Skip over navigation

A Tale of Two Cities

Original Text

Modern Text

The marriage-day was shining brightly, and they were ready outside the closed door of the Doctor’s room, where he was speaking with Charles Darnay. They were ready to go to church; the beautiful bride, Mr. Lorry, and Miss Pross—to whom the event, through a gradual process of reconcilement to the inevitable, would have been one of absolute bliss, but for the yet lingering consideration that her brother Solomon should have been the bridegroom. The sun was shining brightly on the day of Charles and Lucie’s wedding, and the wedding party was ready outside of Dr. Manette’s room. The door was closed and the doctor was speaking with Charles Darnay. The beautiful Miss Manette, Mr. Lorry, and Miss Pross were all ready to go to the church. Miss Pross had gradually come to accept the fact that Miss Manette would get married sooner or later. She would have been completely overjoyed by the wedding except for the fact that she still believed her brother, Solomon, should have been the groom.
“And so,” said Mr. Lorry, who could not sufficiently admire the bride, and who had been moving round her to take in every point of her quiet, pretty dress; “and so it was for this, my sweet Lucie, that I brought you across the Channel, such a baby! Lord bless me! How little I thought what I was doing! How lightly I valued the obligation I was conferring on my friend Mr. Charles!” “And so,” said Mr. Lorry, who could not admire the bride enough and who had been moving around her to see every part of her simple, pretty wedding gown. “This is why I brought you across the English Channel when you were young, my sweet Lucie! Lord bless me! I thought I was doing such a small thing. I didn’t realize how important it would one day be for my friend Mr. Charles!”
“You didn’t mean it,” remarked the matter-of-fact Miss Pross, “and therefore how could you know it? Nonsense!” “You didn’t mean for them to get married,” commented the straightforward Miss Pross, “and therefore how could you have known that this would happen? That’s nonsense.”
“Really? Well; but don’t cry,” said the gentle Mr. Lorry. “Really? All right. But don’t cry,” said the gentle Mr. Lorry.
“I am not crying,” said Miss Pross; “YOU are.” “I’m not crying. You’re crying,” said Miss Pross.
“I, my Pross?” (By this time, Mr. Lorry dared to be pleasant with her, on occasion.) “I, my dear Miss Pross?” By now, Mr. Lorry dared to be nice to her sometimes.
“You were, just now; I saw you do it, and I don’t wonder at it. Such a present of plate as you have made ‘em, is enough to bring tears into anybody’s eyes. There’s not a fork or a spoon in the collection,” said Miss Pross, “that I didn’t cry over, last night after the box came, till I couldn’t see it.” “You were crying just now. I saw you, and I’m not surprised about it. Your gift of plates and silverware is so impressive that it would make anybody cry. There’s not a fork or a spoon in the whole collection that didn’t make me cry until I couldn’t see through my tears when the box arrived last night,” said Miss Pross.
“I am highly gratified,” said Mr. Lorry, “though, upon my honour, I had no intention of rendering those trifling articles of remembrance invisible to any one. Dear me! This is an occasion that makes a man speculate on all he has lost. Dear, dear, dear! To think that there might have been a Mrs. Lorry, any time these fifty years almost!” “Thank you very much,” said Mr. Lorry. “Though I hadn’t intended for my meager gift to make anyone cry so much. Dear me! This is an occasion that makes a man reflect on all the things he has lost in his life. Dear, dear, dear! To think that I might have gotten married myself sometime in these last fifty years.”
“Not at all!” From Miss Pross. “Not at all!” said Miss Pross.
“You think there never might have been a Mrs. Lorry?” asked the gentleman of that name. “You think it’s not possible that there could have been a Mrs. Lorry?” asked Mr. Lorry.
“Pooh!” rejoined Miss Pross; “you were a bachelor in your cradle.” “Pooh!” answered Miss Pross. “You were born to be a bachelor.”
“Well!” observed Mr. Lorry, beamingly adjusting his little wig, “that seems probable, too.” “Well!” said Mr. Lorry, adjusting his little wig happily. “That seems likely, too.”
“And you were cut out for a bachelor,” pursued Miss Pross, “before you were put in your cradle.” “And you were made to be a bachelor before you were put into your cradle,” continued Miss Pross.
“Then, I think,” said Mr. Lorry, “that I was very unhandsomely dealt with, and that I ought to have had a voice in the selection of my pattern. Enough! Now, my dear Lucie,” drawing his arm soothingly round her waist, “I hear them moving in the next room, and Miss Pross and I, as two formal folks of business, are anxious not to lose the final opportunity of saying something to you that you wish to hear. You leave your good father, my dear, in hands as earnest and as loving as your own; he shall be taken every conceivable care of; during the next fortnight, while you are in Warwickshire and thereabouts, even Tellson’s shall go to the wall (comparatively speaking) before him. And when, at the fortnight’s end, he comes to join you and your beloved husband, on your other fortnight’s trip in Wales, you shall say that we have sent him to you in the best health and in the happiest frame. Now, I hear Somebody’s step coming to the door. Let me kiss my dear girl with an old-fashioned bachelor blessing, before Somebody comes to claim his own.” “Then I think that I had bad luck,” said Mr. Lorry. “I should have had some choice as to whether I would get married. Enough of this! Now, my dear Lucie,” he said, putting his arm around her waist, “I hear them in the next room. Miss Pross and I, as two formal businesspeople, don’t want to miss our last chance to say something reassuring to you. You are leaving your father in hands as honest and loving as your own. He will be taken care of in every possible way. During the next two weeks, while you are in Warwickshire and the surrounding area on your honeymoon, I’ll even set aside my obligations to Tellson’s Bank—to some extent—in order to look after your father. And, after two weeks, when he comes to join you and your husband on your other two-week trip to Wales, you will see that we kept him in the healthiest and happiest condition. Now, I hear your husband coming to the door. Let me kiss you and give you an old-fashioned bachelor’s blessing, before your husband comes to take you for his own.”

More Help

Previous Next