Book 3, Chapter 6 Notes from A Tale of Two Cities

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A Tale of Two Cities Book 3, Chapter 6

At last, Charles Evrémonde, called Darnay, is called before the Tribunal, which is known for sending prisoners out to be executed with gusto and without fair trial. As he is brought in, the audience begins to demand his head and hungrily eyes him as if they would like to remove it themselves. He testifies that while it is true he has lived many years in England and married an English woman, he left France to relinquish a station and title that were distasteful to him. He wants to live by his own work in England, rather than off the work of the people in France. He points out that his wife, Lucie, is French by birth. He calls two witnesses--Theophile Gabelle and Alexandre Manette. The audience cheers upon hearing the name of the heroic former prisoner of the Bastille. The president of the Tribunal asks him why he had returned to France when he did, and not sooner. Darnay says he returned to save his friend's life regardless of the potential harm to his own. He asks if this is criminal in the eyes of the republic, and the crowd enthusiastically cries, "No!" The president asks to see the letter in question, and Gabelle is asked to confirm it, and Gabelle, having been freed by the same Tribunal three days earlier, does so. Dr. Manette is next questioned. He testifies that the accused was his first friend after his long imprisonment. He stated that the accused had been devoted to him and to his daughter, and that he was no friend of England's aristocratic government. In fact he had been tried for his life by it (as a foe of England and friend of the United States). He appeals to Mr. Lorry to back him up; he does, and the jury declares that it has heard enough. The jury members vote aloud, one at a time, and after each vote, the crowd rejoices. It is unanimously decided that Darnay will be set free. At this declaration, tears are shed and the prisoner is embraced, and he is carried, in a chair with a red flag and cap draped over it, by a cheering crowd to his apartment. He sees Lucie, and she falls into his arms. He kisses Lucie and grasps the hands of Dr. Manette and Mr. Lorry, and Lucie says she must thank God on her knees for saving Charles. She lays her head on her father's chest, as he had laid his on hers so many years ago. He feels happy that he has finally been recompensed for his years of suffering, and he tells Lucie that she must not be weak and tremble, as he has saved her husband.

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