David Copperfield: Chapter 22 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 22: Some Old Scenes, and Some New People

      David and Steerforth stayed at Yarmouth for about a fortnight. While David slept a Barkis's House Steerforth had the evening all to himself at the inn. At times the two met at a late dinner. David had no idea how to employ his time in the intervening gap. But very soon he had become very popular there.

      While at Yarmouth Steerforth had brought a boat and renamed it 'Little Emily'. As the two walked homewards they met Ham and Emily walking hand in hand followed at a distance by a young woman. The woman looked like a beggar. They also met Littimer who told Steerforth that Miss Mowcher was in town and wanted to see him.

      Miss Mowcher was a little dwarf of forty or forty-five years of age. She had a large head and face, a pair of roguish grey eyes and arms that were very small. She was a fashionable hair dresser. She gossiped with Steerforth about her numerous clients. She remarked during her conversation that she had not seen a single pretty woman in Yarmouth. Steerforth contradicted her by saying that he could show her one.

      David explained that Steerforth was referring to Emily who was both pretty and virtuous and was engaged to a worthy man. Steerforth gave further details about her and said that Emily might do better for herself and was destined to be a lady. Miss Mowcher very cryptically said that 'E' stood for Emily, enticed, engaged, elopement.

      When David returned to Barkis's house he saw Ham walking up and down, outside. Ham told him that Emily was inside with a young woman called Martha Endell, a woman whom she knew once but ought to know no more. After waiting for a while Ham, and David were asked to come in. They saw Martha there. David at once recognized her to be the girl who had followed Ham and Emily. Martha was crying. She had been a school mate of Emily. She wanted to go to London and try her luck but she had no money to make the journey. So Emily gave her some money, after which Martha left. But Emily remained very sad.

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