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9780439101332

A Christmas Carol (Scholastic Classics)

Charles Dickens Author

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STAVE ONE.

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 door-nail. 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 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 event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised 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, 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.
Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, 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, shrivelled 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 thaw it one degree at Christmas.
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill 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 o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and 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!”
............

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1846 edition. Excerpt: ...am here, or how I came. I have listened to the Chimes these many years. They have cheered me often." "And you have thanked them?" said the Bell. " A thousand times!" cried Trotty. "How?" "I am a poor man," faltered Trotty, " and could only thank them in words." "And always so?" inquired the Goblin of the Bell. "Have you never done us wrong in words? " "No!" cried Trotty eagerly. "Never done us foul, and false, and wicked wrong, in words?" pursued the Goblin of the Bell. Trotty was about to answer, "Never!" But he stopped, and was confused. "The voice of Time," said the Phantom, "cries to man, Advance! Time is for his advancement and improvement; for his greater worth, his greater happiness, his better life; his progressonward to that goal within its knowledge and its view, and set there, in the period when Time and He began. Ages of darkness, wickedness, and violence, have come and gone: millions uncountable, have suffered, lived, and died: to point the way Before him. Who seeks to turn him hack, or stay him on his course, arrests a mighty engine which will strike the meddler dead; and be the fiercer and the wilder, ever, for its momentary check! " "I never did so, to my knowledge, Sir," said Trotty. "It was quite, by accident if I did. I wouldn't go to do it, I "in sure." " Who puts into the month of Time, or of its servants," said the Goblin of the Bell, "a cry of lamentation for days which have had their trial and their failure, and have left deep traces of it which the blind may see--a cry that only serves the Present Time, by showing men how much it needs their help when any ears can listen to regrets for such a Past--who does this, does a wrong. And yon have done that wrong to us, the Chimes." Trotty's first excess of fear was gone. But he...

Review:

In the history of English literature, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, which has been continuously in print since it was first published in the winter of 1843, stands out as the quintessential Christmas story. What makes this charming edition of Dickens's immortal tale so special is the collection of 80 vivid illustrations by Everett Shinn (1876-1953). Shinn, a well-known artist in his time, was a popular illustrator of newspapers and magazines whose work displayed a remarkable affinity for the stories of Charles Dickens, evoking the bustling street life of the mid-1800s. Printed on heavy, cream-colored paper stock, the edges of the pages have been left rough, simulating the way in which the story might have appeared in Dickens's own time. Though countless editions of this classic have been published over the years, this one stands out as particularly beautiful, nostalgic, and evocative of the spirit of Christmas.

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