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was his friend's answer, delivered in no very
soothing tone.

"I have no business to be, at all, that I
know of," said Sydney Carton. "Who is the

"Now, don't let my announcement of the
name make you uncomfortable, Sydney," said
Mr. Stryver, preparing him with ostentatious
friendliness for the disclosure he was about to
make, "because I know you don't mean half
you say; and if you meant it all, it would be
of no importance. I make this little preface,
because you once mentioned the young lady to
me in slighting terms."

"I did?"

"Certainly; and in these chambers."

Sydney Carton looked at his punch and looked
at his complacent friend; drank his punch and
looked at his complacent friend.

"You made mention of the young lady as a
golden-haired doll. The young lady is Miss
Manette. If you had been a fellow of any
sensitiveness or delicacy of feeling in that kind of
way, Sydney, I might have been a little resentful
of your employing such a designation; but you
are not. You want that sense altogether; therefore,
I am no more annoyed when I think of the
expression, than I should be annoyed by a man's
opinion of a picture of mine, who had no eye for
pictures; or of a piece of music of mine, who
had no ear for music."

Sydney Carton drank the punch at a great
rate; drank it by bumpers, looking at his friend.

"Now you know all about it, Syd," said Mr.
Stryver. "I don't care about fortune: she is a
charming creature, and I have made up my mind
to please myself: on the whole, I think I can
afford to please myself. She will have in me a
man already pretty well off, and a rapidly rising
man, and a man of some distinction: it is a
piece of good fortune for her, but she is worthy
of good fortune. Are you astonished?"

Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined,
"Why should I be astonished?"

"You approve?"

Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined,
"Why should I not approve?"

"Well!" said his friend Stryver, "you take
to it more easily than I fancied you would, and
are less mercenary on my behalf than I thought
you would be; though, to be sure, you know
well enough by this time that your ancient
chum is a man of a pretty strong will. Yes,
Sydney, I have had enough of this style of
life, with no other as a change from it; I feel
that it is a pleasant thing for a man to have a
home when he feels inclined to go to it (when
he doesn't, he can stay away), and I feel that
Miss Manette will tell well in any station, and
will always do me credit. So I have made up
my mind. And now, Sydney, old boy, I want
to say a word to you about your prospects. You
are in a bad way, you know; you really are in a
bad way. You don't know the value of money,
you live hard, you'll knock up one of these days,
and be ill and poor; you really ought to think
about a nurse."

The prosperous patronage with which he said
it, made him look twice as big as he was, and
four times as offensive.

"Now, let me recommend you," pursued
Stryver, "to look it in the face. I have looked
it in the face, in my different way; look it in the
face, you, in your different way. Marry. Provide
somebody to take care of you. Never mind
your having no enjoyment of women's society,
nor understanding of it, nor tact for it. Find
out somebody. Find out some respectable
woman with a little propertysomebody in the
landlady way, or lodging-letting wayand marry
her, against a rainy day. That's the kind of
thing for you. Now, think of it, Sydney."

"I'll think of it," said Sydney.


THE early Plea Rolls or Judgment Rolls of
the Court of King's or Queen's Bench,
preserved in the Public Record-office, contain
not only the general proceedings in causes:
that is to say in private suits of law: but
indictments, informations, and such-like matters,
wherein the offence concerned the King, or the
Crown's authority in some direct or indirect

Part of the very curious Plea, which I am
about to quote, I have taken from one of these
King's Bench Plea Rolls in the time of King
Richard the Second, of the year 1393; all the
entries are written in Latin, and their title or
heading runs thus:

"Pleas, before the Lord the King at York, of
Easter term, in the sixteenth year of the reign
of the King Richard the Second." The plea
before us is from among the second numbers,
membrane 37 (each roll contained so many skins
or membranes of parchment sewed at the head,
about two feet and a half long and ten inches
wide, as the business of the term when digested
and written down required):

"York.—John Tomesson, of North houses;
Richard Jonesson, of the parish of Cotyngham;
John Berwold, of the same, senior; John
Berwold, of the same, junior;" and others, some
eighty or more in number, on the Tuesday after
the feast of St. Peter in Cathedra (February 22),
in the fifteenth year of King Richard the
Second, were presented by the district Jury for
Assault, &c., on the Close, or dwelling-place of
Roger Whithose, &c. They are also charged
with extortions, violent aggressions, and other
offences, and with wearing a livery of one suit
or character, and of illegally allying or
confederating themselves for mischiefs innumerable.
But the strangest degree of their misdemeanour
lies in the following extract, which I have, as
honestly as I can, set before the reader: "And
they [the Jurors] say that the aforesaid John
Berwald [sic], junior, of Cotyngham, and others,
made a certain rhyme in English, and caused the
said rhyme to be publicly proclaimed at Beverley
on the Sunday next before the feast of St. James
the Apostle [July 25th], and at Hull on the
Sunday next following, and at other divers