Pip and Herbert are dumbfounded and aghast to see each other after all these years.
Herbert rewrites history a little bit and asks Pip to forgive him for beating him up. Pip decides not to correct him.
Herbert tells Pip that he had been brought to Miss Havisham’s all those years ago to serve as a playmate for Estella. He supposes that Miss Havisham might even have wanted him and Estella to marry. Speaking of Estella, Herbert thinks she cold as ice. He tells Pip Estella was brought up to make men miserable.
Pip doesn’t understand, but Herby tells him he will fill him in on the juicy gossip at dinner.
Herbert’s dad is going to be Pip’s new tutor and teacher.
Pip really likes Herbert. He’s honest and full of hope and kind. However, there’s something about Herbert that makes Pip think that he will never be a rich or successful man.
Pip asks Herbert to help him learn how to be a gentleman and to help him learn his manners, and Pip wholeheartedly agrees.
Herbert divines a new nickname for Pip – Handel. Herbert loves the musical piece called, "The Harmonious Blacksmith," by the great composer, Handel. Because Pip once was a blacksmith, this seems to be an excellent new name.
The boys have dinner, and Pip is thrilled beyond belief. There are no grown-ups around, he lives in London, and he has a new BFF. What could be better than this?
Pip reminds Herbert to tell him Miss Havisham’s story.
This is Herbert’s account of Miss Havisham:
She was a spoiled little girl, and she was an only child until her dad married the cook. When the cook died, he told Miss Havisham that she had a half-brother named Arthur. Miss Havisham didn’t like this too much.
Miss Havisham’s father was a country gentleman who owned a brewery. A very profitable brewery. Beer heaven.
Arthur grew up to be a real pain in the butt and a rebel too. He lived the high life, spending lots of money and creating havoc everywhere he went.
He and Miss Havisham did not get along very well. In fact, they hated each other’s guts.
When their dad died, he left Arthur a nice fortune, but he left Miss Havisham the big dough.
Miss Havisham was considered a catch by many a boy. She was rich and pretty. It just so happened, however, that she fell in love with a man who pretended to be a gentleman. He was a rake. He flirted like nobody’s business, and Miss Havisham fell head over heels. He convinced her to buy Arthur out of his share of the brewery at a huge cost. She did it in a heartbeat for her sweetheart.
Herbert’s dad, Mr. Pocket, warned his cousin that her beau was up to no good, but she didn’t believe him. In fact, she ordered him out of the house and out of her life. Bad news bears.
On the day of her wedding to the gentleman, she received a letter from him calling the whole thing off. No one knows what the letter said, but Miss Havisham went a little crazy after reading that letter and fell very ill. She let the mansion go to ruin, and that was that.
Apparently, Arthur and the gentleman were in cahoots with each other all along and had meant to rob Miss Havisham of her fortune. They also wanted to embarrass her publicly.
This ends Herbert’s account of Miss Havisham’s story.
Pip asks Herbert whether Estella is adopted, but he doesn’t know.
Herbert tells Pip that he holds no grudge against him, even though he is favored by Miss Havisham. He assumes (silently) that Miss Havisham is Pip’s benefactor and wants Pip to know that, even though Miss Havisham has all but disowned Herbert’s family, he is not jealous or threatened by Pip.
Pip asks Herbert what he does for a living, and Pip tells him he is a "capitalist—an insurer of ships" (2.22.70). Herbert’s lifelong dream is to become a shipping merchant and to strike it rich. He dreams of moving to the Far East where life is profitable. As of right now, however, Herbert is waiting for his big break. He works in a counting house, hoping everyday that an opportunity will come his way.
Pip loves Herbert’s idealistic demeanor, but again he can’t help but think that Herbert will never strike it rich or be successful.
London is amazing. It’s glittery and delicious and full of all kinds of interesting people. To the country boy who has spent most of his life on the marshes, London is pretty much the bomb. As grimy and gloomy as it is, there is a lot going on. Still, Pip can’t help thinking about Joe.
The boys decide to go to the Pocket home next in Hammersmith. When Pip arrives, he finds Herbert’s seven brothers and sisters tumbling every which way. They are playing on the lawn.
Mrs. Pocket, Herbert’s mother, is reading a book very intensely. She asks Pip how his mother is doing, and Pip is not quite sure how to answer that one. But it’s OK, because he’s saved by the baby, her youngest child, who is placed on her lap and who she has no idea how to handle or hold.
Her servants, Miss Flopson and Miss Millers, are pretty much like drill sergeants, ordering everyone (including Mrs. Pocket) around.
Mrs. Pocket is like the Bermuda Triangle of tumbling. Every time one of her children goes near her, they fall. Even the servants trip over her.
Mrs. Pocket orders naps for everyone, and the kiddiewinks are marched inside.
When Mr. Pocket finally arrives, he looks exactly like what you would expect him to look like: disheveled, grey-haired, and a little discombobulated.