Study Guide

Bleak House Chapter 61

By Charles Dickens

Chapter 61

A Discovery

  • (Esther keeps on going.)
  • Esther goes to talk to Skimpole, hoping to get him to stop hanging out with Richard.
  • He's all smiles, and as always doing his I-don't-understand-this-thing-you-humans-call-money thing.
  • She asks him as nicely as possible to stay the heck away from Richard and Ada because they have no money.
  • To her surprise, Skimpole totally agrees. Why? Because when people run out of money, he's noticed that they suddenly start asking him to pay back his loans.
  • Esther then yells at him for betraying Jarndyce by selling out Jo to Bucket. Skimpole is all, "but money? what is it? I'm so na├»ve!" Esther doesn't know how to argue morality with him, so she leaves.
  • Then we get this awesome bit of news: this is the last time she'll ever see Skimpole in her life. Soon after this chat, Jarndyce found out that he still wouldn't leave Richard alone, so their friendship ended.
  • Then Skimpole wrote a tell-all autobiography where he called Jarndyce "the Incarnation of Selfishness" (61.41). Which, obviously, is ridiculous. Then five years later he died. So there. Take that, Skimpole.
  • More interestingly, this other thing happens when Esther walks back from Richard and Ada's house with Woodcourt one day.
  • He tells her that... he loves her! He's always loved her, and her face doesn't matter to him. He just loves, loves, loves her forever.
  • She is psyched! But oh, this is coming a little too late, since she's already engaged to Jarndyce. D'oh!
  • They decide to be friends forever, and after he leaves she cries and cries and cries.