At The Three Jolly Bargemen by Harry Furniss. 1910. 4.2 x 6.5 inches (9.0 cm by 13.7 cm), partially framed. Dickens's Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Library Edition, facing p. 128 in Chapter XVIII. Original caption: When Mr. Wopsle ended the reading I became aware of a strange gentleman leaning over the back of the settle opposite me, looking on; he stood in a bullying interrogative manner, and he threw his forefinger at Mr. Wopsle. — p. 126.

Passage Illustrated: Introducing Mr. Jaggers, Criminal Attorney

John Maclenan's thumbnail in Harper's Weekly 5 (9 February 1861) focuses on the well-dressed, belligerent stranger in the uncaptioned vignette Saturday Night at The Three Jolly Bargemen.

Then, and not sooner, I became aware of a strange gentleman leaning over the back of the settle opposite me, looking on. There was an expression of contempt on his face, and he it the side of a great forefinger as he watched the group of faces.

“Well!” said the stranger to Mr. Wopsle, when the reading was done, “you have settled it all to your own satisfaction, I have no doubt?”

Everybody started and looked up, as if it were the murderer. He looked at everybody coldly and sarcastically.“Guilty, of course?” said he. “Out with it. Come!”

“Sir,” returned Mr. Wopsle, “without having the honour of your acquaintance, I do say Guilty.” Upon this we all took courage to unite in a confirmatory murmur.

“I know you do,” said the stranger; “I knew you would. I told you so. But now I’ll ask you a question. Do you know, or do you not know, that the law of England supposes every man to be innocent, until he is proved — proved — to be guilty?”

“Sir,” Mr. Wopsle began to reply, “as an Englishman myself, I —”

“Come!” said the stranger, biting his forefinger at him. “Don’t evade the question. Either you know it, or you don’t know it. Which is it to be?”He stood with his head on one side and himself on one side, in a bullying, interrogative manner, and he threw his forefinger at Mr. Wopsle, — as it were to mark him out — before biting it again.

“Now!” said he. “Do you know it, or don’t you know it?”

“Certainly I know it,” replied Mr. Wopsle.

“Certainly you know it. Then why didn’t you say so at first? Now, I’ll ask you another question,” — taking possession of Mr. Wopsle, as if he had a right to him, — “do you know that none of these witnesses have yet been cross-examined?”

Mr. Wopsle was beginning, “I can only say —” when the stranger stopped him.“What? You won’t answer the question, yes or no? Now, I’ll try you again.” Throwing his finger at him again. “Attend to me. Are you aware, or are you not aware, that none of these witnesses have yet been cross-examined? Come, I only want one word from you. Yes, or no?” [Chapter XVIII, 126-127]

Commentary: An Unsettling Visitor attacks Wopsle for his Presumption

Pip, still very young, is so small that he seems lost on settle, sitting beside the phlegmatic, pipe-smoking Joe. Already, Jaggers has begun to chastise Wopsle for his presuming to arrive at a conclusion about the inquest and jumping to judgment when none of the witnesses have been cross-examined. On the settle opposite are a pair of unidentified working class village "characters," the class to which Pip and Joe belong. But Jaggers instinctively addresses himself their social superiors, the pair of bourgeoisie in professional garb: the village clerk and aspiring actor, Mr. Wopsle, who is holding the newspaper from which he has been reading the account of Coroner's inquest (right), and the other (unidentified) village worthy, possibly Mr. Hubble (centre), Pumblechook's crony. However, all eyes are turned left, towards the gesticulating stranger who has casually draped himself over the back of the settle, Jaggers of the accusatory forefinger. For the sake of setting the scene at The Three Jolly Bargemen convincingly, Furniss has improvised to establish a suitable audience for the London criminal attorney who is about to deliver the momentous news of Pip's "Great Expectations."

Relevant Illustrations of Jaggers from Other Editions (1867-1910)

Left: Charles Green's introduction of the criminal attorney in a characteristic pose: He bit the side of a great forefinger, etc. (1898). Centre: A. A. Dixon in the Collins Pocket Edition focuses on the expressions of surprise on the faces of Joe and Pip in "He has Great Expectations" (1905).

Left: Sol Eytinge, Jr.'s portrait of the secretive criminal attorney, Jaggers in the Diamond Edition (1867). Centre: F. W. Pailthorpe captures Jaggers' verbal combativeness in A Stranger at The Jolly Bargemen (1885). Right: Brock's version of Jaggers' imparting his momentous news to Joe and Pip: "And the communication I have got to make is, that he has Great Expectations" (1901).

Related Material

Other Artists’ Illustrations for Dickens's Great Expectations

Scanned image, colour correction, sizing, caption, and commentary by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose, as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image, and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Illustrated by John McLenan. [The First American Edition]. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization, Vols. IV: 740 through V: 495 (24 November 1860-3 August 1861).

______. ("Boz."). Great Expectations. With thirty-four illustrations from original designs by John McLenan. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson (by agreement with Harper & Bros., New York), 1861.

______. Great Expectations. Illustrated by Marcus Stone. The Illustrated Library Edition. London: Chapman and Hall, 1862. Rpt. in The Nonesuch Dickens, Great Expectations and Hard Times. London: Nonesuch, 1937; Overlook and Worth Presses, 2005.

______. A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Illustrated by Sol Eytinge, Jr. The Diamond Edition. 16 vols. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867.

______. Great Expectations. Volume 6 of the Household Edition. Illustrated by F. A. Fraser. London: Chapman and Hall, 1876.

______. Great Expectations. The Gadshill Edition. Illustrated by Charles Green. London: Chapman and Hall, 1898.

______. Great Expectations. The Grande Luxe Edition, ed. Richard Garnett. Illustrated by Clayton J. Clarke ('Kyd'). London: Merrill and Baker, 1900.

______. Great Expectations. Illustrated by H. M. Brock. Imperial Edition. 16 vols. London: Gresham Publishing Company [34 Southampton Street, The Strand, London], 1901-3.

______. Great Expectations. "With 28 Original Plates by Harry Furniss." Volume 14 of the Charles Dickens Library Edition. London: Educational Book Co., 1910.

Paroissien, David. The Companion to "Great Expectations." Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2000.

Created 7 March 2004

Last updated 8 October 2021