Not recollecting myself, I began again that I was much obliged to
him for his recommendation--
"No, my young friend," he interrupted, shaking his head and
frowning and smiling both at once; "no, no, no; it's very well
done, but it won't do; you are too young to fix me with it.
Recommendation is not the word, Mr. Pip. Try another."
Correcting myself, I said that I was much obliged to him for his
mention of Mr. Matthew Pocket--
"That's more like it!" cried Mr. Jaggers.
- And (I added), I would gladly try that gentleman.
"Good. You had better try him in his own house. The way shall be
prepared for you, and you can see his son first, who is in London.
When will you come to London?"
I said (glancing at Joe, who stood looking on, motionless), that I
supposed I could come directly.
"First," said Mr. Jaggers, "you should have some new clothes to come
in, and they should not be working clothes. Say this day week.
You'll want some money. Shall I leave you twenty guineas?"
He produced a long purse, with the greatest coolness, and counted
them out on the table and pushed them over to me. This was the
first time he had taken his leg from the chair. He sat astride of
the chair when he had pushed the money over, and sat swinging his
purse and eyeing Joe.
"Well, Joseph Gargery? You look dumbfoundered?"
"I am!" said Joe, in a very decided manner.
"It was understood that you wanted nothing for yourself, remember?"
"It were understood," said Joe. "And it are understood. And it ever
will be similar according."
"But what," said Mr. Jaggers, swinging his purse, "what if it was in
my instructions to make you a present, as compensation?"
"As compensation what for?" Joe demanded.
"For the loss of his services."
Joe laid his hand upon my shoulder with the touch of a woman. I
have often thought him since, like the steam-hammer, that can crush
a man or pat an egg-shell, in his combination of strength with
gentleness. "Pip is that hearty welcome," said Joe, "to go free
with his services, to honour and fortun', as no words can tell him.
But if you think as Money can make compensation to me for the loss
of the little child - what come to the forge - and ever the best of
O dear good Joe, whom I was so ready to leave and so unthankful to,
I see you again, with your muscular blacksmith's arm before your
eyes, and your broad chest heaving, and your voice dying away. O
dear good faithful tender Joe, I feel the loving tremble of your
hand upon my arm, as solemnly this day as if it had been the rustle
of an angel's wing!
But I encouraged Joe at the time. I was lost in the mazes of my
future fortunes, and could not retrace the by-paths we had trodden
together. I begged Joe to be comforted, for (as he said) we had
ever been the best of friends, and (as I said) we ever would be so.
Joe scooped his eyes with his disengaged wrist, as if he were bent
on gouging himself, but said not another word.
Mr. Jaggers had looked on at this, as one who recognized in Joe the
village idiot, and in me his keeper. When it was over, he said,
weighing in his hand the purse he had ceased to swing:
"Now, Joseph Gargery, I warn you this is your last chance. No half
measures with me. If you mean to take a present that I have it in
charge to make you, speak out, and you shall have it. If on the
contrary you mean to say--" Here, to his great amazement, he was
stopped by Joe's suddenly working round him with every
demonstration of a fell pugilistic purpose.
"Which I meantersay," cried Joe, "that if you come into my place
bull-baiting and badgering me, come out! Which I meantersay as sech
if you're a man, come on! Which I meantersay that what I say, I
meantersay and stand or fall by!"
I drew Joe away, and he immediately became placable; merely stating
to me, in an obliging manner and as a polite expostulatory notice
to any one whom it might happen to concern, that he were not a
going to be bull-baited and badgered in his own place.