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GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.

CHAPTER XIX.

MORNING made a considerable difference in
my general prospect of Life, and brightened it
so much that it scarcely seemed the same.
What lay heaviest on my mind was the
consideration that six days intervened between me
and the day of departure; for, I could not divest
myself of a misgiving that something might
happen to London in the mean while, and that,
when I got there, it would be either greatly
deteriorated or clean gone.

Joe and Biddy were very sympathetic and
pleasant when I spoke of our approaching
separation; but they only referred to it when I did.
After breakfast, Joe brought out my indentures
from the press in the best parlour, and we put
them in the fire, and I felt that I was free.
With all the novelty of my emancipation on me,
I went to church with Joe, and thought, perhaps
the clergyman wouldn't have read that about
the rich man and the kingdom of Heaven if he
had known all.

After our early dinner I strolled out alone,
purposing to finish off the marshes at once, and
get them done with. As I passed the church,
I felt (as I had felt during service in the morning)
a sublime compassion for the poor creatures
who were destined to go there, Sunday after
Sunday, all their lives through, and to lie
obscurely at last among the low green mounds.
I promised myself that I would do something
for them one of these days, and formed a plan
in outline for bestowing a dinner of roast beef
and plum-pudding, a pint of ale, and a gallon
of condescension upon everybody in the village.

If I had often thought before, with something
allied to shame, of my companionship
with the fugitive whom I had once seen limping
among those graves, what were my thoughts
on this Sunday, when the place recalled the
wretch, ragged and shivering, with his felon
iron and badge! My comfort was, that it
happened a long time ago, and that he had
doubtless been transported a long way off, and that
he was dead to me, and might be veritably dead
into the bargain.

No more low wet grounds, no more dykes and
sluices, no more of these grazing cattlethough
they seemed, in their dull manner, to wear a more
respectful air now, and to face round, in order
that they might stare as long as possible at the
possessor of such great expectationsfarewell,
monotonous acquaintances of my childhood,
henceforth I was for London and greatness:
not for smith's work in general and for you! I
made my exultant way to the old Battery, and,
lying down there to consider the question whether
Miss Havisham intended me for Estella,
fell asleep.

When I awoke, I was much surprised to find
Joe sitting beside me, smoking his pipe. He
greeted me with a cheerful smile on my opening
my eyes, and said:

"As being the last time, Pip, I thought I'd
foller."

"And Joe, I am very glad you did so."

"Thankee, Pip."

"You may be sure, dear Joe," I went on,
after we had shaken hands, "that I shall never
forget you."

"No no, Pip!" said Joe, in a comfortable
tone, "I'm sure of that. Ay, ay, old chap! Bless
you, it were only necessary to get it well round
in a man's mind, to be certain on it. But it
took a bit of time to get it well round, the
change come so oncommon plump; didn't it?"

Somehow I was not best pleased with Joe's
being so mightily secure of me. I should have
liked him to have betrayed emotion, or to have
said, " It does you credit, Pip," or something
of that sort. Therefore, I made no remark
on Joe's first head: merely saying as to his
second that the tidings had indeed come
suddenly, but that I had always wanted to be a
gentleman, and had often and often speculated
on what I would do if I were one.

"Have you though?" said Joe. "Astonishing!"

"It's a pity now, Joe," said I, "that you did
not get on a little more, when we had our
lessons here; isn't it?"
"Well, I don't know," returned Joe. "I'm
so awful dull. I'm only master of my own trade.
It were always a pity as I was so awful dull;
but it's no more of a pity now, than it was
this day twelvemonthdon't you see?"

What I had meant was, that when I came
into my property and was able to do something
for Joe, it would have been much more agreeable
if he had been better qualified for a rise in
station. He was so perfectly innocent of my

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