Charles Dickens

- it appeared to him that that might be

an opening for a young gentleman of spirit combined with property,

which would be worthy of his attention. But what did I think? He

had great confidence in my opinion, and what did I think? I gave it

as my opinion. "Wait a bit!" The united vastness and distinctness

of this view so struck him, that he no longer asked if he might

shake hands with me, but said he really must - and did.

We drank all the wine, and Mr. Pumblechook pledged himself over and

over again to keep Joseph up to the mark (I don't know what mark),

and to render me efficient and constant service (I don't know what

service). He also made known to me for the first time in my life,

and certainly after having kept his secret wonderfully well, that

he had always said of me, "That boy is no common boy, and mark me,

his fortun' will be no common fortun'." He said with a tearful

smile that it was a singular thing to think of now, and I said so

too. Finally, I went out into the air, with a dim perception that

there was something unwonted in the conduct of the sunshine, and

found that I had slumberously got to the turn-pike without having

taken any account of the road.

There, I was roused by Mr. Pumblechook's hailing me. He was a long

way down the sunny street, and was making expressive gestures for

me to stop. I stopped, and he came up breathless.

"No, my dear friend," said he, when he had recovered wind for

speech. "Not if I can help it. This occasion shall not entirely

pass without that affability on your part. - May I, as an old

friend and well-wisher? May I?"

We shook hands for the hundredth time at least, and he ordered a

young carter out of my way with the greatest indignation. Then, he

blessed me and stood waving his hand to me until I had passed the

crook in the road; and then I turned into a field and had a long

nap under a hedge before I pursued my way home.

I had scant luggage to take with me to London, for little of the

little I possessed was adapted to my new station. But, I began

packing that same afternoon, and wildly packed up things that I

knew I should want next morning, in a fiction that there was not a

moment to be lost.

So, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, passed; and on Friday morning

I went to Mr. Pumblechook's, to put on my new clothes and pay my

visit to Miss Havisham. Mr. Pumblechook's own room was given up to

me to dress in, and was decorated with clean towels expressly for

the event. My clothes were rather a disappointment, of course.

Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since

clothes came in, fell a trifle short of the wearer's expectation.

But after I had had my new suit on, some half an hour, and had gone

through an immensity of posturing with Mr. Pumblechook's very

limited dressing-glass, in the futile endeavour to see my legs, it

seemed to fit me better. It being market morning at a neighbouring

town some ten miles off, Mr. Pumblechook was not at home. I had not

told him exactly when I meant to leave, and was not likely to shake

hands with him again before departing. This was all as it should

be, and I went out in my new array: fearfully ashamed of having to

pass the shopman, and suspicious after all that I was at a personal

disadvantage, something like Joe's in his Sunday suit.

I went circuitously to Miss Havisham's by all the back ways, and

rang at the bell constrainedly, on account of the stiff long

fingers of my gloves. Sarah Pocket came to the gate, and positively

reeled back when she saw me so changed; her walnut-shell

countenance likewise, turned from brown to green and yellow.

"You?" said she. "You, good gracious! What do you want?"

"I am going to London, Miss Pocket," said I, "and want to say

good-bye to Miss Havisham."

I was not expected, for she left me locked in the yard, while she

went to ask if I were to be admitted.