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