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What exactly does this line by Dickens mean?

"'Yes, master, and I've never been in it much.' (I had come out of Kingston Jail last on a vagrancy committal. Not but what it might have been for something else; but it warn't.)"

Great Expectations, chapter 42, Magwitch to Pip and Herbert

I'm not sure about the meaning of the second sentence.

  • 'Not that it couldn't [equally well] have been for some other offence ...' – Edwin Ashworth Sep 25 '17 at 14:16
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Not but what is another way of saying Nevertheless.

Nevertheless

  • in spite of what has just been said

(MWD)

So, instead, the sentence could read:

"I had come out of Kingston Jail last on a vagrancy committal. Nevertheless it might have been for something else; but it warn't."

Which means that, despite what was just said, the speaker could've been in jail for something else, but wasn't.

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