Book the Second - the Golden Thread
20. XX. A Plea
"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 putting aside the golden hair from the
cheek, and his other hand against the heart that beat for him!
"I think, Charles, poor Mr. Carton deserves more consideration and
respect than you expressed for him to-night."
"Indeed, my own? Why so?"
"That is what you are not to ask me. But I think--I know--he does."
"If you know it, it is enough. What would you have me do, my Life?"
"I would ask you, dearest, to be very generous with him always, and
very lenient on his faults when he is not by. I would ask you to
believe that he has a heart he very, very seldom reveals, and that there
are deep wounds in it. My dear, I have seen it bleeding."
"It is a painful reflection to me," said Charles Darnay, quite astounded,
"that I should have done him any wrong. I never thought this of him."
"My husband, it is so. I fear he is not to be reclaimed; there is
scarcely a hope that anything in his character or fortunes is reparable
now. But, I am sure that he is capable of good things, gentle things,
even magnanimous things."
She looked so beautiful in the purity of her faith in this lost man,
that her husband could have looked at her as she was for hours.
"And, O my dearest Love!" she urged, clinging nearer to him, laying
her head upon his breast, and raising her eyes to his, "remember how
strong we are in our happiness, and how weak he is in his misery!"