The Lion and the Jackal

"The Lion and the Jackal" by Fred Barnard. 1870s. 10.7 x 13.8 cm. The attorneys Stryver (left) and Carton (right) are working on a case and a quantity of punch in Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book 2, chap. v.

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]

Commentary

Dickens reveals the modus operandi of the successful legal partnership of the "Lion" (the extrovert Stryver) and the "Jackal" (the alcoholic Carton) in Book the Second, "The Golden Thread," ch. 5, "The Jackal." The passage illustrated is likely this:

The lion then composed himself on his back on a sofa on one side of the drinking-table, while the jackal sat at his own paper-bestrewn table proper, on the other side of it, with the bottles and glasses ready to his hand. Both resported to the drinking-table without stint, but each in a different way; the lion for the most part reclining with his hands in his waistband, looking at the fire, or occassionally flirting with some lighter document; the jackal, with knitted brows and intent face, so deep in his task, that his eyes did not even follow the hand he stretched out for his glass — which often groped about, for a minute or more, before it found the glass for his lips. Two or three times the matter in hand became so knotty, that the jackal found it imperative on him to get up, and steep his towels anew. [39]

The "repast" that the Jackal thus prepares for the barrister is the case as he will argue it in court, the Lion taking full advantage of Carton's alcoholism to exploit his legal talents. A scene very similar to Barnard's occurred in McLenan's sequence for the Harper's Weekly serialisation; indeed, Mclenan's scene is also entitled "The Lion and the Jackal". Phiz, Barnard's friend and confidant, in the original monthly parts shows the public faces of the Lion and his Jackal in formal legal attire after Darnay's Old Bailey trial in the steel engraving "Congratulations", one of a pair of illustrations for the July, 1859, number.

References

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. il. Phiz. London: Chapman & Hall, 1859.

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. il. Fred Barnard. The Household Edition. London: Chapman & Hall, 1870s.

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. il. John McLenan. Harper's Weekly. (24 September1859): 621; (5 October 1859): 699; (29 October 1859): 701; (19 November 1859): 748.


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Last modified 22 February 2011

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