A Christmas Carol in Prose : Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
Autograph manuscript signed, December 1843
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan before 1900
Mr. Scrooge, are you serious?"
"If you please," said Scrooge. "Not a farthing less. A great many back-payments are included in it, I assure you. Will you do me that favor?"
"My dear sir!" cried the other, shaking hands with him again. "I don't know what to say to such munifi—"
"Don't say anything, please," retorted Scrooge. "Come and see me. Will you come and see me?"
"I will!" cried the old gentleman. And it was clear he meant to do it.
"Thank'ee," said Scrooge. "I am much obliged to you. I thank you fifty times. God bless you!"
He went to church and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows; and found that anything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk—that anything—could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew's house.
He passed the door a dozen times, before he had the courage to go up and knock. But he made a dash, and did it:
"Is your master at home my dear?" said Scrooge to the girl. Nice girl! Very.
"Where is he my love?" said Scrooge.
"He's in the dining-room Sir, along with mistress. I'll shew you upstairs, if you please."
"Thank'ee. He knows me," said Scrooge, with his hand already on the dining-room lock. "I'll go in here, my dear."
He turned it gently, and sidled his face in, round the door. They were looking at the table (which was spread out in great array); for these young housekeepers are always nervous on such points, and like to see that everything is right.
"Fred!" said Scrooge.
Dear heart alive, how his niece by marriage, started! Scrooge had forgotten for the moment, about her sitting in the corner with the footstool, or he wouldn't have done it, on any account.
"Why bless my soul!" cried Fred, "who's that?"
"It's I. Your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?"
Let him in! It's a mercy he didn't shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier. His niece looked just the same. So did Topper, when he came. So did the plump sister, when she came. So did every one when they came. Wonderful evening, wonderful games, wonderful