Charles Dickens

I took

advantage of the moment - I had sought one from the first - to

leave the room, after beseeching Estella's attention to her, with a

movement of my hand. When I left, Estella was yet standing by the

great chimney-piece, just as she had stood throughout. Miss

Havisham's grey hair was all adrift upon the ground, among the

other bridal wrecks, and was a miserable sight to see.

It was with a depressed heart that I walked in the starlight for an

hour and more, about the court-yard, and about the brewery, and

about the ruined garden. When I at last took courage to return to

the room, I found Estella sitting at Miss Havisham's knee, taking

up some stitches in one of those old articles of dress that were

dropping to pieces, and of which I have often been reminded since

by the faded tatters of old banners that I have seen hanging up in

cathedrals. Afterwards, Estella and I played at cards, as of yore -

only we were skilful now, and played French games - and so the

evening wore away, and I went to bed.

I lay in that separate building across the court-yard. It was the

first time I had ever lain down to rest in Satis House, and sleep

refused to come near me. A thousand Miss Havishams haunted me. She

was on this side of my pillow, on that, at the head of the bed, at

the foot, behind the half-opened door of the dressing-room, in the

dressing-room, in the room overhead, in the room beneath -

everywhere. At last, when the night was slow to creep on towards

two o'clock, I felt that I absolutely could no longer bear the

place as a place to lie down in, and that I must get up. I

therefore got up and put on my clothes, and went out across the

yard into the long stone passage, designing to gain the outer

court-yard and walk there for the relief of my mind. But, I was no

sooner in the passage than I extinguished my candle; for, I saw

Miss Havisham going along it in a ghostly manner, making a low cry.

I followed her at a distance, and saw her go up the staircase. She

carried a bare candle in her hand, which she had probably taken

from one of the sconces in her own room, and was a most unearthly

object by its light. Standing at the bottom of the staircase, I

felt the mildewed air of the feast-chamber, without seeing her open

the door, and I heard her walking there, and so across into her own

room, and so across again into that, never ceasing the low cry.

After a time, I tried in the dark both to get out, and to go back,

but I could do neither until some streaks of day strayed in and

showed me where to lay my hands. During the whole interval,

whenever I went to the bottom of the staircase, I heard her

footstep, saw her light pass above, and heard her ceaseless low


Before we left next day, there was no revival of the difference

between her and Estella, nor was it ever revived on any similar

occasion; and there were four similar occasions, to the best of my

remembrance. Nor, did Miss Havisham's manner towards Estella in

anywise change, except that I believed it to have something like

fear infused among its former characteristics.

It is impossible to turn this leaf of my life, without putting

Bentley Drummle's name upon it; or I would, very gladly.

On a certain occasion when the Finches were assembled in force, and

when good feeling was being promoted in the usual manner by

nobody's agreeing with anybody else, the presiding Finch called the

Grove to order, forasmuch as Mr. Drummle had not yet toasted a lady;

which, according to the solemn constitution of the society, it was

the brute's turn to do that day. I thought I saw him leer in an

ugly way at me while the decanters were going round, but as there

was no love lost between us, that might easily be. What was my

indignant surprise when he called upon the company to pledge him to


"Estella who?" said I.

"Never you mind," retorted Drummle.

"Estella of where?" said I.