A Christmas Carol Manuscript

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


Christmas Carol 14 recto

Christmas Carol 14 recto


to put his hands in his breeches pockets. Pondering [in his ??????? ??????, for all his ?ight]on what the Ghost had said, he did so now, but without raising his lifting up his eyes, or getting off his knees. [so that he looked]

“You must have been slow very slow about it, Jacob,” Scrooge observed — [rather?] [????? [????] ?????????????? ????? ????????]in a business-like manner, though with humility [???? ???? for all that] and deference.

“Slow! About what?[???? [??????] ???????]the Ghost repeated.

“Seven years dead,” said mused Scrooge. “And travelling all the time?”

“The whole time,” said the Ghost. “No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of remorse.”

“You travel fast?” said Scrooge.

“On the wings of the wind,” replied the Ghost.

“You might get over have got over a [????]great quantity of ground in seven years,” said Scrooge.

The Ghost, on hearing this, set up another cry, and clanked his chain so hideously in the dead silence of the night, that the Ward would have been justified in indicting him for a nuisance.

“Oh, captive, bound and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures for this earth, must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed—not to know that any Christian Spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness—not to know that no space of regret [in the ??? ???????? ??????????] can make amends for one Life’s [neglected and?]opportunities misused!—Yet such was I! Oh! Such was I!” [myself! And now]

“But you were always an excellent a good man of business, Jacob,” faultered Scrooge who now began to apply this to himself. said Scrooge,

“Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive Ocean of my business!”

It held up its chain at arm’s length as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief; and flung it heavily upon the ground again.

“At this time of the rolling year,” the spectre said, “I suffer most: why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed star which led the wise men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!”

Scrooge was very much dismayed to hear the spectre going on at

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Christmas Carol 15 recto

Christmas Carol 15 recto


this? rate; and began to quake exceedingly.

“Hear me!” ?cried the Ghost. “My time is nearly gone.”

“I will,” ?said Scrooge. “But don’t be hard upon me! Don’t be flowery, Jacob! Pray!”

“How it is ?that I appeal? appear before you ? ? ? ?in a shape that you can see, I may not ? tell. I have ?sat invisible beside you, many and many a day.”

It was not an agreeable idea. Scrooge shivered, and wiped the perspiration from his brow.

“That is no light part of my ? ? ?penance,”? pursued the Ghost. “I ?am ? ? ? ?here tonight to warn you that you have yet a chance and hope of ? escaping my fate. You have a chance ? hopeyet a chance and hope, of my procuring, Ebenezer.”

“You were always a good friend to me,” said Scrooge. “Thank’ee!”?

“You will be haunted,” resumed the Ghost, “by three spirits.”

Scrooge’s countenance fell, almost as low as the Ghost’s had done.

“Is that the chance and favor that you ?mentioned, Jacob?” ? ? ?he demanded in a faultering voice.

“It is.”

“I—I think I’d rather not,” said Scrooge.? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?“Without ? ? ?their visits,” said the Ghost, “you cannot ? ?hope to shun ? ?the path I tread. Expect the first tomorrow, when the bell tolls one.”

“Couldn’t I take ’em all at once, and have it over, Jacob?” hinted Scrooge.

“Expect the second, on the next night at the same hour. The third on the next night at the same hour. Look to see me no more; and look that for your own sake you remember what has passed between us!”

When it had said these words, the spectre took its wrapper from the table, and bound it round its head, as before. Scrooge knew this, by the smart sound its teeth made, when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. He ventured to raise his eyes again, and found his supernatural visitor confronting him in a erect atti¬tude, with his chain wound over and about his arm.

The apparition walked backward from him; and at every step it took, the win¬dow raised itself a little; so that when the spectre reached it, it was wide open. It beckoned Scrooge to approach, which he did. When they were within two paces of each other, Marley’s Ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. Scrooge stopped.

Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear; for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the

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Christmas Carol 16 recto

Christmas Carol 16 recto


air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, black dark night.

Scrooge followed to the window: [,] desperate in his curiosity. : and He looked out.

The air was filled with phantoms, wandering up and down wandering [???]ing hither and thither in restless haste [?????] haste, and moaning as they went. They all carried chains Every one of them [all] wore [???????] chains, like Marley’s Ghost; some [were?] few (they might be guilty governments governments) were linked together; some were [monstrous?] [dogs? ? ???] their weights attached to them; but none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost in a white waistcoat, with with [?????] a [????? great] monstrous iron safe attached to his ancle, who cried piteously at being unable to [??hi???] assist a wretched infant woman with an infant, whom he saw below, upon a door-step. Their The misery with them all, was, clearly, that they [wished?] sought to interf interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

Whether these creatures faded into mist, or the mist enshrouded them, he could not tell. But they, and the their voices they made spirit-voices [g???] faded faded together; and the night became as it had been when he walked home.

He Scrooge closed the window, and examined the door wh by which the Ghost had entered. which It was [still?] double-locked as he had left locked it with his own hands, and the bolts were undisturbed. He tried to say “Humbug!” but stopped at the first syllable. and [pondered?]. And Suddenly finding himself being being—from the emotion he had undergone, or the excesses [????????] fatigues of the day, or his glimpse of the Invisible World, or the dull conversation of the Ghost, or the lateness of the hour—much in need of repose, he went straight to bed, without undressing, and fell asleep upon the instant.

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Christmas Carol 17 recto

Christmas Carol 17 recto



The First of The Three Spirits.

When Scrooge awoke, it was so dark, that looking out of bed he could scarcely distinguish, [????] the transparent window from the opaque walls of his chamber. This was strange, for he [had with] his ferret eyes, He was endeavouring to pierce the dark his [ferret] eyes to pierce the gloom [?? profound] darkness with his ferret eyes, when the [???? ???????] chimes of a neighbouring church [a ????? [bell?]] chimed struck the four quarters. [And then the heavy bell] So he listened for the hour.

To his great astonishment, the heavy bell went on from six to seven, and from seven to eight, and regularly up to twelve; then stopped. Twelve! It was past Two when he went to bed. The clock was wrong. [?? the ??? foggy] An icicle must have got into the works. Twelve! Humbug! Preposterous [??] was impossible [It couldn't ??? The thing]

He touched the spring of his repeater, to correct this [most] most preposterous clock. Its rapid little pulse beat Twelve; and stopped.

Scrooge “Why, it isn’t possible,” said Scrooge, “that I can have slept through the rest of the [at] night, and all a whole day yes a day intoand far into another night. It isn’t possible that the sun has forgotten anything has happened to the sun, [?????] and this is twelve at [???] noon!”

The idea being an alarming one he scrambled out of bed, and groped his way to the window. He was obliged to rub the frost away off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown before he could see anything; and could see very little then. All that he could make out, was, that it was still very foggy and very extremely cold, and that there [were no] was no noise of people running to and fro, and making a great stir, as there unquestionably would have been, if the sun had night had beaten off the bright Day, and taken possession of the world. Scrooge went to bed again, more perplexed than before. [The preceding sentence was presumably deleted before the next one was added] [This was a] This was a great relief, because ‘‘sixty days in a state of [??????] after sight pay to me or my order,” and so forth, would have become a question [a???] quite an American a mere United States’ security if there were no days to count by.

Scrooge went to bed again, and thought it over and thought; and thought it over and over and over again, and could make nothing of it. The more he thought, the more perplexed he was; and the more he tried not to endeavoured not to think, the more he thought. Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. ??? ?????????? Every time he resolved within himself, after mature [deliberation] enquiry, that it was all a dream, heis fell ???? mind flew back again, like a strong spring released like a strong spring released, to its first position, like a strong spring released, and again presented the same problem, "Was question problem to be worked all through, “Was it a dream or not?”

Scrooge ? lay in this uneasy state, until the chimes had gone three ?? quarters more; when he recollected he recollected he remembered on a sudden, that the Ghost had [said]

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Christmas Carol 18 recto

Christmas Carol 18 recto


warned him of a visitation when the bell tolled one. He could have dispensed with this resolved to lie awake until the hour was past: and ???? a [vision] of his fancy and ???? considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to Heaven, was perhaps philosophy [in] Scrooge this was perhaps the wisest resolution he could make. in his power.

The quarter was so long, that he was more than once convinced he must have gone to sleep sunk into a doze unconsciously, and missed the clock. At length it broke upon his listening ear:

“Ding Dong!”

“A quarter past,” said Scrooge, counting.

“Ding Dong!”

“Half past,” said Scrooge,

“Ding Dong!”

“A quarter to it,” said Scrooge.

“ Ding Dong!”

“The full hour hour itself,” said Scrooge, triumphantly, “and no spirit Humbug, of course Humbug and nothing else!”

He spoke before the hour bell sounded, which it now did with a deep, dull, hollow, melancholy stroke ONE. The room was light Light flashed up in the room upon the instant, and the curtains of his bed were drawn.

The curtains of his bed were drawn aside, I tell you, by a hand. Not the curtains at his foot, no feet, nor the curtains at his back, but the curtains [?????] those to which his face was ?????? addressed. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up so that he rested on his into a half-recumbent attitude, hands found himself face to face with the Spirit unearthly visitor who drew them—as close to [him] it as I am now to you, and I am ????? standing ???????? ??? in the Spirit of [conscience?] at your elbow!

It was a strange figure—like a child ???? at first : yet not so like a child, as like an old man viewed through some [????ing] supernatural medium which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair, [was] ???? which hung about its neck and ???? and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle on wrinkle ?????? on it, and the tenderest bloom was on the [cheeks?] skin. The arms were very long and muscular; the hands of most uncommon strength the same; as if its hold were of uncommon strength. Its ???? ???? ???? legs and [foo.?] feet, most delicately formed, were like its those upper members, bare. It wore a tunic of the purest white; and round its waist, was clasped a [??????ing] bound a lustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful. It held a branch of fresh fresh green holly in its hand; and ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem [ ?] wintry emblem, had its dress ??????? trimmed ???? trimmed with summer flowers. But the strangest thing about it, was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which ?????? ???ed ???? unde??? all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for

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