"Yes, Mrs. Pipchin, it is," replies Cook, advancing. "And what then, pray?" — Fred Barnard's fifty-eighth illustration for Dickens's Dombey and Son, Household Edition (1877), half-page, p. 424 (scene from chap. lix). Wood engraving by the Dalziels, 3 ⅝ x 5 ⅜ inches (9.3 by 13.7 cm), framed. Running head: "Another Kitchen Council," 423. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Passage Illustrated: Mrs. Pipchin discharges Dombey's servants

The council downstairs are in full conclave all this time, and, having nothing to do, perform perfect feats of eating. At length, they are one day summoned in a body to Mrs. Pipchin’s room, and thus addressed by the fair Peruvian:

"Your master’s in difficulties," says Mrs Pipchin, tartly. "You know that, I suppose?"

Mr. Towlinson, as spokesman, admits a general knowledge of the fact.

"And you’re all on the look-out for yourselves, I warrant you," says Mrs Pipchin, shaking her head at them.

A shrill voice from the rear exclaims, "No more than yourself!"

"That’s your opinion, Mrs Impudence, is it?" says the ireful Pipchin, looking with a fiery eye over the intermediate heads.

"Yes, Mrs Pipchin, it is," replies Cook, advancing. "And what then, pray?"

"Why, then you may go as soon as you like," says Mrs Pipchin. "The sooner the better; and I hope I shall never see your face again."

With this the doughty Pipchin produces a canvas bag; and tells her wages out to that day, and a month beyond it; and clutches the money tight, until a receipt for the same is duly signed, to the last upstroke; when she grudgingly lets it go. This form of proceeding Mrs. Pipchin repeats with every member of the household, until all are paid. [Chapter 59, "Retribution," 423]

Related Material including Other Illustrated Editions of Dombey and Son

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Phiz. (Hablot K. Browne). London: Chapman and Hall, 1848.

_______. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz). 8 coloured plates. London and Edinburgh: Caxton and Ballantyne, Hanson, 1910.

_______. Dombey and Son. Illustrated by Fred Barnard [62 composite wood-block engravings]. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Household Edition. 22 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1877. XV.

"Dombey and Son — Sixty-two Illustrations by Fred Barnard." Scenes and Characters from the Works of Charles Dickens, Being Eight Hundred and Sixty-six Drawings by Fred Barnard, Gordon Thomson, Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz), J. McL. Ralston, J. Mahoney, H. French, Charles Green, E. G. Dalziel, A. B. Frost, F. A. Fraser, and Sir Luke Fildes. London: Chapman and Hall, 1907.

Created 20 January 2020