Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
advised to lay himself down on the pallet-bed and take some rest.
He needed no persuasion, and was soon asleep.
Worse quarters than Defarge’s wine-shop, could easily have been
found in Paris for a provincial slave of that degree. Saving for a
mysterious dread of madame by which he was constantly haunted,
his life was very new and agreeable.
But, madame sat all day at her counter, so expressly unconscious of
him, and so particularly determined not to perceive that his being
there had any connection with anything below the surface, that he
shook in his wooden shoes whenever his eye lighted on her. For,
he contended with himself that it was impossible to foresee what
that lady might pretend next; and he felt assured that if she should
take it into her brightly ornamented head to pretend that she had
seen him do a murder and afterwards flay the victim, she would
infallibly go through with it until the play was played out.
Therefore, when Sunday came, the mender of roads was not
enchanted (though he said he was) to find that madame was to
accompany monsieur and himself to Versailles. It was additionally
disconcerting to have madame knitting all the way there, in a
public conveyance; it was additionally disconcerting yet, to have
madame in the crowd in the afternoon, still with her knitting in her
hands as the crowd waited to see the carriage of the King and
“You work hard, madame,” said a man near her.
“Yes,” answered Madame Defarge; “I have a good deal to do.”
“What do you make, madame?” “Many things.” “For instance-”
“For instance,” returned Madame Defarge, composedly,
“shrouds.” The man moved a little further away, as soon as he
could, and the mender of roads fanned himself with his blue cap:
feeling it mightily close and oppressive.
If he needed a King and Queen to restore him, he was fortunate in
having his remedy at hand; for, soon the large-faced King and the
fair-faced Queen came in their golden coach, attended by the
shining Bull’s Eye of their Court, a glittering multitude of laughing
ladies and fine lords; and in jewels and silks and powder and
splendour and elegantly spurning figures and handsomely
disdainful faces of both sexes, the mender of roads bathed himself,
so much to his temporary intoxication, that he cried Long live the
King, Long live the Queen, Long live everybody and everything! as
if he had never heard of ubiquitous Jacques in his time.
Then, there were gardens, courtyards, terraces, fountains, green
banks, more King and Queen, more Bull’s Eye, more lords and
ladies, more Long live they all! until he absolutely wept with
sentiment. During the whole of this scene, which lasted some three