A Christmas Carol: Top Ten Quotes
- Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! (Stave One)
- "If I could work my will," 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. He should!" (Stave One)
- "There are many things from which I might have derived good by which I have not profited, I dare say," 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, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that-as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. 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!" (Stave One)
- "It is required of every man," the Ghost [of Marley] returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death." (Stave One)
- "Business!" cried the Ghost [of Marley], wringing his hands again. "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!" (Stave One)
- "What!" exclaimed the Ghost [of Christmas Past], "would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give?" (Stave Two)
- "A merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us!" Which all the [Cratchit] family re-echoed. "God bless us, every one!" said Tiny Tim, the last of all (Stave Three).
- "Man," said the Ghost [of Christmas Present], "if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant [of 'decrease the surplus population'] until you have discovered what the surplus is, and where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be that in the sight of Heaven you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. O God! to hear the insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!" (Stave Three)
- It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that, while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor. (Stave Three)
- Scrooge was better than his word . . . . He became as good a friend, as good a master, as good a man as the good old City knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world. (Stave Five)
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