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         GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
          BY CHARLES DICKENS.
             CHAPTER XXXVIII.

If that staid old house near the Green at
Richmond should ever come to be haunted
when I am dead, it will be haunted, surely, by
my ghost. O the many, many nights and days
through which the unquiet spirit within me
haunted that house when Estella lived there!
Let my body be where it would, my spirit was
always wandering, wandering, wandering, about
that house.

The lady with whom Estella was placed, Mrs.
Brandley by name, was a widow, with one
daughter several years older than Estella. The
mother looked young, and the daughter looked
old; the mother's complexion was pink, and the
daughter's was yellow; the mother set up for
frivolity, and the daughter for theology. They
were in what is called a good position, and visited,
and were visited by, numbers of people. Little if
any community of feeling subsisted between them
and Estella, but the understanding was
established that they were necessary to her, and
that she was necessary to them. Mrs. Brandley
had been a friend of Miss Havisham's before the
time of her seclusion.

In Mrs. Brandley's house and out of Mrs.
Brandley's house, I suffered every kind and
degree of torture that Estella could cause me.
The nature of my relations with her, which
placed me on terms of familiarity without
placing me on terms of favour, conduced to my
distraction. She made use of me to tease other
admirers, and she turned the very familiarity
between herself and me, to the account of putting
a constant slight on my devotion to her. If I
had been her secretary, steward, half-brother,
poor relationif I had been a younger brother
of her appointed husbandI could not have
seemed to myself, further from my hopes when I
was nearest to her. The privilege of calling
her by her name and hearing her call me by
mine, became under the circumstances an
aggravation of my trials; and while I think it likely
that it almost maddened her other lovers, I
know too certainly that it almost maddened
me.

She had admirers without end. No doubt my
jealousy made an admirer of every one who went
near her; but there were more than enough of
them without that.

I saw her often at Richmond, I heard of her
often in town, and I used often to take her and
the Brandleys on the water; there were
picnics, fĂȘte days, plays, operas, concerts, parties,
all sorts of pleasures, through which I pursued
herand they were all miseries to me. I
never had one hour's happiness in her
society, and yet my mind all round the four-and-
twenty hours was harping on the happiness of
having her with me unto death.

Throughout this part of our intercourseand
it lasted, as will presently be seen, for what I
then thought a long timeshe habitually
reverted to that tone which expressed that our
association was forced upon us. There were
other times when she would come to a sudden
check in this tone and in all her many tones,
and would seem to pity me.

"Pip, Pip," she said one evening, coming to
such a check, when we sat apart at a darkening
window of the house in Richmond; "will you
never take warning?"

"Of what?"

"Of me."

"Warning not to be attracted by you, do you
mean, Estella?"

"Do I mean! If you don't know what I
mean, you are blind."

I should have replied that Love was
commonly reputed blind, but for the reason that I
always was restrainedand this was not the
least of my miseriesby a feeling that it was
ungenerous to press myself upon her, when she
knew that she could not choose but obey
Miss Havisham. My dread always was that
this knowledge on her part laid me under a
heavy disadvantage with her pride, and made
me the subject of a rebellious struggle in her
bosom.

"At any rate," said I, "I have no warning
given me just now, for you wrote to me to
come to you, this time."

"That's true," said Estella, with a cold careless
smile that always chilled me.

After looking at the twilight without, for a
little while, she went on to say:

"The time has come round when Miss Havisham
wishes to have me for a day at Satis. You
are to take me there, and bring me back, if you
will. She would rather I did not travel alone,
and objects to receiving my maid, for she has a