A Christmas Carol Manuscript

The Morgan Library and Museum, MA 97. Photography by Graham S. Haber.


Christmas Carol 59 recto

Christmas Carol 59 recto


this end, thise end desired, he had just now desired, until ??t? ??d ?? besought by Scrooge to tarry for a moment.

“This court,” 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 [time] days to come.”

The Spirit stopped; but the hand was not pointed to the elsewhere., not to the

window no of “The house is yonder,” Scrooge exclaimed. “Why do you point away?”

The inexorable finger [???? ]pointed like [heeded] not underwent no change.

Scrooge went up hastened [hastened ??] to the window of his office, and looked in. The It was an office still, but not his. The [GO BACK] furniture was not the same, and the figure oin the chair [stool] was not himself. The phantom pointed as before.

Scrooge He joined it once again, and wondering why and whither he had gone, accompanied went along with it, until they reached an iron gate. He Scrooge He paused to look about him [???] round, before entering.

[stu?s] A churchyard! Here, then, the wretched man whose name he had now to learn, lay underneath the ground. was buried. It was a worthy [an] place. [Far back] Walled in by houses. Overlooked by factories mean and Over-run by grass and weeds, the ?? growth [?????? ?i?] of vegetat[e] wholesome vegetation’s death: [,] not life. Choked up with too much burying burying. [so fat] [o?????g ???] Fat Fat with repleted repleted appetite. ? A worthy place indeed!

There was retribution in his lying here The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. He [stood not ?ce?it] from the spot advanced towards towards it trembling. The phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.

“Before I draw come draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “reply to answer me one inquiry question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or only of the are they shadows of the things that would May May be, only.”

The Spirit Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.

“Mens’ courses may will foreshadow for them certain ends to which, they if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say, Spirit, that it is so, thus, with what you shew me!”

The figure was Spirit was immovable as ever.

Scrooge [?] crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave, his own name EBENEZER SCROOGE.

He fell on his knees, and cried “Am I that man !” he cried “[not] I?” who lay ???? ??? upon the bed?!” he cried, [GO BACK] upon his knees.

“You are!” The finger pointed from the grave to him, and back again.

“No Spirit! , no!” cried Scrooge he ? Oh no, no!”

The finger [blamed] still was there. [GO BACK]

“Spirit!” he cried, “Hear me tight clutching at its robe. “Hear me! I am not the man [?] I was. I will not be the man I must have been, but but for this intercourse. Why shew me this, if I am past all hope!”

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Christmas Carol 60 recto

Christmas Carol 60 recto


For the first time the hand appeared to shake.

“Good Spirit,” he pursued, as down upon the ground he [shivered] with fell before it. “Your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shewn me, by an altered life!”

The kind hand trembled. more and more.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh tell me, I may change sponge away the writing on this stone!”

In his agony, he caught the sp[e] spectral hand. It sought to free itself, but he was strong in his entreaty, and detained it. The Spirit, stronger yet, repulsed him.

Holding up his hands in one last prayer to have his [fate] fate reversed, he saw a [movement] change to the place an alteration in the phantom’s hood and dress. It [sh] shrunk, [coll] collapsed, ??? and dwindled down into a bedpost., which he knew to be his own

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Christmas Carol 61 recto

Christmas Carol 61 recto



The End of It.

Yes! And the bedpost was his own.; that’s more The bed was his own, the room was his own. ; and bBest and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in! for the past.

“I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future! Future!” Scrooge repeated, looking upward as he scrambled out of bed. and knelt on the bare floor; and knelt on the bare floor “The Spirits of all Three shall [work] strive within me. I will ??thive [??] as if no past had ever been ?? Oh Jacob Marley, on my knees I thank Heaven be ??? ? ???, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!”

He was so flurried fluttered and so eager that his glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. When he found news of ?p?? his too, he He had been sobbing violently, in his conflict with the Spirit and his face was wet with tears.

“They are not taken torn down,” cried Scrooge, folding a one of his bed curtains in his arms, ?ite fo??g “they are not torn down, rings and all. There is no lorn man [apointed] They are here; I am here; ????the shadows of the things that would have been, shall may be dispelled. They shall will be. [May ?] Heaven be praised! Yes[,] I know they will be!”

His His hands were busy with his garments all this time: [?] turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, losing them, the while and commenting playing at ball with them: every [open?] making them parties to every kind of extravagance.

“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel. I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. Whoop! Hallo here! Hoop! A Merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Hoop! Hallo!”

He had frisked into the sitting-room and was now standing ion one leg on i the sitting-room [tabl] : perfectly winded.

“There’s the saucepan that the gruel was in!” cried Scrooge, starting off upon another dance, again, and frisking round the fireplace. “There’s the door by which the [G?] Ghost of Jacob Marley entered! There’s the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present, sat! There’s the window where I saw [John Glogg] deceased the wandering Spirits! It’s all right, it’s all fine, it all happened. Ha ha ha!”

Really, for a man who was as much had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a glorious most illustrious laugh!,. tThe father of a long, long, line of brilliant laughs!

“I don’t know what day of the month it is!” said Scrooge. “I don’t know how long I’ve been among the Spirits,. I don’t know anything. I’m quite a baby. Never mind:. I don’t care. I’d rather be a baby. Hallo! Whoop! Hallo here!”

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Christmas Carol 62 recto

Christmas Carol 62 recto


He was checked in his transports by the church bells churches ringing out the [????] lustiest [f????] peals he had ever heard. Clash, clang, hammer, ding, dong, bell; bell, dong, ding, hammer, clang, clash! Glorious [?????] glorious [????? ????] Oh glorious !, glorious!

Running to the window, he opened it, and put out his head. No fog, no mist. Clear, bright, jovial, [cold] stirring, [????] cold—[cold ????] cold, piping for the blood to dance to—golden [??? ]sunlight; [??? sky] Heavenly sky; sweet fresh air; merry bells—oh glorious, glorious!

“What’s to day?” cried Scrooge, calling [out] downward to a boy in Sunday clothes, who [baffled] perhaps had loitered in to look about him.

“Eh?” [????] returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.

“What’s to day, my fine fellow!” said Scrooge.

“To day!” replied the boy. “Why, CHRISTMAS DAY [broken underlines in manuscript, capitalized in printed version]!”

“It’s Christmas Day!” said Scrooge to himself. “I haven’t missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo my fine fellow!”

“Hallo!” returned the boy.

“Do you know the Poulterer’s in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired.

[???] “I should hope I did,” replied the boy lad.

“An intelligent boy!” said Scrooge. “A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there; not the little prize turkey, the big one?”

“What, the one as big as me!” returned the boy.

[???] What a delightful boy!” said Scrooge. “It’s a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!”

“It’s hanging there now,” replied the boy.

“Is it?” said Scrooge. “Go and buy it.”

“Walk-ER ["E" and "R" have broken underlines in the original manuscript, "ER" is capitalized in printed version]!” exclaimed the boy.

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell ’em to bring it here, that I may give ’em the direction where to take it. Come back with the man, and I’ll give you a shilling. Bring him here in Come back with him in less than five minutes, and I’ll give you half a crown!”

The boy was off like a shot. He must have been had a [knowing] steady hand at a trigger who could have got a shot off half so fast.

“I’ll send it to Bob Cratchit’s!” [said] whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. “He ["Bob] shan’t know [where it came from] who sends it. It’s twice the size of Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob’s will be!”

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Christmas Carol 63 recto

Christmas Carol 63 recto


[Held] The hand in which he wrote the address, was not a steady one, but write it he did, somehow, and went down stairs to open the street door, ready for the coming of the Poulterer’s man. As he stood there, waiting his arrival, the knocker caught his eye.

“I shall love it, as long as I live!” said cried Scrooge, patting it with his hands. I scarcely ever looked at it before. What an honest expression [it ??ils] it has in its face! It’s a wonderful knocker!—Here’s the turkey. Hallo! [Hoof?] Whoop! How are you! Merry christmas! [by m??self ]Christmas!”

It was a most prodigious Turkey! He never could have stood upon his legs, that bird. He would have snapped ’em, short off, in a minute, like[ ??] sticks of sealing wax.

“Why, you never cou it’s impossible to carry that to Camden Town,” said Scrooge. “You must have a cab.”

The chuckle with which he said this, and the chuckle with which he paid for it the Turkey, and the chuckle with which he paid for the cab, and the chuckle with which he recompensed the boy, were only to be exceeded by the chuckle with which he sat down breathless on his [own] chair again, and chuckled ’till he cried.

It Shaving was not an easy task, [?? ???? huis of ]for his hand shook continued to shake very muche much; and shaving requires attention, even when you don’t dance while you are about at it. But if he had cut the end of his nose off, he would have put [a ? tad] put a piece of sticking-plaister atop over it, and been quite satisfied.

He dressed himself “all in his best,” and at last got out into the streets. The people were by this time pouring forth out, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; and walking with his hands behind him Scrooge look regarded everyone with a delighted smile. He looked so irresistibly pleasant, in a word, that three or four good-humoured fellows said “Good morning Sir! a Merry Christmas to you!” And Scrooge said often afterwards that of all the blithe sounds he had ever heard, these were the blithest in his ears.

He had not gone far, when coming on towards him he beheld the portly gentleman who had come walked into his counting House the day before, to and said “Scrooge and Marley’s I believe?” It [raised] sent a pang across his heart to think how this old gentleman would look upon him when they met; but he knew what path lay straight before him, and he [took] did not turn aside took it.

“My Dear Sir,” said Scrooge, quickening his pace, [as ?ies] and taking the old gentleman by both his hands. “How do you do? I hope you succeeded yesterday. It was very kind of you. A merry Christmas to you Sir!”

“Mr. Scrooge!” was the reply. "[It]"

“Yes,” said Scrooge, “I am [respectf] aware that that’s my name, and, I fear it may not be pleasant to you. Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness—” here Scrooge whispered in his ear.

“Lord bless me!” cried the gentleman, as if his breath were gone. “My dear

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