Christmas Carol (Version 11) | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Audio Book | English | 1/2

Christmas Carol (Version 11) | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Audio Book | English | 1/2



preface and stave one of a Christmas carol this is it librivox recording all librivox recordings are in the public domain for more information or to volunteer please visit librivox.org a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens preface and stave 1 preface I have endeavored 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 wished to lay it their faithful friend and servant CED December 1843 stave 1 Marley's ghost Marley was dead to begin with there was no doubt whatever about that the register of his burial was signed by the clergyman the clerk the Undertaker in 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 doornail 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 coffin nail 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 doornail 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 event but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral and solemnized it with an undoubted bargain the mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from there is no doubt that Marley was dead this must be distinctly understood or Nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate if we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's father died before the play began there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night in an easterly wind upon his own ramparts then there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rationally turning out after dark in a breezy spot say st. Paul's churchyard for instance literally to astonish his sons a weak mind Scrooge never painted out old Marley's name there it stood years afterward above the warehouse door Scrooge and Marley the firm was known as Scrooge and Marley sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge and sometimes Marley but he answered to both names it was all the same to him oh but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone Scrooge a squeezing wrenching grasping scraping clutching covetous old sinner hard and sharp as Flint from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire secret and self-contained and solitary as an oyster the cold within him froze his old features nipped his pointed nose shriveled his cheek stiffened his gait made his eyes red his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice a frosty rime was on his head and on his eyebrows and his wiry chin he carried his own low temperature always about with him he iced his office in the dog days and didn't thought one degree at Christmas external heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge no warmth could warm no wintry weather chew him no wind that blew was bitterer than he no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose no pelting rain less open to entreaty foul weather didn't know where to have him the heaviest rain and snow and hail and sleet could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect they often came down handsomely and Scrooge never did nobody ever stopped him in the street to say with gladsome looks my dear Scrooge how are you when will you come to see me no beggars implored him to bestow a trifle no children asked him what it was a clock no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such in such a place of Scrooge even the blind men's dogs appeared to know him and when they saw him coming on would tug their owners into doorways and up courts and then would wag their tails as though they said no eye at all is better than an evil eye dark master but what did Scrooge care it was the very thing he liked to edge his way along the crowded paths of life warning all humans sympathy to keep its distance was what the knowing ones call nuts to Scrooge once upon a time of all the good days in the year on Christmas Eve old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house it was cold bleak biting weather foggy with halt and you could hear the people in the court outside go wheezing up and down beating their hands upon their breasts and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them the city clock said only just gone three but it was quite dark already it had not been light all day and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air the fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole and was so dense without that although the court was of the narrowest the houses opposite were mere phantoms to see the dingy cloud come drooping down obscuring everything one might have thought that nature lived hard by and was brewing on a large scale the door of Scrooge's counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk who in a dismal little cell beyond a sort of tank was copying letters Scrooge had a very small fire but the clerk's fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal but he couldn't replenish it for Scrooge kept the coal box in his own room and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part where for the clerk put on his white comforter and tried to warm himself at the candle in which effort not being a man of a strong imagination he failed a Merry Christmas uncle god save you cried a cheerful voice it was the voice of Scrooge's nephew who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach bad said Scrooge humbug he had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost this nephew of Scrooge's that he was all in a glow his face was ruddy and handsome his eyes sparkled and his breath smoked again Christmas a humbug uncle said Scrooge's nephew you don't mean that I am sure I do said Scrooge Merry Christmas what right have you to be merry what reason have you to be merry yeah poor enough come then returned the nephew gaily what right have you to be dismal what reason have you to be morose you're rich enough Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment said back again and followed it up with humbug don't be cross uncle said the nephew what else can I be returned the uncle 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 a time for finding yourself a year older but not an hour richer a time for balance in your books and having every item in um threw around dozen of months presented dead against you if I could work my will said Scrooge indignantly every idiot who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding and buried with a stake of Holly through his heart he should uncle pleaded the nephew nephew returned the uncle sternly keep Christmas in your own way and let me keep it in mine keep it repeated Scrooge's nephew but you don't keep it let me leave it alone then said Scrooge how much good may it do you much good it has ever done you there are many things from which I might have derived goodbye which I have not profited I dare say returned the nephew Christmas among the rest but I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time when it has come round apart from the veneration due to its sacred name in origin if anything belonging to it can be apart from that as a good time a kind forgiving charitable Pleasant time the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem by one consent to open their shutup hearts freely and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys and therefore uncle though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket I believe that it has done me good and will do me good and I say God bless it the clerk in the tank involuntarily applauded becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety he poked the fire and extinguished the last frail spark forever let me hear another sound from you said Scrooge and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation they're quite a powerful speaker sir he added turning to his nephew I wonder you don't go into Parliament don't be angry uncle come dine with us tomorrow scrooge said that he would see him yes indeed he did he went the whole length of the expression and said that he would see him in that extremity first but why cried Scrooge's nephew why why did you get married said Scrooge because I fell in love because you fell in love growled Scrooge as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a Merry Christmas good afternoon may uncle but you never came to see me before that happened why give it as a reason for not coming now good afternoon said Scrooge I want nothing from you I ask nothing of you why cannot we be friends good afternoon said Scrooge I am sorry with all my heart to find you so resolute we have never had any quarrels which I have been a party but I have made the trial in homage to Christmas and I'll keep my Christmas humour to the last so a Merry Christmas uncle good afternoon said Scrooge and a Happy New Year good afternoon said Scrooge his nephew left the room without an angry word notwithstanding he stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk who cold as he was was warmer than Scrooge for he returned them cordially there's another fellow muttered Scrooge who overheard him my clerk with 15 shillings a week and a wife and family talking about a Merry Christmas I'll retire to bedlam this lunatic and letting Scrooge's nephew out and let two other people in they were portly gentleman pleasant to behold and now stood with their hats off and Scrooge's office they had books and papers in their hands and bowed to him Scrooge and Marley's I believe said one of the gentlemen referring to his have I the pleasure of addressing mr. Scrooge or mr. Marley Nesta Marley has been dead these seven years Scrooge replied he died seven years ago this very night we have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner said the gentleman presenting his credentials it certainly was for they had been two kindred spirits at the ominous word liberality Scrooge frowned and shook his head and handed the credentials back that this festive season of the year mr. Scrooge said the gentleman taking up a pen it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute who suffer greatly at the present time many thousands are in want of common necessaries hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts sir are there no prisons asked Scrooge plenty of prisons said the gentleman laying down the pen again and the Union workhouses demanded Scrooge are they still in operation they are still returned the gentleman I wish I could say they were not the treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour then said Scrooge both very busy sir oh I was afraid from what you said at first that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course said Scrooge I am very glad to hear it under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude returned the gentlemen a few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the poor some meat and drink and means of warmth we choose this time because it is a time of all others when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices what shall I put you down for thing screwed replied you wish to be anonymous I wish to be left alone said Scrooge since you ask me what I wish gentlemen that is my answer I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry I help to support the establishments I have mentioned and they cost enough and those who are badly off must go there many can't go there and many would rather die if they would rather die said Scrooge they had better do it and decrease the surplus population besides excuse me I don't know that but you might know it observe the gentleman it's not my business Scrooge returned it's enough for a man to understand his own business and not to interfere with other people's mine occupies me constantly good afternoon gentlemen seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point the gentleman withdrew Scrooge resumed his Labor's with an improved opinion of himself and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so that people ran about with flaring links / offering their services to go before horses and carriages and conduct them on their way the ancient tower of a church whose gruff old bell was always peeping slyly down at Scrooge out of a gothic window in the wall became invisible and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there the cold became intense in the main street at the corner of the court some laborers were repairing the gas pipes and had lighted a great fire in a brazier around which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture the water plug the being left in solitude it's overflowing sullenly congealed and turned to misanthropic ice the brightness of the shops where Holly sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows made pale faces ruddy as they passed poulterer's and grocers trades became a splendid joke a glorious pageant with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dole principles as bargain and sale had anything to do the Lord Mayor in the stronghold of the mighty mansion house gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as the Lord Mayor's household should and even the little tailor whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets stirred up tomorrow's pudding in his Garret while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef fog year yet and colder piercing searching biting cold if the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the evil spirits nose with a touch of such weather as that instead of using his familiar weapons then indeed he would have roared two lusty purpose the owner of one scant young nose Norden mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are not by dogs stooped down at Scrooge's keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol but at the first sound of merry gentlemen' may nothing you dismay Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost at length the hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived with an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the tank who instantly snuffed his candle out and put on his hat you want all day tomorrow I suppose said Scrooge if quite convenient sir it's not convenient said Scrooge and it's not fair I was – stop have a crown for it you'd think yourself ill-used I'll be bound the clerk smiled faintly and yes said Scrooge you don't think me ill-used when I pay a day's wages for no work the clerk observed that it was only once a year a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December said Scrooge buttoning his greatcoat to the chin but I suppose you must have the whole day be here all the earlier next morning the clerk promised that he would and Scrooge walked out with a growl the office was closed in a twinkling and the clerk with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist for he boasted no great coat went down a slide on corn hill at the end of a lane of boys 20 times in honor of its being Christmas Eve and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could Pelt to play at blind man's buff Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern and having read all the newspapers and beguiled the rest of the evening with his bankers books went home to bed he lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner they were a gloomy suite of rooms in a lowering pile of building up a yard where it had so little business to be that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house playing at hide-and-seek with other houses and forgotten the way out again it was old enough now and dreary enough for nobody lived in it but Scrooge the other rooms being all let out his offices the yard was so dark that even Scrooge who knew its every stone was fain to grope with his hands the fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house that it seemed as if the genius of the weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold now it is a fact that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door except that it was very large it is also a fact that Scrooge had seen it night and morning during his whole residence in that place also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the City of London even including which is a bold word the corporation aldermen and livery 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 then let any man explained to me if he can how it happened that Scrooge having his key in the lock of the door saw in the knocker without its undergoing any intermediate process of change not a knocker but Marley's face Marley's face it was not an impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were but had a dismal light about it like a bad lobster in a dark cellar it was not angry or ferocious but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead the hair was curiously stirred as if by breath or hot air and though the eyes were wide open they were perfectly motionless that and its livid color made it horrible but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control rather than a part of its own expression as Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon it was a knocker again to say that he was not startled or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy would be untrue but he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished turned it sturdily walked in and lighted his candle he did pause with the moments at resolution before he shut the door and he did look cautiously behind it first as if he half expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley's pigtail sticking out into the hall but there was nothing on the back of the door except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on so he said who ooh and closed it with a bang the sound resounded through the house like thunder every room above and every cask in the wine merchants cellars below appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes he fastened the door and walked across the hall and up the stairs slowly to trimming his candle as he went you may talk vaguely about driving a coach and six up a good old flight of stairs or through a bad young act of parliament but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase and taken it broad wise with the Splinter bar toward the wall and the door towards the balustrade and done it easily there was plenty of width for that and room to spare 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 so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge's dip up Scrooge went not carrying a button for that darkness is cheap and Scrooge liked it but before he shut his heavy door he walked through his rooms to see that all was right he had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that sitting room bedroom lumber room all as they should be nobody under the table nobody under the sofa a small fire and the great spoon and basin ready and the little saucepan of gruel Scrooge had a cold in his head upon the hob nobody under the bed nobody in the closet nobody in his dressing-gown which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall lumber room as usual old fire guard old shoes two fish baskets washing stand on three legs in a poker quite satisfied he closed his door and locked himself in double locked himself in which was not his custom thus secured against surprise he took off his cravat put on his dressing-gown and slippers and his nightcap sat down before the fire to take his gruel it was a very low fire indeed nothing on such a bitter night he was obliged to sit close to it and brood over it before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel the fireplace was an old one built by some Dutch merchants long ago and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles designed to illustrate the scriptures there were canes and Abel's Pharaoh's daughters queens of sheba angelic messengers descending through the air on clouds like feather beds abraham's Belshazzar's apostles putting off to sea in butter boats hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts and yet that face of marley seven years dead came like the ancient prophets rod and swallowed up the whole if each smooth tile had been a blank at first with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts there would have been a copy of old Marley's head on every one humbug said Scrooge and walked across the room after several turns he sat down again as he threw his head back in the chair his glance happened to rest upon a bell a disused Bell that hung in the room and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building it was with great astonishment with a strange inexplicable dread but as he looked he saw this bell begin to swing it swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound but soon it rang out loudly and so did every Bell in the house this might have lasted half a minute or a minute but it seemed an hour the bells ceased as they had begun together they were succeeded by a clanking noise deep down below as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the castes and the wine merchants cellar Scrooge and remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains the cellar door flew open with a booming sound and then he heard the noise much louder on the floors below then coming up the stairs and coming straight toward his door it's a humbug still said Scrooge I won't believe it his colour changed though when without a pause it came on through the heavy door and passed into the room before his eyes upon its coming in the dying flame leaped up as though it cried I know him Marley's ghost and fell again the same face the very same Marley in his pigtail usual waistcoat tights and boots the tassels on the ladder bristling like his pigtail and his Co skirts and the hair upon his head the chain he drew was clasped about its middle it was long and wound about him like a tail and it was made for Scrooge observed it closely of cashboxes Keys padlocks Ledger's deeds and heavy purses rotten steel his body was transparent so that Scrooge observing him and looking through his waistcoat could see the two buttons on his coat behind Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels but he had never believed it until now no nor did he believe it even now although he looked at the Phantom through and through and saw it standing before him though he felt the chilling influence of its death cold eyes and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound about its head and chin which wrapper he had not observed before he was still incredulous and fought against his senses how now said Scrooge caustic and cold as ever what do you want with me much Marley's voice no doubt about it who are you ask me who I was who were you then said Scrooge raising his voice yeah particular for a shade he was going to say to a shade but substituted this as more appropriate in life I was your partner Jacob Marley can you can you sit down asked Scrooge looking doubtfully at him I can do it then Scrooge asked the question because he didn't know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in the condition to take a chair and felt that in the event of its being impossible it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation but the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace as if he were quite used to it you don't believe in me observe the ghost I don't said Scrooge what evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses I don't know said Scrooge why do you doubt your senses because said Scrooge a little thing affects them a slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats you may be an undigested bit of beef a blot of mustard a crumb of cheese a fragment of an underdone potato there's more gravy than of grave about you whatever you are Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes nor did he feel in his heart by any means waggish then the truth is that he tried to be smart as a means of distracting his own attention and keeping down his terror for the spectres voice disturb the very marrow in his bones to sit staring at those fixed glazed eyes in silence for a moment would play Scrooge felt the very deuce with him there was something very awful too and the spectres being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own Scrooge could not feel it himself but this was clearly the case for though the ghosts at perfectly motionless its hair and skirts and tassels were still agitated as by the hot vapor from an oven you see this toothpick said Scrooge returning quickly to the charge for the reason just assigned and wishing though it were only for a second to divert the visions stony gaze from himself I do replied the ghost you are not looking at it said Scrooge but I see it said the ghost notwithstanding well returned Scrooge I have but to swallow this and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins all of my own creation humbug I tell you humbug at this the spirit raised a frightful cry and shook its chain was such a dismal and appalling noise that Scrooge held on tight to his chair to save himself from falling in a swoon but how much greater was his horror when the Phantom taking off the bandage round its head as if it were too warm to wear indoors as a lower draw dropped down upon its breast Scrooge fell upon his knees and clasped his hands before his face mercy he said dreadful apparition why do you trouble me man of the worldly mind replied the ghost do you believe in me or not I do said Scrooge I must but why do spirits walk the earth and why do they come to me it is required of every man the ghost returned let the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow men and travelled far and wide and if that spirit goes not forth in life it is condemned to do so after death it is doomed to wander through the world oh woe is me and witness what it cannot share but might have shared on earth then turned to happiness again the spectre raised a cry and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hand you are fettered said Scrooge trembling tell me why I wear the chain I forged in life replied the ghost I made it link by link and yard by yard I grow did it on of my own free will and of my own free will I wore it is its pattern strange to you Scrooge trembled more and more or would you know pursued the ghost the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself it was full as heavy and long as this seven Christmas Eves ago you have labored on it since it is a ponderous chain Scrooge glanced about him on the floor in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable but he could see nothing Jacob he said imploringly Oh Jacob Marley tell me more speak comfort to me Jacob I have none to give the ghost replied it comes from other regions Ebenezer Scrooge and is conveyed by other ministers to other kinds of men nor can I tell you what I would a very little more is all permitted to me I cannot rest I cannot stay I cannot linger anywhere 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 and weary journeys lie before me it was a habit with Scrooge whenever he became thoughtful to put his hands in his breeches pockets pondering on what the ghost had said he did so now but without lifting up his eyes or getting off his knees you must have been very slow about it Jacob Scrooge observed in a businesslike manner although with humility and deference slow the ghost repeated seven years dead mused Scrooge and travelling all the time the whole time said the ghost no rest no peace incessant torture of remorse you travel fast said Scrooge on the wings of the wind replied the ghost it might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven years said Scrooge the ghost on hearing this set up another cry and Clank its chains so hideously in the dead silence of the night that the award would have been justified in indicted for a nuisance Oh captive bound and double ironed cried the Phantom not to know that ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere whatever it may be will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused yet such was I was but they were always a good man of business Jacob faltered Scrooge who now began to apply this to himself business cried the ghost wringing its hands again mankind was my business the common welfare was my business charity mercy forbearance and benevolence were all my business the dealings of my trade but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean it held up its chain at arm's length as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief and flung it heavily upon the ground again at this time of the rolling year the specter said I suffer most why did I walk through crowds of fellow beings with my eyes turned down and never raised them to that blessed star which led the wise men to a poor abode where are there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the specter going on at this rate and began to quake exceedingly hear me cried the ghost my time is nearly gone I will said Scrooge but don't be hard on me don't be flowery Jacob pray how is it that I appear before you in a shape that you can see I may not tell I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day it was not an agreeable idea Scrooge shivered and wiped the perspiration from his brow that is no light part of my penance pursued the ghost I am here tonight to warn you that you have yet a chance in the hope of escaping my fate chance and hope of my procuring Ebenezer you are always a good friend to me said Scrooge thank you you will be haunted resumed the ghost by three spirits Scrooge's countenance fell almost as low as the ghosts had done is that the chance and hope you mentioned Jacob he demanded in a faltering voice it is I I think I'd rather not said Scrooge without their visits said the ghost you cannot hope to shun the path I tread expect the first tomorrow when the Bell Tolls one couldn't I take him all at once and have it over jacob hinted scrooge expect the second on the next night at the same hour the third upon the next night when the last stroke of twelve has ceased to vibrate look to see me no more and look that for your own sake you remember what has passed between us when it had said these words the spectre took its wrapper from the table and bound it round its head as before Scrooge knew this by the smart sound its teeth made when the jaws were brought together by the bandage he ventured to raise his eyes again and found his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude with its chain wound over and about its arm the apparition walked backward from him and at every step it took the window raised itself a little so that when the spectre reached it it was wide open it beckoned Scrooge to approach which he did when they were within two paces of each other Marley's ghost held up its hand warning him to come no nearer Scrooge stopped not so much in obedience as in surprise and fear for on the raising of the hand he became sensible of confused noises in the air incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self accusatory the specter after listening for a moment joined in the mournful dirge and floated out upon the bleak dark night Scrooge followed to the window desperate in his curiosity he looked out the air was filled with phantoms wandering hither and thither in Restless haste and moaning as they went every one of them wore chains like Marley's ghost some few they might be guilty governments were linked together none were free many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives he had been quite familiar with one old ghost in a white waistcoat with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle who cried piteously at being unable to assist the wretched woman with an infant whom it saw below upon a doorstep the misery with them all was clearly that they sought to interfere for good in human matters and had lost the power forever whether these creatures faded into mist or mist and shrouded them he could not tell but they in their spirit voices faded together and the night became as it had been when he walked home Scrooge closed the window and examined the door by which the ghost had entered it was double locked as he had locked it with his own hands and the bolts were undisturbed he tried to say humbug but stopped at the first syllable and being from the emotion he had undergone or the fatigues of the day or his glimpse of the invisible world or the dull conversation of the ghost or the lateness of the hour much in need of repose went straight to bed without undressing and fell asleep upon the instant end of stave one recording by John van Stan Savannah Georgia stave 2 of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens this LibriVox recording is in the public domain the first of the three spirits when Scrooge awoke it was so dark that looking out of bed he could scarcely distinguish the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber he was endeavoring to pierce the darkness with his ferret eyes when the chimes of a neighboring church struck the four quarters so he listened for the hour to his great astonishment the heavy Bell went on from 6 to 7 from 7 to 8 and regularly up to 12 then stopped 12 it was past 2 when he went to bed the clock was wrong an icicle must have got into the works 12 he touched the spring of his repeater to correct this most preposterous clock its rapid little pulse beat 12 and stopped why it isn't possible said Scrooge that I can have slept through a whole day and far into another night it isn't possible that anything has happened to the Sun and this is 12 noon the idea being an alarming one he scrambled out of bed and groped his way to the window he was obliged to rub the frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown before he could see anything and could see very little then all he could make out was that it was still very foggy and extremely cold and that there was no noise of people running to and fro and making a great stir as there unquestionably would have been if night had beaten off bright day and taken possession of the world this was a great relief because three days after sight of this first of exchange pay to mr. Ebenezer Scrooge or his order and so forth would have become a mere United States security if there were no days to count by Scrooge went to bed again and thought and thought and thought it over and over and over and could make nothing of it the more he thought the more perplexed he was and the more he endeavored not to think the more he thought Marley's ghost bothered him exceedingly every time he resolved within himself after mature inquiry that it was all a dream his mind flew back again like a strong spring released to its first position and presented the same problem to be worked all through was it a dream or not Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more when he remembered on a sudden that the ghost had warned him of a visitation when the bell tolled one he resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed and considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to heaven this was perhaps the wisest resolution in his power the quarter was so long that he was more than once convinced he must have sunk into a doze unconsciously and missed the clock at length it broke upon his listening ear dingdong a quarter-past said Scrooge counting ding-dong half-past said Scrooge dingdong a quarter to it said Scrooge dingdong the hour itself said Scrooge triumphantly and nothing else he spoke before the tower bell sounded which it now did with a deep dull hollow melancholy one light flashed up in the room upon the instant and the curtains of his bed were drawn the curtains of his bed were drawn aside I tell you by a hand not the curtains at his feet nor the curtains at his back but those to which his face was addressed the curtains of his bed were drawn aside and Scrooge starting up into a half recumbent attitude found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them as close to it as I am now to you 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 viewed through some supernatural medium which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view and being diminished to a child's proportions its hair which hung about its neck and down its back was white as if with age and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it and the tenderest bloom was on the skin the arms were very long and muscular the hands the same as if its hold were of uncommon strength its legs and feet most delicately formed were like those upper members bare it wore a tunic of the purest white and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt machine of which was beautiful it held a branch of fresh green Holly in its hand and in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem had its dress trimmed with summer flowers but the strangest thing about it was that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light by which all this was visible and which was doubtless the occasion of its using in its duller moments a great extinguisher for a cap which had now held under its arm even this though when Scrooge looked at it with increasing steadiness was not its strangest quality fur as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part and now in another and what was a light one instance 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 oh and what are you Scrooge demanded I am the ghost of Christmas past long past inquired Scrooge observant of its dwarfish stature know 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 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 and 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 grasper though gentle as a woman's hand was not to be stood heroes but finding that the spirit made towards the window clasped his robe in supplication I am immortal Scrooge demonstrated 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 pass 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 mists 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 although it had been light and instantaneous appeared still present to the old man's sense of feeling he was conscious of a thousand odors 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 Scrooge muttered with an unusual catching in his voice that it was a pimple and begged the ghosts to lead him where he would you recollect the way inquired the spirit remember it cried Scrooge with fervour I could walk it blindfold strange to have forgotten it for so many years observed the ghost let us go on they walked along the road Scrooge recognizing every gate and post and tree until a little market town appeared in the distance with its bridge its church and winding river some shaggy ponies now we're seeing trotting towards them with boys upon their backs who called the other boys and country gigs and carts driven by farmers all these boys were in great spirits and shouted to each other until the broad fields were so full of merry music that the crisp air laughed to hear it these are but shadows of the things that have been said the ghosts they have no consciousness of us the jokin travellers came on and as they came Scrooge knew and named them everyone why was he rejoiced beyond all bounds to see them why did his cold i glisten in his heart leap up as they went past why was he filled with gladness when he heard them give each other merry Christmas as they parted at Crossroads and by ways for their several homes what was merry Christmas to Scrooge out upon Merry Christmas what good had it ever done to him the school is not quite deserted said the ghost a solitary child neglected by his friends he's left there still Scrooge said he knew it and he sobbed they left the high road by a well remembered lane and soon approached a mansion of dull red brick with a little weathercock surmounted cupola on the roof and a bell hanging in it it was a large house but one of broken fortunes for the spacious offices were little used their walls were damp and mossy their windows broken and their gates decayed fowls clucked and strutted in the stables and the Coach houses and sheds were overrun with grass nor was it more retentive of its ancient state within for entering the dreary hall and glancing through the open doors of many rooms they found them poorly furnished cold and vast there was an earthy savour in the air a chilly Baroness in the place which associated itself somehow with too much getting up by candle light and not too much to eat they went the ghost and Scrooge across the hall to a door at the back of the house it opened before them and disclosed a long bare melancholy room made bearer still by lines of plain deal forms and desks and one of these a lonely boy was reading near a feeble fire and Scrooge sat down upon a forum and wept to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be not a latent echo in the house not a squeak and scuffle from the mice behind the paneling not a drop from the half thawed water spout in the dull yard behind not a sigh among the leafless bowels of one despondent poplar not the idle swinging of an empty storehouse door no not a clicking in the fire but fell upon the heart of Scrooge with a softening influence and gave a freer passage to his tears the spirit touched him on the arm and pointed to his younger self intent upon his reading suddenly a man in foreign garments wonderfully real and distinct to look at stood outside the window with an axe stuck in his belt then leaning by the bridle and ass laden with wood why it's Ali Baba Scrooge exclaimed in ecstasy it's dear old Honest Ali Baba yes yes I know one Christmas time when yonder solitary child was left here all alone he did come for the first time just like that poor boy and Valentine said Scrooge and his wild brother Olson there they go and what's his name who was put down in his drawers asleep at the gate of Damascus don't you see him and the Sultan's groom turned upside down by the Jenny I there he is upon his head serve him right I'm glad of it what business had he to be married to the princess to hear Scrooge expending all the earnestness of his nature on such subjects in a most extraordinary voice between laughing and crying and mnestheus heightened and excited face would have been a surprise to his business friends in the city indeed there's the parrot cried Scrooge green body and a yellow tail with a thing like a lettuce growing out at the top of his head there he is poor Robin Crusoe he called him and he came home again after sailing around the island poor Robin Crusoe where have you been Robin Crusoe the man thought he was dreaming but he wasn't it was the parent you know there goes Friday running for his life to the little creek hello then with a rapidity of transition very foreign to his usual character he said in pity for his former self poor boy and cried again I wish Scrooge muttered putting his hand in his pocket and looking about him after drying his eyes with his cuff but it's too late now what is the matter asked the spirit nothing said Scrooge nothing there was a boy singing a Christmas carol at my door last night I should like to have given him something that's all the ghost smiled thoughtfully and waved its hand saying as it did so let us see another Christmas Scrooge's former self grew larger at the words and the room became a little darker and more dirty the panel's shrunk the windows cracked fragments of plaster fell out of the ceiling and the naked laughs were shown instead but how all this was brought about Scrooge knew no more than you do he only knew that it was quite correct that everything had happened so that there he was alone again when all the other boys had gone home for the Jolly holidays he was not reading now but was walking up and down despair me Scrooge looked at the ghost and with a mournful shaking of his head glanced anxiously towards the door it opened and a little girl much younger than the boy came darting in and putting her arms about his neck and often kissing him addressed him as her dear dear brother I have come to bring you home dear brother said the child clapping her tiny hands and bending down to laugh to bring you home home home home little fan returned the boy yes said the child brimful of Glee home for good in all home for ever and ever father is so much kinder than he used to be that homes like heaven he spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home and he said yes you should and sent me in a coach to bring you and you're to be a man said the child opening her eyes and are never to come back here but first we're to be together all the Christmas long and have the merriest time in all the world you are quite a woman little fan exclaimed the boy she clapped her hands and laughed and tried to touch his head but being too little laughed again and stood on tiptoe to embrace him then she began to drag him in her childish eagerness toward the door and he nothing loth to go accompanied her a terrible voice in the hall cried bring down master Scrooge's box there and in the hall appeared the schoolmaster himself who glared on master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him he then conveyed him and his sister into the various old well of a shivering best parlour that was ever seen where are the maps upon the wall and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows were waxy with cold here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine and a block of curiously heavy cake and ministered installments of those dainty's to the young people at the same time sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of something to the post boy who answered that he thanked the gentleman but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before he'd rather not master Scrooge's trunk being by this time tied onto the top of the chaise the children bade the schoolmaster goodbye right willingly and getting into it drove gaily down the garden sweep the quick wheels dashing the hoarfrost and snow from off the dark leaves of the evergreens like spray always a delicate creature who my breath might have withered said the ghost but she had a large heart so she had cried Scrooge you're right I will not gainsay its spirit god forbid she died a woman said the ghost and head as I think children one child Scrooge returned true said the ghost you and nephew Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind and answered briefly yes although they had but that moment left the school behind them they were now in the busy thoroughfares of a city with shadowy passengers passed and re-passed with shadowy carts and coaches battled for the way and all the strife and tumult of a real city were it was made plain enough by the dressing of the shops that he or two it was Christmastime again but it was evening and the streets were lighted up the ghost stopped at a certain warehouse door and asked Scrooge if he knew it no it said Scrooge was i apprenticed here they went in at sight of an old gentleman in a Welsh wig sitting behind such a high desk that if he had been two inches taller he must have knocked his head against the ceiling screwed cried in great excitement why it's old Fezziwig bless his heart its veggie wig alive again old Fezziwig laid down pen and looked up at the clock which pointed to the hour of 7:00 he rubbed his hands adjusted his capacious waistcoat laughed all over himself from his shoes to his organ of benevolence and called out in a comfortable oily rich fat jovial voice yo ho there a Bonita dick Scrooge's former self now grown a young man came briskly in accompanied by his fellow Prentice dick Wilkins to be sure said Scrooge to the ghost bless me yes there he is he was very much attached to me was Dick the poor dick dear dear yo ho my boys said Fezziwig no more work tonight Christmas Eve dick Christmas Ebenezer let's have the shutters up cried old Fezziwig with a sharp clap of his hands before a man can say Jack Robinson you wouldn't believe how those two fellows went at it they charged into the street with the shutters one two three had him up in their places four or five six bottom and pinned him seven eight nine and came back before you could have got to 12 panting like racehorses hilli-ho cried old Fezziwig skipping down from the high desk with wonderful agility clear away my lads and let's have lots of room here hilli-ho dick cheer up Evan ISA clear away there was nothing they wouldn't have cleared away or couldn't have cleared away with old Fezziwig looking on it was done in a minute every movable was packed off as if it were dismissed from public life for evermore the floor was swept and watered the lamps were trimmed fuel was heaped upon the fire and the warehouse was as snug and warm and dry and bright a ballroom as you would desire to see upon a winter's night in came a fiddler with a music book and went up to the lofty desk and made an orchestra of it and tuned like fifty stomachaches in came mrs. Fezziwig one vast substantial smile in came the three miss fezziwig's beaming and lovable in came the six young followers whose hearts they broke in came all the young men and women employed in the business in came the housemaid with her cousin of the Baker in came the cook with her brothers particular friend the milkman in came the boy from over the way who was suspected of not having bored enough from his master trying to hide himself behind the girl from next door but one who was proved to have had her ears pulled by her mistress in they all came one after another some shyly some boldly some gracefully some awkwardly some pushing some pooling in they all came anyhow and every how away they all went twenty couple at once hands half round and back again the other way down the middle and up again round and round in various stages of affectionate grouping old top couple always turning up in the wrong place new top couple starting off again as soon as they got there all top couples at last and not a bottom one to help them when this result was brought about old Fezziwig clapped his hands to stop the dance cried house well done and the fiddler plunged his hot face into a pot of Porter especially provided for that purpose but scorning rest upon his reappearance he instantly began again although there were no dancers yet as if the other fiddler had been carried home exhausted on a shudder and he were a brand-new man resolved to beat him out of sight or perish there were more dances and there were forfeits and more dances and there was cake and there was niggas and there was a great piece of cold roast and there was a great piece of cold boiled and there were mince pies and plenty of beer but the great effect of the evening came after the roast and boiled when the fiddler inartful dog mind the sort of man who knew his business better than you or I could have told it him struck up Sir Roger de Coverley then old Fezziwig stood out to dance with mrs. Fezziwig top couple too with a good stiff piece of work cut out for them three or four-and-twenty pair of partners people who were not to be trifled with people who would dance and had no notion of walking but if they had been twice as many ah four times old Fezziwig would have been a match for them and so would mrs. Fezziwig as to her she was worthy to be his partner in every sense of the term if that's not high praise tell me higher and I'll use it a positive light appeared to issue from fezziwig's calves they shown in every part of the dance like moons you couldn't have predicted at any given time what would have become of them next and when old Fezziwig and mrs. Fezziwig had gone all through the dance advance and retire both pants to your partner bow and curtsey corkscrew thread the needle and back again to your place Fezziwig cut cut so deftly that he appeared to wink with his legs and came upon his feet again without a stagger when the clock struck eleven this domestic ball broke up mr. and mrs. Fezziwig took their situations one on either side of the door and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out wished him or her a Merry Christmas when everybody had retired but the two prentices they did the same to them and thus the cheerful voices died away and the lads were left to their beds which were under a counter in the back shop during the whole of this time Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits his heart and soul were in the scene and with his former self he corroborated everything remembered everything enjoyed everything and underwent the strangest agitation it was not until now and the bright faces of his former self and dick were turned from them then he remembered the ghost and became conscious that it was looking full upon him while the light upon its head burnt very clear a small matter said the ghost to make these silly fools so full of gratitude small echoed Scrooge the spirits signed to him to listen to the two apprentices who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig and when he had done so said why is it not he has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money three or four perhaps is that so much that he deserves this praise it isn't that said Scrooge heated by the remark and speaking unconsciously like his former not as let herself it isn't that spirit he has the power to render us happy or unhappy to make our service light or burn some a pleasure or a toil say that his power lies in words and looks in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count him up what then the happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune he felt the spirits glance and stopped what is the matter asked the ghost nothing particular said Scrooge something I think the ghost insisted no said Scrooge no I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now that's all his former self turned down the lamp says he gave utterance to the wish and Scrooge and the ghost again stood side by side in the open air my time grows short observe the spirit quick this was not addressed to Scrooge or do anyone whom he could see but it produced an immediate effect for again Scrooge saw himself he was older now a man in the prime of his life his face sad not the harsh and rigid lines of later years but it had begun to wear the signs of care and avarice there was an eager greedy restless motion in the eye which showed the passion that had taken root and where the shadow of the growing tree would all he was not alone but sat by the side of a fair young girl in a mourning dress in whose eyes there were tears which sparkled in the light that shone out of the ghost of Christmas past it matters little she said softly to you very little another Idol has displaced me and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come as I would have tried to do I have notjust cause to grieve what Idol has displaced you he rejoined a golden one this is the even-handed dealing of the world he said 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 you fear the world too much she answered gently all your other hopes have merged into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach I've seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one until the master passion gain engrosses you have I not what then he retorted even if I have grown so much wiser what then I am not changed towards you she shook her head am i our contract is an old one it was made when we were both poor and content to be so until in good season we could improve our worldly fortune by our patient industry you are changed when it was made you were another man I was a boy he said in patiently your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are she returned I am that which promised happiness when we were one in heart is fraught with misery now that we are too how often and how keenly I have thought of this I will not say it is enough that I have thought of it and can release you have I ever sought release in words no never in what then in a changed nature in an altered spirit in another atmosphere of life another hope as it's great end in everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight if this had never been between us said the girl looking mildly but with steadiness upon him tell me would you seek me out and try to win me now huh no he seemed to yield to the Justice of this supposition in spite of himself but he said with a struggle you think not I would gladly think otherwise if I could she answered heaven knows when I have learned a truth like this I know how strong and irresistible it must be but if you were free today tomorrow yesterday can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl you who in your very confidence with her way everything by gain or choosing her for a moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so do I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow I do and I release you with a full heart for the love of him you once were he was about to speak but with her head turned from him she resumed you may the memory of what his past half makes me hope you will have pain in this a very very brief time and you will dismiss the recollection of it gladly as an unprofitable dream from which it happened well that she will walk may you be happy in the life you have chosen she left him and they parted spirit said Scrooge showed me no more conduct me home why do you delight to torture me one shadow more exclaimed the ghost no more cried Scrooge no more I do not wish to see it show me no more but the relentless ghosts pinioned him in both his arms and forced him to observe what happened next oh they were in another scene and place a room not very large or handsome but full of comfort near to the winter fire sat a beautiful young girl so liked that last that Scrooge believed it was the same until he saw her now a comb Leigh matron sitting opposite her daughter the noise in this room was perfectly tumultuous for there were more children there and then Scrooge in his agitated state of mind could count and unlike the celebrated heard in the poem they were not 40 children conducting themselves like one but every child was conducting itself like 40 the consequences were uproarious beyond belief but no one seemed to care on the contrary the mother and daughter laughed heartily and enjoyed it very much and the latter soon beginning to mingle in the sports got pillaged by the young brigands most ruthlessly what would I not have given to be one of them though I never could have been so rude no no no I wouldn't for the wealth of all the world have crushed that braided hair and torn it down and for the precious little shoe I wouldn't have plucked it off god bless my soul to save my life as to measuring her waist in sport as they did bold young brood I couldn't have done it I should have expected my arm to grow and round it for punishment and never come straight again and yet I should have dearly liked Ione to have touched her lip to have questioned her that she might have opened them to have looked upon the lashes of her downcast eyes and never raised a blush to have let loose waves of hair an inch of which would be a keepsake beyond price in short I should have liked I do confess to have had the lightest license of a child and yet to have been man enough to know its value but now a knocking at the door was heard and such a rush immediately ensued that she with laughing faced and plundered dress was born toward it the center of a flushed and boisterous group just in time to greet the father who came home attended by a man laden with Christmas toys and presents then the shouting and the struggling and the onslaught that was made on the defenseless Porter the scaling him with chairs for the latter's that dive into his pockets he spoiled him of brown-paper parcels hold on tight by his cravat hug him round his neck pommel his back and kick his legs in irrepressible affection the shouts of Wonder and delight with which the development of every package was received the terrible announcement that the baby had been taken in the act of putting a dolls frying pan into his mouth and was more than suspected of having swallowed a fictitious turkey glued on a wooden platter the immense relief of finding this a false alarm the joy and gratitude and ecstasy they are all indescribable alike it is enough that by degrees the children and their emotions got out of the parlour and by one stair at a time up to the top of the house where they went to bed and so subsided and now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever when the master of the house having his daughter leaning fondly on him sat down with her and her mother at his own fireside and when he thought that such another creature quite as graceful and his full of promise might have called him father and been a springtime in the Haggard winter of his life his sight grew very dim indeed bell said the husband turning to his wife with a smile I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon who was it yes how can I touch don't I know she added in the same breath laughing as he laughed mr. Scrooge mr. Scrooge it was I passed this office window and as it was not shut up and he had a candle inside I could scarcely help seeing him his partner lies upon the point of death I hear and very sattell own quite alone in the world I do believe the spirit said Scrooge in a broken voice remove me from this place I told you these were shadows of the things that have been said the ghost that they are what they are do not blame me remove me Scrooge exclaimed I cannot bear it he turned upon the ghost and seeing that it looked upon him with a face in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces that had shown him wrestled with it believe me take me back hold me no longer in the struggle 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 Scrooge observed that its light was burning high and bright and dimly connecting that with its influence over him he seized the extinguisher cap and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head the spirit dropped beneath it so that the extinguisher covered its whole form but though Scrooge pressed it down with all his force he could not hide the light which streamed from under it in an unbroken flood upon the ground he was conscious of being exhausted and overcome by an irresistible drowsiness and further of being in his own bedroom he gave the cap of parting squeeze in which hand relaxed and had barely time to reel Tibet before he sank into a heavy sleep end of stave 2 recording by John Vance Stan Savannah Georgia

2 thoughts on “Christmas Carol (Version 11) | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Audio Book | English | 1/2

  1. Christmas Carol (Version 11) | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Audio Book | English | 1/2

    Parts of this video:

    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z7YR0HeiMA (this video)

    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J019SuBBO8

  2. Christmas Carol (Version 11) | Charles Dickens | Literary Fiction | Audio Book | English | 1/2

    1: [00:00:00] – Stave 1

    2: [00:46:56] – Stave 2

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