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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol

Even this, though, when Scrooge looked at it with increasing steadiness, was not its strangest quality. For as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part and now in another, and what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness: being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away. And in the very wonder of this, it would be itself again; distinct and clear as ever. ‘Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me.’ asked Scrooge. ‘I am.’ The voice was soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if instead of being so close beside him, it were at a distance. ‘Who, and what are you.’ Scrooge demanded. ‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.’ ‘Long Past.’ inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature. ‘No. Your past.’ Perhaps, Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered. 38 of 138

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‘What.’ exclaimed the Ghost, ‘would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give. Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow.’ Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully bonneted the Spirit at any period of his life. He then made bold to inquire what business brought him there. ‘Your welfare.’ said the Ghost. Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end. The Spirit must have heard him thinking, for it said immediately: ‘Your reclamation, then. Take heed.’ It put out its strong hand as it spoke, and clasped him gently by the arm. ‘Rise. and walk with me.’ It would have been in vain for Scrooge to plead that the weather and the hour were not adapted to pedestrian purposes; that bed was warm, and the thermometer a long way below freezing; that he was clad but lightly in his slippers, dressing-gown, and nightcap; and that he had a cold upon him at that time. The grasp, though gentle as a 39 of 138

A Christmas Carol

woman’s hand, was not to be resisted. He rose: but finding that the Spirit made towards the window, clasped his robe in supplication. ‘I am mortal,’ Scrooge remonstrated, ‘and liable to fall.’ ‘Bear but a touch of my hand there,’ said the Spirit, laying it upon his heart,’ and you shall be upheld in more than this.’ As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground. ‘Good Heaven!’ said Scrooge, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. ‘I was bred in this place. I was a boy here.’ The Spirit gazed upon him mildly. Its gentle touch, though it had been light and instantaneous, appeared still present to the old man’s sense of feeling. He was conscious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares long, long, forgotten. ‘Your lip is trembling,’ said the Ghost. ‘And what is that upon your cheek.’ 40 of 138

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol 138 of 138 .