(1) In the following transcription of the manuscript from The Lord Chamberlain's Collection in the British Library, the names of speakers have been bolded. (2) Minor punctuation such as the colon in "Speaker:" has been added (the original used a period); other editorial changes appear within brackets: [ ...] (3) Page breaks in original manuscript are indicated in the following form: [799/800]. (4) Links in the text lead to the editor's explanatory notes.

[To introduction and text of title page and frontmatter]

Stave 1. Scene 1st. [799/800]

Scrooge's Chamber.

Scrooge:

Looking over a ledger/Losses, losses. This it is to trade, to venture one's gold in merchandise, to risk the gains of a life upon the treacherous deep. Draw as it were the ends of the earth together and for what? To feed co[r]morants with luxuries they ne'er intend to pay for. Old Marley was too lenient, if he had lived much longer this firm of Scrooge, Marley and Co. would have figured in the gazette.

Enter Frederick.

Fred:

A Merry Christmas [,] Uncle. Heaven save you[!]

Scrooge:

Christmas. Bah! Humbug.

Fred:

Christmas a humbug, Uncle. You don't mean that I'm sure.

Scrooge:

And what right have you to be merry [?] You're poor enough[.]

F[red]:

What right have you to be dismal. You are rich enough.

Scrooge:

Bah[!]

Fred:

Don't be cross[,] Uncle.

Scrooge:

What else can I be when I live in such a world of fools as this. Out upon Merry Christmas. What's Christmas time to you, but a time for paying bills without money. If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips Should be boiled in his own pudding.

Fred:

Uncle!

Scrooge:

Nephew. Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.

Fred:

But you don't keep it.

Scrooge:

Let me leave it alone then. Much good it has ever done you.

Fred:

... There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profitted, Christmas amongst the rest. But I have always thought of Christmas when it has come around as a good time, the only time I know in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut up hearts freely and think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers [800/801]

to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journies -- and therefore [,] Uncle[,] though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good, and I say "Heaven bless it."

Bob:

-- outside/Bravoe! Encore to "Heaven bless it," a double encore[,] Mr. Frederick.

Scrooge:

Another word from you[,] Mr.. Cratchit[,] and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation.

[to Fred] You're quite a powerful speaker[,] Sir, I wonder you don't get into parliament.

Fred:

-- Come,] Uncle[,] dine with us tomorrow.

Scrooge:

I'll see you darn'd first.

Fred:

Why?

Scrooge:

Why did you get married?

Fred:

Because I fell in love.

Scrooge:

Ha! ha! Good night.

Fred:

Nay[,] Uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as an excuse for not corning now?

Scrooge:

Good night!

Fred:

I want nothing from you. Why can't we be friends?

Scrooge:

Good night.

Fred:

-- -Good night[,] Uncle -- a Merry Christmas to you. And a happy New Y[ear!]

Scrooge:

-- Humbug!

Fred:

Outside / A Merry Christmas[,] Bob.

Bob:

Thankee[,] Mr. Frederick, and I'm sure of having it, the sight of your pleasant face so warms my heart.

Scrooge:

Does it, then I'll save my coals -- take out the fire [,] Mr. Cratchit -- that's another fellow, my Clerk. With 15/ a week, and a wife and family[,] talking about a Merry Christmas!

Enter Bob Cratchit.

Scrooge:

Well[,] you want?

Bob:

To shut up[,] if you please.

Scrooge:

Anything to rob me.

Bob:

It's over the hour[,] Sir.

Scrooge:

What have hours to do with work? You'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose.

Bob:

If quite convenient.

Scrooge:

It's not convenient and its not fair. If I was to stop half a crown for it, you'd think yourself ill used; and yet you don't think me ill used when I pay wages for no work.

Bob:

It's only once a year[,] sir.

Scrooge:

A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket. You want the whole day.

Bob:

-- -If you please[,] sir.

Scrooge:

What will you do with it?

Bob:

-- -Play at snapdragon with Tiny Tim and the rest.

Scrooge:

-- Psha! /Countinq money slowly into his hand / I haven't given you a shilling for a sixpence[,] have I[?]

Bob:

No[,] Sir[,] but you have given me a sixpence for a shilling.

Scrooge:

Gives shilling/ There. go.

Bob:

I beg your pardon, Sir[,] but these papers were left in the counting house by the overseers and church wardens, petitions for the poor.

Scrooge:

What have I to do with the poor[?]

Bob:

Nothing, Sir, but they desired me to say that thousands of poor people are at this moment in want of common comforts, Sir, in want of bread.

Scrooge:

Are there no prisons?

Bob:

Plenty[,] sir[,] worse luck.

Scrooge:

Workhouses, and treadmills, they are in existence[,] are they not?

Bob:

Both, Sir, and very busy.

Scrooge:

I was afraid by these begging petitions something had occurred to stop them.

Bob:

The gentlemen wished me to ask you what they should put you down for.

Scrooge:

Nothing. I can't afford to make idle people merry[.] Those that are badly off, may go to the work-houses. Those that can't may -- -

Bob:

Die[.]

Scrooge:

If they like, it's not my business.

Bob:

They shan't[!] I'll put myself down for sixpence.

Scrooge:

You may go, and see that you are here early in the morning to make up for the day you cheat me out of.

Bob:

What a flint heart. No warmth could warm or wintry weather chill him -- he buttons himself up so tight in his selfishness, that no good feeling can possibly melt his heart. Even foul weather don't know where to have him -- the heaviest rain that ever rained, and snow that ever snowed have only one advantage over him. They always come down handsomely [ -- ]Scrooge never does[.]

Exit.

Re-enter Scrooge with Gruel.

Scrooge:

To my thinking all the world's going mad with their folly and waste. Merry making is the term they apply to squandering and wast[e] -- what right have they to lose an hour -- a minute[ -- ] time's money. And money's too precious to be lost.

Christmas Carol sunq outside

"God bless you[,] merry gentlemen
When [sic] nothing you dismay."

Scrooge:

You vagabonds[,] if you don't move from my door I'll have you taken up. Let somebody else enjoy your music[,] I hate it /Wind and rain heard / rather a gloomy night; it was just such another when old Marley died. Ah[,] poor Jacob. When I look round the room, I can scarcely reconcile his departure. Yet he is gone -- dead -- dead, as a door nail -- ah! All flesh is grass!

Ghost of Old Marley glides on. Picture[.]

Scrooge:

Why it's Old Marley come back -- tights[,] boots and pigtail -- transparent -- no insides -- folks always said he had no bowels -- I don't believe in ghosts[,] not I -- What do you want with me[,] Mister? -- Who are you?

Marley:

Ask me who I was.

Scrooge:

Who were you then[?] You're particular for a shade!

Marley:

In life I was your partner.

Scrooge:

Where [sic] you tho'[?] Can't you sit down, Jacob[?] [Or do you lack something to] sit upon.

Marley:

You don't believe in me.

Scrooge:

I don't.

Marley:

Why do you doubt your senses?

Scrooge:

Because a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an underdone bit of beef or an underdone potatoe.

Marley:

Man, Man.

Scrooge:

You see this tooth-pick[?] I have but to swallow it and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins all of my own creation[.] All humbug. You're a humbug.

Marley:

Man of the worldly mind, do you believe in me or not[?] / touches him. He falls into seat. /

Scrooge:

I do [,] dreadful apparition. Why do you trouble me; why do you walk the earth?

Marley:

It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow men -- and if that spirit goes not forth in life it is condemned to so after death, and witness what it cannot share, but might have turned to happiness.

Scrooge:

Why are you fettered?

Marley:

I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link. You are making, forging hourly for yourself one much longer than this.

Scrooge:

Speak comfort to me[,] Jacob.

Marley:

I have none to give -- In life my spirit never walked beyond the limits of this narrow, money-getting hole -- now I am ever on long[,] weary journies with no rest!

Scrooge:

Seven years dead and travelling all the while; do you travel fast?

Marley:

On the wings of the wind!

Scrooge:

You must have got over a great deal of ground.

Marley:

Oh captive bound and double ironed[,] not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one's life's opportunities misused[.] Yet such was I!

Scrooge:

You were always a man of good business, Jacob!

Marley:

Business. Mankind was my business. Charity, Mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. Hear me, my time is almost gone. I am here tonight to warn you, that you have yet a chance of escaping my fate -- you will be haunted by three spirits!

Scrooge:

I think I'd rather not, if it's all the same to You, Jacob.

Marley:

Without their visits you cannot hope to shun this path I tread. Expect the first tonight, when the bell tolls one!

Scrooge:

Couldn't I take 'em all at once and get it over[?]

Marley:

Expect the Second tomorrow night at the same hour. The third upon the next night at 12. Look to see me no more. And look that for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us.

Glides out through window.

Scrooge follows and looks out.

Lord bless us[!] the air is filled with ghosts, every one in chains like Jacob. Some linked together[.] There's one old ghost in a white waistcoat with a monstrous iron safe tied to his leg. He is struggling to reach a wretched woman who is shivering and crying in the colds, on a door step with a sickly infant in her arms. As I'm awake it's Graspe the money lender who died suddenly without a will. With all his Struggles he cannot reach her[.] I can't stand any more of this.

Bell tolls one. Ghost of X-mas past rises.

Scrooge:

Are you the spirit [,] sir, whose coming was foretold me?

X. past:

I am.

Scrooge:

What are you?

X. past:

I am the Ghost of Christmas past. [805/806]

Scrooge:

And a long time past, I should think by your size, but -- May I ask your business here[?]

Christmas Past:

Your welfare. Your reclamation. Take heed, walk with me.

Scrooge:

I'm not fond of it. I'm obliged to you.

X.past:

Come, /touches him. Scrooge follows /

Scrooge:

Don't, Stop, I am a mortal and liable to fall.

X. ­past:

Bear but a touch of my hand there / on his heart/ and you shall be upheld in more than this[.] I will show you.

Scrooge:

What?

X.past:

Yourself.

Leaves and Discovers School with one boy
Seated on a form reading
.

X.past:

Your lip is trembling -- a tear is on your cheek. What moves you thus?

Scrooge:

I was bred in this place. I too, [was a] boy here. Thoughts, hopes, joys and fears, long forgotten[,] come back to me, all, all at once. . . .

X. past:

Strange to have forgotten them so long -- Do you observe that solitary child neglected by his friends[?]

Scrooge:

I do, I do[ -- ]'tis myself. I was always left at school, holidays and all.

X. past:

Yet he was happy. His solace lie in his books -- the contents were these.

leaves [.] Ali Baba and his ass pass the window[.]

Scrooge:

See[,] see. It's Ali Baba[,] dear old Ali Baba. Yes, yes, I know one Christmas time when yonder solitary child was left here all alone, he did come, and Valentine and Orson[;] there they go /Figures pass / -- Robinson Crusoe too. There's the parrot[:] green body[,] yellow tail[,] and a thing like a lettuce growing out of the top of his head -- there he goes, there goes Friday running for his life /Figures pass / Halloa. Whoop. Halloa.

Attempts to reach window. It assumes its
Former appearance
. [806/807]

Little Fan enters and throws her arms around the boy's neck.

Fan:

-- Dear brother[,] I have come to bring you home, home, home!

Boy:

-- Home[,] Little Fan[?]\

Fan:

-- Yes, home for good and all, for ever and ever. Father is so much kinder than he used to be that home is like Heaven..I was not afraid to ask him if you might come back[;] he said yes, and sent me in a coach to bring you, and you are never to come back here again.

Enter D. Dilworth followed by Servant And Postboy.

Dilworth:

So much the worse[,] young lady. He will have to regret the comforts and elegancies of my establishment as long as he breathes. My dear young friend. I mourn for your deprivation, to be torn from me, from this / Shows cane / is too much -- but we part friends. Your last quarter is paid, and you leave your towels and spoon as momenti mori. Put Master Scrooge['s] box into the coach. / offers postboy a glass of wine /

Post boy:

No thankyou[,] Sir. I had one last year, and if this be the same tap I'd rather not.

Dilworth:

Vulgate!

Fan:

Come[,] brother[,] all is ready. We'll be together all the Christmas time. Come, come.

Scrooge:

Stay. Stay[,] Fan. Sister Fan. Let me follow[.]

X. past:

These are but the shadow of the things that have been[;] they have no consciousness of us -- Your sister is dead now. She left one child[.]

Scrooge:

True[.] My nephew Fred.

X. past:

Whom you neglect!

Dilworth:

Shaking boy's hand / Bid farewell to these Academic groves.

Exits followed by Servant and postboy,
And Boy and Fan
.

Scene changes to:
Fezziwig's house.
Enter Scrooge and Spirit
.

X. past:

-- Do you know this place[?]

Scrooge:

I was apprenticed here.

Enter Fezziwig.

Scrooge:

Why it's old Fezziwig. My master -- bless his heart.

Fezzi:

Yo ho there -- Ebenezer -- Dick.

Two younq men apprentices, Scrooge and Dick Wilkens run on.

Scrooge:

Dick Wilkins my fellow apprentice and myself.

Fezzi:

Yo ho my boys, no more work tonight, Christmas eve[.] Dick[,] let's have the shutters up before a man can say Jack Robinson, then for a dance under the mistletoe -- Come [,] jump[!] Clear away.

Apprentices exeunt laughing.

There they go like race horses -- up with the shutters[.] All barred and ironed; come on and clear the house[,] boys. Yo ho, we'll soon be capering[.] Lets have lots of room. Mrs. Fezziwig[,] make haste. Chirrup[,] Dick. We'll have a merry night of it.

Dances off.

X. past:

He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money a few pounds[,] 2 or 4 perhaps[,] to make his servants happy[.]

Scrooge:

Yet [t]he happiness he gave us was quite as great as if it cost a fortune.

X. past:

You have a clerk, do you make him happy[?]

Scrooge:

No, no, I should like to say a word to him now.

X. past:

There was another you cast off for gold. Behold.

Enter Bella Morton [ ;] follow[s] Scrooge.

Bella:

I am sure of it, Ebenezer[,] you no longer love me, another idol has displaced me in your affections, and if it can cheer you in time to come as I would have tried to do[,] I have no just cause to complain. [808/809]

Yg. Scroo:

What idol has displaced you[?]

Bella:

A golden one, Money, which you so greedily worship, And which I fear is poisoning and closing roads Over me -- to your heart -- I think of those days when the summer sun and blooming fields, had attraction for you[;] think of those happy hours when, blessed in each others love, we were happy and content.

Scrooge:

You are ever taunting me with my love for gain[;] is it not an honest ambition to make oneself rich[,] independent -- there is nothing the world is so hard on as poverty, and yet there is nothing it professes to condemn so much as the pursuit of wealth.

Bella:

You fear the world too much. I have seen your nobler aspirations falloff one by one untill the master passion gain engrossed you, have I not[?]

Scrooge:

I am not changed to you[,] am I[?]

Bella:

-- Our contract is an old one, it was made when we were both poor, and content to be so. You are changed. When it was made you were another man.

Scrooge:

...I was a boy.

Bella:

...Your own feeling tells you, you were not what you are. I am[;] it is sufficient that I have thought of it and release you.

Scrooge:

Have I ever sought release?

Bella:

In words never.

Scrooge:

In what then[?]

Bella:

In a changed nature -- in an altered hope -- in everything that made my love of any worth or value in your sight.

Scrooge:

You imagine so, do you[?]

Bella:

Answer me truly. If this contract had never been between us, would you seek me out and try to win me now[?] You change colour -- you hesitate[;] it is too evident you would not.

Scrooge:

You think so! [809/810]

Bella:

I know so. I would gladly think otherwise if I could. Heaven knows -- you no longer love me! You who weigh everything by gain -- you who have but one idea, one thought, gold! I pity and release you, for the love of him you once were[.]

Scrooge:

Bella!

Bella:

You are free to pursue your money lending[,] grasping way, through the world. I shall soon be forgotten in the whirlpool of avarice or if remembered only as an unprofitable dream from which you so happily awake -- farewell[.] May you be happy in the life you have chosen.

Exit.

Scrooge:

Bella, Bella[,] listen to me.

Follows out.

X. past:

She married another, is now a happy mother, wealthy and respected[,] while you . . .

Scrooge:

Spirit[,] show me no more -- I cannot bear it.

X. past:

I told you these were the spirits of things that have been, that they are what they are, do not blame me.

Scrooge:

Take me back, haunt me no longer.

X. past:

One Shadow more, and my task is done.

Moves his hand and Scene changes
to Fezziwig's warehouse, fitted up for the
Christmas ball
.

X. past:

You remember this[?]

Scrooge:

Well, well, 'tis our Christmas ball, in the old warehouse. Fezziwig always gave it[,] bless him.

Fezzi:

Now[,] boys[,] attend the girls -- eat[,] drink[,] dance and be merry, you're all welcome.

Mrs. Fezzi:

That they are[,] Jonathon, heartily, as the flowers in May

-/Dragginq a little boy forward /

don't hide yourself[,] my boy[,] you're welcome too. The poor child lives at McAnsteys over the way and I suspect he's half starved. Mary[,] give him a piece of cake. Stay[,] girl[,] give him a whole one. [810/811]

Wilkins kisses_one of the girls under the
Mistletoe
.

Fezzi:

That's right: kiss her again. She likes it, they all do -- a dance, a dance. Never mind your places anyhow, every how, hands round and back again down the middle and up again.

Mrs. F:

- Where's the Fiddler[?]

Omnes:

- Here, here.

Fezzi:

...Now my love! Lucy[,] you take your sweet-heart the baker's hand. The milk man attend to the cook -- John[,] you rogue[,] don't tickle the girl over the way, behind Mr. Mopes. Now are you ready[?] -I see you are. No walking, real dancing adoones retire -- ho a hands with partners Cork screw thread the needle, in and out and back to places[.]

Country dance -- Spirit sinks.

Stave Second

Scrooge in his own chamber.

Scrooge:

Have I been dreaming about Mr. Marley's three spirits, my old school days, Bella Morton. Her image disturbs me more than all the rest[;] it can't be real. I'm labouring under the effect of nightmare, a delusion. Spirits[.] Ghosts[.] All Humbug.

Bell tolls One, and Spirit of Christ-
mas present appears on a throne of
turkies etc
.

X. Present:

Why do you gaze on me so earnestly [?] -- I am the ghost of Christmas present:

Song

Though the wind blow this snow-fall
We laugh at old care today
They're dancing and singing in bower and
Hall
And we'll be as merry as they
The mistletoe hangs on the rafters high.

Fill, fill, every flagon with cheer.

For Christmas was meant for jollity

And cometh but once a year.
Then deck up your houses with holly.
Bring in the harrier: let the hearth blaze.
Eat[,] drink[,] and chase every pain[.]
With joyous old carols of bygone days
We seem to live over again
Then what care we for a wintry sky [811/812]

Who dream but of sunshine here.

While Christmas was made for jollity & c.

3

Fill every soul, fill to my toast
Here's to the maiden each heart would wed
Fresh as the berries these Holly boughs boast,
With lips too as pouting and red.

And he that can't snatch neath the mistletoe
One kiss from those lips so dear
No true delight shall of Christmas know.
Which cometh R -- .

[X. pres.]:

I suppose you have never seen the likes of me before[?]

Scrooge:

No and never want to see you again[.]

X. pres.:

You have never walked with my younger brothers and sisters.

Scrooge:

Have you had many brothers[?]

X. pres.:

More than 18 hundred.

Scrooge:

What a tremendous family to provide for.

X. pres.:

- Man[,] you went forth last night on compulsion
And learnt a lesson which is working now.

Scrooge:

It is. Conduct me where you will, if you
Have aught to show me, I will profit by it.

X. pres.:

Touch my robe.

Scrooge does so and Scene changes
To Street.

People cross. Enter Fred and Mrs. Fred.

Fred:

. . .Yes[,] dear. Uncle Scrooge refused to dine with us and said Christmas was a humbug. He believes it too.
Ha! ha! [812/813]

Mrs. F:

...More Shame for him, shutting himself up with his riches, it is of no use to him, he never does any good with it. He don't even make himself comfortable with it. I've no patience with him.

Fred:

. . .I have[,] love[.] I am sorry for him. Who suffers by his ill whims[?] -- himself.

Enter Bob Cratchit.

Bob:

. . . What a feast we will have. . .l0 Lord Mayor's Feasts rolled into one wouldn't come up to it. Let's see[,] there's one, two, and two's four, multiply 4 by 2 and carry nought -- Runs against Fred / I Beg your pardon[,] Sir.

Fred:

. . .What Bob? Honest Bob!

Bob:

Mister Fred. /bows /

Fred:

My Uncle's clerk[.] Eliza, Mr. Cratchit.

Bob:

Servant[,] Ma' am, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Mrs. F:

..Thank you[,] Sir. The same to you.

Fred:

... Your master wouldn't dine with me tomorrow after all[,] Bob.

Bob:

... He's not fond of it. It wastes time an wears his teeth out[.]

Fred:

... He is the loser of many pleasant hours and [not] once be merry in his mouldy old offices or his dusty chamber.

Bob:

... Not many[,] Sir, unless he plays at hide and seek with the iron safe, or dances a reel with the three legged Stool, there's nothing to keep Christ-mas there, except himself and he'd better be out.

Fred:

. . .I mean to invite him every year [ ,] wether [sic] he likes it or not, for I pity him. He may rail at Christmas till he dies, but he can't help thinking better of it, if he finds me going there in good temper year after year -- if it only puts him in the vein to leave you his worthy clerk £ 50 it'll do some good.

Bob:

Leave me 50 all at one[.] Don't[,] Sir, you tike away my breath -- 5 times 10 and carry nothing it's too much[;] it would run me over at my pockets.

Fred:

I wish you had it to try[,] Bob. Good night.
giving half a crown./ Drink my health tomorrow.

Mrs. F:

Good night!

Exeunt.

Bob:

. . . Drink your health. I'll drink myself dry and then begin again -- 2 and sixpence, I'm growing rich -- 18 and two -- 17 and sixpence. What shall [813/814] I buy first[?] The grocers[,] oh them plummery 8 there absolutely winking at me, and asking me to taste them in a pudding. There's a goose. What a lovely image -- how handsome it would look smothered in sage and onions and sent to the baker's, then the taste -- apple sauce and gravy -- oh the picture's too beautiful. I must have it.

Exit into Poulterer's.
Christmas re-enter with purchasers. Spirit
sprinkles his Torch over them as they pass
.

Scrooge:

Is there a particular flavour in what you Sprinkle from your torch[?]

X. pres:

There is -- content.

Scrooge:

Does it apply to any kind of dinner on this day[?]

X. pres:

To any kindly given, to a poor one most.

Scrooge:

Why to a poor one most[?]

X. pres:

Because it needs it most.

Re-enter Bob with a goose.

Bob:

-- There's a fat 'un, I'm sure it's a prize goose. What'll Mrs. Cratchit say when she sees it and what'll all the children say. And what'll Tiny Tim say when he tastes the sage and onions[?] And what shall I say to the leg, the wing and a bit of the gizzard[?] -- oh the gizzard sticks in my throat[.]

A Poor family enter singing_a_carol.

People give money.

X.mas.pres:

You drove these poor people from your window last night[.]

Bob:

..There's a penny for you. Stop[,] here's twopence.
I ought to be ashamed to offer one penny, when I can spare two.

Exit_beggars.

X. pres:

You hear[?] He has 15S a week to support a wife and six children.

Bob:

. . . Now for Camden Town.

Exit.

Spirit leaves and Scene changes. To
Bob Cratchit's
.
Mrs. C., Belinda Cratchit, Master Peter
Cratchit discovered laying the cloth
. [815/816]

Mrs. C:

..Now pray be careful. Lay it smooth. the crease along the middle. Belinda[,] mind your frock[ -- ]it's only been turned twice. Peter[,] be careful of your father's collar[;] don't let the corners get into your mouth so.

Enter Tommy and Sally.

Both:

-Mother[,] we've smelt it at the baker's[.]

Mrs. C:

What?

Both:

The goose.

Mrs. C:

..Mind the potatoes[,] Peter.. What has ever got your precious father and your brother Tiny Tim and Martha[?]

Belinda:

Here's Martha[,] Mother.

X. pres:

...This is one of the buildings you despise[,] your Clerk's.

Tom:

...Hurrah[,] Martha. There's such a plum pudding.

Belinda:

And apples and sage and onions.

Sally:

And . . . and apple sauce.

Mrs. C:

Bless your heart alive; how late you are[,] my dear. Sit down before the fire and have a warm[.]

Belinda:

Mother[,] the potatoes are knocking against the saucepan lid, just as if they asked to be let out and peeled.

Tom:

Here's father coming. Hide[,] Martha[,] hide.

Martha hides.

Enter Bob carrying Tiny Tim.

Bob:

Where's our Martha[?]

Omnes:

Not coming.

Bob:

... Not coming.

Martha:

Running and kissing him / Yes, yes, she is!

Mrs. C:

Come with me and hear the pudding singing in the copper[.]

All leave after her, crying yes, yes.

Bob:

. .Peter[,] you run for the goose.

Exit Peter.

I'll attend to the sauce -- /beats up apples in small saucepan/ Delicious hour and sweet. Now for the glass. Two cracked tumblers and a custard cup without a handle. . . . What a glorious day we shall have it. Forfeits and Punch and hot chestnuts[.] [816/817]

Family returns. Peter with goose.

Bob:

-- Makes two attempts to carve the goose/

No[,] I can't. I'm too nervous.

Mrs. C:

...Cratchit, I'm ashamed of you, be a man.

Bob:

... It looks too beautiful to eat-/helps them all/ There never was such a one before .. I think it[']s the chap that used to lay the golden eggs[!]

Mrs. C:

...How tender!

Martha:

How nice.

Bob:

... How cheap. Tiny[,] my man, don't drink your gravy with a fork.. . Peter[,] you're smothering yourself in sage and onions.

Mrs. C:

...Now for the pudding.

Tiny Tim:

Squeaking / Hurrah!

Mrs. C:

I'm all in a twitter about it.

Exit.

Bob:

... Go with your mother[,] girls[,] for fear she should drop it. /Girls Exeunt / Lord[,] suppose it shouldn't be done, or suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back yard and stole it? No /Sniffs / it[']s all right. I smell a smell like washing day -- that's the cloth now the smell like an eating eating house and a pastryoook's and a laundress's[.] Ah[,] that's the pudding.

Mrs. C. and Girls return with pudding.

Mrs. C:

I nearly broke it in turning it out[.]

Bob:

... It's like a speckled cannon ball. -- Drinks,
A merry Christmas to all[,] dears.

Tiny Tim:

A merry Christmas to all.

Bob:

... Now, I'll give you Scrooge, the founder of the feast[!]

Mrs. C:

The founder of the feast indeed. I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind. The odious, stingy[,] unfeeling man.

Bob:

My canary bird!

Mrs. C:

You know he is[,] Robert[,] nobody better[.] Don't he make you work worse than a black-a-moor nigger 11 for --

Bob:

Hush[,] my dear. Remember the children. Drink his health!

Mrs. C:

For your sake. Not for his. Long life to him.

_ ___________________

Bob:

Have you all done[?] [817/818]

All:

... Yes, yes.

Tim:

All but me.

Mrs. C:

Bless the child[,] he'll swallow the plate.

Bob:

... Clear away, then for blindman's buff. I'll be blind.

All:

-- Do, do.

Exeunt.

Scrooge:

Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live.

X. pres:

I see a vacant seat in the chimney comer,
and a crutch without an owner carefully
preserved, if these shadows remain unaltered
by the future the child will die. What then
if he like to die, let him and decrease the surplus population.

Scrooge:

My own sinful words.

X. pres:

Man, if you be in heart, not adamant,
forbear that wicked cant until you have
discovered what the surplus is and where it
is. Will you decide what men shall live
and what men shall die; it may be
that in the sight of Heaven you are more
worthless and less fit to live than millions like
this poor man's child! Oh Heaven[,] to hear the
insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too
much life among his hungry brothers in the dust,
come, come[.]

Exit with Scrooge.

Bob re-enters followed by family.

Martha:

Turn around and catch who you can.

Blind man's buff. Bob catches Mrs. C. all
laugh and shout. Scene closed in
.

Scene: A mine.

Enter Spirit conducting Scrooge.

Scrooge:

This is a wondrous journey and great are the lessons you have taught me, Spirit. I have seen you with a generous hand bestowing blessings[,] content and harmless mirth on every thing within your reach.

Spirit:

Let this lesson live with you. Thus, all you [818/819]

have seen, and travelled far, and many
happy homes you've visited, stood by sick beds
and they were cheerful, by struggling men
and they were patient in their poverty. In
almshouses, hospitals and jails, in misery
and every refuge, where vain man in his
little brief authority had not made fast
the door[.]

Scrooge:

What place is this[?]

Spirit:

-- A place where miners live, who labour in
the bowels of the earth. You are one of its
considerate owners. See.

Enter Will O'Gap and his Wife.

Will:

... Never be down hearted[,] lass, this Christmas time too, hope for full work and better times. We shall live to be masters of a cottage and a piece of land yet, only let us bear our burdens with content.

Spirit:

You hear.

Scrooge:

And heed.

Wife:

Content[,] Will, How can I feel it when I know how cruelly hard you have to labour in this dreary place, to keep me and mine in bread[.] For us you're toiling night and day, year to year, scarcely ever seeing the blessed sun.

Will:

Its scarcity makes me enjoy it the more when I do see it. And the green fields are a sight worth seeing. Take heart.

Wife:

I cannot[;] misery has chilled it.

Will:

Tush! Tush. This from my Kate[,] my merry Kate, remember our courting days when you were all dimples and smiles[?] You promised then and I'm sure you'll keep your word, to be a cheerful helpmate to me through life. And what if its voyage be rough, will you by sighs and vain regrets make it rougher. No, no, lend me a hand[,] girl[,] and with a stout heart and willing mind, help to battle thro' it.

Wife:

-- Will. /smiling / [819/820]

Will:

-- That's brave. Now you look like old times again. A hearty laugh will do you good, it always does me. A cheerful smile and a contented mind makes these coals shine like diamonds, and if we're poor we're honest. And that's more than some of the richest and proudest can boast of. A fig for care, that for it. /Snaps his finqers /

Wife:

-- You never think of the condition you were in before misfortunes drove you to seek employment in these unwholesome mines[?].

Will:

I think of it[,] wife; but I don't cry over it. It's the duty of every man to submit to providence [.]

Enter a party of Miners.

Miner:

. . . Good news[,] Will. No more work to day. Master has given us all a holiday and full wages work and in to morrow. We shall have a jovial Christmas after all.

Will:

There[,] Kate lass. Now laugh till your sides ache. Work. Wages. You shall have a new gown and a cap. Come [,] Boys [,] let's above ground and drink a health, a right good one. A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to our Master[.] Come.

Exeunt merrily.

Spirit waves his wand, and discovers the open sea, a lighthouse in the distance.

Spirit:

Come.

Scrooge:

Not to sea! Not to sea.

Spirit:

Cast your eyes upon that dismal reef of rocks
where the waters rage and clash the wild year through.
Mark that solitary lighthouse.

Scrooge:

I do.

Spirit:

Even in that stormy coign this abode. Two
Men as they watch yon beacon light join
their horny hands and wish each other merry Christmas.

Distant voices are heard singing the Carol.

Go hear[.] Tis as hearty as the gale they buffet,
profit by this. My time is short on Earth, it
ends to night.

Scrooge:

To night[?] [820/821]

Spirit:

To night at midnight[.]

Two Children, Want and Ignorance, rise.

Scrooge:

Forgive me, but I see something strange -- points to one of their feet / Is it a foot or a claw[?]

Spirit:

It might be a claw for the flesh there is upon
it -- Look here. /Shows children. Picture /

Scrooge:

Ragged. Scowling and Wolfish. Are they yours[?]

Spirit:

They are Man's. 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 see that written
which is doom unless the writing be erased.
Deny it. Slander those who tell it you and
bide the end -- /Children disappear /

Scrooge:

Have they no refuge or resource?

Spirit:

Are there no prisons, or workhouses[?]

Scrooge trembles...A storm rises. A vessel drives on .Mast falls in.

Spirit:

Even in there, amid storm and peril

There are thoughts of home.

Carol is sung by the crew, at intervals
in the Storm. The beacon throws a
red glare over the water.

Omnes:

Land! Land! The light, we're saved!

Carol is sung. Spirit sinks and
End of Scene
.

Stave ­ 3

Scene [821/822]

The 'Change.

Ghost of the future glides on. Beckoning
Scrooge as the clock strikes 12. Music
.

Scrooge:

In mercy speak to me. Your sentence is dreadful[.] Why beckon me forward with that spectral hand [?] I feel you are about to shew me Shadows of the Time that will be, that will happen in time before and will you not speak to me[?]

Spirit points to two men.

Scrooge:

I fear you more than any Spirit I have seen but as I know your purpose is to do me good I am prepared to obey you. You have brought me to the heart of the 'Change amongst the Merchants I know and trade with[.]

Enter Topper and Floss.

Floss:

I don't care much about it, but old Scratch has got his own at last. I only know he's dead.

Topper:

When did he die[?]

Floss:

Last night[,] I believe.

Topper:

Serve him right. I thought he'd never die[.]

Floss:

I wonder what he has done with his money.

Topper:

I haven't heard. He has not left it to me, that's all I know.

Floss:

It's likely to be a very cheap funeral. Nobody to go to it[,] poor devil. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer[?]

Topper:

I don't mind if lunch is provided, but I must be fed if I make one.

Floss:

I never eat lunch, or wear black gloves[.] I don't know of anybody who will make one. He was no friend of mine.

Topper:

No friend of anybody's.

Floss:

The exchange is closing, bother the door. Thanks.

Exeunt .

Scrooge:

I know these men, why have you caused me to listen to their words of jokes and jibes at death[?] Why not let me see some tenderness connected with it?

Enter Bob, Mrs. Cratchit, Martha, and Peter.

Mrs. C:

Faster[,] father[,] pray, and don't be so slow. I have known you walk with Tiny Tim upon your shoulder very fast indeed. [822/823]

Peter:

And so have I often.

Bob:

He was light to carry: it was no trouble. No trouble.

Mrs. C:

You loved him so.

Martha:

Don't mind it[,] father.

Bob:

My little child / Weeps /

Mrs. C:

Husband, this is useless. Heaven willed that he should be taken from us. Tell me, have you seen Mr. Scrooge's Nephew and what does he say to you[?] Come.

Bob:

He is the pleasantest spoken gentleman you ever heard. I told him our loss [ .] He was heartily sorry for it, and if I can be of any service, he said, giving his card, that's where I live! pray come to me. Now it was not for the sake of anything he might be able to do for us, so much as for his kind way, that was quite delightful. It seemed as if he'd known our Tiny Tim and felt with us[.]

Mrs. C:

I'm sure he's a good soul.

Bob:

You would be surer of it if you saw and spoke to him -- he offered to get Peter a better situation[.]

Mrs. C:

Only hear that[,] Peter.

Peter:

I do[,] Mother. You shall have all my wages.

Martha:

No, no, Mr. Peter, you will be keeping company with somebody else and setting up for yourself.

Peter:

Get along do [ .] I shan't. /laughing /

Bob:

There's plenty of time for that. Whenever we part from one another, I am sure we shall none of us forget poor Tiny Tim, shall we[?]

Martha:

Never[,] father.

Bob:

Good children. I am very happy[,] very.

Exit wepping .all follow.

Scrooge:

Spirit of Tiny Tim, thy childish essence was from Heaven[!] [823/824]

Spectre waves and Scene changes
to Marine Store Shop
.
Old Joe discovered smoking.

Scrooge:

Why have you left the busy scene for this obscure part of town[;] it is reeking with crime, filth and misery, why bring me to this den of imfamous resort[?]

Spirit points to Mrs. Dibbler who enters.

Joe:

What[,] Mrs. Dibbler?

Enter Sally Dark and_Blink.

Mrs. D:

What[,] Sally Dark! Who'd of thought it. No! Blink, too -- wonders'll never cease! The compliments of the season to you.

Joe:

Let Mother Dark, the charwoman alone to be the first, and let the laundress alone to be the second and the under-taker's man alone to be the third! He's always last! No, no, the Sexton's last, Ha! ha! /laughs /

Mrs. Dib:

It's a rare chance for you at all events[,] old Joe. Notwithstanding we has all three met here permiscuously as a body may say[.]

Joe:

You couldn't have met in a better place for business, this is the shop for honesty, real right down an' no mistake, or gammon in the scales.

Blink:

aside / Hooky!

Joe:

You're all free of the house and knows one another's ways. I'll shut the shop door and and then value your lumps -- Now, what have you nibbled?

Mrs. Dib:

Lord! Mr. Beattle. How you does go on! What odds what you call it, every body has a right to take care on themselves as a body may say. He always did.

Sally:

That's true, no man more so.

Joe:

Small blame neither. Don't stand staring there as if you was afraid. We aren't going to pick holes in one another's coats[,] is we[?]

Blink:

Of course not[,] governor. We're up to a thing or two.

Joe:

Who's the worse for the loss of a few things like this[?]

Mrs. D:

Not a dead man at all events. [824/825]

Sally:

No indeed[,] mum!

Blink:

Rather not

.

Mrs. D:

If he wanted to keep 'em after he was dead. A wicked old Screw! Why wasn't he more natural in his life time. Then he have had somebody to look after his things.

Sally:

To be sure he would. It's a judgement on him.

Joe:

Ladies[,] be merciful. Remember[,] you belongs to the soft sexes -- very soft. Ha! Ha!

Mrs. D:

I only wish my little lot had been heavier. I couldn't lay my hands on not nothing else[.] What's the value of it[?] Speak out plain -- it's no sin, we're all in it.

Joe:

Very common, nothing new[;] its a shabby lot.

Blink:

Look over my little gleanings!

Joe:

A Seal. A pencil case. Sleeve buttons, copper gilt no value. That's your account. A £ [ -- ] that 's threepence over.

Blink:

Is that all? Another, Joe?

Joe:

Not a drop!

Blink:

Old Bear -- Good night, ladies.

Exit.

Joe:

That chap's a disgrace to us. He picks up such finicking things. I likes solids. Who's the next[?]

Mrs. D:

Excuse me[,] Miss, I'm in a hurry.

Joe:

Sheets[,] towels, two old silver tea spoons[,] Shuger tongs, and one boot. Why didn't you manage the pair[,] my love[?]

Sally:

I've got the other one in my lot.

Joe:

Bless you[,] Sally! Your always careful. Let me see. 2.1.6 pence & 3 -- Six bob, there that's yours.

Mrs. D:

No more!

Joe:

If you ask me for another penny, I shall repent of being so liberal and knock off half a crown. I always gives too much to the ladies[.]

Mrs. D:

Righ t you [are,] Old Joe. Six shillings [ -- ] it's a highway robbery!

Exit.

Sally:

Now for me.

Joe:

Ah, these are something like curtains. You were born to be a great woman / lookinq closely_/ not a hole. [825/826]

Sally:

It was his best.

Joe:

There's 12/ for you[r] half a soverei -- it's a light 'un, and two silver shillings, one on 'em's pewter. Go your ways, good night.

Exeunt.

Scrooge:

I see, see and judge. The case of the un-happy man they have robbed might be my own. My life tends that way now. This is a

Exit with Spectre [partially scratched out]

fearful place[.] I shall not forget the lesson it has taught me. Something informs me that our parting moment is at hand. I know it; but I know not how soon. Yet ere we part, tell me what cruel man is this that all rejoice at dead.

Scene changes to church yard.

Scrooge:

A Church yard, overrun by grass and weeds.

Spectre points to grave.

Why do you point to that stone? Answer me one question. Have I seen the shadows of things that will be, or are they the shadows of things that may be only[?]

Spectre popints. Scrooge advances to grave & reads.

"Ebenezer Scrooge"! Am I, the despised, deserted Man? That none mourn for dead? Dh no, no, Spirit, hear, speak to me. I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this if I am past all hope[?] Good Spirit[,] assure me that I yet may change these shadows by an altered life.

Spectre 's hand_trembles.

You pity me. I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year. I will live in the past, the present and the future. The Spirit of all three, shall strive within me. Oh tell me I may hope to sponge away the writing on this stone. [826/827]

Spectre sinks. Scene changes and leaves
Scrooge in his own chamber as in 1st Sce.
Bells ringing merrily
.

Yes, my own room! Oh Jacob Marley, Heaven and Christmas time be praised for this!

I say it on my knees, Old Jacob! on my knees[.] I don't know what to do I'm as light as a feather, happy as a angel, and merry as a school boy. A merry Christmas to every body[!] A happy New Year to all the world! I don't know what day of the month it is. I don't know anything[:] I'm a baby. Never mind[,] I don't care. I'd rather be a baby. / runs to window/ Boy[,] come up. I want you.

Enter Peter Cratchit.

What's to day[,] my fine fellow?

Boy:

Christmas day[,] Sir.

Scrooge:

I see, the Spirits have done it all in one night.
points out of window / My boy[,] do you see that Poulter's, look at that turkey hanging up there[?]

Boy:

What[,] the one as big as me[?]

Scrooge:

Yes [ ,] my buck. Go and buy it.

Boy:

Walker!

Scrooge:

I'm in earnest. Go and buy, and tell 'em to send it home, and I'll give you a shilling[.]

Boy:

A shilling! Won't I.

Runs off.

Scrooge:

I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's, it twice the size of Tiny Tim. Bob shan't know who sends it. Holloa, there he goes with Tiny Tim on his shoulder. Hallo[,] man, come up quick[.] Run[,] jump. He shall take the turkey with him. No[,] he shan't[.] I'll send it home, he shall come with me to Fred's. I'll carry Tiny Tim.

Enter Bob with_Tim.

Bob:

Good morning, Sir, may I wish you a merry Christmas[?]

Scrooge:

If you don't I'll kill you. I won't stand any nonsense, will I[,] Tim[,] my man[?] /takes Child / Your salary's double. This child of yours, all your children are mine, and you shall have another coal scuttle in your office before you dot another i, Bob[,] come along with me to my Nephew Fred's.

Peter:

Outside / Turkey has come, Sir.

Scrooge:

Call a cab for him. I'll come down lad; now Bob, Tiny[,] my man[,] and we'll have a jolly day of it!

Exeunt.

Bob:

Double salary. New coal scuttle. Father to all the Children, what'll Mrs. Cratchit say to that.

Exit.

Last Scene. Fred's House.

Fred, Mrs. Fred and various guests discovered playing at Hunt the Slipper.

Fred:

I've got it. Now for a health -- "Uncle Scrooge, A Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, to the old man, whatever he is." I only wish he was here now.

.

Enter Scrooge with Tiny and Bob.

Scrooge:

Do you[,] my boy! then here he is.

Fred:

Uncle. /Takes his hand./

Scrooge:

Yes and your Uncle's friends Mr. Cratchit and Mrs. Cratchit's son, no, my son.

Fred:

Who'd have dreamt this [?]

Scrooge:

Nobody. Bob didn't dream it. Did you [,] Bob[?]

Bob:

I thought it all a dream, Sir, till I bit my finger and cried!

Scrooge:

We've come to dinner. How do you do[,] my dear. Will you let us stay with you[?]

Mrs.

Fred:

Stay[?] I am only sorry you did not come before.

Scrooge:

To be sure[,] you are, but I'll make up for it all this day now. You must come and see me. I hope every body here will come, all the world. I'll try to make 'em happy. You'll come. / They bow /

Thankee! I am much obliged to you, bless [828/829]

you / to audience / And may I ask you to come[?] I needn't say, how your presences will add to our happiness, and help us to keep our Christmas well. And with Tiny Tim, allow me to wish you all a happy New Year and may

Tim:

-- Heaven bless us every one -- .

Curtain.


Victorian Web Theater & Popular Entertainment Charles Dickens Dramatic Adaptations

Last modified 30 April 2003

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