sexta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2010

" A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens (chapter one)

Christmas Eve

It was Christmas Eve. London was very cold and foggy. Ebenezer Scrooge was working in his office. His secretary, Bob Cratchit, was writing letters in the next room, with a very small fire. Bob was very cold. Scrooge did not give Bob much wood for his fire because he did not like to spend money.
Scrooge did not like anything. He did not like the people in the streets or the people he worked with. He did not like eating good food or drinking nice drinks.
He especially hated Christmas.
Scrooge was an old man. He was very thin, with thin, white hair on his head and face. His lips were blue and his eyes were red.
He had worked in the same dark office for very many years. Once it had been the office of SCROOGE AND MARLEY, and those names were still on the door. But Jacob Marley had died seven years before and Scrooge worked on without him. Work was important. Work brought money, and Scrooge always wanted more money. So Scrooge worked hard, and made Bob Cratchit work hard, too.
Work, work, work!
'A Merry Christmas, uncle,' said Scrooge's nephew, Fred, coming into the cold, dark office.
'Bah!' replied Scrooge.'Humbug!' He really hated Christmas.
'Oh, come on, uncle,' said Fred. I'm sure you don't mean it.'
'l do,' answered Scrooge. 'Why are you merry? You're a poor man.'
'And why aren't you merry?' asked Fred. 'You're a very rich man. And it's Christmas!'
'Bah!' said Scrooge again. 'Humbug!'
'Please come to dinner with us tomorrow, uncle,' said Fred.
'Goodbye,' answered Scrooge.
'l don't want to be angry with you, uncle,' said Fred, 'so Merry Christmas.'
'Goodbye,' said Scrooge again.
Later two men came into Scrooge's office.
'Mr Scrooge? Mr Marley?' asked the first man, who had seen the names on the door.
'Mr Marley died seven years ago,' answered Scrooge.
'Mr Scrooge, then,' said the man. 'At Christmas, it's nice for everyone to give something to people who have nothing - no homes, no clothes, no food.'
'But there are hospitals and other places to help them,' said Scrooge.
There are,' replied the second man. 'But they always need a little more.'
'lt's not my problem,' said Scrooge. I've my work to worry about.'
The two men left.
Later a boy came to sing Christmas songs, but Scrooge sent him away.
When it was time to close the office, Bob Cratchit was excited about the holiday next day.
'l imagine you don't want to come to work tomorrow?' said Scrooge to Bob.
'No, sir, l don't,' he answered nervously.
'And you want me to give you money for the whole week?' asked Scrooge.
'Well, Christmas is only one day a year, sir,' replied Bob.
'You're still taking my money for nothing!' said Scrooge. 'Well, if you must, you must. But come to work earlier the morning after.'
That night when Scrooge was at home, he had a surprise visit. He had the sound of chains coming upstairs, and then Jacob Marley walked through his door.
“Marley” said Scrooge. “You´re dead! What do you want from me?”
“I´m a ghost” said Marley. “I´ve been travelling since I died.”
“Why?” asked Scrooge.
“Because I´m unhappy”, said Marley´s ghost. “I was very bad to people when I was alive, and I want to help you not to be unhappy like me when you die.”
“How?” asked Scrooge.
“You´ll be visited by three more ghosts”, answered Marley´s ghost.

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