'Don't go, Steerforth, if you please. These are two Yarmouth boatmen—very kind, good people—who are relations of my nurse, and have come from Gravesend to see me.'

Category: Class | Type: Discussion | Title: David Copperfield (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: My 'First Half' at Salem House

Steerforth adapts readily to his surroundings in order to feed his hunger for adulation. His snobbery remains invisible. He is able to appear supremely natural with the lower classes, although moments before he has condescended viciously to Mr. Mell. Steerforth's contempt runs so deep that it does not disturb the surface.  

David is aware of the anomaly that Daniel, Ham, and Steerforth are gathered in the same room and is uneasy. He first tells Steerforth that they are "boatmen" and then, as if this required qualifcation, adds that they are "very kind, good people."

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