Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Summary Chapter 55

Mr. Pickwick is in a pensive state as he worries about how best he can assist Mr. and Mrs. Winkle get on in life when the pretty maid Mary informs him that Sam Weller is downstairs. Apparently, Sam is with his father, and Sam’s father wishes to have a word with Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick agrees to see them both. As Mary goes to fetch them, Mr. Pickwick surmises that it’s about Sam getting married to Mary and resigns himself to the fact that he’ll be without Sam henceforth.

Presently, Mr. Pickwick greets Sam’s father and waits for what Mr. Weller has to say. But Mr. Weller hesitates. Indeed, Mr. Weller castigates his son for failing to do his part, i.e. help Mr. Weller make his case. Seeing that the matter will take longer than he anticipated, Mr. Pickwick urges Sam to have a seat.

By and by, with Sam’s help, Mr. Weller informs Mr. Pickwick that he—Mr. Weller—has amassed a small fortune exceeding 1,000 pounds, and since he will be now working full-time as a coachman and will have no use for the money, that he would like to entrust Mr. Pickwick with the money which money Mr. Pickwick may choose to hold in Mr. Weller’s safekeeping or, if he likes, to use it to defray the costs that were incurred during the incident vis-à-vis Mrs. Bardell. When Mr. Pickwick objects and informs Mr. Weller that he—Mr. Pickwick—is old and that he has more money saved up than he knows what to do with, Mr. Weller attempts to leave the money with Mr. Pickwick anyhow. Indeed, having placed his wallet before Mr. Pickwick, Mr. Weller flees the scene.

At Mr. Pickwick’s behest, Sam brings his father back. Presently, Mr. Pickwick makes a suggestion as to how that money can be spent. He would like to use it for Sam and Mary’s benefit, for their marriage and for assisting them in setting up a livelihood. Mr. Weller likes the idea, but Sam objects. Indeed, Sam assures Mr. Pickwick that as Mr. Pickwick is getting on his years, his need for Sam is greater than ever. Sam assures Mr. Pickwick that he and Mary have an understanding, and that if Mary truly loves Sam, she will wait for him. Mr. Pickwick is truly touched.

Meanwhile, an old gentleman in a snuff-colored suit demands to see Mrs. Winkle. The waiter is hesitant, but the old gentleman insists and gets his way. Upon beholding the old gentleman, Arabella is alarmed. She has a hunch as to who he is but only an hunch. By and by, she learns that the old gentleman is her husband’s father.

When Mr. Winkle arrives on the scene, the father castigates the son for having gotten impulsively married. The son should have first consulted the father. The son, however, is unapologetic. Though he regrets alienating his father, the son avows that he does not regret marrying Arabella at all. To the young couple’s joy, Mr. Winkle, senior concedes that he could not have a better daughter-in-law than Arabella. Mr. Pickwick arrives on the scene. He could not be happier for the young couple. Mr. Winkle, senior thanks Mr. Pickwick for all that he has done on behalf of his son and daughter-in-law.

Meanwhile, Sam, who has seen his father off, encounters fat boy Joe who is in the process of delivering a letter on behalf of Emily Wardle. When fat boy Joe has the gall to share his admiration of Mary’s attractiveness, Sam pulls fat boy Joe aside to remind him where Mary’s affection lies.

Charles Dickens