A Tale of Two Cities (Easy English) HTML version

A Tale of Two Cities
By Charles Dickens
Paraphrased into “Easy English”
David Mckay
Copyright 2014
Smashwords Edition
The First Book: Called Back to Life
1. The Year 1775
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 spring of great hope; it was the winter of no hope at
all. We had everything; we had nothing. We were all going straight to heaven; we
were all going straight to hell. In short, the time was much like the present, in that
everything rested on who you listened to.
There was a king with a big jaw and a queen with a humble face in England, and there
was a king with a big jaw and a queen with a beautiful face in France. In both
countries it was perfectly clear to these, the ruling class, that all was well.
It was the year 1775. People then, like people now, looked for revelations. There
were magic chickens in some places or spirits knocking on tables in others, that would
tell you London or the government were going to be destroyed. But there were
revelations also coming to the crown from people who lived across the Atlantic,
revelations which had no magic. People would soon see that these revelations were
far more important than anything the chickens could tell them.
[The next year, 1776, America broke away from England to become a free country on
her own.]
France, which was not as religious as England, was moving smoothly down a hill,
spending money as fast as she could print it. Her spiritual leaders entertained her by
doing such wonderful things as cutting a boy’s hands off, pulling his tongue out with
pliers, and then burning his body while he was still alive, because he did not drop to
his knees in the rain when a group of religious leaders walked by him from some
distance away. I should think that at the time this was happening there were trees
growing in France or in a neighbouring country that were already marked to be used
to make a machine with a sharp knife in it and a bag to catch the head of the person
killed by it. And I should think that on the farms close to Paris there were at that time
rough wagons covered with mud, that would be used to carry people to their death at
the mercy of those machines. But the ones planning all of this worked quietly at that
time, for fear others would think their plans made them enemies of God or guilty of