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29+ quotes from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Quotes from A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens ·  489 pages

Rating: (705K votes)


“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“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.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“You have been the last dream of my soul.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“‎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.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. 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.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“There is prodigious strength in sorrow and despair.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“For you, and for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my career were of that better kind that there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. Try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will come, the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be formed about you--ties that will bind you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you so adorn--the dearest ties that will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture of a happy father's face looks up in yours, when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“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.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“A multitude of people and yet a solitude.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Death may beget life, but oppression can beget nothing other than itself.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“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.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“I love your daughter fondly, dearly, disninterestedly, devotedly. If ever there were love in the world, I love her.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop," returned madame; "but don't tell me.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Not knowing how he lost himself, or how he recovered himself, he may never feel certain of not losing himself again.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“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.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; - the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“There is a man who would give his life to keep a life you love beside you.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seeds of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“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...”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“And a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and when many other such things are possible, and not only possible, but done-- done, see you!-- under that sky there, every day.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


“Mr Lorry asks the witness questions:

Ever been kicked?
Might have been.
Frequently? No. Ever kicked down stairs?
Decidedly not; once received a kick at the top of a staircase, and fell down stairs of his own accord.”
― Charles Dickens, quote from A Tale of Two Cities


About the author

Charles Dickens
Born place: in Portsmouth, England
Born date February 7, 1812
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Popular quotes

“And sometimes I believe your relentless analysis of June leaves something out, which is your feeling for her beyond knowledge, or in spite of knowledge. I often see how you sob over what you destroy, how you want to stop and just worship; and you do stop, and then a moment later you are at it again with a knife, like a surgeon.
What will you do after you have revealed all there is to know about June? Truth. What ferocity in your quest of it. You destroy and you suffer. In some strange way I am not with you, I am against you. We are destined to hold two truths. I love you and I fight you. And you, the same. We will be stronger for it, each of us, stronger with our love and our hate. When you caricature and nail down and tear apart, I hate you. I want to answer you, not with weak or stupid poetry but with a wonder as strong as your reality. I want to fight your surgical knife with all the occult and magical forces of the world.”
― Anaïs Nin, quote from Henry and June: From "A Journal of Love"--The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin


“I stand up, trying to shake myself mentally. Get over him, Maggie, I instruct myself. I need to stop. I really do. I want to. I’m going to. I sound like a drug addict. Perhaps there’s a twelve-step program for me. Priest Lovers Anonymous.”
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“Love sees ten million fathoms down, till dazzled by the floor of pearls. The eye is Love's own magic glass, where all things that are not of earth, glide in supernatural light. There are not so many fishes in the sea, as there are sweet images in lovers' eyes. In those miraculous translucencies swim the strange eye-fish with wings, that sometimes leap out, instinct with joy; moist fish-wings wet the lover's cheek. Love's eyes are holy things; therein the mysteries of life are lodged; looking in each other's eyes, lovers see the ultimate secret of the worlds; and with thrills eternally untranslatable, feel that Love is god of all. Man or woman who has never loved, nor once looked deep down into their own lover's eyes, they know not the sweetest and the loftiest religion of this earth. Love is both Creator's and Saviour's gospel to mankind; a volume bound in rose-leaves, clasped with violets, and by the beaks of humming-birds printed with peach-juice on the leaves of lilies.”
― Herman Melville, quote from Pierre: or, the Ambiguities


“Every love's the love before
In a duller dress.”
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“Bad things open your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before.”
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