and pulse are still. and longed to do it. or make one feature odious. cold. But of the loved. No voice pronounced these words in Scrooge’s ears. but that the hand was open. dreadful Death. and yet he heard them when he looked upon the bed. generous. and tender. but had no more power to withdraw the veil than to dismiss the spectre at his side. thou canst not turn one hair to thy dread purposes. warm. uncared for. and honoured head.A Christmas Carol unwatched. if this man could be raised up now. would have disclosed the face. The cover was so carelessly adjusted that the slightest raising of it.
115 of 138 . who feels emotion caused by this man’s death. ‘show that person to me. Spirit.’ The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment. What they wanted in the room of death. ‘Spirit.A Christmas Carol be his foremost thoughts. He lay. I have not the power. in the dark empty house. But I have not the power. Let us go. where a mother and her children were. ‘If there is any person in the town. A cat was tearing at the door. like a wing.’ Again it seemed to look upon him. and why they were so restless and disturbed. truly. Avarice.’ Scrooge returned.’ Still the Ghost pointed with an unmoved finger to the head. ‘I understand you. Scrooge did not dare to think. a woman. and there was a sound of gnawing rats beneath the hearth-stone. They have brought him to a rich end. trust me. with not a man.’ said Scrooge quite agonised. and withdrawing it. Spirit. griping cares. I beseech you.’ and I would do it. revealed a room by daylight. or a child. hard-dealing. In leaving it. and for the memory of one kind word I will be kind to him. if I could.’ he said.’ this is a fearful place. I shall not leave its lesson. to say that he was kind to me in this or that.
Caroline. ‘Is it good. but in vain. ‘there is. if such a miracle has happened. though he was young. tried. for she walked up and down the room.’ ‘If he relents. ‘He is dead. ‘We are quite ruined. He sat down to the dinner that had been boarding for him by the fire. and she 116 of 138 .’ She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth. There was a remarkable expression in it now.’ he answered. At length the long-expected knock was heard. She hurried to the door.A Christmas Carol She was expecting some one. he appeared embarrassed how to answer. Nothing is past hope. a man whose face was careworn and depressed.’ she said. amazed.’ ‘No. a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed. and which he struggled to repress. looked out from the window. started at every sound. ‘Bad. and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence).’ said her husband. and with anxious eagerness. and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play. and met her husband. to work with her needle. ‘or bad?’ — to help him. There is hope yet.’ ‘He is past relenting. glanced at the clock. but she was thankful in her soul to hear it.’ she said.
and was sorry. ‘Let me see some tenderness connected with a death. But before that time we shall be ready with the money. Spirit. Soften it as they would. and it was a happier house for this man’s death. caused by the event.’ ‘To whom will our debt be transferred. The children’s faces.’ said Scrooge. which we left just now. were brighter. was one of pleasure. hushed and clustered round to hear what they so little understood.’ ‘I don’t know.’ Yes. and even though we were not. when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay.’ or that dark chamber. but dying. their hearts were lighter. said to me. with clasped hands. He was not only very ill. She prayed forgiveness the next moment. and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me. Caroline. then. ‘What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night. The only emotion that the Ghost could show him.A Christmas Carol said so. it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. We may sleep to-night with light hearts. but the first was the emotion of her heart. turns out to have been quite true. will be for ever present to me.’ 117 of 138 .
‘It makes them weak by candle-light. The boy must have read them out. ‘And he took a child. Very quiet.’ said Cratchit’s wife. who had a book before him. and found the mother and the children seated round the fire. Quiet. and as they went along. and set him in the midst of them. Ah. The colour.A Christmas Carol The Ghost conducted him through several streets familiar to his feet. Scrooge looked here and there to find himself. The noisy little Cratchits were as still as statues in one corner. the dwelling he had visited before.’ she said. They entered poor Bob Cratchit’s house. and I wouldn’t show 118 of 138 . Why did he not go on. as he and the Spirit crossed the threshold. poor Tiny Tim. and sat looking up at Peter. He had not dreamed them. and put her hand up to her face. but nowhere was he to be seen. But surely they were very quiet. The mother and her daughters were engaged in sewing. ‘The colour hurts my eyes. ‘They’re better now again. The mother laid her work upon the table.’ Where had Scrooge heard those words.
that only faltered once: ‘I have known him walk with — I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder.’ Bob was very cheerful with them. mother.’ cried Peter. cheerful voice. ‘Often. against his face. and little Bob in his comforter — he had need of it.’ she resumed. these few last evenings. ‘But he was very light to carry. and in a steady.A Christmas Carol weak eyes to your father when he comes home. It must be near his time.’ Peter answered. father. and they all tried who should help him to it most. Don’t be grieved. poor fellow — came in.’ ‘And so have I. Then the two young Cratchits got upon his knees and laid.’ ‘Past it rather.’ She hurried out to meet him.’ ‘And so have I.’ Don’t mind it. intent upon her work. At last she said. ‘But I think he has walked a little slower than he used. His tea was ready for him on the hob. as if they said. for the world. And there is your father at the door. He looked at the work upon the table. and spoke pleasantly to all the family. very fast indeed.’ They were very quiet again.’ and his father loved him so. shutting up his book. So had all.’ exclaimed another. 119 of 138 . each child a little cheek. that it was no trouble: no trouble.
A Christmas Carol
and praised the industry and speed of Mrs Cratchit and the girls. They would be done long before Sunday, he said. ‘Sunday. You went to-day, then, Robert.’ said his wife. ‘Yes, my dear,’ returned Bob. ‘I wish you could have gone. It would have done you good to see how green a place it is. But you’ll see it often. I promised him that I would walk there on a Sunday. My little, little child.’ cried Bob. ‘My little child.’ He broke down all at once. He couldn’t help it. If he could have helped it, he and his child would have been farther apart perhaps than they were. He left the room, and went up-stairs into the room above, which was lighted cheerfully, and hung with Christmas. There was a chair set close beside the child, and there were signs of some one having been there, lately. Poor Bob sat down in it, and when he had thought a little and composed himself, he kissed the little face. He was reconciled to what had happened, and went down again quite happy. They drew about the fire, and talked; the girls and mother working still. Bob told them of the extraordinary kindness of Mr Scrooge’s nephew, whom he had scarcely seen but once, and who, meeting him in the street that day, and seeing that he looked a little -’ just a little down 120 of 138
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you know,’ said Bob, inquired what had happened to distress him. ‘On which,’ said Bob,’ for he is the pleasantest-spoken gentleman you ever heard, I told him. ‘I am heartily sorry for it, Mr Cratchit,’ he said,’ and heartily sorry for your good wife.’ By the bye, how he ever knew that, I don’t know.’ ‘Knew what, my dear.’ ‘Why, that you were a good wife,’ replied Bob. ‘Everybody knows that.’ said Peter. ‘Very well observed, my boy.’ cried Bob. ‘I hope they do. ‘Heartily sorry,’ he said,’ for your good wife. If I can be of service to you in any way,’ he said, giving me his card,’ that’s where I live. Pray come to me.’ Now, it wasn’t,’ cried Bob,’ for the sake of anything he might be able to do for us, so much as for his kind way, that this was quite delightful. It really seemed as if he had known our Tiny Tim, and felt with us.’ ‘I’m sure he’s a good soul.’ said Mrs Cratchit. ‘You would be surer of it, my dear,’ returned Bob,’ if you saw and spoke to him. I shouldn’t be at all surprised mark what I say. — if he got Peter a better situation.’ ‘Only hear that, Peter,’ said Mrs Cratchit.
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‘And then,’ cried one of the girls,’ Peter will be keeping company with some one, and setting up for himself.’ ‘Get along with you.’ retorted Peter, grinning. ‘It’s just as likely as not,’ said Bob,’ one of these days; though there’s plenty of time for that, my dear. But however and when ever we part from one another, I am sure we shall none of us forget poor Tiny Tim — shall we — or this first parting that there was among us.’ ‘Never, father.’ cried they all. ‘And I know,’ said Bob,’ I know, my dears, that when we recollect how patient and how mild he was; although he was a little, little child; we shall not quarrel easily among ourselves, and forget poor Tiny Tim in doing it.’ ‘No, never, father.’ they all cried again. ‘I am very happy,’ said little Bob,’ I am very happy.’ Mrs Cratchit kissed him, his daughters kissed him, the two young Cratchits kissed him, and Peter and himself shook hands. Spirit of Tiny Tim, thy childish essence was from God. ‘Spectre,’ said Scrooge,’ something informs me that our parting moment is at hand. I know it, but I know not how. Tell me what man that was whom we saw lying dead.’ 122 of 138
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The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come conveyed him, as before — though at a different time, he thought: indeed, there seemed no order in these latter visions, save that they were in the Future — into the resorts of business men, but showed him not himself. Indeed, the Spirit did not stay for anything, but went straight on, as to the end just now desired, until besought by Scrooge to tarry for a moment. ‘This courts,’ said Scrooge,’ through which we hurry now, is where my place of occupation is, and has been for a length of time. I see the house. Let me behold what I shall be, in days to come.’ The Spirit stopped; the hand was pointed elsewhere. ‘The house is yonder,’ Scrooge exclaimed. ‘Why do you point away.’ The inexorable finger underwent no change. Scrooge hastened to the window of his office, and looked in. It was an office still, but not his. The furniture was not the same, and the figure in the chair was not himself. The Phantom pointed as before. He joined it once again, and wondering why and whither he had gone, accompanied it until they reached an iron gate. He paused to look round before entering.
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they must lead. the ends will change. and pointed down to One. lay underneath the ground. It was a worthy place.’ Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. Walled in by houses. read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name. The Phantom was exactly as it had been.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol A churchyard. The Spirit stood among the graves. not life.’ said Scrooge. the wretched man whose name he had now to learn. fat with repleted appetite. Scrooge crept towards it. only. and following the finger. but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape. or are they shadows of things that May be. choked up with too much burying.’ The Spirit was immovable as ever. overrun by grass and weeds. Here. to which. ‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point. trembling as he went. the growth of vegetation’s death. He advanced towards it trembling. A worthy place. Ebenezer Scrooge. if persevered in. ‘But if the courses be departed from. then. 124 of 138 . ‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be. Say it is thus with what you show me. ‘answer me one question.
he caught the spectral hand. I will live in the Past.’ he cried. and back again. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. ‘Good Spirit.’ he cried. if I am past all hope. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. and pities me. The Spirit.’ hear me. the Present. repulsed him. ‘No. upon his knees. The finger pointed from the grave to him.’ he pursued. stronger yet. 125 of 138 . ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart.’ In his agony. tight clutching at its robe.A Christmas Carol ‘Am I that man who lay upon the bed.’ For the first time the hand appeared to shake. Oh no. ‘Spirit. and the Future. Oh. Why show me this.’ The kind hand trembled. but he was strong in his entreaty. tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone. by an altered life. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me. as down upon the ground he fell before it:’ Your nature intercedes for me. and detained it. and try to keep it all the year. I am not the man I was. no. It sought to free itself. Spirit. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.’ The finger still was there.
collapsed.A Christmas Carol Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate aye reversed. It shrunk. and dwindled down into a bedpost. 126 of 138 . he saw an alteration in the Phantom’s hood and dress.
making them parties to every kind of extravagance. rings and all. I know they will. and his face was wet with tears.A Christmas Carol Stave 5: The End of It Yes! and the bedpost was his own. the Time before him was his own. and the Christmas Time be praised for this. and the Future. They are here — I am here — the shadows of the things that would have been. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit. They will be. 127 of 138 . Heaven. the room was his own. putting them on upside down. folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms. to make amends in! ‘I will live in the Past. ‘The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. may be dispelled. ‘They are not torn down. The bed was his own. on my knees.’ they are not torn down. Best and happiest of all.’ Scrooge repeated. mislaying them.’ His hands were busy with his garments all this time. I say it on my knees. that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call.’ He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions. Oh Jacob Marley. the Present. as he scrambled out of bed. turning them inside out. tearing them. old Jacob.’ cried Scrooge.
’ He had frisked into the sitting-room. a most illustrious laugh. it all happened. Hallo.’ Really.’ cried Scrooge.’ cried Scrooge. Never mind. Hallo. Hallo here. I am as happy as an angel. Hallo here.A Christmas Carol ‘I don’t know what to do. There’s the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present. I don’t care. long line of brilliant laughs. Whoop. I am as giddy as a drunken man. it’s all true. starting off again. I don’t know anything. and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. and was now standing there: perfectly winded. sat. for a man who had been out of practice for so many years. it was a splendid laugh. ‘There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in. ‘I am as light as a feather. laughing and crying in the same breath. It’s all right. A merry Christmas to everybody.’ 128 of 138 . and going round the fireplace. Whoop. I am as merry as a schoolboy. ‘I don’t know what day of the month it is. The father of a long.’ said Scrooge. ‘I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits. There’s the window where I saw the wandering Spirits. ‘There’s the door. A happy New Year to all the world. I’m quite a baby. Ha ha ha. by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. I’d rather be a baby.
glorious.’ said Scrooge to himself. Heavenly sky. stirring. hammer.’ ‘Hallo. ‘I should hope I did. at the corner. ding. No fog. in the next street but one. clang. dong.’ replied the boy. my fine fellow. Of course they can. he opened it. sweet fresh air. bell. Golden sunlight. bright. 129 of 138 . hammer.’ returned the boy. and put out his head. Hallo. The Spirits have done it all in one night. ‘I haven’t missed it. ‘Eh. Running to the window. Christmas Day.’ replied the lad.A Christmas Carol He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Oh. calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes. no mist.’ said Scrooge. merry bells. clang. piping for the blood to dance to. glorious.’ returned the boy. Of course they can. Glorious. Clash. ‘What’s to-day. clash. Bell. who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. ‘To-day. ‘What’s to-day. Oh. with all his might of wonder. ding. ‘Do you know the Poulterer’s. dong. my fine fellow.’ cried Scrooge.’ Scrooge inquired.’ ‘It’s Christmas Day. ‘Why. They can do anything they like. cold. clear. glorious. jovial. cold.
’ ‘It’s hanging there now. my buck.’ returned the boy. and went 130 of 138 . Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob’s will be. ‘I am in earnest. but write it he did.’ ‘What. that I may give them the direction where to take it. ‘Is it.’ said Scrooge. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast. ‘I’ll send it to Bon Cratchit’s.’ said Scrooge. and splitting with a laugh.’ The boy was off like a shot.’ exclaimed the boy.’ The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one. ‘He shan’t know who sends it. Go and buy it. ‘A remarkable boy.’ replied the boy. Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there — Not the little prize Turkey: the big one.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘Walk-er. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim. ‘Go and buy it. rubbing his hands. Come back with the man. ‘What a delightful boy.A Christmas Carol ‘An intelligent boy. somehow. and I’ll give you a shilling. Yes.’ whispered Scrooge. ‘It’s a pleasure to talk to him. and tell them to bring it here.’ said Scrooge. ‘No. no. the one as big as me.
’ cried Scrooge. that bird. ‘You must have a cab. as long as I live. It’s a wonderful knocker. it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town. ready for the coming of the poulterer’s man. ‘I shall love it. waiting his arrival. were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again. the knocker caught his eye.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol down-stairs to open the street door. — Here’s the Turkey. for his hand continued to shake very much. He never could have stood upon his legs. and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab. ‘Why. What an honest expression it has in its face. How are you. like sticks of sealing-wax. he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it. As he stood there. Whoop. Shaving was not an easy task. But if he had cut the end of his nose off.’ It was a Turkey. Hallo. and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey. 131 of 138 .’ The chuckle with which he said this. Merry Christmas. and been quite satisfied. ‘I scarcely ever looked at it before. and shaving requires attention. patting it with his hand. and chuckled till he cried. and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy. even when you don’t dance while you are at it. He would have snapped them short off in a minute.
’ ‘Mr Scrooge. in a word.’ said Scrooge. He looked so irresistibly pleasant. I hope you succeeded yesterday. ‘How do you do. quickening his pace. and at last got out into the streets.A Christmas Carol He dressed himself all in his best. ‘My dear sir. as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present. Allow me to ask your pardon. A merry Christmas to you. who had walked into his counting-house the day before. and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. but he knew what path lay straight before him. and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. that three or four goodhumoured fellows said. And 132 of 138 .’ Good morning.’ ‘Yes. He had not gone far. ‘That is my name. A merry Christmas to you. sir. sir.’ And Scrooge said often afterwards. I believe. It was very kind of you.’ said Scrooge. and he took it. and said. The people were by this time pouring forth. those were the blithest in his ears. when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman. Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile.’ Scrooge and Marley’s. and walking with his hands behind him.’ It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met. that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard.
A Christmas Carol will you have the goodness’ — here Scrooge whispered in his ear.’ He went to church. and up to the windows.’ said the other. are you serious.’ ‘If you please.’ ‘My dear sir.’ said Scrooge. ‘Lord bless me. and patted children on the head.’ cried the gentleman. and watched the people hurrying to and fro. A great many back-payments are included in it. and looked down into the kitchens of houses. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house.’ said Scrooge. Will you do me that favour. I thank you fifty times. and found that everything could yield him pleasure. Will you come and see me. ‘My dear Mr Scrooge.’ cried the old gentleman. and questioned beggars. Bless you. and walked about the streets.’ ‘I will. 133 of 138 . shaking hands with him. ‘I am much obliged to you. ‘Come and see me.’ ‘Don’t say anything please. ‘Thank you. as if his breath were taken away.’ retorted Scrooge. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. I assure you. ‘I don’t know what to say to such munificence. And it was clear he meant to do it. ‘Not a farthing less.
how his niece by marriage started. or he wouldn’t have done it. for the moment.’ cried Fred.’ said Scrooge. But he made a dash. Nice girl. and sidled his face in. He knows me. ‘He’s in the dining-room. with his hand already on the dining-room lock. and like to see that everything is right. I’ll show you up-stairs.’ 134 of 138 . about her sitting in the corner with the footstool. ‘Fred.A Christmas Carol He passed the door a dozen times.’ ‘Thank you. on any account. for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points.’ said Scrooge. and did it: ‘Is your master at home. Very. round the door. Dear heart alive.’ ‘Where is he. if you please.’ said Scrooge. before he had the courage to go up and knock. my dear. along with mistress. my love. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array).’ who’s that. ‘Yes. Scrooge had forgotten.’ said Scrooge to the girl. ‘Why bless my soul. sir. ‘I’ll go in here. my dear.’ He turned it gently. sir.
And he did it. he did. So did Topper when he came. ‘What do you mean by coming here at this time of day. as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock. Fred. Nothing could be heartier. before he opened the door. and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. ‘It’s I.’ said Bob. and edit PDF. his comforter too.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. view. The clock struck nine. Your uncle Scrooge. Wonderful party. he was early there. sir. Will you let me in. He was at home in five minutes. He was on his stool in a jiffy. That was the thing he had set his heart upon. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. So did the plump sister when she came.’ growled Scrooge. Download the free trial version. in his accustomed voice. His hat was off. It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. that he might see him come into the Tank. yes.’ ‘I am very sorry. His niece looked just the same. wonderful happiness. as near as he could feign it.’ 135 of 138 . But he was early at the office next morning. A quarter past. So did every one when they came. Oh. No Bob. ‘I am behind my time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open. ‘Hallo.’ Let him in. No Bob. wonderful unanimity. wonderful games. I have come to dinner. If he could only be there first. driving away with his pen.
’ 136 of 138 . I was making rather merry yesterday. Bob Cratchit. I’ll raise your salary. leaping from his stool. sir. with an earnestness that could not be mistaken. and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i. than I have given you for many a year.’ Bob trembled. ‘Yes.’ repeated Scrooge. Bob. I’ll tell you what. Make up the fires. ‘A merry Christmas.’ ‘Now. if you please.’ ‘It’s only once a year. and endeavour to assist your struggling family. and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again. and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat. And therefore. over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. Bob. ‘It shall not be repeated. Bob.’ I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. as he clapped him on the back.A Christmas Carol ‘You are. my friend. sir. sir.’ and therefore I am about to raise your salary. and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon. I think you are. appearing from the Tank.’ said Scrooge.’ he continued.’ said Scrooge.’ pleaded Bob. Step this way. holding him. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it. my good fellow. ‘A merrier Christmas. and got a little nearer to the ruler.
He did it all. as have the malady in less attractive forms. He became as good a friend. or any other good old city. town. that he knew how to keep Christmas well. and all of us! And so. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. but he let them laugh. who did not die. ever afterwards. and to Tiny Tim. as good a master. in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him. and as good a man. God bless Us. May that be truly said of us. for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe. and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway. as Tiny Tim observed. or borough. if any man alive possessed the knowledge. at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset. for good. and little heeded them. and it was always said of him. he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins. he was a second father. Every One! 137 of 138 . He had no further intercourse with Spirits. and infinitely more.A Christmas Carol Scrooge was better than his word. as the good old city knew. but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle.
A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .
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