Christmas Carol – Nonprofit PR Now

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL
                      For CHILDREN
                  to READ OUTLOUD
                        BY CHARLES DICKENS

    AS CONDENSED BY HIMSELF AND EVEN FURTHER,
 MUCH MUCH FURTHER, IN FACT, BY"THOMAS HUTCHINSON"




                   "Charles Dickens as he appears when reading."
                                 7 December, 1867.
This is AN ABRIDGED VERSION and is an unauthorized edition of Mr. Dickens' READINGS.

       Not entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by
                           TICKNOR AND FIELDS,
 in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

                     UNIVERCITY PRESS: BELCH, WIGELOW, & Co.,
                                 CAMBRIDGE.


                                2009 Al LePage
                                  ACT ONE.
                           MARLEY'S GHOST.
6 roles needed: Narrator, Scrooge (a grumpy old man), Nephew (a cheerful young
man), Gentleman (a kindly man), Marley (a whining ghost) and a Flame (scared)

NARRATOR
Once upon a time, upon a Christmas eve old Scrooge sat busy in his
counting-house.

NEPHEW
"A merry Christmas, uncle!"

NARRATOR
It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew.

SCROOGE
"Bah! . . . Humbug!"

NEPHEW
"Christmas a humbug, uncle! You don't mean that, I am sure?"

SCROOGE
"I do. Out upon merry Christmas! If I had my will, every idiot who goes
about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own
pudding. He should!"

NEPHEW
"Uncle!"

SCROOGE
"Nephew, keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."

NEPHEW
"Keep it! But you don't keep it."

                                  2009 Al LePage
SCROOGE
"Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much good it has
ever done you!"

NEPHEW
"I have always thought of Christmas time as a good time; a kind, forgiving,
charitable, pleasant time. 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!"

SCROOGE
"Good afternoon."

NEPHEW
"I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle!"

SCROOGE
"GOOD Afternoon!"

NEPHEW
"And A Happy New-Year!"

SCROOGE
"GOOD AFTERNOON!!!"
NARRATOR
His nephew left the room without an angry word, but the clerk, in letting
Scrooge's nephew out, had let two other people in.

GENTLEMAN
"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, we should make some slight
provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. A
few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the poor some meat and
drink, and means of warmth. What shall I put you down for?"



                                 2009 Al LePage
SCROOGE
"Nothing!"

GENTLEMAN
"You wish to be anonymous?"

SCROOGE
"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 prisons and the workhouses, -- they
cost enough, -- and those who are badly off must go there."

GENTLEMAN
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

SCROOGE
"If they would rather die, they had better do it!"

NARRATOR
The hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived.

Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern; and
went home to bed.

Now it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on
the door of this house, except that it was very large; and yet Scrooge, having
his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, not a knocker, but
Marley's face.
Marley's face, with a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar.

As Scrooge looked at this, it was a knocker again. He said,

SCROOGE
"Pooh, pooh!"


                                  2009 Al LePage
NARRATOR
. . . and closed the door with a BANG. The sound resounded through the
house like thunder. (BANG, Bang, bang) Every room above, and every cask
in the wine-merchant's cellars below,(BANG, Bang, bang) appeared to have a,
separate peal of echoes (BANG, Bang, bang) of its own.
Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. He fastened the door, and
walked across the hall, and up the stairs.

Up Scrooge went, not caring a button for its being very dark. Darkness is
cheap, and Scrooge liked it.

Quite satisfied, he closed his door, and locked himself in; double-locked
himself in, which was not his custom. Thus secured against surprise, he put
on his dressing-gown and slippers and his nightcap, and sat down before the
very low fire to take his gruel.

As he threw his head back in the chair, his glance happened upon a bell, a
disused bell, that hung in the room. It was with great astonishment, and with
a strange dread, that, as he looked, he saw this bell begin to swing. (ding,
ding, ding) Soon it rang out loudly, (Ding, DING, DING!) and so did every
bell in the house. (Dingaling, Aling, ALing, ALING, ALING, ALING,
ALNG!!!!!)

This was succeeded by a clanking noise, (clank) deep down below, (clank) as
if some person (clank) were dragging a heavy chain (clank) over the casks in
the wine-merchant's cellar.

Then he heard the noise much louder, (Clank) on the floors below; (Clank)
then coming up the stairs; (Clank!) then coming straight towards his door.
(Clank!!)

It came on through the heavy door, (CLANK!!!) and a spectre passed into the
room before his eyes. And upon its coming in, the dying flame leaped up, as
though it cried,

                                2009 Al LePage
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