Why did Mr. Jaggers hestitate in confirming Pip's suspicion on Estella's past in "Great Expectations"?Chapter 50

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Mr. Jaggers hesitates in confirming Pip's suspicions about Estalla's past because he believes that none of the parties involved would benefit if their secret were to be told.

Pip believes that Magwitch is Estella's father.  He has learned that the convict once knew a passionate woman who was accused of murdering another woman out of jealousy.  On the night of the murder, the accused, with whom Magwitch had a daughter whom he loved dearly, told Magwitch that she was going to kill the child, then she vanished.  When she was later apprehended, Magwitch, who seemed "to have felt pity for her and forebearance towards her", kept himself "out of the way of the trial" so that he would not have to testify against her.  The mother did not end up killing the child, but, unbeknownst to Magwitch, found a rich lady, Miss Havisham, to adopt and raise her.

Jaggers asks Pip for whose sake he would reveal the secret.  He says that the father, Magwitch "would not be much the better for the mother" after all these years, and that if the mother were the kind of person who would have done such horrible things in her past, then "she would be safer where she (is)", unknown to her daughter and former lover.  As for Estella, who is now married and well-settled, "to establish her parentage for the information of her husband, and to drag her back to disgrace after an escape of twenty years" would be pointless (Chapter 51). 

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Great Expectations

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