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

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

on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse. obscuring everything. dark master!’ But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. one might have thought that Nature lived hard by. go wheezing up and down.A Christmas Carol and up courts. beating their hands upon their breasts. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down. biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside. Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life. the houses opposite were mere phantoms. The city clocks had only just gone three. and was so dense without. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole. like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. bleak. was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge. It was cold. and then would wag their tails as though they said. and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. 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. ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye. warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. that although the court was of the narrowest. and was brewing on a large scale.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and having read all the newspapers. was fain to grope with his hands. went home to bed. where it had so little business to be. in honour of its being Christmas Eve. 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). and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’sbook. that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house. Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern. for nobody lived in it but Scrooge. to play at blindman’s-buff. at the end of a lane of boys. and forgotten the way out again. 17 of 138 . The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house. playing at hide-and-seek with other houses. and dreary enough. twenty times. The yard was so dark that even Scrooge. the other rooms being all let out as offices. went down a slide on Cornhill.A Christmas Carol and the clerk. that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold. They were a gloomy suite of rooms. who knew its every stone. in a lowering pile of building up a yard. It was old enough now. and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts. and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. lolling at the doors. and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through 69 of 138 . made. and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by. recalling. There were ruddy. in their fragrance. shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen. There were great. and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars. For. and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball — better-natured missile far than many a wordy jest — laughing heartily if it went right and not less heartily if it went wrong. there were bunches of grapes. in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks. ancient walks among the woods. broad-girthed Spanish onions. round. There were pears and apples. and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. there were piles of filberts. The poulterers’ shops were still half open. calling out to one another from the parapets. clustered high in blooming pyramids. round.A Christmas Carol brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain. brown-faced. the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee. that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed. mossy and brown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. beside him stood the Phantom. Nor could he think of any one immediately connected with himself. It gave him little surprise. But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. Quiet and dark. and this Ghost’s province was the Future.A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. his old partner. to whom he could apply them. he fancied from the turn of the hand. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. but another man stood in his accustomed corner. for that was Past. He looked about in that very place for his own image. 106 of 138 . with its outstretched hand. and everything he saw. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life. and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this. They could scarcely be supposed to have any bearing on the death of Jacob. and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. however. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .

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