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form, and he had constructed a fountain in it,
which, when you set a little mill going and took
a cork out of a pipe, played to  that powerful
extent that it made the back of your hand quite

"I am my own engineer, and my own
carpenter, and my own plumber, and my own
gardener, and my own Jack of all Trades," said
Wemmick, in acknowledging my compliments.
"Well; it's a good thing, you know. It brushes
the Newgate cobwebs away, and pleases the
Aged. You wouldn't mind being at once
introduced to the Aged, would you? It wouldn't
put you out?"

I expressed the readiness I felt, and we went
into the Castle. There we found, sitting by a
fire, a very old man in a flannel coat: clean,
cheerful, comfortable, and well cared for, but
intensely deaf.

"Well aged parent," said Wemmick, shaking
hands with him in a cordial and jocose way,
"how am you?"

"All right, John; all right!" replied the old

"Here's Mr. Pip, aged parent," said
Wemmick, "and I wish you could hear his name.
Nod away at him, Mr. Pip; that's what he likes.
Nod away at him, if you please, like winking!"

"This is a fine place of my son's, sir," cried
the old man, while I nodded as hard as I
possibly could. " This is a pretty pleasure-ground,
sir. This spot and these beautiful works upon
it ought to be kept together by the Nation, after
my son's time, for the people's enjoyment."

"You're as proud of it as Punch; ain't
you, Aged?" said Wemmick, contemplating the
old man with his hard face really softened;
"there's a nod for you;" giving him a
trmendous one; "there's another for you;" giving
him a still more tremendous one; " you like that,
don't you? If you're not tired, Mr. Pip
though I know it's tiring to strangerswill
you tip him one more? You can't think how it
pleases him."

I tipped him several more, and he was in
great spirits. We left him bestirring himself to
read the fowls, and we sat down to our punch
in the arbour; where Wemmick told me as he
smoked a pipe that it had taken him a good
many years to bring the property up to its
present pitch of perfection.

"Is it your own, Mr. Wemmick?"

"Oh yes," said Wemmick, " I have got hold
of it, a bit at a time, It's a freehold, by

"Is it, indeed? I hope Mr. Jaggers admires

"Never seen it," said Wemmick. " Never
heard of it. Never seen the Aged. Never
heard of him. No; the office is one thing, and
private life is another. When I go into the
office, I leave the Castle behind me, and when I
come into the Castle, I leave the office behind
me. If it's not in any way disagreeable to you,
you'll oblige me by doing the same. I don't
wish it professionally spoken about."

Of course I felt mv good faith involved in the
observance of his request. The punch being
very nice, we sat there drinking it and talking,
until it was almost nine o'clock. "Getting near
gun-fire," said Wemmick then, as he laid down
his pipe; "it's the Aged's treat."

Proceeding into the Castle again, we found
the Aged heating the poker, with expectant
eyes, as a preliminary to the performance of this
great nightly ceremony. Wemmick stood with
his watch in his hand, until the moment was
come for him to take the red-hot poker from the
Aged, and repair to the battery. He took it,
and went out, and presently the Stinger went
off with a Bang that shook the crazy little box
of a cottage as if it must fall to pieces, and
made every glass and teacup in it ring. Upon
this, the Agedwho I believe would have
been blown out of his arm-chair but for holding
on by the elbowscried out exultingly, "He's
fired! I heerd him!" and I nodded at the old
gentleman until it is no figure of speech to
declare that I absolutely could not see him.

The interval between that time and supper
Wemmick devoted to showing me his collection
of curiosities. They were mostly of a felonious
character; comprising the pen with which a
celebrated forgery had been committed, a
distinguished razor or two, some locks of hair, and
several manuscript confessions written under
condemnationupon which Mr. Wemmick set
particular value as being, to use his own words,
"every one of 'em Lies, sir." These were
agreeably dispersed among small specimens of
china and glass, various neat trifles made by
the proprietor of the museum, and some
tobacco-stoppers carved by the Aged. Thev were
all displayed in that chamber of the Castle into
which I had been first inducted, and which
served, not only as the general sitting-room but
as the kitchen too, if I might judge from a
saucepan on the hob, and a brazen bijou over
the fireplace designed for the suspension of a

There was a neat little girl in attendance, who
looked after the Aged in the day. When she
had laid the supper-cloth, the bridge was lowered
to give her means of egress, and she withdrew
for the night. The supper was excellent; and
though the Castle was rather subject to dry-rot
insomuch that it tasted like a bad nut, and
though the pig might have been farther off, I
was heartily pleased with my whole entertainment.
Nor was there any drawback on my
little turret bedroom, beyond there being such
a very thin ceiling between me and the flagstaff
when I lay down on my back in bed, it
seemed as if I had to balance that pole on my
forehead all night.

Wemmick. was up early in the morning, and
I am afraid I heard him cleaning my boots.
After that, he fell to gardening, and I saw him
from my gothic window pretending to employ
the Aged, and nodding at him in a most devoted
manner. Our breakfast was as good as the
the supper, and at half-past eight precisely we
started for Little Britain. By degrees,
Wemmick got dryer and harder as we went along,