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synopsis and excerpt from Great Expectations

A young boy, Pip, has met an escaped convict on the marshes. 
The convict threatens Pip with death if he doesn't return 
with food. Meanwhile, his sister and her timid husband, Joe who 
Pip lives with after he was left orphaned, are entertaining 
guests for Christmas lunch.


         (Back at the blacksmith's.  Mrs. Joe is serving lunch
          to Mr. Pumblechook, Mr. and Mrs. Wopsle and Mrs. Hubble) 

                 Mr. Pumblechook   
I have brought you mum, a bottle of Sherry wine and I have 
brought you mum, a bottle of Port wine.
   
                 Mrs. Joe			
Oh! Uncle Pumblechook, how kind (Enter Pip) And where have 
you been, may I ask?
   
                 Pip				
I went to the village to listen to the carol singers.
   
                 Mrs. Joe			
Perhaps if I weren't a blacksmith's wife, and a slave with 
her apron never off, I should have heard the carolers sing.  
       (Everyone helps themselves to the feast. Pip sits and 
        relies on Joe to fill his plate.)
   
                 Mr. Pumblechook		
Be grateful, boy, to those who brought you up. 
   
                 Mrs. Hubble		
       (She is constantly drinking and getting drunker.) 
Why is it, Mrs. Wopsle, that boys are never grateful?
   
                 Mrs. Wopsle		
Naturally vicious, Mrs. Hubble.

                 ALL				
True...True...naturally vicious.

                 Mr. Wopsle			
Especially grateful, young man,  to those who brought 
you up "by hand".
   
                 All				
True, true, very true.
   
                 Mrs. Wopsle		
You've the patience of a saint, my  dear.  I'd have let 
the little blighter fend for himself after your dear mother 
passed away.
   
                 Mrs. Hubble		
He's been the subject of all your ills, isn't that right, 
Mr. Pumblchook. (Hic!)
   
                 Mr. Pumblechook		
Well, Mrs. Hubble, look at the pork.  There's a subject. If you 
want a subject, look at pork.  Many a moral for the young may 
be deduced from that text.

                 Mr Joe			
You listening to this?  
        (To Pip)

                 Mr Pumblechook		
The gluttony of the swine, is put before us as an example to 
the young. What is detestable in a pig, is more detestable in 
a boy.

                 Mrs Hubble			
Or girl. 

                 Mr Pumblechook		
Of course, "or girl" But there's no girl present. The child is 
a boy. Now, if you had been born a swine......

                 Mrs Hubble			
He was! If ever a child was, he was.

                 Mr Pumblechook		
If he had been born a swine, would he be here now?

                 Mr and Mrs Wopsle	
No.

                 Mrs Hubble			
Not unless he was in that form.
       (pointing to the pork)

                 Mr Pumblechook		
But I don't mean in that form. I mean, enjoying himself with 
his elders, and improving himself with conversation, and 
rolling in the lap of luxury.

                 Mrs Hubble			
Roll, roll, roll, (hic!)

                 Mr Pumblechook		
No he would not! No bringing up by hand then.
   
                 Mrs. Joe			
Oh, what a philosopher you are, uncle.
   
                 Mrs. Hubble		
He's been a world of trouble to you....
           (They all look at him with contempt except Joe)
       
                 Mrs. Joe			
Have a brandy, uncle.  
           (She passes him the bottle. Pip looks scared)
   
                 Mr. Pumblechook		
Ah, much obliged to you, ma'am.
   
                 Mrs. Joe 			
Joe!  And now you must taste my savory pork pie.
            (As she goes to fetch the pie, Pip gets up and 
             goes to the door) 
   
                 Mrs. Wopsle		
Oh. Lovely!

                 Mr. Pumblechook		
Cheers.....
           (When he takes a drink he gasps and holds his throat)
....Tarwater
   
                 Mrs. Joe			
Why the pie, it's gone....What's the matter, uncle?
   
                 Mr. Pumblechook		
Tar!  Tar!.....
   
                 Mrs. Hubble		
Oh, you're welcome, I don't mind if I do.  
          (She is very drunk and takes the brandy bottle)
   
                 Mrs. Joe			
          (Sniffs glass)  
Tar water!  Now, however did tar water end up in that brandy 
bottle?  And where's my pie? 
          (Pip runs to the door opens it, and runs into an 
           officer of the guards, who is standing at the door.)
    
                 Officer			
Begging your pardon, ladies and gentlemen, I'm on a mission 
in the name of the Queen.  We are searching the marshes for 
two convicts, and we need a blacksmith to repair these 
shackles.

                 Joe				
          (Joe takes them of the officer)
Pip, come with me to the forge, and get the coals ready. 
          (They exit followed by the officer and guards)

                 Mrs Joe			
Cannons firing all night, now convicts running around the 
marshes, I don't know what the world's coming to, uncle 
Pumblechook.

                 Mr Pumblechook		
It's going to hell, ma'am. When somebody sabotages a good 
bottle of brandy. You know it's all going to hell. 

                 Mrs Hubble			
We're all going to hell. (Hic!)

                 Mr Pumblechook		
           (To The other guests) 
I've a sneaky suspicion she's already there.
   
                 Mrs. Hubble		
           (Drinking the tar water from the brandy bottle) 
You know, this is very good brandy.  (hic