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Summary Chapter 52


The next morning, Mark Tapely comes to elder Martin Chuzzlewit. He tells Elder Martin that he gave his message to his grandson. He told young Martin what he knew. He remarks that he believes that both Martins were deceived in each other. He tells the grandfather that young Martin is an altered man. He had been a good man before, but his better qualities were hidden. He doesn’t believe either gave the other a chance. He also thinks elder Martin created some of the younger Martin’s faults.

Elder Martin asks him to help him dress, get breakfast, and to admit visitors. Soon the guests arrive: John Westlock, Tom and Ruth Pinch, young Martin, Mary, Mrs. Lupin, and finally Mr. Pecksniff. Mr. Pecksniff reproaches the group as vermin swarming around Mr. Chuzzlewit in his unprotected state. He orders them to leave. He asks Old Martin why he left. As he comes to take his hand, elder Martin hits him with a cane. Martin orders him to be taken away, for he doesn’t think he can restrain himself.

Elder Martin asks his grandson why he would leave him for Pecksniff. He blames himself. He admits his own selfishness. He always looked for the quality in others and kept them from a distance. He doubted his own grandson. Young Martin says he wasn’t without reason.

Elder Martin accuses Pecksniff of seeking his grandson, hoping to give him to one of his daughters or get into Old Martin’s good graces. He had tested Pecksniff, and Pecksniff had failed. When he asked him to throw Martin from the house, he said a finer person would have refused and argued with him. He was going to reward Pecksniff for any good deed he committed, but he hasn’t done one. Pecksniff points out that he was only following Chuzzlewit’s orders. Chuzzlewit scorns Pecksniff’s servile attitude.

Old Martin had hired Montague Tigg to keep an eye on his grandson. The grandfather was the one that sent young Martin the bank note. He had hoped his grandson would come back to him. However, he wouldn’t reconcile with his grandson first. Young Martin had to submit to him first, and so he lost him. He blames himself for Tigg’s death. He gave a self-destructive man the means to prey on others.

He had always hoped that Martin and Mary would fall in love. However, he began to suspect them. After the fight, he had made Martin his heir and was going to approve the marriage—but Pecksniff’s arrival made him suspicious again. He burnt the will. He tested Mary.

He disliked Tom Pinch at first, but later he grew to love him. He learned that Westlock was Tom’s friend from Pecksniff. He hired a friend to go to Westlock’s to employ Tom.

He accuses Pecksniff of trying to prevent the reconciliation with his grandson. Mrs. Lupin helped keep an eye on Pecksniff to keep him from bothering Mary.

Young Martin asks Tom’s forgiveness. Tom blesses him and Mary. Mark announces that he and Mrs. Lupin are getting married and changing the name of the Blue Dragon to the Jolly Tapely.

Mr. Pecksniff appears to be a shrunken man. Old Martin points to the door. Pecksniff says that elder Martin partook of his hospitality. The old man points out he paid for it. Pecksniff claims he is glad that elder Martin has possession of his faculties. Pecksniff doesn’t mind being deceived, for it shows he has a trusting nature. He’d rather have a trusting nature than a doubting one. Every person in that room has deceived him. He has forgiven them. He doesn’t think it kind that elder Martin partook of his hospitality and treated him like he did, but let that be on the old man’s conscience. The conscience doesn’t forgive. An unfortunate speculation and treachery has left him bankrupt just as his daughter has become a widow, but he forgives Old Martin.

Mr. Sweedlepipe runs into Pecksniff as he is going out. Poll is overjoyed that Mr. Bailey is alive. Sweedlepipe plans to take him into business with him. Mrs. Gamp is with them. Old Martin advises her to take less liquor, to have less regard for herself, to have more humanity, more regard for her patients, and a bit more honesty.

Old Martin tells Tom he has some business to attend to with him. Westlock escorts Ruth home.

Charles Dickens