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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quiet and dark. They could scarcely be supposed to have any bearing on the death of Jacob. For he had an expectation that the conduct of his future self would give him the clue he missed. and this Ghost’s province was the Future. But nothing doubting that to whomsoever they applied they had some latent moral for his own improvement. he set himself to consider what it was likely to be. and everything he saw. and though the clock pointed to his usual time of day for being there. It gave him little surprise. and especially to observe the shadow of himself when it appeared. 106 of 138 .A Christmas Carol have some hidden purpose. he fancied from the turn of the hand. with its outstretched hand. to whom he could apply them. for that was Past. for he had been revolving in his mind a change of life. but another man stood in his accustomed corner. his old partner. he saw no likeness of himself among the multitudes that poured in through the Porch. and would render the solution of these riddles easy. beside him stood the Phantom. however. He looked about in that very place for his own image. 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. When he roused himself from his thoughtful quest. he resolved to treasure up every word he heard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .

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