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Mr. Dombey, the wealthy head of the shipping company Dombey & Son, is delighted with the birth of his son, an event he has long hoped for. He makes it clear that he already prefers his son to his six-year-old daughter, Florence. His sister, Louisa Chick and Louisa’s friend Miss Tox are also very pleased with this event. However, amidst the celebrations of the birth, Mrs. Dombey dies.