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