Charles Dickens

After a very short delay, she

returned and took me up, staring at me all the way.

Miss Havisham was taking exercise in the room with the long spread

table, leaning on her crutch stick. The room was lighted as of

yore, and at the sound of our entrance, she stopped and turned. She

was then just abreast of the rotted bride-cake.

"Don't go, Sarah," she said. "Well, Pip?"

"I start for London, Miss Havisham, to-morrow," I was exceedingly

careful what I said, "and I thought you would kindly not mind my

taking leave of you."

"This is a gay figure, Pip," said she, making her crutch stick play

round me, as if she, the fairy godmother who had changed me, were

bestowing the finishing gift.

"I have come into such good fortune since I saw you last, Miss

Havisham," I murmured. "And I am so grateful for it, Miss


"Ay, ay!" said she, looking at the discomfited and envious Sarah,

with delight. "I have seen Mr. Jaggers. I have heard about it, Pip.

So you go to-morrow?"

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

"And you are adopted by a rich person?"

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

"Not named?"

"No, Miss Havisham."

"And Mr. Jaggers is made your guardian?"

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

She quite gloated on these questions and answers, so keen was her

enjoyment of Sarah Pocket's jealous dismay. "Well!" she went on;

"you have a promising career before you. Be good - deserve it - and

abide by Mr. Jaggers's instructions." She looked at me, and looked

at Sarah, and Sarah's countenance wrung out of her watchful face a

cruel smile. "Good-bye, Pip! - you will always keep the name of

Pip, you know."

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

"Good-bye, Pip!"

She stretched out her hand, and I went down on my knee and put it

to my lips. I had not considered how I should take leave of her; it

came naturally to me at the moment, to do this. She looked at Sarah

Pocket with triumph in her weird eyes, and so I left my fairy

godmother, with both her hands on her crutch stick, standing in the

midst of the dimly lighted room beside the rotten bridecake that

was hidden in cobwebs.

Sarah Pocket conducted me down, as if I were a ghost who must be

seen out. She could not get over my appearance, and was in the last

degree confounded. I said "Good-bye, Miss Pocket;" but she merely

stared, and did not seem collected enough to know that I had

spoken. Clear of the house, I made the best of my way back to

Pumblechook's, took off my new clothes, made them into a bundle,

and went back home in my older dress, carrying it - to speak the

truth - much more at my ease too, though I had the bundle to carry.

And now, those six days which were to have run out so slowly, had

run out fast and were gone, and to-morrow looked me in the face

more steadily than I could look at it. As the six evenings had

dwindled away, to five, to four, to three, to two, I had become

more and more appreciative of the society of Joe and Biddy. On this

last evening, I dressed my self out in my new clothes, for their

delight, and sat in my splendour until bedtime. We had a hot supper

on the occasion, graced by the inevitable roast fowl, and we had

some flip to finish with. We were all very low, and none the higher

for pretending to be in spirits.

I was to leave our village at five in the morning, carrying my

little hand-portmanteau, and I had told Joe that I wished to walk

away all alone. I am afraid - sore afraid - that this purpose

originated in my sense of the contrast there would be between me

and Joe, if we went to the coach together. I had pretended with

myself that there was nothing of this taint in the arrangement; but

when I went up to my little room on this last night, I felt

compelled to admit that it might be so, and had an impulse upon me

to go down again and entreat Joe to walk with me in the morning. I

did not.

All night there were coaches in my broken sleep, going to wrong

places instead of to London, and having in the traces, now dogs,

now cats, now pigs, now men - never horses.