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









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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Der Originaltext ist gemeinfrei. Die Rechte für die synchronisierte zweisprachige Ausgabe und für die von uns in der Übersetzung ergänzten Textpassagen liegen bei Doppeltext.

Die Übersetzung erschien erstmals 1979 in Alle Weihnachtserzählungen im Verlag Rütten & Loening, Berlin. Rütten & Loening ist eine Marke der Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG.
Übersetzung © Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG

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