"You are faint of heart to-night my dear!"
"Well, then," said Defarge, as if a thought were wrung out of his breast, "it is a long time."
"It is a long time," repeated his wife; "and when is it not a long time? Vengeance and retribution require a long tim; it is the rule."
"It does not take a long time to trike a man with Lightning," said Defarge.
"How long," demanded madame, composedly, "does it take to make and store the lightning? Tell me."
Defarge raised his head thoughtfully, as if there were something in that too.
"It does not take a long time," said madame, "for an earthquake to swallow a town. Eh well! Tell me how long it takes to prepare the earthquake?"
"A long time, I suppose," said Defarge.
"But when it is ready, it takes place, and grinds to pieces everything before it. In the meantime, it is always preparing, though it is not seen or heard. That is your consolation. Keep it."
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Book the Second, ch. XVI