A Tale of Two Cities

by: Charles Dickens

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Darnay, unable to restrain himself any longer, touched Mr. Stryver on the shoulder, and said: Darnay wasn’t able to restrain himself any longer. He touched Mr. Stryver on the shoulder and said:
“I know the fellow.” “I know the man.”
“Do you, by Jupiter?” said Stryver. “I am sorry for it.” “Do you, by Jupiter?” said Stryver. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Why?” “Why?”
“Why, Mr. Darnay? D’ye hear what he did? Don’t ask, why, in these times.” “Why, Mr. Darnay? Didn’t you hear what he did? Don’t ask why in these times.”
“But I do ask why?” “But I am asking why.”
“Then I tell you again, Mr. Darnay, I am sorry for it. I am sorry to hear you putting any such extraordinary questions. Here is a fellow, who, infected by the most pestilent and blasphemous code of devilry that ever was known, abandoned his property to the vilest scum of the earth that ever did murder by wholesale, and you ask me why I am sorry that a man who instructs youth knows him? Well, but I’ll answer you. I am sorry because I believe there is contamination in such a scoundrel. That’s why.” “Then I’ll tell you again, Mr. Darnay. I am sorry that you know him. I am sorry to hear you asking such extraordinary questions. Here is a man who has been infected by the most diseased, offensive beliefs. He abandoned his property to the vilest scum of the earth—murderous peasants. And you ask me why I’m sorry that you, a teacher to children, knows him? Well, I’ll answer you. I’m sorry because I believe that such a scoundrel spreads disease. That’s why.”
Mindful of the secret, Darnay with great difficulty checked himself, and said: “You may not understand the gentleman.” Remembering his secret, Mr. Darnay struggled to keep himself under control. He said, “Maybe you don’t understand the gentleman.”
“I understand how to put YOU in a corner, Mr. Darnay,” said Bully Stryver, “and I’ll do it. If this fellow is a gentleman, I DON'T understand him. You may tell him so, with my compliments. You may also tell him, from me, that after abandoning his worldly goods and position to this butcherly mob, I wonder he is not at the head of them. But, no, gentlemen,” said Stryver, looking all round, and snapping his fingers, “I know something of human nature, and I tell you that you’ll never find a fellow like this fellow, trusting himself to the mercies of such precious PROTEGES. No, gentlemen; he’ll always show ‘em a clean pair of heels very early in the scuffle, and sneak away.” “I understand how to win an argument, Mr. Darnay,” said the bullying Mr. Stryver. “And I’ll do it. If this fellow is a gentleman, I don’t understand him. You can tell him so with my compliments. You can also tell him from me that after he gave up his property and title to this mob of butchers, I’m surprised he’s not leading the mob himself. But, no, gentlemen,” said Stryver, looking around and snapping his fingers, “I know something about human nature, and I tell you that you’ll never find a man like this man trusting the peasants he claims to sympathize with. No, gentlemen, he’ll always turn and run away very early in a fight.”
With those words, and a final snap of his fingers, Mr. Stryver shouldered himself into Fleet-street, amidst the general approbation of his hearers. Mr. Lorry and Charles Darnay were left alone at the desk, in the general departure from the Bank. With those words, Mr. Stryver snapped his fingers a last time and shoved his way out into Fleet Street. The group around him who had been listening cheered and applauded, and Mr. Lorry and Charles Darnay were left alone at the desk as the bank emptied out.
“Will you take charge of the letter?” said Mr. Lorry. “You know where to deliver it?” “Will you take the letter?” said Mr. Lorry. “You know where to deliver it?”
“I do.” “I do.”
“Will you undertake to explain, that we suppose it to have been addressed here, on the chance of our knowing where to forward it, and that it has been here some time?” “Will you explain that we think it was addressed here in the hopes that we would know where to forward it, and that it has been here for quite some time?”
“I will do so. Do you start for Paris from here?” “I will. Are you leaving for Paris from here?”
“From here, at eight.” “From here at eight o’clock.”
“I will come back, to see you off.” “I will come back to see you off.”
Very ill at ease with himself, and with Stryver and most other men, Darnay made the best of his way into the quiet of the Temple, opened the letter, and read it. These were its contents: Darnay was very unhappy with himself, and with Stryver and the other men. He made his way into Temple Bar, opened the letter, and read it. It said:
“Prison of the Abbaye, Paris. “From Abbaye Prison, Paris
“June 21, 1792. “June 21, 1792
“MONSIEUR HERETOFORE THE MARQUIS. “To monsieur formerly known as the marquis.
“After having long been in danger of my life at the hands of the village, I have been seized, with great violence and indignity, and brought a long journey on foot to Paris. On the road I have suffered a great deal. Nor is that all; my house has been destroyed—razed to the ground. “After having my life threatened by the villagers, I have been taken with great violence and humiliation and forced to walk a long distance to Paris. On the road I have suffered very much, and that’s not all. My house has also been destroyed.