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A Tale of Two Cities

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“Say then, my friend; what did Jacques of the police tell thee?” “Say then, my friend. What did Jacques the policeman tell you?”
“Very little to-night, but all he knows. There is another spy commissioned for our quarter. There may be many more, for all that he can say, but he knows of one.” “He told me all he knows, which isn’t much tonight. There’s been another spy hired for our neighborhood. There might be many more, for all he knows, but he knows of one for sure.”
“Eh well!” said Madame Defarge, raising her eyebrows with a cool business air. “It is necessary to register him. How do they call that man?” “Oh, well!” said Madame Defarge, raising her eyebrows in a calm, businesslike manner. “We’ll need to put him on the list. What do they call him?”
“He is English.” “He’s English.”
“So much the better. His name?” “Even better. What’s his name?”
“Barsad,” said Defarge, making it French by pronunciation. But, he had been so careful to get it accurately, that he then spelt it with perfect correctness. “Barsad,” said Defarge, using the French pronunciation. But he had been so careful to get the name right that he said it perfectly.
“Barsad,” repeated madame. “Good. Christian name?” “Barsad,” repeated Madame Defarge. “Good. What’s his first name?”
“John.” “John.”
“John Barsad,” repeated madame, after murmuring it once to herself. “Good. His appearance; is it known?” “John Barsad,” repeated Madame Defarge after repeating it to herself. “Good. What does he look like, does anyone know?”
“Age, about forty years; height, about five feet nine; black hair; complexion dark; generally, rather handsome visage; eyes dark, face thin, long, and sallow; nose aquiline, but not straight, having a peculiar inclination towards the left cheek; expression, therefore, sinister.” “He’s about forty years old. He’s about five feet nine inches tall. He has black hair and a dark complexion. He’s generally handsome. He has dark eyes; a long, thin, yellow face, and he has a hooked nose that curves toward his left cheek, which gives him a mean look.”
“Eh my faith. It is a portrait!” said madame, laughing. “He shall be registered to-morrow.” “My goodness. It’s a portrait!” said Madame Defarge, laughing. “I’ll put him on the list tomorrow.”
They turned into the wine-shop, which was closed (for it was midnight), and where Madame Defarge immediately took her post at her desk, counted the small moneys that had been taken during her absence, examined the stock, went through the entries in the book, made other entries of her own, checked the serving man in every possible way, and finally dismissed him to bed. Then she turned out the contents of the bowl of money for the second time, and began knotting them up in her handkerchief, in a chain of separate knots, for safe keeping through the night. All this while, Defarge, with his pipe in his mouth, walked up and down, complacently admiring, but never interfering; in which condition, indeed, as to the business and his domestic affairs, he walked up and down through life. They went into the wine shop, which was closed because it was midnight. Madame Defarge immediately took her place at her desk and counted the small amount of money the shop had earned while they were gone. She inspected the stock, looked through the entries in the book, made some entries herself, inspected the bartender in every way possible, and finally sent him off to bed. Then she poured out the coins in the money bowl again and began to tie them up in a handkerchief. She tied them up in a line of separate knots to keep them from being stolen during the night. All this time Defarge had his pipe in his mouth and was pacing up and down, admiring her work but staying out of her way. This is the way he handled all of their business and personal affairs in life.
The night was hot, and the shop, close shut and surrounded by so foul a neighbourhood, was ill-smelling. Monsieur Defarge’s olfactory sense was by no means delicate, but the stock of wine smelt much stronger than it ever tasted, and so did the stock of rum and brandy and aniseed. He whiffed the compound of scents away, as he put down his smoked-out pipe. It was a hot night, and the shop was in a filthy area of town and smelled bad. Monsieur Defarge’s sense of smell wasn’t delicate at all, but the wine stock seemed to smell much stronger than it had ever tasted, as did the rum, brandy, and

anise

a licorice-flavored liqueur

anise
. He waved the combination of scents away as he finished his pipe and put it down.
“You are fatigued,” said madame, raising her glance as she knotted the money. “There are only the usual odours.” “You’re tired,” said Madame Defarge, looking up as she tied the coins into the handkerchief. “They are only the usual smells.”
“I am a little tired,” her husband acknowledged. “I’m a little tired,” her husband admitted.
“You are a little depressed, too,” said madame, whose quick eyes had never been so intent on the accounts, but they had had a ray or two for him. “Oh, the men, the men!” “You’re a little depressed too,” said Madame Defarge, who was never so focused on the shop’s business that she didn’t notice how her husband was doing. “Oh, men, men!”
“But my dear!” began Defarge. “But, my dear!” Defarge began.
“But my dear!” repeated madame, nodding firmly; “but my dear! You are faint of heart to-night, my dear!” “‘But, my dear!’” Madame Defarge repeated, nodding at him. “But, my dear! You are depressed tonight, my dear!”
“Well, then,” said Defarge, as if a thought were wrung out of his breast, “it IS a long time.” “Well, then,” said Defarge, as if she had wrung the thought out of him. “It is a long time.”
“It is a long time,” repeated his wife; “and when is it not a long time? Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.” “It is a long time,” repeated his wife, “ and when isn’t it a long time? Revenge takes a long time. It’s just the way it is.”

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