A Christmas Carol in Prose : Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
Autograph manuscript signed, December 1843
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan before 1900
"I have come to bring you home, dear brother!" said the child, clapping her tiny hands and bending down to laugh. "To bring you home, home, home!"
"Home, little Fan!" returned the boy.
"Yes!" said the child, brimfull of glee. "Home for good and all. Home for ever, and ever. Father is so much kinder than he used to be, that Home's like Heaven! He spoke so gently to me one dear night when I was going to bed, that I was not afraid to ask him once more if you might come home; and he said yes you should and sent me in a coach to bring you. And you're to be a man!" said the child, opening her eyes, "and are never to come back here; but first we're to be together all the Christmas long, and have the merriest time in the world."
"You're quite a woman, little Fan!" exclaimed the boy.
She clapped her hands, and laughed, and tried to touch his head, but being too little, laughed again, and stood on tiptoe to embrace him. Then she began to drag him, in her childish eagerness, towards the door; and he, nothing loth to go, accompanied her.
A terrible voice in the hall cried, "Bring down Master Scrooge's box there!"; and in the hall appeared the Schoolmaster himself, who glared on Master Scrooge with a ferocious condescension, and threw him into a dreadful state of mind by shaking hands with him. He then conveyed him and his sister into the veriest old well of a shivering best parlor that ever was seen, where the maps upon the wall, and the celestial and terrestrial globes in the windows, were waxy with cold. Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine, and a block of curiously heavy cake, and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time, sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of "something" to the postboy, who answered that he thanked the gentleman, but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before, he had rather not. Master Scrooge's trunk being by this time tied on to the top of the chaise, the children bade the schoolmaster good bye right willingly: and getting into it, drove gaily down the garden-sweep: the quick wheels dashing the hoar-frost and snow from off the dark leaves of the evergreens like spray.
"Always a delicate creature, whom a breath might have withered," said the Ghost. "But she had a large heart!"
"So she had," cried Scrooge. "You're right. I'll not gainsay it, Spirit. God forbid!"
"She died a woman," said the Ghost, "and had, as I