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A Tale of Two Cities

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Monsieur the Marquis cast his eyes over the submissive faces that drooped before him, as the like of himself had drooped before Monseigneur of the Court—only the difference was, that these faces drooped merely to suffer and not to propitiate—when a grizzled mender of the roads joined the group. The marquis glanced over the faces of the peasants, and they bowed their heads before him the same way he had bowed his head in front of the monseigneur. The only difference was that these people were bowing because they were suffering, not because they wanted to appease him. Just then a gray old repairer of roads joined the crowd.
“Bring me hither that fellow!” said the Marquis to the courier. “Bring that man over to me!” said the marquis to the messenger.
The fellow was brought, cap in hand, and the other fellows closed round to look and listen, in the manner of the people at the Paris fountain. The man was brought to him. He had taken off his hat and held it in his hand, and the other men crowded around him to look and listen the way the people had at the fountain in Paris.
“I passed you on the road?” “Did I pass you on the road?”
“Monseigneur, it is true. I had the honour of being passed on the road.” “Yes, Monseigneur. I had the honor of seeing you on the road.”
“Coming up the hill, and at the top of the hill, both?” “I saw you coming up the hill. And at the top of the hill?”
“Monseigneur, it is true.” “It’s true, Monseigneur.”
“What did you look at, so fixedly?” “What were you looking at so intently?”
“Monseigneur, I looked at the man.” “Monseigneur, I was looking at the man.”
He stooped a little, and with his tattered blue cap pointed under the carriage. All his fellows stooped to look under the carriage. He bent down a little, and with his tattered blue cap he pointed under the carriage. Everyone around him bent over to look under the carriage.
“What man, pig? And why look there?” “What man, you pig? Why were you looking there?”
“Pardon, Monseigneur; he swung by the chain of the shoe—the drag.” “Excuse me, Monseigneur, he was hanging onto the chain of the brake.”
“Who?” demanded the traveller. “Who?” asked the monseigneur.
“Monseigneur, the man.” “The man, Monseigneur.”
“May the Devil carry away these idiots! How do you call the man? You know all the men of this part of the country. Who was he?” “Curse these idiots! What was the man’s name? You know all the men in this part of the country. Who was he?”
“Your clemency, Monseigneur! He was not of this part of the country. Of all the days of my life, I never saw him.” “Have mercy on me, Monseigneur! He was not from this part of the country. I’d never seen him before in my life.”
“Swinging by the chain? To be suffocated?” “He was hanging onto the chain? Was he trying to suffocate himself?”
“With your gracious permission, that was the wonder of it, Monseigneur. His head hanging over—like this!” “That was what was amazing about it, Monseigneur. If you’ll permit me. His head was hanging over—like this!”
He turned himself sideways to the carriage, and leaned back, with his face thrown up to the sky, and his head hanging down; then recovered himself, fumbled with his cap, and made a bow. He turned himself sideways to the carriage and leaned back. He faced up and his head was hanging down. Then he got back up, fumbled with his cap, and bowed.
“What was he like?” “What was the man like?”
“Monseigneur, he was whiter than the miller. All covered with dust, white as a spectre, tall as a spectre!” “He was whiter than a miller, Monseigneur. He was covered in dust and white as a ghost. Tall as a ghost too!”
The picture produced an immense sensation in the little crowd; but all eyes, without comparing notes with other eyes, looked at Monsieur the Marquis. Perhaps, to observe whether he had any spectre on his conscience. The description produced an immense reaction in the crowd, but everyone kept looking at the marquis. They might have been looking to see if he had any ghosts on his conscience.
“Truly, you did well,” said the Marquis, felicitously sensible that such vermin were not to ruffle him, “to see a thief accompanying my carriage, and not open that great mouth of yours. Bah! Put him aside, Monsieur Gabelle!” “Really, you did well to see a thief traveling under my carriage and not say anything,” said the marquis sarcastically, aware that he shouldn’t let poor people bother him. “Bah! Hold him, Monsieur Gabelle!”
Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster, and some other taxing functionary united; he had come out with great obsequiousness to assist at this examination, and had held the examined by the drapery of his arm in an official manner. Monsieur Gabelle was the postmaster and also a tax official. He had eagerly come out to help with the interrogation. He held the man being examined by his sleeve officially.
“Bah! Go aside!” said Monsieur Gabelle. “Bah! Go aside!” said Monsieur Gabelle.
“Lay hands on this stranger if he seeks to lodge in your village to-night, and be sure that his business is honest, Gabelle.” “Arrest this stranger if he tries to stay in your village tonight. And make sure that his business is honest, Gabelle.”
“Monseigneur, I am flattered to devote myself to your orders.” “I am happy to be of service, Monseigneur.”
“Did he run away, fellow?—where is that Accursed?” “Did he run away, fellow? Where did that accursed man go?”
The accursed was already under the carriage with some half-dozen particular friends, pointing out the chain with his blue cap. Some half-dozen other particular friends promptly hauled him out, and presented him breathless to Monsieur the Marquis. The “accursed man” was already under the carriage with six or so of his friends, pointing out the chain with his blue cap. Some six or so other people quickly pulled him out from under the carriage and brought him to the marquis. He was out of breath.

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