Herbert talks about his career to Pip. He says he insures ships. And has grand plans of trading in the East and West Indies (silks, spices, dyes, drugs, precious woods, sugar, tobacco, rum and elephant tusks)! This all sounds very exciting, exotic and profitable to Pip. But, Pip then finds out that Herbert is not actually doing any of this – trading or insuring. He works in a counting-house and informs Pip that it pays nothing. But, he is “always looking about” for an opportunity to pursue these dreams.
Happy Early Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!
Here’s what’s happening on Page 156:
Pip, Handel according to Herbert, finds out that Miss Havisham’s half-brother was in on the cruel scheme with her fiancé to swindle her out of her fortune. (Poor Miss H!) Herbert does not know where the two men are today. They seem to have disappeared. Estella was adopted by Miss H at some point – also something Herbert knows little about. Maybe we will find out later.
In the meantime, Pip and Herbert agree that they both now know the exact same information about Miss H.
How horrible to be ready for the wedding, in the gown, cake on the table, only to find out that it was all a cruel joke, a mean scheme!
Page 155 finds Pip listening to Herbert Pocket tell more of the story of Miss Havisham’s life:
The man Miss H fell in love with was NO gentleman. He was not a true gentleman at heart but tried to appear as one. “No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.”
Miss H fell hard for him. He swindled her out of large sums of money, all the while professing his love for her and the promise of marriage. Plans were made, a wedding dress purchased, guests invited. They arrived on the date, everyone but the bridegroom. Miss H received a letter from him while she was dressing for the wedding, at twenty minutes to nine. (This is the time that all the clocks at her home have been stopped at.) No one knows what the letter said exactly, but the wedding was off and no one has seen the man since!
Miss Havisham (not Estella) is the one who lost her mother, young,
and grew up spoiled by her brewer father. (I got confused and thought
Herbert was talking about Estella. Easy to do with Dickens!) Miss
Havisham’s father dies, leaving her a wealthy heiress with a wasteful
and extravagant half-brother.
As Herbert tells Pip all about Miss Havisham, he throws in bits of
advice on how one holds his silverware, wine-tumbler and dinner-
napkin properly. Pip is not insulted ain the least and they both
giggle at Pip’s ignorance in these things.
Herbert continues: Twenty-five years ago young Miss Havisham meets
and falls in love with a man.
Hello! I have been so busy with freelance work and taxes. (Freelance
on-going, that’s good and taxes DONE… even better!) I did find time
to do three sketches together in an altered board book. Below is my
version of Great Expectations pages 151-153 by Charles Dickens:
Herbert Pocket tells Pip that he, too, had been brought before Miss
Havisham on a “trial” visit to see if he was suitable for a good
fortune and possibly an engagement to Estella. This surprises Pip and
even more so that Herbert is not upset in the least that he did not
win the fortune (or Estella). Herbert tells Pip that Estella is “hard, haughty,
capricious and set out to wreak revenge on all the male sex.” He hit
the nail on the head! But why is she like this? Influenced by Miss
Havisham? (page 151)
Pip observes that Herbert has a very frank, open and honest way about
him. He is very likeable. He also guesses that Herbert will never be
successful or wealthy. Just a hunch. Herbert does wear his tattered
old suit better than Pip wears his new one though. Pip asks Herbert
to help him out in social situations if he notices that Pip is
doing something wrong. Pip is afraid is country roots will show!
Herbert asks Pip if he can call him “Handel” instead of Pip. Pip
agrees, but remember, in Pip’s contract, he is supposed to always go
by the name Pip. Their dinner arrives from the coffee-house. The
apartment is so small that it seems to Pip that food is spread
everywhere, even butter on the armchair, bread on the bookcase and
boiled fowl on his bed! Herbert tells Pip more about Estella. She was
spoiled as a child by her widowed father. (Her mom died when Estella
was a baby.) Her father was a brewer and denied her nothing. (page 153)
I’ll post again soon, so please check back! Happy Spring!
Lo and behold! This young Mr. Pocket turns out to be the VERY same pale fellow that Pip fought back at Miss Havisham’s Manor House: Herbert Pocket. Once they realize they have met before (with their fists), they burst out laughing, shaking hands and forgiving each other.
Herbert describes the situation to Pip: Pip’s temporary bedroom is furnished with rented furniture (at Pip’s expense), the dining table is set with rented tablecloth and dishes from the coffee-house (at Pip’s expense) and the food they will be eating will also be at Pip’s expense. It’s just for a few days though. Then he’s off to… well, somewhere else! We’ll find out soon.
I covered a plate and silverware with book pages from my copy of Great Expectations (earlier pages which I’ve already read, of course). Then added some acrylic paint doodles. It was just too plain without that touch.
I’ll be back soon!
Pip is hanging out at the run-down Barnard’s Inn waiting on young Mr Pocket. Pocket finally arrives carrying a sack under each arm and a basket of strawberries. He has been to the Covent Garden Market shopping for some goodies to make Pip feel more at home.
They seem to get along well, laughing while struggling to get the door open. I think they will become fast friends!
I wondered if Covent Garden Market still exists in London after all these years. This is what I found out:
Yes, it does! It is a district in London that currently contains some trendy shops, restaurants, markets and theatres on the eastern fringes of the West End. It was once a small open-air fruit and vegetable market.
It fell into disrepute (brothels and taverns took over) in the 1700s, becoming a well-known red light district of London! The Parliament intervened and by the early 1900s it became a nice place to shop, see a show and gather with friends and family, as it is today.
At one point, a massive, beautiful arched ceiling with green beams was built over a large portion, creating an indoor market and shopping mall. I did this sketch based on several pictures I found. I got out my ruler and attempted some perspective! Haven’t done that in a very long time. And probably won’t do it again for a long time!
If any of you have been to Covent Garden Market, let me know what you thought of it. I would love to go to London someday and check it out for myself!