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David returns to London, where he visits Traddles, who has recently married. Traddles is still poor, but he and his wife are very happy. At the inn, David encounters Mr. Chillip, his old family physician. Mr. Chillip says he is now living next door to Mr. and Miss Murdstone, who have destroyed Mr. Murdstone’s second wife and are as cruel and nasty as ever.
David returns to Miss Betsey’s, where Mr. Dick and Peggotty now live. David and his aunt talk through the night. He inquires whether Agnes has any lovers. Miss Betsey tells him that Agnes has many admirers but only one love—but she does not reveal the identity of Agnes’s love. The next day, David goes to visit Agnes. He tells her how much he reveres her, no matter what new ties she should choose to make in her life. Agnes seems troubled by his declarations of affection.
Mr. Wickfield has completely recovered his old sense of calm, and the house is just as it was when David and Agnes were children. The school that Agnes runs is successful, and peace, prosperity, and happiness have returned to the house. Mr. Wickfield briefly recounts the story of his sickness, his obsession with Agnes’s mother after she died, and his obsession with Agnes later. Mr. Wickfield is grateful to Agnes for helping him to recover.
David receives a letter from Mr. Creakle, who has heard of David’s fame. Now a magistrate, Mr. Creakle asks David to come to his prison to witness his new form of punishment, which he says is the perfect way to reform prisoners. At the prison, David and Traddles are told of two prisoners who prove just how well Mr. Creakle’s system works. The first of the prisoners is Uriah, who is serving a life term in prison for defrauding the Bank of England. Uriah tells David, Traddles, and the guards that he wishes everyone could go to jail to improve their lives. The second prisoner is Littimer, who attempted to rob someone but was apprehended by Miss Mowcher, who recognized him in the street and stopped his getaway.
Agnes and David remain friends. One day, when he can bear it no longer, David demands to know whom she loves more than anyone else. She sobs, and David realizes he is her true love. They are engaged and married within two weeks.
One day, while David is at home with Agnes and their three children, Mr. Peggotty visits. He brings word that Mr. Micawber is now a magistrate and that Little Em’ly is doing well. Martha is married to a farmer, and Mrs. Gummidge is well. Mr. Peggotty stays for a month and then goes back to Australia. They never see him again.
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