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At the end of Stave One, Marley has shown Scrooge the chain that he forged in life of all of his misdeeds and lack of caring for his fellow human beings. He says that his purpose in visiting Scrooge is
"...to warn you, that you have yet a chance andhope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring" (pg 21)
Marley then tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits. Scrooge tells him that he would rather forego the whole ordeal. But Marley informs him that
" Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread." (pg 22)
Marley says the first spirit will arrive tomorrow at one, the second will arrive at the same hour the next night, and the third will arrive the third night when the last stroke of 12 midnight has ceased to vibrate.
Jacob Marley tells Scrooge to expect three spirits and gives him the specific times to expect them. He does not name the spirits, nor give any specific indication of what they will be doing when they visit Scrooge.
He simply says, "You will be haunted by three spirits" (Stave I).
Scrooge does wait for the spirits, but the clock appears to take on a life of its own, as he cannot keep track of the hours and it freezes at "12" when the first spirit is to appear. By the time the Ghost of Christmas Past arrives, Scrooge is quite confused and tired.
He is then visited in succession by the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Sadly, Marley never comes back to congratulate him on his positive transformation!
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