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A Tale of Two Cities

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The Doctor shaded his forehead with his hand, and beat his foot nervously on the ground. The doctor covered his eyes with his hand and tapped his foot nervously on the ground.
“He has always kept it by him,” said Mr. Lorry, with an anxious look at his friend. “Now, would it not be better that he should let it go?” “He has always kept it by him,” said Mr. Lorry, looking anxiously at the doctor. “Now, wouldn’t it be better to let it go?”
Still, the Doctor, with shaded forehead, beat his foot nervously on the ground. The doctor kept his eyes shaded and kept tapping his foot nervously on the ground.
“You do not find it easy to advise me?” said Mr. Lorry. “I quite understand it to be a nice question. And yet I think—” And there he shook his head, and stopped. “Do you find it difficult to give me advice?” said Mr. Lorry. “I think it’s a good question. And yet, I think—” Then he shook his head and stopped talking.
“You see,” said Doctor Manette, turning to him after an uneasy pause, “it is very hard to explain, consistently, the innermost workings of this poor man’s mind. He once yearned so frightfully for that occupation, and it was so welcome when it came; no doubt it relieved his pain so much, by substituting the perplexity of the fingers for the perplexity of the brain, and by substituting, as he became more practised, the ingenuity of the hands, for the ingenuity of the mental torture; that he has never been able to bear the thought of putting it quite out of his reach. Even now, when I believe he is more hopeful of himself than he has ever been, and even speaks of himself with a kind of confidence, the idea that he might need that old employment, and not find it, gives him a sudden sense of terror, like that which one may fancy strikes to the heart of a lost child.” “You see,” said Dr. Manette, turning toward him after an uneasy pause, “it’s very hard to explain consistently the way this poor man’s mind works. He once longed for that activity so desperately, and it was so welcome when it came. It relieved him of his suffering by allowing him to substitute physical work of the fingers for mental work of the mind. By substituting, as he got better at it, he was able to substitute creativity with his hands for creativity of the mind. As a result, he has never been able to consider putting it entirely out of reach. Even now, when I believe he has more hope for himself than ever and talks about himself with more confidence than ever, the idea that he might need to go back to his blacksmith work and not find it terrifies him as if he were a lost child.”
He looked like his illustration, as he raised his eyes to Mr. Lorry’s face. He looked a lot like a lost child as he looked up at Mr. Lorry.
“But may not—mind! I ask for information, as a plodding man of business who only deals with such material objects as guineas, shillings, and bank-notes—may not the retention of the thing involve the retention of the idea? If the thing were gone, my dear Manette, might not the fear go with it? In short, is it not a concession to the misgiving, to keep the forge?” “But might not— Keep in mind, I’m asking for information as a slow businessman who only deals with tangible objects like guineas, shillings, and bank notes. Might not the fact that he keeps the object near him mean that he keeps those memories near him? If the man got rid of the forge, my dear Dr. Manette, wouldn’t he get rid of the fears with it? In short, isn’t the man giving in to his fear of relapsing by keeping the forge near him?”
There was another silence. There was another silence.
“You see, too,” said the Doctor, tremulously, “it is such an old companion.” “You see too,” said the doctor, nervously, “it is like an old friend.”
“I would not keep it,” said Mr. Lorry, shaking his head; for he gained in firmness as he saw the Doctor disquieted. “I would recommend him to sacrifice it. I only want your authority. I am sure it does no good. Come! Give me your authority, like a dear good man. For his daughter’s sake, my dear Manette!” “I wouldn’t keep it,” said Mr. Lorry, shaking his head. He became more confident as he saw that the doctor was uneasy. “I would tell the patient to give it up. I only lack your power to do it. I am sure it does no good. Come on! Give me your permission, like a good man. For his daughter’s sake, my dear Manette.”
Very strange to see what a struggle there was within him! It was very strange to see the struggle going on within the doctor.
“In her name, then, let it be done; I sanction it. But, I would not take it away while he was present. Let it be removed when he is not there; let him miss his old companion after an absence.” “For her sake, then, let it be done. I allow it. But I would not take it away while he is there. Take it away when is not there. Let him miss his old friend after he is gone.”
Mr. Lorry readily engaged for that, and the conference was ended. They passed the day in the country, and the Doctor was quite restored. On the three following days he remained perfectly well, and on the fourteenth day he went away to join Lucie and her husband. The precaution that had been taken to account for his silence, Mr. Lorry had previously explained to him, and he had written to Lucie in accordance with it, and she had no suspicions. Mr. Lorry agreed to this and the conversation was over. They spent the day in the country, and the doctor was very much returned to normal. Over the three next days he stayed perfectly well, and on the fourteenth day the doctor left to join Lucie and her husband. Mr. Lorry had explained to him that they had made excuses for the fact that she hadn’t heard from him. Mr. Lorry had written to Lucie about it, and she had no suspicions.

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