Charles Dickens

We came to Richmond all too soon, and our destination there, was a

house by the Green; a staid old house, where hoops and powder and

patches, embroidered coats rolled stockings ruffles and swords, had

had their court days many a time. Some ancient trees before the

house were still cut into fashions as formal and unnatural as the

hoops and wigs and stiff skirts; but their own allotted places in

the great procession of the dead were not far off, and they would

soon drop into them and go the silent way of the rest.

A bell with an old voice - which I dare say in its time had often

said to the house, Here is the green farthingale, Here is the

diamondhilted sword, Here are the shoes with red heels and the blue

solitaire, - sounded gravely in the moonlight, and two

cherrycoloured maids came fluttering out to receive Estella. The

doorway soon absorbed her boxes, and she gave me her hand and a

smile, and said good night, and was absorbed likewise. And still I

stood looking at the house, thinking how happy I should be if I

lived there with her, and knowing that I never was happy with her,

but always miserable.

I got into the carriage to be taken back to Hammersmith, and I got

in with a bad heart-ache, and I got out with a worse heart-ache. At

our own door, I found little Jane Pocket coming home from a little

party escorted by her little lover; and I envied her little lover,

in spite of his being subject to Flopson.

Mr. Pocket was out lecturing; for, he was a most delightful lecturer

on domestic economy, and his treatises on the management of

children and servants were considered the very best text-books on

those themes. But, Mrs. Pocket was at home, and was in a little

difficulty, on account of the baby's having been accommodated with

a needle-case to keep him quiet during the unaccountable absence

(with a relative in the Foot Guards) of Millers. And more needles

were missing, than it could be regarded as quite wholesome for a

patient of such tender years either to apply externally or to take

as a tonic.

Mr. Pocket being justly celebrated for giving most excellent

practical advice, and for having a clear and sound perception of

things and a highly judicious mind, I had some notion in my

heartache of begging him to accept my confidence. But, happening to

look up at Mrs. Pocket as she sat reading her book of dignities

after prescribing Bed as a sovereign remedy for baby, I thought -

Well - No, I wouldn't.

Chapter 34

As I had grown accustomed to my expectations, I had insensibly

begun to notice their effect upon myself and those around me. Their

influence on my own character, I disguised from my recognition as

much as possible, but I knew very well that it was not all good. I

lived in a state of chronic uneasiness respecting my behaviour to

Joe. My conscience was not by any means comfortable about Biddy.

When I woke up in the night - like Camilla - I used to think, with

a weariness on my spirits, that I should have been happier and

better if I had never seen Miss Havisham's face, and had risen to

manhood content to be partners with Joe in the honest old forge.

Many a time of an evening, when I sat alone looking at the fire, I

thought, after all, there was no fire like the forge fire and the

kitchen fire at home.

Yet Estella was so inseparable from all my restlessness and

disquiet of mind, that I really fell into confusion as to the

limits of my own part in its production. That is to say, supposing

I had had no expectations, and yet had had Estella to think of, I

could not make out to my satisfaction that I should have done much

better. Now, concerning the influence of my position on others, I

was in no such difficulty, and so I perceived - though dimly enough

perhaps - that it was not beneficial to anybody, and, above all,

that it was not beneficial to Herbert. My lavish habits led his

easy nature into expenses that he could not afford, corrupted the

simplicity of his life, and disturbed his peace with anxieties and