In stave 2, "The First of the Three Spirits," of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Past takes Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey into the past—Scrooge's past—which begins with a walk down a country road near Scrooge's childhood home near an idyllic, riverside market town. The scene with Scrooge's childhood friends calling out "Merry Christmas" to each other is a happy scene, in contrast to the scene of young Ebenezer sitting alone and forlorn at Christmas in a deserted classroom at his boarding school. Seeing himself, sitting there reading without another person to be seen or heard, Scrooge remembers the boy singing Christmas carols outside Scrooge's countinghouse who Scrooge chased away with a ruler in stave 1.
“I wish,” Scrooge muttered, putting his hand in his pocket, and looking about him, after drying his eyes with his cuff: “but it’s too late now.”
“What is the matter?” asked the Spirit.
“Nothing,” said Scrooge. “Nothing. There was a boy...
(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1411 words.)