I have recently started playing Nethack (ie. an hour ago) and I know just about nothing more than Elbereth and commands. I have looked everywhere for the command to go down stairs to the next level but all I find is
> and when I press that I am told
There is a staircase down here.
This is not much help. It's not that I can't find the stairways, (I know about secret passages), I just can't get down them!