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fearful of his drinking himself into a fit state for the immediate
denunciation of him. Seeing it, he poured out and drank another

“Look over your hand carefully, Mr. Barsad. Take time.” It was a
poorer hand than he suspected. Mr. Barsad saw losing cards in it
that Sydney Carton knew nothing of. Thrown out of his
honourable employment in England, through too much
unsuccessful hard swearing there-not because he was not wanted
there; our English reasons for vaunting our superiority to secrecy
and spies are of very modern date-he knew that he had crossed
the Channel, and accepted service in France: first, as a tempter and
an eavesdropper among his own countrymen there: gradually, as a
tempter and an eavesdropper among the natives. He knew that
under the overthrown government he had been a spy upon Saint
Antoine and Defarge’s wine-shop; had received from the watchful
police such heads of information concerning Doctor Manette’s
imprisonment, release, and history, as should serve him for an
introduction to familiar conversation with the Defarges; and tried
them on Madame Defarge, and had broken down with them
signally. He always remembered with fear and trembling, that that
terrible woman had knitted when he talked with her, and had
looked ominously at him as her fingers moved. He had since seen
her, in the Section of Saint Antoine, over and over again produce
her knitted registers, and denounce people whose lives the
guillotine then surely swallowed up. He knew, as every one
employed as he was did, that he was never safe; that flight was
impossible; that he was tied fast under the shadow of the axe; and
that in spite of his utmost tergiversation and treachery in
furtherance of the reigning terror, a word might bring it down
upon him. Once denounced, and on such grave grounds as had just
now been suggested to his mind, he foresaw that the dreadful
woman of whose unrelenting character he had seen many proofs,
would produce against him that fatal register, and would quash his
last chance of life. Besides that all secret men are men soon
terrified, here were surely cards enough of one black suit, to justify
the holder in growing rather livid as he turned them over.

“You scarcely seem to like your hand,” said Sydney, with the
greatest composure. “Do you play?” “I think, sir,” said the spy, in
the meanest manner, as he turned to Mr. Lorry, “I may appeal to a
gentleman of your years and benevolence, to put it to this other
gentleman, so much your junior, whether he can under any
circumstances reconcile it to his station to play that Ace of which he
has spoken. I admit that I am a spy, and that it is considered a
discreditable station-though it must be filled by somebody; but
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