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A TALE OF TWO CITIES.

In Three Books.
BY CHARLES DICKENS.

BOOK THE SECOND. THE GOLDEN THREAD.
CHAPTER XXI. ECHOING FOOTSTEPS.

A WONDERFUL corner for echoes, it has been
remarked, that corner where the Doctor lived.
Ever busily winding the golden thread which
bound her husband, and her father, and herself,
and her old directress and companion, in a life of
quiet bliss, Lucie sat in the still house in the
tranquilly resounding corner, listening to the
echoing footsteps of years.

At first, there were times, though she was a
perfectly happy young wife, when her work
would slowly fall from her hands, and her eyes
would be dimmed. For, there was something
coming in the echoes, something light, afar off,
and scarcely audible yet, that stirred her heart
too much. Fluttering hopes and doubtshopes,
of a love as yet unknown to her; doubts, of her
remaining upon earth, to enjoy that new delight
divided her breast. Among the echoes then,
there would arise the sound of footsteps at her
own early grave; and thoughts of the husband
who would be left so desolate, and who would
mourn for her so much, swelled to her eyes and
broke like waves.

That time passed, and her little Lucie lay on
her bosom. Then, among the advancing echoes,
there was the tread of her tiny feet and the
sound of her prattling words. Let greater
echoes resound as they would, the young
mother at the cradle side could always hear those
coming. They came, and the shady house was
sunny with a child's laugh, and the Divine
friend of children, to whom in her trouble she
had confided hers, seemed to take her child in
his arms, as He took the child of old, and made
it a sacred joy to her.

Ever busily winding the golden thread that
bound them all together, weaving the service
of her happy influence through the tissue of
all their lives, and making it predominate
nowhere, Lucie heard in the echoes of years none
but friendly and soothing sounds. Her
husband's step was strong and prosperous among
them; her father's, firm and equal. Lo, Miss
Pross, in harness of string, awakening the echoes,
as an unruly charger whip-corrected, snorting
and pawing the earth under the plane-tree in
the garden!

Even when there were sounds of sorrow
among the rest, they were not harsh nor cruel.
Even when golden hair, like her own, lay in a
halo on a pillow round the worn face of a little
boy, and he said, with a radiant smile, "Dear
papa and mamma, I am very sorry to leave you
both, and to leave my pretty sister; but I am
called, and I must go!" those were not tears
all of agony that wetted his young mother's
cheek, as the spirit departed from her embrace
that had been entrusted to it. Suffer them
and forbid them not. They see my Father's
face. O Father, blessed words!

Thus, the rustling of an Angel's wings got
blended with the other echoes, and they were
not wholly of earth, but had in them that breath
of Heaven. Sighs of the winds that blew over a
little garden-tomb were mingled with them also,
and both were audible to Lucie, in a hushed
murmurlike the breathing of a summer sea
asleep upon a sandy shoreas the little Lucie,
comically studious at the task of the morning, or
dressing a doll at her mother's footstool,
chattered in the tongues of the Two Cities that were
blended in her life.

The echoes rarely answered to the actual
tread of Sydney Carton. Some half-dozen times
a year, at most, he claimed his privilege of
coming in uninvited, and would sit among them
through the evening as he had once done often.
He never came there, heated with wine. And
one other thing regarding him was whispered in
the echoes, which has been whispered by all
true echoes for ages and ages.

No man ever really loved a woman, lost her,
and knew her with a blameless though an
unchanged mind, when she was a wife and mother,
but her children had a strange sympathy with
himan instinctive delicacy of pity for him.
What fine hidden sensibilities are touched in
such a case, no echoes tell; but, it is so, and it
was so here. Carton was the first stranger to
whom little Lucie held out her chubby arms,
and he kept his place with her as she grew.
The little boy had spoken of him, almost at the
last. "Poor Carton! Kiss him for me!"

Mr. Stryver shouldered his way through the
law, like some great engine forcing itself through
turbid water, and dragged his useful friend in
his wake, like a boat towed astern. As the
boat so favoured is usually in a rough plight

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