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Unformatted text preview: 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt The Project Gutenberg EBook of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at . If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook. Title: Great Expectations Author: Charles Dickens Release Date: July, 1998 [EBook #1400] [Most recently updated: April 27, 2020] Language: English Character set encoding: UTF-8 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GREAT EXPECTATIONS *** Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer, and David Widger [Illustration] Great Expectations [1867 Edition] by Charles Dickens Contents Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI. XXII. XXIII. files/1400/1400-0.txt 1/332 5/14/2020 Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter files/1400/1400-0.txt XXIV. XXV. XXVI. XXVII. XXVIII. XXIX. XXX. XXXI. XXXII. XXXIII. XXXIV. XXXV. XXXVI. XXXVII. XXXVIII. XXXIX. XL. XLI. XLII. XLIII. XLIV. XLV. XLVI. XLVII. XLVIII. XLIX. L. LI. LII. LIII. LIV. LV. LVI. LVII. LVIII. LIX. [Illustration] Chapter I. My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip. I give Pirrip as my father’s family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister,—Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father’s, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, “_Also Georgiana Wife of the Above_,†I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine,—who gave up trying to get a living, exceedingly early in that universal struggle,—I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers-pockets, and had never taken them out in this state  files/1400/1400-0.txt 2/332 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt of existence. Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dikes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.  “Hold your noise!†cried a terrible voice, as a man started up from among the graves at the side of the church porch. “Keep still, you little devil, or I’ll cut your throat!† A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round his head. A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared, and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.  “Oh! Don’t cut my throat, sir,†sir.†  “Tell us your name!† more,” I pleaded in terror. “Pray don’t do it, said the man. “Quick!† “Pip, sir.†“Once  said the man, staring at me. “Give it mouth!† “Pip. Pip, sir.†“Show us where you live,†  said the man. “Pint out the place!†I pointed to where our village lay, on the flat in-shore among the alder-trees and pollards, a mile or more from the church. The man, after looking at me for a moment, turned me upside down, and emptied my pockets. There was nothing in them but a piece of bread. When the church came to itself,—for he was so sudden and strong that he made it go head over heels before me, and I saw the steeple under my feet,—when the church came to itself, I say, I was seated on a high tombstone, trembling while he ate the bread ravenously. [Illustration]  “You young dog,†ha’ got.† said the man, licking his lips, “what fat cheeks you I believe they were fat, though I was at that time undersized for my years, and not strong.  “Darn me if I couldn’t eat ’em,†said the man, with a threatening shake of his head, “and if I han’t half a mind to’t!†files/1400/1400-0.txt  3/332 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt I earnestly expressed my hope that he wouldn’t, and held tighter to the tombstone on which he had put me; partly, to keep myself upon it; partly, to keep myself from crying.  “Now lookee here!† “There, sir!† said the man. “Where’s your mother?†said I. He started, made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder.  “There, sir!†   I timidly explained. “Also Georgiana. That’s my mother.†“Oh!†said he, coming back. “And is that your father alonger your mother?† “Yes, sir,†  said I; “him too; late of this parish.†“Ha!†he muttered then, considering. “Who d’ye live with,—supposin’ you’re kindly let to live, which I han’t made up my mind about?† “My sister, sir,—Mrs. Joe Gargery,—wife of Joe Gargery, the blacksmith, sir.†  “Blacksmith, eh?†said he. And looked down at his leg. After darkly looking at his leg and me several times, he came closer to my tombstone, took me by both arms, and tilted me back as far as he could hold me; so that his eyes looked most powerfully down into mine, and mine looked most helplessly up into his.  “Now lookee here,†he said, “the question being whether you’re to be let to live. You know what a file is?†  “Yes, sir.† “And you know what wittles is?† “Yes, sir.†After each question he tilted me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger.   “You get me a file.†He tilted me again. “And you get me wittles.†He tilted me again. “You bring ’em both to me.†He tilted me again. “Or I’ll have your heart and liver out.†He tilted me again.   I was dreadfully frightened, and so giddy that I clung to him with both hands, and said, “If you would kindly please to let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn’t be sick, and perhaps I could attend more.† He gave me a most tremendous dip and roll, so that the church jumped over its own weathercock. Then, he held me by the arms, in an upright position on the top of the stone, and went on in these fearful terms:— “You bring me, to-morrow morning early, that file and them wittles. You bring the lot to me, at that old Battery over yonder. You do it, and you never dare to say a word or dare to make a sign concerning your having seen such a person as me, or any person sumever, and you shall be let to live. You fail, or you go from my words in any partickler, no matter how small it is, and your heart and your liver shall be tore out, roasted, and ate. Now, I ain’t alone, as you may think I am. files/1400/1400-0.txt 4/332 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt There’s a young man hid with me, in comparison with which young man I am a Angel. That young man hears the words I speak. That young man has a secret way pecooliar to himself, of getting at a boy, and at his heart, and at his liver. It is in wain for a boy to attempt to hide himself from that young man. A boy may lock his door, may be warm in bed, may tuck himself up, may draw the clothes over his head, may think himself comfortable and safe, but that young man will softly creep and creep his way to him and tear him open. I am a keeping that young man from harming of you at the present moment, with great difficulty. I find it wery hard to hold that young man off of your inside. Now, what do you say?† I said that I would get him the file, and I would get him what broken bits of food I could, and I would come to him at the Battery, early in the morning.  “Say Lord strike you dead if you don’t!†said the man. I said so, and he took me down.  “Now,†he pursued, “you remember what you’ve undertook, and you remember that young man, and you get home!†“Goo-good night, sir,†   I faltered. “Much of that!†said he, glancing about him over the cold wet flat. “I wish I was a frog. Or a eel!† At the same time, he hugged his shuddering body in both his arms,—clasping himself, as if to hold himself together,—and limped towards the low church wall. As I saw him go, picking his way among the nettles, and among the brambles that bound the green mounds, he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of the dead people, stretching up cautiously out of their graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in. When he came to the low church wall, he got over it, like a man whose legs were numbed and stiff, and then turned round to look for me. When I saw him turning, I set my face towards home, and made the best use of my legs. But presently I looked over my shoulder, and saw him going on again towards the river, still hugging himself in both arms, and picking his way with his sore feet among the great stones dropped into the marshes here and there, for stepping-places when the rains were heavy or the tide was in. The marshes were just a long black horizontal line then, as I stopped to look after him; and the river was just another horizontal line, not nearly so broad nor yet so black; and the sky was just a row of long angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed. On the edge of the river I could faintly make out the only two black things in all the prospect that seemed to be standing upright; one of these was the beacon by which the sailors steered,—like an unhooped cask upon a pole,—an ugly thing when you were near it; the other, a gibbet, with some chains hanging to it which had once held a pirate. The man was limping on towards this latter, as if he were the pirate come to life, and come down, and going back to hook himself up again. It gave me a terrible turn when I thought so; and as I saw the cattle lifting their heads to gaze after him, I wondered whether they thought so too. I looked all round for the horrible young man, and could see no signs of him. But now I was frightened again, and ran home without stopping. files/1400/1400-0.txt 5/332 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt Chapter II. My sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, was more than twenty years older than I, and had established a great reputation with herself and the neighbours because she had brought me up “by hand.†Having at that time to find out for myself what the expression meant, and knowing her to have a hard and heavy hand, and to be much in the habit of laying it upon her husband as well as upon me, I supposed that Joe Gargery and I were both brought up by hand.  She was not a good-looking woman, my sister; and I had a general impression that she must have made Joe Gargery marry her by hand. Joe was a fair man, with curls of flaxen hair on each side of his smooth face, and with eyes of such a very undecided blue that they seemed to have somehow got mixed with their own whites. He was a mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going, foolish, dear fellow,—a sort of Hercules in strength, and also in weakness. My sister, Mrs. Joe, with black hair and eyes, had such a prevailing redness of skin that I sometimes used to wonder whether it was possible she washed herself with a nutmeg-grater instead of soap. She was tall and bony, and almost always wore a coarse apron, fastened over her figure behind with two loops, and having a square impregnable bib in front, that was stuck full of pins and needles. She made it a powerful merit in herself, and a strong reproach against Joe, that she wore this apron so much. Though I really see no reason why she should have worn it at all; or why, if she did wear it at all, she should not have taken it off, every day of her life. Joe’s forge adjoined our house, which was a wooden house, as many of the dwellings in our country were,—most of them, at that time. When I ran home from the churchyard, the forge was shut up, and Joe was sitting alone in the kitchen. Joe and I being fellow-sufferers, and having confidences as such, Joe imparted a confidence to me, the moment I raised the latch of the door and peeped in at him opposite to it, sitting in the chimney corner. “Mrs. Joe has been out a dozen times, looking for you, Pip. And she’s out now, making it a baker’s dozen.†  “Is she?† “Yes, Pip,† said Joe; “and what’s worse, she’s got Tickler with her.†At this dismal intelligence, I twisted the only button on my waistcoat round and round, and looked in great depression at the fire. Tickler was a wax-ended piece of cane, worn smooth by collision with my tickled frame.  “She sot down,†said Joe, “and she got up, and she made a grab at Tickler, and she Ram-paged out. That’s what she did,†said Joe, slowly clearing the fire between the lower bars with the poker, and looking at it; “she Ram-paged out, Pip.† Joe?”  “Has she been gone long, I always treated him as a larger species of child, and as no more than my equal.  “Well,†said Joe, glancing up at the Dutch clock, “she’s been on the Ram-page, this last spell, about five minutes, Pip. She’s a-coming! Get behind the door, old chap, and have the jack-towel betwixt you.† I took the advice. My sister, Mrs. Joe, throwing the door wide open, files/1400/1400-0.txt 6/332 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt and finding an obstruction behind it, immediately divined the cause, and applied Tickler to its further investigation. She concluded by throwing me—I often served as a connubial missile—at Joe, who, glad to get hold of me on any terms, passed me on into the chimney and quietly fenced me up there with his great leg.  “Where have you been, you young monkey?†said Mrs. Joe, stamping her foot. “Tell me directly what you’ve been doing to wear me away with fret and fright and worrit, or I’d have you out of that corner if you was fifty Pips, and he was five hundred Gargerys.† “I have only been to the churchyard,†rubbing myself.  said I, from my stool, crying and  “Churchyard!†repeated my sister. “If it warn’t for me you’d have been to the churchyard long ago, and stayed there. Who brought you up by hand?†  “You did,†said I. “And why did I do it, I should like to know?†  exclaimed my sister. I whimpered, “I don’t know.† “_I_ don’t!†said my sister. “I’d never do it again! I know that. I may truly say I’ve never had this apron of mine off since born you were. It’s bad enough to be a blacksmith’s wife (and him a Gargery) without being your mother.† My thoughts strayed from that question as I looked disconsolately at the fire. For the fugitive out on the marshes with the ironed leg, the mysterious young man, the file, the food, and the dreadful pledge I was under to commit a larceny on those sheltering premises, rose before me in the avenging coals.  “Hah!†said Mrs. Joe, restoring Tickler to his station. “Churchyard, indeed! You may well say churchyard, you two.†One of us, by the by, had not said it at all. “You’ll drive _me_ to the churchyard betwixt you, one of these days, and O, a pr-r-recious pair you’d be without me!†  As she applied herself to set the tea-things, Joe peeped down at me over his leg, as if he were mentally casting me and himself up, and calculating what kind of pair we practically should make, under the grievous circumstances foreshadowed. After that, he sat feeling his right-side flaxen curls and whisker, and following Mrs. Joe about with his blue eyes, as his manner always was at squally times. My sister had a trenchant way of cutting our bread and butter for us, that never varied. First, with her left hand she jammed the loaf hard and fast against her bib,—where it sometimes got a pin into it, and sometimes a needle, which we afterwards got into our mouths. Then she took some butter (not too much) on a knife and spread it on the loaf, in an apothecary kind of way, as if she were making a plaster,—using both sides of the knife with a slapping dexterity, and trimming and moulding the butter off round the crust. Then, she gave the knife a final smart wipe on the edge of the plaster, and then sawed a very thick round off the loaf: which she finally, before separating from the loaf, hewed into two halves, of which Joe got one, and I the other. On the present occasion, though I was hungry, I dared not eat my slice. I felt that I must have something in reserve for my dreadful files/1400/1400-0.txt 7/332 5/14/2020 files/1400/1400-0.txt acquaintance, and his ally the still more dreadful young man. I knew Mrs. Joe’s housekeeping to be of the strictest kind, and that my larcenous researches might find nothing available in the safe. Therefore I resolved to put my hunk of bread and butter down the leg of my trousers. The effort of resolution necessary to the achievement of this purpose I found to be quite awful. It was as if I had to make up my mind to leap from the top of a high house, or plunge into a great depth of water. And it was made the more difficult by the unconscious Joe. In our already-mentioned freemasonry as fellow-sufferers, and in his good-natured companionship with me, it was our evening habit to compare the way we bit through our slices, by silently holding them up to each other’s admiration now and then,—which stimulated us to new exertions. To-night, Joe several times invited me, by the display of his fast diminishing slice, to enter upon our usual friendly competition; but he found me, each time, with my yellow mug of tea on one knee, and my untouched bread and butter on the other. At last, I desperately considered that the thing I contemplated must be done, and that it had best be done in the least improbable manner consistent with the circumstances. I took advantage of a moment when Joe had just looked at me, and got my bread and butter down my leg. Joe was evidently made uncomfortable by what he supposed to be my loss of appetite, and took a thoughtful bite out of his slice, which he didn’t seem to enjoy. He turned it about in his mouth much longer than usual, pondering over it a good deal, and after all gulped it down like a pill. He was about to take another bite, and had just got his head on one side for a g...
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