`Halloa!' said Mr. Stryver. `How do you do? I hope you are well!'
It was Stryver's grand peculiarity that he always seemed too big for any place, or space. He was so much too big for Tellson's, that old clerks in distant corners looked up with looks of remonstrance, as though he squeezed them against the wall. The House itself, magnificently reading the paper quite in the far-off perspective, lowered displeased, as if the Stryver head had been butted into its responsible waistcoat.
The discreet Mr. Lorry said, in a sample tone of the voice he would recommend under the circumstances, `How do you do, Mr. Stryver? How do you do, sir?' and shook hands. There was a peculiarity in his manner of shaking hands, always to be seen in any clerk at Tellson's who shook hands with a customer when the House pervaded the air. He shook in a self-abnegating way, as one who shook for Tellson and Co.
`Can I do anything for you, Mr. Stryver?' asked Mr. Lorry, in his business character.
`Why, no, thank you; this is a private visit to yourself, Mr. Lorry; I have come for a private word.'
`Oh indeed!' said Mr. Lorry, bending down his ear, while his eye strayed to the House afar off.
`I am going,' said Mr. Stryver, leaning his arms confidentially on the desk: whereupon, although it was a large double one, there appeared to be not half desk enough for him: `I am going to make an offer of myself in marriage to your agreeable little friend, Miss Manette, Mr. Lorry.'
Oh dear me!' cried Mr. Lorry, rubbing his chin, and looking at his visitor dubiously.