and which was doubtless the occasion of its using

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Nircolartor

Banned
Español, Venezuela
Hello everyone, I'm currently reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and I'm having trouble understanding the sentence in bold letters. About the context, this is a part of the description of the ghost of the christmas past:

But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm.


Could you help me understand?

Thanks!
 
  • srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I read it to mean I am sure that the ghost used this "extinguisher" (when the ghost was not being so spectacular) to keep the light from streaming out. The ghost now held this device under its arm.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm.

    (The light) was without doubt the reason that - whenever it had nothing particular to do - it used a large extinguisher for a cap. It was at present holding this extinguisher under its arm.
    Edit: I think "in its duller moments" means when it was bored or idle, though of course its light might have become dull too.
     
    It is indeed complex.

    Here is a slight simplification:
    From the ghost's head came a jet of light. Which was the reason that he had an
    extinguisher to use as a cap in the his duller moments (when he wanted NOT
    to show the light). Which cap he now held under his arm.



    But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm.



    Thanks, the thing it's that I find really odd the way the sentence is built :(
     

    Nircolartor

    Banned
    Español, Venezuela
    Oh, now I see it better, something like this:

    and which was doubtless the occasion (reason) of it (the spirit) using a great extinguisher for a cap in its duller moments, which it now held under its arm.

    Thanks to all of you!
     
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