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
"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, "Agicultooral
"My mind misgives me much," said Mr. Lorry, angrily shaking a forefinger
at him, "that you have used the respectable 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 it 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! no, nor yet his quarter—a
banking 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
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. Crunches 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 wos
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 undug—if it wos 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 wot I 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
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 his second arrest, gradually weakened
them; he was an old man now, overborne with anxiety of late, and his tears
"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, careless. And I could not respect your sorrow more, if
you were my father. You are free from that misfortune, however."
Though he said the last words, with a slip into his usual 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 worse, 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."
It was a long, grieving sound, like a sigh—almost like a sob. It
attracted Mr. Lorry's eyes to Carton's face, which was turned to the fire.
A light, or a shade (the old gentleman could not have said which), passed
from it as swiftly as a change will sweep over a hill-side on a wild
bright day, and he lifted his foot to put back one of the little flaming
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
remarkable to elicit a word of remonstrance from Mr. Lorry; his boot was
still upon the hot embers of the flaming 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 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
"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, wistfully.
"I am in my seventy-eighth year."
"You have been useful all your life; steadily and constantly occupied;
trusted, respected, and looked up to?"
"I 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 will 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 that? 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?"
"If 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 not?"
"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
"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:
"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 smoothings 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
"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'll 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?"
"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 down-stairs 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."
"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! 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 executioner, 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
"Yes," said Carton, pausing again, and answering over his shoulder.
"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-hill 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! hi!"
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 live: 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 revulsion had even travelled that length of self-destruction from
years of priestly impostors, plunderers, and profligates; in the distant
burial-places, reserved, as they wrote upon the gates, for Eternal Sleep;
in the abounding gaols; and in the streets along which the sixties rolled
to a death which had become 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 nightcaps, and put on heavy
shoes, and trudged. But, the theatres were all well filled, and the people
poured cheerfully out as he passed, and went 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 die."
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
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
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
The strong tide, so swift, so deep, and certain, was like a congenial
friend, in the morning stillness. He walked by 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,
watching an eddy that turned and turned purposeless, until the stream
absorbed it, and carried it on to the sea.—"Like me."
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 exactly.
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 monstrously abused, that the suicidal vengeance of the Revolution
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 appearance gave
great satisfaction to the spectators. A life-thirsting, cannibal-looking,
bloody-minded juryman, the Jacques Three of St. 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
favourable leaning 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 proscription, absolutely Dead in Law.
To this effect, in as few or fewer words, the Public Prosecutor.
The President asked, was the Accused openly denounced or secretly?
"Three voices. Ernest Defarge, wine-vendor of St. Antoine."
"Therese 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 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 trembling; 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 commendations 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,
"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 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 gaoler. I examine it,
very closely. In a 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