Book the Second - the Golden Thread
12. XII. The Fellow of Delicacy
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 Hilary.
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 grounds--the only grounds ever worth taking into account--
it 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 sum.