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- Great Expectations - 60/210 -


"Yes, I do keep a dog."

"Bear in mind then, that Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a

better. Bear that in mind, will you?" repeated Mr. Jaggers, shutting

his eyes and nodding his head at Joe, as if he were forgiving him

something. "Now, I return to this young fellow. And the

communication I have got to make is, that he has great

expectations."

Joe and I gasped, and looked at one another.

"I am instructed to communicate to him," said Mr. Jaggers, throwing

his finger at me sideways, "that he will come into a handsome

property. Further, that it is the desire of the present possessor

of that property, that he be immediately removed from his present

sphere of life and from this place, and be brought up as a

gentleman - in a word, as a young fellow of great expectations."

My dream was out; my wild fancy was surpassed by sober reality;

Miss Havisham was going to make my fortune on a grand scale.

"Now, Mr. Pip," pursued the lawyer, "I address the rest of what I

have to say, to you. You are to understand, first, that it is the

request of the person from whom I take my instructions, that you

always bear the name of Pip. You will have no objection, I dare

say, to your great expectations being encumbered with that easy

condition. But if you have any objection, this is the time to

mention it."

My heart was beating so fast, and there was such a singing in my

ears, that I could scarcely stammer I had no objection.

"I should think not! Now you are to understand, secondly, Mr. Pip,

that the name of the person who is your liberal benefactor remains

a profound secret, until the person chooses to reveal it. I am

empowered to mention that it is the intention of the person to

reveal it at first hand by word of mouth to yourself. When or where

that intention may be carried out, I cannot say; no one can say. It

may be years hence. Now, you are distinctly to understand that you

are most positively prohibited from making any inquiry on this

head, or any allusion or reference, however distant, to any

individual whomsoever as the individual, in all the communications

you may have with me. If you have a suspicion in your own breast,

keep that suspicion in your own breast. It is not the least to the

purpose what the reasons of this prohibition are; they may be the

strongest and gravest reasons, or they may be mere whim. This is

not for you to inquire into. The condition is laid down. Your

acceptance of it, and your observance of it as binding, is the only

remaining condition that I am charged with, by the person from whom

I take my instructions, and for whom I am not otherwise

responsible. That person is the person from whom you derive your

expectations, and the secret is solely held by that person and by

me. Again, not a very difficult condition with which to encumber

such a rise in fortune; but if you have any objection to it, this

is the time to mention it. Speak out."

Once more, I stammered with difficulty that I had no objection.

"I should think not! Now, Mr. Pip, I have done with stipulations."

Though he called me Mr. Pip, and began rather to make up to me, he

still could not get rid of a certain air of bullying suspicion; and

even now he occasionally shut his eyes and threw his finger at me

while he spoke, as much as to express that he knew all kinds of

things to my disparagement, if he only chose to mention them. "We

come next, to mere details of arrangement. You must know that,

although I have used the term "expectations" more than once, you

are not endowed with expectations only. There is already lodged in

my hands, a sum of money amply sufficient for your suitable

education and maintenance. You will please consider me your

guardian. Oh!" for I was going to thank him, "I tell you at once, I

am paid for my services, or I shouldn't render them. It is

considered that you must be better educated, in accordance with

your altered position, and that you will be alive to the importance

and necessity of at once entering on that advantage."

I said I had always longed for it.

"Never mind what you have always longed for, Mr. Pip," he retorted;

"keep to the record. If you long for it now, that's enough. Am I

answered that you are ready to be placed at once, under some proper

tutor? Is that it?"

I stammered yes, that was it.

"Good. Now, your inclinations are to be consulted. I don't think

that wise, mind, but it's my trust. Have you ever heard of any

tutor whom you would prefer to another?"

I had never heard of any tutor but Biddy and Mr. Wopsle's greataunt;

so, I replied in the negative.

"There is a certain tutor, of whom I have some knowledge, who I

think might suit the purpose," said Mr. Jaggers. "I don't recommend

him, observe; because I never recommend anybody. The gentleman I

speak of, is one Mr. Matthew Pocket."

Ah! I caught at the name directly. Miss Havisham's relation. The

Matthew whom Mr. and Mrs. Camilla had spoken of. The Matthew whose

place was to be at Miss Havisham's head, when she lay dead, in her

bride's dress on the bride's table.


Great Expectations - 60/210

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