What does Herbert propose in Chapter 46 of "Great Expectations"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 46, Magwitch is comfortably settled at the house on Mill Pond Bank.  Pip, having been advised by Wemmick to stay away from the house as much as possible to avoid suspicion, comes to visit one time only, to make sure Magwitch is all right. Wemmick has suggested that plans be made to get Magwitch out of the country on a foreign packet as soon as possible, and when Pip explains the situation to Herbert, Herbert proposes that when "the right time comes", he and Pip should row Magwitch down the river to the chosen outgoing ship themselves.  Herbert observes that he and Pip are both good rowers, and if they take Magwitch themselves on their own rowboat, it would eliminate the need to hire a boat and boatsmen, which could possibly arouse unnecessary suspicion.  Herbert suggests that he and Pip should secure a boat and get in the habit of rowing up and down the river regularly; that way, it will seem to be something they do routinely, and soon no one will take notice.  Magwitch can watch them from his window, and signal if anything is amiss.  When the time comes and they take Magwitch along to his escape, no one will pay any mind, because they will be used to seeing Herbert and Pip rowing up and down the river.  As Herbert points out, "do it twenty or fifty times, and there is nothing special in your doing it the twenty-first or fifty-first" (Chapter 46).

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Great Expectations

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