Christmas Carol 01 recto




Status: Complete


Stave I.

Old 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 [???] mourners the [chief] 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.

[Dead] Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, myself, of my own knowledge, what there is
particularly dead about a door-nail. I [should] might have been inclined, myself,
to consider 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. [Why] oOf 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, and his only sole residuary residuary legatee: his sole friend and sole mourner if you [come to that]. And even Scrooge
was not so very [much] dreadfully cut up [when Marley died. by Marley's death] by the sad event, but that he was an ex-
cellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. [The mention of]

The mention of Marley’s Funeral brings me back to the point
I started with from. There can be is no [kind] of question doubt that Marley was dead. This
must be distinctly understood, or [t????] nothing wonderful can come
[out] of the story I am going to [tell] 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 the air [walking out] taking a stroll at night, in an Easterly
wind, upon the his own ramparts, than there would be in any other [elderly] middle-aged
gentleman rashly turning out at night after dark, in a breezy spot—say
Saint Paul’s churchyard for instance— for the purpose of [addling] literally to astonish [astonish???]
his son’s [intellects] weak mind.[and Hamlet's mind was intellects] Perhaps you think that Hamlet's
[were slightly addled at the best depend upon it was a strong you] intellects were strong. I doubt it. If you could have/hail [??] such a son tomorrow, depend
upon it, you would find him a most impracticable fellow to deal with fellow to deal with [????? ????? He would be a most impracticable]
with; and however creditable he might be to the family, after his
[??????], he would never ??? to anything in his lifetime [???? a special incumbrance] ???? ???? [n?e]

Scrooge never painted out [???] old Marley’s name. There it

Notes and Questions

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Isn't the end 'after his death, he would not have amounted to anything in his lifetime,' and above it is 'proved a special incumbrance'?

Douglas Dodds

Thanks and yes indeed - we just hadnt got that far with the page yet!


ha, sorry, I should have been more patient!


I am unable to join/get permission to transcribe these documents. However, I would like to present my analysis of some the currently listed illegible sections of this page:

1) Paragraph 1, line 3: "...undertaker, and [his] mourners the..."
2) Paragraph 2, line 1: "[dear]! I don't mean..."
3) Paragraph 4, line 3: "...understood, or [there is] nothing..."

Douglas Dodds

Thanks for these suggestions, RCH!


Additional suggestions:
1) Third line from bottom of page: currently transcribed as "with; and however creditable..." I submit that it says "with; [and] and however creditable..." The author initially wrote "and" then crossed it out, only to decide that "and" was correct, with the word reinserted into the narrative.
2) Next to last line from bottom of page: the first word on this line is currently transcribed as unintelligible. I submit that the word is/was "disease" with the text reading

"...with; [and] and however creditable he might be to the family, after his
disease, he would..."