Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
time-I may ask, at what time, sir?” “I speak, miss, of twenty years
ago. He married-an English lady-and I was one of the trustees.
His affairs, like the affairs of many other French gentlemen and
French families, were entirely in Tellson’s hands. In a similar way I
am, or I have been, trustee of one kind or other for scores of our
customers. These are mere business relations, miss; there is no
friendship in them, no particular interest, nothing like sentiment. I
have passed from one to another, in the course of my business life,
just as I pass from one of our customers to another in the course of
my business day; in short, I have no feelings; I am a mere machine.
To go on--”
“But this is my father’s story, sir; and I begin to think”- the
curiously roughened forehead was very intent upon him-“that
when I was left an orphan through my mother’s surviving my
father only two years, it was you who brought me to England. I am
almost sure it was you.” Mr. Lorry took the hesitating little hand
that confidingly advanced to take his, and he put it with some
ceremony to his lips. He then conducted the young lady
straightway to her chair again, and, holding the chair-back with his
left hand, and using his right by turns to rub his chin, pull his wig
at the ears, or point what he said, stood looking down into her face
while she sat looking up into his.
“Miss Manette, it was I. And you will see how truly I spoke of
myself just now, in saying I had no feelings, and that all the
relations I hold with my fellowcreatures are mere business
relations, when you reflect that I have never seen you since. No;
you have been the ward of Tellson’s House since, and I have been
busy with the other business of Tellson’s House since. Feelings! I
have no time for them, no chance of them. I pass my whole life,
miss, in turning an immense pecuniary Mangle.” After this odd
description of his daily routine of employment, Mr. Lorry flattened
his flaxen wig upon his head with both hands (which was most
unnecessary, for nothing could be flatter than its shining surface
was before), and resumed his former attitude.
“So far, miss (as you have remarked), this is the story of your
Now comes the difference. If your father had not died when he
did-- Don’t be frightened! How you start!” She did, indeed, start.
And she caught his wrist with both her hands.
“Pray,” said Mr. Lorry, in a soothing tone, bringing his left hand
from the back of the chair to lay it on the supplicatory fingers that
clasped him in so violent a tremble: “pray control your agitation-a
matter of business. As I was saying--” Her look so discomposed
him that he stopped, wandered, and began anew: “As I was