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