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A Tale of Two Cities

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From his oppressed slumber, Young Jerry in his closet was awakened after daybreak and before sunrise, by the presence of his father in the family room. Something had gone wrong with him; at least, so Young Jerry inferred, from the circumstance of his holding Mrs. Cruncher by the ears, and knocking the back of her head against the head-board of the bed. Young Jerry was woken up from his disturbed sleep in his little room by the sound of his father in the family room. It was after daybreak and before sunrise. Something had gone wrong for his father. At least that’s what Young Jerry assumed, since he was holding Mrs. Cruncher by the ears and knocking the back of her head against the headboard of their bed.
“I told you I would,” said Mr. Cruncher, “and I did.” “I told you I would,” said Mr. Cruncher, “and I did.”
“Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!” his wife implored. “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!” his wife begged.
“You oppose yourself to the profit of the business,” said Jerry, “and me and my partners suffer. You was to honour and obey; why the devil don’t you?” “You pray that I’ll fail in my business dealings,” said Jerry, “and then my partners and I suffer. You’re supposed to honor and obey your husband. Why the devil won’t you?”
“I try to be a good wife, Jerry,” the poor woman protested, with tears. “I try to be a good wife, Jerry,” the poor woman argued, crying.
“Is it being a good wife to oppose your husband’s business? Is it honouring your husband to dishonour his business? Is it obeying your husband to disobey him on the wital subject of his business?” “Is it being a good wife to sabotage your husband’s business? Is it honoring your husband to dishonor his business? Is it obeying your husband to disobey him on the important subject of his work?”
“You hadn’t taken to the dreadful business then, Jerry.” “You hadn’t started this terrible work back when I made those vows, Jerry.”
“It’s enough for you,” retorted Mr. Cruncher, “to be the wife of a honest tradesman, and not to occupy your female mind with calculations when he took to his trade or when he didn’t. A honouring and obeying wife would let his trade alone altogether. Call yourself a religious woman? If you’re a religious woman, give me a irreligious one! You have no more nat’ral sense of duty than the bed of this here Thames river has of a pile, and similarly it must be knocked into you.” “You should be satisfied to be married to an honest businessman,” snapped Mr. Cruncher. “Don’t concern your female mind with thoughts about when he was doing his job and when he wasn’t. A wife who honored and obeyed her husband would leave his work alone altogether. You call yourself a religious woman? If you’re a religious woman, give me an irreligious woman! You have no more natural sense of duty than the bottom of the Thames River has of a wooden beam, and just like that beam, some sense needs to be knocked into you.”
The altercation was conducted in a low tone of voice, and terminated in the honest tradesman’s kicking off his clay-soiled boots, and lying down at his length on the floor. After taking a timid peep at him lying on his back, with his rusty hands under his head for a pillow, his son lay down too, and fell asleep again. They argued quietly, until Mr. Cruncher kicked off his clay-covered boots and lied down on the floor. After taking a nervous peek at him lying on his back, with his rust-covered hands under his head for a pillow, Young Jerry lay down too and fell asleep again.
There was no fish for breakfast, and not much of anything else. Mr. Cruncher was out of spirits, and out of temper, and kept an iron pot-lid by him as a projectile for the correction of Mrs. Cruncher, in case he should observe any symptoms of her saying Grace. He was brushed and washed at the usual hour, and set off with his son to pursue his ostensible calling. There was no fish for breakfast, or much of anything else. Mr. Cruncher was in a bad mood, and he kept an iron pot lid near him in case he saw Mrs. Cruncher saying grace and wanted to throw it at her. He brushed his hair and washed up at the usual time and went off to work with his son.
Young Jerry, walking with the stool under his arm at his father’s side along sunny and crowded Fleet-street, was a very different Young Jerry from him of the previous night, running home through darkness and solitude from his grim pursuer. His cunning was fresh with the day, and his qualms were gone with the night—in which particulars it is not improbable that he had compeers in Fleet-street and the City of London, that fine morning. Young Jerry walked with the stool under his arm beside his father. They walked along Fleet Street, which was sunny and crowded. Young Jerry was very different than he had been the night before when he had run away from the coffin through the darkness alone. He was sharp again in the daylight, and his fears had left with the night. Its very possible that other people on Fleet Street and in other parts of London felt the same way that beautiful morning.
“Father,” said Young Jerry, as they walked along: taking care to keep at arm’s length and to have the stool well between them: “what’s a Resurrection-Man?” “Father,” said Young Jerry as they walked along together. He made sure to keep his father at arm’s length and to hold the stool between them. “What’s a resurrection man?”

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