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Summary Chapter 48



The next week, Pip runs into Mr. Jaggers, who invites him to dine with him. Pip is about to excuse himself when Jaggers mentions that Wemmick will be there.

Jaggers asks Wemmick if he gave Pip Miss Havisham’s note. Wemmick hands it to Pip. Jaggers tells Pip she wants to see him concerning business they had discussed at his last visit. Pip agrees to go down at once. Wemmick tells him he needn’t write an answer to it then.

Mr. Jaggers mentions how the Spider won the girl, referring to Drummle and Estella. It now remains to see which will is stronger in that marriage. He expects Drummle will either cringe or be abusive. He toasts Estella, hoping everything works out to her satisfaction.

Pip is struck by something familiar in Jaggers’ servant. Her hair, eyes, and hands remind him of Estella’s. He is certain the woman is Estella’s mother.

Pip and Wemmick leave together. Pip is glad to see Wemmick’s work personality dissolve.

Pip asks Wemmick how Jaggers tamed his housekeeper, but Wemmick doesn’t know. Pip asks her story, and Wemmick parts with what he knows about it.

The woman was acquitted of murder many years ago. Jaggers had been her lawyer. It was early in his career and a desperate case. She had murdered another woman due to jealousy. She had been implicated by the scratches on her hands. Jaggers won the case saying the wounds were caused by the child she had murdered to revenge herself against her husband. Since they weren’t trying her for her child’s murder, they had to acquit. She was tame when Jaggers made her his servant.

Pip asks the gender of her supposedly murdered child. Wemmicks says it was a girl. He tells Pip he has nothing to say to him about the other situation, but he did destroy the letter he received from Pip. 

Charles Dickens