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until Biddy had imparted to me everything she
knew, from the little catalogue of prices, to a
comic song she had once bought for a halfpenny.
Although the only coherent part of the latter
piece of literature were the opening lines,


     When I went to Lunnon town sirs,
                                         Too rul loo rul
                                         Too rul loo rul
     Wasn't I done very brown sirs,
                                          Too rul loo rul
                                          Too rul loo rul


still, in my desire to be wiser, I got this composition
by heart with the utmost gravity ; nor
do I recollect that I questioned its merit, except
that I thought (as I still do) the amount of
Too rul somewhat in excess of the poetry. In
my hunger for information, I made proposals to
Mr. Wopsle to bestow some intellectual crumbs
upon me : with which he kindly complied. As
it turned out, however, that he only wanted me
for a dramatic lay-figure, to be contradicted and
embraced and wept over and bullied and clutched
and stabbed and knocked about in a variety of
ways, I soon declined that course of instruction;
though not until Mr. Wopsle in his poetic fury
had severely mauled me.

Whatever I acquired, I tried to impart to
Joe. This statement sounds so well, that I can
not in my conscience let it pass unexplained. I
wanted to make Joe less ignorant and common,
that he might be worthier of my society and
less open to Estella's reproach.

The old Battery out on the marshes was our
place of study, and a broken slate and a short
piece of slate pencil were our educational implements:
to which Joe always added a pipe of
tobacco. I never knew Joe to remember anything
from one Sunday to another, or to acquire,
under my tuition, any piece of information whatever.
Yet he would smoke his pipe at the Battery
with a far more sagacious air than anywhere
elseeven with a learned airas if he considered
himself to be advancing immensely. Dear
fellow, I hope he did.

It was pleasant and quiet out there with the
sails on the river passing beyond the earthwork,
and sometimes, when the tide was low, looking
as if they belonged to sunken ships that were still
sailing on at the bottom of the water. Whenever
I watched the vessels standing out to sea with
their white sails spread, I somehow thought of
Miss Havisham and Estella; and whenever the
light struck aslant afar off, upon a cloud or sail
or green hill-side or water-line, it was just the
same.—- Miss Havisham and Estella and the
strange house and the strange life appeared to
have something to do with everything that was
picturesque.

One Sunday when Joe, greatly enjoying his
pipe, had so plumed himself on being "most
awful dull," that I had given him up for the
day, I lay on the earthwork for some time with
my chin on my hand descrying traces of Miss
Havisham and Estella all over the prospect, in
the sky and in the water, until at last I resolved
to mention a thought concerning them that had
been much in my head.

"Joe," said I; "don't you think I ought to
make Miss Havisham a visit?"

"Well, Pip," returned Joe, slowly considering.
"What for?"

"What for, Joe? What is any visit made
for?"

"There is some wisits p'r'aps," said Joe, " as
for ever remains open to the question, Pip.
But in regard of wisiting Miss Havisham. She
might think you wanted somethingexpected
something of her."

"Don't you think I might say that I did not,
Joe?"

"You might, old chap," said Joe. " And she
might credit it. Similarly she mightn't."

Joe felt, as I did, that he had made a point
there, and he pulled hard at his pipe to keep
himself from weakening it by repetition.

"You see, Pip," Joe pursued, as soon as he
was past that danger, " Miss Havisham done the
handsome thing by you. When Miss Havisham
done the handsome thing by you, she called me
back to say to me as that were all."

"Yes, Joe. I heard her."

"ALL," Joe repeated, very emphatically.

"Yes, Joe. I tell you, I heard her."

"Which I meantersay, Pip, it might be that
her meaning wereMake a end on it!— As you
was!— Me to the North and you to the South!
Keep in sunders!"

I had thought of that too, and it was very far
from comforting to me to find that he had
thought of it; for, it seemed to render it more
probable.

"But, Joe."

"Yes, old chap."

"Here am I, getting on in the first year of my
time, and since the day of my being bound I
have never thanked Miss Havisham, or asked
after her, or shown that I remember her."

"That's true, Pip; and unless you was to turn
her out a set of shoes all four roundand which
I meantersay as even a set of shoes all four
round might not act acceptable as a present, in
a total wacancy of hoofs—— "

"I don't mean that sort of remembrance,
Joe; I don't mean a present."

But Joe had got the idea of a present in his
head and must harp upon it. " Or even," said
he, " if you was helped to knocking her up a
new chain for the front dooror say a gross or
two of shark-headed screws for general useor
some light fancy article, such as a toasting-fork
when she took her muffinsor a gridiron when
she took a sprat or such like——"

"I don't mean any present at all, Joe," I
interposed.

"Well," said Joe, still harping on it as though
I had particularly pressed it, " if I was yourself,
Pip, I wouldn't. No, I would not. For what's
a door-chain when she's got one always up? And
shark-headers is open to misrepresentations.
And if it was a toasting-fork, you'd go into brass
and do yourself no credit. And the oncommonest
workman can't show himself oncommon in a grid-
ironfor a gridiron is a gridiron," said Joe,
steadfastly impressing it upon me, as if he were

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