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ferocious time that was like a gnashing of teeth in unison. Men and
women danced together, women danced together, men danced
together, as hazard had brought them together. At first, they were
a mere storm of coarse red caps and coarse woollen rags; but, as
they filled the place, and stopped to dance about Lucie, some
ghastly apparition of a dance-figure gone raving mad arose among
them. They advanced, retreated, struck at one another’s hands,
clutched at one another’s heads, spun round alone, caught one
another and spun round in pairs, until many of them dropped.
While those were down, the rest linked hand in hand, and all spun
round together: then the ring broke, and in separate rings of two
and four they turned and turned until they all stopped at once,
began again, struck, clutched, and tore, and then reversed the spin,
and all spun round another way. Suddenly they stopped again,
paused, struck out the time afresh, formed into lines the width of
the public way, and, with their heads low down and their hands
high up, swooped screaming off. No fight could have been half so
terrible as this dance. It was so emphatically a fallen sport-a
something, once innocent, delivered over to all devilry-a healthy
pastime changed into a means of angering the blood, bewildering
the senses, and steeling the heart. Such grace as was visible in it,
made it the uglier, showing how warped and perverted all things
good by nature were become. The maidenly bosom bared to this,
the pretty almost-child’s head thus distracted, the delicate foot
mincing in this slough of blood and dirt, were types of the
disjointed time.

This was the Carmagnole. As it passed, leaving Lucie frightened
and bewildered in the doorway of the wood-sawyer’s house, the
feathery snow fell as quietly and lay as white and soft, as if it had
never been.

“O my father!” for he stood before her when she lifted up the eyes
she had momentarily darkened with her hand; “such a cruel, bad
sight.” “I know, my dear, I know. I have seen it many times. Don’t
be frightened! Not one of them would harm you.” “I am not
frightened for myself, my father. But when I think of my husband,
and the mercies of these people--”

“We will set him above their mercies very soon. I left him climbing
to the window, and I came to tell you. There is no one here to see.
You may kiss your hand towards that highest shelving roof.” “I do
so, father, and I send him my Soul with it!” “You cannot see him,
my poor dear?” “No, father,” said Lucie, yearning and weeping as
she kissed her hand, “no.” A footstep in the snow. Madame
Defarge. “I salute you, citizeness,” from the Doctor. “I salute you,
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