[Philip Allingham, who elsewhere discusses the authorship of this stage adaptation, relates how he acquired the copy from which this web versions derives: "Having read George Worth's "Great Expectations: A Drama in Three Stages (1861)" in the Dickens Quarterly for 1986, in which the University of Kansas professor discusses this most interesting adaptation, on 9 March 1987 I wrote to Dr. Worth at Lawrence, Kansas, asking for a photocopy of the text for use in writing my doctoral dissertation. He generously replied on 18 March 1987, addressing my concerns about manuscripts in the Lord Chamberlain's Collection, and offering a photocopy of the book itself" [GPL].
JOE. Then I 'spose, Pip, old chap, you and I must say good-by?
PIP. Not yet, I hope, not yet.
JOE. I 'spect we must, if we mean to do it at all. Yes, Pip, dear old chap, let's shake hands whilst we can. Life is made up of ever so many partings, welded together, as I may say; one man's a blacksmith, one a whitesmith, one a goldsmith, and one a coppersmith; divisions among such must come, and must be met as they come. You and me is not two figurs to be seen together in London, nor yet anywhere; but what's beknown and understood among friends--it aint that I am proud, but that I want to be right, and I never kan be right out of the forge, the kitchen, and off the meshes. You won't find half so much fault wi' me if supposing as you should ever wish to see me you'd come and put your head in at the forge-window, and see the blacksmith there at the old anvil and in the old burnt apron, sticking to the old work. I'm awful dull, but I hopes I've beat out summut nigh the rights of this at least; so heaven bless you, dear old Pip--heaven bless you!
(They go off L. H.)
--The Sluice-house on the Marshes. -- A dilapidated hovel, with door in centre -- window L.H. -- table L.H.-- and a candle burning on it beside the window, ORLICK is discovered looking from the door with a rope in his hand, one end of which has a slip-noose, the other is passed through a teakle on the wall.
ORL. No signs on him. I wonder if the bait will take. That Bow-street chap what writ the letter said twas sartain; and if it did, I was to tie him up here whilst they whipped up the convict. Ah! they little think I've got a heavier account to square with Mr. Pip than that, I must tie him up in my own way before I can say settled. No signs on him coming yet. Let's show the light a little plainer.
(He takes the candle to the door.)
--Eh! A splash -- a footstep -- some one's coming -- 'tis the man.
(He blows out the light, and slips behind the door, holding the noose ready.--PIP enters from the marshes and looks round him.)
PIP. All dark--there was a light here but this moment, and now--
(ORLICK throws the noose over him, and slips it down over his arms.)
ORL. I've got got you!
PIP. What's this? Here, help, help!
ORL. Call out agin, and I'll make short work of you.
(He kicks the door to, nnd drags PIP to the wall by the end of the rope, which he makes fast to a beam, or bolt, L.H.)
PIP. Who is it that assails me?
ORL. Wait a moment, and you shall see.
(He strikes a light with a tinder-box, relights the candle, and then turns to PIP.)
ORL. Yes, Orlick.
PIP. Unbind me--let me go.
ORL. Oh yes! I'll let you go--I'll let you go to the moon--I'll let you go to the stars-all in good time.
PIP. Why have you lured me here?
ORL. Don't you know?
PIP. Why have you set upon me in the dark?
ORL. Because I mean to do it all myself--one keeps a secret better than two. Oh! you enemy, you enemy! Do you know this gun? Do you know where you seed it afore? Miss Havisham's. You cost me that place--do you remember that?
PIP. I do.
ORL. You did that, and that would be enough; but you, too, come betwixt me and the girl I liked.
PIP. When did I?
ORL. When didn't you? It was you as always gave old Orlick a bad name to her.
PIP. You gave it to yourself--you gained it for yourself. I could have done you no harm, if you'd done yourself none.
ORL. That's a lie. Says you to her, one night when I overheard you, "I'll take any pains find spend any money to drive him out of the country." Now, I'll tell you summut. It was never so worth your while to get me out of the country as it is this wery night.
PIP. What are you going to do to me?
ORL. I'm going to have your life.
PIP. My life?
ORL. As sure as you stand there; you wur always in old Orlick's way ever since you wur a child. You goes out of his way this present night; he'll have no more on you; you're dead.
PIP. And is there no help?
ORL. See if you can get it. More than that, I won't have a rag of you left on airth. I'll put your body in the kiln. I could carry two such day, and then let people think what they like, they shall never know nothing.
PIP. And to perish in this way!
ORL. Now, wolf, afore I kill you like any other beast, I'll have a good look at you, and a good goad at you.Old Orlick wants to tell you summut. It was you as did for your shrew sister.
PIP. It was you, villain!
ORL. I tell you it was your doing. I come upon her from behind, as I come upon you to-night. I give it to her: I left her for dead, and if there'd been a lime-kiln as nigh her as there is now nigh you, she shouldn't ha' come to life agin; but it wasn't old Orlick did it--it was you. You was favoured, he was bullied and beat. Now you pays for it. You done it, and now you pays for it.
PIP. And is there no help--none?
ORL. I'd a firm mind to have your life when you were down here last, but I couldn't see a way to get you safe. Still, I says to myself, I'll have him yet; and when I found this time you'd got a friend, and when I comes to larn that your friend had 'Worn a leg-iron, why then, wolf,
I'll tell you summut more, and that ends all--Magwitch is done for as sartain as yourself: there's them as knows him, and is arter him--has track'd him to the village--is looking out for him on the meshes. He's bound for Newgate, and six words from a judge and jury--- You're under sentence, and your execution's come!
PIP. Mercy, mercy--help, help!
(ORLICK, seizing a stone hammer which is lying on one side, whirls it round his head as he advances to strike PIP, when a shot is heard outside, and he reels back and falls, as MAGWITCH looks in at the window.)
MAG. I never missed a warmint yet, whether he were big or little.
(HERBERT and JOE rush into the hut, see PIP, and extricate him.)
HER. Dear Pip you are not injured.
PIP. No, thanks to your arrival.
HER. You dropped that letter you received; we suspected there was treachery, and followed you at once, then heard your cries, and Magwitch, having a gun---
(He enters the hut.)
MAG. Took a chance shot through the winder: and now, dear boy, we're square. I've paid you back my life.
HER. But we've still got to make sure of yours, and there's no time to be lost, for the runners are on our track. The boat is luckily close by, so away to it.
(They are going out at back. ORLICK rises from the floor.)
ORL. Here, officers, this way.
(JOE springs on him, seizing the hammer, whilst he thrusts him down with his foot, and holds the hammer over him.)
JOE. Say it agin.
HER. Away, away, to the boat!
(They go off at the back.)
The Curtain falls.
- Who wrote the 1861 adaptation of Great Expectations?
- The 1872 New York Stage Adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations by Shafto Scott
- Discussions of the original novel's endings
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations: A Drama, in Three Stages. Founded on, and Compiled from, the Story of That Name. London: G. Holsworth, at the Office of "All The Year Round" Wellington Street, Strand, 1861. The Rare Book Department at the University of Cambridge Library, which posesses the copy used for the Victorian Web transcription, has kindly given us permission to to publish these materials.
Last modified 6 May 2003