"A Tale of Two Cities"
by Charles Dickens

  Previous Page   Next Page   Speaker Off

     Yet, Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embarrassments crept into his affairs, both private and public; and he had, as to both classes of affairs, allied himself perforce with a Farmer-General. As to finances public, because Monseigneur could not make anything at all of them, and must consequently let them out to somebody who could; as to finances private, because Farmer-Generals were rich, and Monseigneur, after generations of great luxury and expense, was growing poor. Hence Monseigneur had taken his sister from a convent, while there was yet time to ward off the impending veil, the cheapest garment she could wear, and had bestowed her as a prize upon a very rich Farmer-General, poor in family. Which Farmer-General, carrying an appropriate cane with a golden apple on the top of it, was now among the company in the outer rooms, much prostrated before by mankind--always excepting superior mankind of the blood of Monseigneur, who, his own wife included, looked down upon him with the loftiest contempt.


     A sumptuous man was the Farmer-General. Thirty horses stood in his stables, twenty-four male domestics sat in his halls, six body-women waited on his wife. As one who pretended to do nothing but plunder and forage where he could, the Farmer-General--howsoever his matrimonial relations conduced to social morality--was at least the greatest reality among the personages who attended at the hotel of Monseigneur that day.

Text provided by Project Gutenberg.
Audio by LiteralSystems, performed by Jane Aker and supported by Gordon W. Draper.
Flash mp3 player by Jeroen Wijering. (cc) some rights reserved.
Web page presentation by LoudLit.org.