Chapters 56-57 Summary

Mr. Pickwick contemplates the changes in his life that have arisen from the marriages of his friends Winkle and Snodgrass. He also realizes that Sam and Mary are in love. Their marriage will result in Sam’s also leaving him, but he realizes that life must go on and he must not stand in the way. As he is thinking these things, Mr. Weller and Sam arrive. Mr. Weller has something to ask Mr. Pickwick but cannot bring himself to say it, so he has deputized his son to do so. Sam explains that his father has withdrawn his inheritance and would like to give it to Mr. Pickwick for safekeeping. This will also partially replace the losses in Mr. Pickwick’s fortune from paying the damages to Mrs. Bardell. After giving Mr. Pickwick a purse containing the money, Mr. Weller runs out of the room. Pickwick sends Sam to fetch him and tells Mr. Weller that he cannot accept the money. Mr. Weller, however, replies that he is afraid he will lose the money if it is left in his keeping. At this confession, Pickwick agrees to keep it until Mr. Weller needs it.

Pickwick sends Sam out of the room and tells Mr. Weller that Sam and Mary are in love and would most likely marry if they had Mr. Weller’s blessing. Mr. Weller is surprised, but he gives his consent because Mary is not a widow and, thus, not a danger. Mr. Pickwick tells Sam he is releasing him from his service so he can get married. Sam refuses, saying that cannot leave Pickwick and Mary would not want him to do so.

An old man dressed in snuff-colored clothing arrives at Arabella’s room and asks her if she indeed married Nathaniel Winkle without his father’s consent. Arabella begins to cry, at which point Nathaniel Winkle returns and exclaims at the appearance of his father talking to his wife. Mr. Winkle, Senior, having now met Arabella, gives his full blessing to his son.

Mr. Pickwick and Sam disappear during the day for the next several days, which perplexes their friends. Pickwick soon announces that he is dissolving the Pickwick Club and buying a house outside of London. He requests that Snodgrass and Emily be married there. They do so as soon as Pickwick moves in, with Isabella and Mr. Trundle attending even though Isabella is expecting a child. Mr. and Mrs. Winkle build a house not far away, and Mr. and Mrs. Snodgrass move to Dingley Dell. Mr. Tupman remains single and moves to Richmond. Sam and Mary marry after two years, and Pickwick hires Mary to be his housekeeper. It is not long before they have two boys. Mr. Pickwick is made the godfather of the children of all his acquaintances. He is much loved by those who have been associated with the illustrious Pickwick Club.