I have been revisiting of late Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, and a jolly good read it is too, I forgot just how humorous it was, however it is not so much the book itself that I am blogging about today. Rather I wish to share with you a contrast that struck me; between a church welcome that has been doing the rounds – you can read about it over on Mother Ruth’s blog where she has added her own additions; and how Book the Second – The Gold Thread, of A Tale of Two Cities, which I reached last night, begins.
Tellson’s Bank by Temple Bar was an old-fashioned place, even in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty. It was very small, very dark, very ugly, very incommodious. It was an old-fashioned place, moreover, in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were proud of its smallness, proud of its darkness, proud of its ugliness, proud of its incommodiousness. They were even boastful of its eminence in those particulars, and were fired by an express conviction that, if it were less objectionable, it would be less respectable. This was no passive belief, but an active weapon which they flashed at more convenient places of business. Tellson’s (they said) wanted no elbow-room, Tellson’s wanted no light, Tellson’s wanted no embellishment. Noakes and Co.’s might, or Snooks Brothers’ might; but Tellson’s, thank Heaven—! Any one of these partners would have disinherited his son on the question of rebuilding Tellson’s. In this respect the House was much on a par with the Country; which did very often disinherit its sons for suggesting improvements in laws and customs that had long been highly objectionable, but were only the more respectable.
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
A welcome says more than about who we welcome, it also conveys the attitude of a place and the people within it.