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In Three Books.


MR. STRYVER having made up his mind to
that magnanimous bestowal of good fortune on
the doctor's daughter, resolved to make her
happiness known to her before he left town for
the Long Vacation. After some mental debating
of the point, he came to the conclusion that it
would be as well to get all the preliminaries
done with, and they could then arrange at their
leisure whether he should give her his hand a
week or two before Michaelmas Term, or in
the little Christmas vacation between it and

As to the strength of his case, he had not a
doubt about it, but clearly saw his way to the
verdict. Argued with the jury on substantial
worldly groundsthe only grounds ever worth
taking into accountit was a plain case, and had
not a weak spot in it. He called himself for the
plaintiff, there was no getting over his evidence,
the counsel for the defendant threw up his brief,
and the jury did not even turn to consider.
After trying it, Stryver C. J. was satisfied that
no plainer case could be.

Accordingly, Mr. Stryver inaugurated the
Long Vacation with a formal proposal to take
Miss Manette to Vauxhall Gardens; that failing,
to Ranelagh; that unaccountably failing
too, it behoved him to present himself in Soho,
and there declare his noble mind.

Towards Soho, therefore, Mr. Stryver shouldered
his way from the Temple, while the bloom
of the Long Vacation's infancy was still upon it.
Anybody who had seen him projecting himself
into Soho while he was yet on Saint Dunstan's
side of Temple Bar, bursting in his full-blown
way along the pavement, to the jostlement of
all weaker people, might have seen how safe and
strong he was.

His way taking him past Tellson's, and he
both banking at Tellson's and knowing Mr.
Lorry as the intimate friend of the Manettes, it
entered Mr. Stryver's mind to enter the bank,
and reveal to Mr. Lorry the brightness of the
Soho horizon. So, he pushed open the door
with the weak rattle in its throat, stumbled
down the two steps, got past the two ancient
cashiers, and shouldered himself into the musty
back closet where Mr. Lorry sat at great books
ruled for figures, with perpendicular iron bars
to his window as if that were ruled for figures
too, and everything under the clouds were a

"Halloa!" said Mr. Stryver. "How do you
do? I hope you are well!"

It was Stryver's grand peculiarity that he
always seemed too big for any place, or space.
He was so much too big for Tellson's that old
clerks in distant corners looked up with looks
of remonstrance, 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 responsible waistcoat.

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 business character.

"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

"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, andin short, my
meaning is everything you could desire. But