A Christmas Carol

Chapter 2 – The First of the Three Spirits

When Scrooge awoke, it was still very foggy and extremely cold, and there was no noise of people in the streets.

Marley’s ghost bothered him. He didn’t know whether it was a dream or not. Then he remembered that a spirit should visit him at one o’clock. So Scrooge decided to lie awake and wait what happens.

Suddenly, the clock struck one. Light flashed up in the room and a small hand drew back the curtains of his bed. Then Scrooge found himself face to face with the visitor. It was a strange figure – like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it.

“Who, and what are you?” Scrooge asked the ghost.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Past. Rise and come with me.”

The ghost took Scrooge back in time, to a place where Scrooge was a boy. There Scrooge could see his younger self playing with other children. They were cheerfully running around the Christmas tree; and although they were poor, they had lots of fun.

The spirit also took Scrooge to a warehouse, where Scrooge was an apprentice. Scrooge saw the merry Christmas Eve they spent in the office with their boss Mr Fezziwig and his family. There was food and music and dancing and everybody was happy.

Then the spirit took Scrooge to yet another place. Scrooge was older now. He was not alone, but sat by the side of a beautiful young girl, Belle. There were tears in her eyes.

“It is sad to see,” she said, softly. “that another love has displaced me – the love of gold. Your heart was full of love once, but now …? I think it is better for us to part. May you be happy in the life you have chosen.”

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, “show me no more. Take me home. Why do you torture me?”

“One shadow more,” said the ghost.

They were in another scene and place; a room, not very large or handsome, but full of comfort. There was a happy family celebrating Christmas with all their warmth and heartiness. Scrooge recognised Belle, his former girlfriend. She was married now and had children.

“Belle,” said her husband with a smile, “I saw an old friend of yours this afternoon. Mr Scrooge it was. I passed his office window; and as it was not shut up, and he had a candle inside, I could see him there. His partner is dying, I hear; and there he sat alone. Quite alone in the world, I do believe.”

“Spirit,” said Scrooge in a broken voice, “Take me back! I cannot bear it any longer.”

He struggled with the ghost to take him back. And finally Scrooge found himself in his own bed again. He was very exhausted and sank into a heavy sleep.

Chapter 3

Questions on the text

Choose the correct answer according to the text.

  1. When Scrooge was a boy, he …
  2. Why did Belle leave Scrooge?
  3. When Marley was dying, Scrooge …

Make adjectives out of the nouns or nouns out of the adjectives. (You’ll find the words in the text.)

noun adjective
happiness
beauty
comfortable
warm
hearty