Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
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.
“The occupation resumed under the influence of this passing
affection 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 Doctor shaded his forehead
with his hand, and beat 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?” Still, the Doctor, with shaded forehead, beat 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.
“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 perplex-ity 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.” He looked like his
illustration, as he raised his eyes to Mr. Lorry’s face.
“But may not-mind! I ask for information, a plodding man of
business who only deals with such material objects 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