Skip over navigation

A Tale of Two Cities

Original Text

Modern Text

As the last thing on earth that his heart was to warm and soften to, it warmed and softened to this pitiable girl. He was moved by this poor girl, and she was the last thing on earth that would move him.
“I heard you were released, Citizen Evremonde. I hoped it was true?” “I heard you were released, Citizen Evremonde. I hoped it was true.”
“It was. But, I was again taken and condemned.” “It was. But I was arrested again and condemned to die.”
“If I may ride with you, Citizen Evremonde, will you let me hold your hand? I am not afraid, but I am little and weak, and it will give me more courage.” “If I can ride in the same cart as you, Citizen Evremonde, will you let me hold your hand? I’m not afraid, but I am little and weak and it will give me more courage.”
As the patient eyes were lifted to his face, he saw a sudden doubt in them, and then astonishment. He pressed the work-worn, hunger-worn young fingers, and touched his lips. As the girl looked up into his face, he saw that she suddenly doubted whether he was actually who he said. She looked astonished, and he kissed her young fingers, which were worn from years of poverty.
“Are you dying for him?” she whispered. “Are you dying for him?” she whispered.
“And his wife and child. Hush! Yes.” “And for his wife and child. Hush! Yes. I am dying for him.”
“O you will let me hold your brave hand, stranger?” “Oh, will you let me hold your hand, brave stranger?”
“Hush! Yes, my poor sister; to the last.” “Hush! Yes, my dear. To the very end.”
* * * ***
The same shadows that are falling on the prison, are falling, in that same hour of the early afternoon, on the Barrier with the crowd about it, when a coach going out of Paris drives up to be examined. The same shadows that were falling on the prison were falling on the barrier at that same time in the early afternoon. There was a crowd around it, and a coach on its way out of Paris drove up to it to be questioned.
“Who goes here? Whom have we within? Papers!” “Who goes there?” said the guard. “Whom do you have inside? Show us your papers!”
The papers are handed out, and read. The people inside the coach handed the guard the papers and he read them.
“Alexandre Manette. Physician. French. Which is he?” “Alexandre Manette. Doctor. French. Which one is he?”
This is he; this helpless, inarticulately murmuring, wandering old man pointed out. They pointed out the confused old man. He was mumbling incoherently.
“Apparently the Citizen-Doctor is not in his right mind? The Revolution-fever will have been too much for him?” “Apparently the citizen doctor is not in his right mind? The Revolution fever was too much for him?”
Greatly too much for him. It was far too much for him.
“Hah! Many suffer with it. Lucie. His daughter. French. Which is she?” “Ha! Many people suffer from it,” said the guard. He read from the certificate: “Lucie. His daughter. French.” Which one is she?” he asked.
This is she. They pointed her out.
“Apparently it must be. Lucie, the wife of Evremonde; is it not?” “It must be. Lucie. She’s Evremonde’s wife, isn’t she?”
It is. “She is,” they answered.
“Hah! Evremonde has an assignation elsewhere. Lucie, her child. English. This is she?” “Ha! Evremonde has a date elsewhere. Lucie, her child, English,” he read. “This is she?”
She and no other. This is she.
“Kiss me, child of Evremonde. Now, thou hast kissed a good Republican; something new in thy family; remember it! Sydney Carton. Advocate. English. Which is he?” “Kiss me, daughter of Evremonde,” the guard said to her. “Now you have kissed a good Republican. That’s something new to your family. Remember it! Sydney Carton. Lawyer. English,” the guard read. “Which one is he?”
He lies here, in this corner of the carriage. He, too, is pointed out. He was lying in a corner of the carriage. They pointed him out too.
“Apparently the English advocate is in a swoon?” “Apparently the English lawyer has fainted?”
It is hoped he will recover in the fresher air. It is represented that he is not in strong health, and has separated sadly from a friend who is under the displeasure of the Republic. “We hope he will recover from the fresh air. He isn’t well and is upset to be separated from a friend who has angered the Republic.”
“Is that all? It is not a great deal, that! Many are under the displeasure of the Republic, and must look out at the little window. Jarvis Lorry. Banker. English. Which is he?” “Is that all? That’s no big deal! Many have angered the Republic and must look out of the little windows of the prisons. Jarvis Lorry. Banker. English,” read the guard. “Which one is he?”
“I am he. Necessarily, being the last.” “I am he, of course, since I am the only other person here.”
It is Jarvis Lorry who has replied to all the previous questions. It is Jarvis Lorry who has alighted and stands with his hand on the coach door, replying to a group of officials. They leisurely walk round the carriage and leisurely mount the box, to look at what little luggage it carries on the roof; the country-people hanging about, press nearer to the coach doors and greedily stare in; a little child, carried by its mother, has its short arm held out for it, that it may touch the wife of an aristocrat who has gone to the Guillotine. It was Jarvis Lorry who had answered all the previous questions. It was Jarvis Lorry who got out and stood with his hand on the coach door, answering the group of officials. The guards slowly walked around the carriage and climbed up on top to look at what little luggage there was on the roof. The country people were hanging around, pressing nearer to the coach doors and staring into it greedily. A small child in its mother’s arms was reaching out so that it could touch the wife of an aristocrat who had been killed by the guillotine.

More Help

Previous Next