A Christmas Carol. Opowieść wigilijna w wersji do nauki angielskiego - Charles Dickens, Marta Fihel - ebook
Opis

Język angielski

Poziom B2

Lubisz czytać dobre powieści a jednocześnie chcesz doskonalić swój angielski?

Mamy dla Ciebie idealne połączenie!

Klasyka literatury światowej w wersji do nauki języka angielskiego.

CZYTAJ - SŁUCHAJ - ĆWICZ

POSZERZAJ SŁOWNICTWO - UTRWALAJ - UCZ SIĘ WYMOWY

CZYTAJ – dzięki oryginalnemu angielskiemu tekstowi powieści A Christmas Carol przyswajasz nowe słówka, uczysz się ich zastosowania w zdaniach i poszerzasz słownictwo. Wciągająca fabuła książki sprawi, że nie będziesz mógł się oderwać od lektury, co zapewni regularność nauki. Czytanie tekstów po angielsku to najlepsza metoda nauki angielskiego.

SŁUCHAJ – pobierz bezpłatne nagranie oryginalnego tekstu A Christmas Carol dostępne na librivox.org. Czytaj jednocześnie słuchając nagrania i utrwalaj wymowę.

ĆWICZ – do każdego rozdziału powieści przygotowane zostały specjalne dodatki i ćwiczenia:

• na marginesach stron znajdziesz minisłownik i objaśnienia trudniejszych wyrazów;

• w części O słowach poszerzysz słownictwo z danej dziedziny, a w części gramatycznej poznasz struktury i zagadnienia językowe;

• dzięki zamieszczonym na końcu rozdziału testom i różnorodnym ćwiczeniom sprawdzisz rozumienie przeczytanego tekstu;

• odpowiedzi do wszystkich zadań zamkniętych znajdziesz w kluczu na końcu książki.

Przekonaj się, że nauka języka obcego może być przyjemnością, której nie sposób się oprzeć.

Wzruszająca opowieść świąteczna ukazująca przemianę duchową Ebenezera Scrooge’a w obliczu wizji samotnej śmierci po latach życia w rozgoryczeniu i stronienia od ludzi. Ponadczasowa historia pokazuje ludzi żyjących wśród nas i doświadczających podobnych problemów, bliskich nam doznań i emocji. Ebenezer Scrooge nie musiał bać się śmierci, ponieważ Dickens uczynił go nieśmiertelnym!

***

Marta Fihel – anglistka, nauczycielka z wieloletnim stażem. Współautorka książek do nauki języka angielskiego i słowników.

Prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak – wykładowca w Akademii Leona Koźmińskiego. Pracował jako tłumacz agencyjny i książkowy, współautor kilkunastu podręczników do nauki języka angielskiego, twórca największego polskiego darmowego słownika internetowego.

Grzegorz Komerski – absolwent filozofii, tłumacz, współautor książek do nauki języka angielskiego. Prowadzi blog poświęcony historii języków i etymologii.

 

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 266

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS

Popularność


Redakcja

Jadwiga Witecka

Projekt okładki

Studio KARANDASZ

Skład i łamanie

Protext

Opracowanie wersji elektronicznej

© Copyright by Poltext sp. z o.o.

Wszelkie prawa zastrzeżone. Nieautoryzowane rozpowszechnianie całości lub fragmentów niniejszej publikacji w jakiejkolwiek postaci zabronione. Wykonywanie kopii metodą elektroniczną, fotograficzną, a także kopiowanie książki na nośniku filmowym, magnetycznym, optycznym lub innym powoduje naruszenie praw autorskich niniejszej publikacji. Niniejsza publikacja została elektronicznie zabezpieczona przed nieautoryzowanym kopiowaniem, dystrybucją i użytkowaniem. Usuwanie, omijanie lub zmiana zabezpieczeń stanowi naruszenie prawa.

Warszawa 2018

Poltext Sp. z o.o.

www.poltext.pl

e-mail:[email protected]

ISBN 978-83-7561-871-6 (format epub) 

ISBN 978-83-7561-872-3 (format mobi) 

Wstęp

Kiedy Charles Dickens pisał Opowieść wigilijną, z pewnością nie spodziewał się, że wejdzie ona do kanonu literatury.

Dzieło to zostało opublikowane tuż przed świętami, 19 grudnia 1843 roku, i niemal od razu spotkało się z entuzjastycznym odbiorem zarówno Czytelników, jak i krytyki literackiej. Do dnia dzisiejszego nieprzerwanie ukazuje się w druku i jest lekturą szkolną w wielu krajach. Jest to utwór, który umiejętnie łączy wgląd w twardą rzeczywistość XIX wieku z alegorycznym, ponadczasowym przekazem. Ponadto Dickens z dużym kunsztem wplótł w swoją opowieść wątki z mitologii chrześcijańskiej, podań wigilijnych i baśni.

Do popularności Opowieści wigilijnejbez wątpienia przyczyniło się także wykorzystanie tematyki świątecznej – współcześnie każdy artysta pop wie doskonale, jak trafnie sparodiowano to w filmie Love, actually, że napisanie dobrego świątecznego przeboju gwarantuje miejsce na szczycie list przebojów i sukces. Dickens był więc także, w pewnym sensie, prekursorem nowoczesnego marketingu sztuki. Zachowując powagę, trzeba jednak przyznać, że czynił to, mając na uwadze ważny cel społeczny. Dickens był bowiem mocno zaangażowany w pomoc ubogim i przejmował go ciężki los ówczesnej biedoty. Zdawał sobie jednak doskonale sprawę, że pisanie kolejnych przejmujących felietonów wywrze znacznie mniejszy skutek, niż potężny symboliczny przekaz skierowany do szerokiej rzeszy odbiorców.

Po wizycie w Manchesterze, który wówczas był miastem skrajnej nędzy, zasiedlonym przez klepiących biedę robotników i skazanych na jeszcze gorszy los bezrobotnych skupionych wokół licznych fabryk, a także po odwiedzeniu kopalni węgla w Kornwalii (wówczas masowo zatrudniających dzieci), Dickens zdecydował, że musi zrobić coś, co zmieni nastawienie bogatszej części społeczeństwa. Ponieważ był wówczas poczytnym autorem, postanowił za pomocą fikcyjnej opowieści zaapelować do sumienia rodaków.

Uczynił to niezwykle skutecznie – bo do dnia dzisiejszego wpływ Opowieści wigilijnejna kulturę masową jest ogromny. Dość powiedzieć, że nazwisko głównego bohatera, Ebenezera Scrooge’a, stało się synonimem skąpca. Skąpca, dodajmy, którego postać jest wzorowana na ojcu samego autora. Dickens bowiem doświadczył nędzy na własnej skórze. Kiedy miał dwanaście lat, jego ojciec trafił do więzienia, a on sam musiał zrezygnować ze szkoły, sprzedać lub zastawić nieliczny dobytek i podjąć pracę w fabryce pasty do butów. Co gorsza, nawet po zakończeniu trzymiesięcznej odsiadki ojca, Dickens musiał kontynuować pracę. Pracę, dodajmy, ciężką, niewdzięczną, zarówno w jego własnym mniemaniu, jak i po prostu obiektywnie, znacznie poniżej jego intelektualnych możliwości.

Skomplikowana relacja z ojcem, według krytyków literackich, znajduje odzwierciedlenie w dwoistości postaci Scrooge’a – z jednej strony antypatycznego i złośliwego dusigrosza, z drugiej zaś osoby towarzyskiej i łaknącej społecznej akceptacji. Przemiana Scrooge’a w lepszego człowieka może zatem ukazywać przemianę postaci ojca autora – z faktycznej w upragnioną.

Trudno jednoznacznie powiedzieć, w jakim stopniu emocjonalne zaangażowanie w tematykę, a także osobiste doświadczenie wpłynęły na magię i siłę przekazu Opowieści wigilijnej. Jedno jest pewne: to utwór wybitny, chwytający za serce i mówiący wiele o tym, jak zmienił się współczesny świat. Z pewnością warto ją przeczytać, a przy okazji podszlifować język angielski.

Opracowany przez nas podręcznik oparty na oryginalnym tekście noweli został skonstruowany według przejrzystego schematu.

Na marginesach tekstu podano objaśnienia trudniejszych wyrazów.Każdy rozdział jest zakończony krótkim testem sprawdzającym stopień rozumienia tekstu.Zawarty po każdym rozdziale dział O słowach jest poświęcony poszerzeniu słownictwa z danej dziedziny, wyrazom kłopotliwym dla polskich uczniów (tzw. false friends) lub wyrażeniom idiomatycznym.W dziale poświęconym gramatyce omówiono wybrane zagadnienie gramatyczne, ilustrowane fragmentem rozdziału.Dla dociekliwych został również opracowany komentarz do wybranych tematów związanych z kulturą i historią.

Różnorodne ćwiczenia pozwolą Czytelnikowi powtórzyć i sprawdzić omówione w podręczniku zagadnienia leksykalne i gramatyczne. Alfabetyczny wykaz wyrazów objaśnianych na marginesie tekstu znajduje się w słowniczku. Odpowiedzi do wszystkich zadań zamkniętych są podane w kluczu na końcu książki.

Karol Dickens jako dziecko w fabryce na rysunku Freda Bernarda (1904)

Źródło: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dickens-at-the-Blacking-Warehouse.jpg

STAVE 1:Marley’s Ghost

Słownictwo

PREFACE

I HAVE endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,

C. D.

December, 1843.

MARLEY was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, theclerk, theundertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, toregard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his soleexecutor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuarylegatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.

The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezyspot--say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance-- literally to astonish his son’s weak mind.

Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him.

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, oldsinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, andsolitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened hisgait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.

External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, couldboast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did.

Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”

But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones call “nuts” to Scrooge.

Once upon a time--of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve--old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside, go wheezing up and down, beating their hand supon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already-- it had not been light all day--and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices, like ruddysmears upon the palpable brown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and was so dense without, that although the court was of the narrowest, the houses opposite were merephantoms. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down, obscuring everything, one might have thought that Nature lived hard by, and was brewing on a large scale.

The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal littlecell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk’s fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn’t replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.

“A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!” cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge’s nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation he had of his approach.

“Bah!” said Scrooge, “Humbug!”

He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost, this nephew of Scrooge’s, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”

“Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”

Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said, “Bah!” again; and followed it up with “Humbug.”

“Don’t becross, uncle!” said the nephew.

“What else can I be,” returned the uncle, “when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ‘em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”

“Uncle!” pleaded the nephew.

“Nephew!” returned the uncle sternly, “keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”

“Keep it!” repeated Scrooge’s nephew. “But you don’t keep it.”

“Let me leave it alone, then,” said Scrooge. “Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!”

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round--apart from the venerationdue to itssacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

The clerk in the Tank involuntarilyapplauded.

Becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety, hepoked the fire, and extinguished the last frailspark for ever.

“Let me hear another sound from you,” said Scrooge, “and you’ll keep your Christmas by losing your situation! You’re quite a powerful speaker, sir,” he added, turning to his nephew. “I wonder you don’t go into Parliament.”

“Don’t be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with us to-morrow.”

Scrooge said that he would see him--yes, indeed he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity first.

“But why?” cried Scrooge’s nephew. “Why?”

“Why did you get married?” said Scrooge.

“Because I fell in love.”

“Because you fell in love!” growled Scrooge, as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. “Good afternoon!”

“Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?”

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?”

“Good afternoon,” said Scrooge.

“I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I’ll keep my Christmas humour to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle!”

“Good afternoon!” said Scrooge.

“And A Happy New Year!”

“Good afternoon!” said Scrooge.

His nephew left the room without an angry word, notwithstanding. He stopped at the outer door to bestow the greetings of the season on the clerk, who, cold as he was, was warmer than Scrooge; for he returned them cordially.

“There’s another fellow,” muttered Scrooge; who overheard him: “my clerk, with fifteen shillings a week, and a wife and family, talking about a merry Christmas. I’ll retire to Bedlam.”

Thislunatic, in letting Scrooge’s nephew out, had let two other people in. They were portly gentlemen, pleasant to behold, and now stood, with their hats off, in Scrooge’s office. They had books and papers in their hands, and bowed to him.

“Scrooge and Marley’s, I believe,” said one of the gentlemen, referring to his list. “Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?”

“Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years,” Scrooge replied. “He died seven years ago, this very night.”

“We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner,” said the gentleman, presenting his credentials.

It certainly was; for they had been two kindred spirits. At the ominous word “liberality,” Scrooge frowned, and shook his head, and handed the credentials back.

“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slightprovision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And theUnion workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

“The Treadmill and the Poor Law arein full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

“Both very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Under the impression that they scarcelyfurnish Christiancheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundancerejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

“You wish to be anonymous?”

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned--they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease thesurplus population.

Besides--excuse me--I don’t know that.”

“But you might know it,” observed the gentleman.

“It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!”

Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the gentlemen withdrew. Scroogeresumed his labours with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetioustemper than was usual with him.

Meanwhile the fog and darkness thickened so, that people ran about with flaring links, proffering their services to go before horses in carriages, and conduct them on their way. The ancient tower of a church, whose gruff old bell was always peepingslily down at Scrooge out of a Gothic window in the wall, became invisible, and struck the hours and quarters in the clouds, with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there. The cold became intense. In the main street, at the corner of the court, some labourers were repairing the gas-pipes, and had lighted a great fire in a brazier, round which a party of ragged men and boys were gathered: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze in rapture. Thewater-plug being left in solitude, itsoverflowingssullenlycongealed, and turned to misanthropic ice. The brightness of the shops where holly sprigs and berries crackled in the lamp heat of the windows, made pale faces ruddy as they passed. Poulterers’ and grocers’ trades became a splendid joke: a glorious pageant, with which it was next to impossible to believe that such dull principles as bargain and sale had anything to do. The Lord Mayor, in the strong hold of the mighty Mansion House, gave orders to his fifty cooks and butlers to keep Christmas as a Lord Mayor’s household should; and even the little tailor, whom he had fined five shillings on the previous Monday for being drunk and bloodthirsty in the streets, stirred up to-morrow’s pudding in his garret, while his lean wife and the baby sallied out to buy the beef.

Foggier yet, and colder. Piercing, searching, bitingcold. If the good Saint Dunstan had but nipped the Evil Spirit’s nose with a touch of such weather as that, instead of using his familiar weapons, then indeed he would have roared to lusty purpose. The owner of one scant young nose, gnawed andmumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs, stooped down at Scrooge’s keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of “God bless you, merry gentleman!

May nothing you dismay!”

Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action, that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.

At length the hour of shutting up the counting-house arrived. With an ill-will Scrooge dismounted from his stool, and tacitly admitted the fact to the expectant clerk in the Tank, who instantlysnuffed his candle out, and put on his hat.

“You’ll want all day to-morrow, I suppose?” said Scrooge.

“If quiteconvenient, sir.”

“It’s not convenient,” said Scrooge, “and it’s not fair. If I was to stop half-a-crown for it, you’d think yourself ill-used, I’ll be bound?”

The clerk smiled faintly.

“And yet,” said Scrooge, “you don’t think me ill-used, when I pay a day’s wages for no work.”

The clerk observed that it was only once a year.

“A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!” said Scrooge, buttoning his great-coat to the chin. “But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning.”

The clerk promised that he would; and Scrooge walked out with a growl. The office was closed in a twinkling, and the clerk, with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat), went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honour of its being Christmas Eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman’s-buff.

Rozumienie tekstu

Klucz >>>

Zaznacz właściwą odpowiedź (A, B lub C).

1. Marley’s funeral

A) was an occasion to make a successful business deal for Scrooge.

B) was attended by no one at all.

C) was attended by only few people.

2. Begging children

A) never asked Scrooge for money.

B) asked Scrooge for money, but never received any.

C) asked Scrooge for money, but hardly ever received a trifle.

3. Scrooge’s nephew

A) criticised his uncle for being rich yet stingy.

B) was a cheerful person.

C) complained that he didn’t earn any money at Christmas.

4. During the visit from two gentlemen, Scrooge

A) said they should be in prison for interfering with him.

B) said some people were unnecessary.

C) threatened his clerk.

5. Scrooge’s clerk

A) asked to have a day off on Christmas Eve.

B) wasn’t paid on Christmas Eve.

C) was given a day off.

O słowach

DOG

“He iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”

Dog days to idiomatyczne określenie oznaczające okres upałów. Pochodzi z łacińskiego dies caniculares, związanego z okresem, kiedy w basenie Morza Śródziemnego wraz ze wschodem słońca widoczny staje się Syriusz, najjaśniejsza gwiazda w gwiazdozbiorze Wielkiego Psa. Grecka nazwa gwiazdy (Seirios) to prażący, skwarny, ognisty. Zauważ, że od dies caniculares pochodzi również polski wyraz kanikuła, czyli archaiczne już określenie wakacji.

Oto kilka innych idiomów i powiedzonek z wyrazem dog:

a dog in the manger

pies ogrodnika

dog eat dog

bezkompromisowy (o np. walce), okrutny

every dog has its day

– każdy ma swoje pięć minut

fight like cat and dog

żyć jak pies z kotem; skakać sobie do oczu

go to the dogs

schodzić na psy

let sleeping dogs lie

nie wywoływać wilka z lasu, nie budzić licha

not have a dog’s chance

nie mieć najmniejszej szansy

shaggy dog story

długi dowcip z nieciekawą puentą

Gramatyka

PRAWDOPODOBIEŃSTWO I STOPIEŃ PEWNOŚCI

”Besides--excuse me--I don’t know that.”

“But you might know it,” observed the gentleman.”

Tak jak inne czasowniki modalne, might wyraża stopień pewności. Sygnalizuje – tak jak w przytoczonym fragmencie – możliwość zaistnienia danej sytuacji, jej prawdopodobieństwo. W tym znaczeniu might wyraża prawdopodobieństwo znacznie mniejsze niż will i nieco mniejsze niż can, could czy may. Porównaj przykłady:

The temperatures will rise.

Temperatury wzrosną.

The temperatures might rise.

Temperatury chyba wzrosną.

If Gina finds a decent job, she might pay all his debts.

Jeśli Gina znajdzie przyzwoitą pracę, być może spłaci wszystkie długi.

There might/can be some milk left in the fridge.

Być może w lodówce zostało trochę mleka.

Najwyższy stopień pewności wyrażamy za pomocą czasowników must i can’t (w tym znaczeniu czasowniki te bardzo często występują w połączeniu z be) oraz will (wyłącznie w odniesieniu do przyszłości), np.:

George must be home now.

George musi być teraz w domu (z pewnością jest teraz w domu).

What you have been told can’t be true.

To, co ci powiedziano, nie może być prawdą.

Nieco mniejsze prawdopodobieństwo opisywanej sytuacji wyrażają czasowniki should i ought to (zazwyczaj sygnalizujące powinność), np.:

George ought to/should be home now – he didn’t mention any other plans.

George powinien teraz być w domu (raczej jest w domu) – nie wspominał o żadnych innych planach.

Aby powiedzieć, że dana sytuacja jest prawdopodobna lub że nie jesteśmy pewni, że nastąpi, używamy czasowników may, might i could (ale nie could not), np.:

I may/might/could see Henry tomorrow, but I’m not sure yet.

Być może spotkam jutro Henry’ego, ale jeszcze nie jestem pewny.

Can używamy natomiast do opisu możliwości ogólnej i teoretycznej – prawdopodobieństwa danego zdarzenia lub sytuacji, która ogólnie jest możliwa:

Temperatures can reach even 28 degrees in April here.

Temperatury mogą tu siegać w kwietniu nawet 28 stopni.

Jeśli za pomocą czasowników modalnych chcemy wyrazić prawdopodobieństwo danej sytuacji w przeszłości, stosujemy strukturę czasownik modalny + have + Past Participle (trzecia forma czasownika), np.:

Philippa must have made a mistake.

Philippa musiała się pomylić (z pewnością się pomyliła).

The child might have hurt herself!

Dziecko mogło się skaleczyć!

They can’t have spilled the beans!

Niemożliwe, żeby się wygadali!

Oprócz czasowników modalnych stopień prawdopodobieństwa opisywanych zdarzeń sygnalizuje się za pomocą różnych wyrazów, np.: definitely (z pewnością), certainly (z pewnością), probably (prawdopodobnie), possibly (być może) itd. oraz struktur.

Konstrukcja be bound to + czasownik wyraża bardzo wysoki stopień prawdopodobieństwa, np.

They’re bound to win if they keep training so hard.

Z pewnością wygrają, jeśli nadal będą tak intensywnie trenować.

Natomiast struktura be likely to + czasownik opisuje sytuację prawdopodobną, ale nie pewną, np.:

The weather is likely to change tomorrow.

Pogoda prawdopodobnie zmieni się jutro.

Kultura i historia

„OPOWIEŚĆ WIGILIJNA”

Dickens pisał swoją „Opowieść wigilijną” w czasie określanym dziś przez historyków jako końcowa faza rewolucji przemysłowej. Był to okres, gdy w Anglii (a potem w całej Europie) zachodziły wielkie zmiany w procesach produkcji. Fabryki wprowadzały maszyny, których obsługa wymagała mniejszej liczby pracowników niż dotychczasowe wytwórstwo ręcze, pojawiła się kolej parowa i inne wynalazki zwiększające efektywność przemysłu. Wszystkie te przemiany skutkowały gwałtownym rozwojem ekonomicznym Wielkiej Brytanii i wzrostem jej pozycji na świecie.

Dickens był co prawda zafascynowany zmianami w technologii, lecz dostrzegał również, i mocno w swych dziełach krytykował, mroczne strony postępu. Niepokoiły go m.in. pogłębiające się nierówności społeczne. Wraz z postępem przemysłowym zmieniało się bowiem również społeczeństwo. Coraz większy wpływ na życie Anglii miała rosnąca w siłę burżuazja (fabrykanci, bankierzy, zamożni kupcy), która przyniosła ze sobą nowy zestaw wartości, także tych dotyczących stosunku do pracy i materialnego powodzenia. Według zasad wiktoriańskiej klasy średniej praca i zamożność były rodzajem cnoty – Bóg kochał ludzi, którzy potrafili sami o siebie zadbać, nie unikali ciężkiej pracy i nagradzał ich za to bogactwem. Tymczasem ubodzy jako „obciążenie dla społeczeństwa” byli postrzegani coraz częściej jako słabi i grzeszni.

Jednak takich osób pojawiły się na Wyspach całe rzesze. W Londynie w 1869 roku liczbę samych tylko żyjących w skrajnej nędzy dzieci szacowano na 100 tysięcy. Wiele dzielnic miast zmieniło się w slumsy – przeludnione, pozbawione wszelkich podstawowych wygód, takich jak kanalizacja, dzielnice nędzy. Na jedno łóżko w takich okolicach przypadało nawet po pięć lub sześć dorosłych osób. Władze naturalnie patrzyły na te zjawiska krzywym okiem, więc prowadzono politykę wyburzania slumsów i wytyczania w ich miejsce nowych ulic czy osiedli. W 1861 roku przy budowie nowej londyńskiej linii kolejowej zrównano z ziemią tysiąc domostw biedoty, co oznaczało wysiedlenie 20 tysięcy osób, które – rzecz jasna – nie miały innego wyjścia, jak przenieść się do innych slumsów. Oczywiście dotąd mówimy jedynie o ubogich, których mimo wszystko stać było na opłacenie choćby najskromniejszego kąta. Natomiast liczne rzesze biednych żyły po prostu na ulicy.

Zgodnie z panującym w czasach Dickensa pogardliwym stosunkiem do biedoty, opieka społeczna miała na celu raczej karanie za ubóstwo – miał to być „środek motywujący do prób poprawy własnego losu” – niż bezpośrednią pomoc.

W tym właśnie duchu napisano w 1834 roku tzw. poprawkę do ustawy o biedocie (Poor Law Amendment Act), na mocy której dawny system opieki społecznej (zasiłki i tradycyjne przytułki) zastąpiono nowym, nastawionym na jak największą redukcję kosztów pomocy najuboższym. Pojawiły się m.in. wspominane przez Dickensa workhouses. Były to instytucje, które z założenia miały zniechęcać nędzarzy do polegania na państwowej opiece. W jaki sposób próbowano to osiągnąć? Trafiających do tego typu przybytków ludzi rozbierano, przeszukiwano, myto, golono im głowy i ubierano w bezkształtne pasiaki. Kobiety i mężczyzn (także małżeństwa) rozdzielano, aby „zapobiec rozmnażaniu”. Podobnie trakowano braci i siostry, z uzasadnieniem, iż „biedota wykazuje naturalną skłonność do związków kazirodczych”. Dzieci odbierano matkom w celu „uniknięcia negatywnego wpływu na malców”. Nie czyniono przy tym najmniejszych wysiłków, aby dzielić rezydentów ze względów zdrowotnych czy sanitarnych. Chorzy, obłąkani, osoby zdrowe – wszyscy mieszkali razem, nawet po trzydzieści osób w pomieszczeniach o powierzchni kilkunastu metrów kwadratowych. Brakowało odpowiedniego ogrzewania. Wyżywienie było rozmyśnie niewystarczające. Rezydentom podawano dziennie miskę owsianki, kilka uncji chleba i wodę.

Jednocześnie zmuszano tych ludzi do ciężkiej pracy. Workhouses „oferowały” takie zajęcia, jak: tłuczenie kamieni, miażdżenie kości (sproszkowane kości stosowano w charakterze nawozu; w 1840 roku wybuchł publiczny skandal, kiedy do gazet dotarła wiadomość, że rezydenci jednego z workhouses pobili się, walcząc o gnijące resztki mięsa z przeznaczonych do przemiału kości) czy napędzanie kamienia młyńskiego za pomocą tzw. treadmill – kołowrotu dla ludzi, przypominającego nieco kołowrotki chomików, z tym że wyposażonego w zamontowane na zewnętrznym obwodzie stopnie, umożliwiające obracanie nogami całością.

Dzieci miały co prawda zapewniony prawnie dostęp do podstawowej edukacji, lecz zarządcy workhouses rzadko to zobowiązanie realizowali.

Z tym i podobnymi zjawiskami starał się walczyć Charles Dickens. Workhouses krytykował w „Oliverze Twiście” (1838), niewydolny system edukacyjny dla dzieci wziął na cel w powieści „Nicholas Nickleby” (1839), a w większości jego dzieł można znaleźć ogólny temat ataku na „świat bezdusznej burżuazji”. Przy tym autor „Opowieści wigilijnej” nie był żadną miarą rewolucjonistą, nie był nawet socjalistą. Przez całe swoje twórcze życie z pasją bronił praw robotników, ludzi ubogich, wszystkich pokrzywdzonych przez wiktoriańską odmianę kapitalizmu. Mimo że dzięki jego dziełom tematyka ta zainteresowała znacznie szersze kręgi społeczne (co owocowało np. wzrostem liczby akcji charytatywnych) i na tym polu pisarz odniósł niekłamany sukces, to praktycznych skutków jego teksty nie wywarły prawie wcale. System workhouses – dla przykładu – zreformowano dopiero w 1905 roku, pod naciskiem nowo powstałej Partii Pracy.

Ćwiczenia

Klucz >>>

1. Dopasuj wyrazy (1–10) do ich synonimów i definicji.

1) ancestor

2) bargain

3) convinced

4) covetous

5) endeavour

6) gait

7) otherwise

8) tremulous

9) trifle

10) wheeze

A) e.g. one’s great-grandfather

B) in a different way

C) a successful transaction

D) sure, certain

E) greedy

F) the way of walking

G) an unimportant thing

H) to try

I) to breathe noisily

J) trembling

2. Uzupełnij zdania odpowiednimi wyrazami. W każdej luce powinien znaleźć się jeden wyraz.

a) Oh, no! Mike’s telling this …………… dog story again!

b) Why don’t you share what you never use yourself with those in need? You’ve been acting like a dog in the …………… .

c) It’s unbelievable Bill and Tom used to fight like …………… and …………… when they were kids – now they help and support each other.

d) Young people nowadays tend to disrespect the old. This world is …………… to the dogs!

e) It was a dog …………… dog fight, that political debate.

f) Hopefully, dog …………… will be over soon – I feel tired with that weather.

3. Wybierz tę odpowiedź (1–3), która najbardziej pasuje do poszczególnych wypowiedzi (a–f).

a) A: The game we were playing wasn’t dangerous.

B: 1) I still believe you should have hurt yourself.

2) I still believe you must have hurt yourself.

3) I still believe you could have hurt yourself.

b) A: My oral exam lasted forty minutes and the teacher seemed prejudiced against me. All her questions were tricky.

B: 1) It must have been nice!

2) It might not have been nice!

3) It can’t have been nice!

c) A: How do you think your manager will deal with the conflict among the staff?

B: 1) In my opinion, he’s not likely to interfere at all.

2) In my opinion, he’s not bound to interfere at all.

3) In my opinion, he’s bound to interfere at all.

d) A: Where’s John?

B: 1) He never arrives on time. He’ll definitely come late again.

2) He never arrives on time. He might come late again.

3) He never arrives on time. He possibly could come late again.

e) A: I’m sure George took your keys by mistake.

B: 1) Yes, he should have.

2) Yes, he must.

3) Yes, he must have.

f) A: I’m afraid I don’t know how to get there.

B: 1) Oh, it’s impossible! We can’t have been lost!

2) Oh, it’s impossible! We can’t be lost!

3) Oh, it’s impossible! We couldn’t be lost!

4. Zgromadź informacje dotyczące życia i twórczości Charlesa Dickensa. Oprócz licznych stron anglojęzycznych polecamy interesujący wpis na blogu kobietyihistoria.blogspot.com pt. „Zamiast opowieści wigilijnej”, poświęcony ciemnym stronom życia prywatnego pisarza. Przygotuj prezentację multimedialną na temat biografii Dickensa (około 10 slajdów).

STAVE 1:Marley’s Ghost (Continuation)

Słownictwo

Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern; and having read all the newspapers, and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’s-book, went home to bed. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. They were a gloomy suite of rooms, in a lowering pile of building up a yard, where it had so little business to be, that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and forgotten the way out again. It was old enough now, and dreary enough, for nobody lived in it but Scrooge, the other rooms being all let out as offices. The yard was so dark that even Scrooge, who knew its every stone, was fain to grope with his hands. The fog and frost so hung about the black old gateway of the house, that it seemed as if the Genius of the Weather sat in mournful meditation on the threshold.

Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door, except that it was very large. It is also a fact, that Scrooge had seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place; also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the city of London, even including--which is a bold word—the corporation, aldermen, and livery. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley, since his last mention of his seven years’ dead partner that afternoon. And then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change--not a knocker, but Marley’s face.

Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadowas the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot air; and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part of its own expression.

As Scrooge looked fixedly at this phenomenon, it was a knocker again.

To say that he was not startled, or that his blood was not conscious of a terrible sensation to which it had been a stranger from infancy, would be untrue. But he put his hand upon the key he had relinquished, turned it sturdily, walked in, and lighted his candle.

He did pause, with a moment’s irresolution, before he shut the door; and he did look cautiously behind it first, as if he half expected to be terrified with the sight of Marley’s pigtail sticking out into the hall. But there was nothing on the back of the door, except the screws and nuts that held the knocker on, so he said “Pooh, pooh!” and closed it with a bang.

The sound resounded through the house like thunder. Every room above, and every cask in the wine-merchant’s cellars below, appeared to have a separate peal of echoes of its own. Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. He fastened the door, and walked across the hall, and up the stairs; slowly too: trimming his candle as he went.

You may talk vaguely about driving a coach-and-six up a good old flight of stairs, or through a bad young Act of Parliament; but I mean to say you might have got a hearse up that staircase, and taken it broadwise, with the splinter-bar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. There was plenty of width for that, and room to spare; which is perhaps the reason why Scrooge thought he saw a locomotive hearse going on before him in the gloom. Half-a-dozen gas-lamps out of the street wouldn’t have lighted the entry too well, so you may suppose that it was pretty dark with Scrooge’s dip.

Up Scrooge went, not caring a button for that.Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it. But before he shut his heavy door, he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. He had just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that.

Sitting-room, bedroom, lumber-room. All as they should be. Nobody under the table, nobody under the sofa; a small fire in the grate; spoon and basin ready; and the little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. Nobody under the bed; nobody in the closet; nobody in his dressing-gown, which was hanging up in a suspicious attitude against the wall. Lumber-room as usual. Old fire-guard, old shoes, two fish-baskets, washing-stand on threelegs, and a poker.

Quite satisfied, he closed his door, and locked himself in; double-locked himself in, which was not his custom. Thus secured against surprise, he took off his cravat; put on his dressing-gown and slippers, and his nightcap; and sat down before the fire to take his gruel.

It was a very low fire indeed; nothing on such abitter night. He was obliged to sit close to it, and brood over it, before he could extract the least sensation of warmth from such a handful of fuel.

The fireplace was an old one, built by some Dutch merchant long ago, and paved all round with quaint Dutch tiles, designed to illustrate the Scriptures.There were Cains and Abels, Pharaoh’s daughters; Queens of Sheba, Angelicmessengersdescending through the air on clouds like feather-beds, Abrahams, Belshazzars, Apostles putting off to sea in butter-boats, hundreds of figures to attract his thoughts; and yet that face of Marley, seven years dead, came like the ancient Prophet’s rod, and swallowed up the whole. If each smooth tile had been a blank at first, with power to shape some picture on its surface from the disjointed fragments of his thoughts, there would have been a copy of old Marley’s head on every one.

“Humbug!” said Scrooge; and walked across the room.

After several turns, he sat down again. As he threw his head back in the chair, his glance happened to rest upon a bell, a disused bell, that hung in the room, and communicated for some purpose now forgotten with a chamber in the highest story of the building. It was with great astonishment, and with a strange, inexplicabledread, that as he looked, he saw this bell begin to swing. It swung so softly in the outset that it scarcely made a sound; but soon it rang out loudly, and so did every bell in the house.

This might have lasted half a minute, or a minute, but it seemed an hour. The bells ceased as they had begun, together. They were succeeded by a clanking noise, deep down below; as if some person were dragging a heavy chain over the casks in the wine-merchant’s cellar. Scrooge then remembered to have heard that ghosts in haunted houses were described as dragging chains.

The cellar-door flew open with a booming sound, and then he heard the noise much louder, on the floors below; then coming up the stairs; then coming straight towards his door.

“It’s humbug still!” said Scrooge. “I won’t believe it.”

His colour changed though, when, without a pause, it came on through the heavy door, and passed into the room before his eyes. Upon its coming in, the dying flame leaped up, as though it cried, “I know him; Marley’s Ghost!” and fell again.

The same face: the very same. Marley in his pigtail, usual waistcoat, tights and boots; the tassels on the latterbristling, like his pigtail, and his coat-skirts, and the hair upon his head. The chain he drew was clasped about his middle. It was long, and wound about him like a tail; and it was made (for Scrooge observed it closely) of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel. His body was transparent; so that Scrooge, observing him, and looking through his waistcoat, could see the two buttons on his coat behind.

Scrooge had often heard it said that Marley had no bowels, but he had never believed it until now.

No, nor did he believe it even now. Though he looked the phantom through and through, and saw it standing before him; though he felt the chilling influence of its death-cold eyes; and marked the very texture of the foldedkerchiefbound about its head and chin, which wrapper he had not observed before; he was still incredulous, and fought against his senses.

“How now!” said Scrooge, caustic and cold as ever. “What do you want with me?”

“Much!”--Marley’s voice, no doubt about it.

“Who are you?”

“Ask me who I was.”

“Who were you then?” said Scrooge, raising his voice. “You’re particular, for a shade.” He was going to say “to a shade,” but substituted this, as more appropriate.

“In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.”

“Can you--can you sit down?” asked Scrooge, looking doubtfully at him.

“I can.”

“Do it, then.”

Scrooge asked the question, because he didn’t know whether a ghost so transparent might find himself in a condition to take a chair; and felt that in the event of its being impossible, it might involve the necessity of an embarrassing explanation. But the ghost sat down on the opposite side of the fireplace, as if he were quite used to it.

“You don’t believe in me,” observed the Ghost.

“I don’t,” said Scrooge.

“What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?”

“I don’t know,” said Scrooge.

“Why do you doubt your senses?”

“Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes, nor did he feel, in his heart, by any meanswaggish then. The truth is, that he tried to be smart, as a means of distracting his own attention, and keeping down his terror; for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones.

To sit, staring at those fixed glazed eyes, in silence for a moment, would play, Scrooge felt, the very deuce with him. There was something very awful, too, in the spectre’s being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. Scrooge could not feel it himself, but this was clearly the case; for though the Ghost sat perfectly motionless, its hair, and skirts, and tassels, were still agitated as by the hot vapour from an oven.

“You see this toothpick?” said Scrooge, returning quickly to the charge, for the reason just assigned; and wishing, though it were only for a second, to divert the vision’s stony gaze from himself.

“I do,” replied the Ghost.

“You are not looking at it,” said Scrooge.

“But I see it,” said the Ghost, “notwithstanding.”

“Well!” returned Scrooge, “I have but to swallow this, and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins, all of my own creation. Humbug, I tell you! humbug!”

At this the spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge held on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon. But how much greater was his horror, when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear indoors, its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast!

Scrooge fell upon his knees, and clasped his hands before his face.

“Mercy!” he said. “Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble me?”

“Man of the worldly mind!” replied the Ghost, “do you believe in me or not?”

“I do,” said Scrooge. “I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?”

“It is required of every man,” the Ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellowmen, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world--oh, woe is me!--and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”

Again the spectre raised a cry, and shook its chain and wrung its shadowy hands.

“You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?”

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost.”I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?”

Scrooge trembled more and more.

“Or would you know,” pursued the Ghost, “the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on it, since. It is a ponderous chain!”

Scrooge glanced about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he could see nothing.

“Jacob,” he said, imploringly. “Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. Speak comfort to me, Jacob!”

“I have none to give,” the Ghost replied. “It comes from other regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed by other ministers, to other kinds of men. Nor can I tell you what I would. A very little more is all permitted to me. I cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot linger anywhere. My spirit never walked beyond our counting-house--mark me!--in life my spirit never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole; and weary journeys lie before me!”

It was a habit with Scrooge, whenever he became thoughtful, to put his hands in his breeches pockets.

Pondering on what the Ghost had said, he did so now, but without lifting up his eyes, or getting off his knees.

“You must have been very slow about it, Jacob,” Scrooge observed, in a business-like manner, though with humility and deference.

“Slow!” the Ghost repeated.

“Seven years dead,” mused Scrooge. “And travelling all the time!”

“The whole time,” said the Ghost. “No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of