Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
Who gave them out, whence they last came, where they began,
through what agency they crookedly quivered and jerked, scores at
a time, over the heads of the crowd, like a kind of lightning, no
eye in the throng could have told; but, muskets were being
distributed-so were cartridges, powder, and ball, bars of iron and
wood, knives, axes, pikes, every weapon that distracted ingenuity
could discover or devise. People who could lay hold of nothing
else, set themselves with bleeding hands to force stones and bricks
out of their places in walls. Every pulse and heart in Saint Antoine
was on high-fever strain and at high-fever heat. Every living
creature there held life as of no account, and was demented with a
passionate readiness to sacrifice it.
As a whirlpool of boiling waters has a centre point, so, all this
raging circled round Defarge’s wine-shop, and every human drop
in the caldron had a tendency to be sucked towards the vortex
where Defarge himself, already begrimed with gunpowder and
sweat, issued orders, issued arms, thrust this man back, dragged
this man forward, disarmed one to arm another, laboured and
strove in the thickest of the uproar.
“Keep near to me, Jacques Three,” cried Defarge; “and do you,
Jacques One and Two, separate and put yourselves at the head of
as many of these patriots as you can. Where is my wife?” “Eh, well!
Here you see me!” said madame, composed as ever, but not
knitting to-day. Madame’s resolute right hand was occupied with
an axe, in place of the usual softer implements, and in her girdle
were a pistol and a cruel knife.
“Where do you go, my wife?”
“I go,” said madame, “with you at present. You shall see me at the
head of women, by-and-bye.” “Come, then!” cried Defarge, in a
resounding voice. “Patriots and friends, we are ready! The
Bastille!” With a roar that sounded as if all the breath in France had
been shaped into the detested word, the living sea rose, wave on
wave, depth on depth, and overflowed the city to that point.
Alarm-bells ringing, drums beating, the sea raging and thundering
on its new beach, the attack begun.
Deep ditches, double drawbridge, massive stone walls, eight great
towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. Through the fire and
through the smoke-in the fire and in the smoke, for the sea cast
him up against a cannon, and on the instant he became a
cannonier-Defarge of the wineshop worked like a manful soldier,
Two fierce hours.
Deep ditch, single drawbridge, massive stone walls, eight great
towers, cannon, muskets, fire and smoke. One drawbridge down!
“Work, comrades all, work! Work, Jacques One, Jacques Two,