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A Tale of Two Cities

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“Good day, gentlemen!” said Monsieur Defarge. “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!” Saying this may have been a signal to let everyone know they could speak. Together everyone answered, “Good day!”
“It is bad weather, gentlemen,” said Defarge, shaking his head. “The weather is bad, gentlemen,” said Defarge, shaking his head.
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. When he said this, all the men looked at each other, then they looked at the ground and sat in silence. Except for one man, who got up and left.
“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!” “My wife,” said Defarge out loud, speaking to Madame Defarge. “I have traveled some distance with this repairer of roads named Jacques. I met him by chance a day and half’s travel outside of Paris. He is a good kid, this repairer of roads named Jacques. Give him a 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. Another man got up and left. Madame Defarge put a glass of wine in front of the repairer of roads named Jacques. He tipped his blue cap to everyone and drank. In his shirt he had some rough, dark bread. He ate from it now and again and sat eating and drinking at Madame Defarge’s counter. A third man got up and left.
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. Monsieur Defarge refreshed himself with a cup of wine. He took less than was given to the stranger, since wine was something that was always available to him. He stood waiting until Jacques had finished his breakfast. Monsieur Defarge didn’t look directly at anyone there, and no one looked at him, not even his wife, who was now busy knitting.
“Have you finished your repast, friend?” he asked, in due season. “Have you finished your meal, my friend?” asked Monsieur Defarge after a while.
“Yes, thank you.” “Yes, thank you.”
“Come, then! You shall see the apartment that I told you you could occupy. It will suit you to a marvel.” “Come on, then! I’ll show you the apartment I said you could stay in. It’s perfect for you.”
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. They left the wine shop and went out into the street, then into a courtyard, up a steep staircase, and up into an attic. This was the same attic where Dr. Manette once sat on a bench, stooped over, busily 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. Dr. Manette wasn’t there anymore. Instead, the three men who had left the wine shop one by one were all there. Between these men and Dr. Manette there was one small connection, though, for the men had all once watched him through the holes in these walls.
Defarge closed the door carefully, and spoke in a subdued voice: Defarge carefully closed the door and said quietly:
“Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques Three! This is the witness encountered by appointment, by me, Jacques Four. He will tell you all. Speak, Jacques Five!” “Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques Three! This is the witness that I, Jacques Four, went to meet. He will tell you everything. Tell them, Jacques Five!”
The mender of roads, blue cap in hand, wiped his swarthy forehead with it, and said, “Where shall I commence, monsieur?” The repairer of roads wiped his dark brow with his blue cap and said, “Where should I begin, monsieur?”
“Commence,” was Monsieur Defarge’s not unreasonable reply, “at the commencement.” “Begin at the beginning,” was Monsieur Defarge’s sensible reply.
“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 hanging by the chain—like this.” “I saw a man, messieurs,” said the repairer of roads, “a year ago this summer, hiding under the marquis’s carriage, hanging by a chain. Listen to how it happened. I had just finished working on a road and was leaving. The sun was setting, and the marquis’s carriage was slowly climbing up a hill and the man was hanging beneath it by a chain—like this.”

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