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when I said yes (for indeed she did), would
seem to enjoy it greedily in secret. Also, when
we played at cards Miss Havisham would look
on, with a miserly relish of Estella's moods,
whatever they were. And sometimes, when her
moods were so many and so contradictory of
one another that I was puzzled what to say or
do, Miss Havisham would embrace her with
lavish fondness, murmuring something in her ear
that sounded like " Break their hearts my pride
and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy!"

There was a song Joe used to hum fragments
of at the forge, of which the burden was Old
Clem. This was not a very ceremonious way of
rendering homage to a patron saint; but, I
believe Old Clem stood in that relation towards
smiths. It was a song that imitated the measure
of beating upon iron, and was a mere
lyrical excuse for the introduction of Old Clem's
respected name. Thus, you were to hammer
boys round- Old Clem! With a thump and a
sound- Old Clem! Beat it out, beat it out-
Old Clem! With a clink for the stout- Old
Clem! Blow the fire, blow the fire- Old Clem!
Roaring dryer, soaring higher- Old Clem! One
day soon after the appearance of the chair, Miss
Havisham suddenly saying to me, with the
impatient movement of her fingers, " There, there,
there! Sing!" I was surprised into crooning
this ditty as I pushed her over the floor. It
happened so to catch her fancy, that she took it
up in a low brooding voice as if she were singing
in her sleep. After that, it became customary
with us to have it as we moved about, and
Estella would often join in; though the whole
strain was so subdued, even when there were
three of us, that it made less noise in the grim
old house than the lightest breath of wind.

What could I become with these surroundings?
How could my character fail to be
influenced by them? Is it to be wondered at
if my thoughts were dazed, as my eyes were,
when I came out into the natural light from the
misty yellow rooms?

Perhaps, I might have told Joe about the
pale young gentleman, if I had not previously
been betrayed into those enormous inventions to
which I have confessed. Under the circumstances,
I felt that Joe could hardly fail to discern
in the pale young gentleman, an appropriate
passenger to be put into the black velvet coach;
therefore, I said nothing of him. Besides: that
shrinking from having Miss Havisham and
Estella discussed, which had come upon me in the
beginning, grew much more potent as time went
on. I reposed complete confidence in no one
but Biddy; but, I told poor Biddy everything.
Why it came natural to me to do so, and why
Biddy had a deep concern in everything I told her,
I did not know then, though I think I know now.

Meanwhile, councils went on in the kitchen
at home, fraught with almost insupportable
aggravation to my exasperated spirit. That
ass, Pumblechook, used often to come over
of a night for the purpose of discussing my
prospects with my sister; and I really do believe
(to this hour with less penitence than I ought
to feel), that if these hands could have taken
a linchpin out of his chaise-cart, they would
have done it. The miserable man was a man
of that confined stolidity of mind, that he could
not discuss my prospects without having me
before him as it were, to operate upon and
he would drag me up from my stool (usually by
the collar) where I was quiet in a corner, and,
putting me before the fire as if I were going to
be cooked, would begin by saying, " Now, mum,
here is this boy! Here is this boy which you
brought up by hand. Hold up your head, boy,
and be for ever grateful unto them which so did
do. Now, mum, with respections to this boy!"
And then he would rumple my hair the wrong
way- which from my earliest remembrance, as
already hinted, I have in my soul denied the
right of any fellow-creature to do- and would
hold me before him by the sleeve: a spectacle
of imbecility only to be equalled by himself.

Then, he and my sister would pair off in such
nonsensical speculations about Miss Havisham,
and about what she would do with me and for me,
that I used to wantquite painfullyto burst
into spiteful tears, fly at Pumblechook, and pummel
him all over. In these dialogues, my sister
spoke of me as if she were morally wrenching
one of my teeth out at every reference; while
Pumblechook himself, self-constituted my patron,
would sit supervising me with a depreciatory
eye, like the architect of my fortunes who thought
himself engaged on a very unremunerative job.

In these discussions, Joe bore no part. But,
he was often talked at, while they were in
progress, by reason of Mrs. Joe's perceiving that he
was not favourable to my being taken from the
forge. I was fully old enough now, to be
apprenticed to Joe; and when Joe sat with the
poker on his knees thoughtfully raking out the
ashes between the lower bars, my sister would
so distinctly construe that innocent action into
opposition on his part, that she would dive at
him, take the poker out of his hands, shake him,
and put it away. There was a most irritating
end to every one of these debates. All in a
moment, with nothing to lead up to it, my sister
would stop herself in a yawn, and catching sight
of me as it were incidentally, would swoop
upon me, with " Come! There's enough of you!
You get along to bed; you've given trouble
enough for one night, I hope!" As if I had
besought them as a favour to bother my life out.

We went on in this way for a long time,
and it seemed likely that we should continue
to go on in this way for a long time, when, one
day Miss Havisham stopped short as she and
I were walking, she leaning on my shoulder;
and said with some displeasure:

"You are growing tall, Pip!"

I thought it best to hint, through the medium
of a meditative look, that this might be
occasioned by circumstances over which I had no

She said no more at the time; but, she
presently stopped and looked at me again; and
presently again; and after that, looked frowning
and moody. On the next day of my attendance