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A Tale of Two Cities

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“I understand equally well, that a word from her father in any suitor’s favour, would outweigh herself and all the world. For which reason, Doctor Manette,” said Darnay, modestly but firmly, “I would not ask that word, to save my life.” “I also understand that if her father spoke in favor of any of her suitors that it would persuade her more than her own opinion or anything else in the world. For this reason, Dr. Manette” said Darnay, “I wouldn’t ask you to do that if my life depended on it.”
“I am sure of it. Charles Darnay, mysteries arise out of close love, as well as out of wide division; in the former case, they are subtle and delicate, and difficult to penetrate. My daughter Lucie is, in this one respect, such a mystery to me; I can make no guess at the state of her heart.” “I’m sure of it. Charles Darnay, people who are close to each other still have secrets, just as people who are far apart. In the first case, those secrets are subtle, delicate, and hard to penetrate. In this way, Lucie is a mystery to me. I don’t know how she feels about you.”
“May I ask, sir, if you think she is—” As he hesitated, her father supplied the rest. “May I ask you, sir, if you think she is—” as he hesitated, the doctor finished the thought for him.
“Is sought by any other suitor?” “Is being courted by another man?”
“It is what I meant to say.” “That is what I meant.”
Her father considered a little before he answered: Her father thought awhile before he answered:
“You have seen Mr. Carton here, yourself. Mr. Stryver is here too, occasionally. If it be at all, it can only be by one of these.” “You have seen Mr. Carton here. Mr. Stryver is here too, sometimes. If she is being courted, it would have to be by one of these two men.”
“Or both,” said Darnay. “Or both of them,” said Darnay.
“I had not thought of both; I should not think either, likely. You want a promise from me. Tell me what it is.” “I hadn’t thought of that. I think it’s more likely that it’s neither of them. You want me to promise you something. Tell me what.”
“It is, that if Miss Manette should bring to you at any time, on her own part, such a confidence as I have ventured to lay before you, you will bear testimony to what I have said, and to your belief in it. I hope you may be able to think so well of me, as to urge no influence against me. I say nothing more of my stake in this; this is what I ask. The condition on which I ask it, and which you have an undoubted right to require, I will observe immediately.” “Promise me that if Miss Manette ever tells you that she feels the same way about me as I do about her, you will tell her what I have said and that you believe me to be telling the truth. I hope you will think well enough of me as to not speak against me. I ask nothing more than that. Just tell me the conditions that you have, which you have a right to have.”
“I give the promise,” said the Doctor, “without any condition. I believe your object to be, purely and truthfully, as you have stated it. I believe your intention is to perpetuate, and not to weaken, the ties between me and my other and far dearer self. If she should ever tell me that you are essential to her perfect happiness, I will give her to you. If there were—Charles Darnay, if there were—” “I make the promise without any condition,” said the doctor. “I believe that what you said is true. I believe your intention is to make the bond between my daughter and me stronger, not weaker. If she ever tells me that she loves you, I will give her to you. If there were—Charles Darnay, if there were—”
The young man had taken his hand gratefully; their hands were joined as the Doctor spoke: Mr. Darnay had taken his hand gratefully. They were holding hands when the doctor said:
“—any fancies, any reasons, any apprehensions, anything whatsoever, new or old, against the man she really loved—the direct responsibility thereof not lying on his head—they should all be obliterated for her sake. She is everything to me; more to me than suffering, more to me than wrong, more to me—Well! This is idle talk.” “—any ideas, reasons, fears, anything at all, new or old against the man that she was in love with—any wrongdoing that he was not directly responsible for—I would forget them all for the sake of her happiness. She is everything to me. More to me than suffering, more to me than injustice…Well! This is pointless talk.”
So strange was the way in which he faded into silence, and so strange his fixed look when he had ceased to speak, that Darnay felt his own hand turn cold in the hand that slowly released and dropped it. The way he had stopped speaking, and the way he was looking at him, was so strange that Darnay’s hand turned cold under the doctor’s touch. The doctor slowly let go of him.
“You said something to me,” said Doctor Manette, breaking into a smile. “What was it you said to me?” “You said something to me,” said Dr. Manette, smiling. “What was it you said to me?”
He was at a loss how to answer, until he remembered having spoken of a condition. Relieved as his mind reverted to that, he answered: He didn’t know how to answer. Then he remembered that the doctor had spoken about there being a condition to his promise. Darnay was relieved to think of it, and answered:

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