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Summary Chapter 18

CHAPTER 18

Anthony Chuzzlewit complains how cold it is. Jonas chides him on wasting money and winding up wanting. Anthony says he doesn’t have enough years left to worry about becoming destitute and wishes he had. Jonas is angry that his father would rather live at the risk of depleting the family fortunes. Jonas complains how his father would live to a hundred if he could, and how Anthony keeps him from his rights.

Chuffey comforts Anthony, who is feeling his age. Jonas accuses Chuffey of being after Anthony’s money. His father has been paying more attention to Chuffey lately. He tells Chuffey there is no need to dote on Anthony, for the man has already provided for him in his will.

Mr. Pecksniff startles Jonas. Pecksniff, at Jonas’ inquiry, says he is here on unexpected business. Jonas excuses himself. When Pecksniff is alone with Anthony, he tells Anthony that he was surprised but pleased by his letter. He is glad that Anthony, who had insulted him prior, is taking him into his confidence—even above his own son.

Anthony tells Pecksniff that Jonas really likes Charity. He is glad that he won’t be alive to see their union, for he doesn’t doubt Charity will put Jonas in debt. Pecksniff is a little frightened at Anthony’s agitation, particularly when he roars how unfair it is that Chuffey is still alive and yet he is dying.

Anthony tells Pecksniff that Charity will have only a small hold over Anthony. If Pecksniff tightens the grip, Anthony will flee. Anthony should be bound only when he is in the mood.

Jonas returns, and Pecksniff comments that Anthony is fading. Jonas doesn’t believe it and asks about Pecksniff’s daughters, particularly Charity. Pecksniff comments both are well. Jonas notices that Pecksniff favors Charity.

They hear an odd noise, and then Chuffey screams. They turn to see Anthony on the floor, gasping for breath. They fetch a surgeon. Anthony is upset. He didn’t really want his father to die. He is worried people will blame him for it. He asks Pecksniff to stay.

The men stay up with Anthony. Chuffey sits at the bedside. The next morning, while they are taking breakfast, they are horrified when Anthony walks into the room. They put him into his chair by the window, but he dies.

Charles Dickens