Skip to main content

Posts

Chapter Six: The Shoemaker: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project.
Chapter Six: The Shoemaker

“Good day!” said Madame Defarge, looking down at the white head that bent low over the shoemaking.

It was raised for a moment, and a very faint voice responded to the salutation, as if it were at a distance:

“Good day!”

“You are still hard at work, I see?”

After a long silence, the head was lifted for another moment, and the voice replied, “Yes--I am working.” This time, a pair of haggard eyes had looked at the questioner, before the face had dropped again.

The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. It was not the faintness of physical weakness, though confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo of a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had it lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected t…
Recent posts

Chapter Five: The Wine-shop: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project.
Chapter Five: The Wine-shop

A large cask of wine had been dropped and broken, in the street. The accident had happened in getting it out of a cart; the cask had tumbled out with a run, the hoops had burst, and it lay on the stones just outside the door of the wine-shop, shattered like a walnut-shell.

All the people within reach had suspended their business, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine. The rough, irregular stones of the street, pointing every way, and designed, one might have thought, expressly to lame all living creatures that approached them, had dammed it into little pools; these were surrounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, according to its size. Some people kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to help others, who bent over their shoulders, to sip, before the wine had all run out between their fi…

How Language Matters

It started with this:



A male friend posted it on Facebook. Another woman and I simultaneously started pointing out a few things that are wrong with it. The a couple of men seem to think we're overreacting.

But lists like this are part of the problem of what I call male toxicity "lite." It seems innocent enough -- a list of basic respectful rules for life. But it doesn't take much reading to lift the veil on this being a list of rules for manly men.

First off, why not a list for all children? Why gender it at all? If your son is gay or has a female boss, I feel like this list might not prepare him well for life. And why for fathers to teach? Why not anyone who spends time with children? As fathers, your sons are looking to you for model behavior. If you call women, "girls," then they will, too, and there goes the respect for women starting to roll away.

Some specifics:

1. What about shaking a woman's hand?
2. If manners are so important, as stated in ru…

Chapter Four: The Preparation: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project.

Chapter Four: The Preparation 

When the mail got successfully to Dover, in the course of the forenoon, the head drawer at the Royal George Hotel opened the coach-door as her custom was. She did it with some flourish of ceremony, for a mail journey from London in winter was an achievement to congratulate an adventurous traveller upon.

By that time, there was only one adventurous traveller left be congratulated: for the two others had been set down at their respective roadside destinations. The mildewy inside of the coach, with its damp and dirty straw, its disagreeable smell, and its obscurity, was rather like a larger dog-kennel. Ms. Lorry, the passenger, shaking herself out of it in chains of straw, a tangle of shaggy wrapper, flapping hat, and muddy legs, was rather like a larger sort of dog.

“There will be a packet to Calais, tomorrow, drawer?”

“Yes, ma’am, if the weather h…

Chapter Three: The Night Shadows: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

I have the next chapter ready and I think instead of waiting for Wednesdays to roll around I will post chapters as I finish them. 

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project.

Chapter Three: The Night Shadows

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary light…

Chapter Two: The Mail: A Tale of Two Cities with Women

For background on the project and to see all the chapters at once, go to the tag A Tale of Two Cities Project.

Chapter Two: The Mail

It was the Dover road that lay, on a Friday night late in November, before the first of the persons with whom this history has business. The Dover road lay, as to her, beyond the Dover mail, as it lumbered up Shooter’s Hill. She walked up hill in the mire by the side of the mail, as the rest of the passengers did; not because they had the least relish for walking exercise, under the circumstances, but because the hill, and the harness, and the mud, and the mail, were all so heavy, that the horses had three times already come to a stop, besides once drawing the coach across the road, with the mutinous intent of taking it back to Blackheath. Reins and whip and coach person and guard, however, in combination, had read that article of war which forbade a purpose otherwise strongly in favour of the argument, that some brute animals are endued with Reason; and …