"As Good As Gold"

Context: Dickens' A Christmas Carol has taken its rightful place with all the other traditions of Christmas. A story of greed and selfishness, generosity and thoughtfulness, the simple plot carries the miserly Scrooge to his regeneration through the visit on the night before Christmas of three spirits–the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. Each spirit leads Scrooge out of his dismal room to show him the way to change his life. The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes him to the cheerful home of Bob Cratchit, his poor, misused, but happy clerk. Preparations are being made for the jolly Christmas feast as Bob returns from church, carrying on his shoulders Tiny Tim, his son, lame and doomed to an early death without proper treatment. When Mrs. Cratchit asks how Tim behaved, Bob replies:

"As good as gold . . . and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see."