A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens

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A Christmas Carol

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D. December, 1843.

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Stave 1: Marley’s Ghost
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffinnail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and is conveyed by other ministers. ‘Slow!’ the Ghost repeated. to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. Incessant torture of remorse. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house — mark me! — in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole. in a business-like manner.’ the Ghost replied. I cannot rest. whenever he became thoughtful. Jacob. Ebenezer Scrooge. A very little more. and weary journeys lie before me!’ It was a habit with Scrooge. or getting off his knees. 28 of 138 . ‘Seven years dead. ‘You must have been very slow about it.’ mused Scrooge. but without lifting up his eyes. though with humility and deference. I cannot linger anywhere. ‘And travelling all the time!’ ‘The whole time. I cannot stay. ‘On the wings of the wind. Pondering on what the Ghost had said. to put his hands in his breeches pockets.’ replied the Ghost.’ ‘You travel fast?’ said Scrooge. ‘It comes from other regions.A Christmas Carol ‘I have none to give.’ Scrooge observed. he did so now. no peace. ‘No rest.’ said the Ghost. is all permitted to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol

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

A Christmas Carol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .

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