Charles Dickens

I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising

I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out…

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Your haughty religious people would have held their

Your haughty religious people would have held their heads up to see me as I am tonight, and preached of flames and vengeance,’ cried the girl. ‘Oh, dear lady, why ar’n’t those who claim to be God’s own folks as gentle and as kind to us poor wretches as you, who, having youth, and beauty, and all that they have lost, might be a little proud instead of so much humbler?

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She forgot to be shy at the moment, in honestly

She forgot to be shy at the moment, in honestly warning him away
from the sunken wreck he had a dream of raising; and looked at him
with eyes which assuredly, in association with her patient face,
her fragile figure, her spare dress, and the wind and rain, did not
turn him from his purpose of helping her.

Buried how long?The answer was always the same:

Buried how long?
The answer was always the same: Almost eighteen years.
You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?
Long ago.
You know that you are recalled to life?
They tell me so.
I hope that you care to live?
I can’t say.
Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see her?
The answers to this question were various and contradictory. Sometimes the broken reply was, Wait! It would kill me if I saw her too soon. Sometimes it was given in a tender rain of tears, and then it was, Take me to her. Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, I don’t know her. I don’t understand.
After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy would dig, and dig, dig – to dig this wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek.
Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the hedge of the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of night shadows within. Out of the midst in them, a ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again.
Buried how long?
Almost eighteen years.
I hope you care to live?
I can’t say.
Dig – dig – dig – until an impatient movement from one of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up the window, draw his arm securely through the leather strap, and speculate on the two slumbering life forms, until his mind lost hold of them, and they again slid away into the bank and the grave.
Buried how long?
Almost eighteen years.
You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?
Long ago.
The words were still in his hearing just as spoken – distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in his life – when the weary passenger started to the consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of night were gone.

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