Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
her in the street by the prison. Let me but lift my finger--!” She
seemed to raise it (the listener’s eyes were always on his paper),
and to let it fall with a rattle on the ledge before her, as if the axe
“The citizeness is superb!” croaked the Juryman.
“She is an Angel!” said The Vengeance, and embraced her.
“As to thee,” pursued madame, implacably, addressing her
husband, “if it depended on thee-which, happily, it does not-thou
wouldst rescue this man even now.” “No!” protested Defarge.
“Not if to lift this glass would do it! But I would leave the matter
there. I say, stop there.” “See you then, Jacques,” said Madame
Defarge, wrathfully; “and see you, too, my little Vengeance; see
you both! Listen! For other crimes as tyrants and oppressors, I have
this race a long time on my register, doomed to destruction and
extermination. Ask my husband, is that so.” “It is so,” assented
Defarge, without being asked.
“In the beginning of the great days, when the Bastille falls, he finds
this paper of to-day, and he brings it home, and in the middle of
the night when this place is clear and shut, we read it, here on this
spot, by the light of this lamp. Ask him, is that so.” “It is so,”
“That night, I tell him, when the paper is read through, and the
lamp is burnt out, and the day is gleaming in above those shutters
and between those iron bars, that I have now a secret to
communicate. Ask him, is that so.” “It is so,” assented Defarge
“I communicate to him that secret. I smite this bosom with these
two hands as I smite it now, and I tell him, ‘Defarge, I was brought
up among the fishermen of the sea-shore, and that peasant family
so injured by the two Evremonde brothers, as that Bastille paper
describes, is my family. Defarge, that sister of the mortally
wounded boy upon the ground was my sister, that husband was
my sister’s husband, that unborn child was their child, that brother
was my brother, that father was my father, those dead are my
dead, and that summons to answer for those things descends to
me!’ Ask him, is that so.” “It is so,” assented Defarge once more.
“Then tell Wind and Fire where to stop,” returned madame; “but
don’t tell me.” Both her hearers derived a horrible enjoyment from
the deadly nature of her wrath-the listener could feel how white
she was, without seeing her-and both highly commended it.
Defarge, a weak minority, interposed a few words for the memory
of the compassionate wife of the Marquis; but only elicited from his
own wife a repetition of her last reply. “Tell the Wind and the Fire
where to stop; not me!” Customers entered, and the group was