Skip over navigation

A Tale of Two Cities

Original Text

Modern Text

“Be comforted!” he said, “I am not worth such feeling, Miss Manette. An hour or two hence, and the low companions and low habits that I scorn but yield to, will render me less worth such tears as those, than any wretch who creeps along the streets. Be comforted! But, within myself, I shall always be, towards you, what I am now, though outwardly I shall be what you have heretofore seen me. The last supplication but one I make to you, is, that you will believe this of me.” “Take comfort!” he said. “I am not worth crying over, Miss Manette. An hour or two from now, when I join my lowlife friends and their sinful habits, I will be less worth your tears than any poor wretch on the streets. Take comfort! But in my heart, when I think of you, I will always be the man I am now, although on the outside I will be the man you have always known me to be. My last request is that you will believe this.”
“I will, Mr. Carton.” “I will, Mr. Carton.”
“My last supplication of all, is this; and with it, I will relieve you of a visitor with whom I well know you have nothing in unison, and between whom and you there is an impassable space. It is useless to say it, I know, but it rises out of my soul. For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. Try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will come, the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be formed about you—ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn—the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father’s face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!” “I will leave soon, freeing you from me. You and I have nothing in common, and there is a wide gap between us. But this is my last request. It is useless to say it, I know, but I can’t help myself. I would do anything for you or the people you care about. If I were capable of making a sacrifice for you, I would sacrifice anything for you or the people you love. Think of me now and again, in quiet times, and know that I mean what I say. Sometime soon you will get married and have a family. Oh, Miss Manette, when you look down one day and see the resemblance of your husband’s face in your child smiling up at you, or when you see a beautiful little girl like yourself at your feet, remember now and then that there is a man who would die to keep someone you love beside you.”
He said, “Farewell!” said a last “God bless you!” and left her. He said a final “Farewell, God bless you!” and left.

More Help

Previous Next