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´╗┐Title: Old Scrooge: A Christmas Carol in Five Staves. - Dramatized from Charles Dickens' Celebrated Christmas Story.
Author: Scott, Charles A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Scrooge: A Christmas Carol in Five Staves. - Dramatized from Charles Dickens' Celebrated Christmas Story." ***

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[Illustration: Cover: OLD SCROOGE]



"OLD SCROOGE:"

A Christmas Carol in Five Staves.


DRAMATIZED FROM

Charles Dickens' Celebrated Christmas Story,

By CHARLES A. SCOTT.



    NEWARK, N. J.:
    NEW JERSEY SOLDIERS' HOME PRINT.
    1877.



    Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877,
    BY CHARLES A. SCOTT,
    in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

    All Rights Reserved.

     _This edition is limited, and is printed for the
     convenience of to enable the owner to make such
     alterations as may seem judicious._



_CHARACTERS._


    Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly broker
    Frederick Merry, a nephew to Scrooge
    Bob Cratchit, clerk to Scrooge
    Ghost of Jacob Marley, dead seven years
    Spirit of Christmas Past
    Spirit of Christmas Present
    Mr. Thomas Topper
    Mr. Henry Snapper
    Mr. Mumford | philanthropic citizens
    Mr. Barnes  |
    Peter Cratchit
    Little Cratchit
    Tiny Tim
    Scrooge's former self
    Mr. Stevens |
    Mr. Jones   |
    Mr. Fatchin | Scrooge's business friends
    Mr. Snuffer |
    Mr. Redface |
    Mr. Kemper
    Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge's former master
    Mr. James Badger
    Dick Wilkins, Fezziwig's apprentice
    Old Joe, a pawnbroker
    Mr. Shroud, an undertaker
    Old Baldhead, the fiddler
    The Lamp Lighter
    First Man
    Second Man
    Ignorance
    The boy with the turkey

    Thomas, a servant
    Mrs. Belle Kemper, Scrooge's first and last love
    Mrs. Frederick Merry |
    Miss Julia Kemper    | her daughters
    Miss Sarah Kemper    |
    Mrs. Cratchit, a devoted wife
    Belinda Cratchit | her daughters
    Martha Cratchit  |
    Mrs. Caroline Badger
    Mrs. Mangle, a laundress
    Mrs. Dilber, a char-woman
    Mrs. Fezziwig, a worthy matron
    Clara Fezziwig | her daughters
    Emma Fezziwig  |
    Little Fanny Scrooge
    Want
    Six or eight children for tableaux.

[Illustration: hand with pointing finger] By a distribution of two or
three character to one person, the piece can be performed by fifteen
males and nine females.



_COSTUMES._


      _Scrooge._ First dress: Brown Quaker-cut coat,
      waistcoat and pants. Dark overcoat. Low-crowned,
      broad-brimmed hat. Black silk stock and standing
      collar. Bald wig with tufts of white hair on each
      side. Smooth face. Second dress: Dressing gown, cotton
      night-cap and slippers.

      _Fred. Merry._ First dress: Walking suit, overcoat,
      black silk hat. Black silk stock and standing collar.
      Side whiskers. Second dress: Dress suit.

      _Bob Cratchit._ Long-tailed business coat of common
      material, much worn, and buttoned up to the neck.
      Woolen pants and waistcoat of check pattern. Colored
      scarf and standing collar. Large white comforter.
      Narrow-rimmed silk hat, old style and the worse for
      wear. Smooth face.

      _Ghost of Marley._ Drab cut-away coat and breeches.
      Low-cut single-breasted vest. Ruffled shirt. White
      neckcloth. Drab leggings. Gray, long-haired wig, with
      queue. Shaggy eyebrows.

      _Spirit of Christmas Past._ White tunic trimmed with
      flowers. Fleshings. Jeweled belt around waist. Long
      white hair hanging loose down neck and back. Jeweled
      star for forehead. White conical hat, very high,
      carried under the arm. Smooth, pale face--no wrinkles.
      Wand of holly.

      _Spirit of Christmas Present._ Green robe bordered
      with white fur. Fleshings. Trunks. Brown hose.
      Dark-brown curls. Holly wreath for the head.

      _Mumford._ Overcoat. Under suit of the period--1840.
      Black silk hat. White neckcloth and standing collar.
      Gray, long-haired wig. Smooth face. Spectacles.

      _Barnes._ Blue cloth over and under coats. Black silk
      hat. Black silk stock and standing collar. Iron-gray
      short-haired wig. Mutton-chop whiskers. Walking
      stick.

      _Topper and Snapper._ Dress suits of the period--1840.

      _Peter Cratchit._ Jacket or short coat. Very large
      standing collar and neckerchief.

      _Little Cratchit._ Calico shirt. Short trousers. Shoes
      and stockings. Apron.

      _Tiny Tim._ Same as Little Cratchit, with the addition
      of a jacket.

      _Scrooge's former self._ First dress: Cutaway coat.
      Knee breeches. Second dress: Cape coat. Hessians.

      _Ignorance and Want._ Clad in rags. Fleshings.

      _Old Joe._ Gabardine or long-skirted coat. Shaggy wig
      and beard. Old smoking cap.

      _Mrs. Cratchit._ Plain black or brown dress. Cap and
      apron.

      _Mrs. Merry, Kemper and Misses Kemper._ Handsome house
      dresses of the period.

      _Misses Fezziwig._ Low-necked dresses with short
      sleeves.

      _Mrs. Badger._ Plain walking dress. Bonnet and shawl.



_SCENERY, FURNITURE and PROPERTIES._


ACT I.

    SCENE I.--Scrooge & Marley's Counting House, 1st G.
      backed by an interior 2d G. Set fire-place--painted
      grate fire L. Window in flat L. C. Double doors in
      flat, thrown open, R. C. Scrooge's desk and chair near
      window--ruler, pens, ink and paper on desk. Bob
      Cratchit's Desk in inner room in sight of audience.
      Lighted candles on both desks. Scuttle of coal near
      fire place. Clothes hooks on flat for Scrooge's hat
      and great coat. Coal shovel for Bob to enter with.
      Subscription list for Mumford to enter with.
      [Illustration: Hand]Clear stage of desk, chair and
      scuttle.

    SCENE II.--Scrooge's apartments 3d or 4th G. Door L.
      C. and window R. C. in flat, backed by a street scene.
      Small grate fire and mantel L. 2. Old-fashioned clock
      and two plaster casts on mantel. Door R. 2. Table L.
      C. Lighted candle, spoon, basin and writing materials
      on table. Saucepan of gruel on hob. Two easy chairs
      near fire place. Lights down. Fender at fire. Ringing
      bells of place. Scrooge's hat and coat hung on the
      wall. Chain made of cash boxes, keys, padlocks,
      ledgers, deeds, purses, etc., for ghost to enter with.
      Toothpick for Scrooge to show. Trap ready for ghost to
      disappear.


ACT II.

    SCENE I.--Scrooge's bed room 1st G. Chimney C., with
      painted coal fire. Door L. C., window R. C. Trap near
      hearth for Spirit of Christmas Past to enter. Small
      four-post bedstead with curtains L. Bureau or
      washstand R.

    SCENE II.--An old school room 3d G. Door L. C., and
      window R. C. in flat. Chair at window. A stuffed
      parrot on stand near R. 3. Two or three school desks,
      a platform and desk for the master; books for young
      Scrooge.

    SCENE III.--A wareroom, full depth of stage. An
      elevated platform, centre of flat, for the fiddler.
      Old-fashioned arm chair at L. 2, for Mrs Fezziwig.

    SCENE IV.--Plain room, 2d G. No properties.

    SCENE V.--Drawing room, 5th G., trimmed with
      evergreens. A Christmas tree, trimmed and lighted, R.
      U. E. Ornaments on mantel. Fireplace L. Suite of
      parlor furniture. Centre table C. Toys for
      children--doll and doll's dress for Belle. Trap ready
      for spirit to disappear.


ACT III.

    SCENE I.--A room in Scrooge's house, 1st G. Flat
      painted to show game, poultry, meats, etc. Torch,
      shaped like a cornucopia for Spirit of Christmas
      Present.

    SCENE II.--Bob Cratchit's home--Plain room 4th G. Door
      R. and L. C., backed by kitchen flat. Dresser and
      crockery C. of flat. Fireplace L. U. E. Saucepan of
      potatoes on fire; six wooden or cane-seat chairs; a
      high chair for Tiny Tim. Large table C.; white
      table-cloth; large bowl on side table R.; three
      tumblers and a custard cup without a handle. Nuts,
      apples and oranges on dresser. Small crutch for Tiny
      Tim to enter with. Goose on dish for Peter to enter
      with.

    SCENE III.--A street mansion with lighted windows
      showing shadow of a group inside, 1st G. Snow. Torch
      and ladder for lamp lighter.

    SCENE IV.--Drawing room 4th G. Arch 3d G. Handsome
      suite of furniture. Large table R. Sideboard with wine
      and glasses at flat C. Piano L. 2d E. Coffee-urn and
      cups on small table R. 3d E. Piano-stool, music stand.
      Sheet music on piano. Salver for waiter.


ACT IV.

    SCENE I.--Scrooge's bed room 2d G. as in scene 1, act
      2.

    SCENE II.--Street 1st G. Snuff-box for Snuffer to
      enter with.

    SCENE III.--Pawn shop 3d G. Doors R. and L. C. in
      flat--Table C., four common chairs; a smoky oil
      lamp--lighted, and a piece of white chalk on table.
      Bundle of bed curtains--same as on Scrooge's
      bedstead--blankets and shirts for Mrs. Mangle to enter
      with. Bundle of under-clothing, towels, sheets,
      sugar-tongs, tea-spoons and old boots for Mrs. Dilber
      to enter with. A package containing a seal,
      pencil-case, pair of sleeve-buttons and scarf pin, for
      Shroud to enter with. Purse of coins for Old Joe.

    SCENE IV.--Street--exterior of Scrooge and Marley's
      1st G. Window L. C. No properties.

    SCENE V.--Bob Cratchit's home--same as scene 2, act,
      3. Table C., candles and work-basket on table. Book
      for Peter on table; calico or muslin for Mrs. Cratchit
      and Belinda to sew.


ACT V.

    SCENE I.--Scrooge's apartment, as in scene 2d act 1st.
      No additional properties.

    SCENE II.--Street--exterior of Scrooge's house 1st G.
      Brass knocker on the door. Turkey for boy to enter
      with.

    SCENE III.--Drawing room same as scene 4, act 3.
      Handkerchief for Fred to blindfold.



OLD SCROOGE.



STAVE ONE.


    SCENE I.--_Christmas Eve. Counting house of Scrooge &
      Marley. Set fireplace with small grate fire_ L.
      _Centre door in flat, thrown open, showing a small
      inner chamber and desk, at which Bob Cratchit is
      discovered seated, endeavoring to warm his hands over
      the candle. Small desk,_ L. C., _at which Scrooge is
      discovered busy at figures_.

      _Enter Bob Cratchit, from inner room, with coal
      shovel, going toward fireplace._

_Scrooge._ And six makes twenty-eight pounds, four shill----What do you
want in here?

_Bob._ My fire is nearly out, sir, and I thought I would take one or two
lumps of coal, and--

_Scro._ You think more of your personal comforts than you do of your
business and my interest.

_Bob._ The room, sir, is very cold, and I--

_Scro._ Work sir, work! and I'll warrant that you'll keep warm. If you
persist, in this wanton waste of coals, you and I will have to part.
(_Bob retires to his desk, puts on his white comforter, and again tries
to warm his hands. Scrooge resuming_). Four shillings and ninepence--

_Enter Fred'k Merry_, C. D., _saluting Bob as he passes him_.

_Fred._ A Merry Christmas, uncle. God save you.

_Scro._ Bah; humbug.

_Fred._ Christmas a humbug, uncle! You don't mean that, I'm sure?

_Scro._ I do. Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What
reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.

_Fred._ Come then. What right have you to be dismal? What reason have
you to be morose? You're rich enough.

_Scro._ Bah; humbug.

_Fred._ Don't be cross, uncle.

_Scro._ What else can I be when I live in such a world of fools as this?
Merry Christmas! Out upon Merry Christmas! What's Christmas-time to you
but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a
year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and
having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead
against you? If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with
"Merry Christmas" on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and
buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should.

_Fred._ Uncle!

_Scro._ (_sternly_). Nephew, keep Christmas in your own way, and let me
keep it in mine.

_Fred._ Keep it! But you don't keep it.

_Scro._ Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you. Much good
it has ever done you.

_Fred._ There are many things from which I might have derived good, by
which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I
am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it came
round--apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if
anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time; a kind,
forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the
long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to
open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as
if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race
of creatures bound on other journeys. 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, God bless it.
(_Cratchit applauds, but observing Scrooge, endeavors to be intent on
something else._)

_Scro._ (_to Bob_). Let me hear another sound from _you_, and you'll
keep your Christmas by losing your situation! (_To Fred_). You're quite
a powerful speaker, sir, I wonder you don't go into Parliament.

_Fred._ Don't be angry, uncle. Come, dine with us to-morrow?

_Scro._ I'd see you in blazes first.

_Fred._ But why? Why?

_Scro._ Why did you get married?

_Fred._ Because I fell in love.

_Scro._ Because you fell in love! The only one thing in the world more
ridiculous than a merry Christmas. Good afternoon.

_Fred._ Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened.
Why give it as a reason for not coming now?

_Scro._ Good afternoon.

_Fred._ I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be
friends?

_Scro._ Good afternoon!

_Fred._ I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have
never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the
trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll keep my Christmas humor to the
last. So a Merry Christmas, uncle.

_Scro._ Good afternoon!

(_As Fred goes out he exchanges greetings with Bob._)

_Fred._ A merry Christmas.

_Bob._ The same to you, and many of them.

_Scro._ There's another fellow, my clerk, with fifteen shillings a week,
and a wife and family, talking about a Merry Christmas. I'll retire to
the lunatic asylum.

      _Enter Mr. Mumford and Mr. Barnes with subscription
      book and paper, ushered in by Bob._

_Mr. Mumford._ Scrooge & Marley's. I believe (_referring to paper_).
Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?

_Scro._ Mr. Marley his been dead these seven years. He died seven years
ago this very night.

_Mr. M._ We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his
surviving partner. (_Presents list. Scrooge frowns, shakes his head,
and returns it._) At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is
more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision
for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many
thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are
in want of common comforts, sir.

_Scro._ Are there no prisons?

_Mr. M._ Plenty of prisons.

_Scro._ And the union work-houses--are they still in operation?

_Mr. M._ They are. I wish I could say they were not.

_Scro._ The tread-mill and the poor law are in full vigor, then?

_Mr. M._ Both very busy, sir.

_Scro._. Oh! I was afraid from what you said at first that something had
occurred to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.

_Mr. M._ Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer
of mind or body to the multitude, a few of us are endeavoring to raise a
fund to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We chose
this time because it is a time, of all others, when want is keenly felt,
and abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?

_Scro._ Nothing.

_Mr. M._ You wish to be anonymous?

_Scro._ I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish,
gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas,
and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the
establishments I have mentioned; they cost enough, and those who are
badly off must go there.

_Mr. B._ Many can't go there; and many would rather die.

_Scro._ If they had rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the
surplus population. Besides, excuse me, I don't know that.

_Mr. B._ But you might know it.

_Scro._ It's not my business. It's enough for a man to understand his
own business, and not interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me
constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen.

_Mr. M._ It is useless, we may as well withdraw. [_Exeunt. As they go
out Bob is seen to hand them money._]

(_Voice at door_ R. _singing_.)

    God bless you, merry gentlemen.
    May nothing you dismay--

_Scro._ (_Seizes ruler and makes a dash at the door._) Begone! I'll have
none of your carols here. (_Makes sign to Bob, who extinguishes his
candle and puts on his hat and enters._) You'll want all day to morrow,
I suppose?

_Bob._ If quite convenient, sir.

_Scro._ It's not convenient, and its not fair. If I was to stop
half-a-crown for it you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound? (_Bob
smiles faintly._) And yet you don't think _me_ ill-used when I pay a
day's wages for no work.

_Bob._ It's only once a year, sir.

_Scro._ A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of
December. (_Buttoning up his great coat to the chin._) But I suppose you
must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning. (_Exit_
C.)

_Bob._ I will, sir. You old skinflint. If I had my way, I'd give you
Christmas. I'd give it to you this way (_Dumb show of pummelling
Scrooge._) Now for a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys,
twenty times, in honor of Christmas Eve, and then for Camden Town as
hard as I can pelt. (_Exit_ C., _with sliding motions, closing doors
after him_.)


    SCENE II.--_Scrooge's apartments._ _Grate fire_, L.
      _2, Window_, R. C. _Door_, L. C. _in flat_. _Table_,
      L. _4. Spoon and basin on table. Saucepan on hob. Two
      easy chairs near fire. Lights down._

[_Scrooge in dressing gown and night-cap, discovered, with candle,
searching the room._]

_Scro._ Pooh! pooh! Marley's dead seven years to night. Impossible.
Nobody under the table, nobody under the couch, nobody in the closet,
nobody nowhere (_Yawns_). Bah, humbug! (_Locks door_ R. _and seats
himself in easy chair; dips gruel from saucepan into basin, and takes
two or three spoonsful. Yawns and composes himself for rest._)

[_One or two stanzas of a Christmas carol may be sung outside, at the
close of which a general ringing of bells ensues, succeeded by a
clanking noise of chain._]

      _Enter Jacob Marley's ghost._ R., _with chain made of
      cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, purposes,
      etc. Hair twisted upright on each side to represent
      horns. White bandage around jaws._

_Scro._ It's humbug still! I won't believe it. [_Pause, during which
Ghost approaches the opposite side of the mantel._] How now. What do you
want with me?

_Ghost._ Much.

_Scro._ Who are you?

_Gho._ Ask me who I _was_.

_Scro._ Who _were_ you then? You're particular, for a shade.

_Gho._ In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.

_Scro._ Can you--can you sit down?

_Gho._ I can.

_Scro._ Do it, then.

_Gho._ You don't believe in me?

_Scro._ I don't.

_Gho._ What evidence do you require of my reality beyond that of your
senses?

_Scro._ I don't know.

_Gho._ Why do you doubt your senses?

_Scro._ Because a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the
stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot
of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an under-done potato.
There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are. You see
this tooth-pick?

_Gho._ I do.

_Scro._ You are not looking at it.

_Gho._ But I see it, notwithstanding.

_Scro._ Well! I have but to swallow this, and be for the rest of my days
persecuted by a legion of gobblins, all of my own creation. Humbug, I
tell you; humbug. (_Ghost rattles chain, takes bandage off jaws, and
drops lower jaw as far as possible._)

_Scro._ (_Betrays signs of fright._) Mercy! dreadful apparition, why do
you trouble me?

_Gho._ Man of the worldly mind, do you believe in me, or not?

_Scro._ I do. I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they
come to me?

_Gho._ It is required of every man that the spirit within him should
walk abroad among his fellow men and travel far and wide, and if that
spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It
is doomed to wander through the world--oh, woe is me--and witness what
it can not share, but might have shared on earth, turned to happiness.
[_Shakes chain and wrings his hands._]

_Scro._ You are fettered; tell me why?

_Gho._ I wear the chain I forged in life; I made it link by link and
yard by yard. I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free
will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to _you_? Or would you know the
weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself. It was full as
heavy and as long as this seven Christmas-eves ago. You have labored on
it since. It is a pondrous chain!

_Scro._ Jacob, old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me,
Jacob.

_Gho._ I have none to give. It comes from other regions, Ebenezer
Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers to other lands of men. Nor
can I tell you what I would. A very little more is all that is permitted
to me. I can not rest, I can not stay, I can not linger anywhere. My
spirit never walked beyond our counting house, mark me!--in life my
spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money changing hole;
and weary journeys lie before me.

_Scro._ You must have been very slow about it, Jacob.

_Gho._ Slow?

_Scro._ Seven years dead. And traveling all the time.

_Gho._ The old time. No rest, no peace. Incessant tortures of remorse.

_Scro._ You travel fast?

_Gho._ On the wings of the wind.

_Scro._ You might have got over a great quantity of ground in seven
years, Jacob.

_Gho._ (_Clinking his chain._) Oh! captive, bound and double-ironed, not
to know that ages of incessant labor by immortal creatures; for this
earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible
is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly
in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too
short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of
regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused. Yet, such was
I. Oh, such was I!

_Scro._ But you were always a good man of business Jacob.

_Gho._ Business! [_wringing his hands and shaking chain._] Mankind was
my business. The common welfare was my business. Charity, mercy,
forbearance and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my
trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my
business. [_Holds up chain at arm's length, and drops it._] At this time
of the rolling year I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of
fellow beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them, to that
blessed Star which led the wise men to a poor abode? Were there no poor
houses to which its light would have conducted _me_? Hear me! my time is
nearly gone.

_Scro._ I will; but don't be hard upon me. Don't be flowery, Jacob,
pray.

_Gho._ How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I
may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you many and many a day. That
is no light part of my penance. I am here to-night to warn you that you
have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my
procuring, Ebenezer.

_Scro._ You were always a good friend to me. Thank 'er.

_Gho._ You will be haunted by three spirits.

_Scro._ Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Jacob?

_Gho._ It is.

_Scro._ I--I think I'd rather not.

_Gho._ Without their visits you can not hope to shun the path I tread.
Expect the first to-morrow, when the bell tolls one.

_Scro._ Couldn't I take'em all at once, and have it over, Jacob?

_Gho._ Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third
on the night following, when the last stroke of twelve has ceased to
vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you
remember what has passed between us. [_Ghost replaces bandage around
jaws, rises, winds chain about his arm, walks backward to window,
beckoning Scrooge, who rises and follows. As soon as Ghost walks through
window, which opens for him, he motions for Scrooge to stop, and
disappears through trap. Window closes as before._]

CURTAIN.



STAVE TWO.


    SCENE I.--_Scrooge's bed room. A small, four-post
      bedstead with curtains at_ L. E., _bureau_ R. E. _Bell
      tolls twelve. Scrooge pulls curtains aside and sits on
      side of bed. Touches spring of his repeater, which
      also strikes twelve._

_Scro._ Way, it isn't possible that I can have slept through a whole
day, and far into another night. It isn't possible that anything has
happened to the sun, and this is twelve o'clock at noon.

(_The Spirit of Christmas Past rises from the hearth as Scrooge finishes
his Speech._)

_Scro._ Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?

_Spirit._ I am.

_Scro._ Who, and what are you?

_Spir._ I am the ghost of Christmas Past.

_Scro._ Long past?

_Spir._ No; your past.

_Scro._ I beg you will be covered.

_Spir._ What! would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I
give? Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made
this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon
my brow?

_Scro._ I have no intention of offending you. May I make bold to enquire
what business has brought you here?

_Spir._ Your welfare.

_Scro._ I am much obliged, but I think a night of unbroken rest would be
more conducive to that end.

_Spir._ Your reclamation, then. Take heed! observe the shadows of the
past, and profit by the recollection of them.

_Scro._ What would you have me do?

_Spir._ Remain where you are, while memory recalls the past.


    SCENE II.--_The spirit waves a wand, the scene opens
      and displays a dilapidated school-room. Young Scrooge
      discovered seated at a window, reading._

_Scro._ (_Trembling_) Good heavens! I was a boy! It's the old school;
and its the Christmas I was left alone.

_Spir._ You remember it?

_Scro._ Yes, yes; I know! I was reading all about Ali Baba. Dear old
honest Ali Baba. And Valentine and his wild brother, Orson; and the
Sultan's groom turned upside down by the Geni. Served him right, I'm
glad of it; what business had _he_ to be married to the Princess! [_In
an earnest and excited manner, and voice between, laughing and crying._]
There's the parrot: green body and yellow tail, with a thing like a
lettuce growing out of the top of his head; there he is! Poor Robin
Crusoe, where have you been, Robin Crusoe? There goes Friday, running
for his life to the little Creek. Halloo! Hoop! Halloo! [_Changing to a
pitiful tone, in allusion to his former self._] Poor boy.

_Spir._ Strange to have forgotten this for so many years.

_Scro._ (_Putting his hand in his pocket and drying his eyes on his
cuff_) I wish--but it's too late now.

_Spir._ What is the matter?

_Scro._ Nothing; nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas carol at
my door, last night, I should like to have given him something, that's
all.

[_Young Scrooge rises and walks up and down. Door opens and Fanny
Scrooge darts in and puts her arms about his neck and kisses him._]

_Fanny._ Dear, dear brother! I have come to bring you home, dear
brother. (_Clapping her hands and laughing gleefully._) To bring you
home, home, home!

_Young S._ Home, little Fan?

_Fan._ Yes! Home for good, and all. Home for ever and ever. Father is
so much kinder than he used to be, that home is 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, and
never to come back here; but first we're to be together all the
Christmas long, and have the merriest time in all the world.

_Young S._ You're quite a woman, little Fan! [_She claps her hands and
laughs, tries to touch his head, but being too little, laughs again.
Stands on tip-toe to embrace him, and in childish eagerness and glee,
drags him willingly towards the door. Exeunt._]

_Voice_ [_outside_]. Bring down Master Scrooge's box, there.

[_Scene Closes_]

_Spir._ Always a delicate creature, whom a breath might have withered.
But she had a large heart.

_Scro._ So she had. You're right. I will not gainsay it, Spirit. Lord
forbid.

_Spir._ She died a woman, and had, as I think, children.

_Scro._ One child.

_Spir._ True; your nephew.

_Scro._ [_uneasily_] Yes.

_Spir._ Let us see another Christmas. (_Waves wand._)


    SCENE III.--_Fezziwig's Ball, full depth of stage,
      representing a wareroom. Fezziwig and Mrs. Fezziwig
      L., the former standing and clapping his hands, and
      the latter seated in an arm-chair, manifesting
      delight. Old bald-headed fiddler, on an elevated seat,
      at the back. Dick Wilkins, with two Miss Fezziwigs,
      forward to right and back. Scrooge's former self
      advances and retires to the partners, with fancy
      steps: hands around; right and left; ladies change;
      balance; promenade. Other characters to fill up the
      picture. Laughter and merriment to follow Scrooge's
      speech._

_Spir._ Do you know it?

_Scro._ Know it! I was apprenticed here. Why, its old Fezziwig. Bless
his heart; its Fezziwig alive again, and Mrs Fezziwig, too. Dick
Wilkins, to be sure, with Fezziwig's two daughters. Bless me, yes. There
he is. He was very much attached to me, was Dick. Poor Dick. And see me,
cutting the pigeon-wing. Dear, dear, dear!

(_Dance comes to an end amid general hilarity and merriment, and the
scene closes in._)

_Spir._ A small matter to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.

_Scro._ Small! Why, old Fezziwig was one of the best men that ever
lived. He never missed giving his employees a Christmas ball.

_Spir._ Why, is it not! He spent but a few pounds of money--three or
four pounds, perhaps--. Is that so much that he deserves your praise?

_Scro._ It isn't that, Spirit. He had the power to render us happy or
unhappy; to make our services light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil.
Say that his power lives in words and looks; in things so light and
unsignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up; what then?
The happiness he gives is quite as great if it cost a fortune--oh, dear.

_Spir._ What is the matter?

_Scro._ Nothing, particular.

_Spir._ Something, I think.

_Scro._ No, no. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my
clerk, just now, that's all.

_Spir._ My time grows short, let us hurry on. Do you remember this?
(_Waves wand._)


    SCENE IV.--_A room. Enter Belle and Scrooge's former
      self, at twenty-five years of age._

_Scro._ It is Belle, as sure as I am a living sinner.

_Belle._ It matters little to you. To you very little. Another idol has
displaced me; and if it can cheer and comfort you in time to come, as I
would have tried to do, I have no just cause to grieve.

_Young S._ What idol has displaced you?

_Belle._ A golden one.

_Young S._ This is the even-handed dealing of the world. There is
nothing on which it is so hard as poverty; and there is nothing it
professes to condemn with such severity, as the pursuit of wealth.

_Belle._ You fear the world too much. All your other hopes have merged
into the hope of being beyond the chance of its sordid reproach. I have
seen your nobler aspirations fall off one by one, until the master
passion _gain_, engrosses you. Have I not?

_Young S._ What then? Even if I have grown so much wiser, what then? I
am not changed toward you, (_She shakes her head._) Am I?

_Belle._ Our contract is an old one. It was made when we were both poor
and content to be so, until in good season, we could improve our worldly
fortune by our patient industry. You _are_ changed. When it was made you
were another man.

_Young S._ I was a boy.

_Belle._ Your own feeling tells you that you were not what you are. I
am. That which promised happiness when we were one in heart is fraught
with misery now that we are two. How often and how keenly I have thought
of this, I will not say. It is enough that I _have_ thought of it, and
can release you.

_Young S._ Have I ever sought release?

_Belle._ In words; no, never.

_Young S._ In what, then?

_Belle._ In a changed nature; in an altered spirit; in another
atmosphere of life; another hope as to its great end. In everything that
made my love of any worth or value in your sight. If this had never been
between us, tell me, would you seek me out and try to win me now? Ah,
no!

_Young S._ You think not?

_Belle._ I would gladly think otherwise, if I could; Heaven knows. When
I have learned a truth like this, I know how strong and irresistible it
must be. But if you were free to-day, to-morrow, yesterday, can even I
believe that you would choose a dowerless girl--you, who, in your very
confidence with her, weigh everything by gain; or choosing her, if for a
moment you were false enough to your one guiding principle to do so, do
I not know that your repentance and regret would surely follow? I do;
and I release you, with a full heart, for the love of him you once were.
(_He is about to speak, but with her head turned from him she resumes._)
You may--the memory of what is past half makes me hope you will--have
pain in this. A very, very brief time, and you will dismiss the
recollection of it, gladly, as an unprofitable dream, from which it
happened well that you awoke. May you be happy in the life you have
chosen. Fare well. [_Exit._]

_Young S._ (_Following_) Belle, Belle! Hear me. Let me explain.
[_Exit._]

[_Scene Closes._]

_Scro._ Spirit, show me no more! Conduct me home. Why do you delight to
torture me?

_Spir._ O, mortal, what a treasure didst thou cast away. She, whom you
resigned for paltry gold, became the happy wife of your former
schoolmate, Kemper. One shadow more. Behold now the tender mother of
smiling children, in their joyous home--a home that might have been your
own.

_Scro._ No more! no more! I don't wish to see it.

_Spir._ Behold. (_Waves Wand._)


    SCENE V.--_Drawing room. Six or eight children, of
      various sizes, in groups, playing with toys. A
      Christmas tree, trimmed and lighted. Mr. and Mrs.
      Kemper seated at table; their daughter Belle seated at
      fire, dressing a doll for one of the girls._

_Mr. K._ Belle, I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon.

_Mrs. K._ Who was it?

_Mr. K._ Guess?

_Mrs. K._ How can I? Tut, don't I know (_laughingly_), Mr. Scrooge?

_Mr. K._ Mr. Scrooge it was--your old sweetheart (_laughing_). I passed
his office window, and as it was not shut up, and he had a candle
inside, I could scarcely help seeing him. His partner, old Jacob Marley,
lies upon the point of death, I hear. And there he sat, alone. Quite
alone in the world, I do believe.

_Mrs. K._ Poor old man.

[_Scene Closes._]

_Scro._ Spirit (_in a broken voice_), remove me from this place.

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

_Scro._ I am to blame for what they are, and now that I see what they
might have been, I am more wretched than ever. Remove me! I can not bear
it. (_Turns upon the spirit, and struggles with it._) Leave me! Take me
back! Haunt me no longer! (_Seizes the extinguisher-cap, presses it
down, while spirit sinks through trap, and disappears. When trap is
replaced, Scrooge reels to the bedstead, apparently exhausted, and with
the cap grasped in his hand, falls asleep._)

CURTAIN.



STAVE THREE.


    SCENE I.--_Adjoining room in Scrooge's house. Flat to
      represent piles of turkeys, geese, game, poultry,
      joints of meat, sucking-pigs, strings of sausages,
      oysters, mince pies, plum-puddings, pears, apples,
      oranges, cakes and bowls of punch; also holly,
      mistletoe and ivy._

_The Spirit of Christmas Present_ R. [_a giant_], _discovered holding a
glowing torch--shaped like a cornucopia, to shed its light on Scrooge's
entrance._

_Spir._ Come in!

_Enter Scrooge, timidly_, L.

_Spir._ Come in, and know me better, man. You have never seen the like
of me before.

_Scro._ Never.

_Spir._ Have never walked forthwith the younger members of my family,
meaning--for I am very young--my elder brothers, born in these later
years?

_Scro._ I don't think I have. I am afraid I have not. Have you had many
brothers, Spirit?

_Spir._ More than eighteen hundred.

_Scro._ A tremendous family to provide for. Spirit, conduct me where you
will. I went forth last night on compulsion, and I learned a lesson
which is working now. To-night, if you have aught to teach me, let me
profit by it.

_Spir._ Touch my robe, and remember that we are invisible, and unable to
manifest our presence to those with whom we come in contact. Loose not
your hold, lest you should lose yourself. [_Exeunt_ L.]


    SCENE II.--_Bob Cratchit's home. Mrs. Cratchit
      discovered laying cloth. Belinda assisting her. Master
      Peter Cratchit blowing the fire._

_Mrs. C._ What has ever got your precious father, then? And your
brother, Tiny Tim! And Martha warn't as late last Christmas Day by half
an hour?

_Enter Little Cratchit and Martha. Door in flat._

_Little C._ Here's Martha, mother! Here's Martha Hurrah! Oh, Martha,
there's such a big goose at the bakers, next door. I smelt it cooking.

_Mrs. C._ Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how late you are!
(_Kissing her and taking off her bonnet and shawl._)

_Martha._ We'd a deal of work to finish up last night, and had to clear
away this morning, mother.

_Mrs. C._ Well, never mind, so long as you are come. Sit ye down before
the fire, my dear, and have a warm, Lord bless ye.

_Little C._ No, no! There's father coming. Hide, Martha, hide. (_Martha
gets behind the door._)

      _Enter Bob Cratchit with Tiny Tim on his shoulder and
      little crutch in his hand. Spirit and Scrooge
      following, coming down front, and observing with
      interest all that passes._

_Bob._ Why, where's our Martha? (_Looking around and putting Tiny Tim
down._)

_Little C._ Come, Tiny Tim, and see the pudding boil.

[_Exeunt children._]

_Mrs. C._ Not coming.

_Bob._ Not coming! not coming, on Christmas Day?

_Mar._ (_Running into his arms._) Dear father! I could not see you
disappointed, if it were only in joke.

_Bob._ (_Embraces her._) You're a good girl, Martha, and a great
comfort to us all. (_Commences to mix a bowl of punch._)

_Mrs. C._ And how did little Tim behave?

_Bob._ As good as gold, and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting
by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He
told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in church,
because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember
upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see. Tiny
Tim is growing strong and hearty.

_Enter Little Cratchit and Peter Cratchit with the goose, followed by
Tiny Tim._

_Little C._ Hurrah! Hurrah! Here's Peter with the big goose.

_Tiny Tim._ Hurrah!

(_Children place chairs around the table; Bob puts Tiny Tim in a high
chair beside him, and Peter on his left, facing front, Belinda and
Little Cratchit opposite. Mrs. C. and Martha at the end of the table.
Bob carves and serves the goose, Mrs. C. the gravy and mashed potatoes,
and Martha the apple-sauce._)

_Little C._ Oh! oh! Look at the stuffing.

_Tiny T._ Hurrah!

_Bob._ I don't believe there ever was such a goose as this cooked. It's
more tender than a woman's love, and only cost two and sixpence. A Merry
Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.

_All._ God bless us.

_Tiny T._ God bless us every one.

_Scro._ Spirit, tell me if Tiny Tim will live?

_Spir._ I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney-corner and a crutch
without an owner carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered
by the future, none other of my race will find him here. What then? If
he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus
population.

_Scro._ (_Hangs his head._) My very words.

_Spir._ Man--if man 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, what men shall die. It may be, 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 of
the dust!

_Mrs. C._ Now, Martha and Belinda, change the plates, while I bring the
nuts, apples and oranges.

_Bob._ (_Rising and placing the punch-bowl on the table._) Here is what
will remind us it is Christmas. (_Fills three tumblers and custard-cup
without a handle, and passes them to Mrs. C., Peter and Martha._) I'll
give you Mr. 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 to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good
appetite for it.

_Bob._ My dear, the children! Christmas Day.

_Mrs. C._ It should be Christmas Day, I am sure, on which one drinks the
health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr. Scrooge.
You know he is, Robert. Nobody knows it better than you, poor fellow.

_Bob._ My dear. Christmas Day.

_Mrs. C._ I'll drink his health for your sake and the day's, not for
his. Long life to him. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! He'll be
very merry and very happy, I have no doubt.

_All._ A Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

_Scro._ Spirit, take me away. I see the very mention of my name casts a
gloom on what, were it not for me, would be a very happy party.

_Spir._ Wait; they will soon put the memory of you aside, and will be
ten times merrier than before, and Tiny Tim will sing.

_Scro._ No, no; take me hence.

(_As they retire toward the door, the spirit shakes his torch toward the
party, which restores good humor._)

_Little C._ Oh! we forgot the pudding!

_All._ The pudding! the pudding! (_Laughter and confusion._)


    SCENE III.--_A street. Mansion with lighted window,
      showing shadow of a group. Sounds of music inside._

      _Enter Spirit and Scrooge_ L. _A lamp-lighter with
      torch and ladder_ R; _as he passes them, the spirit
      waves his torch, and the lamp-lighter exits singing a
      carol. Enter two men, quarreling._

_First Man._ But, I know better, it is not so.

_Second Man._ It is so, and I will not submit to contradiction.

(_Spirit waves his torch over them._)

_First Man._ Well, I declare, here we are, old friends, quarreling on
Christmas Day. It is a shame to quarrel on Christmas Day.

_Second Man._ So it is a shame to quarrel on this day. God love it, so
it is; come, and if we are not merry for the rest of it, it shall not be
my fault. [_Exeunt._]

_Scro._ Spirit, is there a peculiar flavor in what you sprinkle from
your torch?

_Spir._ There is. My own.

_Scro._ I notice that you sprinkle it to restore good humor, and over
dinners. Would it apply to any kind of dinner on this day?

_Spir._ To any kindly given. To a poor one most.

_Scro._ Why to a poor one most?

_Spir._ Because it needs it most.

_Enter Ignorance and Want; approaching the Spirit, they kneel at his
feet. Scrooge starts back appalled._

_Spir._ Look here! oh, man, look here! Look! look down here. Behold,
where graceful youth should have filled their features out and touched
them with its freshest tints; a stale and shriveled hand, like that of
age, has pinched and twisted them and pulled them into shreds. Where
angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurk and glare out, menacing. No
change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through
all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible
and dread.

_Scro._ They are fine-looking children. Spirit, are they yours?

_Spir._ They are man's. 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, great city. Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious
purposes, make it worse, and abide the end.

_Scro._ Have they no refuge or resource?

_Spir._ Are there no prisons? Are there no work-houses?

_Scro._ My very words, again.

_Spir._ Begone! hideous, wretched creatures, your habitation should not
be in a Christian land. (_Ignorance and Want slouch off._) Let us
proceed, time is passing, and my life is hastening to an end.

_Scro._ Are spirit's lives so short?

_Spir._ My life on this globe is very brief. It ends to-night.

_Scro._ To-night?

_Spir._ To-night, at midnight. (_Exeunt._)


    SCENE IV--_Drawing room. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Merry, Miss
      Julia Kemper, Miss Sarah Kemper, Mr. Thomas Topper,
      Mr. Henry Snapper, discovered seated around the
      dessert table. Servant serving coffee._

_All._ (_Laughing_) Ha, ha! ha, ha, ha, ha!

_Enter Spirit and Scrooge_, L.

_Fred._ He said Christmas was a humbug, as I live.

_All._ Ha, ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha!

_Fred._ He believed it, too.

_Mrs. M._ More shame for him, Fred!

_Fred._ He's a comical old fellow, that's the truth; and not so pleasant
as he might be; however, his offenses carry their own punishment, and I
have nothing to say against him.

_Mrs. M._ I'm sure he's very rich, Fred. At least you always tell _me_
so.

_Fred._ What of that, my dear. His wealth is of no use to him. He don't
do any good with it. He don't make himself comfortable with it. He
hasn't the satisfaction of thinking--ha, ha, ha, ha!--that he is ever
going to benefit us with it.

_Mrs. M._ I have no patience with him.

_Julia._ Neither have I for such a stingy old wretch!

_Fred._ Oh, I have. I am sorry for him; I couldn't be angry with him if
I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself, always. Here he takes it
into his head to dislike us, and he won't come and dine with us. What's
the consequence? He don't lose much of a dinner.

_Mrs. M._ Indeed, I think he loses a very good dinner.

_Sarah._ A much better one than he could have served up in his old dingy
chambers.

_Fred._ Well, I'm very glad to hear it, because I haven't great faith in
these young housekeepers. What do _you_ say, Topper?

_Topper._ A bachelor like myself is a wretched outcast, and has no right
to express an opinion on such an important subject.

_Mrs. M._ Do go on, Fred. He never finishes what he begins to say. He is
such a ridiculous fellow.

_Fred._ I was only going to say, that the consequence of our uncle
taking a dislike to us, and not making merry with us, _is_, as I think,
that he loses some pleasant moments, which could do him no harm. I am
sure he loses pleasanter companions than he finds in his own thoughts,
either in his moldy old office or his dusty chambers. I mean to give him
the same chance every year, whether 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--I defy him--if he finds me going there, in good temper, year
after year, and saying, Uncle Scrooge, I wish you A Merry Christmas and
A Happy New Year! If it only puts him in the vein to leave his poor
clerk fifty pounds, _that's_ something; and I think I shook him
yesterday.--Come, let us have some music. Here, Thomas, clear away.

[_All rise and go to the piano. Waiter clears table during the singing
of a Christmas carol or any selected piece._]

_Fred._ We must not devote the whole evening to music. Suppose we have a
game?

_All._ Agreed.

_Spir._ Time flies; I have grown old. We must hasten on.

_Scro._ No, no! One half hour, Spirit, only one.

_Fred._ I have a new game to propose.

_Sarah._ What is it?

_Fred._ It is a game called Yes and No. I am to think of something and
you are all to guess what it is. I am thinking of an animal, a live
animal, rather a disagreeable animal, a savage animal that growls and
grunts sometimes, and talks sometimes, and lives in London, and walks
about the streets, and is not made a show of, and is not led by anybody
and don't live in a menagerie, and is not a horse, a cow or a donkey or
a bull. There, now guess?

_Mrs. M._ Is it a pig?

_Fred._ No.

_Julia._ Is it a tiger?

_Fred._ No.

_Topper._ Is it a dog?

_Fred._ No.

_Sarah._ Is it a cat?

_Snapper._ It's a monkey.

_Fred._ No.

_Mrs. M._ Is it a bear?

_Fred._ No.

_Julia._ I have found it out! I know what it is, Fred! I know what it
is!

_Fred._ What is it?

_Julia._ It's your uncle Scro-o-o-oge!

_Fred._ Yes.

_All._ Ha, ha, ha! ha, ha, ha!

_Mrs. M._ It is hardly fair, you ought to have said yes, when I said,
it's a bear.

_Fred._ He has given us plenty of merriment, I'm sure, and it would be
ungrateful not to drink his health. Here is some mulled wine ready to
our hand at the moment; and when you are ready I say uncle Scrooge!
(_Servant brings wine forward._)

_All._ Well! Uncle Scrooge!

_Fred._ A Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to the old man. He
wouldn't take it from me, but may he have it, nevertheless. Uncle
Scrooge!

_All._ Uncle Scrooge, uncle Scrooge!

(_Scrooge seems to make efforts to reply to the toast, while spirit
drags him away._)

CURTAIN.



STAVE FOUR.


SCENE I.--_Scrooge's chambers._

_Scrooge discovered upon his knees._

_Scro._ Can this be the Spirit of Christmas Future that I see
approaching? shrouded in a black garment, which conceals its head, its
form, its face, and leaves nothing visible save one outstretched hand. I
am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It points
onward with its hand. You are about to show me the shadows of things
that have not happened, but will happen in the time before us. Is that
so, Spirit? (_Rises and stands trembling._) Ghost of the Future, I fear
you more than any spectre I have seen; but as I know your purpose is to
do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I
am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will
you not speak to me? It will not speak. The hand points straight before
us. Lead on! Lead on! The night is waning fast, and it is precious time
to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit.

(_Scrooge crosses stage, as if following Spirit to tormentor entrance,
and remains while the scene changes._)


SCENE II.--_A Street._

_Scro._ Ah, here comes Stevens and there Jones. I have always made it a
point to stand well in their esteem--that is in a business point of
view.

_Enter Mr. Stevens_ R. _and Mr. Jones_ L., _meeting_.

_Stevens._ How are you?

_Jones._ Pretty well. So Old Scratch has got his own, at last, hey?

_Stev._ So I am told. Cold, isn't it?

_Jones._ Seasonable for Christmas-time. You're not a skater, I suppose?

_Stev._ No, no. Something else to think of. Good morning. [_Exeunt in
opposite directions._]

_Scro._ Ah, here are more of my old business friends; the Spirit directs
me to hear what they say.

_Enter Mr. Fatchin, Mr. Snuffer and Mr. Redface._

_Mr. F._ No; I don't know much about it, either way; I only know he's
dead.

_Mr. R._ When did he die?

_Mr. F._ Last night, I believe.

_Mr. S._ Why, what was the matter with him? (_Takes snuff out of a large
snuff-box._) I thought he would never die.

_Mr. F._ I did not take the trouble to inquire.

_Mr. R._ What has he done with his money?

_Mr. F._ I haven't heard (_yawning_); left it to his company, perhaps.
He hasn't left it to _me_. That's all I know. (_All laugh._) It's likely
to be a very cheap funeral, for upon my life I don't know of any body to
go to it. Suppose we make up a party and volunteer?

_Mr. R._ I don't mind going if a lunch is provided. I must be fed if I
make one. (_All laugh._)

_Mr. F._ Well, I am the most disinterested, after all, for I never wear
black gloves and I never eat lunch. But I'll offer to go, if any body
else will. When I come to think of it, I am not at all sure that I
wasn't his most particular friend; for we used to stop and speak
whenever we met.

_Mr. S._ I would volunteer, but that I have another little matter to
attend to that will prevent me. However, I have no objections to joining
you in a drink to his memory.

_Mr. R._ I am with you. Let us adjourn to the punch bowl. [_Exeunt._]

_Scro._ To whom can these allusions refer; Jacob Marley has been dead
these seven years, and surely those whom I have considered my best
friends would not speak of my death so unfeelingly. I suppose, however,
that these conversations have some latent moral for my own improvement,
and as I have now resolved upon a change of life, I shall treasure up
all I see and hear. Lead on, Shadow, I follow! (_Crosses to the opposite
entrance and remains._)


SCENE III.--_Interior of a junk or pawn-shop._

      _Enter Old Joe, ushering in Mrs. Mangle, Mrs. Dilber
      and Mr. Shroud, door in flat._

_Old Joe._ You couldn't have met in a better place; come in. You were
made free here long ago, you know, and the other two ain't strangers.
Stop till I shut the door of the shop. Ah! how it shrieks! There isn't
such a rusty bit of metal in the place as its own hinges, I believe, and
I'm sure there's no such old bones here as mine. Ha, ha! We're all
suitable to our calling, we're well matched. Come, come! we are at home
here. (_Trims smoky lamp at table._)

_Mrs. M._ What odds, then! What odds, Mrs. Dilber? (_Throws her bundle
on the floor and sits on a stool, resting her elbows on her knees._)
Every person has a right to take care of themselves. _He_ always did.

_Mrs. D._ That's true, indeed! No man cared for himself more than he
did.

_Mrs. M._ Why, then, don't stand staring as if you was afraid, woman;
who's the wiser? We're not going to pick holes in each other's coats, I
suppose?

_Mr. Shroud._ No, indeed! We should hope not.

_Mrs. M._ Very well, then: that's enough. Who's the worse for the loss
of a few things like these? Not a dead man, I suppose.

_Mr. S._ (_Laughing._) No, indeed.

_Mrs. M._ If he wanted to keep 'em after he was dead, the wicked old
Screw, why wasn't he natural in his life time? If he had been, he'd have
had somebody to look after him when he was struck with death, instead of
lying gasping out his last there, alone by himself.

_Mrs. D._ It's the truest word ever was spoke. It's a judgment on him.

_Mrs. M._ I wish it was a little heavier judgment, and it should have
been, you may depend upon it, if I could have laid my hands on anything
else. Open that bundle, Old Joe, and let me know the value of it. Speak
out plain. I'm not afraid to be the first, nor afraid to let them see
it. We knew pretty well that we were helping ourselves, before we met
here, I believe. It's no sin. Open the bundle, Joe.

_Mr. S._ Oh, no; we don't mind showing what we have. Here, Joe, value
these. (_Mrs. D. and Mr. S. lay their packages on the table and Joe
proceeds to examine them._)

_Joe._ (_Chalking the figures on the wall as he names them._) A seal,
eight shillings; pencil-case, three and six pence; pair of
sleeve-buttons, five and four-pence; scarf-pin, ninepence. Nine and
four, thirteen, and six, is nineteen--seven. One and five's six, and
thirteen is nine, and eight makes seventeen. That's your account, and I
wouldn't give another sixpence if I was to be boiled for it. Who's next?

_Mrs. D._ I hope you'll be more liberal with me, Mr. Joe. I'm a poor,
lone widow, and it's hard for me to make a living.

_Joe._ I always give too much to the ladies. It's a weakness of mine,
and that's the way I ruin myself. Under-clothing, sheets, towels,
sugar-tongs; these tea-spoons are old-fashioned, and the boots won't
bear mending. One pound six, that's your account. If you asked me
another penny, and made it an open question I'd repent of being liberal,
and knock off half a crown.

_Mrs. M._ Now, undo _my_ bundle, Joe.

_Joe._ (_Opening bundle._) What do you call this? Bed curtains?

_Mrs. M._ Ah! (_Laughing._) Bed curtains.

_Joe._ You don't mean to say you took 'em down, rings and all, with Old
Scrooge lying there?

_Mrs. M._ Yes I do. Why not?

_Joe._ You were born to make your fortune, and you'll certainly do it.

_Mrs. M._ I certainly shan't hold my hand, when I can get anything in it
by reaching it out, for the sake of such a man as _he_ was, I promise
you, Joe. Don't drop that oil upon the blanket, now.

_Joe._ His blankets?

_Mrs. M._ Whose else's do you think? He isn't likely to take cold
without 'em, I dare say.

Joe. I hope he didn't die of anything catching. Eh? (_Stopping his work
and looking up._)

_Mrs. M._ Don't you be afraid of that: I ain't so fond of his company
that I'd loiter about him for such things if he did. Ah, you may look
through that shirt till your eyes ache, but you won't find a hole in it
nor a thread-bare place. It's the best he had, and a fine one, too.
They'd have wasted it if it hadn't been for me.

_Joe._ What do you call wasting of it?

_Mrs. M._ (_laughing._) Putting it on him to be buried in, to be sure.
Somebody was fool enough to do it, but I took it off again. If calico
ain't good enough for such a purpose, it isn't good enough for anything.
It's as becoming to the body. He can't look uglier than he did in that
one.

_Joe._ Well, well! I'll ruin myself again. I'll give you two guineas for
the lot, and go to the bankrupt court. (_Takes bag of coin and counts
out their amounts._)

_Mrs. M._ Ha, ha! This is the end of it, you see. He frightened every
one away from him when he was alive, to profit us when he was dead.

_All._ Ha, ha, ha! [_Exeunt door in flat, old Joe lighting them out._]

_Scro._ Spirit! I see, I see. This is my own case, if nothing happens to
change it. My life tends this way. Spirit, in leaving this. I shall not
leave its lesson; trust me. If there is any person in the city who feels
the least emotion for the death here announced, show that person to me.
[_Crosses to_ L., _while scene closes in_.]


    SCENE IV.--_Street. Exterior of Scrooge & Marley's
      Counting House._

_Scro._ Why, here is my place of business, and has been occupied by
Scrooge & Marley for many years. I see the house, let me behold what I
shall be in the days to come. Why, Spirit, the house is yonder. Why do
you point away? (_Goes to the window and looks in._) It is the old
office still; the same furniture; but no one occupies my chair. Ah! some
one comes.

      _Enter James Badger from Counting House, going off
      right, meets Mrs. Badger at right entrance._

_Mrs. B._ Ah! James. I have waited for you so long. What news? Is it
good or bad?

_James._ Bad.

_Mrs B._ We are quite ruined?

_James._ No. There is hope yet, Caroline.

_Mrs. B._ If _he_ relents, there is. Nothing is past hope, if such a
miracle has happened.

_James._ He is past relenting. He is dead.

_Mrs. B._ Dead! Thank Heaven; we are saved. (_Pause._) I pray
forgiveness, I am sorry that I gave expression to the emotions of my
heart.

_James._ What the half drunken woman, whom I told you of last night,
said to me when I tried to see him and obtain a week's delay, and what I
thought was a mere excuse to avoid me, turns out to have been quite
true. He was not only very ill, but dying then.

_Mrs. B._ To whom will our debt be transferred?

_James._ I don't know, and I have been unable to ascertain. At all
events, before that time we shall be ready with the money; and even
though we were not, it would be a bad fortune indeed to find so
merciless a creditor in his successor. We may sleep to-night with light
hearts, Caroline!

_Mrs. B._ Yes; and our dear children will be brighter when they find the
gloom dispelled from the minds of their parents. We cannot deny that
this man's death has occasioned some happiness.

_James._ Come, let us hurry home [_Exeunt_, R.]

_Scro._ Spirit, it is evident that the only emotion you can show me,
caused by the event foreshadowed, is one of pleasure. Let me see some
tenderness connected with the death of another, or what has just been
shown me will be forever present in my mind.


    SCENE V.--_Bob Cratchit's home. Mrs. Cratchit,
      Belinda, Little Cratchit and Peter Cratchit discovered
      at table, the two former sewing and the latter reading
      a book._

_Peter._ (_Reading._) And he took a child and set him in the midst of
them.

_Scro._ Where have I heard those words? I have not dreamed them. Why
does he not go on?

_Mrs C._ (_Betrays emotions; lays her work upon the table, and puts her
hand to her face._) The color hurts my eyes.

_Bel._ Yes, poor Tiny Tim!

_Mrs. C._ They're better now. It makes them weak by candle-light; and I
wouldn't show weak eyes to your father when he comes home, for the
world. It must be near his time. (_Resumes her work._)

_Peter._ Past it, rather (_shutting up book_), but I think he has
walked a little slower than he used, these last few evenings, mother.

_Mrs. C._ (_In a faltering voice._) I have known him walk with--I have
known him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder very fast indeed.

_Peter._ And so have I, often.

_Bel._ And so have I.

_Mrs. C._ But he was very light to carry, and his father loved him so,
that it was no trouble; no trouble. And there is your father at the
door.

      _Enter Bob Cratchit. Belinda and Little Cratchit meet
      him; Peter places a chair for him, and Mrs. C. averts
      her head to conceal her emotion. Bob kisses Belinda,
      and takes Little C. on his knees, who lays his little
      cheek against his face._

_Bob._ Hard at work, my dears; hard at work. Why, how industrious you
are, and what progress you are making. You will be done long before
Sunday.

_Mrs. C._ Sunday! You went to-day, then, Robert?

_Bob._ Yes, my dear; I wish you could have gone, it would have done you
good to see how green a place it is. But you'll see it often. I promised
him that I would walk there on a Sunday. My little, little child! my
little child! (_Rises and retires up stage to compose himself; returns
and resumes his place at the table._) Oh, I must tell you of the
extraordinary kindness of Mr Scrooge's nephew, whom I have scarcely seen
but once, and who, meeting me in the street, and seeing that I looked a
little--just a little--down, you know, inquired what had happened to
distress me. On which, for he is the pleasantest-spoken gentleman you
ever heard, I told him. I am heartily sorry for it, Mr. Cratchit, he
said, and heartily sorry for your good wife. By-the-bye, how he ever
knew _that_, I don't know.

_Mrs. C._ Knew what, my dear?

_Bob._ Why, that you were a good wife.

_Peter._ Everybody knows that!

_Bob._ Very well observed, my boy. I hope they do. Heartily sorry, he
said, for your good wife. If I can be of service to you in any way, he
said, giving me his card, that's where I live; pray come to me. Now, it
wasn't for the sake of anything he might be able to do for us, so much
as for his kind way, that this was quite delightful. It really seemed as
if he had known our Tiny Tim, and felt with us.

_Mrs. C._ I'm sure he's a good soul.

_Bob._ You would be sure of it, my dear, if you saw and spoke to him. I
shouldn't be at all surprised--mark my words--if he got Peter a better
situation.

_Mrs. C._ Only hear that, Peter.

_Bel._ And then Peter will be keeping company with some one, and setting
up for himself.

_Peter._ (_Grinning_.) Get along with you!

_Bob._ It's just as likely as not, one of these days; though there's
plenty of time for that, my dear. But, however and whenever we part from
one another, I am sure we shall none of us forget poor Tiny Tim, shall
we?

_All._ Never, father.

_Bob._ And I know, I know, my dears, that when we recollect how patient
and how mild he was--although he was a little child--we shall not
quarrel easily among ourselves, and forget poor Tiny Tim in doing it.

_All._ No, never, father. (_All rise._)

_Bob._ I am very happy. I am very happy! (_Kisses Mrs C., Belinda, Young
C. and shakes hands with Peter._) Spirit of Tiny Tim, thy childish
essence is from above.


CURTAIN.



STAVE FIVE.


    SCENE I.--_Scrooge's chamber. Scrooge discovered on
      his knees at the easy chair._

_Scro._ Spirit! Hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I
must have been, but for this intercourse. Why have shown me all that you
have, if I am past all hope? Good Spirit, your nature intercedes for me,
and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change the shadows you have
shown me, by an altered life. Your hand trembles. 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 shadows of the future. (_Grasps the easy
chair in his agony, as if struggling to detain it._) Do not go, I
entreat you. It shrinks, it has collapsed, it has dwindled down into an
easy chair. Yes! my own chair, my own room and best--and happiest of
all--my own time before me to make amends in. Oh, Jacob Marley, Heaven
and the Christmas time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old
Jacob; on my knees! (_Rises and goes and opens door_ R., 2d E.) They are
not torn down--the bed curtains are not torn down, rings and all. They
are there--I am here--the shadows of the things that would have been,
may be dispelled. They will be; I know they will! (_Commences to dress
himself, putting everything on wrong, etc._) I don't know what to do!
(_Laughing and crying._) I am as light as a feather; I am as happy as an
angel; I am as merry as a school boy; I am as giddy as a drunken man. A
Merry Christmas to every body! A Happy New year to all the world! Halloo
here! Waoop! Halloo! (_Dancing and capering around the room._) There's
the saucepan that the gruel was in; there's the door by which the Ghost
of Jacob Marley entered; there's the corner (_pointing into adjoining
room_) where the Ghost of Christmas Past sat. It's all right; it's all
true; it all happened. Ha, ha, ha! (_Laughing heartily._) I don't know
what day of the month it is. I don't know how long I've been among the
Spirits. I don't know any thing. I'm quite a baby. Never mind; I don't
care. I'd rather be a baby. Haloo! whoop! Halloo here! (_Bells or chimes
commences to ring. Goes to window and opens it._) No fog, no mist;
clear, bright, jovial, cold; cold, piping for the blood to dance to;
golden sunlight, heavenly sky; sweet, fresh air; merry bells. Oh,
glorious! glorious! (_Looking out of window_) Hey! you boy in your
Sunday clothes, what's to-day?

_Voice outside._ Eh?

_Scro._ What's to day my fine fellow?

_Voice outside._ To-day! why. Christmas Day.

_Scro._ It's Christmas Day; I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done
it all in one night. They can do any thing they like. Of course they
can. Of course they can. (_Returns to window._) Halloo, my fine fellow!

_Voice outside._ Halloo!

_Scro._ Do you know the poulterers in the next street but one, at the
corner?

_Voice outside._ I should hope I did.

_Scro._ An intelligent boy! a remarkable boy! Do you know whether
they've sold the prize turkey that was hanging up there? Not the little
prize turkey; the big one?

_Voice outside._ What the one as big as me?

_Scro._ What a delightful boy. It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my
buck.

_Voice outside._ It's hanging there now.

_Scro._ Is it? Go and buy it.

_Voice outside._ What do you take me for?

_Scro._ No, no. I am in earnest. Go and buy it, and tell 'em to bring it
here, that I may give them the directions where to take it. Come back
with the man, and I'll give you a shilling. Come back with him in less
than five minutes, and I'll gave you half a crown. That boy's off like a
shot. I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's. (_Rubbing his hands and
chuckling._) He shan't know who sent it. It's twice the size of Tiny
Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob's will be. I
must write the directions for that turkey. (_Sits at table to write._)


SCENE II--_A street. Exterior of Scrooge's Chambers._

_Enter Scrooge from the house._

_Scro._ (_Addressing the knocker on the door._) I shall love it as long
as I live. (_Patting the knocker._) I scarcely ever looked at it before.
What an honest expression it has in its face. It's a wonderful
knocker.--Here's the turkey.

_Enter boy with large turkey._

_Scro._ Halloo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas! There's a turkey
for you! This bird never could have stood upon his legs, he would have
snapped 'em short off in a minute, like sticks of sealing-wax. Here's
your half-crown, boy. Now take the monster to Bob Cratchit,
Camden-town; and tell him it's a present from his grandmother, who
wishes him A Merry Christmas, and A Happy New Year. Hold, that, turkey
is too large for you to carry; take a cab, here's the money to pay for
it.

_Enter Mr. and Mrs. Badger_, R.

_Scro._ Why, here comes James Badger and wife, as sure as I live. Good
morning!

_James._ Good morning, sir! A Merry Christmas to you!

_Scro._ The same to you both, and many of them.

_Mrs. B._ He seems in a good humor, speak to him about it.

_Scro._ Going to church, eh?

_James._ We were going, sir, to hear the Christmas Carols, but mindful
of the obligation resting upon us, which falls due to-morrow, and of our
inability to meet the payment, we have called to beg your indulgence,
and ask for a further extension of time.

_Scro._ Why, James, how much do you owe me?

_James._ Twenty pounds, sir.

_Scro._ How long since you contracted the debt?

_James._ Ten years to morrow, sir.

_Scro._ Then you have already paid me over half the amount in interest,
which interest has been compounded, and I have, in fact, received more
than the principal. My dear fellow, you owe me nothing, just consider
the debt cancelled.

_James._ Surely, sir, you cannot mean it.

_Scro._ But I do.

_Mrs. B._ Oh, sir, how can we ever sufficiently manifest our gratitude
for such unexpected generosity?

_Scro._ By saying nothing about it. Remember, James and wife, this is
Christmas day, and on this day, of all others, we should do unto others
as we would have them do unto us.

_James._ May Heaven reward you, sir. You have lightened our hearts of a
heavy burden.

_Scro._ There, there! go to church.

_James._ We shall, sir, and remember our benefactor in our devotions.
(_Shaking hands._) I can say heartily a Merry Christmas.

_Mrs. B._ And A Happy New Year. [_Exeunt_ L.]

_Scro._ I guess they are glad, now, that I am alive, and will be really
sorry when I die. Halloo! Whoop!

_Enter Mr. Barnes_, L., _passes across stage; Scrooge follows and stops
him._

_Scro._ My dear sir (_taking both, his hands_), how do you do? I hope
you succeeded yesterday. It was very kind of you. A Merry Christmas to
you, sir.

_Mr. B._ Mr. Scrooge?

_Scro._ Yes. That is my name, and I fear it may not be pleasant to you.
Allow me to ask your pardon. And will you have the goodness--(_Scrooge
whispers in his ear._)

_Mr. B._ Lord bless me--you take my breath away. My dear Mr. Scrooge,
are you really serious?

_Scro._ If you please. Not a farthing less. A great many back payments
are included in it, I assure you. Will you do me the favor?

_Mr. B._ My dear sir (_shaking hands with him_), I don't know what to
say to such munifi--

_Scro._ Don't say any thing, please. Come and see me. Will you come and
see me?

_Mr. B._ I will--with great pleasure. [_Exit_, R.]

_Scro._ Thank'er. I am much obliged to you. I thank you fifty times.
Bless you!

_Enter Bob Cratchit_, R., _with Tiny Tim on his shoulder_.

_Scro._ Halloo, Bob Cratchit! What do you mean by coming here?

_Bob._ I am very sorry, sir; I was not coming, I was only passing, sir,
on my way to hear the Christmas carols.

_Scro._ What right have you to be passing here to remind me that it is
Christmas?

_Bob._ It's only once a year, sir; it shall not be repeated.

_Scro._ Now, I'll tell you what, my friend. I am not going to stand this
any longer: and therefore I give you permission to pass my house fifty
times a day, if you want to. I give you a week's vacation, without any
deduction for lost time. I am about to raise your salary. (_Giving him a
dig in the waistcoat; Bob staggers back, and Scrooge follows him up._) A
Merry Christmas, Bob! (_Slapping him on the back._) A Merrier Christmas,
Bob, my good fellow, than I have ever given you for many a year! I'll
raise your salary, and endeavor to assist your struggling family, and
I'll be Tiny Tim's Godfather. Come along, my good fellow, we'll go to
church together, and discuss your affairs on the way. Tiny Tim, what do
you say to that?

_Tiny Tim._ I say God bless us, every one.

_Bob._ I would like to say something, sir, but you have deprived me of
the power of speech.

_Scro._ Come on, then, we'll talk it over as we go. Come Tiny Tim, and
go with your Godfather. (_Takes Tim on his shoulder. Exeunt_, L.)


    SCENE III.--_Drawing Room in Fred Merry's house. Fred,
      Mrs. Fred and Mrs. Kemper discovered seated at table,
      conversing._

_Fred._ Is it possible! You surprise me. I never had the least idea that
you had ever met Uncle Scrooge, much less that he was an old admirer of
yours.

_Mrs. M._ Oh! do tell us all about it, dear mother; I'm dying to hear
it.

_Mrs. K._ Well, you must know, my dear children, that Fanny Scrooge--our
mother, Fred--was my earliest friend and schoolmate, and through her I
became acquainted with her brother--your uncle; at that time a noble
spirited boy, fresh from his studies. Our friendship soon ripened into
love, and a betrothal. I cannot describe to you how happy and light
hearted I was, and how true and devoted your uncle continued. Our
marriage was deferred until such time as he should be in a position to
provide us a suitable home. After he left Mr. Fezziwig's, where he had
served his time, he entered the service of Jacob Marley, and
subsequently became his partner. It was at this time I observed a change
in him; he was not less ardent than before, but I soon discovered that
avarice had become the guiding passion of his nature, and that our love
was subservient to its influence. Foreseeing that only misery could
ensue from our union, I released him from the engagement. And now after
the lapse of many years, with the exception of the day, five years ago,
when he attended your father's funeral, we have not met or exchanged a
word with each other.

_Mrs M._ But, mother, did you really love him?

_Mrs. K._ I did, my dear--previous to the discovery of the change in
him.

_Mrs. M._ And did you not sacrifice your love in releasing him?

_Mrs. K._ I merely sacrificed my desires to common sense. Love, to be
lasting, must be mutual, and if it is not paramount to all other
passions, it ends in misery or hate. Hence, being guided by judgment, I
soon found by experience that true love can again exist if worthily
bestowed.

_Fred._ Well, dear mother, I agree with your estimate of Uncle Scrooge.
This is the sixth Christmas Day of our married life, and each Christmas
Eve I have invited him to come and dine with us, but he has never yet
honored us with his presence, and I suppose he never will.

_Scro._ (_Gently opening the door and putting in his head._) Fred! may I
come in? (_All start and rise, and Fred rushes toward the door with both
hands extended._)

_Fred._ Why, bless my soul! who's that?

_Scro._ It's I, your Uncle Scrooge. I have accepted your invitation.
Will you let me in?

_Fred._ Let you in! (_Shaking him heartily by both hands._) Dear heart
alive! Why not! Welcome! welcome! My wife, your niece--Yes, you may.
(_Scrooge kisses her._) Our mother.

_Scro._ Belle! Heavens! What shall I do? (_Aside._)

_Mrs. K._ I fear that our meeting will be painful. I beg your
permission, my son, to retire.

_Fred._ No, no, no. This is Christmas Day. Everybody can be happy on
this day that desires to be, and I know that your meeting can be made a
pleasant and agreeable one if you both so will it. "Peace on earth and
good will to man," is the day's golden maxim.

_Scro._ Although somewhat embarrassed, I concur most heartily in the
wise and good-natured counsel of my dear nephew. Never before have I
experienced the joys common to this day, and never hereafter, while I am
permitted to live, shall I miss them. In the past twenty-four hours I
have undergone a complete revolution of ideas and desires, and have
awakened unto a new life. Instead of a sordid, avaricious old man, I
trust you will find a cheerful, liberal Christian, ever ready to extend
to his fellow creatures a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

_Fred._ Why! uncle, I wonder _you_ don't go into Parliament. I could
dance for joy. (_Embracing him._) You dear old man! You shall ever find
a hearty welcome here.

_Mrs. M._ I join with my husband in his earnest congratulations.

_Mrs. K._ I confess, Mr. Scrooge, that I am rejoiced to find your
nephew's assertions so quickly verified, and that an opportunity is
offered to renew an acquaintance which I hope will end in uninterrupted
friendship. (_They shake hands._)

_Fred._ Ah, here comes Topper and the girls.

_Enter Topper and Julia Kemper, Snapper and Sarah Kemper._

_Fred._ Come, girls, hug and kiss your Uncle Scrooge, he has come to
make merry with us. (_Takes the girls to Scrooge, and endeavors to make
them hug, doing most of the hugging himself._) Hug him hard! This is
Topper, and this is Snapper, they are both sweet on the girls. (_All
laugh._)

_Julia and Sarah._ Oh, you bad man.

_Fred._ Come, let us lose no time. What do you say to a game? Shall it
be blind man's buff?

_All._ Agreed.

_Fred._ Come, Uncle Scrooge, the oldest, first.

_Scro._ Do with me as you please; it is Christmas Day.

(_They play a lively game, falling over chairs, etc. Scrooge catches
each lady, and guesses wrong, until he gets Mrs. Merry, who, in turn,
catches Topper, who pulls the bandage down and goes for Julia, and
pretends that he tells who she is by the way the hair is fixed, etc.
Scrooge and Mrs. Kemper retire up stage, and converse._)

_Julia._ Ah, that's not fair, you peeped. I won't play any more. (_Goes
up stage with Topper._)

_Fred._ Well, I could have guessed that catch, and it's nothing more
than fair that he should peep before making it. It seems, my dear, that
our company have divided into couples. Ought we not demand an
explanation?

_Mrs. M._ As master of the house, it is your duty.

_Fred._ Mr. Thomas Topper and others, we have long suspected you of some
horrible design against the peace and happiness of this family. What
say you to the charge?

_Julia._ On behalf our clients, we plead guilty.

_Sarah._ And urge extenuating circumstances.

_Fred._ Then nothing more remains, but for the Court to pronounce
sentence, which is, that you be placed under the bonds of matrimony, at
such time and place as may suit your convenience. But, Madam Belle
Kemper and Ebenezer Scrooge, what have you to say in your defense.

_Mrs. K._ Only this, that Christmas works wonders.

_Scro._ In other words, Mrs. Kemper finds that Christmas has restored me
to a primitive condition, and leaves it to time to test the merits of
the happy change. (_To audience._) We all have cause to bless Christmas,
and it shall always be my delight to wish you A Merry Christmas, and A
Happy New Year, with Tiny Tim's addition of "God bless us every one."


_CURTAIN._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired. Corrections were made in the text
where part of a phrase or name was only partially italic. For example,
on page 34, the "F." of _Mr. F._ on one part of dialogue had been
printed as "_Mr._ F." These things were repaired.

Page iii, "peice" changed to "piece" (piece can be performed)

Page vi, "past" changed to "Past" (hearth for the Spirit of Christmas
Past)

Page vii, "Suit" changed to "Suite" (Fireplace L. Suite of)

Page vii, "dressar" changed to "dresser" (oranges on dresser)

Page viii, "Windew" changed to "Window" (G. Window L. C.)

Page viii, "Cratchet's" changed to "Cratchit's" (SCENE V.--Bob
Cratchit's)

Page 10, "calender" changed to "calendar" (the long calendar of)

Page 12, "Sch." changed to "Scro." (_Scro._. Oh! I was afraid)

Page 15, "make" changed to "made" (I made it link)

Page 16, "invisable" changed to "invisible" (sat invisible beside)

Page 19, "use" changed to "used" (than he used to be)

Page 19, "Gho." changed to "Scro." (_Scro._ Know it!)

Page 20, "to" changed to "too" (the world too much)

Page 21, "chosing" changed to "choosing" (or choosing her)

Page 23, "mistleto" changed to "mistletoe" (also holly, mistletoe)

Page 25, "Hurrrh" changed to "Hurrah" (Hurrah! Hurrah! Here's)

Page 26, "ahd" changed to "and" (than before, and Tiny)

Page 28, "Scro." changed to "Spir." (_Spir._ Begone! hideous)

Page 28, "desert" changed to "dessert" (around the dessert table)

Page 29, "househeepers" changed to "housekeepers" (these young
housekeepers)

Page 29, "vain" changed to "vein" (puts him in the vein)

Page 31, "prepered" changed to "prepared" (I am prepared to)

Page 31, "be ore" changed to "before" (before us. Lead)

Page 32, "That" changed to "That's" (That's all I know)

Page 33, "skrieks" changed to "shrieks" (how it shrieks!)

Page 34, "mysel" changed to "myself" (I ruin myself)

Page 45, "Suapper" changed to "Snapper" (and this is Snapper)





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