Summary and Analysis
Book 2: Chapter 12
Having decided to wed Lucie, Stryver heads to Soho to let her know of her good fortune. On the way, he drops by Tellson's Bank to share his marriage plans with Mr. Lorry. Rather than risk making Doctor Alexandre Manette or Lucie uncomfortable by receiving a proposal directly from Stryver, Mr. Lorry suggests that Stryver let him visit the Manettes and find out if Lucie would accept Stryver's suit. Stryver agrees, and when Mr. Lorry returns from Soho, he tells Stryver that he should drop his suit. However, Stryver has already changed his mind and acts as if the incident was all a misunderstanding caused by Lucie.
Stryver's sense of self-importance is so great that it physically manifests itself as he shoulders his way through the London streets and seems to fill Tellson's already-cramped space. His outraged disbelief that Lucie would be anything but thrilled by a proposal from him reinforces the worthiness of Darnay's humble courtship. Similarly, Stryver's obtuseness highlights Mr. Lorry's strengths — his diplomacy, his deep attachment to the Manettes, and his ability to take control of a stressful situation. These strengths will prove invaluable to the Manettes as the novel progresses.
Vauxhall Gardens London's first amusement park; the gardens, located on the south bank of the Thames River, opened in 1660 and closed in 1859. Visitors enjoyed not only the natural setting, but also food, drink, musical performances, fireworks, and balloon launches.
Ranelagh a competitor of Vauxhall Gardens, open from 1742 to 1803 and famous for its masquerades.