Chapters 10, 11 and 12: Happier times
It is a year further on from the assassination of the Marquis and Darnay has
settled down to a quiet life in England teaching French language and literature. He is in love with Luce and decides to reveal his feelings to Dr. Manette.
He feels bound to tell the Doctor his true identity, but he stops him, saying he should reveal this on the morning of his wedding to Lucie. That evening, Lucie finds the Doctor hammering at his shoemaker’s bench. He has suffered a minor relapse.
That same night, Stryver tells Carton that he has decided to marry
Lucie. Although she is not rich she will be able to care for him.
Stryver decides to tell Lucie the next day, but at Tellson’s Bank he discusses his plans with Mr. Lorry and he suggests that he should go first to see if his suit would be accepted. Stryver agrees to this. Lucie turns down the proposal.
Dickens has indicated that the Evremonde family has something to do with the
Doctor’s imprisonment and secrets. No doubt, the Doctor suspects who Darnay is, but he does not wish to face this prospect, when even the thought of it causes a relapse.
Again, Dickens uses duality in that the meeting between Stryver and Carton
mirrors the previous scene with Darnay and Dr. Manette.
Darnay was sincere and respectful in his approach with the Doctor, but Stryver is obnoxious and pompous airing his misguided views on marriage. Clearly Darnay’s desire to wed Lucie is romantic, whereas Stryver’s is practical.
Mr. Lorry prevents Stryver from offending Lucie directly and uses his
diplomacy in dealing with the subject taking control of a potentially stressful situation. Mr. Lorry is shown to be a strong character and this will prove invaluable later on in the novel.