Derek Francis: 1st Gentleman of Charity
[trying to collect Christmas donations]
1st Portly Gentleman : Er, Mr. Scrooge... er, sir... er, 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!
2nd Portly Gentleman : You... you miss our point, sir. The poor suffer greatly at this time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries.
Ebenezer Scrooge : Are there no prisons?
1st Portly Gentleman : Oh, indeed there are, sir. That's something there's no shortage of.
Ebenezer Scrooge : And the workhouses, are they still in operation?
2nd Portly Gentleman : They are, sir. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer Scrooge : Heh. I am very glad to hear it. For a moment, I was afraid that something had occurred to stop them in their useful purpose!
[starts to walk away]
1st Portly Gentleman : Oh, but... but... but sir! A few are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the poor some food and drink and means of warmth.
2nd Portly Gentleman : We choose this time, sir, because it is a time when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices. What may we put you down for, sir?
Ebenezer Scrooge : Nothing, sir.
1st Portly Gentleman : Ah, you wish to be anonymous.
Ebenezer Scrooge : I wish...
[slams his cane against the footbridge railing]
Ebenezer Scrooge : ... 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.
Ebenezer Scrooge : If they would rather die, then they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Goodnight, gentlemen.
[walks away, then turns back]
Ebenezer Scrooge : Humbug!