A Christmas Carol Manuscript

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


Christmas Carol 04 recto

Christmas Carol 04 recto


a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! What's Out upon [?????? ???y] Merry Christmas! What’s Christmas Time to you but a time for paying bills you haven't [by] without money; [?????? for?] a time for finding yourself a year older and not an hour [wiser?] richer; a time for balancing [???????????? the? ?????] [??? ??????] [???? ??? ??? ????] your [????] books [??? ????] and finding having every item in ?? ’em through a round dozen of months, presented dead against you? If I had my could work my will,” said Scrooge, [??turning ?? his?????] indignantly, “every [such?] idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, [He should!] and ????? buried with a stake of holly through his heart heart. He should!” I'm sick of Christmas.

“Uncle!” pleaded the nephew.

“Nephew!”—returned the uncle, sternly. “????? your Keep Christmas in your own way, and [????????????????] me keep it in mine much good may it do you let me ???? keep it in mine. Much good may it do you! Much good has it ever done you! ??? [And] Good day!" ?? [New para symbol?] “Keep it!” said the nephewrepeated Scrooge’s nephew. “But you don’t keep it.”

“Let me leave it alone then,” said Scrooge. “Much good may it do you! [??] Much good it has ever done you! [Bah! Good day!]

“There are many things by things [reasons] from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, [I dare say] [no doubt?] I dare say", returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas Time, when it has come round apart from its ????? name and origin — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that— as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when people men and women seem by one consent seem to open their shut-up hearts, freely, a|n|d [two horizontal lines added here] 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. Therefore And therefore uncle, though it may has never have put a scrap of gold or [silver] 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 [his ????] the impropriety, he ?????ed [stopped? ???? ????] poked the fire, and [poked] extinguished the last frail spark ??? of flame in the grate for ever.

“Let me hear another sound from you!” said Scrooge, “and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation. You’re quite a powerful speaker sir,” he added, turning [????] to his nephew. “[You should] I wonder you don’t go into Parliament.”

My [matter?] would be [new] there Don’t be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.”

Scrooge said that he would see him—yes, indeed indeed he did. He he went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity first.

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 05 recto

Christmas Carol 05 recto


“But why,” said cried Scrooge’s nephew. “Why?”

“Why did you get married [??] ?” said Scrooge.

“Because I fell in love.”

“Because you fell in love!” repeated growled Scrooge, as if that were the only one thing in the world more [gid???] [ridiculous? and?] ridiculous than a merry Christmas. In ?? "Good day!" “Good afternoon!”

“Nay, uncle, but you never [caused?] [deliberately?] came to see me before that happened. [and] wWhy assign give it as a reason for not coming now?”

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“I want nothing from you; as you know [I ?n ??? ???] [???????????] responded his nephew I ask nothing of you; why can't cannot we be friends?” [returned?] his nephew

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. [especially?] as wWe have never [been] had a any quarrel since I left [y??? a????] to 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 nephewwent out [gaily], left the room without an angry word, notwithstanding. He stopped [in] at the back outer door to say [???] the [same] greetings of the season [to?]on the clerk, who, cold as he was, was warmer than Scrooge: for he returned them cordially

“There’s a another fellow,” muttered Scrooge, [with?] who [heard] overheard him, "A [fellow] “My [desk?] clerk, with fifteen shillings a week, and a wife and family, [and not a ?? the ???] talking about a merry Christmas. I’ll retire to Bedlam from [his ????] to Bedlam.”

This lunatic in the [task?] letting Scrooge’s nephew out, had left let two other people in. They were portly gentlemen, [?n blac?] pleasant to behold, and [presented] now stood, bare-headed [????????] with their hats off, in 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 list. “Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?”

["Ye?] “Mr. Marley has been dead these ten seven years,” Scrooge [responded] replied. “He died ten seven years ago, this very day." night.”

The compliments We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner,” said the gentleman, at [????] presenting his credentials.

It certainly was, for they were had [???] been two kindred spirits. At the ominous word liberality Scrooge [???? ??????] frowned, and shook his head, and handed the credentials back.

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 06 recto

Christmas Carol 06 recto


“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than [commonly] usually desirable that we should make some slight ????? provision for the suffering poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. [Living] ????? Many thousands are in want of [the] commonest necessaries; thousands are 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 open in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman. “I wish I could say they were not.” ??????. ??????Mr. Scrooge"

????? ??? The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour then?” said Scrooge.

Both very busy Sir.”

Thank you. Oh! I was afraid ??? from what you said at first that something had occurred, to unf???? stopped them in their [usefulness] ??? useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.” [Scrooge ??? the chaplains in the workhouses good Christmas ????]

Thinking that they scarcely furnish Christmas cheer of mind or body Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring 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?”

“Nothing,” Scrooge 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 —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,” observed 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 gentlemen with¬drew. Scrooge resumed his labors with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.

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Last edit over 2 years ago by fmlaskey
Christmas Carol 07 recto

Christmas Carol 07 recto


Meanwhile the fog [???? ?? ??] and darkness thickened so, that people ran about with [blaring] flaring links, proffering their services to go before [the?] heads of horses in carriages, and conduct them on their way. A gruff old The [??] ancient tower of a church whose [?] gruff old bell was always peering peeping slily down at Scrooge out of a gothic window in the wall, high up became invisible, [as] and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds, with a tremulous vibrations afterwards, as [though] if its teeth were chattering in its head frozen head up there. The cold became intense. At the co In the main street at the corner of the court where a party of some labourers were repairing the gas pipes and had lighted a great fire in a brazier, round which a [knot] of knot of men and boys [?????] people [thin ? clad] an [assemblage] a party of ragged men and boys had? were gathered, [??? all?] warming their hands and winking their eyes before the [?? jolly] [g??? ?????] blaze in rapture. The [????????????????] water plug [was ????? des??????] [???????] being left [?? ????] in solitude, its overflowings sullenly congealed congealing, fell asleep and trickled off congealed stopped and and turned to [so far then.] misanthropic ice. The brightness of the shops where holly sprigs and berries crackled in the [gl?] lamp-heat of the windows was made pale faces [???] and [???? ???? bright] ruddy as they passed. [The poulterers] Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke, a glorious glorious [????? glorious joyous] glorious pageant Not a [matter] it was not [ of a ???? imp] difficultwith which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. [with it with such festivities. The Lord Mayor] The Lord Mayor in [his] the stronghold of the awful Mansion House [???] the Mansion House ordered gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers [???] [paced himself] to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s should household should; and even the little tailor whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and blood thirsty in the streets, stirred up [???] [???] tomorrow’s pudding in his [??? pair? bac?] garret, while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the goose beef.

Foggier and still yet, and colder! Piercing, searching, biting cold. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose [with such as that night nipped the] with a touch of such weather as that, [????] ???? instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have [roared] [made him] roared to lusty purpose. The owner of one scant and young nose, [??? the hungry cold had] gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold, as bones are gnawed gnawed by dogs, stooped down at Scrooge’s [door] keyhole, to ????????? regale him with a Christmas Carol; but at the first sound of

God bless you merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!

Scrooge [??] seized the ruler with such force energy of action that the singer fled off ?????ing in wild [dis] terror: [and lef] and left leaving the keyhole to the fog and ????? ?? even more congenial frost.

It It was At length the hour of [??????ing down?] shutting up the counting-house arrived. With an ill will, Scrooge at length said [kno?] dismounted from his stool, and told the clerk to ["Go"] tacit [published text: tacitly] [admit??] admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the tank, who [having had the mufflers ready for the] instantly snuffed [????] his candle out, and put on his hat.

“You’ll want all day tomorrow, I suppose?” said Scrooge.

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 08 recto

Christmas Carol 08 recto


“If quite convenient Sir.”

“It’s not convenient,” said Scrooge, “and it’s not fair. If I was to stop half a crown for the day it, you’d think yourself ill-used, I’ll be bound?”

The clerk [looked] smiled faintly.

“And yet,” 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 great [chin] coat to the chin. “Well But I suppose you must have[faithfully] the whole day. Be here early 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 Cornhill at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times [at the head of] in honor of its being Christmas Eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman’s buff. [with his children.]

Scrooge took his melancholy melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy [?????] tavern [of ??? ??? ??? cut] ;and having read all the newspapers, and beguiled the rest of the evening with his pocket banker’s -book, 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 have 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 as 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 explain 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

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