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A Tale of Two Cities

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“I forgot it,” he said. “I forgot it,” he said.
Mr. Lorry’s eyes were again attracted to his face. Taking note of the wasted air which clouded the naturally handsome features, and having the expression of prisoners’ faces fresh in his mind, he was strongly reminded of that expression. Mr. Lorry looked at his face again. He noticed a wasted look that tarnished his naturally handsome face and was reminded of the expression on the faces of prisoners he had seen lately.
“And your duties here have drawn to an end, sir?” said Carton, turning to him. “And your work here is coming to an end, sir?” said Carton, turning toward him.
“Yes. As I was telling you last night when Lucie came in so unexpectedly, I have at length done all that I can do here. I hoped to have left them in perfect safety, and then to have quitted Paris. I have my Leave to Pass. I was ready to go.” “Yes. As I was telling you last night when Lucie came in so unexpectedly, I have finally done all I can do here. I had hoped to leave the Manettes perfectly safe and then to leave Paris. I have my pass, which allows me to leave the city. I was ready to go.”
They were both silent. They were both silent.
“Yours is a long life to look back upon, sir?” said Carton, wistfully. “You have had a long life to look back on, sir?” said Carton thoughtfully.
“I am in my seventy-eighth year.” “I am seventy-eight years old.”
“You have been useful all your life; steadily and constantly occupied; trusted, respected, and looked up to?” “You have worked hard all your life. You have always been busy. You are trusted, respected, and looked up to?”
“I have been a man of business, ever since I have been a man. Indeed, I may say that I was a man of business when a boy.” “I have been a businessman ever since I became a man. I was even a businessman when I was still a boy.”
“See what a place you fill at seventy-eight. How many people will miss you when you leave it empty!” “Look at what you are doing at the age of seventy-eight. How many people will miss you when you die!”
“A solitary old bachelor,” answered Mr. Lorry, shaking his head. “There is nobody to weep for me.” “I am a lonely, old bachelor,” answered Mr. Lorry, shaking his head. “Nobody will weep for me when I die.”
“How can you say that? Wouldn’t She weep for you? Wouldn’t her child?” “How can you say that? Wouldn’t Lucie weep for you? Wouldn’t her daughter?”
“Yes, yes, thank God. I didn’t quite mean what I said.” “Yes, yes. Thank God. I didn’t mean exactly what I said.”
“It IS a thing to thank God for; is it not?” “It is something to thank God for, isn’t it?”
“Surely, surely.” “Of course.”
“If you could say, with truth, to your own solitary heart, to-night, ‘I have secured to myself the love and attachment, the gratitude or respect, of no human creature; I have won myself a tender place in no regard; I have done nothing good or serviceable to be remembered by!’ your seventy-eight years would be seventy-eight heavy curses; would they not?” “If you could say truthfully tonight, ‘No one has any love, attachment, gratitude, or respect for me. No one thinks of me tenderly. I have done nothing good or helpful to be remembered by!’ the years you have lived would be a curse instead of a blessing, wouldn’t they?”
“You say truly, Mr. Carton; I think they would be.” “That’s true, Mr. Carton. I think they would be.”
Sydney turned his eyes again upon the fire, and, after a silence of a few moments, said: Sydney looked at the fire again. After sitting in silence for a few moments, he said:
“I should like to ask you: —Does your childhood seem far off? Do the days when you sat at your mother’s knee, seem days of very long ago?” “I want to ask you. Does your childhood seem like it was a long time ago? Do the days when you sat at your mother’s knee seem like a long time ago?”
Responding to his softened manner, Mr. Lorry answered: Mr. Lorry could see that Carton had softened. He answered:
“Twenty years back, yes; at this time of my life, no. For, as I draw closer and closer to the end, I travel in the circle, nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be one of the kind smoothings and preparings of the way. My heart is touched now, by many remembrances that had long fallen asleep, of my pretty young mother (and I so old!), and by many associations of the days when what we call the World was not so real with me, and my faults were not confirmed in me.” “Twenty years ago, yes. But at this time of my life, no, it doesn’t. As I get closer and closer to death, it’s as if I was traveling in a circle and moving nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be one of the kind ways we prepare ourselves for death. I now remember fondly many memories that I had forgotten for a long time. Memories of my pretty mother and the times when I was young. Times when the world didn’t seem so harsh to me and I didn’t know my own faults.”
“I understand the feeling!” exclaimed Carton, with a bright flush. “And you are the better for it?” “I understand that feeling!” exclaimed Carton, blushing. “And you are the better for it?”
“I hope so.” “I hope so.”
Carton terminated the conversation here, by rising to help him on with his outer coat; “But you,” said Mr. Lorry, reverting to the theme, “you are young.” Carton ended the conversation then by getting up to help Mr. Lorry put his coat on. “But you—you are young,” said Mr. Lorry, returning to the subject.

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