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Summary Chapter 51

Quilp goes to visit Sampson Brass, but nobody is home. Swiveller has posted a note that Brass will return in one hour. Quilp knocks to summon the servant, who asks him to leave a card or message. Quilp writes a note, telling the girl to give it to her master as soon as he returns.

Curious about the servant girl, he asks if she is mistreated. She nods rigorously. He asks her where she comes from and what her name is. She says she doesn’t know where she comes from, and she doesn’t have a name—the mistress calls her “the little devil.” Quilp hides his laughter as he hands her the note, but gives into it once outside.

His note has invited Sampson and Sally Brass to tea at a summerhouse. Brass has a cold and is uncomfortable in the damp summerhouse, but he doesn’t reveal this. Sally tolerates the place because she takes a grim pleasure in her brother’s obvious misery. Tom Scott watches the scene, laughing at them.

Quilp tells them that he doesn’t like Kit. They both mention that they have the same sentiment. Quilp goes on to list his objections about Kit—he is honest, a prowling hound and a spy, a hypocrite, he insults Quilp, and stands between what Quilp wants. He has a grudge against Kit. He asks them to put Kit out of his way. They agree and depart.

Brass, who is worse, needs to be supported by his sister as they return home. Quilp returns to the counting house.

Charles Dickens