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“You know the name?” said Mr. Jaggers, looking at me, and then shutting up his eyes while he waited for my answer.

My answer was, that I had heard of the name.

“Oh!” said he. “You have heard of the name. You had better try him in his own house. The way shall be prepared for you, and you can see his son first, who is in London. When will you come to London?”

I said (glancing at Joe, who stood looking on, motionless), that I could come directly.

“First,” said Mr. Jaggers, “you should have some new clothes, and they should not be working-clothes. Say in a week. You’ll want some money. Shall I leave you twenty guineas?”

He took out a long purse, and counted them out on the table and pushed them over to me.

“Well, Joseph Gargery? You look astonished?”

“I am!” said Joe, in a very decided manner.

“But what,” said Mr. Jaggers, swinging his purse – “what if it was in my instructions to make you a present, as compensation?”

“As compensation what for?” Joe demanded.

“For the loss of his services.”

Joe laid his hand upon my shoulder with the touch of a woman. “Pip is hearty welcome,” said Joe, “to go free with his services, to honor and fortune, as no words can tell him. But if you think as Money can make compensation to me for the loss of the little child – what come to the forge – and ever the best of friends! – ”

Mr. Jaggers had looked at him, as one who recognized in Joe the village idiot,[83] and in me his keeper. When it was over, he said, weighing in his hand the purse he had ceased to swing:

“Now, Joseph Gargery, I warn you this is your last chance. If you mean to take a present that I have, speak out, and you shall have it. If on the contrary you mean to say – ” Here, to his great amazement, he was stopped by Joe’s words.

“I mean,” cried Joe, “that if you come into my place badgering me, come out! If you’re a man, come on! Stand or fall by!”

I drew Joe away. Mr. Jaggers delivered his remarks. They were these.

“Well, Mr. Pip, I think the sooner you leave here – as you are to be a gentleman – the better. Let it stand for this day week,[84] and you shall receive my printed address in the meantime.”

He went out, I thanked him and ran home again, and there I found that Joe had already locked the front, and was seated by the kitchen fire with a hand on each knee, gazing intently at the burning coals. I too sat down before the fire and gazed at the coals, and nothing was said for a long time.

My sister was in her chair in her corner, and Biddy sat at her needle-work before the fire, and Joe sat next Biddy, and I sat next Joe in the corner opposite my sister.

“Joe, have you told Biddy?” asked I.

“No, Pip,” returned Joe, still looking at the fire, and holding his knees tight, “ I left it to yourself, Pip.”

“I would rather you told, Joe.”

“Pip’s a gentleman of fortune then,” said Joe, “and God bless him in it!”

Biddy dropped her work, and looked at me. Joe held his knees and looked at me. I looked at both of them. After a pause, they both heartily gratulated me; but there was a certain touch of sadness in their congratulations.

Biddy said no more. I soon exchanged an affectionate good night with her and Joe, and went up to bed. When I got into my little room, I sat down and took a long look at it.

The sun had been shining brightly all day on the roof of my attic, and the room was warm. As I put the window open and stood looking out, I saw Joe come slowly forth at the dark door, below; and then I saw Biddy come, and bring him a pipe and light it for him. He never smoked so late.

Chapter 19

Joe and Biddy were very sympathetic and pleasant when I spoke of our approaching separation; but they only referred to it when I did. No more low, wet grounds, no more dikes, no more of these grazing cattle – I was for London; not for smith’s work in general! I made my exultant way to the wood, and, lying down there, fell asleep.

When I awoke, I was much surprised to find Joe sitting beside me, smoking his pipe. He greeted me with a cheerful smile on my opening my eyes, and said —

“I decided to follow you, Pip.”

“Joe, I am very glad you did so.”

“Thank you, Pip.”

“You may be sure, dear Joe,” I went on, after we had shaken hands, “that I shall never forget you.”

“No, no, Pip!” said Joe, in a comfortable tone, “I’m sure of that. Ay, ay, old chap!”

When we had walked home and had had tea, I took Biddy into our little garden by the side of the lane, and said I had a favour to ask of her.

“And it is, Biddy,” said I, “that you will not omit any opportunity of helping Joe on, a little.”

“How helping him on?” asked Biddy, with a steady sort of glance.

“Well! Joe is a dear good fellow – in fact, I think he is the dearest fellow that ever lived – but he is rather backward in some things. For instance, Biddy, in his learning and his manners.”

Although I was looking at Biddy as I spoke, and although she opened her eyes very wide when I had spoken, she did not look at me.

“O, his manners! won’t his manners do then?[85]” asked Biddy, plucking a black-currant leaf.

“My dear Biddy, they do very well here – ”

“O! they do very well here?” interrupted Biddy, looking closely at the leaf in her hand.

“I mean a higher sphere.[86]

“And don’t you think he knows that?” asked Biddy.

It was such a very provoking question, that I said, snappishly —

“Biddy, what do you mean?”

“Have you never considered that he may be proud?”

“Proud?” I repeated, with disdainful emphasis.

“O! there are many kinds of pride,” said Biddy, looking full at me and shaking her head; “pride is not all of one kind[87] – ”

“Well? What are you stopping for?” said I.

“He may be too proud,” resumed Biddy, “to let any one take him out of a place that he fills well and with respect. To tell you the truth, I think he is.”

“Now, Biddy,” said I, “I did not expect to see this in you. You are envious, Biddy, and grudging. You are dissatisfied on account of my rise in fortune.”

“If you have the heart to think so,” returned Biddy, “say so. Say so over and over again, if you have the heart to think so.”

But, morning once more brightened my view, and I extended my clemency to Biddy, and we dropped the subject. Putting on the best clothes I had, I went into town as early as I could hope to find the shops open, and presented myself before Mr. Trabb,[88] the tailor.

“Well!” said Mr. Trabb. “How are you, and what can I do for you?”

“Mr. Trabb,” said I, “it looks like boasting; but I have come into a handsome property. I am going up to my guardian in London, and I want a fashionable suit of clothes.”

“My dear sir,” said Mr. Trabb, “may I congratulate you? Would you do me the favour of stepping into the shop?”

I selected the materials for a suit, with the assistance of Mr. Trabb. Mr. Trabb measured and calculated me in the parlor.

After this memorable event, I went to the hatter’s, and the shoemaker’s, and the hosier’s. I also went to the coach-office[89] and took my place for seven o’clock on Saturday morning.

So, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, passed; and on Friday morning I went to pay my visit to Miss Havisham.

I went to Miss Havisham’s by all the back ways, and rang at the bell. Sarah Pocket came to the gate, and positively reeled back when she saw me so changed.

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83

village idiot – деревенский дурачок

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84

Let it stand for this day week. – Пусть это будет через неделю.

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85

won’t his manners do then? – разве его манеры недостаточно хороши?

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86

a higher sphere – более высокие круги

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87

pride is not all of one kind – гордость не у всех одинаковая

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88

Trabb – Трэбб

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89

coach-office – контора дилижансов

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