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Summary Chapter 15

The Marquis retires to his personal chamber. He orders the dinner table, which is set for two, to remain as it is. He thinks it is unlikely his nephew will be joining him, but he plans to dine in a quarter of an hour. As he is eating, he thinks he sees something outside the window, but the servant sees nothing amiss.

Charles Darnay, the nephew of the Marquis, arrives. His uncle remarks that he was a long time in coming. Darnay said he had come directly, but he was detained. They do not continue this conversation in front of the servant.

When they are alone, Darnay comments that it is only his uncle’s disgrace at court that has no doubt saved him from being sent to prison in France. The Marquis admits he would have resorted to such actions to preserve the honor of the family. He mourns the loss of certain privileges the upper classes used to have. France is embracing a new philosophy, and the upper classes no longer have as much power in deciding the fate of the vulgar masses. Corrective punishments are not being granted to many.

Darnay loathes how the lower classes look upon them with fear. Their faces reveal abject slavery. The uncle considers it a compliment, for the lower classes need to worship the upper classes. Darnay says their family has done much wrong, and they will eventually suffer consequences for it. He intends to honor his mother’s last request in righting these wrongs. The Marquis says he has come in vain if Darnay is appealing to him. The Marquis supports the old system.

Darnay says that he renounces France and his inheritance. It is an inheritance of ruin. The uncle asks how he intends to live. Darnay replies he will work. The family honor in France will not suffer because of him.

The Marquis is aware that Darnay has met Doctor Manette and his daughter Lucie. He bids Darnay good night. The secretive smile on his face worries his nephew.

The Marquis goes to bed. The next morning, news travels around quickly that the Marquis has been murdered. On the knife that was found embedded in his chest, there is a note. It says, “Drive him fast to his tomb.” It is from Jacques.

Charles Dickens