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A Tale of Two Cities

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“How I admire the gallantry of your youthful spirit, Mr. Lorry.” “How I admire your bravery and youthful spirit, Mr. Lorry.”
“Tut! Nonsense, sir!—And, my dear Charles,” said Mr. Lorry, glancing at the House again, “you are to remember, that getting things out of Paris at this present time, no matter what things, is next to an impossibility. Papers and precious matters were this very day brought to us here (I speak in strict confidence; it is not business-like to whisper it, even to you), by the strangest bearers you can imagine, every one of whom had his head hanging on by a single hair as he passed the Barriers. At another time, our parcels would come and go, as easily as in business-like Old England; but now, everything is stopped.” “Tut! Nonsense, sir! And, my dear Charles,” said Mr. Lorry, glancing at the head of the bank again, “remember that getting anything out of Paris right now, no matter what it is, is almost impossible. Some papers and important matters were brought here just today by the strangest people you could imagine, all of whom could have been seized and had their heads chopped off as they passed through the barriers out of France. (I'm telling you this in secret—it is unprofessional for me to whisper about it, even to you.) Any other time our packages would come and go as easily as they would here in England. Now, everything has stopped.”
“And do you really go to-night?” “And are you really leaving tonight?”
“I really go to-night, for the case has become too pressing to admit of delay.” “I’m really leaving tonight. The situation has become too urgent for me to delay.”
“And do you take no one with you?” “And you aren’t taking anyone with you?”
“All sorts of people have been proposed to me, but I will have nothing to say to any of them. I intend to take Jerry. Jerry has been my bodyguard on Sunday nights for a long time past and I am used to him. Nobody will suspect Jerry of being anything but an English bull-dog, or of having any design in his head but to fly at anybody who touches his master.” “Many different people have been suggested to me, but I don’t want any of them. I plan to take Jerry. Jerry has been my bodyguard on Sunday nights for a long time and I’m used to him. Nobody will suspect Jerry of being anything but an English ruffian, or of having any idea in his head but to attack anyone who harms me.”
“I must say again that I heartily admire your gallantry and youthfulness.” “I have to say again that I admire your bravery and youthfulness.”
“I must say again, nonsense, nonsense! When I have executed this little commission, I shall, perhaps, accept Tellson’s proposal to retire and live at my ease. Time enough, then, to think about growing old.” “I say again that’s nonsense! When I have completed this little task, maybe I will accept Tellson’s offer to retire and live the easy life. I’ll have enough time then to think about growing old.”
This dialogue had taken place at Mr. Lorry’s usual desk, with Monseigneur swarming within a yard or two of it, boastful of what he would do to avenge himself on the rascal-people before long. It was too much the way of Monseigneur under his reverses as a refugee, and it was much too much the way of native British orthodoxy, to talk of this terrible Revolution as if it were the only harvest ever known under the skies that had not been sown—as if nothing had ever been done, or omitted to be done, that had led to it—as if observers of the wretched millions in France, and of the misused and perverted resources that should have made them prosperous, had not seen it inevitably coming, years before, and had not in plain words recorded what they saw. Such vapouring, combined with the extravagant plots of Monseigneur for the restoration of a state of things that had utterly exhausted itself, and worn out Heaven and earth as well as itself, was hard to be endured without some remonstrance by any sane man who knew the truth. And it was such vapouring all about his ears, like a troublesome confusion of blood in his own head, added to a latent uneasiness in his mind, which had already made Charles Darnay restless, and which still kept him so. This conversation had taken place at Mr. Lorry’s desk. There were people of the French upper-class gathered within a yard or two of it, bragging about what they would soon do to avenge themselves on the peasants. It was just like these upper-class refugees, and just like the way of the British, to talk about this terrible Revolution as if it had come from nowhere—as if nothing had ever been done, or had not been done, to cause it. As if no one had seen millions of poor people in France suffering, or seen their resources, which should have made them prosperous, squandered. As if no one had seen it coming for years and had even written down what they saw. Such worthless talk, combined with the extravagant plans of the upper class to restore France to its former, unsustainable condition, was hard for any sane person who knew the truth to listen to. It was this kind of nonsense, like the conflict in his head and an uneasiness in his mind, that had made Charles Darnay restless, and that kept him restless now.

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