care provided to improve a situation
He felt that he was restored to consciousness in the right nick of time, for the especial purpose of holding a conference with the second messenger dispatched to him through Jacob Marley's
including all or everything
Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort, who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two, and being usually equal to the time-of-day, express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter; between which opposite extremes, no doubt, there lies a tolerably wide and
comprehensive range of subjects.
in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
All this time, he lay upon his bed, the very core and centre of a blaze of ruddy light, which streamed upon it when the clock proclaimed the hour; and which, being only light, was more alarming than a dozen ghosts, as he was powerless to make out what it meant, or would be at; and was sometimes
apprehensive that he might be at that very moment an interesting case of spontaneous combustion, without having the consolation of knowing it.
in constant agitation
Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and
seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.
He was not the
dogged Scrooge he had been; and though the Spirit's eyes were clear and kind, he did not like to meet them.
reject with contempt
This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if
disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice.
diffusing warmth and friendliness
Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its
genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air.
wealth as evidenced by sumptuous living
There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out into the street in their apoplectic
deprive them of their means of dining every seventh day, often the only day on which they can be said to dine at all,' said Scrooge.
the intolerance and prejudice of a bigot
'There are some upon this earth of yours,' returned the Spirit, 'who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy,
bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived.
praise, glorify, or honor
And now two smaller Cratchits, boy and girl, came tearing in, screaming that outside the baker's they had smelt the goose, and known it for their own; and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage and onion, these young Cratchits danced about the table, and
exalted Master Peter Cratchit to the skies, while he (not proud, although his collars nearly choked him) blew the fire, until the slow potatoes bubbling up, knocked loudly at the saucepan-lid to be let out and peeled.
intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
'Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how late you are,' said Mrs Cratchit, kissing her a dozen times, and taking off her shawl and bonnet for her with
thin and tattered with age
So Martha hid herself, and in came little Bob, the father, with at least three feet of comforter exclusive of the fringe, hanging down before him; and his
threadbare clothes darned up and brushed, to look seasonable; and Tiny Tim upon his shoulder.
a downward slope or bend
“Not coming!” said Bob, with a sudden
declension in his high spirits; for he had been Tim’s blood horse all the way from church, and had come home rampant. “Not coming upon Christmas Day!”
quivering as from weakness or fear
Bob's voice was
tremulous when he told them this, and trembled more when he said that Tiny Tim was growing strong and hearty.
Mrs Cratchit made the gravy (ready beforehand in a little saucepan) hissing hot; Master Peter mashed the potatoes with incredible
vigor; Miss Belinda sweetened up the apple-sauce; Martha dusted the hot plates; Bob took Tiny Tim beside him in a tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, not forgetting themselves, and mounting guard upon their posts, crammed spoons into their mouths, lest they should shriek for goose before their turn came to be helped.
Suppose somebody should have got over the wall of the back-yard, and stolen it, while they were merry with the goose -- a supposition at which the two young Cratchits became
remorse for your past conduct
Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with
penitence and grief.
an act or expression of criticism and censure
Scrooge bent before the Ghost's
rebuke, and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground.
'It should be Christmas Day, I am sure,' said she, 'on which one drinks the health of such an
odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge.
force to go away
The mention of his name cast a dark shadow on the party, which was not
dispelled for full five minutes.
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
After it had passed away, they were ten times merrier than before, from the mere relief of Scrooge the
Baleful being done with.
think about carefully; weigh
The two young Cratchits laughed tremendously at the idea of Peter's being a man of business; and Peter himself looked thoughtfully at the fire from between his collars, as if he were
deliberating what particular investments he should favour when he came into the receipt of that bewildering income.
All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round; and by-and-bye they had a song, about a lost child travelling in the snow, from Tiny Tim, who had a
plaintive little voice, and sang it very well indeed.
How it bared its breadth of breast, and opened its capacious palm, and floated on, outpouring, with a generous hand, its bright and harmless
mirth on everything within its reach!
providing no shelter or sustenance
And now, without a word of warning from the Ghost, they stood upon a
bleak and desert moor, where monstrous masses of rude stone were cast about, as though it were the burial-place of giants; and water spread itself wheresoever it listed, or would have done so, but for the frost that held it prisoner; and nothing grew but moss and furze, and coarse rank grass.
carefree and happy and lighthearted
So surely as they raised their voices, the old man got quite
blithe and loud; and so surely as they stopped, his vigor sank again.
To Scrooge's horror, looking back, he saw the last of the land, a frightful range of rocks, behind them; and his ears were deafened by the thundering of water, as it rolled and roared, and raged among the dreadful caverns it had worn, and fiercely tried to
undermine the earth.
tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading
Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on which the waters
chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse.
a bottomless gulf or pit
It was a great surprise to Scrooge, while listening to the moaning of the wind, and thinking what a solemn thing it was to move on through the lonely darkness over an unknown
abyss, whose depths were secrets as profound as Death: it was a great surprise to Scrooge, while thus engaged, to hear a hearty laugh.
a disposition to be friendly and approachable
It was a much greater surprise to Scrooge to recognize it as his own nephew's and to find himself in a bright, dry, gleaming room, with the Spirit standing smiling by his side, and looking at that same nephew with approving
a tortuous and twisted shape or position
When Scrooge's nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides, rolling his head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant
contortions: Scrooge's niece, by marriage, laughed as heartily as he.
the outcome of an event
“I am sorry for him; I couldn’t be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims! Himself, always. Here, he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won’t come and dine with us. What’s the
consequence? He don’t lose much of a dinner.”
properly or sufficiently qualified, capable, or efficient
Everybody else said the same, and they must be allowed to have been
competent judges, because they had just had dinner; and, with the dessert upon the table, were clustered round the fire, by lamplight.
take delight in
reveled in another laugh, and as it was impossible to keep the infection off; though the plump sister tried hard to do it with aromatic vinegar; his example was unanimously followed.
foster the growth of
When this strain of music sounded, all the things that Ghost had shown him, came upon his mind; he softened more and more; and thought that if he could have listened to it often, years ago, he might have
cultivated the kindnesses of life for his own happiness with his own hands, without resorting to the sexton’s spade that buried Jacob Marley.
a deliberately offensive act
If you had fallen up against him (as some of them did), on purpose, he would have made a feint of endeavoring to seize you, which would have been an
affront to your understanding, and would instantly have sidled off in the direction of the plump sister.
But when at last, he caught her; when, in spite of all her silken rustlings, and her rapid flutterings past him, he got her into a corner whence there was no escape; then his conduct was the most
For his pretending not to know her; his pretending that it was necessary to touch her head-dress, and further to assure himself of her identity by pressing a certain ring upon her finger, and a certain chain about her neck; was
rule of personal conduct
In almshouse, hospital, and jail, in misery's every refuge, where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door, and barred the Spirit out, he left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his
of the most contemptible kind
From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched,
abject, frightful, hideous, miserable.
stretched out and lying at full length along the ground
Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but
prostrate, too, in their humility.
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out
the action of corrupting something
No change, no degradation, no
perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.
dissenting with the majority opinion
“Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your
factious purposes, and make it worse. And bide the end!”