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“Well! I-- Were you going there now?” asked Mr. Lorry.
“Straight!” said Stryver, with a plump of his fist on the desk.
“Then I think I wouldn’t, if I was you.” “Why?” said Stryver.
“Now, I’ll put you in a corner,” forensically shaking a forefinger at
him. “You are a man of business and bound to have a reason. State
your reason. Why wouldn’t you go?” “Because,” said Mr. Lorry, “I
wouldn’t go on such an object without having some cause to
believe that I should succeed.” “D-n ME!” Cried Stryver, “but this
beats everything.” Mr. Lorry glanced at the distant House, and
glanced at the angry Stryver.

“Here’s a man of business-a man of years-a man of experience-in
a Bank,” said Stryver; “and having summed up three leading
reasons for complete success, he says there’s no reason at all! Says
it with his head on!” Mr. Stryver remarked upon the peculiarity as
if it would have been infinitely less remarkable if he had said it
with his head off.

“When I speak of success, I speak of success with the young lady;
and when I speak of causes and reasons to make success probable,
I speak of causes and reasons that will tell as such with the young
lady. The young lady, my good sir,” said Mr. Lorry, mildly
tapping the Stryver arm, “the young lady. The young lady goes
before all.” “Then you mean to tell me, Mr. Lorry,” said Stryver,
squaring his elbows, “that it is your deliberate opinion that the
young lady at present in question is a mincing Fool?”

“Not exactly so. I mean to tell you, Mr. Stryver,” said Mr. Lorry,
reddening, “that I will hear no disrespectful word of that young
lady from any lips; and that if I knew any man-which I hope I do
not-whose taste was so coarse, and whose temper was so
overbearing, that he could not restrain himself from speaking
disrespectfully of that young lady at this desk, not even Tellson’s
should prevent my giving him a piece of my mind.” The necessity
of being angry in a suppressed tone had put Mr. Stryver’s blood-
vessels into a dangerous state when it was his turn to be angry; Mr.
Lorry’s veins, methodical as their courses could usually be, were in
no better state now it was his turn.

“That is what I mean to tell you, sir,” said Mr. Lorry. “Pray let
there be no mistake about it.” Mr. Stryver sucked the end of a ruler
for a little while, and then stood hitting a tune out of his teeth with
it, which probably gave him the toothache. He broke the awkward
silence by saying: “This is something new to me, Mr. Lorry. You
deliberately advise me not to go up to Soho and offer myself-
myself, Stryver of the King’s Bench bar?” “Do you ask me for my
advice, Mr. Stryver?” “Yes, I do.” “Very good. Then I give it, and
you have repeated it correctly.”
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