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A Tale of Two Cities

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Therefore, when Sunday came, the mender of roads was not enchanted (though he said he was) to find that madame was to accompany monsieur and himself to Versailles. It was additionally disconcerting to have madame knitting all the way there, in a public conveyance; it was additionally disconcerting yet, to have madame in the crowd in the afternoon, still with her knitting in her hands as the crowd waited to see the carriage of the King and Queen. Therefore, when Sunday came, the repairer of roads was not happy, although he claimed he was, to find out that Madame Defarge was to go with Defarge and himself to Versailles. It was additionally worrisome to have Madame Defarge knitting the whole way there on public transportation. It was also worrisome to have her in the crowd that afternoon still holding 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. “You work hard, madame,” said the man next to her in the crowd.
“Yes,” answered Madame Defarge; “I have a good deal to do.” “Yes,” answered Madame Defarge. “I have a lot of work to do.”
“What do you make, madame?” “What do you make, madame?”
“Many things.” “Many things.”
“For instance—” “Such as? “
“For instance,” returned Madame Defarge, composedly, “shrouds.” “Such as

shrouds

a cloth that a corpse is wrapped in before burial

shrouds
,” answered Madame Defarge calmly.
The man moved a little further away, as soon as he could, and the mender of 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 intoxication, 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 sentiment. 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. The man moved a little further away from her as soon as he could. The repairer of roads fanned himself with his blue cap. He felt hot and uncomfortable from what she had said. If he needed the king and queen to restore him, he soon got his cure. Soon the large-faced king and beautiful queen came by in their golden coach. They were waited on by a group of fancily dressed ladies and lords who were laughing. The repairer of roads looked on in awe at the men and women in jewels and silks, wearing makeup on their handsome and haughty faces and dressed elegantly. He was so caught up for a moment that he yelled, “Long live the king! Long live the queen! Long live everybody and everything!” as if he had never met the three men named Jacques. Then they saw the gardens, the courtyards, terraces, fountains, and green hills of the court. They saw more of the king and queen. They saw more lords and ladies. There was more cheering for all of them until he was so moved by it all that he started to cry. During this scene, which lasted about three hours, there were many other people there with him who were also cheering and crying. Through all of this, Defarge held him by the collar as if he might become so overwhelmed that he would charge at them all and rip them to pieces.
“Bravo!” said Defarge, clapping him on the back when it was over, like a patron; “you are a good boy!” “Bravo!” said Defarge. He gave him a fatherly pat on the back when it was all over. “You’re a good boy!” he said.
The mender of roads was now coming to himself, and was mistrustful of having made a mistake in his late demonstrations; but no. The repairer of roads was now regaining his senses. He worried that he had done something wrong by behaving the way he had, but he had not.
“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 ended.” “You are the man we want,” said Defarge in his ear. “You make these fools think that this will all go on forever. That makes them more disrespectful and will end this all that much sooner.”
“Hey!” cried the mender of roads, reflectively; “that’s true.” “Hey!” yelled the repairer of roads, thinking about what he said. “That’s true.”
“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.” “These fools know nothing. They hate your very breath and wish they could end your life, your life or a hundred like it rather than harm one of their own horses or dogs. But they only know what you or people like you tell them. Keep fooling them then, a bit longer. It can’t fool them too much.”
Madame Defarge looked superciliously at the client, and nodded in confirmation. Madame Defarge looked at him arrogantly and nodded in agreement.
“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?” “As far as you’re concerned,” she said, “you would cheer and cry for anything that made an impressive show and a lot of sound. Wouldn’t you?”

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