The Phantom was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand, its mysterious presence filled him with a solemn dread.
|“I am in the presence of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come?” said Scrooge. The Spirit answered not, but pointed onward with its hand.|
“Lead on!” said Scrooge.
|“Lead on! The night is waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit!”|
The scene had changed, and Scrooge glanced round the room in obedience to a secret impulse, anxious to know what kind of room it was.
He almost touched a coffin on which, beneath a ragged sheet, there lay a something covered up, which, though it was dumb, announced itself in awful language.
Unwatched, unwept, uncared for, was the body of a man.
|“Spirit!” he said, “this is a fearful place. In
leaving it, I shall not leave its lesson, trust me. Let us go!”
Still the Ghost pointed with an unmoved finger to the head.
|“I understand you,” Scrooge returned, “and I would do it, if I could. But I have not the power, Spirit... ”|
|“I am the man! Spirit!” he cried, "Hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!”|
|“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if
persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge.|
“But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me!”