This came of a school assignment as well--for my senior English class, we had to read A Tale of Two Cities and do various projects related to it. In this case, we had to pick a character we didn't particularly like and write five journal entries for him or her. I think I lot of people picked Sydney Carton or Madame Defarge, but frankly I either liked or admired them both (heck, Sydney was probably my favorite character...ah, the angst!), so while they would have been fun, they wouldn't have fulfilled the requirements of the assignment. Instead I chose Lucie Manette. Why? She's too perfect. Almost a canon Sue, if such a thing really existed: beautiful and good. (Just the fact that her hair is described repeatedly qualifies her for Suedom.) So I attempted to crawl inside her head and give her a good dose of the angst Dickens didn't. It really wasn't difficult, either.
These entries take place right around the time Mr. Lorry is called to France and Charles decides to go as well, as will become immediately apparent.
I cannot stop thinking of Paris.
Perhaps it is dear Mr. Lorry's visit there that brings it to my mind, but though I fear for his safety, I cannot believe that he will be harmed. The Revolution wants the blood of aristocrats, not that of businessmen.
Blood. Why am I thinking of blood? We are all of us safe here. My child and my husband are safe.
What am I afraid of?
Paris, Paris, and Paris. I see the streets of the old city whenever I step outside; in the market I hear not the harsh sounds of English but my own native tongue, and when someone speaks to me I must pull my mind back across miles of French countryside, across the channel to London, before I can grasp after some measure of understanding and form a coherent answer.
And I cannot speak of it to Charles. I am not sure that he would understand that I mourn the city that rejected me. I am not sure that I understand it myself.
But more than that…whenever I mention Paris—as I did, only last night, asking him if he had any more news—there is a change in him. It is almost imperceptible, almost not there at all, and I did not realize until this moment that I had seen anything, but something happens in my husband's eyes that I cannot quite describe. A restlessness, almost a longing…
I do not understand either of us. The world is mad.
Mr. Lorry left last night for Paris. I still believe I do not fear for him—and yet, and yet… Ah, I cannot keep still. I must take my mind away from Paris—and from Charles, who believes I do not notice that something preys on his mind.
Curse this Revolution—it has touched all of us. But there is nothing wrong here, my family is safe…
Charles is not coming back, he is gone—I found his letter to me and he is gone to Paris, and I cannot think—we must find him—I cannot…I must go—
I do not believe I will sleep tonight. Perhaps I will not sleep again ever. Father and I have traveled through France unharmed—his old curse has become a cruel blessing—and we are here in Paris, and my husband is a prisoner at La Force. A prisoner—I cannot believe the word as I write it—and for what? Has the Revolution so changed my country that kindness and compassion have become treasonous offenses?
And I am so afraid. I can think of nothing else but fear, and I cannot even give my fear a name—it is simply wild fear and it has become me.
I wish I could simply trust my father and Mr. Lorry again. I could tell myself that this man of Tellson's—we are staying there now, we could think of nothing else—and my father can conquer anything and make it all right and save Charles. And they would like me to think so—but my fear will not allow me such precious ignorance or naïveté.
Mr. Lorry tells me only to trust him, and to hide in this back room while he tells my father whatever truth he thinks me not strong enough to bear—and I do trust him, and I believe I cannot bear it because I know my mind is in fragments.
But he thinks I do not understand, either. He thinks I do not know why he forbade me to look out the window. He thinks I do not know the black heart of this Revolution.
I close my eyes tonight and I see blood. I cannot hide from it.
My God, what can I do…