There was the best of times and the most detestable of times; the age of wisdom and the age of foolishness, the age of faith and the age of unbelief, the age of light and the age of darkness, the spring of life and the winter of despair. We owned everything and owned nothing, we walked straight to heaven and rushed into the abyss: in a word, that period was so similar to the current one, that our most renowned authorities are in favor of affirming that, between one and the other, both in which refers to good as regards evil, only in superlative degree is the comparison acceptable.
A king with well-developed jaws and a queen with a squashed face sat on the throne of England, and a king with large jaws and a queen with a handsome face occupied that of France. The lords of the department stores for bread and fish in both countries saw crystal clear that the public good was assured forever.
It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. In such a favored period, spiritual revelations could not miss England. Mrs. Southcott had recently celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday, the sublime appearance of which in the world was announced in due time by a bodyguard, private prophet, forecasting that preparations were being made to swallow London and Westminster. The ghost of Callejuela del Gallo had even been definitively buried, after hanging around the world for twelve years, and revealing his messages to mortals in the same way that the spirits of the previous year, accusing a supernatural poverty of originality, revealed theirs. The unique messages of earthly order that the English Crown and People received, came to them from a congress of British subjects residing in America, messages that, strange as it may seem, have been of far greater significance for the human race than those received by it. the mediation of any of the chicks from Callejuela del Gallo.
Less favored France when it came to matters of a spiritual nature than her sister that of the shield and the trident, she rolled with enchanting softness down the slope, making paper money and spending it being a joy. Under the direction of his very Christian pastors, he allowed himself to entertain himself, with such humanitarian distractions as sentencing the odd young man to cut off his hands, tear off his tongue and burn him alive, for the nefarious crime of not having fallen on his knees in the mud of the road, on a rainy day, to pay due respect to a procession of friars that passed within his sight, although at a distance of fifty or sixty varas. It is very likely that, when that criminal was brought into torture, the lumberjack Fateit would have already marked in the forests of France and Normandy the old trees that the saw had to turn into boards that would serve to build that movable platform, equipped with its basket and its blade, that so many and so terrible celebrities have conquered in history. It is also quite possible that, in the rustic sheds attached to the hovels of the farmers near Paris, the primitive wagons, full of muddy splashes licked by pigs, were found on the same day, sheltered from the inclement weather. and serving as a perch to the poultry, that the peasant Deathhe had selected to be the floats of the Revolution. It is true that, although the Woodcutter and the Farmworker worked incessantly, their work was silent and there had been no human ear to perceive their deaf steps, all the more, since harboring some suspicion that they were awake was as much as confessing to the face of the atheistic and traitorous world.
In England, there was hardly an atom of order and protection enough to justify national boasting. The same capital was every night a theater of armed robberies and crimes the most daring and scandalous. Publicly and officially, families were advised not to leave the city without first taking their furniture to the upholsterer’s warehouses, the only places that offered any guarantee. The one who was a brigand in favor of the shadows of the night, seemed an honest merchant of the city in the sunlight, and if he was ever recognized by the authentic merchant who presented himself under the character of “captain,” he would shoot him with the more freshness a shot that sent him to another better world and set foot on dusty. The stagecoach-mail was assaulted by seven bandits, of whom three were killed by the guard, who in turn was killed by the remaining four “as a result of running out of ammunition”: the stagecoach was then stolen painstakingly and calmly . The soaring and mighty mayor of London was kidnapped and forced to live for a time at Turnham Green by a hard-working bandit, who had the honor of undoing such an illustrious creature in the beards of his numerous escort and no less numerous servitude. In London prisons fierce prisoners fought fierce battles with their jailers, to whom the majesty of the law gave two separate blows. In the court rooms themselves, skillful hands freed the highest lords from the brilliant crosses that adorned their necks. The Musketeers penetrated San Gil in search of contraband, and the populace fired on the Musketeers, and the Musketeers fired on the populace, without anyone thinking that such an event was not an incident of the most common and trivial of life. To all this, the executioner, always on duty, always busy, was not enough to go to the different points where it was necessary, today hanging large clusters of criminals on his ropes and tomorrow hanging a vulgar thief, who broke into the neighbor’s house on Thursday, and set out on the journey to eternity the following Saturday; to burn dozens of people in Newgate today, and hundreds of brochures tomorrow at the door of Westminster Hall; to send a ferocious soulless man to eternity today, and tomorrow to do the same with a miserable pickpocket who stole six pence from a farmer’s son.
All these things, and a thousand others of the kind that he could refer to, were our daily bread in the blessed year of one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five without being an obstacle so that, while the Woodcutter and the Peasant continued their silent work, the two mortals of the developed jaws and the two with a squashed and beautiful face, respectively, will carry their divine rights at spear point. Thus led the year of one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five to His Greatness and to the millions of insignificant creatures, among them those that must appear in the present chronicle, to their respective destinies, by the roads that were open before their footsteps.