Merrick recites the 23rd Psalm, to the astonishment of Treves and the hospital administrator. Treves asks, "Why didn't you tell me you could read?" Merrick replies, "I was afraid to....I'm sorry." Did he need to apologize? Why didn't he ask, "Why did you, Treves, assume that I couldn't?"
For one thing, he truly is a gentleman--taking the weaker part, even though he has the stronger moral position.