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