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Charles Dickens > Great Expectations > Chapter 19

Great Expectations

Chapter 19

Morning made a considerable difference in my general prospect of

Life, and brightened it so much that it scarcely seemed the same.

What lay heaviest on my mind, was, the consideration that six days

intervened between me and the day of departure; for, I could not

divest myself of a misgiving that something might happen to London

in the meanwhile, and that, when I got there, it would be either

greatly deteriorated or clean gone.

Joe and Biddy were very sympathetic and pleasant when I spoke of

our approaching separation; but they only referred to it when I

did. After breakfast, Joe brought out my indentures from the press

in the best parlour, and we put them in the fire, and I felt that I

was free. With all the novelty of my emancipation on me, I went to

church with Joe, and thought, perhaps the clergyman wouldn't have

read that about the rich man and the kingdom of Heaven, if he had

known all.

After our early dinner I strolled out alone, purposing to finish

off the marshes at once, and get them done with. As I passed the

church, I felt (as I had felt during service in the morning) a

sublime compassion for the poor creatures who were destined to go

there, Sunday after Sunday, all their lives through, and to lie

obscurely at last among the low green mounds. I promised myself

that I would do something for them one of these days, and formed a

plan in outline for bestowing a dinner of roast-beef and

plumpudding, a pint of ale, and a gallon of condescension, upon

everybody in the village.

If I had often thought before, with something allied to shame, of

my companionship with the fugitive whom I had once seen limping

among those graves, what were my thoughts on this Sunday, when the

place recalled the wretch, ragged and shivering, with his felon

iron and badge! My comfort was, that it happened a long time ago,

and that he had doubtless been transported a long way off, and that

he was dead to me, and might be veritably dead into the bargain.

No more low wet grounds, no more dykes and sluices, no more of

these grazing cattle - though they seemed, in their dull manner, to

wear a more respectful air now, and to face round, in order that

they might stare as long as possible at the possessor of such great

expectations - farewell, monotonous acquaintances of my childhood,

henceforth I was for London and greatness: not for smith's work in

general and for you! I made my exultant way to the old Battery,

and, lying down there to consider the question whether Miss

Havisham intended me for Estella, fell asleep.

When I awoke, I was much surprised to find Joe sitting beside me,

smoking his pipe. He greeted me with a cheerful smile on my opening

my eyes, and said:

"As being the last time, Pip, I thought I'd foller."

"And Joe, I am very glad you did so."

"Thankee, Pip."

"You may be sure, dear Joe," I went on, after we had shaken hands,

"that I shall never forget you."

"No, no, Pip!" said Joe, in a comfortable tone, "I'm sure of that.

Ay, ay, old chap! Bless you, it were only necessary to get it well

round in a man's mind, to be certain on it. But it took a bit of

time to get it well round, the change come so oncommon plump;

didn't it?"

Somehow, I was not best pleased with Joe's being so mightily secure

of me. I should have liked him to have betrayed emotion, or to have

said, "It does you credit, Pip," or something of that sort.

Therefore, I made no remark on Joe's first head: merely saying as

to his second, that the tidings had indeed come suddenly, but that

I had always wanted to be a gentleman, and had often and often

speculated on what I would do, if I were one.

"Have you though?" said Joe. "Astonishing!"

"It's a pity now, Joe," said I, "that you did not get on a little

more, when we had our lessons here; isn't it?"

"Well, I don't know," returned Joe. "I'm so awful dull. I'm only

master of my own trade. It were always a pity as I was so awful

dull; but it's no more of a pity now, than it was - this day

twelvemonth - don't you see?"

What I had meant was, that when I came into my property and was

able to do something for Joe, it would have been much more

agreeable if he had been better qualified for a rise in station. He

was so perfectly innocent of my meaning, however, that I thought I

would mention it to Biddy in preference.

So, when we had walked home and had had tea, I took Biddy into our

little garden by the side of the lane, and, after throwing out in a

general way for the elevation of her spirits, that I should never

forget her, said I had a favour to ask of her.

"And it is, Biddy," said I, "that you will not omit any opportunity

of helping Joe on, a little."

"How helping him on?" asked Biddy, with a steady sort of glance.

"Well! Joe is a dear good fellow - in fact, I think he is the

dearest fellow that ever lived - but he is rather backward in some

things. For instance, Biddy, in his learning and his manners."

Although I was looking at Biddy as I spoke, and although she opened

her eyes very wide when I had spoken, she did not look at me.

"Oh, his manners! won't his manners do, then?" asked Biddy,

plucking a black-currant leaf.

"My dear Biddy, they do very well here--"

"Oh! they do very well here?" interrupted Biddy, looking closely at

the leaf in her hand.

"Hear me out - but if I were to remove Joe into a higher sphere, as

I shall hope to remove him when I fully come into my property, they

would hardly do him justice."

"And don't you think he knows that?" asked Biddy.

It was such a very provoking question (for it had never in the most

distant manner occurred to me), that I said, snappishly, "Biddy,

what do you mean?"

Biddy having rubbed the leaf to pieces between her hands - and the

smell of a black-currant bush has ever since recalled to me that

evening in the little garden by the side of the lane - said, "Have

you never considered that he may be proud?"

"Proud?" I repeated, with disdainful emphasis.

"Oh! there are many kinds of pride," said Biddy, looking full at me

and shaking her head; "pride is not all of one kind--"

"Well? What are you stopping for?" said I.

"Not all of one kind," resumed Biddy. "He may be too proud to let

any one take him out of a place that he is competent to fill, and

fills well and with respect. To tell you the truth, I think he is:

though it sounds bold in me to say so, for you must know him far

better than I do."

"Now, Biddy," said I, "I am very sorry to see this in you. I did

not expect to see this in you. You are envious, Biddy, and

grudging. You are dissatisfied on account of my rise in fortune,

and you can't help showing it."

"If you have the heart to think so," returned Biddy, "say so. Say

so over and over again, if you have the heart to think so."

"If you have the heart to be so, you mean, Biddy," said I, in a

virtuous and superior tone; "don't put it off upon me. I am very

sorry to see it, and it's a - it's a bad side of human nature. I

did intend to ask you to use any little opportunities you might

have after I was gone, of improving dear Joe. But after this, I ask

you nothing. I am extremely sorry to see this in you, Biddy," I

repeated. "It's a - it's a bad side of human nature."

"Whether you scold me or approve of me," returned poor Biddy, "you

may equally depend upon my trying to do all that lies in my power,

here, at all times. And whatever opinion you take away of me, shall

make no difference in my remembrance of you. Yet a gentleman should

not be unjust neither," said Biddy, turning away her head.

I again warmly repeated that it was a bad side of human nature (in

which sentiment, waiving its application, I have since seen reason

to think I was right), and I walked down the little path away from

Biddy, and Biddy went into the house, and I went out at the garden

gate and took a dejected stroll until supper-time; again feeling it

very sorrowful and strange that this, the second night of my bright

fortunes, should be as lonely and unsatisfactory as the first.

But, morning once more brightened my view, and I extended my

clemency to Biddy, and we dropped the subject. Putting on the best

clothes I had, I went into town as early as I could hope to find

the shops open, and presented myself before Mr. Trabb, the tailor:

who was having his breakfast in the parlour behind his shop, and

who did not think it worth his while to come out to me, but called

me in to him.

"Well!" said Mr. Trabb, in a hail-fellow-well-met kind of way. "How

are you, and what can I do for you?"

Mr. Trabb had sliced his hot roll into three feather beds, and was

slipping butter in between the blankets, and covering it up. He was

a prosperous old bachelor, and his open window looked into a

prosperous little garden and orchard, and there was a prosperous

iron safe let into the wall at the side of his fireplace, and I did

not doubt that heaps of his prosperity were put away in it in bags.

"Mr. Trabb," said I, "it's an unpleasant thing to have to mention,

because it looks like boasting; but I have come into a handsome


A change passed over Mr. Trabb. He forgot the butter in bed, got up

from the bedside, and wiped his fingers on the table-cloth,

exclaiming, "Lord bless my soul!"

"I am going up to my guardian in London," said I, casually drawing

some guineas out of my pocket and looking at them; "and I want a

fashionable suit of clothes to go in. I wish to pay for them," I

added - otherwise I thought he might only pretend to make them -

"with ready money."

"My dear sir," said Mr. Trabb, as he respectfully bent his body,

opened his arms, and took the liberty of touching me on the outside

of each elbow, "don't hurt me by mentioning that. May I venture to

congratulate you? Would you do me the favour of stepping into the


Mr. Trabb's boy was the most audacious boy in all that countryside.

When I had entered he was sweeping the shop, and he had sweetened

his labours by sweeping over me. He was still sweeping when I came

out into the shop with Mr. Trabb, and he knocked the broom against

all possible corners and obstacles, to express (as I understood it)

equality with any blacksmith, alive or dead.

"Hold that noise," said Mr. Trabb, with the greatest sternness, "or

I'll knock your head off! Do me the favour to be seated, sir. Now,

this," said Mr. Trabb, taking down a roll of cloth, and tiding it

out in a flowing manner over the counter, preparatory to getting

his hand under it to show the gloss, "is a very sweet article. I

can recommend it for your purpose, sir, because it really is extra

super. But you shall see some others. Give me Number Four, you!"

(To the boy, and with a dreadfully severe stare: foreseeing the

danger of that miscreant's brushing me with it, or making some

other sign of familiarity.)

Mr. Trabb never removed his stern eye from the boy until he had

deposited number four on the counter and was at a safe distance

again. Then, he commanded him to bring number five, and number

eight. "And let me have none of your tricks here," said Mr. Trabb,

"or you shall repent it, you young scoundrel, the longest day you

have to live."

Mr. Trabb then bent over number four, and in a sort of deferential

confidence recommended it to me as a light article for summer wear,

an article much in vogue among the nobility and gentry, an article

that it would ever be an honour to him to reflect upon a

distinguished fellow-townsman's (if he might claim me for a

fellow-townsman) having worn. "Are you bringing numbers five and

eight, you vagabond," said Mr. Trabb to the boy after that, "or

shall I kick you out of the shop and bring them myself?"

I selected the materials for a suit, with the assistance of Mr.

Trabb's judgment, and re-entered the parlour to be measured. For,

although Mr. Trabb had my measure already, and had previously been

quite contented with it, he said apologetically that it "wouldn't

do under existing circumstances, sir - wouldn't do at all." So, Mr.

Trabb measured and calculated me, in the parlour, as if I were an

estate and he the finest species of surveyor, and gave himself such

a world of trouble that I felt that no suit of clothes could

possibly remunerate him for his pains. When he had at last done and

had appointed to send the articles to Mr. Pumblechook's on the

Thursday evening, he said, with his hand upon the parlour lock, "I

know, sir, that London gentlemen cannot be expected to patronize

local work, as a rule; but if you would give me a turn now and then

in the quality of a townsman, I should greatly esteem it. Good

morning, sir, much obliged. - Door!"

The last word was flung at the boy, who had not the least notion

what it meant. But I saw him collapse as his master rubbed me out

with his hands, and my first decided experience of the stupendous

power of money, was, that it had morally laid upon his back,

Trabb's boy.

After this memorable event, I went to the hatter's, and the

bootmaker's, and the hosier's, and felt rather like Mother

Hubbard's dog whose outfit required the services of so many trades.

I also went to the coach-office and took my place for seven o'clock

on Saturday morning. It was not necessary to explain everywhere

that I had come into a handsome property; but whenever I said

anything to that effect, it followed that the officiating tradesman

ceased to have his attention diverted through the window by the

High-street, and concentrated his mind upon me. When I had ordered

everything I wanted, I directed my steps towards Pumblechook's,

and, as I approached that gentleman's place of business, I saw him

standing at his door.

He was waiting for me with great impatience. He had been out early

in the chaise-cart, and had called at the forge and heard the

news. He had prepared a collation for me in the Barnwell parlour,

and he too ordered his shopman to "come out of the gangway" as my

sacred person passed.

"My dear friend," said Mr. Pumblechook, taking me by both hands,

when he and I and the collation were alone, "I give you joy of your

good fortune. Well deserved, well deserved!"

This was coming to the point, and I thought it a sensible way of

expressing himself.

"To think," said Mr. Pumblechook, after snorting admiration at me

for some moments, "that I should have been the humble instrument of

leading up to this, is a proud reward."

I begged Mr. Pumblechook to remember that nothing was to be ever

said or hinted, on that point.

"My dear young friend," said Mr. Pumblechook, "if you will allow me

to call you so--"

I murmured "Certainly," and Mr. Pumblechook took me by both hands

again, and communicated a movement to his waistcoat, which had an

emotional appearance, though it was rather low down, "My dear young

friend, rely upon my doing my little all in your absence, by

keeping the fact before the mind of Joseph. - Joseph!" said Mr.

Pumblechook, in the way of a compassionate adjuration. "Joseph!!

Joseph!!!" Thereupon he shook his head and tapped it, expressing

his sense of deficiency in Joseph.

"But my dear young friend," said Mr. Pumblechook, "you must be

hungry, you must be exhausted. Be seated. Here is a chicken had

round from the Boar, here is a tongue had round from the Boar,

here's one or two little things had round from the Boar, that I

hope you may not despise. But do I," said Mr. Pumblechook, getting

up again the moment after he had sat down, "see afore me, him as I

ever sported with in his times of happy infancy? And may I - may

I - ?"

This May I, meant might he shake hands? I consented, and he was

fervent, and then sat down again.

"Here is wine," said Mr. Pumblechook. "Let us drink, Thanks to

Fortune, and may she ever pick out her favourites with equal

judgment! And yet I cannot," said Mr. Pumblechook, getting up again,

"see afore me One - and likewise drink to One - without again

expressing - May I - may I - ?"

I said he might, and he shook hands with me again, and emptied his

glass and turned it upside down. I did the same; and if I had

turned myself upside down before drinking, the wine could not have

gone more direct to my head.

Mr. Pumblechook helped me to the liver wing, and to the best slice

of tongue (none of those out-of-the-way No Thoroughfares of Pork

now), and took, comparatively speaking, no care of himself at all.

"Ah! poultry, poultry! You little thought," said Mr. Pumblechook,

apostrophizing the fowl in the dish, "when you was a young

fledgling, what was in store for you. You little thought you was to

be refreshment beneath this humble roof for one as - Call it a

weakness, if you will," said Mr. Pumblechook, getting up again, "but

may I? may I - ?"

It began to be unnecessary to repeat the form of saying he might,

so he did it at once. How he ever did it so often without wounding

himself with my knife, I don't know.

"And your sister," he resumed, after a little steady eating, "which

had the honour of bringing you up by hand! It's a sad picter, to

reflect that she's no longer equal to fully understanding the

honour. May--"

I saw he was about to come at me again, and I stopped him.

"We'll drink her health," said I.

"Ah!" cried Mr. Pumblechook, leaning back in his chair, quite

flaccid with admiration, "that's the way you know 'em, sir!" (I

don't know who Sir was, but he certainly was not I, and there was

no third person present); "that's the way you know the nobleminded,

sir! Ever forgiving and ever affable. It might," said the servile

Pumblechook, putting down his untasted glass in a hurry and getting

up again, "to a common person, have the appearance of repeating -

but may I - ?"

When he had done it, he resumed his seat and drank to my sister.

"Let us never be blind," said Mr. Pumblechook, "to her faults of

temper, but it is to be hoped she meant well."

At about this time, I began to observe that he was getting flushed

in the face; as to myself, I felt all face, steeped in wine and


I mentioned to Mr. Pumblechook that I wished to have my new clothes

sent to his house, and he was ecstatic on my so distinguishing him.

I mentioned my reason for desiring to avoid observation in the

village, and he lauded it to the skies. There was nobody but

himself, he intimated, worthy of my confidence, and - in short,

might he? Then he asked me tenderly if I remembered our boyish

games at sums, and how we had gone together to have me bound

apprentice, and, in effect, how he had ever been my favourite fancy

and my chosen friend? If I had taken ten times as many glasses of

wine as I had, I should have known that he never had stood in that

relation towards me, and should in my heart of hearts have

repudiated the idea. Yet for all that, I remember feeling convinced

that I had been much mistaken in him, and that he was a sensible

practical good-hearted prime fellow.

By degrees he fell to reposing such great confidence in me, as to

ask my advice in reference to his own affairs. He mentioned that

there was an opportunity for a great amalgamation and monopoly of

the corn and seed trade on those premises, if enlarged, such as had

never occurred before in that, or any other neighbourhood. What

alone was wanting to the realization of a vast fortune, he

considered to be More Capital. Those were the two little words,

more capital. Now it appeared to him (Pumblechook) that if that

capital were got into the business, through a sleeping partner, sir

- which sleeping partner would have nothing to do but walk in, by

self or deputy, whenever he pleased, and examine the books - and

walk in twice a year and take his profits away in his pocket, to

the tune of fifty per cent. - it appeared to him that that might be

an opening for a young gentleman of spirit combined with property,

which would be worthy of his attention. But what did I think? He

had great confidence in my opinion, and what did I think? I gave it

as my opinion. "Wait a bit!" The united vastness and distinctness

of this view so struck him, that he no longer asked if he might

shake hands with me, but said he really must - and did.

We drank all the wine, and Mr. Pumblechook pledged himself over and

over again to keep Joseph up to the mark (I don't know what mark),

and to render me efficient and constant service (I don't know what

service). He also made known to me for the first time in my life,

and certainly after having kept his secret wonderfully well, that

he had always said of me, "That boy is no common boy, and mark me,

his fortun' will be no common fortun'." He said with a tearful

smile that it was a singular thing to think of now, and I said so

too. Finally, I went out into the air, with a dim perception that

there was something unwonted in the conduct of the sunshine, and

found that I had slumberously got to the turn-pike without having

taken any account of the road.

There, I was roused by Mr. Pumblechook's hailing me. He was a long

way down the sunny street, and was making expressive gestures for

me to stop. I stopped, and he came up breathless.

"No, my dear friend," said he, when he had recovered wind for

speech. "Not if I can help it. This occasion shall not entirely

pass without that affability on your part. - May I, as an old

friend and well-wisher? May I?"

We shook hands for the hundredth time at least, and he ordered a

young carter out of my way with the greatest indignation. Then, he

blessed me and stood waving his hand to me until I had passed the

crook in the road; and then I turned into a field and had a long

nap under a hedge before I pursued my way home.

I had scant luggage to take with me to London, for little of the

little I possessed was adapted to my new station. But, I began

packing that same afternoon, and wildly packed up things that I

knew I should want next morning, in a fiction that there was not a

moment to be lost.

So, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, passed; and on Friday morning

I went to Mr. Pumblechook's, to put on my new clothes and pay my

visit to Miss Havisham. Mr. Pumblechook's own room was given up to

me to dress in, and was decorated with clean towels expressly for

the event. My clothes were rather a disappointment, of course.

Probably every new and eagerly expected garment ever put on since

clothes came in, fell a trifle short of the wearer's expectation.

But after I had had my new suit on, some half an hour, and had gone

through an immensity of posturing with Mr. Pumblechook's very

limited dressing-glass, in the futile endeavour to see my legs, it

seemed to fit me better. It being market morning at a neighbouring

town some ten miles off, Mr. Pumblechook was not at home. I had not

told him exactly when I meant to leave, and was not likely to shake

hands with him again before departing. This was all as it should

be, and I went out in my new array: fearfully ashamed of having to

pass the shopman, and suspicious after all that I was at a personal

disadvantage, something like Joe's in his Sunday suit.

I went circuitously to Miss Havisham's by all the back ways, and

rang at the bell constrainedly, on account of the stiff long

fingers of my gloves. Sarah Pocket came to the gate, and positively

reeled back when she saw me so changed; her walnut-shell

countenance likewise, turned from brown to green and yellow.

"You?" said she. "You, good gracious! What do you want?"

"I am going to London, Miss Pocket," said I, "and want to say

good-bye to Miss Havisham."

I was not expected, for she left me locked in the yard, while she

went to ask if I were to be admitted. After a very short delay, she

returned and took me up, staring at me all the way.

Miss Havisham was taking exercise in the room with the long spread

table, leaning on her crutch stick. The room was lighted as of

yore, and at the sound of our entrance, she stopped and turned. She

was then just abreast of the rotted bride-cake.

"Don't go, Sarah," she said. "Well, Pip?"

"I start for London, Miss Havisham, to-morrow," I was exceedingly

careful what I said, "and I thought you would kindly not mind my

taking leave of you."

"This is a gay figure, Pip," said she, making her crutch stick play

round me, as if she, the fairy godmother who had changed me, were

bestowing the finishing gift.

"I have come into such good fortune since I saw you last, Miss

Havisham," I murmured. "And I am so grateful for it, Miss


"Ay, ay!" said she, looking at the discomfited and envious Sarah,

with delight. "I have seen Mr. Jaggers. I have heard about it, Pip.

So you go to-morrow?"

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

"And you are adopted by a rich person?"

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

"Not named?"

"No, Miss Havisham."

"And Mr. Jaggers is made your guardian?"

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

She quite gloated on these questions and answers, so keen was her

enjoyment of Sarah Pocket's jealous dismay. "Well!" she went on;

"you have a promising career before you. Be good - deserve it - and

abide by Mr. Jaggers's instructions." She looked at me, and looked

at Sarah, and Sarah's countenance wrung out of her watchful face a

cruel smile. "Good-bye, Pip! - you will always keep the name of

Pip, you know."

"Yes, Miss Havisham."

"Good-bye, Pip!"

She stretched out her hand, and I went down on my knee and put it

to my lips. I had not considered how I should take leave of her; it

came naturally to me at the moment, to do this. She looked at Sarah

Pocket with triumph in her weird eyes, and so I left my fairy

godmother, with both her hands on her crutch stick, standing in the

midst of the dimly lighted room beside the rotten bridecake that

was hidden in cobwebs.

Sarah Pocket conducted me down, as if I were a ghost who must be

seen out. She could not get over my appearance, and was in the last

degree confounded. I said "Good-bye, Miss Pocket;" but she merely

stared, and did not seem collected enough to know that I had

spoken. Clear of the house, I made the best of my way back to

Pumblechook's, took off my new clothes, made them into a bundle,

and went back home in my older dress, carrying it - to speak the

truth - much more at my ease too, though I had the bundle to carry.

And now, those six days which were to have run out so slowly, had

run out fast and were gone, and to-morrow looked me in the face

more steadily than I could look at it. As the six evenings had

dwindled away, to five, to four, to three, to two, I had become

more and more appreciative of the society of Joe and Biddy. On this

last evening, I dressed my self out in my new clothes, for their

delight, and sat in my splendour until bedtime. We had a hot supper

on the occasion, graced by the inevitable roast fowl, and we had

some flip to finish with. We were all very low, and none the higher

for pretending to be in spirits.

I was to leave our village at five in the morning, carrying my

little hand-portmanteau, and I had told Joe that I wished to walk

away all alone. I am afraid - sore afraid - that this purpose

originated in my sense of the contrast there would be between me

and Joe, if we went to the coach together. I had pretended with

myself that there was nothing of this taint in the arrangement; but

when I went up to my little room on this last night, I felt

compelled to admit that it might be so, and had an impulse upon me

to go down again and entreat Joe to walk with me in the morning. I

did not.

All night there were coaches in my broken sleep, going to wrong

places instead of to London, and having in the traces, now dogs,

now cats, now pigs, now men - never horses. Fantastic failures of

journeys occupied me until the day dawned and the birds were

singing. Then, I got up and partly dressed, and sat at the window

to take a last look out, and in taking it fell asleep.

Biddy was astir so early to get my breakfast, that, although I did

not sleep at the window an hour, I smelt the smoke of the kitchen

fire when I started up with a terrible idea that it must be late in

the afternoon. But long after that, and long after I had heard the

clinking of the teacups and was quite ready, I wanted the

resolution to go down stairs. After all, I remained up there,

repeatedly unlocking and unstrapping my small portmanteau and

locking and strapping it up again, until Biddy called to me that I

was late.

It was a hurried breakfast with no taste in it. I got up from the

meal, saying with a sort of briskness, as if it had only just

occurred to me, "Well! I suppose I must be off!" and then I kissed

my sister who was laughing and nodding and shaking in her usual

chair, and kissed Biddy, and threw my arms around Joe's neck. Then

I took up my little portmanteau and walked out. The last I saw of

them was, when I presently heard a scuffle behind me, and looking

back, saw Joe throwing an old shoe after me and Biddy throwing

another old shoe. I stopped then, to wave my hat, and dear old Joe

waved his strong right arm above his head, crying huskily

"Hooroar!" and Biddy put her apron to her face.

I walked away at a good pace, thinking it was easier to go than I

had supposed it would be, and reflecting that it would never have

done to have had an old shoe thrown after the coach, in sight of

all the High-street. I whistled and made nothing of going. But the

village was very peaceful and quiet, and the light mists were

solemnly rising, as if to show me the world, and I had been so

innocent and little there, and all beyond was so unknown and great,

that in a moment with a strong heave and sob I broke into tears. It

was by the finger-post at the end of the village, and I laid my

hand upon it, and said, "Good-bye O my dear, dear friend!"

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are

rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I

was better after I had cried, than before - more sorry, more aware

of my own ingratitude, more gentle. If I had cried before, I should

have had Joe with me then.

So subdued I was by those tears, and by their breaking out again in

the course of the quiet walk, that when I was on the coach, and it

was clear of the town, I deliberated with an aching heart whether I

would not get down when we changed horses and walk back, and have

another evening at home, and a better parting. We changed, and I

had not made up my mind, and still reflected for my comfort that it

would be quite practicable to get down and walk back, when we

changed again. And while I was occupied with these deliberations, I

would fancy an exact resemblance to Joe in some man coming along

the road towards us, and my heart would beat high. - As if he could

possibly be there!

We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too

far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen

now, and the world lay spread before me.


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