After the trial, Charles kisses Lucie's hands in gratitude and thanks Stryver for his help. Dr. Manette is now a distinguished citizen of London. He can still become gloomy, but this occurs only occasionally because Lucie serves as a "golden thread" linking him to his life before and after his imprisonment. Stryver, Dr. Manette, and Lucie depart in a carriage.
Though Lucie's love and compassion, her "golden thread," have returned Dr. Manette's to life, his grip on sanity is still tenuous, only as strong as a thread of hair.
A drunk Sydney Carton emerges from the shadows. His shabby clothes and impertinent manners offend Mr. Lorry, who departs. Carton and Charles go out to dinner at a tavern, where Carton slyly asks Charles whether being tried for his life is worth the sympathy and compassion he now gets from Lucie. Annoyed, Charles comments on Carton's drinking. In response, Carton says, "I am a disappointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me." After Charles leaves, Carton curses his own reflection in a mirror and then curses Charles, who reminds him of what he might have been.
Carton's lack of manners and shabby looks show that he doesn't care much about life. His bitter comments about the compassion Charles receives from Lucie show that Carton craves Lucie's pity. His words also suggest that Carton only saved Charles because he wanted to help Lucie. Carton curses Charles because their resemblance forces Carton to consider his own life, which was ruined by some past experience.