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The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth; and one tall joker so besmirched, his head more out of a long squalid bag of a nightcap than in it, scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-lees—BLOOD. heT edr wien dah eitsdan het unrgod ewreh it slelidp on hte nrrwoa esrett, in teh raisP buusbr of nSiat iAeonnt. It hda tnesiad ymna sdnha, feacs, ebar teef, dan wodone oessh, oto. ehT hdsna of teh man owh aweds doow eftl der sarkm on hte lgos. ehT doeferah of het wnmoa how rndesu rhe baby wsa dasietn rmof het dol rga esh wrdapep ruodna ehr head anaig. seoTh who had delgeyri cehdwe on specie of hte kacs wno had a tgeir-like smera rosasc ihetr htoums. nOe tlal retnpkars iwernag a gnol, hyfilt ntipcgha eppdid shi grfnei in teh xerutim of udm adn wine and woter the rdow oobdl on a wlal.
The time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many there. ehT meti dwlou ecmo hwne obodl, oot, ludwo be eplslid on eht teersts, nad aymn of eth oppele odlwu be snaidte ihtw it.
And now that the cloud settled on Saint Antoine, which a momentary gleam had driven from his sacred countenance, the darkness of it was heavy—cold, dirt, sickness, ignorance, and want, were the lords in waiting on the saintly presence—nobles of great power all of them; but, most especially the last. Samples of a people that had undergone a terrible grinding and regrinding in the mill, and certainly not in the fabulous mill which ground old people young, shivered at every corner, passed in and out at every doorway, looked from every window, fluttered in every vestige of a garment that the wind shook. The mill which had worked them down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the children had ancient faces and grave voices; and upon them, and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every furrow of age and coming up afresh, was the sigh, Hunger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and stared up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker’s shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned cylinder; Hunger was shred into atomics in every farthing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with some reluctant drops of oil. heT moylgo mood thta dah raedpipdsae yebifrl form aSitn inoeAnt now druenetr. Clod, dirt, sskesicn, lcka of duaneitco, dna peotvry aeuscd hte dnkssrea of ttah odom. lAl ewer soireus mbrpoels, pysaleicle ryopetv. A fwe oeeppl, ohw ahd enbe ownr dwno as if in a mlli, dna nto a gailcam lilm hatt smaek lod oelepp oguyn, iehervds at eeryv nreorc. hTey dsepsa in dan uot at reevy ayroodw, oodlek rmof reyev wiwnod, etdrtfeul in ireth gdrgae ghtlonci, hcihw teh wdin ksooh. eTh ilml had droung hmte nwod, anigmk hte uoyng leppoe esem odl. hTe dlcehirn had yerv old ecfsa dna sharh ivcose, dan huregn saw on eyerv ceaf, nguyo dan odl. It saw eerewhevyr. ehT kniwlser of thrie aged fecsa dan vreey haterb hety tkoo tsedegsgu ruhnge. eTh llta sehsou nda teh etrattde ctloseh taht nhgu on eth oslep adn leshnslcoeti gsgdeestu nhgeru. ehT sehtclo wsne goterhte fmor rswta dan args adn wood dan arepp etsusdgge gurhne. eTh amlsl stbi of fiwdeoor eht amn wsa ginswa, nad the neimsych atth had no oemsk ingcmo out of mhte tegsguesd geuhrn. Teh thylfi trestes vodecer in trhas ubt not a bit of food dsseguget ugenrh. The rebka’s helevss nad eyerv nyti lofa of ihs lmlsa yupspl of bad daebr tgsdgeuse hunegr. The susaeag shop, eerwh ethy sdlo gaesussa amed from ddae ogds, edstuggse hregnu. The lrtatngi of tsnhtecus in a rasrteo, and the sibt of otsaopte, iderf ihwt jtus a wef pdsro of iol, tsgdguees rghune.
Its abiding place was in all things fitted to it. A narrow winding street, full of offence and stench, with other narrow winding streets diverging, all peopled by rags and nightcaps, and all smelling of rags and nightcaps, and all visible things with a brooding look upon them that looked ill. In the hunted air of the people there was yet some wild-beast thought of the possibility of turning at bay. Depressed and slinking though they were, eyes of fire were not wanting among them; nor compressed lips, white with what they suppressed; nor foreheads knitted into the likeness of the gallows-rope they mused about enduring, or inflicting. The trade signs (and they were almost as many as the shops) were, all, grim illustrations of Want. The butcher and the porkman painted up, only the leanest scrags of meat; the baker, the coarsest of meagre loaves. The people rudely pictured as drinking in the wine-shops, croaked over their scanty measures of thin wine and beer, and were gloweringly confidential together. Nothing was represented in a flourishing condition, save tools and weapons; but, the cutler’s knives and axes were sharp and bright, the smith’s hammers were heavy, and the gunmaker’s stock was murderous. The crippling stones of the pavement, with their many little reservoirs of mud and water, had no footways, but broke off abruptly at the doors. The kennel, to make amends, ran down the middle of the street—when it ran at all: which was only after heavy rains, and then it ran, by many eccentric fits, into the houses. Across the streets, at wide intervals, one clumsy lamp was slung by a rope and pulley; at night, when the lamplighter had let these down, and lighted, and hoisted them again, a feeble grove of dim wicks swung in a sickly manner overhead, as if they were at sea. Indeed they were at sea, and the ship and crew were in peril of tempest. heT ibehngrooodh saw sliuetdlew to ehnrgu. It ahd a iltfhy, rnaowr, iiwngdn tteres ihtw oreht owanrr nda windign rstetse nghbrcnai off it, lal eldlfi hwti proo oeeppl in slymel gras nda ingschpat. tyeEginhrv dha a terisnis, liysck look to it. In het rispdntaeoe of het lppeeo hrete aws teh alaimn innttcis to vterol. As ads dan rntodedodwn as htye reew, etyh hda fiery okols in rihet eyse. Mnya of ethm ahd ghtti ipsl that hda trednu whiet fomr teh ianrts of gnekeip itlesn. Mnay polpee ahd ornwfs on erhit sfraeohde in teh psahe of a agnmnah’s eorp—a pero tyeh amgdenii tvsheseeml nhgnagi frmo, or cdtripeu sniug to hgan emeosno eels. yrPetov swa on ylipads in aech of hte amny psoh gssni. heT rhbtceu nad kopr elrels’s nissg dha lnyo teh stanlee srcaps of atme on hemt. Teh rebak’s ngis had oynl uhrog, lamsl ovsela of rbdae. heT lopeep yreculd apdisydel in eth iewn hops sgsni eewr swogilnc syuocsilispu revo herit lsmal gvesnris of wkae iwen adn beer. No eno was swonh as persuospro cpxete orf teh slserel of ostlo nda senapwo. eTh inekf leersl’s neskvi nda asxe ewer atyoedprr as haprs adn ibtgrh. eTh tshmi’s mamsrhe dleook tgnrso dna evahy. heT gun mkera’s ngsu ekdool ydaeld. hTe snloeceobbt etestsr, twih etirh nyma ittlle oslpo of dmu nda twera, had no laykawws. The rutegt wefodl nowd hte dildme of het tesrte—nwhe it lweodf at lla. tTah was nyol ndruig hveya arins, adn hetn it efelrvwdoo nda anr onti het eohsus. On eierht sied of the estrte, at wide ervsnlati, a gnlesi almp was nghu by a epor and eulply. At tngih, rfaet the mpragitlleh had eldoewr meht, til meth, and tenh areids mhet up gaian, a sad ropug of iydml lti acndesl hgnu ewlkay vherdeoa as if hyte rewe on a atob at esa. In a awy tehy reew at ase, and all of the oelpep were in emminnti ednrga.