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

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

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

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

‘Nephew!’ returned the uncle sternly. ‘every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips. uncle!’ said the nephew. and followed it up with ‘Humbug. said ‘Bah!’ again. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough. and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. ‘when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money.’ Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘I do. He should!’ ‘Uncle!’ pleaded the nephew. ‘keep Christmas in your own way.’ ‘Come. and let me keep it in mine. should be boiled with his own pudding. but not an hour richer.’ said Scrooge indignantly. ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough. then.’ 8 of 138 .’ returned the nephew gaily.’ ‘Don’t be cross. a time for balancing your books and having every item in ‘em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will. a time for finding yourself a year older.’ returned the uncle. ‘What else can I be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol ‘You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years. on hearing this. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’ 29 of 138 . who now began to apply this to himself. Jacob. and benevolence. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere. that ages of incessant labour. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!’ ‘But you were always a good man of business. and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night. ‘not to know. wringing its hands again.’ said Scrooge. whatever it may be. The common welfare was my business. that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance. ‘Oh! captive. ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost. ‘Mankind was my business. set up another cry. charity. forbearance.’ cried the phantom. were. The Ghost. bound. will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. and double-ironed. all. by immortal creatures. my business. for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed.’ faltered Scrooge. mercy.

and flung it heavily upon the ground again. Scrooge shivered. and wiped the perspiration from his brow.’ the spectre said ‘I suffer most. I may not tell. Why did I walk through crowds of fellowbeings with my eyes turned down. ‘But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery. ‘I am here to-night to warn you.’ ‘I will. and began to quake exceedingly. that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. ‘That is no light part of my penance.’ It was not an agreeable idea. Ebenezer. A chance and hope of my procuring.’ said Scrooge. ‘Thank ‘ee!’ 30 of 138 .A Christmas Carol It held up its chain at arm’s length.’ ‘You were always a good friend to me. ‘Hear me!’ cried the Ghost. as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief.’ said Scrooge. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day.’ pursued the Ghost. ‘My time is nearly gone. 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. Jacob! Pray!’ ‘How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see. ‘At this time of the rolling year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol

Even this, though, when Scrooge looked at it with increasing steadiness, was not its strangest quality. For as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part and now in another, and what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness: being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away. And in the very wonder of this, it would be itself again; distinct and clear as ever. ‘Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me.’ asked Scrooge. ‘I am.’ The voice was soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if instead of being so close beside him, it were at a distance. ‘Who, and what are you.’ Scrooge demanded. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.’ ‘Long Past.’ inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature. ‘No. Your past.’ Perhaps, Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered. 38 of 138

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‘What.’ exclaimed the Ghost, ‘would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give. Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow.’ Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully bonneted the Spirit at any period of his life. He then made bold to inquire what business brought him there. ‘Your welfare.’ said the Ghost. Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end. The Spirit must have heard him thinking, for it said immediately: ‘Your reclamation, then. Take heed.’ It put out its strong hand as it spoke, and clasped him gently by the arm. ‘Rise. and walk with me.’ It would have been in vain for Scrooge to plead that the weather and the hour were not adapted to pedestrian purposes; that bed was warm, and the thermometer a long way below freezing; that he was clad but lightly in his slippers, dressing-gown, and nightcap; and that he had a cold upon him at that time. The grasp, though gentle as a 39 of 138

A Christmas Carol

woman’s hand, was not to be resisted. He rose: but finding that the Spirit made towards the window, clasped his robe in supplication. ‘I am mortal,’ Scrooge remonstrated, ‘and liable to fall.’ ‘Bear but a touch of my hand there,’ said the Spirit, laying it upon his heart,’ and you shall be upheld in more than this.’ As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground. ‘Good Heaven!’ said Scrooge, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. ‘I was bred in this place. I was a boy here.’ The Spirit gazed upon him mildly. Its gentle touch, though it had been light and instantaneous, appeared still present to the old man’s sense of feeling. He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long, forgotten. ‘Your lip is trembling,’ said the Ghost. ‘And what is that upon your cheek.’ 40 of 138

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and I think I shook him yesterday. for I pity him. After tea. whether he likes it or not.’ It was their turn to laugh now at the notion of his shaking Scrooge. that’s something. which had been familiar to the child who 92 of 138 . and saying Uncle Scrooge. either in his mouldy old office. when they sung a Glee or Catch. He may rail at Christmas till he dies. so that they laughed at any rate. Scrooge’s niece played well upon the harp. But being thoroughly good-natured. and knew what they were about. who could growl away in the bass like a good one. 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. year after year. I mean to give him the same chance every year. in good temper. how are you. but he can’t help thinking better of it — I defy him — if he finds me going there. or his dusty chambers. and not much caring what they laughed at. If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds. I can assure you: especially Topper. and passed the bottle joyously. or get red in the face over it. he encouraged them in their merriment. and played among other tunes a simple little air (a mere nothing: you might learn to whistle it in two minutes). For they were a musical family. they had some music.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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