At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.
Scrooge and Marley
Good afternoon, gentlemen!
"Once upon a time—of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve—old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house", "Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn’t replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room". Scrooge is described as a very cold, unforgiving man and that is evident.
"“Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”" Scrooge doesn't understand the joy of Christmas yet, his nephew is very joyful in his approach to his uncle, but is then hastily shot down by humbug remarks. Fred, his nephew, is the antithesis of Scrooge.
How now! What do you want with me?
“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course" Scrooge's cold attitude is evident here, he refuses to donate to the poor as he views the systems in place as sufficient, which they are not. "“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it,and decrease the surplus population."
The ghost of Marley begins to haunt Scrooge. "To say that he was not startled, or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy, would be untrue." Scrooge later pooh-poohs the idea that this is occurring, emphasising his closed-mind.
He thinks he sees a locomotive hearse going up the stairs before him. He walks through his rooms to make sure no one is there. After, he warms himself by a small fire. A bell in the room starts to ring, and soon all the other bells in the house do. After some time, the bells stop, and Scrooge hears the cellar-door open.
Marley warns Scrooge that he will be haunted "by Three Spirits" . He says that "without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread". The path that he treads is his being cursed to watch the poor suffer and being able to do nothing about it. The greediness Scrooge shows will result in his chain being heavier than Marley's. If he changes for the better, this fate will not await.