A Christmas Carol Manuscript

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


Christmas Carol 39 recto

Christmas Carol 39 recto


had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. [????? ?ff??? ?????????] [??????????]Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.

At last the dinner was all done; and the [???? table being] cloth was cleared and the hearth swept, and the fire made up. The compound in the jug being tasted and [????????] considered perfect, apples and oranges were put upon the table, and a shovel full of chestnuts on the fire. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the fire hearth, in what Bob Cratchit called a circle—meaning half a one—and [?? ????] at Bob Cratchit’s elbow, [???d] stood the family display of glass: two tumblers, and a custard cup without a handle.

They These [??????] They held the hot stuff from the jug, however, as well as golden goblets would have done; and Bob [?????] served it out with a beaming looks, while the chestnuts on the fire, sputtered and crackled [?lee???? all on f???ments] noisily. Then Bob proposed:

“A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!”

Which all the family re-echoed.

“God bless us every one!” said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

He sat beside very close to his father’s [????????] side upon his [????????] little stool. Bob held his withered hand little hand in his, as if he[ ???ude] loved the child, and wished to keep [the child c??d feared ???] him at by his side, and dreaded that he might be taken from him.

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before. ["?????] [???????] “Tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in this poor chimney corner, and a crutch, without an owner, carefully preserved.[??? He] The child will die.”

“No no,” said Scrooge. [???????????????] “Oh no, [???] kind Spirit! Say he will be spared.”

"I am the last “None other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was somewhat overcome with penitence and grief.

“Man!” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart; not [f???????] adamant; forbear that wicked cant [?????????????????????????????????] until you have discovered [?????] What the surplus [?????????????] is, and Where it is. Will you and such as you decide what men shall live, what men shall die! It may be, [???? ???? ????? of] that in the sight of Heaven, you [???? ??? and ??? ??] are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God, to hear the Insect on the leaf, [de???? ??? ?????????] pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

Scrooge bent before the [????] Ghost’s rebuke, and, trembling, cast his eyes upon the ground. But he raised them speedily, on hearing his own name:[ p?????????ed]

“Mr. Scrooge!” said Bob. “I’ll give you Mr. Scrooge, the Founder of

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Christmas Carol 40 recto

Christmas Carol 40 recto


the Feast!”

“The Founder of the Feast indeed!” cried Mrs. Cratchit, reddening. “I wish I had him here. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I [bet he?]hope he’d have a good appetite for it.”

“My dear,” said Bob—”the children—Christmas Day.”

>??? It ???? should be Christmas Day, I['m ????] am sure,” said she, “on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. You know he is, Robert! Nobody knows it better than you do, poor fellow.”

“My dear,” was Bob’s mild answer. “Christmas Day.”

“I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s,” said Mrs. Cratchit, “not for his. [???] Long life to him! A Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!—he’ll be very merry and me very happy I have no doubt!”

The children drank the toast after her. It was the first of their proceedings which had no heartiness is heartiness in it. Tiny Tim drank it last all of all, but he didn’t care twopence for Scrooge it. He Scrooge was the ogre of the family. The mention of his name [d???] cast a dark shadow on the [group] party which it [?????] was not dispelled for full five minutes.

After it had passed away though, they were ten times merrier than before, from the mere relief of Scrooge the bBaleful being done with for the time. Bob Cratchit told them how he had a situation in his eye for Master Peter, which would bring in, if obtained, full five and sixpence weekly. Robert and [Belinda] The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter’s being a man of business; and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars, [a?] as if he were deliberating what particular investments he should favor, if he [could if he ???] when he came into the [???]coming into the receipt of that bewildering Income. Martha, who was a poor apprentice at a milliners then told them what kind of work she had to do, and how many hours she worked at a stretch, and how she meant to lie abed tomorrow morning for a good long rest—tomorrow being a holiday she passed at home. Also, how she had seen a Countess and a Lord some days before, and how the Lord “was much about as tall as Peter”; at which Peter pulled up his collars so high, that you couldn’t have seen his head if you had been there. All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round; and bye and bye they had asong, about a lost child travelling in the snow, from Tiny Tim, who had a plaintive little voice, and sang it very well indeed.

There was nothing of high mark in this; they were not a handsome family; they were not well dressed; their shoes were far from being waterproof; their clothes were scant; and Peter might have known, and very likely did, the inside of a Pawnbroker’s. But they were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time; and when they faded, and looked happier yet in the bright

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Christmas Carol 41 recto

Christmas Carol 41 recto


sprinklings of the Spirit’s torch at parting; Scrooge had his eye on upon them, and especially on Tiny Tim, until the last.

[By this time it was getting dark, and snowing pretty fast heavily; and as they Scrooge and the Spirit went along the streets, the gleaning brightness of roaring the roaring fires in kitchens, parlors, and all sorts of rooms, [were] was wonderful. Here, the flickering of the blaze shewed preparations for a cosy dinner, with deep red curtains hot plates [heating] baking through and through before the fire, and deep red curtains ready to be drawn to shut out cold and darkness. There all the children of the house were running out into the snow to meet the married sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, and be the first to greet them. Here again,[??ry] were shadows on the window-blind of children dancing guests assembling in a group; and there, of people gathered ???? near neighbour’s young damsels a group of handsome girls, all hooded and fur-booted and all chattering laughing [musically] chattering at once, tripped lightly through the off [snow] to some near neighbour’s house; where, wo upon the single man who saw them enter—artful witches; well they knew it—in a glow a bright[-eyed] glow! The ?? ??? single men? ???? inden- The p?? lamplighter [GO BACK!!!] ???sury in one place or another for the ??? ns But But as people going to p??t??? if you had judged from the imp???? numbers of people on their way to friendly gatherings [GO BACK!!!] you might have thought they that no one was at home to give them welcome when they got there, instead of every house expecting company, and piling up its fires half chimney high. Knockings at doors, ringings at Blessings on it, merry ????, how the ???? Ghost exulted! bells, glowing of lights, How it swung its torch, and bared his [bread] its breadth of breast, and opened his its capacious hand palm, and floated on, pouring with outpouring, with a generous hand, his its bright and harmless fire on everything within his its reach! The very lamplighter, who [went] ran on before ?????, running up and down his dotting dotting the dusky dotting the street with specks of light and who was dressed to g????t for spend the evening somewhere, and laughed out loudly, as the Spirit passed: though little knew kenned the Lamplighter than he had any[h?] company but Christmas ????!

And now, without a word of warning from the Ghost, they stood upon a bleak and desert [heath] moor, where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about, as though it were the burial-place of giants and nothing water spread itself wheresoever ?? it listed— or would have done so, but for the frost that held held it prisoner—and nothing grew but moss and furze, and coarse rank grass. [Low] Deep Down in the West the setting sun had left a streak of fiery red, which which looked [glanced] glared upon the desolation for an instant, like a sullen eye, and frowning frowning lower and lower, [forever] lower yet, was lost in the thick gloom of ??? on ??? onward the thick darkness ???? stood ???? ??? as if [GO BACK!!!] ????? pace there a living creature ??nding passed ?? and onward strode ???y, ??ing ??th darkest night.

“What place is this?” asked Scrooge.

“A place where miners live, who labour in the bowel? bowels of the Earth,” ret returned the Spirit. “But they know me. See!”

A light shone from ?? the window of a hut, or cabin as he spoke; and swiftly swiftly they advanced towards it. Passing through the wall of mud and stone, they found a Christmas [Part] ??? ????? cheerful company assembled round a glowing fire. A father and mother with An old, old man and [urchin child ??] woman, with their family of children, ?? ?ir?rd some and

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Christmas Carol 42 recto

Christmas Carol 42 recto


their children’s children, and another generation beyond that: all decked out gaily in their holiday attire: The old man in a voice that seldom rose above the howling rustl howling of the wind upon the barren waste, was singing them a Christmas song—it had been a very old Christmas song when he was a boy—and from time to time they all joined in the chorus. Some of these people So surely as they raised as it seemed from what they said, had travelled many miles their voices, the old man got quite blithe and loud; and so surely as they stopped, his vigour sank again. But no one was impatient. It was Christmas Day, and

The Spirit made no stay did not tarry here, but bade Scrooge hold his robe, and passing on above the moor, not on the ground—sped out to the sea on the th?? whither?—Not to sea? To sea. To Scrooge’s horror, looking back he saw the last of the land—a frightful range of rocks—behind them; and his ears were deafened stunned by dismal noises the thundering of of water, as it rolled and roared and raged in among the dreadful caverns it had ?? mined and [torn] worn, and fiercely tried to undermine the Earth.

Built upon a heap of dismal rocks reef reef of sunken rocks, [on] some league ?? or so from shore, on which the waters waters waters coarse waves ?????p??? chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a lighthouse solitary lighthouse. Great heaps of seaweed clung about to its base, and seagulls storm birds—born of the wind it seemed, like one might suppose, as seaweed of the water— rose and fell about it, like the billows waves they skimmed.

But even here, two men who watched the Light, had made a Fire that s???d through the loophole in the thick stone wall, shed out a ray of brightness on the awful ???? sea:. And joining their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat, they wished each other Merr Merry Christmas in their can of grog; and one of them—the [eldest] [s???on] elder? elder, too, with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather like as the figurehead of an old ship might be—struck up a sturdy song not much that was unlike a Gale in itself.

The Spirit Again the Ghost sped away on, above the dark black and angry billows heaving seas sea —on, on, on —until being far away as he told Scrooge, from any shore, they lighted on a ship. There stood They ??? stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the look-out in the bow, the officers whose watch it was had the watch; dark ghostly figures in their several stations on the deck; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companion of some bygone Christmas Day, with homeward associations belonging to it hopes belonging to it. aAnd every man on board, waking or sleeping, good or bad, had had a kinder word for another on that day than on any day in the year; and had shared to some extent in its festivities, and ? ????????? had thought of remembered those he cared for at a distance; and had known, as ?? that they would think r???? of him as tenderly delighted to remember him.

It was a great surprise to Scrooge while listening to the solemn moaning of the wind, and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown abyss whose depths were secrets as profound as Death—it was a great surprise to Scrooge while thus engaged, to hear a laugh hearty laugh. It was an infinitely a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognize it as his own nephew’s, and to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room on [and ashore] with not an ?? the Spirit standing smiling by his side and looking on at that same his nephew with that same nephew his nephew with especial affectation approving affability!

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Christmas Carol 43 recto

Christmas Carol 43 recto


“Ha ha!” laughed Scrooge’s nephew. “Ha ha ha!”

If by an you should happen by some uncommon chance, to know any disparate chance unlikely chance to know a man more blessed [to]t in a laugh than Scrooge’s nephew, all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I’ll cultivate his acquaintance. n? [It is a fair, even handed, glorious adjustment of of thinys things that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world more so irresistibly contagious than as laughter and good-humour. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way—holding his sides, rolling on his chair his head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions as he did it—Scrooge’s niece by marriage, laughed v???? ?????t laughed as heartily as he; and their assembled friends, yielding to being were not a bit behind-hand, that roared out, lustily. [ n? “Ha ha! Ha ha ha ha!”

“He said that Christmas was a humbug, as I live!” cried Scrooge’s nephew. And he He believed it too!”

“More shame for him Fred!” exclaimed said Scrooge’s niece, indignantly shaking her head emphatically. Bless those women; They never do anything by halves. They are always in earnest.

She was very pretty though a deal p???, she was exceedingly exceedingly pretty. ? wWith a little dimpled, surprised-looking, capital face; a dainty little mouth that seemed made to be kissed—as no doubt it was; and the most provoking all manner kinds of good little dots about her chin, that melted into one another when she laughed; and the sunniest pair of eyes you ever saw in any little [in] any pretty creature’s head. Altogether she was what you ?? would have called provoking,. you know, And But satisfactory besides too. Oh perfectly satisfactory!

“He’s a comical old fellow,” said Scrooge’s nephew, “that’s the truth, and something not so pleasant as he might be. What of that? His However, his offences bring carry their own punishment, along with [’em] and I have nothing to say against him.”

“I’m sure he’s very rich, Fred,” hinted Scrooge’s niece. “At least you always always ??ed th say so. tell me so.”

“What of that, my dear!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “His money is riches ? wealth is of no use to him. He doesn’t don’t do any good with it.; hHe doesn’t don’t make himself comfortable with it. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking—ha ha ha!—that he is ever going to benefit us with it.”

Oh! I have no patience with him,” observed Scrooge’s niece. And Scrooge’s niece’s sisters, and all the other ladies, expressed the same opinion.

“Oh! ? I am sorry for him have.” said Scrooge’s nephew. “I am sorry for him. I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself always. Here he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won’t come and [down] dine with us. What’s the consequence? He don’t lose much of a dinner—”

“Indeed I think he loses a pretty very good dinner,” interrupted Scrooge’s niece. Everybody else said the same, and they were must be allowed to have been competent judges, because they had just had dinner; and, sitt were sitting with the dessert upon the table, were all clustered round the fire, by lamplight.

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