Charles Dickens

"Look'ee here, Pip. I'm your second father. You're my son - more to

me nor any son. I've put away money, only for you to spend. When I

was a hired-out shepherd in a solitary hut, not seeing no faces but

faces of sheep till I half forgot wot men's and women's faces wos

like, I see yourn. I drops my knife many a time in that hut when I

was a-eating my dinner or my supper, and I says, 'Here's the boy

again, a-looking at me whiles I eats and drinks!' I see you there a

many times, as plain as ever I see you on them misty marshes. 'Lord

strike me dead!' I says each time - and I goes out in the air to

say it under the open heavens - 'but wot, if I gets liberty and

money, I'll make that boy a gentleman!' And I done it. Why, look at

you, dear boy! Look at these here lodgings o'yourn, fit for a lord!

A lord? Ah! You shall show money with lords for wagers, and beat


In his heat and triumph, and in his knowledge that I had been

nearly fainting, he did not remark on my reception of all this. It

was the one grain of relief I had.

"Look'ee here!" he went on, taking my watch out of my pocket, and

turning towards him a ring on my finger, while I recoiled from his

touch as if he had been a snake, "a gold 'un and a beauty: that's a

gentleman's, I hope! A diamond all set round with rubies; that's a

gentleman's, I hope! Look at your linen; fine and beautiful! Look

at your clothes; better ain't to be got! And your books too,"

turning his eyes round the room, "mounting up, on their shelves, by

hundreds! And you read 'em; don't you? I see you'd been a reading

of 'em when I come in. Ha, ha, ha! You shall read 'em to me, dear

boy! And if they're in foreign languages wot I don't understand, I

shall be just as proud as if I did."

Again he took both my hands and put them to his lips, while my

blood ran cold within me.

"Don't you mind talking, Pip," said he, after again drawing his

sleeve over his eyes and forehead, as the click came in his throat

which I well remembered - and he was all the more horrible to me

that he was so much in earnest; "you can't do better nor keep

quiet, dear boy. You ain't looked slowly forward to this as I have;

you wosn't prepared for this, as I wos. But didn't you never think

it might be me?"

"O no, no, no," I returned, "Never, never!"

"Well, you see it wos me, and single-handed. Never a soul in it but

my own self and Mr. Jaggers."

"Was there no one else?" I asked.

"No," said he, with a glance of surprise: "who else should there

be? And, dear boy, how good looking you have growed! There's bright

eyes somewheres - eh? Isn't there bright eyes somewheres, wot you

love the thoughts on?"

O Estella, Estella!

"They shall be yourn, dear boy, if money can buy 'em. Not that a

gentleman like you, so well set up as you, can't win 'em off of his

own game; but money shall back you! Let me finish wot I was a-

telling you, dear boy. From that there hut and that there

hiring-out, I got money left me by my master (which died, and had

been the same as me), and got my liberty and went for myself. In

every single thing I went for, I went for you. 'Lord strike a

blight upon it,' I says, wotever it was I went for, 'if it ain't

for him!' It all prospered wonderful. As I giv' you to understand

just now, I'm famous for it. It was the money left me, and the

gains of the first few year wot I sent home to Mr. Jaggers - all for

you - when he first come arter you, agreeable to my letter."

O, that he had never come! That he had left me at the forge - far

from contented, yet, by comparison happy!

"And then, dear boy, it was a recompense to me, look'ee here, to

know in secret that I was making a gentleman. The blood horses of

them colonists might fling up the dust over me as I was walking;

what do I say? I says to myself, 'I'm making a better gentleman nor

ever you'll be!' When one of 'em says to another, 'He was a

convict, a few year ago, and is a ignorant common fellow now, for

all he's lucky,' what do I say? I says to myself, 'If I ain't a

gentleman, nor yet ain't got no learning, I'm the owner of such.