Ever ponder much what happened to old Scrooge in A Christmas Carol? Here’s the opening description of Scrooge:
“Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. [SMcK: this is all from the “cold within him”!] A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days, and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”
Marley’s ghost visits Scrooge, warning him of things to come if he does not better his ways. To which Scrooge pleads: “Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob!” “I have none to give,” the Ghost replied.
Scrooge a bit later in that scene: “He tried to say ‘Humbug!’ but stopped at the first syllable.”
The story is well-known: he encounters the Ghosts of Christmas to learn of his past, his present, and his potential future if he does not mend his ways. When in Stave 4 the Phantom appears, “it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.” But, Ebenezer Scrooge, who has been learning and is on the point of crossing the threshold into the room of grace, learns from this encounter.
Scrooge: “As I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and to do it with a thankful heart.”
He comes to terms, mends his ways, and “He went to church.”
And Dickens ends with this: “A merry Christmas, Bob!” And “His own heart laughed; and that was quite enough for him.”
God Bless Us, Every One!