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Summary Chapter 59


Ralph has become anxious and haggard. He jumps at little sounds. He hasn’t eaten his breakfast, and it is past the time he normally goes to work. He hasn’t been able to sleep. When he does sleep, he dreams about people plotting his downfall and winning.

He is surprised that Noggs hasn’t come yet. He wishes the man would do something to get himself sent to prison. Though he doesn’t know the circumstances of how he has been betrayed, he knows that Noggs is a traitor.

He sends his servant to inquire after Noggs. She comes back and informs him that Noggs didn’t return home last night. She tells him there is a gentleman who wishes to speak with him. The visitor is Charles Cheeryble. Though he doesn’t want to see this man, Ralph is restored to his former self.

Charles says he didn’t come there because he wanted to, but he is on a mission of mercy. Ralph scorns him, saying he shows no mercy and expects none. Charles tells Ralph that when he finds his business difficult to pursue, to come to the Cheerybles. They will explain everything. He needs to come soon, though, before it is too late. Charles leaves.

Ralph dismisses Charles as a madman, but he becomes more uneasy. He remembers Nicholas’ warning and imagines many unpleasant scenarios. He goes to the Snawleys.

The wife refuses to give him admittance. She tells him she knows about his scheme and had warned her husband that it would bring about his downfall. She refuses to get her husband.

He leaves to go to the inn where Squeers is staying. He learns that Squeers has been gone for ten days, though he left his bill and luggage behind. He goes to the other place Squeers had been staying, but he also finds that Squeers is not there. Making inquiries, he learns that Squeers and an old woman were escorted out by two men. He assumes they have been arrested.

He goes to Gride’s house, who would know if this is the case. Gride doesn’t answer the door and tells Ralph to go away. He tells him it isn’t safe.

Ralph goes to the Cheerybles. He demands what is going on. He accuses them of malice and slander, and he act likes the injured party.

The Cheerybles call Noggs in. Ralph tells Noggs that he would sell his soul for a drink. Noggs says that Ralph made him what he was. He worked for Ralph because he was poor. He served him faithfully for years despite the bad treatment. Ralph had ruined him. He accuses Ralph of manipulating Squeers, Mr. Bray, and Artuhur Gride to commit evil acts. He reveals how he overheard Ralph’s schemes. Noggs wanted to set things right. He wanted to have this moment where he would confront Ralph.

Ralph asks for proof. Charles tells him that Snawley confessed. He confessed that Smike was not his son. He fingered Ralph and Squeers as the culprits behind the plot.

Noggs had discovered by accident where Squeers’ new lodgings were and found him in communication with Mrs. Silderskew. The Cheerybles went to Gride, who refused to give evidence against Silderskew or help in her capture. Believing the papers had something to do with Madeline, they decided to take Silderskew and Squeers into custody. They used this to put pressure on Snawley into confessing and implicating Ralph.

The Cheerybles, because Ralph is still a relation of the Nicklebys, enourage him to retire and leave London to escape his apprehension. In time, they hope he will amend his ways.

Ralph refuses to flee. He knows their schemes and will fight back. 

Charles Dickens