Charles A. Scott
«Old Scrooge»: A Christmas Carol in Five Staves. / Dramatized from Charles Dickens' Celebrated Christmas Story
Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly broker
Frederick Merry, a nephew to Scrooge
Bob Cratchit, clerk to Scrooge
Ghost of Jacob Marley, dead seven years
Spirit of Christmas Past
Spirit of Christmas Present
Mr. Thomas Topper
Mr. Henry Snapper
Scrooge's former self
Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge's former master
Mr. James Badger
Dick Wilkins, Fezziwig's apprentice
Old Joe, a pawnbroker
Mr. Shroud, an undertaker
Old Baldhead, the fiddler
The Lamp Lighter
The boy with the turkey
Thomas, a servant
Mrs. Belle Kemper, Scrooge's first and last love
Mrs. Frederick Merry
Mrs. Cratchit, a devoted wife
Mrs. Caroline Badger
Mrs. Mangle, a laundress
Mrs. Dilber, a char-woman
Mrs. Fezziwig, a worthy matron
Little Fanny Scrooge
Six or eight children for tableaux.
By a distribution of two or three character to one person, the piece can be performed by fifteen males and nine females.
Scrooge. First dress: Brown Quaker-cut coat, waistcoat and pants. Dark overcoat. Low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat. Black silk stock and standing collar. Bald wig with tufts of white hair on each side. Smooth face. Second dress: Dressing gown, cotton night-cap and slippers.
Fred. Merry. First dress: Walking suit, overcoat, black silk hat. Black silk stock and standing collar. Side whiskers. Second dress: Dress suit.
Bob Cratchit. Long-tailed business coat of common material, much worn, and buttoned up to the neck. Woolen pants and waistcoat of check pattern. Colored scarf and standing collar. Large white comforter. Narrow-rimmed silk hat, old style and the worse for wear. Smooth face.
Ghost of Marley. Drab cut-away coat and breeches. Low-cut single-breasted vest. Ruffled shirt. White neckcloth. Drab leggings. Gray, long-haired wig, with queue. Shaggy eyebrows.
Spirit of Christmas Past. White tunic trimmed with flowers. Fleshings. Jeweled belt around waist. Long white hair hanging loose down neck and back. Jeweled star for forehead. White conical hat, very high, carried under the arm. Smooth, pale face – no wrinkles. Wand of holly.
Spirit of Christmas Present. Green robe bordered with white fur. Fleshings. Trunks. Brown hose. Dark-brown curls. Holly wreath for the head.
Mumford. Overcoat. Under suit of the period – 1840. Black silk hat. White neckcloth and standing collar. Gray, long-haired wig. Smooth face. Spectacles.
Barnes. Blue cloth over and under coats. Black silk hat. Black silk stock and standing collar. Iron-gray short-haired wig. Mutton-chop whiskers. Walking stick.
Topper and Snapper. Dress suits of the period – 1840.
Peter Cratchit. Jacket or short coat. Very large standing collar and neckerchief.
Little Cratchit. Calico shirt. Short trousers. Shoes and stockings. Apron.
Tiny Tim. Same as Little Cratchit, with the addition of a jacket.
Scrooge's former self. First dress: Cutaway coat. Knee breeches. Second dress: Cape coat. Hessians.
Ignorance and Want. Clad in rags. Fleshings.
Old Joe. Gabardine or long-skirted coat. Shaggy wig and beard. Old smoking cap.
Mrs. Cratchit. Plain black or brown dress. Cap and apron.
Mrs. Merry, Kemper and Misses Kemper. Handsome house dresses of the period.
Misses Fezziwig. Low-necked dresses with short sleeves.
Mrs. Badger. Plain walking dress. Bonnet and shawl.
SCENERY, FURNITURE and PROPERTIES
SCENE I. – Scrooge & Marley's Counting House, 1st G. backed by an interior 2d G. Set fire-place – painted grate fire L. Window in flat L. C. Double doors in flat, thrown open, R. C. Scrooge's desk and chair near window – ruler, pens, ink and paper on desk. Bob Cratchit's Desk in inner room in sight of audience. Lighted candles on both desks. Scuttle of coal near fire place. Clothes hooks on flat for Scrooge's hat and great coat. Coal shovel for Bob to enter with. Subscription list for Mumford to enter with. Clear stage of desk, chair and scuttle.
SCENE II. – Scrooge's apartments 3d or 4th G. Door L. C. and window R. C. in flat, backed by a street scene. Small grate fire and mantel L. 2. Old-fashioned clock and two plaster casts on mantel. Door R. 2. Table L. C. Lighted candle, spoon, basin and writing materials on table. Saucepan of gruel on hob. Two easy chairs near fire place. Lights down. Fender at fire. Ringing bells of place. Scrooge's hat and coat hung on the wall. Chain made of cash boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, purses, etc., for ghost to enter with. Toothpick for Scrooge to show. Trap ready for ghost to disappear.
SCENE I. – Scrooge's bed room 1st G. Chimney C., with painted coal fire. Door L. C., window R. C. Trap near hearth for Spirit of Christmas Past to enter. Small four-post bedstead with curtains L. Bureau or washstand R.
SCENE II. – An old school room 3d G. Door L. C., and window R. C. in flat. Chair at window. A stuffed parrot on stand near R. 3. Two or three school desks, a platform and desk for the master; books for young Scrooge.
SCENE III. – A wareroom, full depth of stage. An elevated platform, centre of flat, for the fiddler. Old-fashioned arm chair at L. 2, for Mrs Fezziwig.
SCENE IV. – Plain room, 2d G. No properties.
SCENE V. – Drawing room, 5th G., trimmed with evergreens. A Christmas tree, trimmed and lighted, R. U. E. Ornaments on mantel. Fireplace L. Suite of parlor furniture. Centre table C. Toys for children – doll and doll's dress for Belle. Trap ready for spirit to disappear.
SCENE I. – A room in Scrooge's house, 1st G. Flat painted to show game, poultry, meats, etc. Torch, shaped like a cornucopia for Spirit of Christmas Present.
SCENE II. – Bob Cratchit's home – Plain room 4th G. Door R. and L. C., backed by kitchen flat. Dresser and crockery C. of flat. Fireplace L. U. E. Saucepan of potatoes on fire; six wooden or cane-seat chairs; a high chair for Tiny Tim. Large table C.; white table-cloth; large bowl on side table R.; three tumblers and a custard cup without a handle. Nuts, apples and oranges on dresser. Small crutch for Tiny Tim to enter with. Goose on dish for Peter to enter with.
SCENE III. – A street mansion with lighted windows showing shadow of a group inside, 1st G. Snow. Torch and ladder for lamp lighter.
SCENE IV. – Drawing room 4th G. Arch 3d G. Handsome suite of furniture. Large table R. Sideboard with wine and glasses at flat C. Piano L. 2d E. Coffee-urn and cups on small table R. 3d E. Piano-stool, music stand. Sheet music on piano. Salver for waiter.
SCENE I. – Scrooge's bed room 2d G. as in scene 1, act 2.
SCENE II. – Street 1st G. Snuff-box for Snuffer to enter with.
SCENE III. – Pawn shop 3d G. Doors R. and L. C. in flat – Table C., four common chairs; a smoky oil lamp – lighted, and a piece of white chalk on table. Bundle of bed curtains – same as on Scrooge's bedstead – blankets and shirts for Mrs. Mangle to enter with. Bundle of under-clothing, towels, sheets, sugar-tongs, tea-spoons and old boots for Mrs. Dilber to enter with. A package containing a seal, pencil-case, pair of sleeve-buttons and scarf pin, for Shroud to enter with. Purse of coins for Old Joe.
SCENE IV. – Street – exterior of Scrooge and Marley's 1st G. Window L. C. No properties.
SCENE V. – Bob Cratchit's home – same as scene 2, act, 3. Table C., candles and work-basket on table. Book for Peter on table; calico or muslin for Mrs. Cratchit and Belinda to sew.
SCENE I. – Scrooge's apartment, as in scene 2d act 1st. No additional properties.
SCENE II. – Street – exterior of Scrooge's house 1st G. Brass knocker on the door. Turkey for boy to enter with.
SCENE III. – Drawing room same as scene 4, act 3. Handkerchief for Fred to blindfold.
SCENE I. —Christmas Eve. Counting house of Scrooge & Marley. Set fireplace with small grate fire L. Centre door in flat, thrown open, showing a small inner chamber and desk, at which Bob Cratchit is discovered seated, endeavoring to warm his hands over the candle. Small desk, L. C., at which Scrooge is discovered busy at figures.
Enter Bob Cratchit, from inner room, with coal shovel, going toward fireplace
Scrooge. And six makes twenty-eight pounds, four shill – What do you want in here?
Bob. My fire is nearly out, sir, and I thought I would take one or two lumps of coal, and —
Scro. You think more of your personal comforts than you do of your business and my interest.
Bob. The room, sir, is very cold, and I —
Scro. Work sir, work! and I'll warrant that you'll keep warm. If you persist, in this wanton waste of coals, you and I will have to part. (Bob retires to his desk, puts on his white comforter, and again tries to warm his hands. Scrooge resuming). Four shillings and ninepence —
Enter Fred'k Merry, C. D., saluting Bob as he passes him.
Fred. A Merry Christmas, uncle. God save you.
Scro. Bah; humbug.
Fred. Christmas a humbug, uncle! You don't mean that, I'm sure?
Scro. I do. Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.
Fred. Come then. What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough.
Scro. Bah; humbug.
Fred. Don't be cross, uncle.
Scro. What else can I be when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon Merry Christmas! What's Christmas-time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should.
Scro. (sternly). Nephew, keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.
Fred. Keep it! But you don't keep it.
Scro. Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you. Much good it has ever done you.
Fred. There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas-time, when it came round – apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that – as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And, therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it. (Cratchit applauds, but observing Scrooge, endeavors to be intent on something else.)
Scro. (to Bob). Let me hear another sound from you, and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! (To Fred). You're quite a powerful speaker, sir, I wonder you don't go into Parliament.
Fred. Don't be angry, uncle. Come, dine with us to-morrow?
Scro. I'd see you in blazes first.
Fred. But why? Why?
Scro. Why did you get married?
Fred. Because I fell in love.
Scro. Because you fell in love! The only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. Good afternoon.
Fred. Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?
Scro. Good afternoon.
Fred. I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?
Scro. Good afternoon!
Fred. I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last. So a Merry Christmas, uncle.
Scro. Good afternoon!
(As Fred goes out he exchanges greetings with Bob.)
Fred. A merry Christmas.
Bob. The same to you, and many of them.
Scro. There's another fellow, my clerk, with fifteen shillings a week, and a wife and family, talking about a Merry Christmas. I'll retire to the lunatic asylum.
Enter Mr. Mumford and Mr. Barnes with subscription book and paper, ushered in by Bob
Mr. Mumford. Scrooge & Marley's. I believe (referring to paper). Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?
Scro. Mr. Marley his been dead these seven years. He died seven years ago this very night.
Mr. M. We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner. (Presents list. Scrooge frowns, shakes his head, and returns it.) At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.
Scro. Are there no prisons?
Mr. M. Plenty of prisons.
Scro. And the union work-houses – are they still in operation?
Mr. M. They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Scro. The tread-mill and the poor law are in full vigor, then?
Mr. M. Both very busy, sir.
Scro. Oh! I was afraid from what you said at first that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.
Mr. M. Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude, a few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We chose this time because it is a time, of all others, when want is keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?
Mr. M. You wish to be anonymous?
Scro. I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas, and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned; they cost enough, and those who are badly off must go there.
Mr. B. Many can't go there; and many would rather die.
Scro. If they had rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides, excuse me, I don't know that.
Mr. B. But you might know it.
Scro. It's not my business. It's enough for a man to understand his own business, and not interfere with other people's. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen.
Mr. M. It is useless, we may as well withdraw. [Exeunt. As they go out Bob is seen to hand them money.]
(Voice at door R. singing.)
God bless you, merry gentlemen.
May nothing you dismay —
Scro. (Seizes ruler and makes a dash at the door.) Begone! I'll have none of your carols here. (Makes sign to Bob, who extinguishes his candle and puts on his hat and enters.) You'll want all day to morrow, I suppose?
Bob. If quite convenient, sir.
Scro. It's not convenient, and its not fair. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be bound? (Bob smiles faintly.) And yet you don't think me ill-used when I pay a day's wages for no work.
Bob. It's only once a year, sir.
Scro. A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December. (Buttoning up his great coat to the chin.) But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning. (Exit C.)
Bob. I will, sir. You old skinflint. If I had my way, I'd give you Christmas. I'd give it to you this way (Dumb show of pummelling Scrooge.) Now for a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honor of Christmas Eve, and then for Camden Town as hard as I can pelt. (Exit C., with sliding motions, closing doors after him.)
SCENE II. —Scrooge's apartments. Grate fire, L. 2, Window, R. C. Door, L. C. in flat. Table, L. 4. Spoon and basin on table. Saucepan on hob. Two easy chairs near fire. Lights down.
[Scrooge in dressing gown and night-cap, discovered, with candle, searching the room.]
Scro. Pooh! pooh! Marley's dead seven years to night. Impossible. Nobody under the table, nobody under the couch, nobody in the closet, nobody nowhere (Yawns). Bah, humbug! (Locks door R. and seats himself in easy chair; dips gruel from saucepan into basin, and takes two or three spoonsful. Yawns and composes himself for rest.)
[One or two stanzas of a Christmas carol may be sung outside, at the close of which a general ringing of bells ensues, succeeded by a clanking noise of chain.]