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Following is from "A tale of two cities" by Charles Dickens....

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever. ......

The underlined part is difficult to understand.

It was clearer than crystal to whom?
Comments  
It was clear to those responsible for/controlling the (reserves of) food of the nation ...
Try:
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities-Summaries-and-Commentaries-Chapt...
Hi, Pructus,

I'm sure someone will show up with a real answer. Lords would be people in power in both France and England. The State preserves would be those instututions which perpetuate the status quo. I presume "loaves and fishes" alludes to Christ's miracle or to Christianity in general. The whole thing seems rather figurative.

Clear to the Christian-nobility-elite-hierachy Does that work?
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Sounds like Marius is right on with the food, but I can't find it in the reference.
BTW, with Dickens you'll learn top prescriptive BrE grammar,you even could read it in parallel with Fowler, say "shall/will/should/would", IMO:
http://www.bartleby.com/116/213.html
but some of the expressions are dated.
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...it was clearer than crystal to the lords of [the State preserves of fishes and loaves]...

The State preserves of fishes and loaves is an ironic reference to the game reserves of the aristocracy, not to the provision of foodstuffs for the hoi polloi.
The lords of the State preserves are the aristocrats in both England and France; in both countries they see the status quo as settled and unchanging.
Feebs11The State preserves of fishes and loaves is an ironic reference to the game reserves of the aristocracy, not to the provision of foodstuffs for the hoi polloi.
Hi Feebs,

I toyed with that notion, but couldn't make the "loaves" fit. Comment?

Regards, - A.
Thanks, Everybody!!!

Now I see what that part means....
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