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[trying to collect Christmas donations
] 2nd Portly Gentleman
: What may we put you down for, sir? Scrooge
: Nothing, sir. 1st Portly Gentleman
: Ah, you wish to remain anonymous. Scrooge
: I wish to be left alone, sir! That is what I wish! I don't make myself merry at Christmas and I cannot afford to make idle people merry. I have been forced to support the establishments I have mentioned through taxation and God knows they cost more than they're worth. Those who are badly off must go there. 2nd Portly Gentleman
: Many would rather die than go there. Scrooge
: If they'd rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population. Good night, gentlemen.
[walks away, then turns back
1st Portly Gentleman
: Mr. Scrooge, sir, we find it more than usually desirable that we make some slight provision for the poor and destitute. Ebenezer Scrooge
: Excellent! Then I suggest you do so!
: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute. Ebenezer
: Are there no prisons? First Collector
: Plenty of prisons. Ebenezer
: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation? First Collector
: They are. I wish I could say they were not. Ebenezer
: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it. First Collector
: I don't think you quite understand us, sir. A few of us are endeavoring to buy the poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. Ebenezer
: Why? First Collector
: Because it is at Christmastime that want is most keenly felt, and abundance rejoices. Now what can I put you down for? Ebenezer
: Huh! Nothing! Second Collector
: You wish to be anonymous? Ebenezer
: [firmly, but calmly
] I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. I help to support the establishments I have named; those who are badly off must go there. First Collector
: Many can't go there. Second Collector
: And some would rather die.