I can't remember this 1-2 English sentence extract, but here are the things I can remember it's similar to. I'm pretty sure I read it.

  1. It has something like an a, x, b, y structure but doesn't necessarily rhyme.

  2. It had a formal high epic tone, grave tone, possibly British, or by a writer like Abraham Lincoln or Shakespeare or Robert Frost or Churchill or JFK. Maybe one of the English Romantics.

  3. It is most similar in tone and meaning to this line, which is the last line of the Gettysburg Address...and has this kind of length, but maybe a bit shorter:

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

  4. It sounds like something that would be the last line of a speech, like at the end of a war or a eulogy of a great man.

  5. Laid to rest may be in the line.

  6. The word fine, as in something like "a fine thing to x..."

  7. Part of the parallelism has to do with tenses of the verb, something like: "if there ever is, if there ever was, xxx, there ever would be." (could maybe have some kind of tricolon like "Is x, was x, ever will be" or similar)

  8. It also vaguely seems like the ending of a speech in a Batman or Spider-Man newer movie given in a grave voice but I don’t remember that ever happening.


1 Answer 1


“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.”

This is the famous final line of Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities (full text legally available online), a novel of 1859 whose opening line ("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ...") is equally famous.

This quote has an obvious parallelism; it is written in a formal and grave tone; it comes from the pen of a classic British writer; it's the last line of a speech; the context is that the speaker is about to be executed; the word "fine" is not included, but there's a word beginning with "f" and "a [...] better thing"; and the parallelism does somehow involve tenses of verbs.

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