when marley visited
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They were announcing Marley's arrival. (Stave 1)
A Christmas Carol/ Stave 1
Scrooge is unsettled and in fear of the face in the knocker he has seen.
The bell never rings as no one else is in the house (just how Scrooge likes it).
The bell rings to announce an arrival, but who or what is about to arrive. It gets louder to scare and startle Scrooge, many bells ring is he surrounded?
Dickens is trying to add tension who, what is ringing the bell? how are ALL the bells ringing? and what is coming ?
Though deep in his heart we can guess that Scrooge knows its Marley this does not bring him comfort as Marley has been dead these long 7 years.