ADVENT DAY FOURTEEN: To celebrate advent, I’ll be adding new content to this blog every day in the countdown to Christmas; reviews, opinion pieces, short stories… that sort of thing! So make sure you pop back in between shopping, packing presents and nursing a headache.
“Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind- stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! 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, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. 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 dogdays; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did.”
I’m busy reading a beautiful facsimile edition of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and I urge everyone to do the same. Though I’m only on Stave Two (The First of the Three Spirits), it’s already wonderfully emotive and sums the season up spectacularly.
And the above passage – the famous first description of Scrooge – is inspiring. It shows what he looks like, as well as summing up his whole character, in just two brief paragraphs; something that many cannot do in an entire book!
It’s always a bit intimidating when you start a ‘classic’ – c’mon, let’s admit it – but this feels easy, satisfying and fun.
…And it’s a perfect read for December!