David Copperfield
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Quotes for
David Copperfield (Character)
from "David Copperfield" (1999)

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David Copperfield (1935)
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: What have you got against Mr Murdstone?
Nurse Peggotty: [unimpressed at the meer mention of his name] Huh!
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Is it to be hinted at that I am lacking in affection for my precious treasure? The dearest little fellow that ever was!
Nurse Peggotty: Nobody ever went an hinted no such thing.
Mrs. Clara Copperfield: Am I a naughty mama to you, Davy? Am I a nasty and selfish bad mama? I don't love you at all do I
David Copperfield as a child: [tearful] Yes you do...
Nurse Peggotty: [the tearful three embrace] I never meant to hurt you, m'am. I never meant to.

Barkis: No sweethearts I believe?
David Copperfield as a child: What?
Barkis: No person courting?
David Copperfield as a child: Oh. No, no.
Barkis: Ahhh. Well, when you is talking to her private, perhaps you'd tell her that Barkis is willing.
David Copperfield as a child: That Barkis is willing. Is that all the message?
Barkis: Well, y... y... yes. Barkis is willing.
David Copperfield as a child: Very well, Mr Barkis. I'll tell her.

David Copperfield as a child: But why must I go away, Aunt Betsey? I want to stay with you, and Mr. Dick.
Aunt Betsy Trotwood: But you have to be educated, David, and take your place in the world. There isn't a finer school in Canterbury than Dr. Strong's. You must make us proud, David. Never be mean in anything. Never be false. Never be cruel. Avoid these three vices, and I can always be hopeful of you.

Mr. Murdstone: If I have an obstinate horse or a dog to deal with what do you think I'd do?
David Copperfield as a child: I don't know.
Mr. Murdstone: I'd beat him. I'd make him wince and smart. I say to myself, "I'll conquer that fellow". And if it were to cost him all the blood he had, I'd do it.

Nurse Peggotty: Don't be unhappy David.
David Copperfield as a child: I'll be happy Peggotty. And I'll see you sometimes.
[as Pegotty kisses David he notices Mr Barkis looking down at him from the cart]
David Copperfield as a child: Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Nurse Peggotty: Oh, bless the boy. Answer to what?
Barkis: Barkis is willing.
Nurse Peggotty: What would you say, darling, if I was to marry Mr. Barkis?
David Copperfield as a child: I should think it would be a very good thing. Then you would always have the horse and cart to bring you to see me in.
Nurse Peggotty: Oh, the sense of the boy!

Mr. Dick: Do you remember the date that King Charles I had his head cut off?
David Copperfield as a child: I believe it was in the year 1649.
Mr. Dick: Well, so the books say, but I don't see how that can be. Because if it was so long ago how could the trouble have got out of his head when it was cut off and into mine?
David Copperfield as a child: I'm sure I don't know.

Mr. Micawber: All that we have is yours, Master Copperfield; our domestic comforts, quiet, the privacy - - call them your own.
David Copperfield as a child: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Micawber: Count on us, now and forever.
David Copperfield as a child: I will, Mr. Micawber.
Mr. Micawber: Now that you're about to share with us the privileges of our domain, I will make no stranger of you. As man to man, I will confide in you that for years, I have been hounded most unjustly by my creditors; short-sighted fools they are.
David Copperfield as a child: I'm sorry, sir.
Mr. Micawber: I grant you that I have already tried the coal trade, the haberdashery trade, and Her Majesty's marines, and found none of these entirely suited to my somewhat special talents, but now-...
David Copperfield as a child: Yes, Mr. Micawber?
Mr. Micawber: I am confidently expecting something to turn up.

Mr. Micawber: [walking downstairs with a cane] Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen! In the aggregate I judge you to be a highly distasteful collection... and a detail cowardly, uncouth, and deserving of merciless chastisement. You will oblige me by removing your unsavory persons from my immediate vicinity: in short, get out!
[Mr. Micawber chases the workers away from David]
David Copperfield as a child: Oh, thank you, Mr. Micawber, you're so kind to me.
Mr. Micawber: Not at all, and now, since this is a red-letter day in that I am hourly expecting something extraordinary to turn up, let us return and discover what culinary triumphs Mrs. Micawber has prepared for us.
David Copperfield as a child: Ooh, how wonderful!
Mr. Micawber: Imperative, my dear Copperfield, imperative; for as I have frequently had occasion to observe, when the stomach is empty, the spirits are low.

Mr. Micawber: What is it? Come, little friend, open your heart.
David Copperfield as a child: It's only... that I shall miss you so very much; at Murdstone & Grinby I feel so alone and desperate, I do indeed. You've been so good to me, you and Mrs. Micawber, and as long as I had such friends, I couldn't despair.
Mr. Micawber: My little friend, you're like one of our own.
David Copperfield as a child: [tearfully] But now that you are going and there will be nobody, why I don't know what I shall do, indeed I do not.
Mr. Micawber: My motto has always been "nil desperandum": in short, never despair.
David Copperfield as a child: I have an aunt in Dover, I thought perhaps I...
Mr. Micawber: The very thing, my dear Copperfield; your aunt will welcome you with open arms.
David Copperfield as a child: She may not want to see me.
Mr. Micawber: Is not blood thicker than water?
David Copperfield as a child: But Peggotty told me she's very cantankerous, and perhaps she'd shut me out, and Dover's a long way.
Mr. Micawber: True, too true; nevertheless, as the Bard says: "Nothing attempted, nothing gained." And should this formidable aunt repulse you, write me a letter. We are friends for life, young Copperfield.
Mr. Micawber: [sings] We two have run around the braes,
Mr. Micawber, David Copperfield as a child: And pulled the gowans fine,
David Copperfield as a child: And...
[David and Mr. Micawber stop singing]
Mr. Micawber: Although what gowans are, I'm not exactly aware; however, we'll take a pull at them just the same.

David Copperfield as a child: Oh thank you, Mr. Micawber, you're so kind to me.
Mr. Micawber: Not at all; and now, since this is a red-letter day, in that I am hourly expecting something extarordinary to turn up, let us return and discover what culinary triumphs Mrs. Micawber has prepared for us.
David Copperfield as a child: Ooh, how wonderful !
Mr. Micawber: Imperative, my dear Copperfield, imperative; for as I have frequently had occasion to observe: 'When the stomach is empty, the spirits are low.'
[David and Mr. Micawber go outside to the streets]
Mr. Micawber: I predict, my dear Copperfield, that we can confidently depend on Mrs. Micawber assembling a tureen of cock-a-leekie soup, veal cutlet - breaded, and a jug of egg-hot.
David Copperfield as a child: And a pudding?
Mr. Micawber: A pudding, a suet pudding, the very thing.
Sheriff's Man: Wilkins Micawber?
Mr. Micawber: You are under a misapprehension, my good fellow, I...
Mr. Quinion: Oh no you don't, you're Micawber, all right. You owe me £2.10 for the last year. Officer, do your duty.
Sheriff's Man: Wilkins Micawber, you're under arrest;
Mr. Micawber: Upon what authority do you take this unwarrantable procedure?
Sheriff's Man: Court order for debt; I'm the assistant officer of the sheriff of Middlesex. Now are you coming quietly?
Mr. Micawber: Copperfield, you perceive before you the shattered fragment of a temple once called Man. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered; the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene. In short, I am forever flawed.

Mr. Micawber: [knocking from outside] I assume that this imposing edifice houses the brightest star in my firmament of earthly companions; I allude to Master David Copperfield.
David - the Man: Micawber!
Mr. Micawber: [Micawber enters the room] Copperfield!
David - the Man: Mr. Micawber, how wonderful to see you in Canterbury!
Mr. Micawber: Thank you, this successful conclusion of my peregrinations through highways and byways is a happy augury that something extraordinary is bound to turn up.
Uriah Heep: Will you excuse me, please?
David - the Man: Mr. Micawber, this is Uriah Heep, who works for my good friend Mr. Wickfield.
Mr. Micawber: How do you do? Any friend of my friend Copperfield has a personal claim on me.
Uriah Heep: Oh thank you, thank you sir, but I'm too humble to be called a friend, Mr. Micawber. I'm grateful to Mr. Copperfield for his kindness. Now if you'll excuse me...
[Heep bows and leaves the room]
Mr. Micawber: A man, I perceive, of remarkable shrewdness.
[walks to the dining room table]
Mr. Micawber: Ah, fruit!
David - the Man: Now tell me, how is Mrs. Micawber?
Mr. Micawber: Mrs. M. is, I am pleased to state, in statu quo... In short, were it not for unfortunate circumstances, not unconnected with finance...
David - the Man: Tell me.
Mr. Micawber: No, no, I should never be able to hold my head erect before my fellow man... Shall I confide in you that we are being held virtually as prisoners at the Sun Inn? The sum involved is admittedly trifling.
David - the Man: Oh, you must allow me.
[offers some money to Mr. Micawber]
Mr. Micawber: Never, never!
David - the Man: Oh please, I insist.
Mr. Micawber: [accepts David's money] You overwhelm me, your generosity floors me!
Mr. Micawber: [sings] Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Mr. Micawber: [entering the room] Miss Trotwood, Mr. Copperfield, and Mr. Dick.
Uriah Heep: Well, this is an unexpected pleasure, Miss Trotwood.
[chuckles nervously]
Uriah Heep: There have been some changes in the office since I was an humble clerk, but I'm not changed, Miss Trotwood.
Aunt Betsy Trotwood: I think you're pretty constant to the promise of your youth, if that's any satisfaction to you.
Uriah Heep: Oh, thank you for your good opinion.
David - the Man: No good opinion is wasted on you, Uriah Heep.
Uriah Heep: Still seeking a quarrel, Master Copperfield?
David - the Man: I'm seeking more than that.

Uriah Heep: [Agnes and Mr. Wickfield enter the room] Don't wait, Micawber! What are you waiting for?
Mr. Micawber: Because... because... In short, I choose!
Uriah Heep: Oh, you were always a worthless fellow, as all the world knows; you'll oblige me to get rid of you. Now you go along, I'll talk to you presently.
Mr. Micawber: If there's a scoundrel in all this world with whom I have talked too much, that scoundrel's name is... Heep!
Uriah Heep: Ah, I see. A conspiracy, eh?
[to David]
Uriah Heep: Well, we understand each other, you and me. There's no love between us. You was always a puppy with a proud stomach from your first coming here. You envy me my rise! You'll make nothing of this, I'll match you!
David - the Man: Mr. Micawber, there's a change in this fellow that assures me we're right. Deal with him as he deserves.
Uriah Heep: [grunts] Precious set of people, ain't you, trying to buy me clerk over? The very scum, as you yourself was, Copperfield, before anyone had charity on you!
Uriah Heep: [turns to the Wickfields] Miss Wickfield, if you have any love for your father, don't you join them, because if you do, I'll ruin him!
Mr. Micawber: Scoundrel!
[opens and reads a letter]
Mr. Micawber: "Miss Wickfield, Mr. Wickfield, and others whom it may concern: In denouncing the most consummate villain that ever existed, I ask no consideration for myself, but I declare that Heep, and Heep only of the firm of Wickfield & Heep is the forger and cheat!"
Uriah Heep: [Heep lunges at Mr. Micawber] Liar! Give me it! I'll get even with you for this! You went and carried out my orders; you're in it as much as I!
Mr. Micawber: [raises his cane] Approach me, approach me, you... you... Heep of infamy! And if your head is human, I'll break it! I cast off your yoke, I defy you!
[points his cane at Uriah Heep]
Mr. Micawber: Come on! Come on! Come on!
Mr. Micawber: [resumes reading from the letter] "My charges against Heep are as follows: First, he has caused Mr. Wickfield to sign documents of importance, representing them as of no importance, thereby empowering Heep to draw out trust monies."
Uriah Heep: Prove this you; Copperfield - all in good time I -
Mr. Micawber: [continues reading the letter] "Second: Heep has systematically forged in various books and documents the signature of Mr. Wickfield. I have in my possession several imitations of Mr. Wickfield's signature; the work of this monster, Heep!"
Mr. Micawber: [continues reading] "I am now concluded, and although poverty and imprisonment may follow, I trust the labour of these investigations may be as a sprinkling of sweet water on my funeral pyre, I ask no more. Nay, in justice, let it be said of me, as of a gallant Naval hero, that what I have done, I did for England, home, and duty. Yours, et cetera, etc., etc., Wilkins Micawber."

Uriah Heep: [runs to the wall safe, opens it] The books! The books are gone! Who stole the books?
Mr. Micawber: I did, when you gave me the keys this morning as usual.
David - the Man: Don't be uneasy, they're in my possession now. I'll take care of them.
Uriah Heep: Oh, so you receive stolen goods now, do you?
David - the Man: In these circumstances, yes.
Uriah Heep: Hmm, what do you want done?
David - the Man: I'll tell you what must be done; Mr. Wickfield, please.
David - the Man: First, the deed of partnership must be given over to me now, here.
Uriah Heep: Supposing I haven't got it.
Aunt Betsy Trotwood: But you have, therefore we won't suppose that.
[Heep hands the deeds to David]
David - the Man: Then you must return the bonds you've taken and all the money you've appropriated to the last penny. All the partnership books and papers must remain in our possession.
Uriah Heep: Must they? I don't know about that. I must have time to think about it.
David - the Man: Certainly, in the meantime, you may wish to repose in Maidstone Jail.
[tursn to Mr. Dick]
David - the Man: Mr. Dick, will you go around and get a couple of officers?
Mr. Dick: With the greatest pleasure.
Uriah Heep: No no, don't let's be hasty, don't let's be hasty.
[turns to David]
Uriah Heep: Master Copperfield, we've lost our tempers perhaps, and no need of that. I'm a very humble person, Master Copperfield, I've no wish to rise above my place.
[Heep unlocks the desk drawer, Copperfield takes the bonds from Heep's hands]
David - the Man: The keys.
[Mr. Micawber takes the keys from Heep]
Uriah Heep: Is that all, Master Copperfield?
David - the Man: Yes.
Uriah Heep: Then I humbly beg to wish you all a very good day.
[David returns the papers to Mr. Wickfield as Uriah Heep leaves the room]

David Copperfield (2000) (TV)
David Copperfield: That is what he is, this fellow; a cold blooded, calculation fortune hunter, without honour, scruple, or mercy.
Mr. Edward Murdstone: [overturns the table they are sitting at] Be silent!
David Copperfield: I have been silent too long! I will be silent no more!
Miss Jane Murdstone: Edward... come away
Mr. Edward Murdstone: Hold your tounge!
David Copperfield: He bullied, and harried my poor, weak mother into her grave!
Mr. Edward Murdstone: Yes, she was weak. But it was not I who preyed upon her weakness, it was here own SON, who drained her of the strenght he needed with his wild behaviour and importunate demands!
David Copperfield: You killed her, as deliberately, and as pitilessly, as if you had thrust a knife into her heart!
Mr. Edward Murdstone: Repeat that in england, sir! Repeat that in a place, where you cant evade the laws of slander!
David Copperfield: I'll do better than that; I'll write it!

"David Copperfield" (1999)
Murdstone: This boy, you should know, Miss Trotwood, has a sullen, rebellious spirit, a violent temper and an intractable disposition.
Miss Murdstone: Of all the boys in the world, this is the worst boy.
Betsey Trotwood: Strong, Miss Murdstone.
Miss Murdstone: But not at all too strong for the situation.
Betsey Trotwood: Indeed? Well, sir?
Murdstone: I placed this boy in a respectable business. He ran away from it. The facts, I propose, speak for themselves.
Betsey Trotwood: About this respectable business, a blacking factory, I believe. If he had been your own boy, you would have put him to it just the same, I suppose.
Murdstone: I had my own opinion. This is the best way of bringing up this particular boy. I act on them and I say no more about them.
Betsey Trotwood: I see. What else do you have to say?
Murdstone: Merely this: I have come to take my stepson back. I will deal with him as I think right and dispose of him as I think proper. If you seek to impede me in any way, if you step between us now, you do so forever.
Betsey Trotwood: What does the boy say? Are you ready to go, David?
Young David Copperfield: Please don't make me leave you, Aunt. They made my Mama very unhappy and they never cared for me. I want to stay here with you and Mr. Dick.
Betsey Trotwood: Mr. Dick, what shall I do with this child?
Mr. Dick: I'd have him measured for a suit of clothes directly.
Betsey Trotwood: Mr. Dick, give me your hand.
[She shakes his hand]
Betsey Trotwood: For your common sense is invaluable.
[Takes David in her arms]
Betsey Trotwood: I'll take my chance with the boy. If he is all you say he is, I can at least do as much for him as you have done. But I don't believe a word of it!
Murdstone: [Standing up angrily] Miss Trotwood, if you were a gentleman...
Betsey Trotwood: BAH! Stuff and nonsense! Don't talk to me!
Miss Murdstone: How exquisitely polite. Overpowering, really.
Betsey Trotwood: [to Murdstone, ignoring Jane] You think I don't know what kind of life you've led this child's mother? It was a woeful day when you first appeared, smirking, making great eyes at her, so you wouldn't say "Boo!" to a ghost!
Miss Murdstone: I've never heard anything to elegant.
Betsey Trotwood: [Still ignoring Jane] And when you'd made quite sure of the poor little thing, you began to train her and break her. Like a caged bird, wearing her life away and teaching her to sing your notes.
Miss Murdstone: 'Tis either insanity or intoxication.
Betsey Trotwood: [Still ignoring Jane] You broke her heart, then punished the boy, because of your own guilt! There's the truth for your comfort, and you and your instrument may make the most of it!
Miss Murdstone: May I inquire whom you are referring to as an instrument?
Betsey Trotwood: Good day, sir! And Goodbye!
[Murdstone leaves without a word]