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some nourishment into the flinty viands, and struck some sparks of
cheerfulness out of them. Fathers and mothers who had had their
full in the worst of the day, played gently with their meagre
children; and lovers, with such a world around them and before
them, loved and hoped.
It was almost morning, when Defarge’s wine-shop parted with its
last knot of customers, and Monsieur Defarge said to madame his
wife, in husky tones, while fastening the door:
“At last it is come, my dear!” “Eh well!” returned madame.
“Almost.” Saint Antoine slept, the Defarges slept: even The
Vengeance slept with her starved grocer, and the drum was at rest.
The drum’s was the only voice in Saint Antoine that blood and
hurry had not changed. The Vengeance, as custodian of the drum,
could have wakened him up and had the same speech out of him
as before the Bastille fell, or old Foulon was seized; not so with the
hoarse tones of the men and women in Saint Antoine’s bosom.