“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 Dafarge.
“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 seenor heard. That is your consolation. Keep it.”

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