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The Sidney Carton's Final Speech

Richard Marot


Lingua: Inglese


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This is a kind of extract from Dickens'novel about the beginming of the French Revolution and about the period before that revolution too. But about this final part of the novel I've created a song transforming the sentences as song's verses. This idea comes from my opinion about the final speech pronounced by the main character of the novel. This text is very lyrical and it has a wonderful vision of Peace and Equality which shall appear definitively in a future world, according to the opinion of this great speech. And those are all the reasons why it has very easy to make this song.

( Charles Dickens, the end of his novel "A Tale of Two Cities" )
(Recited Part)

They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the peacefullest man's face ever beheld there. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic.
One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe -- a woman -- had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given any utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these:


I see Barsad and Cly, Defarge, the Vengeance,
The jurymen, the judge, long ranks of the new oppressors
Who have risen on the destruction of the old
Perishing by this retributive instrument
Before it shall cease out of its present use.

I see a beautiful people and a brilliant city
Rising from this abyss and in their struggles
To be truly free 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.

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.

"I see the lives for which I lay down my life,
Peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy,
In that England which I shall see no more.
I see Her with a child upon her bosom,
Who bears my name.

I see her father, aged and bent,
But otherwise restored, and faithful
To all men in his healing office, and at peace.
I see the good old man, so long their friend
In ten years' time enriching them with all he has,
And passing tranquilly to his reward.

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.

"I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts,
And in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence.
I see her, an old woman, weeping for me
On the anniversary of this day.

I see her and her husband, their course done,
Lying side by side in their last earthly bed,
And I know that each was not more honoured
And held sacred in the other's soul,
Than I was in the souls of both.

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.

"I see that child who lay upon her bosom
And who bore my name, a man winning his way up
In that path of life which once was mine.
I see him winning it so well, that
My name is made illustrious there by the light of his.

I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away.
I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men,
Bringing a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know
And golden hair, to this place then fair to look upon,
With not a trace of this day's disfigurement and I hear him
Tell the child my story, with a tender and a faltering voice.

It is a far, far better thing that I do,
Than I have ever done;
And it is a far, far better rest that I go
To than I have ever known.

inviata da C. Viadel - 15/2/2008 - 15:45


Let's not forget that these are the words of a renowned Victorian English author, intent on ennobling a countryman. The subtext is the moral supremacy of the English over 'Les Froggies'.

Harry Koetser - 7/3/2015 - 10:26



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