A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

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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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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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Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind. old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint. above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge. from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire. years afterwards. This must be distinctly understood. wrenching. grasping. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. upon his own ramparts.A Christmas Carol event.stone. 4 of 138 . There is no doubt that Marley was dead. There it stood. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began. in an easterly wind. but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral. scraping. covetous. 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. It was all the same to him. or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night. and sometimes Marley. and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. Scrooge! a squeezing. but he answered to both names. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. clutching.

how are you? When will you come to see me?’ No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle. nipped his pointed nose. and solitary as an oyster. No warmth could warm. his thin lips blue. and hail. no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place. and his wiry chin. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. The heaviest rain. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. he iced his office in the dogdays. stiffened his gait. shrivelled his cheek. No wind that blew was bitterer than he. and Scrooge never did. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say. and on his eyebrows. no pelting rain less open to entreaty.A Christmas Carol secret. and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. with gladsome looks. would tug their owners into doorways 5 of 138 . and snow. The cold within him froze his old features. no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose. A frosty rime was on his head. could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. and self-contained. of Scrooge. no children asked him what it was o’clock. made his eyes red. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him. He carried his own low temperature always about with him. and sleet. They often ‘came down’ handsomely. ‘My dear Scrooge. and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. and when they saw him coming on. no wintry weather chill him.

but it was quite dark already — it had not been light all day — and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices. It was cold. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole. on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse. biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside. 6 of 138 . bleak. ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye. warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. that although the court was of the narrowest.A Christmas Carol and up courts. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down. beating their hands upon their breasts. was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge. Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year. The city clocks had only just gone three. and then would wag their tails as though they said. and was so dense without. one might have thought that Nature lived hard by. and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life. obscuring everything. the houses opposite were mere phantoms. go wheezing up and down. and was brewing on a large scale. like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. dark master!’ But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked.

was copying letters. ‘You don’t mean that. the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew. a sort of tank. ‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. ‘Christmas a humbug. ‘A merry Christmas. and tried to warm himself at the candle. I am sure?’ 7 of 138 . that he was all in a glow. uncle! God save you!’ cried a cheerful voice. his eyes sparkled. uncle!’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Scrooge had a very small fire. in which effort. for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room. this nephew of Scrooge’s. he failed. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter. But he couldn’t replenish it. his face was ruddy and handsome. 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. and his breath smoked again. not being a man of a strong imagination. ‘Humbug!’ He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost.A Christmas Carol The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk. who in a dismal little cell beyond. who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach.

’ said Scrooge indignantly. 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. then. a time for finding yourself a year older. said ‘Bah!’ again.’ ‘Don’t be cross. ‘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. ‘What else can I be.’ said Scrooge. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough. ‘Nephew!’ returned the uncle sternly. and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.’ ‘Come. ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough. should be boiled with his own pudding.’ Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment. and let me keep it in mine. and followed it up with ‘Humbug. ‘keep Christmas in your own way. but not an hour richer.’ returned the uncle.’ 8 of 138 .’ returned the nephew gaily. ‘every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips. uncle!’ said the nephew. He should!’ ‘Uncle!’ pleaded the nephew.A Christmas Carol ‘I do.

‘But you don’t keep it. if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time. forgiving. and I say. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time. by which I have not profited. I dare say. pleasant time: the only time I know of. when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin. And therefore. he poked the fire.’ ‘Let me leave it alone. ‘Christmas among the rest. charitable.’ said Scrooge. I believe that it has done me good. and will do me good. God bless it!’ The clerk in the Tank involuntarily applauded. and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave.A Christmas Carol ‘Keep it!’ repeated Scrooge’s nephew. when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. 9 of 138 . and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. uncle.’ returned the nephew. and extinguished the last frail spark for ever. ‘Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!’ ‘There are many things from which I might have derived good. then. a kind. in the long calendar of the year. though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket.

We have never had any quarrel. indeed he did.A Christmas Carol ‘Let me hear another sound from you.’ he added. as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. ‘But why?’ cried Scrooge’s nephew.’ said Scrooge. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas. He went the whole length of the expression. uncle.’ said Scrooge. ‘I want nothing from you.’ said Scrooge. and said that he would see him in that extremity first.’ Scrooge said that he would see him — yes.’ ‘Because you fell in love!’ growled Scrooge. I ask nothing of you. ‘and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You’re quite a powerful speaker. ‘I am sorry. Come! Dine with us tomorrow. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?’ ‘Good afternoon. with all my heart. ‘Why?’ ‘Why did you get married?’ said Scrooge. to which I have been a party. to find you so resolute. ‘Because I fell in love. uncle. ‘Good afternoon!’ ‘Nay. but you never came to see me before that happened.’ ‘Don’t be angry. turning to his nephew. sir. ‘I wonder you don’t go into Parliament. why cannot we be friends?’ ‘Good afternoon. 10 of 138 .

I’ll retire to Bedlam. notwithstanding. ‘And A Happy New Year!’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. this very night. in letting Scrooge’s nephew out. I believe.’ said Scrooge. uncle!’ ‘Good afternoon. So A Merry Christmas. They had books and papers in their hands. Scrooge. referring to his list.’ 11 of 138 .’ said one of the gentlemen. ‘Scrooge and Marley’s. and a wife and family. and bowed to him. ‘He died seven years ago. was warmer than Scrooge. with fifteen shillings a week. who overheard him: ‘my clerk. in Scrooge’s office.’ muttered Scrooge. for he returned them cordially. had let two other people in. talking about a merry Christmas.A Christmas Carol and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. who cold as he was. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk. Marley?’ ‘Mr. and now stood. pleasant to behold. with their hats off. ‘There’s another fellow. Marley has been dead these seven years. His nephew left the room without an angry word.’ said Scrooge. They were portly gentlemen.’ This lunatic.’ Scrooge replied. or Mr.

hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts. ‘And the Union workhouses?’ demanded Scrooge. laying down the pen again. and handed the credentials back. Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner. It certainly was.’ said the gentleman.’ 12 of 138 . for they had been two kindred spirits. ‘I wish I could say they were not. then?’ said Scrooge. and shook his head. ‘Plenty of prisons. sir. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries.’ said the gentleman. Mr.’ ‘The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour. taking up a pen. Still. At the ominous word ‘liberality. who suffer greatly at the present time.’ ‘Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge. presenting his credentials. ‘Are they still in operation?’ ‘They are.’ Scrooge frowned. ‘it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute. sir.’ returned the gentleman. ‘Both very busy. ‘At this festive season of the year.’ said the gentleman.

’ observed the gentleman. and many would rather die.’ said Scrooge. that is my answer. Besides — excuse me — I don’t know that.’ said Scrooge.’ returned the gentleman. gentlemen. and decrease the surplus population. because it is a time. and means of warmth. ‘Since you ask me what I wish. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough.’ ‘If they would rather die. when Want is keenly felt. What shall I put you down for?’ ‘Nothing!’ Scrooge replied. ‘they had better do it. ‘a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. from what you said at first. that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. ‘You wish to be anonymous?’ ‘I wish to be left alone. of all others. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. ‘I’m very glad to hear it. We choose this time. 13 of 138 .’ ‘Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude.A Christmas Carol ‘Oh! I was afraid.’ ‘Many can’t go there.’ ‘But you might know it. and those who are badly off must go there.’ said Scrooge. and Abundance rejoices.

gentlemen!’ Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point. and conduct them on their way. some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes. and not to interfere with other people’s. round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture. In the main street at the corner of the court. Mine occupies me constantly. with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds. and had lighted a great fire in a brazier. Scrooge returned his labours with an improved opinion of himself. The water-plug being left in solitude. Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so. ‘It’s enough for a man to understand his own business. The ancient tower of a church. The cold became intense. proffering their services to go before horses in carriages. the gentlemen withdrew. became invisible. whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall. its overflowing sullenly congealed. and turned to misanthropic ice. The brightness of the shops where holly 14 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘It’s not my business. and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him. Good afternoon.’ Scrooge returned. that people ran about with flaring links.

in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House. sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows. merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!’ 15 of 138 . The owner of one scant young nose. Foggier yet. stirred up to-morrow’s pudding in his garret. then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. and even the little tailor. while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef. whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets. and colder! Piercing. made pale faces ruddy as they passed. gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s household should. gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs. instead of using his familiar weapons. stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of ‘God bless you. The Lord Mayor. Download the free trial version. view. Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke. searching. biting cold. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that. a glorious pageant. with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. and edit PDF.

‘You’ll want all day to-morrow. sir. who instantly snuffed his candle out. leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost. and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank. that the singer fled in terror. ‘you don’t think me ill-used. Be here all the earlier next morning. ‘and it’s not fair.’ The clerk promised that he would. I suppose?’ said Scrooge. ‘And yet. 16 of 138 . With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool. and put on his hat. The office was closed in a twinkling. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it. buttoning his great-coat to the chin.’ The clerk observed that it was only once a year. ‘If quite convenient.’ said Scrooge. At length the hour of shutting up the counting. ‘But I suppose you must have the whole day. ‘A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!’ said Scrooge. you’d think yourself illused.’ ‘It’s not convenient. and Scrooge walked out with a growl.house arrived.A Christmas Carol Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action. when I pay a day’s wages for no work.’ said Scrooge. I’ll be bound?’ The clerk smiled faintly.

for nobody lived in it but Scrooge. where it had so little business to be. Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern. was fain to grope with his hands. and forgotten the way out again. in a lowering pile of building up a yard. to play at blindman’s-buff. went home to bed. at the end of a lane of boys. and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. 17 of 138 . in honour of its being Christmas Eve. that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold. They were a gloomy suite of rooms. who knew its every stone.A Christmas Carol and the clerk. The yard was so dark that even Scrooge. and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’sbook. with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat). went down a slide on Cornhill. playing at hide-and-seek with other houses. and having read all the newspapers. the other rooms being all let out as offices. It was old enough now. that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house. twenty times. and dreary enough. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house.

A Christmas Carol Now. without its undergoing any intermediate process of change — not a knocker. saw in the knocker. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley. and livery. And then let any man explain to me. That. like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. The hair was curiously stirred. Marley’s face. even including — which is a bold word — the corporation. aldermen. made it horrible. but had a dismal light about it. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were. though the eyes were wide open. but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face 18 of 138 . they were perfectly motionless. and. that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door. having his key in the lock of the door. since his last mention of his seven years’ dead partner that afternoon. also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the city of London. night and morning. during his whole residence in that place. but Marley’s face. if he can. as if by breath or hot air. that Scrooge had seen it. and its livid colour. It is also a fact. how it happened that Scrooge. It was not angry or ferocious. it is a fact. except that it was very large.

To say that he was not startled. except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on. before he shut the door. But there was nothing on the back of the door. and up the stairs. with a moment’s irresolution. it was a knocker again. Every room above. so he said ‘Pooh. pooh!’ and closed it with a bang. walked in. and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below. and lighted his candle. would be untrue. The sound resounded through the house like thunder. He did pause. as if he half-expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley’s pigtail sticking out into the hall. 19 of 138 . and walked across the hall.A Christmas Carol and beyond its control. appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. He fastened the door. and he did look cautiously behind it first. slowly too: trimming his candle as he went. or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy. Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. turned it sturdily. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished. rather than a part or its own expression. As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon.

But before he shut his heavy door. bedroom. Half a dozen gas-lamps out of the street wouldn’t have lighted the entry too well. but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase. not caring a button for that. and room to spare. nobody in the closet. he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. There was plenty of width for that. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that. and Scrooge liked it. or through a bad young Act of Parliament. which is perhaps the reason why Scrooge thought he saw a locomotive hearse going on before him in the gloom. spoon and basin ready. and taken it broadwise. nobody in his dressing-gown. Darkness is cheap. a small fire in the grate.A Christmas Carol You may talk vaguely about driving a coach-and-six up a good old flight of stairs. Nobody under the bed. Nobody under the table. Up Scrooge went. Lumber-room 20 of 138 . nobody under the sofa. lumber-room. and the little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall. with the splinterbar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. All as they should be. so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip. Sitting-room.

double-locked himself in. built by some Dutch merchant long ago. came like the ancient Prophet’s rod. with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts. and his nightcap. Pharaohs’ daughters. Abrahams. He was obliged to sit close to it.A Christmas Carol as usual. and brood over it. put on his dressing-gown and slippers. old shoes. there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one. Thus secured against surprise. which was not his custom. before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel. 21 of 138 . and a poker. he closed his door. There were Cains and Abels. he took off his cravat. Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats. Belshazzars. and sat down before the fire to take his gruel. Queens of Sheba. Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds. Old fire-guards. Quite satisfied. nothing on such a bitter night. It was a very low fire indeed. and locked himself in. and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles. and swallowed up the whole. designed to illustrate the Scriptures. washing-stand on three legs. seven years dead. The fireplace was an old one. hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts — and yet that face of Marley. two fish-baskets. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first.

that hung in the room. As he threw his head back in the chair. a disused bell. then coming straight towards his door. and with a strange. This might have lasted half a minute. They were succeeded by a clanking noise. together. on the floors below. The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound. but soon it rang out loudly. as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant’s cellar. After several turns. inexplicable dread. without a pause. and then he heard the noise much louder.A Christmas Carol ‘Humbug!’ said Scrooge. and so did every bell in the house. he sat down again. It was with great astonishment. when. ‘I won’t believe it. and passed into the 22 of 138 . deep down below. and walked across the room. then coming up the stairs. it came on through the heavy door. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains. and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building. but it seemed an hour. or a minute. The bells ceased as they had begun.’ His colour changed though. that as he looked. his glance happened to rest upon a bell. ‘It’s humbug still!’ said Scrooge. he saw this bell begin to swing.

No. Upon its coming in. he was still incredulous. tights and boots. and saw it standing before him. deeds. and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cashboxes. observing him. The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. caustic and cold as ever. nor did he believe it even now. though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes. and wound about him like a tail. as though it cried ‘I know him. padlocks. like his pigtail. Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels. Marley’s Ghost!’ and fell again. ‘How now!’ said Scrooge. and heavy purses wrought in steel. so that Scrooge. The same face: the very same. and looking through his waistcoat. It was long. ledgers. Though he looked the phantom through and through. and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin. but he had never believed it until now. and his coat-skirts. keys. the dying flame leaped up. and fought against his senses.A Christmas Carol room before his eyes. which wrapper he had not observed before. Marley in his pigtail. the tassels on the latter bristling. could see the two buttons on his coat behind. ‘What do you want with me?’ 23 of 138 . and the hair upon his head. His body was transparent. usual waistcoat.

looking doubtfully at him. raising his voice. ‘I don’t. ‘Who are you?’ ‘Ask me who I was.’ said Scrooge. for a shade. and felt that in the event of its being impossible. because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair. no doubt about it. ‘I can. ‘Why do you doubt your senses?’ 24 of 138 . ‘You don’t believe in me. it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation.A Christmas Carol ‘Much!’ — Marley’s voice. as if he were quite used to it. ‘In life I was your partner. ‘What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?’ ‘I don’t know.’ but substituted this. then. as more appropriate.’ said Scrooge. ‘You’re particular.’ Scrooge asked the question.’ observed the Ghost.’ ‘Do it.’ He was going to say ‘to a shade.’ ‘Who were you then?’ said Scrooge. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace.’ ‘Can you — can you sit down?’ asked Scrooge. Jacob Marley.

to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself. staring at those fixed glazed eyes. Scrooge felt. the very deuce with him. The truth is. and tassels. by any means waggish then. would play. a blot of mustard. too. but this was clearly the case. returning quickly to the charge. though it were only for a second. for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless. for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones.’ said Scrooge. To sit. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. its hair. a crumb of cheese. that he tried to be smart. There was something very awful. Scrooge could not feel it himself. as a means of distracting his own attention. You may be an undigested bit of beef. nor did he feel. and keeping down his terror. were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven. and skirts. a fragment of an underdone potato. 25 of 138 . for the reason just assigned. in silence for a moment. whatever you are!’ Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes. in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you. ‘You see this toothpick?’ said Scrooge. and wishing. ‘a little thing affects them. in his heart.A Christmas Carol ‘Because.

‘Dreadful apparition.’ said Scrooge.’ the Ghost returned. I tell you! humbug!’ At this the spirit raised a frightful cry. as if it were too warm to wear indoors. when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head. why do you trouble me?’ ‘Man of the worldly mind!’ replied the Ghost. and clasped his hands before his face.’ ‘Well!’ returned Scrooge. to save himself from falling in a swoon. all of my own creation. ‘I have but to swallow this. ‘You are not looking at it. Humbug. ‘do you believe in me or not?’ ‘I do. But how much greater was his horror. ‘But I see it. and why do they come to me?’ ‘It is required of every man. ‘I must. ‘that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his 26 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘I do. that Scrooge held on tight to his chair.’ replied 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.’ said the Ghost. ‘Mercy!’ he said. its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast! Scrooge fell upon his knees. ‘notwithstanding.’ said Scrooge. But why do spirits walk the earth.

‘Jacob. It is a ponderous chain!’ Scrooge glanced about him on the floor.’ he said. Download the free trial version. but might have shared on earth. I girded it on of my own free will. and edit PDF. ‘the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this. You have laboured on it. view. and travel far and wide. ‘Tell me why?’ ‘I wear the chain I forged in life. trembling. and turned to happiness!’ Again the spectre raised a cry. ‘Or would you know. Jacob!’ 27 of 138 . since.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create.’ said Scrooge. in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing. and if that spirit goes not forth in life. Is its pattern strange to you?’ Scrooge trembled more and more. woe is me! — and witness what it cannot share.’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link.’ pursued the Ghost. ‘Old Jacob Marley. imploringly. it is condemned to do so after death. and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands. seven Christmas Eves ago. tell me more. Speak comfort to me. It is doomed to wander through the world — oh. and yard by yard. and of my own free will I wore it. fellowmen. ‘You are fettered.

‘And travelling all the time!’ ‘The whole time. is all permitted to me. A very little more.’ said the Ghost. I cannot rest. whenever he became thoughtful. Ebenezer Scrooge. and is conveyed by other ministers. Nor can I tell you what I would. though with humility and deference. to other kinds of men.’ ‘You travel fast?’ said Scrooge.’ the Ghost replied. Pondering on what the Ghost had said. 28 of 138 . ‘You must have been very slow about it.’ replied the Ghost. ‘Seven years dead.’ mused Scrooge.’ Scrooge observed. ‘Slow!’ the Ghost repeated.A Christmas Carol ‘I have none to give. in a business-like manner. ‘It comes from other regions. he did so now. I cannot linger anywhere. ‘On the wings of the wind. Incessant torture of remorse. or getting off his knees. but without lifting up his eyes. 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. Jacob. ‘No rest. no peace. and weary journeys lie before me!’ It was a habit with Scrooge. I cannot stay. to put his hands in his breeches pockets.

who now began to apply this to himself. were. my business.’ faltered Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years. and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night. The Ghost. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’ 29 of 138 . 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. ‘Oh! captive. for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. bound. whatever it may be.’ cried the phantom. wringing its hands again. that ages of incessant labour.’ said Scrooge. The common welfare was my business. and double-ironed. will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. ‘not to know. ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost. Jacob. set up another cry. that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance. by immortal creatures. on hearing this. ‘Mankind was my business. all. charity. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere. mercy. forbearance. and benevolence.

’ ‘I will.’ said Scrooge. Jacob! Pray!’ ‘How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.’ the spectre said ‘I suffer most. as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief.’ said Scrooge. ‘But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery. Scrooge shivered. ‘At this time of the rolling year. Why did I walk through crowds of fellowbeings with my eyes turned down. that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. and began to quake exceedingly. ‘My time is nearly gone.A Christmas Carol It held up its chain at arm’s length. ‘I am here to-night to warn you. ‘Thank ‘ee!’ 30 of 138 .’ It was not an agreeable idea. A chance and hope of my procuring.’ pursued the Ghost. ‘That is no light part of my penance. and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode! Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!’ Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at this rate. and wiped the perspiration from his brow.’ ‘You were always a good friend to me. Ebenezer. and flung it heavily upon the ground again. I may not tell. ‘Hear me!’ cried the Ghost.

’ ‘Couldn’t I take ‘em all at once. for your own sake.’ ‘I — I think I’d rather not. He ventured to raise his eyes again.A Christmas Carol ‘You will be haunted. ‘you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. the spectre took its wrapper from the table. you remember what has passed between us!’ When it had said these words. Look to see me no more. Jacob?’ he demanded. and look that. and found 31 of 138 .’ said Scrooge. ‘Without their visits. ‘Is that the chance and hope you mentioned.’ resumed the Ghost. as before. ‘Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. and bound it round its head. and have it over. ‘It is. Scrooge knew this. 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. Expect the first tomorrow.’ said the Ghost. Jacob?’ hinted Scrooge.’ Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done. in a faltering voice. ‘by Three Spirits. when the jaws were brought together by the bandage.

after listening for a moment. Marley’s Ghost held up its hand. with its chain wound over and about its arm. and moaning as they went. Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. dark night. Scrooge stopped. He had been quite familiar with one 32 of 138 . Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. warning him to come no nearer. When they were within two paces of each other. and at every step it took. wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost. the window raised itself a little. He looked out. The air was filled with phantoms. joined in the mournful dirge. some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together. The apparition walked backward from him. It beckoned Scrooge to approach. which he did. as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand. none were free. Not so much in obedience. it was wide open. wandering hither and thither in restless haste. incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret. so that when the spectre reached it. The spectre.A Christmas Carol his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude. and floated out upon the bleak. he became sensible of confused noises in the air.

A Christmas Carol old ghost. and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered. or the lateness of the hour. and had lost the power for ever. who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant. he could not tell. in human matters. as he had locked it with his own hands. much in need of repose. whom it saw below. 33 of 138 . and the bolts were undisturbed. He tried to say ‘Humbug!’ but stopped at the first syllable. that they sought to interfere. clearly. or the fatigues of the day. But they and their spirit voices faded together. without undressing. with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle. for good. The misery with them all was. or mist enshrouded them. Scrooge closed the window. And being. in a white waistcoat. and the night became as it had been when he walked home. or the dull conversation of the Ghost. from the emotion he had undergone. went straight to bed. and fell asleep upon the instant. upon a door-step. Whether these creatures faded into mist. It was double-locked. or his glimpse of the Invisible World.

An icicle must have got into the works. he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber. it isn’t possible. and this is twelve at noon. Its rapid little pulse beat twelve: and stopped. and regularly up to twelve. it was so dark. He was endeavouring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes.A Christmas Carol Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits When Scrooge awoke. It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun. So he listened for the hour. that looking out of bed. It was past two when he went to bed. To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven.’ The idea being an alarming one. He touched the spring of his repeater. he scrambled out of bed. Twelve. then stopped. and groped his way to the window. to correct this most preposterous clock. ‘that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. ‘Why. and from seven to eight. when the chimes of a neighbouring church struck the four quarters. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown 34 of 138 .’ said Scrooge. Twelve. The clock was wrong.

and could see very little then. the more he thought. like a strong spring released.A Christmas Carol before he could see anything. and thought it over and over. and thought. and thought. Scrooge went to bed again. ‘Was it a dream or not?’ Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more. and taken possession of the world. the more perplexed he was. the more he endeavoured not to think. This was a great relief. after mature inquiry that it was all a dream. and. because ‘Three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. and could make nothing of it. that the Ghost hadwarned him of a visitation when the 35 of 138 . when he remembered. to its first position. The more he thought. Every time he resolved within himself. his mind flew back again.’ and so forth. Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. andpresented the same problem to be worked all through. as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day. on a sudden. All he could make out was. would have become a mere United States security if there were no days to count by. Ebenezer Scrooge on his order. and making a great stir. that it was still very foggy and extremely cold. and that there was no noise of people running to and fro.

At length it broke upon his listening ear. and.A Christmas Carol bell tolled one. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. The quarter was so long. and Scrooge. perhaps.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. which it now did with a deep. I tell you. ‘Ding. starting 36 of 138 . counting. dong!’ ‘A quarter to it. considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to heaven. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant. and the curtains of his bed were drawn. and missed the clock. that he was more than once convinced he must have sunk into a doze unconsciously. dong!’ ‘The hour itself. this was. ‘Ding. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. ‘Ding. but those to which his face was addressed. ‘and nothing else!’ He spoke before the hour bell sounded. dong!’ ‘Half past.’ said Scrooge triumphantly. Not the curtains at his feet. nor the curtains at his back. melancholy ONE. by a hand. the wisest resolution in his power. ‘Ding. He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed.’ said Scrooge. hollow. dong!’ ‘A quarter past. dull.

like those upper members. and being diminished to a child’s proportions. and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem. were. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. Its hair. which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view. The arms were very long and muscular. and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt. a great extinguisher for a cap. which it now held under its arm. 37 of 138 . bare. the hands the same. and the tenderest bloom was on the skin.A Christmas Carol up into a half-recumbent attitude. that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light. and which was doubtless the occasion of its using. viewed through some supernatural medium. was white as if with age. which hung about its neck and down its back. But the strangest thing about it was. Its legs and feet. and. and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it. as if its hold were of uncommon strength. most delicately formed. the sheen of which was beautiful. had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. by which all this was visible. found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you. It wore a tunic of the purest white. in its duller moments.

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. Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each 41 of 138 . and his heart leap up as they went past.’ cried Scrooge with fervour. ‘I could walk it blindfold. that it was a pimple. and winding river.’ They walked along the road. who called to other boys in country gigs and carts. All these boys were in great spirits. Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs.’ said the Ghost. and as they came. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them. Why did his cold eye glisten. ‘You recollect the way. Scrooge knew and named them every one. its church.’ observed the Ghost. ‘Remember it.’ ‘Strange to have forgotten it for so many years. and post.’ The jocund travellers came on. until the broad fields were so full of merry music. and tree. driven by farmers. Scrooge recognising every gate.A Christmas Carol Scrooge muttered. with an unusual catching in his voice. ‘Let us go on. ‘They have no consciousness of us. until a little market-town appeared in the distance. with its bridge. that the crisp air laughed to hear it. and begged the Ghost to lead him where he would. ‘These are but shadows of the things that have been. and shouted to each other.

their walls were damp and mossy. Fowls clucked and strutted in the stables. and soon approached a mansion of dull red brick. for entering the dreary hall. and 42 of 138 . It opened before them. within.’ said the Ghost. ‘A solitary child. across the hall. they found them poorly furnished. What was merry Christmas to Scrooge. Out upon merry Christmas. ‘The school is not quite deserted. There was an earthy savour in the air. a chilly bareness in the place. the Ghost and Scrooge.’ Scrooge said he knew it. for the spacious offices were little used. and vast. with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola. and glancing through the open doors of many rooms. for their several homes. and the coach-houses and sheds were over-run with grass. They left the high-road.A Christmas Carol other Merry Christmas. and their gates decayed. Nor was it more retentive of its ancient state. their windows broken. and a bell hanging in it. but one of broken fortunes. which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle-light. is left there still. and not too much to eat. What good had it ever done to him. to a door at the back of the house. by a well-remembered lane. neglected by his friends. cold. It was a large house. And he sobbed. They went. as they parted at cross-roads and bye-ways. on the roof.

One Christmas time. ‘Why. Suddenly a man. who 43 of 138 . I know. and Scrooge sat down upon a form. and leading by the bridle an ass laden with wood. Orson.A Christmas Carol disclosed a long.’ and his wild brother. not the idle swinging of an empty store-house door. not a sigh among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar. At one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire. for the first time. made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. ‘It’s dear old honest Ali Baba. in foreign garments: wonderfully real and distinct to look at: stood outside the window. and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. The Spirit touched him on the arm. it’s Ali Baba. And Valentine. not a drip from the half-thawed water-spout in the dull yard behind. he did come. not a clicking in the fire.’ Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy. Yes. And what’s his name. bare.’ said Scrooge. no. but fell upon the heart of Scrooge with a softening influence. Not a latent echo in the house. yes. and pointed to his younger self. just like that. there they go. with an axe stuck in his belt. intent upon his reading. not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the panelling. when yonder solitary child was left here all alone. Poor boy. and gave a freer passage to his tears. melancholy room.

and to see his heightened and excited face. would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city. running for his life to the little creek. indeed. 44 of 138 . there he is upon his head. Robin Crusoe. What business had he to be married to the Princess.’ To hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects. Poor Robin Crusoe. ‘Poor boy. with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character. where have you been. in pity for his former self. but he wasn’t. Hallo. in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying. ‘Poor Robin Crusoe. It was the Parrot. Halloa.’ and cried again. when he came home again after sailing round the island. you know.’ The man thought he was dreaming. Serve him right.A Christmas Carol was put down in his drawers. asleep. he called him. he said. ‘There’s the Parrot. There goes Friday. at the Gate of Damascus. I’m glad of it.’ cried Scrooge. with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head.’ Then. Hoop. ‘Green body and yellow tail. there he is. And the Sultan’s Groom turned upside down by the Genii. don’t you see him.

and a little girl. Scrooge knew no more than you do. but walking up and down despairingly. and the naked laths were shown instead. The panels shrunk. that there he was. after drying his eyes with his cuff: ‘but it’s too late now. came darting in. It opened. and the room became a little darker and more dirty.’ said Scrooge.’ asked the Spirit. and putting her arms about his neck. Scrooge looked at the Ghost. I should like to have given him something: that’s all. alone again. but how all this was brought about. ‘Let us see another Christmas. and with a mournful shaking of his head.’ The Ghost smiled thoughtfully. putting his hand in his pocket. and waved its hand: saying as it did so. He only knew that it was quite correct. that everything had happened so. and looking about him.’ Scrooge’s former self grew larger at the words.A Christmas Carol ‘I wish. fragments of plaster fell out of the ceiling. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. He was not reading now.’ Scrooge muttered. and 45 of 138 . glanced anxiously towards the door. ‘Nothing.’ ‘What is the matter. much younger than the boy. when all the other boys had gone home for the jolly holidays. the windows cracked. ‘Nothing.

’ and are never to come back here.’ ‘You are quite a woman. you should. in her childish eagerness. there. laughed again. little Fan. and stood on tiptoe to embrace him. home. ‘Bring down Master Scrooge’s box. addressed him as her ‘Dear.’ ‘I have come to bring you home. And you’re to be a man. Then she began to drag him. Home. dear brother. but being too little. ‘To bring you home. ‘Home. accompanied her. brimful of glee.’ said the child. we’re to be together all the Christmas long. for good and all. home. A terrible voice in the hall cried.’ said the child.’ ‘Home. opening her eyes. clapping her tiny hands. and bending down to laugh. He spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed. nothing loth to go. dear brother. and he said Yes. that home’s like Heaven.’ exclaimed the boy. and tried to touch his head. little Fan. and he.’ said the child. towards the door. and have the merriest time in all the world.’ returned the boy. that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home.A Christmas Carol often kissing him. and sent me in a coach to bring you. She clapped her hands and laughed.’ and in the hall appeared the 46 of 138 . for ever and ever. Father is so much kinder than he used to be. but first. ‘Yes.

I will not gainsay it. Spirit. ‘But she had a large heart. and a block of curiously heavy cake.’ said the Ghost. whom a breath might have withered.’ cried Scrooge.’ ‘So she had. the children bade the schoolmaster good-bye right willingly.A Christmas Carol schoolmaster himself. and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows. and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him. Master Scrooge’s trunk being by this time tied on to the top of the chaise. 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. but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before. who glared on Master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension. who answered that he thanked the gentleman. ‘Always a delicate creature. God forbid. were waxy with cold. ‘You’re right. and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time. he had rather not. He then conveyed him and his sister into the veriest old well of a shivering best-parlour that ever was seen. where the maps upon the wall. Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine.’ 47 of 138 . and getting into it. sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of something to the postboy.

that if he had been two inches taller he must have knocked his head against the ceiling. ‘Know it. ‘Yes. At sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig. and asked Scrooge if he knew it. It was made plain enough. children.’ They went in.’ 48 of 138 . ‘I was apprenticed here.’ Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind. where shadowy passengers passed and repassed. ‘and had.’ Scrooge returned. and answered briefly.’ Although they had but that moment left the school behind them. Scrooge cried in great excitement: ‘Why.’ ‘One child. Bless his heart.’ said the Ghost. sitting behind such a high desk. The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door. as I think. ‘Your nephew. that here too it was Christmas time again. ‘True. it’s old Fezziwig. where shadowy carts and coaches battle for the way. by the dressing of the shops. and the streets were lighted up. it’s Fezziwig alive again.A Christmas Carol ‘She died a woman. and all the strife and tumult of a real city were. but it was evening. they were now in the busy thoroughfares of a city.’ said the Ghost.’ said Scrooge.

A Christmas Carol Old Fezziwig laid down his pen. three — had them up in their places — four. skipping down from the high desk. accompanied by his fellow-prentice. now grown a young man. ‘Hilli-ho!’ cried old Fezziwig. my boys.’ Scrooge’s former self. He rubbed his hands.’ ‘Yo ho.’ said Scrooge to the Ghost. to be sure. panting like race-horses. my lads. oily. from his shows to his organ of benevolence. yes. There he is. adjusted his capacious waistcoat.’ said Fezziwig. 49 of 138 . with a sharp clap of his hands.’ cried old Fezziwig. with wonderful agility. Let’s have the shutters up. and looked up at the clock.’ You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. came briskly in.’ before a man can say Jack Robinson. laughed all over himself. two. Christmas Eve. ‘No more work tonight. fat. six — barred them and pinned then — seven. jovial voice: ‘Yo ho. He was very much attached to me. Dick. was Dick. dear. five. Dear. Poor Dick. Dick. there. Christmas. and called out in a comfortable. which pointed to the hour of seven. eight. Ebenezer. rich. nine — and came back before you could have got to twelve. ‘Bless me. They charged into the street with the shutters — one. ‘Clear away. ‘Dick Wilkins. Ebenezer.

In came a fiddler with a music-book. with her brother’s particular friend. and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. one vast substantial smile. with her cousin. Every movable was packed off. Dick. Hilli-ho. and went up to the lofty desk. or couldn’t have cleared away. Chirrup. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs. It was done in a minute. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. In came Mrs Fezziwig. and dry. the floor was swept and watered. the lamps were trimmed. and the warehouse was as snug. as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore. In came all the young men and women employed in the business. trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one. In came the housemaid. In came the boy from over the way. and made an orchestra of it. beaming and lovable. with old Fezziwig looking on. There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away. Ebenezer.A Christmas Carol and let’s have lots of room here. the milkman. and bright a ball-room. as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night. and warm. fuel was heaped upon the fire. who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress. In they all 50 of 138 . In came the cook. who was suspected of not having board enough from his master.’ Clear away. the baker.

upon his reappearance. when the fiddler (an 51 of 138 . and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight. came. especially provided for that purpose. and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled. and there were forfeits. and plenty of beer. Away they all went. view. some boldly. anyhow and everyhow. on a shutter. some shyly. some pulling. as if the other fiddler had been carried home.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. some pushing. Download the free trial version. one after another. though there were no dancers yet. and not a bottom one to help them. hands half round and back again the other way. and there was cake. round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping. and more dances. as soon as they got there. all top couples at last. down the middle and up again. twenty couples at once. old Fezziwig.’ and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter. and there was a great piece of Cold Roast. new top couple starting off again. he instantly began again. and there was negus. old top couple always turning up in the wrong place.’ Well done. But scorning rest. exhausted. When this result was brought about. clapping his hands to stop the dance. and there were mince-pies. some gracefully. cried out. There were more dances. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled. and edit PDF. or perish. in they all came. some awkwardly.

If that’s not high praise. But if they had been twice as many — ah. both hands to your partner. with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him. mind. and I’ll use it. four times — old Fezziwig would have been a match for them. this domestic ball broke up.) struck up Sir Roger de Coverley. and so would Mrs Fezziwig. bow and curtsey. When the clock struck eleven. and back again to your place.A Christmas Carol artful dog. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations. Fezziwig cut — cut so deftly. that he appeared to wink with his legs. advance and retire. They shone in every part of the dance like moons. thread-theneedle.’ Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs Fezziwig. corkscrew. Top couple. As to her. people who would dance. three or four and twenty pair of partners. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs Fezziwig had gone all through the dance. You couldn’t have predicted. and came upon his feet again without a stagger. what would have become of them next. tell me higher. too. at any given time. people who were not to be trifled with. and had no notion of walking. one on 52 of 138 . she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term.

enjoyed everything. and underwent the strangest agitation. remembered everything. When everybody had retired but the two prentices. while the light upon its head burnt very clear. wished him or her a Merry Christmas.’ echoed Scrooge. and became conscious that it was looking full upon him. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. ‘Why. and with his former self. During the whole of this time.’ ‘Small. Is it not. The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices. which were under a counter in the back-shop.’ 53 of 138 . said. Is that so much that he deserves this praise. ‘to make these silly folks so full of gratitude. It was not until now. they did the same to them. and thus the cheerful voices died away. and the lads were left to their beds. ‘A small matter.’ said the Ghost. He corroborated everything. when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them. Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out. who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so.A Christmas Carol either side of the door. that he remembered the Ghost. His heart and soul were in the scene.

’ said Scrooge. restless 54 of 138 .’ No.’ His former self turned down the lamps as he gave utterance to the wish. That’s all. He was older now. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy. and speaking unconsciously like his former. or to any one whom he could see.’ said Scrooge. not his latter.’ asked the Ghost. is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.’ observed the Spirit.’ said Scrooge. but it produced an immediate effect. to make our service light or burdensome.’ He felt the Spirit’s glance. greedy. a man in the prime of life. and Scrooge and the Ghost again stood side by side in the open air. ‘Something.A Christmas Carol ‘It isn’t that. in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then. The happiness he gives. ‘Nothing in particular. 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. Say that his power lies in words and looks.’ This was not addressed to Scrooge. His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years. Spirit. ‘My time grows short. ‘No. heated by the remark. There was an eager. I think. ‘What is the matter. self. ‘Quick. For again Scrooge saw himself.’ the Ghost insisted. ‘It isn’t that. and stopped. a pleasure or a toil.

Another idol has displaced me. but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a mourning-dress: in whose eyes there were tears.’ 55 of 138 . Have I not. as I would have tried to do. ‘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. softly. what then. very little.’ ‘This is the even-handed dealing of the world. Gain.’ she said. until the masterpassion. He was not alone. and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come. which sparkled in the light that shone out of the Ghost of Christmas Past. ‘To you. and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall.’ he said. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one. gently.’ he retorted.’ ‘What then. I am not changed towards you. ‘A golden one.’ ‘You fear the world too much. engrosses you.A Christmas Carol motion in the eye. ‘It matters little.’ ‘What Idol has displaced you. which showed the passion that had taken root.’ she answered. and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth.’ he rejoined. ‘There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty. I have no just cause to grieve.

You are changed. another Hope as its great end. but with steadiness. in another atmosphere of life. we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry.’ 56 of 138 . In everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight.’ ‘In what.’ he said impatiently.A Christmas Carol She shook her head. you were another man. is fraught with misery now that we are two. How often and how keenly I have thought of this. ‘I am. ‘Am I.’ ‘Our contract is an old one. until. would you seek me out and try to win me now. looking mildly. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart. I will not say. then. If this had never been between us. When it was made. No.’ ‘In a changed nature.’ ‘In words. ‘Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are. in good season.’ ‘Have I ever sought release.’ she returned. Never.’ tell me. and can release you. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so. It is enough that I have thought of it.’ said the girl. in an altered spirit. Ah.’ ‘I was a boy. no. upon him.

if for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so. When I have learned a Truth like this. A very. in spite of himself. 57 of 138 . weigh everything by Gain: or.’ You think not. ‘You may — the memory of what is past half makes me hope you will — have pain in this. but with her head turned from him. choosing her. for the love of him you once were. ‘Heaven knows. can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl — you who. May you be happy in the life you have chosen.’ she answered. I know how strong and irresistible it must be. yesterday. gladly.A Christmas Carol He seemed to yield to the justice of this supposition.’ ‘I would gladly think otherwise if I could.’ She left him. very brief time. as an unprofitable dream. With a full heart. I do. and you will dismiss the recollection of it. in your very confidence with her. do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow.’ He was about to speak. from which it happened well that you awoke. and I release you. and they parted. But he said with a struggle. But if you were free to-day. she resumed. to-morrow.

Conduct me home. I wouldn’t for the 58 of 138 .’ But the relentless Ghost pinioned him in both his arms. got pillaged by the young brigands most ruthlessly. and enjoyed it very much.’ ‘One shadow more. not very large or handsome. but every child was conducting itself like forty. for there were more children there. but full of comfort. the mother and daughter laughed heartily. no. now a comely matron.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit. on the contrary. soon beginning to mingle in the sports. Though I never could have been so rude. They were in another scene and place. unlike the celebrated herd in the poem. ‘No more. and forced him to observe what happened next. no. so like that last that Scrooge believed it was the same.’ said Scrooge.’ cried Scrooge.’ show me no more. but no one seemed to care. The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous.’ exclaimed the Ghost. sitting opposite her daughter. What would I not have given to one of them. Show me no more. and. they were not forty children conducting themselves like one. a room. I don’t wish to see it. until he saw her. than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count. The consequences were uproarious beyond belief. ‘No more. Why do you delight to torture me. Near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl. and the latter.

to have let loose waves of hair. an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price: in short. to have touched her lips.A Christmas Carol wealth of all the world have crushed that braided hair. to have questioned her. The scaling him with chairs for ladders to dive into his pockets. hug him round his 59 of 138 . I should have liked. I wouldn’t have plucked it off. As to measuring her waist in sport. to save my life. I couldn’t have done it. to have had the lightest licence of a child. And yet I should have dearly liked. and for the precious little shoe. that she might have opened them. despoil him of brown-paper parcels. and yet to have been man enough to know its value. bold young brood. I do confess. as they did. and never come straight again. and torn it down. hold on tight by his cravat. Then the shouting and the struggling. But now a knocking at the door was heard. to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes. who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. I should have expected my arm to have grown round it for a punishment. and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter. I own. and never raised a blush. and such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing face and plundered dress was borne towards it the centre of a flushed and boisterous group. God bless my soul. just in time to greet the father.

might have called him father. having his daughter leaning fondly on him. They are all indescribable alike. when the master 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. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour. up to the top of the house. quite as graceful and as full of promise. And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever.’ said the husband. glued on a wooden platter.A Christmas Carol neck.’ I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. ‘Belle. The shouts of wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received. his sight grew very dim indeed. The immense relief of finding this a false alarm. and so subsided. and been a spring-time in the haggard winter of his life.’ 60 of 138 . sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside. The joy. and when he thought that such another creature.’ ‘Who was it. and kick his legs in irrepressible affection.’ ‘Guess. pommel his back. where they went to bed. and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey. and ecstasy. and gratitude. and by one stair at a time. turning to his wife with a smile.

laughing as he laughed. Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright. and he had a candle inside. I passed his office window.’ ‘Mr Scrooge it was.’ Scrooge exclaimed.’ ‘I told you these were shadows of the things that have been. I could scarcely help seeing him.’ she added in the same breath. he 61 of 138 . and as it was not shut up. Quite alone in the world. in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him.’ ‘Spirit. I hear.’ said the Ghost. do not blame me. don’t I know.’ He turned upon the Ghost. wrestled with it. Tut. ‘Mr Scrooge.’ I cannot bear it. 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.’ said Scrooge in a broken voice. His partner lies upon the point of death.’ ‘Remove me. and there he sat alone. ‘Leave me. and seeing that it looked upon him with a face. ‘That they are what they are.’ In the struggle. I do believe.’ remove me from this place.A Christmas Carol ‘How can I. and dimly connecting that with its influence over him. Haunt me no longer.

before he sank into a heavy sleep. 62 of 138 .A Christmas Carol seized the extinguisher-cap. in which his hand relaxed. He was conscious of being exhausted. but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force. of being in his own bedroom. and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head. so that the extinguisher covered its whole form. and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness. he could not hide the light. He gave the cap a parting squeeze. The Spirit dropped beneath it. which streamed from under it. and had barely time to reel to bed. in an unbroken flood upon the ground. further. and.

and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together. who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two. He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. he put them every one aside with his own hands. established a sharp look-out all round the bed. he wished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of its appearance. between which opposite extremes. and did not wish to be taken by surprise. For. Download the free trial version. for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley’s intervention. and made nervous. 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. express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter. and lying down again. view. Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore. Scrooge had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of One. no 63 of 138 . But. and edit PDF. and being usually equal to the time-of-day.

for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it. and which. a quarter of an hour went by. when the Bell struck One. I don’t mind calling on you to believe that he was ready for a good broad field of strange appearances. he was not by any means prepared for nothing.A Christmas Carol doubt. ten minutes. Five minutes. and no shape appeared. without having the consolation of knowing it. however. being prepared for almost anything. consequently. Now. there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects. and that nothing between a baby and rhinoceros would have astonished him very much. and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion. and. he was taken with a violent fit of trembling. All this time. he lay upon his bed. or would be at. Without venturing for Scrooge quite as hardily as this. being only light. yet nothing came. was more alarming than a dozen ghosts. At last. the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light. he began to think that the source and secret of this 64 of 138 . as he was powerless to make out what it meant. and would unquestionably have done it too — at last. which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour. he began to think — as you or I would have thought at first. I say.

bright gleaming berries glistened. He obeyed. he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door. immense twelfth-cakes. long wreaths of sausages. It was his own room. and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney. Heaped up on the floor. were turkeys. as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time. red-hot chestnuts. and bade him enter. a strange voice called him by his name. to form a kind of throne. from whence. luscious pears. it seemed to shine. from every part of which. on further tracing it. In easy 65 of 138 . The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green. game. or for many and many a winter season gone. and seething bowls of punch. This idea taking full possession of his mind. There was no doubt about that. The moment Scrooge’s hand was on the lock. plum-puddings. that it looked a perfect grove. geese. The crisp leaves of holly. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there. brawn. and ivy reflected back the light. great joints of meat. mistletoe.A Christmas Carol ghostly light might be in the adjoining room. sucking-pigs. or Marley’s. barrels of oysters. poultry. juicy oranges. cherry-cheeked apples. mince-pies. that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.

He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been. ‘Come in. as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn. its cheery voice.A Christmas Carol state upon this couch. ‘Look upon me. that its capacious breast was bare. high up. its open hand. It was clothed in one simple green robe. Its dark brown curls were long and free. bordered with white fur.’ Scrooge entered timidly. were also bare. its unconstrained demeanour. ‘Come in. he did not like to meet them. and its joyful air.’ Scrooge reverently did so. Girded round its middle was an antique 66 of 138 . and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath. there sat a jolly Giant.’ exclaimed the Ghost. as he came peeping round the door. to shed its light on Scrooge. man.’ said the Spirit. Its feet. and though the Spirit’s eyes were clear and kind. set here and there with shining icicles. who bore a glowing torch. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. or mantle. This garment hung so loosely on the figure. and hung his head before this Spirit. observable beneath the ample folds of the garment. its sparkling eye. and know me better. and held it up. glorious to see. free as its genial face.

’ said Scrooge. I went forth last night on compulsion. ‘I am afraid I have not.’ Scrooge did as he was told. the ruddy glow. ‘Spirit. meaning (for I am very young) my elder brothers born in these later years.A Christmas Carol scabbard. and I learnt a lesson which is working now. poultry. ‘You have never seen the like of me before. meat.’ ‘More than eighteen hundred.’ exclaimed the Spirit. So did the room.’ said Scrooge submissively. pigs. The Ghost of Christmas Present rose. but no sword was in it.’ muttered Scrooge. mistletoe. pies. sausages. Spirit. ‘I don’t think I have. ‘A tremendous family to provide for. oysters. ‘Never. and held it fast. Holly.’ Scrooge made answer to it. turkeys.’ ‘Touch my robe. red berries.’ said the Ghost. geese. ivy. if you have aught to teach me. all vanished instantly. game.’ conduct me where you will. the fire. To-night. Have you had many brothers. and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust. and punch. let me profit by it. ‘Have never walked forth with the younger members of my family. fruit. puddings. the hour of night. brawn.’ pursued the Phantom. and 67 of 138 .

and splitting into artificial little snow-storms. in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of their dwellings. and with the dirtier snow upon the ground. which last deposit had been ploughed up in deep furrows by the heavy wheels of carts and waggons. and were blazing away to their dear hearts’ content. The house fronts looked black enough. The sky was gloomy. hard to trace in the thick yellow mud and icy water. and the shortest streets were choked up with a dingy mist. whence it was mad delight to the boys to see it come plumping down into the road below. and yet was there an air of cheerfulness abroad that the clearest summer air and 68 of 138 . There was nothing very cheerful in the climate or the town. and from the tops of their houses. and made intricate channels. by one consent. and the windows blacker. half frozen. contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs. where (for the weather was severe) the people made a rough. whose heavier particles descended in shower of sooty atoms.A Christmas Carol they stood in the city streets on Christmas morning. as if all the chimneys in Great Britain had. but brisk and not unpleasant kind of music. caught fire. furrows that crossed and recrossed each other hundreds of times where the great streets branched off. half thawed.

and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. There were pears and apples. shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen. there were bunches of grapes. the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee. clustered high in blooming pyramids. ancient walks among the woods. and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence.A Christmas Carol brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain. There were great. There were ruddy. The poulterers’ shops were still half open. made. shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars. 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. and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through 69 of 138 . round. round. in their fragrance. that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed. in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks. brown-faced. there were piles of filberts. recalling. broad-girthed Spanish onions. pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts. and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by. calling out to one another from the parapets. mossy and brown. lolling at the doors. For.

Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy. or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare. the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons. in the great compactness of their juicy persons. It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound. appeared to know that there was something going on. The Grocers’. or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose. urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl. went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement.A Christmas Carol withered leaves. nearly closed. and. or that the French plums blushed in 70 of 138 . or one. though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race. the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight. or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks. but through those gaps such glimpses. squab and swarthy. with perhaps two shutters down. The very gold and silver fish. or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly. the almonds so extremely white. the other spices so delicious. and. there were Norfolk Biffins. to a fish. oh the Grocers’.

But soon the steeples called good people all. and away they came. that they tumbled up against each other at the door. and taking off the covers as their bearers passed. and committed hundreds of the like mistakes. lanes. flocking through the streets in their best clothes. in the best humour possible. and with their gayest faces. sprinkled incense on their dinners from his torch.A Christmas Carol modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes. and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose. or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress. worn outside for general inspection. and left their purchases upon the counter. and nameless turnings. And it was a very uncommon kind of torch. And at the same time there emerged from scores of byestreets. for he stood with Scrooge beside him in a baker’s doorway. for once or twice 71 of 138 . crashing their wicker baskets wildly. innumerable people. carrying their dinners to the baker’ shops. but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day. 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. to church and chapel. The sight of these poor revellers appeared to interest the Spirit very much. and came running back to fetch them.

God love it.’ said Scrooge. ‘To any kindly given. And so it was. ‘Is there a peculiar flavour in what you sprinkle from your torch.’ asked Scrooge. and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking.’ cried the Spirit.’ ‘Why to a poor one most.’ ‘Spirit. it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day.’ asked Scrooge. he shed a few drops of water on them from it. and their good humour was restored directly. so it was. My own. should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment. after a moment’s thought. and the bakers were shut up.’ asked Scrooge.’ ‘I.A Christmas Carol when there were angry words between some dinnercarriers who had jostled each other. 72 of 138 . ‘Because it needs it most. For they said. where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too. in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker’s oven.’ ‘Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day. of all the beings in the many worlds about us. ‘There is. To a poor one most.’ I wonder you. In time the bells ceased.

’ exclaimed the Spirit. ‘Forgive me if I am wrong.’ said Scrooge. he could accommodate himself to any place with ease. and that he stood beneath a low roof quite as gracefully and like a supernatural creature. as they had been before. and who do their deeds of passion. who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin. into the suburbs of the town.’ ‘I seek.’ said Scrooge. and charge their doings on themselves. ‘There are some upon this earth of yours. It was a remarkable quality of the Ghost (which Scrooge had observed at the baker’s). ill-will. that notwithstanding his gigantic size. often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all.’ returned the Spirit. ‘You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day. bigotry.’ said Scrooge. as if they had never lived. 73 of 138 .’ cried the Spirit.A Christmas Carol ‘You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day. and selfishness in our name. not us.’ Scrooge promised that he would. envy. or at least in that of your family. ‘Wouldn’t you. as it was possible he could have done in any lofty hall.’ ‘I. ‘And it comes to the same thing. and they went on. Remember that. hatred.’ who lay claim to know us. It has been done in your name. pride. invisible.

which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence. and she laid the cloth. Cratchit’s wife. Think of that. he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name. but brave in ribbons. that led him straight to Scrooge’s clerk’s. and known it for their 74 of 138 . for there he went. assisted by Belinda Cratchit. second of her daughters. while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes. hearty nature. And now two smaller Cratchits. boy and girl. holding to his robe. or else it was his own kind. generous. and yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks. Bob had but fifteen bob a-week himself. and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit’s dwelling with the sprinkling of his torch. conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day) into his mouth. Then up rose Mrs Cratchit. rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired. screaming that outside the baker’s they had smelt the goose.A Christmas Carol And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his. and took Scrooge with him. also brave in ribbons. dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown. and his sympathy with all poor men. and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled. and yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house. and getting the corners of his monstrous shirt collar (Bob’s private property. came tearing in.

my dear. ‘We’d a deal of work to finish up last night. ‘Hurrah.’ said Mrs Cratchit.’ and had to clear away this morning. Download the free trial version.’ cried the two young Cratchits. mother. ‘Sit ye down before the fire. and edit PDF.’ ‘Why.’ cried the two young Cratchits. until the slow potatoes bubbling up. no. There’s father coming. own. and have a warm. mother.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. while he (not proud. mother. who were everywhere at once. bless your heart alive. these young Cratchits danced about the table. knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled. Tiny Tim. how late you are.’ said a girl. Martha. Never mind so long as you are come. Martha. ‘Hide. kissing her a dozen times.’ ‘Here’s Martha.’ replied the girl.’ ‘No. view. There’s such a goose. ‘Here’s Martha. my dear. ‘What has ever got your precious father then.’ 75 of 138 .’ said Mrs Cratchit. appearing as she spoke. ‘And your brother. Lord bless ye. and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies. and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion.’ ‘Well.’ said Mrs Cratchit. hide. although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire. and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with officious zeal. And Martha warn’t as late last Christmas Day by half-an-hour.

and ran into his arms. looking round.A Christmas Carol So Martha hid herself. and thinks the 76 of 138 . ‘And how did little Tim behave. where’s our Martha. ‘Not coming. and had come home rampant.’ Martha didn’t like to see him disappointed. that he might hear the pudding singing in the copper. ‘As good as gold. with a sudden declension in his high spirits. ‘Why.’ said Mrs Cratchit. for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church. Somehow he gets thoughtful. he bore a little crutch. and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. the father. and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed.’ said Bob. sitting by himself so much. and bore him off into the wash-house. asked Mrs Cratchit.’ said Bob. with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe. ‘Not coming.’ cried Bob Cratchit. to look seasonable. and in came little Bob. hanging down before him. if it were only in joke. and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content. so she came out prematurely from behind the closet door. while the two young Cratchits hustled Tiny Tim. Alas for Tiny Tim.’ and better. and had his limbs supported by an iron frame. when she had rallied Bob on his credulity. ‘Not coming upon Christmas Day.

who made lame beggars walk. and stirred it round and round and put it on the hob to simmer. escorted by his brother and sister to his stool before the fire. coming home. to which a black swan was a matter of course — and in truth it was something very like it in that house. a feathered phenomenon. His active little crutch was heard upon the floor. and back came Tiny Tim before another word was spoken. He told me. and blind men see. that he hoped the people saw him in the church.’ Bob’s voice was tremulous when he told them this. with which they soon returned in high procession. because he was a cripple. Such a bustle ensued that you might have thought a goose the rarest of all birds. and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day. 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 trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty. and while Bob.A Christmas Carol strangest things you ever heard. Master Peter. Master Peter mashed the potatoes with 77 of 138 . poor fellow. Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot. turning up his cuffs — as if.

Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes. At last the dishes were set on. and even Tiny Tim. indeed. Its tenderness and flavour.A Christmas Carol incredible vigour. they hadn’t ate it all at last. were the themes of universal admiration. were steeped in sage and 78 of 138 . not forgetting themselves. Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table. prepared to plunge it in the breast. as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish). and feebly cried Hurrah. lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped. and the youngest Cratchits in particular. Martha dusted the hot plates. beat on the table with the handle of his knife. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. and mounting guard upon their posts. looking slowly all along the carving-knife. crammed spoons into their mouths. it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family. size and cheapness. but when she did. as Mrs Cratchit. Miss Belinda sweetened up the applesauce. the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody. excited by the two young Cratchits. one murmur of delight arose all round the board. It was succeeded by a breathless pause. Yet every one had had enough. There never was such a goose. and when the long expected gush of stuffing issued forth. and grace was said.

Suppose it should break in turning out. A great deal of steam. blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy. but smiling proudly — with the pudding. the plates being changed by Miss Belinda. a wonderful pudding. she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity 79 of 138 . Bob Cratchit said.A Christmas Carol onion to the eyebrows. Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed. That was the pudding. A smell like a washing-day. That was the cloth. Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in. and calmly too. that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. with a laundress’s next door to that. like a speckled cannon-ball. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other. All sorts of horrors were supposed. so hard and firm. and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top. and stolen it. Mrs Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind. But now. while they were merry with the goose — a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid. Suppose it should not be done enough. Oh. Hallo. The pudding was out of the copper.

God bless us. my dears. while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. ‘God bless us every one. Then Bob proposed: ‘A Merry Christmas to us all. and wished to keep him by his side. Bob held his withered little hand in his. and a custard-cup without a handle. as well as golden goblets would have done. the last of all. and dreaded that he might be taken from him. meaning half a one. The compound in the jug being tasted.’ said Tiny Tim. and at Bob Cratchit’s elbow stood the family display of glass.A Christmas Carol of flour. however. and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire. 80 of 138 . Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth. Two tumblers. He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. apples and oranges were put upon the table. the hearth swept. At last the dinner was all done. the cloth was cleared. and the fire made up. but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing. These held the hot stuff from the jug. and Bob served it out with beaming looks. and considered perfect. Everybody had something to say about it. in what Bob Cratchit called a circle. It would have been flat heresy to do so. as if he loved the child.’ Which all the family re-echoed.

‘in the poor chimney-corner. and decrease the surplus population. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. and Where it is.’ returned the Ghost.’ said the Ghost. say he will be spared.’ Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit. What then.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit. ‘will find him here. kind Spirit.’ ‘If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. he had better do it. no. forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is. with an interest he had never felt before. ‘tell me if Tiny Tim will live. not adamant. and a crutch without an owner. If he be like to die. ‘if man you be in heart. Will you decide what men shall live.’ said Scrooge. none other of my race. It may be. Oh God.’ said Scrooge. what men shall die.’ ‘No. carefully preserved.’ replied the Ghost. ‘Oh. to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust. the child will die.’ 81 of 138 . you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. no. and was overcome with penitence and grief. ‘Man. that in the sight of Heaven.’ ‘I see a vacant seat.

Long life to him. ‘I wish I had him here. ‘on which one drinks the health of such an odious. but he didn’t care twopence for it.A Christmas Carol Scrooge bent before the Ghost’s rebuke. stingy. hard.’ ‘My dear. But he raised them speedily.’ cried Mrs Cratchit. Tiny Tim drank it last of all. The mention of his 82 of 138 . Nobody knows it better than you do.’ said Bob.’ ‘It should be Christmas Day. ‘I’ll give you Mr Scrooge. poor fellow. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon. reddening. on hearing his own name. I have no doubt. unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. Robert. ‘the children. You know he is. Scrooge was the Ogre of the family. and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground. and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it. A merry Christmas and a happy new year. Christmas Day. He’ll be very merry and very happy.’ ‘My dear.’ The children drank the toast after her.’ said Mrs Cratchit. ‘not for his.’ ‘I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s. ‘Christmas Day.’ was Bob’s mild answer.’ said Bob. the Founder of the Feast.’ ‘The Founder of the Feast indeed. I am sure.’ said she. It was the first of their proceedings which had no heartiness. ‘Mr Scrooge.

A Christmas Carol name cast a dark shadow on the party. from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with. Martha. and how the lord was much about as tall as Peter. After it had passed away. they were ten times merrier than before. and how many hours she worked at a stretch. and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars. which was not dispelled for full five minutes. then told them what kind of work she had to do. about a lost child travelling in the 83 of 138 . at which Peter pulled up his collars so high that you couldn’t have seen his head if you had been there. who was a poor apprentice at a milliner’s. which would bring in. if obtained. 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. to-morrow being a holiday she passed at home. and how she meant to lie abed to-morrow morning for a good long rest. and by-andbye they had a song. Also how she had seen a countess and a lord some days before. All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round. The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter’s being a man of business. full five-and-sixpence weekly.

aunts. uncles. the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens. There all the children of the house were running out into the snow to meet their married sisters. were shadows on the windowblind of guests assembling. they were not well dressed. with hot plates baking through and through before the fire. they were happy. and as Scrooge and the Spirit went along the streets. cousins. grateful. There was nothing of high mark in this. ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness. until the last. was wonderful. their shoes were far from being water-proof. By this time it was getting dark.A Christmas Carol snow. and Peter might have known. Here. Here. their clothes were scanty. the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner. the inside of a pawnbroker’s. But. They were not a handsome family. and be the first to greet them. Scrooge had his eye upon them. from Tiny Tim. and deep red curtains. and very likely did. and sang it very well indeed. and contented with the time. again. who had a plaintive little voice. parlours. pleased with one another. and looked happier yet in the bright sprinklings of the Spirit’s torch at parting. and especially on Tiny Tim. and when they faded. and there a group of handsome 84 of 138 . and snowing pretty heavily. brothers. and all sorts of rooms.

and all chattering at once. woe upon the single man who saw them enter — artful witches. if you had judged from the numbers of people on their way to friendly gatherings. where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about. well they knew it — in a glow. laughed out loudly as the Spirit passed. But. as though it were the burial-place of giants. you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there. without a word of warning from the Ghost. and opened its capacious palm. and nothing grew but moss and 85 of 138 . tripped lightly off to some near neighbour’s house. The very lamplighter.A Christmas Carol girls. and who was dressed to spend the evening somewhere. and floated on. outpouring. but for the frost that held it prisoner. And now. and water spread itself wheresoever it listed. how the Ghost exulted. Blessings on it. all hooded and fur-booted. or would have done so. and piling up its fires half-chimney high. with a generous hand. How it bared its breadth of breast. instead of every house expecting company. who ran on before. dotting the dusky street with specks of light. where. its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach. though little kenned the lamplighter that he had any company but Christmas. they stood upon a bleak and desert moor.

‘What place is this. and coarse rank grass. sped — whither. in a voice that seldom rose above the howling of the wind upon the barren waste. The Spirit did not tarry here. and so surely as they stopped. old man and woman. See. and another generation beyond that.A Christmas Carol furze. 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. and swiftly they advanced towards it. like a sullen eye. was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night. ‘A place where Miners live. The old man. his vigour sank again. lower. lower yet. the old man got quite blithe and loud.’ returned the Spirit.’ A light shone from the window of a hut.’ asked Scrooge. Passing through the wall of mud and stone. but bade Scrooge hold his robe. So surely as they raised their voices. 86 of 138 . which glared upon the desolation for an instant. who labour in the bowels of the earth. and frowning lower. all decked out gaily in their holiday attire. they found a cheerful company assembled round a glowing fire. with their children and their children’s children. and passing on above the moor. An old. Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red. ‘But they know me.

looking back. above the black and heaving sea — on. and fiercely tried to undermine the earth. and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn. as it rolled and roared. there stood a solitary lighthouse. he saw the last of the land. as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself. as he told Scrooge. and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water. the wild year through. on which the waters chafed and dashed. Not to sea. Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks. To sea. and storm-birds — born of the wind one might suppose. on — until. To Scrooge’s horror. two men who watched the light had made a fire. as sea-weed of the water — rose and fell about it. they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog. and edit PDF. behind them. like the waves they skimmed. that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base. and one of them: the elder. view. with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather. being far away. too. Download the free trial version. a frightful range of rocks.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. some league or so from shore. Again the Ghost sped on. But even here. 87 of 138 . Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat.

‘Ha. or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day. to hear a hearty laugh. dry. waking or sleeping. and had known that they delighted to remember him. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright. the officers who had the watch. and looking at that same nephew with approving affability. the look-out in the bow. whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge. with the Spirit standing smiling by his side. and had remembered those he cared for at a distance. good or bad. And every man on board. and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss. ha. with homeward hopes belonging to it. gleaming room. ha.’ laughed Scrooge’s nephew. dark. ‘Ha. or had a Christmas thought. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel. but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune. they lighted on a ship. while listening to the moaning of the wind. had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year. and had shared to some extent in its festivities. while thus engaged.A Christmas Carol from any shore.’ 88 of 138 . ghostly figures in their several stations. It was a great surprise to Scrooge. ha.

a ripe little mouth. ha.’ ‘He said that Christmas was a humbug. She was very pretty: exceedingly pretty. ‘Ha. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand.A Christmas Carol If you should happen. laughed as heartily as he. ha. surprised-looking.’ ‘More shame for him. by marriage. by any unlikely chance. they never do anything by halves. and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. Ha. as I live. It is a fair.’ cried Scrooge’s nephew. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides. even-handed. capital face. and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece. I should like to know him too. ha. Bless those women.’ said Scrooge’s niece. to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew. roared out lustily. ‘He believed it too. that seemed made to be kissed — as no doubt it was. there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. Fred. that melted into one another when she laughed. indignantly. With a dimpled. all kinds of good little dots about her chin. ha. and the 89 of 138 . rolling his head. Introduce him to me. that while there is infection in disease and sorrow. noble adjustment of things. They are always in earnest. all I can say is.

I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. ‘I am sorry for him. ‘His wealth is of no use to him. He don’t lose much of a dinner. 90 of 138 . he takes it into his head to dislike us. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking — ha. Here. Everybody else said the same. — that he is ever going to benefit us with it.’ ‘I have no patience with him.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. always. I have. expressed the same opinion. ‘At least you always tell me so.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Altogether she was what you would have called provoking.’ that’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be. What’s the consequence. my dear.’ observed Scrooge’s niece.’ ‘I’m sure he is very rich. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. and I have nothing to say against him.A Christmas Carol sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little creature’s head. Scrooge’s niece’s sisters.’ ‘Indeed.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. ‘He’s a comical old fellow. but satisfactory. However. Fred. Himself. and all the other ladies. you know. He don’t do any good with it.’ interrupted Scrooge’s niece. ha. his offences carry their own punishment. ha.’ ‘What of that. ‘Oh. and he won’t come and dine with us. I think he loses a very good dinner. Who suffers by his ill whims.’ hinted Scrooge’s niece.

’ said Scrooge’s niece. clapping her hands. is. by lamplight. which could do him no harm. ‘Well. and. and as it was impossible to keep the infection off. for he answered that a bachelor was a wretched outcast. ‘because I haven’t great faith in these young housekeepers.’ that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us. ‘I was only going to say. as I think. though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar. I’m very glad to hear it. Whereat Scrooge’s niece’s sister — the plump one with the lace tucker: not the one with the roses — blushed. because they had just had dinner. ‘Do go on. who had no right to express an opinion on the subject. that he loses some pleasant moments. What do you say.’ Topper had clearly got his eye upon one of Scrooge’s niece’s sisters.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Topper.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Fred. He is such a ridiculous fellow. were clustered round the fire.A Christmas Carol and they must be allowed to have been competent judges. ‘He never finishes what he begins to say. with the dessert upon the table.’ Scrooge’s nephew revelled in another laugh. his example was unanimously followed. and not making merry with us. I am 91 of 138 .

or get red in the face over it. when they sung a Glee or Catch. He may rail at Christmas till he dies. and played among other tunes a simple little air (a mere nothing: you might learn to whistle it in two minutes). After tea. for I pity him. how are you. which had been familiar to the child who 92 of 138 . either in his mouldy old office. But being thoroughly good-natured. and I think I shook him yesterday. whether he likes it or not. and not much caring what they laughed at. year after year. I can assure you: especially Topper. that’s something. he encouraged them in their merriment. in good temper. they had some music. For they were a musical family. or his dusty chambers. If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds. so that they laughed at any rate. who could growl away in the bass like a good one. Scrooge’s niece played well upon the harp. and saying Uncle Scrooge. and never swell the large veins in his forehead.A Christmas Carol sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts. but he can’t help thinking better of it — I defy him — if he finds me going there.’ It was their turn to laugh now at the notion of his shaking Scrooge. and passed the bottle joyously. I mean to give him the same chance every year. and knew what they were about.

years ago. There was first a game at blind-man’s buff. If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did). and thought that if he could have listened to it often. he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands. tumbling over the chairs. He always knew where the plump sister was. wherever she went. for it is good to be children sometimes. on 93 of 138 . My opinion is. smothering himself among the curtains. when its mighty Founder was a child himself. Of course there was. Stop. there went he. The way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker. After a while they played at forfeits. When this strain of music sounded. all the things that Ghost had shown him. was an outrage on the credulity of human nature. But they didn’t devote the whole evening to music. Knocking down the fire-irons. and never better than at Christmas. as he had been reminded by the Ghost of Christmas Past. and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it.A Christmas Carol fetched Scrooge from the boarding-school. he softened more and more. He wouldn’t catch anybody else. without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley. And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots. that it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew. came upon his mind. bumping against the piano.

and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister. monstrous. and Where. Likewise at the game of How. he caught her. was vile. When. in spite of all her silken rustlings. But when at last. Scrooge’s niece was not one of the blind-man’s buff party. She often cried out that it wasn’t fair. beat her sisters hollow: though they 94 of 138 . another blind-man being in office. For his pretending not to know her. they were so very confidential together. behind the curtains. he got her into a corner whence there was no escape. when. which would have been an affront to your understanding. and a certain chain about her neck. and to the secret joy of Scrooge’s nephew. then his conduct was the most execrable. he would have made a feint of endeavouring to seize you. his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress. and it really was not. But she joined in the forfeits.A Christmas Carol purpose. and loved her love to admiration with all the letters of the alphabet. No doubt she told him her opinion of it. when. and her rapid flutterings past him. in a snug corner. where the Ghost and Scrooge were close behind her. but was made comfortable with a large chair and a footstool. she was very great. and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger.

and wasn’t 95 of 138 . but they all played. and talked sometimes. But this the Spirit said could not be done. and lived in London. and looked upon him with such favour. where Scrooge’s nephew had to think of something. ‘One half hour. as could have told you. for the sharpest needle.’ said Scrooge. for. best Whitechapel. that he begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guests departed. The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him in this mood. he only answering to their questions yes or no.A Christmas Carol were sharp girls too. as the case was. Spirit. only one. warranted not to cut in the eye. and so did Scrooge. was not sharper than Scrooge. and very often guessed quite right. an animal that growled and grunted sometimes. a live animal. and the rest must find out what. and walked about the streets. blunt as he took it in his head to be.’ It was a Game called Yes and No. too. wholly forgetting the interest he had in what was going on. rather a disagreeable animal. he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud. ‘Here is a new game. and wasn’t made a show of. elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal. that his voice made no sound in their ears. young and old. There might have been twenty people there. a savage animal. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed.

’ Which it certainly was. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment. Fred. and was never killed in a market. cried out: ‘I have found it out. I am sure. or a pig. I know what it is. and I say. At last the plump sister.’ they cried. 96 of 138 .’ inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge. or a cat. Uncle Scrooge. though some objected that the reply to ‘Is it a bear.’ ought to have been ‘Yes.’ cried Fred. or a bull. ‘He has given us plenty of merriment. I know what it is. this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter. At every fresh question that was put to him. or a tiger. supposing they had ever had any tendency that way. and didn’t live in a menagerie. or a bear.A Christmas Carol led by anybody. or a cow. ‘Uncle Scrooge. falling into a similar state. that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp. or a dog.’ ‘What is it. or an ass.‘‘ ‘Well.’ said Fred. and was not a horse. ‘It’s your Uncle Scrooge.’ and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health. and was so inexpressibly tickled. Admiration was the universal sentiment.

and far they went. and they were close at home. but may he have it. nevertheless.A Christmas Carol ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man. if it were only a night. ‘He wouldn’t take it from me. where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. but Scrooge had his doubts of this. he left his blessing. that while Scrooge 97 of 138 . that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return. Much they saw. because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. and they were cheerful. too. It was a long night. if the Ghost had given him time. and taught Scrooge his precepts. It was strange. and many homes they visited. and jail. but always with a happy end. on foreign lands. whatever he is. and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels.’ Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart. In almshouse. by poverty. in misery’s every refuge. The Spirit stood beside sick beds. and they were patient in their greater hope. and it was rich. by struggling men. and thanked them in an inaudible speech. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew. Uncle Scrooge. hospital.

’ said Scrooge. looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place. ‘Look here. wretched. ‘Are spirits’ lives so short. ‘My life upon this globe. the Ghost grew older. he noticed that its hair was grey. hideous. protruding from your skirts. They knelt down at its feet.’ asked Scrooge. ‘It ends to-night.’ From the foldings of its robe.’ cried Scrooge.’ replied the Ghost.’ ‘It might be a claw. ‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask. Scrooge had observed this change. and clung upon the outside of its garment. clearly older. Is it a foot or a claw.’ but I see something strange. until they left a children’s Twelfth Night party. when. The time is drawing near.’ The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment. Hark.A Christmas Carol remained unaltered in his outward form. ‘To-night at midnight. is very brief. frightful. it brought two children.’ was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. and not belonging to yourself. abject.’ ‘To-night. miserable. 98 of 138 . looking intently at the Spirit’s robe. but never spoke of it. for the flesh there is upon it.

view. no degradation. Look. in their humility. meagre. looking down upon them. through all the mysteries of wonderful creation. but prostrate.’ said the Spirit.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. for on his brow I see that written which is Doom. No change. no perversion of humanity. Man. Where angels might have sat enthroned. a stale and shrivelled hand. devils lurked. and pulled them into shreds. ‘Spirit. unless the writing be erased. like that of age. and glared out menacing.’ exclaimed the Ghost. scowling. he tried to say they were fine children. has monsters half so horrible and dread. and touched them with its freshest tints. Scrooge started back. This boy is Ignorance. appealing from their fathers. Beware them both. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out. ragged. ‘Oh. had pinched. Download the free trial version. and all of their degree. Yellow. down here. rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. too. but most of all beware this boy. They were a boy and a girl.’ Scrooge could say no more. in any grade. are they yours. Having them shown to him in this way. This girl is Want. ‘And they cling to me. and edit PDF. Deny it.’ cried the Spirit. wolfish. look here. appalled. but the words choked themselves. look. and twisted them. ‘They are Man’s. 99 of 138 .

‘Are there no prisons. and make it worse. ‘Are there no workhouses. towards him. and saw it not. 100 of 138 . like a mist along the ground. ‘Slander those who tell it ye. turning on him for the last time with his own words. beheld a solemn Phantom. Admit it for your factious purposes. he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley. coming.’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource. and lifting up his eyes. draped and hooded.A Christmas Carol stretching out its hand towards the city. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate.’ cried Scrooge. And abide the end. Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost.’ said the Spirit.’ The bell struck twelve.

’ 101 of 138 .’ Scrooge pursued. Spirit. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night. its face. for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. ‘You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened. gravely. The Spirit answered not.’ said Scrooge. which concealed its head. for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved. He knew no more. and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. Scrooge bent down upon his knee. and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded. its form. When it came. but will happen in the time before us. He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him. ‘I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. ‘Is that so. but pointed onward with its hand. It was shrouded in a deep black garment.A Christmas Carol Stave 4: The Last of the Spirits The Phantom slowly. silently approached.

But Scrooge was all the worse for this. could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black. Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him. and giving him time to recover. while he. Will you not speak to me. ‘Ghost of the Future.’ he exclaimed. there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him. and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was. It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror. to know that behind the dusky shroud. though he stretched his own to the utmost. as observing his condition. 102 of 138 .A Christmas Carol The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds. and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it.’ It gave him no reply. But as I know your purpose is to do me good. The Spirit pauses a moment. The hand was pointed straight before them.’ I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. Although well used to ghostly company by this time. That was the only answer he received. I am prepared to bear you company. as if the Spirit had inclined its head. and do it with a thankful heart.

and it is precious time to me. I believe. I only know he’s dead. and encompass them of its own act. I know. and looked at their watches.’ 103 of 138 . either way. ‘Last night. and conversed in groups. Lead on. Spirit. on Change. ‘Lead on. and trifled thoughtfully with their great gold seals.’ said a great fat man with a monstrous chin. But there they were.’ The Phantom moved away as it had come towards him. They scarcely seemed to enter the city. ‘No. in the heart of it. for the city rather seemed to spring up about them. The Spirit stopped beside one little knot of business men. which bore him up.’ said Scrooge.’ inquired another. Scrooge followed in the shadow of its dress. Observing that the hand was pointed to them.’ I don’t know much about it. and chinked the money in their pockets. Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk. as Scrooge had seen them often.A Christmas Carol ‘Lead on. and carried him along. The night is waning fast. he thought. and so forth.’ ‘When did he die. who hurried up and down. amongst the merchants.

bye. if I make one.’ asked a third. yawning again. after all. He hasn’t left it to me. ‘It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral. Bye. and I never eat lunch. for we used to stop and speak whenever we met.’ said the first speaker.’ asked a red-faced gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end of his nose. I’m not at all sure that I wasn’t his most particular friend.’ ‘God knows. ‘I thought he’d never die.’ for I never wear black gloves. ‘Left it to his company. perhaps. ‘Well. That’s all I know. with a yawn. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer.A Christmas Carol ‘Why. I am the most disinterested among you. ‘What has he done with his money. But I’ll offer to go. that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock. When I come to think of it. ‘I haven’t heard.’ Another laugh.’ for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it.’ said the man with the large chin. taking a vast quantity of snuff out of a very large snuffbox.’ said the first.’ 104 of 138 . what was the matter with him.’ observed the gentleman with the excrescence on his nose. if anybody else will.’ said the same speaker.’ ‘I don’t mind going if a lunch is provided. ‘But I must be fed.’ This pleasantry was received with a general laugh.

thinking that the explanation might lie here. strictly in a business point of view. that is. The Phantom glided on into a street. perfectly. They were men of aye business: very wealthy.’ ‘So I am told. ‘How are you. That was their meeting. their conversation.’ returned the second. Good morning.A Christmas Carol Speakers and listeners strolled away. I suppose. isn’t it.’ ‘Seasonable for Christmas time. and mixed with other groups. Scrooge knew the men.’ Not another word.’ said the first. He knew these men. and their parting. ‘Old Scratch has got his own at last. hey. No.’ said one. Its finger pointed to two persons meeting. ‘Well. ‘Cold. and looked towards the Spirit for an explanation. but feeling assured that they must 105 of 138 .’ returned the other. You’re not a skater. ‘How are you. Scrooge listened again. Something else to think of. Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial. He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view. also. and of great importance.’ ‘No.

Nor could he think of any one immediately connected with himself. and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. however. and this Ghost’s province was the Future. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. and everything he saw. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. for that was Past. They could scarcely be supposed to have any bearing on the death of Jacob. He looked about in that very place for his own image. but another man stood in his accustomed corner.A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. beside him stood the Phantom. he saw no likeness of himself among the multitudes that poured in through the Porch. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. he fancied from the turn of the hand. But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. 106 of 138 . and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this. to whom he could apply them. Quiet and dark. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard. and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there. It gave him little surprise. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. his old partner. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life. with its outstretched hand.

and went into an obscure part of the town. made of old bricks. Sitting in among the wares he dealt in. like so many cesspools. the shops and houses wretched.A Christmas Carol and its situation in reference to himself. Alleys and archways. It made him shudder. by a frousy curtaining of miscellaneous tatters. chains. 107 of 138 . beetling shop. old rags. and the whole quarter reeked with crime. nearly seventy years of age. Secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags. and feel very cold. drunken. that the Unseen Eyes were looking at him keenly. was a grey-haired rascal. scales. and dirt. with filth. were bought. below a pent-house roof. nails. bones. where iron. the people half-naked. The ways were foul and narrow. by a charcoal stove. and refuse iron of all kinds. Far in this den of infamous resort. and greasy offal. bottles. and misery. weights. were piled up heaps of rusty keys. Upon the floor within. and its bad repute. upon the straggling streets. although he recognised its situation. who had screened himself from the cold air without. where Scrooge had never penetrated before. ugly. there was a lowbrowed. slipshod. disgorged their offences of smell. and sepulchres of bones. hinges. masses of corrupted fat. They left the busy scene. files. and life.

similarly laden. Scrooge and the Phantom came into the presence of this man. and let the undertaker’s man alone to be the third. in which the old man with the pipe had joined them. you know. How it skreeks. There an’t such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges. here’s a chance. came in too. ‘Let the charwoman alone to be the first. ha. just as a woman with a heavy bundle slunk into the shop. Look here.’ ‘You couldn’t have met in a better place. and I’m sure there’s no such old bones here. as mine. 108 of 138 .’ said old Joe. Ah. who was no less startled by the sight of them. they all three burst into a laugh. and smoked his pipe in all the luxury of calm retirement. than they had been upon the recognition of each other. and the other two an’t strangers. removing his pipe from his mouth. old Joe. After a short period of blank astonishment.A Christmas Carol hung upon a line. I believe. But she had scarcely entered. Stop till I shut the door of the shop. when another woman. You were made free of it long ago. Ha. and she was closely followed by a man in faded black. ‘Let the laundress alone to be the second. ‘Come into the parlour. If we haven’t all three met here without meaning it.’ cried she who had entered first.

’ said Mrs Dilber. The old man raked the fire together with an old stair-rod. and having trimmed his smoky lamp (for it was night). While he did this.’ ‘No. who’s the wiser. woman.’ ‘No. I suppose.’ said the woman. I suppose. ‘No man more so. don’t stand staring as if you was afraid. and looking with a bold defiance at the other two. We’re not going to pick holes in each other’s coats. put it in his mouth again. crossing her elbows on her knees. What odds. indeed.’ said Mrs Dilber and the man together. ‘That’s enough. ‘We should hope not. 109 of 138 . ‘What odds then. then.’ cried the woman. the woman who had already spoken threw her bundle on the floor.’ ‘Very well. Mrs Dilber. indeed. ‘Every person has a right to take care of themselves.A Christmas Carol We’re all suitable to our calling. Who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these. laughing. we’re well matched.’ ‘Why then.’ said the laundress. Come into the parlour. Come into the parlour. Not a dead man. He always did. and sat down in a flaunting manner on a stool.’ ‘That’s true.’ The parlour was the space behind the screen of rags. indeed. with the stem of his pipe.

a pencil-case.’ ‘It’s the truest word that ever was spoke. who chalked the sums he was disposed to give for each. They were severally examined and appraised by old Joe. produced his plunder. and a brooch of no great value. instead of lying gasping out his last there. and added them up into a total when he found there was nothing more to come. Open that bundle. Speak out plain. It was not extensive. you may depend upon it. and let me know the value of it. upon the wall. Open the bundle.A Christmas Carol ‘If he wanted to keep them after he was dead.’ pursued the woman. A seal or two. and the man in faded black. a pair of sleeve-buttons. old Joe. If he had been. ‘It’s a judgment on him. Joe. alone by himself. he’d have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death. I believe. if I could have laid my hands on anything else.’ replied the woman. I’m not afraid to be the first.’ why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime.’ said Mrs Dilber. mounting the breach first. 110 of 138 . It’s no sin.’ and it should have been.’ ‘I wish it was a little heavier judgment. were all. We know pretty well that we were helping ourselves. nor afraid for them to see it. a wicked old screw. before we met here.’ But the gallantry of her friends would not allow of this.

’ said Joe. Who’s next. a little wearing apparel. two old-fashioned silver teaspoons. dragged out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff. Joe.’ Mrs Dilber was next. I’d repent of being so liberal and knock off half-a-crown. If you asked me for another penny. Sheets and towels.’ 111 of 138 .’ said old Joe. and that’s the way I ruin myself. a pair of sugar-tongs. and edit PDF.’ and I wouldn’t give another sixpence.’ ‘You don’t mean to say you took them down. Joe went down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening it.’ ‘And now undo my bundle.’ ‘Ah. It’s a weakness of mine. and made it an open question.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. rings and all. ‘What do you call this. ‘That’s your account. ‘Yes I do. ‘Bed-curtains. ‘Why not.’ said Joe. Her account was stated on the wall in the same manner. ‘I always give too much to ladies. if I was to be boiled for not doing it. with him lying there. ‘That’s your account. ‘Bed-curtains.’ returned the woman. laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms.’ replied the woman.’ said Joe.’ said the first woman. and having unfastened a great many knots. Download the free trial version. view. and a few boots.

‘Putting it on him to be buried in. but I took it off again. If calico an’t good enough for such a purpose. ‘I an’t so fond of his company that I’d loiter about him for such things. It’s the best he had. ‘Don’t drop that oil upon the blankets.A Christmas Carol ‘You were born to make your fortune.’ and you’ll certainly do it. and looking up. to be sure.’ ‘I hope he didn’t die of any thing catching. ‘He isn’t likely to take cold without them. but you won’t find a hole in it. when I can get anything in it by reaching it out. Eh. for the sake of such a man as he was.’ replied the woman. ‘Somebody was fool enough to do it. I promise you. ‘Whose else’s do you think. nor a threadbare place.’ 112 of 138 . ‘Don’t you be afraid of that. Joe.’ replied the woman with a laugh. you may look through that shirt till your eyes ache.’ ‘I certainly shan’t hold my hand.’ asked old Joe. They’d have wasted it.’ ‘What do you call wasting of it.’ returned the woman coolly. and a fine one too. He can’t look uglier than he did in that one. It’s quite as becoming to the body. stopping in his work. if he did.’ asked Joe.’ returned the woman.’ said old Joe. Ah.’ said Joe. I dare say. now.’ ‘His blankets. it isn’t good enough for anything. if it hadn’t been for me.

beneath a ragged sheet. he viewed them with a detestation and disgust. As they sat grouped about their spoil. which could hardly have been greater. what is this. 113 of 138 . in the scanty light afforded by the old man’s lamp. I see. though the demons.’ said Scrooge. Ha.A Christmas Carol Scrooge listened to this dialogue in horror. ‘This is the end of it. Merciful Heaven. now. A pale light. though it was dumb. when old Joe. which. The case of this unhappy man might be my own. anxious to know what kind of room it was. to profit us when he was dead. ha. and now he almost touched a bed: a bare. there lay a something covered up. told out their several gains upon the ground. The room was very dark. plundered and bereft. ‘Ha.’ ‘Spirit. and on it. producing a flannel bag with money in it.’ He recoiled in terror. fell straight upon the bed. you see. for the scene had changed. announced itself in awful language. rising in the outer air. ha. uncurtained bed: on which. ha. My life tends that way. ‘I see. too dark to be observed with any accuracy. He frightened every one away from him when he was alive. marketing the corpse itself. though Scrooge glanced round it in obedience to a secret impulse.’ laughed the same woman. shuddering from head to foot.

cold. Shadow. uncared for. It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released. the motion of a finger upon Scrooge’s part. and honoured head. or make one feature odious. generous. and yet he heard them when he looked upon the bed. Strike. felt how easy it would be to do. No voice pronounced these words in Scrooge’s ears. and tender. He thought. revered. warm. rigid. The cover was so carelessly adjusted that the slightest raising of it. He thought of it. But of the loved. would have disclosed the face. Scrooge glanced towards the Phantom. and true. set up thine altar here.A Christmas Carol unwatched. it is not that the heart and pulse are still. but that the hand was open. the heart brave. if this man could be raised up now. And see his good deeds springing from the wound. and dress it with such terrors as thou hast at thy command: for this is thy dominion. and the pulse a man’s. but had no more power to withdraw the veil than to dismiss the spectre at his side. Its steady hand was pointed to the head. dreadful Death. Oh cold. what would 114 of 138 . strike. unwept. to sow the world with life immortal. thou canst not turn one hair to thy dread purposes. was the body of this man. and longed to do it.

’ Still the Ghost pointed with an unmoved finger to the head. and why they were so restless and disturbed. and there was a sound of gnawing rats beneath the hearth-stone.’ this is a fearful place. I shall not leave its lesson. or a child. But I have not the power.’ The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment. ‘Spirit. He lay. truly. I have not the power.’ Scrooge returned. In leaving it. and for the memory of one kind word I will be kind to him.’ and I would do it. revealed a room by daylight. to say that he was kind to me in this or that. and withdrawing it. What they wanted in the room of death. griping cares. Avarice. a woman. ‘I understand you. trust me. Scrooge did not dare to think. with not a man. where a mother and her children were. hard-dealing. like a wing. Let us go. ‘show that person to me. Spirit.’ said Scrooge quite agonised. I beseech you.’ Again it seemed to look upon him. Spirit. A cat was tearing at the door.A Christmas Carol be his foremost thoughts. if I could.’ he said. They have brought him to a rich end. 115 of 138 . ‘If there is any person in the town. in the dark empty house. who feels emotion caused by this man’s death.

for she walked up and down the room.’ ‘If he relents. but in vain. Caroline.’ she said. tried. ‘Is it good. ‘there is. to work with her needle. ‘We are quite ruined. and which he struggled to repress. She hurried to the door. There was a remarkable expression in it now. and she 116 of 138 . he appeared embarrassed how to answer. started at every sound. and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence).’ ‘He is past relenting. amazed. a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed. ‘or bad?’ — to help him.’ said her husband. looked out from the window.’ he answered. and with anxious eagerness. and met her husband. but she was thankful in her soul to hear it. glanced at the clock. ‘Bad. There is hope yet. ‘He is dead.A Christmas Carol She was expecting some one.’ ‘No. if such a miracle has happened.’ she said. He sat down to the dinner that had been boarding for him by the fire. a man whose face was careworn and depressed. At length the long-expected knock was heard. Nothing is past hope. though he was young.’ She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth. and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play.

and was sorry. but dying. was one of pleasure. it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so merciless a creditor in his successor. Spirit. ‘Let me see some tenderness connected with a death. He was not only very ill.’ said Scrooge. but the first was the emotion of her heart. We may sleep to-night with light hearts.’ ‘I don’t know. which we left just now. and it was a happier house for this man’s death. were brighter. caused by the event. She prayed forgiveness the next moment. will be for ever present to me. Soften it as they would. then.A Christmas Carol said so. and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me. their hearts were lighter. said to me. The children’s faces.’ Yes.’ ‘To whom will our debt be transferred. with clasped hands. ‘What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night.’ or that dark chamber. turns out to have been quite true. But before that time we shall be ready with the money. hushed and clustered round to hear what they so little understood. Caroline. The only emotion that the Ghost could show him.’ 117 of 138 . and even though we were not. when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay.

‘The colour hurts my eyes. poor Tiny Tim. The boy must have read them out. and I wouldn’t show 118 of 138 . He had not dreamed them.’ she said. They entered poor Bob Cratchit’s house. and put her hand up to her face. Ah. and sat looking up at Peter. The colour. as he and the Spirit crossed the threshold. ‘And he took a child. but nowhere was he to be seen. Very quiet. Why did he not go on.A Christmas Carol The Ghost conducted him through several streets familiar to his feet. Quiet. and found the mother and the children seated round the fire. and set him in the midst of them. The mother and her daughters were engaged in sewing. the dwelling he had visited before. But surely they were very quiet. The noisy little Cratchits were as still as statues in one corner.’ Where had Scrooge heard those words.’ said Cratchit’s wife. The mother laid her work upon the table. ‘It makes them weak by candle-light. and as they went along. Scrooge looked here and there to find himself. ‘They’re better now again. who had a book before him.

At last she said.’ ‘And so have I. Don’t be grieved. that it was no trouble: no trouble.’ They were very quiet again.’ Don’t mind it.’ she resumed.’ Peter answered. and little Bob in his comforter — he had need of it. He looked at the work upon the table. and spoke pleasantly to all the family. very fast indeed. ‘But he was very light to carry.’ cried Peter. and they all tried who should help him to it most. for the world.’ ‘And so have I. father. Then the two young Cratchits got upon his knees and laid. shutting up his book. cheerful voice. each child a little cheek. So had all. against his face. 119 of 138 .’ exclaimed another. poor fellow — came in.’ and his father loved him so. intent upon her work. mother.’ ‘Past it rather. these few last evenings. His tea was ready for him on the hob. as if they said. ‘But I think he has walked a little slower than he used. It must be near his time.’ She hurried out to meet him.’ Bob was very cheerful with them.A Christmas Carol weak eyes to your father when he comes home. that only faltered once: ‘I have known him walk with — I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder. ‘Often. and in a steady. And there is your father at the door.

A Christmas Carol

and praised the industry and speed of Mrs Cratchit and the girls. They would be done long before Sunday, he said. ‘Sunday. You went to-day, then, Robert.’ said his wife. ‘Yes, my dear,’ returned Bob. ‘I wish you could have gone. It would have done you good to see how green a place it is. But you’ll see it often. I promised him that I would walk there on a Sunday. My little, little child.’ cried Bob. ‘My little child.’ He broke down all at once. He couldn’t help it. If he could have helped it, he and his child would have been farther apart perhaps than they were. He left the room, and went up-stairs into the room above, which was lighted cheerfully, and hung with Christmas. There was a chair set close beside the child, and there were signs of some one having been there, lately. Poor Bob sat down in it, and when he had thought a little and composed himself, he kissed the little face. He was reconciled to what had happened, and went down again quite happy. They drew about the fire, and talked; the girls and mother working still. Bob told them of the extraordinary kindness of Mr Scrooge’s nephew, whom he had scarcely seen but once, and who, meeting him in the street that day, and seeing that he looked a little -’ just a little down 120 of 138

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you know,’ said Bob, inquired what had happened to distress him. ‘On which,’ said Bob,’ for he is the pleasantest-spoken gentleman you ever heard, I told him. ‘I am heartily sorry for it, Mr Cratchit,’ he said,’ and heartily sorry for your good wife.’ By the bye, how he ever knew that, I don’t know.’ ‘Knew what, my dear.’ ‘Why, that you were a good wife,’ replied Bob. ‘Everybody knows that.’ said Peter. ‘Very well observed, my boy.’ cried Bob. ‘I hope they do. ‘Heartily sorry,’ he said,’ for your good wife. If I can be of service to you in any way,’ he said, giving me his card,’ that’s where I live. Pray come to me.’ Now, it wasn’t,’ cried Bob,’ for the sake of anything he might be able to do for us, so much as for his kind way, that this was quite delightful. It really seemed as if he had known our Tiny Tim, and felt with us.’ ‘I’m sure he’s a good soul.’ said Mrs Cratchit. ‘You would be surer of it, my dear,’ returned Bob,’ if you saw and spoke to him. I shouldn’t be at all surprised mark what I say. — if he got Peter a better situation.’ ‘Only hear that, Peter,’ said Mrs Cratchit.

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‘And then,’ cried one of the girls,’ Peter will be keeping company with some one, and setting up for himself.’ ‘Get along with you.’ retorted Peter, grinning. ‘It’s just as likely as not,’ said Bob,’ one of these days; though there’s plenty of time for that, my dear. But however and when ever we part from one another, I am sure we shall none of us forget poor Tiny Tim — shall we — or this first parting that there was among us.’ ‘Never, father.’ cried they all. ‘And I know,’ said Bob,’ I know, my dears, that when we recollect how patient and how mild he was; although he was a little, little child; we shall not quarrel easily among ourselves, and forget poor Tiny Tim in doing it.’ ‘No, never, father.’ they all cried again. ‘I am very happy,’ said little Bob,’ I am very happy.’ Mrs Cratchit kissed him, his daughters kissed him, the two young Cratchits kissed him, and Peter and himself shook hands. Spirit of Tiny Tim, thy childish essence was from God. ‘Spectre,’ said Scrooge,’ something informs me that our parting moment is at hand. I know it, but I know not how. Tell me what man that was whom we saw lying dead.’ 122 of 138

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The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come conveyed him, as before — though at a different time, he thought: indeed, there seemed no order in these latter visions, save that they were in the Future — into the resorts of business men, but showed him not himself. Indeed, the Spirit did not stay for anything, but went straight on, as to the end just now desired, until besought by Scrooge to tarry for a moment. ‘This courts,’ said Scrooge,’ through which we hurry now, is where my place of occupation is, and has been for a length of time. I see the house. Let me behold what I shall be, in days to come.’ The Spirit stopped; the hand was pointed elsewhere. ‘The house is yonder,’ Scrooge exclaimed. ‘Why do you point away.’ The inexorable finger underwent no change. Scrooge hastened to the window of his office, and looked in. It was an office still, but not his. The furniture was not the same, and the figure in the chair was not himself. The Phantom pointed as before. He joined it once again, and wondering why and whither he had gone, accompanied it until they reached an iron gate. He paused to look round before entering.

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fat with repleted appetite. the wretched man whose name he had now to learn. not life. It was a worthy place. ‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends. Ebenezer Scrooge. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be.’ The Spirit was immovable as ever. 124 of 138 .A Christmas Carol A churchyard. ‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point. or are they shadows of things that May be. He advanced towards it trembling. only. they must lead. lay underneath the ground. to which. and pointed down to One. Scrooge crept towards it. overrun by grass and weeds. The Phantom was exactly as it had been. read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name.’ Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. A worthy place. Here. if persevered in. the growth of vegetation’s death. trembling as he went. choked up with too much burying.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. The Spirit stood among the graves. Say it is thus with what you show me. and following the finger. the ends will change. ‘But if the courses be departed from. then. but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape. ‘answer me one question. Walled in by houses.

’ In his agony. The finger pointed from the grave to him.’ he cried. Spirit. I will live in the Past. Oh.’ The kind hand trembled. stronger yet. I am not the man I was. no.’ For the first time the hand appeared to shake. and try to keep it all the year. 125 of 138 .A Christmas Carol ‘Am I that man who lay upon the bed. tight clutching at its robe. and the Future. ‘Spirit.’ he pursued. upon his knees. the Present. tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone. and pities me. It sought to free itself.’ he cried. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me.’ hear me. Why show me this. ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart. ‘No. Oh no. if I am past all hope. The Spirit. by an altered life.’ The finger still was there. he caught the spectral hand. ‘Good Spirit. repulsed him. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. as down upon the ground he fell before it:’ Your nature intercedes for me. but he was strong in his entreaty. and detained it. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. and back again.

It shrunk. and dwindled down into a bedpost. he saw an alteration in the Phantom’s hood and dress. 126 of 138 .A Christmas Carol Holding up his hands in a last prayer to have his fate aye reversed. collapsed.

tearing them.’ Scrooge repeated. to make amends in! ‘I will live in the Past. on my knees. rings and all. I know they will. ‘The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Best and happiest of all. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit. as he scrambled out of bed. The bed was his own. old Jacob. the Present.’ His hands were busy with his garments all this time. mislaying them. and the Future.’ He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions. the room was his own. folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms. I say it on my knees. They are here — I am here — the shadows of the things that would have been. They will be. and his face was wet with tears. putting them on upside down. Heaven. Oh Jacob Marley. may be dispelled. that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call.’ they are not torn down. turning them inside out. ‘They are not torn down.A Christmas Carol Stave 5: The End of It Yes! and the bedpost was his own. and the Christmas Time be praised for this. the Time before him was his own.’ cried Scrooge. 127 of 138 . making them parties to every kind of extravagance.

A merry Christmas to everybody.’ said Scrooge. ‘I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits. ‘I am as light as a feather. It’s all right.’ 128 of 138 . A happy New Year to all the world.’ cried Scrooge. I don’t know anything. starting off again.’ Really. Hallo here. Whoop. Ha ha ha. I am as happy as an angel.’ cried Scrooge. Hallo. and was now standing there: perfectly winded. ‘There’s the door. laughing and crying in the same breath. for a man who had been out of practice for so many years. There’s the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present. The father of a long.A Christmas Carol ‘I don’t know what to do. There’s the window where I saw the wandering Spirits. I’m quite a baby. ‘There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in. it was a splendid laugh. sat. by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. it’s all true. I am as giddy as a drunken man.’ He had frisked into the sitting-room. and going round the fireplace. Whoop. I don’t care. I’d rather be a baby. Hallo. Never mind. long line of brilliant laughs. a most illustrious laugh. ‘I don’t know what day of the month it is. it all happened. I am as merry as a schoolboy. and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. Hallo here.

’ said Scrooge.’ ‘Hallo. dong. Clash. merry bells. Golden sunlight. The Spirits have done it all in one night. ‘Do you know the Poulterer’s. Running to the window. ‘What’s to-day.’ replied the lad. stirring.’ cried Scrooge. Hallo.’ returned the boy. piping for the blood to dance to. bell. who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. clang. clear.’ returned the boy. glorious.’ Scrooge inquired. jovial. with all his might of wonder.’ ‘It’s Christmas Day. No fog. 129 of 138 . glorious. and put out his head. cold. he opened it. Christmas Day. calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes. sweet fresh air. Oh. my fine fellow. at the corner. Bell. in the next street but one. dong. ‘I haven’t missed it. ‘To-day. Glorious. Oh. clash. ‘Why.’ replied the boy. my fine fellow. ‘Eh. hammer. Of course they can. clang. glorious. ‘What’s to-day. They can do anything they like. ding. ‘I should hope I did. no mist. ding. Heavenly sky. hammer.’ said Scrooge to himself.A Christmas Carol He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Of course they can. bright. cold.

‘He shan’t know who sends it. that I may give them the direction where to take it.’ ‘What. ‘A remarkable boy.A Christmas Carol ‘An intelligent boy. ‘I am in earnest. and tell them to bring it here. Come back with the man. ‘Is it. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob’s will be.’ returned the boy. ‘It’s a pleasure to talk to him.’ exclaimed the boy. ‘Go and buy it. and went 130 of 138 .’ said Scrooge.’ ‘It’s hanging there now.’ said Scrooge. Yes. ‘No. ‘I’ll send it to Bon Cratchit’s. the one as big as me. ‘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. no. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim.’ ‘Walk-er. Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown. somehow.’ said Scrooge. and I’ll give you a shilling. and splitting with a laugh. but write it he did.’ replied the boy. Go and buy it.’ said Scrooge.’ The boy was off like a shot.’ whispered Scrooge.’ The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one. my buck. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast. rubbing his hands.

131 of 138 . It’s a wonderful knocker.’ The chuckle with which he said this. as long as I live. ‘I shall love it. Whoop. patting it with his hand. He would have snapped them short off in a minute. What an honest expression it has in its face. and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey. — Here’s the Turkey. were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again.’ It was a Turkey. for his hand continued to shake very much.’ cried Scrooge. the knocker caught his eye. waiting his arrival. ‘Why. and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy. He never could have stood upon his legs. Shaving was not an easy task. it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town. How are you. Hallo. and shaving requires attention. and been quite satisfied. like sticks of sealing-wax. that bird. and chuckled till he cried. Merry Christmas. ‘You must have a cab. and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab.A Christmas Carol down-stairs to open the street door. even when you don’t dance while you are at it. As he stood there. ready for the coming of the poulterer’s man. ‘I scarcely ever looked at it before.’ said Scrooge. he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it. But if he had cut the end of his nose off.

‘My dear sir.’ said Scrooge. A merry Christmas to you. and he took it.’ And Scrooge said often afterwards. Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. It was very kind of you. and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. A merry Christmas to you.’ It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met. when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman. He had not gone far. He looked so irresistibly pleasant. The people were by this time pouring forth. and walking with his hands behind him. as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present. ‘How do you do.A Christmas Carol He dressed himself all in his best.’ ‘Mr Scrooge. but he knew what path lay straight before him. those were the blithest in his ears. sir. and at last got out into the streets. I hope you succeeded yesterday. sir.’ said Scrooge. who had walked into his counting-house the day before. And 132 of 138 . and said.’ ‘Yes. quickening his pace.’ Scrooge and Marley’s. that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard. I believe.’ Good morning. in a word. ‘That is my name. Allow me to ask your pardon. that three or four goodhumoured fellows said. and taking the old gentleman by both his hands.

’ said Scrooge. 133 of 138 . A great many back-payments are included in it. Bless you.’ cried the gentleman.A Christmas Carol will you have the goodness’ — here Scrooge whispered in his ear. ‘Thank you. ‘I don’t know what to say to such munificence. I thank you fifty times. I assure you. and found that everything could yield him pleasure. ‘My dear Mr Scrooge. are you serious.’ ‘I will. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house. ‘Come and see me. shaking hands with him.’ He went to church. and patted children on the head. Will you do me that favour. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. ‘Lord bless me.’ cried the old gentleman. and questioned beggars. Will you come and see me.’ retorted Scrooge. And it was clear he meant to do it.’ ‘My dear sir.’ said Scrooge. as if his breath were taken away.’ said the other. ‘I am much obliged to you. and looked down into the kitchens of houses. and watched the people hurrying to and fro. and up to the windows.’ ‘If you please. and walked about the streets.’ ‘Don’t say anything please. ‘Not a farthing less.

how his niece by marriage started. or he wouldn’t have done it. if you please. along with mistress. I’ll show you up-stairs. ‘Fred. Dear heart alive.’ He turned it gently. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array). ‘I’ll go in here.’ said Scrooge. before he had the courage to go up and knock. Very. and sidled his face in. sir. Scrooge had forgotten.’ ‘Where is he. Nice girl. sir. round the door. with his hand already on the dining-room lock. ‘Yes. He knows me.’ said Scrooge to the girl. and did it: ‘Is your master at home.’ cried Fred. my love. for the moment.’ 134 of 138 .’ who’s that. ‘Why bless my soul. for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points.’ ‘Thank you. But he made a dash.A Christmas Carol He passed the door a dozen times. and like to see that everything is right. on any account. my dear. ‘He’s in the dining-room.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. about her sitting in the corner with the footstool. my dear.

yes.’ said Bob. in his accustomed voice. So did every one when they came.’ 135 of 138 . his comforter too. But he was early at the office next morning. It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. So did Topper when he came. ‘What do you mean by coming here at this time of day. And he did it. driving away with his pen. No Bob. he was early there.’ growled Scrooge. ‘I am behind my time. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. as near as he could feign it. Fred. Your uncle Scrooge. wonderful unanimity.’ ‘I am very sorry. view. His hat was off.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. before he opened the door.’ Let him in. ‘It’s I. sir. Scrooge sat with his door wide open. Wonderful party. That was the thing he had set his heart upon. No Bob. The clock struck nine. ‘Hallo. Will you let me in. I have come to dinner. Nothing could be heartier. wonderful games. He was on his stool in a jiffy. Download the free trial version. A quarter past. that he might see him come into the Tank. Oh. His niece looked just the same. as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock. wonderful happiness. he did. and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. If he could only be there first. He was at home in five minutes. So did the plump sister when she came. and edit PDF.

Make up the fires. sir. as he clapped him on the back.’ ‘Now. I was making rather merry yesterday. Bob.’ and therefore I am about to raise your salary. Step this way. with an earnestness that could not be mistaken. my good fellow. Bob. and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon.’ he continued. sir. leaping from his stool.’ Bob trembled. ‘It shall not be repeated.’ repeated Scrooge. than I have given you for many a year. sir. ‘Yes. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it. I’ll raise your salary.’ I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. I’ll tell you what.’ 136 of 138 . And therefore. my friend.’ said Scrooge. and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again. I think you are. Bob. and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat.A Christmas Carol ‘You are. if you please. and got a little nearer to the ruler. and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i.’ pleaded Bob. and endeavour to assist your struggling family. appearing from the Tank. Bob Cratchit. over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. holding him.’ ‘It’s only once a year. ‘A merrier Christmas. ‘A merry Christmas.’ said Scrooge.

if any man alive possessed the knowledge. Every One! 137 of 138 . He did it all. and all of us! And so. for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe.A Christmas Carol Scrooge was better than his word. but he let them laugh. God bless Us. He had no further intercourse with Spirits. town. and it was always said of him. that he knew how to keep Christmas well. as Tiny Tim observed. as good a master. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him. and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway. in the good old world. ever afterwards. as have the malady in less attractive forms. but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle. and little heeded them. and to Tiny Tim. he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. He became as good a friend. who did not die. as the good old city knew. and infinitely more. at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset. or any other good old city. for good. he was a second father. and as good a man. or borough. May that be truly said of us.

A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .

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