• A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

  • BY CHARLES DICKENS.

  • Stave One.

  • MARLEY'S GHOST.

  • Narrator

    Marley was dead, to begin with.

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  • 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 dead as a door-nail.

  • Scrooge knew he was dead?

  • Of course he did.

  • Narrator

    How could it be otherwise?

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  • 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 solemnized 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.

  • Narrator

    This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.

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  • Scrooge never painted out Old Marley's name.