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In Three Books.




THE traveller fared slowly on his way, who
fared towards Paris from England in the autumn
of the year one thousand seven hundred and
ninety-two. More than enough of bad roads,
bad equipages, and bad horses, he would have
encountered to delay him, though the fallen and
unfortunate King of France had been upon his
throne in all his glory; but, the changed times
were fraught with other obstacles than these.
Every town gate and village taxing-house had
its band of citizen-patriots, with their national
muskets in a most explosive state of readiness,
who stopped all comers and goers, cross-
questioned them, inspected their papers, looked for
their names in lists of their own, turned
them back, or sent them on, or stopped them
and laid them in hold, as their capricious
judgment or fancy deemed best for the dawning
Republic One and Indivisible, of Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity, or Death.

A very few French leagues of his journey were
accomplished, when Charles Darnay began to
perceive that for him along these country roads
there was no hope of return until he should
have been declared a good citizen at Paris.
Whatever might befal now, he must on to
his journey's end. Not a mean village closed
upon him, not a common barrier dropped across
the road behind him, but he knew it to be
another iron door in the series that was barred
between him and England. The universal
watchfulness so encompassed him, that if he had
been taken in a net, or were being forwarded to
his destination in a cage, he could not have felt
his freedom more completely gone.

This universal watchfulness not only stopped
him on the highway twenty times in a stage,
but retarded his progress twenty times in a day,
by riding after him and taking him back, riding
before him and stopping him by anticipation,
riding with him and keeping him in charge.
He had been days upon his journey in France
alone, when he went to bed tired out, in a little
town on the high road, still a long way from

Nothing but the production of the afflicted
Gabelle's letter from his prison of the Abbaye
would have got him on so far. His difficulty
at the guard-house in this small place had been
such, that he felt his journey to have come
to a crisis. And he was, therefore, as little
surprised as a man could be, to find himself
awakened at the small inn to which he had been
remitted until morning, in the middle of the

Awakened by a timid local functionary and
three armed patriots in rough red caps and
with pipes in their mouths, who sat down on the

"Emigrant," said the functionary, "I am going
to send you on to Paris, under an escort."

"Citizen, I desire nothing more than to get
to Paris, though I couid dispense with the

"Silence!" growled a red-cap, striking at the
coverlet with the butt-end of his musket.
"Peace, aristocrat!"

"It is as the good patriot says," observed the
timid functionary. "You are an aristocrat, and
must have an escortand must pay for it."

"I have no choice," said Charles Darnay.

"Choice! Listen to him!" cried the same
scowling red-cap. "As if it was not a favour to
be protected from the lamp-iron!"

"It is always as the good patriot says,"
observed the functionary. "Rise and dress
yourself, emigrant."

Darnay complied, and was taken back to the
guard-house where other patriots in rough red
caps were smoking, drinking, and sleeping, by a
watch-fire. Here he paid a heavy price for his
escort; and hence he started with it on the wet,
wet roads at three o'clock in the morning.

The escort were two mounted patriots in red
caps and tricolored cockades, armed with
national muskets and sabres, who rode one on
either side of him. The escorted governed his
own horse, but a loose line was attached to his
bridle, the end of which one of the patriots kept
girded round his wrist. In this state they set
forth, with the sharp rain driving in their faces:
clattering at a heavy dragoon trot over the
uneven town pavement, and out upon the mire-
deep roads. In this state they traversed without
change, except of horses and pace, all the
mire-deep leagues that lay between them and
the capital.

They travelled in the night, halting an hour