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was mere professional claptrap, I don’t know that I cared what
became of you, when I rendered it. Mind! I say when I rendered it;
I am speaking of the past.” “You make light of the obligation,”
returned Darnay, “but I will not quarrel with your light answer.”
“Genuine truth, Mr. Darnay, trust me! I have gone aside from my
purpose; I was speaking about our being friends. Now, you know
me; you know I am incapable of all the higher and better flights of
men. If you doubt it, ask Stryver, and he’ll tell you so.” “I prefer to
form my own opinion, without the aid of his.” “Well! At any rate
you know me as a dissolute dog, who has never done any good,
and never will.” “I don’t know that you ‘never will.’” “But I do,
and you must take my word for it. Well! If you could endure to
have such a worthless fellow, and a fellow of such indifferent
reputation, coming and going at odd times, I should ask that I
might be permitted to come and go as a privileged person here;
that I might be regarded as an useless (and I would add, if it were
not for the resemblance I detected between you and me, an
unornamental) piece of furniture, tolerated for its old service, and
taken no notice of. I doubt if I should abuse the permission. It is a
hundred to one if I should avail myself of it four times in a year. It
would satisfy me, I dare say, to know that I had it.” “Will you try?”
“That is another way of saying that I am placed on the footing I
have indicated. I thank you, Darnay. I may use that freedom with
your name?” “I think so, Carton, by this time.” They shook hands
upon it, and Sydney turned away. Within a minute afterwards, he
was, to all outward appearance, as unsubstantial as ever.

When he was gone, and in the course of an evening passed with
Miss Pross, the Doctor, and Mr. Lorry, Charles Darnay made some
mention of this conversation in general terms, and spoke of Sydney
Carton as a problem of carelessness and recklessness. He spoke of
him, in short, not bitterly or meaning to bear hard upon him, but as
anybody might who saw him as he showed himself.

He had no idea that this could dwell in the thoughts of his fair
young wife; but, when he afterwards joined her in their own
rooms, he found her waiting for him with the old pretty lifting of
the forehead strongly marked.

“We are thoughtful to-night!” said Darnay, drawing his arm about

“Yes, dearest Charles,” with her hands on his breast, and the
inquiring and attentive expression fixed upon him; “we are rather
thoughtful tonight, for we have something on our mind to-night.”
“What is it, my Lucie?” “Will you promise not to press one
question on me, if I beg you not to ask it?” “Will I promise? What
will I not promise to my Love?” What, indeed, with his hand
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