Sydney Carton
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Quotes for
Sydney Carton (Character)
from A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

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A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
Sydney Carton: It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It's a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.

[after Darnay is acquitted, Jarvis Lorry, Jr. shakes his hand]
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: My boy, never for a moment did I doubt your innocence.
Sydney Carton: So, Mr. Lorry, respectable men of business may speak to Mr. Darnay in public, now he's acquitted.
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: You have mentioned that before, sir. We men of business must think of the house we serve more than ourselves.
Sydney Carton: Yes, yes. Banking, of course, imposes its own restrictions and silences.
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: And, indeed, sir, I don't know that it is any of your business.
Sydney Carton: Oh, bless you, I have no business.
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: And if you had, sir, perhaps you would attend to it.
Sydney Carton: Lord love you, no I wouldn't!

Miss Pross: Mr. Carton, the infant has expressed a desire to say good night to you.
Sydney Carton: The infant's desire shall be gratified immediately, Prossy.
[he goes]
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: I suppose it's none of my business, but I wouldn't allow that fellow to handle a child of mine.
Miss Pross: As to that, you haven't got one... and from the looks of you, you're not likely to have one.

Lucie Manette: You know, Sydney, sometimes it's the part of a friend to criticize, too.
Sydney Carton: Oh, when there's any hope of reformation, yes; but with me, it's hopeless.
Lucie Manette: I don't believe it. I refuse to believe it.
Sydney Carton: Oh, I admit that once when... when I first knew you, the sight of you and your home stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me. I had unformed ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream that ended in nothing, but you inspired it.
Lucie Manette: Must it end in nothing?
Sydney Carton: I'm afraid so. But for that inspiration, and for that dream, I shall always be grateful to you, Lucie.
Lucie Manette: I feel in you still such possibilities.
Sydney Carton: No, they'll never be realized. I am like one who died young.
Lucie Manette: I'll never give up my hopes for you, Sydney. Never.
Sydney Carton: I know myself better. But, this I know, too: I would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you. Will you hold me in your mind as being ardent and sincere in this one thing? Think now and then that there is a man who would give his life to keep a life you love beside you?
Lucie Manette: Thank you, Sydney. God grant that it may never be necessary.

Sydney Carton: Yours is a long life to look back on, Mr. Lorry?
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: I'm 78.
Sydney Carton: Long life... useful one.
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: A solitary bachelor - nobody would weep for me.
Sydney Carton: Wouldn't SHE weep for you?
[refers to Lucie]
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: Yes, thank God. I didn't quite mean what I said.
Sydney Carton: It is a thing to thank God for, isn't it. Tell me, if you looked back on that long life and saw that you had gained neither love, gratitude nor respect of any human being... it would be a bitter reflection, wouldn't it?
Jarvis Lorry Jr.: Why yes, surely.

Sydney Carton: Forgive me if I notice that you are affected. I shouldn't respect your sorrow more if you were my own father. From that misfortune, however, you are free. Indeed, that is one thing to be grateful for, I suppose.

Sydney Carton: My poor child. It isn't understanding we need now. It's courage.
Seamstress: You're going to die in his place. Why?
Sydney Carton: He is my friend.
Seamstress: You're so brave... When we go to the guillotine, will you let me hold your hand? That might give me courage, too.
Sydney Carton: Yes. I'll hold it to the last.
Seamstress: To the last.

Sydney Carton: Keep your eyes on me. Mind nothing else.
Seamstress: I can bear it so long as I'm near you.

Seamstress: You're not afraid. The others are only pretending, but you... it's almost as if you welcomed it.
Sydney Carton: Perhaps I do. Perhaps in death, I receive something I never had in life - I hold a sanctuary in the hearts of those I care for.


A Tale of Two Cities (1980) (TV)
Sydney Carton: 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.