This is a novel in which the connecting work of the English mail coach, the divisive work of the Marquis' murderous coach, and the answering murderousness of the revolutionary tumbrels
on the French side all carry out Dickens' sentimental allegory of the two political cultures.
Summary: No tumbrels
have appeared in Paris's Place de la Concorde, but a revolution may be under way in France nonetheless.
Indeed, after finishing Death and Life, we may feel called to load all the suspected "contrivers"--the planners and builders and architects--into tumbrels
, cart them to the nearest superblock housing project, and lop off their heads in the middle of its dingy, deserted courtyard, but that would be foolishness.
The size and appearance of a play-wagon are as elusive as the records to them with part of the problem being terminology: in the few references above, players have a "waggen," "a wagon or Coache," and "cartes & waggens," while the OED offers such further nomenclature as wains, cars, carriages, tumbrels
, and chariots.
The result is that the organization totters on a while longer until rivers of blood flow in the streets and die chief executive, his ministers and associates are carted off in tumbrels
to the guillotine where their heads are hacked off for the amusement of the crowd.
Little old ladies from deepest Machynlleth have adopted Madame Defarge as their mentor and the talk is of tumbrels
, Madam La Guillotine and knitting needles - should there be any dissenters who suggest that Wales isn't the greatest nation on Earth.
To this point, the fact that I have said nothing about Napa's wines may seem to be putting the tumbrels
ahead of the oxen.
Yet the rows of glowing faces turned towards the day's heroine at the Hopital General de Quebec included people as refined as many then languishing in French prisons or long ago driven in tumbrels
to the guillotine.
Similarly, the tumbrels
rolling to the guillotine between lines of people shouting imprecations (one thinks of Camus' "on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration" ) passed through a different, but very popular sort of gauntlet.
must be hiding in the palace basement, waiting for the sound of tumbrels
From the song and dance created by Tory politicians and their lapdogs in the media, you'd be forgiven for thinking that tumbrels
are under construction in the basement of Unite the union, ready for a royal execution.
OUTSIDE, the tumbrels
were already rolling over the cobbles like woozy men returning home from a night on the tiles.