A Christmas Carol Stave 4

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Stave 4

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come wears a long black robe with a hood that conceals its head. Within the darkness of the hood, Scrooge cannot even see a hint of the ghost's face. Scrooge speaks to the ghost explaining that he is ready to see what the ghost has to show him, but the ghost does not reply. Scrooge is frightened by the ghost's silence. The city appears before Scrooge as if it sprang up around him, and the ghost's hand directs Scrooge to listen to the conversation of several groups of men in the streets. Scrooge hears them talk of a man who died that morning and they say that no one will go to the funeral because he had no friends. In all the people on the street, Scrooge cannot find his own face. He doesn't understand how the snippets of overheard conversation relate to him, but he pays close attention because he knows that there is some lesson for him to learn from all of it.

Then the spirit shows him a poorer part of the city where three people gather with bundles of things that they have stolen from the dead man's house to sell. They claim to feel no remorse for their thievery because the man had been so selfish and cold in life that he didn't even have someone to look after him when he fell ill, so he died alone. One of the women laughs and says that, "'[h]e frightened everyone away from him when he was alive, to profit [the thieves] when he was dead!'" Stave 4, pg. 111 They had taken the dead man's nicest things, right down to the curtains that were around the bed he died in and the blanket that had covered him. Scrooge is horrified and he tells the spirit that he understands the warning that this could be how his life ends if he doesn't change his ways.

Then the spirit takes Scrooge to the dead man's room. The body still lies in its curtain-less bed with the sheet concealing its face. The spirit points at the dead man as if Scrooge should pull back the sheet and know who it is, but Scrooge cannot do it. He is too…


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