Page:Dickens - A tale of two cities, 1898.djvu/22

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gave way to his invention recklessly, but constantly restrained it; and, of course, he occasionally failed in restraint. His invention did not often present him with a jeune première of great interest, and the heroine of A Tale of Two Cities is even as most heroines of male novelists. The turn which makes Miss Pross an accidental avenging angel, was censured, as if Dickens, here, had not restrained his invention. But he justly replied that he wished to contrast Madame Defarge's mean death in a grotesque scuffle, with the stately and honourable death of Carton. The grim ingenuity of the device by which Jerry learns that Cly is not dead, accounts for the introduction of a character common enough, at the time and much later, the Resurrectionist. That a man in his position should practise this by-work, is, it must be admitted, not very probable.

Dickens sent the proofs of the story to M. Regnier, to be dramatised. But the censure, as M. Regnier saw, would have replied—

"Incedis per ignes
Suppositos cineri doloso."