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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


199

CHAPTER XXIV
DRAWN TO THE LOADSTONE ROCK


IN SUCH RISINGS of fire and risings of sea-the firm earth shaken
by the rushes of an angry ocean which had now no ebb, but was
always on the flow, higher and higher, to the terror and wonder of
the beholders on the shore-three years of tempest were consumed.
Three more birthdays of little Lucie had been woven by the golden
thread into the peaceful tissue of the life of her home.

Many a night and many a day had its inmates listened to the
echoes in the corner, with hearts that failed them when they heard
the thronging feet. For, the footsteps had become to their minds as
the footsteps of a people, tumultuous under a red flag and with
their country declared in danger, changed into wild beasts, by
terrible enchantment long persisted in.

Monseigneur, as a class, had dissociated himself from the
phenomenon of his not being, appreciated: of his being so little
wanted in France, as to incur considerable danger of receiving his
dismissal from it, and this life together. Like the fabled rustic who
raised the Devil with infinite pains, and was so terrified at the sight
of him that he could ask the Enemy no question, but immediately
fled; so, Monseigneur, after boldly reading the Lordís Prayer
backwards for a great number of years, and performing many
other potent spells for compelling the Evil One, no sooner beheld
him in his terrors than he took to his noble heels.

The shining Bullís Eye of the Court was gone, or it would have
been the mark for a hurricane of national bullets It had never been
a good eye to see with-had long had the mote in it of Luciferís
pride, Sardanapalusís luxury, and a moleís blindness-but it had
dropped out and was gone. The Court, from that exclusive inner
circle to its outermost rotten ring of intrigue, corruption, and
dissimulation, was all gone together. Royalty was gone; had been
besieged in its Palace and ďsuspended,Ē when the last tidings came
over.

The August of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-
two was come, and ninety-two was come, and Monseigneur was
by this time scattered far and wide.

As was natural, the head-quarters and great gathering-place of
Monseigneur, in London, was Tellsonís Bank. Spirits are supposed
to haunt the places where their bodies most resorted, and
Monseigneur without a guinea haunted the spot where his guineas
used to be. Moreover, it was the spot to which such French
intelligence as was most to be relied upon, came quickest. Again:
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