In A Tale of Two Cities, the revolutionaries in France set on fire everything that is connected with the aristocracy except Tellson's bank. Why?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Book the Second, Chapter XXIII, the French countryside lays wasted and scorched. And, in Chapter XXIV, the remains of the chateau of the Marquis d'Evremonde has also been razed.  But, no one touches Tellson's Bank in  Paris where Mr. Lorry has been stationed in order to protect the important documents and notes of the monseigneurs, the nobility of France.  Later, in Chapter II of Book the Third, Dr. Manette and Lucie call upon Mr. Lorry  When Dr. Manette inquires about the seized property and why it, too,.has not been eradicated. It is then that Mr. Lorry permits the physician to see into the courtyard where there is a grindstone set up in the middle, and bloodied peasants, who rush to and fro after having sharpens their weapons. Later, after Lucie has fallen asleep, she is awakened in the night's darkness by a bell. 

"What is it?" cried Lucie, affrighted. "Hush! The soldiers' swords are sharpened there," said Mr. Lorry. "The place Is National property now, and used as a kind of armoury, my love."

In the courtyard, men rush and sharpen their weapons, weapons now used against the aristocracy, who at one time congregated near the Bank.

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