The Scarlet Pimpernel
is a famous adventure tale, set during the French Revolution. The mysterious hero saves French aristocracy from certain death, but who is this dashing fellow? Here are a few quotes from the novel.
- "And daily, hourly, the hideous instrument of torture claimed its many victims-old men, young women, tiny children, even until the day it would demand the head of a King and a beautiful young Queen."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 1
- "Feeling in every part of England certainly ran very high at this time against the French and their doings. Smugglers and legitimate traders between the French and English coasts brought snatches of news from over the water, which made every honest Englishman's blood boil, and made him long to have 'a good go' at those murderers, who had imprisoned their king and all his family, subjected the queen and the royal children to every species of indignity, and were even now loudly demanding the blood of the whole Bourbon family and of every one of its adherents."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 3
- "'The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mademoiselle,' he said at last, 'is the name of a humble English wayside flower; but it is also the name chosen to hide the identity of the best and bravest man in all the world, so that he may better succeed in accomplishing the noble task he has set himself to do.'"
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 4
- "Sir Percy Blakeney, as the chronicles of the time inform us, was in this year of grace 1792 still a year or two on the right side of thirty. Tall, above the average, even for an Englishman, broad-shouldered and massively built, he would have been called unusually good-looking, but for a certain lazy expression in his deep-set blue eyes, and that perpetual inane laugh which seemed to disfigure his strong, clearly-cut mouth."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 6
- "The Day Dream it was, Sir Percy Blakeney's yacht, which was ready to take Armand St. Just back to France into the very midst of that seething, bloody Revolution which was overthrowing a monarchy, attacking a religion, destroying a society, in order to try and rebuild upon the ashes of tradition a new Utopia, of which a few men dreamed, but which none had the power to establish."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 7
- "He stood somewhat isolated: the envoy of the Revolutionary Government of France was not likely to be very popular in England, at a time when the news of the awful September massacres, and of the Reign of Terror and Anarchy, had just begun to filtrate across the Channel."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 11
- "No wonder that in France the sobriquet of the mysterious Englishman roused in the people a superstitious shudder. Chauvelin himself as he gazed round the deserted room, where presently the weird hero would appear, felt a strange feeling of awe creeping all down his spine."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 14
- "Had she but turned back then, and looked out once more on to the rose-lit garden, she would have seen that which would have made her own sufferings seem but light and easy to bear-a strong man, overwhelmed with his own passion and his own despair. Pride had given way at last, obstinacy was gone: the will was powerless. He was but a man madly, blindly, passionately in love, and as soon as her light footstep had died away within the house, he knelt down upon the terrace steps, and in the very madness of his love he kissed one by one the places where her small foot had trodden, and the stone balustrade there, where her tiny hand had rested last."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 16
- "God would be merciful. He would not allow so appalling a crime to be committed as the death of a brave man through the hand of a woman who loved him, and worshipped him, and who would gladly have died for his sake."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 20
- "The terrible danger in which Percy stood, now that he was actually on French soil, became suddenly and horribly clear to her. Chauvelin was close upon his heels; here in Calais, the astute diplomatist was all-powerful; a word from him and Percy could be tracked and arrested"
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 23
- "Marguerite indulged in the luxury, dear to every tender woman's heart, of looking at the man she loved."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 25
- "The rest is silence!-silence and joy for those who had endured so much suffering, yet found at last a great and lasting happiness."
- Baroness Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Ch. 31