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A Tale of Two Cities

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The night was so very sultry, that although they sat with doors and windows open, they were overpowered by heat. When the tea-table was done with, they all moved to one of the windows, and looked out into the heavy twilight. Lucie sat by her father; Darnay sat beside her; Carton leaned against a window. The curtains were long and white, and some of the thunder-gusts that whirled into the corner, caught them up to the ceiling, and waved them like spectral wings. It was such a hot night that, although they had the doors and windows open, they were overpowered by the heat. When they were done with the tea table, they all moved to one of the windows and looked out into the dusk. Lucie sat by her father, Darnay sat beside her, and Carton leaned against the window. The wind from the thunder gusts blew the long, white curtains up near the ceiling like the ghostly wings.
“The rain-drops are still falling, large, heavy, and few,” said Doctor Manette. “It comes slowly.” “The rain is still falling in large, heavy, sparse drops,” said Dr. Manette. “The drops come slowly.”
“It comes surely,” said Carton. “The storm is on its way,” said Carton.
They spoke low, as people watching and waiting mostly do; as people in a dark room, watching and waiting for Lightning, always do. They spoke quietly, the way people speak when they are waiting for something, the way people speak in a dark room while waiting to see lightning.
There was a great hurry in the streets of people speeding away to get shelter before the storm broke; the wonderful corner for echoes resounded with the echoes of footsteps coming and going, yet not a footstep was there. People were running through the streets trying to get inside before the storm broke. The street corner was filled with the echoes of footsteps coming and going, even though no one could actually be seen walking there.
“A multitude of people, and yet a solitude!” said Darnay, when they had listened for a while. “It sounds like so many people, and yet no one is there!” said Darnay after they had listened for a while.
“Is it not impressive, Mr. Darnay?” asked Lucie. “Sometimes, I have sat here of an evening, until I have fancied—but even the shade of a foolish fancy makes me shudder to-night, when all is so black and solemn—” “Isn’t it impressive, Mr. Darnay?” asked Lucie. “Some nights I have sat here until I have imagined—but even something silly I have imagined makes me shudder tonight, when everything is so dark and serious—”
“Let us shudder too. We may know what it is.” “Let us shudder too. Tell us what it is.”
“It will seem nothing to you. Such whims are only impressive as we originate them, I think; they are not to be communicated. I have sometimes sat alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by-and-bye into our lives.” “It will seem like nothing to you. Such ideas are only interesting as we make them up, I think. They shouldn’t be told to others. I have sometimes sat here alone at night, listening until I have imagined that all of the echoes are the echoes of the footsteps of the people that will soon be coming into our lives.”
“There is a great crowd coming one day into our lives, if that be so,” Sydney Carton struck in, in his moody way. “A lot of people will be coming into our lives if that’s the case,” added Sydney Carton in his moody way.
The footsteps were incessant, and the hurry of them became more and more rapid. The corner echoed and re-echoed with the tread of feet; some, as it seemed, under the windows; some, as it seemed, in the room; some coming, some going, some breaking off, some stopping altogether; all in the distant streets, and not one within sight. The footsteps never stopped. They sped up more and more, and the corner echoed and re-echoed with their sound. Some seemed to be under the windows, and some seemed to be in the room. Some were coming and some were going. Some of them were breaking off and some stopped altogether. All were in the streets in the distance, and no one was in sight.
“Are all these footsteps destined to come to all of us, Miss Manette, or are we to divide them among us?” “Are all these people making these footsteps destined to come to all of us here? Or do we divide them among us?”
“I don’t know, Mr. Darnay; I told you it was a foolish fancy, but you asked for it. When I have yielded myself to it, I have been alone, and then I have imagined them the footsteps of the people who are to come into my life, and my father’s.” “I don’t know, Mr. Darnay. I told you it was my silly imagination, but you asked to hear it. When I’ve let my mind wander like this, I’ve been alone, and then I’ve imagined that they were the footsteps of the people who will come into my life. And my father’s life.”
“I take them into mine!” said Carton. “I ask no questions and make no stipulations. There is a great crowd bearing down upon us, Miss Manette, and I see them—by the Lightning.” He added the last words, after there had been a vivid flash which had shown him lounging in the window. “I’ll accept them into my life!” said Carton. “I ask no questions and have no conditions. There are a lot of people coming toward us, Miss Manette—and I can see them by the lightning.” He added the last words just after a bright flash of lightning, which illuminated him as he lounged in the window.
“And I hear them!” he added again, after a peal of thunder. “Here they come, fast, fierce, and furious!” “And I hear them!” he added, after a roar of thunder. “Here they come, fast, fierce, and furious!”

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