Click below to hear an extract from “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens as read by Jan Lindrum
A Christmas Carol” is a moral tale. It is the story of a hard-hearted businessman who, through the story, opens his heart to others and learns how to be a good friend, a good employer and a good man.
Indignant: Feeling or showing anger
Dismal: Gloomy, cheerless, bleak
Morose: Sullen, sulky, bad tempered
“A merry Christmas, uncle!” aid Scrooge’s uncle.
“Christmas a humbug, uncle! You don’t mean that, I am sure?”
“I do. What right have you to be merry? what reason? You’re poor enough.” “Come then,” returned the nephew gaily.
“What right have you to be dismal? what reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”
Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said, “Bay!” again, and followed it up with “Humbug.”
“Don’t be cross, uncle,” said the nephew.
“What else can I be” returned the uncle, “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, and not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ‘em. If I could have my may,” said Scrooge, indignantly, “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.”
“Uncle!” pleaded the nephew.
“Nephew!” returned the uncle, sternly, “keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”
“Keep it!” repeated Scrooge’s nephew. “But you don’t keep it.”
“Let me alone,” said Scrooge. “Much good it will do you! Much good it has ever done you!”
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round – apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin – as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women open their shut-up hearts freely, and think of people less fortunate than themselves as if they really were fellow-passengers on the same journey. Therefore, uncle, though Christmas 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!”
Scrooge’s clerk applauded.
“Let me hear another sound from you,” said Scrooge, “and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your job.
You’re quite a powerful speaker, sir,” he added, turning to his nephew.
“I wonder you don’t go into Parliament.”
“Don’t be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with us tomorrow.”