Study Guide

A Tale of Two Cities Volume III, Chapter Six – Triumph

By Charles Dickens

Volume III, Chapter Six – Triumph

  • It’s the morning of Darnay’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, Darnay sees Defarge.
  • Dr. Manette sits right beneath the president of the Tribunal, ready to testify.
  • Darnay’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 Darnay came to France.
  • The crowd seems to agree. They immediately call for his death.
  • Darnay testifies that he’s been living in England and earning his own money there. He even married a woman in England.
  • When asked, Darnay announces that his wife is Lucie, the daughter of Dr. Manette.
  • The crowd gasps in astonishment. This is an even better show than they’d anticipated.
  • The president asks why Darnay chose to return to France.
  • Darnay 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 Darnay. They shout pretty loudly to save him.
  • Audiences are pretty fickle, in case you haven’t noticed.
  • The president reads Gabelle’s letter to Darnay aloud.
  • Now Dr. Manette takes the stand. When he testifies that Darnay 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, Darnay must be a good guy!
  • The jury adds its voices to the choir: Darnay is set free!
  • Crying "Long Live the Republic!" the crowd hoists Darnay 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 Darnay fall onto the floor, praying in thanks for Darnay’s release.
  • Dr. Manette enters and Lucie runs to him, trembling.
  • Smiling, the doctor tells her to be strong. He’s saved Darnay.