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sat down to dinner, but I cannot define by what

He was still a pale young gentleman, and had
a certain conquered languor about him in the
midst of his spirits and briskness, that did not
seem indicative of natural strength. He had
not a handsome face, but it was better than
handsome: being extremely amiable and cheerful.
His figure was a little ungainly, as in the
days when my knuckles had taken such liberties
with it, but it looked as if it would always be
light and young. Whether Mr. Trabb's local
work would have sat more gracefully on him
than on me, may be a question; but I am
conscious that he carried off his rather old clothes
much better than I carried off my new suit.

As he was so communicative, I felt that
reserve on my part would be a bad return
unsuited to our years. I therefore told him my
small story, and laid stress on my being
forbidden to inquire who my benefactor was. I
further mentioned that as I had been brought
up a blacksmith in a country place, and knew
very little of the ways of politeness, I would
take it as a great kindness in him if he would
give me a hint whenever he saw me at a loss or
going wrong.

"With pleasure," said he, " though I venture
to prophesy that you'll want very few hints. I
dare say we shall be often together, and I
should like to banish any needless restraint
between us. Will you do me the favour to
begin at once to call me by my Christian name,

I thanked him, and said I would. I informed
him in exchange that my Christian name was

"I don't take to Philip," said he, smiling,
"for it sounds like a moral boy out of the
spelling-book, who was so lazy that he fell into
a pond, or so fat that he couldn't see out of his
eyes, or so avaricious that he locked up his cake
till the mice ate it, or so determined to go
birds'-nesting that he got himself eaten by bears
who lived handy in the neighbourhood. I tell
you what I should like. We are so harmonious,
and you have been a blacksmithwould you
mind it?"

"I shouldn't mind anything that you
propose," I answered, " but I don't understand

"Would you mind Handel for a familiar
name? There's a charming piece of music by
Handel, called the Harmonious Blacksmith."

"I should like it very much."

"Then, my dear Handel," said he, turning
round as the door opened, " here is the dinner,
and I must beg of you to take the top of the
table, because the dinner is of your providing."

This I would not hear of, so he took the
top, and I faced him. It was a nice little
dinnerseemed to me then, a very Lord
Mayor's Feastand it acquired additional relish
from being eaten under those independent
circumstances, with no old people by, and with
London all around us. This again was heightened
by a certain gipsy character that set the
banquet off: for while the table was, as Mr.
Pumblechook might have said, the lap of
luxurybeing entirely furnished forth from
the coffee-housethe circumjacent region of
sitting-room was of a comparatively pastureless
and shifty character: imposing on the waiter
the wandering habits of putting the covers on
the floor (where he fell over them), the melted
butter in the arm-chair, the bread on the
bookshelves, the cheese in the coal-scuttle, and the
boiled fowl into my bed in the next roomwhere
I found much of its parsley and butter in a
state of congelation when I retired for the
night. All this made the feast delightful, and
when the waiter was not there to watch me, my
pleasure was without alloy.

We had made some progress in the dinner,
when I reminded Herbert of his promise to tell
me about Miss Havisham.

"True," he replied. " I'll redeem it at once.
Let me introduce the topic, Handel, by mentioning
that in London it is not the custom to put
the knife in the mouthfor fear of accidents
and that while the fork is reserved for that use,
it is not put further in than is necessary. It is
scarcely worth mentioning, only it's as well to
do as other people do. Also, the spoon is not
generally used over-hand, but under. This has
two advantages. You get at your mouth better
(which after all is the object), and you save a
good deal of the attitude of opening oysters,
on the part of the right elbow."

He offered these friendly suggestions in such
a lively way that we both laughed and I scarcely

"Now," he pursued, " concerning Miss
Havisham. Miss Havisham, you must know,
was a spoilt child. Her mother died when she
was a baby, and her father denied her nothing.
Her father was a country gentleman down in
your part of the world, and was a brewer. I
don't know why it should be a crack thing to
be a brewer; but it is indisputable that while
you cannot possibly be genteel and bake, you
may be as genteel as never was and brew. You
see it every day."

"Yet a gentleman may not keep a public-
house; may he?" said I.

"Not on any account," returned Herbert;
"but a public-house may keep a gentleman.
Well! Mr. Havisham was very rich and very
proud. So was his daughter."

"Miss Havisham was an only child?" I

"Stop a moment, I am coming to that. No,
she was not an only child; she had a half-
brother. Her father privately married againhis
cook, I rather think."

"I thought he was proud," said I.

"My good Handel, so he was. He married
his second wife privately, because he was proud,
and in course of time she died. When she was
dead, I apprehend he first told his daughter
what he had done, and then the son became a
part of the family, residing in the house you
are acquainted with. As the son grew a young
man, he turned out riotous, extravagant,