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