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