Nicholas Nickleby (2002)
Mr. Crummles: In every life, no matter how full or empty one's purse, there is tragedy. It is the one promise life always fulfills. Thus, happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it but to delight in it when it comes. And to add to other people's store of it. What happens if too early we lose a parent, that party on whom we rely for only everything? What did these people
[indicating Nicholas, Kate and Madeline Bray]
Mr. Crummles: do when their families shrank? They cried their tears but then they did the vital thing. They built a new family, person by person. They came to see that family need not be defined merely as though with whom they share blood, but as those for whom they would give their blood.
Lord Verisopht: If you had only told him who you were as he asked... I was wrong too, not to interfere. I did not sleep the night for thinking about it.
Ralph Nickleby: Any mistakes that were made were made by the boy. I am his uncle and even I can see that he is no good.
Lord Verisopht: He was defending the honor of his sister. That is the very definition of goodness. How can you not be proud of what he has done in defense of your own niece?
Ralph Nickleby: You will be glad, my lord, that I possess such an unsentimental view when I am managing your investments.
Lord Verisopht: Mr. Nickleby, I am no longer sure I can make an investment with you.
Ralph Nickleby: Because of my nephew?
Lord Verisopht: Because of your treatment of him. And his sister. When I think of her leaving the theatre that night, I feel sick to recall it. Surely there is another way for me to expand my fortune than to enrich the tormentor of these children.
John Browdie: Wait. I say Wait. I've come from the schoolhouse. Mr Squeers says he was attacked. Beaten, and nearly sensless. When he said it was thee who did it, I knew thee must nor be allowed to leave...
Nicholas: We will not be stopped.
John Browdie: ...without my shaking your hand and saying to thee, "Job well done". Give us thee hand, will you?
Nicholas: Weakness is tiring, but strength is exhausting.
Ralph Nickleby: Stop parroting me.
Newman Noggs: I wish I was a parrot. Then I would fly away.
Ralph Nickleby: I wish you were a parrot, too. I'd wring your neck.
Mr. Crummles: Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.
Smike: What faces will smile on me when I die? Who will comfort me that long night? They cannot come from home. They would frighten me if they did, for I shouldn't know them. No. There is no hope.
Madeline Bray: Nicholas, I feel you know what it's like to be without happiness... but do you know what it's like to be afraid of it? To see the world as so conniving, you cannot take pleasure in the appareance of something good... because you suspect... it is only a painted drop behind which other troubles lie. That has been my life. Every good thing has been a trick. Until you.
[At the assembly to see Smike flogged for running away]
Mr. Squeers: Is every boy here? Get back! You too Nickleby!
Mr. Squeers: And you. Have you anything to say?
Smike: [Crying] Please, sir, spare me.
Mr. Squeers: I'll spare you. I'll flog you to within an inch of your life, and I'll spare you then.
[Squeers strikes him once, Smike cries out in pain]
Nicholas: Stop! This must not go on. I will not allow it.
Mr. Squeers: You dare to challenge my authority! Stay back!
Nicholas: Touch him at your peril! I will not stand by and see it done.
Mr. Squeers: You will do as you're told!
Nicholas: If you raise the devil within me, the consequences shall fall on your own head! Once I begin, God help you!
[Nicholas grabs the stick and starts hitting Squeers with it]
Mr. Squeers: Stop! No, please, wait!
Nicholas: I do not know why, but I am going to show you what you have never shown any boy in this room... Pity.
[Nicholas cuts down Smike and helps him out]
Smike: Though I would have died to make her happy it broke my heart to see. I know he loves her dearly.
Smike: I love her.
Nicholas: [to Ralph Nickleby] Your curse has no power over me. The structures you raised all through your misspent life are crumbling into dust. This day, this very day, 10000 pounds of your hoarded wealth are gone in one great crash. Your day is done. Night is coming fast for you.
Mrs. Nickleby: We feel he died of a broken heart.
Ralph Nickleby: Pooh, there's no such thing.
Nicholas: [resentfully] Indeed, if you have no heart to break.
Fanny Squeers: [from Fanny's letter] Dear Mr. Knuckleboy, sir, my pa requests me to write to you. The doctor's considering it doubtful whether he will ever recover the use of his legs, which prevents his holding a pen.
Smike: Tomorrow where will you go?
Nicholas: Perhaps to Liverpool. I could find work on a ship. Do not be anxious. Before I do anything I will get you to your home. Where is it?
Smike: You are my home.
Nicholas: [affectionately] Smike.
Smike: Please may I go with you to sea? I will be your faithful, hardworking servant, I will. Promise I will. I want only to be near you.
Nicholas: Smike, the wall that separates us shall never be set by me. And I promise you, from this night forward, the world shall deal by you as it does by me.
Nicholas: [Smike has consumption] Father, I know I am stronger than when you left, but not strong enough to lose Smike. If this is what that strength is for, then I do not want it.
Nicholas: Not Smike.
Nicholas: [on the Squeers treating Smike badly because he is friends with Nicholas] You will do better when I am gone.
Smike: [alarmed] Gone? When are you going?
Nicholas: I would go tomorrow if I could.
Smike: Tell me, is the world as bad as this place?
Nicholas: [smiles] Oh no.
Smike: Should I ever meet you there?
Nicholas: Well, yes I'm sure at...
Smike: No, no tell me. Tell me that I should be sure to find you.
Nicholas: [affirmatively] You would and I would help you and aid you. I would not bring fresh sorrow on you as they have done here.
Mr. Crummles: Ladies and gentlemen, based on the receipts Mrs. Crummles has shown me, Liverpool has little relish for high-minded theatrical entertainments properly conducted. We must give them our pity. Now, we must give them something they will pay to see. 'Romeo and Juliet.'
Mrs. Crummles: But we have no Romeo. Mr. Leadville's leg is broke.
Mr. Leadville: I don't mind! I can manage!
Mr. Crummles: Old friend, it may be time for you to move on from Romeo.
Mr. Leadville: Move on?
Mr. Leadville: To what?
Mrs. Crummles: [aside] Lear?
Nicholas: That's John Browdie.
Newman Noggs: Is he good or bad.
Nicholas: He gave me money when he heard I'd beaten Squeers.
Newman Noggs: Oh, than he's good.
Mrs. Squeers: I hate him, that's how I like him. He's a nasty, stuck-up monkey. He needs his pride brought down.
Mr. Squeers: I don't believe there's a woman in all England that can bring a person's pride down as quick as you can, my love.
Mrs. Squeers: Oh, thank you Squeeries.
Mrs. Crummles: Let us use our bodies as instruments, and quiver together, until music comes out.
Ralph Nickleby: He was stolen, right from under you?
Wackford Squeers: Not to be literal about it, and I'm not sure if this will dissipate your various strong emotions on the subject, but he was actually stolen right from over me.
Newman Noggs: Are you at home?
Ralph Nickleby: Yes.
Newman Noggs: To anybody?
Ralph Nickleby: Yes.
Newman Noggs: To the tax gatherer?
Ralph Nickleby: No.
Mr. Crummles: But there is tragedy in the family.
Nicholas: The pony's family?
Mr. Crummles: Yes... the father drank. Ended up in the circus, drinking port wine with the clowns. Got greedy, couldn't quit and choked on the bottle.
Mr. Crummles: At any rate, I'd Iove to bring you and your friend out.
Nicholas: Does your friend think I'm in love with her?
Tilda: Does she think so? Of course.
Nicholas: But I have made no such declaration.
Tilda: Your eyes said what your mouth could not.
Nicholas: Perhaps my mouth should say what my eyes have not. I have scarcely seen the lady three times but should I have seen her 30 or 30,000, it would be the same. I have not one thought, hope or wish connected with her unless it is part of the picture I keep in my mind of one day being able to turn my back upon this accursed place and never to think of it again with any feeling but loathing and disgust.
Nicholas: See I cannot save you. For I need saving too.
Mr. Crummles: And this is the infant phenomenon. She is but 10 years old.
Nicholas: [the Infant Phenomenon is clearly older] Not... older?
Mr. Crummles: [Raises eyebrow] Not a day.
Mr. Crummles: [about Nicholas writing a play for him] Whatever you write, could you please include a washtub as I've just bought one at a sale.
Ralph Nickleby: I will strike him. I will strike him, until he can be struck no more.
Ralph Nickleby: I will put his ruin ahead of my own business! I will listen to every rumour, every rumble until I can strike him. And then I will strike him, until he can be struck no more.
Nicholas: My father told me that the great journey of my life would be to find such a person. But, I am nearly 20 years of age and I fear he may be wrong.
Mrs. Nickleby: [Nicholas' father, Ralph's brother, died] Mine was no common loss.
Ralph Nickleby: I was no uncommon loss. Husbands die every day. And wives.
Nicholas: Brothers also.
Ralph Nickleby: Yes, and puppies, too.
John Browdie: [of the kidnapped Smike] He's in the schoolmaster's room, next to Tilda's and my room.
Nicholas: What is the way in?
John Browdie: You must go through the inn, but the schoolmaster is sitting in the front room just by the stairs.
Newman Noggs: Oh dear. It's impossible.
John Browdie: I could distract the schoolmaster, you could slip past and go to my room, there is a door adjoining the schoolmaster's, go through it, get the lad. I'll watch the stairs and again try to disrtact him when you come out.
Newman Noggs: If I could offer an opinion in regards to this scheme? It seems, uh, foolhardy, riddled with danger, and doomed to failure. Otherwise I can find no fault with it. It is for Smike.
Nicholas: [to Sir Mulberry Hawk] I am your equal in education and birth and, I trust, your superior in everything otherwise!
Ralph Nickleby: Are you threatening now to tell others of whatever you learned when you were my clerk? To be plain, Mr. Brooker, the world already knows what sort of man I am and I do not grow poorer. You cannot stain a black coat.
Ralph Nickleby: There he is! He's the man with one eye. Though popular prejudice runs in favor of two.
Vincent Crummles: What happens when the light first pierces the dark dampness in which we have waited? We are slapped and cut loose. If we are lucky, someone is there to catch us and persuade us that we are safe. But are we safe? What happens if, too early, we lose a parent? That party on whom we rely for only everything? Why, we are cut loose again and we wonder, even dread whose hands will catch us now? There once lived a man named Nicholas Nickleby...
Nicholas: [on why he must leave the theatre troupe] Tis a family drama.
Mrs. Crummles: Those are always popular.
Mr. Folair: "Infant Phenomenon"? Infant Humbug is more to the point! She has been 10 years old for the past *eight* years! They keep her on a diet of gin and water to holdback her growth!