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grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow
of age and coming up afresh, was the sign,
Hunger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger
was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched
clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger
was patched into them with straw and rag
and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in
every fragment of the small modicum of firewood
that the man sawed off; Hunger stared
down from the smokeless chimneys, and
started up from the filthy street that had no
offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat.
Hunger was the inscription on the baker's
shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty
stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in
every dead-dog preparation that was offered for
sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the
roasting chesnuts in the turned cylinder;
Hunger was shred into atomies in every farthing
porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with
some reluctant drops of oil.

Its abiding-place was in all things fitted to it.
A narrow winding street, full of offence and
stench, with other narrow winding streets
diverging, all peopled by rags and nightcaps,
and all smelling of rags and nightcaps, and all
visible things with a brooding look upon them
that looked ill. In the hunted air of the people
there was yet some wild-beast thought of the
possibility of turning at bay. Depressed and
slinking though they were, eyes of fire were not
wanting among them; nor compressed lips,
white with what they suppressed; nor foreheads
knitted into the likeness of the gallows-rope
they mused about enduring, or inflicting. The
trade signs (and they were almost as many as
the shops) were, all, grim illustrations of Want.
The butcher and the porkman painted up, only
the leanest scrags of meat; the baker, the
coarsest of meagre loaves. The people rudely
pictured as drinking in the wine-shops, croaked
over their scanty measures of thin wine and
beer, and were gloweringly confidential together.
Nothing was represented in a flourishing condition,
save tools and weapons; but, the cutler's
knives and axes were sharp and bright, the
smith's hammers were heavy, and the
gunmaker's stock was murderous. The crippling
stones of the pavement, with their many little
reservoirs of mud and water, had no footways,
but broke off abruptly at the doors. The kennel,
to make amends, ran down the middle of the
streetwhen it ran at all: which was only after
heavy rains, and then it ran, by many eccentric
fits, into the houses. Across the streets, at
wide intervals, one clumsy lamp was slung by a
rope and pulley; at night, when the
lamplighter had let these down, and lighted, and
hoisted them again, a feeble grove of dim wicks
swung in a sickly manner overhead, as if they
were at sea. Indeed they were at sea, and the
ship and crew were in peril of tempest.

For, the time was to come, when the gaunt
scarecrows of that region should have watched
the lamplighter, in their idleness and hunger, so
long, as to conceive the idea of improving on his
method, and hauling up men by those ropes and
pulleys, to flare upon the darkness of their condition.
But, the time was not come yet; and
every wind that blew over France shook the
rags of the scarecrows in vain, for the birds, fine
of song and feather, took no warning.

The wine-shop was a corner shop, better than
most others in its appearance and degree, and the
master of the wine-shop had stood outside it, in
a yellow waistcoat and green breeches, looking
on at the struggle for the lost wine. "It's not
my affair," said he, with a final shrug of his
shoulders. "The people from the market did it.
Let them bring another."

There, his eyes happening to catch the tall
joker writing up his joke, he called to him across
the way:

"Say then, my Gaspard, what do you do
there?"

The fellow pointed to his joke with immense
significance, as is often the way with his tribe.
It missed its mark, and completely failed, as is
often the way with his tribe too.

"What now? Are you a subject for the
mad-hospital?" said the wine-shop keeper, crossing
the road, and obliterating the jest with a
handful of mud, picked up for the purpose, and
smeared over it. "Why do you write in the
public streets? Is theretell me thouis
there no other place to write such words in?"

In his expostulation he dropped his cleaner
hand (perhaps accidentally, perhaps not), upon
the joker's heart. The joker rapped it with his
own, took a nimble spring upward, and came
down in a fantastic dancing attitude, with one of
his stained shoes jerked off his foot into his
hand, and held out. A joker of an extremely,
not to say wolfishly, practical character, he
looked, under those circumstances.

"Put it on, put it on," said the other. "Call
wine, wine; and finish there." With that advice,
he wiped his soiled hand upon the joker's dress,
such as it wasquite deliberately, as having
dirtied the hand on his account; and then
recrossed the road and entered the wine-shop.

This wine-shop keeper was a bull-necked,
martial-looking man of thirty, and he should have
been of a hot temperament, for, although it was
a bitter day, he wore no coat, but carried one
slung over his shoulder. His shirt-sleeves were
rolled up, too, and his brown arms were bare to
the elbows. Neither did he wear anything more
on his head than his own crisply-curling short
dark hair. He was a dark man altogether, with
good eyes and a good bold breadth between them.
Good-humoured-looking on the whole, but
implacable-looking, too; evidently a man of a
strong resolution and a set purpose; a man not
desirable to be met, rushing down a narrow pass
with a gulf on either side, for nothing would turn
the man.

Madame Defarge, his wife, sat in the shop
behind the counter as he came in. Madame Defarge
was a stout woman of about his own age, with a
watchful eye that seldom seemed to look at
anything, a large hand heavily ringed, a steady
face, strong features, and great composure
of manner. There was a character about

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