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"Jaggers," interposed Miss Havisham, much
to my relief; "leave my Pip alone, and go with
him to your dinner."

He complied, and we groped our way down
the dark stairs together. While we were still
on our way to those detached apartments across
the paved yard at the back, he asked me how
often I had seen Miss Havisham eat and drink;
offering me a breadth of choice, as usual,
between a hundred times and once.

I considered, and said, "Never."

"And never will, Pip," he retorted, with a
frowning smile. "She had never allowed
herself to be seen doing either, since she lived this
present life of hers. She wanders about in the
night, and then lays hands on such food as she

"Pray, sir," said I, "may I ask you a

"You may," said he, "and I may decline to
answer it. Put your question."

"Estella's name. Is it Havisham, or——?"
I had nothing to add.

"Or what?" said he.

"Is it Havisham?"

"It is Havisham."

This brought us to the dinner-table, where
she and Sarah Pocket awaited us. Mr. Jaggers
presided, Estella sat opposite to him, I faced my
green and yellow friend. We dined very well,
and were waited on by a maid-servant whom I
had never seen in all my comings and goings,
but who, for anything I know, had been in
that myserious house the whole time. After
dinner, a bottle of choice old port was placed
before my guardian (he was evidently well
acquainted with the vintage), and the two ladies
left us.

Anything to equal the determined reticence of
Mr. Jaggers under that roof, I never saw
elsewhere, even in him. He kept his very looks to
himself, and scarcely directed his eyes to
Estella's face once during dinner. When she
spoke to him, he listened, and in due course
answered, but never looked at her that I could
see. On the other hand, she often looked at
him, with interest and curiosity, if not distrust,
but his face never showed the least consciousness.
Throughout dinner he took a dry
delight in making Sarah Pocket greener and
yellower, by often referring in conversation with
me to my expectations; but here, again, he
showed no consciousness, and even made it
appear that he extortedand even did extort,
though I don't know howthose references out
of my innocent self.

And when he and I were left alone together,
he sat with an air upon him of general lying by
in consequence of information he possessed, that
really was too much for me. He cross-
examined his very wine when he had nothing else
in hand. He held it between himself and the
candle, tasted the port, rolled it in his mouth,
swallowed it, looked at the port again, smelt it,
tried it, drank it, filled again, and cross-examined
the glass again, until I was as nervous as if I had
known the wine to be telling him something to
my disadvantage. Three or four times I feebly
thought I would start conversation; but whenever
he saw me going to ask him anything, he
looked at me with his glass in his hand, and
rolling his wine about in his mouth, as if
requesting me to take notice that it was of no
use, for he couldn't answer.

I think Miss Pocket was conscious that the
sight of me involved her in the danger of being
goaded to madness, and perhaps tearing off her
capwhich was a very hideous one, in the
nature of a muslin mopand strewing the ground
with her hairwhich assuredly had never grown
on her head. She did not appear when we afterwards
went up to Miss Havisham's room, and
we four played at whist. In the interval, Miss
Havisham, in a fantastic way, had put some of
the most beautiful jewels from her dressing-table
into Estella's hair, and about her bosom and
arms; and I saw even my guardian look at her
from under his thick eyebrows, and raise them
a little, when her loveliness was before him,
with those rich flushes of glitter and colour
in it.

Of the manner and extent to which he took
our trumps into custody, and came out with
mean little cards at the ends of hands, before
which the glory of our Kings and Queens was
utterly abased, I say nothing; nor of the feeling
that I had, respecting his looking upon us
personally in the light of three very obvious and poor
riddles that he had found out long ago. What I
suffered from, was the incompatibility between his
cold presence and my feelings towards Estella.
It was not that I knew I could never bear to
speak to him about her, that I knew I could
never bear to hear him creak his boots at her,
that I knew I could never bear to see him wash
his hands of her; it was, that my admiration
should be within a foot or two of himit was,
that my feelings should be in the same place
with himthat, was the agonising

We played until nine o'clock, and then it
was arranged that when Estella came to
London I should be forewarned of her coming
and should meet her at the coach; and then
I took leave of her, and touched her and left

My guardian lay at the Boar in the next
room to mine. Far into the night, Miss
Havisham's words, "Love her, love her, love her!"
sounded in my ears. I adapted them for my
own repetition, and said to my pillow, "I love
her, I love her, I love her!" hundreds of times.
Then, a burst of gratitude came upon me, that
she should be destined for me, once the
blacksmith's boy. Then, I thought if she were, as
I feared, by no means rapturously grateful for
that destiny yet, when would she begin to be
interested in me? When should I awaken the
heart within her, that was mute and sleeping

Ah me! I thought those were high and great
emotions. But I never thought there was
anything low and small in my keeping away from
Joe, because I knew she would be contemptuous