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Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker
on the door, e
xcept that it was very large. It is also a fact, that Scrooge had
seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place; also
that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in
the city of London, even including
is a bold word
aldermen, and livery. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not
bestowed one thought on Marley, since his last mention of his seven years’
dead partner that afternoon. And then let any man explain to me, if he can,
how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in
the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change
a knocker, but Marley’s face.
Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in
yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar.
It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look:
with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. The hair was
curiously stirred, as
if by breath or hot air; and, though the eyes were wide
open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it
horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its
control, rather than a part of its own expression.
As Scrooge looked fixedly at this pheno
menon, it was a knocker again.
A Christmas Carol
(London: Chapman and Hall,
1843), Stave 1, accessed April 10, 2013,