- ‘Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule‘ is a quotation from Great Expectations (Chapter 40).
Quotation said by the lawyer Mr. Jaggers to Pip, who is trying to confirm that his benefactor is Abel Magwitch. Although Pip has recently met Magwitch in London, Mr. Jaggers wishes to maintain that he is in New South Wales, Australia because he is a wanted man in England.
Mr. Jaggers is a prominent London lawyer with a number of clients involved in both criminal and civil matters. They include Abel Magwitch and Miss Havisham. Pip first encounters Jaggers on a visit to Satis House as a boy. Later in the story, Jaggers will visit Pip and Joe Gargery at the forge to deliver the good news that he is to become a gentleman. Jaggers becomes Pip’s guardian whilst he is in London, responsible for managing the affairs of Pip’s mysterious benefactor. By the end of the story, his law practice links many of the characters.
“I have been informed by a person named Abel Magwitch, that he is the benefactor so long unknown to me.”
“That is the man,” said Mr. Jaggers, “in New South Wales.”
“And only he?” said I.
“And only he,” said Mr. Jaggers.
“I am not so unreasonable, sir, as to think you at all responsible for my mistakes and wrong conclusions; but I always supposed it was Miss Havisham.”
“As you say, Pip,” returned Mr. Jaggers, turning his eyes upon me coolly, and taking a bite at his forefinger, “I am not at all responsible for that.”
“And yet it looked so like it, sir,” I pleaded with a downcast heart.
“Not a particle of evidence, Pip,” said Mr. Jaggers, shaking his head and gathering up his skirts. ‘Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.‘
“I have no more to say,” said I, with a sigh, after standing silent for a little while. “I have verified my information, and there’s an end.”
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