Now the fun begins: a dance. But this is not just any dance. Did you notice who’s invited: family and friends, well-to-do and poor, upbeat and downcast. Those that should have been there and those that we think maybe shouldn’t. It was all the same to Fezziwig. A dance was to be had, and a dance he was going to give, and if the cook invited the milkman to join in, Fezziwig either didn’t notice due to having too much fun or didn’t care.
Then the food and drink, enough for four hours worth for at least forty people. This little shindig wasn’t cheap. The ghost tries to play if off as not much. Maybe in comparison to Scrooge’s vast hoarded wealth, it’s not much, but three or four pounds in the 1840s would be worth at least a thousand dollars today. But what does Scrooge fix on? The cost? No, it’s not Fezziwig’s monetary position, but his position of power in people’s lives. He had the power through his actions to make people happy or miserable, regardless of his wealth.
“It isn’t that Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ‘em up: what then? The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
And we are back to how we treat people again, aren’t we. But Dickens is removing our excuses, subtly. Scrooge knew it wasn’t the amount of money Fezziwig had. Fezziwig was a joy to work for because he was a joy himself. Rich or poor, Fezziwig would have made someone feel comfortable, welcome. And in return his two apprentices praised him and were willing to work hard for him.
The kind master is thought of more like a father than a taskmaster. And he is obeyed with more joy. The incarnation displays the Father’s kindness, which Paul says in Romans 2, “leads you to repentance.”