in two pieces, like any other door of French construction. To exclude the cold, one half of this door was fast closed, and the other was opened but a very little way. Such a scanty portion of light was admitted through these means, that it was difficult, on first coming in, to see anything; and long habit alone could have slowly formed in any one, the ability to do any work requiring nicety in such obscurity. Yet, work of that kind was being done in the garret; for, with his back towards the door, and face towards the window where the keeper of the wine-shop stood looking at him, a white-haired man sat on a low bench, stooping forward and very busy, making shoes.


CHAPTER VI
THE SHOEMAKER

'GOOD-DAY!' said Monsieur Defarge, looking down at the white head that bent low over the shoemaking.

It was raised for a moment, and a very faint voice responded to the salutation, as if it were at a distance:

'Good-day!'

'You are still hard at work, I see?'

After a long silence, the head was lifted for another moment, and the voice replied, 'Yes--I am working.' This time, a pair of haggard eyes had looked at the questioner, before the face had dropped again.

The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. It was not the faintness of physical weakness, though confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo of a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had it lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected the senses like a once beautiful colour faded away into a poor weak stain. So sunken and suppressed it was, that it was like a voice underground. So expressive it was, of a hope-

-37-

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A Tale of Two Cities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations x
  • Preface xi
  • Book the First - Recalled to Life 1
  • Chapter I - The Period 1
  • Chapter II - The Mail 4
  • Chapter III - The Night Shadows 9
  • Chapter IV - The Preparation 13
  • Chapter V - The Wine-Shop 25
  • Chapter VI - The Shoemaker 37
  • Book the Second - The Golden Thread *
  • Chapter I - Five Years Later 49
  • Chapter II - A Sight 56
  • Chapter III - A Disappointment 62
  • Chapter IV - Congratulatory 76
  • Chapter V - The Jackal 82
  • Chapter VI - Hundreds of People 88
  • Chapter VII - Monseigneur in Town 100
  • Chapter VIII - Monseigneur in the Country 109
  • Chapter IX - The Gorgon''s Head 114
  • Chapter X - Two Promises 125
  • Chapter XI - ACompanion Picture 134
  • Chapter XII - The Fellow of Delicacy 138
  • Chapter XIII - The Fellow of No Delicacy *
  • Chapter XIV - The Honest Tradesman 150
  • Chapter XV - Knitting 160
  • Chapter XVI - Still Knitting 172
  • Chapter XVII - One Night 183
  • Chapter XVIII - Nine Days 188
  • Chapter XIX - An Opinion 194
  • Chapter XX - A Plea 202
  • Chapter XXI - Echoing Footsteps 206
  • Chapter XXII - The Sea Still Rises 217
  • Chapter XXIII - Fire Rises 222
  • Chapter XXIV - Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 230
  • Book the Third - The Track of a Storm *
  • Chapter I - In Secret 243
  • Chapter II - The Grindstone 255
  • Chapter III - The Shadow 261
  • Chapter IV - Calm in Storm 266
  • Chapter V - The Wood-Sawyer 271
  • Chapter VI - Triumph 272
  • Chapter VII - A Knock at the Door 278
  • Chapter VIII - A Hand at Cards 285
  • Chapter IX - Dusk 303
  • Chapter X - The Substance of the Shadow 316
  • Chapter XI - Dusk 331
  • Chapter XII - Darkness 335
  • Chapter XIII - Fifty-Two 344
  • Chapter XIV - The Knitting Done 356
  • Chapter XV - The Footsteps Die out for Ever 369
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