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time by embracing one another on the triumphs
of the day, and achieving them again in gossip.
Gradually, these strings of rugged 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 wakened 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 soldiers to guard it, but not
many; there were officers to guard the soldiers,
but not one of them knew what his men would
dobeyond 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 themall 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, Monseigneur as
a class had, somehow or other, brought things to
this. Strange that Creation, designed expressly
for Monseigneur, should be so soon wrung dry and
squeezed out! There must be something
shortsighted 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
chasenow, found in hunting the people;
now, found in hunting the beasts, for whose
preservation Monseigueur 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, chiselled, and otherwise
beatified and beatifying features of Monseigneur.

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 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 barbarian 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 anywhere."

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