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A Christmas carol Charles DICKENS - Pitbook.com

A Christmas carol Charles DICKENS - Pitbook.com

the dogdays; and didn't

the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge.No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. Nowind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow wasmore intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open toentreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him.The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, couldboast of the advantage over him in only one respect. Theyoften `came down' handsomely, and Scrooge never did.Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, withgladsome looks, `My dear Scrooge, how are you? Whenwill you come to see me?' No beggars implored him tobestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o'clock,no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired theway to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blindmen's dogs appeared to know him; and when they sawhim coming on, would tug their owners into doorways andup courts; and then would wag their tails as though theysaid, `No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!'But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing heliked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life,warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, waswhat the knowing ones call `nuts' to Scrooge.Once upon a time -- of all the good days in the year, onChristmas Eve -- old Scrooge sat busy in his countinghouse.It was cold, bleak, biting weather; foggy withal;and he could hear the people in the court outside, gowheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their

easts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stonesto warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three,but it was quite dark already, it had not been light all day,and candles were flaring in the windows of theneighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpablebrown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink andkeyhole, and was so dense without, that although the courtwas of the narrowest, the houses opposite were merephantoms.To see the dingy cloud come drooping down, obscuringeverything, one might have thought that Nature lived hardby, and was brewing on a large scale.The door of Scrooge's counting-house was open that hemight keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal littlecell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters. Scroogehad a very small fire, but the clerk's fire was so very muchsmaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn'treplenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his ownroom; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel,the master predicted that it would be necessary for themto part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter,and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort,not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.`A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!' cried acheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew, whocame upon him so quickly that this was the firstintimation he had of his approach.`Bah!' said Scrooge, `Humbug!'

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