A Christmas Carol
ebook ∣ Classics to Go
By Charles Dickens
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The tale begins on a "cold, bleak, biting" Christmas Eve exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner Jacob Marley. Scrooge is established within the first chapter as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!" who has no place in his life for kindness, compassion, charity or benevolence. He hates Christmas, calling it "humbug," refuses his nephew Fred's dinner invitation, and rudely turns away two gentlemen who seek a donation from him to provide a Christmas dinner for the Poor. His only "Christmas gift" is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off with pay – which he does only to keep with social custom, Scrooge considering it "a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!" Returning home that evening, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost... (Excerpt from Wikipedia)