2016年01月13日

had a faint and bare existence there

MADAME DEFARGE and monsieur her husband returned amicably to thebosom of Saint Antoine, while a speck in a blue cap toiled through thedarkness, and through the dust, and down the weary miles of avenueby the wayside, slowly tending towards that point of the compass wherethe chateau of Monsieur the Marquis, now in his grave, listened to thewhispering trees. Such ample leisure had the stone faces, now, forlistening to the trees and to the fountain, that the few villagescarecrows who, in their quest for herbs to eat and fragments ofdead stick to burn, strayed within sight of the great stonecourtyard and terrace staircase, had it borne in upon their starvedfancy that the expression of the faces was altered. A rumour justlived in the village, as itspeople had- that when the knife struck home, the faces changed, fromfaces of pride to faces of anger and pain; also, that when thatdangling figure was hauled up forty feet above the fountain, theychanged again, and bore a cruel look of being avenged, which theywould henceforth bear for ever.



In the stone face over the greatwindow of the bed-chamber where the murder was done, two fine dintswere pointed out in the sculptured nose, which everybody recognised,and which nobody had seen of old; and on the scarce occasions when twoor three ragged peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peepat Monsieur the Marquis petrified, a skinny finger would not havepointed to it for a minute, before they all started away among themoss and leaves, like the more fortunate hares who could find a livingthere.

Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the red stain onthe stone floor, and the pure water in the village well- thousandsof acres of land- a whole province of France- all France itself- layunder the night sky, concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line. Sodoes a whole world, with all its greatnesses and littlenesses, liein a twinkling star. And as mere human knowledge can split a ray oflight and analyse the manner of its composition, so, sublimerintelligences may read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours,every thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every responsiblecreature on it.

The Defarges, husband and wife, came lumbering under thestarlight, in their public vehicle, to that gate of Paris whereuntotheir journey naturally tended. There was the usual stoppage at thebarrier guardhouse, and the usual lanterns came glancing forth for theusual examination and inquiry. Monsieur Defarge alighted; knowingone or two of the soldiery there, and one of the police. The latter hewas intimate with, and affectionately embraced.

When Saint Antoine had again enfolded the Defarges in his duskywings, and they, having finally alighted near the Saint'sboundaries, were picking their way on foot through the black mud andoffal of his streets, Madame Defarge spoke to her husband:

"Say then, my friend; what did Jacques of the police tell thee?"



Posted by かなり苦労する at 17:15│Comments(0)
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