+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

dissatisfied with it, you can but test its soundness
for yourself; if, on the other hand, you
should be satisfied with it, and it should be what
it now is, it may spare all sides what is best
spared. What do you say?"

"How long would you keep me in town?"

"Oh! It is only a question of a few hours.
I could go to Soho this evening, and come to
your chambers afterwards."

"Then I say yes," said Stryver: "I won't go
up there now, I am not so hot upon it as that
comes to; I say yes, and I shall expect you to
look in to-night. Good morning."

Then Mr. Stryver turned and burst out of the
Bank, causing such a concussion of air on his
passage through, that to stand up against it
bowing behind the two counters, required the
utmost remaining strength of the two ancient
clerks. Those venerable and feeble persons
were always seen by the public in the act of
bowing, and were popularly believed, when they
had bowed a customer out, still to keep on bowing
in the empty office until they bowed another
customer in.

The barrister was keen enough to divine that
the banker would not have gone so far in his
expression of opinion on any less solid ground
than moral certainty. Unprepared as he was for
the large pill he had to swallow, he got it down.
"And now," said Mr. Stryver, shaking his
forensic forefinger at the Temple in general,
when it was down, "my way out of this, is, to
put you all in the wrong."

It was a bit of the art of an Old Bailey
tactician, in which he found great relief.
"You shall not put me in the wrong, young
lady," said Mr. Stryver; "I'll do that for you."

Accordingly, when Mr. Lorry called that
night as late as ten o'clock, Mr. Stryver, among
a quantity of books and papers littered out for
the purpose, seemed to have nothing less on his
mind than the subject of the morning. He even
showed surprise when he saw Mr. Lorry, and
was altogether in an absent and preoccupied

"Well!" said that good-natured emissary,
after a full half-hour of bootless attempts to
bring him round to the question, "I have been
to Soho."

"To Soho?" repeated Mr. Stryver, coldly.
"Oh, to be sure! What am I thinking of!"

"And I have no doubt," said Mr. Lorry,
"that I was right in the conversation we had.
My opinion is confirmed, and I reiterate my

"I assure you," returned Mr. Stryver, in the
friendliest way, "that I am sorry for it on your
account, and sorry for it on the poor father's
account. I know this must always be a sore
subject with the family; let us say no more about

"I don't understand you," said Mr. Lorry.

"I dare say not," rejoined Stryver, nodding
his head in a smoothing and final way; "no
matter, no matter."

"But it does matter," Mr. Lorry urged.

"No it doesn't; I assure you it doesn't.
Having supposed that there was sense where there
is no sense, and a laudable ambition where there
is not a laudable ambition, I am well out of my
mistake, and no harm is done. Young women
have committed similar follies often before, and
have repented them in poverty and obscurity
often before. In an unselfish aspect, I am sorry
that the thing has dropped, because it would
have been a good thing for others in a worldly
point of view; in a selfish aspect, I am glad that
the thing has dropped, because it would have been
a bad thing for me in a worldly point of viewit
is hardly necessary to say I could have gained
nothing by it. There is no harm at all done. I
have not proposed to the young lady, and,
between ourselves, I am by no means certain, on
reflection, that I ever should have committed
myself to that extent. Mr. Lorry, you cannot
control the mincing vanities and giddinesses of
empty-headed girls; you must not expect to
do it, or you will always be disappointed. Now,
pray say no more about it. I tell you, I
regret it on account of others, but I am
satisfied on my own account. And I am really very
much obliged to you for allowing me to sound
you, and for giving me your advice; you know the
young lady better than I do; you were right, it
never would have done."

Mr. Lorry was so taken aback, that he looked
quite stupidly at Mr. Stryver shouldering him
towards the door, with an appearance of
showering generosity, forbearance, and good-will, on
his erring head. "Make the best of it, my
dear sir," said Stryver; "say no more about it;
thank you again for allowing me to sound you;
good night!"

Mr. Lorry was out in the night, before he
knew where he was. Mr. Stryver was lying
back on his sofa, winking at his ceiling.


IF Sydney Carton ever shone anywhere, he
certainly never shone in the house of Doctor
Manette. He had been there often, during a
whole year, and had always been the same
moody and morose lounger there. When he
cared to talk, he talked well; but, the cloud of
caring for nothing, which overshadowed him
with such a fatal darkness, was very rarely
pierced by the light within him.

And yet he did care something for the streets
that environed that house, and for the senseless
stones that made their pavements. Many a
night he vaguely and unhappily wandered there,
when wine had brought no transitory gladness
to him; many a dreary daybreak revealed his
solitary figure lingering there, and still lingering
there when the first beams of the sun
brought into strong relief, removed beauties of
architecture in spires of churches and lofty
buildings, as perhaps the quiet time brought
some sense of better things, else forgotten and
unattainable, into his mind. Of late, the neglected
bed in the Temple court had known him more
scantily than ever; and often when he had
thrown himself upon it no longer than a few