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A Tale of Two Cities

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“I believe it,” answered her father, mournfully. “I have thought so before now. I believe it.” “I believe you,” her father answered sadly. “I have thought so before now. I believe you.”
“But, do not believe,” said Darnay, upon whose ear the mournful voice struck with a reproachful sound, “that if my fortune were so cast as that, being one day so happy as to make her my wife, I must at any time put any separation between her and you, I could or would breathe a word of what I now say. Besides that I should know it to be hopeless, I should know it to be a baseness. If I had any such possibility, even at a remote distance of years, harboured in my thoughts, and hidden in my heart—if it ever had been there—if it ever could be there—I could not now touch this honoured hand.” The sadness in Dr. Manette’s voice struck Darnay as a reproach. “But do not believe that if I were ever lucky enough to make her my wife, that I would ever come between you. If that were so, I would never have told you what I am saying now,” said Darnay. “Besides the fact that I know it would be impossible, I know that it would be an awful thing to do. If I had any such plan, even for many years from now, or could ever consider such a thing, I wouldn’t be able to shake your hand right now.”
He laid his own upon it as he spoke. He placed his hand on the doctor’s hand as he spoke.
“No, dear Doctor Manette. Like you, a voluntary exile from France; like you, driven from it by its distractions, oppressions, and miseries; like you, striving to live away from it by my own exertions, and trusting in a happier future; I look only to sharing your fortunes, sharing your life and home, and being faithful to you to the death. Not to divide with Lucie her privilege as your child, companion, and friend; but to come in aid of it, and bind her closer to you, if such a thing can be.” “No, dear Dr. Manette. Like you, I left France by choice. Like you, I left to get away from the distractions, oppressions, and unhappiness. Like you, I worked to get away and live by my own hard work. I left in search of a better future, and I only want to share in your happiness, to share your life and home, and devote myself to you until death. I don’t want to take Lucie away from you as your child and friend, but to tie her closer to you, if such a thing is possible.”
His touch still lingered on her father’s hand. Answering the touch for a moment, but not coldly, her father rested his hands upon the arms of his chair, and looked up for the first time since the beginning of the conference. A struggle was evidently in his face; a struggle with that occasional look which had a tendency in it to dark doubt and dread. He was still holding her father’s hand. Her father responded by placing his hands on the arms of his chair. He looked up at him for the first time since their conversation had started, and it was obvious that he was struggling with something. He struggled with that dark look that would on occasion appear on his face.
“You speak so feelingly and so manfully, Charles Darnay, that I thank you with all my heart, and will open all my heart—or nearly so. Have you any reason to believe that Lucie loves you?” “You speak so passionately, Charles Darnay, that I thank you with all my heart. I will open my heart to you, or nearly so. Do you have any reason to believe that Lucie loves you?”
“None. As yet, none.” “None. So far, none.”
“Is it the immediate object of this confidence, that you may at once ascertain that, with my knowledge?” “Are you hoping to find this out from this conversation?”
“Not even so. I might not have the hopefulness to do it for weeks; I might (mistaken or not mistaken) have that hopefulness to-morrow.” “Not at all. I might not have the courage to do it for weeks. I might have the courage to do it tomorrow, whether it’s the right time to do it or not.”
“Do you seek any guidance from me?” “Are you looking for advice from me?”
“I ask none, sir. But I have thought it possible that you might have it in your power, if you should deem it right, to give me some.” “I’m not asking for any, sir, but I have thought that you might have some to offer, if you thought it was right to do so.”
“Do you seek any promise from me?” “Are you hoping for a promise from me?”
“I do seek that.” “Yes, I am.”
“What is it?” “What is it?”
“I well understand that, without you, I could have no hope. I well understand that, even if Miss Manette held me at this moment in her innocent heart—do not think I have the presumption to assume so much—I could retain no place in it against her love for her father.” “I know that without you I have no hope. I understand that, even if Miss Manette loved me already—don’t assume that I am conceited enough to think that she does—I could ever be loved by her if you didn’t approve.”
“If that be so, do you see what, on the other hand, is involved in it?” “If that is so, do you see what else is involved in it?”

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