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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Volume III, Chapter Eleven – Dusk Summary

  • We’ve got to warn you now: this is a stressful chapter.
  • No fun and games, folks. Lots of bad stuff is on the horizon.
  • Like this: when she hears Charles’ sentence, Lucie falls to the ground in shock.
  • Quickly, however, she realizes that this won’t help her husband; she pulls herself back up to her feet.
  • The court clears out as if by magic: the patriots have other revolutionary work to do.
  • Charles and his guards are alone in the front of the courtroom. One of the guards is Barsad.
  • Barsad looks at Lucie and tells the guards that she should have an opportunity to say goodbye to her husband.
  • Sheepishly, they agree.
  • Lucie rushes up to Charles; they embrace.
  • Her father follows behind her, still in shock that his influence couldn’t save Charles.
  • Dr. Manette begins to fall on his knees before Charles, but his son-in-law quickly pulls him back up.
  • After all, there was nothing that anyone could have done to save him this time. It’s just the way that the revolution works.
  • The guards lead Charles away.
  • As she watches Charles go, Lucie faints again.
  • Once she’s unconscious, Sydney rushes to her side and gently carries her out to her carriage.
  • Little Lucie cries out to Carton for help. She knows how much he loves her mother – why, then, can’t he do something to stop this?
  • Before he leaves, Sydney asks if he can kiss Lucie.
  • Little Lucie later remembers that, as he bends over Lucie, he whispers, "A life you love."
  • Confused by that? Re-read their conversation in "The Fellow of No Delicacy" (Volume Two, Chapter Thirteen).
  • Doctor Manette stands by the carriage, stricken.
  • As Carton approaches him, Dr. Manette decides that he’ll visit and write letters to all the people who he thinks could save Charles.
  • Sydney encourages him; Dr. Manette runs off.
  • Left alone with Mr. Lorry, Sydney says he fears that Dr. Manette won’t have any luck.
  • Mr. Lorry agrees.
  • Sydney says that he’ll come by Tellson’s office at nine to hear if Dr. Manette was able to work anything out.
  • He doesn’t have much hope for that – but at least it will give Dr. Manette the satisfaction of knowing he did all that he could do.
  • In later days, he reflects, Lucie will want to know that they did all that they could do to save Charles’ life.
  • Sadly, the two men depart.

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