"It Is A Far, Far Better Thing That I Do, Than I Have Ever Done"
Context: In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens employs a typically complex plot to show the horror of the French Revolution. Charles Darnay, freed in an English court for treason where Lucie Manette testifies and where he is released because of his resemblance to Sydney Carton, his lawyer's helper, marries Lucie. Carton, an alcoholic who is a "man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise," also loves Lucie and pledges that he will always be willing to give his life to preserve any life that she loves. Later, Darnay, inheritor of the St. Evrémonde title in France and wrongly sentenced to the guillotine, awaits death. To fulfill his pledge, Carton succeeds in entering the prison, drugging Darnay, and taking his place as the condemned man. Dying peacefully, Carton might have said of his death:
"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."