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Chapter 4 Congratulatory

  • From the dimly-lighted passages of the court, the last sediment of the huma_tew that had been boiling there all day, was straining off, when Docto_anette, Lucie Manette, his daughter, Mr. Lorry, the solicitor for th_efence, and its counsel, Mr. Stryver, stood gathered round Mr. Charle_arnay—just released—congratulating him on his escape from death.
  • It would have been difficult by a far brighter light, to recognise in Docto_anette, intellectual of face and upright of bearing, the shoemaker of th_arret in Paris. Yet, no one could have looked at him twice, without lookin_gain: even though the opportunity of observation had not extended to th_ournful cadence of his low grave voice, and to the abstraction tha_verclouded him fitfully, without any apparent reason. While one externa_ause, and that a reference to his long lingering agony, would always—as o_he trial—evoke this condition from the depths of his soul, it was also in it_ature to arise of itself, and to draw a gloom over him, as incomprehensibl_o those unacquainted with his story as if they had seen the shadow of th_ctual Bastille thrown upon him by a summer sun, when the substance was thre_undred miles away.
  • Only his daughter had the power of charming this black brooding from his mind.
  • She was the golden thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery, and t_ Present beyond his misery: and the sound of her voice, the light of he_ace, the touch of her hand, had a strong beneficial influence with him almos_lways. Not absolutely always, for she could recall some occasions on whic_er power had failed; but they were few and slight, and she believed the_ver.
  • Mr. Darnay had kissed her hand fervently and gratefully, and had turned to Mr.
  • Stryver, whom he warmly thanked. Mr. Stryver, a man of little more tha_hirty, but looking twenty years older than he was, stout, loud, red, bluff, and free from any drawback of delicacy, had a pushing way of shoulderin_imself (morally and physically) into companies and conversations, that argue_ell for his shouldering his way up in life.
  • He still had his wig and gown on, and he said, squaring himself at his lat_lient to that degree that he squeezed the innocent Mr. Lorry clean out of th_roup: “I am glad to have brought you off with honour, Mr. Darnay. It was a_nfamous prosecution, grossly infamous; but not the less likely to succeed o_hat account.”
  • “You have laid me under an obligation to you for life—in two senses,” said hi_ate client, taking his hand.
  • “I have done my best for you, Mr. Darnay; and my best is as good as anothe_an’s, I believe.”
  • It clearly being incumbent on some one to say, “Much better,” Mr. Lorry sai_t; perhaps not quite disinterestedly, but with the interested object o_queezing himself back again.
  • “You think so?” said Mr. Stryver. “Well! you have been present all day, an_ou ought to know. You are a man of business, too.”
  • “And as such,” quoth Mr. Lorry, whom the counsel learned in the law had no_houldered back into the group, just as he had previously shouldered him ou_f it—“as such I will appeal to Doctor Manette, to break up this conferenc_nd order us all to our homes. Miss Lucie looks ill, Mr. Darnay has had _errible day, we are worn out.”
  • “Speak for yourself, Mr. Lorry,” said Stryver; “I have a night’s work to d_et. Speak for yourself.”
  • “I speak for myself,” answered Mr. Lorry, “and for Mr. Darnay, and for Mis_ucie, and—Miss Lucie, do you not think I may speak for us all?” He asked he_he question pointedly, and with a glance at her father.
  • His face had become frozen, as it were, in a very curious look at Darnay: a_ntent look, deepening into a frown of dislike and distrust, not even unmixe_ith fear. With this strange expression on him his thoughts had wandered away.
  • “My father,” said Lucie, softly laying her hand on his.
  • He slowly shook the shadow off, and turned to her.
  • “Shall we go home, my father?”
  • With a long breath, he answered “Yes.”
  • The friends of the acquitted prisoner had dispersed, under th_mpression—which he himself had originated—that he would not be released tha_ight. The lights were nearly all extinguished in the passages, the iron gate_ere being closed with a jar and a rattle, and the dismal place was deserte_ntil to-morrow morning’s interest of gallows, pillory, whipping-post, an_randing-iron, should repeople it. Walking between her father and Mr. Darnay, Lucie Manette passed into the open air. A hackney-coach was called, and th_ather and daughter departed in it.
  • Mr. Stryver had left them in the passages, to shoulder his way back to th_obing-room. Another person, who had not joined the group, or interchanged _ord with any one of them, but who had been leaning against the wall where it_hadow was darkest, had silently strolled out after the rest, and had looke_n until the coach drove away. He now stepped up to where Mr. Lorry and Mr.
  • Darnay stood upon the pavement.
  • “So, Mr. Lorry! Men of business may speak to Mr. Darnay now?”
  • Nobody had made any acknowledgment of Mr. Carton’s part in the day’_roceedings; nobody had known of it. He was unrobed, and was none the bette_or it in appearance.
  • “If you knew what a conflict goes on in the business mind, when the busines_ind is divided between good-natured impulse and business appearances, yo_ould be amused, Mr. Darnay.”
  • Mr. Lorry reddened, and said, warmly, “You have mentioned that before, sir. W_en of business, who serve a House, are not our own masters. We have to thin_f the House more than ourselves.”
  • “I know, I know,” rejoined Mr. Carton, carelessly. “Don’t be nettled, Mr.
  • Lorry. You are as good as another, I have no doubt: better, I dare say.”
  • “And indeed, sir,” pursued Mr. Lorry, not minding him, “I really don’t kno_hat you have to do with the matter. If you’ll excuse me, as very much you_lder, for saying so, I really don’t know that it is your business.”
  • “Business! Bless you, I have no business,” said Mr. Carton.
  • “It is a pity you have not, sir.”
  • “I think so, too.”
  • “If you had,” pursued Mr. Lorry, “perhaps you would attend to it.”
  • “Lord love you, no!—I shouldn’t,” said Mr. Carton.
  • “Well, sir!” cried Mr. Lorry, thoroughly heated by his indifference, “busines_s a very good thing, and a very respectable thing. And, sir, if busines_mposes its restraints and its silences and impediments, Mr. Darnay as a youn_entleman of generosity knows how to make allowance for that circumstance. Mr.
  • Darnay, good night, God bless you, sir! I hope you have been this da_reserved for a prosperous and happy life.—Chair there!”
  • Perhaps a little angry with himself, as well as with the barrister, Mr. Lorr_ustled into the chair, and was carried off to Tellson’s. Carton, who smelt o_ort wine, and did not appear to be quite sober, laughed then, and turned t_arnay:
  • “This is a strange chance that throws you and me together. This must be _trange night to you, standing alone here with your counterpart on thes_treet stones?”
  • “I hardly seem yet,” returned Charles Darnay, “to belong to this world again.”
  • “I don’t wonder at it; it’s not so long since you were pretty far advanced o_our way to another. You speak faintly.”
  • “I begin to think I am faint.”
  • “Then why the devil don’t you dine? I dined, myself, while those numskull_ere deliberating which world you should belong to—this, or some other. Let m_how you the nearest tavern to dine well at.”
  • Drawing his arm through his own, he took him down Ludgate-hill to Fleet- street, and so, up a covered way, into a tavern. Here, they were shown into _ittle room, where Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength with a goo_lain dinner and good wine: while Carton sat opposite to him at the sam_able, with his separate bottle of port before him, and his fully half- insolent manner upon him.
  • “Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial scheme again, Mr.
  • Darnay?”
  • “I am frightfully confused regarding time and place; but I am so far mended a_o feel that.”
  • “It must be an immense satisfaction!”
  • He said it bitterly, and filled up his glass again: which was a large one.
  • “As to me, the greatest desire I have, is to forget that I belong to it. I_as no good in it for me—except wine like this—nor I for it. So we are no_uch alike in that particular. Indeed, I begin to think we are not much alik_n any particular, you and I.”
  • Confused by the emotion of the day, and feeling his being there with thi_ouble of coarse deportment, to be like a dream, Charles Darnay was at a los_ow to answer; finally, answered not at all.
  • “Now your dinner is done,” Carton presently said, “why don’t you call _ealth, Mr. Darnay; why don’t you give your toast?”
  • “What health? What toast?”
  • “Why, it’s on the tip of your tongue. It ought to be, it must be, I’ll swea_t’s there.”
  • “Miss Manette, then!”
  • “Miss Manette, then!”
  • Looking his companion full in the face while he drank the toast, Carton flun_is glass over his shoulder against the wall, where it shivered to pieces; then, rang the bell, and ordered in another.
  • “That’s a fair young lady to hand to a coach in the dark, Mr. Darnay!” h_aid, ruing his new goblet.
  • A slight frown and a laconic “Yes,” were the answer.
  • “That’s a fair young lady to be pitied by and wept for by! How does it feel?
  • Is it worth being tried for one’s life, to be the object of such sympathy an_ompassion, Mr. Darnay?”
  • Again Darnay answered not a word.
  • “She was mightily pleased to have your message, when I gave it her. Not tha_he showed she was pleased, but I suppose she was.”
  • The allusion served as a timely reminder to Darnay that this disagreeabl_ompanion had, of his own free will, assisted him in the strait of the day. H_urned the dialogue to that point, and thanked him for it.
  • “I neither want any thanks, nor merit any,” was the careless rejoinder. “I_as nothing to do, in the first place; and I don’t know why I did it, in th_econd. Mr. Darnay, let me ask you a question.”
  • “Willingly, and a small return for your good offices.”
  • “Do you think I particularly like you?”
  • “Really, Mr. Carton,” returned the other, oddly disconcerted, “I have no_sked myself the question.”
  • “But ask yourself the question now.”
  • “You have acted as if you do; but I don’t think you do.”
  • “I don’t think I do,” said Carton. “I begin to have a very good opinion o_our understanding.”
  • “Nevertheless,” pursued Darnay, rising to ring the bell, “there is nothing i_hat, I hope, to prevent my calling the reckoning, and our parting withou_ll-blood on either side.”
  • Carton rejoining, “Nothing in life!” Darnay rang. “Do you call the whol_eckoning?” said Carton. On his answering in the affirmative, “Then bring m_nother pint of this same wine, drawer, and come and wake me at ten.”
  • The bill being paid, Charles Darnay rose and wished him good night. Withou_eturning the wish, Carton rose too, with something of a threat of defiance i_is manner, and said, “A last word, Mr. Darnay: you think I am drunk?”
  • “I think you have been drinking, Mr. Carton.”
  • “Think? You know I have been drinking.”
  • “Since I must say so, I know it.”
  • “Then you shall likewise know why. I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care fo_o man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me.”
  • “Much to be regretted. You might have used your talents better.”
  • “May be so, Mr. Darnay; may be not. Don’t let your sober face elate you, however; you don’t know what it may come to. Good night!”
  • When he was left alone, this strange being took up a candle, went to a glas_hat hung against the wall, and surveyed himself minutely in it.
  • “Do you particularly like the man?” he muttered, at his own image; “why shoul_ou particularly like a man who resembles you? There is nothing in you t_ike; you know that. Ah, confound you! What a change you have made i_ourself! A good reason for taking to a man, that he shows you what you hav_allen away from, and what you might have been! Change places with him, an_ould you have been looked at by those blue eyes as he was, and commiserate_y that agitated face as he was? Come on, and have it out in plain words! Yo_ate the fellow.”
  • He resorted to his pint of wine for consolation, drank it all in a fe_inutes, and fell asleep on his arms, with his hair straggling over the table, and a long winding-sheet in the candle dripping down upon him.