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A Tale of Two Cities

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“And indeed, sir,” pursued Mr. Lorry, not minding him, “I really don’t know what you have to do with the matter. If you’ll excuse me, as very much your elder, for saying so, I really don’t know that it is your business.” “Really, sir,” continued Mr. Lorry, ignoring him. “I don’t know what you have to do with any of this. Excuse me for saying so but, as a much older man than yourself, I really don’t think it’s any of your business.”
“Business! Bless you, I have no business,” said Mr. Carton. “Business! I have no business,” said Mr. Carton.
“It is a pity you have not, sir.” “It’s a shame that you don’t, sir,” said Mr. Lorry.
“I think so, too.” “I think so, too.”
“If you had,” pursued Mr. Lorry, “perhaps you would attend to it.” “If you did have business,” continued Mr. Lorry, “perhaps you could go take care of it.”
“Lord love you, no!—I shouldn’t,” said Mr. Carton. “Lord bless you. No! I wouldn’t do that,” said Mr. Carton.
“Well, sir!” cried Mr. Lorry, thoroughly heated by his indifference, “business is a very good thing, and a very respectable thing. And, sir, if business imposes its restraints and its silences and impediments, Mr. Darnay as a young gentleman of generosity knows how to make allowance for that circumstance. Mr. Darnay, good night, God bless you, sir! I hope you have been this day preserved for a prosperous and happy life.—Chair there!” “Well, sir!” exclaimed Mr. Lorry, angered by Carton’s casual attitude, “business is a good and respectable thing. Being a businessman sometimes means you have to restrain yourself from doing what you would like to do. Mr. Darnay is a kind young gentleman who understands these things. Good night, Mr. Darnay. God bless you, sir! I hope you have a prosperous, happy life in front of you.

Chair!”

a small carriage drawn by one horse

Chair!”
Perhaps a little angry with himself, as well as with the barrister, Mr. Lorry bustled into the chair, and was carried off to Tellson’s. Carton, who smelt of port wine, and did not appear to be quite sober, laughed then, and turned to Darnay: Mr. Lorry may have been mad at both himself and Mr. Carton, and he climbed into the chair and headed off to Tellson’s Bank. Carton, who smelled like port wine and appeared to be a bit drunk, laughed and turned to Darnay:
“This is a strange chance that throws you and me together. This must be a strange night to you, standing alone here with your counterpart on these street stones?” “It’s pretty odd that you and I are here together. This must be a strange night for you, standing here alone on the street with a man who looks just like you.”
“I hardly seem yet,” returned Charles Darnay, “to belong to this world again.” “I still don’t feel like I belong to the world of the living,” answered Charles Darnay.
“I don’t wonder at it; it’s not so long since you were pretty far advanced on your way to another. You speak faintly.” “I’m not surprised. It wasn’t long ago that you were close to being put to death. Your voice is weak.”
“I begin to think I AM faint.” “I feel weak.”
“Then why the devil don’t you dine? I dined, myself, while those numskulls were deliberating which world you should belong to—this, or some other. Let me show you the nearest tavern to dine well at.” “Then why don’t you eat dinner? I ate dinner myself while those idiots in the jury were arguing about whether you should live or die. Let me show you the closest good tavern.”
Drawing his arm through his own, he took him down Ludgate-hill to Fleet-street, and so, up a covered way, into a tavern. Here, they were shown into a little room, where Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength with a good plain dinner and good wine: while Carton sat opposite to him at the same table, with his separate bottle of port before him, and his fully half-insolent manner upon him. Mr. Carton took his arm and led Mr. Darnay down Ludgate Hill to Fleet Street and up a covered passageway into a tavern. They were brought into a small room where Charles Darnay soon restored his strength with a simple dinner and some good wine. Carton, still as rude as ever, sat across from him at the same table with his own bottle of port.
“Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial scheme again, Mr. Darnay?” “Do you feel like you belong to the world of the living yet, Mr. Darnay?”
“I am frightfully confused regarding time and place; but I am so far mended as to feel that.” “I’m quite disoriented, but I’m well enough to feel like I am.”
“It must be an immense satisfaction!” “You must be very happy about that!”
He said it bitterly, and filled up his glass again: which was a large one. He spoke bitterly and refilled his large wine glass.
“As to me, the greatest desire I have, is to forget that I belong to it. It has no good in it for me—except wine like this—nor I for it. So we are not much alike in that particular. Indeed, I begin to think we are not much alike in any particular, you and I.” “As for me,” said Mr. Carton, “my greatest wish is to forget that I belong to this world. It has nothing good in store for me except this wine. And I have nothing for it. You and I are very different in that way. Actually, I’m starting to think that you and I aren’t that similar after all.”

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