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THE pale young gentleman and I stood
contemplating one another in Barnard's Inn, until
we both burst out laughing. " The idea of its
being you!" said he. " The idea of its being
you!" said I. And then we contemplated one
another afresh, and laughed again. " Well!"
said the pale young gentleman, reaching out his
hand good humouredly, "it's all over now, I
hope, and it will be magnanimous in you if
you'll forgive me for having knocked you about

I derived from this speech that Mr. Herbert
Pocket (for Herbert was the pale young
gentleman's name) still rather confounded his
intention with his execution. But I made a
modest reply, and we shook hands warmly.

"You hadn't come into your good fortune at
that time?" said Herbert Pocket.

"No," said I.

"No," he acquiesced: " I heard it had
happened very lately. I was rather on the look-out
for good fortune then."


"Yes. Miss Havisham had sent for me, to
see if she could take a fancy to me. But she
couldn'tat all events, she didn't."

I thought it polite to remark that I was
surprised to hear that.

"Bad taste," said Herbert, laughing, " but a
fact. Yes, she had sent for me on a trial visit,
and if I had come out of it successfully, I
suppose I should have been provided for; perhaps
I should have been what-you-may-called it to

What's that?" I asked, with sudden

He was arranging his fruit in plates while
we talked, which divided his attention, and was
the cause of his having made this lapse of a
word. "Affianced," he explained, still busy
with the fruit, "Betrothed. Engaged. What's-
his-named. Any word of that sort."

"How did you bear your disappointment?"
I asked.

"Pooh!" said he, " I didn't care much for it.
She's a Tartar."

"Miss Havisham?" I suggested.

"I don't say no to that, but I meant Estella.
That girl's hard and haughty and capricious to
the last degree, and has been brought up by
Miss Havisham to wreak revenge on all the
male sex."

"What relation is she to Miss Havisham?"

"None," said he. " Only adopted."

"Why should she wreak revenge on all the
male sex? What revenge?"

"Lord, Mr. Pip!" said he. "Don't you

"No," said I.

"Dear me! It's quite a story, and shall be
saved till dinner-time. And now let me take
the liberty of asking you a question. How did
you come there that day?"

I told him, and he was attentive until I had
finished, and then burst out laughing again, and
asked me if I was sore afterwards? I didn't
ask him if he was, for my conviction on that
point was perfectly established.

"Mr. Jaggers is your guardian, I understand?"
he went on.


"You know he is Miss Havisham's man of
business and solicitor, and has her confidence
when nobody else has?"

This was bringing me (I felt) towards
dangerous ground. I answered with a constraint I
made no attempt to disguise, that I had seen
Mr. Jaggers in Miss Havisham's house on the
very day of our combat, but never at any other
time, and that I believed he had no recollection
of having ever seen me there.

"He was so obliging as to suggest my father
for your tutor, and he called on my father to
propose it. Of course he knew about my
father from his connexion with Miss Havisham.
My father is Miss Havisham's nephew; not
that that implies familiar intercourse between
them, for he is a bad courtier and will not
propitiate her."

Herbert Pocket had a frank and easy way
with him that was very taking. I had never
seen any one then, and I have never seen any
one since, who more strongly expressed to me, in
every look and tone, a natural incapacity to do
anything secret or mean. There was something
wonderfully hopeful about his general air, and
something that at the same time whispered to
me he would never be very successful or rich.
I don't know how this was. I became imbued
with the notion on that first occasion before we