A Christmas Carol Or “A Ghost Story Of Christmas”

  • PREFACE

  • Narrator

    I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.

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  • May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

  • Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D. December, 1843.

  • STAVE ONE. MARLEY’S GHOST.

  • Narrator

    Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

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  • The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner.

  • Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.

  • Narrator

    Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

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  • Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail.

  • I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.

  • Narrator

    But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for.

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  • You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

  • Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did.

  • Narrator

    How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years.

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  • Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner.

  • And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.

  • Narrator

    The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from.

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  • There is no doubt that Marley was dead.

  • This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.