And if old Ebenezer Scrooge can choose a new path at Christmas, indeed there is hope for us all.
God bless Us, Every One.
'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 . . . . Why show me this, if I am past all hope?'
For 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 honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the 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!'