A Tale of Two Cities

by

Charles Dickens

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A Tale of Two Cities Page 01

A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens [The rest of Dickens is forthcoming]

CONTENTS

Book the First--Recalled to Life

Chapter I The Period
Chapter II The Mail
Chapter III The Night Shadows
Chapter IV The Preparation
Chapter V The Wine-shop
Chapter VI The Shoemaker

Book the Second--the Golden Thread

Chapter I Five Years Later
Chapter II A Sight
Chapter III A Disappointment
Chapter IV Congratulatory
Chapter V The Jackal
Chapter VI Hundreds of People
Chapter VII Monseigneur in Town
Chapter VIII Monseigneur in the Country
Chapter IX The Gorgon's Head
Chapter X Two Promises
Chapter XI A Companion Picture
Chapter XII The Fellow of Delicacy
Chapter XIII The Fellow of no Delicacy
Chapter XIV The Honest Tradesman
Chapter XV Knitting
Chapter XVI Still Knitting
Chapter XVII One Night
Chapter XVIII Nine Days
Chapter XIX An Opinion
Chapter XX A Plea
Chapter XXI Echoing Footsteps
Chapter XXII The Sea still Rises
Chapter XXIII Fire Rises
Chapter XXIV Drawn to the Loadstone Rock

Book the Third--the Track of a Storm

Chapter I In Secret
Chapter II The Grindstone
Chapter III The Shadow
Chapter IV Calm in Storm
Chapter V The Wood-sawyer
Chapter VI Triumph
Chapter VII A Knock at the Door
Chapter VIII A Hand at Cards
Chapter IX The Game Made
Chapter X The Substance of the Shadow
Chapter XI Dusk
Chapter XII Darkness
Chapter XIII Fifty-two
Chapter XIV The Knitting Done
Chapter XV The Footsteps die out For ever

Book the First--Recalled to Life

I

The Period

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.

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.

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.

Charles Dickens
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

All Pages of This Book
Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens Great Expectations
Charles Dickens Our Mutual Friend
Charles Dickens David Copperfield
Charles Dickens Bleak House
Charles Dickens Little Dorrit
Charles Dickens Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens Nicholas Nickleby
Charles Dickens Dombey and Son
Charles Dickens The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol