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A Christmas Carol
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D. December, 1843.
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A Christmas Carol
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Stave 1: Marley’s Ghost
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffinnail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad
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but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral. wrenching. Scrooge! a squeezing. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. 4 of 138 .A Christmas Carol event. upon his own ramparts. 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. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. years afterwards. above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge. clutching. old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint. or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night. and sometimes Marley. from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire. covetous. grasping. scraping. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. but he answered to both names. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began. It was all the same to him. in an easterly wind.stone. This must be distinctly understood. There it stood.
how are you? When will you come to see me?’ No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle. stiffened his gait. A frosty rime was on his head. and on his eyebrows. The heaviest rain. and hail. and his wiry chin. and when they saw him coming on. and self-contained. no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place. made his eyes red. ‘My dear Scrooge. They often ‘came down’ handsomely. shrivelled his cheek. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him. no wintry weather chill him. No warmth could warm. would tug their owners into doorways 5 of 138 . nipped his pointed nose. and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say. and Scrooge never did. and snow. The cold within him froze his old features. no children asked him what it was o’clock. he iced his office in the dogdays. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose. He carried his own low temperature always about with him. of Scrooge. with gladsome looks.A Christmas Carol secret. and solitary as an oyster. No wind that blew was bitterer than he. and sleet. his thin lips blue.
and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. and was brewing on a large scale. that although the court was of the narrowest. biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside. the houses opposite were mere phantoms. It was cold. on Christmas Eve — old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse. dark master!’ But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. and was so dense without. Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year. like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down. ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life.A Christmas Carol and up courts. but it was quite dark already — it had not been light all day — and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices. obscuring everything. and then would wag their tails as though they said. bleak. warning all human sympathy to keep its distance. go wheezing up and down. 6 of 138 . The city clocks had only just gone three. was what the knowing ones call ‘nuts’ to Scrooge. beating their hands upon their breasts. one might have thought that Nature lived hard by. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole.
‘You don’t mean that. But he couldn’t replenish it. but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part.A Christmas Carol The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk. ‘Bah!’ said Scrooge. was copying letters. his face was ruddy and handsome. ‘A merry Christmas. and tried to warm himself at the candle. who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach. Scrooge had a very small fire. I am sure?’ 7 of 138 . uncle! God save you!’ cried a cheerful voice. ‘Christmas a humbug. not being a man of a strong imagination. a sort of tank. he failed. ‘Humbug!’ He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost. and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel. for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter. that he was all in a glow. in which effort. this nephew of Scrooge’s. and his breath smoked again. who in a dismal little cell beyond. uncle!’ said Scrooge’s nephew. his eyes sparkled.
’ returned the uncle.’ Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment. and followed it up with ‘Humbug. He should!’ ‘Uncle!’ pleaded the nephew. should be boiled with his own pudding.’ returned the nephew gaily. a time for balancing your books and having every item in ‘em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will. then. ‘What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough. ‘Nephew!’ returned the uncle sternly. ‘What else can I be.’ said Scrooge indignantly.A Christmas Carol ‘I do. and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. a time for finding yourself a year older.’ ‘Don’t be cross. ‘when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money.’ 8 of 138 . said ‘Bah!’ again. ‘Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough. ‘every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips. ‘keep Christmas in your own way. uncle!’ said the nephew. and let me keep it in mine.’ ‘Come.’ said Scrooge. but not an hour richer.
But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time.’ said Scrooge. though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket. 9 of 138 . if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time.A Christmas Carol ‘Keep it!’ repeated Scrooge’s nephew. ‘Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!’ ‘There are many things from which I might have derived good. then. ‘Christmas among the rest. ‘But you don’t keep it. a kind. and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave. and extinguished the last frail spark for ever. and I say. forgiving. And therefore. and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. and will do me good. he poked the fire. pleasant time: the only time I know of.’ returned the nephew. I dare say. God bless it!’ The clerk in the Tank involuntarily applauded. in the long calendar of the year. Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety. when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely. by which I have not profited. when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin. charitable. uncle.’ ‘Let me leave it alone. I believe that it has done me good.
‘Good afternoon!’ ‘Nay. with all my heart. ‘and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You’re quite a powerful speaker. turning to his nephew.’ said Scrooge. He went the whole length of the expression.’ said Scrooge.’ Scrooge said that he would see him — yes. ‘Why?’ ‘Why did you get married?’ said Scrooge. 10 of 138 . I ask nothing of you. ‘I wonder you don’t go into Parliament. We have never had any quarrel. ‘Because I fell in love. uncle. but you never came to see me before that happened. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas. sir. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.A Christmas Carol ‘Let me hear another sound from you. indeed he did.’ ‘Don’t be angry. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?’ ‘Good afternoon.’ he added. ‘I am sorry. to which I have been a party. to find you so resolute. uncle. and said that he would see him in that extremity first.’ said Scrooge. as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas.’ ‘Because you fell in love!’ growled Scrooge. why cannot we be friends?’ ‘Good afternoon. ‘I want nothing from you. ‘But why?’ cried Scrooge’s nephew.
or Mr. ‘There’s another fellow. Scrooge. with their hats off. ‘He died seven years ago. His nephew left the room without an angry word. was warmer than Scrooge. in Scrooge’s office. They were portly gentlemen. ‘Scrooge and Marley’s. with fifteen shillings a week. pleasant to behold.’ Scrooge replied. Marley has been dead these seven years. They had books and papers in their hands.’ said one of the gentlemen. I’ll retire to Bedlam. who overheard him: ‘my clerk. Marley?’ ‘Mr. had let two other people in.’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. this very night. in letting Scrooge’s nephew out. who cold as he was. and now stood. for he returned them cordially.’ 11 of 138 . and bowed to him. I believe. So A Merry Christmas. ‘Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr.’ This lunatic.A Christmas Carol and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. and a wife and family.’ muttered Scrooge. uncle!’ ‘Good afternoon. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk. referring to his list. ‘And A Happy New Year!’ ‘Good afternoon. notwithstanding. talking about a merry Christmas.
’ ‘Are there no prisons?’ asked Scrooge. Scrooge. presenting his credentials.’ said the gentleman. and shook his head.’ 12 of 138 . sir. Mr. Still. ‘At this festive season of the year. At the ominous word ‘liberality. hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts. ‘Plenty of prisons. then?’ said Scrooge. ‘Both very busy. ‘it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute. taking up a pen. sir. ‘I wish I could say they were not. who suffer greatly at the present time. and handed the credentials back. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries. ‘And the Union workhouses?’ demanded Scrooge. for they had been two kindred spirits.A Christmas Carol ‘We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner.’ said the gentleman.’ said the gentleman.’ Scrooge frowned. ‘Are they still in operation?’ ‘They are.’ returned the gentleman. laying down the pen again. It certainly was.’ ‘The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour.
’ said Scrooge.’ observed the gentleman. that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. ‘they had better do it. ‘I’m very glad to hear it. ‘Since you ask me what I wish. ‘a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. when Want is keenly felt.’ ‘But you might know it. from what you said at first. We choose this time.’ ‘If they would rather die. ‘You wish to be anonymous?’ ‘I wish to be left alone. and those who are badly off must go there. of all others. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned — they cost enough.’ ‘Many can’t go there.’ said Scrooge. that is my answer. gentlemen. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry.’ said Scrooge. and Abundance rejoices.’ returned the gentleman. Besides — excuse me — I don’t know that.A Christmas Carol ‘Oh! I was afraid. and many would rather die. because it is a time. 13 of 138 .’ ‘Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude. and decrease the surplus population. What shall I put you down for?’ ‘Nothing!’ Scrooge replied. and means of warmth.
and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds.A Christmas Carol ‘It’s not my business. Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so. The water-plug being left in solitude. Mine occupies me constantly. proffering their services to go before horses in carriages. whose gruff old bell was always peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall. some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes. In the main street at the corner of the court.’ Scrooge returned. and not to interfere with other people’s. and conduct them on their way. became invisible. Scrooge returned his labours with an improved opinion of himself. The ancient tower of a church. Good afternoon. ‘It’s enough for a man to understand his own business. and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him. with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. The cold became intense. The brightness of the shops where holly 14 of 138 . the gentlemen withdrew. that people ran about with flaring links. gentlemen!’ Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point. its overflowing sullenly congealed. and had lighted a great fire in a brazier. and turned to misanthropic ice. round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture.
biting cold. with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. The Lord Mayor.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of ‘God bless you. gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs. whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets. and colder! Piercing. Foggier yet. and edit PDF. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that. made pale faces ruddy as they passed. in the stronghold of the mighty Mansion House. view. sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows. searching. Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke. gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s household should. then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose. The owner of one scant young nose. while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef. instead of using his familiar weapons. and even the little tailor. stirred up to-morrow’s pudding in his garret. Download the free trial version. a glorious pageant. merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!’ 15 of 138 .
At length the hour of shutting up the counting.house arrived. ‘You’ll want all day to-morrow. The office was closed in a twinkling. who instantly snuffed his candle out.A Christmas Carol Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action. sir. ‘A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!’ said Scrooge. I suppose?’ said Scrooge. and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank. buttoning his great-coat to the chin.’ said Scrooge.’ The clerk observed that it was only once a year. I’ll be bound?’ The clerk smiled faintly. and put on his hat. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it. 16 of 138 .’ ‘It’s not convenient. when I pay a day’s wages for no work.’ said Scrooge.’ The clerk promised that he would. and Scrooge walked out with a growl. ‘and it’s not fair. Be here all the earlier next morning. ‘And yet. leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost. you’d think yourself illused. ‘If quite convenient. ‘you don’t think me ill-used. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool. ‘But I suppose you must have the whole day. that the singer fled in terror.
at the end of a lane of boys. 17 of 138 . The yard was so dark that even Scrooge. and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’sbook. the other rooms being all let out as offices. went home to bed. that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house. in honour of its being Christmas Eve. with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat). They were a gloomy suite of rooms. and forgotten the way out again. and dreary enough. that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold. and having read all the newspapers. in a lowering pile of building up a yard. went down a slide on Cornhill. to play at blindman’s-buff.A Christmas Carol and the clerk. playing at hide-and-seek with other houses. for nobody lived in it but Scrooge. It was old enough now. Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern. where it had so little business to be. and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. twenty times. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house. was fain to grope with his hands. who knew its every stone.
and livery. but had a dismal light about it. during his whole residence in that place. but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face 18 of 138 . night and morning. that Scrooge had seen it. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley. even including — which is a bold word — the corporation. but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. except that it was very large. aldermen. since his last mention of his seven years’ dead partner that afternoon. made it horrible. as if by breath or hot air. like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. saw in the knocker. Marley’s face. if he can.A Christmas Carol Now. It is also a fact. they were perfectly motionless. it is a fact. that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door. and. without its undergoing any intermediate process of change — not a knocker. It was not angry or ferocious. but Marley’s face. also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the city of London. That. and its livid colour. The hair was curiously stirred. how it happened that Scrooge. though the eyes were wide open. And then let any man explain to me. having his key in the lock of the door.
appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. Every room above. He fastened the door. and up the stairs. or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy. turned it sturdily. As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon. To say that he was not startled. pooh!’ and closed it with a bang. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished. The sound resounded through the house like thunder. But there was nothing on the back of the door. and walked across the hall. He did pause. and he did look cautiously behind it first. 19 of 138 . as if he half-expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley’s pigtail sticking out into the hall. Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. walked in. so he said ‘Pooh. before he shut the door. except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on. with a moment’s irresolution. and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below. would be untrue. slowly too: trimming his candle as he went. rather than a part or its own expression.A Christmas Carol and beyond its control. it was a knocker again. and lighted his candle.
Up Scrooge went. All as they should be.A Christmas Carol You may talk vaguely about driving a coach-and-six up a good old flight of stairs. Darkness is cheap. spoon and basin ready. lumber-room. and Scrooge liked it. and taken it broadwise. but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase. Nobody under the table. not caring a button for that. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that. Lumber-room 20 of 138 . and the little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. nobody in the closet. There was plenty of width for that. 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. or through a bad young Act of Parliament. with the splinterbar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip. and room to spare. a small fire in the grate. Sitting-room. nobody under the sofa. he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. which is perhaps the reason why Scrooge thought he saw a locomotive hearse going on before him in the gloom. bedroom. Nobody under the bed. nobody in his dressing-gown. But before he shut his heavy door.
came like the ancient Prophet’s rod. Queens of Sheba. and swallowed up the whole. and sat down before the fire to take his gruel. He was obliged to sit close to it. Belshazzars. before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel. Thus secured against surprise. 21 of 138 . two fish-baskets. there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one. and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles. Abrahams. Quite satisfied. he closed his door. built by some Dutch merchant long ago. It was a very low fire indeed. he took off his cravat. and his nightcap. which was not his custom. seven years dead. put on his dressing-gown and slippers. designed to illustrate the Scriptures. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first. double-locked himself in. nothing on such a bitter night. washing-stand on three legs. Pharaohs’ daughters. The fireplace was an old one. There were Cains and Abels. Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats. and a poker. with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts. Old fire-guards. and locked himself in.A Christmas Carol as usual. old shoes. Angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather-beds. and brood over it. hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts — and yet that face of Marley.
without a pause. The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound. then coming straight towards his door. or a minute. a disused bell. inexplicable dread.A Christmas Carol ‘Humbug!’ said Scrooge. and passed into the 22 of 138 . he sat down again. and with a strange. that hung in the room. but soon it rang out loudly. when. ‘It’s humbug still!’ said Scrooge. as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine merchant’s cellar. then coming up the stairs. and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building. and then he heard the noise much louder. The bells ceased as they had begun. but it seemed an hour. They were succeeded by a clanking noise. his glance happened to rest upon a bell. and walked across the room.’ His colour changed though. that as he looked. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound. deep down below. As he threw his head back in the chair. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains. and so did every bell in the house. It was with great astonishment. together. This might have lasted half a minute. ‘I won’t believe it. he saw this bell begin to swing. on the floors below. After several turns. it came on through the heavy door.
keys. and saw it standing before him. deeds. as though it cried ‘I know him. the dying flame leaped up. nor did he believe it even now. Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels. caustic and cold as ever. the tassels on the latter bristling. and fought against his senses.A Christmas Carol room before his eyes. Though he looked the phantom through and through. It was long. and heavy purses wrought in steel. and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin. tights and boots. but he had never believed it until now. Upon its coming in. The same face: the very same. ‘What do you want with me?’ 23 of 138 . No. and wound about him like a tail. ledgers. padlocks. like his pigtail. Marley’s Ghost!’ and fell again. and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cashboxes. could see the two buttons on his coat behind. and looking through his waistcoat. Marley in his pigtail. so that Scrooge. he was still incredulous. and his coat-skirts. observing him. which wrapper he had not observed before. and the hair upon his head. The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. ‘How now!’ said Scrooge. though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes. His body was transparent. usual waistcoat.
it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation. ‘You’re particular.’ ‘Who were you then?’ said Scrooge.’ said Scrooge. no doubt about it. ‘In life I was your partner.’ but substituted this. ‘Why do you doubt your senses?’ 24 of 138 . and felt that in the event of its being impossible. looking doubtfully at him. Jacob Marley.’ He was going to say ‘to a shade. raising his voice.’ ‘Can you — can you sit down?’ asked Scrooge. as if he were quite used to it. ‘You don’t believe in me. for a shade. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace. ‘What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?’ ‘I don’t know.’ observed the Ghost. ‘I don’t.A Christmas Carol ‘Much!’ — Marley’s voice. ‘Who are you?’ ‘Ask me who I was. ‘I can.’ said Scrooge. because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair. then. as more appropriate.’ ‘Do it.’ Scrooge asked the question.
You may be an undigested bit of beef. and tassels. and keeping down his terror. a crumb of cheese. for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless. and wishing. returning quickly to the charge.’ said Scrooge. for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones. ‘You see this toothpick?’ said Scrooge. by any means waggish then. The truth is. a fragment of an underdone potato. too. in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. as a means of distracting his own attention. were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven. and skirts. that he tried to be smart. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. but this was clearly the case. in his heart. Scrooge could not feel it himself. its hair. the very deuce with him. for the reason just assigned. 25 of 138 . in silence for a moment. whatever you are!’ Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes.A Christmas Carol ‘Because. to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself. To sit. There was something very awful. nor did he feel. Scrooge felt. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you. ‘a little thing affects them. though it were only for a second. a blot of mustard. would play. staring at those fixed glazed eyes.
all of my own creation. why do you trouble me?’ ‘Man of the worldly mind!’ replied the Ghost.’ ‘Well!’ returned Scrooge. and clasped his hands before his face. ‘But I see it. ‘I have but to swallow this. ‘notwithstanding. that Scrooge held on tight to his chair.’ said Scrooge.’ said the Ghost. when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head. ‘do you believe in me or not?’ ‘I do. and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins. to save himself from falling in a swoon. ‘You are not looking at it.’ the Ghost returned. I tell you! humbug!’ At this the spirit raised a frightful cry. ‘that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his 26 of 138 . its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast! Scrooge fell upon his knees. Humbug. ‘Mercy!’ he said.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol ‘I do. ‘Dreadful apparition. as if it were too warm to wear indoors. ‘I must. and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise. But how much greater was his horror. But why do spirits walk the earth.’ replied the Ghost. and why do they come to me?’ ‘It is required of every man.
and of my own free will I wore it. it is condemned to do so after death. view. Download the free trial version. ‘Old Jacob Marley. fellowmen.’ replied the Ghost. and if that spirit goes not forth in life. ‘Tell me why?’ ‘I wear the chain I forged in life. but might have shared on earth. It is a ponderous chain!’ Scrooge glanced about him on the floor.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. I girded it on of my own free will. and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.’ he said. Speak comfort to me. since. ‘You are fettered. You have laboured on it. tell me more. and turned to happiness!’ Again the spectre raised a cry. in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing. and travel far and wide. Jacob!’ 27 of 138 . seven Christmas Eves ago. ‘I made it link by link. imploringly. It is doomed to wander through the world — oh. and edit PDF. ‘the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this.’ pursued the Ghost. Is its pattern strange to you?’ Scrooge trembled more and more. ‘Or would you know. woe is me! — and witness what it cannot share.’ said Scrooge. and yard by yard. trembling. ‘Jacob.
‘It comes from other regions. A very little more. I cannot stay. or getting off his knees. Incessant torture of remorse. 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. is all permitted to me. to other kinds of men. and is conveyed by other ministers. and weary journeys lie before me!’ It was a habit with Scrooge.’ Scrooge observed. ‘And travelling all the time!’ ‘The whole time. he did so now. in a business-like manner. Ebenezer Scrooge. ‘You must have been very slow about it. I cannot linger anywhere. ‘Seven years dead. ‘No rest. 28 of 138 . ‘On the wings of the wind.’ mused Scrooge.’ said the Ghost.’ replied the Ghost. though with humility and deference. Pondering on what the Ghost had said. but without lifting up his eyes. Jacob.’ ‘You travel fast?’ said Scrooge. to put his hands in his breeches pockets.’ the Ghost replied. I cannot rest.A Christmas Carol ‘I have none to give. ‘Slow!’ the Ghost repeated. whenever he became thoughtful. no peace. Nor can I tell you what I would.
’ said Scrooge.’ cried the phantom. by immortal creatures. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere.’ faltered Scrooge. all. set up another cry. and benevolence. mercy. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’ 29 of 138 . The Ghost. wringing its hands again. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!’ ‘But you were always a good man of business. and double-ironed. forbearance. bound. my business. who now began to apply this to himself. that ages of incessant labour. ‘Business!’ cried the Ghost. ‘not to know. for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. ‘Mankind was my business. whatever it may be. will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. and clanked its chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night. The common welfare was my business. charity.A Christmas Carol ‘You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years. on hearing this. that the Ward would have been justified in indicting it for a nuisance. Jacob. were. ‘Oh! captive.
’ ‘You were always a good friend to me. and flung it heavily upon the ground again. ‘But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery. Why did I walk through crowds of fellowbeings with my eyes turned down.A Christmas Carol It held up its chain at arm’s length. ‘Thank ‘ee!’ 30 of 138 . and wiped the perspiration from his brow. that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate.’ It was not an agreeable idea. ‘At this time of the rolling year. I may not tell. ‘Hear me!’ cried the Ghost.’ the spectre said ‘I suffer most. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day. Ebenezer.’ said Scrooge. ‘I am here to-night to warn you.’ pursued the Ghost. ‘My time is nearly gone. as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief. Scrooge shivered. ‘That is no light part of my penance. A chance and hope of my procuring.’ ‘I will.’ said Scrooge. and began to quake exceedingly. Jacob! Pray!’ ‘How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see. 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 bound it round its head. and have it over.’ Scrooge’s countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost’s had done. ‘you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Jacob?’ hinted Scrooge. by the smart sound its teeth made. when the bell tolls One.’ ‘Couldn’t I take ‘em all at once.’ said the Ghost. ‘Is that the chance and hope you mentioned. ‘Without their visits. Jacob?’ he demanded. ‘It is.’ resumed the Ghost. ‘by Three Spirits. and found 31 of 138 . the spectre took its wrapper from the table.’ said Scrooge. when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. Look to see me no more. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased to vibrate. you remember what has passed between us!’ When it had said these words. Scrooge knew this.A Christmas Carol ‘You will be haunted. for your own sake.’ ‘I — I think I’d rather not. and look that. in a faltering voice. as before. ‘Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. Expect the first tomorrow. He ventured to raise his eyes again.
The apparition walked backward from him. Scrooge stopped. It beckoned Scrooge to approach. as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand. after listening for a moment. Marley’s Ghost held up its hand. and floated out upon the bleak. and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost. When they were within two paces of each other. warning him to come no nearer. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. The air was filled with phantoms. incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret. none were free. He had been quite familiar with one 32 of 138 . Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. The spectre. He looked out. the window raised itself a little. so that when the spectre reached it. wandering hither and thither in restless haste. joined in the mournful dirge. it was wide open. he became sensible of confused noises in the air. dark night. wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. which he did. some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together. with its chain wound over and about its arm. and at every step it took.A Christmas Carol his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude. Not so much in obedience.
and the bolts were undisturbed. as he had locked it with his own hands. or the dull conversation of the Ghost. went straight to bed. much in need of repose. or the fatigues of the day. for good. whom it saw below. who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant. he could not tell. and had lost the power for ever. Scrooge closed the window. in a white waistcoat. and fell asleep upon the instant. with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle. He tried to say ‘Humbug!’ but stopped at the first syllable. The misery with them all was. It was double-locked. and the night became as it had been when he walked home. that they sought to interfere. And being. 33 of 138 . or mist enshrouded them. without undressing. upon a door-step. or his glimpse of the Invisible World. clearly.A Christmas Carol old ghost. in human matters. and examined the door by which the Ghost had entered. from the emotion he had undergone. But they and their spirit voices faded together. or the lateness of the hour. Whether these creatures faded into mist.
The clock was wrong. To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven. he scrambled out of bed. It was past two when he went to bed. An icicle must have got into the works. Twelve. and from seven to eight. and groped his way to the window. Twelve.’ said Scrooge. it isn’t possible. He touched the spring of his repeater. Its rapid little pulse beat twelve: and stopped. and regularly up to twelve. ‘Why. ‘that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night. that looking out of bed. to correct this most preposterous clock. then stopped. He was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown 34 of 138 . So he listened for the hour. it was so dark. It isn’t possible that anything has happened to the sun. and this is twelve at noon. he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber.A Christmas Carol Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits When Scrooge awoke. when the chimes of a neighbouring church struck the four quarters. He was endeavouring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes.’ The idea being an alarming one.
Ebenezer Scrooge on his order. Every time he resolved within himself. andpresented the same problem to be worked all through. ‘Was it a dream or not?’ Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more. like a strong spring released. that the Ghost hadwarned him of a visitation when the 35 of 138 .’ and so forth. and thought. Scrooge went to bed again. and could make nothing of it. when he remembered. and thought. to its first position. and taken possession of the world. and thought it over and over. on a sudden. the more he endeavoured not to think. and that there was no noise of people running to and fro. as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day. because ‘Three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. The more he thought. and making a great stir. and. and could see very little then. his mind flew back again. that it was still very foggy and extremely cold. Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. the more perplexed he was. after mature inquiry that it was all a dream. All he could make out was. would have become a mere United States security if there were no days to count by.A Christmas Carol before he could see anything. This was a great relief. the more he thought.
The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. by a hand. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant. dong!’ ‘The hour itself. nor the curtains at his back. Not the curtains at his feet. dull. which it now did with a deep.’ said Scrooge. and the curtains of his bed were drawn. dong!’ ‘A quarter to it. this was. and missed the clock. ‘Ding. ‘Ding. At length it broke upon his listening ear.A Christmas Carol bell tolled one. ‘and nothing else!’ He spoke before the hour bell sounded. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside. considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to heaven. ‘Ding.’ said Scrooge triumphantly. the wisest resolution in his power. and.’ said Scrooge. melancholy ONE. dong!’ ‘A quarter past. counting. The quarter was so long. dong!’ ‘Half past.’ said Scrooge. and Scrooge. starting 36 of 138 . that he was more than once convinced he must have sunk into a doze unconsciously. hollow. ‘Ding. but those to which his face was addressed. He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed. I tell you. perhaps.
in its duller moments. It wore a tunic of the purest white. was white as if with age. had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. 37 of 138 . in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem. were. found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you. The arms were very long and muscular. and. which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view. that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light. as if its hold were of uncommon strength. viewed through some supernatural medium. and which was doubtless the occasion of its using. and being diminished to a child’s proportions. a great extinguisher for a cap. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand. and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it. Its hair. the hands the same. which it now held under its arm. Its legs and feet.A Christmas Carol up into a half-recumbent attitude. and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt. bare. the sheen of which was beautiful. like those upper members. most delicately formed. which hung about its neck and down its back. and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. by which all this was visible. It was a strange figure — like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. But the strangest thing about it was.
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
who called to other boys in country gigs and carts. driven by farmers.’ ‘Strange to have forgotten it for so many years. All these boys were in great spirits. that the crisp air laughed to hear it. ‘I could walk it blindfold. until the broad fields were so full of merry music. and post.’ observed the Ghost. Why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them.’ cried Scrooge with fervour.’ They walked along the road.’ said the Ghost. its church. and as they came. with an unusual catching in his voice. ‘They have no consciousness of us. ‘Let us go on. until a little market-town appeared in the distance. and begged the Ghost to lead him where he would.A Christmas Carol Scrooge muttered. with its bridge. Scrooge recognising every gate.’ inquired the Spirit. Why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each 41 of 138 .’ The jocund travellers came on. and tree. that it was a pimple. Scrooge knew and named them every one. Some shaggy ponies now were seen trotting towards them with boys upon their backs. Why did his cold eye glisten. ‘Remember it. ‘You recollect the way. and shouted to each other. and winding river. and his heart leap up as they went past. ‘These are but shadows of the things that have been.
within. is left there still. which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle-light. There was an earthy savour in the air. and not too much to eat.’ said the Ghost. a chilly bareness in the place. It opened before them. and the coach-houses and sheds were over-run with grass. They left the high-road. It was a large house. And he sobbed. the Ghost and Scrooge. Out upon merry Christmas. as they parted at cross-roads and bye-ways. What good had it ever done to him. but one of broken fortunes. and a bell hanging in it. on the roof. Nor was it more retentive of its ancient state. Fowls clucked and strutted in the stables. their windows broken. They went.A Christmas Carol other Merry Christmas. ‘The school is not quite deserted.’ Scrooge said he knew it. their walls were damp and mossy. for their several homes. What was merry Christmas to Scrooge. and vast. across the hall. neglected by his friends. and soon approached a mansion of dull red brick. to a door at the back of the house. and their gates decayed. with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola. for the spacious offices were little used. for entering the dreary hall. ‘A solitary child. and 42 of 138 . by a well-remembered lane. they found them poorly furnished. cold. and glancing through the open doors of many rooms.
when yonder solitary child was left here all alone. not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the panelling. intent upon his reading. melancholy room. Suddenly a man. bare.A Christmas Carol disclosed a long.’ said Scrooge. in foreign garments: wonderfully real and distinct to look at: stood outside the window. he did come. At one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire. yes. and pointed to his younger self. it’s Ali Baba. just like that. there they go. Orson. Yes. not a sigh among the leafless boughs of one despondent poplar. who 43 of 138 . The Spirit touched him on the arm. Not a latent echo in the house. and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. And Valentine. not the idle swinging of an empty store-house door.’ and his wild brother. not a clicking in the fire. made barer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks. and leading by the bridle an ass laden with wood. no. ‘It’s dear old honest Ali Baba. for the first time. not a drip from the half-thawed water-spout in the dull yard behind. and Scrooge sat down upon a form. And what’s his name. I know. One Christmas time. and gave a freer passage to his tears.’ Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy. with an axe stuck in his belt. Poor boy. ‘Why. but fell upon the heart of Scrooge with a softening influence.
asleep. Halloa.’ cried Scrooge. there he is. in pity for his former self. What business had he to be married to the Princess. Hallo. ‘Green body and yellow tail. don’t you see him. at the Gate of Damascus. Poor Robin Crusoe. There goes Friday.A Christmas Carol was put down in his drawers. he called him. where have you been. And the Sultan’s Groom turned upside down by the Genii. he said. Hoop.’ and cried again. when he came home again after sailing round the island. ‘Poor Robin Crusoe. indeed. there he is upon his head. I’m glad of it. but he wasn’t.’ The man thought he was dreaming. you know. ‘There’s the Parrot. and to see his heightened and excited face.’ Then. 44 of 138 . Robin Crusoe. in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying. ‘Poor boy. It was the Parrot. Serve him right. running for his life to the little creek. with a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head. would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city.’ To hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects. with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character.
glanced anxiously towards the door. when all the other boys had gone home for the jolly holidays. ‘Let us see another Christmas. It opened. ‘Nothing. and looking about him. that everything had happened so. and waved its hand: saying as it did so. but how all this was brought about. fragments of plaster fell out of the ceiling. He was not reading now. I should like to have given him something: that’s all. much younger than the boy. The panels shrunk.’ Scrooge muttered. He only knew that it was quite correct. Scrooge knew no more than you do.A Christmas Carol ‘I wish. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. alone again. and a little girl. that there he was. and putting her arms about his neck. after drying his eyes with his cuff: ‘but it’s too late now. putting his hand in his pocket.’ Scrooge’s former self grew larger at the words. and the room became a little darker and more dirty. but walking up and down despairingly. and the naked laths were shown instead. ‘Nothing. the windows cracked.’ said Scrooge. and 45 of 138 . and with a mournful shaking of his head.’ asked the Spirit. came darting in.’ The Ghost smiled thoughtfully.’ ‘What is the matter. Scrooge looked at the Ghost.
that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home.’ exclaimed the boy.’ said the child. you should. She clapped her hands and laughed. A terrible voice in the hall cried. And you’re to be a man. that home’s like Heaven. Home. home. clapping her tiny hands. ‘Bring down Master Scrooge’s box. little Fan. and he said Yes. and bending down to laugh. and he. for good and all. accompanied her. laughed again. little Fan.’ and are never to come back here.’ returned the boy.’ said the child. ‘Home. but being too little.’ said the child. there. and sent me in a coach to bring you. and have the merriest time in all the world. towards the door. nothing loth to go. in her childish eagerness. dear brother. dear brother. for ever and ever.’ ‘You are quite a woman. we’re to be together all the Christmas long. addressed him as her ‘Dear.’ ‘Home. home. Father is so much kinder than he used to be. but first. and stood on tiptoe to embrace him. opening her eyes. and tried to touch his head.’ and in the hall appeared the 46 of 138 . brimful of glee.A Christmas Carol often kissing him.’ ‘I have come to bring you home. Then she began to drag him. He spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed. ‘To bring you home. ‘Yes.
and getting into it.’ said the Ghost. 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 . and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows.’ ‘So she had. and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him. he had rather not. ‘But she had a large heart. Master Scrooge’s trunk being by this time tied on to the top of the chaise. who answered that he thanked the gentleman. God forbid. Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine. sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of something to the postboy.’ cried Scrooge. and a block of curiously heavy cake. I will not gainsay it. the children bade the schoolmaster good-bye right willingly. who glared on Master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension. where the maps upon the wall.A Christmas Carol schoolmaster himself. He then conveyed him and his sister into the veriest old well of a shivering best-parlour that ever was seen. ‘Always a delicate creature. but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before. and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time. ‘You’re right. were waxy with cold. Spirit. whom a breath might have withered.
it’s old Fezziwig. ‘Know it. ‘I was apprenticed here. as I think.’ Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind. they were now in the busy thoroughfares of a city.’ said the Ghost. and answered briefly.A Christmas Carol ‘She died a woman.’ said Scrooge. and all the strife and tumult of a real city were. ‘Your nephew. that here too it was Christmas time again. ‘Yes. by the dressing of the shops.’ Although they had but that moment left the school behind them. The Ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door. and the streets were lighted up.’ ‘One child. children. and asked Scrooge if he knew it. sitting behind such a high desk. but it was evening.’ They went in. where shadowy carts and coaches battle for the way. that if he had been two inches taller he must have knocked his head against the ceiling. ‘and had. where shadowy passengers passed and repassed.’ said the Ghost. ‘True. At sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig.’ Scrooge returned.’ 48 of 138 . Scrooge cried in great excitement: ‘Why. it’s Fezziwig alive again. It was made plain enough. Bless his heart.
with a sharp clap of his hands. ‘Hilli-ho!’ cried old Fezziwig. two. He was very much attached to me. Christmas Eve. six — barred them and pinned then — seven. rich. yes. which pointed to the hour of seven. Dear.’ cried old Fezziwig. my lads. Ebenezer. and looked up at the clock. There he is. three — had them up in their places — four. Dick. laughed all over himself. and called out in a comfortable. to be sure. Poor Dick. ‘Bless me. skipping down from the high desk. was Dick. my boys. five.’ before a man can say Jack Robinson. nine — and came back before you could have got to twelve. jovial voice: ‘Yo ho. eight.’ ‘Yo ho. Ebenezer. Christmas. ‘Clear away. ‘Dick Wilkins. Dick.’ Scrooge’s former self.’ You wouldn’t believe how those two fellows went at it. there. panting like race-horses. came briskly in. now grown a young man. ‘No more work tonight. He rubbed his hands.A Christmas Carol Old Fezziwig laid down his pen. from his shows to his organ of benevolence. fat. They charged into the street with the shutters — one. Let’s have the shutters up.’ said Scrooge to the Ghost. oily. adjusted his capacious waistcoat. dear. 49 of 138 .’ said Fezziwig. accompanied by his fellow-prentice. with wonderful agility.
with old Fezziwig looking on. trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one. the lamps were trimmed. In they all 50 of 138 . as you would desire to see upon a winter’s night. In came the three Miss Fezziwigs. beaming and lovable. and bright a ball-room. In came all the young men and women employed in the business. or couldn’t have cleared away. Chirrup. fuel was heaped upon the fire. Dick.’ Clear away. the baker. who was suspected of not having board enough from his master. and went up to the lofty desk. It was done in a minute. In came the housemaid. with her cousin. with her brother’s particular friend. Hilli-ho. and dry. and warm. In came the cook. the floor was swept and watered. In came the boy from over the way. In came a fiddler with a music-book. There was nothing they wouldn’t have cleared away. and tuned like fifty stomach-aches. and made an orchestra of it. In came the six young followers whose hearts they broke. the milkman.A Christmas Carol and let’s have lots of room here. In came Mrs Fezziwig. Every movable was packed off. one vast substantial smile. as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore. and the warehouse was as snug. Ebenezer. who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress.
though there were no dancers yet. in they all came. and not a bottom one to help them. But the great effect of the evening came after the Roast and Boiled. some boldly. came. especially provided for that purpose. some awkwardly. some pulling. anyhow and everyhow. old Fezziwig. and he were a bran-new man resolved to beat him out of sight. and plenty of beer. some gracefully. and there were mince-pies. When this result was brought about. hands half round and back again the other way. There were more dances. Download the free trial version. as soon as they got there. and more dances. on a shutter. all top couples at last. exhausted.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. he instantly began again. down the middle and up again. upon his reappearance. and there was negus. new top couple starting off again. some shyly. cried out. and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled. clapping his hands to stop the dance. old top couple always turning up in the wrong place. Away they all went. some pushing. and there was a great piece of Cold Roast. when the fiddler (an 51 of 138 . view. and there was cake. and edit PDF. But scorning rest. round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping. as if the other fiddler had been carried home.’ and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of porter. twenty couples at once. one after another. or perish.’ Well done. and there were forfeits.
with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them. The sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him.A Christmas Carol artful dog. tell me higher. what would have become of them next. and so would Mrs Fezziwig. and came upon his feet again without a stagger. and I’ll use it. people who were not to be trifled with. at any given time. she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term. and back again to your place. If that’s not high praise. too. that he appeared to wink with his legs. bow and curtsey. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations. When the clock struck eleven. As to her. advance and retire. this domestic ball broke up. But if they had been twice as many — ah. and had no notion of walking.) struck up Sir Roger de Coverley. You couldn’t have predicted. mind. both hands to your partner. thread-theneedle. Fezziwig cut — cut so deftly. people who would dance. And when old Fezziwig and Mrs Fezziwig had gone all through the dance. one on 52 of 138 . Top couple. corkscrew. three or four and twenty pair of partners.’ Then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with Mrs Fezziwig. four times — old Fezziwig would have been a match for them. A positive light appeared to issue from Fezziwig’s calves. They shone in every part of the dance like moons.
and underwent the strangest agitation. ‘Why. Is it not. When everybody had retired but the two prentices. and became conscious that it was looking full upon him. The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices. remembered everything.’ echoed Scrooge. while the light upon its head burnt very clear. who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so. when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them. which were under a counter in the back-shop. they did the same to them. wished him or her a Merry Christmas. and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out. During the whole of this time.’ said the Ghost.A Christmas Carol either side of the door.’ ‘Small. Is that so much that he deserves this praise. that he remembered the Ghost. and the lads were left to their beds. and thus the cheerful voices died away.’ 53 of 138 . His heart and soul were in the scene. It was not until now. ‘A small matter. and with his former self. said. ‘to make these silly folks so full of gratitude. enjoyed everything. Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. He corroborated everything.
I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy.’ This was not addressed to Scrooge. in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then. and stopped. a man in the prime of life.A Christmas Carol ‘It isn’t that. ‘What is the matter.’ the Ghost insisted. Spirit. heated by the remark.’ said Scrooge. a pleasure or a toil. restless 54 of 138 . ‘No. There was an eager. ‘Something. is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.’ said Scrooge. ‘My time grows short. ‘It isn’t that. and speaking unconsciously like his former. greedy.’ observed the Spirit.’ No. ‘Nothing in particular.’ He felt the Spirit’s glance. That’s all. or to any one whom he could see. I think. His face had not the harsh and rigid lines of later years. Say that his power lies in words and looks. to make our service light or burdensome.’ said Scrooge. self. not his latter. The happiness he gives. but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice.’ His former self turned down the lamps as he gave utterance to the wish. ‘Quick. and Scrooge and the Ghost again stood side by side in the open air. He was older now. For again Scrooge saw himself.’ asked the Ghost. but it produced an immediate effect.
He was not alone. I have seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one. very little. Gain.’ he retorted. Have I not. but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a mourning-dress: in whose eyes there were tears.’ ‘What then. and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come.’ she answered. I have no just cause to grieve. ‘Even if I have grown so much wiser. which showed the passion that had taken root.A Christmas Carol motion in the eye.’ he rejoined. until the masterpassion. and where the shadow of the growing tree would fall.’ he said. softly.’ she said.’ ‘You fear the world too much. gently. Another idol has displaced me. ‘A golden one.’ ‘What Idol has displaced you. I am not changed towards you. ‘To you. what then. as I would have tried to do.’ 55 of 138 . which sparkled in the light that shone out of the Ghost of Christmas Past.’ ‘This is the even-handed dealing of the world. and there is nothing it professes to condemn with such severity as the pursuit of wealth. ‘All your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach. ‘It matters little. ‘There is nothing on which it is so hard as poverty. engrosses you.
How often and how keenly I have thought of this. in another atmosphere of life. no. in good season. we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry.’ tell me. Ah.’ said the girl. ‘Am I.’ he said impatiently. you were another man.’ ‘In what. until. upon him. I will not say. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart.’ ‘In words. In everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight. It was made when we were both poor and content to be so. in an altered spirit.’ ‘Have I ever sought release. When it was made. would you seek me out and try to win me now.’ ‘I was a boy. is fraught with misery now that we are two. another Hope as its great end. No. looking mildly. It is enough that I have thought of it. ‘I am. Never. and can release you. If this had never been between us. then.’ ‘Our contract is an old one.’ ‘In a changed nature.A Christmas Carol She shook her head. You are changed. ‘Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are.’ she returned. but with steadiness.’ 56 of 138 .
choosing her. A very. ‘Heaven knows. 57 of 138 . she resumed. but with her head turned from him. When I have learned a Truth like this. and I release you. and you will dismiss the recollection of it. in spite of himself. to-morrow.A Christmas Carol He seemed to yield to the justice of this supposition. But if you were free to-day. gladly. from which it happened well that you awoke. yesterday.’ You think not. do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow.’ ‘I would gladly think otherwise if I could. I do. can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl — you who.’ She left him. in your very confidence with her. With a full heart. I know how strong and irresistible it must be. weigh everything by Gain: or. if for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so. ‘You may — the memory of what is past half makes me hope you will — have pain in this. May you be happy in the life you have chosen. for the love of him you once were.’ she answered.’ He was about to speak. very brief time. and they parted. But he said with a struggle. as an unprofitable dream.
no. ‘No more. but every child was conducting itself like forty.’ But the relentless Ghost pinioned him in both his arms. soon beginning to mingle in the sports. on the contrary. so like that last that Scrooge believed it was the same.’ ‘One shadow more. for there were more children there. now a comely matron.’ said Scrooge. got pillaged by the young brigands most ruthlessly. They were in another scene and place. Show me no more.’ cried Scrooge. and the latter. Conduct me home. The noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous. and enjoyed it very much. but full of comfort. I don’t wish to see it. Near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl. not very large or handsome. I wouldn’t for the 58 of 138 . they were not forty children conducting themselves like one. and.’ show me no more. What would I not have given to one of them. a room.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit. Why do you delight to torture me. the mother and daughter laughed heartily. than Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count. unlike the celebrated herd in the poem. but no one seemed to care. ‘No more. no. The consequences were uproarious beyond belief. and forced him to observe what happened next.’ exclaimed the Ghost. sitting opposite her daughter. until he saw her. Though I never could have been so rude.
Then the shouting and the struggling. to have had the lightest licence of a child. hold on tight by his cravat. to have let loose waves of hair. and for the precious little shoe. to save my life. and never raised a blush. I should have liked. to have questioned her. and never come straight again. and torn it down. as they did. to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes. and yet to have been man enough to know its value. hug him round his 59 of 138 . The scaling him with chairs for ladders to dive into his pockets. to have touched her lips. God bless my soul. I own. who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents. an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price: in short. I wouldn’t have plucked it off. As to measuring her waist in sport.A Christmas Carol wealth of all the world have crushed that braided hair. that she might have opened them. despoil him of brown-paper parcels. And yet I should have dearly liked. just in time to greet the father. I should have expected my arm to have grown round it for a punishment. I do confess. I couldn’t have done it. bold young brood. But now a knocking at the door was heard. and the onslaught that was made on the defenceless porter. and such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing face and plundered dress was borne towards it the centre of a flushed and boisterous group.
and kick his legs in irrepressible affection. having his daughter leaning fondly on him. sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside. The terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a doll’s frying-pan into his mouth. The joy. might have called him father. The immense relief of finding this a false alarm. turning to his wife with a smile. They are all indescribable alike. and by one stair at a time. and been a spring-time in the haggard winter of his life. when the master of the house.’ said the husband. ‘Belle.’ ‘Guess. and so subsided. And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever. It is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour. The shouts of wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received. and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey. up to the top of the house. and gratitude.’ I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon.’ 60 of 138 .A Christmas Carol neck. quite as graceful and as full of promise. and ecstasy. pommel his back. his sight grew very dim indeed. glued on a wooden platter.’ ‘Who was it. and when he thought that such another creature. where they went to bed.
’ ‘Mr Scrooge it was.’ ‘I told you these were shadows of the things that have been.’ He turned upon the Ghost.A Christmas Carol ‘How can I. I do believe. ‘Mr Scrooge. do not blame me. ‘Leave me.’ she added in the same breath.’ Scrooge exclaimed. I could scarcely help seeing him. he 61 of 138 . ‘That they are what they are.’ said Scrooge in a broken voice.’ remove me from this place. wrestled with it.’ In the struggle. and there he sat alone.’ I cannot bear it. Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright.’ said the Ghost. Tut. and dimly connecting that with its influence over him. I passed his office window. I hear. in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him. and he had a candle inside.’ ‘Remove me. Quite alone in the world. Take me back.’ ‘Spirit. laughing as he laughed. His partner lies upon the point of death. 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. Haunt me no longer. and seeing that it looked upon him with a face. don’t I know. and as it was not shut up.
He was conscious of being exhausted. but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force. which streamed from under it. and. 62 of 138 . The Spirit dropped beneath it. so that the extinguisher covered its whole form. further. and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head. He gave the cap a parting squeeze. in which his hand relaxed. before he sank into a heavy sleep.A Christmas Carol seized the extinguisher-cap. and had barely time to reel to bed. of being in his own bedroom. in an unbroken flood upon the ground. and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness. he could not hide the light.
who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two. For. He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time. Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort. and edit PDF. finding that he turned uncomfortably cold when he began to wonder which of his curtains this new spectre would draw back. Scrooge had no occasion to be told that the bell was again upon the stroke of One. But. and sitting up in bed to get his thoughts together. Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits Awaking in the middle of a prodigiously tough snore. established a sharp look-out all round the bed. he put them every one aside with his own hands. for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger despatched to him through Jacob Marley’s intervention. Download the free trial version. express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter. no 63 of 138 . and being usually equal to the time-of-day. he wished to challenge the Spirit on the moment of its appearance. view. between which opposite extremes. and did not wish to be taken by surprise. and made nervous.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. and lying down again.
At last. which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour. without having the consolation of knowing it. and. as he was powerless to make out what it meant. he began to think — as you or I would have thought at first. when the Bell struck One. and that nothing between a baby and rhinoceros would have astonished him very much. I say. or would be at. I don’t mind calling on you to believe that he was ready for a good broad field of strange appearances. Without venturing for Scrooge quite as hardily as this. Five minutes. being only light. he was not by any means prepared for nothing. there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects. consequently. ten minutes. and would unquestionably have done it too — at last. and was sometimes apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion. he was taken with a violent fit of trembling. and which. being prepared for almost anything. yet nothing came. a quarter of an hour went by. he began to think that the source and secret of this 64 of 138 . however. the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light. Now. he lay upon his bed. was more alarming than a dozen ghosts. for it is always the person not in the predicament who knows what ought to have been done in it. All this time.A Christmas Carol doubt. and no shape appeared.
mistletoe. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. long wreaths of sausages. It was his own room. barrels of oysters. that it looked a perfect grove. or Marley’s. sucking-pigs. luscious pears. great joints of meat. Heaped up on the floor. from whence. bright gleaming berries glistened. as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there. This idea taking full possession of his mind. plum-puddings. cherry-cheeked apples. In easy 65 of 138 . and seething bowls of punch. The crisp leaves of holly.A Christmas Carol ghostly light might be in the adjoining room. mince-pies. brawn. There was no doubt about that. The moment Scrooge’s hand was on the lock. poultry. he got up softly and shuffled in his slippers to the door. as that dull petrification of a hearth had never known in Scrooge’s time. a strange voice called him by his name. He obeyed. and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney. from every part of which. game. red-hot chestnuts. and bade him enter. that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. were turkeys. or for many and many a winter season gone. to form a kind of throne. immense twelfth-cakes. and ivy reflected back the light. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green. geese. juicy oranges. on further tracing it. it seemed to shine.
or mantle. Its feet. ‘Come in. as he came peeping round the door. set here and there with shining icicles. that its capacious breast was bare. and though the Spirit’s eyes were clear and kind. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. Girded round its middle was an antique 66 of 138 . he did not like to meet them. its cheery voice. were also bare. Its dark brown curls were long and free. there sat a jolly Giant. and know me better.A Christmas Carol state upon this couch. high up. to shed its light on Scrooge. who bore a glowing torch. ‘Look upon me. its sparkling eye. ‘Come in. as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice.’ exclaimed the Ghost. glorious to see. its open hand. observable beneath the ample folds of the garment.’ Scrooge reverently did so.’ Scrooge entered timidly. free as its genial face.’ said the Spirit. It was clothed in one simple green robe. This garment hung so loosely on the figure. and held it up. and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath. in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn. He was not the dogged Scrooge he had been. and its joyful air. man. and hung his head before this Spirit. its unconstrained demeanour. bordered with white fur.
’ said Scrooge. red berries. and I learnt a lesson which is working now. meaning (for I am very young) my elder brothers born in these later years. sausages. and held it fast.’ ‘Touch my robe. Holly. game. To-night.’ conduct me where you will. I went forth last night on compulsion. turkeys.’ said Scrooge submissively. mistletoe.’ said the Ghost. pigs. and 67 of 138 . Spirit. ‘I don’t think I have. poultry. let me profit by it. meat. the ruddy glow.’ ‘More than eighteen hundred.’ pursued the Phantom. but no sword was in it. pies. and punch. geese.’ muttered Scrooge.’ Scrooge made answer to it. the hour of night. oysters.’ Scrooge did as he was told. fruit. ivy. The Ghost of Christmas Present rose. if you have aught to teach me. ‘I am afraid I have not. So did the room. Have you had many brothers. ‘Spirit.’ exclaimed the Spirit. puddings. ‘Have never walked forth with the younger members of my family. ‘A tremendous family to provide for. and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.A Christmas Carol scabbard. all vanished instantly. ‘You have never seen the like of me before. brawn. ‘Never. the fire.
in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of their dwellings. and with the dirtier snow upon the ground. whose heavier particles descended in shower of sooty atoms. furrows that crossed and recrossed each other hundreds of times where the great streets branched off. but brisk and not unpleasant kind of music. and from the tops of their houses. There was nothing very cheerful in the climate or the town. whence it was mad delight to the boys to see it come plumping down into the road below. contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs. and made intricate channels. hard to trace in the thick yellow mud and icy water. and the windows blacker. and were blazing away to their dear hearts’ content.A Christmas Carol they stood in the city streets on Christmas morning. by one consent. and yet was there an air of cheerfulness abroad that the clearest summer air and 68 of 138 . and splitting into artificial little snow-storms. The house fronts looked black enough. which last deposit had been ploughed up in deep furrows by the heavy wheels of carts and waggons. as if all the chimneys in Great Britain had. caught fire. half thawed. half frozen. and the shortest streets were choked up with a dingy mist. The sky was gloomy. where (for the weather was severe) the people made a rough.
and glanced demurely at the hung-up mistletoe. in the shopkeepers’ benevolence to dangle from conspicuous hooks. broad-girthed Spanish onions. calling out to one another from the parapets. and now and then exchanging a facetious snowball — better-natured missile far than many a wordy jest — laughing heartily if it went right and not less heartily if it went wrong. and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic opulence. the people who were shovelling away on the housetops were jovial and full of glee. brown-faced. that people’s mouths might water gratis as they passed. ancient walks among the woods. round. round. The poulterers’ shops were still half open. There were great. shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen. there were piles of filberts. and winking from their shelves in wanton slyness at the girls as they went by. lolling at the doors. There were ruddy. in their fragrance. shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars. there were bunches of grapes. pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts. and the fruiterers’ were radiant in their glory. mossy and brown. clustered high in blooming pyramids. made. recalling. and pleasant shufflings ankle deep through 69 of 138 . For.A Christmas Carol brightest summer sun might have endeavoured to diffuse in vain. There were pears and apples.
the almonds so extremely white. squab and swarthy. the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint and subsequently bilious. or even that the raisins were so plentiful and rare. appeared to know that there was something going on.A Christmas Carol withered leaves. nearly closed. or that the French plums blushed in 70 of 138 . the other spices so delicious. oh the Grocers’. or that the canisters were rattled up and down like juggling tricks. the sticks of cinnamon so long and straight. The Grocers’. It was not alone that the scales descending on the counter made a merry sound. or that the twine and roller parted company so briskly. or one. or even that the blended scents of tea and coffee were so grateful to the nose. though members of a dull and stagnant-blooded race. went gasping round and round their little world in slow and passionless excitement. and. setting off the yellow of the oranges and lemons. and. there were Norfolk Biffins. Nor was it that the figs were moist and pulpy. with perhaps two shutters down. in the great compactness of their juicy persons. The very gold and silver fish. urgently entreating and beseeching to be carried home in paper bags and eaten after dinner. to a fish. set forth among these choice fruits in a bowl. but through those gaps such glimpses.
flocking through the streets in their best clothes. in the best humour possible. that they tumbled up against each other at the door. sprinkled incense on their dinners from his torch. to church and chapel. for he stood with Scrooge beside him in a baker’s doorway. worn outside for general inspection. crashing their wicker baskets wildly. But soon the steeples called good people all. and away they came. and came running back to fetch them. and for Christmas daws to peck at if they chose. for once or twice 71 of 138 . and left their purchases upon the counter. 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.A Christmas Carol modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes. And at the same time there emerged from scores of byestreets. but the customers were all so hurried and so eager in the hopeful promise of the day. and nameless turnings. and taking off the covers as their bearers passed. and with their gayest faces. or that everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress. The sight of these poor revellers appeared to interest the Spirit very much. innumerable people. lanes. and committed hundreds of the like mistakes. carrying their dinners to the baker’ shops. And it was a very uncommon kind of torch.
72 of 138 . so it was. ‘Because it needs it most. In time the bells ceased. he shed a few drops of water on them from it. in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker’s oven.A Christmas Carol when there were angry words between some dinnercarriers who had jostled each other. To a poor one most. ‘There is. ‘To any kindly given.’ cried the Spirit.’ asked Scrooge.’ ‘Why to a poor one most.’ asked Scrooge. and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking.’ I wonder you. after a moment’s thought. it was a shame to quarrel upon Christmas Day. where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too.’ ‘Spirit. For they said. And so it was. of all the beings in the many worlds about us. ‘Is there a peculiar flavour in what you sprinkle from your torch. and the bakers were shut up. God love it.’ asked Scrooge.’ ‘Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day.’ said Scrooge. should desire to cramp these people’s opportunities of innocent enjoyment. and their good humour was restored directly.’ ‘I. My own.
It has been done in your name. and they went on. and charge their doings on themselves.’ said Scrooge. and who do their deeds of passion. ill-will. It was a remarkable quality of the Ghost (which Scrooge had observed at the baker’s). bigotry. into the suburbs of the town.’ exclaimed the Spirit.’ said Scrooge. who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin. and that he stood beneath a low roof quite as gracefully and like a supernatural creature. ‘There are some upon this earth of yours. as they had been before. envy. invisible. Remember that. not us.’ Scrooge promised that he would. as it was possible he could have done in any lofty hall. and selfishness in our name.’ cried the Spirit. 73 of 138 . ‘And it comes to the same thing. hatred. as if they had never lived. or at least in that of your family. he could accommodate himself to any place with ease.A Christmas Carol ‘You would deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day. pride. often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all.’ said Scrooge. that notwithstanding his gigantic size.’ who lay claim to know us. ‘Forgive me if I am wrong. ‘Wouldn’t you.’ ‘I seek. ‘You seek to close these places on the Seventh Day.’ returned the Spirit.’ ‘I.
and on the threshold of the door the Spirit smiled. and yet the Ghost of Christmas Present blessed his four-roomed house. hearty nature. holding to his robe. and his sympathy with all poor men. he pocketed on Saturdays but fifteen copies of his Christian name. for there he went. and yearned to show his linen in the fashionable Parks. or else it was his own kind. second of her daughters. also brave in ribbons. and getting the corners of his monstrous shirt collar (Bob’s private property. came tearing in. Bob had but fifteen bob a-week himself. that led him straight to Scrooge’s clerk’s. and took Scrooge with him. conferred upon his son and heir in honour of the day) into his mouth.A Christmas Carol And perhaps it was the pleasure the good Spirit had in showing off this power of his. generous. dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned gown. screaming that outside the baker’s they had smelt the goose. while Master Peter Cratchit plunged a fork into the saucepan of potatoes. And now two smaller Cratchits. but brave in ribbons. and stopped to bless Bob Cratchit’s dwelling with the sprinkling of his torch. Cratchit’s wife. which are cheap and make a goodly show for sixpence. and she laid the cloth. boy and girl. Think of that. rejoiced to find himself so gallantly attired. Then up rose Mrs Cratchit. assisted by Belinda Cratchit. and known it for their 74 of 138 .
own. ‘Here’s Martha.’ cried the two young Cratchits. knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled. no. mother. and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion. my dear.’ ‘No. how late you are. ‘We’d a deal of work to finish up last night.’ ‘Well. Never mind so long as you are come. mother. bless your heart alive. while he (not proud. ‘What has ever got your precious father then. ‘Hurrah. my dear.’ said a girl.’ said Mrs Cratchit. these young Cratchits danced about the table.’ 75 of 138 . and edit PDF. Martha.’ ‘Here’s Martha.’ said Mrs Cratchit.’ cried the two young Cratchits. There’s father coming. And Martha warn’t as late last Christmas Day by half-an-hour. who were everywhere at once. and exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies. Tiny Tim. ‘And your brother. appearing as she spoke. although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire.’ said Mrs Cratchit. Martha.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. There’s such a goose.’ replied the girl. ‘Sit ye down before the fire.’ ‘Why. hide. until the slow potatoes bubbling up. kissing her a dozen times. mother. and have a warm. ‘Hide. Lord bless ye. and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with officious zeal.’ and had to clear away this morning. Download the free trial version. view.
if it were only in joke.’ said Bob. sitting by himself so much. and had come home rampant. and his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed. with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe. ‘Not coming. ‘And how did little Tim behave. to look seasonable.A Christmas Carol So Martha hid herself. the father.’ Martha didn’t like to see him disappointed. and had his limbs supported by an iron frame.’ said Bob. looking round. and Bob had hugged his daughter to his heart’s content.’ cried Bob Cratchit. so she came out prematurely from behind the closet door. while the two young Cratchits hustled Tiny Tim.’ said Mrs Cratchit. Somehow he gets thoughtful. and thinks the 76 of 138 . ‘As good as gold. when she had rallied Bob on his credulity. for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church. ‘Not coming upon Christmas Day. and in came little Bob. ‘Why. that he might hear the pudding singing in the copper. hanging down before him. asked Mrs Cratchit. with a sudden declension in his high spirits. he bore a little crutch. ‘Not coming. and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder.’ and better. and ran into his arms. and bore him off into the wash-house. Alas for Tiny Tim. where’s our Martha.
they were capable of being made more shabby — compounded some hot mixture in a jug with gin and lemons. and blind men see. and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty.’ Bob’s voice was tremulous when he told them this. and back came Tiny Tim before another word was spoken. that he hoped the people saw him in the church. and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits went to fetch the goose. He told me.A Christmas Carol strangest things you ever heard. because he was a cripple. Master Peter. with which they soon returned in high procession. coming home. escorted by his brother and sister to his stool before the fire. Master Peter mashed the potatoes with 77 of 138 . and while Bob. and stirred it round and round and put it on the hob to simmer. Such a bustle ensued that you might have thought a goose the rarest of all birds. to which a black swan was a matter of course — and in truth it was something very like it in that house. Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot. a feathered phenomenon. poor fellow. and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day. His active little crutch was heard upon the floor. who made lame beggars walk. turning up his cuffs — as if.
and grace was said. one murmur of delight arose all round the board. it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family. Miss Belinda sweetened up the applesauce. prepared to plunge it in the breast. Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table. excited by the two young Cratchits. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes. Martha dusted the hot plates. indeed. were steeped in sage and 78 of 138 . It was succeeded by a breathless pause. looking slowly all along the carving-knife. lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped. Its tenderness and flavour. There never was such a goose.A Christmas Carol incredible vigour. and mounting guard upon their posts. crammed spoons into their mouths. size and cheapness. beat on the table with the handle of his knife. as Mrs Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish). but when she did. At last the dishes were set on. as Mrs Cratchit. and when the long expected gush of stuffing issued forth. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Yet every one had had enough. the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody. they hadn’t ate it all at last. were the themes of universal admiration. and the youngest Cratchits in particular. not forgetting themselves. and even Tiny Tim. and feebly cried Hurrah.
and calmly too. Oh. But now. Mrs Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered — flushed. Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in. but smiling proudly — with the pudding. That was the cloth. Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard. That was the pudding. Bob Cratchit said. The pudding was out of the copper. while they were merry with the goose — a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became livid. like a speckled cannon-ball. Hallo. A smell like a washing-day. and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top. a wonderful pudding.A Christmas Carol onion to the eyebrows. and stolen it. that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy. A great deal of steam. she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity 79 of 138 . Suppose it should not be done enough. Suppose it should break in turning out. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other. with a laundress’s next door to that. All sorts of horrors were supposed. so hard and firm. the plates being changed by Miss Belinda.
80 of 138 . Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing. and wished to keep him by his side. meaning half a one. apples and oranges were put upon the table. the hearth swept. At last the dinner was all done. It would have been flat heresy to do so.A Christmas Carol of flour. and dreaded that he might be taken from him. ‘God bless us every one. Everybody had something to say about it. the cloth was cleared. as if he loved the child. in what Bob Cratchit called a circle. Two tumblers. and at Bob Cratchit’s elbow stood the family display of glass. and considered perfect. my dears. while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire. and a custard-cup without a handle. The compound in the jug being tasted. and Bob served it out with beaming looks. He sat very close to his father’s side upon his little stool. Then Bob proposed: ‘A Merry Christmas to us all. the last of all. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth. as well as golden goblets would have done.’ Which all the family re-echoed.’ said Tiny Tim. and the fire made up. God bless us. however. These held the hot stuff from the jug. Bob held his withered little hand in his. but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family.
not adamant. kind Spirit. none other of my race. and decrease the surplus population. ‘if man you be in heart.’ replied the Ghost.’ said Scrooge. ‘Oh. It may be. and a crutch without an owner. that in the sight of Heaven. you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. with an interest he had never felt before. he had better do it. forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is. and was overcome with penitence and grief.’ ‘If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. carefully preserved.’ returned the Ghost. no.’ said Scrooge. ‘Man.’ ‘No.’ Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit. What then. no. ‘will find him here.’ ‘I see a vacant seat.’ 81 of 138 . to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust. say he will be spared. Will you decide what men shall live.A Christmas Carol ‘Spirit. ‘in the poor chimney-corner. ‘tell me if Tiny Tim will live. what men shall die. If he be like to die.’ said the Ghost. the child will die. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future. and Where it is. Oh God.
’ said she. poor fellow.’ ‘I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s. ‘I’ll give you Mr Scrooge.’ ‘My dear. and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it. ‘Christmas Day.’ The children drank the toast after her. Robert. I have no doubt.’ ‘It should be Christmas Day.’ said Bob. reddening. He’ll be very merry and very happy.’ ‘The Founder of the Feast indeed. unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. Tiny Tim drank it last of all. Nobody knows it better than you do. You know he is.’ was Bob’s mild answer. ‘Mr Scrooge. and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon.’ said Mrs Cratchit. Scrooge was the Ogre of the family. ‘the children. the Founder of the Feast. A merry Christmas and a happy new year. on hearing his own name. I am sure. ‘on which one drinks the health of such an odious. But he raised them speedily.’ said Bob. Christmas Day. Long life to him.A Christmas Carol Scrooge bent before the Ghost’s rebuke. ‘I wish I had him here. It was the first of their proceedings which had no heartiness. ‘not for his. stingy. but he didn’t care twopence for it. hard.’ cried Mrs Cratchit. The mention of his 82 of 138 .’ ‘My dear.
as if he were deliberating what particular investments he should favour when he came into the receipt of that bewildering income. Martha. and how many hours she worked at a stretch. at which Peter pulled up his collars so high that you couldn’t have seen his head if you had been there. Bob Cratchit told them how he had a situation in his eye for Master Peter. full five-and-sixpence weekly. Also how she had seen a countess and a lord some days before. and by-andbye they had a song. The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter’s being a man of business. then told them what kind of work she had to do. and how the lord was much about as tall as Peter. which would bring in. they were ten times merrier than before.A Christmas Carol name cast a dark shadow on the party. about a lost child travelling in the 83 of 138 . All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round. which was not dispelled for full five minutes. After it had passed away. if obtained. and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars. and how she meant to lie abed to-morrow morning for a good long rest. from the mere relief of Scrooge the Baleful being done with. to-morrow being a holiday she passed at home. who was a poor apprentice at a milliner’s.
and deep red curtains. They were not a handsome family. pleased with one another. and contented with the time. and there a group of handsome 84 of 138 . and sang it very well indeed. brothers. grateful. By this time it was getting dark. parlours. ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness.A Christmas Carol snow. their shoes were far from being water-proof. and all sorts of rooms. the inside of a pawnbroker’s. was wonderful. There all the children of the house were running out into the snow to meet their married sisters. and looked happier yet in the bright sprinklings of the Spirit’s torch at parting. they were not well dressed. were shadows on the windowblind of guests assembling. and snowing pretty heavily. and be the first to greet them. aunts. from Tiny Tim. again. they were happy. and when they faded. the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens. and especially on Tiny Tim. uncles. who had a plaintive little voice. until the last. Scrooge had his eye upon them. and Peter might have known. and as Scrooge and the Spirit went along the streets. Here. cousins. But. Here. There was nothing of high mark in this. and very likely did. with hot plates baking through and through before the fire. their clothes were scanty. the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner.
where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about. they stood upon a bleak and desert moor. and opened its capacious palm. woe upon the single man who saw them enter — artful witches.A Christmas Carol girls. and piling up its fires half-chimney high. you might have thought that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there. as though it were the burial-place of giants. outpouring. instead of every house expecting company. with a generous hand. without a word of warning from the Ghost. how the Ghost exulted. well they knew it — in a glow. and who was dressed to spend the evening somewhere. or would have done so. laughed out loudly as the Spirit passed. all hooded and fur-booted. The very lamplighter. And now. How it bared its breadth of breast. who ran on before. and floated on. if you had judged from the numbers of people on their way to friendly gatherings. tripped lightly off to some near neighbour’s house. where. Blessings on it. and nothing grew but moss and 85 of 138 . dotting the dusky street with specks of light. and water spread itself wheresoever it listed. and all chattering at once. But. though little kenned the lamplighter that he had any company but Christmas. but for the frost that held it prisoner. its bright and harmless mirth on everything within its reach.
‘But they know me.’ A light shone from the window of a hut.’ asked Scrooge. 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. The Spirit did not tarry here. his vigour sank again. and swiftly they advanced towards it. which glared upon the desolation for an instant. who labour in the bowels of the earth. ‘What place is this. Passing through the wall of mud and stone. the old man got quite blithe and loud. Down in the west the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red. lower yet. sped — whither. they found a cheerful company assembled round a glowing fire. but bade Scrooge hold his robe. ‘A place where Miners live. all decked out gaily in their holiday attire. and another generation beyond that. like a sullen eye. 86 of 138 . So surely as they raised their voices. and passing on above the moor. An old. and so surely as they stopped. and frowning lower. was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night. with their children and their children’s children.’ returned the Spirit. and coarse rank grass. See. old man and woman. lower. in a voice that seldom rose above the howling of the wind upon the barren waste.A Christmas Carol furze.
a frightful range of rocks. and edit PDF. the wild year through. too. being far away. there stood a solitary lighthouse. as sea-weed of the water — rose and fell about it. as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself. To Scrooge’s horror. Joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. Again the Ghost sped on. he saw the last of the land. and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water. Not to sea. as he told Scrooge. To sea. on which the waters chafed and dashed. two men who watched the light had made a fire. looking back. some league or so from shore. Download the free trial version. and one of them: the elder. that through the loophole in the thick stone wall shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. But even here. Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks. behind them. as it rolled and roared. on — until. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base. and storm-birds — born of the wind one might suppose. with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather. above the black and heaving sea — on. like the waves they skimmed. and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn. 87 of 138 . view. and fiercely tried to undermine the earth. they wished each other Merry Christmas in their can of grog.
had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year. while thus engaged. ha. ha. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel. with homeward hopes belonging to it. good or bad.’ laughed Scrooge’s nephew. whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge. It was a great surprise to Scrooge. but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune. the officers who had the watch. waking or sleeping.’ 88 of 138 . and looking at that same nephew with approving affability. ‘Ha. It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognise it as his own nephew’s and to find himself in a bright. the look-out in the bow. gleaming room. dark. ghostly figures in their several stations. and had shared to some extent in its festivities.A Christmas Carol from any shore. or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day. and had known that they delighted to remember him. ha. with the Spirit standing smiling by his side. they lighted on a ship. ‘Ha. and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss. to hear a hearty laugh. and had remembered those he cared for at a distance. or had a Christmas thought. while listening to the moaning of the wind. dry. And every man on board.
’ said Scrooge’s niece. Fred. by any unlikely chance. I should like to know him too. ‘He believed it too. noble adjustment of things. Bless those women. ha. capital face. all kinds of good little dots about her chin. ha.’ ‘More shame for him. that seemed made to be kissed — as no doubt it was. They are always in earnest. that while there is infection in disease and sorrow. and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece. a ripe little mouth. indignantly. even-handed. and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. She was very pretty: exceedingly pretty. It is a fair.A Christmas Carol If you should happen. Ha. roared out lustily. ha. they never do anything by halves. laughed as heartily as he. rolling his head. ‘Ha. that melted into one another when she laughed. by marriage. as I live. ha. surprised-looking. With a dimpled. to know a man more blest in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew. Introduce him to me. all I can say is. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides. there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. and the 89 of 138 .’ ‘He said that Christmas was a humbug.’ cried Scrooge’s nephew.
‘He’s a comical old fellow. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking — ha. Himself. ha. my dear.’ observed Scrooge’s niece. 90 of 138 .’ that’s the truth: and not so pleasant as he might be. I think he loses a very good dinner. I have. and all the other ladies. ‘Oh. However. ‘His wealth is of no use to him. you know. Here. but satisfactory.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Everybody else said the same. ha. He don’t do any good with it.’ ‘I’m sure he is very rich. and he won’t come and dine with us.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. ‘I am sorry for him. his offences carry their own punishment. and I have nothing to say against him. always. ‘At least you always tell me so.’ ‘Indeed. expressed the same opinion.’ hinted Scrooge’s niece. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. — that he is ever going to benefit us with it. Altogether she was what you would have called provoking. He don’t lose much of a dinner. Fred.’ interrupted Scrooge’s niece.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. Scrooge’s niece’s sisters. What’s the consequence.’ ‘What of that. Who suffers by his ill whims. he takes it into his head to dislike us.’ ‘I have no patience with him. I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried.A Christmas Carol sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little creature’s head.
’ said Scrooge’s niece. his example was unanimously followed. as I think. that he loses some pleasant moments. Fred. ‘because I haven’t great faith in these young housekeepers. ‘Do go on. What do you say. I am 91 of 138 .’ Topper had clearly got his eye upon one of Scrooge’s niece’s sisters. and not making merry with us. which could do him no harm. ‘Well. though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar. by lamplight.’ that the consequence of his taking a dislike to us. clapping her hands. were clustered round the fire.’ Scrooge’s nephew revelled in another laugh. is. Topper. and. because they had just had dinner.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. and as it was impossible to keep the infection off. who had no right to express an opinion on the subject. for he answered that a bachelor was a wretched outcast. Whereat Scrooge’s niece’s sister — the plump one with the lace tucker: not the one with the roses — blushed. ‘I was only going to say. He is such a ridiculous fellow. ‘He never finishes what he begins to say.A Christmas Carol and they must be allowed to have been competent judges.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. with the dessert upon the table. I’m very glad to hear it.
whether he likes it or not. and passed the bottle joyously. but he can’t help thinking better of it — I defy him — if he finds me going there. and played among other tunes a simple little air (a mere nothing: you might learn to whistle it in two minutes). If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor clerk fifty pounds. Scrooge’s niece played well upon the harp. and I think I shook him yesterday. and not much caring what they laughed at. I can assure you: especially Topper. when they sung a Glee or Catch. so that they laughed at any rate. who could growl away in the bass like a good one. I mean to give him the same chance every year. He may rail at Christmas till he dies. how are you. or get red in the face over it. that’s something. either in his mouldy old office.A Christmas Carol sure he loses pleasanter companions than he can find in his own thoughts. After tea. and knew what they were about.’ It was their turn to laugh now at the notion of his shaking Scrooge. and never swell the large veins in his forehead. year after year. they had some music. which had been familiar to the child who 92 of 138 . But being thoroughly good-natured. in good temper. or his dusty chambers. For they were a musical family. for I pity him. and saying Uncle Scrooge. he encouraged them in their merriment.
He always knew where the plump sister was. without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley. came upon his mind. Of course there was. There was first a game at blind-man’s buff. My opinion is. years ago.A Christmas Carol fetched Scrooge from the boarding-school. He wouldn’t catch anybody else. But they didn’t devote the whole evening to music. was an outrage on the credulity of human nature. Stop. he softened more and more. when its mighty Founder was a child himself. as he had been reminded by the Ghost of Christmas Past. and thought that if he could have listened to it often. And I no more believe Topper was really blind than I believe he had eyes in his boots. that it was a done thing between him and Scrooge’s nephew. all the things that Ghost had shown him. he might have cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands. and never better than at Christmas. The way he went after that plump sister in the lace tucker. smothering himself among the curtains. Knocking down the fire-irons. After a while they played at forfeits. there went he. and that the Ghost of Christmas Present knew it. wherever she went. for it is good to be children sometimes. If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did). on 93 of 138 . When this strain of music sounded. bumping against the piano. tumbling over the chairs.
and it really was not. he got her into a corner whence there was no escape. they were so very confidential together. But she joined in the forfeits. where the Ghost and Scrooge were close behind her. beat her sisters hollow: though they 94 of 138 . he would have made a feint of endeavouring to seize you. another blind-man being in office. and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger. he caught her. then his conduct was the most execrable. his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress. For his pretending not to know her. in a snug corner. was vile. which would have been an affront to your understanding. behind the curtains. When. She often cried out that it wasn’t fair. Scrooge’s niece was not one of the blind-man’s buff party. and her rapid flutterings past him.A Christmas Carol purpose. But when at last. Likewise at the game of How. and Where. and a certain chain about her neck. in spite of all her silken rustlings. when. and to the secret joy of Scrooge’s nephew. and loved her love to admiration with all the letters of the alphabet. No doubt she told him her opinion of it. when. she was very great. but was made comfortable with a large chair and a footstool. monstrous. and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister.
and talked sometimes. but they all played. and walked about the streets. an animal that growled and grunted sometimes. as could have told you. a live animal. too. There might have been twenty people there. ‘Here is a new game. warranted not to cut in the eye. ‘One half hour.A Christmas Carol were sharp girls too. The Ghost was greatly pleased to find him in this mood. rather a disagreeable animal. wholly forgetting the interest he had in what was going on. where Scrooge’s nephew had to think of something. Spirit. and lived in London. and very often guessed quite right. and looked upon him with such favour. he sometimes came out with his guess quite loud. for. and wasn’t 95 of 138 . a savage animal. The brisk fire of questioning to which he was exposed. blunt as he took it in his head to be. elicited from him that he was thinking of an animal. and the rest must find out what. and wasn’t made a show of. that he begged like a boy to be allowed to stay until the guests departed.’ It was a Game called Yes and No.’ said Scrooge. and so did Scrooge. as the case was. young and old. best Whitechapel. But this the Spirit said could not be done. was not sharper than Scrooge. that his voice made no sound in their ears. only one. for the sharpest needle. he only answering to their questions yes or no.
At every fresh question that was put to him. or a tiger. or a pig. or a cat. or a bear. ‘It’s your Uncle Scrooge. and I say. and was not a horse. or a cow.’ Which it certainly was.’ inasmuch as an answer in the negative was sufficient to have diverted their thoughts from Mr Scrooge.’ said Fred. Fred.’ and it would be ungrateful not to drink his health.’ they cried. or a dog.‘‘ ‘Well. ‘He has given us plenty of merriment. supposing they had ever had any tendency that way. I know what it is.’ ought to have been ‘Yes.A Christmas Carol led by anybody. and was never killed in a market. I know what it is. Here is a glass of mulled wine ready to our hand at the moment. and didn’t live in a menagerie. or an ass. falling into a similar state. and was so inexpressibly tickled. Admiration was the universal sentiment. though some objected that the reply to ‘Is it a bear.’ ‘What is it. At last the plump sister.’ cried Fred. 96 of 138 . cried out: ‘I have found it out. or a bull. this nephew burst into a fresh roar of laughter. that he was obliged to get up off the sofa and stamp. Uncle Scrooge. I am sure. ‘Uncle Scrooge.
on foreign lands. and thanked them in an inaudible speech. if it were only a night. hospital. It was strange.’ said Scrooge’s nephew. that while Scrooge 97 of 138 . and it was rich. nevertheless. but may he have it. and they were close at home. Much they saw. because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. and taught Scrooge his precepts. and many homes they visited. if the Ghost had given him time. and he and the Spirit were again upon their travels. It was a long night. where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out. and they were patient in their greater hope. but Scrooge had his doubts of this. whatever he is. and they were cheerful. that he would have pledged the unconscious company in return.’ Uncle Scrooge had imperceptibly become so gay and light of heart. by poverty.A Christmas Carol ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the old man. and far they went. too. ‘He wouldn’t take it from me. by struggling men. In almshouse. but always with a happy end. and jail. But the whole scene passed off in the breath of the last word spoken by his nephew. The Spirit stood beside sick beds. he left his blessing. Uncle Scrooge. in misery’s every refuge.
and clung upon the outside of its garment. Is it a foot or a claw. and not belonging to yourself. he noticed that its hair was grey. hideous. wretched. protruding from your skirts. The time is drawing near. ‘My life upon this globe. ‘To-night at midnight.’ asked Scrooge. until they left a children’s Twelfth Night party.’ said Scrooge. Hark. for the flesh there is upon it.A Christmas Carol remained unaltered in his outward form. it brought two children. but never spoke of it.’ cried Scrooge. clearly older.’ From the foldings of its robe. 98 of 138 . miserable. looking intently at the Spirit’s robe. They knelt down at its feet. abject. is very brief.’ replied the Ghost.’ was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place. ‘Look here. the Ghost grew older. ‘Are spirits’ lives so short. ‘It ends to-night.’ but I see something strange. Scrooge had observed this change.’ The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment. ‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask.’ ‘To-night. when.’ ‘It might be a claw. frightful.
Where angels might have sat enthroned. wolfish. Download the free trial version. and all of their degree.’ cried the Spirit. ‘Spirit. he tried to say they were fine children. meagre. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out. but prostrate. They were a boy and a girl. look here. Yellow. devils lurked.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. and touched them with its freshest tints. ragged. in any grade. This girl is Want.’ exclaimed the Ghost. in their humility. appalled. had pinched. a stale and shrivelled hand. look. for on his brow I see that written which is Doom. like that of age. no perversion of humanity. are they yours. and pulled them into shreds. down here. ‘They are Man’s.’ Scrooge could say no more. too. scowling. and edit PDF. Deny it. rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. 99 of 138 . Having them shown to him in this way. unless the writing be erased. view. ‘Oh. through all the mysteries of wonderful creation. has monsters half so horrible and dread. Look. but most of all beware this boy. appealing from their fathers. Scrooge started back. Beware them both. and glared out menacing. ‘And they cling to me. This boy is Ignorance. Man. no degradation. and twisted them.’ said the Spirit. looking down upon them. but the words choked themselves. No change.
coming. Admit it for your factious purposes. and make it worse.’ cried Scrooge. like a mist along the ground. beheld a solemn Phantom. towards him.’ said the Spirit. 100 of 138 . he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley.’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource. Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost. and lifting up his eyes. ‘Are there no workhouses.’ The bell struck twelve. draped and hooded. turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no prisons. And abide the end. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate. and saw it not. ‘Slander those who tell it ye.A Christmas Carol stretching out its hand towards the city.
‘You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened.’ said Scrooge. Scrooge bent down upon his knee. its face. He knew no more. He felt that it was tall and stately when it came beside him. which concealed its head. but pointed onward with its hand.’ Scrooge pursued. and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. for the Spirit neither spoke nor moved. ‘I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. The Spirit answered not.A Christmas Carol Stave 4: The Last of the Spirits The Phantom slowly. its form. ‘Is that so. and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded. silently approached. Spirit.’ 101 of 138 . gravely. It was shrouded in a deep black garment. and that its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread. but will happen in the time before us. for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. When it came. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night.
’ he exclaimed. and do it with a thankful heart. as observing his condition. while he. Although well used to ghostly company by this time. It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror. The Spirit pauses a moment. Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him. That was the only answer he received. ‘Ghost of the Future. to know that behind the dusky shroud. I am prepared to bear you company. But Scrooge was all the worse for this. though he stretched his own to the utmost. 102 of 138 . and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it.’ I fear you more than any spectre I have seen.A Christmas Carol The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds.’ It gave him no reply. Will you not speak to me. there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him. The hand was pointed straight before them. But as I know your purpose is to do me good. could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black. and giving him time to recover. as if the Spirit had inclined its head. and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was.
But there they were. Observing that the hand was pointed to them. The Spirit stopped beside one little knot of business men. Scrooge followed in the shadow of its dress. amongst the merchants. who hurried up and down. Scrooge advanced to listen to their talk.’ I don’t know much about it.’ 103 of 138 . The night is waning fast. and trifled thoughtfully with their great gold seals.A Christmas Carol ‘Lead on. and chinked the money in their pockets. Spirit. he thought.’ said Scrooge. ‘No. and carried him along. on Change. and it is precious time to me. ‘Last night. as Scrooge had seen them often.’ ‘When did he die.’ said a great fat man with a monstrous chin. I know. in the heart of it. I believe. and encompass them of its own act.’ The Phantom moved away as it had come towards him. I only know he’s dead. which bore him up. and looked at their watches. They scarcely seemed to enter the city.’ inquired another. either way. Lead on. and so forth. for the city rather seemed to spring up about them. and conversed in groups. ‘Lead on.
‘It’s likely to be a very cheap funeral. with a yawn. after all. yawning again.’ observed the gentleman with the excrescence on his nose. ‘Left it to his company.’ ‘I don’t mind going if a lunch is provided.’ for I never wear black gloves. ‘I thought he’d never die.’ said the first speaker. for we used to stop and speak whenever we met.’ ‘God knows. if I make one. I’m not at all sure that I wasn’t his most particular friend.’ This pleasantry was received with a general laugh.’ Another laugh.’ for upon my life I don’t know of anybody to go to it. and I never eat lunch. But I’ll offer to go.’ said the same speaker. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer.’ said the man with the large chin.’ said the first. When I come to think of it. what was the matter with him.’ asked a red-faced gentleman with a pendulous excrescence on the end of his nose. I am the most disinterested among you.’ asked a third. ‘I haven’t heard. that shook like the gills of a turkey-cock. He hasn’t left it to me. perhaps. if anybody else will.’ 104 of 138 . ‘But I must be fed. bye.A Christmas Carol ‘Why. ‘What has he done with his money. That’s all I know. ‘Well. Bye. taking a vast quantity of snuff out of a very large snuffbox.
isn’t it.’ ‘Seasonable for Christmas time.’ said one. You’re not a skater.’ Not another word. That was their meeting. ‘Cold. and of great importance.’ said the first. hey. No. He knew these men. strictly in a business point of view.’ ‘So I am told. ‘How are you. perfectly. Something else to think of. The Phantom glided on into a street. They were men of aye business: very wealthy.A Christmas Carol Speakers and listeners strolled away. ‘Old Scratch has got his own at last. that is. Scrooge knew the men. Scrooge listened again. Scrooge was at first inclined to be surprised that the Spirit should attach importance to conversations apparently so trivial. but feeling assured that they must 105 of 138 . ‘Well. Good morning.’ returned the second. and looked towards the Spirit for an explanation. Its finger pointed to two persons meeting. ‘How are you. and mixed with other groups. He had made a point always of standing well in their esteem: in a business point of view.’ ‘No. their conversation.’ returned the other. thinking that the explanation might lie here. I suppose. and their parting. also.
however. and thought and hoped he saw his new-born resolutions carried out in this. and this Ghost’s province was the Future. for that was Past.A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. his old partner. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard. They could scarcely be supposed to have any bearing on the death of Jacob. and everything he saw. It gave him little surprise. He looked about in that very place for his own image. he fancied from the turn of the hand. to whom he could apply them. But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. 106 of 138 . and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there. Nor could he think of any one immediately connected with himself. he saw no likeness of himself among the multitudes that poured in through the Porch. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life. beside him stood the Phantom. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. Quiet and dark. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. with its outstretched hand. but another man stood in his accustomed corner.
It made him shudder. and dirt. was a grey-haired rascal. were bought. The ways were foul and narrow. disgorged their offences of smell.A Christmas Carol and its situation in reference to himself. that the Unseen Eyes were looking at him keenly. ugly. and life. Secrets that few would like to scrutinise were bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags. and feel very cold. chains. who had screened himself from the cold air without. weights. where iron. Far in this den of infamous resort. Alleys and archways. below a pent-house roof. nails. and refuse iron of all kinds. by a charcoal stove. the shops and houses wretched. and its bad repute. like so many cesspools. files. and misery. upon the straggling streets. made of old bricks. bottles. there was a lowbrowed. drunken. and went into an obscure part of the town. and sepulchres of bones. with filth. old rags. slipshod. 107 of 138 . nearly seventy years of age. scales. and greasy offal. by a frousy curtaining of miscellaneous tatters. beetling shop. Sitting in among the wares he dealt in. masses of corrupted fat. bones. were piled up heaps of rusty keys. although he recognised its situation. Upon the floor within. the people half-naked. where Scrooge had never penetrated before. and the whole quarter reeked with crime. hinges. They left the busy scene.
when another woman. came in too. 108 of 138 .’ ‘You couldn’t have met in a better place. you know. ha. and the other two an’t strangers.A Christmas Carol hung upon a line. There an’t such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges. old Joe. as mine. similarly laden. But she had scarcely entered. ‘Let the laundress alone to be the second. they all three burst into a laugh. and I’m sure there’s no such old bones here. After a short period of blank astonishment. and let the undertaker’s man alone to be the third. Look here. than they had been upon the recognition of each other.’ cried she who had entered first. just as a woman with a heavy bundle slunk into the shop. removing his pipe from his mouth. here’s a chance. I believe. in which the old man with the pipe had joined them. Ah. ‘Come into the parlour.’ said old Joe. and smoked his pipe in all the luxury of calm retirement. How it skreeks. Scrooge and the Phantom came into the presence of this man. Ha. If we haven’t all three met here without meaning it. ‘Let the charwoman alone to be the first. Stop till I shut the door of the shop. and she was closely followed by a man in faded black. You were made free of it long ago. who was no less startled by the sight of them.
’ ‘No.’ ‘Very well. woman.A Christmas Carol We’re all suitable to our calling. Not a dead man. indeed. Come into the parlour. ‘That’s enough. and looking with a bold defiance at the other two.’ said the laundress. and having trimmed his smoky lamp (for it was night). Come into the parlour. Mrs Dilber.’ ‘Why then. with the stem of his pipe. Who’s the worse for the loss of a few things like these. and sat down in a flaunting manner on a stool. crossing her elbows on her knees. 109 of 138 . What odds.’ said Mrs Dilber and the man together. He always did. the woman who had already spoken threw her bundle on the floor. ‘What odds then. put it in his mouth again. ‘We should hope not. ‘No man more so.’ ‘That’s true. laughing. While he did this. The old man raked the fire together with an old stair-rod. indeed. indeed. ‘Every person has a right to take care of themselves. then.’ said the woman. I suppose. we’re well matched.’ cried the woman. don’t stand staring as if you was afraid. who’s the wiser. We’re not going to pick holes in each other’s coats. I suppose.’ ‘No.’ said Mrs Dilber.’ The parlour was the space behind the screen of rags.
alone by himself.’ ‘I wish it was a little heavier judgment. They were severally examined and appraised by old Joe. were all. nor afraid for them to see it. and added them up into a total when he found there was nothing more to come. mounting the breach first. I believe. and a brooch of no great value. who chalked the sums he was disposed to give for each. Open the bundle. and the man in faded black. If he had been. and let me know the value of it. produced his plunder. if I could have laid my hands on anything else. a pair of sleeve-buttons. upon the wall. Joe.’ pursued the woman. you may depend upon it. It was not extensive. ‘It’s a judgment on him. a pencil-case. Speak out plain.’ replied the woman.’ why wasn’t he natural in his lifetime. instead of lying gasping out his last there.’ ‘It’s the truest word that ever was spoke.’ But the gallantry of her friends would not allow of this. old Joe. Open that bundle. I’m not afraid to be the first.A Christmas Carol ‘If he wanted to keep them after he was dead. before we met here. We know pretty well that we were helping ourselves.’ said Mrs Dilber. he’d have had somebody to look after him when he was struck with Death. a wicked old screw. A seal or two. 110 of 138 .’ and it should have been. It’s no sin.
It’s a weakness of mine. ‘Yes I do. Download the free trial version.’ replied the woman. Joe.’ and I wouldn’t give another sixpence. rings and all. view.’ ‘You don’t mean to say you took them down. ‘Bed-curtains. Joe went down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening it.’ Mrs Dilber was next.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create. two old-fashioned silver teaspoons.’ 111 of 138 .’ said the first woman. If you asked me for another penny. and that’s the way I ruin myself. and made it an open question.’ said Joe. ‘That’s your account. and having unfastened a great many knots. ‘That’s your account. ‘What do you call this. ‘Bed-curtains.’ said Joe. laughing and leaning forward on her crossed arms. Her account was stated on the wall in the same manner. dragged out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff.’ returned the woman. Sheets and towels. if I was to be boiled for not doing it. Who’s next. a pair of sugar-tongs. I’d repent of being so liberal and knock off half-a-crown.’ said Joe.’ said old Joe. and a few boots.’ ‘And now undo my bundle. and edit PDF. ‘I always give too much to ladies.’ ‘Ah. a little wearing apparel. with him lying there. ‘Why not.
for the sake of such a man as he was. They’d have wasted it. stopping in his work. you may look through that shirt till your eyes ache. but I took it off again. Ah. I dare say. ‘Don’t you be afraid of that. if it hadn’t been for me. I promise you. but you won’t find a hole in it.’ replied the woman with a laugh.’ said Joe. nor a threadbare place. now.’ asked old Joe.’ returned the woman. ‘Whose else’s do you think.A Christmas Carol ‘You were born to make your fortune. It’s quite as becoming to the body.’ replied the woman.’ asked Joe.’ ‘What do you call wasting of it. to be sure. and a fine one too.’ 112 of 138 . and looking up. He can’t look uglier than he did in that one. It’s the best he had. when I can get anything in it by reaching it out. ‘I an’t so fond of his company that I’d loiter about him for such things. if he did.’ returned the woman coolly. ‘Somebody was fool enough to do it. If calico an’t good enough for such a purpose. Joe.’ ‘I certainly shan’t hold my hand. ‘He isn’t likely to take cold without them. ‘Don’t drop that oil upon the blankets.’ said old Joe.’ ‘His blankets.’ and you’ll certainly do it. Eh. ‘Putting it on him to be buried in.’ ‘I hope he didn’t die of any thing catching. it isn’t good enough for anything.
you see. for the scene had changed. shuddering from head to foot. ‘This is the end of it. 113 of 138 . Merciful Heaven. though the demons. ‘Ha. uncurtained bed: on which. though Scrooge glanced round it in obedience to a secret impulse. and on it.’ said Scrooge.A Christmas Carol Scrooge listened to this dialogue in horror. ha. which. I see. He frightened every one away from him when he was alive. and now he almost touched a bed: a bare. now. there lay a something covered up. ‘I see. in the scanty light afforded by the old man’s lamp. Ha. rising in the outer air. to profit us when he was dead. fell straight upon the bed.’ laughed the same woman. producing a flannel bag with money in it. told out their several gains upon the ground. which could hardly have been greater. announced itself in awful language. marketing the corpse itself. The case of this unhappy man might be my own. when old Joe. ha.’ ‘Spirit. My life tends that way. what is this. too dark to be observed with any accuracy. anxious to know what kind of room it was. he viewed them with a detestation and disgust. ha. As they sat grouped about their spoil. A pale light.’ He recoiled in terror. The room was very dark. beneath a ragged sheet. plundered and bereft. though it was dumb.
A Christmas Carol unwatched. if this man could be raised up now. and true. revered. warm. would have disclosed the face. Strike. thou canst not turn one hair to thy dread purposes. set up thine altar here. rigid. No voice pronounced these words in Scrooge’s ears. Shadow. And see his good deeds springing from the wound. He thought. strike. The cover was so carelessly adjusted that the slightest raising of it. or make one feature odious. cold. what would 114 of 138 . dreadful Death. and yet he heard them when he looked upon the bed. to sow the world with life immortal. it is not that the heart and pulse are still. Oh cold. Its steady hand was pointed to the head. and honoured head. and longed to do it. the heart brave. Scrooge glanced towards the Phantom. felt how easy it would be to do. He thought of it. and the pulse a man’s. unwept. It is not that the hand is heavy and will fall down when released. but that the hand was open. and dress it with such terrors as thou hast at thy command: for this is thy dominion. but had no more power to withdraw the veil than to dismiss the spectre at his side. and tender. generous. was the body of this man. But of the loved. uncared for. the motion of a finger upon Scrooge’s part.
’ Again it seemed to look upon him. a woman. in the dark empty house. ‘If there is any person in the town. They have brought him to a rich end. or a child. ‘show that person to me.’ said Scrooge quite agonised. I beseech you.’ Still the Ghost pointed with an unmoved finger to the head. I shall not leave its lesson. trust me. griping cares. and why they were so restless and disturbed. hard-dealing. revealed a room by daylight. Spirit. Scrooge did not dare to think.’ he said. who feels emotion caused by this man’s death. A cat was tearing at the door. But I have not the power. truly. Let us go.’ this is a fearful place.’ and I would do it. In leaving it. to say that he was kind to me in this or that.’ Scrooge returned. and for the memory of one kind word I will be kind to him. Avarice. I have not the power. where a mother and her children were. He lay. with not a man. ‘Spirit. Spirit.A Christmas Carol be his foremost thoughts.’ The Phantom spread its dark robe before him for a moment. ‘I understand you. if I could. like a wing. What they wanted in the room of death. and there was a sound of gnawing rats beneath the hearth-stone. and withdrawing it. 115 of 138 .
amazed. and with anxious eagerness.’ she said. ‘He is dead. though he was young. started at every sound.’ she said. if such a miracle has happened. and she 116 of 138 . to work with her needle. glanced at the clock.’ ‘He is past relenting. he appeared embarrassed how to answer. ‘We are quite ruined. Caroline. There was a remarkable expression in it now.’ said her husband.’ ‘If he relents. and when she asked him faintly what news (which was not until after a long silence).’ he answered. a man whose face was careworn and depressed. ‘Bad.’ ‘No. and met her husband. but she was thankful in her soul to hear it.A Christmas Carol She was expecting some one. Nothing is past hope. ‘there is. for she walked up and down the room. tried.’ She was a mild and patient creature if her face spoke truth. but in vain. and could hardly bear the voices of the children in their play. At length the long-expected knock was heard. a kind of serious delight of which he felt ashamed. ‘Is it good. He sat down to the dinner that had been boarding for him by the fire. ‘or bad?’ — to help him. looked out from the window. She hurried to the door. There is hope yet. and which he struggled to repress.
but the first was the emotion of her heart. which we left just now. Soften it as they would.’ ‘To whom will our debt be transferred. was one of pleasure. their hearts were lighter. caused by the event. and was sorry. Caroline. hushed and clustered round to hear what they so little understood.’ or that dark chamber. He was not only very ill. and it was a happier house for this man’s death. when I tried to see him and obtain a week’s delay. But before that time we shall be ready with the money.’ ‘I don’t know. Spirit.’ Yes. 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. were brighter. and even though we were not. We may sleep to-night with light hearts. She prayed forgiveness the next moment. The children’s faces. then. will be for ever present to me. ‘What the half-drunken woman whom I told you of last night. but dying.’ said Scrooge. said to me.A Christmas Carol said so.’ 117 of 138 . with clasped hands. and what I thought was a mere excuse to avoid me. ‘Let me see some tenderness connected with a death. turns out to have been quite true.
‘And he took a child. the dwelling he had visited before. The mother laid her work upon the table. ‘They’re better now again. and I wouldn’t show 118 of 138 .’ she said. The mother and her daughters were engaged in sewing. Very quiet. But surely they were very quiet. ‘The colour hurts my eyes. and put her hand up to her face. and as they went along. The boy must have read them out. and found the mother and the children seated round the fire.A Christmas Carol The Ghost conducted him through several streets familiar to his feet. but nowhere was he to be seen. ‘It makes them weak by candle-light. who had a book before him. and sat looking up at Peter.’ said Cratchit’s wife. The colour. poor Tiny Tim. Quiet. and set him in the midst of them. They entered poor Bob Cratchit’s house. He had not dreamed them. Why did he not go on. The noisy little Cratchits were as still as statues in one corner. Ah. Scrooge looked here and there to find himself.’ Where had Scrooge heard those words. as he and the Spirit crossed the threshold.
’ ‘Past it rather.’ exclaimed another. that it was no trouble: no trouble. shutting up his book. and little Bob in his comforter — he had need of it. very fast indeed. ‘But I think he has walked a little slower than he used. intent upon her work. Don’t be grieved. ‘But he was very light to carry.’ she resumed.’ They were very quiet again. 119 of 138 . At last she said.’ She hurried out to meet him.’ cried Peter.’ Don’t mind it. Then the two young Cratchits got upon his knees and laid. and they all tried who should help him to it most. He looked at the work upon the table. So had all. against his face. ‘Often. His tea was ready for him on the hob. as if they said.’ Peter answered.’ ‘And so have I. father. these few last evenings. for the world. each child a little cheek. And there is your father at the door.A Christmas Carol weak eyes to your father when he comes home. mother. cheerful voice.’ Bob was very cheerful with them. and spoke pleasantly to all the family. poor fellow — came in.’ ‘And so have I. and in a steady. that only faltered once: ‘I have known him walk with — I have known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder.’ and his father loved him so. It must be near his time.
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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It was a worthy place.A Christmas Carol A churchyard. Walled in by houses. the wretched man whose name he had now to learn.’ said Scrooge. not life. but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape. choked up with too much burying. they must lead. lay underneath the ground.’ The Spirit was immovable as ever. ‘answer me one question. The Phantom was exactly as it had been. A worthy place. trembling as he went. overrun by grass and weeds. the growth of vegetation’s death. the ends will change. Scrooge crept towards it. only. Here.’ said Scrooge. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be. 124 of 138 . fat with repleted appetite. and following the finger. ‘Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends.’ Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood. ‘Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point. The Spirit stood among the graves. then. He advanced towards it trembling. Ebenezer Scrooge. ‘But if the courses be departed from. if persevered in. and pointed down to One. to which. read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name. Say it is thus with what you show me. or are they shadows of things that May be.
The finger pointed from the grave to him. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. stronger yet. tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone. by an altered life. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me. ‘I will honour Christmas in my heart. as down upon the ground he fell before it:’ Your nature intercedes for me. he caught the spectral hand. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. if I am past all hope.’ In his agony. The Spirit. Oh no. I am not the man I was. repulsed him.’ The kind hand trembled. It sought to free itself. and try to keep it all the year. Oh.’ For the first time the hand appeared to shake.’ he cried. and pities me. ‘No. Spirit. no.A Christmas Carol ‘Am I that man who lay upon the bed. ‘Good Spirit. and detained it. Why show me this. the Present.’ The finger still was there. but he was strong in his entreaty. upon his knees. and back again. and the Future.’ he cried.’ he pursued. I will live in the Past. ‘Spirit.’ hear me. tight clutching at its robe. 125 of 138 . The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
and dwindled down into a bedpost. 126 of 138 . It shrunk.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.
’ His hands were busy with his garments all this time. They will be. rings and all. Heaven. and his face was wet with tears. on my knees. folding one of his bed-curtains in his arms. the Present. ‘The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.’ He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions. the Time before him was his own.’ Scrooge repeated. Best and happiest of all.A Christmas Carol Stave 5: The End of It Yes! and the bedpost was his own. may be dispelled. They are here — I am here — the shadows of the things that would have been. and the Future. making them parties to every kind of extravagance. putting them on upside down. the room was his own. Oh Jacob Marley. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit. old Jacob. tearing them. to make amends in! ‘I will live in the Past.’ cried Scrooge. The bed was his own. mislaying them. ‘They are not torn down. 127 of 138 .’ they are not torn down. I say it on my knees. that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. I know they will. turning them inside out. as he scrambled out of bed. and the Christmas Time be praised for this.
‘I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits. Whoop. The father of a long. by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered. There’s the window where I saw the wandering Spirits.’ cried Scrooge.’ 128 of 138 .’ He had frisked into the sitting-room. it was a splendid laugh. A merry Christmas to everybody. I’m quite a baby.’ said Scrooge. ‘I don’t know what day of the month it is. laughing and crying in the same breath. Ha ha ha. Never mind. ‘I am as light as a feather.’ Really. I am as merry as a schoolboy. A happy New Year to all the world. and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. Hallo. a most illustrious laugh. starting off again. for a man who had been out of practice for so many years. I’d rather be a baby. I don’t know anything. There’s the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present. I am as happy as an angel. It’s all right. I don’t care. and was now standing there: perfectly winded. ‘There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in. Hallo. sat. Hallo here. and going round the fireplace. long line of brilliant laughs. it all happened. it’s all true.A Christmas Carol ‘I don’t know what to do. Whoop. ‘There’s the door. I am as giddy as a drunken man.’ cried Scrooge. Hallo here.
‘Do you know the Poulterer’s. bell. dong. he opened it.’ said Scrooge. ‘Why. clear.’ ‘It’s Christmas Day. my fine fellow.’ said Scrooge to himself. merry bells.’ Scrooge inquired. cold. ‘Eh. Of course they can. Oh. ‘What’s to-day. glorious. my fine fellow. glorious. ding. Oh. Glorious. ‘To-day. calling downward to a boy in Sunday clothes. clang. with all his might of wonder. jovial. clash. Clash.A Christmas Carol He was checked in his transports by the churches ringing out the lustiest peals he had ever heard. Christmas Day. hammer.’ replied the boy. in the next street but one. stirring. piping for the blood to dance to.’ replied the lad.’ cried Scrooge. The Spirits have done it all in one night. Running to the window.’ returned the boy.’ ‘Hallo. No fog. Hallo. Of course they can. 129 of 138 . clang. hammer. and put out his head. ‘I should hope I did. They can do anything they like. ‘What’s to-day. Bell. no mist. bright. glorious. ‘I haven’t missed it. dong.’ returned the boy. Heavenly sky. Golden sunlight. sweet fresh air. who perhaps had loitered in to look about him. ding. at the corner. cold.
somehow. ‘Go and buy it.’ replied the boy. ‘I am in earnest. and tell them to bring it here. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob’s will be.’ whispered Scrooge. no. He must have had a steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast. rubbing his hands. my buck.’ said Scrooge.’ The hand in which he wrote the address was not a steady one. ‘It’s a pleasure to talk to him.’ ‘It’s hanging there now.’ ‘Walk-er. ‘I’ll send it to Bon Cratchit’s.’ ‘What. Go and buy it. Come back with the man.’ said Scrooge. that I may give them the direction where to take it. and splitting with a laugh.’ The boy was off like a shot. ‘What a delightful boy.A Christmas Carol ‘An intelligent boy. ‘Is it. but write it he did.’ said Scrooge. ‘No.’ exclaimed the boy. and I’ll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less than five minutes and I’ll give you half-a-crown.’ returned the boy. the one as big as me.’ said Scrooge. and went 130 of 138 . ‘A remarkable boy. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim. Yes. Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there — Not the little prize Turkey: the big one. ‘He shan’t know who sends it.
and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy. He would have snapped them short off in a minute.’ said Scrooge. and shaving requires attention.A Christmas Carol down-stairs to open the street door. it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town. that bird. ‘Why.’ cried Scrooge. even when you don’t dance while you are at it. What an honest expression it has in its face. Shaving was not an easy task. were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless in his chair again. How are you. Hallo. and the chuckle with which he paid for the Turkey. 131 of 138 . But if he had cut the end of his nose off. as long as I live. for his hand continued to shake very much. he would have put a piece of sticking-plaster over it. like sticks of sealing-wax. ready for the coming of the poulterer’s man. and been quite satisfied. Whoop. ‘You must have a cab. waiting his arrival. ‘I shall love it. Merry Christmas. ‘I scarcely ever looked at it before.’ The chuckle with which he said this. — Here’s the Turkey. and chuckled till he cried. He never could have stood upon his legs. and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab. As he stood there. the knocker caught his eye. patting it with his hand.’ It was a Turkey. It’s a wonderful knocker.
as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present. and he took it. in a word.A Christmas Carol He dressed himself all in his best. He had not gone far. when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman. Allow me to ask your pardon. The people were by this time pouring forth. It was very kind of you. and said. He looked so irresistibly pleasant.’ ‘Yes. ‘How do you do. and at last got out into the streets.’ ‘Mr Scrooge. A merry Christmas to you. quickening his pace. I hope you succeeded yesterday. I believe.’ And Scrooge said often afterwards.’ said Scrooge. that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard. A merry Christmas to you. and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. and I fear it may not be pleasant to you. And 132 of 138 . but he knew what path lay straight before him.’ Good morning.’ It sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met. those were the blithest in his ears. that three or four goodhumoured fellows said.’ Scrooge and Marley’s. who had walked into his counting-house the day before. ‘My dear sir. ‘That is my name. and walking with his hands behind him. Scrooge regarded every one with a delighted smile. sir.’ said Scrooge. sir.
Bless you.’ ‘My dear sir.’ He went to church. and looked down into the kitchens of houses.’ ‘If you please. I thank you fifty times.’ said Scrooge. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house. And it was clear he meant to do it. and watched the people hurrying to and fro. as if his breath were taken away.’ retorted Scrooge. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. and found that everything could yield him pleasure. shaking hands with him. Will you do me that favour.A Christmas Carol will you have the goodness’ — here Scrooge whispered in his ear.’ said the other. and walked about the streets. are you serious. ‘My dear Mr Scrooge. ‘Lord bless me. ‘Come and see me. ‘Not a farthing less. I assure you. ‘Thank you.’ ‘Don’t say anything please. ‘I am much obliged to you. and up to the windows.’ said Scrooge. A great many back-payments are included in it. ‘I don’t know what to say to such munificence. and patted children on the head. 133 of 138 . Will you come and see me.’ cried the gentleman. and questioned beggars.’ ‘I will.’ cried the old gentleman.
Very.’ ‘Where is he. my dear. round the door. Nice girl. ‘Why bless my soul. ‘Yes. ‘He’s in the dining-room. for the moment.’ cried Fred.’ said Scrooge to the girl. with his hand already on the dining-room lock.’ He turned it gently. ‘Fred.’ 134 of 138 . and like to see that everything is right. Dear heart alive.’ who’s that. Scrooge had forgotten. He knows me.A Christmas Carol He passed the door a dozen times. ‘I’ll go in here. along with mistress. and sidled his face in. if you please. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array). on any account. my dear. sir.’ said Scrooge. But he made a dash. sir.’ ‘Thank you. before he had the courage to go up and knock. I’ll show you up-stairs.’ said Scrooge. and did it: ‘Is your master at home. my love. how his niece by marriage started. about her sitting in the corner with the footstool. or he wouldn’t have done it. for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points.’ said Scrooge.
‘Hallo. Wonderful party. Nothing could be heartier. He was at home in five minutes. Scrooge sat with his door wide open. A quarter past. And he did it. before he opened the door. No Bob.’ growled Scrooge. yes. It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. he was early there. sir. driving away with his pen. The clock struck nine. No Bob. and catch Bob Cratchit coming late. as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock. So did Topper when he came. that he might see him come into the Tank. his comforter too.’ ‘I am very sorry. His niece looked just the same. That was the thing he had set his heart upon.’ Let him in. in his accustomed voice. he did. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in.’ 135 of 138 . wonderful happiness. and edit PDF. But he was early at the office next morning. He was full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. ‘What do you mean by coming here at this time of day. So did every one when they came. He was on his stool in a jiffy. view. ‘I am behind my time. Download the free trial version.’ said Bob. as near as he could feign it. wonderful unanimity. ‘It’s I. Fred. Oh. So did the plump sister when she came. Your uncle Scrooge. If he could only be there first. wonderful games. His hat was off.eBook brought to you by A Christmas Carol Create.
’ said Scrooge. Bob. I’ll tell you what. holding him. I’ll raise your salary. leaping from his stool.’ said Scrooge. I think you are.’ he continued.’ 136 of 138 . if you please.’ ‘It’s only once a year. with an earnestness that could not be mistaken. And therefore. Step this way. and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon. and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait-waistcoat. my friend. Bob Cratchit. ‘It shall not be repeated. my good fellow. Bob. Bob. ‘A merry Christmas. sir. and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i. ‘A merrier Christmas. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it. over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop. Make up the fires.’ and therefore I am about to raise your salary. and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the Tank again. and got a little nearer to the ruler.’ ‘Now. than I have given you for many a year.’ I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer.’ Bob trembled.’ repeated Scrooge. I was making rather merry yesterday.A Christmas Carol ‘You are.’ pleaded Bob. appearing from the Tank. as he clapped him on the back. sir. sir. and endeavour to assist your struggling family. ‘Yes.
if any man alive possessed the knowledge. and it was always said of him.A Christmas Carol Scrooge was better than his word. but he let them laugh. or borough. that he knew how to keep Christmas well. for good. and all of us! And so. or any other good old city. He did it all. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. as Tiny Tim observed. God bless Us. and as good a man. for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him. as the good old city knew. as good a master. Every One! 137 of 138 . He had no further intercourse with Spirits. he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins. and to Tiny Tim. town. in the good old world. at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset. May that be truly said of us. and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway. ever afterwards. as have the malady in less attractive forms. but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle. and infinitely more. He became as good a friend. and little heeded them. he was a second father. who did not die.
A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .
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