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“Carton! Dear Carton! It is madness. It cannot be accomplished, it
never can be done, it has been attempted, and has always failed. I
implore you not to add your death to the bitterness of mine.” “Do I
ask you, my dear Darnay, to pass the door? When I ask that, refuse.
There are pen and ink and paper on this table. Is your hand steady
enough to write?” “It was when you came in.” “Steady it again,
and write what I shall dictate. Quick, friend, quick!” Pressing his
hand to his bewildered head, Darnay sat down at the table. Carton,
with his right hand in his breast, stood close beside him.

“Write exactly as I speak.” “To whom do I address it?” “To no
one.” Carton still had his hand in his breast.

“Do I date it?” “No.” The prisoner looked up, at each question.
Carton, standing over him with his hand in his breast, looked

“’If you remember,’” said Carton, dictating, “’the words that
passed between us, long ago, you will readily comprehend this
when you see it. You do remember them, I know. It is not in your
nature to forget them.’”

He was drawing his hand from his breast; the prisoner chancing to
look up in his hurried wonder as he wrote, the hand stopped,
closing upon something.

“Have you written ‘forget them’?” Carton asked.
“I have. Is that a weapon in your hand?” “No; I am not armed.”
“What is it in your hand?” “You shall know directly. Write on;
there are but a few words more.” He dictated again. “’I am
thankful that the time has come, when I can prove them. That I do
so is no subject for regret or grief.’” As he said these words with
his eyes fixed on the writer, his hand slowly and softly moved
down close to the writer’s face.

The pen dropped from Darnay’s fingers on the table, and he
looked about him vacantly.

“What vapour is that?” he asked.
“Vapour?” “Something that crossed me?” “I am conscious of
nothing; there can be nothing here. Take up the pen and finish.
Hurry, hurry!” As if his memory were impaired, or his faculties
disordered, the prisoner made an effort to rally his attention. As he
looked at Carton with clouded eyes and with an altered manner of
breathing, Carton-his hand again in his breastlooked steadily at

“Hurry, hurry!” The prisoner bent over the paper, once more.
“’If it had been otherwise;’” Carton’s hand was again watchfully
and softly stealing down; “’I never should have used the longer
opportunity. If it had been otherwise;’” the hand was at the
prisoner’s face; “’I should but have had so much the more to
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