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was soon recruiting his strength with a good plain dinner and
good wine: while Carton sat opposite to him at the same table, with
his separate bottle of port before him, and his fully half-insolent
manner upon him.
“Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial scheme again,
“I am frightfully confused regarding time and place; but I am so
far mended as to feel that.” “It must be an immense satisfaction!”
He said it bitterly, and filled up his glass again: which was a large
“As to me, the greatest desire I have, is to forget that I belong to it.
It has no good in it for me-except wine like this-nor I for it. So we
are not much alike in that particular. Indeed, I begin to think we
are not much alike in any particular, you and I.” Confused by the
emotion of the day, and feeling his being there with this Double of
coarse deportment, to be like a dream, Charles Darnay was at a
loss how to answer; finally, answered not at all.
“Now your dinner is done,” Carton presently said, “why don’t you
call a health, Mr. Darnay; why don’t you give your toast?” “What
health? What toast?” “Why, it’s on the tip of your tongue. It ought
to be, it must be, I’ll swear it’s there.” “Miss Manette, then!” “Miss
Manette, then!” Looking his companion full in the face while he
drank the toast, Carton flung his glass over his shoulder against the
wall, where it shivered to pieces; then, rang the bell, and ordered
“That’s a fair young lady to hand to a coach in the dark, Mr.
Darnay!” he said, filling his new goblet.
A slight frown and a laconic “Yes,” were the answer.
“That’s a fair young lady to be pitied by and wept for by! How
does it feel? Is it worth being tried for one’s life, to be the object of
such sympathy and compassion, Mr. Darnay?” Again Darnay
answered not a word.
“She was mightily pleased to have your message, when I gave it
her. Not that she showed she was pleased, but I suppose she was.”
The allusion served as a timely reminder to Darnay that this
disagreeable companion had, of his own free will, assisted him in
the strait of the day. He turned the dialogue to that point, and
thanked him for it.
“I neither want any thanks, nor merit any,” was the careless
rejoinder. “It was nothing to do, in the first place; and I don’t know
why I did it, in the second. Mr. Darnay, let me ask you a
question.” “Willingly, and a small return for your good offices.”
“Do you think I particularly like you?” “Really, Mr. Carton,”
returned the other, oddly disconcerted, “I have not asked myself