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I really believe Joe would have prolonged this
word (mightily expressive to my mind of some
architecture that I know) into a perfect Chorus,
but for his attention being providentially
atttracted by his hat, which was toppling. Indeed,
it demanded from him a constant attention,
and a quickness of eye and hand, very like
that exacted by wicket-keeping. He made
extraordinary play with it, and showed the
greatest skill; now, rushing at it and catching
it neatly as it dropped; now, merely stopping
it midway, beating it up, and humouring it in
various parts of the room and against a good
deal of the pattern of the paper on the wall,
before he felt it safe to close with it; finally
splashing it into the slop-basin, where I took
the liberty of laying hands upon it.

As to his shirt-collar, and his coat-collar, they
were perplexing to reflect uponinsoluble
mysteries both. Why should a man scrape
himself to that extent, before he could consider
himself full dressed? Why should he suppose
it necessary to be purified by suffering for
his holiday clothes? Then he fell into such
unaccountable fits of meditation, with his fork
midway between his plate and his mouth; had
his eyes attracted in such strange directions;
was afflicted with such remarkable coughs; sat
so far from the table, and dropped so much
more than he ate, and pretended that he hadn't
dropped it; that I was heartily glad when
Herbert left us for the City.

I had neither the good sense nor the good
feeling to know that this was all my fault,
and that if I had been easier with Joe, Joe
would have been easier with me. I felt
impatient of him and out of temper with him;
in which condition he heaped coals of fire on
my head.

"Us two being now alone, Sir"—began

"Joe," I interrupted, pettishly, "how can
you call me Sir?"

Joe looked at me for a single instant with
something faintly like reproach. Utterly
preposterous as his cravat was, and as his collars
were, I was conscious of a sort of dignity in
the look.

"Us two being now alone," resumed Joe,
"and me having the intentions and abilities to
stay not many minutes more, I will now conclude
leastways beginto mention what have
led to my having had the present honour.
For was it not," said Joe, with his old air
of lucid exposition, "that my only wish were
to be useful to you, I should not have had the
honour of breaking wittles in the company and
abode of gentlemen."

I was so unwilling to see the look again, that
I made no remonstrance against this tone.

"Well, Sir," pursued Joe, "this is how it
were. I were at the Bargemen t'other night,
Pip;" whenever he subsided into affection, he
called me Pip, and whenever he relapsed into
politeness he called me Sir; "when there come
up in his shay-cart, Pumblechook. Which that
same identical," said Joe, going down a new
track, "do comb my 'air the wrong way sometimes,
awful, by giving out up and down town
as it wore him which ever had your infant
companionation and were looked upon as a
playfellow by yourself."

"Nonsense. It was you, Joe."

"Which I fully believed it were, Pip," said
Joe, slightly tossing his head, " though it signify
little now, Sir. Well, Pip; this same identical,
which his manners is given to blusterous, come
to me at the Bargemen (wot a pipe and a pint of
beer do give refreshment to the working man,
Sir, and do not over stimilate), and his word
were, 'Joseph, Miss Havisham she wish to speak
to you.'"

"Miss Havisham, Joe?"

"'She wish,' were Pumblechook's word, 'to
speak to you.'" Joe sat and rolled his eyes at
the ceiling.

"Yes, Joe? Go on, please."

"Next day, Sir," said Joe, looking at me as if
I were a long way off, "having cleaned myself, I
go and I see Miss A."

"Miss A., Joe? Miss Havisham?"

"Which I say, Sir," replied Joe, with an air
of legal formality, as if he were making his will,
"Miss A., or otherways Havisham. Her
expression air then as follering: 'Mr. Gargery.
You air in correspondence with Mr. Pip?'
Having had a letter from you, I were able
to say 'I am.' (When I married your sister,
Sir, I said 'I will;' and when I answered
your friend, Pip, I said 'I am.') 'Would you
tell him, then,' said she, 'that which Estella
has come home and would be glad to see

I felt my face fire up as I looked at Joe. I
hope one remote cause of its firing, may have
been my consciousness that if I had known his
errand, I should have given him more

"Biddy," pursued Joe, "when I got home
and asked her fur to write the message to you, a
little hung back. Biddy says, 'I know he will
be very glad to have it by word of mouth, it is
holiday-time, you want to see him, go!' I have
now concluded, Sir," said Joe, rising from his
chair, "and, Pip, I wish you ever well and ever
prospering to a greater and a greater heigth."

"But you are not going now, Joe?"

"Yes I am," said Joe.

"But you are coming back to dinner, Joe?"

"No I am not," said Joe.

Our eyes met, and all the "Sir" melted
out of that manly heart as he gave me his

"Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so
many partings welded together, as I may say,
and one man's a blacksmith, and one's a
whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a
coppersmith. Diwisions among such must come,
and must be met as they come. If there's been
any fault at all to-day, it's mine. You and me
is not two figures to be together in London;
nor yet anywheres else but what is private, and
beknown, and understood among friends. It
ain't that I am proud, but that I want to be