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slovenly confined and sleepy look, like a cage for a
human dormouse: while he, looming dark and
heavy in the shadow of a corner by the window,
looked like the human dormouse for whom it
was fitted upas indeed he was.

"I never saw this room before," I remarked;
"but there used to be no Porter here."

"No," said he; "not till it got about that
there was no protection on the premises, and it
come to be considered dangerous, with convicts
and Tag and Rag and Bobtail going up and
down. And then I was recommended to the place
as a man who could give another man as good
as he brought, and I took it. It's easier than
bellowsing and hammering.—That's loaded, that
is."

My eye had been caught by a gun with a
brass-bound stock over the chimney-piece, and
his eye had followed mine.

"Well," said I, not desirous of more
conversation, "shall I go up to Miss Havisham?"

"Burn me, if I know!" he retorted, first
stretching himself and then shaking himself;
"my orders ends here, young master. I give this
here bell a rap with this here hammer, and you
go on along the passage till you meet
somebody."

"I am expected, I believe?"

"Burn me twice over, if I can say!" said
he.

Upon that, I turned down the long passage
which I had first trodden in my thick boots, and
he made his bell sound. At the end of the
passage, while the bell was still reverberating,
I found Sarah Pocket: who appeared to have
now become constitutionally green and yellow
by reason of me.

"Oh!" said she. "You, is it, Mr. Pip?"

"It is, Miss Pocket. I am glad to tell you
that Mr. Pocket and family are all well."

"Are they any wiser?" said Sarah, with a
dismal shake of the head; "they had better be
wiser, than well. Ah, Matthew, Matthew!
You know your way, sir?"

Tolerably, for I had gone up the staircase in
the dark, many a time. I ascended it now, in
lighter boots than of yore, and tapped in my old
way at the door of Miss Havisham's room.
"Pip's rap," I heard her say, immediately;
"come in, Pip."

She was in her chair near the old table, in
the old dress, with her two hands crossed on
her stick, her chin resting on them, and
her eyes on the fire. Sitting near her, with
the white shoe that had never been worn, in her
hand, and her head bent as she looked at it, was
an elegant lady whom I had never seen.

"Come in, Pip," Miss Havisham continued
to mutter, without looking round or up;
"come in, Pip, how do you do, Pip? so you
kiss my hand as if I were a queen, eh?——
Well?"

She looked up at me suddenly, only moving
her eyes, and repeated in a grimly playful
manner,

"Well?"

"I heard, Miss Havisham," said I, rather at
a loss, "that you were so kind as to wish me to
come and see you, and I came directly."

"Well?"

The lady whom I had never seen before,
lifted up her eyes and looked archly at me, and
then I saw that the eyes were Estella's eyes.
But she was so much changed, was so much
more beautiful, so much more womanly, in all
things winning admiration had made such
wonderful advance, that I seemed to have made
none. I fancied, as I looked at her, that I slipped
hopelessly back into the coarse and common
boy again. O the sense of distance and
disparity that came upon me, and the inaccessibility
that came about her!

She gave me her hand. I stammered
something about the pleasure I felt in seeing her
again, and about my having looked forward to it
for a long, long time.

"Do you find her much changed, Pip?" asked
Miss Havisham with her greedy look, and striking
her stick upon a chair that stood between
them, as a sign to me to sit down there.

"When I came in, Miss Havisham, I thought
there was nothing of Estella in the face or figure;
but now it all settles down so curiously into the
old——"

"What? You are not going to say, into the
old Estella?" Miss Havisham interrupted. "She
was proud and insulting and you wanted to go
away from her. Don't you remember?"

I said confusedly that that was long ago, and
that I knew no better then, and the like. Estella
smiled with perfect composure, and said she had
no doubt of my having been quite right, and of
her having been very disagreeable.

"Is he changed?" Miss Havisham asked
her.

"Very much," said Estella, looking at me.

"Less coarse and common?" said Miss
Havisham, playing with Estella's hair.

Estella laughed, and looked at the shoe in her
hand, and laughed again, and looked at me, and
put the shoe down. She treated me as a boy
still, but she lured me on.

We sat in the dreamy room among the old
strange influences which had so wrought upon
me, and I learnt that she had but just come
home from France, and that she was going to
London. Proud and wilful as of old, she had
brought those qualities into such subjection to
her beauty that it was impossible and out of
natureor I thought soto separate them
from her beauty. Truly it was impossible to
dissociate her presence from all those wretched
hankerings after money and gentility that had
disturbed my boyhoodfrom all those ill-
regulated aspirations that had first made me ashamed
of home and Joefrom all those visions that
had raised her face in the glowing fire, struck
it out of the iron on the anvil, extracted it
from the darkness of night to look in at the
wooden window of the forge and flit away. In
a word, it was impossible for me to separate
her, in the past or in the present, from the
innermost life of my life.

It was settled that I should stay there all the

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