A Christmas Carol in Prose : Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
Autograph manuscript signed, December 1843
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan before 1900
children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.
"Spirit! are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.
"They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!"
"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.
"Are there no Prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"
The bell struck Twelve.
Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not. As the last stroke ceased to vibrate he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley, and lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn phantom, draped and hooded, corning, like a mist along the ground, towards him.