Book the Second - the Golden Thread
15. XV. Knitting
"You work hard, madame," said a man near her.
"Yes," answered Madame Defarge; "I have a good deal to do."
"What do you make, madame?"
"For instance," returned Madame Defarge, composedly, "shrouds."
The man moved a little further away, as soon as he could, and the
mender of roads fanned himself with his blue cap: feeling it mightily
close and oppressive. If he needed a King and Queen to restore him,
he was fortunate in having his remedy at hand; for, soon the large-faced
King and the fair-faced Queen came in their golden coach, attended by
the shining Bull's Eye of their Court, a glittering multitude of
laughing ladies and fine lords; and in jewels and silks and powder and
splendour and elegantly spurning figures and handsomely disdainful faces
of both sexes, the mender of roads bathed himself, so much to his
temporary intoxication, that he cried Long live the King, Long live
the Queen, Long live everybody and everything! as if he had never
heard of ubiquitous Jacques in his time. Then, there were gardens,
courtyards, terraces, fountains, green banks, more King and Queen,
more Bull's Eye,more lords and ladies, more Long live they all! until
he absolutely wept with sentiment. During the whole of this scene,
which lasted some three hours, he had plenty of shouting and weeping
and sentimental company, and throughout Defarge held him by the collar,
as if to restrain him from flying at the objects of his brief devotion
and tearing them to pieces.
"Bravo!" said Defarge, clapping him on the back when it was over,
like a patron; "you are a good boy!"
The mender of roads was now coming to himself, and was mistrustful of
having made a mistake in his late demonstrations; but no.
"You are the fellow we want," said Defarge, in his ear; "you make these
fools believe that it will last for ever. Then, they are the more
insolent, and it is the nearer ended."