More months, to the number of twelve, had come and gone, and Mr. Charles
Darnay was established in England as a higher teacher of the French language who
was conversant with French literature. In this age, he would have been a
Professor; in that age, he was a Tutor. He read with young men who could find
any leisure and interest for the study of a living tongue spoken all over the
world, and he cultivated a taste for its stores of knowledge and fancy. He could
write of them, besides, in sound English, and render them into sound English.
Such masters were not at that time easily found; Princes that had been, and
Kings that were to be, were not yet of the Teacher class, and no ruined nobility
had dropped out of Tellson’s ledgers, to turn cooks and carpenters. As a tutor,
whose attainments made the student’s way unusually pleasant and profitable, and
as an elegant translator who brought something to his work besides mere
dictionary knowledge, young Mr. Darnay soon became known and encouraged. He was
well acquainted, more-over, with the circumstances of his country, and those
were of ever-growing interest. So, with great perseverance and untiring
industry, he prospered.
A year had gone by, and Mr. Charles Darnay was settled in England. He taught
the French language and also had knowledge of French literature. Today he would
have been a professor, but back then he was a tutor. He taught young men who had
the free time and interest to study another language that was spoken all over
the world, and he developed a taste for its knowledge and stories. He could also
translate them well into English and read them out loud in English. People with
such skills were hard to find at that time. Men who were once princes, and
supposed to have become kings, hadn’t been forced to work as teachers yet. No
ruined nobility had gone broke, lost their accounts at Tellson’s Bank, and
become cooks and carpenters yet. Mr. Darnay soon developed a good reputation as
a tutor who made his student’s time particularly pleasant and beneficial, and as
a graceful translator who brought something to his translations besides what you
could find in a dictionary. He knew the situation in France well, and people in
England were becoming more and more interested in it. By working tirelessly, he
was able to make a good living.
In London, he had expected neither to walk on pavements of gold, nor to lie on
beds of roses; if he had had any such exalted expectation, he would not have
prospered. He had expected labour, and he found it, and did it and made the best
of it. In this, his prosperity consisted.
He hadn’t expected things to be easy for him in London. If he had, he wouldn’t
have done so well. He had expected hard work, and he found it. He did the work
and made the best of it, and by doing this, his success continued.
A certain portion of his time was passed at Cambridge, where he read with
undergraduates as a sort of tolerated smuggler who drove a contraband trade in
European languages, instead of conveying Greek and Latin through the
Custom-house. The rest of his time he passed in London.
He spent a certain amount of time at Cambridge, where he taught
undergraduates. The school tolerated him as he secretly taught European
languages, instead of the official Greek and Latin. He spent the rest of his
time in London.
Now, from the days when it was always summer in Eden, to these days when it is
mostly winter in fallen latitudes, the world of a man has invariably gone one
way—Charles Darnay’s way—the way of the love of a woman.
Now, from the beginning of time in the garden of Eden to the current, harsher
times, a man’s life has always gone in the same direction. Charles Darnay’s life
took the same path: he fell in love with a woman.
He had loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his danger. He had never heard a
sound so sweet and dear as the sound of her compassionate voice; he had never
seen a face so tenderly beautiful, as hers when it was confronted with his own
on the edge of the grave that had been dug for him. But, he had not yet spoken
to her on the subject; the assassination at the deserted chateau far away beyond
the heaving water and the long, long, dusty roads—the solid stone chateau which
had itself become the mere mist of a dream—had been done a year, and he had
never yet, by so much as a single spoken word, disclosed to her the state of his
He had been in love with Lucie Manette since he had been on trial for his
life. He had never heard a sound so sweet and king as the sound of her voice. He
had never seen anyone more beautiful than she had been when they met, when he
was about to be executed. But he hadn’t told her that he loved her yet. The
murder at the empty chateau, over the water and the long, dusty roads far away,
had happened a year ago, and now felt like it was part of a dream. Yet he still
hadn’t mentioned as much as a single word to her about his feelings.
That he had his reasons for this, he knew full well. It was again a summer day
when, lately arrived in London from his college occupation, he turned into the
quiet corner in Soho, bent on seeking an opportunity of opening his mind to
Doctor Manette. It was the close of the summer day, and he knew Lucie to be out
with Miss Pross.
He knew well that he had good reasons for keeping quiet. It was a summer day
when he arrived in London late after teaching at the college. He turned the
corner of the quiet street in Soho where Lucie and Dr. Manette lived. He was set
on telling Dr. Manette how he felt about Lucie. It was the end of a summer day,
and he knew that Lucie was out with Miss Pross.