determined by chance or impulse or whim rather than by necessity or reason
Every town-gate and village taxing-house had its band of citizen-patriots, with their national muskets in a most explosive state of readiness, who stopped all comers and goers, cross-questioned them, inspected their papers, looked for their names in lists of their own, turned them back, or sent them on, or stopped them and laid them in hold, as their
capricious judgment or fancy deemed best for the dawning Republic One and Indivisible, of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death.
Looking about him while in this state of suspense, Charles Darnay observed that the gate was held by a mixed guard of soldiers and patriots, the latter far outnumbering the former; and that while
ingress into the city for peasants' carts bringing in supplies, and for similar traffic and traffickers, was easy enough, egress, even for the homeliest people, was very difficult.
the act of coming (or going) out; becoming apparent
The opposite of ingress.
Looking about him while in this state of suspense, Charles Darnay observed that the gate was held by a mixed guard of soldiers and patriots, the latter far outnumbering the former; and that while ingress into the city for peasants' carts bringing in supplies, and for similar traffic and traffickers, was easy enough,
egress, even for the homeliest people, was very difficult.
affected by blight; anything that mars or prevents growth or prosperity
He sat by a newly-lighted wood fire (the
blighted and unfruitful year was prematurely cold), and on his honest and courageous face there was a deeper shade than the pendent lamp could throw, or any object in the room distortedly reflect -- a shade of horror.
the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British)
The grindstone had a double handle, and, turning at it madly were two men, whose faces, as their long hair Rapped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought their faces up, were more horrible and cruel than the
visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous disguise.
"Amiably" is very similar to the other vocabulary word "amicably" (in Part 2, Chapters 15-24). They are almost written the same and they come from the same roots, but they are a little different. Amiable means good-natured or likable, which is usually used for one person's disposition. Amicable means characterized by goodwill, and this is between people or groups.
"All curious to see," thought Mr. Lorry, in his
amiably shrewd way, "but all natural and right; so, take the lead, my dear friend, and keep it; it couldn't be in better hands."
Equality, Fraternity, or Death, declared for victory or death against the world in arms; the black flag waved night and day from the great towers of Notre Dame; three hundred thousand men, summoned to rise against the tyrants of the earth, rose from all the varying soils of France, as if the dragon's teeth had been sown broadcast, and had yielded fruit equally on hill and plain, on rock, in gravel, and
Compare with with the vocabulary word "inundation" (in Part 2, Chapters 15-24). "Deluge" typically means a heavy rain or an overflowing of water, but here in "A Tale of Two Cities," it is used figuratively to describe the force of the French Revolution as it comes up from the lower classes to "inundate" the whole country. Instead of rain, the deluge here are the poor people who have decided that they will fight against the king and take over the country.
What private solicitude could rear itself against the
deluge of the Year One of Liberty -- the
deluge rising from below, not falling from above, and with the windows of Heaven shut, not opened!
Slake is used figuratively in this sample sentence to describe the thirst the guillotine has for the people's blood.
Lovely girls; bright women, brown-haired, black-haired, and grey; youths; stalwart men and old; gentle born and peasant born; all red wine for La Guillotine, all daily brought into light from the dark cellars of the loathsome prisons, and carried to her through the streets to
slake her devouring thirst.
After grasping the Doctor's hand, as he stood victorious and proud before him; after grasping the hand of Mr. Lorry, who came panting in breathless from his struggle against the waterspout of the Carmagnole; after kissing little Lucie, who was lifted up to clasp her arms round his neck; and after embracing the ever
zealous and faithful Pross who lifted her; he took his wife in his arms, and carried her up to their rooms.
instinctively or temperamentally seeking and enjoying the company of others
Compare with the vocabulary word "convivial" (in Part 2, Chapters 1-14).
They both looked to the right and to the left into most of the shops they passed, had a wary eye for all
gregarious assemblages of people, and turned out of their road to avoid any very excited group of talkers.
I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through tong long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making
expiation for itself and wearing out.