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Great Expectations / ( )

Great Expectations /

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Great Expectations / :

Great Expectations /

Great Expectations /

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/ Charles Dickens / Great Expectations

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Chapter 1

My fathers family name was Pirrip,[1] and my Christian name was Philip.[2] So, I called myself Pip.[3]
My sister Mrs. Joe Gargery,[4] who married the blacksmith. I never saw my father or my mother. The shape of the letters on my fathers, gave me an odd idea that he was a stout, dark man, with curly black hair.
That day I was at the churchyard. I was very sad and began to cry.
Keep still,[5] you little devil! cried a terrible voice, and a man stood up among the graves, or Ill cut your throat!
A fearful man with a great chain on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head.
Oh! Dont cut my throat, sir, I pleaded in terror. Pray dont do it, sir.
Tell me your name! said the man. Quick!
Pip. Pip, sir.
Show me where you live, said the man.
I pointed to where our village lay, a mile or more from the church.
Now look here! said the man. Wheres your mother?
There, sir! said I. She lies there.
Oh! said he. And is that your father with your mother?
Yes, sir, said I; him too.
Ha! he muttered then. Who do you live with?
My sister, sir Mrs. Joe Gargery wife of Joe Gargery, the blacksmith, sir.
Blacksmith, eh? said he. And looked down at his leg. You know what a file is?
Yes, sir.
And you know what wittles[6] is?
Yes, sir.
So you get me a file. And you get me wittles. Or Ill have your heart and liver out.[7]
I was dreadfully frightened. He held me by the arms, and went on in these fearful terms:
You bring me, tomorrow morning early, that file and the wittles. You will do it, and you will never say a word about me. So you will live. If you do not do this, my friend will take your heart and liver out. A boy may lock his door, may be warm in bed, may draw the clothes over his head, may think himself comfortable and safe, but that man will softly creep and creep his way to him and tear him open.[8] Now, what do you say?
I said that I would get him the file, and I would get him some food I could, and I would come to him early in the morning.
Now, he said, you remember what youve promised, and you remember that man, and you get home!
Good night, sir, I faltered and ran away.

Chapter 2

She was not a good-looking woman, my sister; and I had a general impression that she must have made Joe Gargery marry her by hand. Joe was a fair man, with curls of flaxen hair on each side of his smooth face, and with blue eyes. He was a mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going, foolish, dear fellow.
Joes forge adjoined our house, which was a wooden house, as many of the dwellings in our country were most of them, at that time. When I ran home from the churchyard, the forge was shut up, and Joe was sitting alone in the kitchen. Joe and I were fellow-sufferers.[10] I raised the latch of the door and peeped in at him, sitting in the chimney corner.
Mrs. Joe has been out a dozen times, looking for you, Pip. And shes out now.
Is she? Has she been gone long, Joe?
Well, said Joe, about five minutes, Pip. Shes a coming! Get behind the door, old chap.[11]
I took the advice. My sister, Mrs. Joe, came in.
Where have you been, you young monkey? said Mrs. Joe, stamping her foot.
I have only been to the churchyard, said I, from my stool, crying and rubbing myself.
Churchyard! repeated my sister. Churchyard, indeed! You may well say churchyard, you two. Youll drive me to the churchyard, one of these days!
She applied herself to set the tea-things. But, though I was hungry, I dared not eat my slice. I felt that I must have something in reserve for my dreadful acquaintance, and his ally the still more dreadful man.
It was Christmas Eve, and I had to stir the pudding for next day, with a copper-stick, from seven to eight. I decided to steal some food afterwards and bring it to my new friend. Suddenly I heard shots.
Hark! said I, when I had done my stirring; was that great guns, Joe?
Ah! said Joe. A convict ran away.
What does that mean, Joe? said I.
Mrs. Joe, who always took explanations upon herself, said, snappishly, Escaped.
I asked Joe, Whats a convict?
There was a convict off last night,[12] said Joe, aloud, after sunset. And they fired warning of him. And now it appears theyre firing warning of another.
Whos firing? said I.
Ask no questions, and youll be told no lies, said my sister.
It was not very polite to herself, I thought. But she never was polite unless there was company.
Mrs. Joe, said I, as a last resort, Please tell me, where the firing comes from?
Lord bless the boy![13] exclaimed my sister, as if she didnt quite mean that but rather the contrary. From the Hulks!
Oh-h! said I, looking at Joe. Hulks!
And please, whats Hulks? said I.
Hulks are prison-ships![14] exclaimed my sister.
It was too much for Mrs. Joe, who immediately rose. I tell you what, young fellow, said she, People are put in the Hulks because they murder, and because they rob, and forge, and do all sorts of bad things.
I was in mortal terror of the man who wanted my heart and liver; I was in mortal terror of the iron leg; I was in mortal terror of myself, from whom an awful promise had been extracted.
In the early morning I got up and went downstairs; every board upon the way, and every crack in every board calling after me, Stop thief! and Get up, Mrs. Joe! I stole some bread, some cheese, about half a jar of mincemeat, some brandy from a bottle, a meat bone and a beautiful round compact pork pie.
There was a door in the kitchen, communicating with the forge; I unlocked that door, and got a file from among Joes tools. Then I opened the door at which I had entered when I ran home last night, shut it, and ran for the misty marshes.

Chapter 3

All this time, I was getting on towards the river. I had just crossed a ditch, and had just scrambled up the mound beyond the ditch, when I saw the man sitting before me. His back was towards me, and he had his arms folded, and was nodding forward, heavy with sleep. But it was not the same man, but another man!
And yet this man was dressed in coarse gray, too, and had a great iron on his leg. All this I saw in a moment, for I had only a moment to see it in: he ran into the mist, stumbling twice as he went, and I lost him.
Its the man! I thought, feeling my heart shoot as I identified him.
Soon I saw the right Man, waiting for me. He was awfully cold, to be sure. His eyes looked so awfully hungry too.
Whats in the bottle, boy? said he.
Brandy, said I.
I think you have got the ague, said I.
Sure, boy, said he.
Its bad about here, I told him. Youve been lying out on the meshes, and theyre dreadful aguish.
Youre not a deceiving imp? You brought no one with you?
No, sir! No!
Well, said he, I believe you.
Something clicked in his throat as if he had works in him like a clock, and was going to strike. And he smeared his ragged rough sleeve over his eyes.
I am glad you enjoy the food, said I.
I said I was glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you, my boy. I do.
I had often watched a large dog of ours eating his food; and I now noticed a decided similarity between the dogs way of eating, and the mans. The man took strong sharp sudden bites, just like the dog.
I am afraid you wont leave any food for him, said I, timidly.
Leave for him? Whos him? said my friend.
The man. That you spoke of.
Oh ah! he returned, with something like a gruff laugh. Him? Yes, yes! He dont want any wittles.
I thought he looked as if he did, said I.
The man stopped eating, and regarded me with the greatest surprise.
Looked? When?
Just now.
Yonder, said I, pointing; over there, where I found him sleeping, and I thought it was you.
He held me by the collar and stared at me so, that I began to think his first idea about cutting my throat had revived.
Dressed like you, you know, only with a hat, I explained, trembling. Didnt you hear the cannon last night?
Then there was firing! he said to himself.
He had a badly bruised face, said I, recalling what I hardly knew I knew.
Not here? exclaimed the man, striking his left cheek.
Yes, there!
I indicated in what direction the other man had gone away, and he looked up at it for an instant. But then he sat on the wet grass and began to file his iron like a madman. I told him I must go, but he took no notice.

Chapter 4

I expected to find a Constable in the kitchen, waiting to take me up.[16] But Mrs. Joe was busy in getting the house ready for the festivities of the day.
We were to have a wonderful dinner, consisting of a leg of pickled pork and greens, and a pair of roast stuffed fowls. A handsome mince-pie had been made yesterday morning, and the pudding was already on the boil.
Mr. Wopsle,[17] the clerk at church, was to dine with us; and Mr. Hubble[18] and Mrs. Hubble; and Uncle Pumblechook[19] (Joes uncle), who lived in the nearest town, and drove his own chaise-cart. The dinner hour was half-past one. Everything was most splendid, and not a word of the robbery.
The time came, without bringing with it any relief to my feelings, and the company came.
I opened the door to the company, and I opened it first to Mr. Wopsle, next to Mr. and Mrs. Hubble, and last of all to Uncle Pumblechook.
Mrs. Joe, said Uncle Pumblechook, a large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, and dull staring eyes, I have brought you, Mum, a bottle of sherry wine and I have brought you, Mum, a bottle of port wine.
Every Christmas Day he presented himself, as a profound novelty, with exactly the same words.
We dined on these occasions in the kitchen. My sister was lively on the present occasion, and indeed was generally more gracious in the society of Mrs. Hubble than in other company.
Among this good company I should have felt myself, even if I hadnt robbed the pantry, in a false position. They wouldnt leave me alone. It began the moment we sat down to dinner. Mr. Wopsle said grace with theatrical declamation,[20] and ended with the very proper aspiration that we might be truly grateful. My sister said, in a low voice, Do you hear that? Be grateful.
Especially, said Mr. Pumblechook, be grateful, boy, to them which brought you up by hand.
Mrs. Hubble shook her head and asked, Why is it that the young are never grateful? Mr. Hubble answered, They are just vicious. Everybody then murmured True! and looked at me in a particularly unpleasant and personal manner.
You must taste, said my sister, addressing the guests with her best grace you must taste such a delightful and delicious present of Uncle Pumblechooks! You must know, its a pie; a pork pie.
My sister went out to get it. I heard her steps proceed to the pantry. I saw Mr. Pumblechook balance his knife. I felt that I could bear no more, and that I must run away. I ran for my life.
But I ran no farther than the house door. There stood a party of soldiers with their muskets.

Chapter 5

Excuse me, ladies and gentleman, said the sergeant, but I am on a chase in the name of the king, and I want the blacksmith.
And pray what might you want with him? retorted my sister.
Joe threw his eye over them, and pronounced that the job would take two hours.
Would you give me the time? said the sergeant, addressing himself to Mr. Pumblechook.
Its just gone half past two.
Thats not so bad, said the sergeant, reflecting; How far are the marshes? Not above a mile, I reckon?
Just a mile, said Mrs. Joe.
Convicts, sergeant? asked Mr. Wopsle.
Ay! returned the sergeant, two. They are out on the marshes, and we are going to catch them.
At last, Joes job was done. As Joe got on his coat, he proposed that some of us should go down with the soldiers. Mr. Pumblechook and Mr. Hubble declined, but Mr. Wopsle said he would go, if Joe would. Joe said he was agreeable, and would take me, if Mrs. Joe approved. Mrs. Joe said, If you bring the boy back with his head blown to bits by a musket, dont ask me to put it together again.
When we were all out in the raw air and were steadily moving towards the marshs, I whispered to Joe, I hope, Joe, we shant find them. and Joe whispered to me, Id give a shilling if they had run, Pip.
The weather was cold and threatening, the way dreary, darkness coming on, and the people had good fires and were celebtaring the day. A few faces hurried to glowing windows and looked after us, but none came out. Joe took me on his back. With my heart thumping, I looked all about for any sign of the convicts. Finally, I saw them both. The soldiers stopped.
After that they began to run. After a while, we could hear one voice calling Murder! and another voice, Convicts! Guard! This way for the runaway convicts! The soldiers ran like deer, and Joe too.
Here are both men! cried the sergeant. Surrender, you two!
Water was splashing, and mud was flying.
Mind! said my convict, wiping blood from his face with his ragged sleeves, and shaking torn hair from his fingers: I took him! I give him up to you! Mind that!
The other was bruised and torn all over.
Take notice, guard he tried to murder me, were his first words.
Tried to murder him? said my convict, disdainfully. Try, and not do it? I took him; thats what I done. dragged him here. Hes a gentleman, if you please, this villain. Now, the Hulks has got its gentleman again, through me!
The other one still gasped, He tried he tried to murder me.
Look here! said my convict to the sergeant. I tried to kill him? No, no, no.
The other fugitive, who was evidently in extreme horror of his companion, repeated, He tried to murder me. I should have been a dead man if you had not come up.
He lies! said my convict, with fierce energy.
My convict never looked at me, except that once. He turned to the sergeant, and remarked,
I wish to say something. It may prevent some persons laying under suspicion alonger me.[22]
You can say what you like, returned the sergeant, standing coolly looking at him with his arms folded, but youll have opportunity enough to say about it, and hear about it, you know.
A man cant starve; at least I cant. I took some wittles, at the village over there.
You mean stole, said the sergeant.
And Ill tell you where from. From the blacksmiths.
Halloa! said the sergeant, staring at Joe.
Halloa, Pip! said Joe, staring at me.
It was some wittles thats what it was and liquor, and a pie.
Youre welcome, returned Joe, We dont know what you have done, but we wouldnt have you starved, poor miserable fellow. Would us, Pip?
Something clicked in the mans throat, and he turned his back.

Chapter 6

As I was sleepy before we were far away from the prison-ship, Joe took me on his back again and carried me home.
By that time, I was fast asleep, and through waking in the heat and lights and noise of tongues. As I came to myself (with the aid of a heavy thump between the shoulders), I found Joe telling them about the convicts confession, and all the visitors suggesting different ways by which he had got into the pantry. Everybody agreed that it must be so.

Chapter 7

Didnt you ever go to school, Joe, when you were as little as me? asked I one day.
No, Pip.
Why didnt you ever go to school?
Well, Pip, said Joe, taking up the poker, and settling himself to his usual occupation when he was thoughtful; Ill tell you. My father, Pip, liked to drink much. Youre listening and understanding, Pip?
Yes, Joe.
Certainly, poor Joe!
My father didnt make objections to my going to work; so I went to work. In time I was able to keep him, and I kept him till he went off.
Joes blue eyes turned a little watery; he rubbed first one of them, and then the other, in a most uncomfortable manner, with the round knob on the top of the poker.
I got acquainted with your sister, said Joe, living here alone. Now, Pip, Joe looked firmly at me as if he knew I was not going to agree with him; your sister is a fine figure of a woman.[24]
I could think of nothing better to say than I am glad you think so, Joe.
So am I, returned Joe. Thats it. Youre right, old chap! When I got acquainted with your sister, she was bringing you up by hand. Very kind of her too, all the folks said, and I said, along with all the folks.
I said, Never mind me,[25] Joe.
When I offered to your sister to keep company, and to be asked in church at such times as she was willing and ready to come to the forge, I said to her, And bring the poor little child. God bless the poor little child, I said to your sister, theres room for him at the forge!
I broke out crying and begging pardon, and hugged Joe round the neck: who dropped the poker to hug me, and to say, We are the best friends; arent we, Pip? Dont cry, old chap!
Joe resumed,
Well, you see; here we are! Your sister a master-mind.[26] A master-mind.
However, said Joe, rising to replenish the fire; Here comes the mare!
Mrs. Joe and Uncle Pumblechook was soon near, covering the mare with a cloth, and we were soon all in the kitchen.
Now, said Mrs. Joe with haste and excitement, and throwing her bonnet back on her shoulders, if this boy isnt grateful this night, he never will be! Miss Havisham[27] wants this boy to go and play in her house. And of course hes going.
I had heard of Miss Havisham everybody for miles round had heard of her as an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house barricaded against robbers, and who led a life of seclusion.
I wonder how she come to know Pip! said Joe, astounded.
Who said she knew him? cried my sister. Couldnt she ask Uncle Pumblechook if he knew of a boy to go and play there? Uncle Pumblechook thinks that that is the boys fortune. So he offered to take him into town tonight in his own chaise-cart, and to take him with his own hands to Miss Havishams tomorrow morning.
I was then delivered over to Mr. Pumblechook, who formally received me as if he were the Sheriff. He said: Boy, be forever grateful to all friends, but especially unto them which brought you up by hand!
Good-bye, Joe!
God bless you, Pip, old chap!
I had never parted from him before, and I could at first see no stars from the chaise-cart. I did not understand why I was going to play at Miss Havishams, and what I was expected to play at.

Chapter 8

Mr. Pumblechook and I breakfasted at eight oclock in the parlor behind the shop. I considered Mr. Pumblechook wretched company.[28] On my politely bidding him Good morning, he said, Seven times nine, boy?[29] And how should I be able to answer, in a strange place, on an empty stomach![30] I was very hungry, but the math[31] lesson lasted all through the breakfast. Seven? And four? And eight? And six? And two? And ten? And so on.
For such reasons, I was very glad when ten oclock came and we started for Miss Havishams. Within a quarter of an hour we came to Miss Havishams house, which was of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. While we waited at the gate, Mr. Pumblechook said, And fourteen? but I pretended not to hear him.
A window was raised, and a clear voice demanded What name? To which my conductor replied, Pumblechook. The voice returned, Quite right, and the window was shut again, and a young lady came across the courtyard, with keys in her hand.
This, said Mr. Pumblechook, is Pip.
This is Pip, is it? returned the young lady, who was very pretty and seemed very proud; come in, Pip.
Mr. Pumblechook was coming in also, when she stopped him with the gate.
Oh! she said. Did you wish to see Miss Havisham?
If Miss Havisham wished to see me, returned Mr. Pumblechook, discomfited.
Ah! said the girl; but you see she didnt.
She said it so finally, that Mr. Pumblechook could not protest. I was afraid that he would come ask me through the gate, And sixteen? But he didnt.
My young conductress locked the gate, and we went across the courtyard. It was paved and clean, but grass was growing in every crevice. The cold wind seemed to blow colder there than outside the gate.
She saw me looking at it, and she said, Now, boy, you are at the Manor House.
Is that the name of this house, miss?
One of its names, boy.
She called me boy very often, and with a carelessness that was far from complimentary, but she was of about my own age. She seemed much older than I, of course, being a girl, and beautiful and self-possessed.
We went into the house by a side door, the great front entrance had two chains across it outside and the first thing I noticed was, that the passages were all dark, and that she had left a candle burning there.
At last we came to the door of a room, and she said, Go in.
I answered, After you, miss.
To this she returned: Dont be ridiculous, boy; I am not going in. And scornfully walked away, and what was worse took the candle with her.
This was very uncomfortable, and I was half afraid. However, I knocked and entered, and found myself in a pretty large room, well lighted with wax candles. No glimpse of daylight was to be seen in it. It was a dressing-room, as I supposed from the furniture. But prominent in it was a draped table with a gilded looking-glass, and that I made out at first sight to be a fine ladys dressing-table.
In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.
She was dressed in rich materials satins, and lace, and silks all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table.
Who is it? said the lady at the table.
Pip, maam.
Mr. Pumblechooks boy, maam. Come to play.
Come nearer; let me look at you. Come close.
It saw that her watch had stopped at twenty minutes to nine, and that a clock in the room had stopped at twenty minutes to nine.
Look at me, said Miss Havisham. You are not afraid of a woman who has never seen the sun since you were born?
Do you know what I touch here? she said, laying her hands, one upon the other, on her left side.
Yes, maam.
What do I touch?
Your heart.
She uttered the word with an eager look, and with strong emphasis, and with a weird smile.
I am tired, said Miss Havisham. I want diversion. Play. I sometimes have sick fancies, and I have a sick fancy that I want to see some play. There, there! with an impatient movement of the fingers of her right hand; play, play, play!
I stood looking at Miss Havisham.
Are you sullen and obstinate?
No, maam, I am very sorry for you, and very sorry I cant play just now. Its so new here, and so strange, and so fine and melancholy . I stopped, fearing I might say too much, or had already said it, and we took another look at each other.
Before she spoke again, she turned her eyes from me, and looked at the dress she wore, and at the dressing-table, and finally at herself in the looking-glass.
So new to him, she muttered, so old to me; so strange to him, so familiar to me; so melancholy to both of us! Call Estella.[32]
As she was still looking at the reflection of herself, I thought she was still talking to herself, and kept quiet.
Call Estella, she repeated, flashing a look at me. You can do that. Call Estella. At the door.
To stand in the dark and to roar out Estellas name, was almost as bad as playing to order.[33] But she answered at last, and her light came along the dark passage like a star.
Miss Havisham beckoned her to come close, and took up a jewel from the table Your own, one day, my dear, and you will use it well. Let me see you play cards with this boy.
With this boy? Why, he is a common laboring boy![34]
Miss Havisham answered, Well? You can break his heart.
What do you play, boy? asked Estella of myself, with the greatest disdain.
Nothing but beggar my neighbor,[35] miss.
Beggar him,[36] said Miss Havisham to Estella. So we sat down to cards.
It was then I began to understand that everything in the room had stopped, like the watch and the clock, a long time ago. I noticed that Miss Havisham put down the jewel exactly on the spot from which she had taken it up. As Estella dealt the cards, I glanced at the dressing-table again, and saw that the shoe upon it, once white, now yellow. I glanced down at the foot from which the shoe was absent, and saw that the silk stocking on it, once white, now yellow, had been ragged. So the lady sat, corpse-like, as we played at cards.
What coarse hands he has, this boy! said Estella with disdain, before our first game was out. And what thick boots!
Her contempt for me was very strong. She won the game, and I dealt. She denounced me for a stupid, clumsy laboring-boy.
You say nothing of her, remarked Miss Havisham to me. She says many hard things of you, but you say nothing of her. What do you think of her?
I dont like to say, I stammered.
Tell me in my ear, said Miss Havisham, bending down.
I think she is very proud, I replied, in a whisper.
Anything else?
I think she is very pretty.
Anything else?
I think she is very insulting.
Anything else?
I think I should like to go home.
And never see her again, though she is so pretty?
I am not sure that I shouldnt like to see her again, but I should like to go home now.
You shall go soon, said Miss Havisham, aloud. Play the game out.[37]
I played the game to an end with Estella, and she beggared me. She threw the cards down on the table.
When shall I have you here again? said Miss Havisham. Let me think.
I was beginning to remind her that today was Wednesday.
I know nothing of days of the week; I know nothing of weeks of the year. Come again after six days. You hear?
Yes, maam.
Estella, take him down. Let him have something to eat. Go, Pip.
I followed the candle down, as I had followed the candle up, and she stood it in the place where we had found it. She opened the side entrance.
You are to wait here, you boy, said Estella; and disappeared and closed the door.
She came back, with some bread and meat and a little mug of beer. She put the mug down on the stones of the yard, and gave me the bread and meat without looking at me, as insolently as if I were a dog in disgrace. I was so humiliated, hurt, offended, angry, sorry. Tears started to my eyes. The moment they sprang there, the girl looked at me with a quick delight. This gave me power to keep them back and to look at her. She gave a contemptuous toss and left me.
But when she was gone, I looked about me for a place to hide my face in and cried. As I cried, I kicked the wall, and took a hard twist at my hair.
Then I noticed Estella. She gave me a triumphant glance in passing me.
Why dont you cry?
Because I dont want to.
You do, said she. You have been crying, and you are near crying again now.
She laughed contemptuously, pushed me out, and locked the gate upon me. I went straight to Mr. Pumblechooks, and was immensely glad to find him not at home. So on what day I was wanted at Miss Havishams again, I walked to our forge, remembering that I was a common laboring-boy; that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick.

Chapter 9

The worst of it was that that old Pumblechook came gaping over in his chaise-cart at tea-time, to have the details divulged to him.
I answered, Pretty well, sir, and my sister shook her fist at me.
Pretty well? Mr. Pumblechook repeated. Pretty well is no answer. Tell us what you mean by pretty well, boy?
I reflected for some time, and then answered as if I had discovered a new idea, I mean pretty well.
My sister with an exclamation of impatience was going to fly at me, I had no shadow of defence, for Joe was busy in the forge when Mr. Pumblechook interposed with No! Dont lose your temper. Leave this lad to me, maam; leave this lad to me. Mr. Pumblechook then turned me towards him, as if he were going to cut my hair, and said,
First (to get our thoughts in order): Forty-three pence?[40]
To which I replied, after a long interval of reflection, I dont know. And I was so aggravated that I almost doubt if I did know.
Mr. Pumblechook said, Is forty-three pence seven and sixpence three fardens, for instance?[41]
Yes! said I. The answer spoilt his joke, and brought him to a dead stop.
Boy! What like is Miss Havisham?[42] Mr. Pumblechook began again when he had recovered; folding his arms tight on his chest and applying the screw.
Very tall and dark, I told him.
Is she, uncle? asked my sister.
Mr. Pumblechook winked assent; from which I at once inferred that he had never seen Miss Havisham, for she was nothing of the kind.
Good! said Mr. Pumblechook. (This is the way to have him,[43] I think, Mum!)
I am sure, uncle, returned Mrs. Joe, I wish you had him always; you know so well how to deal with him.
Now, boy! What was she a doing of, when you went in today? asked Mr. Pumblechook.
She was sitting, I answered, in a black velvet coach.
Mr. Pumblechook and Mrs. Joe stared at one another as they well might and both repeated, In a black velvet coach?
Yes, said I. And Miss Estella thats her niece, I think handed her in cake and wine at the coach-window, on a gold plate. And we all had cake and wine on gold plates. And I got up behind the coach to eat mine, because she told me to.
Was anybody else there? asked Mr. Pumblechook.
Four dogs, said I.
Large or small?
Immense, said I. And they fought for veal-cutlets out of a silver basket.
Mr. Pumblechook and Mrs. Joe stared at one another again, in utter amazement. I was perfectly frantic and would have told them anything.
Where was this coach, in the name of gracious?[44] asked my sister.
In Miss Havishams room. They stared again. But there werent any horses to it.
Can this be possible, uncle? asked Mrs. Joe. What can the boy mean?
Ill tell you, Mum, said Mr. Pumblechook. My opinion is, its a sedan-chair.[45] Shes flighty, you know very flighty quite flighty enough to pass her days in a sedan-chair.
Did you ever see her in it, uncle? asked Mrs. Joe.
How could I, he returned, when I never see her in my life?
Goodness, uncle! And yet you have spoken to her?
Why, dont you know, said Mr. Pumblechook, that when I have been there, I have been took up to the outside of her door, and the door has stood ajar, and she has spoke to me that way. Dont say you dont know that, Mum. But the boy went there to play. What did you play at, boy?
We played with flags, I said.
Flags! echoed my sister.
Yes, said I. Estella waved a blue flag, and I waved a red one, and Miss Havisham waved one sprinkled all over with little gold stars, out at the coach-window. And then we all waved our swords and hurrahed.
Swords! repeated my sister. Where did you get swords from?
Out of a cupboard, said I. And I saw pistols in it and jam and pills. And there was no daylight in the room, but it was all lighted up with candles.
Thats true, Mum, said Mr. Pumblechook, with a grave nod. Thats the state of the case, for that much Ive seen myself. And then they both stared at me, and I stared at them.
Now, when I saw Joe open his blue eyes and roll them all round the kitchen in helpless amazement; but only as regarded him not in the least as regarded the other two. Towards Joe, and Joe only, I considered myself a young monster. They had no doubt that Miss Havisham would do something for me. My sister stood out for property. Mr. Pumblechook was in favour of a handsome premium[46] for schooling.
After Mr. Pumblechook had driven off, and when my sister was washing up, I went into the forge to Joe, and remained by him until he had done for the night. Then I said, Before the fire goes out, Joe, I should like to tell you something.
Should you, Pip? said Joe. Then tell me. What is it, Pip?
Joe, said I, taking hold of his shirt sleeve, and twisting it between my finger and thumb, you remember all that about Miss Havishams?
Remember? said Joe. I believe you! Wonderful!
Its a terrible thing, Joe; it isnt true.
What are you telling of, Pip? cried Joe, falling back in the greatest amazement. You dont mean to say its
Yes I do; its lies, Joe.
But not all of it? I stood shaking my head. But at least there were dogs, Pip? Come, Pip, said Joe, at least there were dogs?
No, Joe.
A dog? said Joe. A puppy? Come?
No, Joe, there was nothing at all of the kind. Its terrible, Joe; isnt it?
Terrible? cried Joe. Awful! What possessed you?
I dont know what possessed me, Joe, I replied, letting his shirt sleeve go, and sitting down in the ashes at his feet, hanging my head; but I wish my boots werent so thick nor my hands so coarse.
And then I told Joe that I felt very miserable, and that I hadnt been able to explain myself to Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook, who were so rude to me, and that there had been a beautiful young lady at Miss Havishams who was dreadfully proud, and that she had said I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didnt know how.
Theres one thing you may be sure of, Pip, said Joe, after some rumination, namely, that lies is lies. Dont you tell more of them, Pip. That isnt the way to get out of being common, old chap. But you are uncommon in some things. Youre uncommon small. There was a flag, perhaps?
No, Joe.
Im sorry there wasnt a flag, Pip. Look here, Pip, at what is said to you by a true friend. Dont tell more lies, Pip, and live well and die happy.
You are not angry with me, Joe?
No, old chap. But when you go up stairs to bed, Pip, please think about my words. Thats all, old chap, and never do it more.
When I got up to my little room and said my prayers, I did not forget Joes recommendation. I thought how Joe and my sister were sitting in the kitchen, and how I had come up to bed from the kitchen, and how Miss Havisham and Estella never sat in a kitchen, but were far above the level of such common doings.[47]
That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

Chapter 10

Of course there was a public-house[48] in the village, and of course Joe liked sometimes to smoke his pipe there. I had received strict orders from my sister to call for him at the Three Jolly Bargemen,[49] that evening, on my way from school, and bring him home. To the Three Jolly Bargemen, therefore, I directed my steps.
There was a bar at the Jolly Bargemen, with some alarmingly long chalk scores in it on the wall at the side of the door, which seemed to me to be never paid off.
It was Saturday night, I found the landlord looking rather sadly at these records; but as my business was with Joe and not with him, I merely wished him good evening, and passed into the common room at the end of the passage, where there was a bright large kitchen fire, and where Joe was smoking his pipe in company with Mr. Wopsle and a stranger. Joe greeted me as usual with Halloa, Pip, old chap! and the moment he said that, the stranger turned his head and looked at me.
He was a secret-looking man whom I had never seen before. His head was all on one side, and one of his eyes was half shut up, as if he were taking aim at something with an invisible gun. He had a pipe in his mouth, and he took it out, and, after slowly blowing all his smoke away and looking hard at me all the time, nodded. So, I nodded, and then he nodded again.
You were saying, said the strange man, turning to Joe, that you were a blacksmith.
Yes. I said it, you know, said Joe.
Whatll you drink, Mr. ? You didnt mention your name, by the way.
Joe mentioned it now, and the strange man called him by it. Whatll you drink, Mr. Gargery? At my expense?[50]
Well, said Joe, to tell you the truth, I am not much in the habit of drinking at anybodys expense but my own.
Habit? No, returned the stranger, but once and away, and on a Saturday night too. Come!
I dont want to spoil the company, said Joe. Rum.
Rum, repeated the stranger.
Rum, said Mr. Wopsle.
Three Rums! cried the stranger, calling to the landlord.
This other gentleman, observed Joe, by way of introducing Mr. Wopsle, is our clerk at church.
Aha! said the stranger, quickly. The lonely church, right out on the marshes, with graves round it!
Thats it, said Joe.
The stranger put his legs up on the settle. He wore a flapping broad-brimmed travellers hat, and under it a handkerchief tied over his head in the manner of a cap: so that he showed no hair. As he looked at the fire, I thought I saw a cunning expression, followed by a half-laugh, come into his face.
I am not acquainted with this country, gentlemen, but it seems a solitary country towards the river.
Most marshes is solitary, said Joe.
No doubt, no doubt. Do you find any gypsies, now, or tramps of any sort, out there?
No, said Joe; none but a runaway convict now and then.[51] Eh, Mr. Wopsle?
Mr. Wopsle assented; but not warmly.
The stranger looked at me again still cocking his eye, as if he were taking aim at me with his invisible gun and said, Hes a nice boy. What is his name?
Pip, said Joe.
Son of yours?
Well, said Joe, well no. No, he isnt.
Nephew? said the strange man.
Well, said Joe, with the same appearance of profound cogitation, he is not no, not to deceive you, he is not my nephew.
What is he? asked the stranger.
Mr. Wopsle expounded the ties between me and Joe.
The strange man looked at nobody but me. He said nothing, until the glasses of rum and water were brought; and then he made his shot, and a most extraordinary shot it was.
It was not a verbal remark, but it was addressed to me. He stirred his rum and water pointedly at me, and he tasted his rum and water pointedly at me. And he stirred it and he tasted it; not with a spoon that was brought to him, but with a file.
He did this so that nobody but I saw the file; and when he had done it he wiped the file and put it in a breast-pocket. I knew it to be Joes file, and I knew that he knew my convict, the moment I saw the instrument. I sat gazing at him, spell-bound.
Stop half a moment, Mr. Gargery, said the strange man. I think Ive got a bright new shilling somewhere in my pocket, and if I have, the boy will have it.
He looked it out from a handful of small change, folded it in some crumpled paper, and gave it to me. Yours! said he. Mind! Your own.
I thanked him, staring at him. He gave Joe good-night, and he gave Mr. Wopsle good-night (who went out with us), and he gave me only a look with his aiming eye.
On the way home, if I had been in a humor for talking, the talk must have been all on my side, for Mr. Wopsle parted from us at the door of the Jolly Bargemen, and Joe went all the way home with his mouth wide open, to rinse the rum out with as much air as possible. But I could think of nothing else.
My sister was not in a very bad temper when we presented ourselves in the kitchen, and Joe told her about the bright shilling. A bad one,[52] Im sure, said Mrs. Joe triumphantly, Lets look at it.
I took it out of the paper, and it proved to be a good one. But whats this? said Mrs. Joe, throwing down the shilling and catching up the paper. Two OnePound notes?
Joe caught up his hat again, and ran with them to the Jolly Bargemen to restore them to their owner. While he was gone, I sat down on my usual stool and looked at my sister, feeling pretty sure that the man would not be there.
Presently, Joe came back, saying that the man was gone, but that he, Joe, had left word at the Three Jolly Bargemen concerning the notes. Then my sister sealed them up in a piece of paper, and put them under some dried rose-leaves in a teapot on the top of a press in the state parlor. There they remained, a nightmare to me, many and many a night and day.

Chapter 11

The passage was a long one. We traversed but one side of the square, however, and at the end of it she stopped, and put her candle down and opened a door. Here I found myself in a small paved courtyard. There was a clock in the outer wall of this house. Like the clock in Miss Havishams room, and like Miss Havishams watch, it had stopped at twenty minutes to nine.
We went in at the door, which stood open, and into a gloomy room with a low ceiling, on the ground-floor at the back.
As we were going with our candle along the dark passage, Estella stopped all of a sudden, and, facing round, said with her face quite close to mine
Well, miss? I answered, almost falling over her and checking myself.
She stood looking at me, and, of course, I stood looking at her.
Am I pretty?
Yes; I think you are very pretty.
Am I insulting?
Not so much so as you were last time, said I.
Not so much so?
She fired when she asked the last question, and she slapped my face with such force as she had, when I answered it.
Now? said she. You little coarse monster,[54] what do you think of me now?
I shall not tell you.
Why dont you cry again, you little wretch?[55]
Because Ill never cry for you again, said I.
We went on our way up stairs after this episode; and, as we were going up, we met a gentleman groping his way down.
Whom have we here? asked the gentleman, stopping and looking at me.
A boy, said Estella.
He was a burly man of an exceedingly dark complexion, with an exceedingly large head, and a corresponding large hand. He took my chin in his large hand and turned up my face to have a look at me by the light of the candle. He was bald on the top of his head, and had bushy black eyebrows.
Boy of the neighborhood? Hey? said he.
Yes, sir, said I.
How do you come here?
Miss Havisham sent for me, sir, I explained.
Well! Behave yourself, said he, biting the side of his great forefinger as he frowned at me, you behave yourself![56]
With those words, he released me and went his way down stairs. There was not much time to consider the subject, for we were soon in Miss Havishams room, where she and everything else were just as I had left them. Estella left me standing near the door, and I stood there until Miss Havisham cast her eyes upon me from the dressing-table.
So! she said, the days have worn away, have they?
Yes, maam. Today is
There, there, there![57] with the impatient movement of her fingers. I dont want to know. Are you ready to play?
I dont think I am, maam.
Not at cards again? she demanded, with a searching look.
Yes, maam; I could do that.
Since you are unwilling to play, boy, said Miss Havisham, impatiently, are you willing to work?
I said I was quite willing.
Then go into that opposite room, said she, pointing at the door behind me with her withered hand, and wait there till I come.
I crossed the staircase landing, and entered the room she indicated. From that room, too, the daylight was completely excluded, and it had an airless smell that was oppressive. The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on the table, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks all stopped together.
Black beetles had fascinated my attention, and I was watching them from a distance, when Miss Havisham laid a hand upon my shoulder. In her other hand she had a stick on which she leaned, and she looked like the witch.
This, said she, pointing to the long table with her stick, is where I will be laid when I am dead. They shall come and look at me here.
I shrank under her touch.
What do you think that is? she asked me, again pointing with her stick; that, where those cobwebs are?
I cant guess what it is, maam.
Its a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine!
She looked all round the room in a glaring manner, and then said, leaning on me while her hand twitched my shoulder, Come, come, come! Walk me, walk me![58]
She was not strong, and after a little time said, Slower! After a while she said, Call Estella! so I went out on the landing and roared that name as I had done on the previous occasion. When her light appeared, I returned to Miss Havisham, and we started away again round and round the room.
Estella brought with her the three ladies and the gentleman, I didnt know what to do.
Dear Miss Havisham, said a guest. How well you look!
I do not, returned Miss Havisham. I am yellow skin and bone. And how are you, Camilla? said Miss Havisham.
Thank you, Miss Havisham, she returned, I am as well as can be expected.
Miss Havisham and I had never stopped all this time, but kept going round and round the room.
Matthew[59] couldnot come, said Camilla.
Matthew will come and see me at last, said Miss Havisham, sternly, when I am laid on that table. That will be his place there, striking the table with her stick, at my head! And yours will be there! And your husbands there! And Sarah Pockets[60] there! And Georgianas[61] there! Now you all know where to take your stations when you come to feast upon me when you come to feast upon me.[62] And now go!
She now said, Walk me, walk me! and we went on again.
Bless you, Miss Havisham dear! said the guests.
While Estella was away lighting them down, Miss Havisham still walked with her hand on my shoulder, but more and more slowly. At last she stopped before the fire, and said, after muttering and looking at it some seconds
This is my birthday, Pip.
I was going to wish her many happy returns, when she lifted her stick.
I dont want it to be spoken of.[63] They come here on the day, but they dare not refer to it.
Of course I made no further effort to refer to it.
On this day of the year, long before you were born, this heap of decay was brought here. It and I have worn away together. The mice have gnawed at it, and sharper teeth than teeth of mice have gnawed at me.
She held the head of her stick against her heart.
When the ruin is complete, said she, with a ghastly look, and when they lay me dead, in my brides dress on the brides table which shall be done, and which will be the finished curse upon him, so much the better if it is done on this day![64]
She stood looking at the table as if she stood looking at her own figure lying there. I remained quiet. Estella returned, and she too remained quiet. It seemed to me that we continued thus for a long time.
At last, Miss Havisham said, Let me see you two play cards; why have you not begun? With that, we returned to her room, and sat down as before; I was beggared, as before; and again, as before, Miss Havisham watched us all the time, directed my attention to Estellas beauty.
When we had played some half-dozen games, a day was appointed for my return, and I was taken down into the yard to be fed in the former dog-like manner. There, too, I was again left to wander about as I liked.
I found myself in the dismal corner upon which I had looked out of the window. I looked in and, to my great surprise, saw a pale young gentleman with red eyelids and light hair.
This pale young gentleman quickly disappeared, and reappeared beside me.
Halloa! said he, young fellow!
I said, Halloa!
Who let you in? said he.
Miss Estella.
Come and fight, said the pale young gentleman.
What could I do but follow him?
Stop a minute, he said, I ought to give you a reason for fighting. There it is! In a most irritating manner he pulled my hair, dipped his head, and butted it into my stomach.
His spirit inspired me with great respect. He seemed to have no strength, and he never hit me hard. He got heavily bruised, for I am sorry to say that the more I hit him, the harder I hit him; but he came up again and again and again, until at last he got a bad fall with the back of his head against the wall. He went on his knees backwards and said, That means you have won.
He seemed so brave and innocent, that I felt but a gloomy satisfaction in my victory. However, I said, Can I help you? and he said No thank you, and I said Good afternoon, and he said Same to you.
When I got into the courtyard, I found Estella waiting with the keys. But she neither asked me where I had been, nor why I had kept her waiting; and there was a bright flush upon her face, as though something had happened to delight her. Instead of going straight to the gate, too, she stepped back into the passage, and beckoned me.
Come here! You may kiss me, if you like.
I kissed her cheek as she turned it to me. But I felt that the kiss was worth nothing.

Chapter 12

Estella always let me in and out, but never told me I might kiss her again. Sometimes, she would condescend to me; sometimes, she would be quite familiar with me; sometimes, she would tell me that she hated me. Miss Havisham would often ask me in a whisper, or when we were alone, Does she grow prettier and prettier, Pip? And when I said yes (for indeed she did), would seem to enjoy it. Miss Havisham would embrace her with lavish love, murmuring something in her ear that sounded like Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy!
One day Miss Havisham stopped short as she and I were walking, she leaning on my shoulder; and said with some displeasure
You are growing tall, Pip! Tell me the name of that blacksmith of yours.
Joe Gargery, maam.
Yes, Miss Havisham.
Would Gargery come here with you?
At any particular time, Miss Havisham?
There, there! I know nothing about times. Let him come soon, and come along with you.

Chapter 13

We walked to town. As it was almost noon, Joe and I held straight on to Miss Havishams house. Estella opened the gate as usual, and, the moment she appeared, Joe took his hat off.
Estella took no notice of either of us, but led us the way that I knew so well. I followed next to her, and Joe came last.
Estella told me we were both to go in, so I conducted Joe into Miss Havishams presence. She was seated at her dressing-table, and looked round at us immediately.
Oh! said she to Joe. You are the husband of the sister of this boy?
Dear old Joe was looking like some extraordinary bird; standing speechless, with his mouth open as if he wanted a worm.
You are the husband, repeated Miss Havisham, of the sister of this boy?
It was very aggravating; but, throughout the interview, Joe was addressing me instead of Miss Havisham.
Yes, you see, Pip, as I married your sister.
Well! said Miss Havisham. And you have reared the boy, with the intention of taking him for your apprentice; is that so, Mr. Gargery?
You know, Pip, replied Joe, as you and me were friends But, Pip, if you had ever made objections to that, nobody would force you, dont you see?
Has the boy, said Miss Havisham, ever made any objection? Does he like the trade?
Pip, returned Joe, I think, there were not any objection on your part, right?
It was quite in vain for me to make him understand that he ought to speak to Miss Havisham.
Have you brought his indentures with you? asked Miss Havisham.
Well, Pip, you know, replied Joe, you saw me put them in my bag, and therefore you know as they are here. With which he took them out, and gave them, not to Miss Havisham, but to me. I am afraid I was ashamed of the dear good fellow I know I was ashamed of him when I saw that Estella stood at the back of Miss Havishams chair, and that her eyes laughed.
You expected, said Miss Havisham, as she looked them over, no premium with the boy?
Joe! I cried, for he made no reply at all. Why dont you answer
Pip, returned Joe, that is not a question requiring a answer between yourself and me. Should I say it?Miss Havisham glanced at him and took up a little bag from the table beside her.
Pip has earned a premium here, she said, and here it is. There are five-and-twenty guineas in this bag. Give it to your master, Pip.
This is very liberal on your part,[66] Pip, said Joe, And now, old chap, may we do our duty![67]
Goodbye, Pip! said Miss Havisham. Let them out, Estella.
Am I to come again, Miss Havisham? I asked.
No. Gargery is your master now.
We got out of the room. In another minute we were outside the gate, and it was locked, and Estella was gone. When we stood in the daylight alone again, Joe backed up against a wall, and said to me, Astonishing!
When I got into my little bedroom, I was truly wretched, and had a strong conviction on me that I should never like Joes trade. I had liked it once, but once was not now.[68]

Chapter 14

Once, it had seemed to me that when I should be very proud and happy when I enter the forge. Now the reality was quite different, I only felt that I was dusty with the dust of small-coal.
It was not because I was faithful, but because Joe was faithful, that I never ran away and went for a soldier or a sailor. It was not because I had a strong sense of the virtue of industry,[70] but because Joe had a strong sense of the virtue of industry, that I worked very hard.
What I wanted, who can say? How can I say, when I never knew? What I dreaded was, that in some unlucky hour I should lift up my eyes and see Estella looking in at one of the wooden windows of the forge. I was haunted by the fear that she would, sooner or later, find me out, with a black face and hands, doing the coarsest part of my work, and would despise me. Often after dark, when I was pulling the bellows for Joe, I would look towards those panels of black night in the wall which the wooden windows then were, and would believe that she had come at last.
After that, when we went in to supper, the place and the meal would have a more homely look than ever, and I would feel more ashamed of home than ever.

Chapter 15

Well, Pip, returned Joe, slowly considering. What for?
Pip, said Joe, Miss Havisham might think you wanted something expected something of her.
Dont you think I might say that I did not, Joe?
You might, old chap, said Joe. And she might believe it. Or she might not.
Joe pulled hard at his pipe.
You see, Pip, Joe pursued, Miss Havisham said goodbye to you, Thats all.
Yes, Joe. I heard her.
ALL, Joe repeated, very emphatically.
Yes, Joe. I tell you, I heard her.
Me to the North, and you to the South!
But, Joe.
Yes, old chap.
I have never thanked Miss Havisham, or asked after her, or shown that I remember her. My dear Joe, if you would give me a half-holiday tomorrow, I think I would go to the town and make a call on Miss Est Havisham.
Her name, said Joe, gravely, isnt Estavisham, Pip.
So, tomorrow I found myself again going to Miss Havishams. Miss Sarah Pocket came to the gate. No Estella.
How, then? You here again? said Miss Pocket. What do you want?
When I said that I only came to see how Miss Havisham was, Sarah began to think if I was the right person to let me in. Finally, she let me in, and presently brought the sharp message that I was to come up.
Everything was unchanged, and Miss Havisham was alone.
Well? said she, fixing her eyes upon me. I hope you want nothing? Youll get nothing.
No indeed, Miss Havisham. I only wanted you to know that I am doing very well in my apprenticeship, and am always much obliged to you.
There, there! with the old restless fingers. Come now and then; come on your birthday. Ay! she cried suddenly, turning herself and her chair towards me, You are looking round for Estella? Hey?
I had been looking round in fact, for Estella and I stammered that I hoped she was well.
Abroad, said Miss Havisham; educating for a lady; far out of reach; prettier than ever; admired by all who see her. Do you feel that you have lost her?
There was such a malignant enjoyment in her last words, and she broke into such a disagreeable laugh, that I was at a loss what to say. When the gate was closed upon me by Sarah, I felt more than ever dissatisfied with my home and with my trade and with everything.
As I was loitering along the High Street, looking in disconsolately at the shop windows, and thinking what I would buy if I were a gentleman, who should come out of the shop but Mr. Wopsle.
Theres something wrong, said he, without stopping, up at your place, Pip. Run all!
What is it? I asked, keeping up with him.
I cant quite understand. The house seems to have been entered when Joe Gargery was out. Supposed by convicts. Somebody has been attacked and hurt.
We were running, and we made no stop until we got into our kitchen. It was full of people; the whole village was there, or in the yard; and there was a surgeon, and there was Joe, and there were a group of women, all on the floor in the midst of the kitchen. My sister was lying without sense or movement on the bare boards.

Chapter 16

My sister had been struck with something blunt and heavy, on the head and spine. And on the ground beside her, when Joe picked her up, was a convicts leg-iron which had been filed asunder.
Knowing what I knew, I believed the iron to be my convicts iron the iron I had seen and heard him filing at, on the marshes but my mind did not accuse him of having put it to its latest use.
It was horrible to think that I had provided the weapon.
The Constables and the Bow Street men from London[72] were about the house for a week or two, and did pretty much what I have heard and read of like authorities doing in other such cases. They took up several obviously wrong people, and they ran their heads very hard against wrong ideas, and persisted in trying to fit the circumstances to the ideas, instead of trying to extract ideas from the circumstances.
Long after these constitutional powers had dispersed, my sister lay very ill in bed. Her sight was disturbed, so that she saw objects multiplied; her hearing was greatly impaired; her memory also; and her speech was unintelligible.[73]

Chapter 17

I tried to decline taking the guinea on the first occasion, but with no better effect than causing her to ask me very angrily, if I expected more? Then, and after that, I took it.
The dull old house did not change, the yellow light in the darkened room, the faded spectre in the chair by the dressing-table glass stood still. Daylight never entered the house. It bewildered me, and under its influence I continued at heart to hate my trade and to be ashamed of home.
Wopsles second cousin Biddy used to come to help me and Joe. Biddy was a kind and intelligent but poor young woman. She was not beautiful she was common, and could not be like Estella but she was pleasant and wholesome and sweet-tempered. She had curiously thoughtful and attentive eyes; eyes that were very pretty and very good. I liked to talk to her, and she usually listened to me with great attention.
Biddy, said I one day, we must talk together. And I must consult you a little more. Let us have a quiet walk on the marshes next Sunday, Biddy, and a long chat.
Joe more than readily undertook the care of my sister on that Sunday afternoon, and Biddy and I went out together. It was summer-time, and lovely weather. When we had passed the village and the church and the churchyard, and were out on the marshes and began to see the sails of the ships as they sailed on, I resolved that it was a good time and place for the admission of Biddy into my inner confidence.
Biddy, said I, I want to be a gentleman.
O, I wouldnt, if I was you! she returned. What for?
Biddy, said I, with some severity, I have particular reasons for wanting to be a gentleman.
You know best, Pip; but dont you think you are happier as you are?
Biddy, I exclaimed, impatiently, I am not at all happy as I am. I am disgusted with my calling and with my life. Dont be absurd.
Was I absurd? said Biddy, quietly raising her eyebrows; I am sorry for that; I didnt mean to be. I only want you to do well, and to be comfortable.
I could lead a very different sort of life from the life I lead now. See how I am going on. Dissatisfied and uncomfortable, coarse and common!
Biddy turned her face suddenly towards mine, and looked far more attentively at me than she had looked at the sailing ships.
It was neither a very true nor a very polite thing to say, she remarked, directing her eyes to the ships again. Who said it?
Do you want to be a gentleman, to spite her or to gain her over?[75] Biddy quietly asked me, after a pause.