Here’s what has me scratching my head this week:
The grindstone had a double handle, and, turning at it madly were two men, whose faces, as their long hair flapped 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. False eyebrows and false moustaches were stuck upon them, and their hideous countenances were all bloody and sweaty, and all awry with howling, and all staring and glaring with beastly excitement and want of sleep.
Does anyone have any ideas on this? Is it an extended metaphor, in which case who are the savages that Dickens is speaking of who are wearing false eyebrows and moustaches; or, is it supposed to be literal, and the French revolutionaries are actually wearing false eyebrows and moustaches? Either option seems a little strange to me – can anyone shed any light on this?