Charles Dickens

"Well, Sir," pursued Joe, "this is how it were. I were at the

Bargemen t'other night, Pip;" whenever he subsided into affection,

he called me Pip, and whenever he relapsed into politeness he

called me Sir; "when there come up in his shay-cart, Pumblechook.

Which that same identical," said Joe, going down a new track, "do

comb my 'air the wrong way sometimes, awful, by giving out up and

down town as it were him which ever had your infant companionation

and were looked upon as a playfellow by yourself."

"Nonsense. It was you, Joe."

"Which I fully believed it were, Pip," said Joe, slightly tossing

his head, "though it signify little now, Sir. Well, Pip; this same

identical, which his manners is given to blusterous, come to me at

the Bargemen (wot a pipe and a pint of beer do give refreshment to

the working-man, Sir, and do not over stimilate), and his word

were, 'Joseph, Miss Havisham she wish to speak to you.'"

"Miss Havisham, Joe?"

"'She wish,' were Pumblechook's word, 'to speak to you.'" Joe sat

and rolled his eyes at the ceiling.

"Yes, Joe? Go on, please."

"Next day, Sir," said Joe, looking at me as if I were a long way

off, "having cleaned myself, I go and I see Miss A."

"Miss A., Joe? Miss Havisham?"

"Which I say, Sir," replied Joe, with an air of legal formality, as

if he were making his will, "Miss A., or otherways Havisham. Her

expression air then as follering: 'Mr. Gargery. You air in

correspondence with Mr. Pip?' Having had a letter from you, I were

able to say 'I am.' (When I married your sister, Sir, I said 'I

will;' and when I answered your friend, Pip, I said 'I am.') 'Would

you tell him, then,' said she, 'that which Estella has come home

and would be glad to see him.'"

I felt my face fire up as I looked at Joe. I hope one remote cause

of its firing, may have been my consciousness that if I had known

his errand, I should have given him more encouragement.

"Biddy," pursued Joe, "when I got home and asked her fur to write

the message to you, a little hung back. Biddy says, "I know he will

be very glad to have it by word of mouth, it is holidaytime, you

want to see him, go!" I have now concluded, Sir," said Joe, rising

from his chair, "and, Pip, I wish you ever well and ever prospering

to a greater and a greater heighth."

"But you are not going now, Joe?"

"Yes I am," said Joe.

"But you are coming back to dinner, Joe?"

"No I am not," said Joe.

Our eyes met, and all the "Sir" melted out of that manly heart as

he gave me his hand.

"Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded

together, as I may say, and one man's a blacksmith, and one's a

whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith.

Diwisions among such must come, and must be met as they come. If

there's been any fault at all to-day, it's mine. You and me is not

two figures to be together in London; nor yet anywheres else but

what is private, and beknown, and understood among friends. It

ain't that I am proud, but that I want to be right, as you shall

never see me no more in these clothes. I'm wrong in these clothes.

I'm wrong out of the forge, the kitchen, or off th' meshes. You

won't find half so much fault in me if you think of me in my forge

dress, with my hammer in my hand, or even my pipe. You won't find

half so much fault in me if, supposing as you should ever wish to

see me, you come and put your head in at the forge window and see

Joe the blacksmith, there, at the old anvil, in the old burnt

apron, sticking to the old work. I'm awful dull, but I hope I've

beat out something nigh the rights of this at last. And so GOD

bless you, dear old Pip, old chap, GOD bless you!"

I had not been mistaken in my fancy that there was a simple dignity

in him. The fashion of his dress could no more come in its way when

he spoke these words, than it could come in its way in Heaven.