Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
as though he squeezed them against the wall. The House itself,
magnificently reading the paper quite in the far-off perspective,
lowered displeased, as if the Stryver head had been butted into its
The discreet Mr. Lorry said, in a sample tone of the voice he would
recommend under the circumstances, “How do you do, Mr.
Stryver? How do you do, sir?” and shook hands. There was a
peculiarity in his manner of shaking hands, always to be seen in
any clerk at Tellson’s who shook hands with a customer when the
House pervaded the air. He shook in a self-abnegating way, as one
who shook for Tellson and Co.
“Can I do anything for you, Mr. Stryver?” asked Mr. Lorry, in his
“Why, no, thank you; this is a private visit to yourself, Mr. Lorry; I
have come for a private word.” “Oh indeed!” said Mr. Lorry,
bending down his ear, while his eye strayed to the House afar off.
“I am going,” said Mr. Stryver, leaning his arms confidentially on
the desk: whereupon, although it was a large double one, there
appeared to be not half desk enough for him: “I am going to make
an offer of myself in marriage to your agreeable little friend, Miss
Manette, Mr. Lorry.” “Oh dear me!” cried Mr. Lorry, rubbing his
chin, and looking at his visitor dubiously.
“Oh dear me, sir?” repeated Stryver, drawing back. “Oh dear you,
sir? What may your meaning be, Mr. Lorry?” “My meaning,”
answered the man of business, “is, of course, friendly and
appreciative, and that it does you the greatest credit, and-in short,
my meaning is everything you could desire. But-really, you know,
Mr. Stryver--” Mr. Lorry paused, and shook his head at him in the
oddest manner, as if he were compelled against his will to add,
internally, “you know there really is so much too much of you!”
“Well!” said Stryver, slapping the desk with his contentious hand,
opening his eyes wider, and taking a long breath, “if I understand
you, Mr. Lorry, I’ll be hanged!” Mr. Lorry adjusted his little wig at
both ears as a means towards that end, and bit the feather of a pen.
“D-n it all, sir!” said Stryver, staring at him, “am I not eligible?”
“Oh dear yes! Yes. Oh yes, you’re eligible!” said Mr. Lorry. “If you
say eligible, you are eligible.” “Am I not prosperous?” asked
“Oh! if you come to prosperous, you are prosperous,” said Mr.
“And advancing?” “If you come to advancing you know,” said Mr.
Lorry, delighted to be able to make another admission, “nobody
can doubt that.” “Then what on earth is your meaning, Mr. Lorry?”
demanded Stryver, perceptibly crestfallen.