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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


122

CHAPTER XII
THE FELLOW OF DELICACY


MR. STRYVER having made up his mind to that magnanimous
bestowal of good fortune on the Doctorís daughter, resolved to
make her happiness known to her before he left town for the Long
Vacation. After some mental debating of the point, he came to the
conclusion that it would be as well to get all the preliminaries done
with, and they could then arrange at their leisure whether he
should give her his hand a week or two before Michaelmas Term,
or in the little Christmas vacation between it and Hilary.

As to the strength of his case, he had not a doubt about it, but
clearly saw his way to the verdict. Argued with the jury on
substantial worldly grounds-the only grounds ever worth taking
into account-it was a plain case, and had not a weak spot in it. He
called himself for the plaintiff, there was no getting over his
evidence, the counsel for the defendant threw up his brief, and the
jury did not even turn to consider. After trying it, Stryver, C. J.,
was satisfied that no plainer case could be.

Accordingly, Mr. Stryver inaugurated the Long Vacation with a
formal proposal to take Miss Manette to Vauxhall Gardens; that
failing, to Ranelagh; that unaccountably failing too, it beloved him
to present himself in Soho, and there declare his noble mind.
Towards Soho, therefore, Mr. Stryver shouldered his way from the
Temple, while the bloom of the Long Vacationís infancy was still
upon it. Anybody who had seen him projecting himself into Soho
while he was yet on Saint Dunstanís side of Temple Bar, bursting
in his full-blown way along the pavement, to the jostlement of all
weaker people, might have seen how safe and strong he was.

His way taking him past Tellsonís, and he both banking at
Tellsonís and knowing Mr. Lorry as the intimate friend of the
Manettes, it entered Mr. Stryverís mind to enter the bank, and
reveal to Mr. Lorry the brightness of the Soho horizon. So, be
pushed open the door with the weak rattle in its throat, stumbled
down the two steps, got past the two ancient cashiers, and
shouldered himself into the musty back closet where Mr. Lorry sat
at great books ruled for figures, with perpendicular iron bars to his
window as if that were ruled for figures too, and everything under
the clouds were a sum.

ďHalloa!Ē said Mr. Stryver. ďHow do you do? I hope you are well!Ē
It was Stryverís grand peculiarity that he always seemed too big
for any place, or space. He was so much too big for Tellsonís, that
old clerks in distant corners looked up with looks of remonstrance,
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