Jarndyce called me into a small room next his bedchamber, which I found to be in part a little library of books and papers, and in part quite a little museum of his boots and shoes, and hat-boxes.
Sit down, my dear, said Mr Jarndyce. This, you must know, is the growlery. When I am out of humour, I come and growl here.
You must be here very seldom, sir, said I.
O, you dont know me! he returned. When I am deceived or disappointed in the wind, and its Easterly, I take refuge here. The Growlery is the best used room in the house. You are not aware of half my humours yet. My dear, how you are trembling!
I could not help it: I tried very hard: but being alone with that benevolent presence, and meeting his kind eyes, and feeling so happy, and so honoured there, and my heart so fullm
I kissed his hand. I dont know what I said, or even that I spoke. He was disconcerted, and walked to the window; I almost believed with an intention of jumping out, until he turned, and I was reassured by seeing in his eyes what he had gone there to hide. He gently patted me on the head, and I sat down.
There! There! he said. Thats over. Pooh! Dont be foolish.
It shall not happen again, sir, I returned, but at first it is difficult
Nonsense! he said. Its easy, easy. Why not? I hear of a good little orphan girl without a protector, and I take it into my head to be that protector. She grows up, and more than justifies my good opinion, and I remain her guardian and her friend. What is there in all this? So, so! Now, we have cleared off old scores, and I have before me thy pleasant, trusting, trusty face again.
I said to myself, Esther, my dear, you surprise me! This really is not what I expected of you! and it had such a good effect, that I folded my hands upon my basket and quite recovered myself. Mr Jarndyce, expressing his approval in his face, began to talk to me as confidentially, as if I had been in the habit of conversing with him every morning for I dont know how long. I almost felt as if I had.
Of course, Esther, he said, you dont understand this Chancery business?
And of course I shook my head.
I dont know who does, he returned. The lawyers have twisted it into such a state of bedevilment that the original merits of the case have long disappeared from the face of the earth. Its about a Will, and the trusts under a Will or it was, once. Its about nothing but Costs, now. We are always appearing, and disappearing, and swearing, and interrogating, and filing, and cross-filing, and arguing, and sealing, and motioning, and referring, and reporting, and revolving about the Lord Chancellor and all his satellites, and equitably waltzing ourselves off to dusty death, about costs. Thats the great question. All the rest, by some extraordinary means, has melted away.
But it was, sir, said I, to bring him back, for he began to rub his head, about a Will?
Why, yes, it was about a Will when it was about anything, he returned. A certain Jarndyce, in an evil hour, made a great fortune, and made a great Will. In the question how the trusts under that Will are to be administered, the fortune left by the Will is squandered away; the legatees under the Will are reduced to such a miserable condition that they would be sufficiently punished, if they had committed an enormous crime in having money left them; and the Will itself is made a dead letter. All through the deplorable cause, everything that everybody in it, except one man, knows already, is referred to that only one man who dont know it, to find out all through the deplorable cause, everybody must have copies, over and over again, of everything that has accumulated about it in the way of cartloads of papers (or must pay for them without having them, which is the usual course, for nobody wants them); and must go down
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