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Charles Dickens 

of Two Cities 


Introduction by 
G. K. Chesterton 

Dickens took down from his Shelves 
Carlyle's French Revolution, digested it 
whole, then proceeded to write what 
G. K. Chesterton calls (and many will 
agree with him after reading this book) 
'Dickens's French Revolution', which 'is 
probably more like the real French 
Revolution than Carlyle's'. 

Few romances of those historic days can 
compete with the rich panorama of life 
presented here. Tor all its blood and its 
black guillotines the French Revolution 
was full of mere high spirits.' Dickens 
gained his sense of period through his 
old trick of discovering such high spirits, 
and he wrote about it with gusto: yet A 
Tale of Two Cities is unlike any other book 
of Dickens's. There is a London, 
ominously calm, sensing events across 
the water, the very breezes about her 
streets carrying with them an almost 
perceptible excitement of the mob 
singing and dancing the Carmagnole. 
There is a fevered Paris, where the creak 
and groan of the tumbrils rise above the 
chatter of the women who knit at the 
foot of 'Madame Guillotine'. Above all 
looms the singular figure of Sydney 
Carton, silent, dominant, passively 
observant, who unites the story in both 

Jacket illustration is a detail showing the storming 
of the Bastille, reproduced by courtesy of the 
Fotomas Index 





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EVERYMAN, I will go with thee, 

and be thy guide, 
In thy most need to go by thy side 


Born at Landport (Portsea), near Ports- 
mouth, 1812. From the humblest begin- 
nings became a parliamentary reporter, and 
so entered journalism. Went to America in 
1842 and 1867-8, and to Italy in 1844. First 
editor of the Daily News, 1846. Founded 
Household Words (later restarted as All the 
Year Round) in 1849. Died at Gad's Hill, 
Kent, 9th June 1870. 


A Tale of Two Cities 






BRONX, N. Y. 10453 

Dent: London and Melbourne 

All rights reserved 

Printed in Great Britain by 

Biddies Ltd, Guildford, Surrey for 

J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd 

Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London WiM 8LX 

This edition was first published in 

Everyman's Library in 1906 

Last reprinted 1983 

This book if bound as a paperback is 

subject to the condition that it may 

not be issued on loan or otherwise 

except in its original binding 

No 102 Hardback ISBN o 460 10102 i 
No 1 102 Paperback ISBN o 460 01102 2 


As an example of Dickens 's literary work, A Tale of Two 
Cities is not wrongly named. It is his most typical con- 
tact with the civil ideals of Europe. All his other tales 
have been tales of one city. He was in spirit a Cockney; 
though that title has been quite unreasonably twisted to 
mean a cad. By the old sound and proverbial test a 
Cockney was a man born within the sound of Bow bells. 
That is, he was a man born within the immediate appeal of 
high civilization and of eternal religion. Shakespeare, in 
the heart of his fantastic forest, turns with a splendid 
suddenness to the Cockney ideal as being the true one after 
all. For a jest, for a reaction, for an idle summer love or 
still idler summer hatred, it is well to wander away into the 
bewildering forest of Arden. It is well that those who are 
sick with love or sick with the absence of love, those who 
weary of the folly of courts or weary yet more of their 
wisdom, it is natural that these should trail away into the 
twinkling twilight of the woods. Yet it is here that 
Shakespeare makes one of his most arresting and startling 
assertions of the truth. Here is one of those rare ana 
tremendous moments of which one may say that there is a 
stage direction, 'Enter Shakespeare.' He has admitted 
that for men weary of courts, for men sick of cities, the 
wood is the wisest place, and he has praised it with his 
purest lyric ecstasy. But when a man enters suddenly 
upon that celestial picnic, a man who is not sick of cities, 
but sick of hunger, a man who is not weary of courts, but 
weary of walking, then Shakespeare lets through his own 
voice with a shattering sincerity and crys the praise of 
practical human civilization: 

If ever you have looked on better days. 
If ever you have sat at good men's feasts, 
If ever been where bells have knolled to church. 
If ever from your eyelids wiped a tear 
Or know what 'tis to pity and be pitied. 


vi A Tale of Two Cities 

There is nothing finer even in Shakespeare than that 
conception of the circle of rich men all pretending to rough 
it in the country, and the one really hungry man entering, 
sword in hand, and praising the city. ' If ever been where 
bells have knolled to church/ If you have ever been 
within sound of Bow bells; if you have ever been happy 
and haughty enough to call yourself a Cockney. 

We must remember this distinction always in the case 
of Dickens. Dickens is the great Cockney, at once tragic 
and comic, who enters abruptly upon the Arcadian banquet 
of the aesthetics and says, 'Forbear and eat no more.* 
And tells them that they shall not eat 'until necessity be 
served/ If there was one thing he would have favoured 
instinctively it would have been the spreading of the town 
as meaning the spreading of civilization. And we should 
(I hope) all favour the spreading of the town if it did mean 
the spreading of civilization. The objection to the spread- 
ing of the modern Manchester or Birmingham suburb is 
simply that such a suburb is much more barbaric than any 
village in Europe could ever conceivably be. And again, 
if there is anything that Dickens would have definitely 
hated it is that general treatment of nature as a dramatic 
spectacle, a piece of scene-painting which has become the 
common mark of the culture of our wealthier classes. 
Despite many fine pictures of natural scenery, especially 
along the English road sides, he was upon the whole 
emphatically on the side of the town. He was on the side 
of bricks and mortar. He was a citizen; and, after all, a 
citizen means a man of the city. His strength was, after 
all, in the fact that he was a man of the city. But, after 
all, his weakness, his calamitous weakness, was that he was 
a man of one city. 

For all practical purposes he had never been outside 
such places as Chatham and London. He did indeed 
travel on the Continent; but surely no man's travel was 
ever so superficial as his. He was more superficial than 
the smallest and commonest tourist. He went about 
Europe on stilts; he never touched the ground. There is 
one good test and only one of whether a man has travelled 
to any profit in Europe. An Englishman is, as such, a 
European, and as he approaches the central splendours of 

Introduction vii 

Europe he ought to feel that he is coming home. If he 
does not feel at home he had much better have stopped at 
home. England is a real home; London is a real home; 
and all the essential feelings of adventure or the picturesque 
can easily be gained by going out at night upon the flats of 
Essex or the cloven hills of Surrey. Your visit to Europe 
is useless unless it gives you the sense of an exile returning. 
Your first sight of Rome is futile unless you feel that you 
have seen it before. Thus useless and thus futile were the 
foreign experiments and the continental raids of Dickens. 
He enjoyed them as he would have enjoyed, as a boy, a 
scamper out of Chatham into some strange meadows, as he 
would have enjoyed, when a grown man, a steam in a police 
boat out into the Fens to the far East of London. But he 
was the Cockney venturing far; he was not the European 
coming home. He is still the splendid Cockney Orlando 
of whom I spoke above; he cannot but suppose that any 
strange men, being happy in some pastoral way, are mysteri- 
ous foreign scoundrels. Dickens 's real speech to the lazy 
and laughing civilization of Southern Europe would really 
have run in the Shakespearian words: 

but whoe'er you be 
Who in this desert inaccessible, 
Under the shade of melancholy boughs 
Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time. 
If ever you have looked on better things, 
If ever been where bells have knolled to church. 

If, in short, you have ever had the advantage of being 
born within the sound of Bow bells. Dickens could not 
really conceive that there was any other city but his 

It is necessary thus to insist that Dickens never under- 
stood the Continent, because only thus can we appreciate 
the really remarkable thing he did in A Tale of Two 
Cities. It is necessary to feel, first of all, the fact that to 
him London was the centre of the universe. He did not 
understand at all the real sense in which Paris is the capital 
of Europe. He had never realized that all roads led to 
Rome. He had never felt (as an Englishman can feel) that 
he was an Athenian before he was a Londoner. Yet with 
everything against him he did this astonishing thing. He 

viii A Tale of Two Cities 

wrote a book about two cities, one of which he understood , 
the other he did not understand. And his description oi 
the city he did not know is almost better than his descrip- 
tion of the city he did know. This is the entrance of the 
unquestionable thing about Dickens; the thing called 
genius ; the thing which every one has to talk about directly 
and distinctly because no one knows what it is. Foi 
a plain word (as for instance the word fool) always covers 
an infinite mystery. 

A Tale of Two Cities is one of the more tragic tints of 
the later life of Dickens. It might be said that he grew 
sadder as he grew older; but this would be false, for two 
reasons. First, a man never or hardly ever does grow sad 
as he grows old; on the contrary, the most melancholy 
young lovers can be found forty years afterwards chuck- 
ling over their port wine. And second, Dickens never did 
grow old, even in a physical sense. What weariness did 
appear in him appeared in the prime of life; it was due 
not to age but to overwork, and his exaggerative way of 
doing everything. To call Dickens a victim of elderly 
disenchantment would be as absurd as to say the same of 
Keats. Such fatigue as there was, was due not to the 
slowing down of his blood, but rather to its unremitting 
rapidity. He was not wearied by his age; rather he was 
wearied by his youth. And though A Tale of Two Cities 
is full of sadness, it is full also of enthusiasm; that pathos 
is a young pathos rather than an old one. Yet there is one 
circumstance which does render important the fact that 
A Tale of Two Cities is one of the later works of Dickens. 
This fact is the fact of his dependence upon another of the 
great writers of the Victorian era. And it is in connection 
with this that we can best see the truth of which I have 
been speaking; the truth that his actual ignorance of 
France went with amazing intuitive perception of the 
truth about it. It is here that he has most clearly the 
plain mark of the man of genius; that he can understand 
what he does not understand. 

Dickens was inspired to the study of the French Revolu- 
tion and to the writing of a romance about it by the 
example and influence of Carlyle. Thomas Carlyle un- 
doubtedly rediscovered for Englishmen the Revolution 

I I 

Introduction ix 

that was at the back of all their policies and reforms. It 
is an entertaining side joke that the French Revolution 
should have been discovered for Britons by the only 
British writer who did not really believe in it. Neverthe- 
less, the most authoritative and the most recent critics on 
that great renaissance agree in considering Carlyle's work 
one of the most searching and detailed power. Carlyle 
had read a great deal about the French Revolution. 
Dickens had read nothing at all, except Carlyle. Carlyle 
was a man who collected his ideas by the careful collation 
of documents and the verification of references. Dickens 
was a man who collected his ideas from loose hints in the 
streets, and those always the same streets; as I have said, 
he was the citizen of one city. Carlyle was in his way 
learned; Dickens was in every way ignorant. Dickens 
was an Englishman cut off from France; Carlyle was a 
Scotsman, historically connected with France. And yet, 
when all this is said and certified, Dickens is more right 
than Carlyle. Dickens's French Revolution is probably 
more like the real French Revolution than Carlyle's. It is 
difficult, if not impossible, to state the grounds of this strong 
conviction. One can only talk of it by employing that 
excellent method which Cardinal Newman employed when 
he spoke of the 'Notes' of Catholicism. There were 
certain 'notes' of the Revolution. One note of the Revolu- 
tion was the thing which silly people call optimism, and 
sensible people call high spirits. Carlyle could never 
quite get it, because with all his spiritual energy he had no 
high spirits. That is why he preferred prose to poetry. 
He could understand rhetoric; for rhetoric means singing 
with an object. But he could not understand lyrics; for 
the lyric means singing without an object; as every one 
does when he is happy. Now for all its blood and its black 
guillotines, the French Revolution was full of mere high 
spirits. Nay, it was full of happiness. This actual lilt 
and levity Carlyle never really found in the Revolution, 
because he could not find it in himself. Dickens knew 
less of the Revolution, but he had more of it. When 
Dickens attacked abuses, he battered them down with 
exactly that sort of cheery and quite one-sided satisfaction 
with which the French mob battered down the Bastille. 

x A Tale of Two Cities 

Dickens utterly and innocently believed in certain things; 
he would, I think, have drawn the sword for them. Car- 
lyle half believed in half a hundred things; he was at once 
more of a mystic and more of a sceptic. Carlyle was the 
perfect type of the grumbling servant; the old grumbling 
servant of the aristocratic comedies. He followed the 
aristocracy, but he growled as he followed. He was 
obedient without being servile, just as Caleb Balderstone 
was obedient without being servile. But Dickens was the 
type of the man who might really have rebelled instead of 
grumbling. He might have gone out into the street and 
fought, like the men who took the Bastille. It is some- 
what nationally significant that when we talk of the man in 
the street it means a figure silent, slouching, and even 
feeble. When the French speak of the man in the street, 
it means blood in the street. 

No one can fail to notice this deep difference between 
Dickens and the Carlyle whom he avowedly copied. 
Splendid and symbolic as are Carlyle 's scenes of the French 
Revolution, we have in reading them a curious sense 
that everything is happening at night. In Dickens even 
massacre happens by daylight. Carlyle always assumes 
that because things were tragedies therefore the men who 
did them felt tragic. Dickens knows that the man who 
works the worst tragedies is the man who feels comic; as 
for example, Mr. Quilp. The French Revolution was a 
much simpler world than Carlyle could understand; for 
Carlyle was subtle and not simple. Dickens could under- 
stand it, for he was simple and not subtle. He under- 
stood that plain rage against plain political injustice; he 
understood again that obvious vindictiveness and that 
obvious brutality which followed. 'Cruelty and the 
abuse of absolute power,' he told an American slave 
owner, 'are two of the bad passions of human nature.' 
Carlyle was quite incapable of rising to the height of that 
uplifted common sense. He must always find something 
mystical about the cruelty of the French Revolution. The 
effect was equally bad whether he found it mystically bad 
and called the thing anarchy, or whether he found it 
mystically good and called it the rule of the strong. In 
both cases he could not understand the commonsense 

Select Bibliography xi 

justice or the commonsense vengeance of Dickens and the 
French Revolution. 

Yet Dickens has in this book given a perfect and final 
touch to this whole conception of mere rebellion and mere 
human nature. Carlyle had written the story of the French 
Revolution and had made the story a mere tragedy. 
Dickens writes the story about the French Revolution, and 
does not make the Revolution itself the tragedy at all. 
Dickens knows that an outbreak is seldom a tragedy; 
generally it is the avoidance of a tragedy. All the real 
tragedies are silent. Men fight each other with furious 
cries, because men fight each other with chivalry and an 
unchangeable sense of brotherhood. But trees fight each 
other in utter stillness; because they fight each other 
cruelly and without quarter. In this book, as in history, 
the guillotine is not the calamity, but rather the solution 
of the calamity. The sin of Sydney Carton is a sin of habit, 
not of Revolution. His gloom is the gloom of London, not 
the gloom of Paris. And he is never so happy as he is 
when his head is being cut off. 



WORKS. Sketches by Boz, 1835, 2nd series, 1836 (from Monthly Maga- 
zine, Morning Chronicle, Evening Chronicle, Bell's Life in London, and 
The Library of Fiction); Sunday under Three Heads, etc., 1836; The 
Village Coquettes, comic opera, 1836; The Strange Gentleman, comic 
burletta, 1837; Is she his Wife? or Something Singular?, comic burletta, 
1837; Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, monthly numbers, 1836- 
1837; Mudfog Papers (Bentley's Miscellany), 1837-9; Memoirs of Joseph 
Grimaldi, edited by Boz, 1838 ; Oliver Twist, or the Parish Boy's Progress, 
1838 (from Bentley's Miscellany); Sketches of Young Gentlemen, 1838; 
Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, monthly numbers, 1838-9; 
Sketches of Young Couples, etc., 1840; Master Humphrey's Clock, 
weekly numbers, 1840-1; volume form, 1840, 1841 (Old Curiosity Shop, 
Barnaby Rudge); The Pic-nic Papers (preface and first story), 1841; 
American Notes for General Circulation, 1842; A Christmas Carol in 
Prose, 1843; The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, monthly 
numbers, 1843-4; The Chimes: a Goblin Story of some Bells, etc., 1844; 
The Cricket on the Hearth: a Fairy Tale of Home, 1845; Pictures from 
Italy, 1846 (from Daily News); The Battle of Life: a Love Story, 1846; 
Dealings with the Firm of Dombey & Son, etc., monthly numbers, 1846- 
1848; The Haunted Man, and the Ghost's Bargain, 1848; The Personal 
History of David Copperfield, monthly numbers, 1849-50; Christmas 

xii A Tale of Two Cities 

Stories in Household Words and All the Year Round, 1850-67; Bleak 
House, monthly numbers, 1852-3; A Child's History of England, 1854 
(from Household Words); Hard Times for these Times, 1854 (from House- 
hold Words); Little Dorrit, monthly numbers, 1855-7; A Tale of Two 
Cities, 1859 (from All the Year Round); Great Expectations, 1861 (from 
All the Year Round); Our Mutual Friend, monthly numbers, 1864-5; 
Religious Opinions of the late Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend, ed. C. D., 
1869; 'Lander's Life', last contribution to All the Year Round; The 
Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished), in monthly numbers, April to 
September 1870. 

The Uncollected Writings of Charles Dickens from Household Words, 
i8jo-}?, ed. H. Stone, 1969. Other papers were contributed to All the 
Year Round. 

COLLECTED WORKS, i? vols., 1847-68; 'Charles Dickens' ed. 21 vols., 
1867-74; Gadshill edition, ed. A. Lang, 36 vols., 1897-1908; Every- 
man's Library, 22 vols., 1906-21; The Nonesuch Dickens, ed. A. 
Waugh, W. Dexter, et al., 23 vols., 1937-8; New Oxford Illustrated 
Dickens, 1948-58. The definitive Clarendon Dickens series is in progress 
(Oliver Twist, ed. Kathleen Tillotson, 1966). 

LETTERS AND SPEECHES. Letters, edv Georgina Hogarth and Mamie 
Dickens, 3 vols., 1880-2; ed. VV. Dexter, 3 vols., 1938; E. Johnson, 
Letters from Charles Dickens to Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1933; ed. K. J. 
Fielding, Charles Dickens: Speeches, 1960; ed. Madeline House and G. 
Storey, The Letters of Charles Dickens, vol. i, 1965, vol. 2, 1969, vol. 3 in 

BIOGRAPHY. J. Forster, Life of Charles Dickens, 3 vols., 1872-4 (new 
edition, ed. J. W. T. Ley, 1928); 'Everyman' edition 1927, augmented, 
and with notes and an appendix by A. J. Hoppe*, 2 vols., 1969. 

G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens, 1906; J. W. T. Ley, The Dickens 
Circle: The Novelist's Friendships, 1919; Sir H. F. Dickens, Memories of 
My Father, 1928; E. Johnson, Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph, 
2 vols., 1952 (1970); K. J. Fielding, Charles Dickens, 1958, second ed. 
1965; J. B. Priestley, Charles Dickens, 1961; I. Brown, Dickens in His 
Time, 1963 ; C. Hibbert, The Making of Charles Dickens, 1967; A. Wilson, 
The World of 'Charles Dickens, 1970; N. and J. Mackenzie, Dickens: 
A Life, 1979; Michael Slater, Dickens and Women, 1983. 

CRITICISM. G. Gissing, Charles Dickens, a Critical Study, 1898; G. K. 
Chesterton, Criticisms and Appreciation of the Works of Charles Dickens, 
1911 ; George Orwell in his Inside the Whale 1940; A. O. J. Cockshut, The 
Imagination of Charles Dickens, 1965 ; R. Garis, The Dickens Theatre, 1965 ; 
G. H. Ford and L. Lane (eds.), Dickens Critics, 1967; A. E. Dyson (ed.), 
Dickens: A Selection of Critical Essays, 1968; C. Monod, Dickens the 
Novelist, 1968; B. N. Schilling (ed.), Comic World of Dickens, 1969; C. 
Wing, Dickens, 1969; Centenary number of The Dickensian, 'Dickens and 
Fame, iSyo-igjo: Essays on the Author's Reputation', vol. 66, No. 361, 
May 1970; A. E. Dyson, The Inimitable Dickens: A Reading of the Novels, 
1970; M. Slater (ed.), Dickens iqjo: Centenary Essays, 1970: E. W. F. 
Tomkin, Charles Dickens: 18121870: Centenary Volume, 1970; F. R. and 
Q. D. Leavis, Dickens the Novelist, 1970; P. Collins (ed.), Dickens, Critical 
Heritage Series, 1971; A. H. Gomme, Dickens, Literature in Perspective 
Series, 1971; John Carey, The Violent Effigy: A Study of Dickens's 
Imagination, 1973. 

The Dickensian, a magazine founded in 1905, is published three times 



Introduction by G. K. Chesterton . . v 


I. THE PERIOD ...... i 

II. THE MAIL ...... 4 


V. THE WINE SHOP . . . . .25 




II. A SIGHT ...... 54 


V. THE JACKAL ...... 80 




IX. THE GORGON'S HEAD . . . .113 

X. Two PROMISES . . . . .125 





XV. KNITTING . . . . . .159 


xiv A Tale of Two Cities 


XVI. STILL KNITTING . . . . . 171 



XIX. AN OPINION ...... 193 

XX. A PLEA 201 






I. IN SECRET ...... 241 


III. THE SHADOW ...... 259 

IV. CALM IN STORM ..... 264 
V. THE WOOD-SAWYER .... 270 

VI. TRIUMPH ...... 276 


VIII. A HAND AT CARDS ..... 288 

IX. THE GAME MADE ..... 301 


XI. DUSK ....... 328 

XII. DARKNESS ...... 332 

XIII. FIFTY-TWO . . . . . . 341 





IT was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the 
age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch 
of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season 
of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of 
hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything 
before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going 
direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way 
in short, the period was so far like the present period, that 
some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, 
for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison 

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a 
plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king 
with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne 
of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to 
the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that 
things in general were settled for ever. 

It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to 
England at that favoured period, as at this. Mrs. Southcott 
had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birth- 
day, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had 
heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that 
arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and 
Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only 
a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the 
spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient 
in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the 
earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown 
and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: 
which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the 


2 A Tale of Two Cities 

human race than any communications yet received through 
any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood. 

France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual 
than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with ex- 
ceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and 
spending it. Under the guidance of her Christian pastors, 
she entertained herself, besides, with such humane achieve- 
ments as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, 
his tongue torn out with pincers, and his body burned 
alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do 
honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within 
his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is 
likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and 
Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was 
put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to 
come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain 
movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible 
in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses 
of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacant to Paris, there 
were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts 
bespattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and 
roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already 
set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that 
Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, 
work silently, and no one heard them as they went about 
with muffled tread: the rather, forasmuch as to entertain 
any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical 
and traitorous. 

In England, there was scarcely an amount of order and 
protection to justify much national boasting. Daring burg- 
laries by armed men, and highway robberies, took place in 
the capital itself every night ; families were publicly cautioned 
not to go out of town without removing their furniture to 
upholsterers' warehouses for security; the highwayman in 
the dark was a City tradesman in the light, and, being 
recognized and challenged by his fellow-tradesman whom he 
stopped in his character of 'the Captain,' gallantly shot 
him through the head and rode away ; the mail was waylaid 
by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and then 
got shot dead himself by the other four, 'in consequence of 
the failure of his ammunition' : after which the mail was 

The Period 3 

robbed in peace ; that magnificent potentate, the Lord Mayor 
of London, was made to stand and deliver on Turnham 
Green, by one highwayman, who despoiled the illustrious 
creature in sight of all his retinue; prisoners in London 
jails fought battles with their turnkeys, and the majesty of 
the law fired blunderbusses in among them, loaded with 
rounds of shot and ball ; thieves snipped off diamond crosses 
from the necks of noble lords at Court drawing-rooms; 
musketeers went into St. Giles's, to search for contraband 
goods, and the mob fired on the musketeers, and the 
musketeers fired on the mob, and nobody thought any of 
these occurrences much out of the common way. In the 
midst of them, the hangman, ever busy and ever worse than 
useless, was in constant requisition; now, stringing up 
long rows of miscellaneous criminals ; now, hanging a house- 
breaker on Saturday who had been taken on Tuesday ; now, 
burning people in the hand at Newgate by the dozen, and 
now burning pamphlets at the door of Westminster Hall; 
to-day, taking the life of an atrocious murderer, and to- 
morrow of the wretched pilferer who had robbed a farmer's 
boy of sixpence. 

All these things, and a thousand like them, came to pass 
in and close upon the dear old year one thousand seven 
hundred and seventy-five. Environed by them, while the 
Woodman and the Farmer worked unheeded, those two of 
the large jaws, and those other two of the plain and the fair 
faces, trod with stir enough, and carried their divine rights 
with a high hand. Thus did the year one thousand seven 
hundred and seventy-five conduct their Greatnesses, and 
myriads of small creatures the creatures of this chronicle 
among the rest along the roads that lay before them. 

A Tale of Two Cities 



IT was the Dover road that lay, on a Friday night, late in 
November, before the first of the persons with whom this 
history has business. The Dover road lay, as to him, 
beyond the Dover mail, as it lumbered up Shooter's Hill. 
He walked uphill in the mire by the side of the mail, as the 
rest of the passengers did; not because they had the least 
relish for walking exercise, under the circumstances, but 
because the hill, and the harness, and the mud, and the 
mail, were all so heavy, that the horses had three times 
already come to a stop, besides once drawing the coach 
across the road, with the mutinous intent of taking it back 
to Blackheath. Reins and whip and coachman and guard, 
however, in combination, had read that article of war which 
forbade a purpose otherwise strongly in favour of the argu- 
ment, that some brute animals are endued with Reason ; and 
the team had capitulated and returned to their duty. 

With drooping 'heads and tremulous tails, they mashed 
their way through the thick mud, floundering and stumbling 
between whiles, as if they were falling to pieces at the 
larger joints. As often as the driver rested them and brought 
them to a stand, with a wary 'Wo-ho! so-ho then!' the 
near leader violently shook his head and everything upon it 
like an unusually emphatic horse, denying that the coach 
could be got up the hill. Whenever the leader made this 
rattle, the passenger started, as a nervous passenger might, 
and was disturbed in mind. 

There was a steaming mist hi all the hollows, and it had 
roamed in its forlornness up the hill, like an evil spirit, 
seeking rest and finding none. A clammy and intensely 
cold mist, it made its slow way through the air in ripples 
that visibly followed and overspread one another, as the 
waves of an unwholesome sea might do. It was dense 
enough to shut out everything from the light of the coach- 
lamps but these its own workings, and a few yards of road ; 
and the reek of the labouring horses steamed into it, as if 
they had made it all. 

The Mail 5 

Two other passengers, besides the one, were plodding up 
the hill by the side of the mail. All three were wrapped to 
the cheek-bones and over the ears, and wore jack-boots. 
Not one of the three could have said, from anything he saw, 
what either of the other two was like ; and each was hidden 
under almost as many wrappers from the eyes of the mind, 
as from the eyes of the body, of his two companions. In 
those days, travellers were very shy of being confidential on 
a short notice, for anybody on the road might be a robber 
or in league with robbers. As to the latter, when every 
posting-house and ale-house could produce somebody in 
'the Captain's' pay, ranging from the landlord to the lowest 
stable nondescript, it was the likeliest thing upon the cards. 
So the guard of the Dover mail thought to himself, that 
Friday night in November, one thousand seven hundred and 
seventy-five, lumbering up Shooter's Hill, as he stood on his 
own particular perch behind the mail, beating his feet, and 
keeping an eye and a hand on the arm-chest before him, 
where g. loaded blunderbuss lay at the top of six or eight 
loaded horse-pistols, deposited on a substratum of cutlass. 

The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that the 
guard suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected 
one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody 
else, and the coachman was sure of nothing but the horses; 
as to which cattle he could with a clear conscience have 
taken his oath on the two Testaments that they were not fit 
for the journey. 

' Who-ho ! ' said the coachman. * So, then ! One more 
pull and you're at the top and be damned to you, for I have 
had trouble enough to get you to it ! Joe 1 ' 

' Halloa ! ' the guard replied. 

'What o'clock do you make it, Joe?' 

'Ten minutes, good, past eleven.' 

'My blood!' ejaculated the vexed coachman, 'and not 
atop of Shooter's yet! Tst! Yah! Get on with you !' 

The emphatic horse, cut short by the whip in a most 
decided negative, made a decided scramble for it, and the 
three other horses followed suit. Once more, the Dover 
mail struggled on, with the jack- boots of its passengers 
squashing along by its side. They had stopped when the 
coach stopped, and they kept close company with it. If 

6 A Tale of Two Cities 

any one of the three had had the hardihood to propose to 
another to walk on a little ahead into the mist and darkness, 
he would have put himself in a fair way of getting shot 
instantly as a highwayman. 

The last burst carried the mail to the summit of the hill. 
The horses stopped to breathe again, and the guard got 
down to skid the wheel for the descent, and open the coach 
door to let the passengers in. 

'Tstl Joe!' cried the coachman in a warning voice, 
looking down from his box. 

'What do you say, Tom?' 

They both listened. 

' I say a horse at a canter coming up, Joe.' 

'/ say a horse at a gallop, Tom,' returned the guard, 
leaving his hold of the door, and mounting nimbly to his 
place. 'Gentlemen! In the king's name, all of you!' 

With this hurried adjuration, he cocked his blunderbuss, 
and stood on the offensive. 

The passenger booked by this history, was on the coach- 
step, getting in ; the other two passengers were close behind 
him, and about to follow. He remained on the step, half 
in the coach and half out of; they remained in the road 
below him. They all looked from the coachman to the 
guard, and from the guard to the coachman, and listened. 
The coachman looked back and the guard looked back, and 
even the emphatic leader pricked up his ears and looked 
back, without contradicting. 

The stillness consequent on the cessation of the rumb- 
ling and labouring of the coach, added to the stillness of 
the night, made it very quiet indeed. The panting of the 
horses communicated a tremulous motion to the coach, as 
if it were in a state of agitation. The hearts of the pas- 
sengers beat loud enough perhaps to be heard; but at 
any rate, the quiet pause was audibly expressive of people 
out of breath, and holding the breath, and having the pulses 
quickened by expectation. 

The sound of a horse at a gallop came fast and furiously 
up the hill. 

'So-ho!' the guard sang out, as loud as he could roar. 
' Yo there ! Stand 1 I shall fire ! ' 

The pace was suddenly checked, and, with much splashing 

The Mail 7 

and floundering, a man's voice called from the mist, 'Is 
that the Dover mail ? ' 

'Never you mind what it is,' the guard retorted. 'What 
are you ? ' 

' Is that the Dover mail ? ' 

' Why do you want to know ? * 

' I want a passenger, if it is.' 

' What passenger ? ' 

'Mr. Jarvis Lorry.' 

Our booked passenger showed in a moment that it was 
his name. The guard, the coachman, and the two other 
passengers eyed him distrustfully. 

'Keep where you are,' the guard called to the voice in 
the mist, 'because, if I should make a mistake, it could 
never be set right in your lifetime. Gentleman of the name 
of Lorry answer straight.' 

' What is the matter ? ' asked the passenger, then, with 
mildly quavering speech. ' Who wants me ? Is it Jerry ? ' 

('I don't like Jerry's voice, if it is Jerry,' growled the 
guard to himself. 'He 's hoarser than suits me, is Jerry.') 

'Yes, Mr. Lorry.' 

' What is the matter ? ' 

'A dispatch sent after you from over yonder. T. and Co.' 

'I know this messenger, guard,' said Mr. Lorry, getting 
down into the road assisted from behind more swiftly 
than politely by the other two passengers, who immediately 
scrambled into the coach, shut the door, and pulled up the 
window. 'He may come close; there 's nothing wrong.' 

'I hope there ain't, but can't make so 'Nation sure of 
that,' said the guard, in gruff soliloquy. 'Hallo you!' 

' Well 1 And hallo you 1 ' said Jerry, more hoarsely than 

' Come on at a footpace ! d'ye mind me ? And if you 've 
got holsters to that saddle o' yourn, don't let me see your 
hand go nigh 'em. For I 'm a devil at a quick mistake, and 
when I make one it takes the form of Lead. So now let 's 
look at you.' 

The figures of a horse and rider came slowly through the 
eddying mist, and came to the side of the mail, where the 
passenger stood. The rider stooped, and, casting up his 
eyes at the guard, handed the passenger a small folded 

8 A Tale of Two Cities 

paper. The rider's horse was blown, and both horse and 
rider were covered with mud, from the hoofs of the horse to 
the hat of the man. 

' Guard ! ' said the passenger, in a tone of quiet business 

The watchful guard, with his right hand at the stock of 
his raised blunderbuss, his left at the barrel, and his eye on 
the horseman, answered curtly, 'Sir.' 

'There is nothing to apprehend. I belong to Tellson's 
Bank. You must know Tellson's Bank in London. I am 
going to Paris on business. A crown to drink. I may read 
this ? ' 

' If so be as you 're quick, sir.' 

He opened it in the light of the coach lamp on that side, 
and read first to himself and then aloud: '"Wait at Dover 
for Mam'selle." It 's not long, you see, guard. Jerry, say 
that my answer was, RECALLED TO LIFE.' 

Jerry started in his saddle. 'That 's a Blazing strange 
answer, too,' said he, at his hoarsest. 

'Take that message back, and they will know that I 
received this, as well as if I wrote. Make the best of your 
way. Good night.' 

With these words the passenger opened the coach door 
and got in ; not at all assisted by his fellow-passengers, who 
had expeditiously secreted their watches and purses in their 
boots, and were now making a general pretence of being 
asleep. With no more definite purpose than to escape the 
hazard of originating any other kind of action. 

The coach lumbered on again, with heavy wreaths of 
mist closing round it as it began the descent. The guard 
soon replaced his blunderbuss in his arm-chest, and, having 
looked to the rest of its contents, and having looked to the 
supplementary pistols that he wore in his belt, looked to a 
smaller chest beneath his seat, in which there were a few 
smith's tools, a couple of torches, and a tinder-box. For he 
was furnished with that completeness that if the coach lamps 
had been blown and stormed out, which did occasionally 
happen, he had only to shut himself up inside, keep the 
flint and steel sparks well off the straw, and get a light with 
tolerable safety and ease (if he were lucky) in five minutes. 

' Tom ! ' softly over the coach roof. 

The Night Shadows 9 

'Hallo, Joe.' 

'Did you hear the message?' 

'I did, Joe/ 

' What did you make of it, Tom ? ' 

'Nothing at all, Joe.' 

'That's a coincidence, too,' the guard mused, 'for I 
made the same of it myself.' 

Jerry, left alone in the mist and darkness, dismounted 
meanwhile, not only to ease his spent horse, but to wipe the 
mud from his face, and shake the wet out of his hat brim, 
which might be capable of holding about half a gallon. 
After standing with the bridle over his heavily splashed arm, 
until the wheels of the mail were no longer within hearing and 
the night was quite still again, he turned to walk down the 

'After that there gallop from Ternple Bar, old lady, I 
won't trust your forelegs till I get you on the level,' said 
this hoarse messenger, glancing at his mare. "Recalled 
to life." That 's a Blazing strange message. Much of that 
wouldn't do for you, Jerry! I say, Jerry! You 'd be in a 
Blazing bad way, if recalling to life was to come into fashion, 
Jerry 1' 



A WONDERFUL fact to reflect upon, that every human 
creature is constituted to be that profound secret and 
mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I 
enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly 
clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room 
in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every 
beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, 
is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it ! 
Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable 
to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that 
I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can 
I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, 

io A Tale of Two Cities 

as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses 
of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was 
appointed that the book should shut with a spring, for ever 
and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed 
that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when 
the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance 
on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, 
my love, the darling of my soul, is dead ; it is the inexorable 
consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always 
in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to 
my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city 
through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable 
than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, 
to me, or than I am to them ? 

As to this, his natural and not to be alienated inheritance, 
the messenger on horseback had exactly the same posses- 
sions as the King, the first Minister of State, or the richest 
merchant in London. So with the three passengers shut up 
in the narrow compass of one lumbering old mail-coach; 
they were mysteries to one another, as complete as if each 
had been in his own coach and six, or his own coach and 
sixty, with the breadth of a county between him and the 

The messenger rode back at an easy trot, stopping pretty 
often at ale-houses by the way to drink, but evincing a 
tendency to keep his own counsel, and to keep his hat 
cocked over his eyes. He had eyes that assorted very well 
with that decoration, being of a surface black, with no depth 
in the colour or form, and much too near together as if 
they were afraid of being found out in something, singly, 
if they kept too far apart. They had a sinister expression, 
under an old cocked hat like a three-cornered spittoon, and 
over a great muffler for the chin and throat, which descended 
nearly to the wearer's knees. When he stopped for drink, 
he moved this muffler with his left hand, only while he 
poured his liquor in with his right ; as soon as that was done, 
he muffled again. 

'No, Jerry, no!' said the messenger, harping on one 
theme as he rode. ' It wouldn't do for you, Jerry. Jerry, 
you honest tradesman, it wouldn't suit your line of business! 
Recalled ! Bust me if I don't think he 'd been a drinking ! ' 

The Night Shadows n 

His message perplexed his mind to that degree that he 
was fain, several times, to take off his hat to scratch his 
head. Except on the crown, which was raggedly bald, 
he had stiff, black hair, standing jaggedly all over it, and 
growing down hill almost to his broad, blunt nose. It was 
so like smith's work, so much more like the top of a strongly 
spiked wall than a head of hair, that the best of players 
at leap-frog might have declined him, as the most dangerous 
man in the world to go over. 

While he trotted back with the message he was to deliver 
to the night-watchman in his box at the door of Tellson's 
Bank, by Temple Bar, who was to deliver it to greater 
authorities within, the shadows of the night took such shapes 
to him as arose out of the message, and took such shapes 
to the mare as arose out of her private topics of uneasiness. 
They seemed to be numerous, for she shied at every shadow 
on the road. 

What time, the mail-coach lumbered, jolted, rattled, and 
bumped upon its tedious way, with its three fellow-inscrut- 
ables inside. To whom, likewise, the shadows of the night 
revealed themselves, in the forms their dozing eyes and 
wandering thoughts suggested. 

Tellson's Bank had a run upon it in the mail. As the 
bank passenger with an arm drawn through the leathern 
strap, which did what lay in it to keep him from pounding 
against the next passenger, and driving him into his corner, 
whenever the coach got a special jolt nodded in his place, 
with half -shut eyes, the little coach windows, and the coach 
lamp dimly gleaming through them, and the bulky bundle 
of opposite passenger, became the bank, and did a great 
stroke of business. The rattle of the harness was the chink 
of money, and more drafts were honoured in five minutes 
than even Tellson's, with all its foreign and home connection, 
ever paid in thrice the time. Then the strong-rooms under- 
ground, at Tellson's, with such of their valuable stores and 
secrets as were known to the passenger (and it was not a 
little that he knew about them), opened before him, and he 
went in among them with the great keys and the feebly 
burning candle, and found them safe, and strong, and sound, 
and still, just as he had last seen them. 

But, though the bank was almost always with him, and 

1 2 A Tale of Two Cities 

though the coach (in a confused way, like the presence of 
pain under an opiate) was always with him, there was 
another current of impression that never ceased to run, all 
through the night. He was on his way to dig someone out 
of a grave. 

Now, which of the multitude of faces that showed them- 
selves before him was the true face of the buried person, the 
shadows of the night did not indicate ; but they were all the 
faces of a man of five-and-forty by years, and they differed 
principally in the passions they expressed, and in the 
ghastliness of their worn and wasted state. Pride, contempt, 
defiance, stubbornness, submission, lamentation, succeeded 
one another; so did varieties of sunken cheek, cadaverous 
colour, emaciated hands and figures. But the face was in 
the main one face, and every head was prematurely white. 
A hundred times the dozing passenger inquired of this 
spectre : 

'Buried how long?' 

The answer was always the same: 'Almost eighteen 

' You had abandoned all hope of being dug out ? ' 

'Long ago.' 

' You know that you are recalled to life ? ' 

'They tell me so.' 

' I hope you care to live ? ' 

'I can't say.' 

'Shall I show her to you? Will you come and see 

The answers to this question were various and contradic- 
tory. Sometimes the broken reply was, 'Wait! It would 
kill me if I saw her too soon.' Sometimes, it was given in 
a tender rain of tears, and then it was, 'Take me to her.' 
Sometimes it was staring and bewildered, and then it was, 
' I don't know her. I don't understand.' 

After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his fancy 
would dig, and dig, dig now, with a spade, now with a 
great key, now with his hands to dig this wretched 
creature out. Got out at last, with earth hanging about 
his face and hair, he would suddenly fall away to dust. 
The passenger would then start to himself, and lower the 
window, to get the reality of mist and rain on his cheek. 

The Night Shadows 13 

Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and 
rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and the 
hedge at the roadside retreating by jerks, the night shadows 
outside the coach would fall into the train of the night 
shadows within. The real banking-house by Temple Bar, 
the real business of the past day, the real strong-rooms, 
the real express sent after him, and the real message 
returned, would all be there. Out of the midst of them, 
the ghostly face would rise, and he would accost it again. 

' Buried how long ? ' 

'Almost eighteen years/ 

' I hope you care to live ? ' 

'I can't say.' 

Dig dig dig until an impatient movement from one 
of the two passengers would admonish him to pull up 
the window, draw his arm securely through the leathern 
strap, and speculate upon the two slumbering forms, 
until his mind lost its hold of them, and they again slid 
away into the bank and the grave. 

' Buried how long ? ' 

'Almost eighteen years.' 

'You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?' 

'Long ago.' 

The words were still in his hearing as just spoken 
distinctly in his hearing as ever spoken words had been in 
his life when the weary passenger started to the con- 
sciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows ot 
the night were gone. 

He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising 
sun. There was a ridge of ploughed land, with a plough 
upon it where it had been left last night when the horses 
were unyoked; beyond, a quiet coppice- wood, in which 
many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remained 
upon the trees. Though the earth was cold and wet, the 
sky was clear, and the sun rose bright, placid, and beautiful. 

' Eighteen years ! ' said the passenger, looking at the 
sun. 'Gracious Creator of day I To be buried alive for 
eighteen years 1 ' 

14 A Tale of Two Cities 



WHEN the mail got successfully to Dover, in the course 
of the forenoon, the head drawer at the Royal George 
Hotel opened the coach door as his custom was. He did 
it with some flourish of ceremony, for a mail journey from 
London in winter was an achievement to congratulate an 
adventurous traveller upon. 

By that time, there was only one adventurous traveller 
left to be congratulated: for the two others had been set 
down at their respective roadside destinations. The 
mildewy inside of the coach, with its damp and dirty 
straw, its disagreeable smell, and its obscurity, was rather 
like a larger dog kennel. Mr. Lorry, the passenger, 
shaking himself out of it in chains of straw, a tangle of 
shaggy wrapper, flapping hat, and muddy legs, was rather 
like a larger sort of dog. 

'There will be a packet to Calais, to-morrow, drawer?' 

' Yes, sir, if the weather holds and the wind sets tolerable 
fair. The tide will serve pretty nicely at about two in the 
afternoon, sir. Bed, sir?' 

'I shall noj go to bed till night; but I want a bedroom, 
and a barber.' 

'And then breakfast, sir? Yes, sir. That way, sir, if 
you please. Show Concord! Gentleman's valise and hot 
water to Concord. Pull off gentleman's boots in Concord. 
(You will find a fine sea-coal fire, sir.) Fetch barber to 
Concord. Stir about there, now, for Concord ! ' 

The Concord bed-chamber being always assigned to a 
passenger by the mail, and passengers by the mail being 
always heavily wrapped up from head to foot, the room had 
the odd interest for the establishment of the ' Royal George,' 
that although but one kind of man was seen to go into it, 
all kinds and varieties of men came out of it. Conse- 
quently, another drawer, and two porters, and several maids 
and the landlady, were all loitering by accident at various 
points of the road between the Concord and the coffee- 
room, when a gentleman of sixty, formally dressed in a 

The Preparation 15 

brown suit of clothes, pretty well worn, but very well kept, 
with large square cuffs and large flaps to the pockets, passed 
along on his way to his breakfast. 

The coffee-room had no other occupant, that forenoon, 
than the gentleman in brown. His breakfast-table was 
drawn before the fire, and as he sat, with its light shining 
on him, waiting for the meal, he sat so still, that he might 
have been sitting for his portrait. 

Very orderly and methodical he looked, with a hand 
on each knee, and a loud watch ticking a sonorous sermon 
under his flapped waistcoat, as though it pitted its gravity 
and longevity against the levity and evanescence of the 
brisk fire. He had a good leg, and was a little vain of it, 
for his brown stockings fitted sleek and close, and were 
of a fine texture; his shoes and buckles, too, though plain, 
were trim. He. wore an odd little sleek crisp flaxen wig, set- 
ting very close to his head : which wig, it is to be presumed, 
was made of hair, but which looked far more as though 
it were spun from filaments of silk or glass. His linen, 
though not of a fineness in accordance with his stockings, 
was as white as the tops of the waves that broke upon the 
neighbouring beach, or the specks of sail that glinted in the 
sunlight far at sea. A face habitually suppressed and 
quieted, was still lighted up under the quaint wig by a pair 
of moist bright eyes that it must have cost their owner, in 
years gone by, some pains to drill to the composed and 
reserved expression of Tellson's Bank. He had a healthy 
colour in his cheeks, and his face, though lined, bore few 
traces of anxiety. But, perhaps the confidential bachelor 
clerks in Tellson's Bank were principally occupied with the 
cares of other people; and perhaps second-hand cares, like 
second-hand clothes, come easily off and on. 

Completing his resemblance to a man who was sitting for 
his portrait, Mr. Lorry dropped off to sleep. The arrival 
of his breakfast roused him, and he said to the drawer, as 
he moved his chair to it: 

'I wish accommodation prepared for a young lady who 
may come here at any time to-day. She may ask for Mr. 
Jarvis Lorry, or she may only ask for a gentleman from 
Tellson's Bank. Please to let me know.' 

' Yes, sir. Tellson's Bank in London, sir ? ' 

1 6 A Tale of Two Cities 


'Yes, sir. We have oftentimes the honour to entertain 
your gentlemen in their travelling backwards and forwards 
betwixt London and Paris, sir. A vast deal of travelling, 
sir, in Tellson and Company's House/ 

'Yes. We are quite a French House, as well as an 
English one.' 

'Yes, sir. Not much in the habit of such travelling 
yourself, I think, sir ? ' 

'Not of late years. It is fifteen years since we since 
I came last from France.' 

'Indeed, sir? That was before my time here, sir. 
Before our people's time here, sir. The "George' was in 
other hands at that time, sir/ 

'I believe so/ 

'But I would hold a pretty wager, sir, that a House like 
Tellson and Company was flourishing, a matter of fifty, not 
to speak of fifteen years ago ? ' 

' You might treble that, and say a hundred and fifty, yet 
not be far from the truth/ 

'Indeed, sir!' 

Rounding his mouth and both his eyes, as he stepped 
backward from the table, the waiter shifted his napkin from 
his right arm to his left, dropped into a comfortable attitude, 
and stood surveying the guest while he ate and drank, as 
from an observatory or watch-tower. According to the 
immemorial usage of waiters in all ages. 

When Mr. Lorry had finished his breakfast, he went out 
for a stroll on the beach. The little narrow, crooked town 
of Dover hid itself away from the beach, and ran its head 
into the chalk cliffs, like a marine ostrich. The beach was 
a desert of heaps of sea and stones tumbling wildly about, 
and the sea did what it liked, and what it liked was destruc- 
tion. It thundered at the town, and thundered at the cliffs, 
and brought the coast down, madly. The air among the 
houses was of so strong a piscatory flavour that one might 
have supposed sick fish went up to be dipped in it, as sick 
people went down to be dipped in the sea. A little fishing 
was done in the port, and a quantity of strolling about by 
night, and looking seaward : particularly at those times when 
the tide made, and was near flood. Small tradesmen, who 

The Preparation 17 

did no business whatever, sometimes unaccountably realized 
large fortunes, and it was remarkable that nobody in the 
neighbourhood could endure a lamplighter. 

As the day declined into the afternoon, and the air, which 
had been at intervals clear enough to allow the French coast 
to be seen, became again charged with mist and vapour, Mr. 
Lorry's thoughts seemed to cloud too. When it was dark, 
and he sat before the coffee-room fire, awaiting his dinner as 
he had awaited his breakfast, his mind was busily digging, 
digging, digging, in the live red coals. 

A bottle of good claret after dinner does a digger in the 
red coals no harm, otherwise than as it has a tendency to 
throw him out of work. Mr. Lorry had been idle a long 
time, and had just poured out his last glassful of wine with 
as complete an appearance of satisfaction as is ever to be 
found in an elderly gentleman of a fresh complexion who 
has got to the end of a bottle, when a rattling of wheels 
came up the narrow street, and rumbled into the inn yard. 

He set down his glass untouched. 'This is Mam'selle!' 
said he. 

In a very few minutes the waiter, came in to announce 
that Miss Manette had arrived from London, and would 
be happy to see the gentleman from Tellson's. 

' So soon ? ' 

Miss Manette had taken some refreshment on the road, 
and required none then, and was extremely anxious to see 
the gentleman from Tellson's immediately, if it suited his 
pleasure and convenience. 

The gentleman from Tellson's had nothing left for it but 
to empty his glass with an air of stolid desperation, settle 
his odd little flaxen wig at the ears, and follow the waiter to 
Miss Manette's apartment. It was a large, dark room, 
furnished in a funereal manner with black horsehair, and 
loaded with heavy dark tables. These had been oiled and 
oiled, until the two tall candles on the table in the middle 
of the room were gloomily reflected on every leaf; as if they 
were buried, in deep graves of black mahogany, and no light 
to speak of could be expected from them until they were 
dug out. 

The obscurity was so difficult to penetrate that Mr. Lorry, 
picking his way over the well-worn Turkey carpet, supposed 

1 8 A Tale of Two Cities 

Miss Manette to be, for the moment, in some adjacant room, 
until, having got past the two tall candles, he saw standing 
to receive him by the table between them and the fire, a 
young lady of not more than seventeen, in a riding-cloak, 
and still holding her straw travelling-hat by its ribbon in her 
hand. As his eyes rested on a short, slight, pretty figure, a 
quantity of golden hair, a pair of blue eyes that met his own 
with an inquiring look, and a forehead with a singular 
capacity (remembering how young and smooth it was) , of lift- 
ing and knitting itself into an expression that was not quite 
one of perplexity, or wonder, or alarm, or merely of a bright 
fixed attention, though it included all the four expressions 
as his eyes rested on these things, a sudden vivid likeness 
passed before him, of a child whom he had held in his arms 
on the passage across that very Channel, one cold time, 
when the hail drifted heavily and the sea ran high. The 
likeness passed away, like a breath along the surface of* the 
gaunt pier-glass behind her, on the frame of which, a hospital 
procession of negro cupids, several headless and all cripples, 
were offering black baskets of Dead Sea fruit to black 
divinities of the feminine gender- and he made his formal 
bow to Miss Manette. 

'Pray take a seat, sir/ In a very clear and pleasant 
young voice; a little foreign in its accent, but a very little 
indeed. r 

' I kiss your hand, miss/ said Mr. Lorry, with the manners 
of an earlier date, as he made his formal bow again, and 
took his seat. 

'I received a letter from the Bank, sir, yesterday, in- 
forming me that some intelligence or discovery * 

'The word is not material, miss; either word will do/ 

' respecting the small property of my poor father, whom 
I never saw so long dead ' 

Mr. Lorry moved in his chair, and cast a troubled look 
towards the hospital procession of negro cupids. As if they 
had any help for anybody in their absurd baskets! 

' rendered it necessary that I should go to Paris, there 
to communicate with a gentleman of the Bank, so good as 
to be dispatched to Paris for the purpose/ 


'As I was prepared to hear, sir/ 

The Preparation 19 

She curtseyed to him (young ladies made curtseys in those 
days), with a pretty desire to convey to him that she felt how 
much older and wiser he was than she. He made her 
another bow. 

' I replied to the Bank, sir, that as it was considered 
necessary, by those who know, and who are so kind as to 
advise me, that I should go to France, and that as I am an 
orphan and have no friend who could go with me, I should 
esteem it highly if I might be permitted to place myself, 
during the journey, under that worthy gentleman's pro- 
tection. The gentleman had left London, but I think a 
messenger was sent after him to beg the favour of his waiting 
for me here.' 

'I was happy,' said Mr. Lorry, 'to be entrusted with the 
charge. I shall be more happy to execute it.' 

'Sir, I thank you indeed. I thank you very gratefully. 
It was told me by the Bank that the gentleman would ex- 
plain to me the details of the business, and that I must 
prepare myself to find them of a surprising nature. I have 
done my best to prepare myself, and I naturally have a 
strong and eager interest to know what they are.' 

'Naturally,' said Mr. Lorry. 'Yes I- 

After a pause, he added, again settling the crisp flaxen 
wig at the ears. 

' It is very difficult to begin/ 

He did not begin, but, in his indecision, met her glance. 
The young forehead lifted itself into that singular expression 
but it was pretty and characteristic, besides being singular 
and she raised her hand, as if with an involuntary action 
she caught at, or stayed some passing shadow. 

' Are you quite a stranger to me, sir ? ' 

'Am I not?' Mr. Lorry opened his hands, and ex- 
tended them outwards with an argumentative smile. 

Between the eyebrows and just over the little feminine 
nose, the line of which was as delicate and fine as it was 
possible to be, the expression deepened itself as she took 
her seat thoughtfully in the chair by which she had hitherto 
remained standing. He watched her as she mused, and 
the moment she raised her eyes again, went on : 

' In your adopted country, I presume, I cannot do better 
than address you as a young English lady, Miss Manette ? ' 

2O A Tale of Two Cities 

' If you please, sir.' 

'Miss Manette, I am a man of business. I have a busi- 
ness charge to acquit myself of. In your reception of it, 
don't heed me any more than if I was a speaking machine 
truly, I am not much else. I will, with your leave, relate 
to you, miss, the story of one of our customers.' 

' Story ! ' 

He seemed wilfully to mistake the word she had repeated, 
when he added, in a hurry, 'Yes, customers; in the banking 
business we usually call our connection our customers. He 
was a French gentleman; a scientific gentleman; a man of 
great acquirements a Doctor.' 

' Not of Beauvais ? ' 

'Why, yes, of Beauvais. Like Monsieur Manette, your 
father, the gentleman was of Beauvais. Like Monsieur 
Manette, your father, the gentleman was of repute in Paris. 
I had the honour of knowing him there. Our relations 
were business relations, but confidential. I was at that time 
in our French House, and had been oh! twenty years.' 

' At that time I may ask, at what time, sir ? ' 

'I speak, miss, of twenty years ago. He married an 
English lady and I was one of the trustees. His affairs, 
like the affairs of many other French gentlemen and French 
families, were entirely in Tellson's hands. In a similar 
way I am, or I have been, trustee of one kind or other for 
scores of our customers. These are mere business relations, 
miss; there is no friendship in them, no particular interest, 
nothing like sentiment. I have passed from one to another, 
in the course of my business life, just as I pass from one of 
our customers to another in the course of my business day; 
in short, I have no feelings; I am a mere machine. To 
go on ' 

'But this is my father's story, sir; and I begin to think' 
the curiously roughened forehead was very intent upon 
him ' that when I was left an orphan through my mother's 
surviving my father only two years, it was you who brought 
me to England. I am almost sure it was you.' 

Mr. Lorry took the hesitating little hand that confidingly 
advanced to take his, and he put it with some ceremony to 
his lips. He then conducted the young lady straightway to 
her chair again, and, holding the chair-back with his left 

The Preparation 21 

hand, and using his right by turns to rub his chin, pull his 
wig at the ears, or point what he said, stood looking down 
into her face while she sat looking up into his. 

'Miss Manette, it was I. And you will see how truly I 
spoke of myself just now, in saying I had no feelings, and 
that all the relations I hold with my fellow-creatures are 
mere business relations, when you reflect that I have never 
seen you since. No; you have been the ward of Tellson's 
House since, and I have been busy with the other business 
of Tellson's House since. Feelings! I have no time ior 
them, no chance of them. I pass my whole life, miss, in 
turning an immense pecuniary Mangle.' 

After this odd description of his daily routine of employ- 
ment, Mr. Lorry flattened his flaxen wig upon his head 
with both hands (which was most unnecessary, for nothing 
could be flatter than its shining surface was before), and 
resumed his former attitude. 

' So far, miss (as you have remarked) , this is the story of 
your regretted father. Now comes the difference. If your 

father had not died when he did Don't be frightened 1 

How you start ! ' 

She did, indeed, start And she caught his wrist with 
both her hands. 

'Pray,' said Mr. Lorry, in a soothing tone, bringing his 
left hand from the back of the chair to lay it on the suppli- 
catory fingers that clasped him in so violent a tremble: 
'pray control your agitation a matter of business. As I 
was saying ' 

Her look so discomposed him that he stopped, wandered, 
and began anew: 

'As I was saying; if Monsieur Manette had not died; 
if he had suddenly and silently disappeared; if he had 
been spirited away; if it had not been difficult to guess to 
what dreadful place, though no art could trace him; if he 
had an enemy in some compatriot who could exercise a 
privilege that I in my own time have known the boldest 
people afraid to speak of in a whisper, across the water 
there; for instance, the privilege of filling up blank forms 
lor the consignment of any one to the oblivion of a prison 
for any length of time; if his wife had implored the king, 
the queen, the court, the clergy, for any tidings of him, and 

22 A Tale of Two Cities 

all quite in vain; then the history of your father would 
have been the history of this unfortunate gentleman, the 
Doctor of Beauvais.' 

' I entreat you to tell me more, sir/ 

' I will. I am going to. You can bear it ? ' 

'I can bear anything but the uncertainty you leave me 
in at this moment.' 

'You speak collectedly, and you are collected. That 's 
good ! ' (Though his manner was less satisfied than his 
words.) 'A matter of business. Regard it as a matter of 
business business that must be done. Now if this doctor's 
wife, though a lady of great courage and spirit, had suffered 
so intensely from this cause before her little child was 
born ' 

'The little child was a daughter, sir.' 

'A daughter. A a matter of business don't be dis- 
tressed. Miss, if the poor lady had suffered so intensely 
before her little child was born, that she came to the deter- 
mination of sparing the poor child the inheritance of any 
part of the agony she had known the pains of, by rearing 

her in the belief that her father was dead No, don't 

kneel! In Heaven's name why should you kneel to me!' 

'For the truth. O dear, good, compassionate sir, for 
the truth!' 

'A a matter of business. You confuse me, and how 
can I transact business if I am confused ? Let us be clear- 
headed. If you could kindly mention now, for instance, 
what nine times ninepence are, or how many shillings in 
twenty guineas, it would be so encouraging. I should be 
so much more at my ease about your state of mind.' 

Without directly answering to this appeal, she sat so still 
when he had very gently raised her, and the hands that had 
not ceased to clasp his wrists were so much more steady 
than they had been, that she communicated some re- 
assurance to Mr. Jarvis Lorry. 

' That 's right, that 's right. Courage ! Business ! You 
have business before you; useful business. Miss Manette, 
your mother took this course with you. And when she 
died I believe broken-hearted having never slackened 
her unavailing search for your father, she left you, at two 
years old, to grow to be blooming, beautiful, and happy, 

The Preparation 23 

without the dark cloud upon you of living in uncertainty 
whether your father soon v/ore his heart out in prison, or 
wasted there through many lingering years.' 

As he said the words he looked down, with an admiring 
pity, on the flowing golden hair; as if he pictured to him- 
self that it might have been already tinged with grey. 

'You know that your parents had no great possession, 
and that what they had was secured to your mother and to 
you. There has been no new discovery, of money, or of 
any other property; but ' 

He felt his wrist held closer, and he stopped. The 
expression in the forehead, which had so particularly 
attracted his notice, and which was now immovable, had 
deepened into one of pain and horror. 

'But he has been been found. He is alive. Greatly 
changed, it is too probable; almost a wreck, it is possible; 
though we will hope the best. Still, alive. Your father 
has been taken to the house of an old servant in Paris, and 
we are going there: I, to identify him if I can: you, to 
restore him to life, love, duty, rest, comfort.' 

A shiver ran through her frame, and from it through his. 
She said, in a low, distinct, awe-stricken voice, as if she 
were saying it in a dream, 

'I am going to see his Ghost! It will be his Ghost 
not him ! ' 

Mr. Lorry quietly chafed the hands that held his arm. 
'There, there, there! See now, see now! The best and the 
worst are known to you, now. You are well on your way 
to the poor wronged gentleman, and, with a fair sea voyage, 
and a fair land journey, you will soon be at his dear side.' 

She repeated in the same tone, sunk to a whisper, 'I 
have been free, I have been happy, yet his Ghost has never 
haunted me ! ' 

'Only one thing more,' said Mr. Lorry, laying stress 
upon it as a wholesome means of enforcing her attention: 
'he has been found under another name; his own, long 
forgotten or long concealed. It would be worse than 
useless now to inquire which; worse than useless to seek 
to know whether he has been for years overlooked, or 
always designedly held prisoner. It would be worse than 
useless now to make any inquiries, because it would be 

24 A Tale of Two Cities 

dangerous. Better not to mention the subject, anywhere 
or in any way, and to remove him for a while at all events 
out of France. Even I, safe as an Englishman, and 
even Tellson's, important as they are to French credit, 
avoid all naming of the matter. I carry about me, not a 
scrap of writing openly referring to it. This is a secret 
service altogether. My credentials, entries, and memo- 
randa, are all comprehended in the one line, "Recalled to 
Life " ; which may mean anything. But what is the matter 1 
She doesn't notice a word! Miss Manette!' 

Perfectly still and silent, and not even fallen back in her 
chair, she sat under his hand, utterly insensible; with her 
eyes open and fixed upon him, and with that last expres- 
sion looking as if it were carved or branded into her fore- 
head. So close was her hold upon his arm, that he feared 
to detach himself lest he should hurt her; therefore he 
called out loudly for assistance without moving. 

A wild-looking woman, whom even in his agitation, Mr. 
Lorry observed to be all of a red colour, and to have red 
hair, and to be dressed in some extraordinary tight-fitting 
fashion, and to have on her head a most wonderful bonnet 
like a Grenadier wooden measure, and good measure, too, 
or a great Stilton cheese, came running into the room in 
advance of the inn servants, and soon settled the question 
of his detachment from the poor young lady, by laying a 
brawny hand upon his chest, and sending him flying back 
against the nearest wall. 

(' I really think this must be a man ! ' was Mr. Lorry's 
breathless reflection, simultaneously with his coming 
against the wall.) 

' Why, look at you all ! ' bawled this figure, addressing 
the inn servants. 'Why don't you go and fetch things, 
instead of standing there staring at me? I am not so 
much to look at, am I ? Why don't you go and fetch 
things? I '11 let you know, if you don't bring smelling- 
salts, cold water, and vinegar, quick, I will.' 

There was an immediate dispersal for these restoratives, 
and she softly laid the patient on a sofa, and tended her 
with great skill and gentleness : calling her ' My precious ! f 
and ' My bird ! ' and spreading her golden hair aside over 
her shoulders with great pride and care. 

The Wine Shop 25 

' And you in brown ! ' she said, indignantly turning to 
Mr. Lorry; 'couldn't you tell her what you had to tell 
her, without frightening her to death ? Look at her, with 
her pale face and her cold hands. Do you call that being 
a Banker ? ' 

Mr. Lorry was so exceedingly disconcerted by a question 
so hard to answer, that he could only look on, at a distance, 
with much feebler sympathy and humility, while the strong 
woman, having banished the inn servants under the 
mysterious penalty of 'letting them know' something 
not mentioned if they stayed there, staring, recovered her 
charge by a regular series of gradations, and coaxed her 
to lay her drooping head upon her shoulder. 

'I hope she will do v/ell now,' said Mr. Lorry. 

'No thanks to you in brown, if she does. My darling 

'I hope/ said Mr. Lorry, after another pause of feeble 
sympathy and humility, ' that you accompany Miss Manette 
to France ? ' 

' A likely thing, too ! ' replied the strong woman. ' If it 
was ever intended that I should go across salt water, do 
you suppose Providence would have cast my lot in an 
island ? ' 

This being another question hard to answer, Mr. Jar vis 
Lorry withdrew to consider it. 



A LARGE cask of wine had been dropped and broken, in 
the street. The accident had happened in getting it out of 
a cart; the cask had tumbled out with a run, the hoops had 
burst, and it lay on the stones just outside the door of the 
wine shop, shattered like a walnut- shell. 

All the people within reach had suspended their business 
or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine! 

26 A Tale of Two Cities 

The rough, irregular stones of the street, pointing every way 
and designed, one might have thought, expressly to lame all 
living creatures that approached them, had dammed it into 
little pools; these were surrounded, each by its own jostling 
group or crowd, according to its size. Some men kneeled 
down, made scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, 
or tried to help women, who bent over their shoulders, to 
sip, before the wine had all run out between their fingers. 
Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with little 
mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs 
from women's heads, which were squeezed dry into infants' 
mouths; others made small mud embankments, to stem the 
wine as it ran; others, directed by lookers-on up at high 
windows, darted here and there, to cut off little streams of 
wine that started away in new directions; others devoted 
themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed pieces of the cask, 
licking, and even champing the moister wine-rotted frag- 
ments with eager relish. There was no drainage to carry 
off the wine, and not only did it all get taken up, but so 
much mud got taken up along with it that there might have 
been a scavenger in the street, if anybody acquainted with 
it could have believed in such a miraculous presence. 

A shrill sound of laughter and of amused voices voices 
of men, women, and children resounded in the street while 
this wine game lasted. There was little roughness in the 
sport, and much playfulness. There was a special com- 
panionship in it, an observable inclination on the part of 
every one to join some other one, which led, especially 
among the luckier or lighter-hearted, to frolicsome embraces, 
drinking of healths, shaking of hands, and even joining of 
hands and dancing, a dozen together. When the wine was 
gone, and the places where it had been most abundant were 
raked into a grid iron -pattern by fingers, these demonstra- 
tions ceased, as suddenly as they had broken out. The man 
who had left his saw sticking in the firewood he was cutting, 
set it in motion again; the woman who had left on a door- 
step the little pot of hot ashes, at which she had been trying 
to soften the pain in her own starved fingers and toes, or in 
those of her child, returned to it; men with bare arms, 
matted locks, and cadaverous faces, who had emerged into 
the winter light from cellers, moved away, to descend again; 

The Wine Shop 27 

and a gloom gathered on the scene that appeared more 
natural to it than sunshine. 

The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of 
the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, 
where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and 
many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. 
The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks 
on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed 
her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she 
wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy 
with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear 
about the mouth; and one tall joker so besmirched, his 
head more out of a long squalid bag of a night-cap than in 
it, scrawled upon the wall with his finger dipped in muddy 
wine-lees BLOOD. 

The time was to come, when that wine too would be 
spilled on the street stones, and when the stain of it would 
be red upon many there. 

And now that the cloud settled on Saint Antoine, which a 
momentary gleam had driven from his sacred countenance, 
the darkness of it was heavy cold, dirt, sickness, ignorance, 
and want, were the lords in waiting on the saintly presence- 
nobles of great power all of them; but, most especially the 
last. Samples of a people that had undergone a terrible 
grinding and regrinding in the mill, and certainly not in the 
fabulous mill which ground old people young, shivered at 
every corner, passed in and out at every doorway, looked 
from every window, fluttered in every vestige of a garment 
that the wind shook. The mill which had worked them 
down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the 
children had ancient faces and grave voices ; and upon them, 
and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow 
of age and coming up afresh, was the sign, Hunger, It was 
prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed out of the tall 
houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and 
lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag 
and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every frag- 
ment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed 
off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and 
started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its 
refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on 

28 A Tale of Two Cities 

the baker's shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty 
stock of bad bread; at the sausage shop, in every dead-dog 
preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry 
bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; 
Hunger was shred into atomies in every farthing porringer 
of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops 
of oil. 

Its abiding place was in all things fitted to it. A narrow 
winding street, full of offence and stench, with other narrow 
winding streets diverging, all peopled by rags and night-caps, 
and all smelling of rags and night-caps, and all visible things 
with a brooding look upon them that looked ill. In the 
hunted air of the people there was yet some wild-beast 
thought of the possibility of turning at bay. Depressed and 
slinking though they were, eyes of fire were not wanting 
among them; nor compressed lips, white with what they 
suppressed; nor foreheads knitted into the likeness of the 
gallows rope they mused about enduring, or inflicting. The 
trade signs (and they were almost as many as the shops) 
were, all, grim illustrations of Want. The butcher and the 
porkman painted up, only the leanest scrags of meat; the 
baker, the coarsest of meagre loaves. The people rudely 
pictured as drinking in the wine shops, croaked over their 
scanty measures of thin wine and beer, and were glower- 
ingly confidential together. Nothing was represented in a 
flourishing condition, save tools and weapons; but, the 
cutler's knives and axes were sharp and bright, the smith's 
hammers were heavy, and the gunmaker's stock was 
murderous. The crippling stones of the pavement, with 
their many little reservoirs of mud and water, had no foot- 
ways, but broke off abruptly at the doors. The kennel, to 
make amends, ran down the middle of the street when it 
ran at all : which was only after heavy rains, and then it ran, 
by many eccentric fits, into the houses. Across the streets, 
at wide intervals, one clumsy lamp was slung by a rope and 
pulley; at night, when the lamplighter had let these down, 
and lighted, and hoisted them again, a feeble grove of dim 
wicks swung in a sickly manner overhead, as if they were at 
sea. Indeed they were at sea, and the ship and crew were 
in peril of tempest. 

For, the time was to come, when the gaunt scarecrows of 

The Wine Shop 29 

that region should have watched the lamplighter, in their 
idleness and hunger, so long, as to conceive the idea of 
improving on his method, and hauling up men by those 
ropes and pulleys, to flare upon the darkness of their con- 
dition. But, the time was not come yet; and every wind 
that blew over France shook the rags of the scarecrows in 
vain, for the birds, fine of song and feather, took no warning. 

The wine shop was a corner shop, better than most others 
in its appearance and degree, and the master of the wine 
shop had stood outside it, in a yellow waistcoat and green 
breeches, looking on at the struggle for the lost wine. ' It 's 
not my affair,' said he, with a final shrug of the shoulders. 
'The people from the market did it. Let them bring 

There, his eyes happening to catch the tall joker writing 
up his joke, he called to him across the way: 

' Say, then, my Gaspard, what do you do there ? ' 

The fellow pointed to his joke with immense significance, 
as is often the way with his tribe. It missed its mark, and 
completely failed, as is often the way with his tribe too. 

'What now? Are you a subject for the mad hospital?' 
said the wine-shop keeper, crossing the road, and obliterating 
the jest with a handful of mud, picked up for the purpose, 
and smeared over it. 'Why do you write in the public 
streets ? Is there tell me thou is there no other place to 
write such words in ? ' 

In his expostulation he dropped his cleaner hand (perhaps 
accidentally, perhaps not) upon the joker's heart. The 
joker rapped it with his own, took a nimble spring upward, 
and came down in a fantastic dancing attitude, with one of 
his stained shoes jerked off his foot into his hand, and held 
out. A joker of an extremely, not to say wolfishly practical 
character, he looked, under those circumstances. 

'Put it on, put it on,' said the other. 'Call wine, wine; 
and finish there.' With that advice, he wiped his soiled 
hand upon the joker's dress, such as it was quite deliber- 
ately, as having dirtied his hand on his account; and then 
recrossed the road and entered the wine shop. 

This wine-shop keeper was a bull-necked, martial-looking 
man of thirty, and he should have been of a hot tempera- 
ment, for, although it was a bitter day, he wore no coat, but 

30 A Tale of Two Cities 

carried one slung over his shoulder. His shirt-sleeves were 
rolled up, too, and his brown arms were bare to the elbows. 
Neither did he wear anything more on his head than his 
own crisply curling short dark hair. He was a dark man 
altogether, with good eyes and a good bold breadth between 
them. Good-humoured looking on the whole, but im- 
placable-looking, too ; evidently a man of a strong resolution 
and a set purpose; a man not desirable to be met, rushing 
down a narrow pass with a gulf on either side, for nothing 
would turn the man. 

.Madame Defarge, his wife, sat in the shop behind the 
counter as he came in. Madame Defarge was a stout 
woman of about his own age, with a watchful eye that 
seldom seemed to look at anything, a large hand heavily 
ringed, a steady face, strong features, and great composure 
of manner. There was a character about Madame Defarge 
from which one might have predicted that she did not 
often make mistakes against herself in any of the reckonings 
over which she presided. Madame Defarge being sensitive 
to cold, was wrapped in fur, and had a quantity of bright 
shawl twined about her head, though not to the conceal- 
ment of her large earrings. Her knitting was before her, 
but she had laid it down to pick her teeth with a toothpick. 
Thus engaged, with her right elbow supported by her left 
hand, Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, 
but coughed just one grain of cough. This, in combination 
with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her 
toothpick by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband 
that he would do well to look round the shop among the 
customers, for any new customer who had dropped in while 
he stepped over the way. 

The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about, 
until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a young 
lady, who were seated in a corner. Other company were 
there; two playing cards, two playing dominoes, three 
standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of 
wine. As he passed behind the counter, he took notice that 
the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady, 
'This is our man.' 

'What the devil do you do in that galley there?' said 
Monsieur Defarge to himself; 'I don't know you.' 

The Wine Shop 31 

But, he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and fell 
into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were 
drinking at the counter. 

'How goes it, Jacques?' said one of these three to 
Monsieur Defarge. ' Is all the spilt wine swallowed ? ' 

'Every drop, Jacques/ answered Monsieur Defarge. 

When this interchange of Christian name was effected, 
Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick, 
coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows 
by the breadth of another line. 

'It is not often,' said the second of the three, addressing 
Monsieur Defarge, 'that many of these miserable beasts 
know the taste of wine, or of anything but black bread and 
death. Is it not so, Jacques? ' 

' It is so, Jacques, ' Monsieur Defarge returned. 

At this second interchange of the Christian name, 
Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound 
composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised 
her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. 

The last of the three now said his say, as he put down 
his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips. 

'Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such 
poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they 
live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?' 

'You are right, Jacques,' was the response of Monsieur 

This third interchange of the Christian name was com- 
pleted at the moment when Madame Defarge put her tooth- 
pick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled in her 

' Hold then 1 True ! ' muttered her husband. ' Gentle- 
men my wife ! ' 

The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame 
Defarge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their 
homage by bending her head, and giving them a quick look. 
Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine shop, 
took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and 
repose of spirit, and became absorbed in it. 

'Gentlemen/ said her husband, who had kept his bright 
eye observantly upon her, 'good day. The chamber, fur- 
nished bachelor fashion, that you wished to see, and were 

32 A Tale of Two Cities 

inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the fifth floor. The 
doorway of the staircase gives on the little courtyard close to 
the left here,' pointing with his hand, 'near to the window 
of my establishment. But, now that I remember, one of 
you has already been there, and can show the way. Gentle- 
men, adieu ! ' 

They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes 
of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting 
when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner, and 
begged the favour of a word. 

'Willingly, sir/ said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly 
stepped with him to the door. 

Their conference was very short, but very decided. 
Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and 
became deeply attentive. It had not lasted a minute, when 
he nodded and went out. The gentleman then beckoned to 
the young lady, and they, too, went out. Madame Defarge 
knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw 

Mr. Jarvis Lorry and Miss Manette, emerging from the 
wine shop thus, joined Monsieur Defarge in the doorway to 
which he had directed his other company just before. It 
opened from a stinking little black courtyard, and was the 
general public entrance to a great pile of houses, inhabited 
by a great number of people. In the gloomy tile- 
paved entry to the gloomy tile-paved staircase, Monsieur 
Defarge bent down on one knee to the child of his old 
master, and put her hand to his lips. It was a gentle 
action, but not at all gently done; a very remarkable trans- 
formation had come over him in a few seconds. He had 
no good-humour in his face, nor any openness of aspect left, 
but had become a secret, angry, dangerous man. 

'It is very high; it is a little difficult. Better to begin 
slowly.' Thus, Monsieur Defarge, in a stern voice, to Mr. 
Lorry, as they began ascending the stairs. 

' Is he alone ? ' the latter whispered. 

'Alone! God help him, who should be with him!' 
said the other, in the same low voice. 

' Is he always alone, then ? ' 


' Of his own desire ? ' 

The Wine Shop 33 

'Of his own necessity. As he was, when I first saw him 
after they found me and demanded to know if I would take 
him, and, at my peril be discreet as he was then, so he is 

' He is greatly changed ? ' 


The keeper of the wine shop stopped to strike the wall 
with his hand, and mutter a tremendous curse. No direct 
answer could have been half so forcible. Mr. Lorry's spirits 
grew heavier and heavier, as he and his two companions 
ascended higher and higher. 

Such a staircase, with its accessories, in the older and 
more crowded parts of Paris, would be bad enough now; 
but, at that time, it was vile indeed to unaccustomed and 
unhardened senses. Every little habitation within the great 
foul nest of one high building that is to say, the room or 
rooms within every door that opened on the general stair- 
case left its own heap of refuse on its own landing, besides 
flinging other refuse fro'm its own windows. The uncon- 
trollable and hopeless mass of decomposition so engendered, 
would have polluted the air, even if poverty and deprivation 
had not loaded it with their intangible impurities; the two 
bad sources combined made it almost insupportable. 
Through such an atmosphere, by a steep dark shaft of dirt 
and poison, the way lay. Yielding to his own disturbance 
of mind, and to his young companion's agitation, which 
became greater every instant, Mr. Jarvis Lorry twice stopped 
to rest. Each of these stoppages was made at a doleful 
grating, by which any languishing good airs that were left un- 
corrupted seemed to escape, and all spoilt and sickly vapours 
seemed to crawl in. Through the rusted bars, tastes, rather 
than glimpses, were caught of the jumbled neighbourhood; 
and nothing within range, nearer or lower than the summits 
of the two great towers of Notre -Dame, had any promise on 
it of healthy life or wholesome aspirations. 

At last, the top of the staircase was gained, and they 
stopped for the third time. There was yet an upper stair- 
case, of a steeper inclination and of contracted dimensions, 
to be ascended, before the garret storey was reached. The 
keeper of the wine shop, always going a little in advance, 
and always going on the side which Mr. Lorry took, as 

34 A Tale of Two Cities 

though he dreaded to be asked any question by the young 
lady, turned himself about here, and, carefully feeling in the 
pockets of the coat he carried over his shoulder, took out 
a key. 

'The door is locked then, my friend?' said Mr. Lorry, 

'Ay. Yes,' was the grim reply of Monsieur Defarge. 

'You think it necessary to keep the unfortunate gentle- 
man so retired ? ' 

'I think it necessary to turn the key.' Monsieur Defarge 
whispered it closer in his ear, and frowned heavily. 


'Why! Because he has lived so long, locked up, that 
he would be frightened rave, tear himself to pieces die 
come to I know not what harm if his door was left 

' Is it possible ? ' exclaimed Mr. Lorry. 

'Is it possible!' repeated Defarge, bitterly. 'Yes. And 
a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and when 
many other such things are possible, and not only possible 
but done done, see you ! under that sky there, every day. 
Long live the Devil. Let us go on.' 

This dialogue had been held in so very low a whisper, 
that not a word of it had reached the young lady's ears. But, 
by this time she trembled under such strong emotion, and 
her face expressed such deep anxiety, and, above all, such 
dread and terror, that Mr. Lorry felt it incumbent on him 
to speak a word or two of reassurance. 

'Courage, dear miss! Courage! Business! The worst 
will be over in a moment; it is but passing the room door, 
and the worst is over. Then, all the good you bring to 
him, all the relief, all the happiness you bring to him, begin. 
Let our good friend here, assist you on that side. That's 
well, friend Defarge. Come, now. Business, business!' 

They went up slowly and softly. The staircase was short, 
and they were soon at the top. There, as it had an abrupt 
turn in it, they came all at once in sight of three men, whose 
heads were bent down clos"e together at the side of a door, 
and who were intently looking into the room to which the 
door belonged, through some chinks or holes in the wall. 
On hearing footsteps close at hand, these three turned, and 

The Wine Shop 35 

rose, and showed themselves to be the three of one name 
who had been drinking in the wine shop. 

'I forgot them in the surprise of your visit,' explained 
Monsieur Defarge. 'Leave us, good boys; we have busi- 
ness here. ' 

The three glided by, and went silently down. 

There appearing to be no other door on that floor, and 
the keeper of the wine shop going straight to this one when 
they were left alone, Mr. Lorry asked him in a whisper, with 
a little anger: 

' Do you make a show of Monsieur Manette ? ' 

'I show him, in the way you have seen, to a chosen 

' Is that well ? ' 

'/ think it is well/ 

'Who are the few? How do you choose them?' 

'I choose them as real men, of my name Jacques is my 
name to whom the sight is likely to do good. Enough; 
you are English; that is another thing. Stay there, if you 
please, a little moment.' 

With an admonitory gesture to keep them back, he 
stooped, and looked in through the crevice in the wall. 
Soon raising his head again, he struck twice or thrice upon 
the door evidently with no other object than to make a 
noise there. With the same intention, he drew the key 
across it, three or four times, before he put it clumsily into 
the lock, and turned it as heavily as he could. 

The door slowly opened inward under his hand, and he 
looked into the room and said something. A faint voice 
answered something. Little more than a single syllable 
could have been spoken on either side. 

He looked back over his shoulder, and beckoned them to 
enter. Mr. Lorry got his arm securely round the daughter's 
waist, and held her; for he felt that she was sinking. 

' A a a business, business ! ' he urged with a moisture 
that was not of business shining on his cheek. 'Come in, 
come in ! ' 

'I am afraid of it,' she answered, shuddering. 

'Of it? What?' 

' I mean of him. Of my father/ 

Rendered in a manner desperate, by her state and by the 

A Tale of Two Cities 

beckoning of their conductor, he drew over his neck the arm 
that shook upon his shoulder, lifted her a little, and hurried 
her into the room. He set her down just within the door, 
and held her, clinging to him. 

Defarge drew out the key, closed the door, locked it on 
the inside, took out the key again, and held it in his hand. 
All this he did, methodically, and with as loud and harsh 
an accompaniment of noise as be could make. Finally, he 
walked across the room with a measured tread to where the 
window was. He stopped there and faced round. 

The garret, built to be a depository for firewood and the 
like, was dim and dark: for, the window of dormer shape, 
was in truth a door in the roof, with a little crane over it for 
the hoisting up of stores from the street: ungiazed, and 
closing up the middle in two pieces, like any other door of 
French construction. To exclude the cold, one half of this 
door was fast closed, and the other was opened but a very 
little way. Such a scanty portion of light was admitted 
through these means, that it was difficult, on first coming in, 
to see anything; and long habit alone could have slowly 
formed in any one, the ability to do any work requiring 
nicety in such obscurity. Yet, work of that kind was being 
done in the garret ; for, with his back towards the door, and 
his face towards the window where the keeper of the win 
shop stood looking at him, a white-haired man sat on a low 
bench, stooping forward and very busy, making shoes. 



'GooD day!' said Monsieur Defarge, looking down at 
the white head that bent low over the shoemaking. 

It was raised for a moment, and a very faint voice 
responded to the salutation, as if it were at a distance: 

'Good day!' 

'You are still hard at work, I see?' 

After a long silence, the head was lifted for another 

The Shoemaker 37 

moment, and the voice replied, 'Yes I am working.' 
This time, a pair of haggard eyes had looked at the 
questioner, before the face had dropped again. 

The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. It 
was not the faintness of physical weakness, though confine- 
ment and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. Its 
deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of 
solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo of 
a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had it lost 
the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected 
the senses like a once beautiful colour faded away into a 
poor weak stain. So sunken and suppressed it was, that it 
was like a voice underground. So expressive it was, of a 
hopeless and lost creature, that a famished traveller, wearied 
out by lonely wandering in a wilderness, would have remem- 
bered home and friends in such a tone before lying down to 

Some minutes of silent work had passed : and the haggard 
eyes had looked up again : not with any interest or curiosity, 
but with a dull mechanical perception, beforehand, that the 
spot where the only visitor they were aware of had stood, 
was not yet empty. 

'I want,' said Defarge, who had not removed his gaze 
from the shoemaker, 'to let in a little more light here. 
You can bear a little more?* 

The shoemaker stopped his work; looked with a vacant 
air of listening, at the floor on one side of him; then simi- 
larly, at the floor on the other side of him ; then, upward at 
the speaker. 

'What did you say?' 

' You can bear a little more light ? ' 

'I must bear it, if you let it in.' (Laying the palest 
shadow of a stress upon the second word.) 

The opened half-door was opened a little further, and 
secured at that angle for the time. A broad ray of light fell 
into the garret, and showed the workman with an unfinished 
shoe upon his lap, pausing in his labour. His few common 
took and various scraps of leather were at his feet and on 
his bench. He had a white beard, raggedly cut, but not 
very long, a hollow face, and exceedingly bright eyes. The 
hollowness and thinness of his face would have caused them 

A Tale of Two Cities 

to look large, under his yet dark eyebrows and his confused 
white hair, though they had been really otherwise; but, they 
were naturally large, and looked unnaturally so. His yellow 
rags of shirt lay open at the throat, and showed his body to 
be withered and worn. He, and his old canvas frock, and 
his loose stockings, and all his poor tatters of clothes, had, 
in a long seclusion from direct light and air, faded down to 
such a dull uniformity of parchment yellow, that it would 
have been hard to say which was which. 

He had put up a hand between his eyes and the light, and 
the very bones of it seemed transparent. So he sat, with a 
steadfastly vacant gaze, pausing in his work. He never 
looked at the figure before him, without first looking down 
on this side of himself, then on that, as if he had lost the 
habit of associating place with sound ; he never spoke, with- 
out first wandering in this manner, and forgetting to speak. 

' Are you going to finish that pair of shoes to-day ? ' 
asked Defarge, motioning to Mr. Lorry to come forward. 

' What did you say ? ' 

' Do you mean to finish that pair of shoes to-day ? ' 

'I can't say that I mean to. I suppose so. I don't 

But the question reminded him of his work, and he bent 
over it again. 

Mr. Lorry same silently forward, leaving the daughter by 
the door. When he had stood, for a minute or two, by the 
side of Defarge, the shoemaker looked up. He showed no 
surprise at seeing another figure, but the unsteady fingers of 
one of his hands strayed to his lips as he looked at it (his 
lips and his nails were of the same pale lead-colour) , and then 
the hand dropped to his work, and he once more bent over 
the shoe. The look and the action had occupied but an 

'You have a visitor, you see/ said Monsieur Defarge. 

' What did you say ? ' 

' Here is a visitor.' 

The shoemaker looked up as before, but without removing 
a hand from his work. 

' Come ! ' said Defarge. ' Here is monsieur, who knows 
a well-made shoe when he sees one. Show him that shoe 
you are working at. Take it, monsieur.' 

The Shoemaker 


Mr. Lorry took it in his hand. 

'Tell monsieur what kind of shoe it is, and the maker's 

There was a longer pause than usual, before the shoemaker 
replied : 

'I forget what it was you asked me. What did you 

'I said, couldn't you describe the kind of shoe, for 
monsieur's information ? ' 

'It is a lady's shoe. It is a young lady's walking-shoe. 
It is in the present mode. I never saw the mode. I have 
had a pattern in my hand.' He glanced at the shoe with 
some little passing touch of pride. 

'And the maker's name/ said Defarge. 

Now that he had no work to hold, he laid the knuckles 
of his right hand in the hollow of the left, and then the 
knuckles of his left hand in the hollow of his right, and 
then passed a hand across his bearded chin, and so on in 
regular changes, without a moment's intermission. The 
task of recalling him from the vacancy into which he always 
sank when he had spoken, was like recalling some very weak 
person from a swoon, or endeavouring, in the hope of some 
disclosure, to stay the spirit of a fast-dying man. 

' Did you ask me for my name ? ' 

'Assuredly I did.' 

'One Hundred and Five, North Tower.' 

' Is that all ? ' 

'One Hundred and Five, North Tower/ 

With a weary sound that was not a sigh, nor a groan, he 
bent to work again, until the silence was again broken. 

' You are not a shoemaker by trade ? ' said Mr. Lorry, 
looking steadfastly at him. 

His haggard eyes turned to Defarge as if he would have 
transferred the question to him: but as no help came from 
that quarter, they turned back on the questioner when they 
had sought the ground. 

'I am not a shoemaker by trade? No, I was not a 
shoemaker by trade. I I learnt it here. I taught myself. 
I asked leave to ' 

He lapsed away, even for minutes, ringing those measured 
changes on his hands the whole time. His eyes came slowly 

40 A Tale of Two Cities 

back, at last, to the face from which they had wandered; 
when they rested on it, he started, and resumed, in the 
manner of a sleeper that moment awake, reverting to a sub- 
ject of last night. 

'I asked leave to teach myself, and I got it with much 
difficulty after a long while, and I have made shoes ever 

As he held out his hand for the shoe that had been taken 
from him, Mr. Lorry said, still looking steadfastly in his face : 

' Monsieur Manette, do you remember nothing of me ? ' 

The shoe dropped to the ground, and he sat looking 
fixedly at the questioner. 

'Monsieur Manette' Mr. Lorry laid his hand upon 
Defarge's arm 'do you remember nothing of this man? 
Look at him. Look at me. Is there no old banker, no old 
business, no old servant, no old time, rising in your mind, 
Monsieur Manette ? ' 

As the captive of many years sat looking fixedly, by turns, 
at Mr. Lorry and at Defarge, some long obliterated marks 
of an actively intent intelligence in the middle of the fore- 
head, gradually forced themselves through the black mist 
that had fallen on him. They were overclouded again, they 
were fainter, they were gone; but they had been there. 
And so exactly was the expression repeated on the fair young 
face of her who had crept along the wall to a point where 
she could see him, and where she now stood looking at him, 
with hands which at first had been only raised in frightened 
compassion, if not even to keep him off and shut out th 
sight of him, but which were now extending towards him 
trembling with eagerness to lay the spectral face upon her 
warm young breast, and love it back to life and hope so 
exactly was the expression repeated (though in stronger 
characters) on her fair young face, that it looked as though 
it had passed like a moving light, from him to her. 

Darkness had fallen on him in its place. He looked at 
the two, less and less attentively, and his eyes in gloomy 
abstraction sought the ground and looked about him in the 
old way. Finally, with a deep long sigh, he took the shoe 
up, and resumed his work. 

' Have you recognised him, monsieur ? ' asked Defarge 
in a whisper. 

The Shoemaker 41 

'Yes; for a moment. At first I thought it quite hope- 
less, but I have unquestionably seen, for a single moment, 
the face that I once knew so well. Hush! Let us draw 
further back. Hush 1 ' 

She had moved from the wall of the garret, very near to 
the bench on which he sat. There was something awful in 
his unconsciousness of the figure that could have put out its 
hand and touched him as he stooped over his labour. 

Not a word was spoken, not a sound was made. She 
stood, like a spirit, beside him, and he bent over his work. 

It happened, at length, that he had occasion to change 
the instrument in his hand, for his shoemaker's knife. It 
lay on that side of him which was not the side on which she 
stood. He had taken it up, and was stooping to work 
again, when his eyes caught the skirt of her dress. He 
raised them, and saw her face. The two spectators started 
forward, but she stayed them with a motion of her hand. 
She had no fear of his striking at her with the knife, though 
they had. 

He started at her with a fearful look, and after a while 
his lips began to form some words, though no sound 
proceeded from them. By degrees, in the pauses of his 
quick and laboured breathing, he was heard to say : 

' What is this ?' 

With the tears streaming down her face, she put her two 
hands to her lips, and kissed them to him; then clasped 
them on her breast, as if she laid his ruined head there. 

'You are not the jailer's daughter?' 

She sighed 'No.' 

'Who are you?' 

Not yet trusting the tones of her voice, she sat down on 
the bench beside him. He recoiled, but she laid her hand 
upon his arm. A strange thrill struck him when she did so, 
and visibly passed over his frame; he laid the knife down 
softly, and he sat staring at her. 

Her golden hair, which she wore in long curls, had been 
hurriedly pushed aside, and fell down over her neck. 
Advancing his hand by little and little, he took it up and 
looked at it. In the midst of the action he went astray, 
and, with another deep sigh, fell to work at his shoemaking. 

But not for long. Releasing his arm, she laid her hand 

42 A Tale of Two Cities 

upon his shoulder. After looking doubtfully at it, two or 
three times, as if to be sure that it was really there, he laid 
down his work, put his hand to his neck, and took off a 
blackened string with a scrap of folded rag attached to it. 
He opened this, carefully, on his knee, and it contained a 
very little quantity of hair: not more than one or two long 
golden hairs, which he had, in some old day, wound off 
upon his finger. 

He took her hair into his hand again, and looked closely 
at it. 'It is the same. How can it be! When was it! 
How was it!' 

As the concentrating expression returned to his forehead, 
he seemed to become conscious that it was in hers too. He 
turned her full to the light, and looked at her. 

'She had laid her head upon my shoulder, that night 
when I was summoned out she had a fear of my going, 
though I had none and when I was brought to the North 
Tower they found these upon my sleeve. ' You will leave 
me them ? They can never help me to escape in the body, 
though they may in the spirit." Those were the words I 
said. I remember them very well.' 

He formed this speech with his lips many times before 
he could utter it. But when he did find spoken words for 
it, they came to him coherently, though slowly. 

'How was this? Was it you?' 

Once more, the two spectators started, as he turned upon 
her with a frightful suddenness. But she sat perfectly still 
in his grasp, and only said, in a low voice, 'I entreat you, 
good gentlemen, do not come near us, do not speak, do 
not move ! ' 

'Hark!' he exclaimed. 'Whose voice was that?' 

His hands released her as he uttered this cry, and went 
up to his white hair, which they tore in a frenzy. It died 
out, as everything but his shoemaking did die out of him, 
and he refolded his little packet and tried to secure it in his 
breast; but he still looked at her, and gloomily shook his 

'No, no, no; you are too young, too blooming. It can't 
be. See what the prisoner is. These are not the hands she 
knew, this is not the face she knew, this is not the voic she 
ever heard. No, no. She was and He was before the 

The Shoemaker 43 

slow years of the North Tower ages ago. What is your 
name, my gentle angel ? ' 

Hailing his softened tone and manner, his daughter fell 
upon her knees before him, with her appealing hands upon 
his breast. 

'Oh, sir, at another time you shall know my name, and 
who my mother was, and who my father, and how I never 
knew their hard, hard history. But I cannot tell you at this 
time, and I cannot tell you here. All that I may tell you, 
here and now, is, that I pray to you to touch me and to 
bless me. Kiss me, kiss me! Oh, my dear, my dear!' 

His cold white head mingled with her radiant hair, which 
warmed and lighted it as though it were the light of Freedom 
shining on him. 

' If you hear in my voice I don't know that it is so, but 
I hope it is if you hear in my voice any resemblance to a 
voice that once was sweet music in your ears, weep for it, 
weep for it! If you touch, in touching my hair, anything 
that recalls a beloved head that lay on your breast when you 
were young and free, weep for it, weep for it! If, when I 
hint to you of a Home that is before us, where I will be 
true to you with all my duty and with all my faithful service, 
I bring back the remembrance of a Home long desolate, 
while your poor heart pined away, weep for it, weep for it! ' 

She held him closer round the neck, and rocked him on 
her breast like a child. 

' If, when I tell you, dearest dear, that your agony is over, 
and that I have come here to take you from it, and that we 
go to England to be at peace and at rest, I cause you to 
think of your useful life laid waste, and of our native France 
so wicked to you, weep for it, weep for it! And if, when I 
shall tell you of my name, and of my father who is living, 
and of my mother who is dead, you learn that I have to 
kneel to my honoured father, and implore his pardon for 
having never for his sake striven all day and lain awake and 
wept all night, because the love of my poor mother hid his 
torture from me, weep for it, weep for it! Weep for her, 
then, and for me! Good gentlemen, thank God! I feel 
his sacred tears upon my face, and his sobs strike against 
my heart. Oh, see! Thank God for us, thank God!' 

He had sunk in her arms, and his face dropped on her 

44 A Tale of Two Cities 

breast: a sight so touching, yet so terrible in the tremendous 
wrong and suffering which had gone before it, that the two 
beholders covered their faces. 

When the quiet of the garret had been long undisturbed, 
and his heaving breast and shaken form had long yielded to 
the calm that must follow all storms emblem to humanity, 
of the rest and silence into which the storm called Life must 
hush at last they came forward to raise the father and 
daughter from the ground. He had gradually dropped to 
the floor, and lay there in a lethargy, worn out. She had 
nestled down with him, that his head might lie upon her 
arm; and her hair drooping over him curtained him from 
the light. 

'If, without disturbing him/ she said, raising her hand 
to Mr. Lorry as he stooped over them, after repeated 
blowings of his nose, ' all could be arranged for our leaving 
Paris at once, so that, from the very door, he could be taken 
away ' 

' But, consider. Is he fit for the journey ? ' asked Mr. 

' More fit for that, I think, than to remain in this city, so 
dreadful to him.' 

'It is true/ said Defarge, who was kneeling to look on 
and hear. 'More than that; Monsieur Manette is, for all 
reasons, best out of France. Say, shall I hire a carriage and 
post-horses ? ' 

'That's business/ said Mr. Lorry, resuming on the 
shortest notice his methodical manners; 'and if business 
is to be done; I had better do it/ 

'Then be so kind/ urged Miss Manette, 'as to leave us 
here. You see how composed he has become, and you 
cannot be afraid to leave him with me now. Why should 
you be? If you will lock the door to secure us from 
interruption, I do not doubt that you will find him, when 
you come back, as quiet as you leave him. In any case, I 
will take care of him until you return, and then we will 
remove him straight/ 

Both Mr. Lorry and Defarge were rather disinclined to 
this course, and in favour of one of them remaining. But, 
as there were not only carriages and horses to be seen to, 
but travelling papers; and as time passed, for the day was 

The Shoemaker 45 

drawing to an end, it came at last to their hastily dividing 
the business that was necessary to be done, and hurrying 
away to do it. 

Then, as the darkness closed in, the daughter laid her 
head down on the hard ground close at the father's side, 
and watched him. The darkness deepened and deepened, 
and they both lay quiet, until a light gleamed through the 
chinks in the wall. 

Mr. 'Lorry and Monsieur Defarge had made all ready for 
the journey, and had brought with them, besides travelling 
cloaks and wrappers, bread and meat, wine, and hot coffee. 
Monsieur Defarge put this provender, and the lamp he 
carried, on the shoemaker's bench (there was nothing else 
in the garret but a pallet bed), and he and Mr. Lorry roused 
the captive, and assisted him to his feet. 

No human intelligence could have read the mysteries of 
his mind, in the scared blank wonder of his face. Whether 
he knew what had happened, whether he recollected what 
they had said to him, whether he knew that he was free, 
were questions which no sagacity could have solved. They 
tried speaking to him; but, he was so confused, and so 
very slow to answer, that they took fright at his bewilder- 
ment, and agreed for the time to tamper with him no more. 
He had a wild, lost manner of occasionally clasping his 
head in his hands, that had not been seen in him before; 
yet, he had some pleasure in the mere sound of his daughter's 
voice, and invariably turned to it when she spoke. 

In the submissive way of one long accustomed to obey 
under coercion, he ate and drank what they gave him to eat 
and drink, and put on the cloak and other wrappings, that 
they gave him to wear. He readily responded to his 
daughter's drawing her arm through his, and took and 
kept her hand in both his own. 

They began to descend; Monsieur Defarge going first 
with the lamp, Mr. Lorry closing the little procession. 
They had not traversed many steps of the long main stair- 
case when he stopped, and stared at the roof and round at 
the walls. 

'You remember the place, my father? You remember 
coming up here ? ' 

' What did you say ? ' 

4 6 

A Tale of Two Cities 

But, before she could repeat the question, he murmured 
an answer as if she had repeated it. 

'Remember? No, I don't remember. It was so very 
long ago.' 

That he had no recollection whatever of his having been 
brought from his prison to that house, was apparent to them. 
They heard him mutter, 'One Hundred and Five, North 
Tower'; and when he looked about him, it evidently was 
for the strong fortress walls which had long encompassed 
him. On their reaching the courtyard he instinctively 
altered his tread, as being in expectation of a drawbridge; 
and when there was no drawbridge, and he saw the carriage 
waiting in the open street, he dropped his daughter's hand 
and clasped his head again. 

No crowd was about the door; no people were discernible 
at any of the many windows; not even a chance passer-by 
was in the street. An unnatural silence and desertion 
reigned there. Only one soul was to be seen, and that was 
Madame Defarge who leaned against the door post, knit- 
ting, and saw nothing. 

The prisoner had got into a coach, and his daughter had 
followed him, when Mr. Lorry's feet were arrested on the 
step by his asking, miserably, for his shoemaking tools and 
the unfinished shoes. Madame Defarge immediately called 
to her husband that she would get them, and went, knitting, 
out of the lamplight, through the courtyard. She quickly 
brought them down and handed them in; and immedi- 
ately afterwards leaned against the door post, knitting, and 
saw nothing. 

Defarge got upon the box, and gave the word 'To the 
Barrier ! ' The postilion cracked his whip, and they 
clattered away under the feeble over-swinging lamps. 

Under the over-swinging lamps swinging ever brighter 
in the better streets, and ever dimmer in the worse and 
by lighted shops, gay crowds, illuminated coffee-houses, and 
theatre doors, to one of the city gates. Soldiers with lan- 
terns, at the guard-house there. ' Your papers, travellers ! ' 
'See here then, Monsieur the Officer,' said Defarge, getting 
down, and taking him gravely apart, 'these are the papers 
of monsieur inside, with the white head. They were con- 
signed to me, with him, at the ' He dropped his 

The Shoemaker 47 

voice, there was a flutter among the military lanterns, and 
one of them being handed into the coach by an arm in 
uniform, the eyes connected with the arm looked, not an 
every day or an every night look, at monsieur with the 
white head. ' It is well. Forward ! ' from the uniform. 
' Adieu ! ' from Defarge. And so, under a short grove of 
feebler and feebler over-swinging lamps, out under the great 
grove of stars. 

Beneath that arch of unmoved and eternal lights; some, 
so remote from this little earth that the learned tell us it is 
doubtful whether their rays had even yet discovered it, as a 
point in space where anything is suffered or done: the 
shadows of the night were broad and black. All through 
the cold and restless interval, until dawn, they once more 
whispered in the ears of Mr. Jarvis Lorry sitting opposite 
the buried man who had been dug out, and wondering what 
subtle powers were for ever lost to him, and what were 
capable of restoration the old inquiry: 

' I hope you care to be recalled to life ? ' 

And the old answer: 

' I can't say.' 






TELLSON'S Bank by Temple Bar was an old-fashioned 
place, even in the year one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty. It was very small, very dark, very ugly, very 
incommodious. It was an old-fashioned place, moreover, 
in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were 
proud of its smallness, proud of its darkness, proud of its 
ugliness, proud of its incommodiousness. They were even 
boastful of its eminence in those particulars, and were fired 
by an express conviction that, if it were less objectionable, 
it would be less respectable. This was no passive belief, 
but an active weapon which they flashed at more convenient 
places of business. Tellson's (they said) wanted no elbow 
room, Tellson's wanted no light, Tellson's wanted no em- 
bellishment. Noakes and Co.'s might, or Snooks Brothers' 
might; but Tellson's, thank Heaven! 

Any one of these partners would have disinherited his son 
on the question of rebuilding Tellson's. In this respect the 
House was much on a par with the Country; which did 
very often disinherit its sons for suggesting improvements 
in laws and customs that had long been highly objectionable, 
but were only the more respectable. 

Thus it had come to pass,- that Tellson's was the tri- 
umphant perfection of inconvenience. After bursting open 
a door of idiotic obstinacy with a weak rattle in its throat, 
you fell into Tellson's down two steps, and came to your 
senses in a miserable little shop, with two little counters, 
where the oldest of men made your cheque shake as if the 
wind rustled it, while they examined the signature by 
the dingiest of windows, which were always under a 
shower-bath of mud from Fleet Street, and which were made 


Five Years Later 49 

the dingier by their own iron bars proper, and the heavy 
shadow of Temple Bar. If your business necessitated your 
seeing ' the House, ' you were put into a species of Con- 
demned Hold at the back, where you meditated on a mis- 
spent life, until the House came with its hands in its pockets, 
and you could hardly blink at it in the dismal twilight. 
Your money came out of, or went into, wormy old wooden 
drawers, particles of which flew up your nose and down 
your throat when they were opened and shut. Your bank- 
notes had a musty odour, as if they were fast decomposing 
into rags again. Your plate was stowed away among the 
neighbouring cesspools, and evil communications corrupted 
its good polish in a day or two. Your deeds got into ex- 
temporised strong-rooms made of kitchens and sculleries, 
and fretted all the fat out of their parchments into the 
banking-house air. Your lighter boxes of family papers 
went upstairs into a Barmecide room, that always had a 
great dining-table in it and never had a dinner, and where, 
even in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty, 
the first letters written to you by your old love, or by your 
little children, were but newly released from the horror of 
being ogled through the windows, by the heads exposed on 
Temple Bar with an insensate brutality and ferocity worthy 
of Abyssinia or Ashantee. 

But indeed, at that time, putting to death was a recipe 
much in vogue with all trades and professions, and not least 
of all with Tellson's Death is Nature's remedy for all 
things, and why not Legislation's? Accordingly, the forger 
was put to Death; the utterer of a bad note was put to 
Death; the unlawful opener of a letter was put to Death; 
the purloiner of forty shillings and sixpence was put to 
Death; the holder of a horse at Tellson's door, who made 
off with it, was put to Death; the coiner of a bad shilling 
was put to Death; the sounders of three-fourths of the 
notes in the whole gamut of Crime, were put to Death. 
Not that it did the least good in the way of prevention it 
might almost have been worth remarking that the fact was 
exactly the reverse but, it cleared off (as to this world) the 
trouble of each particular case, and left nothing else con- 
nected with it to be looked after. Thus, Tellson's, in its 
day, like greater places of business, its contemporaries, had 

50 A Tale of Two Cities 

taken so many lives, that, if the heads laid low before it 
had been ranged on Temple Bar instead of being privately 
disposed of, they would probably have excluded what 
little light the ground floor had, in a rather significant 

Cramped in all kinds of dim cupboards and hutches at 
Tellson's, the oldest of men carried on the business gravely. 
When they took a young man into Tellson's London house, 
they hid him somewhere till he was old. They kept him in 
a dark place, like a cheese, until he had the full Tellson 
flavour and blue-mould upon him. Then only was he 
permitted to be seen, spectacularly poring over large books, 
and casting his breeches and gaiters into the general weight 
of the establishment. 

Outside Tellson's never by any means in it, unless 
called in was an odd- job man, an occasional porter and 
messenger, who served as the live sign of the house. He 
was never absent during business hours, unless upon an 
errand, and then he was represented by his son: a grisly 
urchin of twelve, who was his express image. People under- 
stood that Tellson's, in a stately way, tolerated the odd- 
job man. The house had always tolerated some person in 
that capacity, and time and tide had drifted this person to 
the post. His surname was Cruncher, and on the youthful 
occasion of his renouncing by proxy the works of darkness, 
in the easterly parish church of Hounsditch, he had received 
the added appellation of Jerry. 

The scene was Mr. Cruncher's private lodging in Hanging- 
sword-alley, Whitefriars: the time, half -past seven of the 
clock on a windy March morning, Anno Domini seventeen 
hundred and eighty. (Mr. Cruncher himself always spoke 
of the year of our Lord as Anna Dominoes : apparently under 
the impression that the Christian era dated from the inven- 
tion of a popular game, by a lady who had bestowed her 
name upon it.) 

Mr. Cruncher's apartments were not in a savoury neigh- 
bourhood, and were but two in number, even if a closet with 
a single pane of glass in it might be counted as one. But 
they were very decently kept. Early as it was, on the 
windy March morning, the room in which he lay a-bed was 
already scrubbed throughout; and between the cups and 

Five Years Later 51 

saucers arranged for breakfast, and the lumbering deal 
table, a very clean white cloth was spread. 

Mr. Cruncher reposed under a patchwork counterpane, 
like a Harlequin at home. At first, he slept heavily, but, by 
degrees, began to roll and surge in bed, until he rose above 
the surface, with his spiky hair looking as if it must tear the 
sheets to ribbons. At which juncture, he exclaimed, in a 
voice of dire exasperation: 

' Bust me, if she ain't at it again ! ' 

A woman of orderly and industrious appearance rose from 
her knees in a corner, with sufficient haste and trepidation 
to show that she was the person referred to. 

' What ! ' said Mr. Cruncher, looking out of bed for a boot. 
'You're at it agin, are you?' 

After hailing the morn with this second salutation, he 
threw a boot at the woman as a third. It was a very muddy 
boot, and may introduce the odd circumstance connected 
with Mr. Cruncher's domestic economy, that, whereas he 
often came home after banking hours with clean boots, he 
often got up next morning to find the same boots covered 
with clay. 

' What, ' said Mr. Cruncher, varying his apostrophe after 
missing his mark- -' what are you up to, Aggerawayter ? ' 

' I was only saying my prayers. ' 

' Saying your prayers ! You're a nice woman! What do 
you mean by flopping yourself down and praying agin me ? ' 

'I was not praying against you; I was praying for you/ 

'You weren't. And if you were, I won't be took the 
liberty with. Here! your mother's a nice woman, young 
Jerry, going a praying agin your father's prosperity. 
You've got a dutiful mother, you have, my son. You've 
got a religious mother, you have, my boy : going and flopping 
herself down, and praying that the bread-and-butter may 
be snatched out of the mouth of her only child.' 

Master Cruncher (who was in his shirt) took this very ill, 
and, turning to his mother, strongly deprecated any praying 
away of his personal board. 

'And what do you suppose, you conceited female,' said 
Mr. Cruncher, with unconscious inconsistency, 'that the 
worth of your prayers may be ? Name the price that you 
put your prayers at ! ' 

52 A Tale of Two Cities 

'They only come from the heart, Jerry. They are worth 
no more than that.' 

'Worth no more than that/ repeated Mr. Cruncher. 
'They ain't worth much, then. Whether or no, I won't be 
prayed agin, I tell you. I can't afford it. I 'm not a going 
to be made unlucky by your sneaking. If you must go 
flopping yourself down, flop in favour of your husband and 
child, and not in opposition to 'em. If I had had any but 
a unnat'ral wife, and this poor boy had had any but a un- 
nat'ral mother, I might have made some money last week 
instead of being counterprayed and countermined and 
religiously circumwented into the worst of luck. B-u-u-ust 
me ! ' said Mr. Cruncher, who all this time had been putting 
on his clothes, 'if I ain't, what with piety and one bio wed 
thing an another, been choused this last week into as bad 
luck as ever a poor devil of a honest tradesman met with! 
Young Jerry, dress yourself, my boy, and while I clean my 
boots keep a eye upon your mother now and then, and if 
you see any signs of more flopping, give me a call. For, 
I tell you ' here he addressed his wife once more ' I won't 
be gone agin, in this matter. I am as rickety as a hackney- 
coach, I'm as sleepy as laudanum, my lines is strained to 
that degree that I shouldn't know, if it wasn't for the pain 
in 'em, which was me and which somebody else, yet I'm 
none the better for it in pocket; and it's my suspicion that 
you 've been at it from morning to night to prevent me from 
being the better for it in pocket, and I won't put up with 
it, Aggerawayter, and what do you say now!' 

Growling, in addition, such phrases as 'Ah! yes! You're 
religious, too. You wouldn't put yourself in opposition to 
the interests of your husband and child, would you ? Not 
you ! ' and throwing off other sarcastic sparks from the 
whirling grindstone of his indignation, Mr. Cruncher betook 
himself to his boot-cleaning and his general preparation for 
business. In the meantime, his son, whose head was gar- 
nished with tenderer spikes, and whose young eyes stood 
close by one another, as his father's did, kept the required 
watch upon his mother. He greatly disturbed that poor 
woman at intervals, by darting out of his sleeping closet, 
where he made his toilet, with a suppressed cry of 'You 
are going to flop, mother. Halloa, father! ' and, after raising 

Five Years Later 53 

this fictitious alarm, darting in again with an undutiful 

Mr. Cruncher's temper was not at all improved when he 
came to his breakfast. He resented Mrs. Cruncher's saying 
grace with particular animosity. 

' Now, Aggeraway ter ! What are you up to ? At it 
agin ? ' 

His wife explained that she had merely 'asked a blessing.' 

'Don't do it!' said Mr. Cruncher, looking about, as if he 
rather expected to see the loaf disappear under the efficacy 
of his wife's petitions. 'I ain't a going to be blest out of 
house and home. I won't have my wittles blest off my 
table. Keep still!' 

Exceedingly red-eyed and grim, as if he had been up all 
night at a party which had taken anything but a convivial 
turn, Jerry Cruncher worried his breakfast rather than ate it, 
growling over it like any four-footed inmate of a menagerie. 
Towards nine o'clock he smoothed his ruffled aspect, and, 
presenting as respectable and business-like an exterior as 
he could overlay his natural self with, issued forth to the 
occupation of the day. 

It could scarcely be called a trade, in spite of his favourite 
description of himself as 'a honest tradesman.' His stock 
consisted of a wooden stool, made out of a broken-backed 
chair cut down, which stool, young Jerry, walking at his 
father's side, carried every morning to beneath the banking- 
house window that was nearest Temple Bar: where, with 
the addition of the first handful of straw that could be 
gleaned from any passing vehicle to keep the cold and wet 
from the odd-job man's feet, it formed the encampment for 
the day. On this post of his, Mr. Cruncher was as well 
known to Fleet Street and the Temple, as the Bar itself 
and was almost as ill-looking. 

Encamped at a quarter before nine, in good time to touch 
his three-cornered hat to the oldest of the men as they 
passed in to Tellson's, Jerry took up his station on this 
windy March morning, with young Jerry standing by him, 
when not engaged in making forays through the Bar, to 
inflict bodily and mental injuries of an acute description on 
passing boys who were small enough for his amiable purpose. 
Father and son, extremely like each other, looked silently on 

54 A Tale of Two Cities 

at the morning traffic in Fleet Street, with their two heads as 
near to one another as the two eyes of each were, bore a 
considerable resemblance to a pair of monkeys. The re- 
semblance was not lessened by the accidental circumstance, 
that the mature Jerry bit and spat out straw, while the 
twinkling eyes of the youthful Jerry were as restlessly watch- 
ful of him as of everything else in Fleet Street. 

The head of one of the regular indoor messengers attached 
to Tellson's establishment was put through the door, and 
the word was given: 

' Porter wanted ! ' 

'Hooray, father! Here 's an early job to begin with!' 

Having thus given his parent God speed, young Jerry 
seated himself on the stool, entered on his reversionary 
interest in the straw his father had been chewing, and 

' Al-ways rusty ! His fingers is al-ways rusty ! ' muttered 
young Jerry. ' Where does my father get all that iron rust 
from? He don't get no iron rust here! ' 



'You know the Old Bailey well, no doubt?' said one of 
the oldest of clerks to Jerry the messenger. 

'Ye-es, sir,' returned Jerry, in something of a dogged 
manner. ' I do know the Bailey.' 

' Just so. And you know Mr. Lorry.' 

'I know Mr. Lorry, sir, much better than I know the 
Bailey. Much better,' said Jerry, not unlike a reluctant 
witness at the establishment in question, 'than I, as a 
honest tradesman, wish to know the Bailey.' 

'Very well. Find the door where the witnesses go in, 
and show the door-keeper this note for Mr. Lorry. He will 
then let you in.' 

' Into the court, sir ? * 

'Into the court.' 

A Sight 55 

Mr. Cruncher's eyes seemed to get a little closer to one 
another, and to interchange the inquiry, ' What do you think 
of this ? ' 

' Am I to wait in the court, sir ? ' he asked, as the result 
of that conference. 

'I am going to tell you. The door-keeper will pass the 
note to Mr. Lorry, and do you make any gesture that will 
attract Mr. Lorry's attention, and show him where you 
stand. Then what you have to do is, to remain there until 
he wants you.' 

'Is that all, sir?' 

'That is all. He wishes to have a messenger at hand. 
This is to tell him you are there.' 

As the ancient clerk deliberately folded and superscribed 
the note, Mr. Cruncher, after surveying him in silence until 
he came to the blotting-paper stage, remarked: 

' I suppose they '11 be trying Forgeries this morning ? ' 

' Treason ! ' 

'That 's quartering,' said Jerry. 'Barbarous!' 

'It is the law,' remarked the ancient clerk, turning his 
surprised spectacles upon him. ' It is the law.' 

' It 's hard in the law to spile a man, I think. It 's hard 
enough to kill him, but it 's werry hard to spile him, sir.' 

'Not at all,' returned the ancient clerk. 'Speak well 
of the law. Take care of your chest and voice, my good 
friend, and leave the law to take care of itself. I give you 
that advice.' 

' It 's the damp, sir, what settles on my chest and voice,' 
said Jerry. 'I leave you to judge what a damp way of 
earning a living mine is.' 

'Well, well,' said the old clerk; 'we all have our various 
ways of gaining a livelihood. Some of us have damp ways, 
and some of us have dry ways. Here is the letter. Go 

Jerry took the letter, and, remarking to himself with less 
internal deference than he made an outward show of, ' You 
are a lean old one, too,' made his bow, informed his son, in 
passing, of his destination, and went his way. 

They hanged at Tyburn in those days, so the street out- 
side Newgate had not obtained one infamous notoriety that 
has since attached to it. But, the jail was a vile place, in 

A Tale of Two Cities 

which most kinds of debauchery and villainy were practised, 
and where dire diseases were bred, that came into court 
with the prisoners, and sometimes rushed straight from the 
dock at my Lord Chief Justice himself, and pulled him off 
the bench. It had more than once happened, that the Judge 
in the black cap pronounced his own doom as certainly as 
the prisoner's, and even died before him. For the rest, the 
Old Bailey was famous as a kind of deadly inn yard, from 
which pale travellers set out continually, in carts and coaches, 
on a violent passage into the other world; traversing some 
two miles and a half of public street and road, and shaming 
few good citizens, if any. So powerful is use, and so desirable 
to be good use in the beginning. It was famous, too, for 
the pillory, a wise old institution, that inflicted a punishment 
of which no one could forsee the extent; also, for the 
whipping-post, another dear old institution, very humanising 
and softening to behold in action ; also, for extensive trans- 
actions in blood-money, another fragment of ancestral wis- 
dom, systematically leading to the most frightful mercenary 
crimes that could be committed under Heaven. Altogether, 
the Old Bailey, at that date, was a choice illustration of the 
precept that 'Whatever is, is right'; an aphorism that 
would be as final as it is lazy, did it not include the trouble- 
some consequence, that nothing that ever was, was wrong. 

Making his way through the tainted crowd, dispersed up 
and down this hideous scene of action, with the skill of a 
man accustomed to make his way quietly, the messenger 
found out the door he sought, and handed in his letter 
through a trap in it. For, people then paid to see the play 
at the Old Bailey, just as they paid to see the play in 
Bedlam only the former entertainment was much the 
dearer. Therefore, all the Old Bailey doors were well 
guarded except, indeed, the social doors by which the 
criminals got there, and those were always left wide open. 

After some delay and demur, the door grudgingly turned 
on its hinges a very little way, and allowed Mr. Jerry 
Cruncher to squeeze himself into court. 

' What 's on ? ' he asked, in a whisper, of the man he 
found himself next to. 

'Nothing yet.' 

' What 's coming on ? ' 

A Sight 57 

'The Treason case/ 

'The quartering one, eh?' 

' Ah ! ' returned the man, with a relish ; ' he '11 be drawn 
on a hurdle to be half hanged, and then he '11 be taken down 
and sliced before his own face, and then his inside will be 
taken out and burnt while he looks on, and then his head 
will be chopped off, and he '11 be cut into quarters. That 's 
the sentence.' 

' If he 's found Guilty, you mean to say ? ' Jerry added, by 
way of proviso. 

'Oh! they'll find him guilty,' said the other. 'Don't 
you be afraid of that.' 

Mr. Cruncher's attention was here diverted to the door- 
keeper, whom he saw making his way to Mr. Lorry, with 
the note in his hand. Mr. Lorry sat at the table, among the 
gentlemen in wigs: not far from a wigged gentleman, the 
prisoner's counsel, who had a great bundle of papers before 
him: and nearly opposite another wigged gentleman with 
his hands in his pockets, whose whole attention, when Mr. 
Cruncher looked at him then or afterwards, seemed to be 
concentrated on the ceiling of the court. After some gruff 
coughing and rubbing of his chin and signing with his hand, 
Jerry attracted the notice of Mr. Lorry, who had stood up 
to look for him, and who quietly nodded and sat down again. 

' What 's he got to do with the case ? ' asked the man he 
had spoken with. 

'Blest if I know,' said Jerry. 

'What have you got to do with it, then, if a person may 

'Blest if I know that either,' said Jerry. 

The entrance of the Judge, and a consequent great stir 
and settling down in the court, stopped the dialogue. 
Presently, the dock became the central point of interest. 
Two jailers, who had been standing there, went out, and 
the prisoners were brought in, and put to the bar. 

Everybody present, except the one wigged gentleman who 
looked at the ceiling, stared at him. All the human breath 
in the place, rolled at him, like a sea, or a wind, or a fire. 
Eager faces strained round pillars and corners, to get a sight 
of him; spectators in back rows stood up, not to miss a 
hair of him; people on the floor of the court, laid their 

A Tale of Two Cities 

hands on the shoulders of the people before them, to help 
themselves, at anybody's cost, to a view of him stood 
a-tiptoe, got upon ledges, stood upon next to nothing, to see 
every inch of him. Conspicuous among these latter, like an 
animated bit of the spiked wall of Newgate, Jerry stood: 
aiming at the prisoner the beery breath of a whet he had 
taken as he came along, and discharging it to mingle with the 
waves of other beer, and gin, and tea, and coffee, and what 
not, that flowed at him, and already broke upon the great 
windows behind him in an impure mist and rain. 

The object of all this staring and blaring, was a young 
man of about five-and-twenty, well grown and well-looking, 
with a sunburnt cheek and a dark eye. His condition was 
that of a young gentleman. He was plainly dressed in black, 
or very dark grey, and his hair, which was long and dark, 
was gathered in a ribbon at the back of his neck; more to 
be out of his way than for ornament. As an emotion of the 
mind will express itself through any covering of the body, 
so the paleness which his situation engendered came 
through the brown upon his cheek, showing the soul to be 
stronger than the sun. He was otherwise quite self- 
possessed, bowed to the Judge, and stood quiet. 

The sort of interest with which this man was stared and 
breathed at, was not a sort that elevated humanity. Had he 
stood in peril of a less horrible sentence had there been a 
chance of any one of its savage details being spared by 
just so much would he have lost in his fascination. The 
form that was to be doomed to be so shamefully mangled, 
was the sight; the immortal creature that was to be so 
butchered and torn asunder, yielded the sensation. What- 
ever gloss the various spectators put upon the interest, 
according to their several arts and powers of self-deceit, the 
interest was, at the root of it, Ogreish. 

* Silence in the court! Charles Darnay had yesterday 
pleaded Not Guilty to an indictment denouncing him (with 
infinite jingle and jangle) for that he was a false traitor to 
our serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, prince, our 
Lord the King, by reason of his having, on divers occasions, 
and by divers means and ways, assisted Lewis, the French 
King, in his wars against the said serene, illustrious, excel- 
lent, and so forth; that was to say, by coming and going, 

A Sight 59 

between the dominions of our said serene, illustrious, 
excellent, and so forth, and those of the said French Lewis, 
and wickedly, falsely, traitorously, and otherwise evil- 
adverbiously, revealing to the said French Lewis what forces 
our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, had in 
preparation to send to Canada and North America. This 
much, Jerry, with his head becoming more and more spiky 
as the law terms bristled it, made out with huge satisfaction, 
and so arrived circuitously at the understanding that the 
aforesaid, and over and over again aforesaid, Charles 
Darnay, stood there before him upon his trial; that the jury 
were swearing in; and that Mr. Attorney-General was 
making ready to speak. 

The accused, who was (and who knew he was) being 
mentally hanged, beheaded, and quartered, by everybody 
there, neither flinched from the situation, nor assumed any 
theatrical air in it. He was quiet and attentive; watched 
the opening proceedings with a grave interest; and stood 
with his hands resting on the slab of wood before him, so 
composedly, that they had not displaced a leaf of the herbs 
with which it was strewn. The court was all bestrewn with 
herbs and sprinkled with vinegar, as a precaution against 
jail air and jail fever. 

Over the prisoner's head there was a mirror, to throw the 
light down upon him. Crowds of the wicked and the 
wretched had been reflected in it, and had passed from its 
surface and this earth's together. Haunted in a most 
ghastly manner that abominable place would have been, if 
the glass could ever have rendered back its reflections, as 
the ocean is one day to give up its dead. Some passing 
thought of the infamy and disgrace for which it had been 
reserved, may have struck the prisoner's mind. Be that as 
it may, a change in his position making him conscious of a 
bar of light across his face, he looked up ; and when he saw 
the glass his face flushed, and his right hand pushed the 
herbs away. 

It happened, that the action turned his face to that side 
of the court which was on his left. About on a level with 
his eyes, there sat, in that corner of the Judge's bench, two 
persons upon whom his look immediately rested; so 
immediately, and so much to the changing of his aspect, 

60 A Tale of Two Cities 

that all the eyes that were turned upon him, turned to 

The spectators saw in the two figures, a young lady of 
little more than twenty, and a gentleman who was evidently 
her father; a man of a very remarkable appearance in 
respect of the absolute whiteness of his hair, and a certain 
indescribable intensity of his face : not of an active kind, but 
pondering and self-communing. When this expression was 
upon him, he looked as if he were old; but when it was 
stirred and broken up as it was now, in a moment, on his 
speaking to his daughter he became a handsome man, not 
past the prime of life. 

His daughter had one of her hands drawn through his 
arm, as she sat by him, and the other pressed upon it. She 
had drawn close to him, in her dread of the scene, and in 
her pity for the prisoner. Her forehead had been strikingly 
expressive of an engrossing terror and compassion that saw 
nothing but the peril of the accused. This had been so 
very noticeable, so very powerfully and naturally shown, that 
starers who had had no pity for him were touched by her; 
and the whisper went about, ' Who are they ? ' 

Jerry, the messenger, who had made his own observations, 
in his own manner, and who had been sucking the rust off 
his fingers in his absorption, stretched his neck to hear who 
they were. The crowd about him had pressed and passed 
the inquiry on to the nearest attendant, and from him it had 
been more slowly pressed and passed back; at last it got to 


' For which side ? ' 


* Against what side ? * 

'The prisoner's.' 

The Judge, whose eyes had gone in the general direction, 
recalled them, leaned back in his seat, and looked steadily 
at the man whose life was in his hand, as Mr. Attorney- 
General rose to spin the rope, grind the axe, and hammer 
the nails into the scaffold. 

A Disappointment 61 



MR. ATTORNEY-GENERAL had to inform the jury, that the 
prisoner before them, though young in years, was old in the 
treasonable practices which claimed the forfeit of his life. 
That this correspondence with the public enemy was not a 
correspondence of to-day, or of yesterday, or even of last 
year, or of the year before. That, it was certain the 
prisoner had, for longer than that, been in the habit of pass- 
ing and repassing between France and England, on secret 
business of which he could give no honest account. That, 
if it were in the nature of traitorous ways to thrive (which 
happily it never was), the real wickedness and guilt of his 
business might have remained undiscovered. That Provi- 
dence, however, had put it into the heart of a person who 
was beyond fear and beyond reproach, to ferret out the 
nature of the prisoner's schemes, and, struck with horror, 
to disclose them to His Majesty's Chief Secretary of State 
and most honourable Privy Council. That, this patriot 
would be produced before them. Thati his position and 
attitude were, on the whole, sublime. That, he had been 
the prisoner's friend, but, at once in an auspicious and an 
evil hour detecting his infamy, had resolved to immolate the 
traitor he could no longer cherish in his bosom, on the sacred 
altar of his country. That, if statues were decreed in Britain 
as in ancient Greece and Rome, to public benefactors, this 
shining citizen would assuredly have had one. That, as 
they were not so decreed, he probably would not have one. 
That, Virtue, as had been observed by the poets (in many 
passages which he well knew the jury would have, word for 
word, at the tips of their tongues; whereat the jury's coun- 
tenances displayed a guilty consciousness that they knew 
nothing about the passages), was in a manner contagious; 
more especially the bright virtue known as patriotism, or 
love of country. That, the lofty example of this immaculate 
and unimpeachable witness for the Crown, to refer to whom 
however unworthily was an honour, had communicated 
itself to the prisoner's servant, and had engendered in him a 

62 A Tale of Two Cities 

holy determination to examine his master's table drawers 
and pockets, and secrete his papers. That, he (Mr. Attor- 
ney-General) was prepared to hear some disparagement 
attempted of this admirable servant; but that, in a general 
way, he preferred him to his (Mr. Attorney-General's) 
brothers and sisters, and honoured him more than his (Mr. 
Attorney-General's) father and mother. That, he called with 
confidence on the jury to come and do likewise. That, the 
evidence of these two witnesses, coupled with the documents 
of their discovering that would be produced, would show the 
prisoner to have been furnished with lists of His Majesty's 
forces, and of their disposition and preparation, both by sea 
and land, and would leave no doubt that he had habitually 
conveyed such information to a hostile power. That, these 
lists could not be proved to be in the prisoner's handwriting; 
but that it was all the same ; that, indeed, it was rather the 
better for the prosecution, as showing the prisoner to be art- 
ful in his precautions. That, the proof would go back five 
years, and would show the prisoner already engaged in these 
pernicious missions within a few weeks before the date of 
the very first action fought between the British troops and 
the Americans. That, for these reasons, the jury, being a 
loyal jury (as he knew they were), and being a responsible 
jury (as they knew they were), must positively find the 
prisoner Guilty, and make an end of him, whether they liked 
it or not. That, they never could lay their heads upon 
their pillows ; that, they never could tolerate the idea of their 
wives laying their heads upon their pillows ; that, they never 
could endure the notion of their children laying their heads 
upon their pillows ; in short, that there never more could be, 
for them or theirs, any laying of heads upon pillows at all, 
unless the prisoner's head was taken off. That head Mr. 
Attorney-General concluded by demanding of them, in the 
name of everything he could think of with a round turn in 
it, and on the faith of his solemn asseveration that he already 
considered the prisoner as good as dead and gone. 

When the Attorney-General ceased, a buzz arose in the 
court as if a cloud of great blue-flies were swarming about 
the prisoner, in anticipation of what he was soon to become. 
When toned down again, the unimpeachable patriot ap- 
peared in the witness-box. 

A Disappointment 63 

Mr. Solicitor-General then, following his leader's lead, 
examined the patriot: John Barsad, gentleman, by name. 
The story of his pure soul was exactly what Mr. Attorney- 
General had described it to be perhaps, if it had a fault, a 
little too exactly. Having released his noble bosom of its 
burden, he would have modestly withdrawn himself, but 
that the wigged gentleman with the papers before him, sitting 
not far from Mr. Lorry, begged to ask him a few questions. 
The wigged gentleman sitting opposite, still looking at the 
ceiling of the court. 

Had he ever been a spy himself? No, he scorned the 
base insinuation. What did he live upon ? His property. 
Where was his property ? He didn't precisely remember 
where it was. What was it? No business of anybody's. 
Had he inherited it ? Yes, he had. From whom ? Distant 
relation. Very distant? Rather. Ever been in prison? 
Certainly not. Never in a debtors' prison? Didn't see 
what that had to do with it. Never in a debtors' prison? 
Come, once again. Never? Yes. How many times? 
Two or three times. Not five or six? Perhaps. Of what 
profession? Gentleman. Ever been kicked ? Might have 
been. Frequently? No. Ever kicked downstairs? De- 
cidedly not ; once received a kick on the top of the staircase 
and fell downstairs of his own accord. Kicked on that 
occasion for cheating at dice? Something to that effect 
was said by the intoxicated liar who committed the assault, 
but it was not true. Swear it was not true ? Positively. 
Ever live by cheating at play ? Never. Ever live by play ? 
Not more than other gentlemen do. Ever borrow money 
of the prisoner ? Yes. Ever pay him ? No. Was not this 
intimacy with the prisoner, in reality a very slight one, 
forced upon the prisoner in coaches, inns, and packets ? No. 
Sure he saw the prisoner with these lists ? Certain. Knew 
no more about the lists? No. Had not procured them 
himself, for instance ? No. Expect to get anything by this 
evidence? No. Not in regular government pay and em- 
ployment, to lay traps? Oh dear no. Or to do anything? 
Oh dear no. Swear that? Over and over again. No 
motives but motives of sheer patriotism ? None whatever. 

The virtuous servant, Roger Cly, swore his way through 
the case at a great rate. He had taken service with the 

A Tale of Two Cities 

prisoner, in good faith and simplicity, four years ago. He 
had asked the prisoner, aboard the Calais packet, if he 
wanted a handy fellow, and the prisoner had engaged him. 
He had not asked the prisoner to take the handy fellow as 
an act of charity never thought of such a thing. He began 
to have suspicions of the prisoner, and to keep an eye upon 
him, soon afterwards. In arranging his clothes, while 
travelling, he had seen similar lists to these in the prisoner's 
pockets, over and over again. He had taken these lists from 
the drawer of the prisoner's desk. He had not put them 
there first. He had seen the prisoner show these identical 
lists to French gentlemen at Calais, and similar lists to 
French gentlemen, both at Calais and Boulogne. He loved 
his country, and couldn't bear it, and had given information. 
He had never been suspected of stealing a silver teapot; 
he had been maligned respecting a mustard-pot, but it 
turned out to be only a plated one. He had known the last 
witness seven or eight years ; that was merely a coincidence. 
He didn't call it a particularly curious coincidence; most 
coincidences were curious. Neither did he call it a curious 
coincidence that true patriotism was his only motive too. 
He was a true Briton, and hoped there were many like him. 

The blue-flies buzzed again, and Mr. Attorney-General 
called Mr. Jarvis Lorry. 

'Mr. Jarvis Lorry, are you a clerk in Tellson's Bank?' 


'On a certain Friday night in November one thousand 
seven hundred and seventy-five, did business occasion you 
to travel between London and Dover by the mail?' 

'It did.' 

' Were there any other passengers in the mail ? ' 


' Did they alight on the road in the course of the night ? ' 

'They did.' 

' Mr. Lorry, look upon the prisoner. Was he one of those 
two passengers ? ' 

' I cannot undertake to say that he was.' 

' Does he resemble either of those two passengers ? ' 

'Both were so wrapped up, and the night was so dark, 
and we were all so reserved, that I cannot undertake to say 
even that.' 

A Disappointment 65 

' Mr. Lorry, look again upon the prisoner. Supposing him 
wrapped up as those two passengers were, is there anything 
in his bulk and stature to render it unlikely that he was one 
of them?' 


'You will not swear, Mr. Lorry, that he was not one of 
them ? ' 


'So at least you say he may have been one of them?' 

'Yes. Except that I remember them both to have been 
like myself timorous of highwaymen, and the prisoner 
has not a timorous air.' 

' Did you ever see a counterfeit of timidity, Mr. Lorry ? ' 

'I certainly have seen that/ 

'Mr. Lorry, look once more upon the prisoner. Have 
you seen him, to your certain knowledge, before?' 

'I have/ 

' When ? ' 

'I was returning from 'France a few days afterwards, and, 
at Calais, the prisoner came on board the packet-ship in 
which I returned, and made the voyage with me/ 

' At what hour did he come on board ? ' 

'At a little after midnight/ 

'In the dead of the night. Was he the only passenger 
who came on board at that untimely hour ? ' 

'He happened to be the only one/ 

'Never mind about " happening," Mr. Lorry. He was 
the only passenger who came on board in the dead of the 
night ? ' 

'He was/ 

' Were you travelling alone, Mr. Lorry, or with any com- 
panion ? ' 

'With two companions. A gentleman and lady. They 
are here/ 

'They are here. Had you any conversation with the 
prisoner ? ' 

' Hardly any. The weather was stormy, and the passage 
long and rough, and I lay on a sofa, almost from shore to 

' Miss Manette ! ' 

The young lady, to whom all eyes had been turned before, 

66 A Tale of Two Cities 

and were now turned again, stood up where she had sat. 
Her father rose with her, and kept her hand drawn through 
his arm. 

'Miss Manette, look upon the prisoner.' 

To be confronted with such pity, and such earnest youth 
and beauty, was far more trying to the accused than to be 
confronted with all the crowd. Standing, as it were, apart 
with her on the edge of his grave, not all the staring 
curiosity that looked on, could, for the moment, nerve him 
to remain quite still. His hurried right hand parcelled out 
the herbs before him into imaginary beds of flowers in a 
garden; and his efforts to control and steady his breathing 
shook the lips from which the colour rushed to his heart. 
The buzz of the great flies was loud again. 

'Miss Manette, have you seen the prisoner before? ' 

'Yes, sir.' 

' Where ? ' 

'On board of the packet-ship just now referred to, sir, 
and on the same occasion.' 

'You are the young lady just now referred to?' 

' Oh ! most unhappily, I am ! ' 

The plaintive tone of her compassion merged into the less 
musical voice of the Judge, as he said something fiercely: 
'Answer the questions put to you, and make no remark 
upon them.' ' 

'Miss Manette, had you any conversation with the 
prisoner on that passage across the Channel ? ' 

'Yes, sir.' 

'Recall it.' 

In the midst of a profound stillness, she faintly began : 

'When the gentleman came on board ' 

' Do you mean the prisoner ? ' inquired the Judge, knitting 
his brows. 

'Yes, my Lord.' 

'Then say the prisoner/ 

'When the prisoner came on board, he noticed that my 
father ' turning her eyes lovingly to him as he stood beside 
her ' was much fatigued and in a very weak state of health. 
My father was so reduced that I was afraid to take him out 
of the air, and I had made a bed for him on the deck near 
the cabin steps, and I sat on the deck at his side to take 

A Disappointment 67 

care of him. There were no other passengers that night, 
but we four. The prisoner was so good as to beg permission 
to advise me how I could shelter my father from the wind 
and weather, better than I had done. I had not known how 
to do it well, not understanding how the wind would set 
when we were out of the harbour. He did it for me. He 
expressed great gentleness and kindness for my father's state, 
and I am sure he felt it. That was the manner of our 
beginning to speak together/ 

'Let me interrupt you for a moment. Had he come on 
board alone ? ' 


' How many were with him ? ' 

'Two French gentlemen.' 

' Had they conferred together ? ' 

'They had conferred together until the last moment, 
when it was necessary for the French gentlemen to be 
landed in their boat.' 

'Had any papers been handed about among them, 
similar to these lists ? ' 

'Some papers had been handed about among them, but 
I don't know what papers.' 

' Like these in shape and size ? ' 

'Possibly, but indeed I don't know, although they stood 
whispering very near to me: because they stood at the top 
of the cabin steps to have the light of the lamp that was 
hanging there; it was a dull lamp, and they spoke very 
low, and I did not hear what they said, and saw only that 
they looked at papers.' 

'Now to the prisoner's conversation, Miss Manette/ 

'The prisoner was as open in his confidence with me 
which arose out of my helpless situation as he was kind, 
and good, and useful to my father. I hope ' bursting into 
tears ' I may not repay him by doing him harm to-day.' 

Buzzing from the blue-flies. 

'Miss Manette, if the prisoner does not perfectly under- 
stand that you give the evidence which it is your duty to 
give which you must give and which you cannot escape 
from giving with great unwillingness, he is the only person 
present in that condition. Please to go on.' 

'He told me that he was travelling on business of a 

68 A Tale of Two Cities 

delicate and difficult nature, which might get people into 
trouble, and that he was therefore travelling under an 
assumed name. He said that his business had, within a 
few days, taken him to France, and might, at intervals, take 
him backwards and forwards between France and England 
for a long time to come.' 

'Did he say anything about America, Miss Manette? 
Be particular/ 

'He tried to explain to me how that quarrel had arisen, 
and he said that, so far as he could judge, it was a wrong 
and foolish one on England's part. He added, in a jesting 
way, that perhaps George Washington might gain almost as 
great a name in history as George the Third. But there was 
no harm in his way of saying this: it was said laughingly, 
and to beguile the time.' 

Any strongly marked expression of face on the part of a 
chief actor in a scene of great interest to whom many eyes 
are directed, will be unconsciously imitated by the spectators. 
Her forehead was painfully anxious and intent as she gave 
this evidence, and, in the pauses when she stopped for the 
Judge to write it down, watched its effect upon the counsel 
for and against. Among the lookers-on there was the same 
expression in all quarters of the court; insomuch, that a 
great majority of the foreheads there, might have been 
mirrors reflecting the witness, when the Judge looked up 
from his notes to glare at that tremendous heresy about 
George Washington. 

Mr. Attorney-General now signified to my Lord, that he 
deemed it necessary, as a matter of precaution and form, to 
call the young lady's father, Doctor Manette. Who was 
called accordingly. 

'Doctor Manette, look upon the prisoner. Have you 
ever seen him before ? ' 

'Once. When he called at my lodgings in London. 
Some three years, or three years and a half ago/ 

' Can you identify him as your fellow-passenger on board 
the packet, or speak to his conversation with your daughter ? ' 

'Sir, I can do neither/ 

'Is there any particular and special reason for your 
being unable to do either ? ' 

He answered, in a low voice, 'There is/ 

A Disappointment 69 

' Has it been your misfortune to undergo a long imprison- 
ment, without trial, or even accusation, in your native 
country, Doctor Manette ? ' 

He answered, in a tone that went to every heart, ' A long 
imprisonment. ' 

' Were you newly released on the occasion in question ? ' 

'They tell me so/ 

'Have you no remembrance of the occasion?' 

'None. My mind is a blank, from some time I cannot 
even say what time when I employed myself, in my 
captivity, in making shoes, to the time when I found myself 
living in London with my dear daughter here. She had 
become familiar to me, when a gracious God restored my 
faculties; but, I am quite unable even to say how she had 
become familiar. I have no remembrance of the process.' 

Mr. Attorney-General sat down, and the father and 
daughter sat down together. 

A singular circumstance then arose in the case. The 
object in hand being to show that the prisoner went down, 
with some fellow-plotter untracked, in the Dover mail on 
that Friday night in November five years ago, and got out 
of the mail in the night, as a blind, at a place where he did 
not remain, but from which he travelled back some dozen 
miles or more, to a garrison and dockyard, and there collected 
information; a witness was called to identify him as having 
been at the precise time required, in the coffee-room of an 
hotel in that garrison and dockyard town, waiting for another 
person. The prisoner's counsel was cross-examining this 
witness with no result, except that he had never seen the 
prisoner on any other occasion, when the wigged gentleman 
who had all this time been looking at the ceiling of the 
court, wrote a word or two on a little piece of paper, screwed 
it up, and tossed it to him. Opening this piece of paper in 
the next pause, the counsel looked with great attention and 
curiosity at the prisoner. 

' You say again you are quite sure that it was the prisoner ?' 

The witness was quite sure. 

'Did you ever see anybody very like the prisoner?' 

Not so like (the witness said) as that he could be mistaken. 

'Look well upon that gentleman, my learned friend 
there,' pointing to him who had tossed the paper over. 

jo A Tale of Two Cities 

'and then look well upon the prisoner. How say you? 
Are they very like each other ? ' 

Allowing for my learned friend's appearance being careless 
and slovenly if not debauched, they were sufficiently like 
each other to surprise, not only the witness, but everybody 
present, when they were thus brought into comparison. 
My Lord being prayed to bid my learned friend lay aside 
his wig, and giving no very gracious consent, the likeness 
became much more remarkable. My Lord inquired of Mr. 
Stryver (the prisoner's counsel) whether they were next to 
try Mr. Carton (name of my learned friend) for treason? 
But, Mr. Stryver replied to my Lord, no; but he would ask 
the witness to tell him whether what happened once, might 
happen twice; whether he would have been so confident if 
he had seen this illustration of his rashness sooner, whether 
he would be so confident, having seen it; and more. The 
upshot of which, was, to smash this witness like a crockery 
vessel, and shiver his part of the case to useless lumber. 

Mr. Cruncher had by this time taken quite a lunch of rust 
off his fingers in his following of the evidence. He had 
now to attend while Mr. Stryver fitted the prisoner's case on 
the jury, like a compact suit of clothes; showing them how 
the patriot, Barsad, was a hired spy and traitor, an unblush- 
ing trafficker in blood, and one of the greatest scoundrels 
upon earth since accursed Judas which he certainly did 
look rather Like. How the virtuous servant, Cly, was 
friend and partner, and was worthy to be ; how the watchful 
eyes of these forgers and false swearers had rested on the 
prisoner as a victim, because some family affairs in France, 
he being of French extraction, did require him making those 
passages across the Channel though what those affairs 
were, a consideration for others who were near and dear to 
him, forbade him, even for his life, to disclose. How the 
evidence that had been warped and wrested from the young 
lady, whose anguish in giving it they had witnessed, came to 
nothing, involving the mere little innocent gallantries and 
politeness likely to pass between any young gentleman and 
young lady so thrown together ; with the exception of that 
reference to George Washington, which was altogether too 
extravagant and impossible to be regarded in any other light 
than as a monstrous joke. How it would be a weakness in 

A Disappointment 71 

the government to break down in this attempt to practise for 
popularity on the lowest national antipathies and fears, and 
therefore Mr. Attorney-General had made the most of it; 
how, nevertheless, it rested upon nothing, save that vile and 
infamous character of evidence too often disfiguring such 
cases, and of which the State Trials of this country were 
full. But, there my Lord interposed (with as grave a face as 
if it had not been true), saying that he could not sit upon 
that Bench and suffer those allusions. 

Mr. Stryver then called his few witnesses, and Mr. 
Cruncher had next to attend while Mr. Attorney-General 
turned the whole suit of clothes Mr. Stryver had fitted on 
the jury, inside out: showing how Barsad and Cly were 
even a hundred times better than he had thought them, and 
the prisoner a hundred times worse. Lastly, came my Lord 
himself, turning the suit of clothes, now inside out, now 
outside in, but on the whole decidedly trimming and 
s^iaping them into grave-clothes for the prisoner. 

And now, the jury turned to consider, and the great flies 
swarmed again. 

Mr. Carton, who had so long sat looking at the ceiling of 
the court, changed neither his place nor his attitude, even in 
this excitement. While his learned friend, Mr. Stryver, 
massing his papers before him, whispered with those who 
sat near, and from time to time glanced anxiously at the 
jury; while all the spectators moved more or less, and 
grouped themselves anew; while even my Lord himself 
arose from his seat, and slowly paced up and down his 
platform, not unattended by a suspicion in the minds of the 
audience that his state was feverish; this one man sat 
leaning back, with his torn gown half off him, his untidy wig 
put on just as it had happened to light on his head after its 
removal, his hands in his pockets, and his eyes on the ceiling 
as they had been all day. Something especially reckless in 
his demeanour, not only gave him a disreputable look, but 
so diminished the strong resemblance he undoubtedly bore 
to the prisoner (which his momentary earnestness, when 
they were compared together, had strengthened) , that many 
of the lookers-on, taking note of him now, said to one 
another they would hardly have thought the two were so 
alike. Mr. Cruncher made the observation to his next 

72 A Tale of Two Cities 

neighbour, and added, 'I 'd hold half a guinea that he 
don't get no law- work to do. Don't look like the sort of 
one to get any, do he ? ' 

Yet, this Mr. Carton took in more of the details of the 
scene than he appeared to take in; for now, when Miss 
Manette's head dropped upon her father's breast, he was the 
first to see it, and to say audibly: 'Officer! look to that 
young lady. Help the gentleman to take her out. Don't 
you see she will fall ! ' 

There was much commiseration for her as she was 
removed, and much sympathy with her father. It had 
evidently been a great distress to him, to have the days of 
his imprisonment recalled. He had shown strong internal 
agitation when he was questioned, and that pondering or 
brooding look which made him old, had been upon him, like 
a heavy cloud, ever since. As he passed out, the jury, who 
had turned back and paused a moment, spoke, through 
their foreman. 

They were not agreed, and wished to retire. My Lord 
(perhaps with George Washington on his mind) showed 
some surprise that they were not agreed, but signified his 
pleasure that they should retire under watch and ward, and 
retired himself. The trial had lasted all day, and the lamps 
in the court were now being lighted. It began to be 
rumoured that the jury would be out a long while. The 
spectators dropped off to get refreshment, and the prisoner 
withdrew to the back of the dock, and sat down. 

Mr. Lorry, who had gone out when the young lady and 
her father went out, now reappeared, and beckoned to 
Jerry: who, in the slackened interest, could easily get near 

'Jerry, if you wish to take something to eat, you can. 
But, keep in the way. You will be sure to hear when the 
jury come in. Don't be a moment behind them, for I want 
you to take the verdict back to the bank. You are the 
quickest messenger I know, and will get to Temple Bar long 
before I can.' 

Jerry had just enough forehead to knuckle, and he 
knuckled it in acknowledgment of this communication and ( 
a shilling. Mr. Carton came up at the moment, and touched 
Mr. Lorry on the arm. 

A Disappointment 73 

' How is the young lady ? ' 

'She is greatly distressed; but her father is comforting 
her, and she feels the better for being out of court.' 

'I'll tell the prisoner so. It won't do for a respectable 
bank gentleman like you, to be seen speaking to him publicly, 
you know/ 

Mr. Lorry reddened as if he were conscious of having 
debated the point in his mind, and Mr. Carton made his 
way to the outside of the bar. The way out of court lay in 
that direction, and Jerry followed him, all eyes, ears, and 

'Mr. Darnayl' 
.The prisoner came forward directly. 

'You will naturally be anxious to hear of the witness, 
Miss Manette. She will do very well. You have seen the 
worst of her agitation.' 

' I am deeply sorry to have been the cause of it. Could 
you tell her so for me, with my fervent acknowledgments ? ' 

'Yes, I could. I will, if you ask it.' 

Mr. Carton's manner was so careless as to be almost 
insolent. He stood, half turned from the prisoner, lounging 
with his elbow against the bar. 

' I do ask it. Accept my cordial thanks/ 

'What/ said Carton, still only half turned towards him, 
' do you expect, Mr. Darnay ? ' 

'The worst/ 

' It 's the wisest thing to expect, and the likeliest. But I 
think their withdrawing is in your favour/ 

Loitering on the way out of court not being allowed, Jerry 
heard no more : but left them so like each other in feature, 
so unlike each other in manner standing side by side, both 
reflected in the glass above them. 

An hour and a half limped heavily away in the thief-and- 
rascal crowded passages below, even though assisted off with 
mutton pies and ale. The hoarse messenger, uncomfortably 
seated on a form after taking that refection, had dropped 
into a doze, when a loud murmur and a rapid tide of people 
setting up the stairs that led to the court, carried him along 
with them. 

'Jerry! Jerry!' Mr. Lorry was already calling at the 
door when he got there. 

74 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Here, sir! It 's a fight to get back again. Here I am, 


Mr. Lorry handed him a paper through the throng. 

' Quick ! Have you got it ? ' 

'Yes, sir!' 

Hastily written on the paper was the word 'ACQUITTED.' 

'If you had sent the message, "Recalled to Life," again,' 
muttered Jerry, as he turned, 'I should have known what 
you meant, this time.' 

He had no opportunity of saying, or so much as thinking, 
anything else, until he was clear of the Old Bailey; for, the 
crowd came pouring out with a vehemence that nearly took 
him off his legs, and a loud buzz swept into the street as if 
the baffled blue-flies were dispersing in search of other 



FROM the dimly lighted passages of the court, the last 
sediment of the human stew that had been boiling there all 
day, was straining off, when Doctor Manette, Lucie Manette, 
his daughter, Mr. Lorry, the solicitor for the defence, and 
its counsel, Mr. Stryver, stood gathered round Mr. Charles 
Darnay just released congratulating him on his escape 
from death, 

It would have been difficult by a far brighter light, to 
recognize in Doctor Manette, intellectual of face and upright 
of bearing, the shoemaker of the garret in Paris. Yet, no 
one could have looked at him twice, without looking again : 
even though the opportunity of observation had not ex- 
tended to the mournful cadence of his low grave voice, and 
to the abstraction that overclouded him fitfully, without any 
apparent reason. While one external cause, and that a 
reference to his long lingering agony, would always as on 
the trial evoke this condition from the depths of his soul, 
it was also in its nature to arise of itself, and to draw a 

Congratulatory 75 

gloom over him, as incomprehensible to those unacquainted 
with his story as if they had seen the shadow of the actual 
Bastille thrown upon him by a summer sun, when the sub- 
stance was three hundred miles away. 

Only his daughter had the power of charming this black 
brooding from his mind. She was the golden thread that 
united him to a Past beyond his misery, and to a Present 
beyond his misery: and the sound of her voice, the light of 
her face, the touch of her hand, had a strong beneficial 
influence with him almost always. Not absolutely always, 
for she could recall some occasions on which her power had 
failed ; but they were few and slight, and she believed them 

Mr. Darnay had kissed her hand fervently and gratefully, 
and had turned to Mr. Stryver, whom he warmly thanked. 
Mr. Stryver, a man of little more than thirty, but looking 
twenty years older than he was, stout, loud, red, bluff, and 
free from any drawback of delicacy, had a pushing way of 
shouldering himself (morally and physically) into companies 
and conversations, that argued well for his shouldering his 
way up in life. 

He still had his wig and gown on, and he said, squaring 
himself at his late client to that degree that he squeezed the 
innocent Mr. Lorry clean out of the group : ' I am glad to 
have brought you off with honour, Mr. Darnay. It was an 
infamous prosecution, grossly infamous; but not the less 
likely to succeed on that account.' 

'You have laid me under an obligation to you for life 
in two senses/ said his late client, taking his hand. 

'I have done my best for you, Mr. Darnay; and my best 
is as good as another man's, I believe.' 

It clearly being incumbent on someone to say, 'Much 
better, ' Mr. Lorry said it; perhaps not quite disinterestedly, 
but with the interested object of squeezing himself back 

' You think so ? ' said Mr. Stryver. ' Well ! you have been 
present all day, and you ought to know. You are a man 
of business, too.' 

' And as such/ quoth Mr. Lorry, whom the counsel learned 
in the law had now shouldered back into the group, just as 
he had previously shouldered him out of it ' as such I will 

7 6 

A Tale of Two Cities 

appeal to Doctor Manette, to break up this conference and 
order us all to our homes. Miss Lucie looks ill, Mr. Darnay 
has had a terrible day, we are worn out.' 

'Speak for yourself, Mr. Lorry,' said Stryver; 'I have a 
night's work to do yet. Speak for yourself/ 

'I speak for myself,' answered Mr. Lorry, 'and for Mr. 

Darnay, and for Miss Lucie, and Miss Lucie, do you 

not think I may speak for us all ? ' He asked her the 
question pointedly, and with a glance at her father. 

His face had become frozen, as it were, in a very curious 
look at Darnay: an intent look, deepening into a frown of 
dislike and distrust, not even unmixed with fear. With this 
strange expression on him his thoughts had wandered away. 

'My father,' said Lucie, softly laying her hand on his. 

He slowly shook the shadow off, and turned to her. 

' Shall we go home, my father ? ' 

With a long breath, he answered 'Yes.' 

The friends of the acquitted prisoner had dispersed, under 
the impression which he himself had originated that he 
would not be released that night. The lights were nearly 
all extinguished in the passages, the iron gates were being 
closed with a jar and a rattle, and the dismal place was 
deserted until to-morrow morning's interest of gallows, 
pillory, whipping-post, and branding-iron, should repeople 
it. Walking between her father and Mr. Darnay, Lucie 
Manette passed into the open air. A hackney-coach was 
called, and the father and daughter departed in it. 

Mr. Stryver had left them in the passages, to shoulder his 
way back to the robing-room. Another person, who had 
not joined the group, or interchanged a word with any one 
of them, but who had been leaning against the wall where 
its shadow was darkest, had silently strolled out after the 
rest, and had looked on until the coach drove away. He 
now stepped up to where Mr. Lorry and Mr. Darnay stood 
upon the pavement. 

'So, Mr. Lorry! Men of business may speak to Mr. 
Darnay now ? ' 

Nobody had made any acknowledgment of Mr. Carton's 

part in the day's proceedings ; nobody had known of it. He 

was unrobed, and was none the better for it in appearance. 

' If you knew what a conflict goes on in the business mind, 

Congratulatory 77 

when the business mind is divided between good-natured 
impulse and business appearances, you would be amused, 
Mr. Darnay/ 

Mr. Lorry reddened, and said, warmly, 'You have men- 
tioned that before, sir. We men of business, who serve a 
House, are not our own masters. We have to think of the 
House more than ourselves.' 

' / know, / know,' rejoined Mr. Carton, carelessly. ' Don't 
be nettled, Mr. Lorry. You are as good as another, I have 
no doubt: better, I dare say.' 

'And indeed, sir,' pursued Mr. Lorry, not minding him, 
' I really don't know what you have to do with the matter. 
If you '11 excuse me, as very much your elder, for saying so, 
I really don't know that it is your business.' 

' Business ! Bless you, I have no business,' said Mr. Carton. 

'It is a pity you have not, sir/ 

'I think so, too.' 

'If you had,' pursued Mr. Lorry, 'perhaps you would 
attend to it.' 

'Lord love you, no! I shouldn't/ said Mr. Carton. 

' W 7 ell, sir ! ' cried Mr. Lorry, thoroughly heated by his 
indifference, 'business is a very good thing, and a very 
respectable thing. And, sir, if business imposes its restraints 
and its silences and impediments, Mr. Darnay as a young 
gentleman of generosity knows how to make allowance for 
that circumstance. Mr. Darnay, good night, God bless you, 
sir! I hope you have been this day preserved for a pros- 
perous and happy life. Chair there!' 

Perhaps a little angry with himself, as well as with the 
barrister, Mr. Lorry bustled into the chair, and was carried 
off to Tellson's. Carton, who smelt of port wine, and did 
not appear to be quite sober, laughed then, and turned to 

' This is a strange chance that throws you and me together. 
This must be a strange night to you, standing alone here 
with your counterpart on these street stones ? ' 

'I hardly seem yet/ returned Charles Darnay, 'to belong 
to this world again/ 

' I don't wonder at it; it 's not so long since you were pretty 
far advanced on your way to another. You speak faintly/ 

'I begin to think I am faint/ 

A Tale of Two Cities 

'Then why the devil don't you dine? I dined, myself, 
while those numskulls were deliberating which world you 
should belong to this, or some other. Let me show you 
the nearest tavern to dine well at.' 

Drawing his arm through his own, he took him down 
Ludgate Hill to Fleet Street, and so, up a covered way, into 
a tavern. Here, they were shown into a little room, where 
Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength with a good 
plain dinner and good wine: while Carton sat opposite to 
him at the same table, with his separate bottle of port before 
him, and his fully half-insolent manner upon him. 

'Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial 
scheme again, Mr. Darnay ? ' 

' I am frightfully confused regarding time and place ; but 
I am so far mended as to feel that.' 

' It must be an immense satisfaction ! ' 

He said it bitterly, and filled up his glass again: which 
was a large one. 

' As to me, the greatest desire I have, is to forget that I 
belong to it. It has no good in it for me except wine like 
this nor I for it. So we are not much alike hi that par- 
ticular. Indeed, I begin to think we are not much alike in 
any particular, you and I.' 

Confused by the emotion of the day, and feeling his being 
there with this Double of coarse deportment, to be like a 
dream, Charles Darnay was at a loss how to answer; finally, 
answered not at all. 

'Now your dinner is done,' Carton presently said, 'why 
don't you call a health, Mr. Darnay; why don't you give 
your toast ? ' 

' What health ? What toast ? ' 

' Why, it 's on the tip of your tongue. It ought to be, it 
must be, I '11 swear it 's there.' 

' Miss Manette, then ! ' 

' Miss Manette, then ! ' 

Looking his companion full in the face while he drank 
the toast, Carton flung his glass over his shoulder against the 
wall, where it shivered to pieces; then, rang the bell, and 
ordered hi another. 

' That 's a fair young lady to hand to a coach hi the dark, 
Mr. Darnay ! ' he said, filling his new goblet. 

Congratulatory 79 

A slight frown and a laconic 'Yes,' were the answer. 

'That 's a fair young lady to be pitied by and wept for 
by! How does it feel? Is it worth being tried for one's 
life, to be the object of such sympathy and compassion, Mr. 
Darnay ? ' 

Again Darnay answered not a word. 

' She was mightily pleased to have your message, when I 
gave it to her. Not that she showed she was pleased, but I 
suppose she was.' 

The allusion served as a timely reminder to Darnay that 
this disagreeable companion had, of his own free will, 
assisted him in the strait of the day. He turned the dialogue 
to that point, and thanked him for it. 

'I neither want any thanks, nor merit any,' was the 
careless rejoinder. ' It was nothing to do, in the first place; 
and I don't know why I did it, in the second. Mr. Darnay, 
let me ask you a question.' 

' Willingly, and a small return for your good offices.' 

' Do you think I particularly like you ? ' 

'Really, Mr. Carton,' returned the other, oddly discon- 
certed, 'I have not asked myself the question.' 

' But ask yourself the question now.' 

'You have acted as if you do; but I don't think you 

'/ don't think I do/ said Carton. 'I begin to have a 
very good opinion of your understanding.' 

'Nevertheless,' pursued Darnay, rising to ring the bell, 
'there is nothing in that, I hope, to prevent my calling 
the reckoning, and our parting without ill-blood on either 

Carton rejoining, 'Nothing in life!' Darnay rang. 'Do 
you call the whole reckoning?' said Carton. On his 
answering in the affirmative, 'Then bring me another pint 
of this same wine, drawer, and come and wake me at 

The bill being paid, Charles Darnay rose and wished him 
good night. Without returning the wish, Carton rose too, 
with something of a threat of defiance in his manner, and 
said, ' A last word, Mr. Darnay : you think I am drunk ? ' 

'I think you have been drinking, Mr. Carton/ 

'Think? You know I have been drinking/ 

80 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Since I must say so, I know it.' 

' Then you shall likewise know why. I am a disappointed 
drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on 
earth cares for me.' 

'Much to be regretted. You might have used your 
talents better.' 

' Maybe so, Mr. Darnay ; maybe not. Don't let your sober 
face elate you, however; you don't know what it may come 
to. Good night!' 

When he was left alone, this strange being took up a 
candle, went to a glass that hung against the wall, and 
surveyed himself minutely in it. 

' Do you particularly like the man ? ' he muttered, at his 
own image; 'why should you particularly like a man who 
resembles you ? There is nothing in you to like ; you know 
that. Ah, confound you ! What a change you have made 
in yourself! A good reason for taking to a man, that he 
shows you what you have fallen away from, and what you 
might have been ! Change places with him, and would you 
have been looked at by those blue eyes as he was, and com- 
miserated by that agitated face as he was ? Come on, and 
have it out in plain words ! You hate the fellow ? ' 

He resorted to his pint of wine for consolation, drank it 
all in a few mimites, and fell asleep on his arms, with his 
hair straggling over the table, and a long winding-sheet in 
the candle dripping down upon him. 



THOSE were drinking days, and most men drank hard. 
So very great is the improvement Time has brought about 
in such habits, that a moderate statement of the quantity of 
wine and punch which one man would swallow in the course 
of a night, without any detriment to his reputation as a. 
perfect gentleman, would seem, in those days, a ridiculous 
exaggeration. The learned profession of the law was 

The Jackal 81 

certainly not behind any other learned profession in its 
Bacchanalian propensities ; neither was Mr. Stryver, already 
fast shouldering his way to a large and lucrative practice, 
behind his compeers in this particular, any more than in the 
drier parts of the legal race. 

A favourite at the Old Bailey, and eke at the Sessions, Mr. 
Stryver had begun cautiously to hew away the lower staves 
of the ladder on which he mounted. Sessions and Old 
Bailey had now to summon their favourite, specially, to their 
longing arms; and shouldering itself towards the visage of 
the Lord Chief Justice in the Court of King's Bench, the 
florid countenance of Mr. Stryver might be daily seen, 
bursting out of the bed of wigs, like a great sunflower 
pushing its way at the sun from among a rank gardenful of 
flaring companions. 

It had once been noted at the Bar, that while Mr. Stryver 
was a glib man, and an unscrupulous, and a ready, and a 
bold, he had not that faculty of extracting the essence from 
a heap of statements, which is among the most striking and 
necessary of advocate's accomplishments. But, a remark- 
able improvement came upon him as to this. The more 
business he got, the greater his power seemed to grow of 
getting at its pith and marrow; and however late at night 
he sat carousing with Sydney Carton, he always had his 
points at his fingers' ends in the morning. 

Sydney Carton, idlest and most unpromising of men, was 
Stryver's great ally. What the two drank together, between 
Hilary term and Michaelmas, might have floated a king's 
ship. Stryver never had a case in hand, anywhere, but 
Carton was there, with his hands in his pockets, staring at 
the ceiling of the court; they went the same Circuit, and 
even there they prolonged their usual orgies late into the 
night, and Carton was rumoured to be seen at broad day, 
going home stealthily and unsteadily to his lodgings, like a 
dissipated cat. At last, it began to get about, among such 
as were interested in the matter, that although Sydney 
Carton would never be a lion, he was an amazingly good 
jackal, and that he rendered suit and service to Stryver in 
that humble capacity. 

'Ten o'clock, sir,' said the man at the tavern, whom he 
had charged to wake him 'ten o'clock, sir.' 

82 A Tale of Two Cities 

'What's the matter?' 

'Ten o'clock, sir.' 

'What do you mean? Ten o'clock at night?' 

'Yes, sir. Your honour told me to call you/ 

'Oh! I remember. Very well, very well.' 

After a few dull efforts to get to sleep again, which the 
man dexterously combated by stirring the fire continuously 
for five minutes, he got up, tossed his hat on, and walked 
out. He turned into the Temple, and, having revived him- 
self by twice pacing the pavements of King's Bench Walk 
and Paper buildings, turned into the Stryver chambers. 

The Stryver clerk, who never assisted at these confer- 
ences, had gone home, and the Stryver principal opened 
the door. He had his slippers on, and a loose bed-gown, 
and his throat was bare for his greater ease. He had that 
rather wild, strange, seared marking about the eyes which 
may be observed in all free livers of his class, from the 
portrait of Jeffries downward, and which can be traced, 
under various disguises of Art, through the portraits of every 
Drinking Age. 

'You are a little late, Memory/ said Stryver. 

'About the usual time; it may be a quarter of an hour 

They went into a dingy room lined with books and 
littered with papers, where there was a blazing fire. A 
kettle steamed upon the hob, and in the midst of the wreck 
of papers a table shone, with plenty of wine upon it, and 
brandy, and rum, and sugar, and lemons. 

'You have had your bottle, I perceive, Sydney/ 

'Two to-night, I think. I have been dining with the 
day's client ; or seeing him dine it 's all one ! ' 

' That was a rare point, Sydney, that you brought to bear 
upon the identification. How did you come by it ? When 
did it strike you ? ' 

'I thought he was rather a handsome fellow, and I 
thought I should have been much the same sort of fellow, if 
I had had any luck/ 

Mr. Stryver laughed till he shook his precocious paunch. 

'You and your luck, Sydney! Get to work, get to work/ 

Sullenly enough, the jackal loosened his dress, went into 

an adjoining room, and came back with a large jug of cold 

The Jackal 83 

water, a basin, and a towel or two. Steeping the towels in 
the water, and partially wringing them out, he folded them 
on his head in a manner hideous to behold, sat down at the 
table, and said, ' Now I am ready ! ' 

'Not much boiling down to be done to-night, Memory/ 
said Mr. Stryver, gaily, as he looked among his papers. 

' How much ? ' 

'Only two sets of them.' 

'Give me the worst first/ 

'There they are, Sydney. Fire away!' 

The lion then composed himself on his back on a sofa 
on one side of the drinking table, while the jackal sat at his 
own paper-bestrewn table proper, on the other side of it, 
with the bottles and glasses ready to his hand. Both re- 
sorted to the drinking table without stint, but each in a 
different way; the lion for the most part reclining with 
his hands on his waistband, looking at the fire, or occasion- 
ally flirting with some lighter document; the jackal, with 
knitted brows and intent face, so deep in his task, that his 
eyes did not even follow the hand he stretched out for his 
glass which often groped about, for a minute or more, 
before it found the glass for his lips. Two or three times, 
the matter in hand became so knotty, that the jackal found 
it imperative on him to get up, and steep his towels anew. 
From these pilgrimages to the jug and basin, he returned 
with such eccentricities of damp head-gear as no words can 
describe; which were made the more ludicrous by his 
anxious gravity. 

At length the jackal had got together a compact repast 
for the lion, and proceeded to offer it to him. The lion 
took it with care and caution, made his selections from it, 
and his remarks upon it, and the jackal assisted both. 
When the repast was fully discussed, the lion put his hands 
in his waistband again, and lay down to meditate. The 
jackal then invigorated himself with a bumper for his 
throttle, and a fresh application to his head, and applied 
himself to the collection of a second meal ; this was adminis- 
tered to the lion in the same manner, and was not disposed 
of until the clocks struck three in the morning. 

' And now we have done, Sydney, fill a bumper of punch/ 
said Mr. Stryver. 

8 4 

A Tale of Two Cities 

The jackal removed the towels from his head, which had 
been steaming again, shook himself, yawned, shivered, and 

'You were very sound, Sydney, in the matter of those 
crown witnesses to-day. Every question told.' 

' I always am sound ; am I not ? ' 

'I don't gainsay it. What has roughened your temper? 
Put some punch to it and smooth it again.' 

With a deprecatory grunt, the jackal again complied. 

'The old Sydney Carton of old Shrewsbury School/ said 
Stryver, nodding his head over him as he revived him in 
the present and the past, ' the old seesaw Sydney. Up one 
minute and down the next; now in spirits and now in 
despondency ! ' 

' Ah ! ' returned the other, sighing : ' yes ! The same 
Sydney, with the same luck. Even then, I did exercises for 
other boys, and seldom did my own/ 

' And why not ? ' 

'God knows. It was my way, I suppose/ 

He sat, with his hands in his pockets and his legs stretched 
out before him, looking at the fire. 

'Carton/ said his friend, squaring himself at him with a 
bullying air, as if the fire-grate had been the furnace in 
which sustained endeavour was forged, and the one delicate 
thing to be done for the old Sydney Carton of old Shrews- 
bury School was to shoulder him into it, 'your way is, 
and always was, a lame way. You summon no energy 
and purpose. Look at me/ 

'Oh, botheration!' returned* Sydney, with a lighter and 
more good-humoured laugh, ' don't you be moral!' 

'How have I done what I have done?' said Stryver; 
'how do I do what I do?' 

'Partly through paying me to help you, I suppose. But 
it 's not worth your while to apostrophize me, or the air, 
about it ; what you want to do, you do. You were always in 
the front rank, and I was always behind/ 

' I had to get into the front rank ; I was not born there, 
was I ? ' 

' I was not present at the ceremony ; but my opinion is 
you were/ said Carton. At this, he laughed again, and 
they both laughed. 

The Jackal 85 

'Before Shrewsbury, and at Shrewsbury, and ever since 
Shrewsbury,' pursued Carton, 'you have fallen into your 
rank, and I have fallen into mine. Even when we were 
fellow-students in the Student-Quarter of Paris, picking up 
French, and French law, and other French crumbs that we 
didn't get much good of, you were always somewhere, and I 
was always nowhere/ 

' And whose fault was that ? ' 

' Upon my soul, I am not sure that it was not yours. You 
were always driving and riving and shouldering and pressing 
to that restless degree that I had no chance for my life but 
hi rust and repose. It 's a gloomy thing, however, to talk 
about one's own past, with the day breaking. Turn me in 
some other direction before I go.' 

'Well then! Pledge me to the pretty witness/ said 
Stryver, holding up his glass. 'Are you turned in a 
pleasant direction ? ' 

Apparently not, for he became gloomy again. 

'Pretty witness/ he muttered, looking down into his 
glass. 'I have had enough of witnesses to-day and to- 
night ; who 's your pretty witness ? ' 

'The picturesque doctor's daughter, Miss Manette/ 

'She pretty?' 

' Is she not ? ' 


'Why, man alive, she was the admiration of the whole 
court ! ' 

'Rot the admiration of the whole court! Who made 
the Old Bailey a judge of beauty ? She was a golden-haired 

'Do you know, Sydney/ said Mr. Stryver, looking at 
him with sharp eyes, and slowly drawing a hand across his 
florid face; 'do you know, I rather thought, at the time, 
that you sympathized with the golden-haired doll, and were 
quick to see what happened to the golden-haired doll ? ' 

'Quick to see what happened! If a girl, doll or no doll, 
swoons within a yard or two of a man's nose, he can see it 
without a perspective-glass. I pledge you, but I deny the 
beauty. And now I '11 have no more drink; I '11 get to 
bed/ " 

When his host followed him out on the staircase with a 

86 A Tale of Two Cities 

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 round and round before 
the morning blast, as if the desert sand had risen far away, 
and the fine spray of it in its advance had begun to over- 
whelm 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 
the 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. Climb- 
ing 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; 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 on him, and resigning 
himself to let it eat him away. 



THE quiet lodgings of Doctor Manette were in a street 
corner not far from Soho Square. On the afternoon of a 
certain fine Sunday when the waves of four months had 
rolled over the trial for treason, and carried it, as to the 
public interest and memory, far out to sea, Mr. Jarvis Lorry 
walked along the sunny streets from Clerkenwell where he 
lived, on his way to dine with the Doctor. After several 
relapses into business absorption, Mr. Lorry had become 

Hundreds of People 87 

the Doctor's friend, and the quiet street corner was the 
sunny part of his life. 

On this certain fine Sunday, Mr. Lorry walked towards 
Soho, early in the afternoon, for three reasons of habit. 
Firstly, because, on fine Sundays, he often walked out, be- 
fore dinner, with the Doctor and Lucie; secondly, because, 
on unfavourable Sundays, he was accustomed to be with 
them as the family friend, talking, reading, looking out of 
window, and generally getting through the day; thirdly, 
because he happened to have his own little shrewd doubts to 
solve, and knew how the ways of the Doctor's household 
pointed to that time as a likely time for solving them. 

A quainter corner than the corner where the Doctor lived, 
was not to be found in London. There was no way through 
it, and the front windows of the Doctor's lodgings com- 
manded a pleasant little vista of street that had a congenial 
air of retirement on it. There were few buildings then, north 
of the Oxford Road, and forest trees nourished, and wild 
flowers grew, and the hawthorn blossomed, in the now van- 
ished fields. As a consequence, country airs circulated in 
Soho with vigorous freedom, instead of languishing into the 
parish like stray paupers without a settlement; and there 
was many a good south wall, not far off, on which the 
peaches ripened in their season. 

The summer light struck into the corner brilliantly in the 
earlier part of the day; but, when the streets grew hot, the 
corner was in shadow, though not in shadow so remote but 
that you could see beyond it into a glare of brightness. It was 
a cool spot, staid but cheerful, a wonderful place for echoes, 
and a very harbour from the raging streets. 

There ought to have been a tranquil bark in such an 
anchorage, and there was. The Doctor occupied two floors 
of a large still house, where several callings purported to be 
pursued by day, but whereof little was audible any day, and 
which was shunned by all of them at night. In a building 
at the back, attainable by a courtyard where a plane-tree 
rustled its green leaves , church organs claimed to be made, 
and silver to be chased, and likewise gold to be beaten by 
some mysterious giant who had a golden arm starting out of 
the wall of the front hall as if he had beaten himself 
precious, and menaced a similar conversion of all visitors. 

A Tale of Two Cities 


Very little of these trades, or of a lonely lodger rumoured 
to live upstairs, or of a dim coach-trimming maker asserted 
to have a counting-house below, was ever heard or seen. 
Occasionally, a stray workman putting his coat on, traversed 
the hall, or a stranger peered about there, or a distant clink 
was heard across the courtyard, or a thump from the golden 
giant. These, however, were only the exceptions required 
to prove the rule that the sparrows in the plane-tree be- 
hind the house, and the echoes in the corner before it, 
had their own way from Sunday morning unto Saturday 

Doctor Manette received such patients here as his old 
reputation, and its revival in the floating whispers of his 
story, brought him. His scientific knowledge, and his 
vigilance and skill in conducting ingenious experiments, 
brought him otherwise into moderate request, and he earned 
as much as he wanted. 

These things were within Mr. Jarvis Lorry's knowledge, 
thoughts, and notice, when he rang the door bell of the 
tranquil house in the corner, on the fine Sunday afternoon. 

'Doctor Manette at borne?' 

Expected home. 

'Miss Lucie at home?' 

Expected home. 

'Miss Pross at home?' 

Possibly at home, but of a certainty impossible for hand- 
maid to anticipate intentions of Miss Pross, as to admission 
or denial of the fact. 

'As I am at home myself)' said Mr. Lorry, 'I '11 go 

Although the Doctor's daughter had known nothing of 
the country of her birth, she appeared to have innately 
derived from it that ability to make much of little means, 
which is one of its most useful and most agreeable character- 
istics. Simple as the furniture was, it was set off by so 
many little adornments, of no value but for their taste and 
fancy, that its effect was delightful. The disposition of 
everything in the rooms, from the largest object to the least; 
the arrangement of colours, the elegant variety and contrast 
obtained by thrift in trifles, by delicate hands, clear eyes, 
and good sense; were at once so pleasant in themselves, 

Hundreds of People 89 

and so expressive of their originator, that, as Mr. Lorry 
stood looking about him, the very chairs and tables seemed 
to ask him, with something of that peculiar expression which 
he knew so well by this time, whether he approved? 

There were three rooms on a floor, and, the doors by 
which they communicated being put open that the air 
might pass freely through them all, Mr. Lorry smilingly 
observant of that fanciful resemblance which he detected 
all around him, walked from one to another. The first was 
the best room, and in it were Lucie's birds, and flowers, and 
books, and desk, and work-table, and box of water-colours ; 
the second was the Doctor's consulting-room, used also as 
the dining-room; the third, changingly speckled by the 
rustle of the plane-tree in the yard, was the Doctor's bed- 
room, and there, in a corner, stood the disused shoemaker's 
bench and tray of tools, much as it had stood on the fifth 
floor of the dismal house by the wine shop, in the suburb of 
Saint Antoine in Paris. 

'I wonder,' said Mr. Lorry, pausing in his looking about, 
'that he keeps that reminder of his sufferings about him!' 

' And why wonder at that ? ' was the abrupt inquiry that 
made him start. 

It proceeded from Miss Pross, the wild red woman, strong 
of hand, whose acquaintance he had first made at the Royal 
George Hotel at Dover, and had since improved. 

'I should have thought ' Mr. Lorry began. 

'Pooh! You'd have thought!' said Miss Pross; and 
Mr. Lorry left off. 

' How do you do ? ' inquired the lady then sharply, 
and yet as if to express that she bore him no malice. 

'I am pretty well, I thank you,' answered Mr. Lorry, 
with meekness ; ' how are you ? ' 

'Nothing to boast of,' said Miss Pross. 

' Indeed ? ' 

' Ah ! indeed ! ' said Miss Pross. ' I am very much put 
out about my Ladybird.' 


'For gracious sake say something else besides "indeed," 
or you '11 fidget me to death,' said Miss Pross: whose 
character (dissociated from stature) was shortness. 

' Really, then ? ' said Mr. Lorry, as an amendment. 

90 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Really, is bad enough,' returned Miss Press, 'but better. 
Yes, I am very much put out.' 

' May I ask the cause ? ' 

' I don't want dozens of people who are not at all worthy 
of Ladybird, to come here looking after her/ said Miss Pross. 

' Do dozens come for that purpose ? ' 

'Hundreds,' said Miss Pross. 

It was characteristic of this lady (as of some other people 
before her time and since) that whenever her original pro- 
position was questioned, she exaggerated it. 

' Dear me ! ' said Mr. Lorry, as the safest remark he 
could think of. 

'I have lived with the darling or the darling has lived 
with me, and paid me for it; which she certainly should 
never have done, you may take your affidavit, if I could 
have afforded to keep either myself or her for nothing 
since she was ten years old. And it 's really very hard,' said 
Miss Pross. 

Not seeing with precision what was very hard, Mr. Lorry 
shook his head; using that important part if himself as a 
sort of fairy cloak that would fit anything. 

'All sorts of people who are not in the least degree 
worthy of the pet, are always turning up,' said Miss Pross. 

' When you began it ' 

' / began it, Miss Pross ? ' 

'Didn't you? Who brought her father to life?' 

'Oh! If that was beginning it ' said Mr. Lorry. 

'It wasn't ending it, I suppose? I say, when you began 
it, it was hard enough; not that I have any fault to find 
with Doctor Manette, except that he is not worthy of such a 
daughter, which is no imputation on him, for it was not to 
be expected that anybody should be, under any circum- 
stances. But it really is doubly and trebly hard to have 
crowds and multitudes of people turning up after him (I 
could have forgiven him), to take Ladybird's affections away 
from me. ' 

Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also 
knew her by this time to be, beneath the surface of her 
eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures found only 
among women who will, for pure love and admiration, bind 
themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, 

Hundreds of People 91 

to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they 
were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that 
never shone upon their own sombre lives. He knew enough 
of the world to know that there is nothing in it better than 
the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free 
from any mercenary taint, he had such an exalted respect 
for it, that in the retributive arrangements made by his own 
mind we all make such arrangements, more or less he 
stationed Miss Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than 
many ladies immeasurably better gor up both by Nature 
and Art, who had balances at Tellson's. 

'There never was, nor will be, but one man worthy of 
Ladybird,' said Miss Pross; 'and that was my brother 
Solomon, if he hadn't made a mistake in life.' 

Here again: Mr. 'Lorry's inquiries into Miss Pross's per- 
sonal history had established the fact that her brother 
Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her of 
everything she possessed, as a stake to speculate with, and 
had abandoned her in her poverty for ever more, with no 
touch of compunction. Miss Pross's fidelity of belief in 
Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this slight mistake) was 
quite a serious matter with Mr. Lorry, and had its weight in 
his good opinion of her. 

' As we happen to be alone for the moment, and are both 
people of business,' he said, when they had got back to the 
drawing-room and had sat down there in friendly relations, 
'let me ask you does the Doctor, in talking with Lucie, 
never refer to the shoemaking time, yet?' 


' And yet keeps that bench and those tools beside him ? * 

' Ah ! ' returned Miss Pross, shaking her head. ' But I 
don't say he don't refer to it within himself.' 

' Do you believe that he thinks of it much ? ' 

'I do,' said Miss Pross. 

'Do you imagine ' Mr. Lorry had begun, when Miss 

Pross took him up short with: 

'Never imagine anything. Have no imagination at all/ 

'I stand corrected; do you suppose you go so far as to 
suppose, sometimes ? ' 

'Now and then,' said Miss Pross. 

'Do you suppose/ Mr. Lorry went on, with a laughing 

92 A Tale of Two Cities 

twinkle in his bright eye, as it looked kindly at her, 'that 
Doctor Manette has any theory of his own, preserved 
through all those years, relative to the cause of his being so 
oppressed ; perhaps, even to the name of his oppressor ? ' 

'I don't suppose anything about it but what Ladybird 
tells me.' 

' And that is ? ' 

'That she thinks he has.' 

'Now don't be angry at my asking all these questions; 
because I am a mere dull man of business, and you are a 
woman of business.' 

' Dull ? ' Miss Pross inquired, with placidity. 

Rather wishing his modest adjective away, Mr. Lorry 
replied, 'No, no, no. Surely not. To return to business. 
Is it not remarkable that Doctor Manette, unquestionably 
innocent of any crime as we are all well assured he is, should 
never touch upon that question? I will not say with me, 
though he had business relations with me many years ago, 
and we are now intimate; I will say with the fair daughter 
to whom he is so devotedly attached, and who is so devotedly 
attached to him ? Believe me, Miss Pross, I don't approach 
the topic with you, out of curiosity, but out of zealous interest. ' 

' Well ! To the best of my understanding, and bad 'a the 
best, you '11 tell me,' said Miss Pross, softened by the tone 
of the apology, 'he is afraid of the whole subject.' 

' Afraid ? ' 

' It 's plain enough, I should think, why he may be. It 's 
a dreadful remembrance. Besides that, his loss of himself 
grew out of it. Not knowing how he lost himself, or how he 
recovered himself, he may never feel certain of not losing 
himself again. That alone wouldn't make the subject pleas- 
ant, I should think.' 

It was a profounder remark than Mr. Lorry had looked 
for. 'True/ said he, 'and fearful to reflect upon. Yet, a 
doubt lurks in my mind, Miss Pross, whether it is good for 
Doctor Manette to have that suppression always shut up 
within him. Indeed, it is this doubt and the uneasiness 
it sometimes causes me that has led me to our present 

'Can't be helped,' said Miss Pross, shaking her head. 
'Touch that string, and he instantly changes for the worse. 

Hundreds of People 93 

Better leave it alone. In short, must leave it alone, like or 
no like. Sometimes, he gets up in the dead of the night, 
and will be heard, by us overhead there, walking up and 
down, walking up and down, in his room. Ladybird has 
learnt to know then that his mind is walking up and down, 
walking up and down, in his old prison. She hurries to 
him, and they go on together, walking up and down, walk- 
ing up and down, until he is composed. But he never says 
a word of the true reason of his restlessness, to her, and she 
finds it best not to hint at it to him. In silence they go 
walking up and down together, walking up and down to- 
gether, till her love and company have brought him to 

Notwithstanding Miss Press's denial of her own imagina- 
tion, there was a perception of the pain of being monoton- 
ously haunted by one sad idea, in her repetition of the 
phrase, walking up and down, which testified to her possess- 
ing such a thing. 

The corner has been mentioned as a wonderful corner for 
echoes; it had begun to echo so resoundingly to the tread 
of coming feet, that it seemed as though the very mention 
of that weary pacing to and fro had set it going. 

' Here they are ! ' said Miss Pross, rising to break up the 
conference; 'and now we shall have hundreds of people 
pretty soon 1 ' 

It was such a curious corner in its acoustical properties, 
such a peculiar Ear of a place, that as Mr. 'Lorry stood at 
the open window, looking for the father and daughter whose 
steps he heard, he fancied they would never approach. Not 
only would the echoes die away, as though the steps had 
gone; but, echoes of other steps that never came would be 
heard in their stead, and would die away for good when 
they seemed close at hand. However, father and daughter 
did at last appear, and Miss Pross was ready at the street 
door to receive them. 

Miss Pross was a pleasant sight, albeit wild, and red, and 
grim, taking off her darling's bonnet when she came up- 
stairs, and touched it up with the ends of her handkerchief, 
and blowing the dust off it, and folding her mantle ready 
for laying by, and smoothing her rich hair with as much 
pride as she could possibly have taken in her own hair if 

94 A Tale of Two Cities 

she had been the vainest and handsomest of women. Her 
darling was a pleasant sight too, embracing her and thank- 
ing her, and protesting against her taking so much trouble 
for her which last she only dared to do playfully, or Miss 
Pross, sorely hurt, would have retired to her own chamber 
and cried. The Doctor was a pleasant sight too, looking on 
at them, and telling Miss Pross how she spoilt Lucie, in 
accents and with eyes that had as much spoiling in them as 
Miss Pross had, and would have had more if it were possible. 
Mr. Lorry was a pleasant sight too, beaming at all this in his 
little wig, and thanking his bachelor stars for having lighted 
him in his declining years to a Home. But, no Hundreds 
of people came to see the sights, and Mr. Lorry looked in 
vain for the fulfilment of Miss Press's prediction. 

Dinner-time, and still no Hundreds of people. In the 
arrangements of the little household, Miss Pross took charge 
of the lower regions, and always acquitted herself marvel- 
lously. Her dinners, of a very modest quality, were so well 
cooked and so well served, and so neat in their contrivances, 
half English and half French, that nothing could be better. 
Miss Press's friendship being of the thoroughly practical 
kind, she had ravaged Soho and the adjacent provinces, in 
search of impoverished French, who, tempted by shillings 
and half-crowns, would impart culinary mysteries to her. 
From these 'decayed sons and daughters of Gaul, she had 
acquired such wonderful arts, that the woman and girl who 
formed the staff of domestics regarded her as quite a Sorcer- 
ess, or Cinderella's Godmother: who would send out for a 
fowl, a rabbit, a vegetable or two from the garden, and 
change them into anything she pleased. 

On Sundays, Miss Pross dined at the Doctor's table, but 
on other days persisted in taking her meals at unknown 
periods, either in the lower regions, or in her own room on 
the second floor a blue chamber, to which no one but her 
Ladybird ever gained admittance. On this occasion, Miss 
Pross, responding to Ladybird's pleasant face and pleasant 
efforts to please her, unbent exceedingly; so the dinner was 
very pleasant, too. 

It was an oppressive day, and, after dinner, Lucie pro- 
posed that the wine should be carried out under the plane- 
tree, and they should sit there in the air. As everything 

Hundreds of People 95 

turned upon her, and revolved about her, they went out 
under the plane-tree, and she carried the wine down for the 
special benefit of Mr. Lorry. She had installed herself, some 
time before, as Mr. Lorry's cup-bearer; and while they sat 
under the plane-tree, talking, she kept his glass replenished. 
Mysterious backs and ends of houses peeped at them as they 
talked, and the plane-tree whispered to them in its own way 
above their heads. 

Still, the Hundreds of people did not present themselves. 
Mr. Darnay presented himself while they were sitting under 
the plane-tree, but he was only One. 

Doctor Manette received him kindly, and so did Lucie. 
But, Miss Pross suddenly became afflicted with a twitching 
in the head and body, and retired into the house. She was 
not unfrequently the victim of this disorder, and she called 
it, in familiar conversation, 'a fit of the jerks/ 

The Doctor was in his best condition, and looked specially 
young. The resemblance between him and Lucie was very 
strong at such times, and as they sat side by side, she leaning 
on his shoulder, and he resting his arm on the back of her 
chair, it was very agreeable to trace the likeness. 

He had been talking all day, on many subjects, and with 
unusual vivacity. 'Pray, Doctor Manette,' said Mr. Dar- 
nay, as they sat under the plane-tree and he said it in the 
natural pursuit of the topic in hand, which happened to 
be the old buildings of London 'have you seen much of 
the Tower ? ' 

'Lucie and I have been there; but only casually. We 
have seen enough of it, to know that it teems with interest ; 
little more/ 

'/ have been there, as you remember/ said Darnay, with 
a smile, though reddening a little angrily, ' in another char- 
acter, and not in a character that gives facilities for seeing 
much of it. They told me a curious thing when I was 

' What was that ? ' Lucie asked. 

' In making some alterations, the workmen came upon an 
old dungeon, which had been, for many years, built up and 
forgotten. Every stone of its inner wall was covered by 
inscriptions which had been carved, by prisoners dates, 
names, complaints, and prayers. Upon a corner stone in 

9 6 

A Tale of Two Cities 

an angle of the wall, one prisoner, who seemed to have gone 
to execution, had cut as his last work, three letters. They 
were done with some very poor instrument, and hurriedly, 
with an unsteady hand. At first, they were read as D. I. C. ; 
but, on being more carefully examined, the last letter was 
found to be G. There was no record or legend of any 
prisoner with those initials, and many fruitless guesses were 
made what the name could have been. At length, it was 
suggested that the letters were not initials, but the complete 
word, DIG. The floor was examined very carefully under 
the inscription, and, in the earth beneath a stone, or tile, 
or some fragment of paving, were found the ashes of a paper, 
mingled with the ashes of a small leathern case or bag. 
What the unknown prisoner had written will never be read, 
but he had written something, and hidden it away to keep 
it from the jailer.' 

'My father/ exclaimed Lucie, 'you are ill I* 

He had suddenly started up, with his hand to his head. 
His manner and his look quite terrified them all. 

'No, my dear, not ill. There are large drops of rain 
falling, and they made me start. We had better go hi/ 

He recovered himself almost instantly. Rain was really 
falling in large drops, and he showed the back of his hand 
with rain-drops on it. But, he said not a single word in 
reference to jthe discovery that had been told of, and, as 
they went into the house, the business eye of Mr. Lorry 
either detected, or fancied it detected, on his face, as it 
turned towards Charles Darnay, the same singular look that 
had been upon it when it turned towards him in the 
passages of the Court House. 

He recovered himself so quickly, however, that Mr. Lorry 
had doubts of his business eye. The arm of the golden 
giant in the hall was not more steady than he was, when he 
stopped under it to remark to them that he was not yet 
proof against slight surprises (if he ever would be), and that 
the rain had startled him. 

Tea-time, and Miss Pross making tea, with another fit of 
the jerks upon her, and yet no Hundreds of people. Mr. 
Carton had lounged in, but he made only Two. 

The night was so very sultry, that although they sat with 
doors and windows open, they were overpowered by heat. 

Hundreds of People 97 

When the tea-table was done with, they all moved to one 
of the windows, and looked out into the heavy twilight. 
Lucie sat by her father; Darnay sat beside her; Carton 
leaned against a window. The curtains were long and 
white, and some of the thunder-gusts that whirled into the 
corner, caught them up to the ceiling, and waved them like 
spectral wings. 

'The rain-drops are still falling, large, heavy, and few/ 
said Doctor Manette. ' It comes slowly/ 

'It comes surely/ said Carton. 

They spoke low, as people watching and waiting mostly 
do; as people in a dark room, watching and waiting for 
Lightning, always do. 

There was a great hurry in the streets, of people speeding 
away to get shelter before the storm broke; the wonderful 
corner for echoes resounded with the echoes of footsteps 
coming and going, yet not a footstep was there, 

'A multitude of people, and yet a solitude! 1 said Dar- 
nay, when they had listened for a while. 

' Is it not impressive, Mr. Darnay ? ' asked Lucie. 'Some- 
times, I have sat here of an evening, until I have fancied 
but even the shade of a foolish fancy makes me shudder 
to-night, when all is so black and solemn ' 

' Let us shudder too. We may know what it is/ 

'It will seem nothing to you. Such whims are only 
impressive as we originate them, I think ; they are not to be 
communicated. I have sometimes sat alone here of an 
evening, listening, until I have made the echoes out to be 
the echoes of all the footsteps that are coming by and by 
into our lives/ 

' There is a great crowd coming one day into our lives, if 
that be so/ Sydney Carton struck in, in his moody way. 

The footsteps were incessant, and the hurry of them 
became more and more rapid. The corner echoed and 
re-echoed with the tread of feet; some, as it seemed, under 
the windows; some, as it seemed, in the room; some 
coming, some going, some breaking off, some stopping 
altogether; all in the distant streets, and not one within 

'Are all these footsteps destined to come to all of us, 
Miss Manette, or are we to divide them among us ? ' 

A Tale of Two Cities 

'I don't know, Mr. Darnay; I told you it was a foolish 
fancy, but you asked for it. When I have yielded myself to 
it, I have been alone, and then I have imagined them the 
footsteps of the people who are to come into my life, and 
my father's/ 

' I take them into mine ! ' said Carton. ' / ask no questions 
and make no stipulations. There is a great crowd bearing 
down upon us, Miss Manette, and I see them by the 
Lightning.' He added the last words, after there had 
been a vivid flash which had shown him lounging in the 

' And I hear them ! ' he added again, after a peal of 
thunder. 'Here they come, fast, fierce, and furious!' 

It was the rush and roar of rain that he typified, and it 
stopped him, for no voice could .be heard in it. A memor- 
able storm of thunder and lightning broke with that sweep 
of water, and there was not a moment's interval in crash, 
and fire, and rain, until after the moon rose at midnight. 

The great bell of Saint Paul's was striking One in the 
cleared air, when Mr. Lorry, escorted by Jerry, high-booted 
and bearing a lantern, set forth on his return passage to 
Clerkenwell. There were solitary patches of road on the 
way between Soho and Clerkenwell, and Mr. Lorry, mindful 
of footpads, always retained Jerry for this service : though it 
was usually performed a good two hours earlier. 

'What a night it has been! Almost a night, Jerry/ said 
Mr. Lorry, ' to bring the dead out of their graves/ 

'I never see the night myself, master nor yet I don't 
expect to what would do that/ answered Jerry. 

'Good night, Mr. Carton/ said the man of business. 
'Good night, Mr. Darnay. Shall we ever see such a night 
again, together ! ' 

Perhaps. Perhaps, see the great crowd of people with its 
rush and roar, bearing down upon them, too. 

Monseigneur in Town 99 



MONSEIGNEUR, one of the great lords in power at the 
Court, held his fortnightly reception in his grand hotel in 
Paris. Monseigneur was in his inner room, his sanctuary 
of sancturaries, the Holiest of Holiests to the crowd of wor- 
shippers in the suite of rooms without. Monseigneur was 
about to take his chocolate. Monseigneur could swallow a 
great many things with ease, and was by some few sullen 
'minds supposed to be rather rapidly swallowing France; 
but, his morning's chocolate could not so much as get into 
the throat of Monseigneur, without the aid of four strong 
men besides the Cook. 

Yes, it took four men, all four ablaze with gorgeous 
decoration, and the Chief of them unable to exist with 
fewer than two gold watches in his pocket, emulative of the 
noble and chaste fashion set by Monseigneur, to conduct 
the happy chocolate to Monseigneur's lips. One lackey 
carried the chocolate-pot into the sacred presence ; a second, 
milled and frothed the chocolate with the little instrument 
he bore for that function; a third, presented the favoured 
napkin; a fourth (he of the two gold watches), poured the 
chocolate out. It was impossible for Monseigneur to dis- 
pense with one of these attendants on the chocolate and 
hold his high place under the admiring Heavens. Deep 
would have been the blot upon his escutcheon if his 
chocolate had been ignobly waited on by only three men; 
he must have died of two. 

Monseigneur had been out at a little supper last night, 
where the Comedy and the Grand Opera were' charmingly 
represented. Monseigneur was out at a little supper most 
nights, with fascinating company. So polite and so impres- 
sible was Monseigneur, that the Comedy and the Grand 
Opera had far more influence with him in the tiresome 
articles of state affairs and state secrets, than the needs of 
all France. A happy circumstance for France, as the like 
always is for all countries similarly favoured I always was 

TOO A Tale of Two Cities 

for England (by way of example), in the regretted days of 
the merry Stuart who sold it. 

Monseigneur had one truly noble idea of general public 
business, which was, to let everything go on in its own way ; 
of particular public business, Monseigneur had the other 
truly noble idea that it must all go his way tend to his 
own power and pocket. Of his pleasures, general and 
particular, Monseigneur had the other truly noble idea, 
that the world was made for them. The text of his order 
(altered from the original by only a pronoun, which is not 
much) ran: 'The earth and the fulness thereof are mine, 
saith Monseigneur.' 

Yet, Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embarrass- 
ments crept into his affairs, both private and public; and 
he had, as to both classes of affairs, allied himself perforce 
with a Farmer-General. As to finances public, because 
Monseigneur could not make anything at all of them, and 
must consequently let them out to somebody who could ; as 
to finances private, because Farmer-Generals were rich, and 
Monseigneur, after generations of great luxury and expense, 
was growing poor. Hence Monseigneur had taken his sister 
from a convent, while there was yet time to ward off the 
impending veil, the cheapest garment she could wear, and 
had bestowed her as a prize upon a very rich Farmer- 
General, poor in family. Which Farmer-General, carrying 
an appropriate cane with a golden apple on the top of it, 
was now among the company in the outer rooms, much 
prostrated before by mankind always excepting superior 
mankind of the blood of Monseigneur, who, his own wife 
included, looked down upon him with the loftiest contempt. 

A sumptuous man was the Farmer-General. Thirty horses 
stood in his stables, twenty-four male domestics sat in his 
halls, six body-women waited on his wife. As one who pre- 
tended to do nothing but plunder and forage where he could, 
the Farmer-General howsoever his matrimonial relations 
conduced to social morality was at least the greatest 
reality among the personages who attended at the hotel of 
Monseigneur that day. 

For, the rooms, though a beautiful scene to look at, and 
adorned with every device of decoration that the taste and 
skill of the time could achieve, were, in truth, not a sound 

Monseigneur in Town 101 

business; considered with any reference to the scarecrows 
in the rags and night-caps elsewhere (and not so far off, 
either, but that the watching towers of Notre Dame, almost 
equi-distant from the two extremes, could see them both), 
they would have been an exceedingly uncomfortable busi- 
ness if that could have been anybody's business, at the 
house of Monseigneur. Military officers destitute of mili tary 
knowledge; naval officers with no idea of a ship; civil 
officers without a notion of affairs; brazen ecclesiastics, of 
the worst world worldly, with sensual eyes, loose tongues, 
and looser lives; all totally unfit for their several callings, 
all lying horribly in pretending to belong to them, but all 
nearly or remotely of the order of Monseigneur, and there- 
fore foisted on all public employments from which anything 
was to be got, these were to be told off by the score and the 
score. People not immediately connected with Monseigneur 
of the State, yet equally unconnected with anything that was 
real, or by lives passed in travelling by any straight road to 
any true earthly end, were no less abundant. Doctors who 
made great fortunes out of dainty remedies for imaginary 
disorders that never existed, smiled upon their courtly 
patients in the ante-chambers of Monseigneur. Projectors 
who had discovered every kind of remedy for the little 
evils with which the state was touched, except the remedy 
of setting to work in earnest to root out a single sin, 
poured their distracting babble into any ears they could lay 
hold of, at the reception of Monseigneur. Unbelieving 
Philosophers who were remodelling the world with words, 
and making card-towers of Babel to scale the skies with, 
talked with Unbelieving Chemists who had an eye on the 
transmutation of metals, at this wonderful gathering accu- 
mulated by Monseigneur. Exquisite gentlemen of the 
finest breeding which was at that remarkable time and 
has been since to be known by its fruits of indifference 
to every natural subject of human interest, were in the most 
exemplary state of exhaustion, at the hotel of Monseigneur. 
Such homes had these various notabilities left behind them 
in the fine world of Paris, that the spies among the assembled 
devotees of Monseigneur forming a goodly half of the 
polite company would have found it hard to discover 
among the angels of that sphere one solitary wife, who, 

A Tale of Two Cities 

in her manners and appearance, owned to being a Mother. 
Indeed, except for the mere act of bringing a troublesome 
creature into this world which does not go far towards 
the realization of the name of mother there was no such 
thing known to the fashion. Peasant women kept the 
unfashionable babies close, and brought them up, and 
charming grandmammas of sixty dressed and supped as at 

The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature 
in attendance upon Monseigneur. In the outermost room 
were half a dozen exceptional people who had had, for a 
few years, some vague misgiving in them that things in 
general were going rather wrong. As a promising way of 
setting them right, half of the half-dozen had become mem- 
bers of a fantastic sect of Convulsionists, and were even 
then considering within themselves whether they should 
foam, rage, roar, and turn cataleptic on the spot thereby 
setting up a highly intelligible finger-post to the Future, for 
Monseigneur's guidance. Besides these Dervishes, were 
other three who had rushed into another sect, which 
mended matters with a jargon about 'the Centre of 
Truth': holding that Man had got out of the Centre of 
Truth which did not need much demonstration but had 
not got out of the Circumference, and that he was to be 
kept from flying out of the Circumference, and was even to 
be shoved back into the Centre, by fasting and seeing of 
spirits. Among these, accordingly, much discoursing with 
spirits went on and it did a world of good which never 
became manifest. 

But, the comfort was, that all the company at the grand 
hotel of Monseigneur were perfectly dressed. If the Day 
of Judgment had only been ascertained to be a dress day, 
everybody there would have been eternally correct. Such 
frizzling and powdering and sticking up of hair, such delicate 
complexions artificially preserved and mended, such gallant 
swords to look at, and such delicate honour to the sense of 
smell, would surely keep anything going, for ever and ever. 
The exquisite gentlemen of the finest breeding wore little 
pendant trinkets that chinked as they languidly moved; 
these golden fetters rang like precious little bells ; and what 
with that ringing, and with the rustle of silk and brocade 

Monseigneur in Town 103 

and fine linen, there was a flutter in the air that fanned 
Saint Antoine and his devouring hunger far away. 

Dress was the one unfailing talisman and charm used for 
keeping all things in their places. Everybody was dressed 
for a Fancy Ball that was never to leave off. From the 
Palace of the Tuileries, through Monseigneur and the whole 
Court, through the Chambers, the Tribunals of Justice, and 
all society (except the scarecrows), the Fancy Ball descended 
to the Common Executioner: who, in pursuance of the 
charm, was required to officiate ' frizzled, powdered, in a 
gold-laced coat, pumps, and white silk stockings. ' At the 
gallows and the wheel the axe was a rarity Monsieur 
Paris, as it was the episcopal mode among his brother Pro- 
fessors of the provinces, Monsieur Orleans, and the rest, to 
call him, presided in this dainty dress. And who among the 
company at Monseigneur's reception in that seventeen hun- 
dred and eightieth year of our Lord, could possibly doubt, 
that a system rooted in a frizzled hangman, powdered, gold- 
laced, pumped, and white-silk stockinged, would see the 
very stars out ! 

Monseigneur having eased his four men of their burdens 
and taken his chocolate, caused the doors of the Holiest of 
Holiests to be thrown open, and issued forth. Then, what 
submission, what cringing and fawning, what servility, what 
abject humiliation! As to bowing down in body and spirit, 
nothing in that way was left for Heaven which may have 
been one among other reasons why the worshippers of Mon- 
seigneur never troubled it. 

Bestowing a word of promise here and a smile there, a 
whisper on one happy slave and wave of the hand on 
another, Monseigneur affably passed through his rooms to 
the remote region of the Circumference of Truth. There, 
Monseigneur turned, and came back again, and so in due 
course of time got himself shut up in his sanctuary by the 
chocolate sprites, and was seen no more. 

The show being over, the flutter in the air became quite 
a little storm, and the precious little bells went ringing down- 
stairs. There was soon but one person left of all the crowd, 
and he, with his hat under his arm and his snuff-box in his 
hand, slowly passed among the mirrors on his way out. 

'I devote you/ said this person, stopping at the last door 

104 A Tale of Two Cities 

on his way, and turning in the direction of the sanctuary, 
'to the Devill' 

With that, he shook the snuff from his fingers as if he had 
shaken the dust from his feet, and quietly walked down- 

He was a man of about sixty, handsomely dressed, 
haughty in manner, and with a face like a fine mask. A 
face of a transparent paleness; every feature in it clearly 
defined; one set expression on it. The nose, beautifully 
formed otherwise, was very slightly pinched at the top of 
each nostril. In those two compressions, or dints, the only 
little change that the face ever showed, resided. They per- 
sisted in changing colour sometimes, and they would be 
occasionally dilated and contracted by something like a 
faint pulsation: then, they gave a look of treachery, and 
cruelty, to the whole countenance. Examined with atten- 
tion, its capacity of helping such a look was to be found in 
the line of the mouth, and the lines of the orbits of the eyes, 
being much too horizontal and thin; still, in the effect the 
face made, it was a handsome face, and a remarkable one. 

Its owner went downstairs into the courtyard, got into 
his carriage, and drove away. Not many people had talked 
with him at the reception; he had stood in a little space 
apart, and Monseigneur might have been warmer in his 
manner. It appeared under the circumstances, rather agree- 
able to him to see the common people dispersed before his 
horses, and often barely escaping from being run down. His 
man drove as if he were charging an enemy, and the furious 
recklessness of the man brought no check into the face, or 
to the lips, of the master. The complaint had sometimes 
made itself audible, even in that deaf city and dumb age, 
that, in the narrow streets without footways, the fierce patri- 
cian custom of hard driving endangered and maimed the 
mere vulgar in a barbarous manner. But few cared enough 
for that to think of it a second time, and, in this matter, as 
in all others, the common wretches were left to get out of 
their difficulties as they could. 

With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman abandon- 
ment of consideration not easy to be understood in these 
days, the carriage dashed through streets and swept round 
corners, with women screaming before it, and men clutching 

Monseigneur in Town 105 

each other and clutching children out of its way. At last, 
swooping at a street corner by a fountain, one of its wheels 
came to a sickening little jolt, and there was a loud cry 
from a number of voices, and the horses reared and plunged. 

But for the latter inconvenience, the carriage probably 
would not have stopped; carriages were often known to 
drive on, and leave their wounded behind, and why not? 
But the frightened valet had got down in a hurry, and there 
were twenty hands at the horses' bridles. 

'What has gone wrong?' said Monsieur, calmly looking 

A tall man in a night-cap had caught up a bundle from 
among the feet of the horses, and had laid it on the base- 
ment of the fountain, and was down in the mud and wet, 
howling over it like a wild animal. 

' Pardon, Monsieur the Marquis ! ' said a ragged and sub- 
missive man, 'it is a child/ 

'Why does he make that abominable noise? Is it his 
child ? ' 

' Excuse me, Monsieur the Marquis it is a pity yes.' 

The fountain was a little removed ; for the street opened, 
where it was, into a space some ten or twelve yards square. 
As the tall man suddenly got up from the ground, and came 
running at the carriage, Monsieur the Marquis clapped his 
hand for an instant on his sword-hilt. 

' Killed ! ' shrieked the man, in wild desperation extend- 
ing both arms at their length above his head, and staring 
at him. 'Dead!' 

The people closed round, and looked at Monsieur the 
Marquis. There was nothing revealed by the many eyes 
that looked at him but watchfulness and eagerness; there 
was no visible menacing or anger. Neither did the people 
say anything; after the first cry, they had been silent, and 
they remained so. The voice of the submissive man who 
had spoken, was flat and tame in its extreme submission. 
Monsieur the Marquis ran his eyes over them all, as if they 
had been mere rats come out of their holes. 

He took out his purse. 

'It is extraordinary to me,' said he, 'that you people 
cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or 
the other of you is for ever in the way. How do I know 

io6 A Tale of Two Cities 

what injury you have done my horses. See! Give him 

He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up, and all 
the heads craned forward that all the eyes might look down 
at it as it fell. The tall man called out again with a most 
unearthly cry, ' Dead ! ' 

He was arrested by the quick arrival of another man, for 
whom the rest made way. On seeing him, the miserable 
creature fell upon his shoulder, sobbing and crying, and 
pointing to the fountain, where some women were stooping 
over the motionless bundle, and moving gently about it. 
They were as silent, however, as the men. 

' I know all, I know all,' said the last comer. ' Be a brave 
man, my Gaspard! It is better for the poor little play- 
thing to die so, than to live. It has died in a moment 
without pain. Could it have lived an hour as happily ? ' 

'You are a philosopher, you there,' said the Marquis, 
smiling. ' How do they call you ? ' 

'They call me Defarge.' 

'Of what trade?' 

' Monsieur the Marquis, vendor of wine.' 

'Pick up that, philosopher and vendor of wine,' said the 
Marquis, throwing him another gold coin, 'and spend it as 
you will. The horses there ; are they right ? ' 

Without deigning to look at the assemblage a second time, 
Monsieur the Marquis leaned back in his seat, and was just 
being driven away with the air of a gentleman who had 
accidentally broken some common thing, and had paid for it, 
and could afford to pay for it; when his ease was suddenly 
disturbed by a coin flying into his carriage, and ringing on 
its floor. 

'Hold!' said Monsieur the Marquis. 'Hold the horses! 
Who threw that?' 

He looked to the spot where Defarge the vendor of wine 
had stood, a moment before; but the wretched father was 
grovelling on his face on the pavement in that spot, and the 
figure that stood beside him was the figure of a dark stout 
woman, knitting. 

'You dogs,' said the Marquis, but smoothly, and with an 
unchanged front, except as to the spots on his nose: 'I 
would ride over any of you very willingly, and exterminate 

Monseigneur in Town 107 

you from the earth. If I knew which rascal threw at the 
carriage, and if that brigand were sufficiently near it, he 
should be crushed under the wheels.' 

So cowed was their condition, and so long and hard their 
experience of what such a man could do them, within the 
law and beyond it, that not a voice, or a hand, or even an 
eye was raised. Among the men, not one. But the woman 
who stood knitting looked up steadily, and looked the 
Marquis in the face. It was not for his dignity to notice 
it; his contemptuous eyes passed over her, and over all the 
other rats; and he leaned back in his seat again, and gave 
the word, 'Go on ! ' 

He was driven on, and other carriages came whirling by 
in quick succession; the Minister, the State-Projector, the 
Farmer-General, the Doctor, the Lawyer, the Ecclesiastic, 
the Grand Opera, the Comedy, the whole Fancy Ball in a 
bright continuous flow, came whirling by. The rats had 
crept out of their holes to look on, and they remained look- 
ing on for hours; soldiers and police often passing between 
them and the spectacle, and making a barrier behind which 
they slunk, and through which they peeped. The father 
had long ago taken up his bundle and hidden himself away 
with it, when the women who had tended the bundle while 
it lay on the base of the fountain, sat there watching the 
running of the water and the rolling of the Fancy Ball 
when the one woman who had stood conspicuous, knitting, 
still knitted on with the steadfastness of Fate. The water 
of the fountain ran, the swift river ran, the day ran into 
evening, so much life in the city ran into death according to 
rule, time and tide waited for no man, the rats were sleeping 
close together in their dark holes again, the Fancy Ball was 
lighted up at supper, all things ran their course. 

io8 A Tale of Two Cities 



A BEAUTIFUL landscape, with the corn bright in it, but 
not abundant. Patches of poor rye where corn should have 
been, patches of poor peas and beans, patches of most coarse 
vegetable substitutes for wheat. On inanimate nature, as 
on the men and women who cultivated it, a prevalent ten- 
dency towards an appearance of vegetating unwillingly 
a dejected disposition to give up, and wither away. 

Monsieur the Marquis in his travelling carriage (which 
might have been lighter), conducted by four post-horses 
and two postilions, fagged up a steep hill. A blush on the 
countenance of Monsieur the Marquis was no impeachment 
of his high breeding; it was not from within; it was occa- 
sioned by an external circumstance beyond his control 
the setting sun. 

The sunset struck so brilliantly into the travelling carriage 
when it gained the hilltop, that its occupant was steeped 
in crimson. 'It will die out,' said Monsieur the Marquis, 
glancing at his hands, ' directly/ 

In effect, the sun was so low that it dipped at the moment. 
When the heavy drag had been adjusted to the wheel, and 
the carriage slid downhill, with a cinderous smell, in a cloud 
of dust, the red glow departed quickly; the sun and the 
Marquis going down together, there was no glow left when 
the drag was taken off. 

But, there remained a broken country, bold and open, 
a little village at the bottom of the hill, a broad sweep and 
rise beyond it, a church tower, a windmill, a forest for the 
chase, and a crag with a fortress on it used as a prison. 
Round upon all these darkening objects as the night drew 
on, the Marquis looked, with the air of one who was coming 
near home. 

The village had its one poor street, with its poor brewery, 
poor tannery, poor tavern, poor stable yard for relays of 
post-horses, poor fountain, all usual poor appointments. It 
had its poor people too. All its people were poor, and 
many of them were sitting at their doors, shredding spare 

Monseigneur in the Country 109 

onions and the like for supper, while many were at the 
fountain, washing leaves, and grasses, and any such small 
yieldings of the earth that could be eaten. Expressive signs 
of what made them poor, were not wanting ; the tax for the 
state, the tax for the church, the tax for the lord, tax local 
and tax general, were to be paid here and to be paid there, 
according to solemn inscription in the little village, until the 
wonder was, that there was any village left unswallowed. 

Few children were to be seen, and no dogs. As to the 
men and women, their choice on earth was stated in the 
prospect Life on the lowest terms that could sustain it, 
down in the little village under the mill; or captivity and 
Death in the dominant prison on the crag. 

Heralded by a courier in advance, and by the cracking 
of his postilion's whips, which twined snake-like about 
their heads in the evening air, as if he came attended 
by the Furies, Monsieur the Marquis drew up in his 
travelling carriage at the posting-house gate. It was hard 
by the fountain, and the peasants suspended their opera- 
tions to look at him. He looked at them, and saw in 
them, without knowing it, the slow sure filing down of 
misery-worn faces and figure, that was to make the 
meagreness of Frenchmen and English superstition which 
should survive the truth through the best part of a hundred 

Monsieur the Marquis cast his eyes over the submissive 
faces that drooped before him, as the like of himself had 
drooped before Monseigneur of the Court only the 
difference was, that these faces drooped merely to suffer 
and not to propitiate when a grizzled member of the roads 
joined the group. 

'Bring me hither that fellow!' said the Marquis to the 

The fellow was brought, cap in hand, and the other 
fellows closed round to look and listen, in the manner 
of the people at the Paris fountain. 

' I passed you on the road ? ' 

'Monseigneur, it is true. I had the honour of being 
passed on the road.' 

' Coming up the hill, and at the top of the hill, both ? ' 

'Monseigneur, it is true.' 

no A Tale of Two Cities 

' What did you look at so fixedly ? ' 

' Monseigneur, I looked at the man.' 

He stooped a little, and with his tattered blue cap pointed 
under the carriage. All his fellows stooped to look under 
the carriage. 

' What man, pig ? And why look there ? ' 

'Pardon, Monseigneur; he swung by the chain of the 
shoe the drag.' 

' Who ? ' demanded the traveller. 

'Monseigneur, the man.' 

'May the Devil carry away these idiots! How do you 
call the man? You know all the men of this part of the 
country. Who was he ? ' 

'Your clemency, Monseigneur! He was not of this 
part of the country. Of all the days of my life, I never 
saw him.' 

' Swinging by the chain ? To be suffocated ? ' 

'With your gracious permission, that was the wonder of 
it, Monseigneur. His head hanging over like this ! ' 

He turned himself sideways to the carriage, and leaned 
back, with his face thrown up to the sky, and his head 
hanging down; then recovered himself, fumbled with his 
cap, and made a bow. 

'What was he like?' 

'Monseigneur, he was whiter than the miller. All 
covered with dust, white as a spectre, tall as a spectre ! ' 

The picture produced an immense sensation in the little 
crowd; but all eyes, without comparing notes with other 
eyes, looked at Monsieur the Marquis. Perhaps, to observe 
whether he had any spectre on his conscience. 

'Truly, you did well,' said the Marquis, felicitously 
sensible that such vermin were not to ruffle him, 'to see a 
thief accompanying my carriage, and not open that great 
mouth of yours. Bah ! Put him aside, Monsieur Gabelle ! ' 

Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster, and some other 
taxing functionary united; he had come out with great 
obsequiousness to assist at this examination, and had held 
the examined by the drapery of his arm in an official 

' Bah ! Go aside ! ' said Monsieur Gabelle. 

'Lay hands on this stranger if he seeks to lodge in your 

Monseigneur in the Country in 

village to-night, and be sure that his business is honest, 

'Monseigneur, I am flattered to devote myself to your 

' Did he run away, fellow ? Where is that Accursed ? ' 
The accursed was already under the carriage with some 
half-dozen particular friends, pointing out the chain with 
his blue cap. Some half-dozen other particular friends 
promptly hauled him out, and presented him breathless to 
Monsieur the Marquis. 

'Did the man run away, Dolt, when we stopped for the 

'Monseigneur, he precipitated himself over the hillside, 
head first, as a person plunges into the river/ 
' See to it, Gabelle. Go on ! ' 

The half-dozen who were peering at the chain were still 
among the wheels, like sheep; the wheels turned so sud- 
denly that they were lucky to save their skins and bones; 
they had very little else to save, or they might not have 
been so fortunate. 

The burst with which the carriage started out of the 
village and up the rise beyond, was soon checked by the 
steepness of the hill. Gradually, it subsided to a foot pace, 
swinging and lumbering upward among the many sweet 
scents of a summer night. The postilions, with a thousand 
gossamer gnats circling about them in lieu of the Furies, 
quietly mended the points to the lashes of their whips ; the 
valet walked by the horses; the courier was audible, 
trotting on ahead into the dim distance. 

At the steepest point of the hill there was a little burial- 
ground, with a Cross and a new large figure of Our Saviour 
on it; it was a poor figure in wood, done by some inex- 
perienced rustic carver, but he had studied the figure from 
the life his own life, maybe for it was dreadfully spare 
and thin. 

To this distressful emblem of a great distress that had 
long been growing worse, and was not at its worst, a 
woman was kneeling. She turned her head as the carriage 
came up to her, rose quickly, and presented herself at the 
carriage door. 

'It is you, Monseigneur! Monseigneur, a petition/ 

H2 A Tale of Two Cities 

With an exclamation of impatience, but with his un- 
changeable face, Monseigneur looked out. 

'How, then! What is it? Always petitions!' 

'Monseigneur. For the love of the great God! My 
husband, the forester.' 

' What of your husband, the forester ? Always the same 
with you people. He cannot pay something ? ' 

'He has paid all, Monseigneur. He is dead.' 

'Well! He is quiet. Can I restore him to you?' 

'Alas, no, Monseigneur! But he lies yonder, under a 
little heap of poor grass/ 


'Monseigneur, there are so many little heaps of poor 

' Again, well ? ' 

She looked an old woman, but was young. Her manner 
was one of passionate grief; by turns she clasped her 
veinous and knotted hands together with wild energy, and 
laid one of them on the carriage door tenderly, caressingly, 
as if it had been a human breast, and could be expected to 
feel the appealing touch. 

' Monseigneur, hear me ! Monseigneur, hear my petition ! 
My husband died of want; so many die of want; so many 
more will die of want.' 

'Again, well? Can I feed them?' 

'Monseigneur, the good God knows; but I don't ask it. 
My petition is, that a morsel of stone or wood, with my 
husband's name, may be placed over him to show where he 
lies. Otherwise, the place will be quickly forgotten, it will 
never be found when I am dead of the same malady, I shall 
be laid under some other heap of poor grass. Monseigneur, 
they are so many, they increase so fast, there is so much 
want. Monseigneur ! Monseigneur ! ' 

The valet had put her away from the door, the carriage 
had broken into a brisk trot, the postilions had quickened 
the pace, she was left far behind, and Monseigneur, again 
escorted by the Furies, was rapidly diminishing the league 
or two of distance that remained between him and his 

The sweet scents of the summer night rose all around 
him, and rose, as the rain falls, impartially, on the dusty, 

The Gorgon's Head 113 

ragged, and toil-worn group at the fountain not far away; 
to whom the mender of toads, with the aid of the blue cap 
without which he was nothing, still enlarged upon his man 
like a spectre, as long as they could bear it. By degrees, 
as they could bear no more, they dropped off one by one, 
and lights twinkled in little casements; which lights, as 
the casements darkened, and more stars came out, seemed 
to have shot up into the sky instead of having been 

The shadow of a large high-roofed house, and of many 
overhanging trees, was upon Monsieur the Marquis by that 
time; and the shadow was exchanged for the light of a 
flambeau, as his carriage stopped, and the great door of his 
chateau was opened to him. 

'Monsieur Charles, whom I expect; is he arrived from 
England ? ' 

' Monseigneur, not yet.' 


IT was a heavy mass of building, that chateau of Monsieur 
the Marquis, with a large stone courtyard before it, 
and two stone sweeps of staircase meeting in a stone 
terrace before the principal door. A stony business 
altogether, with heavy stone balustrades, and stone urns, 
and stone flowers, and stone faces of men, and stone 
heads of lions, in all directions. As if the Gorgon's 
head had surveyed it, when it was finished, two centuries 

Up the broad flight of shallow steps, Monsieur the 
Marquis, flambeau preceded, went from his carriage, suf- 
ficiently disturbing the darkness to elicit loud remonstrance 
from an owl in the roof of the great pile of stable building 
away among the trees. All else was so quiet, that the 

H4 A Tale of Two Cities 

flambeau carried up the steps, and the other flambeau held 
at the great door, burnt as if they were in a close room of 
state, instead of being in the open night air. Other sound 
than the owl's voice there was none, save the falling of the 
fountain into its stone basin; for, it was one of those dark 
nights that hold their breath by the hour together, and 
then heave a long low sigh, and hold their breath again. 

The great door clanged behind tym, and Monsieur the 
Marquis crossed a hall grim with certain old boar-spears, 
swords, and knives of the chase; grimmer with certain 
heavy riding-rods and riding-whips, of which many a peasant 
gone to his benefactor Death, had felt the weight when his 
lord was angry. 

Avoiding the larger rooms, which were dark and made 
fast for the night, Monsieur the Marquis, with his flambeau- 
bearer going on before, went up the staircase to a door in a 
corridor. This thrown open, admitted him to his own 
private apartment of three rooms : his bed-chamber and two 
others. High vaulted rooms with cool uncarpeted floors, 
great dogs upon the hearths for the burning of wood in 
winter-time, and all luxuries befitting the state of a marquis 
in a luxurious age and country. The fashion of the last 
Louis but one, of the line that was never to break the 
fourteenth Louis was conspicuous in their rich furniture; 
but, it was diversified by many objects that were illustrations 
of old pages in the history of France. 

A supper-table was laid for two, in the third of the rooms; 
a round room, in 6ne of the chateau's four extinguisher- 
topped towers. A small lofty room, with its window wide 
open, and the wooden jalousie-bunds closed, so that the 
dark night only showed in slight horizontal lines of black, 
alternating with their broad lines of stone colour. 

'My nephew,' said the Marquis, glancing at the supper 
preparation; 'they said he was not arrived/ 

Nor was he ; but, he had been expected with Monseigneur. 

'Ah! It is not probable he will arrive to-night; never- 
theless, leave the table as it is. I shall be ready in a quarter 
of an hour/ 

In a quarter of an hour Monseigneur was ready, and sat 
down alone to his sumptuous and choice supper. His chair 
was opposite to the window, and he had taken his soup, 

The Gorgon's Head 115 

and was raising his glass of Bordeaux to his lips, when he 
put it down. 

' What is that ? ' he calmly asked, looking with attention 
at the horizontal lines of black and stone colour. 

' Monseigneur ! That ? ' 

'Outside the blinds. Open the blinds.' 

It was done. 


'Monseigneur, it is nothing. The trees and the night 
are all that are here.' 

The servant who spoke, had thrown the blinds wide, had 
looked out into the vacant darkness, and stood, with that 
blank behind him, looking round for instructions. 

'Good,' said the imperturbable master. 'Close them 

That was done too, and the Marquis went on with his 
supper. He was half-way through it, when he again stopped 
with his glass in his hand, hearing the sound of wheels. 
It came on briskly, and came up to the front of the chateau. 

'Ask who is arrived.' 

It was the nephew of Monseigneur. He had been some 
few leagues behind Monseigneur, early in the afternoon. 
He had diminished the distance rapidly, but not so rapidly 
as to come up with Monseigneur on the road. He had 
heard of Monseigneur, at the posting-houses, as being 
before him. , 

He was to be told (said Monseigneur) that supper awaited 
him then and there, and that he was prayed to come to it. 
In a little while he came. He had been known in England 
as Charles Darnay. 

Monseigneur received him in a courtly manner, but they 
did not shake hands. 

' You left Paris yesterday, sir ? ' he said to Monseigneur, 
as he took his seat at table. 

'Yesterday. And you?' 

'I come direct.' 

'From London?' 


'You have been a long time coming,' said the Marquis, 
with a smile. 

'On the contrary; I come direct.' 

n6 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Pardon me! I mean, not a long time on the journey; 
a long time intending the journey.' 

' I have been detained by ' the nephew stopped a 
moment in his answer 'various business.' 

'Without doubt/ said the polished uncle. 

So long as a servant was present, no other words passed 
between them. When coffee had been served and they 
were alone together, the nephew, looking at the uncle and 
meeting the eyes of the face that was like a fine mask, 
opened a conversation. 

' I have come back, sir, as you anticipate, pursuing the 
object that took me away. It carried me into great and 
unexpected peril; but it is a sacred object, and if it had 
carried me to death I hope it would have sustained me.' 

'Not to death,' said the uncle; 'it is not necessary to 
say, to death.' 

'I doubt, sir,' returned the nephew, 'whether, if it had 
carried me to the utmost brink of death, you would have 
cared to stop me there/ 

The deepened marks in the nose, and the lengthening of 
the fine straight lines in the cruel face, looked ominous as 
to that ; the uncle made a graceful gesture of protest, which 
was so clearly a slight form of good breeding that it was not 

'Indeed, sir/ pursued the nephew, 'for anything I 
know, you may have expressly worked to give a more 
suspicious appearance to the suspicious circumstances that 
surrounded me/ 

'No, no, no/ said the uncle, ^pleasantly 

'But, however that may be/ resumed the nephew, 
glancing at him with deep distrust, ' I know that your 
diplomacy would stop me by any means, and would know 
no scruple as to means/ 

'My friend, I told you so/ said the uncle, with a fine 
pulsation in the two marks. 'Do me the favour to recall 
that I told you so, long ago/ 

'I recall it/ 

'Thank you/ said the Marquis very sweetly indeed. 

His tone lingered in the air, almost like the tone of a 
musical instrument 

'In effect, sir/ pursued the nephew, 'I believe it to be 

The Gorgon's Head 117 

at once your bad fortune, and my good fortune, that has 
kept me out of prison in France here.' 

'I do not quite understand,' returned the uncle, sipping 
his coffee. ' Dare I ask you to explain ? ' 

' I believe that if you were not in disgrace with the 
court, and had not been overshadowed by that cloud for 
years past, a letter de cachet would have sent me to some 
fortress indefinitely.' 

' It is possible/ said the uncle, with great calmness. 
'For the honour of the family, I could even resolve to in- 
commode you to that extent. Pray excuse me ! ' 

'I perceive that, happily for me, the Reception of the 
day before yesterday was, as usual, a cold one,' observed 
the nephew. 

'I would not say happily, my friend,' returned the uncle, 
with refined politeness ; ' I would not be sure of that. A 
good opportunity for consideration, surrounded by the ad- 
vantages of solitude, might influence your destiny to far 
greater advantage than you influence it for yourself. But it 
is useless to discuss the question. I am, as you say, at a 
disadvantage. These little instruments of correction, these 
gentle aids to the power and honour of families, these slight 
favours that might so incommode you, are only to be obtained 
now by interest and importunity. They are sought by so 
many, and they are granted (comparatively) to so few ! It 
used not to be so, but France in all such things is changed 
for the worse. Our not remote ancestors held the right of 
life and death over the surrounding vulgar. From this 
room, many such dogs have been taken out to be hanged; 
in the next room (my bedroom), one fellow, to our knowledge, 
was poniarded on the spot for professing some insolent 
delicacy respecting his daughter his daughter ? We have 
lost many privileges; a new philosophy has become the 
mode; and the assertion of our station, in these days, might 
(I do not go so far as to say would, but might) cause us 
real inconvenience. All very bad, very bad!' 

The Marquis took a gentle little pinch of snuff, and shook 
his head; as elegantly despondent as he could becomingly 
be of a country still containing himself, that great means of 

'We have so asserted our station, both in the old time 

1 1 8 A Tale of Two Cities 

and in the modern time also/ said the nephew, gloomily, 
'that I believe our name to be more detested than any 
name in France.' 

'Let us hope so,' said the uncle. 'Detestation of the 
high is the involuntary homage of the low.' 

'There is not,' pursued the nephew, in his former tone, 
'a face I can look at, in all this country round about us, 
which looks at me with any deference on it but the dark 
deference of fear and slavery/ 

'A compliment/ said the Marquis, 'to the grandeur of 
the family, merited by the manner in which the family has 
sustained its grandeur. Hah!' And he took another 
gentle little pinch of snuff, and lightly crossed his legs. 

But, when his nephew, leaning an elbow on the table, 
covered his eyes thoughtfully and dejectedly with his hand, 
the fine mask looked at him sideways with a stronger con- 
centration of keenness, closeness, and dislike, than was 
comportable with its wearer's assumption of indifference. 

' Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark 
deference of fear and slavery, my friend/ observed the 
Marquis, 'will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long 
as this roof looking up to it 'shuts out the sky/ 

That might not be so long as the Marquis supposed. If 
a picture of the chateau as it was to be a very few years 
hence, and of fifty like it as they too were to be a very few 
years hence, could have been shown to him that night, he 
might have been at a loss to claim his own from the ghastly, 
fire-charred, plunder-wrecked ruins. As for the roof he 
vaunted, he might have found that shutting out the sky in 
a new way to wit, for ever, from the eyes of the bodies into 
which its lead was fired, out of the, barrels of a hundred 
thousand muskets. 

'Meanwhile/ said the Marquis, 'I will preserve the 
honour and repose of the family, if you will not. But you 
must be fatigued. Shall we terminate our conference for 
the night?' 

'A moment more/ 

'An hour, if you please/ 

'Sir/ said the nephew, 'we have done wrong, and are 
reaping the fruits of wrong.' 

' We have done wrong ? ' repeated the Marquis, with an 

The Gorgon's Head 119 

inquiring smile, and delicately pointing, first to his nephew, 
then to himself. 

'Our family; our honourable family, whose honour is of 
so much account to both of us, in such different ways. 
Even in my father's time, we did a world of wrong, injuring 
every human creature who came between us and our 
pleasure, whatever it was. Why need I speak of my father's 
time, when it is equally yours ? Can I separate my father's 
twin-brother, joint inheritor, and next successor, from 
himself ? ' 

' Death has done that! ' said the Marquis. 

'And has left me,' answered the nephew, 'bound to a 
system that is frightful to me, responsible for it, but power- 
less in it; seeking to execute the last request of my dear 
mother's lips, and obey the last look of my dear mother's 
eyes, which implored me to have mercy and to redress; and 
tortured by seeking assistance and power in vain.' 

/ Seeking them from me, my nephew,' said the Marquis, 
touching him on the breast with his forefinger they were 
now standing by the hearth 'you will for ever seek them 
in vain, be assured.' 

Every fine straight line in the clear whiteness of his face, 
was cruelly, craftily, and closely compressed, while he stood 
looking quietly at his nephew, with his snuff-box in his hand. 
Once again he touched him on the breast, as though his 
finger were the fine point of a small sword, with which, 
in delicate finesse, he ran him through the body, and said, 

'My friend, I will die, perpetuating the system under 
which I have lived.' 

When he had said it, he took a culminating pinch of snuff, 
and put his box in his pocket. 

'Better to be a rational creature,' he added then, after 
ringing a small bell on the table, ' and accept your natural 
destiny. But you are lost, Monsieur Charles, I see.' 

'This property and France are lost to me/ said the 
nephew, sadly; 'I renounce them.' 

' Are they both yours to renounce ? France may be, but 
is the property ? It is scarcely worth mentioning ; but, is it 

' I had no intention, in the words I used, to claim it yet. 
If it passed to me from you, to-morrow ' 

120 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Which I have the vanity to hope is not probable.' 

' or twenty years hence ' 

'You do me too much honour,' said the Marquis; 'still, 
I prefer that supposition.' 

4 I would abandon it, and live otherwise and elsewhere. 
It is little to relinquish. What is it but a wilderness of 
misery and ruin ! ' 

' Hah ! ' said the Marquis, glancing round the luxurious 

' To the eye it is fair enough, here ; but seen in its integrity, 
under the sky, and by the daylight, it is a crumbling tower 
of waste, mismanagement, extortion, debt, mortgage, 
oppression, hunger, nakedness, and suffering.' 

' Hah ! ' said the Marquis again, in a well-satisfied manner. 

' If it ever becomes mine, it shall be put into some hands 
better qualified to free it slowly (if such a thing is possible) 
from the weight that drags it down, so that the miserable 
people who cannot leave it and who have been long wrung 
to the last point of endurance, may, in another generation, 
surfer less; but it is not for me. There is a curse on it, and 
on all this land.' 

'And you?' said the uncle. 'Forgive my curiosity; 
do you, under your new philosophy, graciously intend to 
live ? ' 

' I must do, to live, what others of my countrymen, even 
with nobility at their backs, may have to do some day 

' In England, for example ? ' 

'Yes. The family honour, sir, is safe from me in this 
country. The family name can suffer from me in no other, 
for I bear it in no other.' 

The ringing of the bell had caused the adjoining bed- 
chamber to be lighted. It now shone brightly, through the 
door of communication. The Marquis looked that way, 
and listened for the retreating step of his valet. 

' England is very attractive to you, seeing how indifferently 
you have prospered there,' he observed then, turning his 
calm face to his nephew with a smile. 

' I have already said, that for my prospering there, I am 
sensible I may be indebted to you, sir. For the rest, it is 
my refuge. 

The Gorgon's Head 121 

'They say, those boastful English, that it is the refuge 
of many. You know a compatriot who has found a refuge 
there? A Doctor?' 


' With a daughter ? ' 


'Yes,' said the Marquis. 'You are fatigued. Good 

As he bent his head in his most courtly manner, there was 
a secrecy in his smiling face, and he conveyed an air of 
mystery to those words, which struck the eyes and ears of 
his nephew forcibly. At the same time, the thin straight 
lines of the setting of the eyes, and the thin straight lips, 
and the markings in the nose, curved with a sarcasm that 
looked handsomely diabolic. 

'Yes,' repeated the Marquis. 'A doctor with a daughter. 
Yes. So commences the new philosophy ! You are fatigued. 
Good night ! ' 

It would have been of as much avail to interrogate any 
stone face outside the chateau as to interrogate that face of 
his. The nephew looked at him, in vain, in passing on to 
the door. 

'Good night!' said the uncle. 'I look to the pleasure 
of seeing you again in the morning. Good repose! Light 
Monsieur nay nephew to his chamber there! And burn 
Monsieur my nephew in his bed, if you will,' he added to 
himself, before he rang his little bell again, and summoned 
his valet to his own bedroom. 

The valet come and gone, Monsieur the Marquis walked 
to and fro in his loose chamber-robe, to prepare himself 
gently for sleep, that hot still night. Rustling about the 
room, his softly slippered feet making no noise on the floor, 
he moved like a refined tiger: looked like some enchanted 
marquis of the impenitently wicked sort, in story, whose 
periodical change into tiger form was either just going off, 
or just coming on. 

He moved from end to end of his voluptuous bedroom, 
looking again at the scraps of the day's journey that came 
unbidden into his mind; the slow toil up the hill at sunset, 
the setting sun, the descent, the mill, the prison on the crag, 
the little village in the hollow, the peasants at the fountain, 

122 A Tale of Two Cities 

and the mender of roads with his blue cap pointing out the 
chain under the carriage. That fountain suggested the Paris 
fountain, the little bundle lying* on the step, the women 
bending over it, and the tall man with his arms up, crying, 
' Dead ! ' 

'I am cool now,' said Monsieur the Marquis, 'and may 
go to bed.' 

So, leaving only one light burning on the large hearth, he 
let his thin gauze curtains fall around him, and heard the 
night break its silence with a long sigh as he composed him- 
self to sleep. 

The stone faces on the outer walls stared blindly at the 
black night for three heavy hours; for three heavy hours, 
the horses in the stables rattled at their racks, the dogs 
barked, and the owl made a noise with very little resem- 
blance in it to the noise conventionally assigned to the owl 
by men poets. But it is the obstinate custom of such 
creatures hardly ever to say what is set down for them. 

For three heavy hours, the stone faces of the chateau, lion 
and human, stared blindly at the night. Dead darkness lay 
on all the landscape, dead darkness added its own hush to 
the hushing dust on all the roads. The burial-place had 
got to the pass that its little heaps of poor grass were 
undistinguishable from one another; the figure on the Cross 
might have come down, for anything that could be seen of 
it. In the village: taxers and taxed were fast asleep. 
Dreaming, perhaps, of banquets, as the starved usually do, 
and of ease and rest, as the driven slave and the yoked ox 
may, its lean inhabitants slept soundly, and were fed and 

The fountain in the village flowed unseen and unheard, 
and the fountain at the chateau dropped unseen and unheard 
both melting away, like the minutes that were falling from 
the spring of Time through three dark hours. Then, the, 
grey water of both began to be ghostly in the light, and the 
eyes of the stone faces of the chateau were opened. 

Lighter and lighter, until at last the sun touched the tops 
of the still trees, and poured its radiance over the hill. In 
the glow, the water of the chateau fountain seemed to turn 
to blood, and the stone faces crimsoned. The carol of the 
birds was loud and high, and, on the weather-beaten sill of 

The Gorgon's Head 123 

the great window of the bed-chamber of Monsieur the 
Marquis, one little bird sang its sweetest song with all its 
might. At this, the nearest stone face seemed to stare 
amazed, and, with open mouth and dropped under-jaw, 
looked awe -stricken. 

Now, the sun was full up, and movement began in the 
village. Casement windows opened, crazy doors were un- 
barred, and people came forth shivering chilled, as yet, 
by the new sweet air. Then began the rarely lightened toil 
of the day among the village population. Some, to the 
fountain; some, to the fields; men and women here, to dig 
and delve; men and women there, to see to the poor live- 
stock, and lead the bony cows out, to such pasture as could 
be found by the roadside. In the church and at the Cross, 
a kneeling figure or two; attendant on the latter prayers, 
the led cow, trying for a breakfast among the weeds at its 

The chateau awoke later, as became its quality, but 
awoke gradually and surely. First, the lonely boar-spears 
and knives of the chase had been reddened as of old; then 
had gleamed trenchant in the morning sunshine ; now, doors 
and windows were thrown open, horses in their stables 
looked round over their shoulders at the light and freshness 
pouring in at doorways, leaves sparkled and rustled at iron- 
grated windows, dogs pulled hard at their chains, and reared 
impatient to be loosed. 

All these trivial incidents belonged to the routine of life, 
and the return of morning. Surely, not so the ringing of 
the great bell of the chateau, nor the running up and down 
the stairs; nor the hurried figures on the terrace; nor the 
booting and tramping here and there and everywhere, nor 
the quick saddling of horses and riding away ? 

What winds conveyed this hurry to the grizzled mender 
of roads, already at work on the hilltop beyond the village, 
with his day's dinner (not much to carry) lying in a bundle 
that it was worth no crow's while to peck at, on a heap of 
stones? Had the birds, carrying some grains of it to a 
distance, dropped one over him as they sow chance seeds ? 
Whether or no, the mender of roads ran, on the sultry 
morning, as if for his life, down the hill, knee-high in dust, 
and never stopped till he got to the fountain. 

1 24 A Tale of Two Cities 

All the people of the village were at the fountain, stand- 
ing about in their depressed manner, and whispering low, 
but showing no other emotions than grim curiosity and 
surprise. The led cows, hastily brought in and tethered to 
anything that would hold them, were looking stupidly on, 
or lying down chewing the cud of nothing particularly re- 
paying their trouble, which they had picked up in their 
interrupted saunter. Some of the people of the chateau, 
and some of those of the posting-house, and all the taxing 
authorities, were armed more or less, and were crowded on 
the other side of the little street in a purposeless way, that 
was highly fraught with nothing. Already, the mender of 
roads had penetrated into the midst of a group of fifty 
particular friends, and was smiting himself in the breast with 
his blue cap. What did all this portend, and what portended 
the swift hoisting-up of Monsieur Gabelle behind a servant 
on horseback, and the conveying away of the said Gabelle 
(double-laden though the horse was), at a gallop, like a new 
version of the German ballad of Leonora? 

It portended that there was one stone face too many, up 
at the chateau. 

The Gorgon had surveyed the building again in the night, 
and had added the one stone face wanting; the stone face 
for which it had waited through about two hundred years. 

It lay back >n the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis. It 
was like a fine mask, suddenly startled, made angry, and 
petrified. Driven home into the heart of the stone figure 
attached to it, was a knife. Round its hilt was a frill of 
paper, on which was scrawled: 

'Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from JACQUES.' 

Two Promises 125 



MORE months, to the number of twelve, had come and 
gone, and Mr. Charles Darnay was established in England 
as a higher teacher of the French language who was conver- 
sant with French literature. In this age, he would have 
been a Professor; in that age he was a Tutor. He read 
with young men who could find any leisure and interest for 
the study of a living tongue spoken all over the world, and 
he cultivated a taste for its stories of knowledge and fancy. 
He could write of them, besides, in sound English, and 
render them into sound English. Such masters were not at 
that time easily found; Princes that had been, and Kings 
that were to be, were not yet of the Teacher class, and no 
ruined nobility had dropped out of Tellson's ledgers, to turn 
cooks and carpenters. As a tutor, whose attainments made 
the student's way unusually pleasant and profitable, and 
as an elegant translator who brought something to his work 
besides mere dictionary knowledge, young Mr. Darnay soon 
became known and encouraged. He was well acquainted, 
moreover, with the circumstances of his country, and those 
were of ever-growing interest. So, with great perseverance 
and untiring industry, he prospered. 

In London, he had expected neither to walk on pave- 
ments of gold, nor to lie on beds of roses; if he had had 
any such exalted expectation, he would not have prospered. 
He had expected labour, and he found it, and did it, and 
made the best of it. In this, his prosperity consisted. 

A certain portion of his time was passed at Cambridge, 
where he read with undergraduates as a sort of tolerated 
smuggler who drove a contraband trade in European lan- 
guages, instead of conveying Greek and Latin through the 
Custom-house. The rest of his time he passed in London. 

Now, from the days when it was always summer in Eden, 
to these days when it is mostly winter in fallen latitudes, 
the world of a man has invariably gone one way Charles 
Darnay 's way the way of the love of a woman. 

He had loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his danger. 

1 26 A Tale of Two Cities 

He had never heard a sound so sweet and dear as the sound 
of her compassionate voice; he had never seen a face so 
tenderly beautiful, as hers when it was confronted with his 
own on the edge of the grave that had been dug for him. 
But, he had not yet spoken to her on the subject; the 
assassination at the deserted chateau far away beyond the 
heaving water, and the long, long, dusty roads the solid 
stone chateau which had itself become the mere mist of a 
dream had been done a year, and he had never yet, by 
so much as a single spoken word, disclosed to her the state 
of his heart. 

That he had his reasons for this, he knew full well. It 
was again a summer day when, lately arrived in London 
from his college occupation, he turned into the quiet corner 
in Soho, bent on seeking an opportunity of opening his 
mind to Doctor Manette. It was the close of the summed 
day, and he knew Lucie to be out with Miss Pross. 

He found the Doctor reading in his arm-chair at a window. 
The energy which had at once supported him under his old 
sufferings and aggravated their sharpness, had been gradu- 
ally restored to him. He was now a very energetic man 
indeed, with great firmness of purpose, strength of resolution, 
and vigour of action. In his recovered energy he was some- 
times a little fitful and sudden, as he had at first been in the 
exercise of his other recovered faculties ; but, this had never 
been frequently observable, and had grown more and more 

He studied much, slept little, sustained a great deal of 
fatigue with ease, and was equably cheerful. To him, now 
entered Charles Darnay, at sight of whom he laid aside his 
book and held out his hand. 

'Charles Darnay! I rejoice to see you. We have been 
counting on your return these three or four days past. Mr. 
Stryver and Sydney Carton were both here yesterday, and 
both made you out to be more than due. ' 

'I am obliged to them for their interest in the matter/ 
he answered, a little coldly as to them, though very warmly 
as to the Doctor. 'Miss Manette ' 

' Is well, * said the Doctor, as he stopped short, ' and your 
return will delight us all. She has gone out on some house- 
hold matters, but will soon be home. ' 

Two Promises 127 

'Doctor Manette, I knew she was from home. I took 
the opportunity of her being from home, to beg to speak to 

There was a blank silence. 

' Yes ? ' said the Doctor, with evident constraint. ' Bring 
your chair here, and speak on.' 

He complied as to the chair, but appeared to find the 
speaking on less easy. 

'I have had the happiness, Doctor Manette, of being so 
intimate here/ so he at length began, 'for some year and 
a half, that I hope the topic on which I am about to touch 
may not ' 

He was stayed by the Doctor's putting out his hand to 
stop him. When he kept it so a little while, he said, drawing 
it back: 

'Is Lucie the topic?' 

'She is.' 

'It is hard for me to speak of her at any time. It is 
very hard for me to hear her spoken of in that tone of 
yours, Charles Darnay.' 

'It is a tone of fervent admiration, true homage, and 
deep love, Doctor Manette/ he said deferentially. 

There was another blank silence before her father rejoined : 

'I believe it. I do you justice; I believe it/ 

His constraint was so manifest, and it was so manifest, 
too, that it originated in an unwillingness to approach the 
subject, that Charles Darnay hesitated. 

' Shall I go on, sir ? ' 

Another blank. 

'Yes, go on/ 

'You anticipate what I would say, though you cannot 
know how earnestly I say it, how earnestly I feel it, without 
knowing my secret heart, and the hopes and fears and 
anxieties with which it has long been laden. Dear Doctor 
Manette, I love your daughter fondly, dearly, disinter- 
estedly, devotedly. If ever there were love in the world, 
I love her. You have loved yourself; let your old love 
speak for me ! ' 

The Doctor sat with his face turned away, and his eyes 
bent on the ground. At the last words, he stretched out 
his hand again, hurriedly, and cried: 

1 28 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Not that, sirl Let that bel I adjure you, do not 
recall that!' 

His cry was so like a cry of actual pain, that it rang in 
Charles Darnay's ears long after he had ceased. He 
motioned with the hand he had extended, and it seemed to 
be an appeal to Darnay to pause. The latter so received it, 
and remained silent. 

'I ask your pardon/ said the Doctor, in a subdued tone, 
after some moments. 'I do not doubt your loving Lucie; 
you may be satisfied of it.' 

He turned towards him in his chair, but did not look at 
him, or raise his eyes. His chin dropped upon his hand, 
and his white hair overshadowed his face: 

' Have you spoken to Lucie ? ' 


' Nor written ? ' 


' It would be ungenerous to affect not to know that your 
self-denial is to be referred to your consideration for her 
father. Her father thanks you.' 

He offered his hand; but his eyes did not go with it. 

'I know,' said Darnay, respectfully, 'how can I fail to 
know, Doctor Manette, I who have seen you together from 
day to day, that between you and Miss Manette there is an 
affection so tinusual, so touching, so belonging to the cir- 
cumstances in which it has been nurtured, that it can have 
few parallels, even in the tenderness between a father and 
child. I know, Dr. Manette how can I fail to know that, 
mingled with the affection and duty of a daughter who has 
become a woman, there is, in her heart, towards you, all the 
love and reliance of infancy itself. I know that, as in her 
childhood she had no parent, so she is now devoted to you 
with all the constancy and fervour of her present years and 
character, united to the trustfulness and attachment of the 
early days in which you were lost to her. I know perfectly 
well that if you had been restored to her from the world 
beyond this life, you could hardly be invested, in her sight, 
with a more sacred character than that in which you are 
always with her. I know that when she is clinging to you, 
the hands of baby, girl, and woman, all in one, are round 
your neck. I know that in loving you she sees and loves 

Two Promises 129 


her mother at her own age, sees and loves you at my age, 
loves her mother broken-hearted, loves you through your 
dreadful trial and in your blessed restoration. I have 
known this, night and day, since I have known you in 
your home.' 

Her father sat silent, with his face bent down. His 
breathing was a little quickened; but he repressed all other 
signs of agitation. 

'Dear Doctor Manette, always knowing this, always 
seeing her and you with this hallowed light about you, I 
have forborne, and forborne, as long as it was in the nature 
of man to do it. I have felt, and do even now feel, that to 
bring my love even mine between you, is to touch your 
history with something not quite so good as itself. But I 
love her. Heaven is my witness that I love her ! ' 

'I believe it,' answered her father, mournfully. 'I have 
thought so before now. I believe it.' 

'But, do not believe/ said Darnay, upon whose ear the 
mournful voice struck with a reproachful sound, ' that if my 
fortune were so cast as that, being one day so happy as to 
make her my wife, I must at any time put any separation 
between her and you, I could or would breathe a word of 
what I now say. Besides that I should know it to be hope- 
less, I should know it to be a baseness. If I had any such 
possibility, even at a remote distance of years, harboured in 
my thoughts, and hidden in my heart if it ever had been 
there if it ever could be there I could not now touch this 
honoured hand.' 

He laid his own upon it as he spoke. 

'No, dear Doctor Manette. Like you, a voluntary exile 
from France; like you, driven from it by its distractions, 
oppressions, and miseries; like you, striving to live away 
from it by my own exertions, and trusting in a happier 
future; I look only to sharing your fortunes, sharing your 
life and home, and being faithful to you to the death. Not 
to divide with Lucie her privilege as your child, companion, 
and friend ; but to come in aid of it, and bind her closer to 
you, if such a thing can be.' 

His touch still lingered on her father's hand. Answering 
the touch for a moment, but not coldly, her father rested his 
hands upon the arms of his chair, and looked up for the first 

130 A Tale of Two Cities 

time since the beginning of the conference. A struggle was 
evidently in his face; a struggle with that occasional look 
which had a tendency in it to dark doubt and dread. 

' You speak so feelingly and so manfully, Charles Darnay, 
that I thank you with all my heart, and will open all my 
heart or nearly so. Have you any reason to believe that 
Lucie loves you ? ' 

' None. As yet none/ 

'Is it the immediate object of this confidence, that you 
may at once ascertain that, with my knowledge ? ' 

' Not even so. I might not have the hopefulness to do it 
for weeks; I might (mistaken or not mistaken) have that 
hopefulness to-morrow.' 

' Do you seek any guidance from me ? ' 

' I ask none, sir. But I have thought it possible that you 
might have it in your power, if you should deem it right, to 
give me some/ 

' Do you seek any promise from me 1 ' 

'I do seek that.' 

' What is it ? ' 

'I well understand that, without you, I could have no 
hope. I well understand that, even if Miss Manette held 
me at this moment in her innocent heart do not think I 
have the presumption to assume so much I could retain no 
place in it against her love for her father/ 

'If that be so, do you see what, on the other hand, is 
involved in it ? ' 

' I understand equally well, that a word from her father 
in any suitor's favour, would outweigh herself and all the 
world. For which reason, Doctor Manette,' said Darnay, 
modestly but firmly, ' I would not ask that word, to save my 

' I am sure of it. Charles Darnay, mysteries arise out of 
close love, as well as out of close division ; in the former case, 
they are subtle and delicate, and difficult to penetrate. My 
daughter Lucie is, in this one respect, such a mystery to me ; 
I can make no guess at the state of her heart/ 

' May I ask, sir, if you think she is ' As he hesitated, 

her father supplied the rest. 

' Is sought by any other suitor ? ' 

' It is what I meant to say/ 

Two Promises 131 

Her father considered a little before he answered : 

'You have seen Mr. Carton here, yourself. Mr. Stryver 
is here too, occasionally. If it be at all, it can only be by 
one of these/ 
. 'Or both,' said Darnay. 

'I had not thought of both; I should not think either, 
likely. You want a promise from me. Tell me what it is.' 

'It is, that if Miss Manette should bring to you at any 
time, on her own part, such a confidence as I have ventured 
to lay before you, you will bear testimony to what I have 
said, and to your belief in it. I hope you may be able to 
think so well of me, as to urge no influence against me. I 
say nothing more of my stake in this; this is what I ask. 
The condition on which I ask it, and which you have an 
undoubted right to require, I will observe immediately.' 

'I give the promise,' said the Doctor, 'without any con- 
dition. I believe your object to be, purely and truthfully, as 
you have stated it. I believe your intention is to perpetuate, 
and not to weaken, the ties between me and my other and 
far dearer self. If she should ever tell me that you are 
essential to her perfect happiness, I will give her to you. If 
there were Charles Darnay if there were ' 

The young man had taken his hand gratefully ; their hands 
were joined as the Doctor spoke: 

' any fancies, any reasons, any apprehensions, anything 
whatsoever, new or old, against the man she really loved 
the direct responsibility thereof not lying on his head they 
should all be obliterated for her sake. She is everything to 
me; more to me than suffering, more to me than wrong, 
more to me Well 1 This is idle talk/ 

So strange was the way in which he faded into silence, 
and so strange his fixed look when he had ceased to speak, 
that Darnay felt his own hand turn cold in the hand that 
slowly released and dropped it. 

'You said something to me/ said Doctor Manette, 
breaking into a smile. ' What was it you said to me ? ' 

He was at a loss how to answer, until he remembered 
having spoken of a condition. Relieved as his mind reverted 
to that, he answered: 

'Your confidence in me ought to be returned with full 
confidence on my part. My present name, though but 

132 A Tale of Two Cities 

slightly changed from my mother's, is not, as you will 
remember, my own. I wish to tell you what that is, and 
why I am in England.' 

' Stop ! ' said the Doctor of Beauvais. 

' I wish it, that I may the better deserve your confidence, 
and have no secret from you/ 

' Stop ! ' 

For an instant, the Doctor even had his two hands at his 
ears; for another instant, even had his two hands laid on 
Darnay's lips. 

'Tell me when I ask you, not now. If your suit should 
prosper, if Lucie should love you, you shall tell me on your 
marriage morning. Do you promise?' 


'Give me your hand. She will be home directly, and it 
is better she should not see us together to-night. Go I God 
bless you ! ' 

It was dark when Charles Darnay left him, and it was an 
hour later and darker when Lucie came home; she hurried 
into the room alone for Miss Pross had gone straight up- 
stairs and was surprised to find his reading-chair empty. 

' My father ! ' she called to him. ' Father, dear 1 ' 

Nothing was said in answer, but she heard a low hammer- 
ing sound in the bedroom. Passing lightly across the 
intermediate room, she looked in at his door and came 
running back frightened, crying to herself, with her blood all 
chilled, ' What shall I do ! What shall I do ! ' 

Her uncertainty lasted but a moment; she hurried back, 
and tapped at his door, and softly called to him. The noise 
ceased at the sound of her voice, and he presently came out 
to her, and they walked up and down together for a long 

She came down from her bed, to look at him in his sleep 
that night. He slept heavily, and his tray of shoemaking 
tools, and his old unfinished work, were all as usual. 

A Companion Picture 133 



'SYDNEY/ said Mr. Stryver, on that selfsame night, or 
morning, to his jackal; 'mix another bowl of punch; I have 
something to say to you.' 

Sydney had been working double tides that night, and the 
night before, and the night before that, and a good many 
nights in succession, making a grand clearance among Mr. 
Stryver's papers before the setting in of the long vacation. 
The clearance was affected at last ; the Stryver arrears were 
handsomely fetched up; everything was got rid of until 
November should come with its fogs atmospheric and fogs 
legal, and bring grist to the mill again. 

Sydney was none the livelier and none the soberer for so 
much application. It had taken a deal of extra wet-towelling 
to pull him through the night; a correspondingly extra 
quantity of wine had preceded the towelling ; and he was in 
a very damaged condition, as he now pulled his turban off 
and threw it into the basin in which he had steeped it at 
intervals for the last six hours. 

' Are you mixing that other bowl of punch ? ' said Stryver 
the portly, with his hands in his waistband, glancing round 
from the sofa where he lay on his back. 


'Now, look here! I am going to tell you something that 
will rather surprise you, and that perhaps will make you 
think me not quite as shrewd as you usually do think me. I 
intend to marry.' 


' Yes. And not for money. What do you say now ? ' 

' I don't feel disposed to say much. Who is she ? ' 


'Do I know her?' 


' I am not going to guess, at five o'clock in the morning, 
with my brains frying and spluttering in my head. If you 
want me to guess, you must ask me to dinner.' 

'Well then, I '11 tell you,' said Stryver, coming slowly into 

134 A Tale of Two Cities 

a sitting posture. 'Sydney, I rather despair of making 
myself intelligible to you, because you are such an insensible 

'And you,' returned Sydney, busy concocting the punch, 
'are such a sensitive and poetical spirit/ 

'Come/ rejoined Stryver, laughing boastfully, 'though 
I don't prefer any claim to being the soul of Romance (for I 
hope I know better), still I am a tenderer sort of fellow than 

'You are a luckier, if you mean that/ 

'I don't mean that. I mean I am a man of more 
more ' 

'Say gallantry, while you are about it/ suggested 

'Well! I '11 say gallantry. My meaning is that I am a 
man/ said Stryver, inflating himself at his friend as he 
made the punch, 'who cares to be more agreeable, who 
takes more pains to be agreeable, who knows better how to 
be agreeable; in a woman's society, than you do/ 

'Go on/ said Sydney Carton. 

'No; but before I go on/ said Stryver, shaking his head 
in his bullying way, 'I '11 have this out with you. You 've 
been at Doctor Manette's house as much as I have, or more 
than I have. Why, I have been ashamed of your morose- 
ness there! Your manners have been of that silent and 
sullen and hang-dog kind, that, upon my life and soul, I 
have been ashamed of you, Sydney!' 

'It should be very beneficial to a man in your practice 
at the bar, to be ashamed of anything/ returned Sydney; 
'you ought to be much obliged to me/ 

'You shall not get off in that way/ rejoined Stryver, 
shouldering the rejoinder at him; 'no, Sydney, it 's my 
duty to tell you and I tell you to your face to do you good 
that you are a de-vilish ill-conditioned fellow in that sort 
of society. You are a disagreeable fellow/ 

Sydney drank a bumper of the punch he had made, and 

'Look at me/ said Stryver, squaring himself; 'I have 
less need to make myself agreeable than you have, being 
more independent in circumstances. Why do I do it ?' 

'I never saw you do it yet/ muttered Carton. 

A Companion Picture 135 

'I do it because it is politic; I do it on principle. And 
look at me! I get on/ 

'You don't get on with your account of your matri- 
monial intentions/ answered Carton, with a careless air; 
'I wish you would keep to that. As to me will you 
never understand that I am incorrigible ? ' 

He asked the question with some appearance of scorn. 

'You have no business to be incorrigible/ was his friend's 
answer, delivered in no very soothing tone. 

'I have no business to be, at all, that I know of/ said 
Sydney Carton. ' Who is the lady ?' 

'Now, don't let my announcement of the name make 
you uncomfortable, Sydney/ said Mr. Stryver, preparing 
him with ostentatious friendliness for the disclosure he was 
about to make, 'because I know you don't mean half you 
say; and if you meant it all, it would be of no importance. 
I make this little preface, because you once mentioned the 
young lady to me in slighting terms/ 

'I did?' 

'Certainly; and in these chambers/ 

Sydney Carton looked at his punch and looked at his 
complacent friend; drank his punch and looked at his 
complacent friend. 

'You made mention of the young lady as a golden- 
haired doll. The young lady is Miss Manette. If you 
had been a fellow of any sensitiveness or delicacy of feeling 
in that kind of way, Sydney, I might have been a little 
resentful of your employing such a designation ; but you are 
not. You want that sense altogether; therefore I am no 
more annoyed when I think of the expression, than I should 
be annoyed by a man's opinion of a picture of mine, who 
had no eye for pictures: or of a piece of music of mine, 
who had no ear for music/ 

Sydney Carton drank the punch at a great rate; drank 
it by bumpers, looking at his friend. 

'Now you know all about it, Syd/ said Mr. Stryver. 
'I don't care about fortune: she is a charming creature, 
and I have made up my mind to please myself: on the 
whole, I think I can afford to please myself. She will have 
in me a man already pretty well off, and a rapidly rising 
man, and a man of some distinction: it is a piece of good 


A Tale of Two Cities 

fortune for her, but she is worthy of good fortune. Are 
you astonished ? ' 

Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined, 'Why should 
I be astonished ? * 

'You approve?' 

Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined, 'Why should 
I not approve ? ' 

' Well ! ' said his friend Stryver, ' you take it more easily 
than I fancied you would, and are less mercenary on my 
behalf than I thought you would be; though, to be sure, 
you know well enough by this time that your ancient chum 
is a man of a pretty strong will. Yes, Sydney, I have had 
enough of this style of life, with no other as a change from 
it; I feel that it is a pleasant thing for a man to have a 
home when he feels inclined to go to it (when he doesn't, 
he can stay away), and I feel that Miss Manette will tell 
well in any station, and will always do me credit. So I 
have made up my mind. And now, Sydney, old boy, I 
want to say a word to you about your prospects. You are 
in a bad way, you know; you really are in a bad way. 
You don't know the value of money, you live hard, you '11 
knoc!: up one of these days, and be ill and poor; you 
really ought to think about a nurse/ 

The prosperous patronage with which he said it, made 
him look twice as big as he was, and four times as offensive. 

'Now, let me recommend you,' pursued Stryver, 'to 
look it in the face. I have looked it in the face, in my 
different way; look it in the face, you, in your different 
way. Marry. Provide somebody to take care of you. 
Never mind your having no enjoyment of women's society, 
nor understanding of it, nor tact for it. Find out some- 
body. Find out some respectable woman with a little 
property somebody in the landlady way, or lodging-letting 
way and marry her, against a rainy day. That 's the kind 
of thing for you. Now think of it, Sydney.' 

'I '11 think of it,' said Sydney. 

The Fellow of Delicacy 137 



MR. STRYVER having made up his mind to that magnani- 
mous bestowal of good fortune on the Doctor's daughter, 
resolved to make her happiness known to her before he left 
town for the Long Vacation. After some mental debating 
of the point, he came to the conclusion that it would be as 
well to get all the preliminaries done with, and they could 
then arrange at their leisure whether he should give her his 
hand a week or two before Michaelmas Term, or in the 
little Christmas vacation between it and Hilary. 

As to the strength of his case, he had not a doubt about 
it, but clearly saw his way to the verdict. Argued with the 
jury on substantial worldly grounds the only grounds ever 
worth taking into account it was a plain case, and had not 
a weak spot in it. He called himself for the plaintiff, there 
was no getting over his evidence, the counsel for the defend- 
ant threw up his brief, and the jury did not even turn to 
consider. After trying it, Stryver, C.J., was satisfied that 
no plainer case could be. 

Accordingly, Mr. Stryver inaugurated the Long Vacation 
with a formal proposal to take Miss Manette to Vauxhall 
Gardens; that failing, to Ranelagh; that unaccountably 
failing too, it behoved him to present himself in Soho, and 
there declare his noble mind. 

Towards Soho, therefore, Mr. Stryver shouldered his way 
from the Temple, while the bloom of the Long Vacation's 
infancy was still upon it. Anybody who had seen him pro- 
jecting himself into Soho while he was yet on St. Dunstan's 
side of Temple Bar, bursting into his full-blown way along 
the pavement, to the jostlement of all weaker people, 
might have seen how safe and strong he was. 

His way taking him past Tellson's, and he both banking 
at Tellson's and knowing Mr. Lorry as the intimate friend 
of the Manettes, it entered Mr. Stryver's mind to enter the 
bank, and reveal to Mr. Lorry the brightness of the Soho 
horizon. So, he pushed open the door with a weak rattle 
in its throat, stumbled down the two steps, got past the two 


A Tale of Two Cities 

ancient cashiers, and shouldered himself into the musiry 
bank closet where Mr. Lorry sat at great books ruled for 
figures, with perpendicular iron bars to his window as ii 
that was ruled for figures too, and everything under the 
clouds were a sum. 

'Halloa!' said Mr. Stryver. 'How do you do? I 
hope you are well ! ' 

It was Stryver 's grand peculiarity that he always seemed 
too big for any place, or space. He was so much too big 
for Tellson's, that old clerks in distant corners looked up 
with looks of remonstrance, as though he squeezed them 
against the wall. The House itself, magnificently reading 
the paper quite in the far-off perspective, lowered dis- 
pleased, as if the Stryver head had been butted into its 
respectable waistcoat. 

The discreet Mr. Lorry said, in a sample tone of the 
voice he would recommend under the circumstances, 
'How do you do, Mr. Stryver? How do you do, sir?' 
and shook hands. There was a peculiarity in his manner 
of shaking hands, always to be seen in any clerk at Tellson's 
who shook hands with a customer when the House pervaded 
the air. He shook in a self-abnegating way, as one who 
shook for Tellson & Co. 

'Can I do anything for you, Mr. Stryver?' asked Mr. 
Lorry, in his business character. 

'Why, no, thank you; this is a private visit to yourself, 
Mr. Lorry; I have come for a private word/ 

' Oh indeed ! ' said Mr. Lorry, bending down his ear, 
while his eye strayed to the House afar off. 

'I am going,' said Mr. Stryver, leaning his arms con- 
fidentially on the desk: whereupon, although it was a large 
double one, there appeared to be not half desk enough for 
him: 'I am going to make an offer of myself in marriage 
to your agreeable little friend, Miss Manette, Mr. Lorry.' 

' Oh dear me ! ' cried Mr. Lorry, rubbing his chin, and 
looking at his visitor dubiously. 

'Oh dear me, sir?' repeated Stryver, drawing back. 
'Oh dear you, sir? What may your meaning be, Mr. 

'My meaning/ answered the man of business, 'is, of 
course, friendly and appreciative, and that it does you the 

The Fellow of Delicacy 139 

greatest credit, and in short, my meaning is everything 
you could desire. But really you know, Mr. Stryver 
Mr. Lorry paused, and shook his head at him in the oddest 
manner, as if he were compelled against his will to add, 
internally, 'You know there really is so much too much of 

' Well ! ' said Stryver, slapping the desk with his conten- 
tious hand, opening his eyes wider, and taking a long breath 
'if I understand you, Mr. Lorry, 1 11 be hanged! ' 

Mr. Lorry adjusted his little wig at both ears as a means 
towards that end, and bit the feather of a pen. 

' D n it all, sir 1 ' said Stryver, staring at him, ' am I not 
eligible ? ' 

'Oh dear yes! Yes. Oh yes, you're eligible!' said Mr. 
Lorry. ' If you say eligible, you are eligible. ' 

' Am I not prosperous ? ' asked Stryver. 

'Oh! if you come to prosperous, you are prosperous/ said 
Mr. Lorry. 

' And advancing ? ' 

'If you come to advancing, you know/ said Mr. Lorry, 
delighted to be able to made another admission, 'nobody 
can doubt that.' 

' Then what on earth is your meaning, Mr. Lorry ? ' 
demanded Stryver, perceptibly crestfallen. 

' Well ! I Were you going there now ? ' asked Mr. 


' Straight ! ' said Stryver, with a plump of his fist on the 

'Then I think I wouldn't, if I was you/ 

'Why?' said Stryver. 'Now, I'll put you in a corner/ 
forensically shaking a forefinger at him. 'You are a man 
of business and bound to have a reason. State your reason. 
Why wouldn't you go ? ' 

' Because, ' said Mr. Lorry, ' I wouldn't go on such an 
object without having some cause to believe that I should 

'D n ME!' cried Stryver, 'but this beats everything/ 

Mr. Lorry glanced at the distant House, and glanced at 
the angry Stryver. 

' Here 's a man of business a man of years a man of 
experience in a bank/ said Stryver; 'and having summed 

140 A Tale of Two Cities 

up three leading reasons for complete success, he says there 's 
no reason at all 1 Says it with his head on ! ' Mr. Stry ver 
remarked upon the peculiarity as if it would have been 
infinitely less remarkable if he had said it with his head 

'When I speak of success, I speak of success with the 
young lady; and when I speak of causes and reasons to 
make success probable, I speak of causes and reasons that 
will tell as such with the young lady. The young lady, my 
good sir,' said Mr. Lorry, mildly tapping the Stryver arm, 
'the young lady. The young lady goes before all.' 

'Then you mean to tell me, Mr. Lorry,' said Stryver, 
squaring his elbows, ' that it is your deliberate opinion that 
the young lady at present in question is a mincing Fool ? ' 

'Not exactly so. I mean to tell you, Mr. Stryver,' said 
Mr. Lorry, reddening, ' that I will hear no disrespectful word 
of that young lady from any lips; and that if I knew any 
man which I hope I do not whose taste was so coarse, 
and whose temper was so overbearing, that he could not 
restrain himself from speaking disrespectfully of that young 
lady at this desk, hot even Tellson's should prevent my 
giving him a piece of my mind.' 

The necessity of being angry in a suppressed tone had put 
Mr. Stryver's blood-vessels into a dangerous state when it 
was his turn to be angry; Mr. Lorry's veins, methodical as 
their courses could usually be, were in no better state now 
it was his turn. 

'That is what I mean to tell you, sir,' said Mr. Lorry. 
'Pray let there be no mistake about it.' 

Mr. Stryver sucked the end of a ruler for a little while, 
and then stood hitting a tune out of his teeth with it, which 
probably gave him the toothache. He broke the awkward 
silence by saying: 

'This is something new to me, Mr. Lorry. You deliber- 
ately advise me not to go up to Soho and offer myself 
myself , Stryver of the King's Bench bar ? ' 

' Do you ask me for my advice, Mr. Stryver ? ' 

'Yes, I do.' 

'Very good. Then I give it, and you have repeated it 

' And all I can say of it is,' laughed Stryver with a vexed 

The Fellow of Delicacy 141 

laugh, 'that this ha, ha! beats everything past, present, 
and to come/ 

'Now understand me/ pursued Mr. Lorry. 'As a man 
of business, I am not justified in saying anything about this 
matter, for, as a man of business, I know nothing of it. But, 
as an old fellow, who has carried Miss Manette in his arms, 
who is the trusted friend of Miss Manette and of her father 
too, and who has a great affection for them both, I have 
spoken. The confidence is not of my seeking, recollect. 
Now, you think I may not be right?' 

' Not I ! ' said Stryver, whistling. ' I can't undertake to 
find third parties in common sense; I can only find it for 
myself. I suppose sense in certain quarters; you suppose 
mincing bread-and-butter nonsense. It 's new to me, but 
you are right, I dare say/ 

'What I suppose, Mr. Stryver, I claim to characterize for 
myself. And understand me, sir,' said Mr. Lorry, quickly 
flushing again, 'I will not not even at Tellson's have it 
characterized for me by any gentleman breathing.' 

' There ! I beg your pardon ! ' said Stryver. 

'Granted. Thank you. Well, Mr. Stryver, I was about 
to say it might be painful to you to find yourself mistaken, 
it might be painful to Doctor Manette to have the task of 
being explicit with you, it might be very painful to Miss 
Manette to have the task of being explicit with you. You 
know the terms upon which I have the honour and happiness 
to stand with the family. If you please, committing you 
in no way, representing you in no way, I will undertake to 
correct my advice by the exercise of a little new observation 
and judgment expressly brought to bear upon it. If you 
should then be dissatisfied with it, you can but test its 
soundness for yourself; if, on the other hand, you should 
be satisfied with it, and it should be what it now is, it 
may spare all sides what is best spared. What do you 

' How long would you keep me in town ? ' 

'Oh! It is only a question of a few hours. I could go 
down to Soho in the evening, and come to your chambers 
afterwards. ' 

'Then I say yes,' said Stryver: 'I won't go up there 
now, I am not so hot upon it as that comes to; I say 

142 A Tale of Two Cities 

yes, and I shall expect you to look in to-night. Good 

Then Mr. Stryver turned and burst out of the bank, 
causing such a concussion of air on his passage through, 
that to stand up against it bowing behind the two counters, 
required the utmost remaining strength of the two ancient 
clerks. Those venerable and feeble persons were always 
seen by the public in the act of bowing, and were popularly 
believed, when they had bowed a customer out, still to keep 
on bowing in the empty office until they bowed another 
customer in. 

The barrister was keen enough to divine that the banker 
would not have gone so far in his expression of opinion on 
any less solid ground than moral certainty. Unprepared as 
he was for the large pill he had to swallow, he got it down. 
'And now/ said Mr. Stryver, shaking his forensic forefinger 
at the Temple in general, when it was down, ' my way out of 
this, is, to put you all in the wrong.' 

It was a bit of the art of an Old Bailey tactician, in 
which he found great relief. 'You shall not put me in the 
wrong, young lady/ said Mr. Stryver; ' I '11 do that for you/ 

Accordingly, when Mr. Lorry called that night as late as 
ten o'clock, Mr. Stryver, among a quantity of books and 
papers littered out for the purpose, seemed to have nothing 
less on his mind than the subject of the morning. He even 
showed surprise when he saw Mr. Lorry, and was altogether 
in an absent and preoccupied state. 

'Well!' said that good-natured emissary, after a full 
half-hour of bootless attempts to bring him round to the 
question. 'I have been to Soho/ 

'To Soho?' repeated Mr. Stryver, coldly. 'Oh, to be 
sure ! What am I thinking of ! ' 

'And I have no doubt/ said Mr. Lorry, 'that I was 
right in the conversation we had. My opinion is confirmed 
and I reiterate my advice.' 

'I assure you/ returned Mr. Stryver, in the friendliest 
way, ' that I am sorry for it on your account, and sorry for 
it on the poor father's account. I know this must always 
be a sore subject with the family; let us say no more about 

' I don't understand you/ said Mr. Lorry. 

The Fellow of Delicacy 143 

'I dare say not,' rejoined Stryver, nodding his head in a 
smoothing and final way; 'no matter, no matter.' 

'But it does matter,' Mr. Lorry urged. 

'No it doesn't; I assure you it doesn't. Having supposed 
that there was sense where there is no sense, and a laudable 
ambition where there is not a laudable ambition, I am well 
out of my mistake, and no harm is done. Young women 
have committed similar follies often before, and have re- 
pented them in poverty and obscurity often before. Iri an 
unselfish aspect, I am sorry that the thing is dropped, 
because it would have been a bad thing for me in a worldly 
point of view; in a selfish aspect, I am glad that the thing 
has dropped, because it would have been a bad thing for me 
In a worldly point of view it is hardly necessary to say I 
could have gained nothing by it. There is no harm at all 
done. I have not proposed to the young lady, and, between 
ourselves, I am by no means certain, on reflection, that I 
ever should have committed myself to that extent. Mr. 
Lorry, you cannot control the mincing vanities and giddi- 
nesses of empty-headed girls ; you must not expect to do it, 
or you will always be disappointed. Now, pray say no more 
about it. I tell you, I regret it on account of others, but I am 
satisfied on my own account. And I am really very much 
obliged to you for allowing me to sound you, and for giving 
me your advice ; you know the young lady better than I do ; 
you were right, it never would have done.' 

Mr. Lorry was so taken aback, that he looked quite 
stupidly at Mr. Stryver shouldering him towards the door, 
with an appearance of showering generosity, forbearance, 
and goodwill, on his erring head. 'Make the best of it, 
my dear sir,' said Stryver; 'say no more about it; thank 
you again for allowing me to sound you ; good night ! ' 

Mr. Lorry was out into the night, before he knew where he 
was. Mr. Stryver was lying back on his sofa, winking at his 

144 A Tale of Two Cities 



IF Sydney Carton ever shone anywhere, he certainly never 
shone in the house of Doctor Manette. He had been there 
often, during the whole year, and had always been the same 
moody and morose lounger there. When he cared to 
talk, he talked well; but, the cloud of caring for nothing, 
which overshadowed him with such a fatal darkness, was 
very rarely pierced by the light within him. 

And yet he did care something for the streets that 
environed that house, and for the senseless stones that 
made their pavements. Many a night he vaguely and 
unhappily wandered there, when wine had brought no 
transitory gladness to him ; many a dreary daybreak revealed 
his solitary figure lingering there, and still lingering there 
when the first beams of the sun brought into strong relief, 
removed beauties in architecture in spires of churches and 
lofty buildings, as perhaps the quiet time brought some 
sense of better things, else forgotten and unattainable, into 
his mind. Of late, the neglected bed in the Temple Court 
had known him more scantily than ever; and often when 
he had thrown himself upon it no longer than a few minutes, 
he had got up again, and haunted that neighbourhood. 

On a day in August, when Mr. Stryver (after notifying to his 
jackal that ' he had thought better of that marrying matter ') 
had carried his delicacy into Devonshire, and when the 
sight and scent of flowers in the City streets had some waifs 
of goodness in them for the worst, of health for the sickliest, 
and of youth for the oldest, Sydney's feet still trod those 
stones. From being irresolute and purposeless, his feet 
being animated by an intention, and, in the working out 
of that intention, they took him to the Doctor's door. 

He was shown upstairs, and found Lucie at her work, 
alone. She had never been quite at her ease with him, and 
received him with some little embarrassment as he seated 
himself near her table. But, looking up at his face in the 
interchange of the first few commonplaces, she observed a 
change in it. 

The Fellow of no Delicacy 145 

' I fear you are not well, Mr. Carton ! ' 

'No. But the life I lead, Miss Manette, is not conducive 
to uealth. What is to be expected of, or by, such profli- 
gates ? ' 

'Is it not forgive me; I have begun the question on 
my lips a pity to live no better life ? ' 

' God knows it is a shame ! ' 

' Then why not change it ? ' 

Looking gently at him again, she was surprised and 
saddened to see that there were tears in his eyes. There 
were tears in his voice too, as he answered : 

' It is too late for that. I shall never be better than I am. 
I shall sink lower, and be worse.' 

He leaned an elbow on her table, and covered his eyes 
with his hand. The table trembled in the silence that 

She had never seen him softened, and was much dis- 
tressed. He knew her to be so, without looking at her, 
and said: 

'Pray forgive me, Miss Manette. I break down before 
the knowledge of what I want to say to you. Will you 
hear me ? ' 

' If it will do you any good, Mr. Carton, if it would make 
you happier, it would make me very glad ! ' 

'God bless you for your sweet compassion!' 

He unshaded his face after a little while, and spoke 

'Don't be afraid to hear me. Don't shrink from any- 
thing I say. I am like one who died young. All my life 
might have been.' 

'No, Mr. Carton. I am sure that the best part of it 
might still be; I am sure that you might be much, much 
worthier of yourself.' 

'Say of you, Miss Manette, and although I know better 
although in the mystery of my own wretched heart I know 
better I shall never forget it 1 ' 

She was pale and trembling. He came to her relief with 
a fixed despair of himself which made the interview unlike 
any other that could have been holden. 

' If it had been possible, Miss Manette, that you could have 
returned the love of the man you see before you self-flung 


A Tale of Two Cities 

away, wasted, drunken, poor creature of misuse as you 
know him to be he would have been conscious this day 
and hour, in spite of his happiness, that he would bring you 
to misery, bring you to sorrow and repentance, blight you, 
disgrace you, pull you down with him. I know very well 
that you can have no tenderness for me; I ask for none; I 
am even thankful that it cannot be.' 

'Without it, can I not save you, Mr. Carton? Can I not 
recall you forgive me again! to a better course? Can I 
in no way repay your confidence ? I know this is a confi- 
dence,' ,she modestly said, after a little hesitation, and in 
earnest tears, 'I know you would say this to no one else. 
Can I turn it to no good account for yourself, Mr. Carton ? ' 

He shook his head. 

'To none. No, Miss Manette, to none. If you will 
hear me through a very little more, all you can ever do for 
me is done. I wish you to know that you have been the 
last dream of my soul. In my degradation I have not been 
so degraded but that the sight of you with your father, and 
of this home made such a home by you, has stirred old 
shadows that I thought had died out of me. Since I knew 
you, I have been troubled by a remorse that I thought 
would never reproach me again, and have heard whispers 
from old voices impelling me upward, that I thought were 
silent for ever. I have had unformed ideas of striving 
afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth and sensuality, and 
fighting out the abandoned fight. A dream, all a dream, that 
ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, 
but I wish you to know that you inspired it.' 

' Will nothing of it remain ? O Mr. Carton, think again ! 
Try again ! ' 

'No, Miss Manette; all through it, I have known myself 
to be quite undeserving. And yet I have had the weakness, 
and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what 
a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, 
into fire a fire, however, inseparable in its nature from 
myself, quickening nothing, lighting nothing, doing no 
service, idly burning away.' 

'Since it is my misfortune, Mr. Carton, to have made 
you more unhappy than you were before you knew me ' 

'Don't say that, Miss Manette, for you would have 

The Fellow of no Delicacy 147 

reclaimed me, if anything could. You will not be the cause 
of my becoming worse.' 

' Since the state of your mind that you describe, is, at all 
events, attributable to some influence of mine this is what 
I mean, if I can makd it plain can I use no influence to 
serve you? Have I no power for good, with you, at 


' The utmost good that I am capable of now, Miss Manette, 
I have come here to realize. Let me carry through the 
rest of my misdirected life, the remembrance that I opened 
my heart to you, last of all the world; and that there was 
something left in me at this time which you could deplore 
and pity.' 

'Which I entreated you to believe, again and again, most 
fervently, with all my heart, was capable of better things, 
Mr. Carton ! ' 

'Entreat me to believe it no more, Miss Manette. I 
have proved myself, and I know better. I distress you; I 
draw fast to an end. Will you let me believe, when I recall 
this day, that the last confidence of my life was reposed in 
your pure and innocent breast, and that it lies there alone, 
and will be shared by no one ? ' 

' If that will be a consolation to you, yes.' 

' Not even by the dearest one ever to be known to you ? ' 

'Mr. Carton,' she answered, after an agitated pause, 
'the secret is yours, not mine; and I promise to respect 

'Thank you. And again, God bless you.' 

He put her hands to his lips, and moved towards the 

'Be under no apprehension, Miss Manette, of my ever 
resuming this conversation by so much as a passing word. 
I will never refer to it again. If I were dead, that could 
not be surer than it is henceforth. In the hour of my death, 
I shall hold sacred the one good remembrance and shall 
thank and bless you for it that my last avowal of myself 
was made to you, and that my name, my faults, and miseries 
were gently carried in your heart. May it otherwise be light 
and happy 1 ' 

He was so unlike what he had ever shown himself to be, 
and it was so sad to think how much he had thrown away. 


A Tale of Two Cities 

and how much he every day kept down and perverted, that 
Lucie Manette wept mournfully for him as he stood looking 
back at her. 

' Be comforted ! ' he said. ' I am not worth such feeling, 
Miss Manette. An hour or two hence, and the low com- 
panions and low habits that I scorn but yield to, will render 
me less worth such tears as those, than any wretch who 
creeps along the streets. Be comforted! But, within 
myself, I shall always be, towards you, what I am now, 
though outwardly I shall be what you have heretofore seen 
me. The last supplication but one I make to you, is, that 
you will believe this of me/ 

'I will, Mr. Carton.' 

'My last supplication of all, is this; and with it, I will 
relieve you of a visitor with whom I know well you have 
nothing in unison, and between whom and you there is an 
impassable space. It is useless to say it, I know, but it rises 
out of my soul. For you, and for any dear to you, I would 
do anything. If my career were of that better kind that 
there was any opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I 
would embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to 
you. Try to hold me in your mind, at some quiet times, as 
ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will come, 
the time will not be long in coming, when new ties will be 
formed about you ties that will bind you yet more tenderly 
and strongly to the home you so adorn the dearest ties that 
will ever grace and gladden you. O Miss Manette, when 
the little picture of a happy father's face looks up in yours, 
when you see your own bright beauty springing up anew at 
your feet, think now and then that there is a man who would 
give his life, to keep a life you love beside you ! ' 

He said, ' Farewell ! ' said a last ' God bless you ! ' and 
left her. 

The Honest Tradesman 149 



To the eyes of Mr. Jeremiah Cruncher, sitting on his stool 
in Fleet Street with his grisly urchin beside him, a vast 
number and variety of objects in movement were every day 
presented. Who could sit upon anything in Fleet Street 
during the busy hours of the day, and not be dazed and 
deafened by two immense processions, one ever tending 
westward with the sun, the other ever tending eastward from 
the sun, both ever tending to the plains beyond the range of 
red and purple where the sun goes down! 

With his straw in his mouth, Mr. Cruncher sat watching 
the two streams, like the heathen rustic who has for several 
centuries been on duty watching one stream saving that 
Jerry had no expectation of their ever running dry. Nor 
would it have been an expectation of a hopeful kind, since 
a small part of his income was derived from the pilotage of 
timid women (mostly of a full habit and past the middle 
term of life) from Tellson's side of the tides to the opposite 
shore. Brief as such companionship was in every separate 
instance, Mr. Cruncher never failed to become so interested 
in the lady as to express a strong desire to have the honour 
of drinking her very good health. And it was from the 
gifts bestowed upon him towards the execution of this 
benevolent purpose, that he recruited his finances, as just 
now observed. 

Time was, when a poet sat upon a stool in a public place, 
and mused in the sight of men. Mr. Cruncher, sitting on 
a stool in a public place, but not being a poet, mused as 
little as possible, and looked about him. 

It fell out that he was thus engaged in a season when 
crowds were few, and belated women few, and when his 
affairs in general were so unprosperous as to awaken a strong 
suspicion in his breast that Mrs. Cruncher must have been 
'flopping' in some pointed manner, when an unusual 
concourse pouring down Fleet Street westward, attracted his 
attention. Looking that way, Mr. Cruncher made out that 
some kind of funeral was coming along, and that there 

150 A Tale of Two Cities 

was popular objection to this funeral, which engendered 

'Young Jerry/ said Mr. Cruncher, turning to his off- 
spring, ' it 's a buryinV 

'Hooroar, father!' cried Young Jerry. 

The young gentleman uttered this exultant sound with 
mysterious significance. The elder gentleman took the cry 
so ill, that he watched his opportunity, and smote the young 
gentleman on the ear. 

' What d' ye mean ? What are you hooroaring at ? What 
do you want to conwey to your own father, you young rip ! 
This boy is getting too many for me \ ' said Mr. Cruncher, 
surveying him. 'Him and his hooroars! Don't let me 
hear no more of you, or you shall feel some more of me. 
D' ye hear ? ' 

'I warn't doing no harm,' young Jerry protested, rubbing 
his cheek. 

'Drop it then,' said Mr. Cruncher; 'I won't have none 
of your no harms. Get a top of that there seat, and look 
at the crowd.' 

His son obeyed, and the crowd approached; they were 
bawling and hissing round a dingy hearse and dingy mourn- 
ing coach, in which mourning coach there was only one 
mourner, dressed in the dingy trappings that were considered 
essential to the dignity of the position. The position 
appeared by no means to please him, however, with an 
increasing rabble surrounding the coach, deriding him, 
making grimaces at him, and incessantly groaning and 
calling out : ' Yah ! Spies ! Tst ! Yaha ! Spies ! ' with many 
compliments too numerous and forcible to repeat. 

Funerals had at all times a remarkable attraction for Mr. 
Cruncher; he always pricked up his senses, and became 
excited, when a funeral passed Tellson's. Naturally, there- 
fore, a funeral with this uncommon attendance excited him 
greatly, and he asked of the first man who ran against him : 

' What is it, brother ? What 's it about ? ' 

'/ don't know,' said the man. ' Spies 1 Yaha! Tst! 
Spies ! ' 

He asked another man. ' Who is it ? ' 

'/ don't know,' returned the man, clapping his hands to 
his mouth nevertheless, and vociferating in a surprising heat 

The Honest Tradesman 151 

and with the greatest ardour, 'Spies! Yaha! Tst, tst' 

,-- if 

Spi-ies ! 

At length, a person better informed on the merits of the 
case, tumbled against him, and from this person he learned 
that the funeral was the funeral of one Roger Cly. 

' Was he a spy ? ' asked Mr. Cruncher. 

'Old Bailey spy,' returned his informant. 'Yaha! Tst! 
Yah! Old Bailey Spi-i-ies!' 

'Why, to be sure!' exclaimed Jerry, recalling the trial 
at which he had assisted. ' I 've seen him. Dead, is 

'Dead as mutton/ returned the other, 'and can't be too 
dead. Have 'em out, there! Spies! Pull 'em out, there! 
Spies ! ' 

The idea was so acceptable in the prevalent absence of 
any idea, that the crowd caught it up with eagerness, and 
loudly repeating the suggestion to have 'em out, and to pull 
'em out, mobbed the two vehicles so closely that they came 
to a stop. On the crowd's opening the coach doors, the one 
mourner scuffled out of himself and was in their hands for 
a moment; but he was so alert, and made such good use of 
his time, that in another moment he was scouring away up 
a by-street, after shedding his cloak, hat, long hatband, white 
pocket handkerchief, and other symbolical tears. 

These, the people tore to pieces and scattered far and 
wide with great enjoyment, while the tradesmen hurriedly 
shut up their shops; for a crowd in those times stopped at 
nothing, and was a monster much dreaded. They had 
already got the length of opening the hearse to take the 
coffin out, when some brighter genius proposed instead, its 
being escorted to its destination amidst general rejoicing. 
Practical suggestions being much needed, this suggestion, 
too, was received with acclamation, and the coach was 
immediately filled with eight inside and a dozen out, while 
as many people got on the roof of the hearse as could by 
any exercise of ingenuity stick upon it. Among the first of 
these volunteers was Jerry Cruncher himself, who modestly 
concealed his spiky head from the observation of Tellson's, 
in the further corner of the mourning coach. 

The officiating undertakers made some protest against 
these changes in the ceremonies ; but, the river being alarm- 

152 A Tale of Two Cities 

ingly near, and several voices remarking on the efficacy of 
cold immersion in bringing refractory members of the pro- 
fession to reason, the protest was faint and brief. The 
remodelled procession started, with a chimney-sweep driving 
the hearse advised by the regular driver, who was perched 
beside him, under close inspection, for the purpose and 
with a pieman, also attended by his cabinet minister, driving 
the mourning coach. A bear leader, a popular street 
character of the time, was impressed as an additional 
ornament, before the cavalcade had gone far down the 
Strand ; and his bear, who was black and very mangy, gave 
quite an Undertaking air to that part of the procession in 
which he walked. 

Thus, with beer-drinking, pipe-smoking, song-roaring, and 
infinite caricaturing of woe, the disorderly procession went 
its way, recruiting at every step, and all the shops shutting 
up before it. Its destination was the old church of Saint 
Pancras, far off in the fields. It got there in course of 
time; insisted on pouring into the burial-ground; finally, 
accomplished the interment of the deceased Roger Cly in 
its own way, and highly to its own satisfaction. 

The dead man disposed of, and the crowd being under 
the necessity of providing some other entertainment for 
itself, another brighter genius (or perhaps the same) con- 
ceived the humour of impeaching casual passers-by, as Old 
Bailey spies, and wreaking vengeance on them. Chase was 
given to some scores of inoffensive persons who had never 
been near the Old Bailey in their lives, in the realization of 
this fancy, and they were roughly hustled and maltreated. 
The transition to the sport of window-breaking, and thence 
to the plundering of public-houses, was easy and natural. 
At last, after several hours, when sundry summer-houses had 
been pulled down, and some area railings had been torn up, 
to arm the more belligerent spirits, a rumour got about that 
the Guards were coming. Before the rumour, the crowd 
gradually melted away, and perhaps the Guards came, and 
perhaps they never came, and this was the usual progress of 
a mob. 

Mr. Cruncher did not assist at the closing sports, but had 
remained behind in the churchyard, to confer and condole 
with the undertakers. The place had a soothing influence 

The Honest Tradesman 153 

on him. He procured a pipe from a neighbouring public- 
house, and smoked it, looking in at the railings and maturely 
considering the spot. 

'Jerry/ said Mr. Cruncher, apostrophizing himself in 
his usual way, 'you see that there Cly that day, and you 
see with your own eyes that he was a young 'un and a 
straight made 'un.' 

Having smoked his pipe out, and ruminated a little 
longer, he turned himself about, that he might appear 
before the hour of closing, on his station at Tellson's. 
Whether his meditations or mortality had touched his liver, 
or whether his general health had been previously at all 
amiss, or whether he desired to show a little attention to an 
eminent man, is not so much to the purpose, as that he 
made a short call upon his medical adviser a distinguished 
surgeon on his way back. 

Young Jerry relieved his father with dutiful interest, and 
reported No job in his absence. The bank closed, the 
ancient clerks came out, the usual watch was set, and Mr. 
Cruncher and his son went home to tea. 

' Now, I tell you where it is ! ' said Mr. Cruncher to his 
wife, on entering. ' If, as a honest tradesman, my wenturs 
goes wrong to-night, I shall make sure that you 've been 
praying again me, and I shall work you for it just the same 
as if I seen you do it.' 

The dejected Mrs. Cruncher shook her head. 

' Why, you 're at it afore my face 1 ' said Mr. Cruncher, 
with signs of angry apprehension. 

'I am saying nothing.' 

'Well, then; don't meditate nothing. You might as 
well flop as meditate. You may as well go again me one 
way as another. Drop it altogether.' 

'Yes, Jerry.' 

'Yes, Jerry,' repeated Mr. Cruncher, sitting down to tea. 
' Ah 1 It is yes, Jerry. That 's about it. You may say 
yes, Jerry.' 

Mr. Cruncher had no particular meaning in these sulky 
corroborations, but made use of them, as people not unfre- 
quently do, to express general ironical dissatisfaction. 

'You and your yes, Jerry/ said Mr. Cruncher, taking 
a bite out of his bread and butter, and seeming to help it 

154 A Tale of Two Cities 

down with a large invisible oyster out of his saucer. ' Ah ! 
I think so. I believe you.' 

' You are going out to-night ? ' asked his decent wife, 
when he took another bite. 

'Yes, I am.' 

'May I go with you, father?' asked his son, briskly. 

'No, you mayn't. I' m a going as your mother knows 
a fishing. That 's where I' m going to. Going a fishing.' 

'Your fishing-rod gets rayther rusty; don't it, father?' 

'Never you mind.' 

' Shall you bring any fish home, father ? ' 

'If I don't, you '11 have short commons, to-morrow,' 
returned that gentleman, shaking his head; ' that 's questions 
enough for you; I ain't a going out, till you 've been long 

He devoted himself during the remainder of the evening 
to keeping a most vigilant watch on Mrs. Cruncher, and 
sullenly holding her in conversation that she might be pre- 
vented from meditating any petitions to his disadvantage. 
With this view, he urged his son to hold her in conversation 
also, and led the unfortunate woman a hard life by dwelling 
on any causes of complaint he could bring against her, 
rather than he would leave her for a moment to her own 
reflections. The devoutest person could have rendered no 
greater homage to the efficacy of an honest prayer than he 
did in this distrust of his wife. It was as if a professed 
unbeliever in ghosts should be frightened by a ghost 

' And mind you ! ' said Mr. Cruncher. ' No games to- 
morrow! If I, as a honest tradesman, succeed in providing 
a jinte of meat or two, none of your not touching of it, 
and sticking to bread. If I, as a honest tradesman, am 
able to provide a little beer, none of your declaring on 
water. When you go to Rome, do as Rome does. Rome 
will be a ugly customer to you, if you don't. / 'm your 
Rome, you know.' 

Then he began grumbling again: 

'With you flying into the face of your own wittles and 
drink! I don't know how scarce you mayn't make the 
wittles and drink here, by your flopping tricks and your 
unfeeling conduct. Look at your boy: he is your'n, ain't 

The Honest Tradesman 155 

he ? He 's as thin as a lath. Do you call yourself a mother, 
and not know that a mother's first duty is to blow her boy 

This touched young Jerry on a tender place; who adjured 
his mother to perform her first duty, and, whatever else she 
did or neglected, above all things to lay especial stress on 
the discharge of that maternal function so affectingly and 
delicately indicated by his other parent. 

Thus the evening wore away with the Cruncher family, 
until young Jerry was ordered to bed, and his mother, laid 
under similar injunctions, obeyed them. Mr. Cruncher 
beguiled the earlier watches of the night with solitary pipes, 
and did not start upon his excursion until one o'clock. 
Towards that small and ghostly hour, he rose up from his 
chair, took a key out of his pocket, opened a locked cup- 
board, and brought forth a sack, a crowbar of convenient 
size, a rope and chain, and other fishing tackle of that 
nature. Disposing these articles about him in skilful 
manner, he bestowed a parting defiance on Mrs. Cruncher, 
extinguished the light, and went out. 

Young Jerry, who had only made a feint of undressing 
when he went to bed, was not long after his father. Under 
cover of the darkness he followed out of the room, followed 
down the stairs, followed down the court, followed out into 
the streets. He was in no uneasiness concerning his getting 
into the house again, for it was full of lodgers, and the door 
stood ajar all night. 

Impelled by a laudable ambition to study the art and 
mystery of his father's honest calling, young Jerry, keeping 
as close to house fronts, walls, and doorways, as his eyes 
were close to one another, held his honoured parent in view. 
The honoured parent steering northward, had not gone far, 
when he was joined by another disciple of Izaak Walton, 
and the two trudged on together. 

Within half an hour from the first starting, they were 
beyond the winking lamps, and the more than winking 
watchmen, and were out upon a lonely road. Another 
fisherman was picked up here and that so silently, that if 
young Jerry had been superstitious, he might have sup- 
posed the second follower of the gentle craft to have, all of 
a sudden, split himself into two. 

A Tale of Two Cities 

The three went on, and young Jerry went on, until the 
three stopped under a bank overhanging the road. Upon 
the top of the bank was a low brick wall, surmounted by an 
iron railing. In the shadow of bank and wall the three 
turned out of the road, and up a blind lane, of which the 
wall there, risen to some eight or ten feet high formed 
one side. Crouching down in a corner, peeping up the lane, 
the next object that young Jerry saw, was the form of his 
honoured parent, pretty well defined against a watery and 
clouded moon, nimbly scaling an iron gate. He was soon 
over, and then the second fisherman got over, and then the 
third. They all dropped softly on the ground within the 
gate, and lay there a little listening perhaps. Then they 
moved away on their hands and knees. 

It was now young Jerry's turn to approach the gate: 
which he did, holding his breath. Crouching down again 
in a corner there, and looking in, he made out the three 
fishermen creeping through some rank grass! and all the 
gravestones in the churchyard it was a large churchyard 
that they were in looking on like ghosts in white, while 
the church tower itself looked on like the ghost of a mon- 
strous giant. They did not creep far, before they stopped 
and stood upright. And then they began to fish. 

They fished with a spade, at first. Presently the honoured 
parent appeared to be adjusting some instrument like a 
great corkscrew. Whatever tools they worked with, they 
worked hard, until the awful striking of the church clock so 
terrified young Jerry, that he made off, with his hair stiff as 
his father's. 

But, his long-cherished desire to know more about these 
matters, not only stopped him in his running away, but 
lured him back again. They were still fishing perse veringly, 
when he peeped in at the gate for the second time; but, 
now they seemed to have got a bite. There was a screwing 
and complaining sound down below, and their bent figures 
were strained, as if by a weight. By slow degrees the weight 
broke away the earth upon it, and came to the surface. 
Young Jerry very well knew what it would be; but, when he 
saw it, and saw his honoured parent about to wrench it open, 
he was so frightened, being new to the sight, that he made 
off again, and never stopped until he had run a mile or more. 

The Honest Tradesman 157 

He would not have stopped then, for anything less neces- 
sary than breath, it being a spectral sort of race that he ran, 
and one highly desirable to get to the end of. He had 
a strong idea that the coffin he had seen was running after 
him; and, pictured as hopping on behind him, bolt upright, 
upon its narrow end, always on the point of overtaking him 
and hopping on at his side perhaps taking his arm it was 
a pursuer to shun. It was an inconsistent and ubiquitous 
fiend too, for while it was making the whole night behind 
him dreadful, he darted out into the roadway to avoid dark 
alleys, fearful of its coming hopping out of them like a 
dropsical boy's kite without tail and wings. It hid in door- 
ways too, rubbing its horrible shoulders against doors, and 
drawing them up to its ears, as if it were laughing. It got 
into shadows on the road, and lay cunningly on its back to 
trip him up. All this time it was incessantly hopping on 
behind and gaining on him, so that when the boy got to his 
own door he had reason for being half dead. And even 
then it would not leave him, but followed him upstairs with 
a bump on every stair, scrambled into bed with him, and 
bumped down, dead and heavy, on his breast when he fell 

From his oppressed slumber, young Jerry in his closet 
was awakened after daybreak and before sunrise, by the 
presence of his father in the family room. Something had 
gone wrong with him ; at least, so young Jerry inferred, from 
the circumstance of his holding Mrs. Cruncher by the ears, 
and knocking the back of her head against the head-board 
of the bed. 

'I told you I would/ said Mr. Cruncher, 'and I did.' 

' Jerry, Jerry, Jerry ! ' his wife implored. 

'You oppose yourself to the profit of the business,' said 
Jerry, 'and me and my partners suffer. You was to honour 
and obey; why the devil don't you?' 

' I try to be a good wife/ the poor woman protested, 
with tears. 

' Is it being a good wife to oppose your husband's business ? 
Is it honouring your husband to dishonour his business ? Is 
it obeying your husband to disobey him on the wital 
subject of his business? ' 

'You hadn't taken to the dreadful business then, Jerry/ 

i 5 8 

A Tale of Two Cities 

'It 's enough for you,' retorted Mr. Cruncher, 'to be the 
wife of a honest tradesman, and not to occupy your female 
mind with calculations when he took to his trade or when he 
didn't. A honouring and obeying wife would let his trade 
alone altogether. Call yourself a religious woman? If 
you 're a religious woman, give me a irreligious one! You 
have no more nat'ral sense of duty than the bed of this here 
Thames river has of a pile, and similarly it must be knocked 
into you.' 

The altercation was conducted in a low tone of voice, and 
terminated in the honest tradesman's kicking off his clay- 
soiled boots, and lying down at his length on the floor. 
After taking a timid peep at him lying on his back, with his 
rusty hands under his head for a pillow, his son lay down 
too, and fell asleep again. 

There was no fish for breakfast, and not much of anything 
else. Mr. Cruncher was out of spirits, and out of temper, 
and kept an iron pot-lid by him as a projectile for the cor- 
rection of Mrs. Cruncher, in case he should observe any 
symptoms of her saying Grace. He was brushed and washed 
at the usual hour, and set off with his son to pursue his 
ostensible calling. 

Young Jerry, walking with the stool under his arm at his 
father's side along sunny and crowded Fleet Street, was a 
very different/ young Jerry from him of the previous night, 
running home through darkness and solitude from his grim 
pursuer. His cunning was fresh with the day, and his 
qualms were gone with the night in which particulars it is 
not improbable that he had compeers in Fleet Street and 
the City of London, that fine morning. 

'Father,' said young Jerry, as they walked along, taking 
care to keep at arm's length and to have the stool well 
between them, ' what 's a Resurrection Man ? ' 

Mr. Cruncher came to a stop on the pavement before he 
answered, ' How should I know ? ' 

'I thought you knowed everything, father/ said the 
artless boy. 

'Hem! Well/ returned Mr. Cruncher, going on again, 
and lifting off his hat to give his spikes free play, ' he 's 
a tradesman/ 

' What 's his goods, father? ' asked the brisk young Jerry. 

Knitting 159 

'His goods,' said Mr. Cruncher, after turning it over in 
his mind, 'is a branch of Scientific goods.' 

' Persons' bodies, ain't it, father ? ' asked the lively boy. 

'I believe it is something of that sort,' said Mr. Cruncher. 

'Oh, father, I should so like to be a Resurrection Man 
when I 'm quite growed up 1 ' 

Mr. Cruncher was soothed, but shook his head in a 
dubious and moral way. 'It depends upon how you 
dewelop your talents. Be careful to dewelop your talents, 
and never to say no more than you can help to nobody, and 
there 's no telling at the present time what you may not 
come to be fit for/ As young Jerry, thus encouraged, went 
on a few yards in advance, to plant the stool in the shadow 
of the Bar, Mr. Cruncher added to himself : ' Jerry, you honest 
tradesman, there 's hopes wot that boy will yet be a blessing 
to you, and a recompense to you for his mother.* 



THERE had been earlier drinking than usual in the wine 
shop of Monsieur Defarge. As early as six o'clock in the 
morning, sallow faces peeping through its barred windows 
had described other faces within, bending over measures of 
wine. Monsieur Defarge sold a very thin wine at the best 
of times, but it would seem to have been an unusually thin 
wine that he sold at this time. A sour wine, moreover, or a 
souring, for its influence on the mood of those who drank it 
was to make them gloomy. No vivacious Bacchanalian 
flame leaped out of the pressed grape of Monsieur Defarge : 
but, a smouldering fire that burnt in the dark, lay hidden in 
the dregs of it. 

This had been the third morning in succession, on which 
there had been early drinking at the wine shop of Monsieur 
Defarge. It had been begun on Monday, and here was 
Wednesday come. There had been more of early brooding 
than drinking; for, many men had listened and whispered 

160 A Tale of Two Cities 

and slunk about there from the time of the opening of the 
door, who could not have laid a piece of money on the 
counter to save their souls. These were to the full as inter- 
ested in the place, however, as if they could have commanded 
whole barrels of wine; and they glided from seat to seat, 
and from corner to corner, swallowing talk in lieu of drink, 
with greedy looks. 

Notwithstanding an unusual flow of company, the master 
of the wine shop was not visible. He was not missed; for, 
nobody who crossed the threshold looked for him, nobody 
asked for him, nobody wondered to see only Madame 
Defarge in her seat, presiding over the distribution of wine, 
with a bowl of battered small coins before her, as much 
defaced and beaten out of their original impress as the small 
coinage of humanity from whose ragged pockets they had 

A suspended interest and a prevalent absence of mind, 
were perhaps observed by the spies who looked in at the 
wine shop, as they looked in at every place, high and low, 
from the king's palace to the criminal's jail. Games at 
cards languished, players at dominoes musingly built towers 
with them, drinkers drew figures on the tables with spilt 
drops of wine, Madame Defarge herself picked out the 
pattern on her sleeve with her toothpick, and saw and heard 
something inaudible and invisible a long way off. 

Thus, Saint Antoine in this vinous feature of his, until 
midday. It was high noontide, when two dusty men passed 
through his streets and under his swinging lamps : of whom, 
one was Monsieur Defarge: the other a mender of roads in 
a blue cap. All adust and athirst, the two entered the wine 
shop. Their arrival had lighted a kind of fire in the breast 
of Saint Antoine, fast spreading as they came along, which 
stirred and flickered in flames of faces at most doors and 
windows. Yet, no one had followed them, and no man 
spoke when they entered the wine shop, though the eyes of 
every man there were turned upon them. 

' Good day, gentlemen ! ' said Monsieur Defarge. 

It may have been a signal for loosening the general tongue. 
It elicited an answering chorus of ' Good day ! ' 

'It is bad weather, gentlemen,' said Defarge, shaking his 

Knitting 161 

Upon which, every man looked at his neighbour, and then 
all cast down their eyes and sat silent. Except one man, 
who got up and went out. 

'My wife/ said Defarge aloud, addressing Madame 
Defarge: 'I have travelled certain leagues with this good 
mender of roads, called Jacques. I met him by accident 
a day and half's journey out of Paris. He is a good 
child, this mender of roads, called Jacques. Give him to 
drink, my wife ! ' 

A second man got up and went out. Madame Defarge 
set wine before the mender of roads called Jacques, who 
doffed his blue cap to the company, and drank. In the 
breast of his blouse he carried some coarse dark bread; he 
ate of this between whiles, and sat munching and drinking 
near Madame Defarge 's counter. A third man got up and 
went out. 

Defarge refreshed himself with a draught of wine but, 
he took less than was given to the stranger, as being himself 
a man to whom it was no rarity and stood waiting until 
the countryman had made his breakfast. He looked at no 
one present, and no one now looked at him; not even 
Madame Defarge, who had taken up her knitting, and was 
at work. 

' Have you finished your repast, friend ? ' he asked, in 
due season. 

'Yes, thank you.' 

'Come, then! You shall see the apartment that I told 
you you could occupy. It will suit you to a marvel.' 

Out of the wine shop into the street, out of the street into 
a courtyard, out of the courtyard up a steep staircase, out 
of the staircase into a garret formerly the garret where a 
white-haired man sat on a low bench, stooping forward and 
very busy, making shoes. 

No white-haired man was there now; but, the three men 
were there who had gone out of the wine shop singly. And 
between them and the white-haired man afar off, was the one 
small link, that they had once looked in at him through the 
chinks in the wall. 

Defarge closed the door carefully, and spoke in a subdued 
voice : 

'Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques Three! This is the 

162 A Tale of Two Cities 

witness encountered by appointment, by me, Jacques Four. 
He will tell you all. Speak, Jacques Five!' 

The mender of roads, blue cap in hand, wiped his swarthy 
forehead with it, and said, 'Where shall I commence, 
monsieur ? ' 

'Commence/ was Monsieur Defarge's not unreasonable 
reply, 'at the commencement.' 

'I saw him then, messieurs/ began the mender of roads, 
'a year ago this running summer, underneath the carriage 
of the Marquis, hanging by the chain. Behold the manner 
of it. I leaving my work on the road, the sun going to bed, 
the carriage of the Marquis slowly ascending the hill, he 
hanged by the chain like this/ 

Again the mender of roads went through the whole per- 
formance ; in which he ought to have been perfect by that 
time, seeing that it had been the infallible resource and 
indispensable entertainment of his village during a whole 

.Jacques One struck in, and asked if he had ever seen the 
man before ? 

'Never/ answered the mender of roads, recovering his 

Jacques Three demanded how he afterwards recognized 
him then ? 

'By his tall figure/ said the mender of roads, softly, and 
with his finger at his nose. 'When Monsieur the Marquis 
demands that evening, "Say, what is he like?' I make 
response, "Tall as a spectre/ 

'You should have said, short as a dwarf/ returned 
Jacques Two. 

'But what did I know? The deed was not then accom- 
plished, neither did he confide in me. Observe! Under 
those circumstances even, I do not offer my testimony. 
Monsieur the Marquis indicates me with his finger, standing 
near our little fountain, and says, 'To me! Bring that 
rascal!' My faith, messieurs, I offer nothing/ 

'He is right there, Jacques/ murmured Defarge, to him 
who had interrupted. 'Go on!' 

' Good ! ' said the mender of roads, with an air of mystery. 
' The tall man is lost, and he is sought how many months ? 
Nine, ten, eleven ? ' 

Knitting 163 

'No matter, the number,' said Defarge. 'He is well 
hidden, but at last he is unluckily found. Go on! ' 

'I am again at work upon the hillside, and the sun is 
again about to go to bed. I am collecting my tools to 
descend to my cottage down in the village below, where it 
is already dark, when I raise my eyes, and see coming over 
the hill six soldiers. In the midst of them is a tall man with 
his arms bound tied to his sides like this ! ' 

With the aid of his indispensable cap, he represented a 
man with his elbows bound fast at his hips, with cords that 
were knotted behind him. 

'I stand aside, messieurs, by my heap of stones, to see 
the soldiers and their prisoner pass (for it is a solitary road, 
that, where any spectacle is well worth looking at), and at 
first, as they approach, I see no more than that they are six 
soldiers with a tall man bound, and that they are almost 
black to my sight except on the side of the sun going to 
bed, where they have a red edge, messieurs. Also, I 
see that their long shadows are on the hollow ridge on the 
opposite side of the road, and are on the hill above it, and 
are like the shadows of giants. Also, I see that they are 
covered with dust, and that the dust moves with them as 
they come, tramp, tramp! But when they advance quite 
near to me, I recognize the tall man, and he recognizes me. 
Ah, but he would be well content to precipitate himself 
over the hillside once again, as on the evening when he and 
I first encountered, close to the same spot ! ' 

He described it as if he were there, and it was evident 
that he saw it vividly ; perhaps he had not seen much in his 

'I do not show the soldiers that I recognize the tall man; 
he does not show the soldiers that he recognizes me ; we do 
it, and we know it, with our eyes. "Come on!" says the 
chief of that company, pointing to the village, ' ' bring him 
fast to his tomb ! " and they bring him faster. I follow. His 
arms are swelled because of being bound so tight, his 
wooden shoes are large and clumsy, and he is lame ; because 
he is lame, and consequently slow, they drive him with their 
guns like this 1 ' 

He imitated the action of a man's being impelled forward 
by the butt-ends of muskets. 


A Tale of Two Cities 

'As they descend the hill like madmen running a race, 
he falls. They laugh and pick him up again. His face is 
bleeding and covered with dust, but he cannot touch it; 
thereupon they laugh again. They bring him into the 
village ; all the village runs to look ; they take him past the 
mill, and up to the prison; all the village sees the prison 
gate open in the darkness of the night, and swallow him 
-like this!' 

He opened his mouth as wide as he could, and shut it 
with a sounding snap of his teeth. Observant of his 
unwillingness to mar the effect by opening it again, Defarge 
said, 'Go on, Jacques.' 

'All the village,' pursued the mender of roads, on tiptoe 
and in a low voice, ' withdraws ; all the village whispers by 
the fountain ; all the village sleeps ; all the village dreams of 
that unhappy one, within the locks and bars of the prison 
on the crag, and never to come out of it, except to perish. 
In the morning, with my tools upon my shoulder, eating my 
morsel of black bread as I go, I make a circuit by the 
prison, on my way to my work. Then I see him, high up, 
behind the bars of a lofty iron cage, bloody and dusty as 
last night, looking through. He has no free hand, to wave 
to me; I dare not call to him; he regards me like a dead 

Defarge and the three glanced darkly at one another. 
The looks of all of them were dark, repressed, and revengeful, 
as they listened to the countryman's story; the manner of 
all of them, while it was secret, was authoritative too. They 
had the air of a rough tribunal; Jacques One and Two 
sitting on the old pallet-bed, each with his chin resting on 
his hand, and his eyes intent on the road-mender; Jacques 
Three, equally intent, on one knee behind them, with his 
agitated hand always gliding over the network of fine nerves 
about his mouth and nose ; Defarge standing between them 
and the narrator, whom he had stationed in the light of the 
window, by turns looking from him to them, and from them 
to him. 

'Go on, Jacques,' said Defarge. 

'He remains up there in his iron cage some days. The 
village looks at him by stealth, for it is afraid. But it always 
looks up, from a distance, at the prison on the crag; and in 

Knitting 165 

the evening, when the work of the day is achieved and it 
assembles to gossip at the fountain, all faces are turned 
towards the prison. Formerly, they were turned towards 
the posting-house ; now, they are turned towards the prison. 
They whisper at the fountain, that although condemned to 
death he will not be executed ; they say that petitions have 
been presented in Paris, showing that he was enraged and 
made mad by the death of his child ; they say that a petition 
has been presented to the king himself. What do I know ? 
It is possible. Perhaps yes, perhaps no.' 

'Listen then, Jacques/ Number One of that name 
sternly interposed. ' Know that a petition was presented 
to the king and queen. All here, yourself excepted, saw 
the king take it, in his carriage in the street, sitting beside 
the queen. It is Defarge whom you see here, who, at the 
hazard of his life, darted out before the horses, with the 
petition in his hand.' 

' And once again listen, Jacques ! ' said the kneeling 
Number Three: his fingers ever wandering over and over 
those fine nerves, with a strikingly greedy air, as if he hun- 
gered for something that was neither food nor drink ; ' the 
guard, horse and foot, surrounded the petitioner, and struck 
him blows. You hear ? ' 

'I hear, messieurs.' 

'Go on then,' said Defarge. 

'Again; on the other hand, they whisper at the foun- 
tain,' resumed the countryman, 'that he is brought down 
into our country to be executed on the spot, and that he will 
very certainly be executed. They even whisper that be- 
cause he has slain Monseigneur, and because Monseigneur was 
the father of his tenants serfs what you will he will be 
executed as a parricide. One old man says at the fountain, 
that his right hand, armed with the knife, will be burnt off 
before his face; that, into wounds which will be made in 
his arms, his breast, and his legs, there will be poured boil- 
ing oil, melted lead, hot resin, wax, and sulphur; finally, 
that he will be torn limb from limb by four strong horses. 
That old man says, all this was actually done to a prisoner 
who made an attempt on the life of the late king, Louis 
Fifteen. But how do I know if he lies? I am not a 

1 66 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Listen once again then, Jacques!' said the man with 
the restless hand and the craving air. 'The name of that 
prisoner was Damiens, and it was all done in open day, in 
the open streets of this city of Paris ; and nothing was more 
noticed in the vast concourse that saw it done, than the 
crowd of ladies of quality and fashion, who were full of 
eager attention to the last to the last, Jacques, prolonged 
until nightfall, when he had lost two legs and an arm, 
and still breathed! And it was done why, how old are 

'Thirty-five/ said the mender of roads, who looked 

'It was done when you were more than ten years old; 
you might have seen it.' 

'Enough!' said Defarge, with grim impatience. 'Long 
live the Devil! Go on.' 

' Well ! Some whisper this, some whisper that ; they speak 
of nothing else ; even the fountain appears to fall to that tune. 
At length, on Sunday night when all the village is asleep, 
come soldiers, winding down from the prison, and their guns 
ring on the stones of the little street. Workmen dig, work- 
men hammer, soldiers laugh and sing; in the morning, by 
the fountain, there is raised a gallows forty feet high, 
poisoning the water.' 

The mender of roads looked through rather than at the 
low ceiling, and pointed as if he saw the gallows somewhere 
in the sky. 

'All work is stopped, all assemble there, nobody leads 
the cows out, the cows are there with the rest. At midday, 
the roll of drums. Soldiers have marched into the prison 
in the night, and he is in the midst of many soldiers. He 
is bound as before, and in his mouth there is a gag tied 
so, with a tight string, making him look almost as if he 
laughed.' He suggested it, by creasing his face with his 
two thumbs, from the corners of his mouth to his ears. 

' On the top of the gallows is fixed the knife, blade upwards, 
with its point in the air. He is hanged there forty feet 
high and is left hanging, poisoning the water. 

They looked at one another, as he used his blue cap to 
wipe his face, on which the perspiration had started afresh 
while he recalled the spectacle. 

Knitting 1 67 

'It is frightful, messieurs. How can the woman and the 
children draw water ! Who can gossip of an evening, under 
that shadow! Under it, have I said? When I left the 
village, Monday evening as the sun was going to bed, and 
looked back from the hill, the shadow struck across the 
church, across the mill, across the prison seemed to strike 
across the earth, messieurs, to where the sky rests upon it! ' 

The hungry man gnawed one of his fingers as he looked 
at the other three, and his finger quivered with the craving 
that was on him. 

'That 's all, messieurs. I left at sunset (as I had been 
warned to do), and I walked on, that night and half next 
day, until I met (as I was warned I should) this comrade. 
With him, I came on, now riding and now walking, through 
the rest of yesterday and through last night. And here you 
see me ! ' 

After a gloomy silence, the first Jacques said, 'Good! 
You have acted and recounted faithfully. Will you wait for 
us a little, outside the door ? ' 

'Very willingly,' said the mender of roads. Whom 
Defarge escorted to the top of the stairs, and, leaving seated 
there, returned. 

The three had risen, and their heads were together when 
he came back to the garret. 

' How say you, Jacques ? ' demanded Number One. 
' To be registered ? ' 

'To be registered, as doomed to destruction/ returned 

' Magnificent ! ' croaked the man with the craving. 

' The chateau, and all the race ? ' inquired the first. 

'The chateau and all the race,' returned Defarge. 
' Extermination.' 

The hungry man repeated, in a rapturous croak, 'Mag- 
nificent ! ' and began gnawing another finger. 

'Are you sure,' asked Jacques Two, of Defarge, 'that 
no embarrassment can arise from our manner of keeping the 
register ? Without doubt it is safe, for no one beyond our- 
selves can decipher it; but shall we always be able to 
decipher it or, I ought to say, will she ? ' 

'Jacques,' returned Defarge, drawing himself up, 'if 
madame my wife undertook to keep the register in her 

1 68 A Tale of Two Cities 

memory alone, she would not lose a word of it not a 
syllable of it. Knitted, in her own stitches and her own 
symbols, it will always be as plain to her as the sun. Con- 
fide in Madame Defarge. It would be easier for the weakest 
poltroon that lives, to erase himself from existence, than to 
erase one letter of his name or crimes from the knitted 
register of Madame Defarge/ 

There was a murmur of confidence and approval, and 
then the man who hungered, asked: 'Is this rustic to 
be sent back soon? I hope so. He is very simple; is he 
not a little dangerous ? ' 

'He knows nothing/ said Defarge; 'at least nothing 
more than would easily elevate himself to a gallows of the 
same height. I charge myself with him; let him remain 
with me; I will take care of him, and set him on his road. 
He wishes to see the fine world the king, the queen, and 
court; let him see them on Sunday/ 

' What ? ' exclaimed the hungry man, staring. 'Is it a 
good sign, that he wishes to see royalty and nobility ? ' 

'Jacques/ said Defarge; 'judiciously show a cat milk, 
if you wish her to thirst for it. Judiciously show a dog 
his natural prey, if you wish him to bring it down one 

Nothing more was said, and the mender of roads, being 
found already dozing on the topmost stair, was advised to 
lay himself down on the pallet-bed and take some rest. He 
needed no persuasion, and was soon asleep. 

Worse quarters than Defarge's wine shop, could easily 
have been found in Paris for a provincial slave of that degree. 
Saving for a mysterious dread of madame by which he was 
constantly haunted, his life was very new and agreeable. 
But, madame sat all day at her counter, so expressly uncon- 
scious of him, and so particularly determined not to perceive 
that his being there had any connection with anything below 
the surface, that he shook in his wooden shoes whenever 
his eye lighted on her. For, he contended with himself 
that it was impossible to foresee what that lady might pre- 
tend next; and he felt assured that if she should take into 
her brightly ornamented head to pretend that she had seen 
him do a murder and afterwards flay the victim, she would 
infallibly go through with it until the play was played out. 

Knitting i ( 9 

Therefore, when Sunday came, the mender of roads w ^ 
not enchanted (though he said he was) to find that madan > 
was to accompany monsieur and himself to Versailles, i 
was additionally disconcerting to have madame knitting al 
the way there, in a public conveyance; it was additionally 
disconcerting yet, to have madame in the crowd in the after- 
noon, still with her knitting in her hands as the crowd 
waited to see the carriage of the king and queen. 

'You work hard, madame,' said a man near her. 

'Yes,' answered Madame Defarge; 'I have a good deal 
to do.' 

' What do you make, madame ? ' 
. 'Many things.' 

'For instance ' 

'For instance,' returned Madame Defarge, composedly, 

The man moved a little further away, as soon as he 
could, and the mender of the roads fanned himself with his 
blue cap: feeling it mightily close and oppressive. If he 
needed a king and queen to restore him, he was fortunate in 
having his remedy at hand; for, soon the large-faced king 
and the fair-faced queen came in their golden coach, attended 
by the shining Bull's Eye of their court, a glittering multitude 
of laughing ladies and fine lords; and in jewels and silks 
and powder and splendour and elegantly spurning figures 
and handsomely disdainful faces of both sexes, the mender 
of roads bathed himself, so much to his temporary intoxica- 
tion, that he cried Long live the king, Long live the queen. 
Long live everybody and everything! as if he had never 
heard of ubiquitous Jacques in his time. Then, there were 
gardens, courtyards, terraces, fountains, green banks, more 
king and queen, more Bull's Eye, more lords and ladies, 
more Long live they all ! until he absolutely wept with sen- 
timent. During the whole of this scene, which lasted some 
three hours, he had plenty of shouting and weeping and 
sentimental company, and throughout Defarge held him by 
the collar, as if to restrain him from flying at the objects of 
his brief devotion and tearing them to pieces. 

' Bravo ! ' said Defarge, clapping him on the back when 
it was over, like a patron ; ' you are a good boy ! ' 

The mender of roads was now coming to himself, and 

i jo A Tale of Two Cities 

was mistrustful of having made a mistake in his late demon- 
strations; but no. 

'You are the fellow we want,' said Defarge, in his ear; 
'you make these fools believe that it will last for ever. 
Then, they are the more insolent, and it is the nearer 

'Hey/ cried the mender of roads, reflectively; 'that 's 

'These fools know nothing. While they despise your 
breath, and would stop it for ever and ever, in you or in a 
hundred like you rather than in one of their own horses or 
dogs, they only know what your breath tells them. Let it 
deceive them, then, a little longer; it cannot deceive them 
too much/ 

Madame Defarge looked superciliously at the client, and 
nodded in confirmation. 

'As to you/ said she, 'you would shout and shed tears 
for anything, if it made a show and a noise. Say! Would 
you not ? ' 

'Truly, madame, I think so. For the moment/ 

'If you were shown a great heap of dolls, and were set 
upon them to pluck them to pieces and despoil them for 
your own advantage, you would pick out the richest and 
gayest. Sayl Would you not?' 

'Truly yes, madame/ 

'Yes. And if you were shown a flock of birds, unable 
to fly, and were set upon them to strip them of their feathers 
for your own advantage, you would set upon the birds of the 
finest feathers : would you not ? ' 

' It is true, madame/ 

'You have seen both dolls and birds to-day/ said Madame 
Defarge, with a wave of her hand towards the place where 
they had last been apparent ; ' now, go home 1 ' 

Still Knitting 171 



MADAME DEFARGE and monsieur her husband returned 
amicably to the bosom of Saint Antoine, while a speck of a 
blue cap toiled through the darkness, and through the dust, 
and down the weary miles of avenue by the wayside, slowly 
tending towards that point of the compass where the chateau 
of Monsieur the Marquis, now in his grave, listened to the 
whispering trees. Such ample leisure had the stone faces, 
now, for listening to the trees and to the fountain, that the 
few village scarecrows who, in their quest for herbs to eat 
and fragments of dead stick to burn, strayed within sight 
of the great stone courtyard and terrace staircase, had it 
borne in upon their starved fancy that the expression of the 
faces was altered. A rumour just lived in the village had 
a faint and bare existence there, as its people had that when 
the knife struck home, the faces changed, from faces of pride 
to faces of anger and pain; also, that when that dangling 
figure was hauled up forty feet above the fountain, they 
changed again, and bore a cruel look of being avenged, which 
they would henceforth bear for ever. In the stone face over 
the great window of the bed-chamber where the murder was 
done, two fine dints were pointed out in the sculptured nose, 
which everybody recognized, and which nobody had seen of 
old; and on the scarce occasions when two or three ragged 
peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peep 
at Monsieur the Marquis petrified, a skinny finger would 
not have pointed to it for a minute, before they all started 
away among the moss and leaves, like the more fortunate 
hares who could find a living there. 

Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red 
stain on the stone floor, and the pure water in the village 
well thousands of acres of land a whole province of 
France all France itself lay under the night sky, concen- 
trated into a faint hairbreadth line. So does the whole world, 
with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, lie in a twinkling 
star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray oi 
light and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimei 

172 A Tale of Two Cities 

intelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of 
ours, every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every 
responsible creature on it. 

The Defarges, husband and wife, came lumbering under 
the starlight, in their public vehicle, to the gate of Paris 
whereunto their journey naturally tended. There was the 
usual stoppage at the barrier guard-house, and the usual 
lanterns came glancing forth for the usual examination and 
inquiry. Monsieur Defarge alighted; knowing one or two 
of the soldiery there, and one of the police. The latter he 
was intimate with, and affectionately embraced. 

When Saint Antoine had again enfolded the Defarges in 
his dusky wings, and they, having finally alighted near the 
Saint's boundaries, were picking their way on foot through 
the black mud and offal of his streets, Madame Defarge 
spoke to her husband : 

'Say then, my friend; what did Jacques of the police 
tell thee ? ' 

'Very little, to-night, but all he knows. There is another 
spy commissioned for our quarter. There may be many 
more, for all that he can say, but he knows of one-.' 

' Eh well ! ' said Madame Defarge, raising her eyebrows 
with a cool business air. 'It is necessary to register him. 
How do they call that man ? ' 

'He is English.' 

' So much the better. His name ? * 

'Barsad,' said Defarge, making it French by pronuncia- 
tion. But, he had been so careful to get it accurately that 
he then spelt it with perfect correctness. 

' Barsad,' repeated madame. ' Good. Christian name ? ' 


'John Barsad,' repeated madame, after murmuring it 
once to herself. ' Good. His appearance ; is it known ? ' 

'Age, about forty years; height, about five feet nine; 
black hair; complexion dark; generally, rather handsome 
visage ; eyes dark ; face thin, long, and sallow ; nose aquiline, 
but not straight, having a peculiar inclination towards the 
left cheek; expression, therefore, sinister.' 

' Eh my faith. It is a portrait ! ' said madame, laughing. 
'He shall be registered to-morrow.' 

They turned into the wine shop, which was closed (for it 

Still Knitting 173 

was midnight), and where Madame Defarge immediately 
took her post at her desk, counting the small moneys that 
had been taken during her absence, examined the stock, 
went through the entries in the book, made other entries of 
her own, checked the serving man in every possible way, 
and finally dismissed him to bed. Then she turned out the 
contents of the bowl of money for the second time, and 
began knotting them up in her handkerchief, in a chain of 
separate knots, for safe keeping through the night. All this 
while, Defarge, with his pipe in his mouth, walked up and 
down, complacently admiring, but never interfering; in 
which condition, indeed, as to the business and his domestic 
affairs, he walked up and down through life. 

The night was hot, and the shop, close shut and sur- 
rounded by so foul a neighbourhood, was ill-smelling. 
Monsieur Defarge 's olfactory sense was by no means 
delicate, but the stock of wine smelt much stronger than it 
ever tasted, and so did the stock of rum and brandy and 
aniseed. He whiffed the compound of scents away, as he 
put down his smoked-out pipe. 

'You are fatigued, 1 said madame, raising her glance as 
she knotted the money. 'There are only the usual odours/ 

'I am a little tired,' her husband acknowledged. 

'You are a little depressed too,' said madame, whose 
quick eyes had never been so intent on the accounts, but 
they had had a ray or two for him. 'Oh, the men, the 
men ! ' 

'But, my dear!' began Defarge. 

'But, my dear! ' repeated madame, nodding firmly; 'but, 
my dear ! 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 
time; it is the rule.' 

'It does not take a long time to strike 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. 

174 A Tale of Two Cities 

'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.' 

She tied a knot with flashing eyes, as if it throttled a foe. 

'I tell thee/ said madame, extending her right hand, for 
emphasis, ' that although it is a long time on the road, it is 
on the road and coming. I tell thee it never retreats, and 
never stops. I tell thee it is always advancing. Look 
around and consider the lives of all the world that we know, 
consider the faces of all the world that we know, consider 
the rage and discontent to which the Jacquerie addresses 
itself with more and more of certainty every hour. Can 
such things last? Bah! I mock you/ 

'My brave wife/ returned Defarge, standing before her 
with his head a little bent, and his hands clasped at his 
back, like a docile and attentive pupil before his catechist, 
'I do not question all this. But it has lasted a long time, 
and it is possible you know well, my wife, it is possible 
that it may not come, during our lives.' 

' Eh well ! How then ? ' demanded madame, tying 
another knot, as if there were another enemy strangled. 

' Well ! ' said Defarge, with a half complaining and half 
apologetic shrug. ' We shall not see the triumph/ 

'We shall have helped it/ returned madame, with her 
extended hand in strong action. 'Nothing that we do, is 
done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we shall see 
the triumph. But even if not, even if I knew certainly not, 
show me the neck of an aristocrat and tyrant, and still I 
would ' 

Then madame, with her teeth set, tied a very terrible 
knot indeed. 

' Hold ! ' cried Defarge, reddening a little as if he felt 
charged with cowardice; 'I too, my dear, will stop at 

' Yes ! But it is your weakness that you sometimes need 
to see your victim and your opportunity, to sustain you. 

Still Knitting 175 

Sustain yourself without that. When the time comes, let 
loose a tiger and a devil ; but wait for the time with the tiger 
and the devil chained not shown yet always ready.' 

Madame enforced the conclusion of this piece of advice 
by striking her little counter with her chain of money as if 
she knocked its brains out, and then gathering the heavy 
handkerchief under her arm in a serene manner, and 
observing that it was time to go to bed. 

Next noontide saw the admirable woman in her usual 
place in the wine shop, knitting away assiduously. A rose 
lay beside her, and if she now and then glanced at the flower, 
it was with no infraction of her usual preoccupied air. 
There were a few customers, drinking or not drinking, 
standing or seated, sprinkled about. The day was very hot, 
and heaps of flies, who were extending their inquisitive and 
adventurous perquisitions into all the glutinous little glasses 
near madame, fell dead at the bottom. Their decease made 
no impression on the other flies out promenading, who 
looked at them in the coolest manner (as if they themselves 
were elephants, or something as far removed), until they 
met the same fate. Curious to consider how heedless flies 
are! perhaps they thought as much at Court that sunny 
summer day. 

A figure entering at the door threw a shadow on Madame 
Defarge which she felt to be a new one. She laid down her 
knitting, and began to pin her rose in her head-dress, before 
she looked at the figure. 

It was curious. The moment Madame Defarge took up 
the rose, the customers ceased talking, and began gradually 
to drop out of the wine shop. 

'Good day, madame,' said the newcomer. 

'Good day, monsieur.' 

She said it aloud, but added to herself, as she resumed 
her knitting: 'Hah! Good day, age about forty, height 
about five feet nine, black hair, generally rather handsome 
visage, complexion dark, eyes dark, thin, long, and sallow 
face, aquiline nose but not straight, having a peculiar 
inclination towards the left cheek which imparts a sinister 
expression ! Good day, one and all ! ' 

'Have the goodness to give me a little glass of old 
cognac, and a mouthful of cool fresh water, madame.' 


A Tale of Two Cities 

Madame complied with a polite air. 

'Marvellous cognac this, madame!' 

It was the first time it had ever been so complimented, 
and Madame Defarge knew enough of its antecedents to 
know better. She said, however, that the cognac was 
flattered, and took up her knitting. The visitor watched 
her fingers for a few moments, and took the opportunity of 
observing the place in general. 

'You knit with great skill, madame.' 

'I am accustomed to it.' 

' A pretty pattern too ! ' 

' You think so ? ' said madame, looking at him with a 

' Decidedly. May one ask what it is for ? ' 

'Pastime/ said madame, still looking at him with a smile, 
while her fingers moved nimbly. 

'Not for use?' 

'That depends. I may find a use for it one day. If I 
do well,' said madame, drawing a breath and nodding her 
head with a stern kind of coquetry, ' I '11 use it ! ' 

It was remarkable ; but, the taste of Saint Antoine seemed 
to be decidedly opposed to a rose on the head-dress of 
Madame Defarge. Two men had entered separately, and 
had been about to order drink, when, catching sight of that 
novelty, they faltered, made a pretence of looking about as 
if for some friend who was not there, and went away. Nor, 
of those who had been there when this visitor entered, was 
there one left. They had all dropped off. The spy had 
kept his eyes open, but had been able to detect no sign. 
They had lounged away in a poverty-stricken, purposeless, 
accidental manner, quite natural and unimpeachable. 

'JOHN,' thought madame, checking off her work as 
her fingers knitted, and her eyes looked at the stranger. 
'Stay long enough, and I shall knit 'BARSAD' before you 


' You have a husband, madame ? ' 

'I have.' 


'No children.' 

' Business seems bad ? ' 

' Business is very bad ; the people are so poor.* 

Still Knitting 177 

'Ah, the unfortunate, miserable people! So oppressed, 
too as you say.' 

'As you say,' madame retorted, correcting him, and 
deftly knitting an extra something into his name that boded 
him no good. 

'Pardon me; certainly it was I who said so, but you 
naturally think so. Of course.' 

' / think ? ' returned madame, in a high voice. ' I and 
my husband have enough to do to keep this wine shop open, 
without thinking. All we think, here, is how to live. That 
is the subject we think of, and it gives us, from morning to 
night, enough to think about, without embarrassing our 
heads concerning others. / think for others? No, no.' 

The spy, who was there to pick up any crumbs he could 
find or make, did not allow his baffled state to express itself 
in his sinister face; but stood with an air of gossiping 
gallantry, leaning his elbow on Madame Defarge's little 
counter, and occasionally sipping his cognac. 

'A bad business this, madame, of Gaspard's execution. 
Ah! the poor Gaspard!' With a sigh of great compassion. 

' My faith ! ' returned madame, coolly and lightly, ' if 
people use knives for such purposes, they have to pay for it. 
He knew beforehand what the price of his luxury was; he 
has paid the price.* 

'I believe,' said the spy, dropping his soft voice to a 
tone that invited confidence, and expressing an injured 
revolutionary susceptibility in every muscle of his wicked 
face: 'I believe there is much compassion and anger in 
this neighbourhood, touching the poor fellow? Between 

' Is tiiere ? ' asked madame, vacantly. 

' Is there not ? ' 

' Here is my husband ! * said Madame Defarge. 

As the keeper of the wine shop entered at the door, the 
spy saluted him by touching his hat, and saying, with an 
engaging smile, 'Good day, Jacques!' Defarge stopped 
short, and-stared at him. 

'Good day, Jacques,' the spy repeated; with not quite 
so much confidence, or quite so easy a smile under the 

'You deceive yourself, monsieur,' returned the keeper 


A Tale of Two Cities 

of the wine shop. ' You mistake me for another. That is 
not my name. I am Ernest Defarge.' 

'It is all the same,' said the spy, airily, but discomfited 
too : ' good day ! ' 

'Good day!' answered Defarge, dryly. 

' I was saying to madame, with whom I had the pleasure 
of chatting when you entered, that they tell me there is 
and no wonder! much sympathy and anger in Saint 
Antoine, touching the unhappy fate of poor Gaspard.' 

'No one has told me so,' said Defarge, shaking his head. 
' I know nothing of it.' 

Having said it, he passed behind the little counter, and 
stood with his hand on the back of his wife's chair, looking 
over that barrier at the person to whom they were both 
opposed, and whom either of them would have shot with the 
greatest satisfaction. 

The spy, well used to his business, did not change his 
unconscious attitude, but drained his little glass of cognac, 
took a sip of fresh water, and asked for another glass of 
cognac. Madame Defarge poured it out for him, took to 
her knitting again, and hummed a little song over it. 

'You seem to know the quarter well; that is to say, 
better than I do ? ' observed Defarge. 

'Not at all, but I hope to know it better. I am so 
profoundly interested in its miserable inhabitants.' 

'Hah!' muttered Defarge. 

'The pleasure of conversing with you, Monsieur Defarge, 
recalls to me,' pursued the spy, 'that I have the honour of 
cherishing some interesting associations with your name.' 

' Indeed ! ' said Defarge, with much indifference. 

'Yes, indeed. When Doctar Manette was released, you, 
his old domestic, had the charge of him, I know. He was 
delivered to you. You see I am informed of the circum- 
stances ? ' 

'Such is the fact, certainly,' said Defarge. He had had 
it conveyed to him, in an accidental touch of his wife's 
elbow as she knitted and warbled, that he would do best to 
answer, but always with brevity. 

'It was to you,' said the spy, 'that his daughter came; 
and it was from your care that his daughter took him, 
accompanied by a neat brown monsieur; how is he called? 

Still Knitting 179 

in a little wig Lorry of the bank of Tellson and 
Company over to England.' 

'Such is the fact,' repeated Defarge. 

'Very interesting remembrances, 1 said the spy. 'I have 
known Doctor Manette and his daughter, in England.' 

'Yes?' said Defarge. 

' You don't hear much about them now ? ' said the 

'No,' said Defarge. 

'In effect,' madame struck in, looking up from her work 
and her little song, 'we never hear about them. We 
received the news of their safe arrival, and perhaps another 
letter, or perhaps two ; but, since then, they have gradually 
taken their road in life we, ours and we have held no 

'Perfectly so, madame,' replied the spy. 'She is going 
to be married.' 

' Going ? ' echoed madame. ' She was pretty enough 
to have been married long ago. You English are cold, it 
seems to me.' 

'Oh! You know I am English.' 

'I perceive your tongue is,' returned madame, 'and 
what the tongue is, I suppose the man is.' 

He did not take the identification as a compliment; but 
he made the best of it, and turned it off with a laugh. 
After sipping his cognac to the end, he added: 

'Yes, Miss Manette is going to be married. But not to 
an Englishman; to one who, like herself, is French by 
birth. And speaking of Gaspard (ah, poor Gaspard! It 
was cruel, cruel!), it is a curious thing that she is going to 
marry the nephew of Monsieur the Marquis, for whom 
Gaspard was exalted to that height of so many feet; in 
other words, the present Marquis. But he lives unknown 
in England, he is no Marquis there; he is Mr. Charles 
Darnay. D'Aulnais is the name of his mother's family.' 

Madame Defarge knitted steadily, but the intelligence 
had a palpable effect upon her husband. Do what he 
would, behind the little counter, as to the striking of a light 
and the lighting of his pipe, he was troubled, and his hand 
was not trustworthy. The spy would have been no spy if 
he had failed to see it, or to record it in his mind. 

180 A Tale of Two Cities 

Having made, at least, this one hit, whatever it might 
prove to be worth, and no customers coming in to help him 
to any other, Mr. Barsad paid for what he had drunk, and 
took his leave : taking occasion to say, in a genteel manner, 
before he departed, that he looked forward to the pleasure 
of seeing Monsieur and Madame Defarge again. For some 
minutes after he had emerged into the outer presence of 
Saint Antoine, the husband and wife remained exactly as 
he had left them, lest he should come back. 

'Can it be true,' said Defarge, in a low voice, looking 
down at his wife as he stood smoking with his hand on the 
back of her chair : ' what he has said of Ma'amselle Manette ? ' 

'As he has said it,' returned madame, lifting her eye- 
brows a little, 'ft is probably false. But it may be true.' 

' If it is ' Defarge began, and stopped. 

' If it is ? ' repeated his wife. 

' And if it does come, while we live to see it in triumph 
I hope, for her sake, Destiny will keep her husband out of 

'Her husband's destiny/ said Madame Defarge, with her 
usual composure, 'will take him where he is to go, and will 
lead him to the end that is to lead him. That is all I 

'But it is very strange now, at least, is it not very 
strange,' said Defarge, rather pleading with his wife to 
induce her to admit it, 'that, after all our sympathy for 
Monsieur her father, and herself, her husband's name 
should be proscribed under your hand at this moment, by 
the side of that infernal dog's who hast just left us ? ' 

' Stranger things than that will happen when it does 
come,' answered madame. 'I have them both here, of a 
certainty; and they are both here for their merits; that is 

She rolled up her knitting when she had said those 
words, and presently took the rose out of the handkerchief 
that was wound about her head. Eitner Saint Antoine had 
an instinctive sense that the objectionable decoration was 
gone, or Saint Antoine was on the watch for its disappear- 
ance; howbeit, the Saint took courage to lounge in, very 
shortly afterwards, and the wine shop recovered its habitual 

Still Knitting 181 

In the evening, at which season of all others Saint 
Antoine turned himself inside out, and sat on door-steps 
and window-ledges, and came to the corners of vile streets 
and courts, for a breath of air, Madame Defarge with her 
work in her hand was accustomed to pass from place to 
place and from group to group: a Missionary there were 
many like her such as the world will do well never to 
breed again. All the women knitted. They knitted worth- 
less things; but, the mechanical work was a mechanical 
substitute for eating and drinking ; the hands moved for the 
jaws and the digestive apparatus: if the bony fingers had 
been still, the stomachs would have been more famine- 

But, as the fingers went, the eyes went, and the thoughts. 
And as Madame Defarge moved on from group to group, 
all three went quicker and fiercer among every little knot 
of women that she had spoken with, and left behind. 

Her husband smoked at his door, looking after her with 
admiration. 'A great woman/ said he, 'a strong woman, 
a grand woman, a frightfully grand woman!' 

Darkness closed around, and then came the ringing of 
church bells and the distant beating of the military drums 
in the palace courtyard, as the women sat knitting, knit- 
ting. Darkness encompassed them. Another darkness 
was closing in as surely, when the church bells, then ringing 
pleasantly in many an airy steeple over France, should be 
melted into thundering cannon; when the military drums 
should be beating to drown a wretched voice, that night all 
potent as the voice of Power and Plenty, Freedom and Life. 
So much was closing in about the women who sat knitting, 
knitting, that they their very selves were closing in around 
a structure yet unbuilt, where they were to sit knitting, 
knitting, counting dropping heads. 

1 82 A Tale of Two Cities 



NEVER did the sun go down with a brighter glory on the 
quiet corner in Soho, than one memorable evening when the 
Doctor and his daughter sat under the plane-tree together. 
Never did the moon rise with a milder radiance over great 
London, than on that night when it found them still seated 
under the tree, and shone upon their faces through its leaves. 

Lucie was to be married to-morrow. She had reserved 
this last evening for her father, and they sat alone under the 

' You are happy, my dear father ? ' 

'Quite, my child.' 

They had said little, though they had been there a long 
time. When it was yet light enough to work and read, she 
had neither engaged herself in her usual work, nor had she 
read to him. She had employed herself in both ways, at 
his side under the tree, many and many a time; but, this 
time was not quite like any other, and nothing could make 
it so. 

'And I am very happy to-night, dear father. I am 
deeply happy in the love that Heaven has so blessed my 
love for Charles, and Charles's love for me. But, if my life 
were not to be still consecrated to you, or if my marriage 
were so arranged as that it would part us, even by the 
length of a few of these streets, I should be more unhappy 
and self -reproachful now that I can tell you. Even as 
it is ' 

Even as it was, she could not command her voice. 

In the sad moonlight, she clasped him by the neck, and 
laid her face upon his breast. In the moonlight which is 
always sad, as the light of the sun itself is as the light 
called human life is at its coming and its going. 

'Dearest dear! Can you tell me, this last time, that 
you feel quite, quite sure, no new affections of mine, and 
no new duties of mine, will ever interpose between us ? / 
know it well, but do you know it? In your own heart, 
do you feel quite certain ? ' 

One Night 183 

Her father answered, with a cheerful firmness of con- 
viction he could scarcely have assumed, ' Quite sure, my 
darling! More than that/ he added, as he tenderly kissed 
her: 'my future is far brighter, Lucie, seen through your 
marriage, than it could have been nay, than it ever was- 
without it.' 

' If I could hope that, my father! ' 

'Believe it, love! Indeed it is so. Consider how 
natural and how plain it is, my dear, that it should be so. 
You, devoted and young, cannot fully appreciate the 
anxiety I have felt that your life should not be wasted ' 

She moved her hand towards his lips, but he took it in 
his, and repeated the word. 

' wasted, my child should not be wasted, struck aside 
from the natural order of things for my sake. Your un- 
selfishness cannot entirely comprehend how much my mind 
has gone on this; but, only ask yourself, how could my 
happiness be perfect, while yours was incomplete ? ' 

' If I had never seen Charles, my father, I should have 
been quite happy with you.' 

He smiled at her unconscious admission that she would 
have been unhappy without Charles, having seen him; and 
replied : 

'My child, you did see him, and it is Charles. If it 
had not been Charles, it would have been another. Or, if 
it had been no other, I should have been the cause, and 
then the dark part of my life would have cast its shadow 
beyond myself, and would have fal'en on you.' 

It was the first time, except at the trial, of her ever hear- 
ing him refer to the period of his suffering. It gave her a 
strange and new sensation while his words were in her ears; 
and she remembered it long afterwards. 

' See ! ' said the Doctor of Beauvais, raising his hand 
towards the moon. ' I have looked at her, from my prison 
window, when I could not bear her light. I have looked 
at her when it has been such torture to me to think of her 
shining upon what I had lost, that I have beaten my head 
against my prison walls. I have looked at her, in a state so 
dull and lethargic, that I have thought of nothing but the 
humber of horizontal lines I could draw across her at the 
full, and the number of perpendicular lines with which I 

A Tale of Two Cities 

could intersect them.' He added in his inward and 
pondering manner, as he looked at the moon, 'It was 
twenty either way, I remember, and the twentieth was 
difficult to squeeze in.' 

The strange thrill with which she heard him go back to 
that time, deepened as he dwelt upon it; but, there was 
nothing to shock her in the manner of his reference. He 
only seemed to contrast his present cheerfulness and felicity 
with the dire endurance that was over. 

'I have looked at her, speculating thousands of times 
upon the unborn child from whom I had been rent. 
Whether it was alive. Whether it had been born alive, or 
the poor mother's shock had killed it. Whether it was a 
son who would some day avenge his father. (There was a 
time in my imprisonment, when my desire for vengeance 
was unbearable.) Whether it was a son who would never 
know his father's story; who might even live to weigh the 
possibility of his father's having disappeared of his own will 
and act. Whether it was a daughter who would grow to be 
a woman.' 

She drew closer to him, and kissed his cheek and his 

'I have pictured my daughter, to myself, as perfectly 
forgetful of me rather, altogether ignorant of me, and 
unconscious of me. I have cast up the years of her age, 
year after year. I have seen her married to a man who 
knew nothing of my fate. I have altogether perished 
from the remembrance of the living, and in the next 
generation my place was a blank.' 

'My father! Even to hear that you had such thoughts 
of a daughter who never existed, strikes to my heart as if I 
had been that child.' 

'You, Lucie? It is out of the consolation and restora- 
tion you have brought to me, that these remembrances 
arise, and pass between us and the moon on this last night. 
What did I say just now ? ' 

'She knew nothing of you. She cared nothing for you.' 

'So! But on other moonlight nights, when the sadness 
and the silence have touched me in a different way have 
affected me with something as like a sorrowful sense of 
peace, as any emotion that had pain for its foundations 

One Night 185 

could I have imagined her as coming to me in my cell, 
and leading me out into the freedom beyond the fortress. 
I have seen her image in the moonlight often, as I now see 
you; except that I never held her in my arms; it stood 
between the little grated window and the door. But you 
understand that that was not the child I am speaking of ? ' 

'The figure was not; the the image; the fancy?' 

'No. That was another thing. It stood before my 
disturbed sense of sight, but it never moved. The phantom 
that my mind pursued, was another and more real child. 
Of her outward appearance I know no more than that she 
was like her mother. The other had that likeness too as 
you have but was not the same. Can you follow me, 
Lucie? Hardly, I think? I doubt you must have been a 
solitary prisoner to understand these perplexed distinctions/ 

His collected and calm manner could not prevent her 
blood from running cold, as he thus tried to anatomize his 
old condition. 

' In that more peaceful state, I have imagined her, hi the 
moonlight, coming to me and taking me out to show me 
that the home of her married life was full of her loving 
remembrance of her lost father. My picture was in her 
room, and I was in her prayers. Her life was active, cheer- 
ful, useful; but my poor history pervaded it all.' 

'I was that child, my father. I was not half so good, 
but in my love that was I.' 

'And she showed me her children,' said the Doctor of 
Beauvais, ' and they had heard of me, and had been taught 
to pity me. When they passed a prison of the State, they 
kept far from its frowning walls, and looked up at its bars, 
and spoke in whispers. She could never deliver me; I 
imagined that she always brought me back after showing me 
such things. But then, blessed with the relief of tears, I 
fell upon my knees, and blessed her.' 

'I am that child, I hope, my father. O my dear, my 
dear, will you bless me as fervently to-morrow ? ' 

'Lucie, I recall these old troubles in the reason that I 
have to-night for loving you better than words can tell, and 
thanking God for my great happiness. My thoughts, when 
they were wildest, never rose near the happiness that I 
have known with you, and that we have before us.' 

1 86 A Tale of Two Cities 

He embraced her, solemnly commended her to Heaven, 
and humbly thanked Heaven for having bestowed her on 
him. By and by, they went into the house. 

There was no one bidden to the marriage but Mr. Lorry; 
there was even to be no bridesmaid but the gaunt Miss 
Pross. The marriage was to make no change in their place 
of residence; they had been able to extend it, by taking to 
themselves the upper rooms formerly belonging to the 
apocryphal invisible lodger, and they desired nothing more. 

Doctor Manette was very cheerful at the little supper. 
They were only three at table, and Miss Pross made the 
third. He regretted that Charles was not there; was more 
than half disposed to object to the loving little plot that 
kept him away; and drank to him affectionately. 

So, the time came for him to bid Lucie good night, and 
they separated. But, in the stillness of the third hour of 
the morning, Lucie came downstairs again, and stole into 
his room; not free from unshaped fear, beforehand. 

All things, however, were in their places; all was quiet; 
and he lay asleep, his white hair picturesque on the un- 
troubled pillow, and his hands lying quiet on the coverlet. 
She put her needless candle in the shadow at a distance, 
crept up to his bed, and put her lips to his; then, leaned 
over him, and looked at him. 

Into his handsome face, the bitter waters of captivity had 
worn; but, he covered up their tracks with a determination 
so strong, that he held the mastery of them even in his 
sleep. A more remarkable face in its quiet, resolute, and 
guarded struggle with an unseen assailant, was not to be 
beheld in all the wide dominions of sleep, that night. 

She timidly laid her hand on his dear breast, and put up 
a prayer that she might ever be as true to him as her love 
aspired to be, and as his sorrows deserved. Then, she 
withdrew her hand, and kissed his lips once more, and went 
away. So, the sunrise came, and the shadows of the leaves 
of the plane-tree moved upon his face, as softly as her lips 
had moved in praying for him. 

Nine Days 187 



THE marriage day was shining brightly, and they were 
ready outside the closed door of the Doctor's room, where 
he was speaking with Charles Darnay. They were ready to 
go to church; the beautiful bride, Mr. Lorry, and Miss 
Pross to whom the event, through a gradual process of 
reconcilement to the inevitable, would have been one of 
absolute bliss, but for the yet lingering consideration that 
her brother Solomon should have been the bridegroom. 

'And so,' said Mr. Lorry, who could not sufficiently 
admire the bride, and who had been moving round her to 
take in every point of her quiet, pretty dress; 'and so it 
was for this, my sweet Lucie, that I brought you across the 
Channel, such a baby! Lord bless me! How little I 
thought what I was doing! How lightly I valued the 
obligation I was conferring on my friend Mr. Charles!' 

'You didn't mean it,' remarked the matter-of-fact Miss 
Pross, ' and therefore how could you know it ? Nonsense ! ' 

'Really? Well; but don't cry,' said the gentle Mr. 

'I am not crying,' said Miss Pross; 'you are.' 

'I, my Pross?' (By this time, Mr. Lorry dared to be 
pleasant with her, on occasion.) 

'You were, just now; I saw you do it, and I don't wonder 
at it. Such a present of plate as you have made 'em, is 
enough to bring tears into anybody's eyes. There 's not a 
fork or a spoon in the collection,' said Miss Pross, 'that I 
didn't cry over, last night after the box came, till I couldn't 
see it.' 

'I am highly gratified,' said Mr. Lorry, 'though upon 
my honour, I had no intention of rendering those trifling 
articles of remembrance invisible to any one. Dear me! 
This is an occasion that makes a man speculate on all he 
has lost. Dear, dear, dear! To think that there might 
have been a Mrs. Lorry, any time these fifty years almost! ' 

' Not at all ! ' From Miss Pross. 

1 88 A Tale of Two Cities 

'You think there never might have. been a Mrs. Lorry?' 
asked the gentleman of that name. 

' Pooh ! ' rejoined Miss Pross ; ' you were a bachelor in 
your cradle.' 

'Well!' observed Mr. Lorry, beamingly adjusting his 
little wig, 'that seems probable, too.' 

'And you were cut out for a bachelor,' pursued Miss 
Pross, 'before you were put in your cradle.' 

'Then, I think,' said Mr. Lorry, 'that I was very un- 
handsomely dealt with, and that I ought to have had a voice 
in the selection of my pattern. Enough! Now, my dear 
Lucie,' drawing his arm soothingly round her waist, 'I hear 
them moving in the next room, and Miss Pross and I, as 
two formal folks of business, are anxious not to lose the final 
opportunity of saying something. to you that you wish to 
hear. You leave your good father, my dear, in hands as 
earnest and as loving as your own; he shall be taken every 
conceivable care of; during the next fortnight, while you are 
in Warwickshire and thereabouts, even Tellson's shall go to 
the wall (comparatively speaking) before him. And when, 
at the fortnight's end, he comes to join you and your beloved 
husband, on your other fortnight's trip in Wales, you shall 
say that we have sent him to you in the best health and in 
the happiest frame. Now, I hear somebody's step coming 
to the door. -Let me kiss my dear girl with an old-fashioned 
bachelor blessing, before Somebody comes to claim his 

For a moment, he held the fair face from him to look at 
the well-remembered expression on the forehead, and then 
laid the bright golden hair against his little brown wig, with 
a genuine tenderness and delicacy which, if such things be 
old-fashioned, were as old as Adam. 

The door of the Doctor's room opened, and he came out 
with Charles Darnay. He was so deadly pale which had 
not been the case when they went in together that no 
vestige of colour was to be seen in his face. But, in the 
composure of his manner he was unaltered, except that to 
the shrewd glance of Mr. Lorry it disclosed some shadowy 
indication that the old air of avoidance and dread had lately 
passed over him, like a cold wind. 

He gave his arm to his daughter, and took her downstairs 

Nine Days 189 

to the chariot which Mr. Lorry had hired in honour of the 
day. The rest followed in another carriage, and soon, in a 
neighbouring church, where no strange eyes looked on, 
Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette were happily married. 

Besides the glancing tears that shone among the smiles of 
the little group when it was done, some diamonds, very 
bright and sparkling, glanced on the bride's hand, which 
were newly released from the dark obscurity of one of Mr. 
Lorry's pockets. They returned home to breakfast, and 
all went well, and in due course the golden hair that had 
mingled with the poor shoemaker's white locks in the Paris 
garret, were mingled with them again in the morning sun- 
light, on the threshold of the door at parting. 

It was a hard parting, though it was not for long. But 
her father cheered her, and said at last, gently disengaging 
himself from her enfolding arms, 'Take her, Charles I She 
is yours ! ' 

And her agitated hand waved to them from a chaise 
window, and she was gone. 

The corner being out of the way of the idle and curious, 
and the preparations having been very simple and few, the 
Doctor, Mr. Lorry, and Miss Pross, were left quite alone. 
It was when they turned into the welcome shade of the cool 
old hall, that Mr. Lorry observed a great change to have 
come over the Doctor; as if the golden arm uplifted there, 
had struck him a poisoned blow. 

He had naturally repressed much, and some revulsion 
might have been expected in him when the occasion for re- 
pression was gone. But, it was the old scared lost look that 
troubled Mr. Lorry; and through his absent manner of 
clasping his head and drearily wandering away into his own 
room when they got upstairs, Mr. Lorry was reminded of 
Defarge, the wine-shop keeper, and the starlight ride. 

'I think,' he whispered to Miss Pross, after anxious con- 
sideration, ' I think we had best not speak to him just now, 
or at all disturb him. I must look in at Tellson's; so I will 
go there at once and come back presently. Then, we 
will take him a ride in the country, and dine there, and all 
will be well/ 

It was easier for Mr. Lorry to look in at Tellson's, than to 
look out of Tellson's. He was detained two hours. When 

190 A Tale of Two Cities 

he came back, he ascended the old staircase alone, having 
asked no question of the servant; going thus into the Doc- 
tor's rooms, he was stopped by a low sound of knocking. 

' Good God ! ' he said, with a start. ' What 's that ? ' 

Miss Pross, with a terrified face, was at his ear. ' O me, 
O me! All is lost!' cried she, wringing her hands. 'What 
is to be told to Ladybird? He doesn't know me, and is 
making shoes ! ' 

Mr. Lorry said what he could to calm her, and went him- 
self into the Doctor's room. The bench was turned towards 
the light, as it had been when he had seen the shoemaker 
at his work before, and his head was bent down, and he was 
very busy. 

' Doctor Manette. My dear friend, Doctor Manette ! * 

The Doctor looked at him for a moment half inquiringly, 
half as if he were angry at being spoken to and bent over 
his work again. 

He had laid aside his coat and waistcoat; his shirt was 
open at the throat, as it used to be when he did that work; 
and even the old haggard, faded surface of face had come 
back to him. He worked hard impatiently as if in some 
sense of having been interrupted. 

Mr. Lorry glanced at the work in his hand, and observed 
that it was a shoe of the old size and shape. He took up 
another that, was lying by him, and asked what it was? 

'A young lady's walking shoe/ he muttered, without 
looking up. 'It ought to have been finished long ago. 
Let it be.' 

'But, Doctor Manette. Look at me!' 

He obeyed, in the old mechanically submissive manner, 
without pausing in his work. 

'You know me, my dear friend? Think again. This is 
not your proper occupation. Think, dear friend!' 

Nothing would induce him to speak more. He looked 
up, for an instant at a time, when he was requested to do 
so; but, no persuasion would extract a word from him. He 
worked, and worked, and worked, in silence, and words fell 
on him as they would have fallen on an echoless wall, or on 
the air. The only ray of hope that Mr. Lorry could dis- 
cover, was, that he sometimes furtively looked up without 
being asked. In that, there seemed a faint expression of 

Nine Days 191 

curiosity or perplexity as though he were trying to recon- 
cile some doubts in his mind. 

Two things at once impressed themselves on Mr. Lorry, 
as important above all others; the first, that this must be 
kept secret from Lucie; the second that it must be kept 
secret from all who knew him. In conjunction with Miss 
Pross, he took immediate steps towards the latter precaution, 
by giving out that the Doctor was not well, and required a 
few days of complete rest. In aid of the kind deception to 
be practised on his daughter, Miss Pross was to write, de- 
scribing his having been called away professionally, and 
referring to an imaginary letter of two or three hundred lines 
in his own hand, represented to have been addressed to- 
ner by the same post. 

These measures, advisable to be taken in any case, Mr. 
Lorry took in the hope of his coming to himself. If that 
should happen soon, he kept another course in reserve; 
which was, to have a certain opinion that he thought the 
best, on the Doctor's case. 

In the hope of his recovery, and of resort to this third 
course being thereby rendered practicable, Mr. Lorry 
resolved to watch him attentively, with as little appearance 
as possible of doing so. He therefore made arrangements 
to absent himself from Tellson's for the first time in his life, 
and took his post by the window in the same room. 

He was not long in discovering that it was worse than 
useless to speak to him, since, on being pressed, he became 
worried. He abandoned that attempt on the first day, and 
resolved merely to keep himself always before him, as a 
silent protest against the delusion into which he had fallen, 
or was falling. He remained, therefore, in his seat near the 
window, reading and writing, and expressing in as many 
pleasant and natural ways as he could think of, that it was a 
free place. 

Doctor Manette took what was given to him to eat and 
drink, and worked on, that first day, until it was too dark to 
see worked on, half an hour after Mr. Lorry could not 
have seen, for his life, to read or write. When he put his 
tools aside as useless, until morning, Mr. Lorry rose and 
said to him : 

* Will you go out ? ' 

192 A Tale of Two Cities 

He looked down at the floor on either side of him in the 
old manner, looked up in the old manner, and repeated in 
the old low voice : 


'Yes; for a walk with me. Why not?' 

He made no effort to say why not, and said not a word 
more. But, Mr. Lorry thought he saw, as he leaned forward 
on his bench in the dusk, with his elbows on his knees and 
his head in his hands, that he was in some misty way asking 
himself, ' Why not ? ' The sagacity of the man of business 
perceived an advantage here, and determined to hold it. 

Miss Pross and he divided the night into two watches, 
and observed him at intervals from the adjoining room. He 
paced up and down for a long time before he lay down; 
but, when he did finally lay himself down, he fell asleep. 
In the morning, he was up betimes, and went straight to his 
bench and to work. 

On this second day, Mr. Lorry saluted him cheerfully by 
his name, and spoke to him on topics that had been of late 
familiar to them. He returned no reply, but it was evident 
that he heard what was said, and that he thought about it, 
however confusedly. This encouraged Mr. Lorry to have 
Miss Pross in with her work, several times during the day; 
at those times they spoke quietly of Lucie, and of her father 
then present, precisely in the same manner, and as if there 
were nothing amiss. This was done without any demon- 
strative accompaniment, not long enough, or often enough 
to harass him ; and it lightened Mr. Lorry's friendly heart to 
believe that he looked up oftener, and that he appeared 
to be stirred by some perception of inconsistencies sur- 
rounding him. 

When it fell dark again, Mr. Lorry asked him as before: 

' Dear Doctor, will you go out ? ' 

As before, he repeated, ' Out ? ' 

' Yes ; for a walk with me. Why not ? ' 

This time, Mr. Lorry feigned to go out when he could 
extract no answer from him, and, after remaining absent for 
an hour, returned. In the meanwhile, the Doctor had 
removed to the seat in the window, and had sat there look- 
ing down at the plane-tree; but on Mr. Lorry's return, 
he slipped away to his bench. 

An Opinion 193 

The time went very slowly on, and Mr. Lorry's hope 
darkened, and his heart grew heavier again, and grew yet 
heavier and heavier every day. The third day^came and 
went, the fourth, the fifth. Five days, six days, seven days, 
eight days, nine days. 

With a hope ever darkening, and with a heart always 
growing heavier and heavier, Mr. Lorry passed through this 
anxious time. The secret was well kept, and Lucie was 
unconscious and happy; but he could not fail to observe 
that the shoemaker, whose hand had been a little out at 
first, was growing dreadfully skilful, and that he had never 
been so intent on his work, and that his hands had never 
been so nimble and expert, as in the dusk of the ninth 



WORN out by anxious watching, Mr. Lorry fell asleep at 
his post. On the tenth morning of his suspense, he was 
startled by the shining of the sun into the room where a 
heavy slumber had overtaken him when it was dark night. 

He rubbed his eyes and roused himself; but he doubted, 
when he had done so, whether he was not still asleep. For, 
going to the door of the Doctor's room and looking in, he 
perceived that the shoemaker's bench and tools were put 
aside again, and that the Doctor himself sat reading at the 
window. He was in his usual morning dress, and his face 
(which Mr. Lorry could not distinctly see), though still very 
pale, was calmly studious and attentive. 

Even when he had satisfied himself that he was awake, 
Mr. Lorry felt giddily uncertain for some few moments 
whether the late shoemaking might not be a disturbed dream 
of his own; for, did not his eyes show him his friend before 
him in his accustomed clothing and aspect, and employed 
as usual ; and was there any sign within their range, that the 
change of which he had so strong an impression had actually 
happened ? 

194 A Tale of Two Cities 

It was but the inquiry of his first confusion and astonish- 
ment, the answer being obvious. If the impression were 
not produced by a real corresponding and sufficient cause, 
how came he, Jarvis Lorry, there? How came he to have 
fallen asleep, in his clothes, on the sofa in Doctor Manette's 
consulting-room, and to be debating these points outside the 
Doctor's bedroom door in the early morning. 

Within a few minutes, Miss Pross stood whispering at his 
side. If he had had any particle of doubt left, her talk 
would of necessity have resolved it; but he was by that time 
clear-headed, and had none. He advised that they should 
let the time go by until the regular breakfast hour, and 
should then meet the Doctor as if nothing unusual had 
occurred. If he appeared to be in his customary state of 
mind, Mr. Lorry would then cautiously proceed to seek 
direction and guidance from the opinion he had been, in his 
anxiety, so anxious to obtain. 

Miss Pross, submitting herself to his judgment, the scheme 
was worked out with care. Having abundance of time for 
his usual methodical toilet, Mr. Lorry presented himself at 
the breakfast hour in his usual white linen, and with his 
usual neat leg. The Doctor was summoned in the usual 
way, and came to breakfast. 

So far as it was possible to comprehend him without 
overstepping those delicate and gradual approaches which 
Lorry felt to be the only safe advance, he at first supposed 
that his daughter's marriage had taken place yesterday. An 
incidental allusion, purposely thrown out, to the day of the 
week, and the day of the month, set him thinking and 
counting, and evidently made him uneasy. In all other 
respects, however, he was so composedly himself, that Mr. 
Lorry determined to have the aid he sought. And that aid 
was his own. 

Therefore, when the breakfast was done and cleared away, 
and he and the Doctor were left together, Mr. Lorry said, 
feelingly : 

'My dear Manette, I am anxious to have your opinion, 
in confidence, on a very curious case in which I am deeply 
interested; that is to say, it is very curious to me; perhaps 
to your better information it may be less so.' 

Glancing at his hands, which were discoloured by his 

An Opinion 195 

late work, the Doctor looked troubled, and listened atten- 
tively. He had already glanced at his hands more than 

' Doctor Manette,' said Mr. Lorry, touching him affection- 
ately on the arm, ' the case is the case of a particularly dear 
friend of mine. Pray give your mind to it, and advise me 
well for his sake and above all, for his daughter's his 
daughter's, my dear Manette.' 

'If I understand,' said the Doctor, in a subdued tone, 
' some mental shock ? ' 


'Be explicit/ said the Doctor. 'Spare no detail.' 

Mr. Lorry saw that they understood one another, and 

' My dear Manette, it is the case of an old and a prolonged 
shock, of great acuteness and severity to the affections, the 
feelings, the the as you express it the mind. The 
mind. It is the case of a shock under which the sufferer 
was borne down, one cannot say for how long, because I 
believe he cannot calculate the time himself, and there are 
no other means of getting at it. It is the case of a shock 
from which the sufferer recovered, by a process that he 
cannot trace himself as I once heard him publicly relate 
in a striking manner. It is the case of a shock from which 
he has recovered, so completely, as to be a highly intelligent 
man, capable of close application of mind, and great exertion 
of body, and of constantly making fresh additions to his 
stock of knowledge, which was already very large. But, 
unfortunately, there has been ' he paused and took a deep 
breath 'a slight relapse.' 

The Doctor, in a low voice, asked, 'Of how long 
duration ? ' 

'Nine days and rights.' 

* How did it show itself ? I infer ' glancing at his hands 
again 'in the resumption of some old pursuit connected 
with the shock ? ' 

'That is the fact/ 

'Now, did you ever see him/ asked the Doctor, distinctly 
and collectedly, though in the same low voice, 'engaged in 
that pursuit originally ? ' 



A Tale of Two Cities 

'And when the relapse fell on him, was in he most 
respects or in all respects as he was then ? ' 

' I think in all respects/ 

'You spoke of his daughter. Does his daughter know 
of the relapse ? ' 

' No. It has been kept from her, and I hope will always 
be kept from her. It is known only to myself, and to one 
other who may be trusted.' 

The Doctor grasped his hand, and murmured, 'That was 
very kind. That was very thoughtful ! ' Mr. Lorry grasped 
his hand in return, and neither of the two spoke for a little 

'Now, my dear Manette,' said Mr. Lorry, at length, in his 
most considerate and most affectionate way, ' I am a mere 
man of business, and unfit to cope with such intricate and 
difficult matters. I do not possess the kind of information 
necessary; I do not possess the kind of intelligence; I want 
guiding. There is no man in this world on whom I could 
so rely for right guidance, as on you. Tell me, how does 
this relapse come about? Is there danger of another? 
Could a repetition of it be prevented? How should a 
repetition of it be treated? How does it come about at 
all? What can I do for my friend? No man ever can 
have been more desirous in his heart to serve a friend, than 
I am to serve mine, if I knew how. But I don't know how 
to originate, in such a case. If your sagacity, knowledge, and 
experience, could put me on the right track, I might be able to 
do so much ; unenlightened and undirected, I can do so little. 
Pray discuss it with me ; pray enable me to see it a little more 
clearly, and teach me how to be a little more useful.' 

Doctor Manette sat meditating after these earnest words 
were spoken, and Mr. Lorry did not press him. 

'I think it probable,' said the Doctor, breaking silence 
with an effort, 'that the relapse you have described, my 
dear friend, was not quite unforeseen by its subject.' 

' Was it dreaded by him ? ' Mr. Lorry ventured to ask. 

' Very much.' He said it with an involuntary shudder. 

'You have no idea how such an apprehension weighs on 
the sufferer's mind, and how difficult now almost impos- 
sible it is, for him to force himself to utter a word upon 
the topic that oppresses him/ 

An Opinion 197 

'Would he/ asked Mr. Lorry, 'be sensibly relieved if 
he could prevail upon himself to impart that secret brooding 
to any one, when it is on him ? ' 

'I think so. But it is, as I have told you, next to im- 
possible. I even believe it in some cases to be quite 

'Now/ said Mr. Lorry, gently laying his hand on the 
Doctor's arm again, after a short silence on both sides, 'to 
what would you refer this attack ? ' 

'I believe/ returned Doctor Manette, 'that there had 
been a strong and extraordinary revival of the train of 
thought and remembrance that was the first cause of the 
malady. Some intense associations of the most distressing 
nature were vividly recalled, I think. It is probable that 
there had long been a dread lurking in his mind, that those 
associations would be recalled say, under certain circum- 
stances say, on a particular occasion. He tried to prepare 
himself in vain ; perhaps the effort to prepare himself made 
him Ie:r3 able to bear it/ 

' Would he remember what took place in the relapse ? ' 
asked Mr. Lorry with natural hesitation. 

The Doctor looked resolutely round the room, shook his 
head, and answered, in a low voice, 'Not at all/ 

'Now, as to the future/ hinted Mr. Lorry. 

'As to the future/ said the Doctor, recovering firmness, 
'I should have great hope. As it pleased Heaven in its 
mercy to restore him so soon, I should have great hope. 
He, yielding under the pressure of a complicated something, 
long dreaded and long vaguely foreseen and contended 
against, and recovering after the cloud had burst and passed, 
I should hope that the worst was over/ 

'Well, well! That's good comfort. I am thankful!' 
said Mr. Lorry. 

'I am thankful!' repeated the Doctor, bending his head 
with reverence. 

'There are two other points/ said Mr. Lorry, 'on which 
I am anxious to be instructed. I may go on ? ' 

'You cannot do your friend a better service/ The 
Doctor gave him his hand. 

'To the first, then. He is of a studious habit, and 
unusually energetic; he applies himself with great ardour 

io8 A Tale of Two Cities 

to the acquisition of professional knowledge, to the conduct- 
ing of experiments, to many things. Now, does he do too 
much ? ' 

'I think not. It may be the character of his mind, to 
be always in singular need of occupation. That may be, 
in part, natural to it; in part the result of affliction. The 
less it was occupied with healthy things, the more it would 
be in danger of turning in the unhealthy direction. He may 
have observed himself, and made the discovery.' 

' You are sure that he is not under too great a strain ? ' 

'I think I am quite sure of it.' 

'My dear Manette, if he were overworked now ' 

'My dear Lorry, I doubt if that could easily be. There 
has been a violent stress in one direction, and it needs a 

'Excuse me, as a persistent man of business. Assuming 
for a moment, that he was overworked; it would show 
itself in some renewal of this disorder ? ' 

' I do not think so. I do not think/ said Doctor Manette 
with a firmness of self -conviction, 'that anything but the 
one train of association would renew it. I think that 
henceforth, nothing but some extraordinary jarring of that 
chord could renew it. After what has happened, and after 
his recovery, I find it difficult to imagine any such violent 
sounding of that string again. I trust, and I almost believe, 
that the circumstances likely to renew it are exhausted.' 

He spoke with the diffidence of a man who knew how 
slight a thing would overset the delicate organisation of the 
mind, and yet with the confidence of a man who had slowly 
won his assurance out of personal endurance and distress. 
It was not for his friend to abate that confidence. He pro- 
fessed himself more relieved and encouraged than he really 
was, and approached his second and last point. He felt it 
to be the most difficult of all; but, remembering his old 
Sunday morning conversation with Miss Pross, and remem- 
bering what he had seen in the last nine days, he knew that 
he must face it. 

'The occupation resumed under the influence of this 
passing affliction so happily recovered from,' said Mr. 
Lorry, clearing his throat, 'we will call Blacksmith's work, 
Blacksmith's work. We will say, to put a case and for the 

An Opinion 199 

sake of illustration, that he had been used, in his bad time, 
to work at a little forge. We will say that he was unexpect- 
edly found at his forge again. Is it not a pity that he 
should keep it by him ? ' 

The Doctor shaded his forehead with his hand, and beat 
his foot nervously on the ground. 

'He has always kept it by him,' said Mr. Lorry, with an 
anxious look at his friend. 'Now, would it not be better 
that he should let it go ? ' 

Still, the Doctor, with shaded forehead, beat his foot 
nervously on the ground. 

' You do not find it easy to advise me ? ' said Mr. Lorry. 
'I quite understand it to be a nice question. And yet I 
think ' And there he shook his head, and stopped. 

'You see,' said Doctor Manette, turning to him after an 
uneasy pause, ' it is very hard to explain, consistently, the 
innermost workings of this poor man's mind. He once 
yearned so frightfully for that occupation, and it was so 
welcome when it came; no doubt it relieved his pain so 
much, by substituting the perplexity of the fingers for the 
perplexity of the brain, and by substituting, as he became 
more practised, the ingenuity of the hands, for the ingenuity 
of the mental torture; that he has never been able to bear 
the thought of putting it quite out of his reach. Even now, 
when I believe he is more hopeful of himself than he has 
ever been, and even speaks of himself with a kind of con- 
fidence, the idea that he might need that old employment, 
and not find it, gives him a sudden sense of terror, like that 
which one may fancy strikes to the heart of a lost child.' 

He looked like his illustration, as he raised his eyes to 
Mr. Lorry's face. 

'But may not mind! I ask for information, as a 
plodding man of business who only deals with such material 
objects as guineas, shillings, and bank-notes may not the 
retention of the thing involve the retention of the idea ? If 
the thing were gone, my dear Manette, might not the fear 
go with it ? In short, is it not a concession to the misgiving, 
to keep the forge ? ' 

There was another silence. 

'You see, too,' said the Doctor, tremulously, 'it is such 
an old companion/ 

aoo A Tale of Two Cities 

'I would not keep it,' said Mr. Lorry, shaking his head; 
for he gained in firmness as he saw the Doctor disquieted. 
' I would recommend him to sacrifice it. I only want your 
authority. I am sure it does no good. Come! Give me 
your authority, like a dear good man. For his daughter's 
sake, my dear Manette ! ' 

Very strange to see what a struggle there was within him! 

'In her name, then, let it be done; I sanction it. But, 
I would not take it away while he was present. Let it be 
removed when he is not there; let him miss his old com- 
panion after an absence.' 

Mr. Lorry readily engaged for that, and the conference 
was ended. They passed the day in the country, and the 
Doctor was quite restored. On the three following days he 
remained perfectly well, and on the fourteenth day he went 
away to join Lucie and her husband. The precaution that 
had been taken to account for his silence, Mr. Lorry had 
previously explained to him, and he had written to Lucie in 
accordance with it, and she had no suspicions. 

On the night of the day on which he left the house, Mr. 
Lorry went into his room with a chopper, saw, chisel, and 
hammer, attended by Miss Pross carrying a light. There, 
with closed doors, and in a mysterious and guilty manner, 
Mr. Lorry hacked the shoemaker's bench to pieces, while 
Miss Pross held the candle as if she were assisting at a 
murder for which, indeed, in her grimness, she was no 
unsuitable figure. The burning of the body (previously 
reduced to pieces convenient for the purpose) was com- 
menced without delay in the kitchen fire; and the tools, 
shoes, and leather, were buried in the garden. So wicked 
do destruction and secrecy appear to honest minds, that 
Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross, while engaged in the commission 
of their deed and in the removal of its traces, almost felt, 
and almost looked, like accomplices in a horrible crime. 

A Plea 201 



WHEN the newly married pair came home, the first person 
who appeared, to offer his congratulations, was Sydney 
Carton. They had not been at home many hours, when he 
presented himself. He was not improved in habits, or in 
looks, or in manner; but there was a certain rugged air 
of fidelity about him, which was new to the observation of 
Charles Darnay. 

He watched his opportunity of taking Darnay aside into 
a window, and of speaking to him when no one overheard. 

'Mr. Darnay,' said Carton, 'I wish we might be friends.' 

'We are already friends, I hope.' 

'You are good enough to say so, as a fashion of speech; 
but, I don't mean any fashion of speech. Indeed, when I 
say I wish we might be friends, I scarcely mean quite that, 

Charles Darnay as was natural asked him, in all good- 
humour and good-fellowship, what he did mean. 

'Upon my life,' said Carton, smiling, 'I find that easier 
to comprehend in my own mind, than to convey to yours. 
However, let me try. You remember a certain famous 
occasion when I was more drunk than than usual ? ' 

' I remember a certain famous occasion when you forced 
me to confess that you had been drinking.' 

'I remember it too. The curse of those occasions is 
heavy upon me, for I always remember them. I hope it 
may be taken into account one day, when all days are at an 
end for me I Don't be alarmed; I am not going to preach.' 

' I am not at all alarmed. Earnestness in you, is anything 
but alarming to me.' 

' Ah ! ' said Carton, with a careless wave of his hand, as 
if he waved that away. 'On the drunken occasion in 
question (one of a large number, as you know), I was 
insufferable about liking you, and not liking you. I wish 
you would forget it.' 

'I forgot it long ago.' 

'Fashion of speech again! But, Mr. Darnay, oblivion 

2O2 A Tale of Two Cities 

is not so easy to me, as you represent it to be to you. I 
have by no means forgotten it, and a light answer does not 
help me to forget it.' 

'If it was a light answer,' returned Darnay, 'I beg your 
forgiveness for it. I had no other object than to turn a 
slight thing, which, to my surprise, seems to trouble you too 
much, aside. I declare to you, on the faith of a gentleman, 
that I have long dismissed it from my mind. Good Heaven, 
what was there to dismiss! Have I had nothing more 
important to remember, in the great service you rendered 
me that day ? ' 

'As to the great service,' said Carton, 'I am bound to 
avow to you, when you speak of it in that way, that it was 
mere professional claptrap. I don't know that I cared what 
became of you, when I rendered it. Mind! I say when I 
rendered it; I am speaking of the past.' 

'You make light of the obligation,' returned Darnay, 
'but I will not quarrel with your light answer.' 

'Genuine truth, Mr. Darnay, trust me! I have gone 
aside from my purpose; I was speaking about our being 
friends. Now, you know me; you know I am incapable of 
all the higher and better flights of men. If you doubt it, 
ask Stryver, and he '11 tell you so.' 

'I prefer to form my own opinion, without the aid of 

'Well! At any rate you know me as a dissolute dog, 
who has never done any good, and never will.' 

'I don't know that you "never will." 

'But I do, and you must take my word for it. Well! 
If you could endure to have such a worthless fellow, and a 
fellow of such indifferent reputation, coming and going at 
odd times, I should ask that I might be permitted to come 
and go as a privileged person here ; that I might be regarded 
as a useless (and I would add, if it were not for the resem- 
blance I detected between you and me), an unornamental, 
piece of furniture, tolerated for its old service, and taken 
no notice of. I doubt if I should abuse the permission. 
It is a hundred to one if I should avail myself of it four times 
in a year. It would satisfy me, I dare say, to know that 
I had it.' 

' Will you try ? ' 

A Plea 203 

'That is another way of saying that I am placed on the 
footing I have indicated. I thank you, Darnay. I may use 
that freedom with your name ? ' 

'I think so, Carton, by this time.' 

They shook hands upon it, and Sydney turned away. 
Within a minute afterwards, he was, to all outward appear- 
ance, as unsubstantial as ever. 

When he was gone, and in the course of an evening 
passed with Miss Press, the Doctor, and Mr. Lorry, Charles 
Darnay made some mention of this conversation in general 
terms, and spoke of Sydney Carton as a problem of careless- 
ness and recklessness. He spoke of him, in short, not 
bitterly or meaning to bear hard upon him, but as anybody 
might who saw him as he showed himself. 

He had no idea that this could dwell in the thoughts of 
his fair young wife; but, when he afterwards joined her in 
their own rooms, he found her waiting for him with the old 
pretty lifting of the forehead strongly marked. 

' We are thoughtful to-night ! ' said Darnay, drawing his 
arm about her. 

'Yes, dearest Charles/ with her hands on his breast, and 
the inquiring and attentive expression fixed upon him; 'we 
are rather thoughtful to-night, for we have something on our 
mind to-night.' 

'What is it, my Lucie?' 

'Will you promise not to press one question on me, if I 
beg you not to ask it ? ' 

' Will I promise ? What will I not promise to my Love ? ' 

What, indeed, with his hand putting aside the golden 
hair from the cheek, and his other hand against the heart 
that beat for him! 

' I think, Charles, poor Mr. Carton deserves more con- 
sideration and respect than you expressed for him to-night.' 

' Indeed, my own ? Why so ? ' 

'That is what you are not to ask me. But I think I 
know he does/ 

' If you know it, it is enough. What would you have me 
do, my Life ? ' 

' I would ask you, dearest, to be very generous with him 
always, and very lenient on his faults when he is not by. I 
would ask you to believe that he has a heart he very, very 

204 A Tale of Two Cities 

seldom reveals, and that there are deep wounds in it. My 
dear, I have seen it bleeding.' 

'It is a painful reflection to me/ said Charles Darnay, 
quite astounded, 'that I should have done him any wrong. 
I never thought this of him.' 

'My husband, it is so. I fear he is not to be reclaimed; 
there is scarcely a hope that anything in his character 
or fortunes is reparable now. But, I am sure that he is 
capable of good things, gentle things, even magnanimous 

She looked so beautiful in the purity of her faith in this 
lost man, that her husband could have looked at her as she 
was for hours. 

'And, O my dearest Love!' she urged, clinging nearer 
to him, laying her head upon his breast, and raising her 
eyes to his, ' remember how strong we are in our happiness, 
and how weak he is in his misery ! ' 

The supplication touched him home. 'I will always 
remember it, dear Heart! I will remember it as long as I 

He bent over her golden head, and put the rosy lips to 
his, and folded her in his arms. If one forlorn wanderer 
then pacing the dark streets, could have heard her innocent 
disclosure, and could have seen the drops of pity kissed 
away by her husband from the soft blue eyes so loving of 
that husband, he might have cried to the night and the 
words would not have parted from his lips for the first 

'God bless her for her sweet compassion I* 



A WONDERFUL corner for echoes, it has been remarked, 
that corner where the Doctor lived. Ever busily winding 
the golden thread which bound her husband, and her 
father, and herself, and her old directress and companion, in 

Echoing Footsteps 205 

a life of quiet bliss, Lucie sat in the still house in the 
tranquilly resounding corner, listening to the echoing 
footsteps of years. 

At first, there were times, though she was a perfectly 
happy young wife, when her work would slowly fall from 
her hands, and her eyes would be dimmed. For, there 
was something coming in the echoes, something light, 
afar off, and scarcely audible yet, that stirred her heart 
too much. Fluttering hopes and doubts hopes, of a love 
as yet unknown to her: doubts, of her remaining upon 
earth, to enjoy that new delight divided her breast. 
Among the echoes then, there would arise the sound of 
footsteps at Jier own early grave; and thoughts of the 
husband who would be left so desolate, and who would 
mourn for her so much, swelled to her eyes, and broke like 

That time passed, and her little Lucie lay on her bosom. 
Then, among the advancing echoes, there was the tread of 
her tiny feet and the sound of her prattling words. Let 
greater echoes resound as they would, the young mother at 
the cradle side could always hear those coming. They 
came, and the shady house was' sunny with a child's laugh, 
and the Divine friend of children, to whom in her trouble 
she had confided hers, seemed to take her child in His 
arms, as He took the child of old, and made it a sacred joy 
to her. 

Ever busily winding the golden thread that bound them 
all together, weaving the service of her happy influence 
through the tissue of all their lives, and making it predomin- 
ate nowhere, Lucie heard in the echoes of years none but 
friendly and soothing sounds. Her husband's step was 
strong and prosperous among them; her father's firm and 
equal. Lo, Miss Press, in harness of string, awakening the 
echoes, as an unruly charger, whip-corrected, snorting and 
pawing the earth under the plane-tree in the garden! 

Even when there were sounds of sorrow among the rest, 
they were not harsh nor cruel. Even when golden hair, like 
her own, lay in a halo on a pillow round the worn face of a 
little boy, and he said, v\ ith a radiant smile, ' Dear papa and 
mamma, I am very sorry to leave you both, and to leave my 
pretty sister; but I am called, and I must go!' those were 

206 A Tale of Two Cities 

not tears all of agony that wetted his young mother's cheek 
as the spirit departed from her embrace that had been 
entrusted to it. Suffer them and forbid them not. They 
see my Father's face. O Father, blessed words! 

Thus, the rustling of an Angel's wings got blended with 
the other echoes, and they were not wholly of earth, but had 
in them that breath of Heaven. Sighs of the winds that 
blew over a little garden tomb were mingled with them also, 
and both were audible to Lucie, in a hushed murmur like 
the breathing of a summer sea asleep upon a sandy shore 
as the little Lucie, comically studious at the task of the 
morning, or dressing a doll at her mother's footstool, 
chattered in the tongues of the Two Cities that were blended 
in her life. 

The echoes rarely answered to the actual tread of Sydney 
Carton. Some half-dozen times a year, at most, he claimed 
his privilege of coming in uninvited, and would sit among 
them through the evening, as he had once done often. He 
never came there heated with wine. And one other thing 
regarding him was whispered in the echoes, which has been 
whispered by all true echoes for ages and, ages. ' 

No man ever really loved a woman, lost her, and knew 
her with a blameless though an unchanged mind, when she 
was a wife and a mother, but her children had a strange 
sympathy for him an instinctive delicacy of pity for him. 
What fine hidden sensibilities are touched in such a case, 
no echoes tell; but it is so, and it was so here. Carton was 
the first stranger to whom little Lucie held out her chubby 
arms, and he kept his place with her as she grew. The 
little boy had spoken of him, almost at the last. 'Poor 
Carton ! Kiss him for me ! ' 

Mr. Stryver shouldered his way through the law, like some 
great engine forcing itself through turbid water, and dragged 
his useful friend in his wake, like a boat towed astern. As 
the boat so favoured is usually in a rough plight, and mostly 
under water, so, Sydney had a swamped life of it. But, 
easy and strong custom, unhappily so much easier and 
stronger in him than any stimulating sense of desert or 
disgrace, made it the life he was to lead; and he no more 
thought of emerging from his state of lion's jackal, than 
any real jackal may be supposed to think of rising to 

Echoing Footsteps 207 

be a lion. Stryver was rich; had married a florid widow 
with property and three boys, who had nothing particularly 
shining about them but the straight hair of their dumpling 

These three young gentlemen, Mr. Stryver, exuding 
patronage of the most offensive quality from every pore, had 
walked before him like three sheep to the quiet corner in 
Soho, and had offered as pupils to Lucie's husband: deli- 
cately saying, 'Halloa! here are three lumps of bread-and- 
cheese towards your matrimonial picnic, Darnay ! ' The 
polite rejection of the three lumps of bread-and-cheese 
had quite bloated Mr. Stryver with indignation, which he 
afterwards turned to account in the training of the young 
gentlemen, by directing them to beware of the pride of 
Beggars, like that tutor fellow. He was also in the habit of 
declaiming to Mrs. Stryver, over his full-bodied wine, on the 
arts Mrs. Darnay had once put in practice to 'catch' him, 
and on the diamond-cut-diamond arts in himself, madam, 
which had rendered him 'not to be caught.' Some of his 
King's Bench familiars, who were occasionally parties to the 
full-bodied wine and the lie, excused him for the latter by 
saying that he had told it so often, that he believed it him- 
self which is surely such an incorrigible aggravation of an 
originally bad offence, as to justify any such offender's being 
carried off to some suitably retired spot, and there hanged 
out of the way. 

These were among the echoes to which Lucie, sometimes 
pensive, sometimes amused and laughing, listened in the 
echoing corner, until her little daughter was six years old. 
How near to her heart the echoes of her child's tread came, 
and those of her own dear father's, always active and self- 
possessed, and those of her dear husband's, need not be 
told. Nor, how the lightest echo of their united home, 
directed by herself with such a wise and elegant thrift that 
it was more abundant than any waste was music to her. 
Nor, how there were echoes all about her, sweet in her ears, 
of the many times her father had told her that he found her 
more devoted to him married (if that could be) than single, 
and of the many times her husband had said to her that no 
cares and duties seemed to divide her love for him or her 
help to him, and asked her 'What is the magic secret, my 

208 A Tale of Two Cities 

darling, of your being everything to all of us, as if there 
were only one of us, yet never seeming to be hurried, or to 
have too much to do ? ' 

But, there were other echoes, from a distance, that 
rumbled menacingly in the corner all through this space of 
time. And it was now, about little Lucie's sixth birthday, 
that they began to have an awful sound, as of a great storm 
in France with a dreadful sea rising. 

On a night in mid July, one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-nine, Mr. Lorry came in late, from Tellson's, and sat 
himself down by Lucie and her husband in the dark window. 
It was a hot, wild night, and they were all three reminded 
of the old Sunday night when they had looked at the 
lightning from the same place. 

'I began to think/ said Mr. Lorry, pushing his brown 
wig back, 'that I should have to pass the night at Tellson's. 
We have been so full of business all day, that we have not 
known what to do first, or which way to turn. There is 
such an uneasiness in Paris, that we have actually a run of 
confidence upon us! Our customers over there, seem not 
to be able to confide their property to us fast enough. 
There is positively a mania among some of them for sending 
it to England/ 

'That has a bad look/ said Darnay. 

'A bad look, you say, my dear Darnay? Yes, but we 
don't know what reason there is in it. People are so un- 
reasonable! Some of us at Tellson's are getting old, and 
we really can't be troubled out of the ordinary course 
without due occasion/ 

'Still/ said Darnay, 'you know how gloomy and threaten- 
ing the sky is/ 

'I know that, to be sure/ assented Mr. Lorry, trying to 
persuade himself that his sweet temper was soured, and that 
he grumbled, ' but I am determined to be peevish after my 
long day's botheration. Where is Manette ? ' 

'Here he is/ said the Doctor, entering the dark room at 
the moment. 

'I am quite glad you are at home; for these hurries and 
forebodings by which I have been surrounded all day long, 
have made me nervous without reason. You are not going 
out, I hope ? ' 

Echoing Footsteps 209 

'No; I am going to play backgammon with you, if you 
like,' said the Doctor. 

'I don't think I do like, if I may speak my mind. I am 
not fit to be pitted against you to-night. Is the teaboard 
still there, Lucie? I can't see.' 

'Of course, it has been kept for you.' 

'Thank ye, my dear. The precious child is safe in 

'And sleeping soundly.' 

'That 's right; all safe and well! I don't know why 
anything should be otherwise than safe and well here, thank 
God ; but I have been so put out all day, and I am not as 
young as I was! My tea, my dear! Thank ye. Now, 
come and take your place in the circle, and let us sit quiet 
and hear the echoes about which you have your theory.' 

'Not a theory; it was a fancy.' 

f A fancy, then, my wise pet,' said Mr. Lorry, patting 
her hand. 'They are very numerous and very loud, 
though, are they not? Only hear theml' 

Headlong, mad and dangerous footsteps to force their 
way into anybody's life, footsteps not easily made clean 
again if once stained red, the footsteps raging in Saint 
Antoine afar off, as the little circle sat in the dark London 

Saint Antoine had been, that morning, a vast dusky mass 
of scarecrows heaving to and fro, with frequent gleams of 
light above the billowy heads, where steel blades and 
bayonets shone in the sun. A tremendous roar arose from 
the throat of Saint Antoine, and a forest of naked arms 
struggled in .the air like shrivelled branches of trees in a 
winter wind : all the fingers convulsively clutching at every 
weapon or semblance of a weapon that was thrown up from 
the depths below, no matter how far off. 

Who gave them out, whence they last came, where they 
began, through what agency they crookedly quivered and 
jerked, scores at a time, over the heads of the crowd, like a 
kind of lightning, no eye in the throng could have told; 
but, muskets were being distributed so were cartridges, 
powder and ball, bars of iron and wood, knives, axes, pikes, 
every weapon that distracted ingenuity could discover or 

2io A Tale of Two Cities 

devise. People who could lay hold of nothing else, set 
themselves with bleeding hands to force stones and bricks 
out of their places in walls. Every pulse and heart in Saint 
Antoine was on high-fever strain and at high-fever heat. 
Every living creature there held life as of no account, and 
was demented with a passionate readiness to sacrifice it. 

As a whirlpool of boiling waters has a centre point, so, all 
this raging circled round Defarge's wine shop, and every 
human drop in the cauldron had a tendency to be sucked 
towards the vortex where Defarge himself, already begrimed 
with gunpowder and sweat, issued orders, issued arms, 
thrust this man back, dragged this man forward, disarmed 
one to arm another, laboured and strove in the thickest of 
the uproar. 

'Keep near to me, Jacques Three/ cried Defarge; 'and 
do you, Jacques One and Two, separate and put yourselves 
at the head of as many of these patriots as you can. Where 
is my wife ? ' 

' Eh, well ! Here you see me ! ' said madame, composed 
as ever, but not knitting to-day. Madame's resolute right 
hand was occupied with an axe, in place of the usual softer 
implements, and in her girdle were a pistol and a cruel 

' Where do you go, my wife ? ' 

'I go,' said madame, 'with you at present. You shall 
see me at the head of women, by and by.' 

' Come then ! ' cried Defarge, in a resounding voice. 
' Patriots and friends, we are ready ! The Bastille ! ' 

With a roar that sounded as if all the breath in France 
had been shaped into the detested word, the living sea rose, 
wave on wave, depth on depth, and overflowed the city to 
that point. Alarm-bells ringing, drums beating, the sea 
raging and thundering on its new beach, the attack begun. 

Deep ditches, double drawbridge, massive stone walls, 
eight great towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. 
Through the fire and through the smoke in the fire and in 
the smoke, for the sea cast him up against a cannon, and on 
the instant he became a cannonier Defarge of the wine 
shop worked like a manful soldier, Two fierce hours. 

Deep ditch, single drawbridge, massive stone walls, eight 
great towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. One 

Echoing Footsteps 211 

drawbridge down! 'Work, comrades all, work! Work, 
Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques One Thousand, Jacques 
Two Thousand, Jacques Five-and-Twenty Thousand; in the 
name of all the Angels or the Devils which you prefer 
work ! ' Thus Def arge of the wine shop, still at his gun, 
which had long grown hot. 

'To me, women!' cried madame his wife. 'What! 
We can kill as well as the men when the place is taken ! ' 
And to her, with a shrill thirsty cry, trooping women 
variously armed, but all armed alike in hunger and revenge. 

Cannon, muskets, fire and smoke; but, still the deep 
ditch, the single drawbridge, the massive stone walls, and 
the eight great towers. Slight displacements of the raging 
sea, made by the falling wounded. Flashing weapons, 
blazing torches, smoking wagon-loads of wet straw, hard 
work at neighbouring barricades in all directions, shrieks, 
volleys, execrations, bravery without stint, boom smash and 
rattle, and the furious sounding of the living sea; but, still 
the deep ditch, and the single drawbridge, and the massive 
stone walls, and the eight great towers, and still Defarge of 
the wine shop at his gun, grown doubly hot by the service 
of Four fierce hours. 

A white flag from within the fortress, and a parley this 
dimly perceptible through the raging storm, nothing audible 
in it suddenly the sea rose immeasurably wider and higher 
and swept Defarge of the wine shop over the lowered 
drawbridge, past the massive stone outer walls, in among 
the eight great towers surrendered ! 

So resistless was the force of the ocean bearing him on, 
that even to draw his breath or turn his head was as 
impracticable as if he had been struggling in the surf at 
the South Sea, until he was landed in the outer courtyard 
of the Bastille. There, against an angle of a wall, he made 
a struggle to look about him. Jacques Three was nearly 
at his side; Madame Defarge, still heading some of her 
women, was visible in the inner distance, and her knife was 
in her hand. Everywhere was tumult, exultation, deafening 
and maniacal bewilderment, astounding noise, yet furious 

'The prisoners!' 

' The records ! ' 

212 A Tale of Two Cities 

' The secret cells ! ' 

' The instruments of torture 1 ' 

' The prisoners ! ' 

Of all these cries, and ten thousand incoherencies, 
' The prisoners 1 ' was the cry most taken up by the sea 
that rushed in, as if there were an eternity of people, as 
well as of time and space. When the foremost billows 
rolled past, bearing the prison officers with them, and 
threatening them all with instant death if any secret nook 
remained undisclosed, Defarge laid his strong hand on the 
breast of one of these men a man with a grey head, who 
had a lighted torch in his hand separated him from the 
rest, and got him between himself and the wall. 

'Show me the North Tower!' said Defarge. 'Quick!' 

'I will faithfully,' replied the man, 'if you will come 
with me. But there is no one there.' 

'What is the meaning of One Hundred and Five, North 
Tower ? ' asked Defarge. ' Quick 1 ' 

'The meaning, monsieur?' 

' Does it mean a captive, or a place of captivity ? Or do 
you mean that I shall strike you dead ? ' 

'Kill him!' croaked Jacques Three, who had come 
close up. 

' Monsieur, it is a cell/ 

' Show it me ! ' 

'Pass this way, then.' 

Jacques Three, with his usual craving on him, and 
evidently disappointed by the dialogue taking a turn that 
did not seem to promise bloodshed, held by Defarge's 
arm as he held by the turnkey's. Their three heads had 
been close together during this brief discourse, and it had 
been as much as they could do to hear one another, even 
then: so tremendous was the noise of the living ocean, 
in its irruption into the fortress, and its inundation of the 
courts and passages and staircases. All around outside, 
too, it beat the walls with a deep, hoarse roar, from which, 
occasionally, some partial shouts of tumult broke and 
leaped into the air like spray. 

Through gloomy vaults where the light of day had never 
shone, past hideous doors of dark dens and cages, down 
cavernous flights of steps, and again up steep rugged ascents 

Echoing Footsteps 213 

of stone and brick, more like dry waterfalls than staircases, 
Defarge, the turnkey, and Jacques Three, linked hand and 
arm, went with all the speed they could make. Here and 
there, especially at first, the inundation started on them and 
swept by; but when they had done descending, and were 
winding and climbing up a tower, they were alone. 
Hemmed in here by the massive thickness of walls and 
arches, the storm within the fortress and without was only 
audible to them in a dull, subdued way, as if the noise out 
of which they had come had almost destroyed their sense of 

The turnkey stopped at a low door, put a key in a clashing 
lock, swung the door slowly open, and said, as they all bent 
their heads and passed in 

' One hundred and five, North Tower ! ' 

There was a small, heavily grated, unglazed window high 
in the wall, with a stone screen before it, so that the sky 
could be only seen by stooping low and looking up. There 
was a small chimney, heavily barred across, a few feet 
within. There was a heap of old feathery wood-ashes on 
the hearth. There was a stool, and table, and a straw bed. 
There were the four blackened walls, and a rusted iron ring 
in one of them. 

' Pass that torch slowly along these walls, that I may see 
them,' said Defarge to the turnkey. 

The man obeyed, and Defarge followed the light closely 
with his eyes. 

' Stop ! Look here, Jacques ! ' 

'A. M. ! ' croaked Jacques Three, as he read greedily. 

'Alexandra Manette,' said Defarge in his ear, following 
the letters with his swart forefinger, deeply engrained with 
gunpowder. ' And here he wrote " a poor physician." And 
it was he, without doubt, who scratched a calendar on this 
stone. What is that in your hand ? A crowbar ? Give it 

He had still the linstock of his gun in his own hand. 
He made a sudden exchange of the two instruments, and 
turning on the worm-eaten stool and table, beat them to 
pieces in a few blows. 

' Hold the light higher ! ' he said, wrathf ully, to the 
turnkey. ' Look among those fragments with care, Jacques. 

214 A Tale of Two Cities 

And see ! Here is my knife ' throwing it to him ' rip open 
that bed, and search the straw. Hold the light higher, 
you! ' 

With a menacing look at the turnkey he crawled upon 
the hearth, and, peering up the chimney, struck and prised 
at its sides with the crowbar, and worked at the iron grating 
across it. In a few minutes, some mortar and dust came 
dropping down, which he averted his face to avoid ; and in 
it, and in the old wood-ashes, and in a crevice in the 
chimney into which his weapon had slipped or wrought 
itself, he groped with a cautious touch. 

' Nothing in the wood, and nothing in the straw, Jacques ? ' 


'Let us collect them together, in the middle of the cell. 
So ! Light them, you ! ' 

The turnkey fired the little pile, which blazed high and 
hot. Stooping again to come out at the low-arched door, 
they left it burning, and retraced their way to the court- 
yard; seeming to recover their sense of hearing as they 
came down, until they were in the raging flood once 

They found it surging and tossing, in quest of Defarge 
himself. Saint Antoine was clamorous to have its wine-shop 
keeper foremost in the guard upon the governor who had 
defended the Bastille and shot the people. Otherwise, the 
governor would not be marched to the Hdtel de ville for 
judgment. Otherwise, the governor would escape, and the 
people's blood (suddenly of some value, after many years of 
worthlessness) be unavenged. 

In the howling universe of passion and contention that 
seemed to encompass this grim old officer conspicuous in 
his grey coat and red decoration, there was but one quite 
steady figure, and that was a woman's. 'See, there is my 
husband ! ' she cried, pointing him out. ' See Defarge ! ' 
She stood immovable close to the grim old officer, and 
remained immovable close to him; remained immovable 
close to him through the streets, as Defarge and the rest 
bore him along; remained immovable close to him when 
he was got near his destination, and began to be struck at 
from behind; remained immovable close to him when the 
long-gathering rain of stabs and blows fell heavy; was so 

Echoing Footsteps 215 

close to him when he dropped dead under it, that, suddenly 
animated, she put her foot upon his neck, and with her 
cruel knife long ready hewed off his head. 

The hour was come, when Saint Antoine was to execute 
his horrible idea of hoisting up men for lamps to show 
what he could be and do. Saint Antoine's blood was up, 
and the blood of tyranny and domination by the iron hand 
was down down on the steps of the Hotel de ville where 
the governor's body lay down on the sole of the shoe of 
Madame Defarge where she had trodden on the body to 
steady it for mutilation. 'Lower the lamp yonder!' cried 
Saint Antoine, after glaring round for a new means of 
death ; ' here is one of his soldiers to be left on guard ! ' 
The swinging sentinel was posted, and the sea rushed on. 

The sea of black and threatening waters, and of de- 
structive upheavingof waveagainst wave, whose depths were 
yet unfathomed and whose forces were yet unknown. The 
remorseless sea of turbulently swaying shapes, voices of 
vengeance, and faces hardened in the furnaces of suffering 
until the touch of pity could make no mark on them. 

But, in the ocean of faces where every fierce and furious 
expression was in vivid life, there were two groups of 
faces each seven in number so fixedly contrasting with 
the rest, that never did sea roll which bore more memorable 
wrecks with it. Seven faces of prisoners, suddenly released 
by the storm that had burst their tomb were carried high 
overhead; all scared, all lost, all wandering and amazed, as 
if the Last Day were come, and those who rejoiced around 
them were lost spirits. Other seven faces there were, 
carried higher, seven dead faces, whose drooping eyelids and 
half-seen eyes awaited the Last Day. Impassive faces, yet 
with a suspended not yet abolished expression on them; 
faces rather, in a fearful pause, as having yet to raise the 
dropped lids of the eyes, and bear witness with the bloodless 
lips ' THOU DIDST IT ! ' 

Seven prisoners released, seven gory heads on pikes, the 
keys of the accursed fortress of the eight strong towers, 
some discovered letters and other memorials of prisoners of 
old time, long dead of broken hearts such, and such-like, 
the loudly echoing footsteps of Saint Antoine escort through 
the Paris streets in mid July, one thousand seven hundred 

2i 6 A Tale of Two Cities 

and eighty-nine. Now, Heaven defeat the fancy of Lucie 
Darnay, and keep these feet far out of her life! For, they 
are headlong, mad, and dangerous; and in the years so 
long after the breaking of the cask at Defarge's wine-shop 
door, they are not easily purified when once stained red. 



HAGGARD Saint Antoine had had only one exultant week 
in which to soften his modicum of hard and bitter bread to 
such extent as he could, with the relish of fraternal embraces 
and congratulations, when Madame Defarge sat at her 
counter, as usual, presiding over the customers. Madame 
Defarge wore no rose in her head, for the great brotherhood 
of Spies had become, even in one short week, extremely 
chary of trusting themselves to the saint's mercies. The 
lamps across his streets had a portentously elastic swing 
with them. 

Madame Defarge, with her arms folded, sat in the morning 
light and heat, contemplating the wine shop and the street. 
In both, there were several knots of loungers, squalid and 
miserable, but now with a manifest sense of power enthroned 
on their distress. The raggedest nightcap, awry on the 
wretchedest head, had this crooked significance in it: 'I 
know how hard it has grown for me, the wearer of this, to 
support life in myself; but do you know how easy it has 
grown for me, the wearer of this, to destroy life in you ? ' 
Every lean bare arm, that had been without work before, 
had this work always ready for it now, that it could strike.. 
The fingers of the knitting women were vicious, with the' 
experience that they could tear. Tfiere was a change in 
the appearance of Saint Antoine; the image had been 
hammering into this for hundreds of years, and the last 
finishing blows had told mightily on the expression. 

Madame Defarge sat observing it, with such suppressed 
approval as was to be desired in the leader of the Saint 

The Sea Still Rises 217 

Antoine women. One of her sisterhood knitted beside her. 
The short, rather plump wife of a starved grocer, and the 
mother of two children withal, this lieutenant had already 
earned the complimentary name of The Vengeance. 

' Hark ! ' said The Vengeance. ' Listen, then ! Who 
comes ? ' 

As if a train of powder lain from the outermost bound of 
the Saint Antoine Quarter to the wine-shop door, had been 
suddenly fired, a fast-spreading murmur came rushing along. 

'It is Defarge,' said madame. 'Silence, patriots!' 

Defarge came in breathless, pulled off a red cap he wore 
and looked around him ! ' Listen, everywhere ! ' said 
madame again. ' Listen to him ! ' Defarge stood, panting, 
against a background of eager eyes and open mouths, 
formed outside the door; all those within the wine shop 
had sprung to their feet. 

'Say then, my husband. What is it?' 

' News from the other world ! ' 

'How, then?' cried madame, contemptuously. 'The 
other world ? ' 

'Does everybody here recall old Foulon, who told the 
famished people that they might eat grass, and who died, 
and went to Hell ? ' 

' Everybody 1 ' from all throats. 

'The news is of him. He is among us!' 

'Among us!' from the universal throat again. 'And 
dead ? ' 

'Not dead! He feared us so much and with reason 
that he caused himself to be represented as dead, and had 
a grand mock-funeral. But they have found him alive, 
hiding in the country, and have brought him in. I have 
seen him but now, on his way to the Hdtel de ville, a 
prisoner. I have said that he had reason to fear us. Say 
all ! Had he reason ? ' 

Wretched old sinner of more than threescore years and 
ten, if he had never known it yet, he would have known it 
in his heart of hearts if he could have heard the answering cry. 

A moment of profound silence followed. Defarge and 
his wife looked steadfastly at one another. The Vengeance 
stooped, and the jar of a drum was heard as she moved it 
at her feet behind the counter. 

21 8 A Tale of Two Cities 

' Patriots ! ' said Defarge, in a determined voice, ' are 
we ready ? ' 

Instantly Madame Defarge's knife was in her girdle; the 
drum was beating in the streets, as if it and a drummer had 
flown together by magic; and The Vengeance, uttering 
terrific shrieks, and flinging her arms about her head like 
all the forty Furies at once, was tearing from house to house, 
rousing the women. 

The men were terrible, in the bloody-minded anger with 
which they looked from windows, caught up what arms 
they had, and came pouring down into the streets ; but, the 
women were a sight to chill the boldest. From such house- 
hold occupations as their bare poverty yielded, from their 
children, from their aged and their sick crouching on the 
bare ground famished and naked, they ran out with streaming 
hair, urging one another, and themselves, to madness with 
the wildest cries and actions. Villain Foulon taken, my 
sister! Old Foulon taken, my mother! Miscreant Foulon 
taken, my daughter! Then, a score of others ran into the 
midst of these, beating their breasts, tearing their hair, and 
screaming, Foulon alive! Foulon who told the starving 
people they might eat grass! Foulon who told my old 
father that he might eat grass, when I had no bread to give 
him ! Foulon who told my baby it might suck grass, when 
these breasts were dry with want! O mother of God, this 
Foulon! O Heaven, our suffering! Hear me, my dead 
baby and my withered father: I swear on my knees, on 
these stones, to avenge you on Foulon! Husbands, and 
brothers, and young men, Give us the blood of Foulon, 
Give us the head of Foulon, Give us the heart of Foulon, 
Give us the body and soul of Foulon, Rend Foulon to 
pieces, and dig him into the ground, that grass may grow 
from him! With these cries, numbers of the women, 
lashed into blind frenzy, whirled about, striking and tearing 
at their own friends until they dropped into a passionate 
swoon, and were only saved by the men belonging to them 
from being trampled under foot. 

Nevertheless, not a moment was lost; not a moment 1 
This Foulon was at the Hdtel de ville, and might be 
loosed. Never, if Saint Antoine knew his own sufferings, 
insults, and wrongs! Armed men and women flocked out 

The Sea Still Rises 219 

of the Quarter so fast, and drew even these last dregs after 
them with such a force of suction, that within a quarter of 
an hour there was not a human creature in Saint Antoine's 
bosom but a few old crones and the wailing children. 

No. They were all by that time choking the Hall of 
Examination, where this old man, ugly and wicked, was, and 
overflowing into the adjacent open space and streets. The 
Defarges, husband and wife, The Vengeance, and Jacques 
Three, were in the first press, and at no great distance from 
him in the Hall. 

'See!' cried madame, pointing with her knife. 'See 
the old villain bound with ropes. That was well done to 
tie a bunch of grass upon his back. Ha, ha! That was 
well done. Let him eat it now ! ' Madame put her knife 
under her arm, and clapped her hands as at a play. 

The people immediately behind Madame Defarge, ex- 
plaining the cause of her satisfaction to those behind them, 
and those again explaining to others, and those to others, 
the neighbouring streets resounded with the clapping of 
hands. Similarly, during two or three hours of drawl, and 
the winnowing of many bushels of words, Madame De- 
farge 's frequent expressions of impatience were taken up, 
with marvellous quickness, at a distance: the more readily, 
because certain men who had by some wonderful exercise 
of agility climbed up the external architecture to look in 
from the windows, knew Madame Defarge well, and acted 
as a telegraph between her and the crowd outside the 

At length the sun rose so high that it struck a kindly 
ray as of hope or protection, directly down upon the old 
prisoner's head. The favour was too much to bear; in 
an instant the barrier of dust and chaff that had stood 


surprisingly long, went to the winds, and Saint Antoine had 
got him ! 

It was known directly, to the furthest confines of the 
crowd. Defarge had but sprung over a railing and a table, 
and folded the miserable wretch in a deadly embrace 
Madame Defarge had but followed and turned her hand in 
one of the ropes with which he was tied The Vengeance 
and Jacques Three were not yet up with them, and the men 
at the windows had not yet swooped into the hall, like 

22o A Tale of Two Cities 

birds of prey from their high perches when the cry seemed 
to go up, all over the city, 'Bring him out! Bring him to 
the lamp ! ' 

Down, and up, and head foremost on the steps of the 
building; now, on his knees; now, on his feet; now, on 
his back; dragged, and struck at, and stifled by the bunches 
of grass and straw that were thrust into his face by hundreds 
of hands; torn, bruised, panting, bleeding, yet always en- 
treating and beseeching for mercy; now full of vehement 
agony of action, with a small clear space about him as the 
people drew one another back that they might see; now, a 
log of dead wood drawn through a forest of legs; he was 
hauled to the nearest street corner where one of the fatal 
lamps swung, and there Madame Defarge let him go as a 
cat might have done to a mouse- and silently and com- 
posedly looked at him while they made ready, and while he 
besought her : the women passionately screeching at him all 
the time, and the men sternly calling out to have him 
killed with grass in his mouth. Once, he went aloft, and 
the rope broke, and they caught him shrieking; twice, he 
went aloft, and the rope broke, and they caught him shriek- 
ing; then, the rope was merciful, and held him, and his 
head was soon upon a pike, with grass enough in the mouth 
for all Saint Antoine to dance at the sight of. 

Nor was this the end of the day's bad work, for Saint 
Antoine so shouted and danced his angry blood up, that it 
boiled again, on hearing when the day closed in that the 
son-in-law of the dispatched, another of the people's 
enemies and insulters, was coming into Paris under a guard 
five hundred strong, in cavalry alone. Saint Antoine wrote 
his crimes on flaring sheets of paper, seized him would 
have torn him out of the breast of an army to bear Foulon 
company set his head and heart on pikes, and carried the 
three spoils of the day, in Wolf-procession through the 

Not before dark night did the men and women come 
back to the children, wailing and breadless. Then, the 
miserable bakers' shops were beset by long files of them, 
patiently waiting to buy bad bread ; and while they waited 
with stomachs faint and empty, they beguiled the time by 
embracing one another on the triumphs of the day, and 

Fire Rises 221 

achieving them again in gossip. Gradually, these strings of 
ragged people shortened and frayed away; and then poor 
lights began to shine in high windows, and slender fires 
were made in the streets, at which neighbours cooked in 
common, afterwards supping at their doors. 

Scanty and insufficient suppers those, and innocent of 
meat, as of most other sauce to wretched bread. Yet, 
human fellowship infused some nourishment into the flinty 
viands, and struck some sparks of cheerfulness out of them. 
Fathers and mothers who had had their full share in the 
worst of the day, played gently with their meagre children ; 
and lovers, with such a world around them and before them, 
loved and hoped. 

It was almost morning, when Defarge's wine shop parted 
with its last knot of customers, and Monsieur Defarge said 
to madame his wife, in husky tones, while fastening the 

'At last it is come, my dear! ' 

'Eh well!' returned madame. 'Almost/ 

Saint Antoine slept, the Defarges slept: even The 
Vengeance slept with her starved grocer, and the drum was 
at rest. The drum's was the only voice in Saint Antoine 
that blood and hurry had not changed. The Vengeance, 
as custodian of the drum, could have awakened him up and 
had the same speech out of him as before the Bastille fell, 
or old Foulon was seized; not so with the hoarse tones of 
the men and women in Saint Antoine's bosom. 



THERE was a change on the village where the fountain 
fell, and where the mender of roads went forth daily to 
hammer out of the stones on the highway such morsels of 
bread as might serve for patches to hold his poor ignorant 
soul and his poor reduced body together. The prison on 
the crag was not so dominant as of yore; there were 

222 A Tale of Two Cities 

soldiers to guard it, but not many; there were officers to 
guard the soldiers, but not one of them knew what his men 
would do beyond this: that it would probably not be 
what he was ordered. 

Far and wide lay a ruined country, yielding nothing but 
desolation. Every green leaf, every blade of grass and 
blade of grain, was as shrivelled and poor as the miserable 
people. Everything was bowed down, dejected, oppressed, 
and broken. Habitations, fences, domesticated animals, men, 
women, children, and the soil that bore them all worn out. 

Monseigneur (often a most worthy individual gentleman) 
was a national blessing, gave a chivalrous tone to things, 
was a polite example of luxurious and shining life, and a 
great deal more to equal purpose; nevertheless, Monseig- 
neur as a class had, somehow or other, brought things to 
this. Strange that Creation, designed expressly for Mon- 
seigneur, should be so soon wrung dry and squeezed but! 
There must be something short-sighted in the eternal 
arrangements, surely ! Thus it was, however ; and the last 
drop of blood having been extracted from the flints, and the 
last screw of the rack having been turned so often that its 
purchase crumbled, and it now turned and turned with 
nothing to bite, Monseigneur began to run away from a 
phenomenon so low and unaccountable. 

But, this was not the change on the village, and on many 
a village like it. For scores of years gone by, Monseigneur 
had squeezed it and wrung it, and had seldom graced it 
with his presence except for the pleasures of the chase 
now, found in hunting the people; now, found in hunting 
the beasts, for whose preservation Monseigneur made 
edifying spaces of barbarous and barren wilderness. No. 
The change consisted in the appearance of strange faces of 
low caste, rather than in the disappearance of the high-caste, 
chiseled, and otherwise beatified and beatifying features of 

For, in these times, as the mender of roads worked, 
solitary, in the dust, not often troubling himself to reflect 
that dust he was and to dust he must return, being for the 
most part too much occupied in thinking how little he had 
for supper and how much more he would eat if he had it 
in these times, as he raised his eyes from his lonely labour, 

Fire Rises 223 

and viewed the prospect, he would see some rough figure 
approaching on foot, the like of which was once a rarity in 
those parts, but was now a frequent presence. As it 
advanced, the mender of roads would discern without 
surprise, that it was a shaggy-haired man, of almost barbar- 
ian aspect, tall, in wooden shoes that were clumsy even to 
the eyes of a mender of roads, grim, rough, swart, steeped 
in the mud and dust of many highways, dank with the 
marshy moisture of many low grounds, sprinkled with the 
thorns and leaves and moss of many byways through woods. 

Such a man came upon him, like a ghost, at noon in the 
July weather, as he sat on his heap of stones under a bank, 
taking such shelter as he could get from a shower of hail. 

The man looked at him, looked at the village in the 
hollow, at the mill, and at the prison on the crag. When 
he had identified these objects in what benighted mind he 
had, he said, in a dialect that was just intelligible: 

' How goes it, Jacques ? ' 

'All well, Jacques.' 

'Touch then!' 

They joined hands, and the man sat down on the heap 
of stones. 

'No dinner?' 

'Nothing but supper now,' said the mender of roads, 
with a hungry face. 

'It is the fashion,' growled the man. 'I meet no dinner 

He took out a blackened pipe, filled it, lighted it with 
flint and steel, pulled at it until it was in a bright glow: 
then, suddenly held it from him and dropped something 
into it from between his finger and thumb, that blazed and 
went out in a puff of smoke. 

'Touch then.' It was the turn of the mender of roads 
to say it this time, after observing these operations. They 
again joined hands. 

' To-night ? ' said the mender of roads. 

'To-night,' said the man, putting the pipe in his mouth. 

' Where ? ' 


He and the mender of roads sat on the heap of stones 
looking silently at one another, with the hail driving in 

224 A Tale of Two Cities 

between them like a pygmy charge of bayonets, until the 
sky began to clear over the village. 

' Show me 1 ' said the traveller then, moving to the brow 
of the hill. 

' See ! ' returned the mender of roads, with extended 
finger. 'You go down here, and straight through the 
street, and past the fountain ' 

' To the Devil with all that ! ' interrupted the other, 
rolling his eye over the landscape. '/ go through no 
streets and past no fountains. Well?' 

'Well! About two leagues beyond the summit of that 
hill above the village.' 

' Good. When do you cease to work ? ' 

'At sunset.' 

'Will you wake me before departing! I have walked 
two nights without resting. Let me finish my pipe, and I 
shall sleep like a child. Will you wake me ? ' 


The wayfarer smoked his pipe out, put it in his breast, 
slipped off his great wooden shoes, and lay down on his 
back on the heap of stones. He was fast asleep directly. 

As the road-mender plied his dusty labour, and the hail- 
clouds, rolling away, revealed bright bars and streaks of sky 
which were responded to by silver gleams upon the land- 
scape, the little man (who wore a red cap now, in place of 
his blue one) seemed fascinated by the figure on the heap 
of stones. His eyes were so often turned towards it, that 
he used his tools mechanically, and, one would have said, 
to very poor account. The bronze face, the shaggy black 
hair and beard, the coarse woollen red cap, the rough 
medley dress of home-spun stuff and hairy skins of beasts, 
the powerful frame attenuated by spare living, and the 
sullen and desperate compression of the lips in sleep, 
inspired the mender of roads with awe. The traveller had 
travelled far, and his feet were footsore, and his ankles 
chafed and bleeding; his great shoes, stuffed with leaves 
and grass, had been heavy to drag over the many long 
leagues, and his clothes were chafed into holes, as he him- 
self went into sores. Stooping down beside him, the road- 
mender tried to get a peep at secret weapons in his breast 
or where not; but, in vain, for he slept with his arms crossed 

Fire Rises 225 

upon him, and set as resolutely as his lips. Fortified towns 
with their stockades, guard-houses, gates, trenches, and 
drawbridges, seemed to the mender of roads, to be so much 
air as against this figure. And when he lifted his eyes from 
it to the horizon and looked around, he saw in his small 
fancy similar figures, stopped by no obstacle, tending to 
centres all over France. 

The man slept on, indifferent to showers of hail and 
intervals of brightness, to sunshine on his face and shadow, 
to the pattering lumps of dull ice on his body and the 
diamonds into which the sun changed them, until the sun 
was low in the west, and the sky was glowing. Then, the 
mender of roads having got his tools together and all things 
ready to go down into the village, roused him. 

' Good ! ' said the sleeper, rising on his elbow. ' Two 
leagues beyond the summit of the hill ? ' 


'About. Good!' 

The mender of roads went home, with the dust going on 
before him according to the set of the wind, and was soon 
at the fountain, squeezing himself in among the lean kine 
brought there to drink, and appearing even to whisper to 
them in his whispering to all the village. When the village 
had taken its poor supper, it did not creep to bed, as it 
usually did, but came out of doors again, and remained 
there. A curious contagion of whispering was upon it, and 
also, when it gathered together at the fountain in the dark, 
another curious contagion of looking expectantly at the sky 
in one direction only. Monsieur Gabelle, chief functionary 
of the place, became uneasy; went out on his house-top 
alone, and looked in that direction too; glanced down 
from behind his chimneys at the darkening faces by the 
fountain below, and sent word to the sacristan who kept 
the keys of the church, that there might be need to ring 
the tocsin by and by. 

The night deepened. The trees environing the old 
chateau, keeping its solitary state apart, moved in a rising 
wind, as though they threatened the pile of building massive 
and dark in the gloom. Up the two terrace flights of steps 
the rain ran wildly, and beat at the great door, like a swift 
messenger rousing those within; uneasy rushes of wind 

226 A Tale of Two Cities 

went through the hall, among the old spears and knives, 
and passed lamenting up the stairs, and shook the curtains 
of the bed where the last Marquis had slept. East, West, 
North, and South, through the woods, four heavy-treading, 
unkempt figures crushed the high grass and cracked the 
branches, striding on cautiously to come together in the 
courtyard. Four lights broke out there, and moved away 
in different directions, and all was black again. 

But, not for long. Presently, the chateau began to make 
itself strangely visible by some light of its own, as though it 
were growing luminous. Then, a flickering streak played 
behind the architecture of the front, picking out transparent 
places, and showing where balustrades, arches, and windows 
were. Then it soared higher, and grew broader and 
brighter. Soon, from a score of the great windows, flames 
burst forth, and the stone faces awakened, stared out of fire. 

A faint murmur arose about the house from the few 
people who were left there, and there was a saddling of a 
horse and riding away. There was spurring and splashing 
through the darkness, and bridle was drawn in the space by 
the village fountain, and the horse in a foam stood at 
Monsieur Gabelle's door. 'Help, Gabelle! Help, every 
one ! ' The tocsin rang impatiently, but other help (if 
there were any) there was none. The mender of roads, and 
two hundred and fifty particular friends, stood with folded 
arms at the fountain, looking at the pillar of fire in the sky. 
'It must be forty feet high,' said they, grimly; and never 

The rider from the chateau, and the horse in a foam, 
clattered away through the village, and galloped up the 
stony steep, to the prison on the crag. At the gate, a 
group of officers were looking at the fire; removed from 
them, a group of soldiers. 'Help, gentleman -officers ! 
The chateau is on fire; valuable objects may be saved 
from the flames by timely aid 1 Help, help ! ' The officers 
looked towards the soldiers who looked at the fire; gave 
no orders; and answered, with shrugs and biting of lips, 
'It must burn.' 

As the rider rattled down the hill again and through the 
street, the village was illuminating. The mender of roads, 
and two hundred and fifty particular friends, inspired as 

Fire Rises 227 

one man and woman by the idea of lighting up, had darted 
into their houses, and were putting candles in every dull 
little pane of glass. The general scarcity of everything 
occasioned candles to be borrowed in a rather peremptory 
manner of Monsieur Gabelle; and in a moment of reluc- 
tance and hesitation on that functionary's part, the mender 
of roads, once so submissive to authority, had remarked 
that carriages were good to make bonfires with, and that 
post-horses would roast. 

The chateau was left to itself to flame and burn. In the 
roaring and raging of the conflagration, a red-hot wind, 
driving straight from the infernal regions, seemed to be 
blowing the edifice away. With the rising and falling 
of the blaze, the stone faces showed as if they were in 
torment. When great masses of stone and timber fell, the 
face with the two dints in the nose became obscured: anon 
struggled out of the smoke again, as if it were the face of 
the cruel Marquis, burning at the stake and contending 
with the fire. 

The chateau burned; the nearest trees, laid hold of by 
the fire, scorched and shrivelled; trees at a distance, fired 
by the four fierce figures, begirt the blazing edifice with a 
new forest of smoke. Molten lead and iron boiled in the 
marble basin of the fountain; the water ran dry; the 
extinguisher tops of the towers vanished like ice before the 
heat, and trickled down into four rugged wells of flame. 
Great rents and splits branched out in the solid walls, like 
crystallization; stupefied birds wheeled about and dropped 
into the furnace; four fierce figures trudged away, East, 
West, North, and South, along the night-enshrouded roads 
guided by the beacon they had lighted, towards their next 
destination. The illuminated village had seized hold of 
the tocsin, and, abolishing the lawful ringer, rang for joy. 

Not only that; but the village, light-headed with famine, 
fire, and bell-ringing, and bethinking itself that Monsieur 
Gabelle had to do with the collection of rent and taxes 
though it was but a small instalment of taxes, and no rent 
at all, that Gabelle had got in those latter days became 
impatient for an interview with him, and, surrounding his 
house, summoned him to come forth for personal confer- 
ence. Whereupon, Monsieur Gabelle did heavily bar his 

228 A Tale of Two Cities 

door, and retire to hold counsel with himself. The result 
of that conference was, that Gabelle again withdrew himself 
to his house-top behind his stack of chimneys; this time 
resolved, if his door was broken in (he was a small Southern 
man of retaliative temperament), to pitch himself head 
foremost over the parapet, and crush a man or two below. 

Probably, Monsieur Gabelle passed a long night up there, 
with the distant chateau for fire and candle, and the beating 
at his door, combined with the joy-ringing, for music ; not to 
mention his having an ill-omened lamp slung across the road 
before his posting-house gate, which the village showed a 
lively inclination to displace in his favour. A trying sus- 
pense, to be passing the whole summer night on the brink of 
the black ocean, ready to take that plunge into it upon 
which Monsieur Gabelle had resolved! But, the friendly 
dawn appearing at last, and the rush-candles of the village 
guttering out, the people happily dispersed, and Monsieur 
Gabelle came down bringing his life with him for that while. 

Within a hundred miles, and in the light of other fires, 
there were other functionaries less fortunate, that night and 
other nights, whom the rising sun found hanging across 
once peaceful streets, where they had been born and bred ; 
also, there were other villagers and townspeople less for- 
tunate than the mender of roads and his fellows, upon whom 
the functionaries and soldiery turned with success, and 
whom they strung up in their turn. But, the fierce figures 
were steadily wending East, West, North, and South, be that 
as it would ; and whosoever hung, fire burned. The altitude 
of the gallows that would turn to water and quench it, no 
functionary, by any stretch of mathematics, was able to 
calculate successfully. 

Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 229 



IN such risings of fire and risings of sea the firm earth 
shaken by the rushes of an angry ocean which had now no 
ebb, but was always on the flow, higher and higher, to the 
terror and wonder of the beholders on the shore three 
years of tempest were consumed. Three more birthdays of 
little Lucie had been woven by the golden thread into the 
peaceful issue of the life of her home. 

. Many a night and many a day had its inmates listened to 
the echoes in the corner, with hearts that failed them when 
they heard the thronging feet. For, the footsteps had 
become to their minds as the footsteps of a people, tumul- 
tuous under a red flag and with their country declared 
in danger, changed into wild beasts, by terrible enchantment 
long persisted in. 

Monseigneur, as a class, had dissociated himself from the 
phenomenon of his not being appreciated: of his being so 
little wanted in France, as to incur considerable danger of 
receiving his dismissal from it, and this life together. Like 
the fabled rustic who raised the Devil with infinite pains, 
and was so terrified at the sight of him that he could ask 
the Enemy no question, but immediately fled; so, Mon- 
seigneur, after boldly reading the Lord's Prayer backwards 
for a great number of years, and performing many other 
potent spells for compelling the Evil One, no sooner beheld 
him in his terrors than he took to his noble heels. 

The shining Bull's Eye of the court was gone, or it 
would have been the mark for a hurricane of national 
bullets. It had never been a good eye to see with had 
long had the note in it of Lucifer's pride, Sardanapalus's 
luxury, and a mole's blindness but it had dropped out and 
was gone. The court, from that exclusive inner circle to 
its outermost rotten ring of intrigue, corruption, and dis- 
simulation, was all gone together. Royalty was gone; had 
been besieged in its palace and 'suspended,' when the last 
tidings came over. 

The August of the year one thousand seven hundred and 

230 A Tale of Two Cities 

ninety-two was come, and Monseigneur was by this time 
scattered far and wide. 

As was natural, the headquarters and great gathering- 
place of Monseigneur, in London, was Tellson's Bank. 
Spirits are supposed to haunt the places where their bodies 
most resorted, and Monseigneur without a guinea haunted 
the spot where his guineas used to be. Moreover, it was 
the spot to which such French intelligence as was most to 
be relied upon, came quickest. Again: Tellson's was a 
munificent house, and extended great liberality to old 
customers who had fallen from their high estate. Again: 
those nobles who had seen the coming storm in time, and 
anticipating plunder or confiscation, had made provident 
remittances to Tellson's, were always to be heard of there 
by their needy brethren. To which it must be added that 
every new comer from France reported himself and his 
tidings at Tellson's, almost as a matter of course. For 
such variety of reasons, Tellson's was at that time, as to 
French intelligence, a kind of High Exchange ; and this was 
so well known to the public, and the inquiries made there 
were in consequence so numerous, that Tellson's sometimes 
wrote the latest news out in a line or so and posted it in the 
bank windows, for all who ran through Temple Bar to 

On a steaming, misty afternoon, Mr. Lorry sat at his desk, 
and Charles Darnay stood leaning on it, talking with him in 
a low voice. The penitential den once set apart for inter- 
views with the House, was now the News Exchange, and was 
filled to overflowing. It was within half an hour or so of the 
time of closing. 

'But, although you are the youngest man that ever 
lived,' said Charles Darnay, rather hesitating, ' I must still 
suggest to you ' 

'I understand. That I am too old?' said Mr. Lorry. 

'Unsettled weather, a long journey, uncertain means of 
travelling, a disorganized country, a city that may not be 
even safe for you.' 

'My dear Charles,' said Mr. Lorry, with cheerful con- 
fidence, ' you touch some of the reasons for my going : not 
for my staying away. It is safe enough for me ; nobody will 
care to interfere with an old fellow of hard upon fourscore 

Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 231 

when there are so many people there so much better worth 
interfering with. As to its being a disorganized city, if it 
were not a disorganized city there would be no occasion to 
send somebody from our House here to our House there, 
who knows the city and the business, of old, and is in 
Tellson's confidence. As to the uncertain travelling, the 
long journey, and the winter weather, if I were not pre- 
pared to submit myself to a few inconveniences for the sake 
of Tellson's, after all these years, who ought to be ? ' 

'I wish I were going myself,' said Charles Darnay, 
somewhat restlessly, and like one thinking aloud. 

' Indeed ! You are a pretty fellow to object and advise I * 
exclaimed Mr. Lorry. 'You wish you were going yourself? 
And you a Frenchman born ? You are a wise counsellor.' 

'My dear Mr. Lorry, it is because I am a Frenchman 
born, that the thought (which I did not mean to utter here, 
however) had passed through my mind often. One cannot 
help thinking, having had some sympathy for the miserable 
people, and having abandoned something to them' he 
spoke here in his former thoughtful manner 'that one 
might be listened to, and might have the power to persuade 
to some restraint. Only last night, after you had left us, 
when I was talking to Lucie ' 

'When you were talking to Lucie/ Mr. Lorry repeated. 
' Yes. I wonder you are not ashamed to mention the name 
of Lucie I Wishing you were going to France at this time 
of day!' 

'However, I am not going/ said Charles Darnay, with 
a smile. 'It is more to the purpose that you say you 

'And I am, in plain reality. The truth is, my dear 
Charles' Mr. Lorry glanced at the distant House, and 
lowered his voice 'you can have no conception of the 
difficulty with which our business is transacted, and of the 
peril in which our books and papers over yonder are in- 
volved. The Lord above knows what the compromising 
consequences would be to numbers of people, if some of 
our documents were seized or destroyed; and they might 
be, at any time, you know, for who can say that Paris is not 
set a-fire to-day, or sacked to-morrow! Now, a judicious 
selection from these with the least possible delay, and the 

232 A Tale of Two Cities 

burying of them, or otherwise getting of them out of harm's 
way is within the power (without loss of precious time) of 
scarcely any one but myself, if any one. And shall I hang 
back, when Tellson's knows this and says this Tellson's, 
whose bread I have eaten these sixty years because I am a 
little stiff about the joints ? Why, I am a boy, sir, to half a 
dozen old codgers here ! ' 

' How I admire the gallantry of your youthful spirit, 
Mr. Lorry.' 

'Tut! Nonsense, sir! And, my dear Charles/ said 
Mr. Lorry, glancing at the House again, 'you are to re- 
member, that getting things out of Paris at this present 
time, no matter what things, is next to an impossibility. 
Papers and precious matters were this very day brought to 
us here (I speak in strict confidence; it is not business-like 
to whisper it, even to you), by the strangest bearers you can 
imagine, every one of whom had his head hanging on by a 
single hair as he passed the barriers. At another time, our 
parcels would come and go, as easily as in business-like Old 
England; but now, everything is stopped/ 

' And do you really go to-night ? ' 

' I really go to-night, for the case has become too pressing 
to admit of delay/ 

' And do you take no one with you ? ' 

' All sorts of people have been proposed to me, but I will 
have nothing to say to any of them. I intend to take Jerry. 
Jerry has been my bodyguard on Sunday nights for a long 
time past, and I am used to him. Nobody will suspect Jerry 
of being anything but an English bulldog, or of having any 
design in his head but to fly at anybody who touches his 

' I must say again that I heartily admire your gallantry 
and youthfulness.' 

'I must say again, nonsense, nonsense! When I have 
executed this little commission, I shall, perhaps, accept 
Tellson's proposal to retire and live at my ease. Time 
enough, then, to think about growing old/ 

This dialogue had taken place at Mr. Lorry's usual desk, 
with Monseigneur swarming within a yard or two of it, 
boastful of what he would do to avenge himself on the 
rascal people before long. It was too much the way of 

Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 233 

Monseigneur under his reverses as a refugee, and it was 
much too much the way of native British orthodoxy, to talk 
of this terrible Revolution as if it were the one only harvest 
ever known under the skies that had not been sown as if 
nothing had ever been done, or omitted to be done, that 
had led to it as if observers of the wretched millions in 
France, and of the misused and perverted resources that 
should have made them prosperous, had not seen it 
inevitably coming, years before, and had not in plain words 
recorded what they saw. Such vapouring, combined with 
the extravagant plots of Monseigneur for the restoration of 
a state of things that had utterly exhausted itself, and worn 
out Heaven and earth as well as itself," was hard to be 
endured without some remonstrance by any sane man who 
knew the truth. And it was such vapouring all about his 
ears, like a troublesome confusion of blood in his own head, 
added to a latent uneasiness in his mind, which had already 
made Charles Darnay restless, and which still kept him so. 

Among the talkers, was Stryver, of the King's Bench Bar, 
far on his way to state promotion, and, therefore, loud on 
the theme: broaching to Monseigneur, his devices for 
blowing the people up and exterminating them from the face 
of the earth, and doing without them ; and for accomplishing 
many similar objects akin to their nature to the abolition of 
eagles by sprinkling salt on the tails of the race. Him, 
Darnay heard with a particular feeling of objection; and 
Darnay stood divided between going away that he might 
hear no more, and remaining to interpose his word, when 
the thing that was to be, went on to shape itself out. 

The House approached Mr. Lorry, and laying a soiled 
and unopened letter before him, asked if he had yet dis- 
covered any traces of the person to whom it was addressed ? 
The House laid the letter down so close to Darnay that 
he saw the direction the more quickly because it was his 
own right name. The address, turned into English, ran : 

'Very pressing. To Monsieur heretofore the Marquis 
St. Evremonde, of France. Confided to the cares of Messrs. 
Tellson and Co., Bankers, London, England/ 

On the marriage morning, Doctor Manette had made it 
his one urgent and express request to Charles Darnay, that 
the secret of this name should be unless he, the Doctor/ 

234 A Tale of Two Cities 

dissolved the obligation kept inviolate between them. 
Nobody else knew it to be his name; his own wife had no 
suspicion of the fact; Mr. Lorry could have none. 

'No,' said Mr. Lorry, in reply to the House; 'I have 
referred it, I think, to everybody now here, and no one can 
tell me where this gentleman is to be found.' 

The hands of the clock verging upon the hour of closing 
the bank, there was a general set of the current of talkers 
past Mr. Lorry's desk. He held the letter out inquiringly ; 
and Monseigneur looked at it, in the person of this plotting 
and indignant refugee; and This, That, and The Other, all 
had something disparaging to say, in French or in English, 
concerning the Marquis who was not to be found. 

' Nephew, I believe but in any case degenerate successor 
of the polished Marquis who was murdered,' said one. 
'Happy to say, I never knew him.' 

'A craven who abandoned his post,' said another this 
Monseigneur had been got out of Paris, legs uppermost and 
half suffocated, in a load of hay 'some years ago.' 

'Infected with the new doctrines,' said the third, eyeing 
the direction through his glass in passing; 'set himself in 
opposition to the last Marquis, abandoned the estates when 
he inherited them, and left them to the ruffian herd. They 
will recompense him now, I hope, as he deserves.' 

' Hey ? ' cried the blatant Stryver. ' Did he though ? 
Is that the sort of fellow? Let us look at his infamous 
name. D n the fellow!' 

Darnay, unable to restrain himself any longer, touched 
Mr. Stryver on the shoulder, and said: 

' I know the fellow.' 

'Do you, by Jupiter?' said Stryver. 'I am sorry for it.' 


'Why, Mr. Darnay? D' ye hear what he did? Don't 
ask, why, in these times.' 

' But I do ask why ?' 

'Then I tell you again, Mr. Darnay, I am sorry for it. 
I am sorry to hear you putting any such extraordinary 
questions. Here is a fellow, who, infected by the most 
pestilent and blasphemous code of devilry that ever was 
known, abandoned his property to the vilest scum of the 
earth that ever did murder by wholesale, and you ask me 

Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 235 

why I am sorry that a man who instructs youth knows him ? 
Well, but I '11 answer you. I am sorry because I believe 
there is contamination in such a scoundrel. That 's why.' 
Mindful of the secret, Darnay with great difficulty checked 
himself, and said: 'You may not understand the gentleman.' 
'I understand how to put you in a corner, Mr. Darnay,' 
said Bully Stryver, 'and I '11 do it. If this fellow is a 
gentleman, I don't understand him. You may tell him so, 
with my compliments. You may also tell him, from me, 
that after abandoning his worldly goods and position to this 
butcherly mob, I wonder he is not at the head of them. 
But, no, gentlemen,' said Stryver, looking all round, and 
snapping his fingers, ' I know something of human nature, 
and I tell you that you '11 never find a fellow like this fellow, 
trusting himself to the mercies of such precious proUgds. 
No, gentlemen ; he '11 always show 'em a clean pair of heels 
very early in the scuffle, and sneak away.' 

With those words, and a final snap of his fingers, Mr. 
Stryver shouldered himself into Fleet Street, amidst the 
general approbation of his hearers. Mr. Lorry and Charles 
Darnay were left alone at the desk, in the general departure 
from the bank. 

' Will you take charge of the letter ? ' said Mr. Lorry. 
' You know where to deliver it ? ' 

'I do.' 

'Will you undertake to explain, that we suppose it to 
have been addressed here, on the chance of our knowing 
where to forward it, and that it has been here some time ? ' 

' I will do so. Do you start for Paris from here ? ' 

'From here, at eight.' 

'I will come back, to see you off.' 

Very ill at ease with himself, and with Stryver and most 
other men, Darnay made the best of his way into the quiet 
of the Temple, opened the letter, and read it. These were 
its contents: 

' Prison of the Abbaye, Paris. 
'June 21, 1792. 


' After having long been in danger of my life at the hands 
of the village, I have been seized, with great violence and 


A Tale of Two Cities 

indignity, and brought a long journey on foot to Paris. On 
the road I have suffered a great deal. Nor is that all; my 
house has been destroyed razed to the ground. 

'The crime for which I am imprisoned, Monsieur here- 
tofore the Marquis, and for which I shall be summoned 
before the tribunal, and shall lose my life (without your so 
generous help), is, they tell me, treason against the majesty 
of the people, in that I have acted against them for an 
emigrant. It is in vain I represent that I have acted for 
them, and not against, according to your commands. It is 
in vain I represent that, before the sequestration of emigrant 
property, I had remitted the imposts they had ceased to pay ; 
that I had collected no rent; that I had had recourse to no 
process. The only response is, that I have acted for an 
emigrant, and where is that emigrant? 

'Ah! most gracious Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, 
where is that emigrant ? I cry in my sleep where is he ? I 
demand of Heaven, will he not come to deliver me? No 
answer. Ah, Monsieur heretofore the Marquis, I send my 
desolate cry across the sea, hoping it may perhaps reach 
your ears through the great bank of Tilson known at Paris! 

'For the love of Heaven, of justice, of generosity, of the 
honour of your noble name, I supplicate you, Monsieur 
heretofore the Marquis, to succour and release me. My 
fault is, that I have been true to you. Oh, Monsieur here- 
tofore the Marquis, I pray you be you true to me 1 

'From this prison here of horror, whence I every hour 
tend nearer and nearer to destruction, I send you, Monsieur 
heretofore the Marquis, the assurance of my dolorous and 
unhappy service. 

'Your afflicted, 


The latent uneasiness in Darnay's mind was roused to 
vigorous life by this letter. The peril of an old servant and 
a good one, whose only crime was fidelity to himself and 
his family, stared him so reproachfully in the face, that, as 
he walked to and fro in the Temple considering what to do, 
he almost hid his face from the passers-by. 

He knew very well, that in his horror of the deed which 
had culminated the bad deeds and bad reputation of the 

Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 237 

old family house, in his resentful suspicions of his uncle, and 
in the aversion with which his conscience regarded the 
crumbling fabric that he was supposed to uphold, he had 
acted imperfectly. He knew very well, that in his love for 
Lucie, his renunciation of his social place, though by no 
means new to his own mind, had been hurried and incom- 
plete. He knew that he ought to have systematically 
worked it out and supervised it, and that he had meant to 
do it, and that it had never been done. 

The happiness of his own chosen English home, the 
necessity of being always actively employed, the swift 
changes and troubles of the time which had followed on one 
another so fast, that the events of this week annihilated the 
immature plans of last week, and the events of the week fol- 
lowing made all new again; he knew very well, that to the 
force of these circumstances he had yielded not without 
disquiet, but still without continuous and accumulating 
resistance. That he had watched the times for a time of 
action, and that they had shifted and struggled until the time 
had gone by, and the nobility were trooping from France by 
every highway and byway, and their property was in course 
of confiscation and destruction, and their very names were 
blotting out, was as well known to himself as it could be to 
any new authority in France that might impeach him for it. 

But, he had oppressed no man, he had imprisoned no 
man; he was so far from having harshly exacted payment 
of his dues, that he had relinquished them of his own will, 
thrown himself on a world with no favour in it, won his own 
private place there, and earned his own bread. Monsieur 
Gabelle had held the impoverished and involved estate on 
written instructions, to spare the people, to give them what 
little there was to give such fuel as the heavy creditors 
would let them have in the winter, and such produce as 
could be saved from the same grip in the summer and no 
doubt he had put the fact in plea and proof, for his own 
safety, so that it could not but appear now. 

This favoured the desperate resolution Charles Darnay 
had begun to make, that he would go to Paris. 

Yes. Like the mariner in the old story, the winds and 
streams had driven him within the influence of the Load- 
stone Rock, and it was drawing him to itself, and he must go. 

2 3 8 

A Tale of Two Cities 

Everything that arose before his mind drifted him on, faster 
and faster, more and more steadily, to the terrible attraction. 
His latent uneasiness had been, that bad aims were being 
worked out in his own unhappy land by bad instruments, 
and that he who could not fail to know that he was better 
than they, was not there, trying to do something to stay 
bloodshed, and assert the claims of mercy and humanity. 
With this uneasiness half stifled, and half reproaching him, 
he had been brought to the pointed comparison of himself 
with the brave old gentleman in whom duty was so strong ; 
upon that comparison (injurious to himself) had instantly 
followed the sneers of Monseigneur, which had stung him 
bitterly, and those of Stryver, which above all were coarse 
and galling, for old reasons. Upon those, had followed 
Gabelle's letter: the appeal of an innocent prisoner, in 
danger of death, to his justice, honour, and good name. 

His resolution was made. He must go to Paris. 

Yes. The Loadstone Rock was drawing him, and he 
must sail on, until he struck. He knew of no rock; he saw 
hardly any danger. The intention with which he had done 
what he had done, even although he had left it incomplete, 
presented it before him in an aspect that would be gratefully 
acknowledged in France on his presenting himself to assert 
it. Then, that glorious vision of doing good, which is so 
often the sanguine mirage of so many good minds, arose 
before him, and he even saw himself in the illusion with 
some influence to guide this raging Revolution that was 
running so fearfully wild. 

As he walked to and fro with his resolution made, he 
considered that neither Lucie nor her father must know of 
it until he was gone. Lucie should be spared the pain of 
separation; and her father, always reluctant to turn his 
thoughts towards the dangerous ground of old, should come 
to the knowledge of the step, as a step taken, and not in the 
balance of suspense and doubt. How much of the incom- 
pleteness of his situation was referable to her father, through 
the painful anxiety to avoid reviving old associations of 
France in his mind, he did not discuss with himself. But, 
that circumstance, too, had had its influence in his course. 

He walked to and fro, with thoughts very busy, until it 
was time to return to Tellson's and take leave of Mr. Lorry. 

Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 239 

As soon as he arrived in Paris he would present himself to 
this old friend, but he must say nothing of his intention 

A carriage with post-horses was ready at the bank door, 
and Jerry was booted and equipped. 

'I have delivered that letter,' said Charles Darnay to 
Mr. Lorry. 'I would not consent to your being charged 
with any written answer, but perhaps you will take a verbal 

one? ' 

'That I will, and readily,' said Mr. Lorry, 'if it is not 

' Not at all. Though it is to a prisoner in the Abbaye.' 

'What is his name?' said Mr. Lorry, with his open 
pocket-book in his hand. 


'Gabelle. And what is the message to the unfortunate 
Gabelle in prison ? ' 

' Simply, " that he has received the letter, and will come." 

' Any time mentioned ? ' 

'He will start upon his journey to-morrow night.' 

' Any person mentioned ? ' 


He helped Mr. Lorry to wrap himself in a number of 
coats and cloaks, and went out with him from the warm 
atmosphere of the old bank, into the misty air of Fleet Street. 
'My love to Lucie, and to little Lucie,' said Mr. Lorry at 
parting, 'and take precious care of them till I come back.' 
Charles Darnay shook his head and doubtfully smiled, as 
the carriage rolled away. 

That night it was the fourteenth of August he sat up 
late, and wrote two fervent letters; one was to Lucie, 
explaining the strong obligation he was under to go to Paris, 
and showing her, at length, the reasons that he had, for 
feeling confident that he could become involved in no 
personal danger there; the other was to the Doctor, con- 
fiding Lucie and their dear child to his care, and dwelling 
on the same topics with the strongest assurances. To both, 
he wrote that he would dispatch letters in proof of his 
safety, immediately after his arrival. 

It was a hard day, that day of being among them, with 
the first reservation of their joint lives on his mind. It was 

240 A Tale of Two Cities 

a hard matter to preserve the innocent deceit of which they 
were profoundly unsuspicious. But, an affectionate glance 
at his wife, so happy and busy, made him resolute not to tell 
her what impended (he had been half moved to do it, so 
strange it was to him to act in anything without her quiet 
aid), and the day passed quickly. Early in the evening he 
embraced her, and her scarcely less dear namesake, pre- 
tending that he would return by and by (an imaginary 
engagement took him out, and he had secreted a valise of 
clothes ready), and so he emerged into the heavy mist of the 
heavy streets, with a heavier heart. 

The unseen force was drawing him fast to itself, now, and 
all the tides and winds were setting straight and strong 
towards it. He left his two letters with a trusty porter, to 
be delivered half an hour before midnight, and no sooner; 
took horse for Dover; and began his journey. 'For the 
love of Heaven, of justice, of generosity, of the honour of 
your noble name ! ' was the poor prisoner's cry with which 
he strengthened his sinking heart, as he left all that was dear 
on earth behind him, and floated away for the Loadstone 






THE traveller fared slowly on his way, who fared towards 
Paris from England in the autumn of the year one thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-two. More than enough of bad 
roads, bad equipages, and bad horses, he would have 
encountered to delay him, though the fallen and unfortunate 
King of France had been upon his throne in all his glory; 
but, the changed times were fraught with other obstacles 
than these. Every town gate and village taxing-house had 
its band of citizen patriots, with their national muskets in 
a most explosive state of readiness, who stopped all comers 
and goers, cross-questioned them, inspected their papers, 
looked for their names in lists of their own, turned them 
back, or sent them on, or stopped them and laid them in 
hold, as their capricious judgment or fancy deemed best for 
the dawning Republic One and Indivisible, of Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity, or Death. 

A very few French leagues of his journey were accom- 
plished, when Charles Darnay began to perceive that for 
him along these country roads there was no hope of return 
until he should have been declared a good citizen at Paris. 
Whatever might befall now, he must on to his journey's end. 
Not a mean village closed upon him, not a common barrier 
dropped across the road behind him, but he knew it to be 
another iron door in the series that was barred between him 
and England. The universal watchfulness so encompassed 
him, that if he had been taken in a net, or were being 
forwarded to his destination in a cage, he could not have 
felt his freedom more completely gone. 


242 A Tale of Two Cities 

This universal watchfulness not only stopped him on the 
highway twenty times in a stage, but retarded his progress 
twenty times in a day, by riding after him and taking him 
back, riding before him and stopping him by anticipation, 
riding with him and keeping him in charge. He had been 
days upon his journey in Fance alone, when he went to bed 
tired out, in a little town on the high road, still a long way 
from Paris. 

Nothing but the production of the afflicted Gabelle's letter 
from his prison of the Abbaye would have got him on so 
far. His difficulty at the guard-house in this small place 
had been such, that he felt his journey to have come to a 
crisis. And he was, therefore, as little surprised as a man 
could be, to find himself awakened at the small inn to which 
he had been remitted until morning, in the middle of the 

Awakened by a timid local functionary and three armed 
patriots in rough red caps and with pipes in their mouths, 
who sat down on the bed. 

'Emigrant,' said the functionary, 'I am going to send 
you on to Paris, under an escort/ 

'Citizen, I desire nothing more than to get to Paris, 
though I could dispense with the escort.' 

'Silence!' growled a red-cap, striking at the coverlet 
with the butt-end of his musket. ' Peace, aristocrat ! ' 

'It is as the good patriot says,' observed the timid 
functionary. 'You are an aristocrat, and must have an 
escort and must pay for it.' 

'I have no choice/ said Charles Darnay. 
' Choice 1 Listen to him ! ' cried the same scowling 
red-cap. 'As if it was not a favour to be protected from 
the lamp-iron/ 

'It is always as the good patriot says/ observed the 
functionary. 'Rise and dress yourself, emigrant/ 

Darnay complied, and was taken back to the guard-house, 
where other patriots in rough red caps were smoking, 
drinking, and sleeping, by a watch-fire. Here he paid a 
heavy price for his escort, and hence he started with it on 
the wet, wet roads at three o'clock in the morning. 

The escort were two mounted patriots in red caps and 
tricoloured cockades, armed with national muskets and 

In Secret 243 

sabres, who rode one on either side of him. The escorted 
governed his own horse, but a loose line was attached to 
his bridle, the end of which one of the patriots kept girded 
round his wrist. In this state they set forth with the sharp 
rain driving in their faces: clattering at a heavy dragoon 
'trot over the uneven town pavement, and out upon the 
mire-deep roads. In this state they traversed without 
change, except of horses and pace, all the mire-deep leagues 
that lay between them and the capital. 

They travelled in the night, halting an hour or two after 
daybreak, and lying by until the twilight fell. The escort 
were so wretchedly clothed, that they twisted straw round 
their bare legs, and thatched their ragged shoulders to keep 
the wet off. Apart from the personal discomfort of being 
so attended, and apart from such considerations of present 
danger as arose from one of the patriots being chronically 
drunk, and carrying his musket very recklessly, Charles 
Darnay did not allow the restraint that was laid upon him 
to awaken any serious fears in his breast; for, he reasoned 
with himself that it could have no reference to the merits 
of an individual case that was not yet stated, and of 
representations, confirmable by the prisoner in the Abbaye, 
that were not yet made. 

But when they came to the town of Beauvais which 
they did at eventide, when the streets were filled with 
people he could not conceal from himself that the aspect 
of affairs was very alarming. An ominous crowd gathered 
to see him dismount at the posting-yard, and many voices 
called out loudly, ' Down with the emigrant ! ' 

He stopped in the act of swinging himself out of his 
saddle, and, resuming it as his safest place, said: 

' Emigrant, my friends ! Do you not see me here, in 
France, of my own will ? ' 

'You are a cursed emigrant,' cried a farrier, making at 
him in a furious manner through the press, hammer in 
hand ; ' and you are a cursed aristocrat ! ' 

The postmaster interposed himself between this man and 
the rider's bridle (at which he was evidently making), and 
soothingly said, 'Let him be; let him be! He will be 
judged at Paris.' 

'Judged!' repeated the farrier, swinging his hammer. 

244 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Ay! and condemned as a traitor.' At this the crowd 
roared approval. 

Checking the postmaster, who was for turning his horse's 
head to the yard (the drunken patriot sat composedly in his 
saddle looking on, with the line around his wrist), Darnay 
said, as soon as he could make his voice heard: 

' Friends, you deceive yourselves, or you are deceived. 
I am not a traitor.' 

'He lies,' cried the smith. 'He is a traitor since the 
decree. His life is forfeit to the people. His cursed life 
is not his own ! ' 

At the instant when Darnay saw a rush in the eyes of the 
crowd, which another instant would have brought upon 
him, the postmaster turned his horse into the yard, the 
escort rode in close upon his horse's flanks, and the post- 
master shut and barred the crazy double gates. The farrier 
struck a blow upon them with his hammer, and the crowd 
groaned ; but, no more was done. 

'What is this decree that the smith spoke of?' Darnay 
asked the postmaster, when he had thanked him, and stood 
beside him in the yard. 

'Truly, a decree for selling the property of emigrants.' 

' When passed ? ' 

'On the fourteenth/ 

'The day I left England!' 

'Everybody says it is but one of several, and that there 
will be others if there are not already banishing all 
emigrants, and condemning all to death who return. That 
is what he meant when he said your life was not your own.' 

' But there are no such decrees yet ? ' 

' What do I know ! ' said the postmaster, shrugging his 
shoulders; 'there may be, or there will be. It is all the 
same. What would you have ? ' 

They rested on some straw in a loft until the middle of 
the night, and then rode forward again when all the town 
was asleep. Among the many wild"* changes observable 
on familiar things which made this wild ride unreal, not 
the least was the seeming rarity of sleep. After long and 
lonely spurring over dreary roads, they would come to a 
cluster of poor cottages, not steeped in darkness, but all 
glittering with lights, and would find the people, in a 

In Secret 245 

ghostly manner in the dead of the night, circling hand in 
hand round a shrivelled tree of Liberty, or all drawn up 
together singing a Liberty song. Happily, however, there 
was sleep in Beauvais that night to help them out of it, and 
they passed on once more into solitude and loneliness: 
jingling through the untimely cold and wet, among im- 
poverished fields that had yielded no fruits of the earth 
that year, diversified by the blackened remains of burnt 
houses, and by the sudden emergence from ambuscade, 
and sharp reining up across their way, of patriot patrols on 
the watch on all the roads. 

Daylight at last found them before the wall of Paris. 
The barrier was closed and strongly guarded when they 
rode up to it. 

' Where are the papers of this prisoner ? ' demanded a 
resolute-looking man in authority, who was summoned out 
by the guard. 

Naturally struck by the disagreeable word, Charles 
Darnay requested the speaker to take notice that he was a 
free traveller and a French citizen, in charge of an escort 
which the disturbed state of the country had imposed upon 
him, and which he had paid for. 

'Where,' repeated the same personage, without taking 
any heed of him whatever, ' are the papers of this prisoner ? ' 

The drunken patriot had them in his cap, and produced 
them. Casting his eyes over Gabelle's letter, the same 
personage in authority showed some disorder and surprise, 
and looked at Darnay with a close attention. 

He left escort and escorted without saying a word, 
however, and went into the guard-room; meanwhile they 
sat upon their horses outside the gate. Looking about him 
while in this state of suspense, Charles Darnay observed 
that the gate was held by a mixed guard of soldiers and 
patriots, the latter far outnumbering the former; and that 
while ingress into the city for peasants' carts bringing in 
supplies, and for similar traffic and traffickers, was easy 
enough, egress, even for the homeliest people, was very 
difficult. A numerous medley of men and women, not 
to mention beasts and vehicles of various sorts, was waiting 
to issue forth; but the previous identification was so strict, 
that they filtered through the barrier very slowly. Some of 


A Tale of Two Cities 

these people knew their turn for examination to be so far 
off, that they lay on the ground to sleep or smoke, 
while others talked together, or loitered about. The red 
cap and tricolour cockade were universal, both among men 
and women. 

When he had sat in his saddle some half-hour, taking 
note of these things, Darnay found himself confronted by 
the same man in authority, who directed the guard to open 
the barrier. Then he delivered to the escort, drunk and 
sober, a receipt for the escorted, and requested him to dis- 
mount. He did so, and the two patriots, leading his tired 
horse, turned and rode away without entering the city. 

He accompanied his conductor into a guard -room, smell- 
ing of common wine and tobacco, where certain soldiers 
and patriots, asleep and awake, drunk and sober, and in 
various neutral states between sleeping and waking, drunken- 
ness and sobriety, were standing and lying about. The 
light in the guard-house, half derived from the waning oil 
lamps of the night, and half from the overcast day, was in 
a correspondingly uncertain condition. Some registers 
were lying open on a desk, and an officer of a coarse, dark 
aspect, presided over these. 

'Citizen Defarge,' said he to Darnay 's conductor, as he 
took a slip of paper to write on. 'Is this the emigrant 
Evr6monde ? ' 

'This is the man.' 

' Your age, Evremonde ? ' 

'Thirty -seven.' 

'Married, Evr6monde?' 


' Where married ? ' 

'In England.' 

' Without doubt. Where is your wife, E vre'monde ? ' 

'In England.' 

' Without doubt. You are consigned, Evr6monde, to the 
prison of La Force/ 

'Just Heaven!' exclaimed Darnay. 'Under what law, 
and for what offence ? ' 

t ^ 

The officer looked up from his slip of paper for a 

' We have new laws, Evremonde, and new offences, since 

In Secret 247 

you were here/ He said it with a hard smile, and went on 

' I entreat you to observe that I have come here volun- 
tarily, in response to that written appeal of a fellow-country- 
man which lies before you. I demand no more than 
the opportunity to do so without delay. Is not that my 
right ? ' 

'Emigrants have no rights, Evre"monde,' was the stolid 
reply. The officer wrote until he had finished, read over to 
himself what he had written, sanded it, and handed it to 
Defarge, with the words 'In secret.' 

Defarge motioned with the paper to the prisoner that he 
must accompany him. The prisoner obeyed, and a guard 
of two armed patriots attended them. 

'Is it you,' said Defarge, in a low voice, as they went 
down the guard-house steps and turned into Paris, 'who 
married the daughter of Doctor Manette, once a prisoner in 
the Bastille that is no more ? ' 

' Yes, ' replied Darnay , looking at him with surprise. 

'My name is Defarge, and I keep a wine 'shop in the 
Quarter Saint Antoine. Possibly you have heard of me.' 

'My wife came to your house to reclaim her father? 

The word 'wife' seemed to serve as a gloomy reminder 
to Defarge, to say with sudden impatience, ' In the name 
of that sharp female newly born and called La Guillotine, 
why did you come to France ? ' 

' You heard me say why, a minute ago. Do you not be- 
lieve it is the truth ? ' 

' A bad truth for you,' said Defarge, speaking with knitted 
brows, and looking straight before him. 

' Indeed I am lost here. All here is so unprecedented, 
so changed, so sudden and unfair, that I am absolutely 
lost. Will you render me a little help ? ' 

'None.' Defarge spoke, always looking straight before 

' Will you answer me a single question ? ' 

'Perhaps. According to its nature. You can say what 
it is.' 

'In this prison that I am going to so unjustly, shall I 
have some free communication with the world outside ? ' 


A Tale of Two Cities 

'You will see.' 

'I am not to be buried there, prejudged, and without any 
means of presenting my case ? ' 

' You will see. But, what then ? Other people have been 
similarly buried in worse prisons, before now.' 

'But never by me, Citizen Defarge.' 

Defarge glanced darkly at him for answer, and walked on 
in a steady and set silence. The deeper he sank into this 
silence, the fainter hope there was or so Darnay thought 
of his softening in any slight degree. He, therefore, 
made haste to say: 

' It is of the utmost importance to me (you know, citizen, 
even better than I, of how much importance), that I should 
be able to communicate to Mr. Lorry of Tellson's Bank, an 
English gentleman who is now in Paris, the simple fact, 
without comment, that I have been thrown into the prison 
of La Force. Will you cause that to be done for me ? ' 

'I will do,' Defarge doggedly rejoined, 'nothing for 
you. My duty is to my country and the people. I am 
the sworn servant of both, against you. I will do nothing 
for you.' 

Charles Darnay felt it hopeless to entreat him further, 
and his pride was touched besides. As they walked on in 
silence, he could not but see how used the people were to 
the spectacle of prisoners passing along the streets. The 
very children scarcely noticed him. A few passers turned 
their heads, and a few shook their fingers at him as an 
aristocrat; otherwise that a man in good clothes should be 
going to prison, was no more remarkable than that a labourer 
in working clothes should be going to work. In one narrow, 
dark, and dirty street through which they passed, an excited 
orator, mounted on a stool, was addressing an excited 
audience on the crimes against the people, of the king and 
the royal family. The few words that he caught from this 
man's lips, first made it known to Charles Darnay that the 
king was in prison, and that the foreign ambassadors had 
one and all left Paris. On the road (except at Beauvais) he 
had heard absolutely nothing. The escort and the universal 
watchfulness had completely isolated him. 

That he had fallen among far greater dangers than those 
which had developed themselves when he left England, he 

In Secret 249 

of course knew now. That perils had thickened about 
him fast, and might thicken faster and faster yet, he of 
course knew now. He could not but admit to himself that 
he might not have made this journey, if he could have fore- 
seen the events of a few days. And yet his misgivings were 
not so dark as, imagined by the light of this later time, they 
would appear. Troubled as the future was, it was the un- 
known future, and in its obscurity there was ignorant hope. 
The horrible massacre, days and nights long, which, within 
a few rounds of the clock, was to set a great mark of blood 
upon the blessed garnering time of harvest, was as far out 
of his knowledge as if it had been a hundred thousand 
years away. The 'sharp female newly born, and called La 
Guillotine,' was hardly known to him, or to the generality 
of people, by name. The frightful deeds that were to be 
soon done, were probably unimagined at that time in the 
brains of the doers. How could they have a place in the 
shadowy conceptions of a gentle mind ? 

Of unjust treatment in detention and hardship, and in 
cruel separation from his wife and child, he foreshadowed 
the likelihood, or the certainty ; but, beyond this, he dreaded 
nothing distinctly. With this on his mind, which was 
enough to carry him into a dreary prison courtyard, he 
arrived at the pnson of La Force. 

A man with a bloated face opened the strong wicket, to 
whom Defarge presented 'the emigrant Evr6monde.' 

' What the Devil ! How many more of them 1 ' exclaimed 
the man with the bloated face. 

Defarge took his receipt without noticing the exclamation, 
and withdrew, with his two fellow-patriots. 

'What the Devil, I say again!' exclaimed the jailer, left 
with his wife. ' How many more ! ' 

Tht jailer's wife, being provided with no answer to the 
question, merely replied, 'One must have patience, my 
dear ! ' Three turnkeys who entered responsive to a bell 
she rang, echoed the sentiment, and one added, ' For the 
love of Liberty'; which sounded in that place like an 
inappropriate conclusion. 

The prison of La Force was a gloomy prison, dark and 
filthy, and with a horrible smell of foul sleep in it. Extra- 
ordinary how soon the noisome flavour of imprisoned 

250 A Tale of Two Cities 

sleep, becomes manifest in all such places that are ill cared 

'In secret, too,' grumbled the jailer, looking at the 
written paper. 'As if it was not already full to bursting!' 

He stuck the paper on a file, in an ill-humour, and 
Charles Darnay awaited his further pleasure for half an 
hour: sometimes, pacing to and fro in the strong arched 
room: sometimes, resting on a stone seat: in either case 
detained to be imprinted on the memory of the chief and 
his subordinates. 

' Come ! ' said the chief, at length taking up his keys, 
'come with me, emigrant.' 

Through the dismal prison twilight, his new charge 
accompanied him by corridor and staircase, many doors 
clanging and locking behind them, until they came into a 
large, low, vaulted chamber, crowded with prisoners of both 
sexes. The women were seated at a long table, reading and 
writing, knitting, sewing, and embroidering; the men were 
for the most part standing behind their chairs, or lingering 
up and down the room. 

In the instinctive association of prisoners with shameful 
crime and disgrace, the new comer recoiled from this com- 
pany. But the crowning unreality of his long unreal ride, 
was, their all at once rising to receive him, with every re- 
finement of manner known to the time, and with all the 
engaging graces and courtesies of life. 

So strangely clouded were these refinements by the prison 
manners and gloom, so spectral did they become in the 
inappropriate squalor and misery through which they were 
seen, that Charles Darnay seemed to stand in a company of 
the dead. Ghosts all! The ghost of beauty, the ghost of 
stateliness, the ghost of elegance, the ghost of pride, the 
ghost of frivolity, the ghost of wit, the ghost of youth, the 
ghost of age, all waiting their dismissal from the desolate 
shore, all turning on him eyes that were changed by the 
death they had died in coming there. 

It struck him motionless. The jailer standing at his 
side, and the other jailers moving about, who would have 
been well enough as to appearance in the ordinary exercise 
of their functions, looked so extravagantly coarse contrasted 
with sorrowing mothers and blooming daughters who were 

In Secret 251 

there with the apparitions of the coquette, the young 
beauty, and the mature woman delicately bred that the 
inversion of all experience and likelihood which the scene 
of shadows presented, was heightened to its utmost. Surely, 
ghosts all. Surely, the long unreal ride some progress of 
disease that had brought him to these gloomy shades! 

' In the name of the assembled companions in mis- 
fortune,' said a gentleman of courtly appearance and ad- 
dress, coming forward, ' I have the honour of giving you 
welcome to La Force, and of condoling with you on the 
calamity that has brought you among us. May it soon 
terminate happily 1 It would be an impertinence elsewhere, 
but it is not so here, to ask your name and condition ? ' 

Charles Darnay roused himself, and gave the required 
information, in words as suitable as he could find. 

'But I hope,' said the gentleman, following the chief 
jailer with his eyes, who moved across the room, 'that you 
are not in secret ? ' 

'I do not understand the meaning of the term, but I 
have heard them say so.' 

'Ah, what a pity! We so much regret it! But take 
courage; several members of our society have been in 
secret, at first, and it has lasted but a short time.' Then 
he added, raising his voice, ' I grieve to inform the society 
in secret.' 

There was a murmur of commiseration as Charles Darnay 
crossed the room to a grated door where the jailer awaited 
him, and many voices among which, the soft and com- 
passionate voices of women were conspicuous gave him 
good wishes and encouragement. He turned at the 
grated door, to render the thanks of his heart; it closed 
under the jailer's hand; and the apparitions vanished from 
his sight for ever. 

The wicket opened on a stone staircase, leading upward. 
When they had ascended forty steps (the prisoner of half 
an hour already counted them), the jailer opened a low 
black door, and they passed into a solitary cell. It struck 
cold and damp, but was not dark. 

'Yours,' said the jailer. 

' Why am I confined alone ? ' 

'How do I know!' 

252 A Tale of Two Cities 

' I can buy pen, ink, and paper ? ' 

' Such are not rny orders. You will be visited, and can 
ask then. At present, you may buy your food, and nothing 

There were in the cell, a chair, a table, and a straw 
mattress. As the jailer made a general inspection of these 
objects, and of the four walls, before going out, a wandering 
fancy wandered through the mind of the prisoner leaning 
against the wall opposite to him, that this jailer was so 
unwholesomely bloated, both in face and person, as to look 
like a man who had been drowned and filled with water. 
When the jailer was gone, he thought in the same wander- 
ing way, 'Now am I left, as if I were dead.' Stopping 
then, to look down at the mattress, he turned from it with 
a sick feeling, and thought, 'And here in these crawling 
creatures is the first condition of the body after death.' 

' Five paces by four and a half, five paces by four and a 
half, five paces by four and a half.' The prisoner walked 
to and fro in his cell, counting its measurement, and the 
roar of the city arose like muffled drums with a wild swell 
of voices added to them. ' He made shoes, he made shoes, 
he made shoes.' The prisoner counted the measurement 
again, and paced faster, to draw his mind with him from 
the latter repetition. 'The ghost that vanished when the 
wicket closed'. There was one among them, the appear- 
ance of a lady dressed in black, who was leaning in the 
embrasure of a window, and she had a light shining upon 
her golden hair, and she looked like . . . Let us ride on 
again, for God's sake, through the illuminated villages with 
the people all awake ! . . . He made shoes, he made shoes, 
he made shoes. . . . Five paces by four and a half.' With 
such scraps tossing and rolling upward from the depths of his 
mind, the prisoner walked faster and faster, obstinately 
counting and counting; and the roar of the city changed 
to this extent that it still rolled in like muffled drums, but 
with a wail of voices that he knew, in the swell that rose 
above them. 

The Grindstone 253 



TELLSON'S BANK, established in the Saint Germain Quarter 
of Paris, was in the wing of a large house, approached 
by a courtyard and shut off from the street by a high wall 
and a strong gate. The house belonged to a great noble- 
man who had lived in it until he had made a flight from the 
troubles, in his own cook's dress, and got across the borders. 
A mere beast of the chase flying from hunters, he was still 
in his metempsychosis no other than the same Monseigneur, 
the preparation of whose chocolate for whose lips had 
once occupied three strong men besides the cook in question. 

Monseigneur gone, and the three Strong men absolving 
themselves from the sin of having drawn his high wages, by 
being more than ready and willing to cut his throat on the 
alter of the dawning Republic one and indivisible of Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity, or Death, Monseigneur's house had 
been first sequestrated, and then confiscated. For, all things 
move so fast, and decree followed decree with that fierce 
precipitation, that now upon the third night of the autumn 
month of September, patriot emissaries of the law were in 
possession of Monseigneur's house, and had marked it 
with the tricolour, and were drinking brandy in its state 

A place of business in London like Tellson's place of 
business in Paris, would soon have driven the House out of 
its mind and into the Gazette. For, what would staid 
British responsibility and respectability have said to orange- 
trees in boxes in a bank courtyard, and even to a Cupid 
over the counter? Yet such things were. Tellson's had 
whitewashed the Cupid, but he was still to be seen on the 
ceiling, in the coolest linen, aiming (as he very often does) 
at money from morning to night. Bankruptcy must 
inevitably have come of this young Pagan, in Lombard 
Street, London, and also of a curtained alcove in the rear of 
the immortal boy, and also of a looking-glass let into the 
wall, and also of clerks not at all old, who danced in public 

254 A Tale of Two Cities 

on the slightest provocation. Yet, a French Tellson's could 
get on with these things exceedingly well, and, as long as 
the times held together, no man had taken fright at them, 
and drawn out his money. 

What money would be drawn out of Tellson's henceforth, 
and what would lie there, lost and forgotten ; what plate and 
jewels would tarnish in Tellson's hiding-places, while the 
depositors rusted in prisons, and when they should have 
violently perished; how many accounts with Tellson's never 
to be balanced in this world, must be carried over into the 
next; no man could have said, that night, any more than 
Mr. Jarvis Lorry could, though he thought heavily of these 
questions. He sat by a newly lighted wood fire (the 
blighted and unfruitful year was prematurely cold), and on 
his honest and courageous face, there was a deeper shade 
than the pendent lamp could throw, or any object in the 
room distortedly reflect a shade of horror. 

He occupied rooms in the bank, in his fidelity to the 
House of which he had grown to be a part, like strong root- 
ivy. It chanced that they derived a kind of security from 
the patriotic occupation of the main building, but the true- 
hearted old gentleman never calculated about that. All 
such circumstances were indifferent to him, so that he did his 
duty. On the opposite side of the courtyard, under a 
colonnade, was extensive standing for carriages where, 
indeed, some carriages of Monseigneur yet stood. Against 
two of the pillars were fastened two great flaring flambeaux, 
and in the light of these, standing out in the open air, was 
a large grindstone : a roughly mounted thing which appeared 
to have hurriedly been brought there from some neighbour- 
ing smithy, or other workshop. Rising and looking out of the 
window at these harmless objects, Mr. Lorry shivered, and 
retired to his seat by the fire. He had opened, not only the 
glass window, but the lattice blind outside it, and he had 
closed both again, and he shivered through his frame. 

From the streets beyond the high wall and the strong gate, 
there came the usual night hum of the city, with now and 
then an indescribable ring in it, weird and unearthly, as if 
some unwonted sounds of a terrible nature were going up to 

'Thank God,' said Mr. Lorry, clasping his hands, 'that 

The Grindstone 255 

no one near and dear to me is in this dreadful town to-night. 
May He have mercy on all who are in danger ! ' 

Soon afterwards, the bell at the great gate sounded, and 
he thought, ' They have come back ! ' and sat listening. 
But, there was no loud irruption into the courtyard, as he 
had expected, and he heard the gate clash again, and all 
was quiet. 

The nervousness and dread that were upon him inspired 
that vague uneasiness respecting the bank, which a great 
change would naturally awaken, with such feelings roused. 
It was well guarded, and he got up to go among the trusty 
people who were watching it, when his door suddenly opened, 
and two figures rushed in, at sight of which he fell back in 

Lucie and her father! Lucie with her arms stretched out 
to him, and with that old look of earnestness so concen- 
trated and intensified, that it seemed as though it had been 
stamped upon her face expressly to give force and power to 
it in this one passage of her life. 

' What is this ? ' cried Mr. Lorry, breathless and con- 
fused. 'What is the matter? Lucie! Manette! What 
has happened? What has brought you here? What is 

With the look fixed upon him, in her paleness and wild- 
ness, she panted out in his arms, imploringly, 'O my dear 
friend ! My husband ! ' 

' Your husband, Lucie ? ' 


'What of Charles?' 


' Here, in Paris ? ' 

'Has been here some days three or four T don't know 
how many I can't collect my thoughts. An errand of 
generosity brought him here unknown to us; he was 
stopped at the barrier, and sent to prison.' 

The old man uttered an irrepressible cry. Almost at the 
same moment, the bell of the great gate rang again, and a 
loud noise of feet and voices came pouring into the court- 

What is that noise ? ' said the Doctor, turning towards 
the window. 


A Tale of Two Cities 

'Don't look!' cried Mr. Lorry. 'Don't look out! Man- 
ette, for your life, don't touch the blind!' 

The Doctor turned, with his hand upon the fastening of 
the window, and said, with a cool, bold smile : 

'My dear friend, I have a charmed life in this city. I 
:have been a Bastille prisoner. There is no patriot in Paris 
in Paris? In France who, knowing me to have been a 
prisoner in the Bastille, would touch me, except to over- 
whelm me with embraces, or carry me in triumph. My old 
pain has given me a power that has brought us through the 
barrier, and gained us news of Charles there, and brought 
us here. I knew it would be so; I knew I could help 
Charles out of all danger; I told Lucie so. What is that 
noise ? ' His hand was again upon the window. 

'Don't look!' cried Mr. Lorry, absolutely desperate. 
' No, Lucie, my dear, nor you 1 ' He got his arm around 
her, and held her. 'Don't be so terrified, my love. I 
solemnly swear to you that I know of no harm having 
happened to Charles; that I had no suspicion even of 
his being in this fatal place. What prison is he in?' 

'La Force!' 

'La Force! Lucie, my child, if ever you were brave 
and serviceable in your life and you were always both 
you will compose yourself now, to do exactly as I bid 
you ; for more depends upon it than you can think, or 
I can say. There is no help for you in any action on 
your part to-night ; you cannot possibly stir out. I say this, 
because what I must bid you to do for Charles's sake, is 
the hardest thing to do of all. You must instantly be 
obedient, still, and quiet. You must let me put you in a 
room at the back here. You must leave your father and 
me alone for two minutes, and as there are Life and Death 
in the world you must not delay.' 

'I will be submissive to you. I see in your face that 
you know I can do nothing else than this. I know you are 

The old man kissed her, and hurried her into his room, 
and turned the key; then, came hurrying back to the 
Doctor, and opened the window and partly opened the 
blind, and put his hand upon the Doctor's arm, and looked 
out with him into the courtyard. 

The Grindstone 257 

Looked out upon a throng of men and women: not 
enough in number, or near enough, to fill the courtyard: 
not more than forty or fifty in all. The people in possession 
of the house had let them in at the gate, and they had 
rushed in to work at the grindstone; it had evidently been 
set up there for their purpose, as in a convenient and 
retired spot. 

But such awful workers, and such awful work ! 

The grindstone had a double handle, and, turning at 
it madly were two men, whose faces, as their long hair 
napped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought 
their faces up, were more horrible and cruel than the 
visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous 
disguise. False eyebrows and false moustaches were 
stuck upon them, and their hideous countenances were all 
bloody and sweaty, and all awry with howling, and all 
staring and glaring with beastly excitement and want of 
sleep. As these ruffians turned and turned, their matted 
locks now flung forward over their eyes, now flung back- 
ward over their necks, some women held wine to their 
mouths that they might drink; and what with dropping 
blood, and what with dropping wine, and what with the 
stream of sparks struck out of the stone, all their wicked 
atmosphere seemed gore and fire. The* eye could not 
detect one creature in the group free from the smear of 
blood. Shouldering one another to get next at the 
sharpening-stone, were men stripped to the waist, with 
the stain all over their limbs and bodies; men in all sorts 
of rags, with the stain upon those rags; men devilishly 
set off with spoils of women's lace and silk and ribbon, 
with the stain dyeing those trifles through and through. 
Hatches, knives, bayonets, swords, all brought to be 
sharpened, were all red with it. Some of the hacked swords 
were tied to the wrists of those who carried them, with 
strips of linen and fragments of dress: ligatures various in 
kind, but all deep of the one colour. And as the frantic 
wielders of these weapons snatched them from the stream 
of sparks and tore away into the streets, the same red hue 
was red in their frenzied eyes eyes which any unbrutalized 
beholder would have given twenty years of life, to petrify 
with a well-directed gun. 

2 5 8 

A Tale of Two Cities 

All this was seen in a moment, as the vision of a drowning 
man, or of any human creature at any very great pass, could 
see a world if it were there. They drew back from the 
window, and the Doctor looked for explanation in his friend's 
ashy face. 

' They are ' Mr. Lorry whispered the words, glancing fear- 
fully round at the locked room 'murdering the prisoners. 
If you are sure of what you say; if you really have the 
power you think you have as I believe you have make 
yourself known to these devils, and get taken to La Force. 
It may be too late, I don't know, but let it not be a minute 
later ! ' 

Doctor Manette pressed his hand, hastened bareheaded 
out of the room, and was in the courtyard when Mr. Lorry 
regained the blind. 

His streaming white hair, his remarkable face, and the 
impetuous confidence of his manner, as he put the weapons 
aside like water, carried him in an instant to the heart of 
the concourse at the stone. For a few moments there was 
a pause, and a hurry, and a murmur, and the unintelligible 
sound of his voice ; and then Mr. Lorry saw him, surrounded 
by all, and in the midst of a line of twenty men long, all 
linked shoulder to shoulder, and hand to shoulder, hurried 
out with cries of 'Live the Bastille prisoner! Help for 
the Bastille prisoner's kindred in La Force 1 Room for the 
Bastille prisoner in front there 1 Save the prisoner Evre"- 
monde at La Force ! ' and a thousand answering shouts. 

He closed the lattice again with a fluttering heart, closed 
the window and the curtain, hastened to Lucie, and told her 
that her father was assisted by the people, and gone in 
search of her husband. He found her child and Miss Pross 
with her; but, it never occurred to him to be surprised by 
their appearance until a long time afterwards, when he sat 
watching them in such quiet as the night knew. 

Lucie had, by that time, fallen into a stupor on the floor 
at his feet, clinging to his hand. Miss Pross had laid the 
child down on his own bed, and her head had gradually 
fallen on the pillow beside her pretty charge. O the 
long, long night, with the moans of the poor wife! And 
O the long, long night with no return of her father and no 
tidings ! 

The Shadow 259 

Twice more in the darkness the bell at the great gate 
sounded, and the irruption was repeated, and the grind- 
stone whirled and spluttered. 'What is it?' cried Lucie, 
affrighted, 'Hush! The soldiers' swords are sharpened 
there,' said Mr. Lorry. ' This place is national property now, 
and used as a kind of armoury, my love.' 

Twice more in all; but, the last spell of work was feeble 
and fitful. Soon afterwards the day began to dawn, and he 
softly detached himself from the clasping hand, and cau- 
tiously looked out again. A man, so besmeared that he 
might have been a sorely wounded soldier creeping back to 
consciousness on a field of slain, was rising from the pave- 
ment by the side of the grindstone, and looking about him 
with a vacant air. Shortly, this worn-out murderer descried 
in the imperfect light one of the carriages of Monseigneur, 
and, staggering to that gorgeous vehicle, climbed in at the 
door, and shut himself up to take his rest on its dainty 

The great grindstone, Earth, had turned when Mr. Lorry 
looked out again, and the sun was red on the courtyard. 
But, the lesser grindstone stood alone there in the calm 
morning air, with a red upon it that the sun had never 
given, and would never take away. 



ONE of the first considerations which arose in the business 
mind of Mr. Lorry when business hours came round, was 
this: that he had no right to imperil Tellson's by shelter- 
ing the wife of an emigrant prisoner under the bank 
roof. His own possessions, safety, life, he would have 
hazarded for Lucie and her child, without a moment's 
demur; but the great trust he held was not his own, and as 
to that business charge he was a strict man of business. 
At first, his mind reverted to Defarge, and he thought of 

260 A Tale of Two Cities 

finding out the wine shop again and taking counsel with its 
master in reference to the safest dwelling-place in the dis- 
tracted state of the city. But, the same consideration that 
suggested him, repudiated him; he lived in the most violent 
Quarter, and doubtless was influential there, and deep in its 
dangerous workings. 

Noon coming, and the Doctor not returning, and every 
minute's delay tending to compromise Tellson's, Mr. Lorry 
advised with Lucie. She said that her father had spoken of 
hiring a lodging for a short term, in that Quarter, near the 
banking-house. As there was no business objection to this, 
and he foresaw that even if it were all well with Charles, 
and he were to be released, he could not hope to leave the 
city, Mr. Lorry went out in quest of such a lodging, and 
found a suitable one, high up in a removed by-street where 
the closed blinds in all the other windows of a high melan- 
choly square of buildings marked deserted homes. 

To this lodging he at once removed Lucie and her child, 
and Miss Pross: giving them what comfort he could, and 
much more than he had himself. He left Jerry with them, 
as a figure to fill a doorway that would bear considerable 
knocking on the head, and returned to his own occupations. 
A disturbed and doleful mind he brought to bear upon 
them, and slowly and heavily the day lagged on with him. 

It wore itself out, and wore him out with it, until the 
bank closed. He was again alone in his room of the 
previous night, considering what to do next, when he heard 
a foot upon the stair. In a few moments, a man stood in 
his presence, who, with a keenly observant look at him, 
addressed him by his name. 

'Your servant,' said Mr. Lorry. 'Do you /know me?' 

He was a strongly made man with dark curling hair, from 
forty-five to fifty years of age. For answer he repeated, 
without any change of emphasis, the words: 

' Do you know me ? ' 

' I have seen you somewhere.' 

' Perhaps at my wine shop ? ' 

Much interested and agitated, Mr. Lorry said: 'You 
come from Doctor Manette ? ' 

'Yes, I come from Doctor Manette/ 

' And what says he ? What does he send me ? ' 

The Shadow 261 

Defarge gave into his anxious hand, an open scrap of 
paper. It bore the words in the Doctor's writing: 

'Charles is safe, but I cannot safely leave this place yet. 
I have obtained the favour that the bearer has a short note 
from Charles to his wife. Let the bearer see his wife.* 

It was dated from La Force, within an hour. 

'Will you accompany me/ said Mr. Lorry, joyfully re- 
lieved after reading this note aloud, 'to where his wife 
resides ? ' 

'Yes,' returned Defarge. 

Scarcely noticing as yet, in what a curiously reserved and 
mechanical way Defarge spoke, Mr. Lorry put on his hat 
and they went down into the court yard. There, they 
found two women; one knitting. 

' Madame Defarge, surely ! ' said Mr. Lorry, who had left 
her in exactly the same attitude some seventeen years ago. 

'It is she,' observed her husband. 

' Does madame go with us ? ' inquired Mr. Lorry, seeing 
that she moved as they moved. 

'Yes. That she may be able to recognize the faces and 
know the persons. It is for their safety/ 

Beginning to be struck by Defarge's manner, Mr. Lorry 
looked dubiously at him, and led the way. Both the 
women followed; the second woman being The Vengeance. 

They passed through the intervening streets as quickly as 
they might, ascended the staircase of the new domicile, were 
admitted by Jerry, and found Lucie weeping, alone. She 
was thrown into a transport by the tidings Mr. Lorry gave 
her of her husband, and clasped the hand that delivered his 
note little thinking what it had been doing near him in 
the night, and might, but for a chance, have done to him. 

'DEAREST, Take courage. I am well, and your father 
has influence around me. You cannot answer this. Kiss 
our child for me/ 

That was all the writing. It was so much, however, to 
her who received it, that she turned from Defarge to his 
wife, and kissed one of the hands that knitted. It was a 
passionate, loving, thankful, womanly action, but the hand 
made no response dropped cold and heavy, and took to 
its knitting again. 

262 A Tale of Two Cities 

There was something in its touch that gave Lucie a check. 
She stopped in the act of putting the note in her bosom, 
and, with her hands yet at her neck, looked terrified at 
Madame Defarge. Madame Defarge met the lifted eye- 
brows and forehead with a cold, impassive stare. 

'My dear,' said Mr. Lorry, striking in to explain; 'there 
are frequent risings in the streets; and, although it is not 
likely they will ever trouble you, Madame Defarge wishes 
to see those whom she has the power to protect at such 
times, to the end that she may know them that she may 
identify them. I believe,' said Mr. Lorry, rather halting in 
his reassuring words, as the stony manner of all the three 
impressed itself upon him more and more, ' I state the case, 
Citizen Defarge ? ' 

Defarge looked gloomily at his wife, and gave no other 
answer than a gruff sound of acquiescence. 

'You had better, Lucie,' said Mr. Lorry, doing all he 
could to propitiate, by tone and manner, 'have the dear 
child here, and our good Pross. Our good Pross, Defarge, 
is an English lady, and knows no French.' 

The lady in question, whose rooted conviction that she 
was more than a match for any foreigner, was not to be 
shaken by distress and danger, appeared with folded arms, 
and observed in English to The Vengeance, whom her eyes 
first encountered, 'Well, I am sure, Boldface! I hope 
you are pretty well ! ' She also bestowed a British cough on 
Madame Defarge ; but, neither of the two took much heed 
of her. 

' Is that his child ? ' said Madame Defarge, stopping in 
her work for the first time, and pointing her knitting-needle 
at little Lucie as if it were the finger of Fate. 

'Yes, madame,' answered Mr. Lorry; 'this is our poor 
prisoner's darling daughter, and only child.' 

The shadow attendant on Madame Defarge and her 
party seemed to fall so threatening and dark on the child, 
that her mother instinctively kneeled on the ground beside 
her, and held her to her breast. The shadow attendant 
on Madame Defarge and her party seemed then to fall, 
threatening and dark, on both the mother and the child. 

'It is enough, my husband,' said Madame Defarge. 'I 
have seen them. We may go.' 

The Shadow 263 

But, the suppressed manner had enough of menace in it 
not visible and presented, but indistinct and withheld 
to alarm Lucie into saying, as she laid her appealing hand 
on Madame Defarge's dress: 

'You will be good to my poor husband. You will do 
him no harm. You will help me to see him if you can ? ' 

'Your husband is not my business here,' returned 
Madame Defarge, looking down at her with perfect com- 
posure. 'It is the daughter of your father who is my 
business here.' 

'For my sake, then, be merciful to my husband. For 
my child's sake! She will put her hands together and pray 
you to be merciful. We are more afraid of you than of 
these others.' 

Madame Defarge received it as a compliment, and looked 
at her husband. Defarge, who had been uneasily biting 
his thumb-nail and looking at her, collected his face into a 
sterner expression. 

' What is it that your husband says in that little letter ? ' 
asked Madame Defarge, with a lowering smile. ' Influence ; 
he says something touching influence ? ' 

'That my father,' said Lucie, hurriedly taking the paper 
from her breast, but with her alarmed eyes on her ques- 
tioner and not on it, 'has much influence around him.' 

'Surely it will release him!' said Madame Defarge. 
'Let it do so/ 

'As a wife and mother/ cried Lucie, most earnestly, 'I 
implore you to have pity on me and not to exercise any 
power that you possess, against my innocent husband, but 
to use it on his behalf. O sister-woman, think of me. As a 
wife and mother 1 ' 

Madame Defarge looked, coldly as ever, at the suppliant, 
and said, turning to her friend The Vengeance: 

'The wives and mothers we have been used to see, since 
we were as little as this child, and much less, have not been 
greatly considered? We have known their husbands and 
fathers laid in prison and kept from them, often enough? 
All our li ves, we have seen our sister-women suffer, in them- 
selves and in their children, poverty, nakedness, hunger, 
thirst, sickness, misery, oppression, and neglect of all kinds ? ' 

'We have seen nothing else/ returned The Vengeance. 


A Tale of Two Cities 

'We have borne this a long time/ said Madame Defarge, 
turning her eyes again upon Lucie. ' Judge you ! Is it 
likely that the trouble of one wife and mother would be 
much to us now ? ' 

She resumed her knitting and went out. The Vengeance 
followed. Defarge went last, and closed the door. 

'Courage, my dear Lucie,' said Mr. Lorry, as he raised 
her. 'Courage, courage! So far all goes well with us 
much, much better than it has of late gone with many poor 
souls. Cheer up, and have a thankful heart.' 

'I am not thankless, I hope, but that dreadful woman 
seems to throw a shadow on me and on all my hopes.' 

'Tut, tut!' said Mr. Lorry; 'what is this despondency 
in the brave little breast ? A shadow indeed 1 No substance 
in it, Lucie.' 

But the shadow of the manner of these Defarges was dark 
upon himself, for all that, and in his secret mind it troubled 
him greatly. 



DOCTOR MANETTE did not return until the morning of the 
fourth day of his absence. So much of what had happened 
in that dreadful time as could be kept from the know- 
ledge of Lucie was so well concealed from her, that not 
until long afterwards, when France and she were far apart, 
did she know that eleven hundred defenceless prisoners of 
both sexes and all ages had been killed by the populace; 
that four days and nights had been darkened by this deed 
of horror ; and that the air around her had been tainted by 
the slain. She only knew that there had been an attack 
upon the prisons, that all political prisoners had been in 
danger, and that some had been dragged out by the crowd 
and murdered. 

To Mr. Lorry, the Doctor communicated under an in- 
junction of secrecy on which he had no need to dwell, that 
the crowd had taken him through a scene of carnage to the 

Calm in Storm 265 

prison of La Force. That, in the prison he had found a 
self-appointed Tribunal sitting, before which the prisoners 
were brought singly, and by which they were rapidly ordered 
to be put forth to be massacred, or to be released, or (in a 
few cases) to be sent back to their cells. That, presented 
by his conductors to this Tribunal, he had announced 
himself by name and profession as having been for eighteen 
years a secret and unaccused prisoner in the Bastille; that, 
one of the body so sitting in judgment had risen and 
identified him, and that this man was Defarge. 

That, hereupon he had ascertained, through the registers 
on the table, that his son-in-law was among the living 
prisoners, and had pleaded hard to the Tribunal of whom 
some members were asleep and some awake, some dirty 
with murder and some clean, some sober and some not 
for his life and liberty. That, in the first frantic greetings 
lavished on himself as a notable sufferer under the over- 
thrown system, it had been accorded to him to have Charles 
Darnay brought before the lawless Court, and examined. 
That, he seemed on the point of being at once released, 
when the tide in his favour met with some unexplained 
check (not intelligible to the Doctor), which led to a few 
words of secret conference. That, the man sitting as 
President had then informed Doctor Manette that the 
prisoner must remain in custody, but should, for his sake, 
be held inviolate in safe custody. That, immediately, on 
a signal, the prisoner was removed to the interior of the 
prison again ; but, that he, the Doctor, had then so strongly 
pleaded for permission to remain and assure himself that 
his son-in-law was, through no malice or mischance, 
delivered to the concourse whose murderous yells outside 
the gate had often drowned the proceedings, that he had 
obtained the permission, and had remained in that Hall of 
Blood until the danger was over. 

The sights he had seen there, with brief snatches of food 
and sleep by intervals, shall remain untold. The mad joy 
over the prisoners who were saved, had astounded him 
scarcely less than the mad ferocity against those who were 
cut to pieces. One prisoner there was, he said, who had 
been discharged into the street free, but at whom a mistaken 
savage had thrust a pike as he passed out. Being besought 

266 A Tale of Two Cities 

to go to him and dress the wound, the Doctor had passed 
out at the same gate, and had found him in the arms of a 
company of Samaritans, who were seated on the bodies 
of their victims. With an inconsistency as monstrous as 
anything in this awful nightmare, they had helped the healer, 
and tended the wounded man with the gentlest solicitude 
had made a litter for him and escorted him carefully from 
the spot had then caught up their weapons and plunged 
anew into a butchery so dreadful, that the Doctor had 
covered his eyes with his hands, and swooned away in the 
midst of it. 

As Mr. Lorry received these confidences, and as he 
watched the face of his friend now sixty-two years of age, 
a misgiving arose within him that such dread experiences 
would revive the old danger. But, he had never seen his 
friend in his present aspect: he had never at all known him 
in his present character. For the first time the Doctor felt, 
now, that his suffering was strength and power. For the 
first time he felt that in that sharp fire, he had slowly forged 
the iron which could break the prison door of his daughter's 
husband, and deliver him. ' It all tended to a good end, 
my friend ; it was not mere waste and ruin. As my beloved 
child was helpful in restoring me to myself, I will be helpful 
now in restoring the dearest part of herself to her; by the 
aid of Heaven I will do it!' Thus, Doctor Manette. And 
when Jarvis Lorry saw the kindled eyes, the resolute face, 
the calm strong look and bearing of the man whose life 
always seemed to him to have been stopped, like a clock, 
for so many years, and then set going again with an energy 
which had lain dormant during the cessation of its use- 
fulness, he believed. 

Greater things than the Doctor had at that time to 
contend with, would have yielded before his persevering 
purpose. While he kept himself in his place, as a physician, 
whose business was with all degrees of mankind, bond and 
free, rich and poor, bad and good, he used his personal 
influence so wisely, that he was soon the inspecting physician 
of three prisons, and among them of La Force. He could 
now assure Lucie that her husband was no longer confined 
alone, but was mixed with the general body of prisoners; 
he saw her husband weekly, and brought sweet messages 

Calm in Storm 267 

to her, straight from his lips; sometimes her husband him- 
self sent a letter to her (though never by the Doctor's hand), 
but she was not permitted to write to him: for, among the 
many wild suspicions of plots in the prisons, the wildest of 
all pointed at emigrants who were known to have made 
friends or permanent connections abroad. 

This new life of the Doctor's was an anxious life, no 
doubt; still, the sagacious Mr. Lorry saw that there was a 
new sustaining pride in it. Nothing unbecoming tinged the 
pride; it was a natural and worthy one; but he observed it 
as a curiosity. The Doctor knew, that up to that time, 
his imprisonment had been associated in the minds of his 
daughter and his friend, with his personal affliction, depriva- 
tion, and weakness. Now that this was changed, and he 
knew himself to be invested through that old trial with 
forces to which they both looked for Charles's ultimate 
safety and deliverance, he became so far exalted by the 
change, that he took the lead and direction, and required 
them as the weak, to trust to him as the strong. The pre- 
ceding relative positions of himself and Lucie were reversed, 
yet only as the liveliest gratitude and affection could reverse 
them, for he could have had no pride but in rendering some 
service to her who had rendered so much to him. 'All 
curious to see,' thought Mr. Lorry, in his amiably shrewd 
way, 'but all natural and right; so, take the lead, my dear 
friend, and keep it; it couldn't be in better hands.' 

But, though the Doctor tried hard, and never ceased 
trying, to get Charles Darnay set at liberty, or at least to 
get him brought to trial, the public current of the time set 
too strong and fast for him. The new era began; the king 
was tried, doomed, and beheaded; the Republic of Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity, or Death, declared for victory or death 
against the world in arms; the black flag waved night and 
day from the great towers of Notre Dame; three hundred 
thousand men, summoned to rise against the tyrants of the 
earth, rose from all the varying soils of France, as if the 
dragon's teeth had been sown broadcast, and had yielded 
fruit equally on hill and plain, on rock, in gravel, and alluvial 
mud, under the bright sky of the South and under the clouds 
of the North, in fell and forest, in the vineyards and the 
olive-grounds and among the cropped grass and the stubble 

268 A Tale of Two Cities 

c f the corn, along the fruitful banks of the broad rivers, and 
in the sand of the seashore. iVhat private solicitude could 
rear itself against the deluge of the Year One of Liberty 
tl e deluge rising from below, not falling from above, and 
with the windows of Heaven shut, not opened! 

There was no pause, no pity, no peace, no interval of 
relenting rest, no measurement of time. Though days and 
nights circled as regularly as when time was young, and the 
evening and morning were the first day, other count of time 
there was none. Hold of it was lost in the raging fever of 
a nation, as it is in the fever of one patient. Now, breaking 
the unnatural silence of a whole city, the executioner showed 
the people the head of the king and now, it seemed almost 
in the same breath, the head of his fair wife which had had 
eight weary months of imprisoned widowhood and misery, 
to turn it grey. 

And yet, observing the strange law of contradiction which 
obtains in all such cases, the time was long, while it flamed 
by so fast. A revolutionary tribunal in the capital, and forty 
or fifty thousand revolutionary committees all over the land; 
a law of the Suspected, which struck away all security for 
liberty or life, and delivered over any good and innocent 
person to any bad and guilty one; prisons gorged with 
people who had committed no offence, and could obtain 
no hearing; these things became the established order and 
nature of appointed things, and seemed to be ancient usage 
before they were many weeks old. Above all, one hideous 
figure grew as familiar as if it had been before the general 
gaze from the foundations of the world the figure of the 
sharp female called La Guillotine. 

It was the popular theme for jests; it was the best cure 
for headache, it infallibly prevented the hair from turning 
grey, it imparted a peculiar delicacy to the complexion, it 
was the National Razor which shaved close: who kissed La 
Guillotine looked through the little window and sneezed 
into the sack. It was the sign of the regeneration of the 
human race. It superseded the Cross. Models of it were 
worn on breasts from which the Cross was discarded, and it 
was bowed down to and believed in where the Cross was 

It sheared off heads so many, that it, and the ground it 

Calm in Storm 269 

most polluted, were a rotten red. It was taken to pieces, 
like a toy puzzle for a young Devil, and was put together 
again when the occasion wanted it. It hushed the eloquent, 
struck down the powerful, abolished the beautiful and good. 
Twenty-two friends of high public mark, twenty-one living 
and one dead, it had lopped the heads off, in one morning, 
in as many minutes. The name of the strong man of Old 
Scripture had descended to the chief functionary who worked 
it; but, so armed, he was stronger than his namesake, and 
blinder, and tore away the gates of God's own Temple every 

Among these terrors, and the brood belonging to them, 
the Doctor walked with a steady head: confident in his 
power, cautiously persistent in his end, never doubting that 
he would save Lucie's husband at last. Yet the current of 
the time swept by, so strong and deep, and carried the time 
away so fiercely, that Charles had lain in prison one year 
and three months when the Doctor was thus steady and 
confident. So much more wicked and distracted had the 
Revolution grown in that December month, that the rivers 
of the South were encumbered with the bodies of the 
violently drowned by night, and prisoners were shot in lines 
and squares under the southern wintry sun. Still, the 
Doctor walked among the terrors with a steady head. No 
man better known than he, in Paris at that day ; no man in 
a stranger situation. Silent, humane, indispensable in hos- 
pital and prison, using his art equally among assassins and 
victims, he was a man apart. In the exercise of his skill, 
the appearance and the story of the Bastille captive removed 
him from all other men. He was not suspected or brought 
in question, any more than if he had indeed been recalled 
to life some eighteen years before, or were a Spirit moving 
among mortals. 

270 A Tale of Two Cities 



ONE year and three months. During all that time Lucie 
was never sure, from hour to hour, but that the Guillotine 
would strike off her husband's head next day. Every day, 
through the stony streets, the tumbrils now jolted heavily, 
filled with Condemned. Lovely girls ; bright women, brown- 
haired, black-haired, and grey; youths; stalwart men and 
old; gentle born and peasant born; all red wine for La 
Guillotine, all daily brought into light from the dark cellars 
of the loathsome prisons, and carried to her through the 
streets to slake her devouring thirst. Liberty, Equality, 
Fraternity, or Death the last, much the easiest to bestow, 
O Guillotine ! 

If the suddenness of her calamity, and the whirling wheels 
of the time, had stunned the Doctor's daughter into awaiting 
the result in idle despair, it would but have been with her 
as it was with many. But, from the hour when she had 
taken the white head to her fresh young bosom in the garret 
of Saint Antoine, she had been true to her duties. She was 
truest to them in the season of trial, as all the quietly loyal 
and good will always be. 

As soon as they were established in their new residence 
and her father had entered on the routine of his avocations, 
she arranged the little household as exactly as if her hus- 
band had been there. Everything had its appointed place 
and its appointed time. Little Lucie she taught, as regularly 
as if they had all been united in their English home. The 
slight devices with which she cheated herself into the show 
of a belief that they would soon be reunited the little 
preparations for his speedy return, the setting aside of his 
chair and his books these, and the solemn prayer at night 
for one dear prisoner especially, among the many unhappy 
souls in prison and the shadow of death were almost the 
only outspoken reliefs of her heavy mind. 

She did not greatly alter in appearance. The plain dark 
dresses, akin to mourning dresses, which she and her child 
wore, were as neat and as well attended to as the brighter 

The Wood-sawyer 271 

clothes of happy days. She lost her colour, and the old 
and intent expression was a constant, not an occasional, 
thing; otherwise, she remained very pretty and comely. 
Sometimes, at night on kissing her father, she would burst 
into the grief she had repressed all day, and would say that 
her sole reliance, under Heaven, was on him. He always 
resolutely answered: 'Nothing can happen to him without 
my knowledge, and I know that I can save him, Lucie.' 

They had not made the round of their changed life many 
weeks, when her father said to her, on coming home one 
evening : 

'My dear, there is an upper window in the prison, to 
which Charles can sometimes gain access at three in the 
afternoon. When he can get to it which depends on 
many uncertainties and incidents he might see you in the 
street, he thinks, if you stood in a certain place that I 
show you. But you will not be able to see him, my poor 
child, and even if you could, it would be unsafe for you to 
make a sign of recognition.' 

'O show me the place, my father, and I will go there 
every day.' 

From that time, in all weathers, she waited there two 
hours. As the clock struck two, she was there, and at four 
she turned resignedly away. When it was not too wet or 
inclement for her child to be with her, they went together; 
at other times she was alone ; but, she never missed a single 

It was the dark and dirty corner of a small winding street. 
The hovel of a cutter of wood into lengths for burning, was 
the only house at that end ; all else was wall. On the third 
day of her being there, he noticed her. 

' Good day, citizeness.' 

'Good day, citizen.' 

This mode of address was now prescribed by decree. It 
had been established voluntarily some time ago, among the 
more thorough patriots ; but, was now law for everybody. 

' Walking here again, citizeness ? ' 

' You see me, citizen ! ' 

The wood-sawyer, who was a little man with a redundancy 
of gesture (he had once been a mender of roads), cast a glance 
at the prison, pointed at the prison, and putting his ten 

272 A Tale of Two Cities 

fingers before his face to represent bars, peeped through 
them jocosely. 

' But it 's not my business/ said he. And went on sawing 
his wood. 

Next day he was looking out for her, and accosted her 
the moment she appeared. 

'What? Walking here again, citizeness?' 

'Yes, citizen.' 

'Ah! A child tool Your mother, is it not, my little 
citizeness ? ' 

' Do I say yes, mamma ? ' whispered little Lucie, draw- 
ing close to her. 

'Yes, dearest.' 

'Yes, citizen/ 

'Ah! But it's not my business. My work is my 
business. See my saw! I call it my Little Guillotine. 
La, la, la ; La, la, la ! And off his head comes ! ' 

The billet fell as he spoke, and he threw it into a basket. 

'I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. See 
here again! Loo, loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off her 
head comes! Now, a child. Tickle, tickle; Pickle, pickle! 
And off its head comes. All the family ! ' 

Lucie shuddered as he threw two more billets into his 
basket, but it was impossible to be there while the wood- 
sawyer was at work, and not be in his sight. Thenceforth, 
to secure his goodwill, she always spoke to him first, and 
often gave him drink money, which he readily received 

He was an inquisitive fellow, and sometimes when she 
had quite forgotten him in gazing at the prison roof and 
grates, and in lifting her heart up to her husband, she would 
come to herself to find him looking at her, with his knee on 
his bench and his saw stopped in its work. ' But it 's not 
my business ! ' he would generally say at those times, and 
would briskly fall to his sawing again. 

In all weathers, in the snow and frost of winter, in the 
bitter winds of spring, in the hot sunshine of summer, in 
the rains of autumn, and again in the snow and frost of 
winter, Lucie passed two hours of every day at this place; 
and every day on leaving it, she kissed the prison wall. 
Her husband saw her (so she learned from her father) it 
might be once in five or six times: it might be twice or 

The Wood -sawyer 273 

thrice running: it might be, not for a week or a fortnight 
together. It was enough that he could and did see her 
when the chances served, and on that possibility she would 
have waited out the day, seven days a week. 

These occupations brought her round to the December 
month, wherein her father walked among the terrors with a 
steady head. On a lightly snowing afternoon she arrived at 
the usual comer. It was a day of some wild rejoicing, and 
a festival. She had seen the houses, as she came along, 
decorated with little pikes, and with little red caps stuck 
upon them; also, with tricoloured ribbons; also, with the 
standard inscription (tricoloured letters were the favourite). 
Republic One and Indivisible, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, 
or Death. 

The miserable shop of the wood-sawyer was so small, that 
its whole surface furnished very indifferent space for this 
legend. He had got somebody to scrawl it up for him, 
however, who had squeezed Death in with most inappro- 
priate difficulty. On his house-top, he displayed pike and 
cap, as a good citizen must, and in a window he had stationed 
his saw inscribed as his 'Little Sainte Guillotine' for the 
great sharp female was by that time properly canonized. 
His shop was shut and he was not there, which was a relief 
to Lucie, and left her quite alone. 

But, he was not far off, for presently she heard a troubled 
movement and a shouting coming along, which filled her 
with fear. A moment afterwards, and a throng of people 
came pouring round the corner by the prison wall, in the 
midst of whom was the wood-sawyer hand in hand with The 
Vengeance. There could not be fewer than five hundred 
people, and they were dancing like five thousand demons. 
There was no other music than their own singing. They 
danced to the popular Revolution song, keeping a ferocious 
time that was like a gnashing of teeth in unison. Men 
and women danced together, women danced together, men 
danced together, as hazard had brought them together. At 
first, they were a mere storm of coarse red caps and coarse 
woollen rags; but, as they filled the place, and stopped to 
dance about Lucie, some ghastly apparition of a dance-figure 
gone raving mad arose among them. They advanced, re- 
treated, struck at one another's hands, clutched at one 

274 A Tale of Two Cities 

another's heads, spun round alone, caught one another and 
spun round in pairs, until many of them dropped. While 
those were down, the rest linked hand in hand, and all spun 
round together: then the ring broke, and in separate rings 
of two and four they turned and turned until they all stopped 
at once, began again, struck, clutched, and tore, and then 
reversed the spin, and all spun round another way. Sud- 
denly they stopped again, paused, struck out the time afresh, 
formed into lines the width of the public way, and, with 
their heads low down and their hands high up, swooped 
screaming off. No fight could have been half so terrible as 
this dance. It was so emphatically a fallen sport a some- 
thing, once innocent, delivered over to all devilry a healthy 
pastime changed into a means of angering the blood, bewil- 
dering the senses, and steeling the heart. Such grace as was 
visible in it, made it the uglier, showing how warped and 
perverted all things good by nature were become. The 
maidenly bosom bared to this, the pretty almost child's head 
thus distracted, the delicate foot mincing in this slough of 
blood and dirt, were types of the disjointed time. 

This was the Carmagnole. As it passed, leaving Lucie 
frightened and bewildered in the doorway of the wood- 
sawyer's house, the feathery snow fell as quietly and lay as 
white and soft, as if it had never been. 

' O my father ! ' for he stood before her when she lifted 
up the eyes she had momentarily darkened with her hand; 
'such a cruel, bad sight.' 

' I know, my dear, I know. I have seen it many times. 
Don't be frightened. Not one of them would harm you.' 

' I am not frightened for myself, my father. But when I 
think of my husband, and the mercies of these people ' 

'We will set him above their mercies very soon. I left 
him climbing to the window, and I came to tell you. There 
is no one here to see. You may kiss your hand towards 
that highest shelving roof.' 

' I do so, father, and I send him my Soul with it ! ' 

' You cannot see him, my poor dear ? ' 

'No, father,' said Lucie, yearning and weeping as she 
kissed her hand, 'no.' 

A footstep in the snow. Madame Defarge. 'I salute 
you, citizeness/ from the Doctor. 'I salute you, citizen.' 

The Wood-sawyer 275 

This in passing. Nothing more. Madame Defarge gone, 
like a shadow over a white road. 

'Give me your arm, my love. Pass from here with an 
air of cheerfulness and courage, for his sake. That was 
well done'; they had left the spot; 'it shall not be in vain. 
Charles is summoned for to-morrow.' 

' For to-morrow ! ' 

'There is no time to lose. I am well prepared, but there 
are precautions to be taken, that could not be taken until 
he was actually summoned before the Tribunal. He has 
not received the notice yet, but I know that he will pre- 
sently be summoned for to-morrow, and removed to the 
Conciergerie ; I have timely information. You are not 
afraid ? ' 

She could scarcely answer, 'I trust in you.' 

'Do so implicitly. Your suspense is nearly ended, my 
darling; he shall be restored to you within a few hours; I 
have encompassed him with every protection. I must see 

He stopped. There was a heavy lumbering of wheels 
within hearing. They both knew to^ well what it meant. 
One. Two. Three. Three tumbrils faring away with 
their dread loads over the hushing snow. 

'I must see Lorry,' the Doctor repeated, turning her 
another way. 

The staunch old gentleman was still in his trust; had never 
left it. He and his books were in frequent requisition as to 
property confiscated and made national. What he could 
save for the owners, he saved. No better man living to hold 
fast by what Tellson's had in keeping, and to hold his peace. 

A murky red and yellow sky, and a rising mist from the 
Seine, denoted the approach of darkness. It was almost 
dark when they arrived at the bank. The stately residence 
of Monseigneur was altogether blighted and deserted. 
Above a heap of dust and ashes in the court, ran the letters : 
National Property. Republic One and Indivisible. Liberty, 
Equality, Fraternity, or Death! 

Who could that be with Mr. Lorry the owner of the 
riding-coat upon the chair who must not be seen ? From 
whom newly arrived, did he come out, agitated and sur- 
prised, to take his favourite in his arms ? To whom did he 


A Tale of Two Cities 

appear to repeat her faltering words, when, raising his voice 
and turning his head towards the door of the room from 
which he had issued, he said : ' Removed to the Con- 
ciergerie, and summoned for to-morrow ' ? 



THE dread Tribunal of five Judges, Public Prosecutor, 
and determined Jury, sat every day. Their lists went forth 
every evening, and were read out by the jailers of the 
various prisons to their prisoners. The standard jailer- joke 
was, ' Come out and listen to the Evening Paper, you inside 

' Charles Evrmonde, called Darnay ! ' 

So at last began the Evening Paper at La Force. 

When a name was called, its owner stepped apart into a 
spot reserved for those who were announced as being thus 
fatally recorded. Charles Evremonde, called Darnay, had 
reason to know the usage; he had seen hundreds pass 
away so. 

His bloated jailer, who wore spectacles to read with, 
glanced over them to assure himself that he had taken his 
place, and went through the list, making a similar short 
pause at each name. There were twenty-three names, but 
only twenty were responded to; for one of the prisoners so 
summoned had died in jail and been forgotten, and two 
had already been guillotined and forgotten. The list was 
read, in the vaulted chamber where Darnay had seen the 
associated prisoners on the night of his arrival. Every one 
of those had perished in the massacre; every human 
creature he had since cared for and parted with, had died 
on the scaffold. 

There were hurried words of farewell and kindness, but 
the parting was soon over. It was the incident of every 
day, and the society of La Force were engaged in the pre- 
paration of some games of forfeits and a little concert, for 

Triumph 277 

that evening. They crowded to the grates and shed tears 
there; but, twenty places in the projected entertainments 
had to be refilled, and the time was, at best, short to the 
lock-up hour, when the common rooms and corridors would 
be delivered over to the great dogs who kept watch there 
through the night. The prisoners were far from insensible 
or unfeeling; their ways arose out of the condition of the 
time. Similarly, though with a subtle difference, a species 
of fervour or intoxication, known, without doubt, to have 
led some persons to brave the guillotine unnecessarily, and 
to die by it, was not mere boastfulness, but a wild infection 
of the wildly shaken public mind. In seasons of pestilence, 
some of us will have a secret attraction to the disease a 
terrible passing inclination to die of it. And all of us have 
like wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circum- 
stances to evoke them. 

The passage to the Conciergerie was short and dark; the 
night in its vermin-haunted cells was long and cold. Next 
day, fifteen prisoners were put to the bar before Charles 
Darnay's name was called. All the fifteen were condemned, 
and the trials of the whole occupied an hour and a half. 

'Charles Evre"monde, called Darnay,' was at length 

His judges sat upon the Bench in feathered hats; but 
the rough red cap and tricoloured cockade was the head- 
dress otherwise prevailing. Looking at the Jury and the 
turbulent audience, he might have thought that the usual 
order of things was reversed, and that the felons were trying 
the honest men. The lowest, cruelest, and worst populace 
of a city, never without its quantity of low, cruel, and bad, 
were the directing spirits of the scene: noisily commenting, 
applauding, disapproving, anticipating, and precipitating the 
result, without a check. Of the men, the greater part were 
armed in various ways; of the women, some wore knives, 
some daggers, some ate and drank as they looked on, many 
knitted. Among these last, was one, with a spare piece of 
knitting under her arm as she worked. She was in a front 
row, by the side of a man whom he had never seen since 
his arrival at the barrier, but whom he directly remembered 
as Defarge. He noticed that she once or twice whispered 
in his ear, and that she seemed to be his wife; but, what 


A Tale of Two Cities 

he most noticed in the two figures was, that although they 
were posted as close to himself as they could be, they never 
looked towards him. They seemed to be waiting for some- 
thing with a dogged determination, and they looked at the 
Jury, but at nothing else. Under the President sat Doctor 
Manette, in his usual quiet dress. As well as the prisoner 
could see, he and Mr. Lorry were the only men there, 
unconnected with the Tribunal, who wore their usual clothes, 
and had not assumed the coarse garb of the Carmagnole. 

Charles Evremonde, called Darn ay, was accused by the 
Public Prosecutor as an emigrant, whose life was forfeit to 
the Republic, under the decree which banished all emigrants 
on pain of death. It was nothing that the decree bore date 
since his return to France. There he was, and there was the 
decree; he had been taken in France, and his head was 

' Take off his head ! ' cried the audience. ' An enemy 
to the Republic ! ' 

The President rang his bell to silence those cries, and 
asked the prisoner whether it was not true that he had lived 
many years in England ? 

Undoubtedly it was. 

Was he not an emigrant then ? What did he call himself ? 

Not an emigrant, he hoped, within the sense and spirit of 
the law. 

Why not? the President desired to know. 

Because he had voluntarily relinquished a title that was 
distasteful to him, and a station that was distasteful to him, 
and had left his country he submitted before the word 
emigrant in the present acceptation by the Tribunal was in 
use to live by his own industry in England, rather than on 
the industry of the overladen people of France. 

What proof had he of this? 

He handed in the names of two witnesses; Thophile 
Gabelle, and Alexandre Manette. 

But he had married in England ? the President reminded 

True, but not an English woman. 

A citizeness of France ? 

Yes. By birth. 

Her name and family ? 

Triumph 279 

'Lucie Manette, only daughter of Doctor Manette, the 
good physician who sits there.' 

This answer had a happy effect upon the audience. Cries 
in exaltation of the well-known good physician rent the hall. 
So capriciously were the people moved, that tears immedi- 
ately rolled down several ferocious countenances which had 
been glaring at the prisoner a moment before, as if with 
impatience to pluck him out into the streets and kill him. 

On these few steps of his dangerous way, Charles Darnay 
had set his foot according to Doctor Manette's reiterated 
instructions. The same cautious counsel directed every step 
that lay before him, and had prepared every inch of his 

The President asked, why had he returned to France when 
he did, and not sooner? 

He had not returned sooner, he replied, simply because he 
had no means of living in France, save those he had re- 
signed; whereas, in England, he lived by giving instruction 
in the French language and literature. He had returned 
when he did, on the pressing and written entreaty of a 
French citizen, who represented that his life was endangered 
by his absence. He had come back, to save a citizen's life, 
and to bear his testimony, at whatever personal hazard, to 
the truth. Was that criminal in the eyes of the Republic? 

The populace cried enthusiastically, 'No!' and the 
President rang his bell to quiet them. Which it did not, 
for they continued to cry ' No 1 ' until they left ofi, of their 
own will. 

The President required the name of that citizen. The 
accused explained that the citizen was his first witness. He 
also referred with confidence to the citizen's letter, which 
had been taken from him at the barrier, but which he did 
not doubt would be found among the papers then before 
the President. 

The Doctor had taken care that it should be there had 
assured him that it would be there and at this stage of the 
proceedings it was produced and read. Citizen Gabelle 
was called to confirm it, and did so. Citizen Gabelle 
hinted, with infinite delicacy and politeness, that in the 
pressure of business imposed on the Tribunal by the 
multitude of enemies of the Republic with which it had to 

280 A Tale of Two Cities 

deal, he had been slightly overlooked in his prison of the 
Abbaye in fact, had rather passed out of the Tribunal's 
patriotic remembrance until three days ago; when he had 
been summoned before it, and had been set at liberty on the 
Jury's declaring themselves satisfied that the accusation 
against him was answered, as to himself, by the surrender of 
the citizen Evremonde, called Darnay. 

Doctor Manette was next questioned. His high personal 
popularity, and the clearness of his answers, made a great 
impression: but, as he proceeded, as he showed that the 
accused was his first friend on his release from his long 
imprisonment; that, the accused had remained in England, 
always faithful and devoted to his daughter and himself 
in their exile; that, so far from being in favour with the 
Aristocrat government there, he had actually been tried for 
his life by it, as the foe of England and friend of the United 
States as he brought these circumstances into view, with 
the greatest discretion and with the straightforward force of 
truth and earnestness, the Jury and the populace became 
one. At last, when he appealed by name to Monsieur 
Lorry, an English gentleman then and there present, who, 
like himself, had been a witness on that English trial and 
could corroborate his account of it, the Jury declared that 
they had heard enough, and that they were ready with their 
votes if the President were content to receive them. 

At every vote (the Jurymen voted aloud and individually), 
the populace set up a shout of applause. All the voices 
were in the prisoner's favour, and the President declared 
him free. 

Then, began one of those extraordinary scenes with which 
the populace sometimes gratified their fickleness, or their 
better impulses towards generosity and mercy, or which they 
regarded as some set-off against their swollen account of 
cruel rage. No man can decide now to which of these 
motives such extraordinary scenes were referable; it is 
probable, to a blending of all the three, with the second 
predominating. No sooner was the acquittal pronounced, 
than tears were shed as freely as blood at another time, and 
such fraternal embraces were bestowed upon the prisoner 
by as many of both sexes as could rush at him, that after 
his long and unwholesome confinement he was in danger of 

Triumph 28 1 

fainting from exhaustion; none the less because he knew 
very well, that the very same people, carried by another 
current, would have rushed at him with the very same 
intensity, to rend him to pieces and strew him over the 

His removal, to make way for other accused persons who 
were to be tried, rescued him from these caresses for the 
moment. Five were to be tried together, next, as enemies 
of the Republic, forasmuch as they had not assisted it by 
word or deed. So quick was the Tribunal to compensate 
itself and the nation for a chance lost, that these five came 
down to him before he left the place, condemned to die 
within twenty-four hours. The first of them told him so, 
with the customary prison sign of death a raised finger 
and they added in words, ' Long live the Republic ! ' 

The five had had, it is true, no audience to lengthen 
their proceedings, for when he and Doctor Manette emerged 
from the gate, there was a great crowd about it, in which 
there seemed to be every face he had seen in court, except 
two, for which he looked in vain. On his coming out, 
the concourse made at him anew, weeping, embracing, and 
shouting, all by turns and all together, until the very tide 
of the river on the bank of which the mad scene was acted, 
seemed to run mad, like the people on the shore. 

They put him into a great chair they had among them, 
and which they had taken either out of the court itself, or 
one of its rooms or passages. Over the chair they had 
thrown a red flag, and to the back of it they had bound a 
pike with a red cap on its top. In this car of triumph, not 
even the doctor's entreaties could prevent his being carried 
to his home on men's shoulders, with a confused sea of red 
caps heaving about him, and casting up to sight from the 
stormy deep such wrecks of faces, that he more than once 
misdoubted his mind being in confusion, and that he was 
in the tumbril on his way to the Guillotine. 

In wild dreamlike procession, embracing whom they met 
and pointing him out, they carried him on. Reddening 
the snowy streets with the prevailing Republican colour, in 
winding and tramping through them, as they had reddened 
them below the snow with a deeper dye, they carried him, 
thus into the courtyard of the building where he lived. 

282 A Tale of Two Cities 

Her father had gone on before, to prepare her, and when 
her husband stood upon his feet, she dropped insensible in 
his arms. 

As he held her to his heart and turned her beautiful head 
between his face and the brawling crowd, so that his tears 
and her lips might come together unseen, a few of the 
people fell to dancing. Instantly, all the rest fell to dancing, 
and the courtyard overflowed with the Carmagnole. Then, 
they elevated into the vacant chair a young woman from 
the crowd to be carried as the Goddess of Liberty, and 
then swelling and overflowing out into the adjacent streets, 
and along the river's bank, and over the bridge, the Car- 
magnole absorbed them every one and whirled them away. 

After grasping the Doctor's hand, as he stood victorious 
and proud before him; after grasping the hand of Mr. 
Lorry, who came panting in breathless from his struggle 
against the waterspout of the Carmagnole; after kissing 
little Lucie, who was lifted up to clasp her hands round his 
neck; and after embracing the ever zealous and faithful 
Pross who lifted her; he took his wife in his arms, and 
carried her up to their rooms. 

'Lucie! My own! I am safe.' 

'O dearest Charles, let me thank God for this on my 
knees as I have prayed to Him.' 

They all reverently bowed their heads and hearts. When 
she was again in his arms, he said to her 

' And now speak to your father, dearest. No other man 
in all this France could have done what he has done for 

She laid her head upon her father's breast, as she had 
laid his poor head on her own breast, long, long ago. He 
was happy in the return he had made her, he was recom-, 
pensed for his suffering, he was proud of his strength. 
'You must not be weak, my darling,' he remonstrated; 
' don't tremble so. I have saved him.' 

A Knock at the Door 283 



'I HAVE saved him.' It was not another of the dreams 
in which he had often come back; he was really here. 
And yet his wife trembled, and a vague but heavy fear was 
upon her. 

All the air around was so thick and dark, the people were 
so passionately revengeful and fitful, the innocent were so 
constantly put to death on vague suspicion and black 
malice, it was so impossible to forget that many as blame- 
less as her husband -and as dear to others as he was to her, 
every day shared the fate from which he had been clutched, 
that her heart could not be as lightened of its load as she 
felt it ought to be. The shadows of the wintry afternoon 
were beginning to fall, and even now the dreadful carts 
were rolling through the streets. Her mind pursued them, 
looking for him among the condemned; and then she clung 
closer to his real presence and trembled more. 

Her father, cheering her, showed a compassionate superi- 
ority to this woman's weakness, which was wonderful to see. 
No garret, no shoemaking, no One Hundred and Five, 
North Tower, now! He had accomplished the task he 
had set himself, his promise was redeemed, he had saved 
Charles. Let them all lean upon him. 

Their housekeeping was of a very frugal kind: not only 
because that was the safest way of life, involving the least 
offence to the people, but because they were not rich, and 
Charles, throughout his imprisonment, had had to pay 
heavily for his bad food, and for his guard, and towards the 
living of the poorer prisoners. Partly on this account, and 
partly to avoid a domestic spy, they kept no servant; the 
citizen and citizeness who acted as porters at the courtyard 
gate, rendered them occasional service; and Jerry (almost 
wholly transferred to them by Mr. Lorry) had become their 
daily retainer, and had his bed there every night. 

It was the ordinance of the Republic One and Indivisible 
of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death, that on the door 
or door-post of every house, the name of every inmate 


A Tale of Two Cities 

must be legibly inscribed in letters of a certain size, at a 
certain convenient height from the ground. Mr. Jerry 
Cruncher's name, therefore, duly embellished the door-post 
down below; and, as the afternoon shadows deepened, the 
owner of that name himself appeared, from overlooking a 
painter whom Doctor Manette had employed to add to the 
list the name of Charles Evreinonde, called Darnay. 

In the universal fear and distrust that darkened the time, 
all the usual harmless ways of life were changed. In the 
Doctor's little household, as in very many others, the articles 
of daily consumption that were wanted were purchased 
every evening, in small quantities and at various small 
shops. To avoid attracting notice, and to give as little 
occasion as possible for talk and envy, was the general 

For some months past, Miss Pross and Mr. Cruncher had 
discharged the office of purveyors; the former carrying the 
money; the latter, the basket. Every afternoon at about 
the time when the public lamps were lighted, they fared 
forth on this duty, and made and brought home such 
purchases as were needful. Although Miss Pross, through 
her long association with a French family, might have known 
as much of their language as of her own, if she had had a 
mind, she had no mind in that direction; consequently she 
knew no more of that 'nonsense' (as she was pleased to 
call it) than Mr. Cruncher did. So her manner of market- 
ing was to plump a noun-substantive at the head of a shop- 
keeper without any introduction in the nature of an article, 
and, if it happened not to be the name of the thing she 
wanted, to look round for that thing, lay hold of it, and 
hold on by it until the bargain was concluded. She always 
made a bargain for it, by holding up, as a statement of its 
just price, one finger less than the merchant held up, what- 
ever his number might be. 

'Now, Mr. Cruncher,' said Miss Pross, whose eyes were 
red with felicity; 'if you are ready, I am.' 

Jerry hoarsely professed himself at Miss Press's service. 
He had worn all his rust off long ago, but nothing would 
file his spiky head down. 

'There 's all manner of things wanted,' said Miss Pross, 
'and we shall have a precious time of it. We want wine, 

A Knock at the Door 285 

among the rest. Nice toasts these Redheads will be 
drinking, wherever we buy it.' 

'It will be much the same to your knowledge, miss, I 
should think/ retorted Jerry, 'whether they drink your 
health or the Old Un's.' 

'Who 's he?' said Miss Pross. 

Mr. Cruncher, with some diffidence, explained himself as 
meaning 'Old Nick's/ 

'Ha!' said Miss Pross, 'it doesn't need an interpreter 
to explain the meaning of these creatures. They have but 
one, and it 's Midnight Murder, and Mischief.' 

'Hush, dear! Pray, pray, be cautious!' cried Lucie. 

'Yes, yes, yes, I '11 be cautious,' said Miss Pross; 'but I 
may say among ourselves, that I do hope there will be no 
oniony and tobaccoey smotherings in the form of embracings 
all round, going on in the streets. Now, Ladybird, never 
you stir from that fire till I come back! Take care of the 
dear husband you have recovered, and don't move your 
pretty head from his shoulder as you have it now, till you 
see me again 1 May I ask a question, Doctor Manette, 
before I go ? ' 

' I think you may take that liberty/ the Doctor answered, 

'For gracious sake, don't talk about Liberty; we have 
quite enough of that/ said Miss Pross. 

'Hush, dear! Again?' Lucie remonstrated. 

'Well, my sweet/ said Miss Pross, nodding her head 
emphatically, 'the short and the long of it is, that I am a 
subject of His Most Gracious Majesty King George the 
Third ' Miss Pross curtsied at the name ' and as such, 
my maxim is, Confound their politics, Frustrate tluir 
knavish tricks, On him our hopes we fix, God save the 

Mr. Cruncher, in an access of loyalty, growlingly repeated 
the words after Miss Pross, like somebody at church. 

' I am glad you have so much of the Englishman in you, 
though I wish you had never taken that cold in your voice/ 
said Miss Pross, approvingly. 'But the question, Doctor 
Manette. Is there' it was the good creature's way to 
affect to make light of anything that was a great anxiety 
with them all, and to come at it in this chance manner 

286 A Tale of Two Cities 

'is there any prospect yet, of our getting out of this 
place ? ' 

' I fear not yet. It would be dangerous for Charles yet/ 

'Heigh-ho-hum! ' said Miss Pross, cheerfully repressing 
a sigh as she glanced at her darling's golden hair in the 
light of the fire, 'then we must have patience and wait; 
that 's all. We must hold up our heads and fight low, as my 
brother Solomon used to say. Now, Mr. Cruncher 1 Don't 
you move, Ladybird ! ' 

They went out, leaving Lucie and her husband, her 
father and the child, by a bright fire. Mr. Lorry was 
expected back presently from the banking house. Miss 
Pross had lighted the lamp, but had put it aside in a corner, 
that they might enjoy the fire-light undisturbed. Little 
Lucie sat by her grandfather with her hands clasped through 
his arm : and he, in a tone not rising much above a whisper, 
began to tell her a story of a great and powerful Fairy who 
had opened a prison wall and let out a captive who had once 
done the Fairy a service. All was subdued and quiet, and 
Lucie was more at ease than she had been. 

'What is that ? ' she cried, all at once. 

' My dear ! ' said her father, stopping in his story, and 
laying his hand on hers, 'command yourself. What a 
disordered state you are in! The least thing nothing 
startles you I You, your father's daughter ! ' 

'I thought, my father,' said Lucie, excusing herself, with 
a pale face and in a faltering voice, 'that I heard strange 
feet upon the stairs.' 

'My love, the staircase is as still as death.' 

As he said the word, a blow was struck upon the door. 

'Oh, father, father. What can this be! Hide Charles. 
Save him ! ' 

'My child,' said the Doctor, rising, and laying his hand 
upon her shoulder, ' I have saved him. What weakness is 
this, my dear ! Let me go to the door.' 

He took the lamp in his hand, crossed the two intervening 
outer rooms, and opened it. A rude clattering of feet over 
the floor, and four rough men in red caps, armed with sabres 
and pistols, entered the room. 

'The Citizen Evremonde, called Darnay,' said the first. 

' Who seeks him ? ' answered Darnay. 

A Knock at the Door 287 

' I seek him. We seek him. I know you, Evremonde ; 
I saw you before the Tribunal to-day. You are again the 
prisoner of the Republic.' 

The four surrounded him where he stood with his wife 
and child clinging to him. 

' Tell me how and why am I again a prisoner ? ' 

' It is enough that you return straight to the Conciergerie, 
and will know to-morrow. You are summoned for to-morrow. ' 

Doctor Manette, whom this visitation had so turned into 
stone, that he stood with the lamp in his hand, as if he were 
a statue made to hold it, moved after these words were 
spoken, put the lamp down, and confronting the speaker, 
and taking him, not ungently, by the loose front of his red 
woollen shirt, said : 

'You know him, you have said. Do you know me?' 

'Yes, I know you, Citizen Doctor.' 

'We all know you, Citizen Doctor,' said the other three. 

He looked abstractedly from one to another, and said, in 
a lower voice, after a pause : 

'Will you answer his question to me then? How does 
this happen ? ' 

'Citizen Doctor,' said the first, reluctantly, 'he has been 
denounced to the Section of Saint Antoine. This citizen' 
pointing out the second who had entered ' is from Saint 

The citizen here indicated nodded his head, and added: 

'He is accused by Saint Antoine.' 

' Of what ? ' asked the Doctor. 

'Citizen Doctor,' said the first, with his former reluc- 
tance, 'ask no more. If the Republic demands sacrifices 
from you, without doubt you as a good patriot will be happy 
to make them. The Republic goes before all. The People 
is supreme. Evremonde, we are pressed.' 

'One word,' the Doctor entreated. 'Will you tell me 
who denounced him ? ' 

'It is against rule/ answered the first; 'but you can 
ask him of Saint Antoine here.' 

The Doctor turned his eyes upon that man. Who moved 
uneasily on his feet, rubbed his beard a little, and at length 

'Well! Truly it is against rule. But he is denounced 

288 A Tale of Two Cities 

and gravely by the Citizen arid Citizeness Defarge. 
And by one other.' 

'What other?' 

' Do you ask, Citizen Doctor ? ' 


'Then,' said he of Saint Antoine, with a strange look, 
'you will be answered to-morrow. Now, I am dumb I* 



HAPPILY unconscious of the new calamity at home, Miss 
Pross threaded her way along the narrow streets and crossed 
the river by the bridge of the Pont-Neuf, reckoning in her 
mind the number of indispensable purchases she had to 
make. Mr. Cruncher, with the basket, walked at her side. 
They both looked to the right and to the left into most of 
the shops they passed, had a wary eye for all gregarious 
assemblages of people, and turned out of their road to avoid 
any very excited group of talkers. It was a raw evening, 
and the misty river, blurred to the eye with blazing lights 
and to the ear with harsh noises, showed where the barges 
were stationed, in which the smiths worked, making guns 
for the Army of the Republic. Woe to the man who 
played tricks with that Army, or got undeserved promotion 
in it! Better for him that his beard had never grown, for 
the National Razor shaved him close. 

Having purchased a few small articles of grocery, and a 
measure of oil for the lamp, Miss Pross bethought herself 
of the wine they wanted. After peeping into several wine 
shops, she stopped at the sign of The Good Republican 
Brutus of Antiquity, not far from the National Palace, once 
(and twice) the Tuileries, where the aspect of things rather 
took her fancy. It had a quieter look than any other place 
of the same description they had passed, and, though red 
with patriotic caps, was not so red as the rest. Sounding 
Mr. Cruncher, and finding him of her opinion, Miss Pross 

A Hand at Cards 289 

resorted to The Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity, 
attended by her cavalier. 

Slightly observant of the smoky lights; of the people, 
pipe in mouth, playing with limp cards, and yellow domi- 
noes; of the one bare-breasted, bare-armed, soot-begrimed 
workman reading a journal aloud, and of the others listen- 
ing to him; of the weapons worn, or laid aside to be re- 
sumed; of the two or three customers fallen forward 
asleep, who in the popular high-shouldered shaggy black 
spencer looked, in that attitude, like slumbering bears or 
dogs; the two outlandish customers approached the counter, 
and showed what they wanted. 

As their wine was measuring out, a man parted from 
another man in a corner, and rose to depart. In going, he 
had to face Miss Pross. No sooner did he face her, than 
Miss Pross uttered a scream, and clapped her hands. 

In a moment, the whole company were on their feet. 
That somebody was assassinated by somebody vindicating a 
difference of opinion was the likeliest occurrence. Every- 
body looked to see somebody fall, but only saw a man and 
a woman standing staring at each other; the man with all 
the outward aspect of a Frenchman and a thorough Repub- 
lican; the woman, evidently English. 

What was said in this disappointing anti-climax, by the 
disciples of The Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity, 
except that it was something very voluble and loud, would 
have been as so much Hebrew or Chaldean to Miss Pross 
and her protector, though they had been all ears. But, they 
had no ears for anything in their surprise. For, it must be 
recorded, that not only was Miss Pross lost in amazement 
and agitation, but, Mr. Cruncher though it seemed on his 
own separate and individual account was in a state of the 
greatest wonder. 

' What is the matter ? ' said the man who had caused 
Miss Pross to scream; speaking in a vexed, abrupt voice 
(tLwu^h in a low tone), and in English. 

' Oh, Solomon, dear Solomon 1 ' cried Miss Pross, clap- 
ping her hands again. 'After not setting eyes upon you or 
hearing of you for so long a time, do I find you here I ' 

'Don't call me Solomon. Do you want to be the death 
of me ? ' asked the man, in a furtive, frightened way. 

290 A Tale of Two Cities 

1 Brother, brother ! ' cried Miss Pross, bursting into 
tears. 'Have I ever been so hard with you that you ask 
me such a cruel question ? ' 

'Then hold your meddlesome tongue,' said Solomon, 
' and come out, if you want to speak to me. Pay for your 
wine, and come out. Who 's this man ? ' 

Miss Pross, shaking her loving and dejected head at her 
by no means affectionate brother, said through her tears, 
'Mr. Cruncher.' 

'Let him come out too,' said Solomon. 'Does he think 
me a ghost ? ' 

Apparently, Mr. Cruncher did, to judge from his looks. 
He said not a word, however, and Miss Pross, exploring the 
depths of her reticule through her tears with great difficulty, 
paid for her wine. As she did so, Solomon turned to the 
followers of The Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity, and 
offered a few words of explanation in the French language, 
which caused them all to relapse into their former places 
and pursuits. 

'Now,' said Solomon, stopping at the dark street corner, 
' what do you want ? ' 

'How dreadfully unkind in a brother nothing has ever 
turned my love away from 1 ' cried Miss Pross, ' to give me 
such a greeting, and show me no affection.' 

'There. Con-found it! There,' said Solomon, making 
a dab at Miss Press's lips with his own. 'Now are you 
content ? ' 

Miss Pross only shook her head and wept in silence. 

'If you expect me to be surprised/ said her brother 
Solomon, 'I am not surprised; I knew you were here; I 
know of most people who are here. If you really don't 
want to endanger my existence which I half believe you 
do go your ways as soon as possible, and let me go mine. 
I am busy. I am an official.' 

'My English brother Solomon,' mourned Miss Pross, 
casting up her tear-fraught eyes, 'that had the makings in 
him of one of the best and greatest of men in his native 
country, an official among foreigners, and such foreigners! 
I would almost sooner have seen the dear boy lying in 
his ' 

'I said sol* cried her brother, interrupting. 'I knew 

A Hand at Cards 291 

it. You want to be the death of me. I shall be rendered 
Suspected, by my own sister. Just as I am getting on!' 

' The gracious and merciful Heavens forbid ! ' cried 
Miss Press. ' Far rather would I never see you again, dear 
Solomon, though I have ever loved you truly, and ever 
shall. Say but one affectionate word to me, and tell me 
there is nothing angry or estranged between us, and I will 
detain you no longer.' 

Good Miss Pross! As if the estrangement between them 
had come of any culpability of hers. As if Mr. Lorry had 
not known it for a fact, years ago, in the quiet corner 
in Soho, that this precious brother had spent her money 
and left her I 

He was saying the affectionate word, however, with a far 
more grudging condescension and patronage than he could 
have shown if their relative merits and positions had been 
reversed (which is invariably the case, all the world over), 
when Mr. Cruncher, touching him on the shoulder, hoarsely 
and unexpectedly interposed with the following singular 
question : 

'I sayl Might I ask the favour? As to whether your 
name is John Solomon, or Solomon John?' 

The official turned towards him with a sudden distrust. 
He had not previously uttered a word. 

'Come!' said Mr. Cruncher. 'Speak out, you know.' 
(Which, by the way, was more than he could do himself.) 
'John Solomon, or Solomon John? She calls you Solo- 
mon, and she must know, being your sister. And I know 
you 're John, you know. Which of the two goes first ? And 
regarding the name of Pross, likewise. That warn't your 
name over the water.' 

' What do you mean ? ' 

'Well, I don't know all I mean, for I can't call to mind 
what your name was, over the water.' 


'No. But I '11 swear it was a name of two syllables.' 

' Indeed ? ' 

'Yes. T'other one's was one syllable. I know you. 
You was a spy witness at the Bailey. What, in the name of 
the Father of Lies, own father to yourself, was you called 
at that time ? ' 

292 A Tale of Two Cities 

' Barsad, ' said another voice, striking in. 

' That 's the name for a thousand pound ! ' cried Jerry. 

The speaker who struck in, was Sydney Carton. He had 
his hands behind him under the skirts of his riding-coat, 
and he stood at Mr. Cruncher's elbow as negligently as he 
might have stood at the Old Bailey itself. 

'Don't be alarmed, my dear Miss Pross. I arrived at 
Mr. Lorry's, to his surprise, yesterday evening; we agreed 
that I would not present myself elsewhere until all was well, 
or unless I could be useful; I present myself here, to beg 
a little talk with your brother. I wish you had a better 
employed brother than Mr. Barsad. I wish for your sake 
Mr. Barsad was not a Sheep of the Prisons.' 

Sheep was a cant word of the time for a spy, under the 
jailers. The spy, who was pale, turned paler, and asked 
'him how he dared 

'I '11 tell you/ said Sydney. 'I lighted on you, Mr. 
Barsad, coming out of the prison of the Conciergerie while 
I was contemplating the walls, an hour or more ago. You 
have a face to be remembered, and I remember faces 
well. Made curious by seeing you in that connection, 
and having a reason, to which you are no stranger, for 
associating you with the misfortunes of a friend now very 
unfortunate, I walked in your direction. I walked into the 
wine shop here, close after you, and sat near you. I had 
no difficulty in deducing from your unreserved conversation, 
and the rumour openly going about among your admirers, 
the nature of your calling. And gradually, what I had done 
at random, seemed to shape itself into a purpose, Mr. 

'What purpose?' the spy asked. 

'It would be troublesome, and might be dangerous, to 
explain in the street. Could you favour me, in confidence, 
with some minutes of your company at the office of 
Tellson's Bank, for instance ? ' 

'Under a threat?' 

' Oh ! Did I say that ? ' 

'Then, why should I go there ? ' 

'Really, Mr. Barsad, I can't say, if you can't.' 

'Do you mean that you won't say, sir?' the spy irreso- 
lutely asked. 

A Hand at Cards 293 

'You apprehend me very clearly, Mr. Barsad. I won't.' 

Carton's negligent recklessness of manner came power- 
fully in aid of his quickness and skill, in such a business as 
he had in his secret mind, and with such a man as he had 
to do with. His practised eye saw it, and made the most 
of it. 

' Now, I told you so,' said the spy, casting a reproachful 
look at his sister; 'if any trouble comes of this, it 's your 

' Come, come, Mr. Barsad 1 ' exclaimed Sydney. ' Don't 
be ungrateful. But for my great respect for your sister, I 
might not have led up so pleasantly to a little proposal that 
I. wish to make for our mutual satisfaction. Do you go 
with me to the bank ? ' 

' I '11 hear what you have got to say. Yes, I '11 go with 

' I propose that we first conduct your sister safely to the 
corner of her own street. Let me take your arm. Miss 
Pross. This is not a good city, at this time, for you to be 
out in, unprotected; and as your escort knows Mr. Barsad, 
I will invite him to Mr. Lorry's with us. Are we ready? 
Come then!' 

Miss Pross recalled soon afterwards, and to the end of her 
life remembered, that as she pressed her hands on Sydney's 
arm and looked up in his face, imploring him to do no hurt 
to Solomon, there was a braced purpose in the arm and a 
kind of inspiration in the eyes, which not only contradicted 
his light manner, but changed and raised the man. She was 
too much occupied then with fears for the brother who 
so little deserved her affection, and with Sydney's friendly 
reassurances, adequately to heed what she observed. 

They left her at the corner of the street, and Carton led 
the way to Mr. Lorry's, which was within a few minutes' 
walk. John Barsad, or Solomon Pross, walked at his side. 

Mr. Lorry had just finished his dinner, and was sitting 
before a cheery little log or two of fire perhaps looking 
into their blaze for the picture of that younger elderly 
gentleman from Tellson 's, who had looked into the red coals 
at the ' Royal George ' at Dover, now a good many years ago. 
He turned his head as they entered, and showed the surprise 
with which he saw a stranger. 

294 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Miss Press's brother, sir/ said Sydney. 'Mr. Barsad.' 

' Barsad ? ' repeated the old gentleman. ' Barsad ? I 
have an association with the name and with the face/ 

'I told you you had a remarkable face, Mr. Barsad/ 
observed Carton, coolly. 'Pray sit down/ 

As he took a chair himself, he supplied the link that Mr. 
Lorry wanted, by saying to him with a frown, 'Witness 
at that trial/ Mr. Lorry immediately remembered, and 
regarded his new visitor with an undisguised look of 

'Mr. Barsad has been recognized by Miss Pross as the 
affectionate brother you have heard of/ said Sydney, 'and 
has acknowledged the relationship. I pass to worse news. 
Darnay has been arrested again/ 

Struck with consternation, the old gentleman exclaimed 
'What do you tell me! I left him safe and free within 
these two hours, and am about to return to him ! ' 

' Arrested for all that. When was it done, Mr. Barsad ? * 

'Just now, if at all/ 

'Mr. Barsad is the best authority possible, sir/ said 
Sydney, 'and I have it from Mr. Barsad's communication 
to a friend and brother Sheep over a bottle of wine, that the 
arrest has taken place. He left the messengers at the gate, 
and saw them admitted by the porter. There is no earthly 
doubt that he is retaken/ 

Mr. Lorry's business eye read in the speaker's face that it 
was loss of time to dwell upon the point. Confused, but 
sensible that something might depend on his presence of 
mind, he commanded himself, and was silently attentive. 

'Now, I trust/ said Sydney to him, 'that the name and 
influence of Doctor Manette may stand him in as good 
stead to-morrow you said he would be before the Tribunal 
again to-morrow, Mr. Barsad ? * 

'Yes; I believe so/ 

' In as good stead to-morrow as to-day. But it may not 
be so. I own to you, I am shaken, Mr. Lorry, by Doctor 
Manette's not having had the power to prevent this arrest/ 

'He may not have known it beforehand/ said Mr. 

' But that very circumstance would be alarming, when we 
remember how identified he is with his son-in-law/ 

A Hand at Cards 295 

'That 's true,' Mr. Lorry acknowledged, with his troubled 
hand at his chin, and his troubled eyes on Carton. 

'In short,' said Sydney, 'this is a desperate time, when 
desperate games are played for desperate stakes. Let the 
Doctor play the winning game; I will play the losing one. 
No man's life here is worth purchase. Any one carried home 
by the people to-day, may be condemned to-morrow. Now, 
the stake I have resolved to play for, in case of the worst, 
is a friend in the Conciergerie. And the friend I purpose 
to myself to win, is Mr. Barsad/ 

'You need have good cards, sir/ said the spy. 

'I '11 run them over. I '11 see what I hold Mr. Lorry, 
you know what a brute I am; I wish you 'd give me a little 

It was put before him, and he drank off a glassful drank 
off another glassful pushed the bottle thoughtfully away. 

'Mr. Barsad,' he went on, in the tone of one who really 
was looking over a hand at cards: 'Sheep of the prisons, 
emissary of republican committees, now turnkey, now 
prisoner, always spy and secret informer, so much the 
more valuable here for being English that an Englishman 
is less open to suspicion of subordination in those characters 
than a Frenchman, represents himself to his employers 
under a false name. That 's a very good card. Mr. Barsad, 
now in the employ of the republican French government, 
was formerly in the employ of the aristocratic English 
government, the enemy of France and freedom. That 's an 
excellent card. Inference clear as day in this region of 
suspicion, that Mr. Barsad, still in the pay of the aristocratic 
English government, is the spy of Pitt, the treacherous foe 
of the Republic crouching in its bosom, the English traitor 
and agent of all mischief so much spoken of and so difficult 
to find. That 's a card not be beaten. Have you followed 
my hand, Mr. Barsad ? ' 

'Not to understand your play/ returned the spy, some- 
what uneasily. 

'I play my Ace, Denunciation of Mr. Barsad to the 
nearest Section Committee. Look over your hand, Mr. 
Barsad, and see what you have. Don't hurry/ 

He drew the bottle near, poured out another glassful of 
brandy, and drank it off. He saw that the spy was fearful 


A Tale of Two Cities 

of his drinking himself into a fit state for the immediate 
denunciation of him. Seeing it, he poured out and drank 
another glassful. 

'Look over your hand carefully, Mr. Barsad. Take 

It was a poorer hand than he suspected. Mr. Barsad saw 
losing cards in it that Sydney Carton knew nothing of. 
Thrown out of his honourable employment in England, 
through too much unsuccessful hard swearing there not 
because he was not wanted there; our English reasons for 
vaunting our superiority to secrecy and spies are of very 
modern date he knew that he had crossed the Channel, 
and accepted service in France: first, as a tempter and an 
eavesdropper among his own countrymen there: gradually, 
as a tempter and an eavesdropper among the natives. He 
knew that under the overthrown government he had been 
a spy upon Saint Antoine and Defarge's wine shop; had 
received from the watchful police such heads of information 
concerning Doctor Manette's imprisonment, release, and 
history, as should serve him for an introduction to familiar 
conversation with the Defarges; and tried them on Madame 
Defarge, and had broken down with them signally. He 
always remembered with fear and trembling, that that terrible 
woman had knitted when he talked with her, and had looked 
ominously at him as her fingers moved. He had since seen 
her, in the Section of Saint Antoine, over and over again 
produce her knitted registers, and denounce people whose 
lives the guillotine then surely swallowed up. He knew, as 
every one employed as he was did, that he was never safe; 
that flight was impossible ; that he was tied fast under the 
shadow of the axe ; and that in spite of his utmost tergiver- 
sation and treachery in furtherance of the reigning terror, a 
word might bring it down upon him. Once denounced, and 
on such grave grounds that had just now been suggested to 
his mind, he foresaw that the dreadful woman of whose 
unrelenting character he had seen many proofs, would pro- 
duce against him that fatal register, and would quash his 
last chance of life. Besides that all secret men are men 
soon terrified, here were surely cards enough of one black 
suit, to justify the holder in growing rather livid as he turned 
them over. 

A Hand at Cards 297 

'You scarcely seem to like your hand,' said Sydney, with 
the greatest composure. 'Do you play?' 

'I think, sir,' said the spy, in the meanest manner,, as he 
turned to Mr. Lorry, ' I may appeal to a gentleman of your 
years and benevolence, to put it to this other gentleman, so 
much your junior, whether he can under any circumstances 
reconcile it to his station to play that Ace of which he has 
spoken. I admit that / am a spy, and that it is considered 
a discreditable station though it must be filled by some- 
body; but this gentleman is no spy, and why should he so 
demean himself as to make himself one ? ' 

'I play my Ace, Mr. Barsad,' said Carton, taking the 
answer on himself, and looking at his watch, ' without any 
scruple, in a very few minutes.' 

'I should have hoped, gentlemen both,' said the spy, 
always striving to hook Mr. Lorry into the discussion, ' that 
your respect for my sister ' 

' I could not better testify my respect for your sister than 
by finally relieving her of her brother,' said Sydney Carton. 

' You think not, sir ? ' 

' I have thoroughly made up my mind about it.' 

The smooth manner of the spy, curiously in dissonance 
with his ostentatiously rough dress, and probably with his 
usual demeanour, received such a check from the inscru- 
tability of Carton who was a mystery to wiser and honester 
men than he that it faltered here and failed him. While 
he was at a loss, Carton said, resuming his former air of 
contemplating cards: 

'And indeed, now I think again, I have a strong impres- 
sion that I have another good card here, not yet enumerated. 
That friend and fellow-Sheep, who spoke of himself as 
pasturing in the country prisons ; who was he ? ' 

'French. You don't know him,' said the spy, quickly. 

' French, eh ? ' replied Carton, musing, and not appearing 
to notice him at all, though he echoed his word. 'Well, 
he may be.' 

'Is, I assure you/ said the spy; 'though it's not im- 

'Though it 's not important,' repeated Carton, in the 

same mechanical way ' though it 's not important No, 

it 's not important. No. Yet I know the face.' 

A Tale of Two Cities 

'I think not. I am sure not. It can't be,' said the spy. 

' It can't be/ muttered Sydney Carton, retrospectively, 
and filling his glass (which fortunately was a small one) 
again. 'Can't be. Spoke good French. Yet like a 
foreigner, I thought?' 

' Provincial, ' said the spy. 

'No. Foreign!' cried Carton, striking his open hand 
on the table, as a light broke clearly on his mind. 'Cly! 
Disguised, but the same man. We had that man before us 
at the Old Bailey.' 

'Now, there you are hasty, sir,' said Barsad, with a smile 
that gave his aquiline nose an extra inclination to one side ; 
'there you really give me an advantage over you. Cly 
(who I will unreservedly admit, at this distance of time, was 
-a partner of mine) has been dead several years. I attended 
him in his last illness. He was buried in London, at the 
church of Saint Pancras-in-the-Fields. His unpopularity 
with the blackguard multitude at the moment prevented my 
following his remains, but I helped to lay him in his coffin.' 

Here, Mr. Lorry became aware, from where he sat, of a 
most remarkable goblin shadow on the wall. Tracing it to 
its source, he discovered it to be caused by a sudden extra- 
ordinary rising and stiffening of all the risen and stiff hair 
on Mr. Cruncher's head. 

'Let us be reasonable,' said the spy, 'and let us be fair. 
To show you how mistaken you are, and what an unfounded 
assumption yours is, I will lay before you a certificate of 
Cly's burial, which I happen to have carried in my pocket- 
book' with a hurried hand he produced and opened it 
'ever since. There it is. Oh, look at it, look at itl You 
may take it in your hand; it 's no forgery.' 

Here, Mr. Lorry perceived the reflection on the wall to 
elongate, and Mr. Cruncher rose and stepped forward. His 
hair could not have been more violently on end, if it had 
been that moment dressed by the cow with the crumpled 
horn in the house that Jack built. 

Unseen by the spy, Mr. Cruncher stood at his side, and 
touched him on the shoulder like a ghostly bailiff. 

'That there Roger Cly, master,' said Mr. Cruncher, with 
a taciturn and iron-bound visage. ' So you put him in his 
coffin ? ' 

A Hand at Cards 299 

'I did/ 

'Who took him out of it ? ' 

Barsad leaned back on his chair, and stammered, 'What 
do you mean ? ' 

'I mean,' said Mr. Cruncher, 'that he warn't never in 
it. No! Not he! I '11 have my head took off, if he was 
ever in it.' 

The spy looked round at the two gentlemen; they both 
looked in unspeakable astonishment at Jerry. 

'I tell you,' said Jerry, 'that you buried paving-stones 
and earth in that there coffin. Don't go and tell me that 
you buried Cly. It was a take in. Me and two more knows 

' How do you know it ? ' 

' What 's that to you ? Ecod ! * growled Mr. Cruncher, 
'it 's you I have got an old grudge again, is it, with your 
shameful impositions upon tradesmen! I 'd catch hold of 
your throat and choke you for half a guinea.' 

Sydney Carton, who, with Mr. Lorry, had been lost in 
amazement at this turn of the business, here requested Mr. 
Cruncher to moderate and explain himself. 

'At another time, sir,' he returned, evasively, 'the present 
time is ill-conwenient for explainin'. What I stand to, is 
that he knows well wot that there Cly was never in that 
there coffin. Let him say he was, in so much as a word of 
one syllable, and I '11 either catch hold of his .throat and 
choke him for half a guinea' Mr. Cruncher dwelt upon 
this as quite a liberal offer 'or I '11 out and announce 

'Humph! I see one thing,' said Carton. 'I hold 
another card, Mr. Barsad. Impossible, here in raging Paris, 
with Suspicion filling the air, for you to outlive denunciation, 
when you are in communication with another aristocratic 
spy of the same antecedents as yourself, who, moreover, has 
the mystery about him of having feigned death and come 
to life again ! A plot in the prisons, of the foreigner against 
the Republic. A strong card a certain Guillotine card! 
Do you play ? ' 

' No ! ' returned the spy. ' I throw up. I confess that 
we were so unpopular with the outrageous mob, that I only 
got away from England at the risk of being ducked to 

300 A Tale of Two Cities 

death, and that Cly was so ferreted up and down, that 
he never would have got away at all but for that sham. 
Though how this man knows it was a sham, is a wonder of 
wonders to me.' 

'Never you trouble your head about this man/ retorted 
the contentious Mr. Cruncher; 'you '11 have trouble enough 
with giving your attention to that gentleman. And look 
here 1 Once more ! ' Mr. Cruncher could not be restrained 
from making rather an ostentatious parade of his liberality 
' I 'd catch hold of your throat and choke you for half a 

The Sheep of the prisons turned from him to Sydney 
Carton, and said, with more decision, ' It has come to a 
point. I go on duty soon, and can't overstay my time. 
You told me you had a proposal ; what is it ? Now, it is of 
no use asking too much of me. Ask me to do anything in 
my office, putting my head in great extra danger, and I had 
better trust my life to the chances of a refusal than the 
chances of consent. In short, I should make that choice. 
You talk of desperation. We are all desperate here. Re- 
member! I may denounce you if I think proper, and I 
can swear my way through stone walls, and so can others. 
Now, what do you want with me ? ' 

'Not very much. You are a turnkey at the Con- 
ciergerie ? ' 

'I tell you once for all, there is no such thing as an 
escape possible,' said the spy firmly. 

'Why need you tell me what I have not asked? You 
are a turnkey at the Conciergerie ? ' 

' I am sometimes.' 

' You can be when you choose ? ' 

' I can pass in and out when I choose.' 

Sydney Carton filled another glass with brandy, poured it 
slowly out upon the hearth, and watched it as it dropped. 
It being all spent, he said, rising: 

' So far, we have spoken before these two, because it was 
as well that the merits of the cards should not rest solely 
between you and me. Come into the dark room here, and 
let us have one final word alone.' 

The Game Made 301 



WHILE Sydney Carton and the Sheep of the prisons were 
in the adjoining dark room, speaking so low that not a 
sound was heard, Mr. Lorry looked at Jerry in considerable 
doubt and mistrust. That honest tradesman's manner of 
receiving the look, did not inspire confidence; he changed 
the leg on which he rested, as often as if he had fifty of 
those limbs, and were trying them all; he examined his 
finger-nails with a very questionable closeness of attention; 
and whenever Mr. Lorry's eye caught his, he was taken with 
that peculiar kind of short cough requiring the hollow of a 
hand before it, which is seldom, if ever, known to be an 
infirmity attendant on perfect openness of character. 

'Jerry,' said Mr. Lorry. 'Come here.' 

Mr. Cruncher came forward sideways, with one of his 
shoulders in advance of him. 

'What have you been, besides a messenger?' 

After some cogitation, accompanied with an intent look' 
at his patron, Mr. Cruncher conceived the luminous idea of 
replying, ' Agricultooral character.' 

'My mind misgives me much/ said Mr. Lorry, angrily 
shaking a forefinger at him, ' that you have used the respect- 
able and great house of Tellson's as a blind, and that you 
have had an unlawful occupation of an infamous description. 
If you have, don't expect me to befriend you when you get 
back to England. If you have, don't expect me to keep 
your secret. Tellson's shall not be imposed upon.' 

'I hope, sir,' pleaded the abashed Mr. Cruncher, 'that 
a gentleman like yourself wot I 've had the honour of odd 
jobbing till I 'm grey at it, would think twice about harming 
of me, even if it wos so I don't say it is, but even if it 
wos. And which is to be took into account that if it wos, 
it wouldn't, even then, be all o' one side. There 'd be two 
sides to it. There might be medical doctors at the present 
hour, a picking up their guineas where a honest tradesman 
don't pick up his fardens fardens! no, nor yet his half- 
fardens half -fardens 1 no, nor yet his quarter a banking 

302 A Tale of Two Cities 

away like smoke at Tellson's, and a cocking their medical 
eyes at that tradesman on the sly, a going in and going out 
to their own carriages ah! equally like smoke, if not more 
so. Well, that 'ud be imposing, too, on Tellson's. For you 
cannot sarse the goose and not the gander. And here 's 
Mrs. Cruncher, or leastways wos in the Old England times, 
and would be to-morrow, if cause given, a floppin' again the 
business to that degree as is ruinating stark ruinating! 
Whereas them medical doctors' wives don't flop catch 'em 
at it! Or, if they flop, their floppings goes in favour of 
more patients, and how can you rightly have one without 
the t'other? Then, wot with undertakers, and wot with 
parish clerks, and wot with sextons, and wot with private 
watchmen (all awaricious and all in it), a man wouldn't get 
much by it, even if it wos so. And wot little a man did get, 
would never prosper with him, Mr. Lorry. He 'd never have 
no good of it; he 'd want all along to be out of the line, if 
he could see his way out, being once in even if it wos so.' 

' Ugh ! ' cried Mr. Lorry, rather relenting, nevertheless. 
'I am shocked at the sight of you.' 

'Now, what I would humbly offer to you, sir,' pursued 
Mr. Cruncher, 'even if it wos so, which I don't say it 
is ' 

'Don't prevaricate,' said Mr. Lorry. 

'No, I will not, sir,' returned Mr. Cruncher, as if nothing 
were further from his thoughts or practice 'which I don't 
say it is wot I would humbly offer to you, sir, would be 
this. Upon that there stool, at that there Bar, sets that 
there boy of mine, brought up and growed up to be a man, 
wot will errand you, message you, general-light-job you, till 
your heels is where your head is, if such should be your 
wishes. If it was so, which I still don't say it is (for I will 
not prewaricate to you, sir), let that there boy keep his 
father's place, and take care of his mother; don't blow upon 
that boy's father do not do it, sir and let that father go 
into the line of the reg'lar diggin', and make amends for 
what he would have un-dug if it was so by diggin' of 'em 
in with a will, and with conwictions respectin' the futur' 
keepin' of 'em safe. That, Mr. Lorry,' said Mr. Cruncher, 
wiping his forehead with his arm, as an announcement that 
he had arrived at the peroration of his discourse, ' is w hat I 

The Game Made 303 

would respectfully offer to you, sir. A man don't see all 
this here a goin' on dreadful round him, in the way of 
Subjects without heads, dear me, plentiful enough fur to 
bring the price down to porterage and hardly that, without 
havin' his serious thoughts of things. And these here would 
be mine, if it wos so, entreatin' of you fur to bear in mind 
that wot I said just now, I up and said in the good cause 
when I might have kep' it back.' 

'That at least is true,' said Mr. Lorry. 'Say no more 
now. It may be that I shall yet stand your friend, if you 
deserve it, and repent in action not in words. I want no 
more words.' 

Mr. Cruncher knuckled his forehead, as Sydney Carton 
and the spy returned from the dark room. 'Adieu, Mr. 
Barsad,' said the former; 'our arrangement thus made, 
you have nothing to fear from me.' 

He sat down in a chair on the hearth, over against Mr. 
Lorry. When they were alone, Mr. Lorry asked him what 
he had done. 

' Not much. If it should go ill with the prisoner, I have 
ensured access to him, once.' 

Mr. Lorry's countenance fell. 

'It is all I could do,' said Carton. 'To propose too 
much, would be to put this man's head under the axe, and, 
as he himself said, nothing worse could happen to him if he 
were denounced. It was obviously the weakness of the 
position. There is no help for it.' 

'But access to him,' said Mr. Lorry, 'if it should go ill 
before the Tribunal, will not save him.' 

' I never said it would.' 

Mr. Lorry's eyes gradually sought the fire; his sympathy 
with his darling, and the heavy disappointment of this 
second arrest, gradually weakened them; he was an old 
man now, overborne with anxiety of late, and his tears fell. 

'You are a good man and a true friend,' said Carton, in 
an altered voice. ' Forgive me if I notice that you are 
affected. I could not see my father weep, and sit by, care- 
less. And I could not respect your sorrow more, if you 
were my father. You are free from that misfortune, how- 

Though he said the last words, with a slip into his usual 

304 A Tale of Two Cities 

manner, there was a true feeling and respect both in his 
tone and in his touch, that Mr. Lorry, who had never seen 
the better side of him, was wholly unprepared for. He 
gave him his hand, and Carton gently pressed it. 

'To return to poor Darnay,' said Carton. 'Don't tell 
Her of this interview, or this arrangement. It would not 
enable Her to go to see him. She might think it was 
contrived, in case of the worst, to convey to him the means 
of anticipating the sentence.' 

Mr. Lorry had not thought of that, and he looked quickly 
at Carton to see if it were in his mind. It seemed to be; 
he returned the look, and evidently understood it. 

'She might think a thousand things,' Carton said, 'and 
any of them would only add to her trouble. Don't speak 
of me to her. As I said to you when I first came, I had 
better not see her. I can put my hand out, to do any little 
helpful work for her that my hand can find to do, without 
that. You are going to her, I hope? She must be very 
desolate to-night.' 

' I am going now, directly.' 

'I am glad of that. She has such a strong attachment 
to you and reliance on you. How does she look? ' 

'Anxious and unhappy, but very beautifuL* 


Ik was a long, grieving sound, like a sigh almost like a 
sob. It attracted Mr. Lorry's eyes to Mr. Carton's face, which 
was turned to the fire. A light, or a shade (the old gentle- 
man could not have said which) passed from it as swiftly as 
a change will sweep over a hillside on a wild bright day, 
and he lifted his foot to put back one of the little naming 
logs, which was tumbling forward. He wore the white 
riding-coat and top-boots, then in vogue, and the light of 
the fire touching their light surfaces made him look very 
pale, with his long brown hair, all untrimmed, hanging loose 
about him. His indifference to fire was sufficiently remark- 
able to elicit a word of remonstrance from Mr. Lorry: his 
boot was still upon the hot embers of the naming log, when 
it had broken under the weight of his foot. 

' I forgot it,' he said. 

Mr. Lorry's eyes were again attracted to his face. Taking 
note of the wasted air which clouded the naturally handsome 

The Game Made 305 

features, and having the expression of prisoners' faces fresh 
in his mind, he was strongly reminded of that expression. 

' And your duties here have drawn to an end, sir ? ' said 
Carton, turning to him. 

' Yes. As I was telling you last night, when Lucie came 
in so unexpectedly, I have at length done all that I can do 
here. I hoped to have left them in perfect safety, and then 
to have quitted Paris. I have my Leave to Pass. I was 
ready to go.' 

They were both silent. 

' Yours is a long life to look back upon, sir ? ' said Carton, 

' I am in my seventy-eighth year.' 

'You have been useful all your life; steadily and con- 
stantly occupied; trusted, respected, and looked up to?' 

1 1 have been a man of business, ever since I have been 
a man. Indeed, I may say that I was a man of business 
when a boy.' 

'See what a place you fill at seventy-eight. How many 
people wiU miss you when you leave it empty ! ' 

'A solitary old bachelor,' answered Mr. Lorry, shaking 
his head. 'There is nobody to weep for me.' 

'How can you say thatl Wouldn't She weep for you? 
Wouldn't her child ? ' 

'Yes, yes, thank God. I didn't quite mean what I said.' 

' It is a thing to thank God for; is it not ? ' 

'Surely, surely.' 

' It you could say, with truth, to your own solitary heart, 
to-night, " I have secured to myself the love and attachment, 
the gratitude or respect, of no human creature ; I have won 
myself a tender place in no regard; I have done nothing 
good or serviceable to be remembered by!' your seventy- 
eight years would be seventy-eight heavy curses ; would they 

'You say truly, Mr. Carton; I think they would be.' 

Sydney turned his eyes again upon the fire, and, after a 
silence of a few moments, said : 

'I should like to ask you: Does your childhood seem 
far off ? Do the days when you sat at your mother's knee, 
seem days of very long ago ? ' 

Responding to his softened manner, Mr. Lorry answered : 


A Tale of Two Cities 

'Twenty years back, yes; at this time of my life, no. 
For, as I draw closer and closer to the end, I travel in the 
circle, nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be 
one of the kind smoo things and preparings of the way. My 
heart is touched now, by many remembrances that had long 
fallen asleep, of my pretty young mother (and I so old!), 
and by many associations of the days when what we call the 
World was not so real with me, and my faults were not 
confirmed in me.' 

' I understand the feeling ! ' exclaimed Carton, with a 
bright flush. ' And you are the better for it ? ' 

' I hope so.' 

Carton terminated the conversation here, by rising to 
help him on with his outer coat; 'but you,' said Mr. 
Lorry, reverting to the theme, 'you are young.' 

'Yes,' said Carton. 'I am not old, but my young way 
was never the way to age. Enough of me.' 

'And of me, I am sure,' said Mr. Lorry. 'Are you 
going out ? ' 

' I '11 walk with you to her gate. You know my vagabond 
and restless habits. If I should prowl about the streets a 
long time, don't be uneasy; I shall reappear in the morning. 
You go to the court to-morrow ? ' 

'Yes, unhappily.' 

'I shall be there, but only as one of the crowd. My 
Spy will find a place for me. Take my arm, sir.' 

Mr. Lorry did so, and they went downstairs and out in 
the streets. A few minutes brought them to Mr. Lorry's 
destination. Carton left him there; but lingered at a little 
distance, and turned back to the gate again when it was 
shut, and touched it. He had heard of her going to the 
prison every day. 'She came out here,' he said, looking 
about him, ' turned this way, must have trod on these stones 
often. Let me follow in her steps.' 

It was ten o'clock at night when he stood before the 
prison of La Force, where she had stood hundreds of times. 
A little wood-sawyer, having closed his shop, was smoking 
his pipe at his shop door. 

'Good night, citizen,' said Sydney Carton, pausing in 
going by; for, the man eyed him inquisitively. 

'Good night, citizen.' 

The Game Made 307 

' How goes the Republic ? ' 

'You mean the Guillotine. Not ill. Sixty-three to-day. 
We shall mount to a hundred soon. Samson and his men 
complain sometimes, of being exhausted. Ha, ha, ha! He 
is so droll, that Samson. Such a Barber! ' 

' Do you often go to see him ' 

'Shave? Always. Every day. What a barber! You 
have seen him at work ? ' 


'Go and see him when he has a good batch. Figure 
this to yourself, citizen; he shaved the sixty-three to-day, 
in less than two pipes 1 Less than two pipes. Word of 
honour ! ' 

As the grinning little man held out the pipe he was 
smoking, to explain how he timed the execution, Carton 
was so sensible of a rising desire to strike the life out of 
him, that he turned away. 

'But you are not English,' said the wood-sawyer, 'though 
you wear English dress ? ' 

'Yes,' said Carton, pausing again, and answering over his 

'You speak like a Frenchman.' 

'I am an old student here.' 

'Aha, a perfect Frenchman! Good night, Englishman.' 

'Good night, citizen.' 

'But go and see that droll dog,' the little man persisted, 
calling after him. 'And take a pipe with you! ' 

Sydney had not gone far out of sight, when he stopped in 
the middle of the street under a glimmering lamp, and 
wrote with his pencil on a scrap of paper. Then, traversing 
with the decided step of one who remembered the way well, 
several dark and dirty streets much dirtier than usual, for 
the best public thoroughfares remained uncleansed in those 
times of terror he stopped at a chemist's shop, which the 
owner was closing with his own hands. A small, dim, 
crooked shop, kept in a tortuous, up-held thoroughfare, by a 
small, dim, crooked man. 

Giving this citizen, too, good night, as he confronted him 
at his counter, he laid the scrap of paper before him. 
'Whew.' The chemist whistled softly, as he read it. 'Hi! 
hi! nil' 

3 o8 

A Tale of Two Cities 

Sydney Carton took no heed, and the chemist said : 

' For you, citizen ? ' 


* You will be careful to keep them separate, citizen. You 
know the consequences of mixing them ? * 


Certain small packets were made and given to him. He 
put them, one by one, in the breast of his inner coat, counted 
out the money for them, and deliberately left the shop. 
'There is nothing more to do,' said he, glancing upward at 
the moon, 'until to-morrow. I can't sleep.' 

It was not a reckless manner, the manner in which he 
said these words aloud under the fast-sailing clouds, nor was 
it more expressive of negligence than defiance. It was the 
settled manner of a tired man, who had wandered and 
struggled and got lost, but who at length struck into his road 
and saw its end. 

Long ago, when he had been famous among his earliest 
competitors as a youth of great promise, he had followed his 
father to the grave. His mother had died, years before. 
These solemn words, which had been read at his father's 
grave, arose in his mind as he went down the dark streets, 
among the heavy shadows, with the moon and the clouds 
sailing on high above him. * I am the resurrection and the 
life, saith the Lord : he that believeth in me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he li ve : and whosoever liveth and believeth 
in me, shall never die.' 

In a city dominated by the axe, alone at night, with 
natural sorrow rising in him for the sixty-three who had 
been that day put to death, and for to-morrow's victims then 
awaiting their doom in the prisons, and still of to-morrow's 
and to-morrow's, the chain of association that brought the 
words home, like a rusty old ship's anchor from the deep, 
might have been easily found. He did not seek it, but 
repeated them and went on. 

With a solemn interest in the lighted windows where the 
people were going to rest, forgetful through a few calm hours 
of the horrors surrounding them; in the towers of the 
churches, where no prayers were said, for the popular revul- 
sion had even travelled that length of self-destruction from 
years of priestly impostors, plunderers, and profligates; in 

The Game Made 309 

the distant burial-places, reserved, as they wrote upon the 
gates, for Eternal Sleep; in the abounding jails; and in the 
streets along which the sixties rolled to a death which had be- 
come so common and material, that no sorrowful story of a 
haunting Spirit ever arose among the people out of all the 
working of the Guillotine; with a solemn interest in the 
whole life and death of the city settling down to its short 
nightly pause in fury; Sydney Carton crossed the Seine 
again for the lighter streets. 

Few coaches were abroad, for riders in coaches were 
liable to be suspected, and gentility hid its head in red 
night-caps, and put on heavy shoes, and trudged. But, the 
theatres were all well filled, and the people poured cheerfully 
out as he passed, and vent chatting home. At one of the 
theatre doors, there was a little girl with a mother, looking 
for a way across the street through the mud. He carried 
the child over, and before the timid arm was loosed from his 
neck asked her for a kiss. 

' I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord : he 
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he 
live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never 

Now, that the streets were quiet and the night wore on, 
the words were in the echoes of his feet, and were in the air. 
Perfectly calm and steady, he sometimes repeated them to 
himself as he walked; but, he heard them always. 

The night wore out, and, as he stood upon the bridge 
listening to the water as it splashed the river-walls of the 
Island of Paris, where the picturesque confusion of houses 
and cathedral shone bright in the light of the moon, the 
day came coldly, looking like a dead face out of the sky. 
Then, the night, with the moon and the stars, turned pale 
and died, and for a little while it seemed as if Creation were 
delivered over to Death's dominion. 

But, the glorious sun, rising, seemed to strike those words, 
that burden of the night, straight and warm to his heart in 
its long bright rays. And looking along them, with reverently 
shaded eyes, a bridge of light appeared to span the air 
between him and the sun, while the river sparkled under it. 

The strong tide, so swift, so deep, and certain, was like 
a congenial friend, in the morning stillness. He walked by 

310 A Tale of Two Cities 

the stream, far from the houses, and in the light and warmth 
of the sun fell asleep on the bank. When he awoke and 
was afoot again, he lingered there yet a little longer, watch- 
ing an eddy that turned and turned purposeless, until the 
stream absorbed it, and carried it on to the sea. 'Like 

A trading-boat, with a sail of the softened colour of a dead 
leaf, then glided into his view, floated by him, and died 
away. As its silent track in the water disappeared, the 
prayer that had broken up out of his heart for a merciful 
consideration of all his poor blindnesses and errors, ended in 
the words, 'I am the resurrection and the life.' 

Mr. Lorry was already out when he got back, and it was 
easy to surmise where the good old man was gone. Sydney 
Carton drank nothing but a little coffee, ate some bread, and, 
having washed and changed to refresh himself, went out to 
the place of trial. 

The court was all astir and a-buzz, when the black sheep 
whom many fell away from in dread pressed him into an 
obscure corner among the crowd. Mr. Lorry was there, and 
Doctor Manette was there. She was there, sitting beside 
her father. 

When her husband was brought in, she turned a look 
upon him, so sustaining, so encouraging, so full of admiring 
love, and pitying tenderness, yet so courageous for his 
sake, that it called the healthy blood into his face, brightened 
his glance, and animated his heart. If there had been 
any eyes to notice the influence of her look, on Sydney 
Carton, it would have been seen to be the same influence 

Before that unjust Tribunal, there was little or no order 
of procedure, ensuring to any accused person any reasonable 
hearing. There could have been no such Revolution, if all 
laws, forms, and ceremonies, had not first been so mon- 
strously abused, that the suicidal vengeance of the Revolu- 
tion was to scatter them all to the winds. 

Every eye was turned to the Jury. The same determined 
patriots and good republicans as yesterday and the day 
before, and to-morrow and the day after. Eager and 
prominent among them, one man with a craving face, and 
his fingers perpetually hovering about his lips, whose 

The Game Made 311 

appearance gave great satisfaction to the spectators. A 
life-thirsting, cannibal-looking, bloody-minded juryman, the 
Jacques Three of Saint Antoine. The whole Jury, as a Jury 
of dogs empannelled to try the deer. 

Every eye then turned to the five Judges and the Public 
Prosecutor. No favourablele aning in that quarter to-day. 
A fell, uncompromising, murderous business meaning there. 
Every eye then sought some other eye in the crowd, and 
gleamed at it approvingly; and heads nodded at one 
another, before bending forward with a strained attention. 

Charles Evremonde, called Darnay. Released yesterday. 
Reaccused and retaken yesterday. Indictment delivered 
to him last night. Suspected and Denounced enemy of the 
Republic, Aristocrat, one of a family of tyrants, one of a 
race proscribed, for that they had used their abolished 
privileges to the infamous oppression of the people. 
Charles Evremonde, called Darnay, in right of such pro- 
scription, absolutely Dead in Law. 

To this effect, in as few or fewer words, the Public 

The President asked, was the Accused openly denounced 
or secretly ? 

'Openly, President.' 

' By whom ? ' 

'Three voices. Ernest Defarge, wine vendor of Saint 

' Good/ 

'Therse Defarge, his wife.' 


'Alexandre Manette, physician.' 

A great uproar took place in the court, and in the midst 
of it, Doctor Manette was seen, pale and trembling, standing 
where he had been seated. 

'President, I indignantly protest to you that this is a 
forgery and a fraud. You know the accused to be the 
husband of my daughter. My daughter, and those dear to 
her, are far dearer to me than my life. Who and where is 
the false conspirator who says that I denounce the husband 
of my child ! ' 

'Citizen Manette, be tranquil. To fail in submission to 
the authority of the Tribunal would be to put yourself out 

312 A Tale of Two Cities 

of Law. As to what is dearer to you than life, nothing can 
be so dear to a good citizen as the Republic/ 

Loud acclamations hailed this rebuke. The President 
rang his bell, and with warmth resumed. 

'If the Republic should demand of you the sacrifice of 
your child herself, you would have no duty but to sacrifice 
her. Listen to what is to follow. In the meanwhile, be 
silent ! ' 

Frantic acclamations were again raised. Doctor Manette 
sat down, with his eyes looking around, and his lips trem- 
bling; his daughter drew closer to him. The craving man 
on the Jury rubbed his hands together, and restored the 
usual hand to his mouth. 

Defarge was produced, when the court was quiet enough 
to admit of his being heard, and rapidly expounded the 
story of the imprisonment, and of his having been a mere 
boy in the Doctor's service, and of the release, and of the 
state of the prisoner when released and delivered to him. 
This short examination followed, for the court was quick 
with its work. 

'You did good service at the taking of the Bastille, 
citizen ? ' 

' I believe so.' 

Here an excited woman screeched from the crowd: 'You 
were one of the best patriots there. Why not say so ? You 
were a cannonier that day there, and you were among the 
first to enter the accursed fortress when it fell. Patriots, I 
speak the truth ! ' 

It was The Vengeance who, amidst the warm commen- 
dations of the audience, thus assisted the proceedings. 
The President rang his bell; but, The Vengeance, warming 
with encouragement, shrieked, 'I defy that bell!' wherein 
she was likewise much commended. 

' Inform the Tribunal of what you did that day within 
the Bastille, citizen.' 

'I knew,' said Defarge, looking down at his wife, who 
stood at the bottom of the steps on which he was raised 
looking steadily up at him; 'I knew that this prisoner, of 
whom I speak, had been confined in a cell known as one 
hundred and five, North Tower. I knew it from himself. 
He knew himself by no other name than One Hundred and 

The Substance of the Shadow 313 

Five, North Tower, when he made shoes under my care. 
As I serve my gun that day, I resolve, when the place shall 
fall, to examine that cell. It falls. I mount to the cell, 
with a fellow-citizen who is one of the Jury, directed by a 
jailer. I examine it, very closely. In the hole in the 
chimney, where a stone has been worked out and replaced, 
I find a written paper. This is that written paper. I have 
made it my business to examine some specimens of the 
writing of Doctor Manette. This is the writing of Doctor 
Manette. I confide this paper, in the writing of Doctor 
Manette, to the hands of the President.' 

'Let it be read.' 

In a dead silence and stillness the prisoner under trial 
looking lovingly at his wife, his wife only looking from him 
to look with solicitude at her father, Doctor Manette 
keeping his eyes fixed on the reader, Madame Defarge 
never taking hers from the prisoner, Defarge never taking 
his from his feasting wife, and all the other eyes there intent 
upon the Doctor, who saw none of them the paper was 
read, as follows. 



'I, ALEXANDRE MANETTE, unfortunate physician, native 
of Beauvais, and afterwards resident in Paris, write this 
melancholy paper in my doleful cell in the Bastille, during 
the last month of the year, 1767. I write it at stolen 
intervals, under every difficulty. I design to secrete it in 
the wall of the chimney, where I have slowly and labori- 
ously made a place of concealment for it. Some pitying 
hand may find it there, when I and my sorrows are dust. 
'These words are formed by the rusty iron point with 
which I write with difficulty in scrapings of soot and char- 
coal from the chimney, mixed with blood, in the last month 
of the tenth year of my captivity. Hope has quite departed 
from my breast. I know from terrible warnings I have 

314 A Tale of Two Cities 

noted in myself that my reason will not long remain unim- 
paired, but I solemnly declare that I am at this time in the 
possession of my right mind that my memory is exact and 
circumstantial and that I write the truth as I shall answer 
for these my last recorded words, whether the) 7 be ever read 
by men or not, at the Eternal Judgment Seat. 

'One cloudy moonlight night, in the third week of 
December (I think the twenty-second of the month) in the 
year 1757, I was walking on a retired part of the quay by 
the Seine for the refreshment of the frosty air, at an hour's 
distance from my place of residence in the Street of the 
School of Medicine, when a carriage came along behind me, 
driven very fast. As I stood aside to let that carriage pass, 
apprehensive that it might otherwise run me down, a head 
was put out at the window, and a voice called to the driver 
to stop. 

'The carriage stopped as soon as the driver could rein in 
his horses, and the same voice called to me by my name. I 
answered. The carriage was then so far in advance of me 
that two gentlemen had time to open the door and alight 
before I came up with it. I observed that they were both 
wrapped in cloaks, and appeared to conceal themselves. 
As they stood side by side near the carriage door, I also 
observed that they both looked of about my own age, or 
rather younger, and that they were greatly alike, in stature, 
manner, voice, and (as far as I could see) face too. 

'"You are Doctor Manette?" said one. 

'"I am." 

'"Doctor Manette, formerly of Beauvais," said the other; 
"the young physician, originally an expert surgeon, who 
within the last year or two has made a rising reputation in 

'"Gentlemen," I returned, "I am that Doctor Manette 
of whom you speak so graciously." 

'"We have been to your residence," said the first, "and 
not being so fortunate as to find you there, and being 
informed that you were probably walking in this direction, 
we followed, in the hope of overtaking you. Will you 
please to enter the carriage ? ' 

'The manner of both was imperious, and they both 
moved, as these words were spoken, so as to place me 

The Substance of the Shadow 315 

between themselves and the carriage door. They were 
armed. I was not. 

'"Gentlemen," said I, "pardon me; but I usually inquire 
who does me the honour to seek my assistance, and what is 
the nature of the case to which I am summoned." 

'The reply to this was made by him who had spoken 
second. "Doctor, your clients are people of condition. 
As to the nature of your case, our confidence in your skill 
assures us that you will ascertain it for yourself better than 
we can describe it. Enough. Will you please to enter the 
carriage ? ' 

'I could do nothing but comply, and I entered it in 
silence. They both entered after me the last springing in, 
after putting up the steps. The carriage turned about, and 
drove on at its former speed. 

'I repeat this conversation exactly as it occurred. I 
have no doubt that it is, word for word, the same. I des- 
cribe everything exactly as it took place, constraining my 
mind not to wander from the task. When I make the 
broken marks that follow here, I leave off for the time, and 
put my paper in its hiding-place. . . . 

'The carriage left the streets behind, passed the North 
Barrier, and emerged upon the country road. At two- 
thirds of a league from the barrier I did not estimate the 
distance at that time, but afterwards when I traversed it it 
struck out of the main avenue, and presently stopped at a 
solitary house. We all three alighted, and walked, by a 
damp soft footpath in a garden where a neglected fountain 
had overflowed, to the end of the house. It was not 
opened immediately, in answer to the ringing of the bell, 
and one of my two conductors struck the man who opened 
it, with his heavy riding-glove, across the face. 

' There was nothing in this action to attract my particular 
attention, for I had seen common people struck more 
commonly than dogs. But, the other of the two, being 
angry likewise, struck the man in like manner with his arm ; 
the look and bearing of the brothers were then so exactly 
alike, that I then first perceived them to be twin brothers. 

' From the time of our alighting from the outer gate 
(which we found locked, and which one of the brothers had 
opened to admit us, and had relocked), I had heard cries 


A Tale of Two Cities 

proceeding from an upper chamber. I was conducted to this 
chamber straight, the cries growing louder as we ascended 
the stairs, and I found a patient in a high fever of the brain, 
lying on a bed. 

'The patient was a woman of great beauty, and young; 
assuredly not much past twenty. Her hair was torn and 
ragged, and her arms were bound to her sides with sashes 
and handkerchiefs. I noticed that these bonds were all 
portions of a gentleman's dress. On one of them, which 
was a fringed scarf for a dress of ceremony, I saw the 
armorial bearings of a noble, and the letter E. 

' I saw this, within the first minute of my contemplatiorl 
of the patient; for, in her restless strivings she had turned 
over on her face on the edge of the bed, had drawn the end 
of the scarf into her mouth, and was in danger of suffoca- 
tion. My first act was to put out my hand to relieve her 
breathing ; and in moving the scarf aside, the embroidery in 
the corner caught my sight. 

'I turned her gently over, placed my hands upon her 
breast to calm her and keep her down, and looked into her 
face. Her eyes were dilated and wild, and she constantly 
uttered piercing shrieks, and repeated the words, "My 
husband, my father, and my brother! " and then counted up 
to twelve, and said, " Hush ! ' For an instant, and no more, 
she would pause to listen, and then the piercing shrieks 
would begin again, and she would repeat the cry, "My 
husband, my father, and my brother! " and would count up 
to twelve, and say " Hush ! ' There was no variation in the 
order, or the manner. There was no cessation, but the 
regular moment's pause, in the utterance of these sounds. 

"'How long," I asked, "has this lasted?*' 

'To distinguish the brothers, I will call them the elder 
and the younger; by the elder I mean him who exercised 
the most authority. It was the elder who replied, "Since 
about this hour last night." 

'"She has a husband, a father, and a brother?" 

'"A brother." 
" I do not address her brother ? " 

'He answered with great contempt, "No." 

"She has some recent association with the number 
twelve ? " 

The Substance of the Shadow 317 

' The younger brother impatiently rejoined, "With twelve 

'"See, gentlemen," said I, still keeping my hands upon 
her breast, "how useless I am, as you have brought me! If 
I had known what I was coming to see, I could have come 
provided. As it is, time must be lost. There are no 
medicines to be obtained in this lonely place." 

'The elder brother looked to the younger, who said 
haughtily, "There is a case of medicines here " ; and brought 
it from a closet, and put it on the table. . . . 

'1 opened some of the bottles, smelt them, and put the 
stoppers to my lips. If I had wanted to use anything save 
narcotic medicines that were poisons in themselves, I would 
not have administered any of those. 

'"Do you doubt them?" asked the younger brother. 

'"You see, monsieur, I am going to use them," I replied, 
and said no more. 

'I made the patient swallow, with great difficulty, and 
after many efforts, the dose that I desired to give. As I 
intended to repeat it after a while, and as it was necessary 
to watch its influence, I then sat down by the side of the 
bed. There was a timid and suppressed woman in attend- 
ance (wife of the man downstairs), who had retreated into 
a corner. The house was damp and decayed, indifferently 
furnished evidently, recently occupied and temporarily 
used. Some thick old hangings had been nailed up before 
the windows, to deaden the sound of the shrieks. They 
continued to be uttered in their regular succession, with the 
cry, "My husband, my father, and my brother! " the count- 
ing up to twelve, and "Hush ! ' The frenzy was so violent, 
that I had not unfastened the bandages restraining the 
arms; but, I had looked to them, to see that they were not 
painful. The only spark of encouragement in the case, 
was, that my hand upon the sufferer's breast had this 
much soothing influence, that for minutes at a time it 
tranquilized the figure. It had no effect upon the cries; no 
pendulum could be more regular. 

'For the reason that my hand had this effect (I assume), 
I had sat by the side of the bed for half an hour, with the 
two brothers looking on, before the elder said: 
'There is another patient." 

3 i8 

A Tale of Two Cities 

'I was startled, and asked, "Is it a pressing case?' 

'You had better see," he carelessly answered; and took 
up a light. . . . 

'The other patient lay in a back room across the second 
staircase, which was a species of loft over a stable. There 
was a low plastered ceiling to a part of it ; the rest was open, 
to the ridge of the tiled roof, and there were beams across. 
Hay and straw were stored in that portion of the place, 
faggots for firing, and a heap of apples in sand. I had to 
pass through that part, to get at the other. My memory 
is circumstantial and unshaken. I try it with these details, 
and I see them all, in this my cell in the Bastille, near the 
close of the tenth year of my captivity, as I saw them all that 

'On some hay on the ground, with a cushion thrown 
under his head, lay a handsome peasant boy a boy of not 
more than seventeen at the most. He lay on his back, 
with his teeth set, his right hand clenched on his breast, 
and his glaring eyes looking straight upward. I could not 
see where his wound was, as I kneeled on one knee over 
him; but, I could see that he was dying of a wound from a 
sharp point. 

"I am a doctor, my poor fellow," said I. "Let me 
examine it." 

'I do not want it examined," he answered; "let it be." 

'It was under his hand, and I soothed him to let me 
move his hand away. The wound was a sword-thrust, 
received from twenty to twenty-four hours before, but no 
skill could have saved him if it had been looked to without 
delay. He was then dying fast. As I turned my eyes to 
the elder brother, I saw him looking down at this handsome 
boy whose life was ebbing out, as if he were a wounded 
bird, or hare, or rabbit; not at all as if he were a fellow- 

"How has this been done, monsieur?" said I. 
"A crazed young common dog! A serf! Forced my 
brother to draw upon him, and has fallen by my brother's 
sword like a gentleman." 

' There was no touch of pity, sorrow, or kindred humanity, 
in this answer. The speaker seemed to acknowledge 
that it was inconvenient to have that different order 

The Substance of the Shadow 319 

of creature dying there, and that it would have been better 
if he had died in the usual obscure routine of his vermin 
kind. He was quite incapable of any compassionate feeling 
about the boy, or about his fate. 

'The boy's eyes had slowly moved to him as he had 
spoken, and they now slowly moved to me. 

'"Doctor, thev are very proud, these nobles; but we 
common dogs are proud too, sometimes. They plunder us, 
outrage us, beat us, kill us ; but we have a little pride left, 
sometimes. She have you seen her, Doctor ? ' 

'The shrieks and the cries were audible there, though 
subdued by the distance. He referred to them, as if she 
were lying in our presence. 

' I said, " I have seen her." 

'"She is my sister, Doctor. They have had their 
shameful rights, these nobles, in the modesty and virtue of 
our sisters, many years, but we have had good girls among 
us. I know it, and have heard my father say so. She 
was a good girl. She was betrothed to a good young man, 
too: a tenant of his. We were all tenants of his that 
man's who stands there. The other is his brother, the 
worst of a bad race." 

' It was with the greatest difficulty that the boy gathered 
bodily force to speak; but, his spirit spoke with a dreadful 

'"We were robbed by that man who stands there, as all 
we common dogs are by those superior beings taxed by 
him without mercy, obliged to work for him without pay, 
obliged to grind our corn at his mill, obliged to feed scores 
of his tame birds on our wretched crops, and forbidden for 
our lives to keep a single tame bird of our own, pillaged 
and plundered to that degree that when we chanced to 
have a bit of meat, we ate it in fear, with the door barred 
and the shutters closed, that his people should not see it 
and take it from us I say, we were so robbed, and hunted, 
and we were made so poor, that our father told us it was a 
dreadful thing to bring a child into the world, and that what 
we should most pray for, was, that our women might be 
barren and our miserable race die out! ' 

'I had never before seen the sense of being oppressed, 
bursting forth like a fire. I had supposed that it must be 

320 A Tale of Two Cities 

latent in the people somewhere; but, I had never seen it 
break out, until I saw it in the dying boy. 

'Nevertheless, Doctor, my sister married. He was 
ailing at that time, poor fellow, and she married her lover, 
that she might tend and comfort him in our cottage our 
dog-hut, as that man would call it. She had not been 
married many weeks, when that man's brother saw her and 
admired her, and asked that man to lend her to him for 
what are husbands among us ! He was willing enough, but 
my sister was good and virtuous, and hated his brother with 
a hatred as strong as mine. What did the two then, to 
persuade her husband to use his influence with her, to make 
her willing ? ' 

'The boy's eyes, which had been fixed on mine, slowly 
turned to the looker-on, and I saw in the two faces that all 
he said was true. The two opposing kinds of pride con- 
fronting one another, I can see, even in this Bastille; the 
gentleman's, all negligent indifference; the peasant's, all 
trodden-down sentiment, and passionate revenge. 

'"You know, Doctor, that it is among the Rights of 
these nobles to harness us common dogs to carts, and 
drive us. They so harnessed him and drove him. You 
know that it is among their Rights to keep us in their 
grounds all night, quieting the frogs, in order that their 
noble sleep may not be disturbed. They kept him out in 
the unwholesome mists at night, and ordered him back into 
his harness in the day. But he was not persuaded. Nol 
Taken out of harness one day at noon, to feed if he could 
find food he sobbed twelve times, once for every stroke of 
the bell, and died on her bosom." 

'Nothing human could have held life in the boy but his 
determination to tell all his wrong. He forced back the 
gathering shadows of death, as he forced his clenched right 
hand to remain clenched, and to cover his wound. 

'"Then, with that man's permission and even with his 
aid, his brother took her away ; in spite of what I know she 
must have told his brother and what that is, will not be 
long unknown to you, Doctor, if it now is his brother took 
her away for his pleasure and diversion, for a little while. 
I saw her pass me on the road. When I took the tidings 
home, our father's heart burst; he never spoke one of the 

The Substance of the Shadow 321 

words that filled it. I took my young sister (for I have 
another) to a place beyond the reach of this man, and where , 
at least, she will never be his vassal. Then, I tracked the 
brother here, and last night climbed in a common dog, 
but sword in hand. Where is the loft window? It was 
somewhere here ? ' 

'The room was darkening to his sight; the world was 
narrowing around him. I glanced about me, and saw that 
the hay and straw were trampled over the floor, as if there 
had been a struggle. 

'"She heard me, and ran in, I told her not to come 
near us till he was dead. He, came in and first tossed 
me some pieces of money; then struck at me with a whip. 
But I, though a common dog, so struck at him as to make 
him draw. Let him break into as many pieces as he will, 
the sword that he had stained with my common blood; he 
drew to defend himself thrust at me with all his skill for 
his life." 

'My glance had fallen, but a few moments before, on the 
fragments of a broken sword, lying among the hay. That 
weapon was a gentleman's. In another place, lay an old 
sword that seemed to have been a soldier's. 

'"Now lift me up, Doctor; lift me up. Where is he?' 

'"He is not here," I said, supporting the boy, and think- 
ing that he referred to the brother. 

'"He! Proud as these nobles are, he is afraid to see me. 
Where is the man who was here? Turn my face to him." 

'I did so, raising the boy's head against my knee. But, 
invested for the moment with extraordinary power, he raised 
himself completely: obliging me to rise too, or I could not 
have still supported him. 

"Marquis," said the boy, turned to him with his eyes 
opened wide, and his right hand raised, "in the days when 
all these things are to be answered for, I summon you and 
yours, to the last of your bad race, to answer for them. I 
mark this cross of blood upon you, as a sign that I do it. 
In the days when all these things are to be answered for, I 
summon your brother, the worst of the bad race, to answer 
for them separately. I mark this cross of blood upon him, 
as a sign that I do it." 

'Twice, he put his hand to the wound in his breast, and 

322 A Tale of Two Cities 

with his forefinger drew a cross in the air. He stood for an 
instant with his finger yet raised, and, as it dropped, he 
dropped with it, and I laid him down dead. . . . 

'When I returned to the bedside of the young woman, 
I found her raving in precisely the same order and con- 
tinuity. I knew that this might last for many hours, and 
that it would probably end in the silence of the grave. 

'I repeated the medicines I had given her, and I sat 
at the side of the bed until the night was far advanced. 
She never abated the piercing quality of her shrieks, never 
stumbled in the distinctness or the order of her words. 
They were always " My husband, my father, and my brother! 
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, 
twelve. Hush!" 

'This lasted twenty-six hours from the time when I first 
saw her. I had come and gone twice, and was again sitting 
by her, when she began to falter. I did what little could be 
done to assist that opportunity, and by and by she sank into 
a lethargy, and lay like the dead. 

'It was as if the wind and rain had lulled at last, after a 
long and fearful storm. I released her arms, and called the 
woman to assist me and to compose her figure and the dress she 
had torn. It was then that I knew her condition to be that 
of one in whom the first expectations of being a mother have 
arisen ; and it was then that I lost the little hope I had had 
of her. 

'"Is she dead?" asked the Marquis, whom I will still 
describe as the elder brother, coming booted into the room 
from his horse. 

'"Not dead," said I; "but like to die." 

'"What strength there is in these common bodies!' he 
said, looking down at her with some curiosity. 

'"There is prodigious strength," I answered him, "in 
sorrow and despair." 

'He first laughed at my words, and then frowned at 
them. He moved a chair with his foot near to mine, 
ordered the woman away, and said in a subdued voice, 

'"Doctor, finding my brother in this difficulty with these 
hinds, I recommended that your aid should be invited. 
Your reputation is high, and, as a young man with your 
fortune to make, you are probably mindful of your interest. 

The Substance of the Shadow 323 

The things that you see here, axe things to be seen, and not 
spoken of." 

'I listened to the patient's breathing, and avoided 

'"Do you honour me with your attention, Doctor?' 

'"Monsieur," said I, "in my profession, the communica- 
tions of patients are always received in confidence." I was 
guarded in my answer, for I was troubled in my mind with 
what I had heard and seen. 

'Her breathing was so difficult to trace, that I carefully 
tried the pulse and the heart. There was life, and no more. 
Looking round as I resumed my seat, I found both the 
brothers intent upon me. . . . 

'I write with so much difficulty, the cold is so severe, I 
am so fearful of being detected and consigned to an under- 
ground cell and total darkness, that I must abridge this 
narrative. There is no confusion or failure in my memory ; 
it can recall, and could detail, every word that was ever 
spoken between me and those brothers. 

'She lingered for a week. Towards the last, I could 
understand some few syllables that she said to me, by 
placing my ear close to her lips. She asked me where she 
was, and I told her; who I was, and I told her. It was in 
vain that I asked her for her family name. She faintly shook 
her head upon the pillow, and kept her secret, as the boy 
had done. 

' I had no opportunity of asking her any question, until 
I had told the brothers she was sinking fast, and could not 
live another day. Until then, though no one was ever 
presented to her consciousness save the woman and myself, 
one or other of them had always jealously sat behind the 
curtain at the head of the bed when I was there. But when 
it came to that, they seemed careless what communication 
I might hold with her; as if the thought passed through 
my mind I were dying too. 

'I always observed that their pride bitterly resented the 
younger brother's (as I call him) having crossed swords with 
a peasant, and that peasant a boy. The only consideration 
that appeared to affect the mind of either of them was the 
consideration that this was highly degrading to the family, 
and was ridiculous. As often as I caught the younger 

324 A Tale of Two Cities 

brother's eyes, their expression reminded me that he 
disliked me deeply, for knowing what I knew from the boy. 
He was smoother and more polite to me than the elder; 
but I saw this. I also saw that I was an encumbrance in 
the mind of the elder, too. 

'My patient died, two hours before midnight at a time, 
by my watch, answering almost to the minute when I had 
first seen her. I was alone with her, when her forlorn 
young head dropped gently on one side, and all her earthly 
wrongs and sorrows ended. 

'The brothers were waiting in a room downstairs, 
impatient to ride away. I had heard them, alone at the 
bedside, striking their boots with their riding-whips, and 
loitering up and down. 

'"At last she is dead ? " said the elder, when I went in. 

'"She is dead, "said I. 

"I congratulate you, my brother," were his words as he 
turned round. 

'He had before offered me money, which I had post- 
poned taking. He now gave me a rouleau of gold. I took 
it from his hand, but laid it on the table. I had considered 
the question, and had resolved to accept nothing. 

'"Pray excuse me," said I. "Under the circumstances, 

'They exchanged looks, but bent their heads to me as 
I bent mine to them, and we parted without another word 
on either side. . . . 

'I am weary, weary, weary worn down by misery; I 
cannot read what I have written with this gaunt hand. 

'Early in the morning, the rouleau of gold was left at 
my door in a little box, with my name on the outside. 
From the first, I had anxiously considered what I ought to 
do. I decided, that day, to write privately to the minister, 
stating the nature of the two cases to which I had been 
summoned, and the place to which I had gone: in effect 
stating all the circumstances. I knew what court influence 
was, and what the immunities of the nobles were, and I 
expected that the matter would never be heard of; but, I 
wished to relieve my own mind. I had kept the matter a 
profound secret, even from my wife; and this, too, I 
resolved to state in my letter. I had no apprehension 

The Substance of the Shadow 325 

whatever of my real danger; but I was conscious that there 
might be danger for others, if others were compromised by 
possessing the knowledge that I possessed. 

'I was much engaged that day, and could not complete 
my letter that night. I rose long before my usual time next 
morning to finish it. It was the last day of the year. The 
letter was lying before me just completed, when I was told 
that a lady waited, who wished to see me. . . . 

' I am growing more and more unequal to the task I have 
set myself. It is so cold, so dark, my senses are so be- 
numbed and the gloom upon me is so dreadful. 

'The lady was young, engaging, and handsome, but not 
marked for long life. She was in great agitation. She 
presented herself to me as the wife of the Marquis St. 
Evre"monde. I connected the title by which the boy had 
addressed the elder brother, with the initial letter embroid- 
ered on the scarf, and had no difficulty in arriving at the 
conclusion that I had seen that nobleman very lately. 

'My memory is still accurate, but I cannot write the 
words of our conversation. I suspect that I am watched 
more closely than I was, and I know not at what times I 
may be watched. She had in part suspected, and in part 
discovered, the main facts of the cruel story, of her husband's 
share in it, and my being resorted to. She did not know 
that the girl was dead. Her hope had been, she said in 
great distress, to show her, in secret, a woman's sympathy. 
Her hope had been to avert the wrath of Heaven from a 
House that had long been hateful to the suffering many. 

'She had reasons for believing that there was a young 
sister living, and her greatest desire was, to help that sister. 
I could tell her nothing but that there was such a sister; 
beyond that, I knew nothing. Her inducement to come to 
me, relying on my confidence, had been the hope that I 
could tell her the name and place of abode. Whereas, to 
this wretched hour I am ignorant of both. . . . 

'These scraps of paper fail me. One was taken from me, 
with a warning, yesterday. I must finish my record to-day. 

'She was a good, compassionate lady, and not happy in 
her marriage. How could she be ! The brother distrusted 
and disliked her, and his influence was all opposed to her; 
she stood in dread of him, and in dread of her husband too. 


A Tale of Two Cities 

When I handed her down to the door, there was a child, a 
pretty boy from two to three years old, in her carriage. 

'"For his sake, Doctor," she said, pointing to him in 
tears, ' ' I would do all I can to make what poor amends I 
can. He will never prosper in his inheritance otherwise. 
I have a presentiment that if no other innocent atonement 
is made for this, it will one day be required of him. What 
I have left to call my own it is little beyond the worth of 
a few jewels I will make it the first charge of his life 
to bestow, with the compassion and lamenting of his 
dead mother, on this injured family, if the sister can be 

'She kissed the boy, and said, caressing him, 'It is for 
thine own dear sake. Thou wilt be faithful, little Charles ? ' 
The child answered her bravely, "Yes ! ' I kissed her hand, 
and she took him in her arms, and went away caressing him. 
I never saw her more. 

'As she had mentioned her husband's name in the faith 
that I knew it, I added no mention of it to my letter. I 
sealed my letter, and, not trusting it out of my own hands, 
delivered it myself that day. 

'That night, the last night of the year, towards nine 
o'clock, a man in a black dress rang at my gate, demanded 
to see me, and softly followed my servant, Ernest Defarge, a 
youth, upstairs. When my servant came into the room 
where I sat with my wife O my wife, beloved of my heart ! 
My fair young English wife! we saw the man, who was 
supposed to be at the gate, standing silent behind him. 

"An urgent case in the rue St. Honore"," he said. It 
would not detain me, he had a coach in waiting. 

' It brought me here, it brought me to my grave. When 
I was clear of the house, a black muffler was drawn tightly 
over my mouth from behind, and my arms were pinioned. 
The two brothers crossed the road from a dark corner, and 
identified me with a single gesture. The Marquis took from 
his pocket the letter I had written, showed it me, burnt it 
in the light of a lantern that was held, and extinguished the 
ashes with his foot. Not a word was spoken. I was 
brought here, I was brought to my living grave. 

'If it had pleased GOD to put it in the hard heart of 
either of the brothers, in all these frightful years, to grant 

The Substance of the Shadow 327 

me any tidings of my dearest wife so much as to let me 
know by a word whether alive or dead I might have 
thought that He had not quite abandoned them. But, now 
I believe that the mark of the red cross is fatal to them, 
and that they have no part in His mercies. And them and 
their descendants, to the last of their race, I, Alexandre 
Manette, unhappy prisoner, do this last night of the year 
1767, in my unbearable agony, denounce to the times when 
all these things shall be answered for. I denounce them to 
Heaven and to earth.' 

A terrible sound arose when the reading of this document 
was done. A sound of craving and eagerness that had 
nothing articulate in it but blood. The narrative called up 
the most revengeful passions of the time, and there was not 
a head in the nation but must have dropped before it. 

Little need, in presence of that Tribunal and that auditory, 
to show how the Defarges had not made the paper public, 
with the other captured Bastille memorials borne in pro- 
cession, and had kept it, biding their time. Little need to 
show that this detested family name had long been anathe- 
matized by Saint Antoine, and was wrought into the fatal 
register. The man never trod ground whose virtues and 
services would have sustained him in that place that day, 
against such denunciation. 

And all the worse for the doomed man, that the denouncer 
was a well-known citizen, his own attached friend, the father 
of his wife. One of the frenzied aspirations of the populace 
was, for imitations of the questionable public virtues of 
antiquity, and for sacrifices and self-immolations on the 
people's altar. Therefore when the President said (else had 
his own head quivered on his shoulders), that the good physi- 
cian of the Republic would deserve better still of the Re- 
public by rooting out an obnoxious family of Aristocrats, and 
would doubtless feel a sacred glow and joy in making his 
daughter a widow and her child an orphan, there was wild 
excitement, patriotic fervour, not a touch of human 

' Much influence around him, has that Doctor ? ' murmured 
Madame Defarge, smiling to The Vengeance. 'Save him 
now, my Doctor, save him ! ' 

3 a8 

A Tale of Two Cities 

At every juryman's vote, there was a roar. Another and 
another. Roar and roar. 

Unanimously voted. At heart and by descent an Aristo- 
crat, an enemy of the Republic, a notorious oppressor of 
the People. Back to the Conciergerie, and death within 
four-and-twenty hoursl 



THE wretched wife of the innocent man thus doomed to 
die, fell under the sentence, as if she had been mortally 
stricken. But, she uttered no sound; and so strong was 
the voice within her, representing that it was she of all the 
world who must uphold him in his misery and not augment 
it, that it quickly raised her, even from that shock. 

The Judges having to take part in a public demonstration 
out of doors, the Tribunal adjourned. The quick noise and 
movement of the court's emptying itself by many passages 
had not ceased, when Lucie stood stretching out her arms 
towards her husband, with nothing in her face but love and 

'If I might touch him! If I might embrace him once! 
O good citizens, if you would have so much compassion 
for us ! ' 

There was but a jailer left, along with two of the four 
men who had taken him last night, and Barsad. The people 
had all poured out to the show in the streets. Barsad pro- 
posed to the rest, 'Let her embrace him then; it is but a 
moment.' It was silently acquiesced in, and they passed 
her over the seats in the hall to a raised place, where he, by 
leaning over the dock, could fold her in his arms. 

' Farewell, dear darling of my soul. My parting blessing 
on my love. We shall meet again, where the weary are at 

They were her husband's words, as he held her to his 

'I can bear it, dear Charles. I am supported from 

Dusk 329 

above: don't suffer for me. A parting blessing for our 

' I send it to her by you. I kiss her by you. I say fare- 
well to her by you.' 

'My husband. No! A moment I' He was tearing 
himself apart from her. 'We shall not be separated long. 
I feel that this will break my heart by and by ; but I will do 
my duty while I can, and when I leave her, GOD will raise 
up friends for her, as He did for me.' 

Her father had followed her, and would have fallen on his 
knees to both of them, but that Darnay put out a hand and 
seized him, crying: 

.'No, no! What have you done, what have you done, 
that you should kneel to us ! We know now, what a struggle 
you made of old. We know now, what you underwent 
when you suspected my descent, aud when you knew it. 
We know now, the natural antipathy you strove against, and 
conquered, for her dear sake. We thank you with all our 
hearts, and all our love and duty. Heaven be with you ! ' 

Her father's only answer was to draw his hands through 
his white hair, and wring them with a shriek of anguish. 

'It could not be otherwise,' said the prisoner. 'All 
things have worked together as they have fallen out. It 
was the always vain endeavour to discharge my poor 
mother's trust that first brought my fatal presence near you. 
Good could never come of such evil, a happier end was not 
in nature to so unhappy a beginning. Be comforted, and 
forgive me. Heaven bless you! ' 

As he was drawn away, his wife released him, and stood 
looking after him with her hands touching one another in 
the attitude of prayer, and with a radiant look upon her 
face, in which there was even a comforting smile. As he 
went out at the prisoners' door, she turned, laid her head 
lovingly on her father's breast, tried to speak to him, and 
fell at his feet. 

Then, issuing from the obscure corner from which he 
had never moved, Sydney Carton came and took her up. 
Only her father and Mr. Lorry were with her. His arm 
trembled as it raised her, and supported her head. Yet, 
there was an air about him that was not all of pity that 
had a flush of pride in it. 

330 A Tale of Two Cities 

'Shall I take her to a coach? I shall never feel her 

He carried her lightly to the door, and laid her tenderly 
down in a coach. Her father and their old friend got into 
it, and he took his seat beside the driver. 

When they arrived at the gateway where he had paused 
in the dark not many hours before, to picture to himself on 
which of the rough stones of the street her feet had trodden, 
he lifted her again, and carried her up the staircase to their 
rooms. There, he laid her down on a couch, where her 
child and Miss Pross wept over her. 

'Don't recall her to herself,' he said, softly, to the latter; 
'she is better so. Don't revive her to consciousness, 
while she only faints.' 

' Oh, Carton, Carton, dear Carton ! ' cried little Lucie, 
springing up and throwing her arms passionately round 
him, in a burst of grief. 'Now that you have come, I 
think you will do something to help mamma, something to 
save papa ! Oh, look at her, dear Carton ! Can you, of all 
the people who love her, bear to see her so ? ' 

He bent over the child, and laid her blooming cheek 
against his face. He put her gently from him, and looked 
at her unconscious mother. 

'Before I go/ he said, and paused 'I may kiss her?' 

It was remembered afterwards that when he bent down 
and touched her face with his lips, he murmured some 
words. The child, who was nearest to him, told them 
afterwards, and told her grandchildren when she was a 
handsome old lady, that she heard him say, 'A life you 

When he had gone out into the next room, he turned 
suddenly on Mr. Lorry and her father, who were following, 
and said to the latter : 

' You had great influence but yesterday, Doctor Manette ; 
let it at least be tried. These Judges, and all the men in 
power, are very friendly to you, and very recognisant of 
your services ; are they not ? ' 

'Nothing connected with Charles was concealed from 
me. I had the strongest assurances that I should save him; 
and I did/ He returned the answer in great trouble, and 
very slowly. 

Dusk 331 

'Try them again. The hours between this and to- 
morrow afternoon are few and short, but try.' 

' I intend to try. I will not rest a moment.' 

' That 's well. I have known such energy as yours do 
great things before now though never/ he added, with a 
smile and a sigh together, 'such great things as this. But 
try! Of little worth as life is when we misuse it, it is worth 
that effort. It would cost nothing to lay down if it were 

'I will go/ said Doctor Manette, 'to the Prosecutor 
and the President straight, and I will go to others whom it 

is better not to name. I will write too, and But stay! 

There is a celebration in the streets, and no one will be 
accessible until dark/ 

'That 's true. Well! It is a forlorn hope at the best 
and not much the forlorner for being delayed till dark. I 
should like to know how you speed; though mind! I 
expect nothing! When are you likely to have seen these 
dread powers, Doctor Manette ? ' 

' Immediately after dark, I should hope. Within an 
hour or two from this/ 

' It will be dark soon after four. Let us stretch the hour 
or two. If I go to Mr. Lorry's at nine, shall I hear what 
you have done, either from our friend or from yourself ? ' 


'May you prosper! ' 

Mr. Lorry followed Sydney to the outer door, and, 
touching him on the shoulder as he was going away, caused 
him to turn. 

'I have no hope/ said Mr. Lorry, in a low and sorrowful 

'Nor have I/ 

' If any one of these men, or all of these men, were 
disposed to spare him which is a large supposition; for 
what is his life, or any man's to them! I doubt if they 
durst spare him after the demonstration in the court.' 

'And so do I. I heard the fall of the axe in that sound/ 

Mr. Lorry leaned his arm upon the door post and bowed 
his face upon it. 

'Don't despond/ said Carton, very gently; 'don't 
grieve. I encouraged Doctor Manette in this idea, because 

332 A Tale of Two Cities 

I felt that it might one day be consolatory to her. Other- 
wise, she might think " his life was wantonly thrown away or 
wasted," and that might trouble her.' 

'Yes, yes, yes/ returned Mr. Lorry, drying his eyes, 
'you are right. But he will perish; there is no real hope.' 

'Yes. He will perish: there is no real hope,' echoed 
Carton. And walked with a settled step, downstairs. 



SYDNEY CARTON paused in the street, not quite decided 
where to go. 'At Tellson's banking-house at nine,' he 
said, with a musing face. 'Shall I do well, in the mean- 
time, to show myself? I think so. It is best that these 
people should know there is such a man as I here; it is a 
sound precaution, and may be a necessary preparation. 
But care, care, care! Let me think it out!' 

Checking his steps which had begun to tend towards an 
object, he took a turn or two in the already darkening street, 
and traced the thought in his mind to its possible conse- 
quences. His first impression was confirmed. 'It is best,' 
he said, finally resolved, 'that these people should know 
there is such a man as I here.' And he turned his face 
towards Saint Antoine. 

Defarge had described himself, that day, as the keeper 
of a wine shop in the Saint Antoine suburb. It was not 
difficult for one who knew the city well, to find his house 
without asking any question. Having ascertained its situa- 
tion, Carton came out of those closer streets again, and 
dined at a place of refreshment and fell sound asleep after 
dinner. For the first time in many years, he had no strong 
drink. Since last night he had taken nothing but a little 
light thin wine, and last night he had dropped the brandy 
slowly down on Mr. Lorry's hearth like a man who had done 
with it. 

It was as late as seven o'clock when he awoke refreshed, 

Darkness 333 

and went out into the streets again. As he passed along 
towards Saint Antoine, he stopped at a shop window where 
there was a mirror, and slightly altered the disordered 
arrangement of his loose cravat, and his coat collar, and his 
wild hair. This done, he went on direct to Defarge's, and 
went in. 

There happened to be no customer in the shop but Jacques 
Three, of the restless fingers and the croaking voice. This 
man, whom he had seen upon the Jury, stood drinking at 
the little counter, in conversation with the Defarges, man 
and wife. The Vengeance assisted in the conversation, like 
a regular member of the establishment. 

As Carton walked in, took his seat and asked (in very 
indifferent French) for a small measure of wine, Madame 
Defarge cast a careless glance at him, and then a keener, 
and then a keener, and then advanced to him herself, and 
asked him what it was he had ordered. 

He repeated what he had already said. 

' English ? ' asked Madame Defarge, inquisitively raising 
her dark eyebrows. 

After looking at her, as if the sound of even a single 
French word were slow to express itself to him, he answered, 
in his former strong foreign accent. 'Yes, madame, yes. 
I am English ! ' 

Madame Defarge returned to her counter to get the wine, 
and, as he took up a Jacobin journal and feigned to pore 
over it puzzling out its meaning, he heard her say, ' I swear 
to you, like Evremonde! ' 

Defarge brought him the wine, and gave him Good 


'Good evening.' 

'Oh! Good evening, citizen/ filling his glass. 'Ah! 
and good wine. I drink to the Republic.' 

Defarge went back to the counter, and said, 'Certainly, 
a little like.' Madame sternly retorted, ' I tell you a good 
deal like.' Jacques Three pacifically remarked, 'He is so 
much in your mind, see you, madame.' The amiable 
Vengeance added, with a laugh, 'Yes, my faith! And you 
are looking forward with so much pleasure to seeing him 
once more to-morrow 1 ' 

334 A Tale of Two Cities 

Carton followed the lines and words of his paper, with 
a slow forefinger, and with a studious and absorbed face. 
They were all leaning their arms on the counter close 
together, speaking low. After a silence of a few moments, 
during which they all looked towards him without disturbing 
his outward attention from the Jacobin editor, they resumed 
their conversation. 

'It is true what madame says/ observed Jacques Three. 
' Why stop ? There is great force in that. Why stop ? ' 

'Well, well,' reasoned Defarge, 'but one must stop 
somewhere. After all, the question is still where ? ' 

'At extermination,' said madame. 

' Magnificent ! ' croaked Jacques Three. The Vengeance, 
also, highly approved. 

' Extermination is a good doctrine, my wife,' said Defarge, 
rather troubled; 'in general, I say nothing against it. 
But this Doctor has suffered much; you have seen him 
to-day; you have observed his face when the paper was 

'I have observed his face!' repeated madame, con- 
temptuously and angrily. 'Yes. I have observed his 
face. I have observed his face to be not the face of a 
true friend of the Republic. Let him take care of his 
face ! ' 

'And you have observed, my wife,' said Defarge, in a 
deprecatory manner, 'the anguish of his daughter, which 
must be a dreadful anguish to him ! ' 

'I have observed his daughter/ repeated madame; 
'yes, I have observed his daughter, more times than one. 
I have observed her to-day, and I have observed her other 
days. I have observed her in the court, and I have 
observed her in the street by the prison. Let me but lift 

my finger !' She seemed to raise it (the listener's eyes 

were always on his paper), and let it fall with a rattle on 
the ledge before her, as if the axe had dropped. 

'The citizeness is suberb! ' croaked the Juryman. 

' She is an Angel ! ' said The Vengeance, and embraced 

'As to thee/ pursued madame, implacably, addressing 
her husband, 'if it depended on thee which, happily, it 
does not thou wouldst rescue this'man even now/ 

Darkness 335 

'No!' protested Defarge. 'Not if to lift this glass 
would do it! But I would leave the matter there. I say, 
stop there.' 

'See you then, Jacques/ said Madame Defarge, wrath- 
fully; 'and see you, too, my little Vengeance: see you 
both ! Listen ! For other crimes as tyrants and oppressors, 
I have this race a long time on my register, doomed to 
destruction and extermination. Ask my husband, is that 

'It is so,' assented Defarge, without being asked. 

'In the beginning of the great days, when the Bastille 
falls, he finds this paper of to-day, and he brings it home, 
and in the middle of the night when this place is clear and 
shut, we read it, here on this spot, by the light of this lamp. 
Ask him, is that so.' 

' It is so,' assented Defarge. 

'That night, I tell him, when the paper is read through, 
and the lamp is burnt out, and the day is gleaming in above 
those shutters and between those iron bars, that I have now 
a secret to communicate. Ask him, is that so.' 

'It is so,' assented Defarge again. 

' I communicate to him that secret. I smite this bosom 
with these two hands as I smite it now, and I tell him, 
" Defarge, I was brought up among the fishermen of the sea- 
shore, and that peasant family so injured by the two Evre- 
monde brothers, as that Bastille paper describes, is my 
family. Defarge, that sister of the mortally wounded boy 
upon the ground was my sister, that husband was my sister's 
husband, that unborn child was their child, that brother was 
my brother, that father was my father, those dead are my 
dead, and that summons to answer for those things descends 
to me ! ' Ask him, is that so.' 

'It is so,' assented Defarge once more. 

'Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop,' returned 
madame; 'but don't tell me.' 

Both her hearers derived a horrible enjoyment from the 
deadly nature of her wrath the listener could feel how 
white she was, without seeing her and both highly com- 
mended it. Defarge, a weak minority, interposed a few 
words for the memory of the compassionate wife of the 
Marquis; but only elicited from his own wife a repetition 


A Tale of Two Cities 

of her last reply. ' Tell the Wind and the Fire where to 
stop ; not me ! ' 

Customers entered, and the group was broken up. The 
English customer paid for what he had had, perplexedly 
counted his change, and asked, as a stranger, to be directed 
towards the National Palace. Madame Defarge took him 
to the door, and put her arm on his, in pointing out the 
road. The English customer was not without his reflections 
then, that it might be a good deed to seize that arm, lift it, 
and strike under it sharp and deep. 

But, he went his way, and was soon swallowed up in the 
shadow of the prison wall. At the appointed hour, he 
emerged from it to present himself in Mr. Lorry's room 
again, where he found the old gentleman walking to and fro 
in restless anxiety. He said he had been with Lucie until 
just now, and had only left her for a few minutes, to come 
and keep his appointment. Her father had not been seen, 
since he quitted the banking-house towards four o'clock. 
She had some faint hopes that his mediation might save 
Charles, but they were very slight. He had been more than 
five hours gone : where could he be ? 

Mr. Lorry waited until ten; but, Doctor Manette not 
returning, and he being unwilling to leave Lucie any longer, 
it was arranged that he should go back to her, and come to 
the banking-house again at midnight. In the meanwhile, 
Carton could wait alone by the fire for the Doctor. 

He waited and waited, and the clock struck twelve; but 
Doctor Manette did not come back. Mr. Lorry returned, 
and found no tidings of him, and brought none. Where 
could he be ? 

They were discussing this question, and were almost 
building up some weak structure of hope on his prolonged 
absence, when they heard him on the stairs. The instant 
he entered the room, it was plain that all was lost. 

Whether he had really been to any one, or whether he 
had been all that time traversing the streets, was never 
known. As he stood staring at them, they asked him no 
question, for his face told them everything. 

'I cannot find it/ said he, 'and I must have it. Where 
is it?' 

His head and throat were bare, and, as he spoke with a 

Darkness 337 

helpless look straying all around, he took his coat off, and 
let it drop on the floor. 

'Where is my bench? I have been looking everywhere 
for my bench, and I can't find it. What have they done 
with my work? Time presses: I must finish those shoes.' 

They looked at one another, and their hearts died within 

' Come, come ! ' said he, in a whimpering miserable way ; 
'let me get to work. Give me my work.' 

Receiving no answer, he tore his hair, and beat his feet 
upon the ground, like a distracted child. 

'Don't torture a poor forlorn wretch/ he implored them, 
with a dreadful cry; 'but give me my work! What is to 
become of us, if those shoes are not done to-night ? * 

Lost, utterly lost! 

It was so clearly beyond hope to reason with him, or try 
to restore him, that as if by agreement they each put a 
hand upon his shoulder, and soothed him to sit down before 
the fire, with a promise that he should have his work 
presently. He sank into the chair, and brooded over the 
embers, and shed tears. As if all that had happened since 
the garret time were a momentary fancy, or a dream, Mr. 
Lorry saw him shrink into the exact figure that Defarge had 
had in keeping. 

Affected, and impressed with terror as they both were, by 
the spectacle of rnin, it was not a time to yield to such 
emotions. His lonely daughter, bereft of her final hope 
and reliance, appealed to them both too strongly. Again, 
as if by agreement, they looked at one another with one 
meaning in their faces. Carton was the first to speak: 

'The last chance is gone: it was not much. Yes; he 
had better be taken to her. But, before you go, will you, 
for a moment, steadily attend to me? Don't ask me why 
I make the stipulations I am going to make, and exact the 
promise I am going to exact; I have a reason a good 

'I do not doubt it/ answered Mr. Lorry. 'Say on/ 

The figure in the chair between them, was all the time 
monotonously rocking itself to and fro, and moaning. They 
spoke in such a tone as they would have used if they had 
been watching by a sick-bed in the night. 


A Tale of Two Cities 

Carton stooped to pick up the coat, which lay almost 
entangling his feet. As he did so, a small case in which the 
Doctor was accustomed to carry the list of his day's duties, 
fell lightly on the floor. Carton took it up, and there was a 
folded paper in it. ' We should look at this ! ' he said. 
Mr. Lorry nodded his consent. He opened it, and exclaimed 
' Thank GOD ! ' 

' What is it ? ' asked Mr. Lorry, eagerly. 

'A moment! Let me speak of it in its place. First ' 
he put his hand in his coat, and took another paper from 
it ' that is the certificate which enables me to pass out 
of this city. Look at it. You see Sydney Carton, an 
Englishman ? ' 

Mr. Lorry held it open in his hand, gazing in his earnest 

' Keep it for me until to-morrow. I shall see him to- 
morrow, you remember, and I had better not take it into 
the prison/ 

'Why not?' 

'I don't know; I prefer not to do so. Now, take this 
paper that Doctor Manette has carried about him. It is a 
similar certificate, enabling him and his daughter and her 
child, at any time, to pass the barrier and the frontier. 
You see ? ' 


' Perhaps he obtained it as his last and utmost precaution 
against evil, yesterday. When is it dated ? But no matter; 
don't stay to look; put it carefully with mine and your 
own. Now, observe! I never doubted until within this 
hour or two, that he had, or could have such a paper. It is 
good, until recalled. But it may be soon recalled, and I 
have reason to think, will be.' 

' They are not in danger ? ' 

'They are in great danger. They are in danger of 
denunciation by Madame Defarge. I know it from her own 
lips. I have overheard words of that woman's, to-night, 
which have presented their danger to me in strong colours. 
I have lost no time, and since then I have seen the spy. 
He confirms me. He knows that a wood -sawyer, living by 
the prison wall, is under the control of the Defarges, and 
has been rehearsed by Madame Defarge as to his having 

Darkness 339 

seen Her' he never mentioned Lucie's name 'making 
signs and signals to prisoners. It is easy to foresee that the 
pretence will be the common one, a prison plot, and that it 
will involve her life and perhaps her child's and perhaps 
her father's for both have been seen with her at that place. 
Don't look so horrified. You will save them all.' 

' Heaven grant I may, Carton ! But how ? ' 

'I am going to tell you how. It will depend on you, 
and it could depend on no better man. This new denuncia- 
tion will certainly not take place until after to-morrow; 
probably not until two or three days afterwards; more 
probably a week afterwards. You know it is a capital crime, 
to mourn for, or sympathize with, a victim of the Guillotine. 
She and her father would unquestionably be guilty of this 
crime, and this woman (the inveteracy of whose pursuit 
cannot be described) would wait to add that strength to her 
case, and make herself doubly sure. You follow me ? ' 

'So attentively, and with so much confidence in what 
you say, that for the moment I lose sight ' touching the 
back of the Doctor's chair 'even of this distress.' 

'You have money, and can buy the means of travelling 
to the sea coast as quickly as the journey can be made. 
Your preparations have been completed for some days, to 
return to England. Early to-morrow have your horses 
ready, so that they may be in starting trim at two o'clock in 
the afternoon.' 

' It shall be done ! ' 

His manner was so fervent and inspiring, that Mr. Lorry 
caught the flame, and was quick as youth. 

'You are a noble heart. Did I say we could depend 
upon no better man ? Tell her, to-night, what you know 
of her danger as involving her child and her father. Dwell 
upon that, for she would lay her own fair head beside 
her husband's cheerfully.' He faltered for an instant; 
then went on as before. ' For the sake of her child and 
her father, press upon her the necessity of leaving Paris, 
with them and you, at that hour. Tell her that it was her 
husband's last arrangement. Tell her that more depends 
upon it than she dare believe, or hope. You think that her 
father, even in this sad state, will submit himself to her; do 
you not ? ' 

34 A Tale of Two Cities 

' I am sure of it.' 

'I thought so. Quietly and steadily have all these 
arrangements made in the courtyard here, even to the 
taking of your own seat in the carriage. The moment I 
come to you, take me in, and drive away.' 

' I understand that I wait for you under all circumstances ? ' 

' You have my certificate in your hand with the rest, you 
know, and will reserve my place. Wait for nothing but to 
have my place occupied, and then for England! ' 

' Why, then, ' said Mr. Lorry, grasping his eager but so 
firm and steady hand, 'it does not all depend on one old 
man, but I shall have a young and ardent man at my side.' 

' By the help of Heaven you shall ! Promise me solemnly 
that nothing will influence you to alter the course on which 
we now stand pledged to one another.' 

'Nothing, Carton.' 

' Remember these words to-morrow : change the course, 
or delay in it for any reason and no life can possibly be 
saved, and many lives must inevitably be sacrificed.' 

' I will remember them. I hope to do my part faith- 

' And I hope to do mine. Now, good-bye 1 ' 

Though he said it with a grave smile of earnestness, and 
though he even put the old man's hand to his lips, he did 
not part from him then. He helped him so far to arouse 
the rocking figure before the dying embers, as to get a 
cloak and hat put upon it, and to tempt it forth to find 
where the bench and work were hidden that it still mean- 
ingly besought to have. He walked on the other side of it 
and protected it to the courtyard of the house where the 
afflicted heart so happy in the memorable time when he 
had revealed his own desolate heart to it outwatched the 
awful night. He entered the courtyard and remained 
there for a few moments alone, looking up at the light in 
the window of her room. Before he went away, he breathed 
a blessing towards it, and a Farewell. 

Fifty- two 341 



IN the black prison of the Conciergerie, the doomed of the 
day awaited their fate. They were in number as the weeks 
of the year. Fifty-two were to roll that afternoon on the 
life-tide of the city to the boundless everlasting sea. Before 
their cells were quit of them, new occupants were ap- 
pointed; before their blood ran into the blood spilled 
yesterday, the blood that was to mingle with theirs to- 
morrow was already set apart. 

Two score and twelve were told off. From the farmer- 
general of seventy, whose riches could not buy his life, to 
the seamstress of twenty, whose poverty and obscurity 
could not save her. Physical diseases, engendered in the 
vices and neglects of men, will seize on victims of all 
degrees; and the frightful moral disorder, born of unspeak- 
able suffering, intolerable oppression, and heartless indiffer- 
ence, smote equally without distinction. 

Charles Darnay, alone in a cell, had sustained himself 
with no flattering delusion since he came to it from the 
Tribunal. In every line of the narrative he had heard, he 
had heard his condemnation. He had fully comprehended 
that no personal influence could possibly save him, that he 
was virtually sentenced by the millions, and that units 
could avail him nothing. 

Nevertheless, it was not easy, with the face of his beloved 
wife fresh before him, to compose his mind to what it must 
bear. His hold on life was strong, and it was very, very 
hard, to loosen; by gradual efforts and degrees unclosed a 
little here, it clenched the tighter there; and when he 
brought his strength to bear on that hand and it yielded, 
this was closed again. There was a hurry, too, in all his 
thoughts, a turbulent and heated working of his heart, that 
contended against resignation. If, for a moment, he did 
feel resigned, then his wife and child who had to live after 
him, seemed to protest and to make it a selfish thing. 

But, all this was at first. Before long, the consideration 
that there was no disgrace in the fate he must meet, and 

342 A Tale of Two Cities 

that numbers went the same road wrongfully, and trod it 
firmly every day, sprang up to stimulate him. Next followed 
the thought that much of the future peace of mind enjoyable 
by the dear ones, depended on his quiet fortitude. So, by 
degrees he calmed into the better state, when he could raise 
his thoughts much higher, and draw comfort down. 

Before it had set in dark on the night of his condemna- 
tion, he had travelled thus far on his last way. Being allowed 
to purchase the means of writing, and a light, he sat down 
to write until such time as the prison lamps should be 

He wrote a long letter to Lucie, showing her that he had 
known nothing of her father's imprisonment, until he had 
heard of it from herself, and that he had been as ignorant 
as she of his father's and uncle's responsibility for that 
misery, until the paper had been read. He had already 
explained to her that his concealment from herself of the 
name he had relinquished, was the one condition fully 
intelligible now that her father had attached to their 
betrothal, and was the one promise he had still exacted on 
the morning of their marriage. He entreated her, for her 
father's sake, never to seek to know whether her father had 
become oblivious of the existence of the paper, or had had 
it recalled to him (for the moment or, for good), by the 
story of the Tower, on that old Sunday under the dear old 
plane-tree in the garden. If he had preserved any definite 
remembrance of it, there could be no doubt that he had 
supposed it destroyed with the Bastille, when he had found 
no mention of it among the relics of prisoners which the 
populace had discovered there, and which had been described 
to all the world. He besought her though he added that 
he knew it was needless to console her father, by impressing 
him through every tender means she could think of, with the 
truth that he had done nothing for which he could justly 
reproach himself, but had uniformly forgotten himself for 
their joint sakes. Next to her preservation of his own last 
grateful love and blessing, and her overcoming of her sorrow, 
to devote herself to their dear child, he adjured her, as they 
would meet in Heaven, to comfort her father. 

To her father himself, he wrote in the same strain; but, 
he told her father that he expressly confided his wife and 

Fifty-two 343 

child to his care. And he told him this, very strongly, with 
the hope of rousing him from any despondency or dangerous 
retrospect towards which he foresaw he might be tending. 

To Mr. Lorry, he commended them all, and explained 
his worldly affairs. That done, with many added sentences 
of grateful friendship and warm attachment, all was done. 
He never thought of Carton. His mind was so full of the 
others, that he never once thought of him. 

He had time to finish these letters before the lights were 
put out. When he lay down on his straw bed, he thought 
he had done with this world. 

But, it beckoned him back in his sleep, and showed itself 
in shining forms. Free and happy, back in the old house in 
Soho (though it had nothing in it like the real house), 
unaccountably released and light of heart, he was with 
Lucie again, and she told him it was all a dream, and he 
had never gone away. A pause of forgetfulness, and then 
he had even suffered, and had come back to her, dead and 
at peace, and yet there was no difference in him. Another 
pause of oblivion, and he awoke in the sombre morning, 
unconscious where he was or what had happened, until it 
flashed upon his mind, ' This is the day of my death ! ' 

Thus, he had come through the hours, to the day when 
the fifty-two heads were to fall. And now, while he was 
composed, and hoped that he could meet the end with 
quiet heroism, a new action began in his waking thoughts, 
which was very difficult to master. 

He had never seen the instrument that was to terminate 
his life. How high it was from the ground, how many steps 
it had, where he would be stood, how he would be touched, 
whether the touching hands would be dyed red, which way 
his face would be turned, whether he would be the first, or 
might be the last: these and many similar questions, in no 
wise directed by his will, obtruded themselves over and over 
again, countless times. Neither were they connected with 
fear: he was conscious of no fear. Rather, they originated 
in a strange besetting desire to know what to do when the 
time came ; a desire gigantically disproportionate to the few 
swift moments to which it referred ; a wondering that was 
more like the wondering of some other spirit within his, than 
his own. 

344 A Tale f Two Cities 

The hours went on as he walked to and fro, and the clocks 
struck the numbers he would never hear again. Nine gone 
for ever, ten gone for ever, eleven gone for ever, twelve 
coming on to pass away. After a hard contest with that 
eccentric action of thought which had last perplexed him, he 
had got the better of it. He walked up and down softly 
repeating their names to himself. The worst of the strife 
was over. He could walk up and down, free from distracting 
fancies, praying for himself and for them. 

Twelve gone for ever. 

He had been apprised that the final hour was Three, and 
he knew he would be summoned some time earlier, inasmuch 
as the tumbrils jolted heavily and slowly through the streets. 
Therefore, he resolved to keep Two before his mind, as the 
hour, and so to strengthen himself in the interval that he 
might be able, after that time, to strengthen others. 

Walking regularly to and fro with his arms folded on his 
breast, a very different man from the prisoner, who had 
walked to and fro at La Force, he heard One struck away 
from him, without surprise. The hour had measured like 
most other hours. Devoutly thankful to Heaven for his 
recovered self-possession, he thought, 'There is but another 
now,' and turned to walk again. 

Footsteps in the stone passage outside the door. He 

The key was put in the lock, and turned. Before the door 
was opened, or as it opened, a man said in a low voice, in 
English: 'He has never seen me here; I have kept out of 
his way. Go you in alone ; I wait near. Lose no time ! ' 

The door was quickly opened and closed, and there stood 
before him face to face, quiet, intent upon him, with the 
light of a smile on his features, and a cautionary finger on 
his lip, Sydney Carton. 

There was something so bright and remarkable in his look, 
that, for the first moment, the prisoner misdoubted him to 
be an apparition of his own imagining. But, he spoke, and 
it was his voice ; he took the prisoner's hand, and it was his 
real grasp. 

'Of all the people upon earth, you least expected to see 
me ? ' he said. 

' I could not believe it to be you. I can scarcely believe it 

Fifty-two 345 

now. You are not' the apprehension came suddenly into 
his mind ' a prisoner ? ' 

'No. I am accidentally possessed of a power over one of 
the keepers here, and in virtue of it I stand before you. I 
come from her your wife, dear Darnay.' 

The prisoner wrung his hand. 

' I bring you a request from her.' 

'What is it?' 

'A most earnest, pressing, and emphatic entreaty, 
addressed to you in the most pathetic tones of the voice 
so dear to you, that you well remember.' 

The prisoner turned his face partly aside. 

'You have no time to ask me why I bring it, or what it 
means ; I have no time to tell you. You must comply with it 
take off those boots you wear, and draw on these of mine.' 

There was a chair against the wall of the cell, behind the 
prisoner. Carton, pressing forward, had already, with the 
speed of lightning, got him down into it, and stood over 
him, barefoot. 

'Draw on these boots of mine. Put your hands to them; 
put your will to them. Quick! ' 

'Carton, there is no escaping from this place; it never 
can be done. You will only die with me. It is madness.' 

'It would be madness if I asked you to escape; but do 
I ? When I ask you to pass out at that door, tell me it is 
madness and remain here. Change that cravat for this of 
mine, that coat for this of mine. While you do it, let me 
take this ribbon from your hair, and shake out your hair 
li ke this of mine ! ' 

With wonderful quickness, and with a strength both of 
will and action, that appeared quite supernatural, he forced 
all these changes upon him. The prisoner was like a young 
child in his hands. 

'Carton! Dear Carton I It is madness. It cannot be 
accomplished, it never can be done, it has been attempted 
and has always failed. I implore you not to add your death 
to the bitterness of mine.' 

' Do I ask you, my dear Darnay, to pass the door ? When 
I ask that, refuse. There are pen and ink and paper on this 
table. Is your hand steady enough to write ? ' 

'It was when you came in.' 


A Tale of Two Cities 

'Steady it again, and write what I shall dictate. Quick, 
friend, quick ! ' 

Pressing his hand to his bewildered head, Darnay sat 
down at the table. Carton, with his right hand in his breast, 
stood close beside him. 

'Write exactly as I speak.' 

*To whom do I address it?' 

'To no one.' Carton still had his hand in his breast. 

'Do I date it?' 


The prisoner looked up at each question. Carton, standing 
over him with his hand in his breast, looked down. 

'"If you remember," said Carton, dictating, '"the 
words that passed between us, long ago, you will readily 
comprehend this when you see it. You do remember them, 
I know. It is not in your nature to forget them." 

He was drawing his hand from his breast; the prisoner 
chancing to look up in his hurried wonder as he wrote, the 
hand stopped, closing upon something. 

'Have you written "forget them' ?' Carton asked. 

' I have. Is that a weapon in your hand ? ' 

'No; I am not armed.' 

'What is it in your hand ? ' 

'You shall know directly. Write on; there are but a few 
words more.' He dictated again. ' I am thankful that the 
time has come, when I can prove them. That I do so is no 
subject for regret or grief." As he said these words with his 
eyes fixed on the writer, his hand slowly and softly moved 
down close to the writer's face. 

The pen dropped from Darnay's fingers on the table, and 
he looked about him vacantly. 

' What vapour is that ? ' he asked. 


' Something that crossed me ? ' 

'I am conscious of nothing; there can be nothing here. 
Take up the pen and finish. Hurry, hurry ! ' 

As if his memory were impaired, or his faculties disordered, 
the prisoner made an effort to rally his attention. As he 
looked at Carton with clouded eyes and with an altered 
manner of breathing, Carton his hand again in his breast 
looked steadily at him. 

Fifty- two 347 

'Hurry, hurry!' 

The prisoner bent over the paper, once more. 

'"If it had been otherwise'" Carton's hand was again 
watchfully and softly stealing down ' "I never should have 
used the longer opportunity. If it had been otherwise" 
the hand was at the prisoner's face ' " I should but have had 
so much the more to answer for. If it had been other- 
wise ." Carton looked at the pen and saw it was 

trailing off into unintelligible signs. 

Carton's hand moved back to his breast no more. The 
prisoner sprang up with a reproachful look, but Carton's 
hand was close and firm to his nostrils, and Carton's left arm 
caught him round the waist. For a few seconds he faintly 
struggled with the rnan who had come to lay down his life for 
him ; but, within a minute or so, he was stretched insensible 
on the ground. 

Quickly, but with hands as true to the purpose as his 
heart was, Carton dressed himself in the clothes the prisoner 
had laid aside, combed back his hair, and tied it with the 
ribbon the prisoner had worn. Then, he softly called, 
' Enter there ! Come in ! ' and the spy presented himself. 

' You see ? ' said Carton, looking up, as he kneeled on one 
knee beside the insensible figure, putting the paper in the 
breast ; ' is your hazard very great ? ' 

'Mr. Carton/ the spy answered, with a timid snap of 
his fingers, 'my hazard is not that, in the thick of business 
here, if you are true to the whole of your bargain.' 

'Don't fear me. I will be true to the death.' 

' You must be, Mr. Carton, if the tale of fifty-two is to be 
right. Being made right by you in that dress, I shall have 
no fear.' 

' Have no fear ! I shall soon be out of the way of harming 
you, and the rest will soon be far from here, please God! 
Now, get assistance and take me to the coach.' 

' You ? ' said the spy nervously. 

'Him, man, with whom I have exchanged. You go out 
at the gate by which you brought me in ? ' 

'Of course.' 

'I was weak and faint when you brought me in, and I 
am fainter now you take me out. The parting interview has 
overpowered me. Such a thing has happened here, often, 


A Tale of Two Cities 

and too often. Your life is in your own hands. Quick! 
Call assistance ! ' 

' You swear not to betray me ? ' said the trembling spy, 
as he paused for a last moment. 

'Man, man!' returned Carton, stamping his foot; 'have 
I sworn by no solemn vow already, to go through with this, 
that you waste the precious moments now ? Take him your- 
self to the courtyard you know of, place him yourself in the 
carriage, show him yourself to Mr. Lorry, tell him yourself 
to give him no restorative but air, and to remember my 
words of last night, and his promise of last night, and drive 
away I ' 

The spy withdrew, and Carton seated himself at the 
table, resting his forehead on his hands. The spy returned 
immediately, with two men. 

'How, then? ' said one of them, contemplating the fallen 
figure. 'So afflicted to find that his friend has drawn a 
prize in the lottery of Sainte Guillotine ? ' 

'A good patriot,' said the other, 'could hardly have been 
more afflicted if the Aristocrat had drawn a blank.' 

They raised the unconscious figure, placed it on a litter 
they had brought to the door, and bent to carry it away. 

'The time is short, Evremonde,' said the spy, in a 
warning voice. 

'I know it/ well,' answered Carton. 'Be careful of my 
friend, I entreat you, and leave me.' 

'Come, then, my children,' said Barsad. 'Lift him, and 
come away 1 ' 

The door closed, and Carton was left alone. Straining his 
powers of listening to the utmost, he listened for any sound 
that might denote suspicion or alarm. There was none. 
Keys turned, doors clashed, footsteps passed along distant 
passages: no cry was raised, or hurry made, that seemed 
unusual. Breathing more freely in a little while, he sat 
down at the table, and listened again until the clock struck 

Sounds that he was not afraid of, for he divined their 
meaning, then began to be audible. Several doors were 
opened in succession, and finally his own. A jailer, with 
a list in his hand, looked in, merely saying, 'Follow me, 
Evremonde ! ' and he followed him into a large dark room, at 

Fifty-two 349 

a distance. It was a dark winter day, and what with the 
shadows within, and what with the shadows without, he 
could but dimly discern the others who were brought there 
to have their arms bound. Some were standing; some 
seated. Some were lamenting, and in restless motion; but, 
these were few. The great majority were silent and still, 
looking fixedly at the ground. 

As he stood by the wall in a dim corner, while some of 
the fifty-two were brought in after him, one man stopped in 
passing, to embrace him, as having a knowledge of him. It 
thrilled him with a great dread of discovery; but the man 
went on. A very few moments after that, a young woman, 
with a slight girlish form, a sweet spare face in which there 
was no vestige of colour, and large widely opened patient 
eyes, rose from the seat where he had observed her sitting, 
and came to speak to him. 

'Citizen Evre"monde,' she said, touching him with her 
cold hand. ' I am a poor little seamstress, who was with 
you in La Force.' 

He murmured for answer : ' True. I forget what you were 
accused of ? ' 

'Plots. Though the just Heaven knows I am innocent 
of any. Is it likely ? Who would think of plotting with a 
poor little weak creature like me ? ' 

The forlorn smile with which she said it, so touched him, 
that tears started from his eyes. 

'I am not afraid to die, Citizen Evre"monde, but I have 
done nothing. I am not unwilling to die, if the Republic 
which is to do so much good to us poor, will profit by 
my death; but I do not know how that can be, Citizen 
Evrmonde. Such a poor weak little creature!' 

As the last thing on earth that his heart was to warm and 
soften to, it warmed and softened to this pitiable girl. 

' I heard you were released, Citizen Evremonde. I hoped 
it was true ? ' 

'It was. But, I was again taken and condemned.' 

'If I may ride with you, Citizen Evrei.-onde, will you let 
me hold your hand? I am not afraid, but I am little and 
weak, and it will give me more courage.' 

As the patient eyes were lifted to his face, he saw a sudden 
doubt in them, and then astonishment. He pressed the 

350 A Tale of Two Cities 

work-worn, hunger-worn young fingers, and touched his 


'Are you dying for him ? ' she whispered. 

'And his wife and child. Hush! Yes.' 

'Oh, you will let me hold your brave hand, stranger? ' 

'Hush! Yes, my poor sister; to the last.' 

The same shadows that are falling on the prison, are 
falling, in that same hour of the early afternoon, on the 
barrier with the crowd about it, when a coach going out of 
Paris drives up to be examined. 

' Who goes here ? Whom have we within ? Papers ! ' 

The papers are handed out, and read. 

'Alexandre Manette. Physician. French. Which is he?' 

This is he; this helpless, inarticulately murmuring, 
wandering old man pointed out. 

'Apparently the Citizen Doctor is not in his right mind? 
The Revolution-fever will have been too much for him ? ' 

Greatly too much for him. 

'Hah! Many surfer with it. Lucie. His daughter. 
French. Which is she ? ' 

This is she. 

'Apparently it must be. Lucie, the wife of Evre"monde; 
is it not ? ' 

It is. 

' Hah ! Evrmonde has an assignation elsewhere. Lucie, 
her child. English. This is she?' 

She and no other. 

'Kiss me, child of Evr^monde. Now, thou has kissed a 
good Republican; something new in thy family; remember 
it! Sydney Carton. Advocate. English. Where is he?' 

He lies here, in this corner of the carriage. He, too, is 
pointed out. 

' Apparently the English advocate is in a swoon ? ' 

It is hoped he will recover in the fresher air. It is repre- 
sented that he is not in strong health, and has separated 
sadly from a friend who is under the displeasure of the 

' Is that all ? It is not a great deal, that ! Many are under 
the displeasure of the Republic, and must look out at the little 
window. Jarvis Lorry. Banker. English. Which is he ? ' 

Fifty-two 351 

'I am he. Necessarily, being the last.' 

It is Jarvis Lorry who has replied to all the previous 
questions. It is Jarvis Lorry who has alighted and stands 
with his hand on the coach door, replying to a group of 
officials. They leisurely walked round the carriage and 
leisurely mount the box, to look at what little luggage it 
carries on the roof; the country people hanging about, press 
nearer to the coach doors and greedily stare in; a little 
child, carried by its mother, has its short arm held out for 
it, that it may touch the wife of an aristocrat who has gone 
to the Guillotine. 

' Behold your papers, Jarvis Lorry, counter-signed.' 

'One can depart, citizen?' 

'One can depart. Forward, my postilions! A good 
journey! ' 

' I salute you, citizens. And the first danger passed ! ' 

These are again the words of Jarvis Lorry, as he clasps his 
hands, and looks upwards. There is terror in the carriage, 
there is weeping, there is the heavy breathing of the insensible 

' Are we not going too slowly ? Can they not be induced 
to go faster?' asks Lucie, clinging to the old man. 

' It would seem like flight, my darling. I must not urge 
them too much; it would rouse suspicion.' 

' Look back, look back, and see if we are pursued ! ' 

'The road is clear, my dearest. So far, we are not 

Houses in twos and threes pass by us, solitary farms, 
ruinous buildings, dye-works, tanneries, and the like, open 
country, avenues of leafless trees. The hard uneven pave- 
ment is under us, the soft deep mud is on either side. Some- 
times we strike into the skirting mud, to avoid the stones 
that clatter us and shake us; sometimes we stick in ruts and 
sloughs there. The agony of our impatience is then so great, 
that in our wild alarm and hurry we are for getting out and 
running hiding doing anything but stopping. 

Out of the open country, in again among ruinous buildings, 
solitary farms, dye-works, tanneries, and the like, cottages in 
twos and threes, avenues of leafless trees. Have these men 
deceived us^ and taken us back by another road ? Is not this 
the same place twice over? Thank Heaven, no. A village 

352 A Tale of Two Cities 

Look back, look back, and see if we are pursued! Hush! 
the posting-house. 

Leisurely, our four horses are taken out; leisurely, the 
coach stands in the little street, bereft of horses, and with 
no likelihood upon it of ever moving again; leisurely, the 
new horses come into visible existence, one by one ; leisurely, 
the new postilions follow, sucking and plaiting the lashes of 
their whips; leisurely, the old postilions count their money, 
make wrong additions, and arrive at dissatisfied results. All 
the time, our overfraught hearts are beating at a rate that 
would far outstrip the fastest gallop of the fastest horses ever 

At length the new postilions are in their saddles, and the 
old are left behind. We are through the village, up the hill, 
and down the hill, and on the low watery grounds. Sud- 
denly, the postilions exchange speech with animated gesticu- 
lation, and the horses are pulled up, almost on their 
haunches. We are pursued ? 

'Ho! Within the carriage there. Speak then!' 

' What is it ? ' asks Mr. Lorry, looking out at window. 

' How many did they say ? ' 

4 1 do not understand you/ 

' At the last post. How many to the Guillotine to-day ? ' 


'I said so! ^ A brave number! My fellow-citizen here 
would have it forty-two; ten more heads are worth having. 
The Guillotine goes handsomely. I love it. Hi, forward. 
Whoop ! ' 

The night comes on dark. He moves more; he is begin- 
ning to revive, and to speak intelligibly; he thinks they are 
still together; he asks him, by his name, what he has in his 
hand. Oh, pity us, kind Heaven, and help us! Look out, 
look out, and see if we are pursued. 

The wind is rushing after us, and the clouds are flying 
after us, and the moon is plunging after us, and the whole 
wild night is in pursuit of us; but, so far, we are pursued 
by nothing else. 

The Knitting Done 353 



IN that same juncture of time when the fifty-two awaited 
their fate, Madame Defarge held darkly ominous council with 
The Vengeance and Jacques Three of the Revolutionary Jury. 
Not in the wine shop did Madame Defarge confer with these 
ministers, but in the shed of the wood-sawyer, erst a mender 
of roads. The sawyer himself did not participate in the con- 
ference, but abided at a little distance, like an outer satellite 
who was not to speak until required, or to offer an opinion 
until invited. 

'But our Defarge/ said Jacques Three, 'is undoubtedly 
a good Republican ? Eh ? ' 

'There is no better,' the voluble Vengeance protested in 
her shrill notes, 'in France/ 

'Peace, little Vengeance,' said Madame Defarge, laying 
her hand with a slight frown on her lieutenant's lips; 'hear 
me speak. My husband, fellow-citizen, is a good Republican 
and a bold man; he has deserved well of the Republic, and 
possesses its confidence. But my husband has his weak- 
nesses, and he is so weak as to relent towards this Doctor/ 

'It is a great pity,' croaked Jacques Three, dubiously 
shaking his head, with his cruel fingers at his hungry 
mouth ; ' it is not quite like a good citizen ; it is a thing to 

' See you/ said madame, ' I care nothing for this Doctor, 
I. He may wear his head or lose it, for any interest I have 
in him; it is all one to me. But, the Evr^monde people are 
to be exterminated, and the wife and child must follow the 
husband and father/ 

'She has a fine head for it/ croaked Jacques Three, 
have seen blue eyes and golden hair there, and they looked 
charming when Samson held them up/ Ogre that he was, 
he spoke like an epicure. 

Madame Defarge cast down her eyes, and reflected a little. 

'The child also,' observed Jacques Three, with a medi- 
tative enjoyment of his words, 'has golden hair and blue 

354 A Tale of Two Cities 

eyes. And we seldom have a child there. It is a pretty 

'In a word,' said Madame Defarge, coming out of her 
short abstraction, ' I cannot trust my husband in this 
matter. Not only do I feel, since last night, that I dare not 
confide to him the details of my projects; but also I feel 
that if I delay, there is danger of his giving warning, and 
then they might escape.' 

'That must never be/ croaked Jacques Three; no one 
must escape. We have not half enough as it is. We ought 
to have six score a day. 

'In a word,' Madame Defarge went on, 'my husband 
has not my reason for pursuing this family to annihilation, 
and I have not his reason for regarding this Doctor with any 
sensibility. I must act for myself, therefore. Come hither, 
little citizen.' 

The wood-sawyer, who held her in the respect, and him- 
self in the submission, of mortal fear, advanced with his 
hand to his red cap. 

'Touching those signals, little citizen/ said Madame 
Defarge, sternly, 'that she made to the prisoners; you are 
ready to bear witness to them this very day ? ' 

' Ay, ay, why not ! ' cried the sawyer. ' Every day, in 
all weathers, from two to four, always signalling, sometimes 
with the little one, sometimes without. I know what I 
know. I have seen with my eyes/ 

He made all manner of gestures while he spoke, as if in 
incidental imitation of some few of the great diversity of 
signals that he had never seen. 

'Clearly plots/ said Jacques Three. 'Transparently!' 

'There is no doubt of the Jury?' inquired Madame 
Defarge, letting her eyes turn to him with a gloomy smile. 

' Rely upon the patriotic Jury, dear citizeness. I answer 
for my fellow-jurymen/ 

'Now, let me see/ said Madame Defarge, pondering 
again. 'Yet once more! Can I spare this Doctor to my 
husband ? I have no feeling either way. Can I spare him ? ' 

'He would count as one head/ observed Jacques Three, 
in a low voice. 'We really have not heads enough; it 
would be a pity, I think/ 

'He was signalling with her when I saw her/ argued 

The Knitting Done 355 

Madame Defarge ; ' I cannot speak of one without the 
other; and I must not be silent, and trust the case wholly 
to him, this little citizen here. For I am not a bad witness.' 

The Vengeance and Jacques Three vied with each other in 
their fervent protestations that she was the most admirable 
and marvellous of witnesses. The little citizen, not to be 
outdone, declared her to be a celestial witness. 

'He must take his chance,' said Madame Defarge. 'No, 
I cannot spare him! You are engaged at three o'clock; you 
are going to see the batch of to-day executed. You ? ' 

The question was addressed to the wood-sawyer, who 
hurriedly replied in the affirmative: seizing the occasion to 
add that he was the most ardent of Republicans, and that 
he would be in effect the most desolate of Republicans, if 
anything prevented him from enjoying the pleasure of 
smoking his afternoon pipe in the contemplation of the droll 
national barber. He was so very demonstrative herein, that 
he might have been suspected (perhaps was, by the dark 
eyes that looked contemptuously at him out of Madame 
Defarge's head) of having his small individual fears for his 
own personal safety, every hour in the day. 

'I,' said madame, 'am equally engaged at the same 
place. After it is over say at eight to-night come you to 
me, in Saint Antoine, and we will give information against 
these people at my Section.' 

The wood-sawyer said he would be proud and flattered 
to attend the citizeness. The citizeness looked at him, he 
became embarrassed, evaded her glance as a small dog would 
have done, retreated among his wood, and hid his confusion 
over the handle of his saw. 

Madame Defarge beckoned the Juryman and The Ven- 
geance a little nearer to the door, and there expounded her 
further views to them thus: 

'She will now be at home, awaiting the moment of his 
death. She will be mourning and grieving. She will be in a 
state of mind to impeach the justice of the Republic. She 
will be full of sympathy with its enemies. I will go to her.' 

' What an admirable woman ; what an adorable woman ! ' 
exclaimed Jacques Three, rapturously. ' Ah, my cherished ! ' 
cried The Vengeance; and embraced her. 

'Take you my knitting,' said Madame Defarge, placing it 


A Tale of Two Cities 

in her lieutenant's hands, 'and have it ready for me in my 
usual seat. Keep me my usual chair. Go you there, 
straight, for there will probably be a greater concourse than 
usual, to-day.' 

'I willingly obey the orders of my Chief/ said The 
Vengeance with alacrity, and kissing her cheek. 'You will 
not be late ? ' 

'I shall be there before the commencement.' 

'And before the tumbrils arrive. Be sure you are there, 
my soul,' said The Vengeance, calling after her, for she 
had already turned into the street, 'before the tumbrils 
arrive ! ' 

Madame Defarge slightly waved her hand, to imply that 
she heard, and might be relied upon to arrive in good time, 
and so went through the mud, and round the corner of the 
prison wall. The Vengeance and the Juryman, looking after 
her as she walked away, were highly appreciative of her fine 
figure, and her superb moral endowments. 

There were many women at that time, upon whom the 
time laid a dreadfully disfiguring hand; but there was not 
one among them more to be dreaded than this ruthless 
woman, now taking her way along the streets. Of a strong 
and fearless character, of shrewd sense and readiness, of 
great determination, of that kind of beauty which not only 
seems to impart to its possessor firmness and animosity, but 
to strike into others an instinctive recognition of those 
qualities; the troubled time would have heaved her up, 
under any circumstances. But, imbued from her childhood 
with a brooding sense of wrong, and an inveterate hatred of 
a class, opportunity had developed her into a tigress. She 
was absolutely without pity. If she had ever had the virtue 
in her, it had quite gone out of her. 

It was nothing to her, that an innocent man was to die 
for the sins of his forefathers; she saw, not him, but them. 
It was nothing to her, that his wife was to be made a widow 
and his daughter an orphan; that was insufficient punish- 
ment, because they were her natural enemies and her prey, 
and as such had no right to live. To appeal to her, was 
made hopeless by her having no sense of pity, even for 
herself. If she had been laid low in the streets, in any of 
the many encounters in which she had been engaged, she 

The Knitting Done 357 

would not have pitied herself; nor, if she had been ordered 
to the axe to-morrow, would she have gone to it with any 
softer feeling than a fierce desire to change places with the 
man who sent her there. 

Such a heart Madame Defarge carried under her rough 
robe. Carelessly worn, it was becoming robe enough, in a 
certain weird way, and her dark hair looked rich under her 
coarse red cap. Lying hidden in her bosom, was a loaded 
pistol. Lying hidden at her waist, was a sharpened dagger. 
Thus accoutred, and walking with the confident tread of such 
a character, and with the supple freedom of a woman who 
had habitually walked in her girlhood, bare-foot and bare- 
legged, on the brown sea-sand, Madame Defarge took her 
way along the streets. 

Now, when the journey of the travelling coach, at that 
very moment waiting for the completion of its load, had 
been planned out last night the difficulty of taking Miss 
Pross in it had much engaged Mr. Lorry's attention. It 
was not merely desirable to avoid overloading the coach, 
but it was of the highest importance that the time occupied 
in examining it and its passengers, should be reduced to the 
utmost; since their escape might depend on the saving of 
only a few seconds here and there. Finally, he had pro- 
posed, after anxious consideration, that Miss Pross and 
Jerry, who were at liberty to leave the city, should leave it at 
three o'clock in the lightest- wheeled conveyance known to 
that period. Unencumbered with luggage, they would soon 
overtake the coach, and, passing it and preceding it on the 
road, would order its horses in advance, and greatly facili- 
tate its progress during the precious hours of the night, when 
delay was the most to be dreaded. 

Seeing in this arrangement the hope of rendering real 
service in that pressing emergency, Miss Pross hailed it with 
joy. She and Jerry had beheld the coach start, had known 
who it was that Solomon brought, had passed some ten 
minutes in torture of suspense, and were now concluding 
their arrangements to follow the coach, even as Madame 
Defarge, taking her way through the streets, now drew 
nearer and nearer to the else-deserted lodging in which they 
held their consultation. 

'Now what do you think, Mr. Cruncher,' said Miss Pross, 


A Tale of Two Cities 

whose agitation was so great that she could hardly speak, or 
stand, or move, or live: 'what do you think of our not 
starting from this courtyard? Another carriage having 
already gone from here to-day, it might awaken suspicion.' 

'My opinion, miss/ returned Mr. Cruncher, 'is as you 're 
right. Likewise wot I '11 stand by you, right or wrong.' 

' I am so distracted with fear and hope for our precious 
creatures,' said Miss Pross, wildly crying, 'that I am 
incapable of forming any plan. Are you capable of forming 
any plan, my dear good Mr. Cruncher ? ' 

' Respectin' a future spear o' life, miss,' returned Mr. 
Cruncher, ' I hope so. Respectin' any present use o' this 
here blessed old head o' mine, I think not. Would you do 
me the favour, miss, to take notice o' two promises and 
wows wot it is my wishes fur to record in this here 
crisis ? ' 

' Oh, for gracious sake ! ' cried Miss Pross, still wildly 
crying, ' record them at once, and get them out of the way, 
like an excellent man.' 

'First,' said Mr. Cruncher, who was all in a tremble, and 
who spoke with an ashy and solemn visage, 'them poor 
things well out o' this, never no more will I do it, never no 
more ! ' 

'I am quite sure, Mr. Cruncher,' returned Miss Pross, 
'that you will never do it again, whatever it is, and I beg 
you not to think it necessary to mention more particularly 
what it is.' 

'No, miss,' returned Jerry, 'it shall not be named to 
you. Second: them poor things well out o' this, and never 
no more will I interfere with Mrs. Cruncher's flopping, never 
no more ! ' 

'Whatever housekeeping arrangement that may be/ said 
Miss Pross, striving to dry her eyes and compose herself, 
' I have no doubt it is best that Mrs. Cruncher should have 
it entirely under her own superintendence. Oh, my poor 
darlings ! ' 

'I go so far as to say, miss, morehover/ proceeded Mr. 
Cruncher, with a most alarming tendency to hold forth as 
from a pulpit 'and let my words be took down and took 
to Mrs. Cruncher through yourself that wot my opinions 
respectin' flopping has undergone a change, and that wot I 

The Knitting Done 359 

only hope with all my heart as Mrs. Cruncher may be a 
flopping at the present time.' 

'There, there, there! I hope she is, my dear man,' cried 
the distracted Miss Pross, ' and I hope she finds it answering 
her expectations.' 

'Forbid it/ proceeded Mr. Cruncher, with additional 
solemnity, additional slowness, and additional tendency to 
hold forth and hold out, ' as anything wot I have ever said 
or done should be wisited on my earnest wishes for them 
poor creeturs now! Forbid it as we shouldn't all flop (if it 
was anyways conwenient) to get 'em out o' this here dismal 
risk! Forbid it, miss ! Wot I say, for BID it!' This was 
Mr. Cruncher's conclusion after a protracted but vain 
endeavour to find a better one. 

And still Madame Defarge, pursuing her way along the 
streets, came nearer and nearer. 

'If we ever get back to our native land,' said Miss Pross, 
'you may rely upon my telling Mrs. Cruncher as much as 
I may be able to remember and understand of what you 
have so impressively said; and at all events you may be 
sure that I shall bear witness to your being thoroughly in 
earnest at this dreadful time. Now, pray let us think! My 
esteemed Mr. Cruncher, let us think ! ' 

Still, Madame Defarge, pursuing her way along the streets, 
came nearer and nearer. 

'If you were to go before,' said Miss Pross, 'and stop 
the vehicle and horses from coming here, and were to wait 
somewhere for me; wouldn't that be best ? ' 

Mr. Cruncher thought it might be best. 

'Where could you wait for me?' asked Miss Pross. 

Mr. Cruncher was so bewildered that he could think of no 
locality but Temple Bar. Alas ! Temple Bar was hundreds 
of miles away, and Madame Defarge was drawing very near 

'By the cathedral door,' said Miss Pross. 'Would it be 
much out of the way, to take me in, near the great cathedral 
door between the two towers ? ' 

'No, miss,' answered Mr. Cruncher. 

'Then, like the best of men,' said Miss Pross, 'go to the 
posting-house straight, and make that change.' 

'I am doubtful,' said Mr. Cruncher, hesitating and 

3 6 

A Tale of Two Cities 

shaking his head, 'about leaving of you, you see. We 
don't know what may happen.' 

'Heaven knows we don't,' returned Miss Pross, 'but 
have no fear for me. Take me in at the cathedral, at three 
o'clock, or as near it as you can, and I am sure it will be 
better than our going from here. I feel certain of it. There ! 
Bless you, Mr. Cruncher! Think not of me, but of the 
lives that may depend on both of us ! ' 

This exordium, and Miss Press's two hands in quite 
agonized entreaty clasping his, decided Mr. Cruncher. With 
an encouraging nod or two, he immediately went out to 
alter the arrangements, and left her by herself to follow as 
she had proposed. 

The having originated a precaution which was already in 
course of execution, was a great relief to Miss Pross. The 
necessity of composing her appearance so that it should 
attract no special notice in the streets, was another relief. 
She looked at her watch, and it was twenty minutes past 
two. She had no time to lose, but must get ready at once. 

Afraid, in her extreme perturbation, of the loneliness of 
the deserted rooms, and of half-imagined faces peeping from 
behind every open door in them, Miss Pross got a basin of 
cold water and began laving her eyes, which were swollen 
and red. Haunted by her feverish apprehensions, she could 
not bear to have her sight obscured for a minute at a time 
by the dripping water, but constantly paused and looked 
round to see that there was no one watching her. In one of 
those pauses she recoiled and cried out, for she saw a figure 
standing in the room. 

The basin fell to the ground broken, and the water flowed 
to the feet of Madame Defarge. By strange stern ways, and 
through much staining blood, those feet had come to meet 
that water. 

Madame Defarge looked coldly at her, and said, 'The 
wife of Evremonde ; where is she ? ' 

It flashed upon Miss Press's mind that the doors were all 
standing open, and would suggest the flight. Her first act 
was to shut them. There were four in the room, and she 
shut them all. She then placed herself before the door of 
the chamber which Lucie had occupied. 

Madame Defarge's dark eyes followed her through this 

The Knitting Done 361 

rapid movement, and rested on her when it was finished. 
Miss Pross had nothing beautiful about her; years had not 
tamed the wildness, or softened the grimness, of her appear- 
ance; but, she too was a determined woman in her different 
way, and she measured Madame Defarge with her eyes, 
every inch. 

'You might, from your appearance, be the wife of 
Lucifer/ said Miss Pross, in her breathing. 'Nevertheless, 
you shall not get the better of me. I am an Englishwoman.' 

Madame Defarge looked at her scornfully, but still with 
something of Miss Press's own perception that they two 
were at bay. She saw a tight, hard, wiry woman before her, 
as Mr. Lorry had seen in the same figure a woman with a 
strong hand, in the years gone by. She knew full well that 
Miss Pross was the family's devoted friend; Miss Pross 
knew full well that Madame Defarge was the family's 
malevolent enemy. 

'On my way yonder/ said Madame Defarge, with a slight 
movement of her hand towards the fatal spot, ' where they 
reserve my chair and my knitting for me, I am come to make 
my compliments to her in passing. I wish to see her/ 

'I know that your intentions are evil/ said Miss Pross, 
'and you may depend upon it, I '11 hold my own against 

Each spoke in her own language; neither understood the 
other's words; both were very watchful, and intent to deduce 
from look and manner, what the unintelligible words meant. 

' It will do her no good to keep herself concealed from me 
at this moment/ said Madame Defarge. 'Good patriots 
will know what that means. Let me see her. Go tell her 
that I wish to see her. Do you hear ? ' 

'If those eyes of yours were bed-winches/ returned Miss 
Pross, 'and I was an English four-poster, they shouldn't 
loose a splinter of me. No, you wicked foreign woman; I 
am your match/ 

Madame Defarge was not likely to follow these idiomatic 
remarks in detail; but, she so far understood them as to 
perceive that she was set at naught. 

'Woman imbecile and pig-like!' said Madame Defarge, 
frowning. 'I take no answer from you. I demand to see 
her. Either tell her that I demand to see her, or stand out 


A Tale of Two Cities 

of the way of the door and let me go to her ! ' This, with 
an angry explanatory wave of her right arm. 

'I little thought/ said Miss Pross, 'that I should ever 
want to understand your nonsensical language ; but I would 
give all I have, except the clothes I wear, to know whether 
you suspect the truth, or any part of it.' 

Neither of them for a single moment released the other's 
eyes. Madame Defarge had not moved from the spot where 
she stood when Miss Pross first became aware of her; but, 
she now advanced one step. 

'I am a Briton,' said Miss Pross, 'I am desperate. I 
don't care an English Twopence for myself. I know that the 
longer I keep you here, the greater hope there is for my 
Ladybird. I 'LL not leave a handful of that dark hair upon 
your head, if you lay a finger on me ! ' 

Thus Miss Pross, with a shake of her head and a flash of 
her eyes between every rapid sentence, and every rapid 
sentence a whole breath. Thus Miss Pross, who had never 
struck a blow in her life. 

But, her courage was of that emotional nature that it 
brought the irrepressible tears into her eyes. This was a 
courage that Madame Defarge so little comprehended as to 
mistake for weakness. ' Ha, ha ! ' she laughed, ' you poor 
wretch 1 What are you worth! I address myself to that 
Doctor/ Then she raised her voice and called out, 'Citizen 
Doctor 1 Wife of Evremonde ! Child of Evremonde ! Any 
person but this miserable fool, answer the Citizeness 
Defarge I ' 

Perhaps the following silence, perhaps some latent dis- 
closure of the expression of Miss Press's face, perhaps a 
sudden misgiving apart from either suggestion, whispered to 
Madame Defarge that they were gore. Three of the doors 
she opened swiftly, and looked in. 

'Those rooms are all in disorder, there has been hurried 
packing, there are odds and ends upon the ground. There 
is no one in that room behind you! Let me look/ 

'Never!' said Miss Pross, who understood the request 
as perfectly as Madame Defarge understood the answer. 

'If they are not in that room, they are gone, and can 
be pursued and brought back/ said Madame Defarge to 

The Knitting Done 363 

'As long as you don't know whether they are in that room 
or not, you are uncertain what to do/ said Miss Pross to 
herseli ; ' and you shall not know that, if I can prevent your 
knowing it ; and know that, or not know that, you shall not 
leave here while I can hold you.' 

'I have been in the streets from the first, nothing has 
stopped me, I will tear you to pieces, but I will have you 
from that door,' said Madame Defarge. 

'We are alone at the top of a high house in a solitary 
courtyard, we are not likely to be heard, and I pray for 
bodily strength to keep you here, while every minute you 
are here is worth a hundred thousand guineas to my darling,' 
said Miss Pross. 

Madame Defarge made at the door. Miss Pross, on the 
instinct of the moment, seized her round the waist in both 
her arms, and held her tight. It was in vain for Madame 
Defarge to struggle and to strike; Miss Pross, with the 
vigorous tenacity of love, always so much stronger than 
hate, clasped her tight, and even lifted her from the floor 
in the struggle that they had. The two hands of Madame 
Defarge buffeted and tore her face; but, Miss Pross, with 
her head down, held her round the waist, and clung to her 
with more than the hold of a drowning woman. 

'Soon, Madame Defarge's hands ceased to strike, and felt 
at her encircled waist. 'It is under my arm/ said Miss 
Pross, in smothered tones; 'you shall not draw it. I am 
stronger than you, I bless Heaven for it. I '11 hold you till 
one or other of us faints or dies ! ' 

Madame Defarge's hands were at her bosom. Miss Pross 
looked up, saw what it was, struck at it, struck out a flash 
and a crash, and stood alone blinded with smoke. 

All this was in a second. As the smoke cleared, leaving an 
awful stillness, it passed out on the air, like the soul of the 
furious woman whose body lay lifeless on the ground. 

In the first fright and horror of the situation, Miss Pross 
passed the body as far from it as she could, and ran down the 
stairs to call for fruitless help. Happily, she bethought her- 
self of the consequences of what she did, in time to check 
herself and go back. It was dreadful to go in at the door 
again; but, she did go in, and even went near it, to get the 
bonnet and other things that she must wear. These she put 

3 6 4 

A Tale of Two Cities 

on, out on the staircase, first shutting and locking the door 
and taking away the key. She then sat down on the stairs a 
few moments to breathe and to cry, and then got up and 
hurried away. 

By good fortune she had a veil on her bonnet, or she could 
hardly have gone along the streets without being stopped. 
By good fortune, too, she was naturally so peculiar in appear- 
ance as not to show disfigurement like any other woman. 
She needed advantages, for the marks of griping fingers were 
deep in her face, and her hair was torn, and her dress (hastily 
composed with unsteady hands) was clutched and dragged a 
hundred ways. 

In crossing the bridge, she dropped the door key in the 
river. Arriving at the cathedral some few minutes before 
her escort, and waiting there, she thought, what if the key 
were already taken in a net, what if it were identified, what 
if the door were opened and the remains discovered, what 
if she were stopped at the gate, sent to prison, and charged 
with murder! In the midst of these fluttering thoughts, 
the escort appeared, took her in, and took her away. 

' Is there any noise in the streets ? ' she asked him. 

'The usual noises,' Mr. Cruncher replied; and looked 
surprised by the question and by her aspect. 

' I don't hear you,' said Miss Pross. ' What do you say ? ' 

It was in vain for Mr. Cruncher to repeat what he said; 
Miss Pross could not hear him. 'So I '11 nod my head/ 
thought Mr. Cruncher, amazed; 'at all events she '11 see 
that.' And she did. 

' Is there any noise in the streets now ? ' asked Miss 
Pross again, presently. 

Again Mr. Cruncher nodded his head. 

'I don't hear it.' 

' Gone deaf in an hour ? ' said Mr. Cruncher, ruminating, 
with his mind much disturbed; 'wot's come to her?' 

'I feel,' said Miss Pross, 'as if there had been a flash 
and a crash, and that crash was the last thing I should ever 
hear in this life.' 

' Blest if she ain't in a queer condition ! ' said Mr. Cruncher, 
more and more disturbed. 'What can she have been a 
takin', to keep her courage up? Hark! There 's the roll 
of them dreadful carts! You can hear that, miss? ' 

The Footsteps Die Out for Ever 365 

'I can hear,' said Miss Pross, seeing that he spoke to her, 
' nothing. Oh, my good man, there was first a great crash, 
and then a great stillness, and that stillness seems to be 
fixed and unchangeable, never to be broken any more as 
long as my life lasts.' 

'If she don't hear the roll of those dreadful carts, now 
very nigh their journey's end,' said Mr. Cruncher, glancing 
over his shoulder, 'it 's my opinion that indeed she never 
will hear anything else in this world/ 

And indeed she never did. 



ALONG the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and 
harsh. Six tumbrils carry the day's wine to La Guillotine. 
All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since 
imagination could record itself, are fused in the one realiza- 
tion, Guillotine. And yet there is not in France, with its rich 
variety of soil and climate, a blade, a leaf, a root, a sprig, a 
peppercorn, which will grow to maturity under conditions 
more certain than those that have produced this horror. 
Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar 
hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured 
forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious licence and oppression 
over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according 
to its kind. 

Six tumbrils roll along the streets. Change these back again 
to what they were, thou powerful enchanter, Time, and they 
shall be seen to be the carriages of absolute monarchs, the 
equipages of feudal nobles, the toilettes of flaring Jezebels, 
the churches that are not my Father's house but dens of 
thieves, the huts of millions of starving peasants ! No ; the 
great magician who majestically works out the appointed 
order of the Creator, never reverses his transformations. 
' If thou be changed into this shape by the will of God,' say 

3 66 

A Tale of Two Cities 

the seers to the enchanted, in the wise Arabian stories, 'then 
remain so ! But, if thou wear this form through mere passing 
conjuration, then resume thy former aspect!' Changeless 
and hopeless, the tumbrils roll along. 

As the sombre wheels of the six carts go round, they seem 
to plough up a long crooked furrow among the populace in 
the streets. Ridges of faces are thrown to this side and to 
that, and the ploughs go steadily onward. So used are the 
regular inhabitants of the houses to the spectacle, that in 
many windows there are no people, and in some the occupa- 
tion of the hands is not so much as suspended, while the eyes 
survey the faces in the tumbrils. Here and there, the inmate 
ha.s visitors to see the sight; then he points his finger, with 
something of the complacency of a curator or authorized 
exponent, to this cart and to this, and seems to tell who sat 
here yesterday, and who there the day before. 

Of the riders in the tumbrils, some observe these things, 
and all things on their last roadside, with an impassive stare; 
others, with a lingering interest in the ways of life and men. 
Some, seated with drooping heads, are sunk in silent despair; 
again, there are some so heedful of their looks that they cast 
upon the multitude such glances as they have seen in 
theatres, and in pictures. Several close their eyes, and think, 
or try to get their straying thoughts together. Only one, 
and he is a miserable creature, of a crazed aspect, is so 
shattered and made drunk by horror, that he sings, and tries 
to dance. Not one of the whole number appeals by look or 
gesture, to the pity of the people. 

There is a guard of sundry horsemen riding abreast of the 
tumbrils, and faces are often turned up to some of them, and 
they are asked some question. It would seem to be always 
the same question, for, it is always followed by a press of 
people towards the third cart. The horsemen abreast of that 
cart, frequently point out one man in it with their swords. 
The leading curiosity is, to know which is he; he stands at 
the back of the tumbril with his head bent down, to converse 
with a mere girl who sits on the side of the cart, and holds 
his hand. He has no curiosity or care for the scene about 
him, and always speaks to the girl. Here and there in the 
long street of St. Honore", cries are raised against him. If 
they move him at all, it is only to a quiet smile, as he shakes 

The Footsteps Die Out for Ever 367 

his hair a little more loosely about his face. He cannot 
easily touch his face, his arms being bound. 

On the steps of a church, awaiting the coming-up of the 
tumbrils, stands the spy and prison sheep. He looks into 
the first of them: not there. He looks into the second: not 
there. He already asks himself, ' Has he sacrificed me ? ' 
when his face clears, as he looks into the third. 

' Which is Evre"monde ? ' says a man behind him. 

'That. At the back there.' 

'With his hand in the girl's ? ' 


The man cries, 'Down, Evre"monde! To the Guillotine, 
all aristocrats ! Down, Evremonde ! ' 

' Hush, hush ! ' the spy entreats him, timidly. 

' And why not, citizen ? ' 

'He is going to pay the forfeit: it will be paid in five 
minutes more. Let him be at peace.' 

But the man continuing to exclaim, ' Down, Evremonde! ' 
the face of Evremonde is for a moment turned towards him. 
Evremonde then sees the spy, and looks attentively at him, 
and goes his way. 

The clocks are on the stroke of three, and the furrow 
ploughed among the populace is turning round, to come on 
into the place of execution, and end. The ridges thrown 
to this side and to that, now crumble in and close behind 
the last plough as it passes on, for all are following to the 
Guillotine. In front of it, seated in chairs, as in a garden 
of public diversion, are a number of women, busily knitting. 
On one of the foremost chairs, stands The Vengeance, 
looking about for her friend. 

' Therese ! ' she cries, in her shrill tones. ' W r ho has seen 
her ? The"rese Defarge ! ' 

'She never missed before,' says a knitting- woman of the 

'No: nor will she miss now,' cries The Vengeance petu- 
lantly. 'Th6rese.' 

'Louder,' the woman recommends. 

Ay! Louder, Vengeance, much louder, and still she will 
scarcely hear thee. Louder yet, Vengeance, with a little 
oath or so added, and yet it will hardly bring her. Send 
other women up and down to seek her, lingering somewhere; 

3 68 

A Tale of Two Cities 

and yet, although the messengers have done dread deeds, it 
is questionable whether of their own wills they will go far 
enough to find her! 

' Bad Fortune ! ' cries The Vengeance, stamping her foot 
in the chair, ' and here are the tumbrils ! And Evremonde 
will be dispatched in a wink, and she not here! See her 
knitting in my hand, and her empty chair ready for her. I 
cry with vexation and disappointment ! ' 

As The Vengeance descends from her elevation to do it, 
the tumbrils begin to discharge their loads. The ministers 
of Sainte Guillotine are robed and ready. Crash! a head 
is held up, and the knitting-women, who scarcely lifted their 
eyes to look at it a moment ago when it could think and 
speak, count One. 

The second tumbril empties and moves on ; the third 
comes up. Crash! and the knitting- women, never falter- 
ing or pausing in their work, count Two. 

The supposed Evremonde descends, and the seamstress is 
lifted out next after him. He has not relinquished her 
patient hand in getting out, but still holds it as he promised. 
He gently places her with her back to the crashing engine 
that constantly whirrs up and falls, and she looks into his 
face and thanks him. 

' But for you, dear stranger, I should not be so composed, 
for I am naturally a poor little thing, faint of heart; nor 
should I have been able to raise my thoughts to Him who 
was put to death, that we might have hope and comfort here 
to-day. I think you were sent to me by Heaven.' 

'Or you to me,' says Sydney Carton. 'Keep your eyes 
upon me, dear child, and mind no other object.' 

' I mind nothing while I hold your hand. I shall mind 
nothing when I let it go, if they are rapid.' 

' They will be rapid. Fear not ! ' 

The two stand in the fast-thinning throng of victims, but 
they speak as if they were alone. Eye to eye, voice to voice, 
hand to hand, heart to heart, these two children of the 
Universal Mother, else so wide apart and differing, have 
come together on the dark highway, to repair home together, 
and to rest in her bosom. 

' Brave and generous friend, you will let me ask you one 
last question? I am very ignorant, and it troubles me 
just a little.' 

'Tell me what it is.' 

'I have a cousin, an only relative and an orphan, like 

The Footsteps Die Out for Ever 369 

myself, whom I love very dearly. She is five years younger 
than I, and she lives in a farmer's house in the south country. 
Poverty parted us, and she knows nothing of my fate for 
I cannot write and if I could, how should I tell her ! It is 
better as it is.' 

'Yes, yes, better as it is.' 

'What I have been thinking as we came along, and what 
I am still thinking now, as I look into your kind strong face 
which gives me so much support, is this: If the Republic 
really does good to the poor, and they come to be less 
hungry, and in all ways to suffer less, and she may live a long 
time: she may even live to be old.' 

' What then, my gentle sister ? ' 

'Do you think' the uncomplaining eyes in which there 
is so much endurance, fill with tears, and the lips part a little 
more and tremble 'that it will seem long to me, while I 
wait for her in the better land where I trust both you and I 
will be mercifully sheltered ? ' 

' It cannot be, my child ; there is no Time there, and no 
trouble there.' 

' You comfort me so much ! I am so ignorant. Am I to 
kiss you now ? Is the moment come ? ' 


She kisses his lips; he kisses hers; they solemnly bless 
each other. The spare hand does not tremble as he releases 
it; nothing worse than a sweet, bright constancy is in the 
patient face. She goes next before him is gone; the 
knitting-women count Twenty-two. 

'I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord: he 
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die ! ' 

The murmuring of many voices, the upturning of many 
faces, the pressing on of many footsteps in the outskirts of 
the crowd, so that it swells forward in a mass, like one great 
heave of water, all flashes away. Twenty-three. 

They said of him, about the city that night, that it was 
the peacefulest man's face ever beheld there. Many added 
that he looked sublime and prophetic. 

One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe 
a woman had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not 
long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that 

370 A Tale of Two Cities 

were inspiring her. If he had given any utterance to his, 
and they were prophetic, they would have been these: 

' I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the 
Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who 
have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this 
retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present 
use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from 
this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their 
triumphs and defeats, through long long years to come, I 
see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this 
is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself 
and wearing out. 

' I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, 
useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall 
see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who 
bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but other- 
wise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, 
and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in 
ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing 
tranquilly to his reward. 

' I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the 
hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, 
an old woman, weeping for me on the anniversary of this 
day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying 
side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each 
was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, 
than I was in the souls of both. 

' I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore 
my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life 
which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that 
my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see 
the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost 
of just judges and honoured men, bringing a boy of my 
name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this 
place then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's 
disfigurement and I hear him tell the child my story, with 
a tender and a faltering voice. 

' 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.' 




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