Mr. Dorrit doesn’t favor Arthur Clennam. He finds the man lacking in gentlemanly attributes. However, he greets him with politeness and attention as always.
Mr. Chivery approaches Mr. Clennam one day and asks if he could drop into his wife’s tobacco shop. She wishes to discuss Amy Dorrit with him. Arthur agrees.
When he arrives, Mrs. Chivery shows him a very despondent John. She tells Arthur that her son is pining away for Amy Dorrit. She blames the family, certain that Amy herself loves her son. The brother and sister of Little Dorrit are too snobbish. The father wants Amy all to himself.
Arthur has some jealousy himself when he hears this. However, he promises to do anything that will add to the happiness of Amy Dorrit--he wants to make sure that Amy does love John Chivery. Mrs. Chivery doesn’t think there is any doubt about this and seems less satisfied. However, they part amiably.
Arthur takes the Iron Bridge because th London Bridge is too congested with people. He sees Amy Dorrit walking. She tells him that she feels guilty for having the freedom to leave the prison when her father cannot. Arthur tells her that she shouldn’t, for she brings a lot of comfort to her father.
Maggy arrives. Little Dorrit asks why she hasn’t been to see her father. Maggy informs her that she has, and that both Mr. Dorrit and Tip have sent her on an errand to the same address to deliver their letters. As it turns out, the letters are for Arthur Clennam—but Amy Dorrit was never to know of them.
Mr. Dorrit’s letter is asking for money. Tip is asking for the same thing. Arthur complies with Mr. Dorrit’s request but sends a refusal to Tip. He gives Maggy a shilling and sends her back with his replies. He rejoins Amy, who seems quite distress.
Little Dorrit confides that she is afraid to leave her family because they corrupt other people, even innocents like Maggy. They don’t mean to.
She wishes to never to leave the Marshalsea. There, she feels like she can do some good.