Charles Dickens

And seeing that Mr.

Jaggers stood quite still and silent, and apparently quite

obdurate, under this appeal, I turned to Wemmick, and said,

"Wemmick, I know you to be a man with a gentle heart. I have seen

your pleasant home, and your old father, and all the innocent

cheerful playful ways with which you refresh your business life.

And I entreat you to say a word for me to Mr. Jaggers, and to

represent to him that, all circumstances considered, he ought to be

more open with me!"

I have never seen two men look more oddly at one another than Mr.

Jaggers and Wemmick did after this apostrophe. At first, a

misgiving crossed me that Wemmick would be instantly dismissed from

his employment; but, it melted as I saw Mr. Jaggers relax into

something like a smile, and Wemmick become bolder.

"What's all this?" said Mr. Jaggers. "You with an old father, and

you with pleasant and playful ways?"

"Well!" returned Wemmick. "If I don't bring 'em here, what does it


"Pip," said Mr. Jaggers, laying his hand upon my arm, and smiling

openly, "this man must be the most cunning impostor in all London."

"Not a bit of it," returned Wemmick, growing bolder and bolder. "I

think you're another."

Again they exchanged their former odd looks, each apparently still

distrustful that the other was taking him in.

"You with a pleasant home?" said Mr. Jaggers.

"Since it don't interfere with business," returned Wemmick, "let it

be so. Now, I look at you, sir, I shouldn't wonder if you might be

planning and contriving to have a pleasant home of your own, one of

these days, when you're tired of all this work."

Mr. Jaggers nodded his head retrospectively two or three times, and

actually drew a sigh. "Pip," said he, "we won't talk about 'poor

dreams;' you know more about such things than I, having much

fresher experience of that kind. But now, about this other matter.

I'll put a case to you. Mind! I admit nothing."

He waited for me to declare that I quite understood that he

expressly said that he admitted nothing.

"Now, Pip," said Mr. Jaggers, "put this case. Put the case that a

woman, under such circumstances as you have mentioned, held her

child concealed, and was obliged to communicate the fact to her

legal adviser, on his representing to her that he must know, with

an eye to the latitude of his defence, how the fact stood about

that child. Put the case that at the same time he held a trust to

find a child for an eccentric rich lady to adopt and bring up."

"I follow you, sir."

"Put the case that he lived in an atmosphere of evil, and that all

he saw of children, was, their being generated in great numbers for

certain destruction. Put the case that he often saw children

solemnly tried at a criminal bar, where they were held up to be

seen; put the case that he habitually knew of their being

imprisoned, whipped, transported, neglected, cast out, qualified in

all ways for the hangman, and growing up to be hanged. Put the case

that pretty nigh all the children he saw in his daily business

life, he had reason to look upon as so much spawn, to develop into

the fish that were to come to his net - to be prosecuted, defended,

forsworn, made orphans, bedevilled somehow."

"I follow you, sir."

"Put the case, Pip, that here was one pretty little child out of

the heap, who could be saved; whom the father believed dead, and

dared make no stir about; as to whom, over the mother, the legal

adviser had this power: "I know what you did, and how you did it.

You came so and so, this was your manner of attack and this the

manner of resistance, you went so and so, you did such and such

things to divert suspicion. I have tracked you through it all, and

I tell it you all. Part with the child, unless it should be

necessary to produce it to clear you, and then it shall be

produced. Give the child into my hands, and I will do my best to

bring you off.