“And then I told Joe that I felt very miserable and that I hadn’t been able to explain myself to Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook who were so rude to me, and that there had been a beautiful young lady at Miss Havisham’s who was dreadfully proud , and that she had said I was common, and that I knew I was common, and that I wished I was not common, and that the lies had come of it somehow, though I didn’t know how.
This was a case of metaphysics, at least as difficult for Joe to deal with as for me. But Joe took the case altogether out of the region of metaphysics and by that means vanquished it.
‘There’s one thing you may be sure of, Pip,’ said Joe after some rumination, ‘namely, that lies is lies. Howsever they come, they didn’t ought to come, and they come from the father of lies, and work round to the same. Don’t you tell no more of’em, Pip. That an’t the way to get out of being common, old chap. And as to being common, I don’t make it out all clear. You are oncommon in some things. You’re oncommon small. Likewise, you’re a oncommon scholar.’
‘No, I am ignorant and backward, Joe.’
‘Why, see what a letter you wrote last night. Wrote in print even! I’ve seen letters – Ah! and from gentlefolks! – that I’ll swear weren’t wrote in print,’ said Joe.
‘I’ve learnt next to nothing, Joe. You think much of me. It’s only that.’
‘Well, Pip,’ said Joe, ‘be so or be son’t, you must be a common scholar before you are a oncommon one, I should hope” The king upon his throne, with his crown upon his ed, can’t sit and write his acts of Parliament in print, without having begun, when he were a unpromoted Prince, with the alphabet – Ah!’ added Joe, with a shake of the head that was full of meaning, ‘and begun at A too, and worked his way to Z. And I know what that is to do, though I can’t say I’ve exactly done it.'”