Chapters 4-5 Summary

Mr. Pecksniff stays away from Martin Chuzzlewit for three days, but then he checks on him frequently, looking in at the keyhole. At one such time, he is surprised to be dragged outside by a person dressed strangely in a “genteel-shabby” fashion. The man's name is Montague Tigg, and he is functioning as a representative for Chevy Slyme, who is married to Martin Chuzzlewit’s niece. He informs Mr. Pecksniff that several members of the Chuzzlewit family will be arriving, or even now have arrived, in the village, having ascertained Martin’s whereabouts.

The Chuzzlewit relatives assemble at the Pecksniff home. Among them are Mr. Chuzzlewit’s niece, Mrs. Spottletoe, and her husband as well as Anthony Chuzzlewit and his son, Jonas. They all are concerned about the presence of Mary Graham, who is no relation to the family but has the most immediate contact with Mr. Chuzzlewit. Pecksniff is most concerned that the old man be interested in the welfare of Chuzzlewit's grandson, also named Martin. The various Chuzzlewit family members cannot agree on a course of action, especially one proposed by Pecksniff, whom they presume is claiming to be the head of the Chuzzlewit family, and one by one, they depart with the news that the elder Martin Chuzzlewit and Mary Graham have left the Blue Dragon.

Tom Pinch takes the horse and carriage to Salisbury to pick up Mr. Pecksniff’s new architecture student. He is greeted amiably by all whom he passes. At Salisbury, Pinch looks at all the shops, buys a knife that turns out to be dull, and regrets not being able to afford a watch with a repeater. Going to the inn, he meets the young Martin Chuzzlewit, who is Mr. Pecksniff’s new student. The pair hit it off immediately, both having similar personalities. On the road back, Pinch tells Martin of his love of playing the organ in the local church. One time, a lovely woman came in to listen, and Pinch was instantly captivated by her. Back at the Pecksniff home, Mr. Pecksniff and the girls express surprise at Martin’s arriving so early. Mr. Pecksniff shows him the house and his room, which he will share with Pinch. Despite being caught unawares, Pecksniff seems to have already arranged for a sumptuous banquet. Charity and Mercy are quite taken with young Martin. Martin and Pinch retire to their room, accompanied by Pecksniff, who warns Martin of Pinch’s occasional forgetfulness concerning his station. The family goes to sleep, each having pleasant dreams.