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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:58:32 -0800
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Friends of the Dickens Forum,

         Here from [log in to unmask] is a post on wills in 
Dickens with a glance in
a new direction:                                     (pjm)

> Dear Friends,

> Where Dickens says 'the kind hand trembled,' I believe this refers to 
> the 'kind hand' of the Ghost of Christmas yet to come, which is 
> pointing down to Scrooge's grave, not to Scrooge's own hand, so I 
> don't believe the line is meant to be read as adumbrating Scrooge's 
> redemption. Dickens refers to the ghost's hand and pointing finger 
> throughout the sequence. After Scrooge starts pleading for his second 
> chance, Dickens states 'For the first time the hand appeared to shake" 
> (as Scrooge is already described as 'trembling' as he approaches the 
> grave, this must be a reference to the ghost's hand pointing down to 
> the grave). Scrooge then continues his plea, when Dickens says 'the 
> kind hand trembled'. I have wondered why the ghost's hand trembled at 
> this point. Perhaps because Scrooge was seeking confirmation of a 
> version of his future that he had not yet taken any steps in everyday 
> life to fulfil? It may be of interest to note that in the abridged 
> Public Reading edition, the lines "For the first time the hand 
> appeared to shake' and 'the kind hand trembled' appear to have been 
> amalgamated/altered to: "For the first time the kind hand faltered". 

> John