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In Three Books



THE wretched wife of the innocent man thus
doomed to die, fell under the sentence, as if
she had been mortally stricken. But, she uttered
no sound; and so strong was the voice within
her, representing that it was she of all the
world who must uphold him in his misery and
not augment it, that it quickly raised her, even
from that shock.

The judges having to take part in a public
demonstration out of doors, the tribunal
adjourned. The quick noise and movement of the
court's emptying itself by many passages had not
ceased, when Lucie stood stretching out her
arms towards her husband, with nothing in her
face but love and consolation.

"If I might touch him! If I might embrace
him once! O, good citizens, if you would have
so much compassion for us!"

There was but a gaoler left, along with two
of the four men who had taken him last night,
and Barsad. The people had all poured out to
the show in the streets. Barsad proposed to
the rest, "Let her embrace him, then it is but
a moment." It was silently acquiesced in, and
they passed her over the seats in the hall to a
raised place, where he, by leaning over the dock,
could fold her in his arms.

"Farewell, dear darling of my soul. My
parting blessing on my love. We shall meet
again, where the weary are at rest!"

They were her husband's words, as he held
her to his bosom.

"I can bear it, dear Charles. I am supported
from above; don't suffer for me. A parting
blessing for our child."

"I send it her by you. I kiss her by you. I
say farewell to her by you."

"My husband. No! A moment!" He was
tearing himself apart from her. "We shall not
be separated long. I feel that this will break
my heart by-and-by; but I will do my duty
while I can, and when I leave her, God will
raise up friends for her, as He did for me."

Her father had followed her, and would have
fallen on his knees to both of them, but that
Darnay put out a hand and seized him, crying:

"No, no! What have you done, what have
you done, that you should kneel to us! We
know now, what a struggle you made of old.
We know now, what you underwent when you
suspected my descent, and when you knew it.
We know now, the natural antipathy you strove
against, and conquered, for her dear sake. We
thank you with all our hearts, and all our love
and duty. Heaven be with you!"

Her father's only answer was to draw his
hands through his white hair, and wring them
with a shriek of anguish.

"It could not be otherwise," said the prisoner.
"All things have worked together as they have
fallen out. It was the always-vain endeavour
to discharge my poor mother's trust, that first
brought my fatal presence near you. Good
could never come of such evil, a happier end
was not in nature to so unhappy a beginning.
Be comforted, and forgive me. Heaven bless

As he was drawn away, his wife released him,
and stood looking after him with her hands
touching one another in the attitude of prayer,
and with a radiant look upon her face, in which
there was even a comforting smile. As he went
out at the prisoners' door, she turned, laid her
head lovingly on her father's breast, tried to
speak to him, and fell at his feet.

Then, issuing from the obscure corner from
which he had never moved, Sydney Carton came
and took her up. Only her father and Mr.
Lorry were with her. His arm trembled as it
raised her, and supported her head. Yet, there
was an air about him that was not all of
pitythat had a flush of pride in it.

"Shall I take her to a coach? I shall never
feel her weight."

He carried her lightly to the door, and laid
her tenderly down in a coach. Her father and
their old friend got into it, and he took his seat
beside the driver.

When they arrived at the gateway where he
had paused in the dark not many hours before,
to picture to himself on which of the rough
stones of the street her feet had trodden, he
lifted her again, and carried her up the staircase
to their rooms. There, he laid her down on a
couch, where her child and Miss Pross wept
over her.

"Don't recal her to herself," he said, softly,
to the latter, "she is better so; don't revive her
to consciousness, while she only faints."