A Tale of Two Cities Volume II, Chapter Seventeen – One Night
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Volume II, Chapter Seventeen – One Night
- London. The night before Lucie’s wedding.
- Lucie sits by her father’s side underneath a tree in their yard.
- She’s very, very happy. She worries, however, that her father will be made unhappy by her upcoming marriage.
- Asking to be reassured that nothing will be changed by her marriage, she begs her father to tell her if he will be at all unhappy in the future.
- Dr. Manette assures Lucie that he will be happier if she’s fully happy.
- After all, he realizes that she’s devoted herself to him. He wouldn’t want her life to be spent completely in tending for an old man.
- As he sits looking at the moon, Dr. Manette remembers the times that the moon was the only thing he could see from his prison window.
- He tells Lucie that he used to look at the moon and dream of the child whom he’d abandoned when he was sent to prison.
- Imagining that she’d forgotten him completely, the doctor used to think that the child would grow up without any thought of him troubling her mind.
- Lucie interrupts him. She’s troubled by the thought that he could imagine her to be uncaring.
- Dr. Manette gently stops her.
- At other times, he explains, he would imagine his daughter leading him out of his prison cell into the world.
- This vision, he insisted, was a specter.
- Lucie struggles to understand all of this.
- Continuing, the doctor says that, at other times, he imagined his child with a full and happy life—one that he came into when he left prison.
- That, Lucie recognizes, was his dream of her.
- The next day, Lucie will get married.
- No one is invited to the ceremony but Mr. Lorry. Miss Pross will be there, as well.
- That night, Miss Pross, Lucie, and the doctor have a cheerful supper together.
- After the doctor goes to bed, Lucie creeps into his room to check on him.
- He’s sleeping soundly.
- Relieved, she goes to sleep herself.