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A Tale of Two Cities

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Doctor Manette received such patients here as his old reputation, and its revival in the floating whispers of his story, brought him. His scientific knowledge, and his vigilance and skill in conducting ingenious experiments, brought him otherwise into moderate request, and he earned as much as he wanted. Here, Dr. Manette met with the few patients he had acquired by his old reputation and its revival by the rumors about his imprisonment. His knowledge of science and the clever experiments he conducted also brought him work, and he was able to earn as much money as he wanted.
These things were within Mr. Jarvis Lorry’s knowledge, thoughts, and notice, when he rang the door-bell of the tranquil house in the corner, on the fine Sunday afternoon. Mr. Jarvis Lorry knew all this about Dr. Manette and had it in mind when he rang Dr. Manette’s doorbell on that fine Sunday afternoon.
“Doctor Manette at home?” “Is Dr. Manette home?” he asked the handmaid who answered the door.
Expected home. The handmaid answered that he was expected home soon.
“Miss Lucie at home?” “Is Miss Lucie home?”
Expected home. The handmaid answered that she too was expected home soon.
“Miss Pross at home?” “Is Miss Pross home?”
Possibly at home, but of a certainty impossible for handmaid to anticipate intentions of Miss Pross, as to admission or denial of the fact. The handmade answered that she might be at home but that she couldn’t say for sure.
“As I am at home myself,” said Mr. Lorry, “I’ll go upstairs.” “Since I feel at home here myself, I’ll go upstairs,” said Mr. Lorry.
Although the Doctor’s daughter had known nothing of the country of her birth, she appeared to have innately derived from it that ability to make much of little means, which is one of its most useful and most agreeable characteristics. Simple as the furniture was, it was set off by so many little adornments, of no value but for their taste and fancy, that its effect was delightful. The disposition of everything in the rooms, from the largest object to the least; the arrangement of colours, the elegant variety and contrast obtained by thrift in trifles, by delicate hands, clear eyes, and good sense; were at once so pleasant in themselves, and so expressive of their originator, that, as Mr. Lorry stood looking about him, the very chairs and tables seemed to ask him, with something of that peculiar expression which he knew so well by this time, whether he approved? Even though Miss Manette had known nothing about France, she apparently had innately developed the ability to make much of very little, which is one of the most useful and pleasant skills of the French people. Even though it was simply furnished, the room was decorated with many little ornaments. These ornaments weren’t expensive, but they were tasteful and interesting and had a delightful effect on the room. The look of everything in the apartment, from the largest to the smallest objects, the color scheme, the elegance of the variety, and contrast of little decorations, were pleasing and expressive of Miss Manette’s taste. So much so that, as Mr. Lorry stood looking around, the furniture seemed to wear the same expression that he had seen so many times on Miss Manette’s forehead. As a result, the tables and chairs themselves seemed to ask him if he liked the way the room had been decorated.
There were three rooms on a floor, and, the doors by which they communicated being put open that the air might pass freely through them all, Mr. Lorry, smilingly observant of that fanciful resemblance which he detected all around him, walked from one to another. The first was the best room, and in it were Lucie’s birds, and flowers, and books, and desk, and work-table, and box of water-colours; the second was the Doctor’s consulting-room, used also as the dining-room; the third, changingly speckled by the rustle of the plane-tree in the yard, was the Doctor’s bedroom, and there, in a corner, stood the disused shoemaker’s bench and tray of tools, much as it had stood on the fifth floor of the dismal house by the wine-shop, in the suburb of Saint Antoine in Paris. There were three rooms on each floor, and the doors of each room had been left open to air them out. Mr. Lorry, smiling as he thought of that resemblance to Lucie Manette that he saw all around him, walked from one room to another. The first room was the nicest. In it were Lucie’s pet birds, flowers, books, a desk, a worktable, and a box of watercolor paints. The second room was Dr. Manette’s consulting room, which they also used as a dining room. The third room was the doctor’s bedroom. Light filtered in through the leaves of the plane tree outside the window and speckled the walls and floor in shifting patterns. In the corner stood the unused shoemaker’s bench and a tray of tools. It looked the same as it had on the fifth floor of that miserable house near the wine shop in the suburb of Saint Antoine in Paris.
“I wonder,” said Mr. Lorry, pausing in his looking about, “that he keeps that reminder of his sufferings about him!” “It’s strange that he keeps that reminder of his suffering near him,” said Mr. Lorry, looking around.
“And why wonder at that?” was the abrupt inquiry that made him start. “And why is that strange?” was the unexpected question that made him jump.
It proceeded from Miss Pross, the wild red woman, strong of hand, whose acquaintance he had first made at the Royal George Hotel at Dover, and had since improved. The question came from Miss Pross. She was the strong, wild, red woman whom he had first met at the Royal George Hotel in Dover. Mr. Lorry got along with her much better now.
“I should have thought—” Mr. Lorry began. “I should have thought—” Mr. Lorry began.
“Pooh! You’d have thought!” said Miss Pross; and Mr. Lorry left off. “Pooh! You’d have thought!” said Miss Pross, and Mr. Lorry stopped talking.

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