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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 Six – Triumph Summary

  • It’s the morning of Charles’s trial.
  • Five judges sit at the Tribunal bench. The audience hall is packed with people here to see a show.
  • One woman sits in the front row, knitting. Beside her, Charles sees Defarge.
  • Doctor Manette sits right beneath the President of the Tribunal, ready to testify.
  • Charles’s charges are read: he’s an emigrant, and all emigrants are subject to death.
  • It doesn’t matter, of course, that this law was instituted after Charles came to France.
  • The crowd seems to agree. They immediately call for his death.
  • Charles testifies that he’s been living in England and earning his own money there. He even married a woman in England.
  • When asked, Charles announces that his wife is Lucie, the daughter of Doctor Manette.
  • The crowd gasps in astonishment. This is an even better show than they’d anticipated.
  • The president asks why Charles chose to return to France.
  • Charles explains that he felt a moral obligation to return, even though he’d given up any claim to his own lands long ago.
  • He’d come back to save a citizen’s life. How could this be criminal?
  • The audience now agrees with Charles. They shout pretty loudly to save him.
  • Audiences are pretty fickle, in case you haven’t noticed.
  • The president reads Gabelle’s letter to Charles aloud.
  • Now Doctor Manette takes the stand. When he testifies that Charles had actually been on trial in England for being a foe to England and a friend of the United States, the crowd goes crazy.
  • The French helped the U.S. in the American Revolution, remember?
  • Therefore, Charles must be a good guy!
  • The Jury adds its voices to the choir: Charles is set free!
  • Crying "Long Live the Republic!" the crowd hoists Charles on people’s shoulders and carries him out of the courtroom.
  • He’s like a football hero: no one can get enough of him.
  • Soon, though, the Manettes manage to get him home.
  • Lucie and Charles fall onto the floor, praying in thanks for Charles’s release.
  • Doctor Manette enters and Lucie runs to him, trembling.
  • Smiling, the doctor tells her to be strong. He’s saved Charles.

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