Dickens Update #16; Book 2: Issue 13

In Chapter VIII, The Dowager Mrs. Gowan is Reminded That it Never Does, sees Dickens taking us back to see how Doyce and Clennam are progressing (very well it seems) and to remind us that success is not a goal of the barnacles because “under the affliction of a great amount of earnestness, there might, in an exceeding short space of time, be not a single Barnacle left sticking to a post.” I love this image of civil servants sticking to posts!  Arthur has decided to support Doyce’s invention again with the Circumlocution Office (you may recall he met Doyce there) thus opening an opportunity for Dickens to attack the government practices again.

Arthur’s reflections upon himself: “Everything about him tended to confirm him in the custom of looking on himself as an elderly man” who was done with love and/or passion.

Mrs. Gowan visits the Meagles one Saturday while Arthur is there and informs Mr. Meagles that a baby is expected by Henry and Minnie/Pet and there follows an interesting echange between Mrs. Gowan and Mr. Meagles who says “Don’t pity Henry, and I won’t pity Pet.” The continued conversation would be amusing on screen but was most disturbing for Mr. Meagles since Mrs. Gowan was incapable of the truth and wished to extricate herself from further associaion with the Meagles (her son might have been an embarrassment to her were she capable of being embarrassed.

In Chapter IX, Appearance and Disappearance, the Meagles tell Arthur they intend to go and find/see Pet in Italy. Mr. M says he has to clear more debt for Henry. Arthur takes care of the cottage while they are away and stays there on weekends. Mrs. Tickit tells him on one visit that she saw Tattycoram at the gate. Later Arthur sees Tattycoram in London and follows her and eventually she and Miss Wade go into Mr. Casby’s house (Flora’s father and Pancks’ employer). Arthur goes in and learns from Pancks that Casby doles out money to Miss Wade but Pancks knows nothing more.

In Chapter X, The Dreams of Mrs. Flintwinch Thicken, Arthur goes to visit his mother and in the street he encounters the man he saw with Tattycoram and Miss Wade in the street. It turns out this man is also visiting Arthur’s mother. The man refers to himself as Blandois! So the mystery thickens as do Mrs. Flintwinch’s dreams. Mrs. Clennam dismisses Arthur and when he asks Affery (Mrs. Flintwinch) what is going on , she replies “Don’t ask me anything, Arthur. I’ve been in a dream for ever so long. Go away!” No help there for reader or Arthur!

In Chapter XI, A Letter from Little Dorrit, Amy again reports on Mrs. Gowan’s lodgings in the artists’ colony in Via Gregoriana and on the birth of a son and on the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Meagles in Rome. She also reports on Fanny’s lover and expresses great homesickness and sends regards to Pancks. Amy wins us over again..never forgets those who have been good to her.

So ends Issue 13.