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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


112

CHAPTER X
TWO PROMISES


MORE MONTHS, to the number of twelve, had come and gone,
and Mr. Charles Darnay was established in England as a higher
teacher of the French language who was conversant with French
literature. In this age, he would have been a Professor; in that age,
he was a Tutor. He read with young men who could find any
leisure and interest for the study of a living tongue spoken all over
the world, and he cultivated a taste for its stores of knowledge and
fancy. He could write of them, besides, in sound English, and
render them into sound English.

Such masters were not at that time easily found; Princes that had
been, and Kings that were to be, were not yet of the Teacher class,
and no ruined nobility had dropped out of Tellsonís ledgers, to
turn cooks and carpenters. As a tutor, whose attainments made the
studentís way unusually pleasant and profitable, and as an elegant
translator who brought something to his work besides mere
dictionary knowledge, young Mr. Darnay soon became known and
encouraged. He was well acquainted, moreover, with the
circumstances of his country, and those were of ever-growing
interest. So, with great perseverance and untiring industry, he
prospered.

In London, he had expected neither to walk on pavements of gold,
nor to lie on beds of roses; if he had had any such exalted
expectation, he would not have prospered. He had expected
labour, and he found it, and did it and made the best of it. In this,
his prosperity consisted.

A certain portion of his time was passed at Cambridge, where he
read with undergraduates as a sort of tolerated smuggler who
drove a contraband trade in European languages, instead of
conveying Greek and Latin through the Customhouse. The rest of
his time he passed in London.

Now, from the days when it was always summer in Eden, to these
days when it is mostly winter in fallen latitudes, the world of a
man has invariably gone one way-Charles Darnayís way-the way
of the love of a woman.

He had loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his danger. He had
never heard a sound so sweet and dear as the sound of her
compassionate voice; he had never seen a face so tenderly
beautiful, as hers when it was confronted with his own on the edge
of the grave that had been dug for him. But, he had not yet spoken
to her on the subject; the assassination at the deserted chateau far
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