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A Tale of Two Cities

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Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined, “Why should I be astonished?” Carton, still drinking his punch, answered “Why should I be surprised?”
“You approve?” “Do you approve?”
Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined, “Why should I not approve?” Carton was still drinking his punch. “Why shouldn’t I approve?”
“Well!” said his friend Stryver, “you take it more easily than I fancied you would, and are less mercenary on my behalf than I thought you would be; though, to be sure, you know well enough by this time that your ancient chum is a man of a pretty strong will. Yes, Sydney, I have had enough of this style of life, with no other as a change from it; I feel that it is a pleasant thing for a man to have a home when he feels inclined to go to it (when he doesn’t, he can stay away), and I feel that Miss Manette will tell well in any station, and will always do me credit. So I have made up my mind. And now, Sydney, old boy, I want to say a word to YOU about YOUR prospects. You are in a bad way, you know; you really are in a bad way. You don’t know the value of money, you live hard, you’ll knock up one of these days, and be ill and poor; you really ought to think about a nurse.” “Well!” said Carton’s friend Stryver, “you’re taking it better than I thought you would. And you aren’t as protective of me as I would have thought. Though you know pretty well that your old friend is pretty strong willed. Yes, Sydney, I am tired of continuing this lifestyle. I think it’s nice for a man to have a home to go back to when he wants to (when he doesn’t, he can always stay away). I feel that Miss Manette will be presentable in any company and will make me look good. So I have decided to marry her. And now, Sydney, old friend, I want to say something to you about your hopes. You are doing poorly for yourself, I know. You really are. You don’t understand the value of money. You drink a lot. There will come a time when you are sick and poor. You should really think about getting a nurse.”
The prosperous patronage with which he said it, made him look twice as big as he was, and four times as offensive. Mr. Stryver spoke to him like a successful father speaking to his son. He looked twice the size he really was, and four times more unpleasant.
“Now, let me recommend you,” pursued Stryver, “to look it in the face. I have looked it in the face, in my different way; look it in the face, you, in your different way. Marry. Provide somebody to take care of you. Never mind your having no enjoyment of women’s society, nor understanding of it, nor tact for it. Find out somebody. Find out some respectable woman with a little property—somebody in the landlady way, or lodging-letting way—and marry her, against a rainy day. That’s the kind of thing for YOU. Now think of it, Sydney.” “Now, let me suggest,” continued Stryver, “that you face the reality of your future. I have faced it in a different way. You should face it in your own way. Get married. Find someone to take care of you. Forget that you don’t enjoy spending time with women, or understand them, or want to get married. Find someone. Find a respectable woman who has a little property. Find some landlady or hotelkeeper and marry her, in case your health goes. That’s what you need to do. Think about it, Sydney.”
“I’ll think of it,” said Sydney. “I’ll think about it,” said Sydney.

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