`Now understand me,' pursued Mr. Lorry. `As a man of business, I am not justified in saying anything about this matter, for, as a man of business, I know nothing of it. But, as an old fellow, who has carried Miss Manette in his arms, who is the trusted friend of Miss Manette and of her father too, and who has a great affection for them both, I have spoken. The confidence is not of my seeking, recollect. Now, you think I may not be right?'
`Not I!' said Stryver, whistling. `I can't undertake to find third parties in common sense; I can only find it for myself I suppose sense in certain quarters; you suppose mincing bread-and-butter nonsense. It's new to me, but you are right, I dare say.'
`What I suppose, Mr. Stryver, I claim to characterise for myself And understand me, sir,' said Mr. Lorry, quickly flushing again, `I will not--not even at Tellson's--have it characterised for me by any gentleman breathing.'
`There! I beg your pardon!' said Stryver.
`Granted. Thank you. Well, Mr. Stryver, I was about to say--it might be painful to you to find yourself mistaken, it might be painful to Doctor Manette to have the task of being explicit with you, it might be very painful to Miss Manette to have the task of being explicit with you. You know the terms upon which I have the honour and happiness to stand with the family. If you please, committing you in no way, representing you in no way, I will undertake to correct my advice by the exercise of a little new observation and judgment expressly brought to bear upon it. If you should then be dissatisfied with it, you can but test its soundness for yourself; if, on the other hand, you should be satisfied with it, and it should be what it now is, it may spare all sides what is best spared. What do you say?'
`How long would you keep me in town?'
`Oh! It is only a question of a few hours. I could go to Soho in the evening, and come to your chambers afterwards.'
`Then I say yes,' said Stryver: `I won't go up there now, I am not so hot upon it as that comes to; I say yes, and I shall expect you to look in to-night. Good-morning.'