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Summary Chapter 61

Physician is holding a party. Bar and Ferdinand Barnacle are present.

Physician is an attractive man. People act more natural around him because of his vocation. He sees them at their most vulnerable. Bar sees people at their most vulnerable too, but he doesn’t see the goodness in people that Physcian did.

Mr. Merdle is absent from the party, but he never contributed much to be missed.

Bar asks Mrs. Merdle if it is true her husband will become a titled personage. She claims she doesn’t know. She thought the Physician would know, but he is also ignorant.

After the party, Physician sets down to read. A man comes, asking him to accompany him to the warm baths. He hands the physician a scrap of paper found at the scene. It has the Physician’s name and address written on it.

Physician goes to the warm baths. He finds Mr. Merdle, who is dead from a self-inflicted slit throat. They find the pen knife he borrowed from Fanny. Physican also finds a note addressed to him in the pocketbook.

The police come. Physician is feeling sick. He goes to see Bar. He tells Bar he finally knows what Mr. Merdle’s complaint is. He shows Bar the note.

The men go to the Merdle house to see Mrs. Merdle. The Chief Butler is not surprised that this employer committed suicide. He wasn’t a gentleman. Physician tells Mrs. Merdle the news, who takes it well. Bar and Physician reflect how many poor people will be cursing Mr. Merdle’s name when they find out he has ruined them.

The news of Mr. Merdle’s death spreads quickly, though the cause is initially unknown. The truth comes out when Bar brings the matter to court. Yet, people blame it on Pressure. Mr. Merdle worked too hard.

Suddenly, his vast wealth becomes questionable. He had come from nothing and had sprung up quickly by no natural means. Nobody knew what he did. He had been a very ignorant person, gloomy, and never met anyone’s eye. He took ridiculous risks and was very extravagant.

Numerous people would be impoverished by him. His associates would be considered as accomplices. Mr. Merdle had been a forger and a thief.

Charles Dickens