Summary of Great Expectations
Volume 1 (Chapters 1 -19) #
Phillip Pirrup (Pip) is an orphan, and an only remaining child. He is being brought up by his sister, a blacksmith’s wife. He lives in the marsh country near the Thames, twenty miles off the sea. One day, in the graveyard, visiting the graves of his parents and brothers, he is come upon by an escaped convict. The convict frightens him, hanging him upside down and threatening to kill him. Pip must bring him food and an iron file to be saved. If he betrays him, the convict will summon a companion he has, who will torture Pip with pleasure.
Pip watches the convict leave, and stagger away, towards the gibbet that is visible on the shore.
Pip’s sister, Mrs Joe Gargery, has “brought him up by hand”, which Pip believes to mean that she uses her hands liberally, both on himself and Joe. When Pip returns from the graveyard, she has already gone to look for him. He hides from her, and on discovering him, she hits him, and launches into a lecture upon hearing of his visit to the churchyard. Pip, at dinner becomes depressed contemplating how to steal the food. Joe saves him from his wife’s anger by implying that he is ill, and she doses him with Tar-water.
During the evening, the sound of a gun is heard - another convict has escaped from the Hulks. Pip is sent to bed for asking too many questions, and lies in terror of the sin he is about to commit, but at dawn creeps down, and takes food from the pantry, and a file from Joe’s tools, and leaves for the marshes.
Arriving at the graveyard, Pip comes across another convict, who starts and runs, and finally finds Magwitch at the Battery. Magwitch takes the food and wolfs it down. Pip reveals that he saw ‘the young man’ whom Magwitch claimed was hiding with him. Magwitch exclaims, and goes after him then and there. Pip hears him desperately filing the chain from his leg.
Pip returns home and discovers that his sister has not found the pantry empty. She is preparing for Christmas lunch. She cleans the house while Joe and Pip are at church. Pip feels such guilt about his theft that he seriously considers called the minister aside and confessing all.
Mr Wopsle, Mr & Mrs Hubble, and Mr Pumblechook come to the Gargery’s for lunch. His sister improves her temper for the sake of the guests. They fall to discussing Pip’s naturally vice, using the pig as an example. They advise him to be grateful. Eventually Mr Pumblechook is offered the brandy, and Pip fears discovery at last. When Mr Pumblechook tastes the tar-water, he spits it out, and asks for gin-and-water instead. Pip’s momentary salvation is destroyed when Mrs Joe goes to get the pie. Pip begins to run, but gets to the door just as soldiers arrive.
The sergeant asks for the blacksmith. He gets Joe to repair his handcuffs for him. He tells the company that they intend to recapture the convicts in the marshes at sunset. Mrs Joe gives the soldiers wine while they wait. The men go off with the soldiers to see the capture, and take Pip with them. Pip is frightened that if they come across the convicts, Magwitch will blame him for his recapture.
They hear a voice on the marshes, and turn towards it. They find the two convicts brawling. Magwitch had been shouting for the soldiers, and asks the sergeant to remember that he captured him. The sergeant replies that this would hardly matter in the judgement of a fellow escapee. The other convict replies that Magwitch had tried to kill him. Magwitch tells them that he had intended to escape, but he could not allow Compeyson to be free.
The soldiers take the convicts, and begin the march to the hulks. They come to a watch hut, and before the convicts are taken away, Magwitch tells that it was he who stole from his house. The hulks move away into the night.
Pip is racked by his conscience, but he does not tell Joe the whole story. He suspects that if Joe knew the truth, his love for him would fade, that he would ever afterwards be suspected of being a thief.
Joe carries Pip home on his back. The company amuse themselves by trying to figure out how the convict broke into the pantry, and Pip is sent to bed.
At this time, Pip is learning to read, although his understanding is not always as advanced. He is eventually to be apprenticed to Joe. He attends Mr Wopsle’s great-aunt’s ‘school’. The great-aunt’s grand-daughter, Biddy runs a general store from the same room. Biddy is untidy, but it is she who teaches Pip the alphabet. One night, Pip writes a letter to Joe, and discovers that Joe cannot read. Joe tells him the story of his own upbringing, of a drunken father, of running away with his mother constantly, and his escape into the blacksmithy and the arms of Mrs Joe.
Mrs Joe arrives late and reveals that Mr Pumblechook has arranged for Pip to go up to rich Miss Havisham’s place, to play. Mrs Joe is confident that Pip’s ‘fortune may be made’. Pip is washed and scrubbed, and dragged up-town the next morning to Mr Pumblechook’s.
Pip spends the morning watching the shopkeepers at work - they all seem to watch each other. Pip has a poor breakfast with Mr Pumblechook, having no butter, but many questions on arithmetic. He is relieved to go up to Miss Havisham’s, a grand house. He looks through the gates and sees that it was formerly a brewery. A girl calls out a window to find out who they are. She comes to the gate, lets Pip in, and turns Mr Pumblechook away.
They stop at the brewery and Estella tells Pip that brewing is long done with there. She tells him the name of the house - Satis House. She takes him in the side of the house, and leaves him outside Miss Havisham’s door.
Miss Havisham is dressed all in white, in a bridal gown. The white is no longer, actually, it has all yellowed.. The dress no longer fits - it was made for a young woman. Pip half think Miss Havisham is waxwork, or a skeleton.
She talks to him, tells him she hasn’t seen the sun since his birth, and, touching her heart, tells him that it is broken. She then orders him to play. Pip is entirely unable to play, and tries to explain this to her. She sends him to fetch Estella.
He feels embarrassed, but calls for her at the door. When she arrives, Miss Havisham assures her that all the jewels will be hers. Miss Havisham instructs her to play cards with Pip. She objects - he is a labouring boy. Miss Havisham replies that he still has a heart to break. They play ‘Beggar my Neighbour’ and Miss Havisham intends that Estella will ‘beggar’ Pip.
He begins to see that everything in the room had stopped. Estella displays her contempt for Pip. Miss Havisham forces Pip to admit that Estella is proud, and pretty and insulting. he asks to go home, although he perhaps might like to see Estella again. Estella wins the game.
Miss Havisham tells him to come again in six days time. Estella takes him outside, and brings him food. Pip takes the opportunity to criticise himself. Estella’s gaze makes him cry and she waits a moment to watch him do so. He looks around the deserted brewery yard.
Pip imagines he sees Miss Havisham, hanging from a wooden beam by the neck and runs away, then towards her. There is no one there. Estella reappears, and triumphs over the amount that he has cried. She lets him out, and he leaves a message at Mr Pumblechook’s that he is wanted again in six days' time.
Mrs Joe asks Pip all about Miss Havisham’s. She is angry - Pip does not answer properly, as he is sure he will not be understood. Mr Pumblechook appears at tea-time to have the story told to him. Receiving a minimal answer, he tells Mrs Joe that he will get the answers from Pip. Pip discovers that Mr Pumblechook has never had anything to do with Miss Havisham, and therefore tells him a story about being served on gold plates, and playing with flags and swords.
When Joe arrives home, and has the fabrication recited to him, Pip feels a little guilty. The adults discuss what Miss Havisham might ‘do’ for Pip. Pip sneaks out and confesses to Joe that he lied about everything that happened. He confesses how bad he felt about being ‘common’. Joe tells Pip never to lie again, but it would be better now to avoid inciting Mrs Joe’s anger. He suggests Pip pray for forgiveness.
Pip follows his advice, but thinks all the same of how Estella would despise Joe, and thinks of how different everything is at Miss Havisham’s.
A month later, Pip decided that the best way to not be common is to get Biddy to teach him everything she knows. His lessons before mainly consisted of fights with other students, and passing a ruined grammar back and forth, while Mr Wopsle’s great aunt slept. Biddy would interrupt and lead them in a shrieking recital from the pages of the Bible.
Biddy gives Pip an elaborately printed D to copy. Pip takes it, and goes to The Three Jolly Bargemen to fetch Joe home. Joe is with Mr Wopsle and a stranger. The stranger recognises Pip’s name, and looks at him. The stranger buys a round of rum. He leads Joe into the tale of the escaped convicts. He also induces Mr Wopsle to tell the relationship between Pip and Joe. While he is at it, he gives a recital from Richard III.
When the rum and water arrives, the stranger stirs his drink with a file, and Pip recognises the file he gave Magwitch. He then asks Joe’s permission to give the boy a shilling. When they take the shilling home they discover it was wrapped in two One Pound notes. Joe takes word to the bar, and they leave the notes to sit, until the man comes back for them. Pip has nightmares about the file.
When he is next at Miss Havisham’s, Estella takes him through a courtyard, and leaves him by a window until he is wanted. He realises that he is in a room with three women and a man. They are talking about Matthew Pocket, and his refusal to give his children the deepest trimmings on their mourning clothes. Estella summons Pip. She asks him whether she is as insulting as last time. She replies with a slap to his negative. He swears to her that he will never cry for her.
They encounter a man (Mr Jaggers) on the staircase, who warns Pip that boys are a bad lot, and he had better watch himself. Miss Havisham decides, since Pip is again unequal to playing, that he should work. She sends him into the room where her wedding feast lies, rotting on the table. She marks with her cane, where everyone will stand when she lies on the table, dead.
Pip’s work is to walk Miss Havisham around the room. Eventually she sends him to summon Estella, who brings the four visitors back with her. They are Camilla, her husband Raymond, Sarah Pocket, and Georgiana. The four toady to Miss Havisham, and she coldly rebuffs them. They censure Matthew Pocket, for never visiting Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham announces that he will come, when she is dead, and again strikes their positions with her cane, and orders them out. Camilla exclaims in mock-horror, but Sarah Pocket contrives to be the last to leave.
Miss Havisham reveals that it is her birthday, but that no one dares to mention it to her. It was on her birthday that the feast was brought to the table, and together they have gone to ruin. They then play at cards. Estella wins, again. When they are finished, Miss Havisham gives Pip a day to return.
Estella leaves Pip in the garden for some time, and encounters a pale boy, who challenges him to a fight. The boy punches him, and dances through an elaborate series of preliminaries. He prepares water and vinegar, and removes his shirt. Pip is frightened by his methodology.
However, Pip’s first punch floors the boy. Pip knocks him down with every punch, but the boy derives great satisfaction from the propriety of the game, and eventually gives up after a blow to the head. Pip is gloomy, and ashamed of himself.
When he emerges, Estella carelessly allows Pip to kiss her cheek, and she lets him out into the dusk.
Pip spends some days in the fear of punishment for fighting the boy, especially when he returns to Miss Havisham’s. However, nothing happens. No trace of his opponent can be found, except in the corner where they fought.
Pip then continues to return to Miss Havisham’s every other day, and walk or wheel her around, for about ten months. He gradually comes to reveal his coming apprenticeship to Miss Havisham, and his wish for education. However, Miss Havisham never tries to help him, and never gives him any money. Estella is always hostile to Pip, either angry or cold. The more varied her moods, the more Miss Havisham is pleased with her.
Often they sing a song that Pip has learnt from Joe - Old Clem, but they sing it lightly and gravely. Pip does not discuss any further goings on with anyone in his family, even Joe. He shares everything with Biddy, who is eager to listen.
Pumblechook frequently visits in order to discuss Pip’s ‘prospects’, the general consensus being that Miss Havisham would do a great deal for him, money-wise. Joe, however, does not seem to be pleased when it is implied that Pip might not be his apprentice.
However, Miss Havisham notices one day that Pip is growing, and asks that Joe come to visit her and bring Pip’s indentures. Mrs Joe is horrified and angry, placing the blame solely on Pip and Joe.
Joe dresses himself in his best clothes two days later, and sets off to see Miss Havisham. Mrs Joe accompanies them to Mr Pumblechook’s. Estella opens the gate for them, and takes them to Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham questions Joe, about being married to Pip’s sister, intending to take him as an apprentice, whether she has his indentures and whether he expected no premium. Joe replies to all the questions, but to Pip, not to Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham seems to understand him, and gives Pip twenty-five guineas for Joe.
Miss Havisham says goodbye, and tells Pip not to come again. They leave quickly. Joe is almost speechless with astonishment and fright. When they return to the others, Joe lies to his wife, telling her that everything Miss Havisham had done and said had been with her in mind. He gives the twenty five pounds to his wife. Pip is taken to the Magistrate to be bound as an apprentice. It is decided that they must have dinner out, with the Hubbles and Mr Wopsle. Pip is tired, and finally is allowed to sleep, remembering all the while that he is to be something he no longer wants to be.
Pip is ashamed of his home. Once he had dreaded his sister, now he is ashamed of the entire place. Pip dreads his apprentice-ship, thinking that it has cut him off from all enjoyment in life. He never says a word to Joe. It is only Joe’s loyalty and hard work that inspires loyalty and hard work in Pip. Pip lives in fear of Estella seeing him at work, and seeing the contempt in her eyes.
Pip’s lessons with Mr Wopsle’s great aunt has finished, and Biddy has shared all of her little knowledge with him. He ill-advisably asks Mr Wopsle for instruction, but Mr Wopsle uses him as an audience. Pip tries to educate Joe, to make him less common. Joe never learns anything from Pip, but it seems to make him happy.
Whenever Pip sees anything picturesque, he thinks of Satis House. He contemplates visiting Miss Havisham. Joe advises him that she might think he expected something of her. Joe is of the opinion that Miss Havisham’s final words to him implied that there was to be no further contact. Pip replies that he has never thanked her. Joe thinks that a present would be inappropriate. However he gives Pip a half holiday to call on Miss Havisham. However, if his visit is misunderstood, or he is received coldly, he is not to call again.
Joe’s journeyman, Orlick, is not fond of Pip, thinking that Pip is to replace him, as well as carrying on an old antipathy. Orlick asks for a similar half holiday, but Joe refuses to consider it until he is in a better mood, at which time he grants the holiday. Mrs Joe overhears, and comes in to expound upon what would happen if she was master. Orlick proceeds to pronounce her a shrew and a rogue, and Mrs Joe launches herself into a passion. Orlick anticipates violence, and launches himself on Joe, who throws him into the coal dust. Mrs Joe is carried outside and Pip goes up stairs to dress himself.
It takes a long time for him to work up the nerve to knock at the gate. Sarah Pocket answers, and takes him up to Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham decides he is not there for money, and instructs that he may visit her on his birthday. Estella is overseas, receiving a lady’s education. Miss Havisham malignantly asks if he misses her. Pip is too agitated to reply and soon leaves.
Pip encounters Mr Wopsle, who takes him into Mr Pumblechook’s to be read to. Pip endures hours of the reading. At last, they leave, and encounter Orlick, who tells them that more convicts have escaped that night. As they walk home, Orlick asks as if he had been drinking, but he hadn’t. Mr Wopsle calls into The Three Jolly Bargemen, but runs out and tells Pip to hurry to his place. They run, and find that the house has been broken into, and Mrs Joe was struck on the back of the head, and has brain-damage.
The general opinion is that Mrs Joe was struck between nine and ten, and then a convict’s leg iron was thrown at her. Joe looks at the leg iron, and determines it was filed some time ago. The people who arrive from the Hulks agree. Pip is convinced that it is Magwitch’s leg iron, but that either Orlick or the man who had used the file in the tea had hit Mrs Joe. Pip considers that it is unlikely to be Orlick, as he had been seen about town all evening. He suffers agonies of guilt about having provided the weapon for the attack.
He considers revealing the old story to Joe, but considers it almost a part of himself and, like other stories, unlikely to be believed. the police arrive, and spend some weeks in the village without finding the assailant.
Mrs Joe has badly damaged hearing, sight, and balance. She has to lie on a couch, and write down anything she wants. As she is a bad writer, and Pip is a bad reader (and Joe is worse), many mistakes are made. Her temper is greatly improved, but with her patience comes melancholy. They are assisted by Mr Wopsle’s great-aunt’s death a month later. Biddy comes to take care of Mrs Joe.
Biddy discovers that the strange hammer sign Mrs Joe had drawn on her slate was a symbol for Orlick, and they bring him to her. Mrs Joe is anxious to make peace, and calls for Orlick nearly every day.
Pip’s life as an apprentice continues. his birthday arrives, and he goes to see Miss Havisham. She encourages him to think of Estella again, and gives him a guinea. This happens every year. Satis House is always the same.
Pip notices that Biddy has become neat, and is wearing heels, and her hair is clean. He compares her beauty unfavourably with Estella’s, but decides she has very pretty eyes. He wonders how she keeps up with him in education - he works at it every night after leaving the forge, but he never sees her work. He decides that she takes every chance she gets, and contemplates how she has improved since coming to Joe’s house.
Pip remembers how she taught him, and determines to have more to do with her. He invites her to go for a walk on the marshes on Sunday. He confesses to her that his ambition is to be a gentleman. Biddy thinks that he would be happier if he remained as he is. Pip disagrees, but they both believe it is a pity. Pip fantasies about what would have been different if he had been happy. He exclaims that he wishes he had not been told he is was coarse and common, and confesses to Biddy about Estella.
Biddy wonders whether his desire to be a gentleman is to spite her or impress her. Pip does not know. Biddy is glad at least that Pip confides in her, and he promises to continue. Biddy tells him he will not when he is a gentleman, but Pip is sure that will never happen. Pip miserably compares Biddy with the cruel Estella, and wonders why he likes Estella better. He wonders aloud whether he could fall in love with Biddy, but she strongly doubts it.
They encounter Orlick, who offers to walk them home. Biddy is frightened, and Pip tells Orlick that they will be fine on their own. He follows them at some distance. Biddy tells Pip that Orlick ‘likes’ her, and challenges him - Pip shouldn’t care. He tells her that he would have ‘no opinion’ of her if she reciprocated. From then on, Pip tries to interfere with Orlick’s manoeuvres.
One night, four years into the apprenticeship, Pip is in The Three Jolly Bargemen. Mr Wopsle is performing a murder case from the paper. A stranger challenges the group as to their verdict, and their knowledge of the presumption of innocence. His method of questioning makes Wopsle appear the fool, and he eventually condemns him as unjust.
Then the stranger asks for Joe Gargery, and Pip, his apprentice. Pip recognises him from his second visit to Miss Havisham’s. He asks them to take him to their house. He identifies himself as Jaggers, a lawyer. He tells Joe that he has something of benefit to Pip, if he could be released from his indentures. Joe swears not to stand in Pip’s way. He then tells Pip he has Great Expectations, and the owner of the property which will be Pip’s has requested that he leave his present station in life, and become a gentleman.
The conditions are that he keep the name of Pip, and that his benefactors name is to be a secret until the benefactor himself reveals it, probably directly to Pip himself. Pip has no objections to the condition, though he is sure his benefactor is Miss Havisham.
He is then told that he does not have only Expectations, but that his education and maintenance are already provided for. Mr Jaggers tells him to go to Mr Matthew Pocket (Pip recognises the name) as a tutor. Pip agrees. He also agrees to come to London. Mr Jaggers leaves him twenty guineas for new clothes to be made.
Mr Jaggers implies that he has compensation for Joe, but Joe replies that no money could make up for the loss of his dearest friend. Pip comforts Joe. Joe objects to Mr Jaggers' speech to him, and Mr Jaggers leaves, advising Pip to come to London in a week. Pip asks if he may take leave of anyone up-town. Mr Jaggers has no objection.
Pip returns, and asks Joe to tell Biddy. Biddy tries to convey to Mrs Joe what has happened, but fails. Pip is slightly dissatisfied with himself, and feels that the other two mistrust him. He decides to take his new clothes to Mr Pumblechook’s, but announces he will let the household see his new figure too.
Pip returns to his room, and feels torn between the new life and the old. Joe is outside, smoking, needing comforting. He sleeps badly.
Pip wakes much happier, and his companions only mention his departure when he does. He walks out, after church, and passes through the graveyard, glad his association with Magwitch is finished. He falls asleep in the marshes, and wakes to find Joe beside him. Pip promises never to forget Joe, but is not totally pleased with the easy assurance with which Joe believes him.
Pip talks to Biddy about ‘improving’ Joe. Biddy thinks that Joe may be proud, and unwilling to change social spheres. Pip thinks that Biddy is jealous, and reprimands her. She is disappointed, but tells him that his opinion of her has nothing to do with her opinion of him.
Pip goes to Mr Trabb’s, and tells him that he is a man of fortune, and wants new clothes made up. Mr Trabb insists upon remeasuring him, and hopes that he will continue to have a small part of Pip’s business. Pip is also fitted for boots, and hats.
Mr Pumblechook has already heard the news. He invites Pip for dinner. He continually shakes Pip’s hand, and Pip, who has had too much wine, refines his opinion of Mr Pumblechook in his favour. After Pip leaves, he packs and repacks for London, trying to make the time go faster. He goes to Pumblechook’s on Friday, and then to Miss Havisham’s. Sarah Pocket lets Pip in. Miss Havisham has heard of the fortune from Mr Jaggers. She speaks extensively, for the pleasure of watching Sarah Pocket’s jealousy.
Pip has become more appreciative of Joe and Biddy, and dresses himself up for their last dinner together. However, Pip does not want Joe to accompany him the coach, and realising his snobbery, only just prevents himself from reversing, and begging for Joe’s company.
He dreams of coaches, wakes up late, and leaves. Biddy and Joe each throw an old shoe at him as he leaves. Pip whistles as he leaves, but walking through the village, begins to cry. He contemplates going back for a better parting, but travels too far trying to decide.
Volume 2 (Chapters 20 - 39) #
The journey takes about five hours. Pip has a traitorous impression of London as being ‘rather ugly, crooked, narrow, and dirty.’ Pip heads for Mr Jaggers' address in Little Britain. The coachman asks for a tip, but quickly gives way - he knows Mr Jaggers.
The clerk in the office tells Pip that Mr Jaggers is in court, but shows Pip to his room, throwing its occupant out. Mr Jaggers' room, being dim and willed with old swords, pistols and nails, depresses Pip. The wall is ‘greasy with shoulder’, because clients like to be far away from Jaggers. The heat drives Pip out.
He walks to Smithfield, but is horrified but its slum atmosphere, and goes to St Paul’s. He faces Newgate Prison, and a man attempts to sell him a seat in court, but Pip refuses. He is shown the gallows instead, and told that four are to be hanged in two days' time. He returns to the office. Jaggers is still out. On the street he hears other people discussing his guardian. Some are reassuring others that Jaggers can do ‘it’, and others are distressed, but resigned to their loss, as Jaggers was on the opposing side.
Jaggers arrives, and asks the loiterers if they have paid Wemmick. He instructs them all not to interfere in their cases. A Jew waiting is told that Jaggers has taken the other side on his brother’s case, and is unsettled.
Jaggers goes in, and asks the other man waiting what his witness is prepared to swear. Jaggers is angry when told directly of the machinations that have taken place. Jaggers then tells Pip that he has arranged for him to stay with Herbert Pocket at Barnard’s Inn, and Herbert will take him to his father for a trial. Mr Jaggers gives Pip his allowance, and the names of tradesmen. Wemmick (the clerk) is sent to take him to the Inn.
Pip decides that Wemmick must be a bachelor, between forty and fifty years of age. Pip tries to get Wemmick to speak of London. Wemmick thinks that anything that happens in London is likely to happen anywhere else. Wemmick is somewhat uncommunicative on the subject of Matthew Pocket also. Pip finds that the Barnard of Barnard’s Inn is nonexistent, and that the place is dingy and nearly empty. They find that Herbert is not in. Wemmick departs, saying that he is very happy to make Pip’s acquaintance.
Herbert appears some time later, with fruit that he bought for Pip’s arrival. He informs Pip that the food is good, but Mr Jaggers had instructed that Pip pay for it. he shows him about the house. Suddenly they recognise each other from Miss Havisham’s - Herbert Pocket is ‘the pale young gentleman’.
They are both highly amused by meeting. Herbert seems to be of the idea that he carried out his intention of beating Pip. Herbert, learning that Pip did not have a fortune at that time, reveals that he was there so Miss Havisham could see if she liked him. It seemed she did not. It would have been possible for Herbert to be affianced to Estella, but he did not like her. Herbert reveals that Estella is adopted, but saves the tale until after dinner. He also reveals that Mr Jaggers is Miss Havisham’s solicitor, and that Matthew Pocket is Miss Havisham’s cousin. Pip decides to cement their acquaintance, and tells his own story. He asks Herbert to help him with the standards of politeness he may be lacking. They decide to use first names, but Herbert doesn’t like Philip. He decides upon the name Handel, because of the tune called “The Harmonious Blacksmith”.
Pip enjoys his meal, and when they finish Herbert gives him some gentle hints as to cutlery, and then proceeds with Miss Havisham’s story.
Miss Havisham was the spoilt daughter of a brewer. He remarried after his first wife’s death, and so Miss Havisham had a half-brother. The brother was wild, and was partly disinherited, most of the family money being Miss Havisham’s. He bore a grudge against her.
At this time, Miss Havisham had a suitor, who was very plausible. Matthew Pocket decided he was a gentleman. Her lover persuaded Miss Havisham to give him a great deal of money, and to buy the brewery from her brother at a great price. Matthew Pocket expressed his doubts and was accused of avariciousness. The wedding-day came, but the lover wrote a letter and jilted Miss Havisham, which arrived at twenty to nine, when all the clocks were stopped. It was supposed that Miss Havisham’s brother was in collusion with him. The two men were eventually ruined. Herbert does not know how Estella came into the picture.
Herbert reveals that he is a hopeful Insurer of Ships, continually looking about him for ships, and dreaming of trade with the East and West Indies. For the time, he works in a counting-house. Pip determines that his life is rather like his fighting style.
The two get along famously the next day, and head for Herbert’s work. That afternoon they proceed to the Pocket household. The children are “tumbling up”. There are six children and a baby. Their mother is reading, and occasionally one of the children tumble over her. The mother is very inexperienced with the baby. Mr Pocket is constantly bemused.
Matthew Pocket is glad to see Pip. Mr Pocket takes Pip to his room, and introduces him to his neighbours, Drummle and Startop. He discovers that the servants wield the true power in the Pocket household. Mr Pocket lost his high prospects by marrying his wife. Their neighbour, Mrs Coiler, reveals that the socially conscious Mrs Pocket is ashamed of her husband’s taking students. Mrs Pocket is correspondingly impressed with Bentley Drummle, who is second in line for a baronetcy.
Mr Pocket tends to cope with the absurdity of his household by grasping his hair and trying to lift himself up by it. The baby falls under the sole care of a young Pocket, Jane. Her mother hardly appreciates the efforts she makes, and does not pay any attention to the baby, even when she should. Observing Startop and Drummle row, Pip determines to learn.
Matthew tells Pip that he is not being educated for a profession, merely enough to be able to hold his own with the average young man. He sends Pip around London to acquire certain parts of his education. Pip is a studious pupil - he has a studious tutor. Pip decides to live at Barnard’s Inn with Herbert, instead of at the Pockets'. He goes to Mr Jaggers to get twenty pounds. Wemmick tells Pip that Mr Jaggers' manner is designed so that no one will know what to make of him.
Wemmick takes Pip to see the other clerks. He also reveals that the multitude of mourning rings he wears are for dead clients, not relatives. He invites Pip for dinner at his house, and warns him to watch out for Mr Jaggers' housekeeper when he dines with his guardian. Wemmick then takes Pip to the court to watch Mr Jaggers awe the legal system.
>From the beginning of their rowing, Pip associates with Startop, and they leave Drummle in their wake. After a month or so, Matthew Pocket’s sister Camilla, her husband, and his cousin Georgiana (all of whom Pip had seen at Miss Havisham’s) turn up for a visit. They hate Pip for his luck, but fawn on him.
Pip acquires expensive habits fast, but sticks to his studies. He decides to write a note to Wemmick, and go home with him. Wemmick tells him he had a beautiful fowl from a man whom they had nearly destroyed in court. It is, after all, portable property. He hopes Pip will not object to his Aged Parent. Wemmick tells Pip that he is likely to get an invitation to dine with Herbert, Startop and Drummle at Mr Jaggers' place the following night. Wemmick tells Pip also that Mr Jaggers never locks his house - daring the criminal establishment to rob him.
When they arrive at Wemmick’s house, Pip discovers it is a wooden cottage, with the top cut out to be a battery, Gothic windows and doors, and a real flagstaff. When it is nine, Wemmick draws up his little drawbridge, and a gun fires from a separate tower. Wemmick also reveals he keeps a pig, some fowls, and some rabbits, in addition to a vegetable garden.
They eat in a little bower near an ornamental lake. Wemmick has built it all himself. In the castle, they find the Aged Parent. He is deaf, but likes being nodded at. They leave him to feed the fowls. Wemmick tells him that he keeps his house quite separate from his office. Wemmick also has a collection of crime artefacts. Pip stays the night in a turret bedroom. As they walk to Little Britain, Pip watches Wemmick fold his mouth up and become Wemmick the clerk again.
Mr Jaggers does ask Pip and his ‘gang’ to an informal dinner at his house. They meet him at his office, and walk home with him. Mr Jaggers house is dirty, and hung with carved garlands that resemble nooses. Other than that, his house is very functional. Mr Jaggers inspects Pip’s friends, and is very interested in Drummle, to Pip’s surprise.
Pip takes the opportunity of looking at the housekeeper, and she reminds him of the Witches in Macbeth. Jaggers, during the meal, manages to expose the faults of his guests, getting them to compete, as to strength. When Molly returns, Mr Jaggers forces her to show the company her wrists, one of which is deeply scarred with slashes. Mr Jaggers points to them as having the most powerful sinews he has ever seen.
Pip and Drummle quarrel about money - Drummle thinking the others to liberal with theirs, and Pip thinking Drummle selfish and boorish. He looks upon anyone who lends money to him as a fool. Mr Jaggers says goodbye to them all at nine-thirty. Pip goes back to apologise to Mr Jaggers for any unpleasantness, but Mr Jaggers comments on how he likes ‘Spider’ - Drummle. He warns Pip to stay away from him, but calls him one of the ‘true sort’. A month later, Drummle leaves Mr Pocket’s tutorage, and goes home.
Pip receives a note form Biddy telling him Joe is coming to London the following day with Mr Wopsle. Pip does not look forward to the visit, being embarrassed due to Bentley Drummle. Pip has redecorated their room at Barnard’s Inn. He has even taken on a boy to support (the Avenger), and has clothed him, but must find him lots of food and a little to do. He sets the Avenger to watch for Joe. Herbert is very organised, and most prepared to see Joe.
Joe is incredibly pleased to see Pip, and very impressed by how genteel he is. He tells Pip that no one has changed, except Mr Wopsle, who has given up the Church to become an actor. Joe gives Pip a brochure which announces his first performance that week. Joe tells Pip about Wopsle’s first performance as Hamlet.
Joe hopes that the Inn is healthy, as fashionable as it may be, he wouldn’t keep a pig in it. Joe is otherwise most ill at ease. Pip feels later, although not at the time, that it is his own uncomfortableness that is rubbing off on Joe. Joe alternates between calling him ‘Pip’ and calling him ‘Sir’. Joe has come to bring a message from Miss Havisham; Estella is home and would like to see him. Biddy had refused to write the message, but had sent Joe to see Pip instead. Joe prepares to leave.
Pip asks him if he will be back. Joe has decided that he and Pip no longer belong together, that he is wrong out of the forges. He leaves. Pip runs out to look for him, but he is gone.
Pip decides to return home the next day, and at first means to stay with Joe. Soon, however, he makes up excuses to himself about why he should not stay at Joe’s. He decides to stay at the Blue Boar instead. He decides to leave the Avenger behind. Herbert tells him he is travelling with two convicts. Pip recognises one as the convict he met in the Three Jolly Bargemen. Pip thinks about how degraded they are. One of Pip’s fellow passengers is horrified to be travelling with convicts. Pip feels the convicts' proximity throughout the journey.
He hears the convicts talking, and finds out the story behind the gift of two pounds. Magwitch gave him the two notes, as he was being released, to be given to the boy who had fed him and kept his secret, before he was transported for life for prison-breaking. He finishes by informing his comrade that the place to which they are travelling is marshy and dismal. Pip half considers getting out, but realises that the convict did not recognise him. Pip leaves as soon as he possibly can.
The waiter at the Blue Boar is surprised that Pip does not send for Mr Pumblechook, and is given an article from the paper stating that Mr Pumblechook was the founder of all Pip’s fortunes.
The next day, Pip rises early and walks around until it is time to go to Miss Havisham’s. He considers the romantic story he thinks he is part of, the money he thinks he got from Miss Havisham. He does not, even then, lie to himself about Estella character or her opinion of him.
He discovers that Orlick is Miss Havisham’s porter now. He was recommended to her because of the number of convicts and so on around. Orlick rings a bell to let upstairs know someone is there, and then his job ends. Sarah Pocket meets him and sends him on. Miss Havisham recognises his knock. He does not immediately recognise the adult Estella. He kisses Miss Havisham’s hand.
Miss Havisham asks if she is much changed. Pip thinks so. He and Estella exchange common-places about her childhood behaviour, and Estella now leads him on, teasing him, treating him like a boy. He learns she has returned from France and is going to live in London.
Pip and Estella walk out in the garden. Estella reveals that she hid and saw the fight between Herbert and Pip. She has forgotten that she let Pip kiss her, and remembers that she had an aversion to Herbert. Estella observes that some companions must be unfit for Pip now, and Pip immediately puts paid to the idea of seeing Joe. Estella remembers little of her treatment of Pip, which upsets him very much.
Estella tells him that she has no softness, no heart. Pip protests. She is warning him - it is better for him to know now if they are to be thrown together much. They walk into the brewery, and Pip sees the vague suggestion of the ghost of Miss Havisham again. Estella remembers his fear from the first day she saw him. They return to Miss Havisham; she is expecting Pip to take her for a turn about the room. Estella takes Pip’s shoulder as they walk up.
Miss Havisham tells Pip that Mr Jaggers is expected for dinner. When Miss Havisham is alone with Pip, she instructs Pip to love Estella no matter what. It sounds to Pip like she is cursing him. Miss Havisham moves on to her own love briefly, and gets so carried away Pip must force her back into her chair.
Mr Jaggers arrives. He begins to question Pip about Estella, but Miss Havisham sends him down to dinner. Mr Jaggers reveals to Pip that Miss Havisham never lets anyone see her eat. Mr Jaggers withdraws into himself during dinner, never looking at Estella, though he takes an absent minded delight in torturing Sarah Pocket with Pip’s expectations.
They play at whist after dinner. Estella is decked in Miss Havisham’s jewels, and even Mr Jaggers is impressed. Mr Jaggers is an excellent card player, and sits through the entire game holding them all in contempt. Pip is caught at the contrast between him and Pip’s feelings for Estella.
Pip is promised that he will be informed when Estella comes to London, and will meet her when she alights from the coach. Pip spends the name reciting ‘I love her, I love her, I love her!’ to himself. He is grateful that she seems to be intended for him. He wonders when he will awaken her love. He does not think of Joe.
Pip warns Mr Jaggers that Orlick is not trustworthy. Mr Jaggers seems quite pleased, and goes around to pay him off. Pip decides to walk until the coach overtakes him, so as to avoid Mr Pumblechook. He is noticed, but not acknowledged by the storekeepers, and harassed by Trabb’s boy’s pretence of fear, and another pretence of disdain. Pip writes to Mr Trabb declining to deal with him again. When Pip arrives in London, he sends some fresh seafood to Joe.
Pip sends the Avenger away so that he can talk to Herbert. He reveals that he loves Estella. Herbert is most unsurprised, having inferred it from the first time he spoke about her with Pip. Herbert thinks it is lucky that Pip seems to be picked out for her, and believes time is enough to get Estella to love him. Pip feels, while lucky, that his destiny with Estella is most dependant on Miss Havisham’s good will. Herbert says that his own view, and his father’s, is that Mr Jaggers wouldn’t be involved if anything was unsettled. He warns Pip that if Estella were part of his inheritance, Mr Jaggers would have mentioned it.
Herbert then confesses his own aspirations towards marriage. He is secretly engaged to a girl called Clara, of a ‘low’ family. She looks after her father, who lives upstairs from her and is constantly in a terrible temper. he must become an Insurer of Ships, and then he will have the money to marry.
Pip discovers the playbill Joe gave him in his pocket, and they head off to see Mr Wopsle as Hamlet. It is being performed on a kitchen table. The Ghost often refers to a script, Gertrude wears far too much brass, and Ophelia’s madness is tediously slow. The audience is inclined to answer Hamlet’s rhetorical questions. Pip regrets that Mr Wopsle is greeted with constant laughter. Pip and Herbert feel for him, but nevertheless are compelled to laugh.
They try to escape quickly, but are recognised and asked backstage. Mr Wopsle, who has renamed himself Mr Waldengarver, accepts their compliments, while another man criticises his acting, on the basis he made very poor use of his stockings. Mr Wopsle gives them to understand that the actor playing Claudius had plants in the audience. Pip feels immensely sorry for him. They invite him to dinner, and listen to his aspirations of reviving Drama in London, and ultimately destroying it with his death. Pip dreams of being Hamlet to Miss Havisham’s ghost.
Pip receives a note from Estella asking him to meet her from the coach the following day. He arrives at the end of the journey before Estella has begun it. He meets Wemmick, and they go to Newgate together, as Mr Jaggers is defending a man accused of robbery. He watches Wemmick become a miniature of his boss in dealing with the clients awaiting trial. Wemmick extracts minor pieces of ‘portable property’ from them. he tells Pip that they would never dare speak to his master, and this is how Mr Jaggers catches them - having someone they can speak to.
Pip returns, and is so busy contemplating the difference between Newgate and Estella, that the time passes quickly, and she is there. Pip feels a shadow pass over him.
Estella looks yet more beautiful even to Pip. Estella passes on Miss Havisham’s instructions - he is to unload her luggage, and accompany her to Richmond, at her expense. he takes Estella upstairs to rest. She is going to live with a fashionable guardian, and be introduced in London.
Estella asks Pip abut Mr Pocket, and tells him that the other members of the family constantly send bad reports of Pip to Miss Havisham. Estella laughs heartily at their failure, and at Pip’s ignorance, though he does not perceive it. Estella congratulates him as her revenge on Miss Havisham’s family, and Pip kisses her offered hand. She remembers letting him kiss her cheek.
They pass Newgate and speak of Mr Jaggers. Pip experiences his queer feeling again. When he recovers, he tells her a little of London. Estella makes pains to be attractive, but Pip perceives she does not care. He leaves Estella in Richmond and goes to the Pockets'.
Pip is half-aware that he has neglected Joe, and Biddy, but Estella is so mixed in all his thoughts he can do nothing. He is also aware that he has done Herbert no favour by introducing him to a life of debt and luxury. Pip would have taken Herbert’s expenses on himself, but can’t - Herbert is proud. He is, however, deeply in despair with regard to his prospects as an Insurer of Ships.
In general, Pip and Herbert are extravagant, and occasionally face that fact. Often they gather together their various bills, and leave a Margin, that is, overestimate them by fifty pounds or so. However, the two often exceed their Margins, and therefore the only benefit they gain from the business is satisfaction.
One day, Pip receives an envelope from Trabb & Co., requesting that he attend his sister’s funeral on Monday following. Pip is disturbed by the image of Joe’s house without Mrs Joe. Pip is constantly half-expecting her ghost. He writes to Joe to guarantee his attendance. He discovers that the undertakers have felt it necessary to make the house a tourist attraction.
Joe is most disturbed by the death, and Pip goes to sit by him, being rather disturbed himself. Pumblechook and others obsequiously offer Pip refreshment. Joe mentions that he would have rather had a quiet procession of two or three people, but bowed to the superior wisdom of society.
They march out, however, and their dramatically held handkerchiefs are admired by the neighbourhood. Pumblechook annoys Pip by using every opportunity to make Pip appear in the best light. He even mutters an exemption for Pip from the funeral clause of entering the world with nothing and leaving it likewise. After the men leave, Joe, Biddy and Pip dine together.
Pip contrives to remove some of Joe’s awkwardness, by asking for his own room to sleep in. He takes Biddy outside for a talk. He reproaches her for not writing. He asks how she intends to live, and begins to offer her money, which she hastily interrupts with the declaration that she is applying to be schoolmistress.
Biddy tells Pip that his sister asked for ‘Joe’ one night, and taking him in her arms, said ‘Joe’, ‘Pardon’, ‘Pip’ and died. Nothing was ever found out about her attacker. Orlick is thought to be working in the quarries. As they speak, Biddy reveals that she saw Orlick in a nearby clump of trees on the night Mrs Joe died, and he was there a minute before. Pip is angry, and wants to drive him from the country, but Biddy is more calm.
Pip informs her that he will be down often to see Joe. Biddy doubts him, and Pip is horrified and disgusted. They part. In the morning, Pip promises Joe he will often be home, and Biddy apologises if she was wrong. Pip reveals to the reader that she was not wrong.
Herbert and Pip get further into debt, and look forward to Pip’s coming of age. On his twenty first birthday Pip is asked to Mr Jaggers' office. Mr Jaggers begins questioning Pip about his debt, and declares Pip does not know its extent, and would lie if he did. Mr Jaggers allows Pip to ask him some questions.
Pip asks if he will be allowed to know his guardian. He will not. Mr Jaggers refuses to speculate on when his benefactor will introduce him/herself. Mr Jaggers tells him, however, that he will be given five hundred pounds a year to live on until such time arrives. At that time, Mr Jaggers will cease his part in the affair.
Pip suspects that Mr Jaggers does not approve of any plan for his marriage to Estella. Mr Jaggers wrangles an invitation to dinner. Pip goes outside to wait for him, and asks Wemmick’s opinion of helping Herbert by arranging money for his business enterprise. Wemmick tells him that throwing his money off a bridge would be better for Pip and for the friendship. Pip is disappointed, but Wemmick advises him that it would be better to seek his opinion in Walworth. Pip and Herbert have a harrowing dinner with Mr Jaggers.
Pip heads for Walworth on the following Sunday. He is met by the Aged Parent, who talks about his son, revealing that he wasn’t brought up to the law, but to Wine Coopering. When Wemmick arrives, he salutes Pip across the bridge, and brings a Miss Skiffins in with him. Pip discovers that she often visits at the Castle, as she is acquainted with Wemmick’s ingenious contrivances for announcing himself to the Aged P.
Pip tells Wemmick about his scheme for helping Herbert, as if he had never mentioned it before. Wemmick is most impressed and willing to help, and promises to discuss the matter with Mr Skiffins, an accountant.
Pip stays for tea, and the Aged Parent reads the paper, while Wemmick constantly and carefully prevents him from setting himself alight. Pip also observes Wemmick repeatedly attempts to put his arm around Miss Skiffins, attempts which she repeatedly thwarts. Pip decides he had best leave first, to avoid offering to take Miss Skiffins home.
Wemmick arranges that Herbert’s partner will be a man called Clarriker, and that various payments will come at times in Pip’s life, and when his expectations are fulfilled. Herbert never suspects Pip’s involvement, but Pip takes great delight in hearing him talk of his incredible fortune, having finally found a partner.
Pip then feels he must write of Estella - whom he thought of so much. He spent many hours and many thoughts on Estella at Richmond. Estella uses her intimacy with Pip to tease her other admirers. He often takes her out ‘all sorts of pleasures’, but she makes him miserable.
Estella occasionally tries to warn him to stay away from her, but becomes cold when he tries to flatter her.
One day she informs him that Miss Havisham has sent word for them to go to Satis House. They go together at Estella’s expense. Miss Havisham is even more obsessed with Estella’s beauty than before. She continues to ask Pip about how beautiful Estella is, and she dwells on the name of every man who adores her. Pip believes that Estella is programmed to cause as much pain as possible before she is his.
Pip sees Miss Havisham and Estella argue for the first time. Miss Havisham is horrified that Estella seems to be tired of her. She accuses her of having a cold heart. Estella replies that she is what Miss Havisham made her. Miss Havisham is dismayed. Estella tells her that she was taught love would destroy her - she cannot love. Estella cannot comprehend Miss Havisham’s passion. Miss Havisham collapses on the ground. Pip leaves as soon as he can. He returns in an hour, to find normalcy, and goes to bed.
That night, he feels that Miss Havisham is haunting him. He rises, and discovers that she is walking the house, her voice a constant low cry. He cannot return to his room - she walks up and down all night. He never sees her argue in any way with Estella again, but he notices that Estella is now feared.
Pip is a member of a group called the Finches of the Grove, who gather and eat expensively. Pip has determined that the purpose of their existence is to disagree with one another. Bentley Drummle is a member. When it is Drummle’s turn to toast a lady, Pip is surprised to hear him toast Estella of Richmond, and angrily declares that Drummle does not know her. Pip is forced to retract when Drummle produces a note from Estella declaring that she has danced with him.
Pip is depressed at the thought of Estella favouring a man like Drummle. He finds out that he follows her everywhere. As Pip does as well, they meet each other often. One night at a ball, Pip wonders aloud to her that she allows him near her, and tells her that it causes him pain. Estella acknowledges Drummle’s inferiority, but Pip cannot get her to renounce him. Pip knows that she is not trying to inspire jealousy in him. He cries to her that she never looks at him like that, but she replies that if she did, she would be entrapping and deceiving him, just like all the others.
Pip is twenty-three, and has left Barnard’s Inn for Garden-court, in the Temple a year since. He has left Mr Pocket’s tuition. One night Herbert is out, and Pip is indulging his taste for reading. The weather is horrid - stormy and muddy. He reads until eleven, and then sets his book down.
He hears a footstep on the stairs, and calls out to whomever. A man tells him he wants a Mr Pip, and walks up. Pip sees a face, looking pleased and proud to see him. Pip is bemused, but the man invites himself in, and looks about him with a proprietary air. He expects Pip to know him, and is disappointed.
He questions whether anyone else is nearby. Pip replies ‘no’, and recognises Magwitch. Magwitch takes his hands, and tells him how proud he is. Pip pulls away, and hurriedly wishes that he has mended his ways, but that he must go. Magwitch accepts the offer of a drink.
Pip is told that Magwitch has done very well - he is famous in the colony for it. Pip returns the two pounds he received so long ago. Magwitch disconcerts him by knowing the source of his property, his annual allowance, his lawyer. He reveals that Wemmick told him Pip’s address. Pip is horrified, shocked. Magwitch is his benefactor.
He had sworn the time he last saw Pip that everything he ever earned would be his. He has made the gentleman. He had seen Pip’s face hovering near him everywhere he went. He breaks off and admires Pip’s possessions. He hopes Pip will read him some of the books he sees - ones in a foreign language.
Pip admits he had no thought of Magwitch as benefactor. Magwitch thinks he sees that Pip has a young lady somewhere, and hopes that money can buy them. Pip thinks of Estella, with pain. Magwitch’s great source of pride during his time in New South Wales was his ownership of a gentleman.
He asks Pip for a bed, and goes to Herbert’s. Magwitch hopes Herbert is trustworthy, as the punishment for arriving back in London from a life sentence is death. Pip is distressed that a man he hates has given him so much, and that now has put his life in his hands.
Pip puts him to bed, and gives him clothes. He sits down to think. Estella is not his, Miss Havisham invited him only as a convenience. He has deserted Joe. All night, he hears the police arriving for Magwitch. He remembers his violence towards the second convict. Magwitch sleeps with a pistol by the pillow. Pip wakes all night.
Volume 3 (Chapters 40 - 59) #
Pip decides that he cannot keep Magwitch in the apartment - his housekeepers will discover him, especially if he in any way seems to have a secret. He decides to introduce Magwitch as his uncle from the country.
He goes downstairs to summon the watchman, but falls over someone crouching on the stairs. Pip hurries to the watchman, who cannot imagine who could have been on the stairs. He asks if Pip saw the man who was looking for him. He is then confident Pip saw the man with his ‘uncle’, but Pip did not. The watchman cannot give any better description, except that the other person seemed working class. Pip is excessively worried that the two events, either of which could be dismissed, are connected.
Pip dozes until daylight. When he awakes he is quite incapable of being able to decide what to do. He informs his housekeeper of the arrival of his uncle. When Magwitch awakes, Pip tells him his fabrication to date. Magwitch tells him that he used the name Provis aboard ship, but his full name is Abel Magwitch. Pip tries to discover who the man was, without awaking Magwitch’s fear, but he cannot. Magwitch, who was tried in London, might have been known that way. He refuses to reveal what he was tried for, as he has served his time.
Magwitch eats ravenously, and puts Pip off his meal. When he is finished, he observes the gentleman that he ‘made’. He decides that Pip needs a horse, there should be no mud on his boots. He gives Pip a pocketbook, declaring that everything he owns is Pip’s. He has returned to England to have the pleasure of seeing Pip spend money ‘like a gentleman’. He becomes angry, Pip is his gentleman, a better one than any of those who condemned him.
Pip interrupts him, asking for his opinion on how he is to be kept out of danger. Magwitch is horrified, and begins to apologise for his previous comments, which were ‘low’. He then goes on to explain that hardly anyone knows him, only Jaggers, Wemmick and Pip know that he is home. He also declares that he is home for good. He is ready to face death, if that’s what comes.
Pip decides he must have a lodging nearby, and Herbert must be told. Magwitch is not so convinced of this, and determines that Herbert must be held under oath. Pip also has difficulty in persuading him to abandon his idea of disguise, and assume the dress of a wealthy farmer. Pip goes out to buy the disguise, and secure a lodging.
Pip then goes to see Mr Jaggers. Mr Jaggers doesn’t want Pip to say anything to him that might incriminate anyone. He knows Magwitch is his benefactor, and in no way implies that he is anywhere else than New South Wales. He tells Mr Jaggers that it always appeared that Miss Havisham was his benefactor. Mr Jaggers reminds him he had no evidence. Mr Jaggers concludes that he warned Magwitch that he could not return to England, and he should not mention anything of the kind. He establishes the concept of ‘Provis’ as a separate identity from ‘Magwitch’. Pip will be sent the balance of the money left for him.
Pip is dull when the clothes arrive - the better Magwitch is dressed, the more he looks like a convict, especially considering the air he has acquired from living alone as a shepherd. Pip is otherwise quite frightened, and quite seriously considers going off as a soldier. He spends the four days following watching Magwitch play patience, or reading to him in a foreign language.
When Herbert reappears, he greets Pip and then notices Magwitch, and stops. Magwitch and Pip compel him to swear on the Bible, and Magwitch comments that Pip will probably make a gentleman of Herbert.
Herbert’s reaction is a reflection of Pip’s reaction. Magwitch begins to confess to Herbert his dread of being ‘low’, and his pride in having benefited Pip. At midnight Pip takes him to his lodging, and is sure no one follows him. Both he and Herbert know the other is averse to Magwitch. Pip tells Herbert there is no way he can accept any money or gifts from Magwitch.
Pip also relates his fear that his debts are too great, and that he must join the army. Herbert comforts him, and reminds him that there is no way to pay back anything he owes Magwitch if he joins the army. Herbert, in his ignorance of Pip’s generosity, offers him a place in his business. Herbert also suggests to Pip that Magwitch, a man of known ferocity, would be distinctly angry if Pip threw his money back in his face.
Herbert also persuades Pip to get Magwitch out of England - he is in greatest danger there, and Pip owes him his life. He must do that before he attempts to separate himself from Magwitch in any way. They decide that they also need to know Magwitch’s history.
When Magwitch returns, full of plans to elevate Pip’s lifestyle, Pip asks him for his story.
Magwitch’s life was spent bouncing in and out of jail. He knew his name, from the first he could remember, and assumes it is right - much of what he knew was. As a child, he was universally reviled. Prison warders saw him as a perpetual jailbird. He was lectured about the Devil. He worked when he could, and otherwise stole for a living.
When he was old, he became acquainted with Compeyson, who made him his ‘partner’. Compeyson was an intelligent criminal. He gained money by getting others to do his dirty work.
Compeyson had another partner, Arthur, with whom he had swindled a great deal of money, but Compeyson had gambled through it. Arthur was dying of alcoholism when Magwitch met him, and being looked after by Compeyson’s wife. Compeyson knew exactly how much Arthur owed him, but he died without paying. He came down one evening and announced that ‘she’ was there, dressed in white, and carrying a shroud, dropping blood from her heart where Compeyson broke it.
Magwitch went upstairs, and when ‘she’ returned at five o’clock, and threw the shroud over him. Compeyson then used Magwitch for all his activities. Magwitch mentions a woman briefly, but stops himself. Finally, both were arrested for robbery, and committed to trial. Magwitch was the scapegoat, Compeyson portrayed as a gentleman in the wrong company. Magwitch threatened Compeyson in court and was sentenced to fourteen years, to Compeyson’s seven.
They were in the same prison-ship, but Magwitch only got a swing on the night he escaped. He believes that Compeyson escaped to get away from him. He was dragging him back when they were caught. Compeyson was believed to have fled in terror, and Magwitch’s sentence was increased to life. He does not know whether Compeyson is living.
Herbert passes a note to Pip telling him that Arthur was Miss Havisham’s half-brother, and Compeyson the man who she had been engaged to.
Pip thinks that part of his aversion to Magwitch is because of Estella. He is also convinced that Compeyson, in terror, would have no better opportunity for safety than turning informer. He resolves to see Estella and Miss Havisham once more, and discovers that Estella has travelled to Satis House without him for the first time. Her maid thinks she will only return to her house in Richmond for a little while.
Pip tells Magwitch he is going to see Joe, and commands Herbert to take strict care. When he arrives in his village, he discovers that Bentley Drummle is also a guest at the Blue Boar. They finally acknowledge one another. Drummle, in his conversation with a waiter, manages to inform Pip that he would ride with Estella, if the weather was better, but he will dine with her. They converse for a minute, discuss their argument at the Grove, and agree to have no further communication.
When Drummle leaves, having emphasised his communication with Estella, Pip sees him with a man who looks rather like Orlick.
Pip goes to Satis House, and Miss Havisham is rather surprised to see him. Estella can tell he has found out she is not his benefactor. Pip announces that he must be as unhappy as Miss Havisham could possibly want. He does not tell them who Magwitch is, merely that his benefactor can not possibly enrich him in anything.
Miss Havisham tells him that the mutual relationship she and Magwitch have with Mr Jaggers is merely coincidence. She confesses that she deliberately did not correct Pip in assuming that she was his benefactor. He accuses of her of not being kind. Miss Havisham replies that she has no reason to be kind.
Pip continues to question her, and assures her that he seeks answers only for his information. Miss Havisham admits to using him to torture her grasping relations. Pip uses the opportunity to tell her that Mr Pocket and his son are nothing if not kind, generous, and devoid of jealousy. He mentions that Miss Havisham could give him money for Herbert’s use. Miss Havisham passes over this.
Pip then tells Estella of his love. He knows she is not his, cannot be his. He thinks Miss Havisham forgot the cruelty of her actions in torturing him. Miss Havisham starts. Estella replies that although she understands ‘love’ as an abstraction, she cannot possibly have any in herself. She tried to warn Pip. Pip cries that it is not natural, but Estella is sure it is her nature.
Pip asks her about Bentley Drummle - she has utter contempt for him, however she rides with him and dines with him. She does not love him. Finally Pip gets her to admit that she is going to marry him. Pip tries to tell her that Miss Havisham is leading her astray, that she should at least marry one she loves. Estella almost seems compassionate. She also tells Pip that she is acting against Miss Havisham’s advice and wishes, but she is tired of her life. She will marry Bentley Drummle, not a man who would sooner feel that she felt nothing for him. She will be no blessing to Drummle.
She is sure Pip’s anguish will pass soon. He denies it. She is part of his being until his death. He prays that God forgive her. Estella observes his passion with wonder, but Miss Havisham is desperately pained. He can never see Estella again, because of the pain.
Pip flees, and walks all the way home to London, being unable to face other passengers in the coach, or Drummle at the inn. When he arrives at the gates of the Temple, the watchman gives him a note in Wemmick’s hand
- ‘DON’T GO HOME.’
Pip turns around, and goes to a hotel for the night, but in the ghostly light of his requested night-light, watches the dingy room full of insects, and thinks of ‘DON’T GO HOME.’ His safety, Magwitch’s safety, spin in his head. He even begins to conjugate the sentence in his daze.
He is ‘woken’ at seven, and goes to Walworth. Wemmick is pleased to see him, and determines to destroy all the notes he left at the other gates. Wemmick gives him a sausage to toast, and tells him that a certain person had disappeared from a certain penal colony, and, perhaps in relation to this, Pip had been watched. Pip, upon some guarded questioning, finds that Compeyson is in London. Wemmick had gone to The Temple, and had warned Herbert.
Herbert has taken Magwitch to a room in the house where his fiancee, Clara, and her father live. Wemmick approves of the arrangement - Magwitch will be under Herbert’s eye, it is out of Pip’s usual way, and he is near the water, in case they should want to slip overseas.
Confusion in the minds of watchers would already have been created by Herbert’s movements, and Pip’s not going home would have added to them. Wemmick has done nearly all he can do, but he advises Pip go to Magwitch that evening, and take hold of his ‘portable property’.
Pip wanders around the area for some time before coming across Mill Bank Pond, where Clara lives. The owner opens the door, and Herbert welcomes Pip. Pip hears the growling of Clara’s father above, and smells rum. Pip is introduced to Clara.
He is taken upstairs to his benefactor. Magwitch is most content - he trusts Mr Jaggers. Pip convinces him that it is not the time to increase his standard of living. He promises him he will accompany him overseas, or follow close behind, but does not mention the separation he is planning. Nor does he mention Compeyson’s presence in London. Magwitch is satisfied, and agreeable.
Herbert has decided that they must row him down the river to the docks themselves, and suggests that Pip hire a boat to row back and forth on the river, so that people will be used to the sight of him when the time comes. Magwitch will pull down his blind, so as to indicate that all is well.
They say good-night - Magwitch not liking good-bye. Herbert has been careful to conceal Pip’s interest in the lodger, and Pip leaves without mentioning him. He is distressed at the contrast between himself and Estella; and Herbert and Clara.
Pip hires the boat, and rows almost everyday. Magwitch pulls down the blind, but Pip always feels he is being watched. Everything he sees on the river is a purser of Magwitch.
They hear nothing from Wemmick for weeks. Pip begins to be in serious debt, but sends the pocket-book back to Magwitch. He is convinced that Estella is married, but cannot bear to have it confirmed. He is constantly worried about Magwitch, but never can find cause to be.
One night, Pip leaves his boat at Custom Hose, and decides to dine, and then go to see Mr Wopsle’s latest theatrical effort. He is at his unintentionally comic best, but Pip is puzzled that Mr Wopsle, recognising him, feels it necessary to stare at his with such amazement. When he leaves, Mr Wopsle is waiting for him.
Mr Wopsle reveals that he recognised one of the convicts captured the Christmas years ago, sitting right behind Pip, the convict who had been ‘mauled’ - Compeyson. Pip communicates the information to Herbert, but there is nothing to do save notify Wemmick. Pip never visits the area again.
One day, he is in Cheapside, and encounters Mr Jaggers, who invites him to dinner. They are to dine with Wemmick. Pip is disappointed that Wemmick is very much out of his Walworth frame of mind. He does, however, give a message from Miss Havisham to Pip. She has sent for him on a matter of business he has mentioned. Wemmick implies that it would be best to go soon, and Pip determines to go on the morrow.
Mr Jaggers mentions Bentley Drummle, and his success. He wonders which of the two will be stronger - Drummle if the contest is physical, Estella if it is intellectual. Drummle will beat or cringe. Mr Jaggers toasts to Estella’s luck.
Molly is slow, but an action of her hands causes Pip to start. He tells Mr Jaggers it is his pain at the topic of conversation, but Pip takes a good look at Molly’s eyes. He compares the knitting action of Molly’s fingers, and her eyes, and another pair of hands and eyes. He is completely certain that Mr Jaggers' housekeeper is Estella’s mother.
Wemmick and Pip walk home together, and Wemmick gradually unwinds. Pip extracts Molly’s history from him. Mr Jaggers defended her on a murder charge - she was accused of having throttled a stronger woman in a fit of jealousy. Molly had been married to a tramp. Mr Jaggers had been careful to hide the strength of Molly’s arms and wrists. The prosecution had accused her of killing her child, but Mr Jaggers pointed out that they hadn’t committed her on that charge. They won, and the case made his reputation. The child was supposed to have been a girl.
Pip goes to Miss Havisham’s, and finds her in a different room. Miss Havisham asks him about what she can do for Herbert, but does not pay attention when Pip begins to explain. She decides that she had best look at something else. He needs nine hundred pounds to complete the purchase of a partnership. Miss Havisham makes him promise to keep her secret. She wonders if he is unhappy.
Miss Havisham writes the order for the money. She hopes that Pip could, one day, write under her name - ‘I forgive her’. Pip assures her he has too many sources of pain to harbour a grudge against her. She collapses on her knees at his feet, and Pip is shocked by the child-like pose. She falls on the ground.
She is guilty and disgusted at herself - Estella is married. Pip tells her that while he has forgiven her, she must try to mend the terrible wrong she did the child Estella. Miss Havisham tells him she adopted Estella to save her, but as she grew up ever more beautiful, she gradually twisted her, to protect her.
Pip gets her to tell him the story of Estella, as far as she knows it. Mr Jaggers brought her to Satis House, aged around two. Pip decides he has nothing more to say, and walks about the grounds. He has a presentiment that he will never be there again. He walks into the brewery, and once again sees Miss Havisham hanging from the rafters. He decided to walk up again.
As he walks into the room, Miss Havisham, bent over the fire, catches alight. He throws his coat over her. By the time he has put the fire out, he is too insensible to let her go. Others have to separate the two. Miss Havisham goes into shock, and is laid out on the table where she said she would lie. Her dress was all burnt away.
The surgeon is commissioned to contact Estella, and Pip writes to Matthew Pocket. Miss Havisham is coherent for a time, but in the night she is reduced to muttering three sentences - ‘What have I done!’, ‘When she first came, I meant to save her from misery like mine,’ and ‘Take the pencil and write under my name, “I forgive her.” ' It is the last she is murmuring as Pip kisses her good-bye.
Pip’s left arm has been severely burnt, and his right, while better, is difficult to use. While Herbert does his best as a nurse, Pip is haunted by nightmares of Miss Havisham whenever he sleeps. Herbert informs him that Magwitch is well, but neither faces the fact that Pip will not be able to row.
Herbert reveals that Magwitch has told him the story he had alluded to before - the story of himself and a woman. The woman had been charged with murder, it being thought she had strangled a stronger woman in jealousy, and had been acquitted with the aid of Mr Jaggers. They had had a child together, and Magwitch had doted on it. The night the other woman died, the mother had come to Magwitch and told him that she would destroy the child. Magwitch believed that she had, and, being fond of the mother, had vanished and had not taken part in the trial. Compeyson used the story to blackmail Magwitch.
Pip discovers that the event took place around about the time he was three or four, and he had reminded Magwitch of his daughter, who would have been his age. By the end of the sad tale, Magwitch had lost both the child and its mother.
Pip asks Herbert to look at him - to see if he looks disoriented or feverish. To Herbert’s confused negative, Pip explains that he believes Magwitch is Estella’s father. Pip is not sure why he so desperately needs to prove it, but nevertheless goes to see Mr Jaggers. Herbert manages to keep him in that night, but takes Pip most of the way to Little Britain the next day.
Pip finds Mr Jaggers with Wemmick, going over the accounts. He explains the accident to them and obtains Miss Havisham’s nine hundred pounds for Herbert. Both men are astonished that Pip did not obtain anything for himself from Miss Havisham.
Pip announces that he also obtained a small history of Estella, and he knows who her mother is. Mr Jaggers betrays nothing. Pip also announces, however, even to Mr Jaggers’ surprise, that he knows her father. He betrays the surprise when Pip proclaims that Provis is the father.
Pip tells the two men the entire story. When he has finished, Mr Jaggers dismisses him, but Pip refuses to leave. He declares that his long love for Estella must be rewarded with some little thing. He appeals to Wemmick - a man with a pleasant family. Mr Jaggers is slightly horrified, and Wemmick fearful that the revelation will cost him his job.
However, Mr Jaggers concedes the point, and puts a ‘hypothetical’ case to Pip. He had known about Estella while Molly was on trial, and that she was concealed. He had, at the same time, the request from Miss Havisham to find a little girl for her to bring up. Everywhere he looked, he saw children born into poverty and crime, and here was one he could save. He knew about Molly’s crime - where she was, how she did it, and how she covered it up. If she gave him the child, he would save her, no matter what happened to the mother.
Now the child was grown, and married. The parents are both in London, unknown to each other. It would hardly serve the father, to meet again with the mother. The mother, a murderess, would be safer where she was, a scared, tamed, beast. The child would be better off, especially considering her husband, to have no knowledge of her parentage. Mr Jaggers concludes that Pip’s ‘poor dreams’ are likely to cause him more pain than cutting off his hand.
Pip leaves, and as he leaves, he observes that Mr Jaggers and Wemmick are at odd with each other. However, their client Mike appears, and they rediscover their mutual understanding when both condemn him for daring to be emotional in Little Britain.
Pip goes to Clarriker, and completes the arrangement to make Herbert a partner. Clarriker tells him that he will soon be able to establish a branch in the East, and Herbert will go and take charge of it. Pip is dismayed at the coming separation of the two, but is compensated by Herbert’s joy at the news.
They receive a note from Wemmick, mentioning that Wednesday would be a good day for them to spirit Magwitch from England. They decide, since Pip cannot row, that Startop would be a good third. They plan to get to the port by low tide, and set off on whichever foreign steamer would take them at high tide. They familiarise themselves with all the steamers, their appearances and logos.
Herbert is sent to Mill Pond Bank for the last time, and arranges for Magwitch to meet them on the Wednesday. Pip arranges passports.
When he comes home, he gets a note, unsigned, instructing him to go to the marshes in his village, to the sluice-house, to get information about his uncle Provis. It tells him to go alone. Pip thinks he had better go, because the late coach is about to leave. He leaves a note for Herbert, informing him that he has gone to see how Miss Havisham is.
Pip is amused when, having arrived at the Blue Boar, he is told his own story, with the addition that it was all Mr Pumblechook’s doing. Pip is struck by his own selfishness to Joe, his true benefactor.
Pip discovers he has lost the letter, but has memorised it, and proceeds to the sluice house. He looks inside, and sees no one there, nothing. He goes outside, but is forced in again by the rain. As he takes up the candle, it is knocked out, and a noose is thrown over his head from behind.
Pip is tied up tightly, and a man’s voice threatens him - he must stop crying for help. His left arm hurts badly - he is tied fast. The man begins to light a fire, but fails to light the damp wood. Eventually it does catch alight, and the light reveals that Pip’s captor is Orlick. Orlick names him ‘enemy’.
Pip’s offences are these; he had Orlick removed from Miss Havisham’s and he turned Biddy against him. Orlick swears to kill Pip, and burn him. Pip has visions of being despised, his death unknown, by everyone who is relying on him. Even while praying, or dreaming of mercy, Pip wants to kill Orlick, and resolves to die resisting.
Orlick reveals that it was he who attacked Pip’s sister, with Magwitch’s leg-iron; Pip was favoured and he was beaten. He was also the man Pip fell over on the stairs the night Magwitch came to him. He has new friends, and he knew that Pip has no uncle.
He laughs, warning Pip that Magwitch had best beware, when Pip is gone, there are those who don’t want him in the same country. He cries to Magwitch to beware of Compeyson. He drinks the last of a bottle, and picks up a stone hammer. Pip yells as loud as he can for help, as his life passes before him very vividly.
He hears yells from outside, and sees a group of men enter, and Orlick rush through them into the night. He passes out, and comes to in the arms of Trabb’s boy. Herbert and Startop are with him. Pip is alarmed about the time, but Herbert assures him that it is still Monday. Pip’s arm is swollen.
Herbert tells him that he left the note open at their lodgings, and had been alarmed. He had taken a post-chaise out of London, but could not follow him after he had passed Miss Havisham’s gates. They had encountered Trabb’s boy, and had taken him as a guide, but had waited outside, for the message might have been genuine. They had rushed in when Pip cried for help. They decide it would be best not to pursue Orlick - it would be hazardous to Magwitch.
In London, Pip sleeps through Tuesday, dreading an oncoming illness. During the night, his fears for Magwitch leave his mind, and he fears a delirium. When he wakes Wednesday morning, the sun is shining, and Pip feels better, ready to go, although still weak.
Pip takes little with him, although he has no idea when he will be coming back. They intend to row down the Thames towards the sea, past Gravesend, when they will be between Essex and Kent. There would be few people on the water, and little observation from the bank. There they would keep quiet for a night, and hail every steamer that came down from London in the morning, so that they would be sure to catch one.
They pass quickly down past the docks, past the steamers which they hope to hail, and finally approach Mill Pond Bank. They don’t see Magwitch immediately, but he soon arrives, and is upon board, thanking Pip. Pip is certain that they were not seen, and that there are no boats following them. Magwitch is well disguised, and amazingly relaxed, but Pip thinks he is a little sad. Magwitch thinks not so, perhaps it is his age.
They pass Gravesend, and Customs House, without difficulty, but must soon approach the bank to avoid the ships using the tide to go upstream. They have some rest, and continue at a brisk pace until nightfall. They lodge in a public-house for the night. One of the servants mentions to Pip that he saw a four-oared galley, with two sitters, going down against the tide. The servant is convinced that they were from Customs House.
Pip is alarmed, and consults with his companions, who decide it would be better to wait at the public-house until within an hour of the steamer, and float down on the tide. During the night, Pip sees two men wandering up the causeway, and onto the bank, and into the marshes. Magwitch is not unduly alarmed by the news Pip gives him in the morning, but Pip persuades him that it would be better if they walked along the bank, and be picked up at around noon.
This occurs without incident, and they spy two steamers at half-past one. They say goodbye to Herbert and Startop, and prepare to hail the steamer. As they do so, they see the four-oared galley pull out of the bank in front of them. Magwitch keeps down and still as the galley pulls aside them, and the two boats sit in the galley’s path. One of the sitters in the other boat shrinks down.
When the steamer is nearly on them, a man in the galley calls to them that they have a returned transport, one Abel Magwitch, on board, and calls on him to surrender. They run the galley in front, and grab the boat, before anything can be done. The crew of the steamer are alarmed, and call for the paddles to be stopped.
The man grabs Magwitch, who leaps over him at the other sitter, and pulls off his cloak. Pip only sees the terror on Compeyson’s face for a moment before the two fall overboard as the galley flips. The steamer collides with Pip’s boat, and in the next instant he is pulled on board the galley, with Herbert and Startop.
The galley pulls clear of the steamer, and is righted. Soon after, Magwitch is swimming towards them, with difficulty, and is pulled on board and restrained. The two steamers pass, and the look out is kept up for hours, but no hope is kept for Compeyson.
They return to the public-house. Magwitch is severely injured, having been struck on the head by the keel of the steamer, and having been flung against the side of the galley, injuring his chest. Compeyson had staggered back when Magwitch saw him, and the force had capsized the galley. They had fought under water, and Magwitch had got away.
The arresting officer takes charge of all of Magwitch’s possessions, including his pocketbook. Pip is allowed to accompany him to London. A watch is set for Compeyson’s body. Pip decides to stand with Magwitch, who will be hung; having borne the brunt of blame at his trial, having broken prison, returned from a life sentence, and having been the cause of his captor’s death. Pip is half ashamed of being relieved that his injuries will probably kill him before his trial.
Magwitch reassures him, and is proud that ‘his boy’ can be a gentleman without him. Pip does not tells him that all his possession will forfeit to the Crown. Instead, he rejects Magwitch’s advice not to be associated with a convict, and swears to be with him every moment he can.
Pip goes and retains Mr Jaggers, but there is no hope - as soon as an official appears to identify Magwitch, the game is up. He tells Mr Jaggers to keep Magwitch ignorant of Pip’s poverty, and Mr Jaggers is angry. He hopes to ‘try for some of it’, but Pip has no legal claim on the money. He decides not to attempt it. It appeared Compeyson had also had some hopes of it, as his badly disfigured body had notes on it that corresponded to knowledge of Magwitch’s possessions.
Herbert needs to go immediately to Egypt, but is loath to leave Pip. Pip tells him that it is no worse than any other time - all possible moments are spent at Magwitch’s side anyway. Herbert offers him a job as a clerk, but Pip cannot decide for some weeks. Herbert leaves, to come home for Clara as soon as her father dies.
Pip finds Wemmick at his house one day. Wemmick apologises for the disaster, explaining that he had heard in Newgate that Compeyson was absent from the area. He can only think that Compeyson was regularly in the habit of lying to his underlings. Wemmick is shocked at the loss of the ‘portable property’, and Pip shocked at his heartlessness. Wemmick explains that, while he feels for Magwitch, Compeyson was almost certain to get him, whereas that wasn’t necessarily true of the property.
When Pip invites him in, Wemmick mentions that, for the first time in many years, he is taking a holiday, and invites Pip to go with him, entreating him to leave Magwitch for a day. Pip feels that Wemmick has done enough for him to merit at least the one favour, and so he appears at Walworth at half-past eight.
He is rather bemused by Wemmick’s delight in walking with a fishing rod, and more so by the sudden freak he takes to walk into a church. Pip is enlightened by Wemmick’s discovery of good gloves to wear, and the appearance of Miss Skiffins and the Aged Parent. Wemmick decides on impulse to have a wedding, and miraculously discovers a ring in his pocket.
When the ceremony is complete, Wemmick takes up his fishing rod, and triumphantly declares that it hardly looks like a wedding party. They breakfast at a tavern and Pip observes that Mrs Wemmick no longer thwarts her husbands embraces. As Pip leaves, Wemmick begs him not to mention the event to Mr Jaggers, who was uneasy enough at Pip’s past revelations.
Magwitch is committed for trial and sent to the hospital infirmary - one of his lungs is wounded. Every day he seems weaker to Pip. Pip fancies that the exhausted man is sometimes haunted by his deeds, but cannot tell for certain. Mr Jaggers applies to postpone the trial, and is refused.
Throughout the short trial, Pip holds his hand as he sits in the witness box, and little is said for him, aside from his industrious habits. There is nothing else to do but find him guilty of returning to England
- he is there. The concluding day of the Session is devoted to sentencing, and Magwitch is with the thirty sentenced to death. Among all the terrified, or non-plussed convicts, Magwitch is singled out for comment; a habitual offender, cast out by his land of birth, and returning, causing the death of his terrified denouncer. Magwitch replies that he has received a sentence of death already.
Pip applies to the Home Secretary for leniency, and several others, even one to the Crown. When he is not making his shortened daily visits to Magwitch, he haunts the areas where the petitions are. Magwitch is always worse. Ten days after the sentencing, he is distinctly worse off. He thanks Pip for always being there. He reminds him that he has never complained of pain. Pip is told he may remain past the time.
Pip tells Magwitch that he knows about his daughter, that she lives, that he loves her. Magwitch kisses his hand, and lays it on his breast. Pip watches him die, and prays for his soul.
Pip tries to sub-let his rooms, and is very alarmed at his financial affairs, he is very seriously in debt. At the same time, he becomes very weak, and spends some days in a state of near-collapse, and in delirium, before some men come to arrest him as a debtor. They want to take him away, but he begs them not to, for he would probably die on the way.
Pip gets a fever, and spends a great deal of time in delirium, but every person who tends to him eventually begins to look like Joe. After some time, he determines that it is Joe, and Joe is thrilled to be recognised. Joe tells him that it is the end of May. Biddy had told him to go to Pip immediately, when they heard about his illness. Joe begs him to lie down and rest.
Biddy has taught Joe to write, a skill of which he is inordinately proud, and he writes to her to inform her that Pip is better. Pip is amused at the effort he puts into writing.
He discovers from Joe, that Miss Havisham died about a week after he was taken ill. She left her property to Estella, except token remembrances to Camilla, Sarah and Georgiana, and four thousand pounds to Matthew Pocket, based on Pip’s testimony.
Joe also reveals that Pumblechook’s house has been broken into, and that he recognised Orlick, and had Orlick sent to prison. Joe is so tender to his charge, that Pip fancies he is ‘little Pip’ again. Joe had taken charge of Pip’s household while he was ill.
When Joe takes Pip on a picnic to the Battery, Pip wonders whether he heard the news about Pip’s benefactor. Joe had heard about his identity, and his death. Pip tries to tell him parts of the story, but Joe reminds him that if he kept any secrets as a child, it was because Joe had not been able to protect him from his sister. Biddy had convinced of this.
As Pip becomes better, Joe becomes slightly less easy with him, and Pip realises this is because he has given Joe so much reason to doubt him. Pip does not tell Joe how much in debt he is, as he feels sure Joe would give all his savings to clear him. He hopes to break through Joe’s reserve, by telling him all the plans he has for his future. Joe wishes him a goodnight, and makes Pip assure him he feels well.
The next morning, Joe is gone, with a note stating that Pip will do better without him. Included in the envelope is a receipt for Pip’s bills, which Pip was sure the creditors had simply let rest. Joe has paid them.
Pip determines that he will go to the forge, and make friends with Joe. He will also go to Biddy and apologise to her for treating her so badly, and remind her of their close friendship, and then propose to her.
The news of Pip’s fall in fortune has reaches his village, as he realises by his poor reception at the Blue Boar. He notices also that Satis House is being pulled down, and sold for building materials, at the auction where the furniture will be sold. When Pip arrives back for breakfast, he discovers he has the misfortune of dining with Pumblechook. Pip is snappish with his ‘benefactor’ - who is distinctly condescending and sorrowful. Pumblechook reacts with horror, and instructs him to tell Joe of the hideous wrongs he does his earliest friend.
Pip turns his thoughts to Biddy and Joe, and walks to the forge by the schoolhouse where Biddy teaches. He is surprised to find both the forge and the school shut up, but is relieved to find the house open, and in use. He peers through a window, and discovers Biddy and Joe. Biddy cries out, and embraces him. They are both dressed up, and Pip cries to see them. Biddy tells him it is their wedding day.
Pip collapses, and they take him to the kitchen. Joe reminds Biddy that Pip isn’t strong, and she is sorry. Their happiness makes Pip grateful he never mentioned his hope of marrying Biddy to Joe - if he had stayed another hour he would have said something.
Pip tells them that he is bound for overseas, and he will pay back every cent of his debt to them, although he would not cancel it for anything. He hopes that their children will not be told about his thanklessness, but that he honoured them, and that their child will grow up better than he. Pip receives their forgiveness, and rests in his own room, before setting out with them for some of his journey.
Pip sells his belongings, and pays his creditors a good part of his debt before going to Herbert. Within months, he must take responsibility for Herbert’s share of the business - Herbert is on his honeymoon with Clara. For years he lives with Herbert and Clara, and finally becomes a partner. At this time, Clarricker tells Herbert about Pip’s generosity. Their House is well respected, and reasonably prosperous.
Eleven years later, Pip returns to Joe’s and Biddy’s house. He discovers they have a small son, Pip. He takes little Pip for a walk, and sees himself in him, even to little Pip’s fancy for the gravestones of Pip’s parents.
Pip asks Biddy if he can ‘borrow’ little Pip one day. Biddy tells him he should marry, and he replies that he is settled with Herbert and Clara. Biddy asks him if he thinks of Estella. He has not forgotten her, but she has gone by, with many of his dreams.
Even so, he decides to revisit the lot where Satis House stood, for Estella’s sake. She was treated badly by her husband, who eventually died when a horse turned upon him. Pip has heard nothing of her since. He walks around the grounds in the moonlight, and sees another walker, a woman, who cries his name - Estella.
Her youth has gone, although her beauty remains. She is softened, friendly. Neither has been back, each returns for the first time. It is the only possession that Estella keeps, and finally it is going to be built on. She remembers Pip as a thing of worth she threw away - she has thought of him a great deal. She is glad to say goodbye at their old spot. Pip is not glad of another parting, but Estella names him a friend. As they walk out, Pip doesn’t see another parting.
Original Ending (replacing half of Chapter 58 and Chapter 59) #
When Biddy asks Pip about Estella, he replies that he is certain he doesn’t fret for her. It is two years more before he sees her. Bentley Drummle died (as above), but Estella has married a doctor who once intervened when he witnessed some shocking treatment of her. The two live on her personal fortune.
When in London, walking with little Pip, a servant calls Pip back to Estella’s carriage. Estella shakes hands with him, and kisses little Pip, thinking he is Pip’s child. He sees that suffering has undone Miss Havisham’s teaching.
The last sentence can read either “… I saw no shadow of another parting from her,” or “… I saw the shadow of no parting from her,” the former being the revised ending, implying that they do part.