Book 2, Chapter 13 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 2, Chapter 13

Sydney Carton, even more depressed than usual, drops by the Manette's to pay a visit to Lucie. She sees that he is upset and tells him with concern that she can see he is not well. He tells her he is not, but that his lifestyle is not conducive to health. She asks him if it is not a pity to live such a life. He tells her it is indeed a shame. He begins to cry, and she is startled and saddened, as she has never seen him soften like this before. He tells her that he is a miserable, drunken, self-destructed wretch, and that if it were even possible that she could return his love, he would only bring her down with him. She asks him if she cannot save him, if she cannot put him on a better course. He sadly replies that she cannot, but that meeting her and seeing how she cares for her father has awakened emotions in him he had thought were long dead, such as remorse and ambition.

Topic Tracking: Resurrection 5

She asks him imploringly if none of these emotions remain in him and begs him to try. He tells her that he cannot, that he knows he will only become worse, but that he wants her to know that she rekindled a fire in him, even though he knows the fire will burn out soon. She apologizes for having made him unhappier than he was before he met her. He assures her that she is not the cause, and that she would have reclaimed him, if anything could. He asks her not to tell anyone of his confidence; she assures him she will not. He tells her that he is drawing fast to an end, but until his death, he will hold their conversation sacred, knowing that his last avowal of himself was made to her. She begins to cry, and he tells her not to be sad, that he is not worth her tears. He tells her that he will always feel towards her the way he does now inside, but on the outside, he will be as he has been before. He asks her to believe him. He tells her that his last supplication to her will be to relieve her of a visitor with whom he knows she has nothing in common, and that he would do anything for her. He asks her to try to remember him in quiet times, and to realize how sincere he is when he tells her one thing:

"'The time will come, the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be formed about you--ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn--the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father's face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!'" Book 2, Chapter 13, pp. 149-150

He bids her farewell and says "God bless you!" then leaves.

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