- While I've never particularly taken to Charles Darnay, the passage about him coming to terms with his situation and his impending death really got me:
Before long, the consideration that there was no disgrace in the fate he must meet, and that numbers went the same road wrongfully, and trod it firmly every day, sprang up to stimulate him. Next the dear ones, depended on his quiet fortitude. So, by degrees he calmed into the better state, when he could raise his thoughts much higher, and draw comfort down.
The bit about 'quiet fortitude' reminded me of the end of Angels with Dirty Faces, except, of course, reversed. (Because Jimmy Cagney went to his execution screaming so that he wouldn't be a hero to the kids. What? You haven't seen it? REALLY?)
- And I do appreciate that it isn't just Lucie that everyone wants to protect, but also (and maybe even more so) Doctor Manette.
- "He never thought of Carton. His mind was so full of the others, that he never once thought of him." Oh, man. He's going to feel like a jerk. Wow.
- Carton is there.
- And he is switching clothes with Darnay.
- Darnay is understandably shocked and confused. "The prisoner was like a young child in his hands."
- Sniffle. The note that Carton dictates to Darnay. Oh, waaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Why did I want to read this book????
- Wow. And Carton just totally drugged Darnay. He was right, though, he wouldn't have been able to make this work otherwise because Darnay would have argued.
- Barsad has a couple of jailers carry Darnay (dressed as Carton) out, and Carton is now in Darnay's cell, alone. Sniffle.
- Carton does love the weak and pitiable ladies.
- Okay, I'm full-on sobbing now:
As the patient eyes were lifted to his face, he saw a sudden doubt in them, and then astonishment. he pressed the work-worn, hunger-worn young fingers, and touched his lips.
"Are you dying for him?" she whispered.
"And his wife and child. Hush! Yes."
"O you will let me hold your brave hand, stranger?"
"Hush! Yes, my poor sister; to the last."
- And Mr. Jarvis Lorry, Lucie, little Lucie and Darnay are on their way out of France. (What happened to Cruncher and Miss Pross?)
Chapter Fourteen: The Knitting Done
In which we enjoy The Showdown to End All Showdowns.
- And now Madame Defarge has revealed that she wants Lucie and little Lucie to be executed.
- Jacques Three continues to be yicky:
"She has a fine head for it," croaked Jacques Three. "I have seen blue eyes and golden hair there, and they looked charming when Samson held them up." Ogre that he was, he spoke like an epicure.
- I do think that Madame Defarge's affection for her husband is affecting her actions -- if she suspected anyone else of thinking about warning Lucie & Co., she'd want them executed as well...
- And the wood-sawyer is ready to testify against Lucie...
- The Vengeance is like a cross between Gollum and a harpy.
- Whoa. Madame Defarge just handed her knitting off to The Vengeance. That, combined with the chapter title... is something going to happen to Madame Defarge???
- Oh, here are Miss Pross and Jerry. Oh my good god, is there about to be a Pross/Defarge/Cruncher showdown???
- Ha ha ha:
"First," said Mr. Cruncher, who was all in a tremble, and who spoke with an ashy and solemn visage, "them poor things well out o' this, never no more will I do it, never no more!"
"I am quite sure, Mr. Cruncher," returned Miss Pross, 'that you never will do it again, whatever it is, and I beg you not to think it necessary to mention more particularly what it is."
Oh, I love them both.
- Oh. Not Jerry's gone out to tell the coach to meet Miss Pross at the cathedral instead... leaving Miss Pross ALL ALONE.
- AND NOW MADAME DEFARGE IS THERE!!!
- "Each spoke in her own language; neither understood the other's words; both were very watchful, and intent to deduce from look and manner, what the unintelligible words meant."
- "I little thought," said Miss Pross, "that I should ever want to understand your nonsensical language; but I would give all I have, except the clothes I wear, to know whether you suspect the truth, or any part of it." I love that she's so practical that she makes the "except the clothes I wear" exception. Hee.
- NO WAY!!!! Go, Miss Pross. That was an excellent showdown, but ultimately, a very quick end for a character as formidable as Madame Defarge.
- Oh. And Miss Pross has lost her hearing forever.
Chapter Fifteen: The Footsteps Die Out for Ever
In which I took no notes because I was too busy sobbing.
- Sydney Carton's last thoughts:
"I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.
"I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward.
"I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman, weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of both.
"I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, fore-most of just judges and honoured men, bringing a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place-- then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's disfigurement --and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and a faltering voice.
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
The Reading Schedule
Book the First, Chapters 1-3
Book the First, Chapters 4-6
Book the Second, Chapters 1-5
Book the Second, Chapters 6-9
Book the Second, Chapters 10-12
Book the Second, Chapters 13-16
Book the Second, Chapters 17-20
Book the Second, Chapters 21-24
Book the Third, Chapters 1-4
Book the Third, Chapters 5-8
Book the Third, Chapters 9-12