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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 Stryver.

"Oh! if you come to prosperous, you are
prosperous," said Mr. Lorry.

"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.

"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 businessa man of years
a man of experiencein 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 notwhose 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 myselfmyself, 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."

"And all I can say of it, is," laughed Stryver
with a vexed laugh, "that thisha, ha!—beats
everything, past, present, and to come."

"Now understand me," pursued Mr. Lorry.
"As a man of business, I am not justified in
saying anything about this matter, for, as a man
of business, I know nothing of it. But, as an
old fellow, who has carried Miss Manette in his
arms, who is the trusted friend of Miss Manette
and of her father too, and who has a great
affection for them both, I have spoken. The
confidence is not of my seeking, recollect. Now,
you think I may not be right?"

"Not I!" said Stryver, whistling. "I can't
undertake to find third parties in common sense;
I can only find it for myself. I suppose sense
in certain quarters; you suppose mincing bread-
and-butter nonsense. It's new to me, but you
are right, I dare say."

"What I suppose, Mr. Stryver, I claim to
characterise for myself. And understand me,
sir," said Mr. Lorry, quickly flushing again. "I
will notnot even at Tellson'shave it
characterised for me by any gentleman breathing."

"There! I beg your pardon!" said Stryver.

"Granted. Thank you. Well, Mr. Stryver,
I was about to say:—it might be painful to you
to find yourself mistaken, it might be painful to
Doctor Manette to have the task of being explicit
with you, it might be very painful to Miss
Manette to have the task of being explicit with
you. You know the terms upon which I have
the honour and happiness to stand with the
family. If you please, committing you in no
way, representing you in no way, I will undertake
to correct my advice by the exercise of a
little new observation and judgment expressly
brought to bear upon it. If you should then be

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