He spoke before the hour bell sounded, which it now did with a deep, dull, hollow,
melancholy ONE. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant, and the curtains of his bed were drawn.
The curtains of his bed were drawn aside, I tell you, by a hand. Not the curtains at his feet, nor the curtains at his back, but those to which his face was addressed. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor.
It was a strange figure-like a child;yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child's proportions.
Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age;
and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin.
It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand;
and in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem,
had its dress trimmed with summer flowers.
But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright,
clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which doubtless the occasion of its using,
in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm.
"Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?" asked Scrooge.