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             GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

              BY CHARLES DICKENS.

                  CHAPTER XXXIV.

As I had grown accustomed to my expectations,
I had insensibly begun to notice their
effect upon myself and those around me. Their
influence on my own character, I disguised from
my recognition as much as possible, but I knew
very well that it was not all good. I lived in a
state of chronic uneasiness respecting my
behaviour to Joe. My conscience was not by any
means comfortable about Biddy. When I woke
up in the nightlike CamillaI used to think,
with a weariness on my spirits, that I should
have been happier and better if I had never seen
Miss Havisham's face, and had risen to manhood
content to be partners with Joe in the honest
old forge. Many a time of an evening, when I
sat alone, looking at the fire, I thought, after
all there was no fire like the forge fire and the
kitchen fire at home.

Yet Estella was so inseparable from all my
restlessness and disquiet of mind, that I really
fell into confusion as to the limits of my own
part in its production. That is to say,
supposing I had had no expectations, and yet had
had Estella to think of, I could not make out to
my satisfaction that I should have done much
better. Now, concerning the influence of my
position on others, I was in no such difficulty,
and so I perceivedthough dimly enough,
perhapsthat it was not beneficial to anybody,
and, above all, that it was not beneficial to
Herbert. My lavish habits led his easy nature
into expenses that he could not afford, corrupted
the simplicity of his life, and disturbed his peace
with anxieties and regrets. I was not at all
remorseful for having unwittingly set those other
branches of the Pocket family to the poor arts
they practised: because such littlenesses were
their natural bent, and would have been evoked
by anybody else, if I had left them slumbering.
But Herbert's was a very different case, and it
often caused me a twinge to think that I had
done him evil service in crowding his sparely-
furnished chambers with incongruous upholstery
work, and placing the canary-breasted Avenger
at his disposal.

So now, as an infallible way of making little
ease great ease, I began to contract a quantity
of debt. I could hardly begin but Herbert
must begin too, so he soon followed. At
Startop's suggestion, we put ourselves down for
election into a club called The Finches of the
Grove: the object of which institution I have
never divined, if it were not that the members
should dine expensively once a fortnight, to
quarrel among themselves as much as possible
after dinner, and to cause six waiters to get
drunk on the stairs. I know that these gratifying
social ends were so invariably accomplished,
that Herbert and I understood nothing else to
be referred to in the first standing toast of
the society: which ran  "Gentlemen, may the
present promotion of good feeling ever reign
predominant among the Finches of the Grove."

The Finches spent their money foolishly (the
Hotel we dined at was in Covent-garden), and
the first Finch I saw, when I had the honour of
joining the Grove, was Bentley Drummle: at
that time floundering about town in a cab of his
own, and doing a great deal of damage to the
posts at the street corners. Occasionally, he
shot himself out of his equipage head-foremost
over the apron; and I saw him on one occasion
deliver himself at the door of the Grove in this
unintentional waylike coals. But here I
anticipate a little, for I was not a Finch, and could
not be, according to the sacred laws of the
society, until I came of age.

In my confidence in my own resources, I
would willingly have taken Herbert's expenses
on myself; but Herbert was proud, and I could
make no such proposal to him. So, he got into
difficulties in every direction, and continued to
look about him. When we gradually fell into
keeping late hours and late company, I noticed
that he looked about him with a despondent eye
at breakfast-time; that he began to look about
him more hopefully about mid-day; that he
drooped when he came in to dinner; that
he seemed to descry Capital in the distance
rather clearly, after dinner; that he all but
realised Capital towards midnight; and that
at about two o'clock in the morning, he
became so deeply despondent again as to talk of
buying a rifle and going to America, with a
general purpose of compelling buffaloes to make
his fortune.

I was usually at Hammersmith about half the
week, and when I was at Hammersmith I
haunted Richmond: whereof separately by-and-
by. Herbert would often come to Hammersmith

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