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]
Betsey Trotwood: [to Jane Murdstone] Let me see you ride a donkey over my green again, and I'll knock your bonnet off. And tread upon it!
Murdstone: David, if I have an obstenent dog or horse to deal with, what do you think I do? I beat him. I make him wince and smart. I say to myself, "I'll conquer that fellow, and even if it costs him every drop of blood he has, I'll do it."
[Grasps David firmly]
Murdstone: Do we understand each other?
[Strokes David's head]
Murdstone: Now wash your face and come downstairs directly.
Murdstone: [to David] You will defy me no further, boy! You will learn!
Murdstone: What name did you just call your mistress?
Peggotty: [Coldly] Mrs Copperfield, same as always, sir.
Murdstone: But she has a new name now: Murdstone. Oblige me by remembering that in future.