Charles

Dickens

A Christmas Carol

In Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

Ein Weihnachtslied in Prosa

Eine Geistergeschichte zum Weihnachtsfest

Übersetzt von Margit Meyer, Lizenz der Aufbau Verlagsgruppe
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

STAVE I: MARLEY’S GHOST

STAVE II: THE FIRST OF THE THREE SPIRITS

STAVE III: THE SECOND OF THE THREE SPIRITS

STAVE IV: THE LAST OF THE SPIRITS

STAVE V: THE END OF IT

IMPRESSUM

STAVE I: MARLEY’S GHOST

Mar­ley was dead, to be­gin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.
The re­gister of his buri­al was signed by the cler­gy­man, the clerk, the un­der­taker, and the chief mourn­er.
Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change for any­thing he chose to put his hand to.
Old Mar­ley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own know­ledge, what there is par­tic­u­larly dead about a door-nail.
I might have been in­clined, my­self, to re­gard a coffin-nail as the dead­est piece of iron­mon­gery in the trade.
But the wis­dom of our an­cest­ors is in the simile; and my un­hal­lowed hands shall not dis­turb it, or the Coun­try’s done for.
You will, there­fore, per­mit me to re­peat, em­phat­ic­ally, that Mar­ley was as dead as a door-nail.
Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be oth­er­wise? Scrooge and he were part­ners for I don’t know how many years.
Scrooge was his sole ex­ecut­or, his sole ad­min­is­trat­or, his sole as­sign,
his sole re­sid­uary leg­atee, his sole friend, and sole mourn­er.
And even Scrooge was not so dread­fully cut up by the sad event,
but that he was an ex­cel­lent man of busi­ness on the very day of the fu­ner­al, and sol­em­nised it with an un­doubted bar­gain.
The men­tion of Mar­ley’s fu­ner­al brings me back to the point I star­ted from. There is no doubt that Mar­ley was dead.
This must be dis­tinctly un­der­stood, or noth­ing won­der­ful can come of the story I am go­ing to re­late.
If we were not per­fectly con­vinced that Ham­let’s Fath­er died be­fore the play began,
there would be noth­ing more re­mark­able in his tak­ing a stroll at night, in an east­erly wind, upon his own ram­parts,
than there would be in any oth­er middle-aged gen­tle­man rashly turn­ing out after dark in a breezy spot
— say St. Paul’s Church-yard, for in­stance — lit­er­ally to as­ton­ish his son’s weak mind.
Scrooge nev­er painted out Old Mar­ley’s name.
There it stood, years af­ter­wards, above the ware­house door: Scrooge and Mar­ley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Mar­ley.
Some­times people new to the busi­ness called Scrooge Scrooge, and some­times Mar­ley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him.
Oh! but he was a tight-fis­ted hand at the grind­stone, 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, shriv­elled 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 dog-days; 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.
Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with glad­some looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?”
No beg­gars im­plored him to be­stow a trifle, no chil­dren asked him what it was o’clock,
no man or wo­man ever once in all his life in­quired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge.
Even the blind men’s dogs ap­peared to know him; and, when they saw him com­ing on, would tug their own­ers into door­ways and up courts;
and then would wag their tails as though they said, “No eye at all is bet­ter than an evil eye, dark mas­ter!”
But what did Scrooge care? It was the very thing he liked.
To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warn­ing all hu­man sym­pathy to keep its dis­tance,
was what the know­ing ones call “nuts” to Scrooge.

Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol / Ein Weihnachtslied in Prosa
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Margit Meyer

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