A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

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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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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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grasping. 4 of 138 . old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint. but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. There it stood. Scrooge! a squeezing. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began. years afterwards. It was all the same to him. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge. and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.stone. from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire. and sometimes Marley. scraping. This must be distinctly understood. there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night. upon his own ramparts. clutching. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. wrenching. covetous.A Christmas Carol event. but he answered to both names. in an easterly wind. above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. 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.

A frosty rime was on his head. and on his eyebrows. and hail. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. He carried his own low temperature always about with him. and when they saw him coming on. and self-contained. no wintry weather chill him. No warmth could warm. nipped his pointed nose. of Scrooge. would tug their owners into doorways 5 of 138 . no children asked him what it was o’clock. made his eyes red. could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. he iced his office in the dogdays. The cold within him froze his old features. No wind that blew was bitterer than he. stiffened his gait. and his wiry chin. and solitary as an oyster. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him. They often ‘came down’ handsomely. ‘My dear Scrooge. and snow. his thin lips blue. no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. shrivelled his cheek. and sleet. and Scrooge never did. with gladsome looks. The heaviest rain.A Christmas Carol secret. and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose. how are you? When will you come to see me?’ No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle. and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say.

The city clocks had only just gone three. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole. was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge. go wheezing up and down. like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. obscuring everything. one might have thought that Nature lived hard by. 6 of 138 . but it was quite dark already — it had not been light all day — and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices. bleak. the houses opposite were mere phantoms. It was cold. and was brewing on a large scale.A Christmas Carol and up courts. and was so dense without. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life. that although the court was of the narrowest. biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside. dark master!’ But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye. beating their hands upon their breasts. and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down. on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse. warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year. and then would wag their tails as though they said.

But he couldn’t replenish it. his eyes sparkled. not being a man of a strong imagination. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter. ‘Humbug!’ He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost. his face was ruddy and handsome. and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel. uncle! God save you!’ cried a cheerful voice. but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. uncle!’ said Scrooge’s nephew. in which effort. ‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. was copying letters. and his breath smoked again.A Christmas Carol The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk. he failed. the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. ‘Christmas a humbug. who in a dismal little cell beyond. who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. a sort of tank. ‘You don’t mean that. and tried to warm himself at the candle. for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room. I am sure?’ 7 of 138 . It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew. that he was all in a glow. ‘A merry Christmas. this nephew of Scrooge’s. Scrooge had a very small fire.

but not an hour richer. and followed it up with ‘Humbug. ‘keep Christmas in your own way.’ said Scrooge. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.’ returned the uncle. and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!’ ‘Uncle!’ pleaded the nephew. ‘every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips.’ ‘Come. and let me keep it in mine. ‘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.’ ‘Don’t be cross.’ Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment. ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough. ‘Nephew!’ returned the uncle sternly.’ returned the nephew gaily.A Christmas Carol ‘I do. 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.’ said Scrooge indignantly. should be boiled with his own pudding. said ‘Bah!’ again. then. ‘What else can I be.’ 8 of 138 . a time for finding yourself a year older. uncle!’ said the nephew.

and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time. and extinguished the last frail spark for ever.’ ‘Let me leave it alone. and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave. when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin. I believe that it has done me good. 9 of 138 . he poked the fire. charitable. and will do me good. pleasant time: the only time I know of.’ said Scrooge. and I say. by which I have not profited. God bless it!’ The clerk in the Tank involuntarily applauded. in the long calendar of the year. ‘But you don’t keep it. And therefore. when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. ‘Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!’ ‘There are many things from which I might have derived good.’ returned the nephew. if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time.A Christmas Carol ‘Keep it!’ repeated Scrooge’s nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. then. I dare say. forgiving. uncle. a kind.

turning to his nephew. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.’ said Scrooge. ‘I want nothing from you.’ he added. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas.’ said Scrooge. ‘But why?’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. ‘I am sorry. We have never had any quarrel. to which I have been a party. uncle. ‘Because I fell in love. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘Good afternoon!’ ‘Nay. with all my heart. He went the whole length of the expression.’ Scrooge said that he would see him — yes. uncle. ‘and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You’re quite a powerful speaker. but you never came to see me before that happened. as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. to find you so resolute.A Christmas Carol ‘Let me hear another sound from you.’ ‘Because you fell in love!’ growled Scrooge. and said that he would see him in that extremity first. why cannot we be friends?’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘Why?’ ‘Why did you get married?’ said Scrooge. sir. I ask nothing of you.’ ‘Don’t be angry. indeed he did.’ said Scrooge. 10 of 138 . ‘I wonder you don’t go into Parliament.

and now stood. and a wife and family. and bowed to him. ‘And A Happy New Year!’ ‘Good afternoon. with their hats off. notwithstanding. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk. was warmer than Scrooge. with fifteen shillings a week. They were portly gentlemen. who cold as he was. for he returned them cordially. who overheard him: ‘my clerk. ‘Scrooge and Marley’s.’ said one of the gentlemen. Marley?’ ‘Mr. had let two other people in. talking about a merry Christmas. this very night. in Scrooge’s office. His nephew left the room without an angry word.A Christmas Carol and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. ‘Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr.’ muttered Scrooge. So A Merry Christmas. They had books and papers in their hands. ‘There’s another fellow.’ 11 of 138 . in letting Scrooge’s nephew out. I’ll retire to Bedlam. referring to his list.’ Scrooge replied. Scrooge. or Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years. pleasant to behold.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. ‘He died seven years ago.’ This lunatic. I believe. uncle!’ ‘Good afternoon.

At the ominous word ‘liberality. Still. ‘Both very busy. taking up a pen. and shook his head.’ 12 of 138 . then?’ said Scrooge. Mr. ‘And the Union workhouses?’ demanded Scrooge. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries.’ Scrooge frowned.’ said the gentleman.’ said the gentleman. ‘Plenty of prisons. ‘it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute. laying down the pen again. ‘I wish I could say they were not.’ ‘Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge. sir. It certainly was.’ returned the gentleman. sir. ‘At this festive season of the year. and handed the credentials back. hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts.’ ‘The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour. Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner. for they had been two kindred spirits. who suffer greatly at the present time. ‘Are they still in operation?’ ‘They are.’ said the gentleman. presenting his credentials.

’ returned the gentleman.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge.’ observed the gentleman.’ ‘Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude.’ ‘But you might know it.A Christmas Carol ‘Oh! I was afraid. ‘I’m very glad to hear it. and many would rather die. 13 of 138 .’ ‘Many can’t go there. ‘they had better do it. when Want is keenly felt.’ ‘If they would rather die. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough.’ said Scrooge. What shall I put you down for?’ ‘Nothing!’ Scrooge replied. and Abundance rejoices. We choose this time. ‘You wish to be anonymous?’ ‘I wish to be left alone. and those who are badly off must go there. and decrease the surplus population. Besides — excuse me — I don’t know that. ‘a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. and means of warmth. ‘Since you ask me what I wish. gentlemen. that is my answer. because it is a time. of all others. from what you said at first.

Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so. round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture. and not to interfere with other people’s. and turned to misanthropic ice. and conduct them on their way. Scrooge returned his labours with an improved opinion of himself. gentlemen!’ Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point. with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. ‘It’s enough for a man to understand his own business. became invisible. and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds. that people ran about with flaring links. and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him. and had lighted a great fire in a brazier. The cold became intense. whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall. proffering their services to go before horses in carriages. some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes. the gentlemen withdrew. In the main street at the corner of the court.’ Scrooge returned. The ancient tower of a church. The brightness of the shops where holly 14 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘It’s not my business. its overflowing sullenly congealed. Mine occupies me constantly. The water-plug being left in solitude. Good afternoon.

sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows. and edit PDF. a glorious pageant. The owner of one scant young nose. stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of ‘God bless you. and even the little tailor. and colder! Piercing. The Lord Mayor. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that. gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs. gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s household should. then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose. Download the free trial version. Foggier yet. while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef. biting cold. stirred up to-morrow’s pudding in his garret. view. in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. instead of using his familiar weapons. 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. Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke. with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. searching. merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!’ 15 of 138 .

and Scrooge walked out with a growl. 16 of 138 . I suppose?’ said Scrooge. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it.’ The clerk observed that it was only once a year. ‘you don’t think me ill-used. I’ll be bound?’ The clerk smiled faintly. The office was closed in a twinkling. ‘If quite convenient. ‘and it’s not fair. that the singer fled in terror. who instantly snuffed his candle out. sir.’ ‘It’s not convenient. buttoning his great-coat to the chin.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action. ‘And yet. ‘But I suppose you must have the whole day. when I pay a day’s wages for no work. At length the hour of shutting up the counting.’ said Scrooge.house arrived. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool. you’d think yourself illused. ‘A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!’ said Scrooge. Be here all the earlier next morning. and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank. ‘You’ll want all day to-morrow.’ The clerk promised that he would. and put on his hat. leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.

in a lowering pile of building up a yard.A Christmas Carol and the clerk. The yard was so dark that even Scrooge. was fain to grope with his hands. at the end of a lane of boys. Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern. went home to bed. twenty times. and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’sbook. where it had so little business to be. that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house. and having read all the newspapers. playing at hide-and-seek with other houses. and forgotten the way out again. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house. for nobody lived in it but Scrooge. that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold. to play at blindman’s-buff. It was old enough now. and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt. in honour of its being Christmas Eve. the other rooms being all let out as offices. who knew its every stone. with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat). 17 of 138 . went down a slide on Cornhill. and dreary enough. They were a gloomy suite of rooms. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner.

and. saw in the knocker. having his key in the lock of the door. it is a fact. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley. since his last mention of his seven years’ dead partner that afternoon. night and morning.A Christmas Carol Now. It was not angry or ferocious. but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred. And then let any man explain to me. and livery. that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door. as if by breath or hot air. also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the city of London. though the eyes were wide open. if he can. without its undergoing any intermediate process of change — not a knocker. It is also a fact. made it horrible. that Scrooge had seen it. but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face 18 of 138 . That. but had a dismal light about it. during his whole residence in that place. and its livid colour. aldermen. like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. except that it was very large. how it happened that Scrooge. they were perfectly motionless. Marley’s face. even including — which is a bold word — the corporation. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were. but Marley’s face.

Every room above. As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon. He fastened the door. it was a knocker again. He did pause. and he did look cautiously behind it first. rather than a part or its own expression. would be untrue. and lighted his candle. walked in. as if he half-expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley’s pigtail sticking out into the hall. and walked across the hall. so he said ‘Pooh. except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished. or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy. appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below. pooh!’ and closed it with a bang. The sound resounded through the house like thunder. before he shut the door.A Christmas Carol and beyond its control. and up the stairs. To say that he was not startled. But there was nothing on the back of the door. Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. turned it sturdily. 19 of 138 . slowly too: trimming his candle as he went. with a moment’s irresolution.

Nobody under the table. he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. Half a dozen gas-lamps out of the street wouldn’t have lighted the entry too well. Sitting-room. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that. lumber-room. which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall. Lumber-room 20 of 138 . and Scrooge liked it. and the little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. Nobody under the bed. nobody in his dressing-gown. All as they should be. nobody under the sofa. so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip. But before he shut his heavy door. which is perhaps the reason why Scrooge thought he saw a locomotive hearse going on before him in the gloom. and room to spare. Up Scrooge went. bedroom. Darkness is cheap. and taken it broadwise. with the splinterbar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. a small fire in the grate.A Christmas Carol You may talk vaguely about driving a coach-and-six up a good old flight of stairs. There was plenty of width for that. or through a bad young Act of Parliament. nobody in the closet. spoon and basin ready. not caring a button for that. but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase.

Thus secured against surprise. Belshazzars. and locked himself in. built by some Dutch merchant long ago. there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one. he closed his door. There were Cains and Abels. and swallowed up the whole. put on his dressing-gown and slippers. Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats. before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel. and his nightcap.A Christmas Carol as usual. and sat down before the fire to take his gruel. double-locked himself in. two fish-baskets. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first. designed to illustrate the Scriptures. hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts — and yet that face of Marley. Abrahams. It was a very low fire indeed. and brood over it. old shoes. he took off his cravat. seven years dead. with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts. which was not his custom. washing-stand on three legs. came like the ancient Prophet’s rod. and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles. Old fire-guards. Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds. The fireplace was an old one. Pharaohs’ daughters. nothing on such a bitter night. He was obliged to sit close to it. 21 of 138 . and a poker. Queens of Sheba. Quite satisfied.

he saw this bell begin to swing. that as he looked. together. then coming straight towards his door. and so did every bell in the house. without a pause.’ His colour changed though. and passed into the 22 of 138 . The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound. It was with great astonishment. This might have lasted half a minute. deep down below. As he threw his head back in the chair. ‘It’s humbug still!’ said Scrooge. ‘I won’t believe it. and then he heard the noise much louder. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains. and with a strange. his glance happened to rest upon a bell. or a minute. as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant’s cellar. The bells ceased as they had begun. he sat down again. a disused bell. but soon it rang out loudly. They were succeeded by a clanking noise. when. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound. then coming up the stairs.A Christmas Carol ‘Humbug!’ said Scrooge. that hung in the room. and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building. it came on through the heavy door. and walked across the room. but it seemed an hour. After several turns. inexplicable dread. on the floors below.

Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels. caustic and cold as ever. nor did he believe it even now. ‘How now!’ said Scrooge. and his coat-skirts. deeds. as though it cried ‘I know him. he was still incredulous. the tassels on the latter bristling. ‘What do you want with me?’ 23 of 138 . tights and boots. No. and heavy purses wrought in steel. usual waistcoat. the dying flame leaped up. Upon its coming in. so that Scrooge. which wrapper he had not observed before. The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. keys. and wound about him like a tail. and saw it standing before him. It was long. and the hair upon his head. Marley’s Ghost!’ and fell again.A Christmas Carol room before his eyes. and looking through his waistcoat. like his pigtail. and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin. but he had never believed it until now. His body was transparent. Marley in his pigtail. ledgers. padlocks. The same face: the very same. and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cashboxes. and fought against his senses. could see the two buttons on his coat behind. though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes. observing him. Though he looked the phantom through and through.

‘In life I was your partner. and felt that in the event of its being impossible. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace.’ ‘Can you — can you sit down?’ asked Scrooge. ‘Why do you doubt your senses?’ 24 of 138 . ‘I don’t.’ said Scrooge. ‘You don’t believe in me. ‘Who are you?’ ‘Ask me who I was. ‘You’re particular. for a shade. then. ‘What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?’ ‘I don’t know. ‘I can.’ ‘Do it.’ Scrooge asked the question. as more appropriate. as if he were quite used to it. raising his voice.’ observed the Ghost. Jacob Marley. no doubt about it. looking doubtfully at him.’ He was going to say ‘to a shade.’ but substituted this. it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation.A Christmas Carol ‘Much!’ — Marley’s voice. because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘Who were you then?’ said Scrooge.

There’s more of gravy than of grave about you. by any means waggish then. in his heart. in silence for a moment. 25 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘Because. ‘You see this toothpick?’ said Scrooge. whatever you are!’ Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes. The truth is. and keeping down his terror. a blot of mustard. for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones. were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven. but this was clearly the case. staring at those fixed glazed eyes. that he tried to be smart. in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. for the reason just assigned. returning quickly to the charge. Scrooge felt. ‘a little thing affects them.’ said Scrooge. and skirts. its hair. There was something very awful. and wishing. the very deuce with him. would play. You may be an undigested bit of beef. too. Scrooge could not feel it himself. and tassels. to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself. for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless. though it were only for a second. as a means of distracting his own attention. a crumb of cheese. a fragment of an underdone potato. nor did he feel. To sit. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats.

to save himself from falling in a swoon. all of my own creation. ‘Dreadful apparition. ‘I have but to swallow this. ‘But I see it. and clasped his hands before his face. and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise. and why do they come to me?’ ‘It is required of every man. ‘I must. and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins. But why do spirits walk the earth. I tell you! humbug!’ At this the spirit raised a frightful cry.’ the Ghost returned. But how much greater was his horror.’ said the Ghost. ‘do you believe in me or not?’ ‘I do. ‘that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his 26 of 138 . ‘You are not looking at it. why do you trouble me?’ ‘Man of the worldly mind!’ replied the Ghost. when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head. its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast! Scrooge fell upon his knees. as if it were too warm to wear indoors. ‘notwithstanding. that Scrooge held on tight to his chair.’ ‘Well!’ returned Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘I do. Humbug.’ said Scrooge. ‘Mercy!’ he said.’ said Scrooge.’ replied the Ghost.

eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. and edit PDF. ‘You are fettered. but might have shared on earth.’ replied the Ghost. and if that spirit goes not forth in life. imploringly. in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing. view. Speak comfort to me.’ pursued the Ghost. ‘Jacob.’ said Scrooge. woe is me! — and witness what it cannot share. ‘the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this. Is its pattern strange to you?’ Scrooge trembled more and more. tell me more. It is a ponderous chain!’ Scrooge glanced about him on the floor. and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands. You have laboured on it. and yard by yard. It is doomed to wander through the world — oh. and turned to happiness!’ Again the spectre raised a cry. and travel far and wide. fellowmen. seven Christmas Eves ago. trembling. ‘I made it link by link. and of my own free will I wore it. I girded it on of my own free will. Download the free trial version. ‘Old Jacob Marley. ‘Tell me why?’ ‘I wear the chain I forged in life. it is condemned to do so after death.’ he said. since. ‘Or would you know. Jacob!’ 27 of 138 .

’ Scrooge observed.’ replied the Ghost. ‘On the wings of the wind. ‘Seven years dead. Jacob.’ the Ghost replied. and is conveyed by other ministers. or getting off his knees. ‘Slow!’ the Ghost repeated. 28 of 138 .’ said the Ghost. no peace.’ ‘You travel fast?’ said Scrooge. though with humility and deference. I cannot linger anywhere. Incessant torture of remorse. whenever he became thoughtful. ‘You must have been very slow about it. I cannot stay.’ mused Scrooge. Ebenezer Scrooge. is all permitted to me. ‘No rest. to other kinds of men. A very little more. to put his hands in his breeches pockets. he did so now. I cannot rest. ‘And travelling all the time!’ ‘The whole time. Nor can I tell you what I would. ‘It comes from other regions. 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. Pondering on what the Ghost had said. and weary journeys lie before me!’ It was a habit with Scrooge. but without lifting up his eyes.A Christmas Carol ‘I have none to give. in a business-like manner.

Jacob. The Ghost. ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost. who now began to apply this to himself. The common welfare was my business.A Christmas Carol ‘You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’ 29 of 138 . 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. whatever it may be. forbearance. wringing its hands again. charity. my business. will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. ‘Oh! captive. bound. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere. that ages of incessant labour. by immortal creatures. and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night.’ said Scrooge. and benevolence. for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed.’ faltered Scrooge. and double-ironed. were. ‘Mankind was my business. ‘not to know. that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance. set up another cry. mercy. on hearing this.’ cried the phantom. all.

Why did I walk through crowds of fellowbeings with my eyes turned down. and began to quake exceedingly.’ the spectre said ‘I suffer most. ‘My time is nearly gone. 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. Ebenezer.’ said Scrooge. and flung it heavily upon the ground again. ‘Thank ‘ee!’ 30 of 138 .’ said Scrooge. Scrooge shivered. and wiped the perspiration from his brow. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day. ‘That is no light part of my penance.’ pursued the Ghost.’ ‘You were always a good friend to me. ‘But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery. ‘Hear me!’ cried the Ghost. I may not tell. ‘I am here to-night to warn you. Jacob! Pray!’ ‘How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see.’ ‘I will.’ It was not an agreeable idea. A chance and hope of my procuring. that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. ‘At this time of the rolling year.A Christmas Carol It held up its chain at arm’s length. as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief.

when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. the spectre took its wrapper from the table. ‘by Three Spirits. ‘It is. ‘Without their visits. ‘you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. and found 31 of 138 . ‘Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. for your own sake. by the smart sound its teeth made.’ Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done. and have it over. Jacob?’ he demanded.A Christmas Carol ‘You will be haunted. He ventured to raise his eyes again. when the bell tolls One. and bound it round its head. Expect the first tomorrow.’ said the Ghost. Jacob?’ hinted Scrooge. as before. Scrooge knew this. and look that. in a faltering voice.’ ‘I — I think I’d rather not. you remember what has passed between us!’ When it had said these words.’ resumed the Ghost. ‘Is that the chance and hope you mentioned.’ said Scrooge. Look to see me no more. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate.’ ‘Couldn’t I take ‘em all at once.

The air was filled with phantoms. incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret. after listening for a moment. the window raised itself a little. It beckoned Scrooge to approach. he became sensible of confused noises in the air. Scrooge stopped. He had been quite familiar with one 32 of 138 . and at every step it took. wandering hither and thither in restless haste. The apparition walked backward from him. The spectre. Not so much in obedience. none were free. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost. Marley’s Ghost held up its hand. dark night. warning him to come no nearer. some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together. and moaning as they went. When they were within two paces of each other. it was wide open. with its chain wound over and about its arm. which he did. joined in the mournful dirge. and floated out upon the bleak. He looked out. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand.A Christmas Carol his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude. Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. so that when the spectre reached it. wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory.

without undressing. whom it saw below. and the bolts were undisturbed. or the dull conversation of the Ghost. that they sought to interfere. went straight to bed. Whether these creatures faded into mist. But they and their spirit voices faded together. upon a door-step. in human matters. from the emotion he had undergone. The misery with them all was. and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered. he could not tell. and the night became as it had been when he walked home.A Christmas Carol old ghost. as he had locked it with his own hands. or the fatigues of the day. It was double-locked. and fell asleep upon the instant. who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant. or mist enshrouded them. Scrooge closed the window. and had lost the power for ever. much in need of repose. for good. with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle. in a white waistcoat. And being. clearly. or the lateness of the hour. 33 of 138 . He tried to say ‘Humbug!’ but stopped at the first syllable. or his glimpse of the Invisible World.

it isn’t possible. Twelve. ‘that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night.A Christmas Carol Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits When Scrooge awoke. he scrambled out of bed. He touched the spring of his repeater. It was past two when he went to bed. To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown 34 of 138 . when the chimes of a neighbouring church struck the four quarters. Twelve. and regularly up to twelve. It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun. it was so dark. He was endeavouring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes.’ The idea being an alarming one. and from seven to eight. then stopped.’ said Scrooge. Its rapid little pulse beat twelve: and stopped. he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber. An icicle must have got into the works. So he listened for the hour. to correct this most preposterous clock. The clock was wrong. and this is twelve at noon. and groped his way to the window. ‘Why. that looking out of bed.

All he could make out was. his mind flew back again. like a strong spring released. that the Ghost hadwarned him of a visitation when the 35 of 138 . Scrooge went to bed again. and could see very little then. on a sudden. that it was still very foggy and extremely cold. the more he thought. after mature inquiry that it was all a dream. and. and could make nothing of it. and thought. and that there was no noise of people running to and fro. ‘Was it a dream or not?’ Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more. and making a great stir. Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day. and thought. and thought it over and over. to its first position. the more he endeavoured not to think. Ebenezer Scrooge on his order. Every time he resolved within himself. would have become a mere United States security if there were no days to count by. because ‘Three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. when he remembered. This was a great relief.A Christmas Carol before he could see anything. The more he thought. and taken possession of the world. andpresented the same problem to be worked all through. the more perplexed he was.’ and so forth.

this was. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside.’ said Scrooge. ‘Ding.’ said Scrooge. considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to heaven. nor the curtains at his back. perhaps.’ said Scrooge. He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed. counting. ‘Ding. ‘Ding. starting 36 of 138 .’ said Scrooge triumphantly. and missed the clock. dong!’ ‘A quarter past. melancholy ONE. which it now did with a deep. dong!’ ‘Half past. and. I tell you. by a hand. ‘and nothing else!’ He spoke before the hour bell sounded. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. and the curtains of his bed were drawn. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant. hollow. the wisest resolution in his power. dong!’ ‘The hour itself. that he was more than once convinced he must have sunk into a doze unconsciously. but those to which his face was addressed. ‘Ding.A Christmas Carol bell tolled one. and Scrooge. dong!’ ‘A quarter to it. dull. Not the curtains at his feet. The quarter was so long. At length it broke upon his listening ear.

37 of 138 . and which was doubtless the occasion of its using. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. by which all this was visible. and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view. had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. were. and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it. which hung about its neck and down its back. that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light.A Christmas Carol up into a half-recumbent attitude. in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem. Its hair. and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you. It wore a tunic of the purest white. and. was white as if with age. bare. It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt. the hands the same. the sheen of which was beautiful. Its legs and feet. which it now held under its arm. in its duller moments. most delicately formed. a great extinguisher for a cap. as if its hold were of uncommon strength. like those upper members. But the strangest thing about it was. viewed through some supernatural medium. The arms were very long and muscular. and being diminished to a child’s proportions.

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

‘They have no consciousness of us. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them. and tree. Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs. its church.A Christmas Carol Scrooge muttered. with an unusual catching in his voice. ‘I could walk it blindfold. that the crisp air laughed to hear it.’ cried Scrooge with fervour. who called to other boys in country gigs and carts. driven by farmers. Scrooge knew and named them every one.’ They walked along the road. Why did his cold eye glisten. and winding river. that it was a pimple.’ observed the Ghost. and his heart leap up as they went past. ‘These are but shadows of the things that have been. ‘Remember it. ‘Let us go on.’ inquired the Spirit. and shouted to each other. with its bridge. All these boys were in great spirits. ‘You recollect the way. until the broad fields were so full of merry music.’ said the Ghost. and begged the Ghost to lead him where he would.’ The jocund travellers came on.’ ‘Strange to have forgotten it for so many years. until a little market-town appeared in the distance. and as they came. and post. Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each 41 of 138 . Scrooge recognising every gate.

their walls were damp and mossy. and vast. Nor was it more retentive of its ancient state. within.’ Scrooge said he knew it. ‘The school is not quite deserted. They went. and not too much to eat. and 42 of 138 .’ said the Ghost. they found them poorly furnished. by a well-remembered lane. It opened before them. Out upon merry Christmas. What was merry Christmas to Scrooge. and the coach-houses and sheds were over-run with grass. but one of broken fortunes. their windows broken. What good had it ever done to him. is left there still. to a door at the back of the house. as they parted at cross-roads and bye-ways. They left the high-road. on the roof. Fowls clucked and strutted in the stables. which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle-light. and their gates decayed. and a bell hanging in it. It was a large house. a chilly bareness in the place. cold. for the spacious offices were little used. There was an earthy savour in the air. and glancing through the open doors of many rooms. across the hall. for their several homes. the Ghost and Scrooge. with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola. for entering the dreary hall.A Christmas Carol other Merry Christmas. ‘A solitary child. And he sobbed. and soon approached a mansion of dull red brick. neglected by his friends.

not a drip from the half-thawed water-spout in the dull yard behind. made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. for the first time. he did come. but fell upon the heart of Scrooge with a softening influence. The Spirit touched him on the arm. At one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire. Not a latent echo in the house. and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. in foreign garments: wonderfully real and distinct to look at: stood outside the window.’ Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy. just like that. Yes. Suddenly a man. not a sigh among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar. and Scrooge sat down upon a form. not the idle swinging of an empty store-house door. Orson.A Christmas Carol disclosed a long.’ and his wild brother. One Christmas time.’ said Scrooge. and gave a freer passage to his tears. and leading by the bridle an ass laden with wood. with an axe stuck in his belt. not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the panelling. intent upon his reading. who 43 of 138 . and pointed to his younger self. ‘It’s dear old honest Ali Baba. yes. melancholy room. not a clicking in the fire. there they go. when yonder solitary child was left here all alone. And what’s his name. ‘Why. no. Poor boy. it’s Ali Baba. And Valentine. I know. bare.

Hallo. when he came home again after sailing round the island. he said. And the Sultan’s Groom turned upside down by the Genii.’ Then. It was the Parrot. he called him. I’m glad of it. with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character. in pity for his former self. 44 of 138 . in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying. you know. Poor Robin Crusoe. and to see his heightened and excited face. where have you been.’ and cried again. ‘There’s the Parrot. ‘Poor Robin Crusoe. running for his life to the little creek.’ To hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects. There goes Friday. Hoop. ‘Green body and yellow tail. Halloa. with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head. indeed. would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city. Robin Crusoe. Serve him right. there he is upon his head.A Christmas Carol was put down in his drawers. ‘Poor boy. don’t you see him. but he wasn’t. asleep. there he is. What business had he to be married to the Princess.’ cried Scrooge.’ The man thought he was dreaming. at the Gate of Damascus.

‘Nothing. and the naked laths were shown instead. but walking up and down despairingly. ‘Let us see another Christmas. Scrooge knew no more than you do. alone again. Scrooge looked at the Ghost.’ Scrooge’s former self grew larger at the words. glanced anxiously towards the door. the windows cracked. and putting her arms about his neck. and the room became a little darker and more dirty. when all the other boys had gone home for the jolly holidays. and waved its hand: saying as it did so.’ Scrooge muttered. and looking about him. The panels shrunk.’ asked the Spirit. and 45 of 138 . There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. He only knew that it was quite correct. He was not reading now. It opened. ‘Nothing. but how all this was brought about. that everything had happened so. came darting in.’ The Ghost smiled thoughtfully.’ said Scrooge. I should like to have given him something: that’s all. that there he was. and with a mournful shaking of his head.’ ‘What is the matter. putting his hand in his pocket. fragments of plaster fell out of the ceiling. and a little girl. after drying his eyes with his cuff: ‘but it’s too late now. much younger than the boy.A Christmas Carol ‘I wish.

’ said the child.’ ‘Home.’ ‘You are quite a woman. opening her eyes. laughed again. He spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed. dear brother.’ returned the boy. She clapped her hands and laughed.’ said the child. that home’s like Heaven.’ and are never to come back here. And you’re to be a man. home. you should. but first. A terrible voice in the hall cried. and tried to touch his head. brimful of glee. Father is so much kinder than he used to be. nothing loth to go. home. but being too little. addressed him as her ‘Dear. ‘To bring you home. that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home. and he. clapping her tiny hands. ‘Bring down Master Scrooge’s box. ‘Yes. towards the door. Home. accompanied her. for good and all.’ ‘I have come to bring you home. there. little Fan.’ exclaimed the boy. ‘Home. we’re to be together all the Christmas long. in her childish eagerness. and sent me in a coach to bring you. for ever and ever. little Fan.’ said the child. and he said Yes. and have the merriest time in all the world.’ and in the hall appeared the 46 of 138 . dear brother. and stood on tiptoe to embrace him.A Christmas Carol often kissing him. Then she began to drag him. and bending down to laugh.

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. Master Scrooge’s trunk being by this time tied on to the top of the chaise. Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine. he had rather not. sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of something to the postboy. I will not gainsay it. ‘Always a delicate creature. ‘But she had a large heart. but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before.’ said the Ghost. ‘You’re right. and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows. He then conveyed him and his sister into the veriest old well of a shivering best-parlour that ever was seen. and getting into it. the children bade the schoolmaster good-bye right willingly. who glared on Master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension. and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him.A Christmas Carol schoolmaster himself.’ 47 of 138 . whom a breath might have withered.’ ‘So she had. God forbid. who answered that he thanked the gentleman. and a block of curiously heavy cake. Spirit.’ cried Scrooge. where the maps upon the wall. were waxy with cold. and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time.

it’s Fezziwig alive again. that here too it was Christmas time again. and answered briefly.’ Scrooge returned. children.’ Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind. as I think.’ Although they had but that moment left the school behind them. Bless his heart. but it was evening.’ said the Ghost. It was made plain enough. it’s old Fezziwig. and asked Scrooge if he knew it. where shadowy passengers passed and repassed. that if he had been two inches taller he must have knocked his head against the ceiling. by the dressing of the shops. ‘True.A Christmas Carol ‘She died a woman. ‘Yes.’ They went in.’ ‘One child. Scrooge cried in great excitement: ‘Why. ‘I was apprenticed here. ‘and had. they were now in the busy thoroughfares of a city. and all the strife and tumult of a real city were. At sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig. The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door. and the streets were lighted up.’ 48 of 138 .’ said the Ghost. sitting behind such a high desk. where shadowy carts and coaches battle for the way.’ said Scrooge. ‘Know it. ‘Your nephew.

and looked up at the clock. rich. adjusted his capacious waistcoat. Dear. now grown a young man. came briskly in. laughed all over himself. my lads. with a sharp clap of his hands. ‘Bless me. ‘Clear away.’ You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. to be sure. ‘Dick Wilkins.’ said Fezziwig. 49 of 138 . Ebenezer. oily. from his shows to his organ of benevolence. Dick. yes. was Dick. nine — and came back before you could have got to twelve.’ said Scrooge to the Ghost. There he is. accompanied by his fellow-prentice. my boys. He was very much attached to me.’ ‘Yo ho. Christmas.’ Scrooge’s former self. panting like race-horses. two. three — had them up in their places — four.’ cried old Fezziwig. five. with wonderful agility. ‘No more work tonight.’ before a man can say Jack Robinson. dear. six — barred them and pinned then — seven. They charged into the street with the shutters — one. there. Christmas Eve. Poor Dick.A Christmas Carol Old Fezziwig laid down his pen. jovial voice: ‘Yo ho. Let’s have the shutters up. He rubbed his hands. fat. eight. Ebenezer. and called out in a comfortable. Dick. skipping down from the high desk. which pointed to the hour of seven. ‘Hilli-ho!’ cried old Fezziwig.

the lamps were trimmed. as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore. and dry. and the warehouse was as snug. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night. who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress. Every movable was packed off. In came the cook. beaming and lovable. the floor was swept and watered. the milkman. or couldn’t have cleared away. trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs. fuel was heaped upon the fire. and bright a ball-room. In came Mrs Fezziwig. with her cousin. Chirrup. It was done in a minute. and made an orchestra of it.’ Clear away. In came all the young men and women employed in the business. In came a fiddler with a music-book. Ebenezer. Hilli-ho. with old Fezziwig looking on. In came the housemaid. In came the boy from over the way. one vast substantial smile.A Christmas Carol and let’s have lots of room here. and warm. Dick. and went up to the lofty desk. the baker. There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away. who was suspected of not having board enough from his master. with her brother’s particular friend. and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. In they all 50 of 138 .

twenty couples at once. and more dances. and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight. old Fezziwig. as soon as they got there.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. Away they all went. and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled. and there were mince-pies. some shyly. But scorning rest. old top couple always turning up in the wrong place. down the middle and up again. Download the free trial version. exhausted. in they all came. on a shutter. upon his reappearance. clapping his hands to stop the dance.’ Well done. came. cried out. and not a bottom one to help them. new top couple starting off again. all top couples at last. There were more dances. When this result was brought about. some pulling. and edit PDF. hands half round and back again the other way. and there was negus. some gracefully. when the fiddler (an 51 of 138 . especially provided for that purpose. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled. as if the other fiddler had been carried home. some boldly. anyhow and everyhow. one after another. or perish. view.’ and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter. some pushing. he instantly began again. round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping. and plenty of beer. though there were no dancers yet. and there was cake. and there was a great piece of Cold Roast. some awkwardly. and there were forfeits.

The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him. and had no notion of walking. Top couple.) struck up Sir Roger de Coverley. with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them. that he appeared to wink with his legs. mind. tell me higher. both hands to your partner. thread-theneedle. bow and curtsey. people who would dance. and came upon his feet again without a stagger. If that’s not high praise. too.’ Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs Fezziwig. But if they had been twice as many — ah. she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. at any given time. As to her. corkscrew.A Christmas Carol artful dog. They shone in every part of the dance like moons. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs Fezziwig had gone all through the dance. advance and retire. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations. what would have become of them next. three or four and twenty pair of partners. this domestic ball broke up. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. four times — old Fezziwig would have been a match for them. When the clock struck eleven. one on 52 of 138 . and so would Mrs Fezziwig. Fezziwig cut — cut so deftly. people who were not to be trifled with. and back again to your place. and I’ll use it. You couldn’t have predicted.

and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out. who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so. ‘Why. wished him or her a Merry Christmas. and underwent the strangest agitation. ‘A small matter. ‘to make these silly folks so full of gratitude. Is that so much that he deserves this praise. while the light upon its head burnt very clear. when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them.’ said the Ghost. which were under a counter in the back-shop. and thus the cheerful voices died away.’ ‘Small. When everybody had retired but the two prentices. Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. remembered everything. and the lads were left to their beds. that he remembered the Ghost. and became conscious that it was looking full upon him. He corroborated everything. It was not until now. they did the same to them. said. Is it not. The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices.’ 53 of 138 . He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps.’ echoed Scrooge. During the whole of this time. enjoyed everything. His heart and soul were in the scene.A Christmas Carol either side of the door. and with his former self.

Say that his power lies in words and looks. ‘Nothing in particular. but it produced an immediate effect. His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years. a man in the prime of life. I think. restless 54 of 138 . greedy. self. For again Scrooge saw himself.’ His former self turned down the lamps as he gave utterance to the wish. to make our service light or burdensome. ‘No. heated by the remark.’ said Scrooge. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy.’ observed the Spirit.’ the Ghost insisted. not his latter. There was an eager. and Scrooge and the Ghost again stood side by side in the open air. That’s all.’ He felt the Spirit’s glance. ‘Quick. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now.’ said Scrooge. and speaking unconsciously like his former. but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice. The happiness he gives. ‘My time grows short. ‘It isn’t that. a pleasure or a toil.’ asked the Ghost. and stopped.A Christmas Carol ‘It isn’t that. He was older now. in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then. or to any one whom he could see.’ said Scrooge. is quite as great as if it cost a fortune. ‘What is the matter.’ This was not addressed to Scrooge. ‘Something. Spirit.’ No.

‘To you. Have I not. and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall. Gain. very little. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one. what then. ‘Even if I have grown so much wiser. I have no just cause to grieve.’ he retorted. engrosses you. which showed the passion that had taken root. but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a mourning-dress: in whose eyes there were tears. until the masterpassion. He was not alone. Another idol has displaced me.A Christmas Carol motion in the eye. I am not changed towards you. gently.’ she said. ‘It matters little.’ ‘What then. and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come. ‘There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty.’ he rejoined.’ she answered. and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth.’ ‘You fear the world too much. which sparkled in the light that shone out of the Ghost of Christmas Past. softly.’ ‘What Idol has displaced you.’ he said. ‘A golden one. ‘All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach.’ ‘This is the even-handed dealing of the world. as I would have tried to do.’ 55 of 138 .

How often and how keenly I have thought of this. until. If this had never been between us. ‘Am I. ‘Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are. would you seek me out and try to win me now. is fraught with misery now that we are two. upon him.’ ‘In words. but with steadiness.’ he said impatiently. and can release you. looking mildly. ‘I am. I will not say.’ 56 of 138 . It is enough that I have thought of it.’ ‘In a changed nature. in an altered spirit. Never. no. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so. in another atmosphere of life.’ she returned.’ ‘I was a boy.’ ‘In what. in good season.’ tell me. Ah. No. another Hope as its great end.A Christmas Carol She shook her head. You are changed. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart. In everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight.’ ‘Our contract is an old one. then.’ said the girl. When it was made. we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry.’ ‘Have I ever sought release. you were another man.

and they parted. With a full heart. but with her head turned from him.’ ‘I would gladly think otherwise if I could. But he said with a struggle. When I have learned a Truth like this. A very. in your very confidence with her. I know how strong and irresistible it must be. and I release you. ‘You may — the memory of what is past half makes me hope you will — have pain in this. weigh everything by Gain: or. But if you were free to-day. she resumed. gladly. ‘Heaven knows. if for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so. 57 of 138 . from which it happened well that you awoke.’ She left him. as an unprofitable dream.A Christmas Carol He seemed to yield to the justice of this supposition. I do. yesterday. can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl — you who. to-morrow. May you be happy in the life you have chosen. choosing her. very brief time. do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow. for the love of him you once were.’ You think not.’ He was about to speak.’ she answered. in spite of himself. and you will dismiss the recollection of it.

Why do you delight to torture me.’ ‘One shadow more. ‘No more. so like that last that Scrooge believed it was the same.’ But the relentless Ghost pinioned him in both his arms. now a comely matron.’ cried Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit. got pillaged by the young brigands most ruthlessly. Show me no more. until he saw her. I wouldn’t for the 58 of 138 . no. They were in another scene and place.’ show me no more. the mother and daughter laughed heartily. and enjoyed it very much. but every child was conducting itself like forty.’ exclaimed the Ghost. no. and the latter. The consequences were uproarious beyond belief. they were not forty children conducting themselves like one. Though I never could have been so rude. Near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl. but no one seemed to care. I don’t wish to see it. ‘No more. and. The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous. unlike the celebrated herd in the poem. Conduct me home. on the contrary. What would I not have given to one of them.’ said Scrooge. sitting opposite her daughter. but full of comfort. not very large or handsome. and forced him to observe what happened next. soon beginning to mingle in the sports. a room. for there were more children there. than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count.

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. to have questioned her. God bless my soul. I should have liked. Then the shouting and the struggling. to have let loose waves of hair. an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price: in short. I wouldn’t have plucked it off. bold young brood.A Christmas Carol wealth of all the world have crushed that braided hair. and for the precious little shoe. just in time to greet the father. to have touched her lips. hold on tight by his cravat. I couldn’t have done it. and never come straight again. and torn it down. to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes. But now a knocking at the door was heard. to have had the lightest licence of a child. I should have expected my arm to have grown round it for a punishment. I do confess. that she might have opened them. who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. to save my life. As to measuring her waist in sport. and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter. hug him round his 59 of 138 . as they did. despoil him of brown-paper parcels. And yet I should have dearly liked. and yet to have been man enough to know its value. I own. The scaling him with chairs for ladders to dive into his pockets. and never raised a blush.

and ecstasy. They are all indescribable alike.A Christmas Carol neck. and so subsided. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour. up to the top of the house. his sight grew very dim indeed. when the master of the house. sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside. and gratitude. and when he thought that such another creature. glued on a wooden platter. The immense relief of finding this a false alarm. having his daughter leaning fondly on him.’ 60 of 138 . quite as graceful and as full of promise. The terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a doll’s frying-pan into his mouth.’ ‘Who was it.’ I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. ‘Belle. The shouts of wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received.’ ‘Guess.’ said the husband. and kick his legs in irrepressible affection. And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever. where they went to bed. and by one stair at a time. The joy. might have called him father. turning to his wife with a smile. pommel his back. and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey. and been a spring-time in the haggard winter of his life.

and dimly connecting that with its influence over him. wrestled with it. I passed his office window. Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright. in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him.’ remove me from this place.’ Scrooge exclaimed.’ said Scrooge in a broken voice.’ ‘Spirit. do not blame me. Quite alone in the world. and seeing that it looked upon him with a face. laughing as he laughed. ‘That they are what they are.’ ‘Remove me. 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.’ she added in the same breath. Take me back.’ I cannot bear it. ‘Leave me. ‘Mr Scrooge. and there he sat alone. Haunt me no longer.’ In the struggle. he 61 of 138 . don’t I know.’ He turned upon the Ghost.’ ‘Mr Scrooge it was. His partner lies upon the point of death. I could scarcely help seeing him. and he had a candle inside.’ said the Ghost. I do believe.A Christmas Carol ‘How can I.’ ‘I told you these were shadows of the things that have been. and as it was not shut up. I hear. Tut.

and. and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head. but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force.A Christmas Carol seized the extinguisher-cap. 62 of 138 . He gave the cap a parting squeeze. He was conscious of being exhausted. which streamed from under it. and had barely time to reel to bed. The Spirit dropped beneath it. he could not hide the light. of being in his own bedroom. further. in which his hand relaxed. in an unbroken flood upon the ground. so that the extinguisher covered its whole form. before he sank into a heavy sleep. and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness.

no 63 of 138 . Scrooge had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of One. and lying down again. for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley’s intervention. and being usually equal to the time-of-day.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two. view. Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore. 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. For. and edit PDF. between which opposite extremes. He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time. But. he put them every one aside with his own hands. and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together. Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort. he wished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of its appearance. established a sharp look-out all round the bed. and did not wish to be taken by surprise. and made nervous. finding that he turned uncomfortably cold when he began to wonder which of his curtains this new spectre would draw back.

and would unquestionably have done it too — at last. Five minutes. and which. for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it. however. a quarter of an hour went by.A Christmas Carol doubt. I say. without having the consolation of knowing it. being only light. All this time. and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion. he began to think — as you or I would have thought at first. was more alarming than a dozen ghosts. At last. or would be at. consequently. and no shape appeared. Without venturing for Scrooge quite as hardily as this. and. he was not by any means prepared for nothing. I don’t mind calling on you to believe that he was ready for a good broad field of strange appearances. yet nothing came. and that nothing between a baby and rhinoceros would have astonished him very much. he began to think that the source and secret of this 64 of 138 . as he was powerless to make out what it meant. when the Bell struck One. he was taken with a violent fit of trembling. which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour. there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects. Now. he lay upon his bed. the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light. being prepared for almost anything. ten minutes.

a strange voice called him by his name. and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney. It was his own room. This idea taking full possession of his mind. that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. The crisp leaves of holly. mistletoe. juicy oranges. game. or for many and many a winter season gone. that it looked a perfect grove. Heaped up on the floor. red-hot chestnuts. brawn. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green. as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time. There was no doubt about that. The moment Scrooge’s hand was on the lock. on further tracing it. and ivy reflected back the light. were turkeys. sucking-pigs. to form a kind of throne.A Christmas Carol ghostly light might be in the adjoining room. geese. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. immense twelfth-cakes. as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there. or Marley’s. plum-puddings. mince-pies. it seemed to shine. luscious pears. and bade him enter. from whence. barrels of oysters. He obeyed. and seething bowls of punch. great joints of meat. cherry-cheeked apples. long wreaths of sausages. poultry. bright gleaming berries glistened. from every part of which. he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door. In easy 65 of 138 .

free as its genial face. It was clothed in one simple green robe. its unconstrained demeanour. high up. and though the Spirit’s eyes were clear and kind. Its dark brown curls were long and free. man. there sat a jolly Giant. in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn. and hung his head before this Spirit. observable beneath the ample folds of the garment. who bore a glowing torch. set here and there with shining icicles. as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. its sparkling eye. glorious to see. bordered with white fur.’ Scrooge entered timidly. ‘Come in. he did not like to meet them. and know me better.’ said the Spirit. as he came peeping round the door.’ Scrooge reverently did so. ‘Come in. that its capacious breast was bare. to shed its light on Scrooge. This garment hung so loosely on the figure. ‘Look upon me. Girded round its middle was an antique 66 of 138 . Its feet. He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been. or mantle. its cheery voice. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. and its joyful air.’ exclaimed the Ghost. were also bare. and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath. its open hand.A Christmas Carol state upon this couch. and held it up.

sausages.’ ‘More than eighteen hundred. I went forth last night on compulsion.’ Scrooge made answer to it.’ said the Ghost. game. let me profit by it. meaning (for I am very young) my elder brothers born in these later years.A Christmas Carol scabbard. oysters.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge submissively. all vanished instantly. puddings. ‘Have never walked forth with the younger members of my family.’ ‘Touch my robe. the ruddy glow. To-night. and I learnt a lesson which is working now. ivy. the hour of night. ‘Spirit. The Ghost of Christmas Present rose. and punch. ‘I don’t think I have. but no sword was in it.’ conduct me where you will.’ exclaimed the Spirit. and 67 of 138 . geese. Spirit. red berries. mistletoe. the fire. pigs. Holly.’ pursued the Phantom. brawn.’ muttered Scrooge. ‘I am afraid I have not. meat.’ Scrooge did as he was told. poultry. turkeys. ‘Never. ‘A tremendous family to provide for. Have you had many brothers. pies. and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust. and held it fast. ‘You have never seen the like of me before. fruit. So did the room. if you have aught to teach me.

The sky was gloomy. and the shortest streets were choked up with a dingy mist. contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs. and with the dirtier snow upon the ground. and yet was there an air of cheerfulness abroad that the clearest summer air and 68 of 138 . The house fronts looked black enough. half thawed. half frozen. and from the tops of their houses. and splitting into artificial little snow-storms. in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of their dwellings.A Christmas Carol they stood in the city streets on Christmas morning. and were blazing away to their dear hearts’ content. but brisk and not unpleasant kind of music. and made intricate channels. hard to trace in the thick yellow mud and icy water. where (for the weather was severe) the people made a rough. whose heavier particles descended in shower of sooty atoms. as if all the chimneys in Great Britain had. caught fire. whence it was mad delight to the boys to see it come plumping down into the road below. and the windows blacker. There was nothing very cheerful in the climate or the town. by one consent. which last deposit had been ploughed up in deep furrows by the heavy wheels of carts and waggons. furrows that crossed and recrossed each other hundreds of times where the great streets branched off.

and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. There were pears and apples. round. round. ancient walks among the woods. broad-girthed Spanish onions. The poulterers’ shops were still half open. and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe.A Christmas Carol brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain. calling out to one another from the parapets. clustered high in blooming pyramids. shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen. There were great. lolling at the doors. there were bunches of grapes. and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. For. recalling. in their fragrance. the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee. There were ruddy. that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed. brown-faced. 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. shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars. and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by. mossy and brown. pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts. and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through 69 of 138 . there were piles of filberts. made. in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks.

It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound. the almonds so extremely white. appeared to know that there was something going on. oh the Grocers’. to a fish. nearly closed. or one. The very gold and silver fish. went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement. the other spices so delicious. Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy. or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks. setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons. or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare. The Grocers’. urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner.A Christmas Carol withered leaves. there were Norfolk Biffins. though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race. with perhaps two shutters down. the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight. squab and swarthy. the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. and. and. or that the French plums blushed in 70 of 138 . in the great compactness of their juicy persons. or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly. set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl. or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose. but through those gaps such glimpses.

and away they came. for he stood with Scrooge beside him in a baker’s doorway. and taking off the covers as their bearers passed. but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day. and committed hundreds of the like mistakes. sprinkled incense on their dinners from his torch. lanes. carrying their dinners to the baker’ shops. and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose. flocking through the streets in their best clothes. And it was a very uncommon kind of torch. worn outside for general inspection. to church and chapel. The sight of these poor revellers appeared to interest the Spirit very much. But soon the steeples called good people all. and nameless turnings. and came running back to fetch them. crashing their wicker baskets wildly. and with their gayest faces. And at the same time there emerged from scores of byestreets. for once or twice 71 of 138 . or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress. innumerable people. that they tumbled up against each other at the door. and left their purchases upon the counter.A Christmas Carol modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes. 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. in the best humour possible.

of all the beings in the many worlds about us. where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too. and the bakers were shut up. ‘To any kindly given. To a poor one most. God love it. ‘There is.’ asked Scrooge.’ ‘Spirit. after a moment’s thought.’ asked Scrooge.A Christmas Carol when there were angry words between some dinnercarriers who had jostled each other.’ ‘Why to a poor one most. My own.’ cried the Spirit. so it was. and their good humour was restored directly. and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking.’ said Scrooge. should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment. ‘Because it needs it most.’ I wonder you. And so it was.’ ‘Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day. In time the bells ceased.’ asked Scrooge. he shed a few drops of water on them from it. For they said. it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day. 72 of 138 .’ ‘I. in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker’s oven. ‘Is there a peculiar flavour in what you sprinkle from your torch.

A Christmas Carol ‘You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day. and charge their doings on themselves. ‘And it comes to the same thing. that notwithstanding his gigantic size.’ Scrooge promised that he would.’ said Scrooge. envy. and who do their deeds of passion. as it was possible he could have done in any lofty hall. 73 of 138 . ‘Forgive me if I am wrong.’ said Scrooge. he could accommodate himself to any place with ease. pride. It was a remarkable quality of the Ghost (which Scrooge had observed at the baker’s). Remember that. who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin. It has been done in your name. as if they had never lived. ‘There are some upon this earth of yours.’ who lay claim to know us. and that he stood beneath a low roof quite as gracefully and like a supernatural creature. ‘You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day.’ cried the Spirit. as they had been before. not us.’ returned the Spirit. ill-will.’ exclaimed the Spirit. bigotry. into the suburbs of the town. invisible. often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘I.’ ‘I seek. and they went on. ‘Wouldn’t you. or at least in that of your family. and selfishness in our name. hatred.

also brave in ribbons.A Christmas Carol And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his. second of her daughters. And now two smaller Cratchits. while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes. screaming that outside the baker’s they had smelt the goose. and took Scrooge with him. dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown. he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name. Cratchit’s wife. rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired. and yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house. and yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks. for there he went. holding to his robe. Then up rose Mrs Cratchit. conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day) into his mouth. generous. Bob had but fifteen bob a-week himself. or else it was his own kind. but brave in ribbons. Think of that. boy and girl. hearty nature. and known it for their 74 of 138 . and she laid the cloth. assisted by Belinda Cratchit. that led him straight to Scrooge’s clerk’s. and his sympathy with all poor men. and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit’s dwelling with the sprinkling of his torch. and getting the corners of his monstrous shirt collar (Bob’s private property. and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled. which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence. came tearing in.

‘Hide. ‘We’d a deal of work to finish up last night.’ 75 of 138 . until the slow potatoes bubbling up. and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies. mother. ‘What has ever got your precious father then. knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled. Martha. while he (not proud. ‘And your brother. mother.’ ‘Well. ‘Sit ye down before the fire.’ replied the girl. own. and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with officious zeal. ‘Here’s Martha. how late you are. my dear. and have a warm. and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion. bless your heart alive. There’s father coming. view. my dear. appearing as she spoke. mother. and edit PDF.’ said Mrs Cratchit. Tiny Tim. Never mind so long as you are come.’ cried the two young Cratchits. who were everywhere at once.’ said Mrs Cratchit. Download the free trial version. ‘Hurrah. And Martha warn’t as late last Christmas Day by half-an-hour. although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire.’ and had to clear away this morning.’ ‘Here’s Martha.’ cried the two young Cratchits. hide.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create.’ ‘No. Lord bless ye.’ said Mrs Cratchit. kissing her a dozen times. these young Cratchits danced about the table. There’s such a goose.’ ‘Why. no. Martha.’ said a girl.

Alas for Tiny Tim. and thinks the 76 of 138 . ‘Not coming.’ said Mrs Cratchit. asked Mrs Cratchit. when she had rallied Bob on his credulity. ‘Not coming upon Christmas Day. he bore a little crutch.’ and better. and bore him off into the wash-house. to look seasonable. sitting by himself so much. the father. with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe. so she came out prematurely from behind the closet door.A Christmas Carol So Martha hid herself. ‘And how did little Tim behave. hanging down before him. if it were only in joke. ‘As good as gold. and ran into his arms. and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder.’ Martha didn’t like to see him disappointed. for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church. Somehow he gets thoughtful.’ said Bob. ‘Why. and in came little Bob. with a sudden declension in his high spirits. and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content. ‘Not coming. where’s our Martha. looking round. and had his limbs supported by an iron frame.’ cried Bob Cratchit.’ said Bob. and had come home rampant. while the two young Cratchits hustled Tiny Tim. and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed. that he might hear the pudding singing in the copper.

turning up his cuffs — as if. who made lame beggars walk. and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day. and stirred it round and round and put it on the hob to simmer. He told me. because he was a cripple.A Christmas Carol strangest things you ever heard. escorted by his brother and sister to his stool before the fire.’ Bob’s voice was tremulous when he told them this. Such a bustle ensued that you might have thought a goose the rarest of all birds. and blind men see. and back came Tiny Tim before another word was spoken. to which a black swan was a matter of course — and in truth it was something very like it in that house. that he hoped the people saw him in the church. with which they soon returned in high procession. and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty. and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits went to fetch the goose. Master Peter. poor fellow. Master Peter mashed the potatoes with 77 of 138 . they were capable of being made more shabby — compounded some hot mixture in a jug with gin and lemons. coming home. Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot. and while Bob. His active little crutch was heard upon the floor. a feathered phenomenon.

Miss Belinda sweetened up the applesauce. Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table. Yet every one had had enough. excited by the two young Cratchits. were steeped in sage and 78 of 138 . the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody. It was succeeded by a breathless pause. were the themes of universal admiration. one murmur of delight arose all round the board. prepared to plunge it in the breast. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes. but when she did. indeed. There never was such a goose. and when the long expected gush of stuffing issued forth. and feebly cried Hurrah. Its tenderness and flavour. Martha dusted the hot plates. crammed spoons into their mouths. not forgetting themselves. and grace was said. and even Tiny Tim.A Christmas Carol incredible vigour. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. as Mrs Cratchit. size and cheapness. as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish). At last the dishes were set on. and mounting guard upon their posts. beat on the table with the handle of his knife. they hadn’t ate it all at last. and the youngest Cratchits in particular. lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped. looking slowly all along the carving-knife. it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family.

A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other. she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity 79 of 138 . That was the pudding. and stolen it. and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top. Suppose it should break in turning out. and calmly too. that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. Suppose it should not be done enough. Hallo. but smiling proudly — with the pudding. Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard. the plates being changed by Miss Belinda. blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy.A Christmas Carol onion to the eyebrows. A great deal of steam. That was the cloth. while they were merry with the goose — a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid. All sorts of horrors were supposed. Oh. Bob Cratchit said. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed. with a laundress’s next door to that. a wonderful pudding. Mrs Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind. A smell like a washing-day. so hard and firm. Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in. The pudding was out of the copper. But now. like a speckled cannon-ball.

‘God bless us every one. Everybody had something to say about it. It would have been flat heresy to do so. and at Bob Cratchit’s elbow stood the family display of glass. Then Bob proposed: ‘A Merry Christmas to us all. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing. apples and oranges were put upon the table.’ said Tiny Tim. Two tumblers. and dreaded that he might be taken from him. but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. At last the dinner was all done. while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. Bob held his withered little hand in his. the cloth was cleared. the last of all. God bless us. 80 of 138 . The compound in the jug being tasted. in what Bob Cratchit called a circle.A Christmas Carol of flour. however. my dears. the hearth swept. as well as golden goblets would have done. and considered perfect. and a custard-cup without a handle. meaning half a one.’ Which all the family re-echoed. and Bob served it out with beaming looks. and the fire made up. These held the hot stuff from the jug. and wished to keep him by his side. as if he loved the child. He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire.

forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is. Oh God. ‘tell me if Tiny Tim will live. What then. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. no.’ said Scrooge. and a crutch without an owner.’ said the Ghost. not adamant. ‘Oh.’ 81 of 138 . ‘will find him here. and was overcome with penitence and grief. and decrease the surplus population. If he be like to die. say he will be spared.’ replied the Ghost. you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. and Where it is. ‘in the poor chimney-corner. Will you decide what men shall live. no. to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust. with an interest he had never felt before.’ ‘If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. ‘if man you be in heart. what men shall die. It may be.’ ‘I see a vacant seat. the child will die. that in the sight of Heaven.’ returned the Ghost.’ ‘No. kind Spirit. carefully preserved. he had better do it. ‘Man.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit.’ Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit. none other of my race.

A merry Christmas and a happy new year.’ said Bob. Tiny Tim drank it last of all. on hearing his own name.’ ‘It should be Christmas Day. and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground. unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. You know he is. ‘Christmas Day. ‘on which one drinks the health of such an odious. Scrooge was the Ogre of the family. But he raised them speedily.’ said Mrs Cratchit. poor fellow. ‘the children. The mention of his 82 of 138 . Nobody knows it better than you do. I am sure.’ ‘My dear. Robert. Long life to him.’ said Bob.’ ‘My dear.A Christmas Carol Scrooge bent before the Ghost’s rebuke. ‘Mr Scrooge. It was the first of their proceedings which had no heartiness. I have no doubt. He’ll be very merry and very happy. but he didn’t care twopence for it.’ said she. Christmas Day.’ The children drank the toast after her.’ was Bob’s mild answer. ‘I wish I had him here. reddening. the Founder of the Feast. hard.’ ‘I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s. and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it.’ cried Mrs Cratchit.’ ‘The Founder of the Feast indeed. ‘not for his. ‘I’ll give you Mr Scrooge. stingy. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon.

about a lost child travelling in the 83 of 138 . who was a poor apprentice at a milliner’s. The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter’s being a man of business. full five-and-sixpence weekly. they were ten times merrier than before. if obtained. All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round. Martha. from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with. and by-andbye they had a song. and how she meant to lie abed to-morrow morning for a good long rest. which was not dispelled for full five minutes. and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars. and how the lord was much about as tall as Peter.A Christmas Carol name cast a dark shadow on the party. then told them what kind of work she had to do. to-morrow being a holiday she passed at home. Bob Cratchit told them how he had a situation in his eye for Master Peter. After it had passed away. which would bring in. as if he were deliberating what particular investments he should favour when he came into the receipt of that bewildering income. at which Peter pulled up his collars so high that you couldn’t have seen his head if you had been there. Also how she had seen a countess and a lord some days before. and how many hours she worked at a stretch.

until the last. and deep red curtains. they were happy. and be the first to greet them. There all the children of the house were running out into the snow to meet their married sisters. and looked happier yet in the bright sprinklings of the Spirit’s torch at parting. and all sorts of rooms. and very likely did. they were not well dressed. grateful. and contented with the time. from Tiny Tim. Scrooge had his eye upon them. and Peter might have known. and there a group of handsome 84 of 138 . and especially on Tiny Tim. their clothes were scanty. uncles. the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens. There was nothing of high mark in this. But. their shoes were far from being water-proof. brothers. parlours. and as Scrooge and the Spirit went along the streets. were shadows on the windowblind of guests assembling. aunts. cousins. and when they faded. the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner. Here. By this time it was getting dark. with hot plates baking through and through before the fire. who had a plaintive little voice. They were not a handsome family. the inside of a pawnbroker’s. and snowing pretty heavily. was wonderful. again. and sang it very well indeed. pleased with one another. ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness. Here.A Christmas Carol snow.

woe upon the single man who saw them enter — artful witches. Blessings on it. instead of every house expecting company. The very lamplighter. How it bared its breadth of breast. well they knew it — in a glow.A Christmas Carol girls. where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about. and all chattering at once. or would have done so. you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there. with a generous hand. and who was dressed to spend the evening somewhere. without a word of warning from the Ghost. they stood upon a bleak and desert moor. and water spread itself wheresoever it listed. where. outpouring. But. though little kenned the lamplighter that he had any company but Christmas. laughed out loudly as the Spirit passed. if you had judged from the numbers of people on their way to friendly gatherings. its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach. how the Ghost exulted. and floated on. and piling up its fires half-chimney high. tripped lightly off to some near neighbour’s house. who ran on before. but for the frost that held it prisoner. dotting the dusky street with specks of light. as though it were the burial-place of giants. and nothing grew but moss and 85 of 138 . And now. all hooded and fur-booted. and opened its capacious palm.

A Christmas Carol furze. and passing on above the moor. The old man. ‘A place where Miners live. 86 of 138 . the old man got quite blithe and loud. lower. Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red.’ A light shone from the window of a hut. but bade Scrooge hold his robe. lower yet. and another generation beyond that. his vigour sank again. all decked out gaily in their holiday attire. was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night. old man and woman.’ returned the Spirit. and swiftly they advanced towards it. So surely as they raised their voices. ‘What place is this. An old. sped — whither. Passing through the wall of mud and stone. 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. with their children and their children’s children. See. and coarse rank grass. they found a cheerful company assembled round a glowing fire. who labour in the bowels of the earth. like a sullen eye. which glared upon the desolation for an instant.’ asked Scrooge. ‘But they know me. and so surely as they stopped. The Spirit did not tarry here. and frowning lower. in a voice that seldom rose above the howling of the wind upon the barren waste.

and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water. 87 of 138 . some league or so from shore. To sea. and edit PDF. that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. and fiercely tried to undermine the earth. the wild year through. with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather. as he told Scrooge. on — until. they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog. Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks. on which the waters chafed and dashed.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. But even here. Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat. there stood a solitary lighthouse. a frightful range of rocks. as sea-weed of the water — rose and fell about it. like the waves they skimmed. above the black and heaving sea — on. Again the Ghost sped on. Not to sea. as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself. as it rolled and roared. behind them. being far away. and storm-birds — born of the wind one might suppose. he saw the last of the land. too. looking back. To Scrooge’s horror. view. and one of them: the elder. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base. and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn. two men who watched the light had made a fire. Download the free trial version.

good or bad. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel. while thus engaged. whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge. ha. dark. while listening to the moaning of the wind.’ laughed Scrooge’s nephew. ha. or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day. but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune. with the Spirit standing smiling by his side. and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss. and looking at that same nephew with approving affability. and had known that they delighted to remember him. waking or sleeping. or had a Christmas thought. ha.’ 88 of 138 . and had remembered those he cared for at a distance. gleaming room. ‘Ha. the officers who had the watch. ghostly figures in their several stations. the look-out in the bow. ‘Ha. And every man on board.A Christmas Carol from any shore. had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year. with homeward hopes belonging to it. they lighted on a ship. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright. It was a great surprise to Scrooge. and had shared to some extent in its festivities. dry. to hear a hearty laugh.

indignantly. Bless those women. that melted into one another when she laughed. by any unlikely chance. She was very pretty: exceedingly pretty. ‘Ha. that seemed made to be kissed — as no doubt it was.’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. by marriage.’ said Scrooge’s niece. With a dimpled. roared out lustily. ha. ha. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand. laughed as heartily as he. even-handed. and the 89 of 138 .’ ‘He said that Christmas was a humbug.’ ‘More shame for him. Ha. ha. there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. surprised-looking. and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece. They are always in earnest. and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. all kinds of good little dots about her chin.A Christmas Carol If you should happen. noble adjustment of things. ha. capital face. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides. all I can say is. It is a fair. rolling his head. a ripe little mouth. ‘He believed it too. Introduce him to me. to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew. I should like to know him too. they never do anything by halves. as I live. Fred. that while there is infection in disease and sorrow.

’ ‘What of that. he takes it into his head to dislike us.’ observed Scrooge’s niece.’ said Scrooge’s nephew.A Christmas Carol sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little creature’s head.’ that’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be.’ said Scrooge’s nephew.’ interrupted Scrooge’s niece. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. ‘Oh. you know. He don’t lose much of a dinner.’ ‘I’m sure he is very rich. Who suffers by his ill whims. He don’t do any good with it. Everybody else said the same. ha. I have. my dear. ‘I am sorry for him. ‘At least you always tell me so. I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. I think he loses a very good dinner.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. and I have nothing to say against him.’ hinted Scrooge’s niece. — that he is ever going to benefit us with it. Scrooge’s niece’s sisters. Altogether she was what you would have called provoking. ‘He’s a comical old fellow. Here. his offences carry their own punishment. always. However. ‘His wealth is of no use to him. and all the other ladies. ha. Fred. but satisfactory. 90 of 138 . He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking — ha.’ ‘I have no patience with him.’ ‘Indeed. expressed the same opinion. What’s the consequence. and he won’t come and dine with us. Himself.

as I think.’ Scrooge’s nephew revelled in another laugh. by lamplight. ‘because I haven’t great faith in these young housekeepers. his example was unanimously followed. Whereat Scrooge’s niece’s sister — the plump one with the lace tucker: not the one with the roses — blushed. and.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. clapping her hands. ‘He never finishes what he begins to say. I am 91 of 138 . Topper. What do you say. with the dessert upon the table. is. who had no right to express an opinion on the subject. because they had just had dinner. for he answered that a bachelor was a wretched outcast. were clustered round the fire. Fred. ‘Do go on. ‘Well. He is such a ridiculous fellow. and as it was impossible to keep the infection off. though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. and not making merry with us. I’m very glad to hear it.’ Topper had clearly got his eye upon one of Scrooge’s niece’s sisters. which could do him no harm.A Christmas Carol and they must be allowed to have been competent judges.’ said Scrooge’s niece.’ that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us. that he loses some pleasant moments. ‘I was only going to say.

and not much caring what they laughed at. 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 . I can assure you: especially Topper. and never swell the large veins in his forehead. and I think I shook him yesterday.’ It was their turn to laugh now at the notion of his shaking Scrooge. and passed the bottle joyously. If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds. He may rail at Christmas till he dies. he encouraged them in their merriment. but he can’t help thinking better of it — I defy him — if he finds me going there. But being thoroughly good-natured. so that they laughed at any rate. Scrooge’s niece played well upon the harp. After tea. either in his mouldy old office. for I pity him. and knew what they were about. when they sung a Glee or Catch. they had some music. or get red in the face over it.A Christmas Carol sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts. or his dusty chambers. in good temper. and saying Uncle Scrooge. how are you. For they were a musical family. and played among other tunes a simple little air (a mere nothing: you might learn to whistle it in two minutes). I mean to give him the same chance every year. whether he likes it or not. that’s something.

He wouldn’t catch anybody else. When this strain of music sounded. bumping against the piano. But they didn’t devote the whole evening to music. My opinion is. And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots. Of course there was. for it is good to be children sometimes. After a while they played at forfeits. He always knew where the plump sister was. tumbling over the chairs. years ago. on 93 of 138 . smothering himself among the curtains. Stop. without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley. and thought that if he could have listened to it often. wherever she went. came upon his mind. he softened more and more. and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it. The way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker. there went he. was an outrage on the credulity of human nature. Knocking down the fire-irons. all the things that Ghost had shown him. that it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew. There was first a game at blind-man’s buff. he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands. and never better than at Christmas. If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did). when its mighty Founder was a child himself.A Christmas Carol fetched Scrooge from the boarding-school. as he had been reminded by the Ghost of Christmas Past.

which would have been an affront to your understanding. another blind-man being in office. when. behind the curtains. When.A Christmas Carol purpose. and loved her love to admiration with all the letters of the alphabet. she was very great. beat her sisters hollow: though they 94 of 138 . She often cried out that it wasn’t fair. where the Ghost and Scrooge were close behind her. his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress. and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger. was vile. monstrous. when. Likewise at the game of How. but was made comfortable with a large chair and a footstool. But when at last. But she joined in the forfeits. For his pretending not to know her. and it really was not. in spite of all her silken rustlings. and to the secret joy of Scrooge’s nephew. they were so very confidential together. he got her into a corner whence there was no escape. and her rapid flutterings past him. and a certain chain about her neck. then his conduct was the most execrable. No doubt she told him her opinion of it. Scrooge’s niece was not one of the blind-man’s buff party. he caught her. and Where. and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister. he would have made a feint of endeavouring to seize you. in a snug corner.

where Scrooge’s nephew had to think of something. but they all played. rather a disagreeable animal. and the rest must find out what. and wasn’t 95 of 138 . for the sharpest needle. he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud. ‘Here is a new game. Spirit. and looked upon him with such favour. he only answering to their questions yes or no. and lived in London. for. ‘One half hour. The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him in this mood. warranted not to cut in the eye. and so did Scrooge. and walked about the streets. that his voice made no sound in their ears. an animal that growled and grunted sometimes. too. a live animal. blunt as he took it in his head to be. a savage animal. and wasn’t made a show of.’ It was a Game called Yes and No. and talked sometimes. elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal. But this the Spirit said could not be done.’ said Scrooge. that he begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guests departed. wholly forgetting the interest he had in what was going on. was not sharper than Scrooge. best Whitechapel.A Christmas Carol were sharp girls too. as could have told you. and very often guessed quite right. as the case was. only one. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed. young and old. There might have been twenty people there.

I know what it is. or a cat.’ said Fred. or a dog. Uncle Scrooge. Admiration was the universal sentiment. I know what it is. and was so inexpressibly tickled. Fred. ‘Uncle Scrooge.’ and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health. ‘It’s your Uncle Scrooge. or a bull.’ they cried.’ ought to have been ‘Yes.’ Which it certainly was.’ ‘What is it. 96 of 138 . and I say. or a pig. though some objected that the reply to ‘Is it a bear.’ inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge. or a tiger. falling into a similar state.’ cried Fred. I am sure. or an ass. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment. that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp. or a bear. and was never killed in a market. or a cow.A Christmas Carol led by anybody. At last the plump sister.‘‘ ‘Well. supposing they had ever had any tendency that way. and didn’t live in a menagerie. At every fresh question that was put to him. this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter. cried out: ‘I have found it out. and was not a horse. ‘He has given us plenty of merriment.

It was a long night. and they were cheerful.A Christmas Carol ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man. and jail. whatever he is. too. he left his blessing. that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return. and taught Scrooge his precepts. In almshouse. if the Ghost had given him time. and they were close at home. because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew. where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out. and they were patient in their greater hope. that while Scrooge 97 of 138 . by poverty.’ Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart. if it were only a night. but may he have it. but Scrooge had his doubts of this.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. by struggling men. and thanked them in an inaudible speech. nevertheless. and many homes they visited. on foreign lands. It was strange. and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels. The Spirit stood beside sick beds. hospital. and far they went. Much they saw. but always with a happy end. ‘He wouldn’t take it from me. and it was rich. in misery’s every refuge. Uncle Scrooge.

Scrooge had observed this change. 98 of 138 . for the flesh there is upon it. miserable. when. hideous.’ but I see something strange. the Ghost grew older. until they left a children’s Twelfth Night party.A Christmas Carol remained unaltered in his outward form. is very brief. but never spoke of it. frightful. protruding from your skirts. They knelt down at its feet. ‘Are spirits’ lives so short. clearly older. ‘My life upon this globe. looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place. Hark. ‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask. The time is drawing near.’ cried Scrooge. ‘Look here. looking intently at the Spirit’s robe. it brought two children. ‘It ends to-night.’ ‘It might be a claw. and not belonging to yourself. abject. ‘To-night at midnight.’ From the foldings of its robe.’ The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.’ asked Scrooge. Is it a foot or a claw.’ ‘To-night. wretched.’ was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. he noticed that its hair was grey.’ replied the Ghost. and clung upon the outside of its garment.’ said Scrooge.

This girl is Want. and edit PDF. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out. for on his brow I see that written which is Doom. Scrooge started back. like that of age. and touched them with its freshest tints. through all the mysteries of wonderful creation. looking down upon them. They were a boy and a girl. are they yours. appalled. and all of their degree.’ cried the Spirit. 99 of 138 . ‘Spirit. and pulled them into shreds. in their humility. but most of all beware this boy. This boy is Ignorance. down here. Yellow. appealing from their fathers. meagre.’ said the Spirit. look. ragged. no perversion of humanity. he tried to say they were fine children.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. devils lurked. but the words choked themselves. ‘They are Man’s. wolfish. No change. view. ‘Oh. Look. rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. look here. scowling. too. in any grade. Download the free trial version. Man.’ Scrooge could say no more. and glared out menacing. had pinched. Having them shown to him in this way. no degradation. has monsters half so horrible and dread. Deny it. but prostrate. ‘And they cling to me. Beware them both. a stale and shrivelled hand. and twisted them.’ exclaimed the Ghost. Where angels might have sat enthroned. unless the writing be erased.

coming. draped and hooded. like a mist along the ground. ‘Slander those who tell it ye.’ said the Spirit. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate. he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley. beheld a solemn Phantom. turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no prisons. 100 of 138 .’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource.’ The bell struck twelve. Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost.A Christmas Carol stretching out its hand towards the city. and saw it not. Admit it for your factious purposes.’ cried Scrooge. And abide the end. towards him. and lifting up his eyes. and make it worse. ‘Are there no workhouses.

but will happen in the time before us. but pointed onward with its hand. and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.’ 101 of 138 . Scrooge bent down upon his knee.’ said Scrooge. When it came. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night. He knew no more. ‘Is that so.A Christmas Carol Stave 4: The Last of the Spirits The Phantom slowly. ‘You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened. gravely. It was shrouded in a deep black garment. its face. its form. The Spirit answered not. Spirit. which concealed its head.’ Scrooge pursued. and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. silently approached. He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him. ‘I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved.

But as I know your purpose is to do me good. That was the only answer he received. and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it.A Christmas Carol The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds. there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him. It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror. The hand was pointed straight before them. But Scrooge was all the worse for this.’ It gave him no reply. to know that behind the dusky shroud. Although well used to ghostly company by this time. and do it with a thankful heart.’ he exclaimed. 102 of 138 . as observing his condition. and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was. while he. The Spirit pauses a moment. Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him. ‘Ghost of the Future. could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black. though he stretched his own to the utmost. as if the Spirit had inclined its head.’ I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. and giving him time to recover. Will you not speak to me. I am prepared to bear you company.

for the city rather seemed to spring up about them. on Change.’ ‘When did he die. Observing that the hand was pointed to them. I only know he’s dead. he thought.’ said Scrooge. and looked at their watches. Lead on. in the heart of it.’ The Phantom moved away as it had come towards him. Spirit.’ said a great fat man with a monstrous chin. and it is precious time to me. They scarcely seemed to enter the city. But there they were. The night is waning fast. either way. ‘No. which bore him up. amongst the merchants. and encompass them of its own act. and carried him along. I know. and conversed in groups. ‘Lead on. Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk. and trifled thoughtfully with their great gold seals.’ 103 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘Lead on. and chinked the money in their pockets. I believe.’ I don’t know much about it. and so forth. as Scrooge had seen them often. Scrooge followed in the shadow of its dress. who hurried up and down.’ inquired another. ‘Last night. The Spirit stopped beside one little knot of business men.

’ said the first. with a yawn. taking a vast quantity of snuff out of a very large snuffbox. I’m not at all sure that I wasn’t his most particular friend. He hasn’t left it to me.’ for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it. and I never eat lunch.’ ‘I don’t mind going if a lunch is provided. that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock. ‘But I must be fed. if anybody else will. if I make one. perhaps. what was the matter with him. Bye.’ said the first speaker. ‘What has he done with his money. for we used to stop and speak whenever we met. ‘Left it to his company.A Christmas Carol ‘Why. after all. ‘I haven’t heard.’ for I never wear black gloves. ‘I thought he’d never die. But I’ll offer to go. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer.’ ‘God knows.’ This pleasantry was received with a general laugh.’ observed the gentleman with the excrescence on his nose. I am the most disinterested among you. That’s all I know. yawning again.’ said the man with the large chin.’ 104 of 138 . ‘Well.’ Another laugh. bye.’ asked a third.’ asked a red-faced gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end of his nose. ‘It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral.’ said the same speaker. When I come to think of it.

Scrooge listened again. and mixed with other groups. They were men of aye business: very wealthy. ‘How are you. Something else to think of.’ said one. thinking that the explanation might lie here. He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view.’ said the first. ‘How are you. No. You’re not a skater. their conversation. Its finger pointed to two persons meeting. ‘Well. strictly in a business point of view. and looked towards the Spirit for an explanation. but feeling assured that they must 105 of 138 .A Christmas Carol Speakers and listeners strolled away. and of great importance. He knew these men. isn’t it. Good morning. Scrooge knew the men. Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial. also. That was their meeting. ‘Old Scratch has got his own at last. I suppose. perfectly.’ ‘So I am told. The Phantom glided on into a street.’ ‘No. that is. and their parting.’ Not another word.’ returned the other.’ ‘Seasonable for Christmas time. hey.’ returned the second. ‘Cold.

however. and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. for that was Past. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life. beside him stood the Phantom. Quiet and dark. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there. with its outstretched hand. and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this. his old partner. and this Ghost’s province was the Future. It gave him little surprise. 106 of 138 . to whom he could apply them.A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. 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. 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. he fancied from the turn of the hand. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. He looked about in that very place for his own image.

with filth. hinges. The ways were foul and narrow. the shops and houses wretched. Far in this den of infamous resort. were piled up heaps of rusty keys. masses of corrupted fat. Sitting in among the wares he dealt in. nails. who had screened himself from the cold air without. and feel very cold. slipshod. drunken. made of old bricks. although he recognised its situation. weights. and greasy offal. upon the straggling streets. and sepulchres of bones. disgorged their offences of smell. 107 of 138 . and life. beetling shop. and dirt. there was a lowbrowed. nearly seventy years of age. was a grey-haired rascal. It made him shudder.A Christmas Carol and its situation in reference to himself. Secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags. and went into an obscure part of the town. and misery. and refuse iron of all kinds. that the Unseen Eyes were looking at him keenly. by a frousy curtaining of miscellaneous tatters. They left the busy scene. Upon the floor within. bottles. Alleys and archways. below a pent-house roof. chains. by a charcoal stove. like so many cesspools. scales. ugly. bones. and its bad repute. the people half-naked. where iron. were bought. where Scrooge had never penetrated before. old rags. files. and the whole quarter reeked with crime.

removing his pipe from his mouth. ha. ‘Let the laundress alone to be the second. in which the old man with the pipe had joined them. when another woman. came in too. and smoked his pipe in all the luxury of calm retirement. Ha. Scrooge and the Phantom came into the presence of this man. and the other two an’t strangers. I believe. and let the undertaker’s man alone to be the third. they all three burst into a laugh. After a short period of blank astonishment. just as a woman with a heavy bundle slunk into the shop. But she had scarcely entered. ‘Let the charwoman alone to be the first. ‘Come into the parlour. as mine. 108 of 138 . and I’m sure there’s no such old bones here.A Christmas Carol hung upon a line. who was no less startled by the sight of them. Stop till I shut the door of the shop. Look here. than they had been upon the recognition of each other. and she was closely followed by a man in faded black. old Joe. similarly laden. Ah. There an’t such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges. If we haven’t all three met here without meaning it.’ ‘You couldn’t have met in a better place. here’s a chance.’ said old Joe. How it skreeks. you know. You were made free of it long ago.’ cried she who had entered first.

‘That’s enough.’ ‘That’s true. ‘Every person has a right to take care of themselves. ‘What odds then. We’re not going to pick holes in each other’s coats. and looking with a bold defiance at the other two.’ said the woman.’ said the laundress. who’s the wiser. we’re well matched.’ said Mrs Dilber and the man together. Come into the parlour. put it in his mouth again. the woman who had already spoken threw her bundle on the floor. 109 of 138 .’ ‘No. crossing her elbows on her knees. While he did this.’ said Mrs Dilber. don’t stand staring as if you was afraid. indeed. ‘No man more so.’ The parlour was the space behind the screen of rags.’ ‘Why then. What odds. He always did.’ ‘Very well. woman. Who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these. Come into the parlour. then. ‘We should hope not. Mrs Dilber. indeed. I suppose. laughing. The old man raked the fire together with an old stair-rod. indeed. and having trimmed his smoky lamp (for it was night).A Christmas Carol We’re all suitable to our calling.’ cried the woman. I suppose. with the stem of his pipe. Not a dead man. and sat down in a flaunting manner on a stool.’ ‘No.

If he had been. Open that bundle.’ said Mrs Dilber. nor afraid for them to see it. who chalked the sums he was disposed to give for each. Joe.’ ‘I wish it was a little heavier judgment. a pencil-case. before we met here. They were severally examined and appraised by old Joe. We know pretty well that we were helping ourselves. ‘It’s a judgment on him. and added them up into a total when he found there was nothing more to come.’ and it should have been. old Joe. 110 of 138 . and let me know the value of it.’ pursued the woman. produced his plunder. A seal or two.’ But the gallantry of her friends would not allow of this. alone by himself. Open the bundle. I’m not afraid to be the first. Speak out plain. upon the wall. and the man in faded black. and a brooch of no great value. were all.A Christmas Carol ‘If he wanted to keep them after he was dead. he’d have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death. you may depend upon it. instead of lying gasping out his last there. a wicked old screw. It was not extensive. mounting the breach first. if I could have laid my hands on anything else.’ ‘It’s the truest word that ever was spoke.’ why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime. a pair of sleeve-buttons.’ replied the woman. It’s no sin. I believe.

’ returned the woman. dragged out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff. and having unfastened a great many knots.’ said Joe. two old-fashioned silver teaspoons. a little wearing apparel. ‘That’s your account.’ ‘You don’t mean to say you took them down. and made it an open question. and edit PDF. It’s a weakness of mine.’ said Joe. ‘What do you call this. ‘Bed-curtains. Download the free trial version. laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms. Joe.’ said Joe.’ said old Joe. view.’ ‘And now undo my bundle. and a few boots. ‘Bed-curtains.’ 111 of 138 .eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. If you asked me for another penny. with him lying there.’ ‘Ah. Joe went down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening it. if I was to be boiled for not doing it. and that’s the way I ruin myself. ‘That’s your account. rings and all. ‘Why not. I’d repent of being so liberal and knock off half-a-crown. Sheets and towels.’ replied the woman. ‘Yes I do. a pair of sugar-tongs.’ said the first woman. Her account was stated on the wall in the same manner.’ Mrs Dilber was next. ‘I always give too much to ladies. Who’s next.’ and I wouldn’t give another sixpence.

now. They’d have wasted it. but you won’t find a hole in it.’ said Joe.’ ‘His blankets. Eh. Joe. you may look through that shirt till your eyes ache.’ ‘What do you call wasting of it. ‘Putting it on him to be buried in.’ asked old Joe. It’s the best he had.A Christmas Carol ‘You were born to make your fortune.’ 112 of 138 .’ replied the woman with a laugh.’ asked Joe. He can’t look uglier than he did in that one. nor a threadbare place. for the sake of such a man as he was. when I can get anything in it by reaching it out. it isn’t good enough for anything. ‘Don’t you be afraid of that. if it hadn’t been for me.’ ‘I certainly shan’t hold my hand. ‘Don’t drop that oil upon the blankets. and a fine one too. if he did.’ returned the woman coolly.’ said old Joe.’ ‘I hope he didn’t die of any thing catching. and looking up.’ returned the woman. I promise you. ‘I an’t so fond of his company that I’d loiter about him for such things. ‘Whose else’s do you think.’ and you’ll certainly do it. to be sure. Ah. I dare say. stopping in his work. but I took it off again. If calico an’t good enough for such a purpose. ‘Somebody was fool enough to do it. ‘He isn’t likely to take cold without them. It’s quite as becoming to the body.’ replied the woman.

though Scrooge glanced round it in obedience to a secret impulse. Merciful Heaven. Ha. The room was very dark. ‘I see. A pale light. which. 113 of 138 . and now he almost touched a bed: a bare. when old Joe. beneath a ragged sheet. there lay a something covered up. ha. you see. My life tends that way. too dark to be observed with any accuracy. to profit us when he was dead. ‘Ha.’ said Scrooge. announced itself in awful language. marketing the corpse itself.’ ‘Spirit.’ laughed the same woman. producing a flannel bag with money in it. now. which could hardly have been greater. fell straight upon the bed. uncurtained bed: on which. ha. and on it. though the demons. though it was dumb. shuddering from head to foot. anxious to know what kind of room it was. ha. told out their several gains upon the ground. I see. ‘This is the end of it. what is this. in the scanty light afforded by the old man’s lamp. rising in the outer air.A Christmas Carol Scrooge listened to this dialogue in horror. he viewed them with a detestation and disgust. He frightened every one away from him when he was alive.’ He recoiled in terror. for the scene had changed. The case of this unhappy man might be my own. plundered and bereft. As they sat grouped about their spoil.

and dress it with such terrors as thou hast at thy command: for this is thy dominion. would have disclosed the face. unwept. and tender. No voice pronounced these words in Scrooge’s ears. uncared for. was the body of this man.A Christmas Carol unwatched. He thought. generous. if this man could be raised up now. The cover was so carelessly adjusted that the slightest raising of it. warm. revered. but had no more power to withdraw the veil than to dismiss the spectre at his side. to sow the world with life immortal. thou canst not turn one hair to thy dread purposes. But of the loved. dreadful Death. and the pulse a man’s. what would 114 of 138 . Strike. and honoured head. rigid. Its steady hand was pointed to the head. cold. it is not that the heart and pulse are still. set up thine altar here. Scrooge glanced towards the Phantom. and true. the heart brave. Oh cold. It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released. Shadow. the motion of a finger upon Scrooge’s part. felt how easy it would be to do. and yet he heard them when he looked upon the bed. And see his good deeds springing from the wound. but that the hand was open. He thought of it. and longed to do it. or make one feature odious. strike.

where a mother and her children were. ‘show that person to me. Scrooge did not dare to think. Let us go. in the dark empty house. hard-dealing.’ this is a fearful place. to say that he was kind to me in this or that.’ Again it seemed to look upon him. and there was a sound of gnawing rats beneath the hearth-stone.’ said Scrooge quite agonised. I have not the power.’ he said.A Christmas Carol be his foremost thoughts. I shall not leave its lesson. ‘Spirit. Spirit. if I could. who feels emotion caused by this man’s death. and withdrawing it. with not a man. a woman. and for the memory of one kind word I will be kind to him. ‘If there is any person in the town. But I have not the power.’ The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment. Avarice. A cat was tearing at the door. In leaving it. truly. ‘I understand you. They have brought him to a rich end. He lay. trust me. I beseech you. Spirit. like a wing. What they wanted in the room of death.’ Still the Ghost pointed with an unmoved finger to the head.’ Scrooge returned. revealed a room by daylight.’ and I would do it. and why they were so restless and disturbed. 115 of 138 . or a child. griping cares.

There is hope yet. ‘Is it good. ‘or bad?’ — to help him. though he was young. a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed.’ she said. for she walked up and down the room. but in vain. and met her husband. and which he struggled to repress. Caroline. tried. glanced at the clock. and with anxious eagerness. ‘there is. if such a miracle has happened.’ said her husband. At length the long-expected knock was heard. to work with her needle. There was a remarkable expression in it now. started at every sound. He sat down to the dinner that had been boarding for him by the fire. ‘He is dead. he appeared embarrassed how to answer. and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence).’ ‘He is past relenting. She hurried to the door. a man whose face was careworn and depressed. and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play.A Christmas Carol She was expecting some one.’ ‘If he relents. ‘Bad. amazed. but she was thankful in her soul to hear it.’ he answered.’ she said.’ She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth. ‘We are quite ruined.’ ‘No. and she 116 of 138 . looked out from the window. Nothing is past hope.

hushed and clustered round to hear what they so little understood.’ or that dark chamber. She prayed forgiveness the next moment. but the first was the emotion of her heart. and was sorry. The children’s faces. turns out to have been quite true. said to me.’ 117 of 138 . will be for ever present to me. and even though we were not. ‘Let me see some tenderness connected with a death. it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. which we left just now. Soften it as they would.’ Yes. ‘What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night. and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me.’ said Scrooge. and it was a happier house for this man’s death. when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay. Spirit. We may sleep to-night with light hearts. caused by the event.’ ‘To whom will our debt be transferred. were brighter. with clasped hands. then.’ ‘I don’t know. Caroline. their hearts were lighter.A Christmas Carol said so. But before that time we shall be ready with the money. but dying. The only emotion that the Ghost could show him. was one of pleasure. He was not only very ill.

and put her hand up to her face. Quiet. ‘It makes them weak by candle-light. but nowhere was he to be seen. The mother and her daughters were engaged in sewing. as he and the Spirit crossed the threshold. The boy must have read them out.’ Where had Scrooge heard those words. the dwelling he had visited before. and as they went along. who had a book before him. Why did he not go on. and found the mother and the children seated round the fire. But surely they were very quiet. He had not dreamed them. and sat looking up at Peter. ‘And he took a child. The colour. ‘They’re better now again. Ah.’ she said. Very quiet. and I wouldn’t show 118 of 138 . The noisy little Cratchits were as still as statues in one corner.’ said Cratchit’s wife. and set him in the midst of them. They entered poor Bob Cratchit’s house. Scrooge looked here and there to find himself. ‘The colour hurts my eyes.A Christmas Carol The Ghost conducted him through several streets familiar to his feet. The mother laid her work upon the table. poor Tiny Tim.

each child a little cheek. ‘Often. His tea was ready for him on the hob.’ Don’t mind it. It must be near his time. and spoke pleasantly to all the family. as if they said. these few last evenings. poor fellow — came in. shutting up his book. At last she said. intent upon her work. And there is your father at the door. ‘But I think he has walked a little slower than he used.’ and his father loved him so.’ ‘And so have I.’ exclaimed another.’ ‘Past it rather. that only faltered once: ‘I have known him walk with — I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. and little Bob in his comforter — he had need of it.’ They were very quiet again. and they all tried who should help him to it most.’ she resumed. very fast indeed. So had all. 119 of 138 .A Christmas Carol weak eyes to your father when he comes home. Don’t be grieved. ‘But he was very light to carry. cheerful voice. He looked at the work upon the table.’ cried Peter. mother.’ Bob was very cheerful with them. against his face. father. that it was no trouble: no trouble. Then the two young Cratchits got upon his knees and laid.’ Peter answered.’ She hurried out to meet him.’ ‘And so have I. for the world. and in a steady.

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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‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends. He advanced towards it trembling. ‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point. ‘answer me one question.’ said Scrooge. Here. The Spirit stood among the graves. they must lead. but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape. not life. It was a worthy place. if persevered in. and following the finger. read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name.’ Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. then. the wretched man whose name he had now to learn.’ said Scrooge. Walled in by houses. and pointed down to One. Ebenezer Scrooge. A worthy place. only. to which.’ The Spirit was immovable as ever. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be. choked up with too much burying. Say it is thus with what you show me. Scrooge crept towards it. fat with repleted appetite. or are they shadows of things that May be. overrun by grass and weeds. 124 of 138 . the ends will change. trembling as he went. ‘But if the courses be departed from. The Phantom was exactly as it had been. lay underneath the ground. the growth of vegetation’s death.A Christmas Carol A churchyard.

A Christmas Carol ‘Am I that man who lay upon the bed. no.’ hear me. and try to keep it all the year. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. ‘Spirit. and the Future. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. the Present. but he was strong in his entreaty. tight clutching at its robe. and detained it. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me.’ he pursued. upon his knees. ‘No. The Spirit. repulsed him. tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone. I will live in the Past. Oh no. Oh. ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart. It sought to free itself. 125 of 138 . and pities me. by an altered life. if I am past all hope. I am not the man I was. The finger pointed from the grave to him. Spirit. as down upon the ground he fell before it:’ Your nature intercedes for me. he caught the spectral hand.’ The finger still was there.’ The kind hand trembled. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. ‘Good Spirit.’ In his agony.’ For the first time the hand appeared to shake. and back again. stronger yet.’ he cried. Why show me this.’ he cried.

collapsed. he saw an alteration in the Phantom’s hood and dress. 126 of 138 . It shrunk. and dwindled down into a bedpost.A Christmas Carol Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate aye reversed.

I say it on my knees. Best and happiest of all. putting them on upside down. 127 of 138 . I know they will. Heaven.’ they are not torn down. Oh Jacob Marley. folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms. as he scrambled out of bed. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit. to make amends in! ‘I will live in the Past. the Present. turning them inside out. that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call.’ His hands were busy with his garments all this time. the Time before him was his own. ‘They are not torn down. mislaying them.A Christmas Carol Stave 5: The End of It Yes! and the bedpost was his own.’ cried Scrooge. may be dispelled. and the Future.’ He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions.’ Scrooge repeated. the room was his own. They will be. old Jacob. rings and all. The bed was his own. making them parties to every kind of extravagance. on my knees. and his face was wet with tears. They are here — I am here — the shadows of the things that would have been. ‘The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. tearing them. and the Christmas Time be praised for this.

I am as giddy as a drunken man.A Christmas Carol ‘I don’t know what to do. I am as merry as a schoolboy. for a man who had been out of practice for so many years. Hallo.’ 128 of 138 . A happy New Year to all the world. and going round the fireplace. it’s all true. a most illustrious laugh. There’s the window where I saw the wandering Spirits.’ cried Scrooge. starting off again. A merry Christmas to everybody. Whoop. I don’t care. ‘I am as light as a feather.’ Really. Hallo. sat. Never mind. I don’t know anything.’ cried Scrooge. ‘There’s the door. I am as happy as an angel. Hallo here.’ said Scrooge. it was a splendid laugh. Whoop. I’m quite a baby. laughing and crying in the same breath. and was now standing there: perfectly winded. Ha ha ha. by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. ‘There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in. ‘I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits. There’s the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present. it all happened. The father of a long. and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. Hallo here. long line of brilliant laughs.’ He had frisked into the sitting-room. I’d rather be a baby. It’s all right. ‘I don’t know what day of the month it is.

clash. sweet fresh air. at the corner.’ replied the boy. ding. calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes. Oh. ‘Do you know the Poulterer’s. clang. dong.’ returned the boy. bell.A Christmas Carol He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. 129 of 138 . ‘To-day. Glorious. jovial.’ ‘It’s Christmas Day.’ returned the boy. ‘I should hope I did.’ ‘Hallo. ‘What’s to-day. Of course they can. ‘What’s to-day. ding. Christmas Day. glorious. ‘Eh.’ Scrooge inquired. hammer.’ replied the lad. cold. ‘Why. in the next street but one.’ said Scrooge to himself. Heavenly sky. merry bells. no mist. They can do anything they like. and put out his head. Bell. clang. Running to the window. The Spirits have done it all in one night. he opened it. clear. hammer. stirring. ‘I haven’t missed it. Clash. with all his might of wonder. bright. my fine fellow. glorious. cold. Hallo. No fog. who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. Oh. my fine fellow. Golden sunlight. Of course they can. dong. glorious. piping for the blood to dance to.’ said Scrooge.’ cried Scrooge.

‘Is it. ‘Go and buy it.’ returned the boy. ‘A remarkable boy. somehow.’ replied the boy.’ said Scrooge. and splitting with a laugh.’ The boy was off like a shot. and I’ll give you a shilling. no. Come back with the man. the one as big as me. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast. but write it he did.’ said Scrooge. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob’s will be. ‘He shan’t know who sends it. rubbing his hands. ‘I’ll send it to Bon Cratchit’s. Go and buy it.’ whispered Scrooge.’ exclaimed the boy. and tell them to bring it here.’ ‘It’s hanging there now. my buck. Yes.’ ‘Walk-er.’ The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one. Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown.A Christmas Carol ‘An intelligent boy. ‘No.’ said Scrooge. and went 130 of 138 . ‘What a delightful boy. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim. that I may give them the direction where to take it. ‘It’s a pleasure to talk to him.’ ‘What.’ said Scrooge. Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there — Not the little prize Turkey: the big one. ‘I am in earnest.

But if he had cut the end of his nose off. It’s a wonderful knocker. What an honest expression it has in its face. — Here’s the Turkey. patting it with his hand. and shaving requires attention. He would have snapped them short off in a minute.’ It was a Turkey. ‘I scarcely ever looked at it before. even when you don’t dance while you are at it. as long as I live. the knocker caught his eye. like sticks of sealing-wax. 131 of 138 . How are you. that bird. and been quite satisfied.’ cried Scrooge. ready for the coming of the poulterer’s man. and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab. Hallo. waiting his arrival.’ said Scrooge. ‘I shall love it. Merry Christmas. ‘Why. it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town. and chuckled till he cried. were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again. As he stood there.’ The chuckle with which he said this. and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy. Shaving was not an easy task. ‘You must have a cab. for his hand continued to shake very much. Whoop. He never could have stood upon his legs. and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey.A Christmas Carol down-stairs to open the street door. he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it.

’ said Scrooge. and at last got out into the streets. He had not gone far.A Christmas Carol He dressed himself all in his best.’ Scrooge and Marley’s. and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. ‘My dear sir. I believe. A merry Christmas to you. in a word. Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile.’ said Scrooge. A merry Christmas to you. And 132 of 138 .’ ‘Yes. and he took it. as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present. and walking with his hands behind him. when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman. It was very kind of you.’ It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met. those were the blithest in his ears. and said. that three or four goodhumoured fellows said.’ ‘Mr Scrooge. Allow me to ask your pardon. The people were by this time pouring forth. ‘How do you do. that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard. He looked so irresistibly pleasant. but he knew what path lay straight before him. quickening his pace. I hope you succeeded yesterday. and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. ‘That is my name. sir. who had walked into his counting-house the day before.’ And Scrooge said often afterwards.’ Good morning. sir.

’ retorted Scrooge.A Christmas Carol will you have the goodness’ — here Scrooge whispered in his ear. and walked about the streets. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house.’ He went to church. Bless you. Will you do me that favour. ‘Come and see me. ‘I don’t know what to say to such munificence. and watched the people hurrying to and fro.’ ‘I will. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness.’ ‘My dear sir.’ said the other.’ said Scrooge. and looked down into the kitchens of houses. are you serious. A great many back-payments are included in it. ‘Not a farthing less.’ ‘If you please. and found that everything could yield him pleasure. and patted children on the head. as if his breath were taken away. And it was clear he meant to do it. Will you come and see me. ‘Thank you. I assure you. ‘My dear Mr Scrooge. 133 of 138 .’ cried the gentleman. shaking hands with him.’ cried the old gentleman. and up to the windows. I thank you fifty times.’ ‘Don’t say anything please. ‘I am much obliged to you. and questioned beggars.’ said Scrooge. ‘Lord bless me.

Very.’ He turned it gently.A Christmas Carol He passed the door a dozen times.’ 134 of 138 . my love. before he had the courage to go up and knock. along with mistress. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array).’ said Scrooge. Scrooge had forgotten.’ said Scrooge. how his niece by marriage started. and sidled his face in. for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points. Nice girl. with his hand already on the dining-room lock.’ ‘Thank you.’ cried Fred. He knows me.’ said Scrooge to the girl. ‘Yes. sir. round the door. or he wouldn’t have done it. ‘He’s in the dining-room. if you please. ‘Why bless my soul. and did it: ‘Is your master at home. Dear heart alive. But he made a dash. ‘I’ll go in here.’ said Scrooge. ‘Fred. about her sitting in the corner with the footstool. I’ll show you up-stairs. my dear.’ ‘Where is he. for the moment. sir. my dear. and like to see that everything is right. on any account.’ who’s that.

driving away with his pen. in his accustomed voice. he did. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. ‘It’s I. His hat was off. I have come to dinner. that he might see him come into the Tank. before he opened the door. Your uncle Scrooge. view. yes. he was early there. No Bob. A quarter past. Download the free trial version. Fred. That was the thing he had set his heart upon. Oh.’ growled Scrooge. The clock struck nine. ‘What do you mean by coming here at this time of day. sir.’ ‘I am very sorry.’ 135 of 138 . So did Topper when he came. wonderful games. So did the plump sister when she came. wonderful happiness. Will you let me in. If he could only be there first. It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. his comforter too. Wonderful party. and edit PDF. But he was early at the office next morning. No Bob. wonderful unanimity.’ said Bob.’ Let him in. and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. So did every one when they came. ‘Hallo. And he did it. ‘I am behind my time. as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock. Nothing could be heartier. Scrooge sat with his door wide open. as near as he could feign it. He was at home in five minutes. His niece looked just the same.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. He was on his stool in a jiffy.

I was making rather merry yesterday. holding him. and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon.’ pleaded Bob. and endeavour to assist your struggling family. my good fellow. and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat. And therefore. I’ll raise your salary. ‘A merrier Christmas.’ 136 of 138 . over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. I think you are.’ he continued. Step this way. leaping from his stool. Bob. my friend.’ said Scrooge.’ ‘Now.’ ‘It’s only once a year. as he clapped him on the back. Bob.’ said Scrooge. and got a little nearer to the ruler. ‘A merry Christmas. Bob Cratchit.A Christmas Carol ‘You are.’ and therefore I am about to raise your salary. and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again. ‘It shall not be repeated. Make up the fires. Bob. with an earnestness that could not be mistaken. I’ll tell you what. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it. ‘Yes.’ I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer.’ repeated Scrooge. appearing from the Tank. sir. sir.’ Bob trembled. and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i. than I have given you for many a year. sir. if you please.

as the good old city knew. ever afterwards. and all of us! And so. He became as good a friend. for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe. he was a second father. and it was always said of him. who did not die. as Tiny Tim observed. and infinitely more. and to Tiny Tim. God bless Us. Every One! 137 of 138 . at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset. as have the malady in less attractive forms. and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway. if any man alive possessed the knowledge. he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins. that he knew how to keep Christmas well. He did it all. town. He had no further intercourse with Spirits. and as good a man. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him. May that be truly said of us. in the good old world.A Christmas Carol Scrooge was better than his word. but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle. or borough. as good a master. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. or any other good old city. but he let them laugh. and little heeded them. for good.

A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .

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