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great expectations

Explain this quote from Great Expectations: "Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better."


I believe that this line means something along the lines of "talk is cheap."  The line is spoken in Chapter 18.

In that chapter, Jaggers, the lawyer, has come to buy out Pip's apprenticeship.  He is doing this on the behalf of Magwitch, but Jaggers can't say that.

When Jaggers first brings it up, Joe says that he would not take any money.  He says

"Lord forbid that I should want anything for not standing in Pip's way,"

Jaggers asks him again and Joe says again he doesn't want any money.  Then Jaggers says "your" line.

I think what it means is that it's alright to talk big (brag) but it is better to act on what you say and keep your word (holdfast).

Does that make sense to you?


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