Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens



A LARGE CASK of wine had been dropped and broken, in the
street. The accident had happened in getting it out of a cart; the
cask had tumbled out with a run, the hoops had burst, and it lay on
the stones just outside the door of the wineshop, shattered like a

All the people within reach had suspended their business, or their
idleness, to run to the spot and drink the wine. The rough,
irregular stones of the street, pointing every way, and designed,
one might have thought, expressly to lame all living creatures that
approached them, had dammed it into little pools; these were
surrounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, according to
its size. Some men kneeled down, made scoops of their two hands
joined, and sipped, or tried to help women, who bent over their
shoulders, to sip, before the wine had all run out between their
fingers. Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with little
mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with handkerchiefs from
women’s heads, which were squeezed dry into infants’ mouths;
others made small mud-embankments, to stern the wine as it ran;
others, directed by lookers-on up at high windows, darted here
and there, to cut off little streams of wine that started away in new
directions; others devoted themselves to the sodden and lee-dyed
pieces of the cask, licking, and even champing the moister wine-
rotted fragments with eager relish. There was no drainage to carry
off the wine, and not only did it all get taken up, but so much mud
got taken up along with it, that there might have been a scavenger
in the street, if anybody acquainted with it could have believed in
such a miraculous presence.

A shrill sound of laughter and of amused voices-voices of men,
women, and children-resounded in the street while this wine
game lasted. There was little roughness in the sport, and much
playfulness. There was a special companionship in it, an
observable inclination on the part of every one to join some other
one, which led, especially among the luckier or lighter-hearted, to
frolicsome embraces, drinking of healths, shaking of hands, and
even joining of hands and dancing, a dozen together. When the
wine was gone, and the places where it had been most abundant
were raked into a gridiron-pattern by fingers, these demonstrations
ceased, as suddenly as they had broken out. The man who had left
his saw sticking in the firewood he was cutting, set it in motion
again; the women who had left on a door-step the little pot of hot
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next ->

All Contents Copyright © All rights reserved.
Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.

About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page

In Association with