Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 2, Part 7, Chapter 5

By Charles Dickens

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Book 2, Part 7, Chapter 5

Mercury Prompting

  • In this chapter, we learn a bit more about Mr. Fledgeby, who this book's narrator refers to as the meanest person who ever walked on two legs. Quite the endorsement, eh?
  • Mr. Lammle comes over for breakfast the day after he has introduced Fledgeby to Georgiana Podsnap. He asks Fledgeby what he thinks of Georgiana, and Fledgeby says that he has no interest in being Alfred Lammle's puppet. If he's going to meet a girl, it'll be on his terms.
  • From this point on, Fledgeby seems to enjoy having Alfred Lammle on his turf, since he is able to take charge of their conversation.
  • Fledgeby takes his rudeness a little too far, though, and it isn't long before Alfred is physically threatening him and forcing him to apologize. Things calm down between them and they agree to act like friends again. They agree that Fledgeby will pursue Miss Podsnap and the Lammles will do everything they can to push her toward him.
  • After his meeting with Lammle, Fledgeby heads over to a business called Pubsey and Co., which he actually owns. He knocks on the door and is let in by an old Jewish man named Mr. Riah. Fledgeby takes pleasure in bossing this man around because Fledgeby is a huge anti-Semite (he doesn't like Jewish people).
  • After talking some business, Fledgeby finds out Mr. Riah has guests upstairs and heads up to meet them. The guests are none other than Jenny Wren and Lizzie Hexam.
  • Fledgeby and Riah head back downstairs, where Fledgeby orders Riah never to identify him (Fledge) as the owner of Pubsey & Co. Fledgeby likes to be behind the scenes in his own businesses because he's super private and doesn't want people to know what he's up to.

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