The Holly-Tree - Charles Dickens - Страница 1 из 50


Transcribed from the 1894 Chapman and Hall edition of "Christmas Stories"
by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk
THE HOLLY-TREE--THREE BRANCHES
FIRST BRANCH--MYSELF
I have kept one secret in the course of my life. I am a bashful man.
Nobody would suppose it, nobody ever does suppose it, nobody ever did
suppose it, but I am naturally a bashful man. This is the secret which I
have never breathed until now.
I might greatly move the reader by some account of the innumerable places
I have not been to, the innumerable people I have not called upon or
received, the innumerable social evasions I have been guilty of, solely
because I am by original constitution and character a bashful man. But I
will leave the reader unmoved, and proceed with the object before me.
That object is to give a plain account of my travels and discoveries in
the Holly-Tree Inn; in which place of good entertainment for man and
beast I was once snowed up.
It happened in the memorable year when I parted for ever from Angela
Leath, whom I was shortly to have married, on making the discovery that
she preferred my bosom friend. From our school-days I had freely
admitted Edwin, in my own mind, to be far superior to myself; and, though
I was grievously wounded at heart, I felt the preference to be natural,
and tried to forgive them both. It was under these circumstances that I
resolved to go to America--on my way to the Devil.
Communicating my discovery neither to Angela nor to Edwin, but resolving
to write each of them an affecting letter conveying my blessing and


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