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Book 1, Chapter 6 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 1, Chapter 6

Monsieur Defarge greets the white-haired man with "Good Day." The white-haired man responds in kind, although in a very faint voice, the voice of a man who has not had occasion to speak in years. The man only speaks when spoken to and seems more intent on finishing his work than speaking with Monsieur Defarge or the two strangers in the room. Mr. Lorry steps forward, and the man looks up, puts a finger to his lips, then drops his hand and returns to his work. Monsieur Defarge tells the man that he has a visitor, indicating Mr. Lorry, and asks him to tell the visitor about the shoe he is working on. After a pause, the man asks him to repeat the question, then shows the visitor the shoe. Monsieur Defarge asks the man his name, and he simply replies, "One Hundred and Five, North Tower." Mr. Lorry and the man make small talk, until Mr. Lorry finally addresses the man as Monsieur Manette (Dr. Manette) and asks if he does not remember him. Mr. Manette drops the shoe to the ground, but he does not answer. Monsieur Defarge whispers to Mr. Lorry, asking him if it is indeed Mr. Manette. Mr. Lorry confirms that it is. Miss Manette then approaches Mr. Manette. He eventually looks up, notices her and asks quietly, "What is this?" Tears fall down her face. She gently sits down beside him and puts her hand on his arm. He recoils at first, then puts down his knife and looks at her. She puts her hand on his shoulder. He reaches for a black string around his neck. The string has a scrap of cloth attached to it, and he removes from the cloth one or two long golden hairs. He compares the hair in the cloth to the hair on Miss Manette's head and exclaims aloud that it is the same, but that it cannot be. He turned her toward the light, and said:

"'She had laid her head upon my shoulder, that night when I was summoned out--she had a fear of my going, though I had none--and when I was brought to the North Tower they found these upon my sleeve. "You will leave me them? They can never help me to escape in the body, though they may in the spirit." Those words I said. I remember them very well.'" Book 1, Chapter 6, pg. 43

She speaks, telling Mr. Lorry and Monsieur Defarge not to come near them. He hears her voice and exclaims, "Who was that?" He releases her and pulls at his hair in a frenzy. He regains himself, puts the hairs back into the cloth, and looks at her, telling her that it cannot be her, as she is too young. He asks her name, and she drops to her knees, putting her hands upon his chest. She tells him she will bring him to a home where she will be a faithful and dutiful servant to him, and that if this home reminds him of a home long lost, he should weep for it also. She exclaims:

"'If, when I tell you, dearest dear, that your agony is over, and that I have come here to take you from it, and that we go to England to be at peace and at rest, I cause you to think of your useful life laid waste, and of our native France so wicked to you, weep for it, weep for it! And if, when I shall tell you of my name, and of my father who is living, and of my mother who is dead, you learn that I have to kneel to my honoured father, and implore his pardon for never having for his sake striven all day and lain awake and wept all night, because the love of my poor mother hid his torture from me, weep for it, weep for it! Weep for her, then, and for me! Good gentlemen, thank God! I feel his sacred tears upon my face, and his sobs strike against my heart. O, see! Thank God for us, thank God!'" Book 1, Chapter 6, pg. 44

Mr. Manette sinks into her arms, and the room drops into silence. After a few moments alone with her father, Miss Manette, her father and Mr. Lorry head toward the carriage. Mr. Manette asks pitifully for his shoemaking tools, and Madame Defarge retrieves them. The trio gets into the carriage and departs. As they ride toward England, Mr. Lorry recalls his dream:

"All through the cold and restless interval, until, dawn, they once more whispered in the ears of Mr. Jarvis Lorry--sitting opposite the buried man who had been dug out, and wondering what subtle powers were forever lost to him, and what were capable of restoration--the old inquiry:
'I hope you care to be recalled to life?'
And the old answer:
'I can't say.'"
Book 1, Chapter 6, pg. 48

Topic Tracking: Resurrection 3

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