He forged wills, this blade did, if he didn't also put the
supposed testators to sleep too. You were a gentlemanly Cove,
though" (Mr. Wemmick was again apostrophizing), "and you said you
could write Greek. Yah, Bounceable! What a liar you were! I never
met such a liar as you!" Before putting his late friend on his
shelf again, Wemmick touched the largest of his mourning rings and
said, "Sent out to buy it for me, only the day before."
While he was putting up the other cast and coming down from the
chair, the thought crossed my mind that all his personal jewellery
was derived from like sources. As he had shown no diffidence on the
subject, I ventured on the liberty of asking him the question, when
he stood before me, dusting his hands.
"Oh yes," he returned, "these are all gifts of that kind. One
brings another, you see; that's the way of it. I always take 'em.
They're curiosities. And they're property. They may not be worth
much, but, after all, they're property and portable. It don't
signify to you with your brilliant look-out, but as to myself, my
guidingstar always is, "Get hold of portable property"."
When I had rendered homage to this light, he went on to say, in a
"If at any odd time when you have nothing better to do, you
wouldn't mind coming over to see me at Walworth, I could offer you
a bed, and I should consider it an honour. I have not much to show
you; but such two or three curiosities as I have got, you might
like to look over; and I am fond of a bit of garden and a
I said I should be delighted to accept his hospitality.
"Thankee," said he; "then we'll consider that it's to come off,
when convenient to you. Have you dined with Mr. Jaggers yet?"
"Well," said Wemmick, "he'll give you wine, and good wine. I'll
give you punch, and not bad punch. and now I'll tell you something.
When you go to dine with Mr. Jaggers, look at his housekeeper."
"Shall I see something very uncommon?"
"Well," said Wemmick, "you'll see a wild beast tamed. Not so very
uncommon, you'll tell me. I reply, that depends on the original
wildness of the beast, and the amount of taming. It won't lower
your opinion of Mr. Jaggers's powers. Keep your eye on it."
I told him I would do so, with all the interest and curiosity that
his preparation awakened. As I was taking my departure, he asked me
if I would like to devote five minutes to seeing Mr. Jaggers "at
For several reasons, and not least because I didn't clearly know
what Mr. Jaggers would be found to be "at," I replied in the
affirmative. We dived into the City, and came up in a crowded
policecourt, where a blood-relation (in the murderous sense) of the
deceased with the fanciful taste in brooches, was standing at the
bar, uncomfortably chewing something; while my guardian had a woman
under examination or cross-examination - I don't know which - and
was striking her, and the bench, and everybody present, with awe.
If anybody, of whatsoever degree, said a word that he didn't
approve of, he instantly required to have it "taken down." If
anybody wouldn't make an admission, he said, "I'll have it out of
you!" and if anybody made an admission, he said, "Now I have got
you!" the magistrates shivered under a single bite of his finger.
Thieves and thieftakers hung in dread rapture on his words, and
shrank when a hair of his eyebrows turned in their direction. Which
side he was on, I couldn't make out, for he seemed to me to be
grinding the whole place in a mill; I only know that when I stole
out on tiptoe, he was not on the side of the bench; for, he was
making the legs of the old gentleman who presided, quite convulsive
under the table, by his denunciations of his conduct as the
representative of British law and justice in that chair that day.
Bentley Drummle, who was so sulky a fellow that he even took up a
book as if its writer had done him an injury, did not take up an
acquaintance in a more agreeable spirit.