Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
hand in the hollow of the right, and then passed a hand across his
bearded chin, and so on in regular changes, without a moment’s
intermission. The task of recalling him from the vagrancy into
which he always sank when he had spoken, was like recalling
some very weak person from a swoon, or endeavouring, in the
hope of some disclosure, to stay the spirit of a fast-dying man.
“Did you ask me for my name?” “Assuredly I did.” “One Hundred
and Five, North Tower.” “Is that all?” “One Hundred and Five,
North Tower.” With a weary sound that was not a sigh, nor a
groan, he bent to work again, until the silence was again broken.
“You are not a shoemaker by trade?” said Mr. Lorry, looking
steadfastly at him.
His haggard eyes turned to Defarge as if he would have
transferred the question to him: but as no help came from that
quarter, they turned back on the questioner when they had sought
“I am not a shoemaker by trade? No, I was not a shoemaker by
trade. I-I learnt it here. I taught myself. I asked leave to--” He
lapsed away, even for minutes, ringing those measured changes on
his hands the whole time. His eyes came slowly back, at last, to the
face from which they had wandered; when they rested on it, he
started, and resumed, in the manner of a sleeper that moment
awake, reverting to a subject of last night.
“I asked leave to teach myself, and I got it with much difficulty
after a long while, and I have made shoes ever since.” As he held
out his hand for the shoe that had been taken from him, Mr. Lorry
said, still looking steadfastly in his face: “Monsieur Manette, do
you remember nothing of me?” The shoe dropped to the ground,
and he sat looking fixedly at the questioner.
“Monsieur Manette”; Mr. Lorry laid his hand upon Defarge’s arm;
“do you remember nothing of this man? Look at him. Look at me.
Is there no old banker, no old business, no old servant, no old time,
rising in your mind, Monsieur Manette?” As the captive of many
years sat looking fixedly, by turns, at Mr. Lorry and at Defarge,
some long obliterated marks of an actively intent intelligence in the
middle of the forehead, gradually forced themselves through the
black mist that had fallen on him. They were overclouded again,
they were fainter, they were gone; but they had been there. And so
exactly was the expression repeated on the fair young face of her
who had crept along the wall to a point where she could see him,
and where she now stood looking at him, with hands which at first
had been only raised in frightened compassion, if not even to keep
him off and shut out the sight of him, but which were now
extending towards him, trembling with eagerness to lay the