Chapter 22

THE pale young gentleman and I stood contemplating one another in Barnard's Inn, until we both burst out laughing. `The idea of its being you!' said he. `The idea of its being you!' said I. And then we contemplated one another afresh, and laughed again. `Well!' said the pale young gentleman, reaching out his hand goodhumouredly, `it's all over now, I hope, and it will be magnanimous in you if you'll forgive me for having knocked you about so.'

I derived from this speech that Mr Herbert Pocket (for Herbert was the pale young gentleman's name) still rather confounded his intention with his execution. But I made a modest reply, and we shook hands warmly.

`You hadn't come into your good fortune at that time?' said Herbert Pocket.

`No,' said I.

`No,' he acquiesced: `I heard it had happened very lately. I was rather on the look-out for good-fortune then.'


`Yes. Miss Havisham had sent for me, to see if she could take a fancy to me. But she couldn't - at all events, she didn't.'

I thought it polite to remark that I was surprised to hear that.

`Bad taste,' said Herbert, laughing, `but a fact. Yes, she had sent for me on a trial visit, and if I had come out of it successfully, I suppose I should have been provided for; perhaps I should have been what-you- may-called it to Estella.'

`What's that?' I asked, with sudden gravity.

He was arranging his fruit in plates while we talked, which divided his attention, and was the cause of his having made this lapse of a word. `Affianced,' he explained, still busy with the fruit. `Betrothed. Engaged. What's-his-named. Any word of that sort.'

`How did you bear your disappointment?' I asked.

`Pooh!' said he, `I didn't care much for it. She's a Tartar.'

`Miss Havisham?'

`I don't say no to that, but I meant Estella. That girl's hard and haughty and capricious to the last degree, and has been brought up by Miss Havisham to wreak revenge on all the male sex.'

`What relation is she to Miss Havisham?'

`None,' said he. `Only adopted.'

`Why should she wreak revenge on all the male sex? What revenge?'

`Lord, Mr Pip!' said he. `Don't you know?'

`No,' said I.

`Dear me! It's quite a story, and shall be saved till dinner-time.

And now let me take the liberty of asking you a question. How did you come there, that day?'

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.