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A Tale of Two Cities

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"My father! Even to hear that you had such thoughts of a daughter who never existed, strikes to my heart as if I had been that child." “Father! Even to hear that you thought such things about a daughter who never existed hurts me as if I had been the daughter you speak of.”
"You, Lucie? It is out of the Consolation and restoration you have brought to me, that these remembrances arise, and pass between us and the moon on this last night. —What did I say just now?" “You, Lucie? It is because of the comfort and strength that you have brought me that we can talk about these memories now under the moonlight on our last night together. What did I say just now?”
"She knew nothing of you. She cared nothing for you." “The daughter you had imagined didn’t know anything about you and didn’t care about you.”
"So! But on other moonlight nights, when the sadness and the silence have touched me in a different way—have affected me with something as like a sorrowful sense of peace, as any emotion that had pain for its foundations could—I have imagined her as coming to me in my cell, and leading me out into the freedom beyond the fortress. I have seen her image in the moonlight often, as I now see you; except that I never held her in my arms; it stood between the little grated window and the door. But, you understand that that was not the child I am speaking of?" “So! But on other moonlit nights, when I have been in a different mood, one like a sad sense of peace, I have imagined that she came to visit me in my cell and took me out of the prison and to freedom. I often imagined her standing in the moonlight as I see you doing now. Except that I never got to hold her in my arms. The image was between my little grated window and the door. But you understand that that is not the child I am talking about.”
"The figure was not; the—the—image; the fancy?" “The figure was not in your imagination?”
"No. That was another thing. It stood before my disturbed sense of sight, but it never moved. The phantom that my mind pursued, was another and more real child. Of her outward appearance I know no more than that she was like her mother. The other had that likeness too—as you have—but was not the same. Can you follow me, Lucie? Hardly, I think? I doubt you must have been a solitary prisoner to understand these perplexed distinctions." “No. That was another thing. It stood before my eyes but it never moved. The phantom that I was dreaming about was another real child. I don’t know anything about what she looked like other than that she looked like her mother. The other child looked like her too— like you do—but not the same. Do you understand what I’m saying, Lucie? Hardly, I think. You’d probably have to be a lonely prisoner to understand the confusing differences between imagination and reality.”
His collected and calm manner could not prevent her blood from running cold, as he thus tried to anatomise his old condition. Even though he was calm she was troubled as he tried to describe what it had been like for him.
"In that more peaceful state, I have imagined her, in the moonlight, coming to me and taking me out to show me that the home of her married life was full of her loving remembrance of her lost father. My picture was in her room, and I was in her prayers. Her life was active, cheerful, useful; but my poor history pervaded it all." “When I was in that more peaceful state of mind, I would imagine her coming to me in the moonlight and taking me out to show me the home where she lived with her husband. It was full of memories of her lost father. She had a picture of me in her room and prayed for me. She led a happy, productive life, but my sad story was still a part of it.
"I was that child, my father, I was not half so good, but in my love that was I." “I was that child, father. I wasn’t half as good a daughter as that, but I loved you just as much.”
"And she showed me her children," said the Doctor of Beauvais, "and they had heard of me, and had been taught to pity me. When they passed a prison of the State, they kept far from its frowning walls, and looked up at its bars, and spoke in whispers. She could never deliver me; I imagined that she always brought me back after showing me such things. But then, blessed with the relief of tears, I fell upon my knees, and blessed her." “She showed me her children too,” said Doctor Manette. “They had heard of me and been told my sad story. When they went by a prison they stayed far away from its walls and looked up at the barred windows and spoke in whispers. She couldn’t free me. I imagined that she always brought me back to the prison after showing me these things. But then, after the relief of crying, I would fall to my knees and bless her.”
"I am that child, I hope, my father. O my dear, my dear, will you bless me as fervently to-morrow?" “I hope that I am that child, father. O my dear father, will you bless me as eagerly tomorrow.”
"Lucie, I recall these old troubles in the reason that I have to-night for loving you better than words can tell, and thanking God for my great happiness. My thoughts, when they were wildest, never rose near the happiness that I have known with you, and that we have before us." “Lucie, the reason I remember these troubled times is the same reason I love you tonight more than words can say. I thank God for how happy I am. My thoughts, when they were the most disturbed, never reached the happiness that I have had with you and that we have still ahead.”

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