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Summary Chapter 5


Tom Pinch happily drives to Salisbury to pick up the new pupil. He is well-known to the townsfolk, who greet him when he passes by. He sees a traveler on foot and recognizes Mark, a man who works at the Dragon. Mark says he is also going to Salisbury, and Pinch offers him a ride.

They talk about the benefits of marriage. Mark likes to do things that make him miserable or uncomfortable so that he can have the merit in being happy despite them. He is thinking about leaving the Dragon because it has failed to live up to his expectations of being a dull post. Pinch points out that Mark is often the source of the merriment. Pinch also thought there was a likelihood that Mark and Mrs. Lupin would get married. Mark says he never asked, but he doesn’t want to be the landlord of the Dragon.

He is hoping to find a new position in Salisbury. He hasn’t told Mrs. Lupin that he is leaving yet. He’s thinking of becoming a gravedigger. He also lists other jobs that are miserable that might appeal to him. Mark gets out when they arrive and says goodbye.

Pinch thinks Salisbury is a desperate, wild town. However, he still enjoys sightseeing at the outdoor market and various shops. His mind reminisces fondly of his upbringing in the Pecksniff household as he looks at books. He visits his friend, who is the organist’s assistant at the church, and helps him play. Then Tom is allowed to play the organ until the church closes.

Afterwards, he goes to dinner at the inn. A newcomer arrives, who comments on the cold weather. As they are both looking at the clock, they realize that they are expecting each other. The newcomer is the new pupil. They introduce themselves and are happy that they like each other. The newcomer, Martin Chuzzlewit the younger, is particularly glad—saying he doesn’t get along with everybody.

Mr. Pinch orders a punch at Martin’s request. Martin tells him that he is related to Mr. Pecksniff. His grandfather is Mr. Pecksniff’s cousin. Pinch recognizes his name in connection to the elderly gentleman who had been at the Dragon, but he remembers that Pecksniff ordered him not to discuss that with anyone other than him.

They leave the inn. They stop for another punch halfway. They discuss the Pecksniff family. Martin comments on the beauty of the church they pass, and Tom says he plays the organ there. He gets nothing for it, but it allowed him to see the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. She would come when nobody else was there to hear him play. He hasn’t seen her lately. He doesn’t know anything about her and never tried to find out in fear of scaring her away. He is glad if his music touched her. He asks Martin never to reveal this to anyone. Martin is about to give him some advice when they arrive at the Pecksniff household.

They are earlier than expected. Pecksniff embraces Martin and introduces him to his daughters. He is glad that Martin and Pinch get on well. He praises his friendship with Pinch. They give Martin a tour. He is going to share a room with Pinch.

They go downstairs to have a meal, which is more generous than usual. Martin gets on well with the girls. Pinch enjoys the meal and wine, which earns him a glare from Charity. Pecksniff escorts Martin to his room when they retire. He sends Pinch to get some candlesnuffers. He tells Martin he has never regretted his friendship with Pinch, but Martin will have to forgive Pinch’s coarseness. Martin says Pinch is a good man. Pecksniff concedes this, but says he isn’t a gifted pupil, and he sometimes forgets his position. However, he is confident that Martin can handle him. Everybody goes to bed and sleeps well.

Charles Dickens