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A Tale of Two Cities

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“Now, my dear Manette,” said Mr. Lorry, at length, in his most considerate and most affectionate way, “I am a mere man of business, and unfit to cope with such intricate and difficult matters. I do not possess the kind of information necessary; I do not possess the kind of intelligence; I want guiding. There is no man in this world on whom I could so rely for right guidance, as on you. Tell me, how does this relapse come about? Is there danger of another? Could a repetition of it be prevented? How should a repetition of it be treated? How does it come about at all? What can I do for my friend? No man ever can have been more desirous in his heart to serve a friend, than I am to serve mine, if I knew how. “Now, my dear Dr. Manette,” said Mr. Lorry after a little while and in his most compassionate way. “I am just a businessman. I am not fit to deal with such complicated matters. I don’t have the necessary information or intelligence, and I need help. There is no man in the world that I could rely on for help more than you. Tell me, how does this relapse happen? Is it possible there will be another? Is there a way to stop it from happening again? If it does happen again, what should we do? How does it happen at all? What can I do to help my friend? There is no man that could want to help his friend more than I want to help mine, if I only knew how.”
“But I don’t know how to originate, in such a case. If your sagacity, knowledge, and experience, could put me on the right track, I might be able to do so much; unenlightened and undirected, I can do so little. Pray discuss it with me; pray enable me to see it a little more clearly, and teach me how to be a little more useful.” “But I don’t know how to begin in such a case,” continued Mr. Lorry. “If your wisdom, knowledge, and experience could put me on the right track, I might be able to do a lot. But uninformed and without help, I can’t do much of anything. Please talk with me about it. Please help me understand it better and teach me how to be of more help.”
Doctor Manette sat meditating after these earnest words were spoken, and Mr. Lorry did not press him. Dr. Manette sat thinking over these sincere words, and Mr. Lorry did not pressure him.
“I think it probable,” said the Doctor, breaking silence with an effort, “that the relapse you have described, my dear friend, was not quite unforeseen by its subject.” “I think it’s likely that the patient may have expected the relapse you have described,” said the doctor, requiring an effort to break the silence.
“Was it dreaded by him?” Mr. Lorry ventured to ask. “Was he afraid it might happen again?” Mr. Lorry asked.
“Very much.” He said it with an involuntary shudder. “Very much.” He said it with an involuntary shudder.
“You have no idea how such an apprehension weighs on the sufferer’s mind, and how difficult—how almost impossible—it is, for him to force himself to utter a word upon the topic that oppresses him.” “You have no idea how troublesome such a fear is to a person, and how difficult—how almost impossible—it is for him to make himself talk about the subject that haunts him.”
“Would he,” asked Mr. Lorry, “be sensibly relieved if he could prevail upon himself to impart that secret brooding to any one, when it is on him?” “Would it help him,” asked Mr. Lorry, “if he could tell someone else that secret when it is bothering him?”
“I think so. But it is, as I have told you, next to impossible. I even believe it—in some cases—to be quite impossible.” “I think so. But it is, as I have told you, almost impossible. I even think that, in some cases, it is impossible.”
“Now,” said Mr. Lorry, gently laying his hand on the Doctor’s arm again, after a short silence on both sides, “to what would you refer this attack?” “Now,” said Mr. Lorry, gently laying his hand on the doctor’s arm again. After a short silence he said, “Why do you think this attack happened?”
“I believe,” returned Doctor Manette, “that there had been a strong and extraordinary revival of the train of thought and remembrance that was the first cause of the malady. Some intense associations of a most distressing nature were vividly recalled, I think. It is probable that there had long been a dread lurking in his mind, that those associations would be recalled—say, under certain circumstances—say, on a particular occasion. He tried to prepare himself in vain; perhaps the effort to prepare himself made him less able to bear it.” “I believe,” answered Dr. Manette, “that something caused him to start thinking about the things that first caused the sickness. He recalled some strong, intense memories. It’s likely that, for a long time, there had been a dread in the back of his mind that those memories might come back to him, under certain circumstances, for instance, or on a particular occasion. He tried to prepare himself for it, but it was no use. It’s possible that trying to prepare himself for it made it worse.”
“Would he remember what took place in the relapse?” asked Mr. Lorry, with natural hesitation. “Would he remember what happened during the relapse?” asked Mr. Lorry hesitantly.
The Doctor looked desolately round the room, shook his head, and answered, in a low voice, “Not at all.” The doctor looked around the room sadly, shook his head, and answered quietly, “Not at all.”

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