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GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

BY CHARLES DICKENS.

CHAPTER I.

MY father's family name being Pirrip, and my
christian name Philip, my infant tongue could
make of both names nothing longer or more
explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and
came to be called Pip.

I give Pirrip as my father's family name, on
the authority of his tombstone and my sister
Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith.
As I never saw my father or my mother, and
never saw any likeness of either of them (for
their days were long before the days of
photographs), my first fancies regarding what they
were like, were unreasonably derived from their
tombstones. The shape of the letters on my
father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a
square, stout, dark man with curly black hair.
From the character and turn of the inscription,
"Also Georgiana Wife of the Above," I drew a
childish conclusion that my mother was freckled
and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each
about a foot and a half long, which were
arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and
were sacred to the memory of five little brothers
of minewho gave up trying to get a living,
exceedingly early in that universal struggleI
am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained
that they had all been born on their backs with
their hands in their trousers-pockets, and had
never taken them out in this state of
existence.

Ours was the marsh country, down by the
river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles
of the sea. My first most vivid and broad
impression of the identity of things, seems to me to
have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon
towards evening. At such a time I found out for
certain, that this bleak place overgrown with
nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip,
late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of
the above, were dead and buried; and that
Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and
Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were
also dead and buried; and that the dark flat
wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected
with dykes and mounds and gates, with
scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and
that the low leaden line beyond, was the river;
and that the distant savage lair from which the
wind was rushing, was the sea ; and that the
small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all
and beginning to cry, was Pip.

"Hold your noise!" cried a terrible voice, as
a man started up from among the graves at the
side of the church porch. " Keep still, you
little devil, or I'll cut your throat!"

A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great
iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with
broken shoes, and with an old rag tied round
his head. A man who had been soaked in water,
and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and
cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by
briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared
and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his
head as he seized me by the chin.

"O! Don't cut my throat, sir," I pleaded in
terror. "Pray don't do it, sir."

"Tell us your name!" said the man.
"Quick!"

"Pip, sir."

"Once more," said the man, staring at me.
"Give it mouth!"

"Pip. Pip, sir."

"Show us where you live," said the man.
"Pint out the place!"

I pointed to where our village lay, on the flat
in-shore among the alder-trees and pollards, a
mile or more from the church.

The man, after looking at me for a moment,
turned me upside-down, and emptied my pockets.
There was nothing in them but a piece of bread.
When the church came to itselffor he was so
sudden and strong that he made it go head over
heels before me, and I saw the steeple under my
legswhen the church came to itself, I say, I
was seated on a high tombstone, trembling, while
he ate the bread ravenously.

"You young dog," said the man, licking his
lips, " what fat cheeks you ha' got."

I believe they were fat, though I was at
that time undersized for my years, and not
strong.

"Darn Me if I couldn't eat 'em," said the
man, with a threatening shake of his head,
"and if I han't half a mind to 't!"

I earnestly expressed my hope that he
wouldn't, and held tighter to the tombstone on
which he had put me; partly, to keep myself
upon it; partly, to keep myself from crying.

"Now then, lookee here!" said the man.
"Where's your mother?"

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