`Without it, can I not save you, Mr. Carton? Can I not recall you--forgive me again!--to a better course? Can I in no way repay your confidence? I knob this is a confidence,' she modestly said, after a little hesitation, and in earnest tears, `I know you would say this to no one else. Can I turn it to no good account for yourself, Mr. Carton?'
`To none. No, Miss Manette, to none. If you will hear me through a very little more, all you can ever do for me is done. I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul. In my degradation I have not been so degraded but that the sight of you with your father, and of this home made such a home by you, has stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me. Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were silent for ever. I have had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.'
`Will nothing of it remain? O Mr. Carton, think again! Try again!'
`No, Miss Manette; all through it, I have known myself to be quite undeserving. And yet I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire--a fire, however, inseparable in its nature from myself, quickening nothing, lighting nothing, doing no service, idly burning away.'
`Since it is my misfortune, Mr. Carton, to have more unhappy than you were before you knew me--
`Don't say that, Miss Manette, for you would have reclaimed me, if anything could. You will not be the cause of my becoming worse.'
`Since the state of your mind that you describe, is, at all events, attributable to some influence of mine--this is what I mean, if I can make it plain--can I use no influence to serve you? Have I no power for good, with you, at all?'
`The utmost good that I am capable of now, Miss Manette, I have come here to realise. Let me carry through the rest of my misdirected life, the remembrance that I opened my heart to you, last of all the world; and that there was something left in me at this time which you could deplore and pity.'