A Christmas Carol Manuscript

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


Christmas Carol 09 recto

Christmas Carol 09 recto


Marley’s face.

[Old?] [????] Marley’s face. [But?] a dark face [pla? plain] [dark] and [heavy? ?????] It was not in impenetrable shadow like as the other objects in the yard [was] were, but [???? ????? a ????] had a [strange?] dismal light about it like about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. , as if it [the very face?] It was not angry, or of Marley's body in a certain stage of decomposition ferocious [or horrible] in itself, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up upon its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if [??] by [breath ??] breath or hot air, and though the eyes were wide open, [but without motion] they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid [hue] 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 [beca] was a knocker again.

To say that he was not startle? 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; and walked in; [??] [?? ? ????????? ] and lighted his candle.

He did pause, [a mom] with a moment’s irresolution, 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 nu nuts [which] that held the knocker on; so he said “Pooh Pooh!” and closed it with a bang.

The sound resounded through the house, like thunder. Every room above, and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below, appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. Scrooge [He] Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. He [??????] fastened the door fast; and walked across the hall, and up the stairs — slowly too — [?] 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 [that?] you might have [brought] got a Hearse [ ?????? ] up that staircase, [with ???] and taken it broadwise, with the splinter-bar towards the wall, and the door towards the balustrades—and done it easy. 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.

You never find a ghost in a [small] Half a dozen gas lamps out of the street [?nds] wouldn’t have lighted it too well; [??] so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip.

Up Scrooge went, [?] not caring a [????] button for that. for ??? darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it. But before he shut [?? ???????ked] But before he shut his heavy door, he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. He had [sufficient] just enough recollection

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 10 recto

Christmas Carol 10 recto


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 little small fire in the grate; spoon and basin ready; and [his] the little saucepan of gruel [two or three horizontal and one vertical lines] (Scrooge had a cold ) in his head) upon the hob spoon and basin ready 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, . oOld fire guard, old shoes, two fish-baskets, [and a wash stand, half filled] washing-stand on three legs, and a poker.

Quite satisfied, he closed his door, and locked himself in — double locked himself in: [, ??] which was not his custom. [With that done] Thus secured against surprise, he took off his cravat; put on his dressing gown and slippers, and his nightcap [??? w?he can? with] his nightcap in his hands his nightcap; and sat down before the fire to take his gruel.

It was a very low fire and he indeed; nothing on such a bitter night. He was obliged to sit close to it, and brood over it, before he could extract [to? get?] [?? ???? ?? ??? heat?] the least sensation of warmth from such a handfull of fuel. The fire-place was an old one, [paved ] all round built by some Dutch merchant, long ago, and paved all round with [queer dutch] quaint Dutch tiles, embellished with designed to illustrate the Scriptures. [[He or It?]] was [????ing] There were Cains [abstracted? ?t with an air of abstraction? at on??] and Abels, Pharaoh’s daughters, Pharoahs Queens of [????] Sheba, angels angelic messengers descending ????? descending through the air on[[feather beds]] clouds like feather beds: Abrahams, Belshazzars, Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats, [????ing] [of ???i??] hundreds of subjects figures to attract his thoughts; and yet that face of Marley seven years dead, came like the ancient Prophet’s rod, and swallowed up the whole. If [????] each smooth tile had been a blank at first, with power to shape [all] pictures some picture on its surface from the wandering disjointed fragments of his thoughts, old Marley's head there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one.

“Humbug!” said Scrooge; and walked across the room. After a few several turns, he sat down again. [and lifting?] As he threw his head back in his chair, happened to [his eye fell on] his glance happened to rest upon a bell —a disused bell— that hung in the room, and [had rung] communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a[nother] chamber in the highest story of the [???????] building. [? ?i??] It was with great astonishment, and [questioned?] with a strange, inexplicable dread of he knew not what that as he looked, he saw this bell begin to swing. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound; but presently soon it rang out loudly. And so did every bell within in the house.

This might have lasted half a minute, or a minute, but it seemed an hour. They [all left off ???] The bells ceased as they had begun, together. They were succeeded by a clanking [??] noise, like that of deep down below; as if some person were dragging

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 11 recto

Christmas Carol 11 recto


a heavy chain [along] over the casks in the [ground?] wine merchant’s cellar. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in Haunted Houses were described as dragging chains. [????] [???? ???? ???????] The cellar-door flew open with a crash booming sound, and then he heard the [chain [????] ??? the floors below] noise much louder, on the floors below; then coming up the stairs; [and] then coming straight towards his door.

Scrooge turned pale [?????????] “It’s humbug still!” said Scrooge. "[I ???t] I won’t believe it.”

His colour changed though, as when, without a pause, it came on through the heavy doors, and walked [ ??? st??] 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, waistcoat usual waistcoat, tights, and boots; the tassels on the latter, [??] bristling like his pigtail, and his coat-skirts, and and [sic] the hairs upon [the] his head. The chain he [???? which] drew was clasped about [his waist] his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail /; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, [???] keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, [???] and heavy purses wrought in steel. His body was transparent, so that Scrooge, observing him, and looking through his waistcoat, could see the two buttons on his coat behind. nb. [[ie new para] He Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels, but [he] had never believed it until now.

No, nor did he [even?] believe it, even now. Though he [???] looked the [spectre?] phantom through and through, and saw it standing [there?] before him; [though he] though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes; and marked the very texture of the folded kerchief bound round his about its head and and [under-jaw] chin; ( which wrapper he had not observed before; ) he was still incredulous, and fought against his senses.

[???] How now!” said Scrooge; whose [momentary] fear had passed [ caustic and incredulous as he was; he was;] caustic and cold as ever: “What do you want with me?”

“Much!”—Marley’s voice. nNo doubt about it.

“Who are you?”

“Ask me who I was.”

“Who were you then?” [said] [??????] said Scrooge, raising his voice. “You’re particular [???] —for a shade.” He was going to say “to a shade,” but [to be] substituted this, as more appropriate.

I In life, I was your partner; Jacob Marley.”

“Can you— "Scrooge can you sit down?” asked Scrooge, looking doubtfully at him.

“I can.”

“Do it then.”

Scrooge [?? ?????] ?? asked the question, not knowing because he didn’t know whether a ghost so

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 12 recto

Christmas Carol 12 recto


transparent might feel himself [??] find himself in a 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 other side of the on the opposite to him, side of the fireplace, as if he were quite used to it.

“You don’t believe in me,” observed the Ghost.

“I don’t,” said Scrooge.

Why not What evidence would you have of my reality, beyond that of your senses?”

“I don’t know,” said Scrooge.

“Why do you doubt them? your senses?”

“Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. The least A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a spot blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potatoe. , [all] at [ease] in [thin m??]. I [???????] you are [?????] There’s more of gravy than of grave [ The?] about you, I have no doubt I have no doubt of that whatever you are whatever you are!”

Scrooge was not much given to [the] in the habit of cracking of jokes, nor did he feel, in his heart, at all by any means waggish at that moment then. He [essayed] The truth is that he tried to be smart, as a means of distracting his own attention and keeping down his fear fright fear terror; for there was something [?????] when a moments’ silence or a [f???] we [?? ??] exalted in a [??] the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones. moments ?? serious thought was calculated to [play] the very deuce with him.

To look sit staring at [those] those fixed glazed glazed eyes of his in silence, for a moment, would play, (Scrooge felt,) [p] the very deuce with him. There was something ???? [appalling?] solemn and very awful too in his having the spectre’s being provided with an [awfu] infernal atmosphere of [h?? ] its own. [When the ] thing [to] Scrooge could not feel it himself, but this was clearly the case, for though he though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless, his its hair, and skirts, and tassels were [still] still agitated as by the hot vapour of 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 [creature's?] vision’s stony gaze from himself.

“ I do,” replied the Ghost.

“You’re not looking at it,” said Scrooge.

“But I see it,” said the Ghost, “notwithstanding.”

“Well!” said returned Scrooge. “I have but to swallow this, and and be for the rest of my days, [I may ??] persecuted by a legion of [hobl?] hobgoblins, all of my own creation. Humbug, I tell you— [humbug] humbug!”

At this, the Spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook shaking shook its chain with a sound made with such a dismal noise and appalling noise, that Scrooge [ke??] held on tight to his chair, to keep save himself from falling in a swoon. But how much greater was his horror, when the Phantom, untied the handkerchief [???] taking off the bandage round its head as if it were too

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
Christmas Carol 13 recto

Christmas Carol 13 recto


warm to wear ????? in-doors, its [jaw] lower jaw [???] dropped down upon its breast!

Scrooge fell upon his knees, and clasped his hands before his face.

“Mercy!” he said. “Dreadful [vision] apparition, why do you trouble me?”

“Man of the worldly mind!” replied the [sp??] Ghost. “Do you believe in me or not?”

“I do,” said Scrooge, “I must. But why do you appear to me [? ??] spirits walk the come on earth, ["] and why to me?”

[Thy ??] It is required of every man,” [ returned] the Ghost returned, “that his the Spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide. And if that spirit goes not forth in life it is condemned to walk [does so after Death] is condemned to do so, after Death. [It is condemned] is [do?] doomed to wandering through the world, oh woe is me!—and witness what it can[not?] no longer share, but might have [tried to [or kindled ??]] shared on earth [?? ???n] in life, and and turned to Happiness!" [Means] of Happiness!”

Again [old ?] the spectre raised a hideous cry, and shook its chain, and wrung its [??????] shadowy hands.

“You are fettered [?],” [??] said Scrooge, trembling. "Why is that [?? I ask?] “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 put girded it about me on, of my own free will, and of my own free will, I wore it. Is it’s pattern strange to you?”

Scrooge trembled more and more.

“Or would you know,” pursued the Ghost, “the weight and length of [that] the strong coil you [wear] [came up an?] wear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven [years] ago Christmases ago Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!”

Scrooge looked about glanced [????] about him on the floor, as if in the expectation of finding himself surrounded ? by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable; but he could see nothing.

“Jacob,” he said, [submissively?] imploringly. “Dear Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. [Speak] comfort to me Tell me some Speak comfort to me, Jacob!”

“I have none to [???sto?] give,” the Ghost replied. “It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is brought conveyed by other ministers to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more, is all that [is] permitted to me. I [???? [must?]] may not rest, I may not stay, I may not linger [?????] anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond my our counting-house — you mark [me] Ebenezer me [?????]!— in life my spirit never walked beyond [????????????????] our [???] business, and the limits of this [chain] roved beyond the narrow limits ???? of our money-changing hole; and weary journies [???] lie before me [????]!”

It was Scroog a habit with Scrooge [when???? he] whenever he became thoughtful

Last edit about 2 years ago by Douglas Dodds
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