In A Tale of Two Cities, what new laws in France does Charles learn about during his journey to Paris?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Charles Darnay makes his way to Paris in Book the Third, Chapter I,  of A Tale of Two Cities, he realizes that much has changed since he has been in his country; moreover, the thought comes to him that he must have himself declared "a good citizen" or will not be able to leave again. He is stopped repeatedly along the highway, and made to show his papers; in fact, it is only his display of Gabelle's letter that propels him along. 

The next morning, he is awakened by a man in a red cap who informs Darnay that he will have an escort because he is an aristocrat. Two escorts ride on either side of Darnay as he travels.  When he arrives in Beauvais, Darnay is met with an anatagonism that he has not expected, for, there are those who cry out, "and you are a cursed emigrant."  Added to this, Darnay learns that there is a decree that taxes all property rights away from the emigrants, and there is yet another that will banish all emigrants, and condemn them to death who return.  It is a bitterly lonely night that Charles Darnay spends in Beauvais where his dear father-in-law took up shoemaking.  He, too, has been addressed as a prisoner.  In the morning, he is taken to Citizen Defarge.  Recognizing him, Darnay asks if he will sponsor him.  Defarge says that he will "do nothing" for Darnay,

My duty is to my country and the People.  I am the sworn wervant of both, again he says he will do nothing.

Darnay is alone in LaForce, that gloomy prison.  Then, he sees shadows that soon trnasform into blooming young maidens and refined woemn; they introduce themselves and ask him if he is "in secret"; Darnay tells them he has heard these words.  They shake their heads sadly, and he is escorted up some stairs.  Alone in his cell, Darnay recakks a certaub orusib wgi nade sgies, 

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A Tale of Two Cities

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