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home. I took the opportunity of her being from
home, to beg to speak to you."

There was a blank silence.

"Yes?" said the Doctor with evident
constraint. "Bring your chair here, and speak on."

He complied as to the chair, but appeared to
find the speaking on less easy.

"I have had the happiness, Doctor Manette,
of being so intimate here," so he at length
began, "for some year and a half, that I hope
the topic on which I am about to touch may
not——"

He was stayed by the Doctor's putting out
his hand to stop him. When he had kept it so
a little while, he said, drawing it back!

"Is Lucie the topic?"

"She is."

"It is hard for me to speak of her, at any
time. It is very hard for me to hear her spoken
of in that tone of yours, Charles Darnay."

"It is a tone of fervent admiration, true
homage and deep love, Doctor Manette!" he
said, deferentially.

There was another blank silence before her
father rejoined:

"I believe it; I do you justice; I believe it."

His constraint was so manifest, and it was so
manifest, too, that it originated in an unwillingness
to approach the subject, that Charles
Darnay hesitated.

"Shall I go on, sir?"

Another blank.

"Yes, go on."

"You anticipate what I would say, though
you cannot know how earnestly I say it, how
earnestly I feel it, without knowing my secret
heart, and the hopes and fears and anxieties with
which it has long been laden. Dear Doctor
Manette, I love your daughter fondly, dearly,
disinterestedly, devotedly. If ever there were love
in the world, I love her. You have loved yourself;
let your old love speak for me!"

The Doctor sat with his face turned away,
and his eyes bent on the ground. At the last
words, he stretched out his hand again,
hurriedly, and cried:

"Not that, sir! Let that be! I adjure you,
do not recal that!"

His cry was so like a cry of actual pain, that
it rang in Charles Darnay's ears long after he
had ceased. He motioned with the hand he
had extended, and it seemed to be an appeal to
Darnay to pause. The latter so received it, and
remained silent.

"I ask your pardon," said the Doctor, in
subdued tone, after some moments. "I do not
doubt your loving Lucie; you may be satisfied
of it."

He turned towards him in his chair, but did
not look at him, or raise his eyes. His chin
drooped upon his hand, and his white hair
over-shadowed his face:

"Have you spoken, to Lucie?"

"No."

"Nor written?"

"Never."

"It would be ungenerous to affect not to
know that your self-denial is to be referred to
your consideration for her father. Her father
thanks you."

He offered his hand; but, his eyes did not go
with it.

"I know," said Darnay, respectfully, "how
can I fail to know, Doctor Manette, I who have
seen you together from day to day, that between
you and Miss Manette there is an affection so
unusual, so touching, so belonging to the
circumstances in which it has been nurtured, that
it can have few parallels, even in the tenderness
between a father and child. I know, Doctor
Manettehow can I fail to knowthat,
mingled with the affection and duty of a daughter
who has become a woman, there is, in her heart
towards you, all the love and reliance of infancy
itself. I know that, as in her childhood she
had no parent, so she is now devoted to
you with all the constancy and fervour of her
present years and character, united to the
trustfulness and attachment of the early days in
which you were lost to her. I know perfectly
well that if you had been restored to her from
the world beyond this life, you could hardly be
invested, in her sight, with a more sacred
character than that in which you are always with
her. I know that when she is clinging to you,
the hands of baby, girl, and woman, all in one,
are round your neck. I know that in loving
you she sees and loves her mother at her own
age, sees and loves you at my age, loves her
mother broken-hearted, loves you through your
dreadful trial and in your blessed restoration. I
have known this, night and day, since I have
known you in your home."

Her father sat silent, with his face bent down.
His breathing was a little quickened; but he
repressed all other signs of agitation.

"Dear Doctor Manette, always knowing this,
always seeing her and you with this hallowed
light about you, I have forborne, and forborne, as
long as it was in the nature of man to do it. I
have felt, and do even now feel, that to bring
my loveeven minebetween you, is to touch
your history with something not quite so good
as itself. But I love her. Heaven is my witness
that I love her!"

"I believe it," answered her father,
mournfully. "I have thought so, before now. I
believe it."

"But, do not believe," said Darnay, upon
whose ear the mournful voice struck with a
reproachful sound, "that if my fortune were so
cast as that, being one day so happy as to make
her my wife, I must at any time put any
separation between her and you, I could or
would breathe a word of what I now say.
Besides that I should know it to be hopeless, I
should know it to be a baseness. If I had any,
such possibility, even at a remote distance of
years, harboured in my thoughts and hidden in
my heartif it ever had been thereif it ever
could be thereI could not now touch this
honoured hand."

He laid his own upon it as he spoke.

"No, dear Doctor Manette. Like you, a

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