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A Tale of Two Cities

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“To Soho?” repeated Mr. Stryver, coldly. “Oh, to be sure! What am I thinking of!” “To Soho?” repeated Mr. Stryver indifferently. “Oh, yes, of course! What was I thinking?”
“And I have no doubt,” said Mr. Lorry, “that I was right in the conversation we had. My opinion is confirmed, and I reiterate my advice.” “And I’m sure,” said Mr. lorry, “that I was right when we talked this morning. My opinion has been confirmed, and I repeat the same advice to you.”
“I assure you,” returned Mr. Stryver, in the friendliest way, “that I am sorry for it on your account, and sorry for it on the poor father’s account. I know this must always be a sore subject with the family; let us say no more about it.” “I’m sorry for your sake and sorry for her father’s sake,” said Mr. Stryver in his friendliest way. “I know this must be a difficult subject for the family. Let’s not talk about it again.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Mr. Lorry. “I don’t understand you,” said Mr. Lorry.
“I dare say not,” rejoined Stryver, nodding his head in a smoothing and final way; “no matter, no matter.” “Apparently not,” he answered, nodding his head. “It doesn’t matter.”
“But it does matter,” Mr. Lorry urged. “But it does matter,” Mr. Lorry said.
“No it doesn’t; I assure you it doesn’t. Having supposed that there was sense where there is no sense, and a laudable ambition where there is not a laudable ambition, I am well out of my mistake, and no harm is done. Young women have committed similar follies often before, and have repented them in poverty and obscurity often before. In an unselfish aspect, I am sorry that the thing is dropped, because it would have been a bad thing for me in a worldly point of view; in a selfish aspect, I am glad that the thing has dropped, because it would have been a bad thing for me in a worldly point of view—it is hardly necessary to say I could have gained nothing by it. There is no harm at all done. I have not proposed to the young lady, and, between ourselves, I am by no means certain, on reflection, that I ever should have committed myself to that extent. Mr. Lorry, you cannot control the mincing vanities and giddinesses of empty-headed girls; you must not expect to do it, or you will always be disappointed. Now, pray say no more about it. I tell you, I regret it on account of others, but I am satisfied on my own account. And I am really very much obliged to you for allowing me to sound you, and for giving me your advice; you know the young lady better than I do; you were right, it never would have done.” “No it doesn’t. I promise you it doesn’t. I had thought that Miss Manette was a sensible, ambitious woman. I was mistaken. But there is no harm done. Young women have made similar mistakes many times before and have been sorry for them when they ended up poor and forgotten. In an unselfish way, I am sorry that the marriage is not happening because it would have been bad for me from a practical point of view. In a selfish way, I am glad that it’s not happening, because it would have been bad for me from a practical point of view. It’s obvious that I wouldn’t have gained anything by it. There is no harm done. I haven’t proposed to Miss Manette, and, just between you and me, I am not sure, now that I think about it, that I should have even thought about it. Mr. Lorry, you can’t control the changing fancies of empty-headed girls. You can’t expect to, or you will always be disappointed. Now, please, let’s not talk about it anymore. I tell you, I’m sorry about it for their sake, but I am happy about it for my own sake. I am grateful to you for letting me talk to you about it and for giving me your advice. You know Miss Manette better than I do. You were right. It never would have worked.”
Mr. Lorry was so taken aback, that he looked quite stupidly at Mr. Stryver shouldering him towards the door, with an appearance of showering generosity, forbearance, and goodwill, on his erring head. “Make the best of it, my dear sir,” said Stryver; “say no more about it; thank you again for allowing me to sound you; good night!” Mr. Lorry was so surprised that he stared blankly at Mr. Stryver as Mr. Stryver shoved him toward the front door and pretended to be in a good mood. “Make the best of it, my dear sir,” said Stryver. “Let’s talk no more about it. Thanks again for allowing me to talk to get your opinion. Good night!”
Mr. Lorry was out in the night, before he knew where he was. Mr. Stryver was lying back on his sofa, winking at his ceiling. Mr. Lorry was standing outside in the darkness before he knew where he was, and Mr. Stryver was lying on his sofa, blinking at the ceiling.

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