“A Christmas Carol” notes Stave 1

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“A Christmas Carol” notes

Stave 1

1.

2.

stave

: a stanza of a poem or song; here a section of Dickens’ “carol”

‘Change

: the Exchange, the place where merchants, brokers, and bankers conduct their business

executor, administrator, assign, residuary legatee

: legal terms used in a will. 3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Marley had left everything he owned to Scrooge, who handled all the business arrangements after Marley’s death.

“came down”

: slang for “made a gift or donation”

comforter tacitly

: a long scarf

: without speaking

beguiled

: spent or whiled away

8.

9.

lowering fancy

: dark and threatening

: imagination

10.

lumber room

: storeroom

11.

hob

: a small shelf at the back or side of a fireplace, used to keep a kettle or a saucepan warm

12.

cravat

: a necktie, or a scarf resembling a necktie

13.

bowels

: the intestines, which used to be regarded as the source of pity and mercy.

When people said Marley had no bowels, they meant that he was cruel.

14.

ages…developed

: In other words, heavenly spirits must work for countless years before the goodness that is possible in the world can come into being.

15.

of my procuring

: that I got for you

16.

dull

: gloomy

Stave 2

17.

organ of benevolence

: the part of the head where the forehead meets the crown

18.

porter

: dark brown beer

19.

forfeits

: a game in which the players must forfeit, or give up, something if they lose

20.

negus

: punch

21.

boiled

: boiled beef

22.

“Sir Roger de Coverley”

: a square-dance tune

23.

dowerless

: without a dowry, the money and property that a woman formerly brought to her husband at marriage

Stave 3

24.

petrifaction

: something petrified, or turning to stone. The hearth, or fireplace, is cold and hard because it has never known a generous fire.

25.

brawn

: boar meat

26.

twelfth-cakes

: fruitcakes made for Epiphany, or Twelfth Day, a holiday that occurs on January 6, twelve days after Christmas

27.

More…hundred

: Since this story was written in 1843, the Ghost of Christmas

Present would have more than eighteen hundred brothers.

28.

“bob”

: slang for shilling, or shillings, a former British coin worth one twentieth of a pound

29.

twice-turned

: remade twice so that worn parts would not show

30.

the baker’s

: In the days when people of small means had fireplaces but no ovens, they would rent space in the local baker’s oven to roast poultry or large pieces of meat

31.

declension

: sinking or falling off

32.

rampant

: rearing up like a horse; here, high-spirited

33.

rallied Bob on his credulity

: teased Bob for being so easily fooled by their joke

34.

ubiquitous

: being everywhere at the same time

35.

ate

: an alternate form of eaten, used in Great Britain

36.

livid

: pale

37.

cloth

: The pudding was wrapped in cloth and then boiled

38.

quartern

: one fourth of a pint

39.

bedight

: decorated

40.

Baleful

: wretched

41.

tucker

: a covering for the neck and shoulders, something like a large collar

42.

glee; catch

: songs for three or more voices, unaccompanied by instruments

43.

feint

: pretense

44.

precepts

: rules of living

Stave 4

45.

offal

: the waste parts of an animal that has been butchered for meat

46.

charwoman

: a woman employed to clean a house or an office

47.

propitiation

: ability to keep the peace

48.

“And he…them”

: a quotation from Mark 9:36

Stave 5

49.

Laocoon

: a character in a Greek myth who was strangled by sea serpents

50.

transports

: feelings of great joy

51.

poulterer’s

: shop where poultry is sold

52.

Walk-er!

: a slang word used to express disbelief, equivalent to “You’re kidding!”

53.

half a crown

: a coin equal to one eighth of a pound

54.

blithe

: cheerful

55.

farthing

: a former British coin worth one quarter of a penny

56.

munificence

: great generosity. Scrooge prevents the gentleman from finishing the word.

57.

unanimity

: agreement

58.

strait waistcoat

: a straitjacket

59.

bishop

: a hot drink made of spiced port wine

60.

total-abstinence principle

: the giving up of “spirits” completely, usually alcoholic spirits, but here ghostly spirits

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