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A TALE OF TWO CITIES.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.

BOOK THE SECOND. THE GOLDEN THREAD.
CHAPTER IV. CONGRATULATORY.

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 around Mr.
Charles Darnayjust releasedcongratulating
him on his escape from death.

It would have been difficult by a far brighter
light, to recognise 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 extended 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 trialevoke this condition from
the depths of his soul, it was also in its nature
to arise of itself, and to draw a 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 substance 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 recal some
occasions on which her power had failed; but, they
were few and slight, and she believed them over.

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 augured 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 lifein 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 somebody to
say, "Much better," Mr. Lorry said it;
perhaps not quite disinterestedly, but with the
interested object of squeezing himself back
again.

"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 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,
andMiss 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."

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