|Some medical beast had revived tar-water in those days as
a fine medicine, and Mrs. Joe always kept a supply of it in
the cupboard; having a belief in its virtues correspondent to
its nastiness. At the best of times, so much of this elixir
was administered to me as a choice restorative, that I was conscious
of going about, smelling like a new fence.
The narrator Pip, Chapter 2.
|Mrs. Joe was a very clean housekeeper, but had an exquisite
art of making her cleanliness more uncomfortable and unacceptable
than dirt itself.
|I was always treated as if I had insisted on being born, in
opposition to the dictates of reason, religion, and morality,
and against the dissuading arguments of my best friends.
The narrator Pip, Chapter 4.
|In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right,
as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be
The narrator Pip, Chapter 6.
|In the little world in which children have their existence
whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived
and so finely felt, as injustice. It may be only small injustice
that the child can be exposed to; but the child is small, and
its world is small, and its rocking-horse stands as many hands
high, according to scale, as a big-boned Irish hunter.
|If you can't get to be oncommon through going straight, you'll
never get to do it through going crooked.
Joe Gargery, referring to Pip's lies, Chapter
|That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes
in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected
day struck out of it, and think how different its course would
have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of
the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would
never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link
on one memorable day.
|There have been occasions in my later life (I suppose as in
most lives) when I have felt for a time as if a thick curtain
had fallen on all its interest and romance, to shut me out from
anything save dull endurance any more. Never has that curtain
dropped so heavy and blank, as when my way in life lay stretched
out straight before me through the newly-entered road of apprenticeship
|What would it signify to me, being coarse and common, if nobody
had told me so!
Pip confides to Biddy, Chapter 17.
|Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication
I have got to make is, that he has great expectations.
Mr Jaggers about Pip, Chapter 18.
|...feeling it very sorrowful and strange that this first night
of my bright fortunes should be the loneliest I had ever known.
|Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they
are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard
|Take another glass of wine, and excuse my mentioning that
society as a body does not expect one to be so strictly conscientious
in emptying one's glass, as to turn it bottom upwards with the
rim on one's nose.
Herbert Pocket to Pip, Chapter 22.
|No man who was not a true gentleman at heart, ever was, since
the world began, a true gentleman in manner... no varnish can
hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put
on, the more the grain will express itself.
Herbert Pocket to Pip, Chapter 22.
|My guiding star always is, Get hold of portable property.
Wemmick to Pip, Chapter 24.
|Throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually
committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.
|Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings
Joe Gargery to Pip, Chapter 27.
|One man's a blacksmith, and one's a whitesmith, and one's
a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith.
Joe to Pip, Chapter 27.
|All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers,
and with such pretenses did I cheat myself. Surely a curious
thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody
else's manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should
knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money!
|How strange it was that I should be encompassed by all this
taint of prison and crime; that in my childhood out on our lonely
marshes on a winter evening I should have first encountered
it; that it should have reappeared on two occasions, starting
out like a stain that was faded but not gone; that it should
in this new way pervade my fortune and advancement.
Pip thinking, Chapter 32.
|We spent as much money as we could, and got as little for
it as people could make up their minds to give us. We were always
more or less miserable, and most of our acquaintance were in
the same condition. There was a gay fiction among us that we
were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that
we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the
last aspect a rather common one.
|So now, as an infallible way of making little ease great ease,
I began to contract a quantity of debt.
|I never had one hour's happiness in her society, and yet my
mind all round the four-and-twenty hours was harping on the
happiness of having her with me unto death.
Narrator Pip on Estella, Chapter 38.
|'So,' said Estella, 'I must be taken as I have been made.
The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two
together make me.'
|All the truth of my position came flashing on me; and its
disappointments, dangers, disgraces, consequences of all kinds,
rushed in in such a multitude that I was borne down by them
and had to struggle for every breath I drew.
|I would not have gone back to Joe now, I would not have gone
back to Biddy now, for any consideration: simply, I suppose,
because my sense of my own worthless conduct to them was greater
than every consideration. No wisdom on earth could have given
me the comfort that I should have derived from their simplicity
and fidelity; but I could never, never, never, undo what I had
|Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's
no better rule.
Mr Jaggers to Pip, Chapter 40.
|The imaginary student pursued by the misshapen creature he
had impiously made, was not more wretched than I, pursued by
the creature who had made me, and recoiling from him with a
stronger repulsion, the more he admired me and the fonder he
was of me.
Pip's thoughts when convict Magwitch moves
in with him and gets Pip to read to him, Chapter 40.
|Compeyson's business was the swindling, hand writing forging,
stolen bank-note passing, and such-like. All sorts of traps
as Compeyson could set with his head, and keep his own legs
out of and get the profits from and let another man in for,
was Compeyson's business. He'd no more heart than a iron file
he was as cold as death, and he had the head of the Devil afore
|It would have been cruel in Miss Havisham, horribly cruel,
to practice on the susceptibility of a poor boy, and to torture
me through all these years with a vain hope and an idle pursuit,
if she had reflected on the gravity of what she did. But I think
she did not.
|It was understood that nothing of a tender nature could possibly
be confided to old Barley, by reason of his being totally unequal
to the consideration of any subject more psychological than
Gout, Rum, and Purser's stores.
|I knew not how to answer, or how to comfort her. That she
had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable child
to mould into the form that her wild resentment, spurned affection,
and wounded pride, found vengeance in, I knew full well. But
that, in shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely
more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand
natural and healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary,
had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse
the appointed order of their Maker; I knew equally well.
Narrator Pip on Miss Havisham, Chapter
|And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment
in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth
on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become
a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of
remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities
that have been curses in this world?
Narrator Pip on Miss Havisham, Chapter
|It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and
the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter
in the shade.
|For now my repugnance to him had all melted away, and in the
hunted, wounded, shackled creature who held my hand in his,
I only saw a man who had meant to be my benefactor, and who
had felt affectionately, gratefully, and generously, towards
me with great constancy through a series of years. I only saw
in him a much better man than I had been to Joe.
Pip on his changed feelings for Magwitch,
|I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place;
and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left
the forge, so, the evening mists were rising now, and in all
the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw
no shadow of another parting from her..
Last lines of novel as Pip takes Estalla's
hand and they walk together, Chapter 59.