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IF SYDNEY CARTON ever shone anywhere, he certainly never
shone in the house of Doctor Manette. He had been there often,
during a whole year, and had always been the same moody and
morose lounger there. When he cared to talk, he talked well; but,
the cloud of caring for nothing, which overshadowed him with
such a fatal darkness, was very rarely pierced by the light within

And yet he did care something for the streets that environed that
house, and for the senseless stones that made their pavements.
Many a night he vaguely and unhappily wandered there, when
wine had brought no transitory gladness to him; many a dreary
daybreak revealed his solitary figure lingering there, and still
lingering there when the first beams of the sun brought into strong
relief, removed beauties of architecture in spires of churches and
lofty buildings, as perhaps the quiet time brought some sense of
better things, else forgotten and unattainable, into his mind. Of
late, the neglected bed in the Temple Court had known him more
scantily than ever; and often when he had thrown himself upon it
no longer than a few minutes, he had got up again, and haunted
that neighbourhood.

On a day in August, when Mr. Stryver (after notifying to his jackal
that “he had thought better of that marrying matter”) had carried
his delicacy into Devonshire, and when the sight and scent of
flowers in the City streets had some waifs of goodness in them for
the worst, of health for the sickliest, and of youth for the oldest,
Sydney’s feet still trod those stones. From being irresolute and
purposeless, his feet became animated by an intention, and, in the
working out of that intention, they took him to the Doctor’s door.
He was shown up-stairs, and found Lucie at her work, alone. She
had never been quite at her ease with him, and received him with
some little embarrassment as he seated himself near her table. But,
looking up at his face in the interchange of the first few common-
places, she observed a change in it.

“I fear you are not well, Mr. Carton!” “No. But the life I lead, Miss
Manette, is not conducive to health. What is to be expected of, or
by, such profligates?” “Is it not-forgive me; I have begun the
question on my lips-a pity to live no better life?” “God knows it is
a shame!” “Then why not change it?” Looking gently at him again,
she was surprised and saddened to see that there were tears in his
eyes. There were tears in his voice too, as he answered: “It is too
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