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Summary Chapter 30


Mr. Pecksniff is very happy that he has successfully married one of his daughters off. Charity, though, interferes with his contentment by being resentful and rebellious. He asks her why their life is troubled. She tells him the reason is a very obvious one. Pecksniff becomes angry, saying he will allow no more of this to continue. Charity says she will not stop. She has been ill used, and she expects no better treatment from him—since he blessed her sister’s union with Jonas.

Pecksniff shakes her, threatening to do it again if she doesn’t stop. How can he help it that Jonas preferred her sister over her—and why would she want a man that didn’t want her? Charity minds more that he played with her emotions, and that her own father and sister supported him. Charity claims she isn’t a fool and won’t submit.

Pecksniff first asks her pardon, and then suggests they don’t discuss the matter at all. Charity asks him to place her in another home, like Mrs. Todgers’. Pecksniff finds the idea agreeable. Charity desires to leave because she suspects her father is planning to take a second wife, and she realizes the motivation behind it.

Elder Martin Chuzzlewit has started to fade in his senses and is becoming subdued. Pecksniff starts manipulating him to gain control of his money with apparent success. Mary is the one person who stands in his way, for he knows that Martin is very fond of her. He doubts very much that Martin has left her destitute. Pecksniff is considering marrying her, though Mary has repulsed his attempts. However, Pecksniff believes she will consent if Martin backs him. Pecksniff also considers it revenge against younger Martin Chuzzlewit for the insult he paid him.

Pecksniff tells elder Martin Chuzzlewit that Charity is going to London because she misses her sister. Pecksniff suggests that Martin come to live with him. He could use the company, and Martin would find his home more comfortable than the Dragon. The inn really isn’t a suitable place for someone like Mary. Martin Chuzzlewit agrees, saying he will pay his expenses. He does worry about Mary. By protecting her, he has left her with no protector save herself when she is gone.

Pecksniff later sees Mary on his walk. He offers to walk her home, but she tells him to release her arm. She finds him disagreeable. Pecksniff tells her he loves her. He tells her he is a widower with grown children. People speak well of him. He tells her that when Martin dies, they will be happy together. Mary refuses his proposal. She knows his true nature. She despises him. She assures him she will tell Martin all of this. She accuses him of manipulating Martin.

Pecksniff warns her that to upset the elder Martin Chuzzlewit may cause problems for the younger namesake. He does influence the elderly man. If she marries him, he can use that influence to help the younger grandson.

When he arrives home, Charity tells him she will leave tomorrow. Charity assures Tom Pinch that they will part as friends. Tom is sorry to see her go. He misses her sister, and now she is leaving.

Charles Dickens