Charles Dickens

"Dear me!" said Mr. Pocket, Junior. "This door sticks so!"

As he was fast making jam of his fruit by wrestling with the door

while the paper-bags were under his arms, I begged him to allow me

to hold them. He relinquished them with an agreeable smile, and

combated with the door as if it were a wild beast. It yielded so

suddenly at last, that he staggered back upon me, and I staggered

back upon the opposite door, and we both laughed. But still I felt

as if my eyes must start out of my head, and as if this must be a


"Pray come in," said Mr. Pocket, Junior. "Allow me to lead the way.

I am rather bare here, but I hope you'll be able to make out

tolerably well till Monday. My father thought you would get on more

agreeably through to-morrow with me than with him, and might like

to take a walk about London. I am sure I shall be very happy to

show London to you. As to our table, you won't find that bad, I

hope, for it will be supplied from our coffee-house here, and (it

is only right I should add) at your expense, such being Mr.

Jaggers's directions. As to our lodging, it's not by any means

splendid, because I have my own bread to earn, and my father hasn't

anything to give me, and I shouldn't be willing to take it, if he

had. This is our sitting-room - just such chairs and tables and

carpet and so forth, you see, as they could spare from home. You

mustn't give me credit for the tablecloth and spoons and castors,

because they come for you from the coffee-house. This is my little

bedroom; rather musty, but Barnard's is musty. This is your

bed-room; the furniture's hired for the occasion, but I trust it

will answer the purpose; if you should want anything, I'll go and

fetch it. The chambers are retired, and we shall be alone together,

but we shan't fight, I dare say. But, dear me, I beg your pardon,

you're holding the fruit all this time. Pray let me take these bags

from you. I am quite ashamed."

As I stood opposite to Mr. Pocket, Junior, delivering him the bags,

One, Two, I saw the starting appearance come into his own eyes that

I knew to be in mine, and he said, falling back:

"Lord bless me, you're the prowling boy!"

"And you," said I, "are the pale young gentleman!"

Chapter 22

The pale young gentleman and I stood contemplating one another in

Barnard's Inn, until we both burst out laughing. "The idea of its

being you!" said he. "The idea of its being you!" said I. And then

we contemplated one another afresh, and laughed again. "Well!" said

the pale young gentleman, reaching out his hand goodhumouredly,

"it's all over now, I hope, and it will be magnanimous in you if

you'll forgive me for having knocked you about so."

I derived from this speech that Mr. Herbert Pocket (for Herbert was

the pale young gentleman's name) still rather confounded his

intention with his execution. But I made a modest reply, and we

shook hands warmly.

"You hadn't come into your good fortune at that time?" said Herbert


"No," said I.

"No," he acquiesced: "I heard it had happened very lately. I was

rather on the look-out for good-fortune then."


"Yes. Miss Havisham had sent for me, to see if she could take a

fancy to me. But she couldn't - at all events, she didn't."

I thought it polite to remark that I was surprised to hear that.

"Bad taste," said Herbert, laughing, "but a fact. Yes, she had sent

for me on a trial visit, and if I had come out of it successfully,

I suppose I should have been provided for; perhaps I should have

been what-you-may-called it to Estella."

"What's that?" I asked, with sudden gravity.

He was arranging his fruit in plates while we talked, which divided

his attention, and was the cause of his having made this lapse of a

word. "Affianced," he explained, still busy with the fruit.

"Betrothed. Engaged. What's-his-named.