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1 A Tale of Two Cities 1 I. The Period 1 It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven,
we were all going direct the other way--
in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of
its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for
evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the
throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with
a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer
than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes,
that things in general were settled for ever.


Seasons
Seasons
Darkness
Darkness
Heaven
Heaven
King
King
Queen
Queen
England
England
France
France
Time
Time

1 A Tale of Two Cities 1 I. The Period 2 It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five.
Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period,
as at this. Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth
blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had
heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were
made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane
ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its
messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally
deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the
earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People,
from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange
to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any
communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane
brood.


England
England
Life
Life
Cock
Cock
Ghosts
Ghosts
Order
Order
America
America
Race
Race
Guard
Guard
Chicken
Chicken

1 A Tale of Two Cities 1 I. The Period 3 France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual than her
sister of the shield and trident, rolled with exceeding smoothness down
hill, making paper money and spending it. Under the guidance of her
Christian pastors, she entertained herself, besides, with such humane
achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue
torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not
kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks
which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty
yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and
Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death,
already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into
boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in
it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses
of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were
sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with
rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which
the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of
the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work
unceasingly, work silently, and no one heard them as they went about
with muffled tread: the rather, forasmuch as to entertain any suspicion
that they were awake, was to be atheistical and traitorous.


France
France
Money
Money
Tongue
Tongue
View
View
Norway
Norway
Death
Death
Knife
Knife
Poultry
Poultry
Matter
Matter
Hand
Hand
Monk
Monk
Tree
Tree
Land
Land
Pig
Pig

1 A Tale of Two Cities 1 I. The Period 4 In England, there was scarcely an amount of order and protection to
justify much national boasting. Daring burglaries by armed men, and
highway robberies, took place in the capital itself every night;
families were publicly cautioned not to go out of town without removing
their furniture to upholsterers' warehouses for security; the highwayman
in the dark was a City tradesman in the light, and, being recognised and
challenged by his fellow-tradesman whom he stopped in his character of
"the Captain," gallantly shot him through the head and rode away; the
mail was waylaid by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and
then got shot dead himself by the other four, "in consequence of the
failure of his ammunition:" after which the mail was robbed in peace;
that magnificent potentate, the Lord Mayor of London, was made to stand
and deliver on Turnham Green, by one highwayman, who despoiled the
illustrious creature in sight of all his retinue; prisoners in London
gaols fought battles with their turnkeys, and the majesty of the law
fired blunderbusses in among them, loaded with rounds of shot and ball;
thieves snipped off diamond crosses from the necks of noble lords at
Court drawing-rooms; musketeers went into St. Giles's, to search
for contraband goods, and the mob fired on the musketeers, and the
musketeers fired on the mob, and nobody thought any of these occurrences
much out of the common way. In the midst of them, the hangman, ever busy
and ever worse than useless, was in constant requisition; now, stringing
up long rows of miscellaneous criminals; now, hanging a housebreaker on
Saturday who had been taken on Tuesday; now, burning people in the
hand at Newgate by the dozen, and now burning pamphlets at the door of
Westminster Hall; to-day, taking the life of an atrocious murderer,
and to-morrow of a wretched pilferer who had robbed a farmer's boy of
sixpence.


England
England
Order
Order
Night
Night
City
City
Guard
Guard
Peace
Peace
Stand
Stand
Ball
Ball
Thought
Thought
Hand
Hand
Door
Door
Life
Life
The Doors
The Doors
Prisoner
Prisoner