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Summary Chapter 13

Arthur had loved Flora Casby, the daughter of Christopher Casby. Mr. Casby was a landlord. Arthur becomes interested in his past associates once Mr. Casby’s name is brought up.

The Father of the Marshalsea’s case is hopeless. He decides to renew his acquaintance with Mr. Casby in hopes of helping Little Dorrit.

The Casby house is as he remembers it, as is Mr. Casby. His nickname, given to him even when he was very young, is Patriarch. Sculptors and painters want him to model for them.

Mr. Casby doesn’t seemed that enthused to see Arthur when he comes there to pay his respects until he recognizes him. They make small talk. Mr. Casby mentions that there was a problem between the Casbys and Clennams, which was over Arthur. Without going into further detail, he assures Arthur the matter has been resolved.

Arthur brings up Little Dorrit, and how Mr. Casby had recommended her to his mother. The other man confirms this but doesn’t elaborate. He mentions that his daughter is now a widow and will be glad to see Arthur. The father leaves to fetch her.

Arthur is introduced to Flora, who has become less attractive to his eyes. She has lost some of her looks, and she is also rather silly. Mr. Casby leaves to greet a gentleman who has called on him. Arthur wishes to take his leave too, but Flora wants him to stay.

Flora explains rapidly how their parents had forced their separation, and how she had married Mr. Finching. Arthur assures her it was for the best—they were too young.

Mr. Casby invites Arthur to dinner. Mr. Pancks—the gentleman who had called on Mr. Casby—dines with them. Mr. Casby is having problems getting his rents from the Bleeding Heart Yard district. Arthur comments on the poverty there. Pancks replies that people say they are poor when they are not, and they say they are rich when they are not. A landlord can become poor if he can’t collect his rents.

Flora introduces her husband’s aunt, who is mentally off-balanced. Flora inherited her husband’s aunt when he died, as part of his will. When the aunt insults Mr. Pancks, Flora escorts her out of the room.

Arthur departs, saying he must visit his mother. Pancks accompanies him until he reaches the street that is his destination. Mr. Pancks is a man who is totally obsessed with business and money. He has no sympathy for the poor.

Arthur comes across a litter bearing a man to the hospital who was hit by the postal coach. One of the bearers complains how fast they go on the streets.

The injured man is a foreigner, and Arthur is able to translate his request for water. The man tells Arthur he is from Marseilles. Arthur goes to the hospital with him. The man has a compound fracture but will live.

Arthur goes home. He reflects that his upbringing had given him the oopposite values it had taught. He wound up being compassionate and with a sense of honor. However, he has never been happy and always disappointed in life.

Charles Dickens