Scrooge crept toward it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grace his own name, Ebenezer Scrooge. "Am I that man who lay upon the bed," he cried, upon his knees.
The finger pointed from the grave to him, and back again.
"No, Spirit! Oh, no, no!"
The finger was still there.
"Spirit!" he cried, tight clutching at its robe, "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?"
For the the first time the hand appeared to shake.
"Good Spirit," he pursued, as down upon the ground he fell before it, "your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!"
The kind hand trembled.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!"
- From "A Christmas Carol", by Charles Dickens