Chapters 64-67 Summary
Mr. Jarndyce gives Esther two hundred pounds to prepare for their wedding. He then leaves for Yorkshire in the north of England on business, but he soon writes to Esther and asks her to join him. At her arrival, Mr. Jarndyce tells her that he has wished to express his gratitude to and admiration for Mr. Woodcourt by buying him a home. There has been no adequate housekeeper to prepare the house, so Mr. Jarndyce sent for Esther. When he takes her to the house, it is revealed that he has named it Bleak House—and Esther is to be its mistress. He tells her that, though he always intended to marry her since she was made his ward, he knows she is really in love with Woodcourt. He now returns to his place as her guardian and father figure. Esther feels grateful for his kindness and prepares to marry Woodcourt the following month. On their return to the south of England, Mr. Guppy comes, along with his mother and Mr. Weevle (whose real name is revealed to be Mr. Jobling), to once again propose marriage to Esther. On Esther’s behalf, Mr. Jarndyce rejects his proposal.
When Jarndyce and Jarndyce comes up again before Chancery, this time with the new will, the case ends with Richard and Ada as the beneficiaries. However, the entire estate has been consumed in court costs. Woodcourt sends Esther home, to meet him later at Richard and Ada’s. When she arrives, she finds Richard prostrate on the sofa. He had attended court but was carried out with blood coming from his mouth. Mr. Jarndyce arrives, and he and Richard are reconciled. Richard admits his foolishness and apologizes to Ada for marrying her into a life of poverty. He dies, and Miss Flite arrives to tearfully announce that she has released all her birds, as she promised to do when Jarndyce and Jarndyce was solved.
At Chesney Wold, Sir Leicester struggles on despite the debilitation caused by the stroke. Lady Dedlock is entombed in a mausoleum on the grounds. George and Phil live on the grounds; George is Sir Leicester’s constant attendant. Volumnia also resides at Chesney Wold—one of the few relatives who now come. Much of the house is shut up; it has ceased to be the fashionable abode it once was.
Seven years pass. Ada gives birth to a boy, whom she names after his father, and returns to Bleak House with Mr. Jarndyce as her guardian. Charley grows up and marries the miller. Caddy Jellyby prospers; her daughter is revealed to be deaf and mute. Mrs. Jellyby is disenchanted with the Boorioboolans after the king tries to sell his people into slavery for rum. Esther and Mr. Woodcourt have two daughters. Mr. Woodcourt one evening catches Esther reflecting on her lost beauty. He tells her that she is more beautiful than ever, but Esther does not quite accept this.