Charles Dickens: “Sadly, sadly, the sun rose”

door Prachtige Pjotr

When his host followed him out on the staircase with a candle, to light him down the stairs, the day was coldly looking in through its grimy windows. When he got out of the house, the air was cold and sad, the dull sky overcast, the river dark and dim, the whole scene like a lifeless desert. And wreaths of dust were spinning around and round before the morning blast, as if the desert-sand had risen far away, and the first spray of it in its advance had begun the overwhelming of the city.

Waste forces within him, and a desert all around, this man stood still on his way across a silent terrace, and saw for a moment, lying in the wilderness before him, a mirage of honourable ambition, self-denial, and perseverance. In a fair city of this vision, there were airy galleries from which the loves and graces looked upon him, gardens in which the fruits of life hung ripening, waters of Hope that sparkled in his sight. A moment, and it was gone. Climbing to a high chamber in a well of houses, he threw himself down in his clothes on a neglected bed, and its pillow was wet with wasted tears.

Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; and 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 upon him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.

Charles Dickens, A tale of two cities, “The Jackal”

Plots treft het hoopvolle licht dan de melancholicus, en wakkert in hem een vuur aan dat veel te lang sluimerde in zijn borst. Sydney Carton is een verstokte, cynische alcoholicus die zijn eigen demonen niet aankan. Een moment, echter, steeg hij uit boven de existentiële doolhof van zijn bestaan en vond een uitweg, maar die verdween al snel uit zicht toen hij in zijn kamer kwam en zich met kleren aan neerplofte op zijn verwaarloosde bed. Het kussen van tranen doordrongen.