I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

Sydney Carton, or, What I Did For Love

tale of two citiesKiss today good-bye, the sweetness and the sorrow.

Q:  I know the answer to this, but I must ask it anyway– “Why did you do it?”

SC: I explained it in the note. It needs no further explanation.

Q:  The note?  To what note are you referring?

SC:  The note I dictated to Darnay.

Q: But you told him to address it to no one.  You instructed him not to even date it.

SC: The one for whom it was intended would know and the date was irrelevant.

Q: Remind me what the note said.

SC: “If you remember 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 your nature to forget them. I am thankful that the time has come when I can prove them.  That I do so is no subject for regret or grief.”

But I can’t regret what I did for love, what I did for love.  Look my eyes are dry.

Q: Is that all it said?

SC:  There’s more. “If it had been otherwise, I never should have used the longer opportunity.  If it had been otherwise, I should but have had so much the more to answer for.  If it had been otherwise…”

Q: Still more?

SC: No, Darnay was unable to continue and I wanted it to be written in his hand.

Kiss today good-bye, and point me toward tomorrow.  …  Won’t forget, can’t regret what I did for love.

Q: So, just so we’re all clear, tell us for whom the note was intended.

SC:  It is so obvious.

Q: For those who haven’t read the book, I mean.  Explain.

SC: For those who haven’t read the book, the words would and should mean nothing.  To take a note such as that out of context destroys the meaning.  It would be like those who know my last words, but do not know what events lead up to them.

Q: And what are your last words?

SC: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done;  it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

Q: And to what do they refer?

SC: Read the book.  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Love. Love is never gone. As we travel on, love’s what we’ll remember.


Thank you to today’s Daily Prompt: The Interview which suggested we interview our favorite fictional character.  Mine, most definitely, is Sydney Carton.  If you’ve never read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, you must.

The song lyrics interposed are from A Chorus Line‘s “What I Did For Love.”


7 comments on “Sydney Carton, or, What I Did For Love

  1. angloswiss
    May 15, 2013

    One of my favourite Dickens novels.

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  7. marymtf
    May 18, 2013

    I like Dickens. It’s slow going as are the novels of his time, but they are worthwhile reads once you get the hang of the style. I must admit that when I first read Tale of Two Cities I thought that Sydney Carton was romantic when I first read the story, now that I am older and feel that every minute I’m here on earth is precious, I’ve changed my mind, I think he’s a dope. Good interview, though. 🙂

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