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A Tale of Two Cities

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“Now, as to the future,” hinted Mr. Lorry. “What do we do in the future?” asked Mr. Lorry.
“As to the future,” said the Doctor, recovering firmness, “I should have great hope. As it pleased Heaven in its mercy to restore him so soon, I should have great hope. He, yielding under the pressure of a complicated something, long dreaded and long vaguely foreseen and contended against, and recovering after the cloud had burst and passed, I should hope that the worst was over.” “Now,” said the doctor, recovering himself, “I have great hope. It gives me hope that he recovered from his relapse so soon. The fact that he gave in to the pressure of whatever was haunting him and recovered after the spell had passed gives me hope that the worst is over.”
“Well, well! That’s good comfort. I am thankful!” said Mr. Lorry. “Well, well! That makes me feel better. I am thankful!” said Mr. Lorry.
“I am thankful!” repeated the Doctor, bending his head with reverence. “I am also thankful!” repeated the doctor, bowing his head with respect.
“There are two other points,” said Mr. Lorry, “on which I am anxious to be instructed. I may go on?” “There are two other things that I would like help with,” said Mr. Lorry. “May I go on?”
“You cannot do your friend a better service.” The Doctor gave him his hand. “You couldn’t do your friend a better favor than to continue.” The doctor gave him his hand.
“To the first, then. He is of a studious habit, and unusually energetic; he applies himself with great ardour to the acquisition of professional knowledge, to the conducting of experiments, to many things. Now, does he do too much?” “First of all, the patient studies a lot and is unusually energetic. He works very hard at acquiring professional knowledge, at conducting experiments, and at doing many other things. Now, does he work too hard?”
“I think not. It may be the character of his mind, to be always in singular need of occupation. That may be, in part, natural to it; in part, the result of affliction. The less it was occupied with healthy things, the more it would be in danger of turning in the unhealthy direction. He may have observed himself, and made the discovery.” “I don’t think so. It may just be the way he is. His mind might always need to be occupied. That might partly be in his nature and partly a result of the sickness. The less his mind is occupied with healthy things, the more it would be in danger of focusing on unhealthy things. He may have noticed this about himself.”
“You are sure that he is not under too great a strain?” “You’re sure that he is not under too much stress?”
“I think I am quite sure of it.” “I think I am quite sure of it.”
“My dear Manette, if he were overworked now—” “My dear Manette, if he were overworked now—”
“My dear Lorry, I doubt if that could easily be. There has been a violent stress in one direction, and it needs a counterweight.” “My dear Lorry, I doubt that that would happen easily. He has experienced extreme stress in one direction. He needs the opposite to balance himself out.”
“Excuse me, as a persistent man of business. Assuming for a moment, that he WAS overworked; it would show itself in some renewal of this disorder?” “Excuse me, but I’m a businessman and tend to be persistent. Assuming that he was overworked, wouldn’t it show itself in a relapse?”
“I do not think so. I do not think,” said Doctor Manette with the firmness of self-conviction, “that anything but the one train of association would renew it. I think that, henceforth, nothing but some extraordinary jarring of that chord could renew it. After what has happened, and after his recovery, I find it difficult to imagine any such violent sounding of that string again. I trust, and I almost believe, that the circumstances likely to renew it are exhausted.” “I don’t think so,” Dr. Manette said confidently. “I don’t think that anything but the one train of thought would bring it back. I think that, from now on, nothing but some extreme memory or association could bring it back. After what has happened, and after his recovery, I find it hard to believe that such an extreme event could happen again. I trust, and am almost sure, that the circumstances likely to cause a relapse have already been used up.”
He spoke with the diffidence of a man who knew how slight a thing would overset the delicate organisation of the mind, and yet with the confidence of a man who had slowly won his assurance out of personal endurance and distress. It was not for his friend to abate that confidence. He professed himself more relieved and encouraged than he really was, and approached his second and last point. He felt it to be the most difficult of all; but, remembering his old Sunday morning conversation with Miss Pross, and remembering what he had seen in the last nine days, he knew that he must face it. He spoke with the hesitancy of a man who knew how easy it was to disturb the delicate organization of the mind, but he also spoke with the confidence of a man who had slowly earned his self-assurance from personal endurance and distress. It wasn’t Mr. Lorry’s place to doubt that confidence. Mr. Lorry claimed to be more relieved and encouraged than he really was and moved on to his second question. He felt that it was the most difficult of all of them, but remembering his Sunday morning conversation with Miss Pross and what he had seen in the past nine days, he knew that he had to face it.
“The occupation resumed under the influence of this passing affliction so happily recovered from,” said Mr. Lorry, clearing his throat, “we will call—Blacksmith’s work, Blacksmith’s work. We will say, to put a case and for the sake of illustration, that he had been used, in his bad time, to work at a little forge. We will say that he was unexpectedly found at his forge again. Is it not a pity that he should keep it by him?” “The occupation the patient took up during this temporary relapse—” said Mr. Lorry, clearing is throat, “—we will call it ‘blacksmith’s work.’ Let’s say that during the dark times in his past, the patient used to work at a little forge. Let’s say that we unexpectedly found him at his forge again. Isn’t it bad for him to keep it close to him?”

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