Study Guide

A Tale of Two Cities Volume II, Chapter Twelve – The Fellow of Delicacy

By Charles Dickens

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Volume II, Chapter Twelve – The Fellow of Delicacy

  • Mr. Stryver’s decided to bestow his magnanimous offer on Lucie.
  • We want to vomit just thinking of it.
  • He offers to take her out—twice.
  • Unaccountably, she refuses.
  • Not to worry, though. Stryver’s sure that he’s going to win her over.
  • He’s on his way to Soho to visit Dr. Manette (and to have a little word with Lucie) when he happens to walk by Tellson’s.
  • Since he knows that Mr. Lorry is a good friend of the Manettes, he drops by to share the good news.
  • Mr. Lorry thinks that Mr. Stryver is too loud and too brazen to fit in well at Tellson’s.
  • In fact, the guy sort of sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • Mr. Lorry tries to get Stryver to tone it down a bit, but Stryver doesn’t seem to get the message.
  • Glibly unaware of how arrogant he sounds, Stryver tells Mr. Lorry that he plans to marry Lucie.
  • Mr. Lorry’s upset.
  • He knows exactly what the Manettes think of Stryver.
  • Unsurprisingly, they don’t think too much of him.
  • He gently tries to break this to Stryver.
  • Stryver’s not the brightest kid in class. He keeps telling Mr. Lorry how perfect a suitor he is.
  • After all, he’s a prosperous lawyer. He’s respectable and even well-off.
  • Who wouldn’t love him?
  • In fact, after telling Mr. Lorry all about himself, Stryver’s pretty sure that he should march right over to the Manettes' house and propose.
  • Mr. Lorry disagrees.
  • He’s fairly certain that the whole thing will turn out…well, it won’t be pretty.
  • Stryver can’t understand why this would be the case.
  • After a bit of heated conversation, Mr. Lorry manages to get Stryver to agree to postpone proposing to Lucie right away.
  • He tries to warn Stryver that Lucie might not think that Stryver is the amazing man that Stryver thinks he is.
  • Instead, Mr. Lorry offers to head over to the Manette house to test the waters for Stryver.
  • He’s pretty sure that he knows what the answer will be, but he wants to save Stryver (and Lucie) from the embarrassment of a proposal.
  • Stryver agrees to wait for a day until Mr. Lorry returns.
  • After all, he follows Carton’s lead on everything else. Why wouldn’t he follow Mr. Lorry’s lead on this?
  • That’s what Mr. Lorry’s banking on.
  • He heads over to the Manette house immediately.
  • Mr. Stryver stretches out on the couch in Mr. Lorry’s office and waits for him to return with an answer.

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