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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


66

illustration of his rashness sooner, whether he would be so
confident, having seen it; and more. The upshot of which, was, to
smash this witness like a crockery vessel, and shiver his part of the
case to useless lumber.

Mr. Cruncher had by this time taken quite a lunch of rust off his
fingers in his following of the evidence. He had now to attend
while Mr. Stryver fitted the prisonerís case on the jury, like a
compact suit of clothes; showing them how the patriot, Barsad, was
a hired spy and traitor, an unblushing trafficker in blood, and one
of the greatest scoundrels upon earth since accursed Judas-which
he certainly did look rather like. How the virtuous servant, Cly,
was his friend and partner, and was worthy to be; how the
watchful eyes of those forgers and false swearers had rested on the
prisoner as a victim, because some family affairs in France, he
being of French extraction, did require his making those passages
across the Channel-though what those affairs were, a
consideration for others who were near and dear to him, forbade
him, even for his life, to disclose. How the evidence that had been
warped and wrested from the young lady, whose anguish in
giving it they had witnessed, came to nothing, involving the mere
little innocent gallantries and politenesses likely to pass between
any young gentleman and young lady so thrown together;- with
the exception of that reference to George Washington, which was
altogether too extravagant and impossible to be regarded in any
other fight than as a monstrous joke. How it would be a weakness
in the government to break down in this attempt to practise for
popularity on the lowest national antipathies and fears, and
therefore Mr. Attorney-General had made the most of it; how,
nevertheless, it rested upon nothing, save that vile and infamous
character of evidence too often disfiguring such cases, and of which
the State Trials of this country were full. But, there my Lord
interposed (with as grave a face as if it had not been true), saying
that he could not sit upon that Bench and suffer those allusions.
Mr. Stryver then called his few witnesses, and Mr. Cruncher had
next to attend while Mr. Attorney-General turned the whole suit of
clothes Mr. Stryver had fitted on the jury, inside out; showing how
Barsad and Cly were even a hundred times better than he had
thought them, and the prisoner a hundred times worse.

Lastly, came my Lord himself, turning the suit of clothes, now
inside out, now outside in, but on the whole decidedly trimming
and shaping them into graveclothes for the prisoner.

And now, the jury turned to consider, and the great flies swarmed
again.
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