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A Tale of Two Cities- Book the Second. Chapter Eleven A Companion Picture :Summary. It’s late at night. Sydney Carton is working. Stryver is drinking. He’s so happy about drinking, in fact, that he asks Sydney to make another bowl of punch for the two of them He has news.

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a tale of two cities book the second

A Tale of Two Cities- Book the Second

Chapter Eleven

A Companion Picture :Summary

It’s late at night. Sydney Carton is working. Stryver is drinking.
  • He’s so happy about drinking, in fact, that he asks Sydney to make another bowl of punch for the two of them
  • He has news.
  • Stryver, it seems, has decided to marry.
  • Sydney knows Stryver pretty well. He asks if the woman has money.
  • Stryver takes Sydney to task for being such a cynic. He’s actually fallen in love this time.
In fact, Stryver’s a bit worried that Sydney won’t like his choice of a bride.
  • Once upon a time, Sydney spoke slightingly of the woman whom Stryver has decided to make the happiest woman on earth.
  • Sydney starts a little bit. Could Stryver mean…
  • Yes. Stryver means to marry Lucie.
  • Apparently, Stryver’s willing to overlook her poverty.
He’s pretty magnanimous about the whole thing. Lucie will benefit a lot from the marriage, he thinks, but he’s willing to take her, anyway.
  • I just want to put my opinion on the record: Stryver’s a pompous fool.
  • Sydney thinks so, too.
While Stryver tells Carton about his plans, he also tries to dispense some free advice on how he thinks Carton should lead his own life.
  • Perhaps Sydney could find someone like…like Lucie to marry.
  • Lucie?
  • Carton jumps uncomfortably.
  • Stryver continues to offer unwelcome advice about Sydney’s love life.
  • Luckily, Sydney chooses to ignore him.
chapter 12 the fellow of delicacy
Chapter 12The 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 Doctor 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 doesn’t really like the fact 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 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.

Don’t ask. It was titled “Heated Conversation.”

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.
chapter 13 the fellow of no delicacy
Chapter 13The Fellow of No Delicacy
  • Sydney Carton’s not exactly a man with a lot of charm. Any charm he does have, however, he never displays when he goes to visit the Manettes.
  • Today, for some reason, his feet seem to find their way to the Manettes’ of their own accord.
  • He finds Lucie there alone.
  • When she sees him, she immediately notices that he’s even less well than he usually is.
  • That’s not saying much.
She asks Sydney what the matter is.
  • He responds that his life is miserable and hopeless.
  • She asks why he can’t change.
  • I know, I know – it’s a useless question. Someone had to ask it, though.
  • Sydney doesn’t answer directly. Instead, he begins one of the strangest love scenes in all of Dickens’s novels.
  • I’m not even really sure that it’s a love scene.
See, Sydney knows that Lucie couldn’t love a man like him.
  • In fact, that’s exactly what he tells her.
  • Dismayed, Lucie doesn’t know what to say.
  • Sure, she feels badly for Carton. She even cares about him. But the saddest thing in this whole deal is that he’s right – and they both know it.
  • True to her good-natured self, though, Lucie asks if there’s anything that she can do to help him without promising to love him.
Carton says that if anyone could have reformed him, she could have.
  • It looks like he’s past saving, then.
  • Just like he thought he was.
  • Apparently, Sydney just dropped by to unburden himself…sort of like a very, very painful self-help session.
  • Distraught, Lucie asks again if there’s no way that she could be a force for good in his life.
  • Sydney seems to have moved past this, however.
  • He begs her to keep this conversation confidential; it’s the last time he’ll ever confide in anyone, and he’d like to remember that it ended well.
Seeing that Lucie seems upset, he entreats her not to be troubled by his sorrows.
  • More than anything, he wants her to be happy.
  • In fact, he’s so committed to her happiness that he begs her to remember (once she gets married) that he would give his own life to keep those that she loves safe.
  • Bidding Lucie farewell, Sydney rushes out the door.
  • WOW! That was awkward.
chapter 14 the honest tradesman
Chapter 14The Honest Tradesman
  • This chapter title just oozes with irony.
  • Jerry and his son (also Jerry) are sitting outside of Tellson’s Bank late one afternoon.
  • All of a sudden, a small crowd of people pass by the bank.
  • Jerry (the elder) sternly informs his son that what they’re about to see is "a buryin’."
  • In other words, the crowd is a funeral procession.
Young Jerry’s pretty psyched about the prospect of a little bit of entertainment.
  • He cheers for the oncoming funeral. He father promptly boxes his ears.
  • A funeral may be exciting, after all, but one should still respect the dead.
  • As it turns out, there’s only one person who’s officially mourning the dead body.
  • All of the rest of the crowd is just there to cheer that person on.
  • C’mon, there weren’t movies or video games back then. What else are you supposed to do on a long, boring afternoon?
As the crowd gets closer, the Crunchers realize that they aren’t exactly cheering the mourner on.
  • In fact, they’re booing the dead guy.
  • They seem to think that the dead guy was a spy. Nobody likes spies.
  • Come to think of it, the crowd hates spies more than most other people.
  • In fact, they hate spies so much that they turn into a mob. The plan, it seems, is to overturn the funeral carriage, take the body out, and derail the parade.
  • Luckily, this plan doesn’t work so well.
Instead, the mob decides to become part of the funeral procession. They all load into the carriage (which begins to smell strongly of alcohol) and head off towards the graveyard together.
  • Oh, and did I mention that the dead guy (or the dead spy, if you will) was named Roger Cly? Hmm. I didn’t really mean to rhyme that well.
  • Cruncher and Son (or Jerry and Jerry) stick around after the funeral to chat a bit with the undertaker.
  • When they get back to the bank, it’s closed.
Accordingly, they set out towards home.
  • Arriving just in time for tea, the Crunchers meet up with Mrs. Cruncher on the road.
  • Jerry immediately tells his wife that if his business ventures as an "honest tradesman" go wrong tonight, he’ll know it was because she was "flopping" against him
  • Flopping = praying, remember?
  • Hmm…what do business ventures have to do with funerals? This is all very mysterious.
Mr. Cruncher announces that he’s going out tonight.
  • He’s going fishing.
  • Jerry (the younger) immediately points out that his father’s fishing rod is pretty rusty, which is strange, considering all the times that it’s supposedly used.
  • His father doesn’t answer.
  • Late that night, Young Jerry waits until his father leaves the house.
  • He slips on his boots and follows his father down the road.
Mr. Cruncher meets with two other men; they head down towards…the graveyard.
  • Jerry waits breathlessly as the three head into the graveyard.
  • When they’ve gone in, he creeps up to the gate.
  • Watching through a crack in the wall, Young Jerry sees the three men begin to "fish."
  • Funnily enough, though, they’re not using fishing rods.
  • In fact, they’re using spades.
  • And they’re digging up the grave.
Astonished, Jerry jumps up and runs down the road. He doesn’t stop until he reaches his home.
  • In the morning, Young Jerry awakens to the sound of his father beating his mother’s head against the table.
  • Lovely. Just lovely.
  • Apparently, something went wrong the night before.
  • Mr. Cruncher, of course, blames his wife for the failure.
As Jerry Cruncher and Young Jerry walk to Tellson’s, Young Jerry asks his father what a "Resurrection-Man" is.
  • Startled, Mr. Cruncher stops abruptly in the middle of the street.
  • After thinking for a minute, he tells Jerry that a resurrection man is a tradesman.
  • Young Jerry ponders this information over for awhile.
  • Finally, he declares that he’d like to be a tradesman when he grows up.
  • Relieved, Mr. Cruncher says that with hard work and a bit of luck, Young Jerry might just turn out to be a decent adult, after all.