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A Tale of Two Cities

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His removal, to make way for other accused persons who were to be tried, rescued him from these caresses for the moment. Five were to be tried together, next, as enemies of the Republic, forasmuch as they had not assisted it by word or deed. So quick was the Tribunal to compensate itself and the nation for a chance lost, that these five came down to him before he left the place, condemned to die within twenty-four hours. The first of them told him so, with the customary prison sign of Death—a raised finger—and they all added in words, “Long live the Republic!” He was rescued from these embraces when he was removed to make room for other prisoners who were to be put on trial. Five people were going to be tried together next. They were accused of being enemies of the Republic because they had not said or done anything to help the Revolution. The tribunal acted so quickly to make up for the fact that they didn’t get to kill Darnay that these five were sentenced to death before Darnay had left. They were sentenced to die within the next twenty-four hours. The first of the five prisoners told Darnay by showing him a raised finger, which was the sign used in prison to signify death. All five of them added, “Long live the Republic!”
The five had had, it is true, no audience to lengthen their proceedings, for when he and Doctor Manette emerged from the gate, there was a great crowd about it, in which there seemed to be every face he had seen in Court—except two, for which he looked in vain. On his coming out, the concourse made at him anew, weeping, embracing, and shouting, all by turns and all together, until the very tide of the river on the bank of which the mad scene was acted, seemed to run mad, like the people on the shore. There had been no audience in the court to drag out the proceedings for the five prisoners. When Dr. Manette came out of the gate, there was a large crowd around it. It seemed to him that everyone that he had seen in the courtroom was there, except for Monsieur and Madame Defarge. He couldn’t find them anywhere. When he came out, the crowd charged at him all over again. They kept crying, embracing him, and shouting, all alone or all together until the people, who were standing on a riverbank, all seemed to be as mad as the rushing water in the river.
They put him into a great chair they had among them, and which they had taken either out of the Court itself, or one of its rooms or passages. Over the chair they had thrown a red flag, and to the back of it they had bound a pike with a red cap on its top. In this car of triumph, not even the Doctor’s entreaties could prevent his being carried to his home on men’s shoulders, with a confused sea of red caps heaving about him, and casting up to sight from the stormy deep such wrecks of faces, that he more than once misdoubted his mind being in confusion, and that he was in the tumbril on his way to the Guillotine. They put Darnay into a large chair, which was either taken from the courtroom or from one of the court’s rooms or hallways. They had thrown a red flag over it and had tied a pike with a red cap on top to the back of the chair. Ignoring the doctor’s pleas, they carried Darnay home on their shoulders. The crowd, with their worn faces and red caps, made Darnay think more than once that he was confused and that he was actually in a cart on his way to be executed at the guillotine.
In wild dreamlike procession, embracing whom they met and pointing him out, they carried him on. Reddening the snowy streets with the prevailing Republican colour, in winding and tramping through them, as they had reddened them below the snow with a deeper dye, they carried him thus into the courtyard of the building where he lived. Her father had gone on before, to prepare her, and when her husband stood upon his feet, she dropped insensible in his arms. They carried him through the streets, embracing people along the way and pointing Darnay out to them. It was like a wild, dreamlike parade. They turned the snow red with their Republican colors, juast as they had reddened the snow with blood. They carried Darnay into the courtyard of the building where he lived. Dr. Manette had gone ahead to prepare Lucie, and when Darnay got off of the chair and stood on his own feet, Lucie fainted in his arms.
As he held her to his heart and turned her beautiful head between his face and the brawling crowd, so that his tears and her lips might come together unseen, a few of the people fell to dancing. Instantly, all the rest fell to dancing, and the courtyard overflowed with the Carmagnole. Then, they elevated into the vacant chair a young woman from the crowd to be carried as the Goddess of Liberty, and then swelling and overflowing out into the adjacent streets, and along the river’s bank, and over the bridge, the Carmagnole absorbed them every one and whirled them away. He held her to his chest and turned her beautiful face toward him so that he could kiss her unseen. He kissed her, crying. A few people in the crowd started to dance. Instantly, the rest of the crowd started dancing. The courtyard was filled with people dancing the Carmagnole. Then they picked up a young woman from the crowd and carried her around like she was the goddess of liberty. The crowd flowed out into the nearby streets, along the riverbank, and over the bridge, dancing the Carmagnole.

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