Under the guidance of her Christian pastors, she entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution.

It would be appreciated if someone sumply shiw me what the bold part could mean.

Thanks in advance

Extracted from A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens

closed as off-topic by user6951, FumbleFingers, Chenmunka, ColleenV, Tyler James Young Mar 9 '15 at 19:39

  • This question does not appear to be about learning the English language within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question of literary comprehension, which is beyond the scope of this site. It is also way too broad and is tantamount to asking multiple questions at a time. – user6951 Mar 9 '15 at 18:16
  • It means you shouldn't be reading Dickens. Choose something easier. – user6951 Mar 9 '15 at 18:24
  • It may be a question of cultural rather than linguistic opacity -- does OP know about the guillotine? – StoneyB Mar 9 '15 at 18:32
  • It's a question of reading comprehension. The material is way too difficult for the OP. – user6951 Mar 9 '15 at 19:32
  • 2
    @δοῦλος what's wrong with an ELL attempting a text that might be a bit beyond their current level, and asking questions about it? What forum, besides English language learners would be appropriate for this? Part of learning any language is repeatedly asking "what does this mean?", so if I had to choose between sticking to guidelines and just answering, I'd do the latter. Who or what are we trying to protect here? – RuslanD Mar 9 '15 at 22:43

Rearranging the clauses may help

 v------------^ the 'v' marks a lower element which complements a ^ higher element

It is likely enough 
    when that sufferer was put to death
    there were growing trees rooted in the woods of France and Norway, 
      [which were] already marked by the Woodman, Fate, 
           to come down and be sawn into boards
           [in order]to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it,
                    terrible in history.

Or, much simplified

It is likely that at the time when that sufferer was put to death there were already trees growing in France and Norway which were destined to be used in making a certain terrible device.

The 'certain movable framework' is a reference to the guillotine, a device for executing people by cutting off their heads first employed during the French Revolution.

  • Or: ...first executed during the French Revolution. Don't tell me that didn't cross your mind. – user6951 Mar 9 '15 at 18:43
  • 1
    It may have been an executive decision ;) – Tetsujin Mar 9 '15 at 19:02

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.