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Why at least had they not left him alone--why, after they had shut him in jail, must they be ringing Christmas chimes in his ears!
Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three-quarters more, when he remembered, on a sudden, that the Ghost hadwarned him of a visitation when the bell tolled one.
But the echoes of the chime die away--they have endured but an instant--and a light, half-subdued laughter floats after them as they depart.
Lend an ear, then, to this concert of bell towers; spread over all the murmur of half a million men, the eternal plaint of the river, the infinite breathings of the wind, the grave and distant quartette of the four forests arranged upon the hills, on the horizon, like immense stacks of organ pipes; extinguish, as in a half shade, all that is too hoarse and too shrill about the central chime, and say whether you know anything in the world more rich and joyful, more golden, more dazzling, than this tumult of bells and chimes;--than this furnace of music,--than these ten thousand brazen voices chanting simultaneously in the flutes of stone, three hundred feet high,--than this city which is no longer anything but an orchestra,--than this symphony which produces the noise of a tempest.
Much too sturdy Chimes were they, to be dependent on the pleasure of the wind, moreover; for, fighting gallantly against it when it took an adverse whim, they would pour their cheerful notes into a listening ear right royally; and bent on being heard on stormy nights, by some poor mother watching a sick child, or some lone wife whose husband was at sea, they had been sometimes known to beat a blustering Nor' Wester; aye, 'all to fits,' as Toby Veck said;--for though they chose to call him Trotty Veck, his name was Toby, and nobody could make it anything else either (except Tobias) without a special act of parliament; he having been as lawfully christened in his day as the Bells had been in theirs, though with not quite so much of solemnity or public rejoicing.
If I laid eyes on him right now I'd up and knock seven bells and the Saint Paul chimes out of 'm.
As he returned to the place that he had left, the silence was broken by the chimes of the distant church clock, striking the three-quarters past ten.
The tinkles of sleigh bells among the snowy hills came like elfin chimes through the frosty air, but their music was not sweeter than the song in Anne's heart and on her lips.
muttered Newman Noggs, listening to the chimes of some neighbouring church 'and my dinner time's two.
Again, one of his favorite diversions was to watch bellmen ringing the chimes in the church steeples, and though his Puritan conscience insisted that the pleasure was 'vain,' still he would not forego it.
In reality, such remembrances are rather unpleasant: every sin, every evil thought, may, like a clock with alarm or chimes, be repeated at pleasure; then the question is if we can trust ourselves to give an account of every unbecoming word in our heart and on our lips.
Day and night the river flows down into England, day after day the sun retreats into the Welsh mountains, and the tower chimes, "See the Conquering Hero.
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