Book the Second - the Golden Thread
7. VII. Monseigneur in Town
"You are a philosopher, you there," said the, Marquis, smiling.
"How do they call you?"
"They call me Defarge."
"Of what trade?"
"Monsieur the Marquis, vendor of wine."
"Pick up that, philosopher and vendor of wine," said the Marquis,
throwing him another gold coin, "and spend it as you will.
The horses there; are they right?"
Without deigning to look at the assemblage a second time, Monsieur
the Marquis leaned back in his seat, and was just being driven away
with the air of a gentleman who had accidentally broke some common
thing, and had paid for it, and could afford to pay for it; when his
ease was suddenly disturbed by a coin flying into his carriage,
and ringing on its floor.
"Hold!" said Monsieur the Marquis. "Hold the horses! Who threw that?"
He looked to the spot where Defarge the vendor of wine had stood,
a moment before; but the wretched father was grovelling on his face
on the pavement in that spot, and the figure that stood beside him
was the figure of a dark stout woman, knitting.
"You dogs!" said the Marquis, but smoothly, and with an unchanged front,
except as to the spots on his nose: "I would ride over any of you
very willingly, and exterminate you from the earth. If I knew which
rascal threw at the carriage, and if that brigand were sufficiently
near it, he should be crushed under the wheels."
So cowed was their condition, and so long and hard their experience
of what such a man could do to them, within the law and beyond it,
that not a voice, or a hand, or even an eye was raised. Among the
men, not one. But the woman who stood knitting looked up steadily,
and looked the Marquis in the face. It was not for his dignity to
notice it; his contemptuous eyes passed over her, and over all the
other rats; and he leaned back in his seat again, and gave the word