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A Tale of Two Cities

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These measures, advisable to be taken in any case, Mr. Lorry took in the hope of his coming to himself. If that should happen soon, he kept another course in reserve; which was, to have a certain opinion that he thought the best, on the Doctor’s case. Mr. Lorry took these steps hoping that the doctor would get better again. If he recovered soon, Mr. Lorry had a plan. There was someone who Mr. Lorry thought would understand the doctor’s case the best, and Mr. Lorry would ask for this person’s opinion on the matter.
In the hope of his recovery, and of resort to this third course being thereby rendered practicable, Mr. Lorry resolved to watch him attentively, with as little appearance as possible of doing so. He therefore made arrangements to absent himself from Tellson’s for the first time in his life, and took his post by the window in the same room. Hoping that the doctor would recover so that he could put this third plan into action, Mr. Lorry decided to watch him closely but to do it as subtly as possible. He took time off from Tellson’s Bank for the first time in his life and positioned himself in the window in the doctor’s room.
He was not long in discovering that it was worse than useless to speak to him, since, on being pressed, he became worried. He abandoned that attempt on the first day, and resolved merely to keep himself always before him, as a silent protest against the delusion into which he had fallen, or was falling. He remained, therefore, in his seat near the window, reading and writing, and expressing in as many pleasant and natural ways as he could think of, that it was a free place. Mr. Lorry soon discovered that it was useless to speak to him since it made him nervous. Mr. Lorry gave up on that idea on the first day and decided instead to stay near him at all times and hope that his quiet presence would stop the doctor’s delusions, or at least keep them from getting worse. Mr. Lorry stayed at his seat near the window reading and writing and showing in as many pleasant ways as possible that it was a place where they were both free to do whatever they wanted.
Doctor Manette took what was given him to eat and drink, and worked on, that first day, until it was too dark to see—worked on, half an hour after Mr. Lorry could not have seen, for his life, to read or write. When he put his tools aside as useless, until morning, Mr. Lorry rose and said to him: Dr. Manette ate and drank what they gave him and kept working. That first day he worked until it was too dark to see. He worked for half an hour after Mr. Lorry couldn’t have seen enough to read or write if his life depended on it. When finally Dr. Manette put aside his tools until the next morning, Mr. Lorry got up and asked him:
“Will you go out?” “Will you go out?”
He looked down at the floor on either side of him in the old manner, looked up in the old manner, and repeated in the old low voice: The doctor looked down at the floor on either side of him like he and then looked up at him, the way he used to in the attic in Paris. He repeated quietly:
“Out?” “Out?”
“Yes; for a walk with me. Why not?” “Yes. Will you go for a walk with me? Why not?”
He made no effort to say why not, and said not a word more. But, Mr. Lorry thought he saw, as he leaned forward on his bench in the dusk, with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, that he was in some misty way asking himself, “Why not?” The sagacity of the man of business perceived an advantage here, and determined to hold it. The doctor didn’t try to answer him and didn’t say another word. But as Dr. Manette leaned forward on his bench in the twilight, with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands, Mr. Lorry thought he saw that he was in some way asking himself, “Why not?” Mr. Lorry, as a shrewd businessman, saw an advantage here and decided to follow up on it.
Miss Pross and he divided the night into two watches, and observed him at intervals from the adjoining room. He paced up and down for a long time before he lay down; but, when he did finally lay himself down, he fell asleep. In the morning, he was up betimes, and went straight to his bench and to work. Miss Pross and Mr. Lorry took turns watching him at night from the next room. The doctor paced up and down for a long time before going to bed, but when he finally lied down, he fell asleep. He got up early in the morning and went straight to his bench to work.
On this second day, Mr. Lorry saluted him cheerfully by his name, and spoke to him on topics that had been of late familiar to them. He returned no reply, but it was evident that he heard what was said, and that he thought about it, however confusedly. This encouraged Mr. Lorry to have Miss Pross in with her work, several times during the day; at those times, they quietly spoke of Lucie, and of her father then present, precisely in the usual manner, and as if there were nothing amiss. This was done without any demonstrative accompaniment, not long enough, or often enough to harass him; and it lightened Mr. Lorry’s friendly heart to believe that he looked up oftener, and that he appeared to be stirred by some perception of inconsistencies surrounding him. The next day, Mr. Lorry called him by his name cheerfully. He spoke to him about topics that they had discussed recently. The doctor didn’t answer, but it was clear that he heard what was said and that he thought about it, even though he was confused. This encouraged Mr. Lorry to have Miss Pross come in with her work several times a day. At those times they spoke quietly of Lucie and of her father, who was there, as if everything were normal. This was done simply and only for short periods of time. Mr. Lorry was glad that he was looking up at them more often and that he seemed to notice some of the inconsistencies around him.

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