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A Tale of Two Cities

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“If the Republic should demand of you the sacrifice of your child herself, you would have no duty but to sacrifice her. Listen to what is to follow. In the meanwhile, be silent!” “If the Republic demanded that you give up even your own child, you would have to sacrifice her. Listen to what will follow. In the meantime, be quiet!”
Frantic acclamations were again raised. Doctor Manette sat down, with his eyes looking around, and his lips trembling; his daughter drew closer to him. The craving man on the jury rubbed his hands together, and restored the usual hand to his mouth. The crowd shouted again, and Dr. Manette sat down. He looked around him. His lips were trembling, and Lucie pulled closer to him. Jacques Three in the jury rubbed his hands together and brought his hand to his mouth as usual.
Defarge was produced, when the court was quiet enough to admit of his being heard, and rapidly expounded the story of the imprisonment, and of his having been a mere boy in the Doctor’s service, and of the release, and of the state of the prisoner when released and delivered to him. This short examination followed, for the court was quick with its work. Defarge came forward. When the court was quiet enough for him to be heard, he quickly told the story of Manette’s imprisonment and how Defarge had been a servant of Dr. Manette when he was just a boy. He told them about Manette’s release, and about the state he was in when he was released and brought to the attic in Saint Antoine. This short examination came next, as the court was quick with its work:
“You did good service at the taking of the Bastille, citizen?” “You did good work at the taking of the Bastille, Citizen Defarge?”
“I believe so.” “I believe so.”
Here, an excited woman screeched from the crowd: “You were one of the best patriots there. Why not say so? You were a cannonier that day there, and you were among the first to enter the accursed fortress when it fell. Patriots, I speak the truth!” At this, an excited woman yelled from the crowd, “You were one of the best patriots there. Why not say so? You were firing a cannon that day. You were among the first to enter the accursed Bastille when it fell. Patriots, I’m telling the truth!”
It was The Vengeance who, amidst the warm commendations of the audience, thus assisted the proceedings. The President rang his bell; but, The Vengeance, warming with encouragement, shrieked, “I defy that bell!” wherein she was likewise much commended. It was The Vengeance who was yelling. The crowd cheered warmly along with her, and the president rang his bell. But The Vengeance, feeling encouraged, shrieked, “I defy that bell!” and the crowd cheered her again.
“Inform the Tribunal of what you did that day within the Bastille, citizen.” “Tell the tribunal what you did at the Bastille that day, Citizen Defarge.”
“I knew,” said Defarge, looking down at his wife, who stood at the bottom of the steps on which he was raised, looking steadily up at him; “I knew that this prisoner, of whom I speak, had been confined in a cell known as One Hundred and Five, North Tower. I knew it from himself. He knew himself by no other name than One Hundred and Five, North Tower, when he made shoes under my care. As I serve my gun that day, I resolve, when the place shall fall, to examine that cell. It falls. I mount to the cell, with a fellow-citizen who is one of the Jury, directed by a gaoler. I examine it, very closely. In a hole in the chimney, where a stone has been worked out and replaced, I find a written paper. This is that written paper. I have made it my business to examine some specimens of the writing of Doctor Manette. This is the writing of Doctor Manette. I confide this paper, in the writing of Doctor Manette, to the hands of the President.” Defarge looked down at his wife. She stood at the bottom of the steps where he was standing, looking up at him steadily. “I knew that this prisoner, Manette, had been held in the cell known as One Hundred and Five, North Tower. He told me so himself. He only knew himself by the name One Hundred and Five, North Tower, when he was in my care and still making shoes. While I was firing my cannon that day, I decided that when the fortress fell I would examine that cell. The Bastille fell and I went up to the cell with another citizen who is on the jury, directed by the jailer. I examined it very closely. There was a hole in the chimney where a stone had been pulled out and replaced. In it I found a paper with writing on it. This is that piece of paper. I have made it my business to examine other examples of Dr. Manette’s writing. This is Dr. Manette’s handwriting. I give this paper, written by Dr. Manette, to the president.
“Let it be read.” “Let it be read.”
In a dead silence and stillness—the prisoner under trial looking lovingly at his wife, his wife only looking from him to look with solicitude at her father, Doctor Manette keeping his eyes fixed on the reader, Madame Defarge never taking hers from the prisoner, Defarge never taking his from his feasting wife, and all the other eyes there intent upon the Doctor, who saw none of them—the paper was read, as follows. Everything was dead silent and still. Darnay looked lovingly at his wife. His wife would only look away from him to look at her father with concern. Dr. Manette kept looking at the reader. Madame Defarge never looked away from Darnay, and Defarge never looked away from his wife. Everyone else looked at the doctor intently, but the doctor didn’t notice any of them. The paper was read, as follows.

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