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