David Copperfield: Chapter 46 - Critical Summary

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Chapter 46: Intelligence

      One evening while David was passing by Steerforth's house, the parlour maid came out and told him that Rosa Dartle wanted to speak to him. The meeting was not very cordial. Miss Dartle informed him that Emily had deserted Steerforth as well, If she had not been found as yet, then she must be dead. After that Miss Dartle asked Littimer to narrate the full story. Littimer told them that he had accompanied his master and Emily to different places like France. Switzerland, Italy, etc. Emily had learned to speak several languages. She was admired wherever they went. But after a couple of days, her spirit gave way and her moods became unpredictable. Mr. James Steerforth, his master started getting restless himself and one day he finally left Emily. Before leaving, Steerforth advised Littimer to propose to Emily. Since her connections were low, Littimer was as good as any young man Emily could aspire to marry. When Emily came to hear of this from Littimer she was furious and ran away at night. Littimer's story also revealed, that Emily's letter from home was intercepted, and it never reached her.

      Later on, the same evening David met Mrs. Steerforth as well as Mr. Peggotty. He communicated the details regarding Emily to Mr. Peggotty and suggested that Martha should be requested to help them in their search. So they went out to contact Martha.

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