Mr. Stryver has a lucrative career, being a favorite at the Old Bailey. He speaks fluently, is devious, always prepared, and very bold. When he was in law school, it was commented on that he could not extract a main point from a pile of statements—which was a necessary quality for a defense lawyer. However, he improved upon this deficiency the more successful he became.
Sydney Carton is Mr. Stryver’s ally, though he is an idle and useless man. Carton and Stryver work together on every case. Carton always appears disinterested in the trial he observes.
A tavern man wakes him at 10 p.m. He goes to see Stryver. They drink together and comment on the trial. Stryver criticizes Carton’s lack of ambition. Carton points out that he is of a great help to Stryver. It is his destiny to trail behind Stryver.
Stryver remarks on how pretty Lucie Manette is. Carton shows no interest in her appearance. Stryver thinks Carton must have sympathized with her, since he noticed that she was going to faint. Carton responds that he can tell when a woman is in a swoon whether she is a beauty or not.
Carton returns to bed, upset that he is such a useless man despite his good abilities.