Mr. Jarndyce and his wards end their visit with Boythorn and return to Bleak House. Mademoiselle Hortense fails to persuade Esther to hire her. Richard wants to abandon law and enter the army (as an officer). Caddy Jellyby asks Esther to come to London and help her and Prince Turveydrop break the news of their engagement to Mrs. Jellyby and Turveydrop senior, both of whom consent. Mr. Jamdyce gives Charley Neckett to Esther as a helping maid.
This chapter creates artistic unity by returning to several characters, themes, and subplots already established. Failing to find new employment, Hortense acquires further reasons for being upset and unbalanced. The theme of Richard's restlessness and irresponsibility appears once more. The subplot of Caddy's adventures is continued, and Dickens again brings Charley Neckett into view.