The "grand climacteric" has struck Widge's life again. This means that his fortune has suddenly changed, and not in a good way. He's now about to begin his new life with Bass, who from now on will be his new master. As an orphan in Elizabethan England, Widge isn't materially well off. And as one can imagine, he doesn't have much in the way of possessions to take with him on the next stage of his life's journey. But he does still have a dagger, a linen tunic, woolen stockings to wear on the Sabbath, a worn leather wallet with birthday money, and a hand-me-down garment.
Widge may not have an awful lot, but he considers himself incredibly lucky in comparison with some of the other orphans he's known.