A Tale of Two Cities Book 3, Chapter 3
Mr. Lorry, out of concern for Tellson's and for Lucie, puts her and her family up in a small apartment in the same quarter of the city as the bank. He sends Jerry Cruncher, the messenger, to watch over them. Later, a visitor arrives at the bank. The man asks Mr. Lorry if he remembers who he is, suggesting that perhaps he may remember him from his wine shop. Agitated, Mr. Lorry asks if he is relaying a message from Dr. Manette. Defarge says yes and hands him a note from Dr. Manette saying that Charles is safe but that he (the doctor) cannot yet leave safely. He also writes that the bearer of the message will also be bringing a short note from Charles to Lucie and that the bearer should be allowed to see Lucie. Relieved, Mr. Lorry asks Defarge to accompany him to Lucie's; Defarge agrees and they go down to the courtyard, where they see two women, one of whom is knitting. "Madame Defarge, surely!" exclaims Mr. Lorry, who recognizes the woman and notes that she is engaged in the same activity that she was when he left them. He asks Defarge if she is going with them. Defarge says yes, so that she can recognize the faces and know who they are--for their safety, he explains. So the men set off with Madame Defarge and the second woman, The Vengeance. They find Lucie weeping in her apartment. She reads the note from Charles, which is brief, telling her to take courage, as her father has great influence and will be helping him. He asks her to kiss Lucie for him. She is so moved and delirious with joy over the note that she grabs one of Madame Defarge's hands away from the knitting and kisses it. Madame Defarge makes no response and looks at Lucie coldly. The woman's reticence so shocks Lucie that she looks at her in terror. Madame Defarge points to Lucie's daughter and asks if it is Lucie's child. Mr. Lorry answers yes, and Madame Defarge curtly replies that she has seen enough and that they can leave. Madame Defarge's gaze at little Lucie is so intense and threatening that Lucie instinctively grabs her daughter and clutches her to her chest. Lucie is so unnerved at Madame Defarge's menacing manner that she pleads with her to help her and to be good to her husband. Lucie begs her earnestly as a wife and mother to have pity on her and not to exercise any power over her husband but to use it on his behalf instead. Madame Defarge turns to The Vengeance and says coldly:
"'The wives and mothers we have been used to see since we were as little as this child, and much less, have not been greatly considered? We have known their husbands and fathers laid in prison and kept from them, often enough? All our lives, we have seen our sister-women suffer, in themselves and in their children, poverty, nakedness, hunger, thirst, sickness, misery, oppression and neglect of all kinds?'" Book 3, Chapter 3, pg. 266
She turns to Lucie and asks her if it is likely, after all this, that they should concern themselves with the troubles of one wife and mother. She resumes her knitting and leaves. The Vengeance and Defarge follow. After they leave, Mr. Lorry tells Lucie to have courage and be thankful. Lucie replies that she is not thankless, but that that "dreadful woman" has thrown a shadow over her hopes. Mr. Lorry tells her there is no substance in it. Secretly, though, he is greatly troubled by the dark manner of the Defarges.