A Christmas Carol in Prose : Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
Autograph manuscript signed, December 1843
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan before 1900
For the first time the hand appeared to shake.
"Good Spirit," he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it. "Your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shewn me, by an altered life!"
The kind hand trembled.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh tell me, I may sponge away the writing on this stone!"
In his agony, he caught the spectral hand. It sought to free itself, but he was strong in his entreaty, and detained it. The Spirit, stronger yet, repulsed him.
Holding up his hands in one last prayer to have his fate reversed, he saw an alteration in the phantom's hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a bedpost.