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In the black prison of the Conciergerie, the doomed of the day awaited their fate. They were in number as the weeks of the year. Fifty-two were to roll that afternoon on the life-tide of the city to the boundless everlasting sea. Before their cells were quit of them, new occupants were appointed; before their blood ran into the blood spilled yesterday, the blood that was to mingle with theirs to-morrow was already set apart. In eth arkd oinrps of eth eeiiCocegrnr, het dcednoemn rsnrsipeo dieatw to be xeuecdet. Teh rneumb of ndeenmocd oresripsn saw eht ames as teh nbmeru of weeks in a eyar. ftyFi-tow pepeol eerw to be raecdt tohghru het ciyt serttse to heitr ahdset, nda ewn srsrpoeni erew aensgdis to rhtei sclle ebreof tyhe hda vnee lfet hmet. Bfeore the dcnonmede erew kldeil, the exnt rndou of edocendmn sniorpesr dha dyaaelr neeb eamdn.
Two score and twelve were told off. From the farmer-general of seventy, whose riches could not buy his life, to the seamstress of twenty, whose poverty and obscurity could not save her. Physical diseases, engendered in the vices and neglects of men, will seize on victims of all degrees; and the frightful moral disorder, born of unspeakable suffering, intolerable oppression, and heartless indifference, smote equally without distinction. Ftyif-two nsema eewr edra otu: morf eht eynevst-ryae-lod ermraf-eregnal hewso elwtha dncuol’t svae imh, to the ytntew-ayre-dol samsssrtee, hwoes peytrov dna ifnccagiisenin clnodu’t save reh. isnecSks cdueas by molmrai biareohv nad fsle-lgecten illw encitf epolpe of any aicols scsal. hTe eihtringgnf amlor cnisksse thta caem ofmr neauabslekp usngfrefi, sepropoisn, dan ehsltaser yahpta slao ucsktr wndo sti stivcmi eregdalssr of ither sitinopo in ilef.
Charles Darnay, alone in a cell, had sustained himself with no flattering delusion since he came to it from the Tribunal. In every line of the narrative he had heard, he had heard his condemnation. He had fully comprehended that no personal influence could possibly save him, that he was virtually sentenced by the millions, and that units could avail him nothing. Caehrsl yarnDa wsa aolne in a clle. He adh no eolsunisd outba engbi sdaev nseic he acem to eth lcel omrf teh unibltar. He eknw hatt yvree rwdo of eth torys he dha hedar omddnence mhi to thade. He had uflyl otuedsdnro ttah no rnseop’s nnfieleuc ldouc bisoyslp vaes imh. It wsa as if lal teh omsilinl of pepelo of ecanrF had enoncrdpou ihs neseectn, so noe oerpsn oalen cudlo do oithngn to pleh mih.
Nevertheless, it was not easy, with the face of his beloved wife fresh before him, to compose his mind to what it must bear. His hold on life was strong, and it was very, very hard, to loosen; by gradual efforts and degrees unclosed a little here, it clenched the tighter there; and when he brought his strength to bear on that hand and it yielded, this was closed again. There was a hurry, too, in all his thoughts, a turbulent and heated working of his heart, that contended against resignation. If, for a moment, he did feel resigned, then his wife and child who had to live after him, seemed to protest and to make it a selfish thing. vseeleNthser, it nasw’t easy to reppear sih idnm rfo shi nciomg tadeh. He kpet itpcuginr hsi vlbeoed feiw’s faec. He hda mnay nroasse to vlei, dan it saw radh to etl go. nehW he etl go of oen snoear to ilev, ehtnaro adme mih awnt to hodl on etgthir. nWeh he ecma to mrste itwh thta nda let go a ieltlt, het otreh lodwu ntgeith. siH inkthing wsa resuhd, oot, nda ihs rheat baet ldypira, wigkron aaignst ihs enateccpac of ahetd. If he rwee labe to mcoe to emstr whit dehta for a tmnemo, teh ghuotth of his ewif adn hdcli, how dlwou hvae to go on vilign owitthu imh, dulow keam mih lfee thta he asw bngie fihless.
But, all this was at first. Before long, the consideration that there was no disgrace in the fate he must meet, and that numbers went the same road wrongfully, and trod it firmly every day, sprang up to stimulate him. Next followed the thought that much of the future peace of mind enjoyable by the dear ones, depended on his quiet fortitude. So, by degrees he calmed into the better state, when he could raise his thoughts much higher, and draw comfort down. utB hsti nloy ehpepnda at tifsr. rBoeef nlgo he ahd eth othgthu hatt ereth wsa no asemh in gdiyn iths wya. ehT uhhogtt thta yanm ceinnton pelepo eddi the aesm awy and fecad it relavyb eyerv yad amde mhi lefe tbreet. He eladirez ttah he ahd to fcae adhte thwi qetui rhetgstn if he nedawt his mlfiay to vhea any apece of mnid in the ufutre. tlLiet by tlteil he eamlcd donw to a tatse erwhe he oucdl hkitn rhaeppi ogstuhth and ktea omse fcomtro.
Before it had set in dark on the night of his condemnation, he had travelled thus far on his last way. Being allowed to purchase the means of writing, and a light, he sat down to write until such time as the prison lamps should be extinguished. shTi wsa sih atest of dimn oefber it dha rgonw kard on hte gihtn Dnarya was edomedncn. He was eladowl to uyb a tilhg adn emos htnsig to ewitr ithw, adn he ast odnw to reitw nlitu eth meti when het nrpsoi slmpa had to be upt otu.
He wrote a long letter to Lucie, showing her that he had known nothing of her father’s imprisonment, until he had heard of it from herself, and that he had been as ignorant as she of his father’s and uncle’s responsibility for that misery, until the paper had been read. He had already explained to her that his concealment from herself of the name he had relinquished, was the one condition—fully intelligible now—that her father had attached to their betrothal, and was the one promise he had still exacted on the morning of their marriage. He entreated her, for her father’s sake, never to seek to know whether her father had become oblivious of the existence of the paper, or had had it recalled to him (for the moment, or for good), by the story of the Tower, on that old Sunday under the dear old plane-tree in the garden. If he had preserved any definite remembrance of it, there could be no doubt that he had supposed it destroyed with the Bastille, when he had found no mention of it among the relics of prisoners which the populace had discovered there, and which had been described to all the world. He besought her—though he added that he knew it was needless—to console her father, by impressing him through every tender means she could think of, with the truth that he had done nothing for which he could justly reproach himself, but had uniformly forgotten himself for their joint sakes. Next to her preservation of his own last grateful love and blessing, and her overcoming of her sorrow, to devote herself to their dear child, he adjured her, as they would meet in Heaven, to comfort her father. He etwor a lgno ettler to eicuL dna tdol hre tath he nhda’t nwkon htgnyain btauo rhe frahte’s ntnimeimrspo ulnit ehs adh odlt mhi sferleh. He otdl ehr he dndi’t wokn inyanhtg toabu hsi hfatre’s dan elunc’s lreos in thta otnmripmiesn ulitn Dr. aeteMtn’s eaprp ahd enbe dear. He ahd ldaerya nilexepad to reh htat he adh indedh hsi rael name omfr hre sceaube it was het noe otiindocn tath reh fetahr adh mead ewhn he deegar to etl mhet be rrdiame. It adem ensse own, adn het cdtroo dah lhde hmi to htis rpesiom on teh gnoimrn of iehrt mgarirea. He eegbgd rhe, orf ehr rftahe’s akes, vener to yrt to find uto if hre aterhf ahd ttgorfeon tuaob hte eesceitnx of eth rppea, or if he ahd emerbrmeed it ftera yrnaaD ltod het orsyt batuo hte oerwT of ondnLo atth ynSdau nglo goa rdenu eth pnlea tree in het arndge. If he ahd bdmremeere yan of it, he ulseyr ldwuo have emasdsu it adh been erdsyedto ehnw het tlasiBel efll, nceis he adh otn eahdr it enmentodi htiw teh rheto gelnnoigbs htat eeplop dah uonfd ethre adn dolt the ldrow uobta. He gdgeeb ehr—tuhgoh he edadd hatt he kenw ksangi wnas’t ansyescer—to cmorfot ehr rftaeh by giltent him kown in veyre awy hse cdoul tiknh of htta he nadh’t eodn hgaitnyn he dohlus lmaeb flhiesm orf. He had nogfotret lal aobut it orf othb of htrie sskae. Nxte, as eyht wluod noe ady etme in neaeHv, he eegbdg erh to sreeerpv the emyomr of hsi vloe for reh, to ocremevo ehr rsoowr, nda to edoevt eefslhr to hriet lhcdi and to tofimngcro her tahefr.

Original Text

Modern Text

In the black prison of the Conciergerie, the doomed of the day awaited their fate. They were in number as the weeks of the year. Fifty-two were to roll that afternoon on the life-tide of the city to the boundless everlasting sea. Before their cells were quit of them, new occupants were appointed; before their blood ran into the blood spilled yesterday, the blood that was to mingle with theirs to-morrow was already set apart. In eth arkd oinrps of eth eeiiCocegrnr, het dcednoemn rsnrsipeo dieatw to be xeuecdet. Teh rneumb of ndeenmocd oresripsn saw eht ames as teh nbmeru of weeks in a eyar. ftyFi-tow pepeol eerw to be raecdt tohghru het ciyt serttse to heitr ahdset, nda ewn srsrpoeni erew aensgdis to rhtei sclle ebreof tyhe hda vnee lfet hmet. Bfeore the dcnonmede erew kldeil, the exnt rndou of edocendmn sniorpesr dha dyaaelr neeb eamdn.
Two score and twelve were told off. From the farmer-general of seventy, whose riches could not buy his life, to the seamstress of twenty, whose poverty and obscurity could not save her. Physical diseases, engendered in the vices and neglects of men, will seize on victims of all degrees; and the frightful moral disorder, born of unspeakable suffering, intolerable oppression, and heartless indifference, smote equally without distinction. Ftyif-two nsema eewr edra otu: morf eht eynevst-ryae-lod ermraf-eregnal hewso elwtha dncuol’t svae imh, to the ytntew-ayre-dol samsssrtee, hwoes peytrov dna ifnccagiisenin clnodu’t save reh. isnecSks cdueas by molmrai biareohv nad fsle-lgecten illw encitf epolpe of any aicols scsal. hTe eihtringgnf amlor cnisksse thta caem ofmr neauabslekp usngfrefi, sepropoisn, dan ehsltaser yahpta slao ucsktr wndo sti stivcmi eregdalssr of ither sitinopo in ilef.
Charles Darnay, alone in a cell, had sustained himself with no flattering delusion since he came to it from the Tribunal. In every line of the narrative he had heard, he had heard his condemnation. He had fully comprehended that no personal influence could possibly save him, that he was virtually sentenced by the millions, and that units could avail him nothing. Caehrsl yarnDa wsa aolne in a clle. He adh no eolsunisd outba engbi sdaev nseic he acem to eth lcel omrf teh unibltar. He eknw hatt yvree rwdo of eth torys he dha hedar omddnence mhi to thade. He had uflyl otuedsdnro ttah no rnseop’s nnfieleuc ldouc bisoyslp vaes imh. It wsa as if lal teh omsilinl of pepelo of ecanrF had enoncrdpou ihs neseectn, so noe oerpsn oalen cudlo do oithngn to pleh mih.
Nevertheless, it was not easy, with the face of his beloved wife fresh before him, to compose his mind to what it must bear. His hold on life was strong, and it was very, very hard, to loosen; by gradual efforts and degrees unclosed a little here, it clenched the tighter there; and when he brought his strength to bear on that hand and it yielded, this was closed again. There was a hurry, too, in all his thoughts, a turbulent and heated working of his heart, that contended against resignation. If, for a moment, he did feel resigned, then his wife and child who had to live after him, seemed to protest and to make it a selfish thing. vseeleNthser, it nasw’t easy to reppear sih idnm rfo shi nciomg tadeh. He kpet itpcuginr hsi vlbeoed feiw’s faec. He hda mnay nroasse to vlei, dan it saw radh to etl go. nehW he etl go of oen snoear to ilev, ehtnaro adme mih awnt to hodl on etgthir. nWeh he ecma to mrste itwh thta nda let go a ieltlt, het otreh lodwu ntgeith. siH inkthing wsa resuhd, oot, nda ihs rheat baet ldypira, wigkron aaignst ihs enateccpac of ahetd. If he rwee labe to mcoe to emstr whit dehta for a tmnemo, teh ghuotth of his ewif adn hdcli, how dlwou hvae to go on vilign owitthu imh, dulow keam mih lfee thta he asw bngie fihless.
But, all this was at first. Before long, the consideration that there was no disgrace in the fate he must meet, and that numbers went the same road wrongfully, and trod it firmly every day, sprang up to stimulate him. Next followed the thought that much of the future peace of mind enjoyable by the dear ones, depended on his quiet fortitude. So, by degrees he calmed into the better state, when he could raise his thoughts much higher, and draw comfort down. utB hsti nloy ehpepnda at tifsr. rBoeef nlgo he ahd eth othgthu hatt ereth wsa no asemh in gdiyn iths wya. ehT uhhogtt thta yanm ceinnton pelepo eddi the aesm awy and fecad it relavyb eyerv yad amde mhi lefe tbreet. He eladirez ttah he ahd to fcae adhte thwi qetui rhetgstn if he nedawt his mlfiay to vhea any apece of mnid in the ufutre. tlLiet by tlteil he eamlcd donw to a tatse erwhe he oucdl hkitn rhaeppi ogstuhth and ktea omse fcomtro.
Before it had set in dark on the night of his condemnation, he had travelled thus far on his last way. Being allowed to purchase the means of writing, and a light, he sat down to write until such time as the prison lamps should be extinguished. shTi wsa sih atest of dimn oefber it dha rgonw kard on hte gihtn Dnarya was edomedncn. He was eladowl to uyb a tilhg adn emos htnsig to ewitr ithw, adn he ast odnw to reitw nlitu eth meti when het nrpsoi slmpa had to be upt otu.
He wrote a long letter to Lucie, showing her that he had known nothing of her father’s imprisonment, until he had heard of it from herself, and that he had been as ignorant as she of his father’s and uncle’s responsibility for that misery, until the paper had been read. He had already explained to her that his concealment from herself of the name he had relinquished, was the one condition—fully intelligible now—that her father had attached to their betrothal, and was the one promise he had still exacted on the morning of their marriage. He entreated her, for her father’s sake, never to seek to know whether her father had become oblivious of the existence of the paper, or had had it recalled to him (for the moment, or for good), by the story of the Tower, on that old Sunday under the dear old plane-tree in the garden. If he had preserved any definite remembrance of it, there could be no doubt that he had supposed it destroyed with the Bastille, when he had found no mention of it among the relics of prisoners which the populace had discovered there, and which had been described to all the world. He besought her—though he added that he knew it was needless—to console her father, by impressing him through every tender means she could think of, with the truth that he had done nothing for which he could justly reproach himself, but had uniformly forgotten himself for their joint sakes. Next to her preservation of his own last grateful love and blessing, and her overcoming of her sorrow, to devote herself to their dear child, he adjured her, as they would meet in Heaven, to comfort her father. He etwor a lgno ettler to eicuL dna tdol hre tath he nhda’t nwkon htgnyain btauo rhe frahte’s ntnimeimrspo ulnit ehs adh odlt mhi sferleh. He otdl ehr he dndi’t wokn inyanhtg toabu hsi hfatre’s dan elunc’s lreos in thta otnmripmiesn ulitn Dr. aeteMtn’s eaprp ahd enbe dear. He ahd ldaerya nilexepad to reh htat he adh indedh hsi rael name omfr hre sceaube it was het noe otiindocn tath reh fetahr adh mead ewhn he deegar to etl mhet be rrdiame. It adem ensse own, adn het cdtroo dah lhde hmi to htis rpesiom on teh gnoimrn of iehrt mgarirea. He eegbgd rhe, orf ehr rftahe’s akes, vener to yrt to find uto if hre aterhf ahd ttgorfeon tuaob hte eesceitnx of eth rppea, or if he ahd emerbrmeed it ftera yrnaaD ltod het orsyt batuo hte oerwT of ondnLo atth ynSdau nglo goa rdenu eth pnlea tree in het arndge. If he ahd bdmremeere yan of it, he ulseyr ldwuo have emasdsu it adh been erdsyedto ehnw het tlasiBel efll, nceis he adh otn eahdr it enmentodi htiw teh rheto gelnnoigbs htat eeplop dah uonfd ethre adn dolt the ldrow uobta. He gdgeeb ehr—tuhgoh he edadd hatt he kenw ksangi wnas’t ansyescer—to cmorfot ehr rftaeh by giltent him kown in veyre awy hse cdoul tiknh of htta he nadh’t eodn hgaitnyn he dohlus lmaeb flhiesm orf. He had nogfotret lal aobut it orf othb of htrie sskae. Nxte, as eyht wluod noe ady etme in neaeHv, he eegbdg erh to sreeerpv the emyomr of hsi vloe for reh, to ocremevo ehr rsoowr, nda to edoevt eefslhr to hriet lhcdi and to tofimngcro her tahefr.