+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

rest of the day, and return to the hotel at night,
and to London to-morrow. When we had
conversed for a while, Miss Havisham sent us two
out to walk in the neglected garden; on our
coming in by-and-by, she said, I should wheel
her about a little as in times of yore.

So, Estella and I went out into the garden by
the gate through which I had strayed to my
encounter with the pale young gentleman, now
Herbert; I, trembling in spirit and worshipping
the very hem of her dress; she, quite composed
and most decidedly not worshipping the hem of
mine. As we drew near to the place of
encounter, she stopped and said:

"I must have been a singular little
creature to hide and see that fight that day: but
I did, and I enjoyed it very much."

"You rewarded me very much."

"Did I?" she replied, in an incidental and
forgetful way. "I remember I entertained a
great objection to your adversary, because I
took it ill that he should be brought here to
pester me with his company."

"He and I are great friends now," said I.

"Are you? I think I recollect though, that
you read with his father?"


I made the admission with reluctance, for it
seemed to have a boyish look, and she already
treated me more than enough like a boy.

"Since your change of fortune and prospects, you
have changed your companions," said

"Naturally," said I.

"And necessarily," she added, in a haughty
tone, "what was fit company for you once,
would be quite unfit company for you now."

In my conscience, I doubt very much whether I
had any lingering intention left, of going to see
Joe; but if I had, this observation put it to

"You had no idea of your impending good
fortune, in those times?" said Estella, with a
slight wave of her hand, signifying in the fighting

"Not the least."

The air of completeness and superiority with
which she walked at my side, and the air of
youthfulness and submission with which I walked
at hers, made a contrast that I strongly felt.
It would have rankled in me more than it did,
if I had not regarded myself as eliciting it
by being so set apart for her and assigned to

The garden was too overgrown and rank for
walking in with ease, and after we had made the
round of it twice or thrice, we came out again
into the brewery yard. I showed her to a
nicety where I had seen her walking on the
casks, that first old day, and she said, with a
cold and careless look in that direction, "Did
I?" I reminded her where she had come out of
the house and given me my meat and drink, and
she said, "I don't remember." "Not remember
that you made me cry?" said I. "No," said
she, and shook her head, and looked about her.
I verily believe her that her not remembering and
not minding in the least, made me cry again,
inwardlyand that is the sharpest crying of

"You must know," said Estella, condescending
to me as a brilliant and beautiful woman
might, "that I have no heartif that has
anything to do with my memory."

I got through some jargon to the effect that
I took the liberty of doubting that. That I
knew better. That there could be no such
beauty without it.

"Oh! I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot
in, I have no doubt," said Estella, "and, of
course, if it ceased to beat I should cease to be.
But you know what I mean. I have no
softness there, nosympathysentiment

What was it that was borne in upon my mind
when she stood still and looked attentively at
me? Anything that I had seen in Miss
Havisham? No. In some of her looks and
gestures there was that tinge of resemblance to Miss
Havisham which may often be noticed to have
been acquired by children, from grown persons
with whom they have been much associated and
secluded, and which, when childhood is past, will
produce a remarkable occasional likeness of
expression between faces that are otherwise
quite different. And yet I could not trace this
to Miss Havisham. I looked again, and though
she was still looking at me, the suggestion was

What was it?

"I am serious," said Estella, not so much
with a frown (for her brow was smooth) as with
a darkening of her face; "if we are to be thrown
much together, you had better believe it at
once. No!" imperiously stopping me as I
opened my lips. "I have not bestowed my
tenderness anywhere. I have never had any such

In another moment we were in the brewery
so long disused, and she pointed to the high
gallery where I had seen her going out on that
same first day, and told me she remembered to
have been up there, and to have seen me standing
scared below. As my eyes followed her
white hand, again the same dim suggestion that
I could not possibly grasp, crossed me. My
involuntary start occasioned her to lay her hand
upon my arm. Instantly the ghost passed
once more, and was gone.

What was it?

"What is the matter?" asked Estella. "Are
you scared again?"

"I should be, if I believed what you said just
now," I replied, to turn it off.

"Then you don't? Very well. It is said, at
any rate. Mis Havisham will soon be expecting
you at your old post, though I think that might
be laid aside now, with other old belongings.
Let us make one more round of the garden, and
then go in. Come! You shall not shed tears
for my cruelty to-day; you shall be my Page,
and give me your shoulder."

Her handsome dress trailed upon the
ground. She held it in one hand now, and with