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FROM the dimly-lighted passages of the court, the last sediment of
the human stew that had been boiling there all day, was straining
off, when Doctor Manette, Lucie Manette, his daughter, Mr. Lorry,
the solicitor for the defence, and its counsel, Mr. Stryver, stood
gathered round Mr. Charles Darnay-just released-congratulating
him on his escape from death.

It would have been difficult by a far brighter light, to recognise in
Doctor Manette, intellectual of face and upright of bearing, the
shoemaker of the garret in Paris. Yet, no one could have looked at
him twice, without looking again: even though the opportunity of
observation had not extended to the mournful cadence of his low
grave voice, and to the abstraction that overclouded him fitfully,
without any apparent reason. While one external cause, and that a
reference to his long lingering agony, would always-as on the
trial-evoke this condition from the depths of his soul, it was also in
its nature to arise of itself, and to draw a gloom over him, as
incomprehensible to those unacquainted with his story as if they
had seen the shadow of the actual Bastille thrown upon him by a
summer sun, when the substance was three hundred miles away.
Only his daughter had the power of charming this black brooding
from his mind. She was the golden thread that united him to a Past
beyond his misery, and to a Present beyond his misery: and the
sound of her voice, the light of her face, the touch of her hand, had
a strong beneficial influence with him almost always.

Not absolutely always, for she could recall some occasions on
which her power had failed; but they were few and slight, and she
believed them over.

Mr. Darnay had kissed her hand fervently and gratefully, and had
turned to Mr. Stryver, whom he warmly thanked. Mr. Stryver, a
man of little more than thirty, but looking twenty years older than
he was, stout, loud, red, bluff, and free from any drawback of
delicacy, had a pushing way of shouldering himself (morally and
physically) into companies and conversations, that argued well for
his shouldering his way up in life.

He still had his wig and gown on, and he said, squaring himself at
his late client to that degree that he squeezed the innocent Mr.
Lorry clean out of the group: “I am glad to have brought you off
with honour, Mr. Darnay. It was an infamous prosecution, grossly
infamous; but not the less likely to succeed on that account.” “You
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