fast. A revolutionary tribunal in the capital, and forty or fifty thousand revolutionary committees all over the land; a law of the Suspected, which struck away all security for liberty or life, and delivered over any good and innocent person to any bad and guilty one; prisons gorged with people who had committed no offence, and could obtain no hearing; these things became the established order and nature of appointed things, and seemed to be ancient usage before they were many weeks old. Above all, one hideous figure grew as familiar as if it had been before the general gaze from the foundations of the world--the figure of the sharp female called La Guillotine.

It was the popular theme for jests; it was the best cure for headache, it infallibly prevented the hair from turning grey, it imparted a peculiar delicacy to the complexion, it was the National Razor which shaved close: who kissed La Guillotine, looked through the little window and sneezed into the sack. It was the sign of the regeneration of the human race. It superseded the Cross. Models of it were worn on breasts from which the Cross was discarded, and it was bowed down to and believed in where the Cross was denied.

It sheared off heads so many, that it, and the ground it most polluted, were a rotten red. It was taken to pieces, like a toy- puzzle for a young Devil, and was put together again when the occasion wanted it. It hushed the eloquent, struck down the powerful, abolished the beautiful and good. Twenty-two friends of high public mark, twenty-one living and one dead, it had lopped the heads off, in one morning, in as many minutes. The name of the strong man of Old Scripture had descended to the chief functionary who worked it; but, so armed, he was stronger than his namesake, and blinder, and tore away the gates of God's own Temple every day.

Among these terrors, and the brood belonging to them, the Doctor walked with a steady head: confident in his power, cautiously persistent in his end, never doubting that he would save Lucie's husband at last. Yet the current of the time swept by, so strong and deep, and carried the time away so fiercely, that Charles had lain in prison one year and three months when the Doctor was

-271-

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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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