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Never did the sun go down with a brighter glory on the quiet corner in Soho, than one memorable evening when the Doctor and his daughter sat under the plane-tree together. Never did the moon rise with a milder radiance over great London, than on that night when it found them still seated under the tree, and shone upon their faces through its leaves. There was never a more glorious sunset on the quiet street corner in Soho than one night when Doctor Manette and Lucie sat under the plane tree together. The moon never rose with a gentler glow over London than on that night when it rose as they were still sitting under the tree, and shined through its leaves onto their faces.
Lucie was to be married to-morrow. She had reserved this last evening for her father, and they sat alone under the plane-tree. Lucie was to be married the next day. She had saved this last night for her father, and they sat alone together under the plane tree.
"You are happy, my dear father?" “Are you happy, father?”
"Quite, my child." “Very happy, my child.”
They had said little, though they had been there a long time. When it was yet light enough to work and read, she had neither engaged herself in her usual work, nor had she read to him. She had employed herself in both ways, at his side under the tree, many and many a time; but, this time was not quite like any other, and nothing could make it so. They hadn’t said much, though they had been there a long time. When it was still light enough to work and read, she hadn’t done her work or read to him as she usually did. Many times she had done both as she sat beside him under the tree. But tonight was different than all others, and nothing could change that.
"And I am very happy to-night, dear father. I am deeply happy in the love that Heaven has so blessed—my love for Charles, and Charles's love for me. But, if my life were not to be still consecrated to you, or if my marriage were so arranged as that it would part us, even by the length of a few of these streets, I should be more unhappy and self-reproachful now than I can tell you. Even as it is—" “I’m very happy tonight, too, father. The love that Heaven has blessed me with—my love for Charles, and Charles’s love for me— has made me very happy. But, if my life wasn’t still dedicated to you, or if my marriage pulled us apart, even by the distance of only a few streets, I would be more unhappy and disappointed in myself than I could tell you. Even as it is—”
Even as it was, she could not command her voice. Her voice quivered.
In the sad moonlight, she clasped him by the neck, and laid her face upon his breast. In the moonlight which is always sad, as the light of the sun itself is—as the light called human life is—at its coming and its going. She embraced him in the moonlight and buried her face in his chest. The moonlight is always sad, as is sunlight and human life itself, when it is coming or going.
"Dearest dear! Can you tell me, this last time, that you feel quite, quite sure, no new affections of mine, and no new duties of mine, will ever interpose between us? I know it well, but do you know it? In your own heart, do you feel quite certain?" “Dear father! Can you tell me one last time that you are absolutely sure that no new feelings of mine, or responsibilities, will ever come between us? I am sure of it, but are you? Do you feel sure about it in your heart?”
Her father answered, with a cheerful firmness of conviction he could scarcely have assumed, "Quite sure, my darling! More than that," he added, as he tenderly kissed her: "my future is far brighter, Lucie, seen through your marriage, than it could have been—nay, than it ever was—without it." Her father answered with a cheer and certainty he couldn’t have faked, “Quite sure, my darling! More sure than that!” he added, kissing her tenderly. “My future is much brighter, Lucie, now that you are getting married, than it could have been without it, or than it ever was before.”
"If I could hope THAT, my father!—" “I hope that is true, father.”
"Believe it, love! Indeed it is so. Consider how natural and how plain it is, my dear, that it should be so. You, devoted and young, cannot fully appreciate the anxiety I have felt that your life should not be wasted—" “Believe it, my love! It is true. Think of how natural and easy it is, my dear, for it to be that way. You, loyal and young, cannot understand how worried I have been that your life would be wasted— ”
She moved her hand towards his lips, but he took it in his, and repeated the word. She raised her hand to his lips to stop him from speaking, but he took hold of it and repeated the word.
"—wasted, my child—should not be wasted, struck aside from the natural order of things—for my sake. Your unselfishness cannot entirely comprehend how much my mind has gone on this; but, only ask yourself, how could my happiness be perfect, while yours was incomplete?" “—wasted, my child. That it should not be wasted. That you would abandon the natural course of your life to take care of me. You are so unselfish that you can’t grasp how much I have worried about this. But, only ask yourself, how could I be completely happy if you were not?”