Page:Dickens - A tale of two cities, 1898.djvu/200

This page needs to be proofread.

think me not quite as shrewd as you usually do think me. I intend to marry." "Do you?" "Yes. And not for money. What do you say now?" "I don't feel disposed to say much. Who is she?" "Guess." "Do I know her?" "Guess." "I am not going to guess, at five o'clock in the morning, with my brains frying and sputtering in my head. If you want me to guess, you must ask me to dinner." "Well then, I'll tell you," said Stryver, coming slowly into a sitting posture. "Sydney, I rather despair of making myself intelligible to you, because you are such an insensible dog." "And you," returned Sydney, busy concocting the punch, "are such a sensitive and poetical spirit——"

"Come!" rejoined Stryver, laughing boastfully, "though I don't prefer any claim to being the soul of Romance (for I hope I know better), still I am a tenderer sort of fellow than you."

"You are a luckier, if you mean that."

"I don't mean that. I mean I am a man of more—more——"

"Say gallantry, while you are about it," suggested Carton.

"Well! I'll say gallantry. My meaning is that I am a man," said Stryver, inflating himself at his friend as he made the punch, "who cares more to be agreeable, who takes more pains to be agreeable, who knows better how to be agreeable, in a woman's society, than you do."

"Go on," said Sydney Carton.

"No; but before I go on," said Stryver, shaking his head in his bullying way, "I'll have this out with you. You've been at Doctor Manette's house as much as I have, or more than I have. Why, I have been ashamed of your moroseness there! Your manners have been of that silent and sullen