The quote is said by Ebenezer Scrooge at the beginning of A Christmas Carol, introducing the cold-hearted, miserly nature of the character to the reader.
Scrooge is visited in his counting-house by two benefactors wishing to make provision for the poor and destitute at this time of year. Scrooge angrily replies that prisons and workhouses are the only charities he is willing to support and the gentlemen leave empty-handed. Later on that night his words are used against him by the three ghosts that visit.
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