Sharpe (TV series)

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Sharpe (1993–1997, 2006, 2008) is a British series of television dramas about Richard Sharpe, a fictional British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Sharpe is the hero of a number of novels by Bernard Cornwell; most, though not all, of the episodes are based on the books.

[After Sharpe has killed three French Dragoons to save Wellesley's life]
Arthur Wellesley: I'm much obliged to you. You've done me a damn good turn. Now I'm going to do you a damn bad one. I'm giving you a field commission, Sharpe. As of now you're a lieutenant in the 95th!

[Richard Sharpe is asserting his authority over Patrick Harper and the other soldiers under his command]
Sharpe: What is that? Liquor? Liquor displeases the Lord. Give it here so I can destroy it.
Cooper: Oh blimey, a bloody methodist.
[Sharpe acts like he's going to tip the liquor out]
Harper: That's best brandy, sir.
[Sharpe drinks the liquor instead]

Teresa: If you were French, I would take a knife and you would tell me all I wanted to know.
Sharpe: But we are allies.
Teresa: Allies? Do allies keep secrets from each other?
Sharpe: Lovers keep secrets from each other, yet they still make love.

Teresa: We have two ears, but only one mouth; so a good leader will listen twice as much as he shouts.

Sharpe: What've you got there Harper?
Harper: Just a wee wild bird.
Sharpe: Won't it fly away?
Harper: No. It trusts me.
Sharpe: But you're gonna put it in a cage.
Harper: It knows it'll get a few crumbs in a cage.
Sharpe: I thought wild things like their freedom.
Harper: Freedom to starve is no freedom.
Sharpe: Is that why you joined the British Army?

Sharpe: You fight dirty, Harper.
Harper: So do you, sir.
[Teresa walks up to them.]
Sharpe: Hope you slept well, miss.
Teresa: I slept safely, thank you. [leaves]
Harper: Now there's a woman worth fighting dirty for, sir.

Cooper: Can I ask you a question, sir? Where did you learn to fight so dirty, sir?
Sharpe: Same place as you, Cooper: Saturday night in the gutters.
Cooper: Long way from home, sir.
Sharpe: Never was much of a home, Cooper.
Cooper: No, sir. That it weren't.
Sharpe: Did you volunteer for this lot, Cooper?
Cooper: Erm, no, not exactly, sir. I was "invited" to join... by a magistrate. [singing softly] Here's adieu to all judges and juries / justice and Old Bailey too / for they bound me to King George's army / so adieu to old England, adieu...
[on a hill overlooking the monastery, Hogan is reading by the light of a small fire, and hears Cooper's singing on the wind]
Maj. Hogan: [singing softly] Now it's over the seas that I wander / to stand 'neath the red, white, and blue / for they gave me the old King's hard bargain / so adieu to old England, adieu...

Man in Black: You say you are an Irishman. Why should you be loyal to the British dogs, who want to take you to Lisbon to shoot you?
Harper: Jesus, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Man in Black: I can help you. Give me the box.
Harper: And if I do?
Man in Black: You will be rich.
Harper: And if I don't?
Man in Black: You will be dead.
Harper: Hmm... well, you're having the best of the argument so far.

Sharpe: Gimme a pick-lock, Cooper.
Cooper: Pick-lock, sir? Catch me with a pick-lock!
Harper: They did, Coop. But when you got out of Newgate prison, you got another set, and that's the one the officer wants.
Cooper: Do I get it back, sir?
Sharpe: Trust me.
Cooper: It's very hard to trust a man who wants to borrow your pick-lock, sir.

Harper: You'll make a grand killin' officer, sir.
Sharpe: Killin' officer?
Harper: Huh. You comin' up from the ranks, I thought you woulda known. There are two kinds of officers, sir: killin' officers and murderin' officers. Killin' officers are poor old buggers that get you killed by mistake. Murderin' officers are mad, bad, old buggers that get you killed on purpose - for a country, for a religion, maybe even for a flag. You see that Major Hogan, sir? That's what I call a murderin' officer.

Sharpe: Who fired that shot?
[Perkins is holding the smoking rifle]
Sharpe: [looks him up and down] Give him yours, Harper.
[Harper pulls his arm-band, the mark of a Chosen man from his pouch, and hands it to Perkins]
Hogan: [to Perkins] Take a tip Perkins, give it back.

Hogan: Wellesley's gonna take the army into Spain. It'll be bugles, battles and bags of glory. Stick with me, Richard, I'll see you right.
Sharpe: You'll see me dead, sir.
Hogan: [laughs] Oh, that's my boy.
Wellesley: Must be a damn good book, Hogan.
Hogan: Shakespeare, sir. Julius Caesar. Mark Antony, "Lend me your ears," eh?
Wellesley: (reads over Hogan's shoulder) "These many, then, shall die. Their names are pricked." By God, Hogan, you may be sure my name is well-pricked by those needles at Horse Guards.
Hogan: A general who wins battles and lives to claim the credit will never lack for enemies in London, sir.

[Simmerson has ordered a soldier to be flogged]
Captain Leroy: Speaking as a Virginian, sir, I must say as how I don't hold with flogging white men, sir.
Colonel Simmerson: My dear Captain Leroy. You may be a loyalist, but you are still an American; you do not know the British soldier, sir. He is a brute beast in a red coat, he needs the lash!

[of the South Essex]
Sharpe: They're flogged soldiers, sir. And flogging teaches a soldier only one lesson.
Hogan: What's that, Richard?
Sharpe: How to turn his back.

[after an altercation between Sharpe and Lieutenants Gibbons and Berry:]
Gibbons: Major Hogan! I have been struck, by a common soldier! I believe the penalty for striking an officer is death.
Hogan: Death is certainly the penalty for striking that officer, sir. That was Sharpe of the 95th.
Gibbons: What, the ragamuffin that jumped from the ranks? By God, sir, I'll teach him to touch a gentleman. I'll call him out, sir. I'll see him at dawn.
Berry: I'll second you, old boy.
Hogan: A duel? Oh, give me your hand, sir! You've a brave fellow, Gibbons. Sharpe's a killer. Killed three French cavalrymen and saved Wellesley's life. Three seconds, slash, cut, thrust. And that's while he was still a Sergeant. Shall we say six o'clock tomorrow morning in the field behind the camp?
[Gibbons swallows, obviously terrified.]
Hogan: Or shall we say it was damned dark, and you made a damn bad mistake?
Gibbons: Silly mistake. Say no more about it, eh?
Hogan: Good thinking, Gibbons. Sharpe would've shot out your left eye at a minute past six, and you would've spent all day tomorrow looking up at nothing with the other.

[Sharpe pulls at the stock of one of the South Essex soldiers, revealing the sore flesh beneath]
Major Lennox: Sir Henry says it keeps the chin up.
Sharpe: [disgustedly] There's better ways to keep a chin up.
Major Lennox: Sharpe isn't it? Made a name for yourself in India. Battle of Assaye, if I recall. I was there myself with the 78th.
Sharpe: I saw the 78th advance at Assaye. Man who made a name for himself that day was a major of the 78th. Man by the name of Lennox.
Major Lennox: Ah, a long time ago. I had a life soldiering, then they retired me. My wife died. The South Essex was the best I could get. But thank you for reminding me I used to be a damn good soldier. Now wipe your boots and I'll take you to meet a damn bad one. [Meaning Simmerson]

Sir Henry Simmerson: Wellesley, ha! Wellesley don't know what makes a good soldier! Not many do. Do you know what makes a good soldier Mister Sharpe?
Sharpe: Yes, Sir.
Sir Henry Simmerson: And what makes a good soldier, Sharpe?
Sharpe: The ability to fire three rounds a minute in any weather, sir.

Hogan: You've lost the colours, Sir. The king's own colours, touched by his own hand. Take my advice, and a pistol, and go behind that tent, and blow out what's left of your brains.

Sharpe: At a place called Assaye I saw a whole army ready to turn and run. Then a Major of the 78th took a step to his front and steadied the line. Major Lennox.
Ensign Denny: I thought he was just an old man.

Wellesley: Continue, Sir Henry.
Simmerson: Well, sir, on first sighting the enemy, I naturally gave the order to advance; that's my style, sir. The South Essex crossed over the bridge and engaged the enemy. Major Lennox panicked. So then I fell back in good order and destroyed the bridge, sir. I have written to Horse Guards, sir, to state that the South Essex acquitted itself most commendably in discharging both your general order to engage the enemy, and your particular order to destroy the bridge, sir.
Wellesley: Did any officer distinguish himself?
Simmerson: Lieutenant Gibbons led the advance, sir. You may say that he is tied to me by blood. But is it a tie of blood to tie my tongue and rob a brave man of his just reward? No, sir! I move that Lieutenant Gibbons be gazetted captain, sir.
Wellesley: And Lieutenant Sharpe?
Simmerson: Lieutenant Sharpe dithered, sir. He was cut off when we destroyed the bridge.
Wellesley: This is a report from Major Hogan which differs somewhat from your account, Sir Henry.
Simmerson: Major Hogan is merely an engineer, sir.
Wellesley: Major Hogan's coat buttons up tight over a number of other duties, Sir Henry. Major Hogan reports a number of losses, Sir Henry. He says you first lost your head, and instead of destroying the bridge, you marched over it. He says you then lost your nerve, and ran from a small French patrol. He says you lost ten men, a major, and two sergeants. He says you finally lost your sense of honour, and destroyed the bridge, cutting off a rescue party led by Lieutenant Sharpe. Major Hogan leaves the worst to the last... [stares] He says you lost the King's Colours.
Simmerson: The fault was not mine, Sir. Major Lennox must answer.
Wellesley: [shouting] Major Lennox answered with his LIFE! As you should have done if you had any sense of honour! You lost the Colours of the King of England! You disgraced us, sir! You shamed us, sir! You will answer! [silence] The South Essex is stood down in name. If I wipe the name, I may wipe the shame. I am making you a battalion of detachments; you will fetch and carry. The light company put up a fight, so I will let it stand under the command of a new captain.
Simmerson: To be commanded by the newly gazetted Captain Gibbons, sir?
Wellesley: To be commanded by the newly gazetted Captain Sharpe, sir.
[Sir Henry steps closer and speaks in a threatening tone]
Simmerson: I have a cousin at Horse Guards, sir…and I have friends at Court.
Wellesley: [unmoved] A man who loses the King's Colours loses the King's friendship. You have two choices: to hide in England or be a hero in Spain. I shall help you to be a hero. We had a skirmish with the French today; tomorrow we shall have a battle. You will be the first to see a French column, sir; it is not a pretty sight. What you do then, sir, is up to you. Good morning.

Captain Leroy: We have to stop him.
Harper: You can't stop Captain Sharpe, sir. You can walk away from him or you can stand behind him, but don't ever try and get in his way.
Teresa: All men should have daughters. It puts honey on their tongues.

[Sharpe is bathing, Matthews sees the scars of his flogging on his back, and assumes he's a common soldier.]
Ensign Matthews: For what crime were you flogged?
Sharpe: Who are you, then?
Matthews: Who are you, then, damn you? Gad, I'll have you flogged again, for you've not learned a lesson it seems.
Sharpe: Eh? Nah, I command the Light Company. You?
Matthews: [backpedaling] I regret, I am Matthews, sir, William. Ensign the South Essex.
Sharpe: Sharpe, Richard, Captain the 95th. I command the Light Company of the South Essex, for the time being. [His voice falters at the end, because the officer riding past is his replacement.]
Matthews: I do beg your pardon, sir.
Sharpe: You saw my back, Matthews. I was flogged for something I never did. You will often be blamed for something you might not have done. But, being an officer, you will never be flogged. Even for something that you will do.

Sharpe: Obadiah, and a blackguardly officer called Morris, once beat a native Indian half to death for sport, until I stopped them. They blamed me for it, and I was flogged. Watch him, Pat. He preys on the men. He'll snaffle kit, belts, frogs, haversacks, all entered or found lost by Obadiah, which leads to floggings unless he gets paid. Then wives. He beats men till their wives come to him, which I call rape. I've seen his like before. An evil man marching in a cloud of pipeclay. And because he kicks up salutes, obeys every officer, he's bombproof to all but us. We who come up from the ranks, we're smart to him.
Harper: We are that.

Sharpe: I'm a soldier, sir, not a bloody clerk! I fetch, I forage, I count shovels and I take punishment drills! It's "yes sir, no sir, can I dig your latrine sir?" and it's not bloody soldiering!
Nairn: It is bloody soldiering! What the hell do you think soldiering is? Just because you've been allowed to swan around like a bloody pirate for years...!
Sharpe: Listen, sir! When they fling us up against those walls, you'll be glad there's some pirates there, and not just bloody clerks!
Nairn: But how to get there, Mr. Sharpe? Lists! And how to be noted you were there? Lists! And what does he send home but lists of dead, dying, sick, honoured and gazetted Captains?

Sharpe:: [gives Harper a bottle] Here. St. Patrick's Day.
Harper: God save Ireland. You're a grand man. [uncorks the bottle and takes a pull] ...for an Englishman.

Sharpe:: [on skirmishers] They're taught to fight in pairs; to slip and run and one shot kills.

Sharpe: The Forlorn Hope are dead men the hour their names are called. First up the wall of the breach, first to die. Blown apart by mine or cannon. That it is why it's called Forlorn.

Harper: [to Sharpe] Surely you won't go up those great walls without me?

Sharpe: [holding a loaded Nock gun under Hakeswill's chin] They say you can't be killed, Sergeant Hakeswill. It is known. "Come with me, my lads, for I cannot die. I'm going to live for ever, for they tried to hang me once but did... not... do it." I could almost believe it. Except in the case of someone you tried to kill, Sergeant Hakeswill... and did... not... do it. I wonder who that might be, Sergeant. You're a dead man, Obadiah. BANG!

Sharpe: Sir?
Wellington: Sharpe?
Sharpe: I would like to be given command of the Forlorn Hope, Sir.
Wellington: I think you're a rogue, Sharpe. But you're on my side, you're one of my rogues. I don't want you dead.
Sharpe: May I offer my reasons, Sir? They are pressing. I have a... I have a wife in the city, and a child. I want to be first in and by their side, before you will sack the city, Sir.
Wellington: You may not be given the Forlon Hope. I shall not countenance it, no!

[An aide rides to Wellington to report the first assault has failed.]
Nairn: [aside] He cannot order them to storm the breach again, Fletcher.
Wellington: [reads the dispatch and sighs] Send Garrard to the 4th and Light Divisions. Tell them to re-form and storm again.
Aide: Yes, My Lord.

[Sharpe and his Rifleman are playing football. Sharpe, with the ball, ends up at the bottom of a dogpile, blocking the road for Sir Augustus' carriage. He fires a pistol to get their attention.]

Sir Augustus: [To Patrick Harper, the only man with his jacket on] You, there, Sergeant!
Harper: A Colonel. Oh, my God.
Sir Augustus: Stand up, there, fellow!
Harper: [To Sharpe, who attempted to rise.] No, sir, you stay down. [he pushes Sharpe's head down, so that his face isn't visible to Sir Augustus] Stay down. [to the colonel] Coming, Colonel! Coming, sir! Here I am, sir. How ya doin', sir?
Sir Augustus: Name? Rank?
Harper: Sergeant Patrick Harper, sir. 95th Rifles.
Sir Augustus: I heard you swearing, Sergeant harper. How dare you swear in front of an officer!
Harper: Yes, sir, I'm very very sorry, sir. Must a just slipped out, so it did.
Sir Augustus: [indicating Sharpe and remaining Riflemen] Who are these - scruffy savages?
Harper: They are Chosen Men, sir. Picked out for their special skills. That's why they wear the white cords of courage.
Sir Augustus: Well, not for much longer they won't. Nor will you have those stripes on your sleeve, Sergeant. As soon as I see Lord Wellington, I'm gonna have you all up on a charge for disorderly conduct.
Sharpe: [can't stand still any longer] Begging your pardon, sir, but these men were acting under my orders, sir.
Sir Augustus: Your orders, sir? And who are you, to give orders?
Sharpe: I'm an officer, sir.
Sir Augustus: You are an officer?
Sharpe: Yes, sir. Captain Sharpe, 95th Rifles, sir.
Sir Augustus: Sharpe...Sharpe. I believe I heard something about you in Lisbon, Sharpe. Are you the fellow Wellington raised from the ranks?
Sharpe: Yes, sir.
Sir Augustus: Well, I've always thought it was a bad idea, and now I've got proof of it. When I see Lord Wellington, I'm going to speak to him about your conduct, Sharpe.
Nairn: Is that you, Sir Augustus? Major Nairn, Lord Wellington's staff, sir. I take it you are Sir Augustus Farthingdale.
Sir Augustus: I am he, Nairn. I should like to complain about the conduct of one of your officers.
Nairn: Lord Wellington is waiting for you, sir. He's most anxious to allay your anxiety on the matter you alluded to in your letter.
Sir Augustus: I should like to bathe, and change first. Where's my tent, Nairn?
Nairn: Last but one on the right, sir, I've water on the boil for you.

[Sir Augustus leaves]

Nairn: You see that Colonel, Sharpe? That Colonel came here to make you a Major, would you believe that?
Sharpe: No, sir.
Nairn: Right hand up to God, Sharpe.
Sharpe: That's your left hand, sir.
Nairn: [raises his other hand] I swear to God, Sharpe.
Sharpe: You mean I missed being made Major?
Nairn: Maybe not.

[Sharpe and Teresa have entered Wellington's tent tardily, having been otherwise engaged after Sharpe was watching the rockets in action]

Sir Augustus: Captain Sharpe and I have met. You are late, sir, and I cannot abide unpunctuality.
Sharpe: I'm sorry I'm late, my Lord, the inspection of the rocket battery ran to a full hour, sir.
Wellington: I am not happy you did not get me my horses, Sharpe. You think there may be something in these rockets, Sharpe?
Sharpe: Not as to accuracy, sir, but they play merry hell with the morale of poorly led men, sir. The sound is shocking.
Wellington: Scared you, did they?
Sharpe: [deadpan] I was terrified, sir.
Sir Augustus: Are you...uh...sure that Captain Sharpe is the right man to send with the ransom? He won't cut and run if somebody lets off a gun, will he?
Teresa: Who is this fool?
Sir Augustus: I have not come here, my Lord, to hear this man explaining about his rockets. What about my wife, sir?
Wellington: You have the money?
Sir Augustus: Five hundred golden guineas.
Wellington: Good. The deserters have demanded that the ransom be delivered by Captain Sharpe.
Sir Augustus: Oh, I wonder why, sir. It's probably because he knew one of the ruffians when he was a private soldier. That's what comes of raising from the ranks. Personally, my Lord, I don't hold with it.
Sharpe: My Lord if I may speak? [Wellington nods] Sir Augustus is probably correct in speculating that whoever asked for me served under me in the ranks. I was a Sergeant and a stickler for duty, so it's fair to assume that whoever it is wants to settle a score and slit my throat. But, if Sir Augustus does not trust me, I am more than willing to step down, and let him take the gold himself, sir.
Sir Augustus: [looking uncomfortable] Well! I am willing to accept Captain Sharpe as a messenger if you are, my Lord.
Wellington: Let's have it Nairn.

[Nairn explains what is known of the terrain where the deserters want the gold delivered]

Wellington: What do you say, Sharpe?
Sharpe: We leave at dawn, sir.
Wellington: Does that suit you, Colonel?
Sir Augustus: Well, naturally, I had hoped to go myself.
Wellington: No, Colonel. These dogs would merely take you hostage and increase the ransom.
Sir Augustus: Well, that being so, I have some concerns as to the correct conduct of Captain Sharpe, and his men. My wife is a lady. I must ask you to impress on Captain Sharpe the need to adopt certain standards which are not necessarily his by birth.
Teresa: How dare he speak of Captain Sharpe in such a fashion! We Morenos are of the blood. We know who is a man of manners and who is a man of the mouth, and you, Sir Augustus, are a man of the mouth. Take my advice and shut it, before someone shuts it for you!
Sir Augustus: How dare you, Madame!
Wellington: Sir Augustus has a point, Sharpe. You and your men can be a little rough and ready. Sir Augustus has written a book on the proper conduct of the Spanish Campaign, I suggest you study it tonight, Sharpe. Full of good things, listen, "During the day's march, the men should keep their files, no indecent language or noise to be allowed." Be sure to read that particular part to the Chosen Men tonight after prayers.
Sharpe: Wild horses wouldn't stop me, sir.
Nairn: Don't talk about horses, Sharpe. Dismissed!
Teresa: [to Sir Augustus] If you were a man, I would call you out, force you to fight a duel, and kill you. [leaves]
Nairn: Close call, there, sir. They call her 'the needle', don't ask me why.
Sir Augustus: [looking a trifle alarmed] Am I in danger?
Wellington: [impatient] Escort Sir Augustus to his tent.

Sarah: Don't worry. I'm married to a French colonel. We fell in love before this war began. He's a brave man and he'll come for me soon, I know he will.
Isabella: I'm married to an English colonel. He's a coward, and he won't come at all.

Kelly: [about Sharpe] I stood with him for a few seconds at the battle of Talavera when he took an Eagle off the Frogs. Not that he'd remember. Officers don't see lower ranks.

[Sharpe storms into the courtyard of Adrados.]
Sharpe: I have a message from General Wellington.
[Pot-au-Feu and the deserters laugh, as Pot-au-Feu lifts a ladle of stew to his mouth. Sharpe raises his rifle and shoots it out of his hand.]
Sharpe: General Wellington promises that he will hang every man who does not present himself at our outpost by New Year's Day.

Sharpe: [about Kelly] I know you. Battle of Talavera. I'll know your name in a tick.

Nairn: Ducos is a very bad boy. Has the ear of Bonaparte himself. Where Ducos rides, dirty work is soon to follow.

Nairn: Can you imagine what this will do to the morale of our troops, coming up to a cold Christmas? A scuttlebutt tells you there's a garden of Eden in the hills, good food, good grog, no foot drill or flogging. Wouldn't you say, "I'll be damned to it," and desert? I know I would.
Sir Augustus: Disciplined troops desert, sir? Nonsense.
Wellington: Don't be a damn fool, sir! Discipline is only a rabble-rouser's shout from anarchy, sir! Mark me close, Colonel. What do you think the supreme virtue, sir? To the Frenchman in his recent revolution, it is liberty. To the Whig puffing in Parliament, it is licence to do anything, provide it do not disturb his pleasure. But to the common soldier, it is anarchy, to do whatever he please and be damned to his fellow. But to me and Bonaparte, the supreme virtue is order. We are not Whigs. We know that a man may love his neighbour over Monday and massacre him over Tuesday unless society keeps him in order! These deserters, if not secured and shot, will destroy my army more surely than Bonaparte! And I'll thank you not to forget it.

Frederickson: 60th Rifles, reporting for duty, sir!
Sharpe: Your men are dirty and scruffy and a damned disgrace! What's your name, Mister?
Frederickson: Captain Frederickson, sir.
Sharpe: No apologies on the condition of your men?
Frederickson: Men are dirty, sir! Rifles are clean.

[Sharpe walks along the line, stopping at a Sergeant.]

Sharpe What are you smiling at, Sergeant?
Rossner: [stops smiling] Nothing, sir. Sorry, sir.
Sharpe: A good soldier should have a reason before he suffers himself to smile. Name!
Rossner: Rossner, sir!
Sharpe: Do you know what makes a good soldier, Rossner?
Rossner: Yes, sir! The ability to fire off three rounds a minute in any weather, sir!
[Sharpe walks back over to Frederickson, smiling a little.]
Sharpe: What are you smiling at, Fredrickson?
Frederickson: I'm not smiling, sir. A musket ball broke my jaw. I have false teeth. The sawbones stuck on the smile for free, sir. He also stuck on my hair. Hair belongs to a horse, sir.
Sharpe: Do you know what makes a good soldier, Frederickson?
Frederickson: Yes, sir. Keeping his mouth shut when he's asked damn-fool questions by a superior officer, sir.
Sharpe: [smiling] You don't give a damn, do you Frederickson?
Frederickson: No, sir. I just do my duty.
Sharpe: You'll do fine.

Sharpe: Tell General Chaumier we will fight him to the death.
Ducos: [scoffs] Major Sharpe is not well. We outnumber you ten to one. There will be no terms if you do not surrender within the hour, Monsieur.
[Sharpe plucks off Ducos's glasses, drops them on the ground and crushes them with his boot.]
Sharpe: To the death.
Farthingdale: I'm in charge here, Major Sharpe! We will discuss terms immediately.
[Sharpe pulls Farthingdale aside.]
Sharpe: Your wife was a whore, sir. I know, for I was once her lover. [Farthingdale blanches.] Let that get out, and you'll be the laughingstock of Lisbon, and then of London. Leave now, and on my honor, no word of it will pass my lips.
Farthingdale: [stammering] But... but I do love her, you know.
Sharpe: You're a damned liar.

Sharpe: Tell General Chaumier I have horse, foot, and artillery. Tell him what Voltaire said: Dieu ne pas pour les grand battalions, mais pour sequi teront le meillur.
("God is not on the side of the big battalions, but of the best shots.")
Col. Michel Dubreton: You told me you didn't speak French.
Sharpe: I lied. My wife taught me. She taught me many things. Above all, how to say goodbye.
[Dubreton salutes Sharpe smartly and rides out of Adrados, carrying Sarah on his horse. Sharpe returns to Ducos and seizes the front of his coat.]
Sharpe: Someday... I'll say goodbye to you.
Ducos: [sneers] Certainly.
La Marquesa: You saved my life.
Sharpe: You tried to end mine.
La Marquesa: I've never met you.
Sharpe: Well, do you hear that, Pat? She's never met me.
Harper: You're bleeding, sir. Don't move.
Sharpe: What about my shameful suggestions?
La Marquesa: What?
Sharpe: Oh, she's denying me now, Pat. After all we've been through.
Harper: I hear her, sir.
Sharpe: You think she'd remember the man who got down on his knees, drunk mind you, and crawled on her floor begging Her Ladyship to sleep with him. Bugger!
Harper: I'd remember it.
Sharpe: Aye! So would I. A man lost his honour because of the lady's lies. Stripped of his rank. Hung on a rope.
La Marquesa: Who are you?
Sharpe: You know who I am. My name is Sharpe.

Sharpe: Bloody French on one side, a madman on the other... and we're stuck here with the woman who had me hung.
Harper: God does work in mysterious ways.

Cooper: Sarge? Where are we off to, Sarge?
Harper: We're going to join up with a man called Sharpe, lads.
Perkins: You mean we're all gonna die?
Harper: No, lad. Mister Sharpe may be dead in the eyes of French, but to you and me he's as lively as an eel.
Hagman: [grabs Harper's arm] Just a minute.
Harris: How, Sarge?
Harper: You know the Army, boys. They couldn't hang a curtain, even if they tried. [they all laugh]

Ducos: You have failed me, priest.
Father Hacha: I do not understand.
Ducos: Sharpe is alive. The Marquesa is free. The English come.
Father Hacha: [frightened] Sharpe is dead. I saw him hanged.
[Ducos shoots Hacha]
Ducos: You call me a liar?
Harper: I had an uncle who thought the Faeries were after him.
Sharpe: What happened to him?
Harper: Well, sir, they got him.

Sharpe: Miss Nugent?
Ellie Nugent: Yes?
Sharpe: Major Richard Sharpe. Are these your rifles? We've had them cleaned for you.
Ellie Nugent: Oh, there was no need.
Sharpe: [smiling a little] I think there was, miss.
Ellie Nugent: I mean, no hurry. Unless to put a bullet through Cousin Arthur, the General. He's kicking us out.
Sharpe: You traveled here alone?
Ellie Nugent: Just a guide, and a servant.
Sharpe: Glad you had these. [indicates rifles]
Ellie Nugent: They're American. Made in Pennsylvania.
Sharpe: None better.
Ellie Nugent: Speaking as a Rifleman?
Sharpe: Yes, miss.
Ellie Nugent: I'll see you tonight? At me cousin's party.
Sharpe: Doubt it miss.
Ellie Nugent: Are you on duty?
Sharpe: I'm ... not exactly in his favour at the moment.
Ellie Nugent: Ah, well. You like could come as my escort, Major Sharpe, will ye?
Sharpe: I, uh.
Ellie Nugent: We could talk about guns!
[They both laugh.]

[Sharpe walks over to Ellie Nugent and Lieutenant Ayres, standing by the French soldier she's killed.]
Sharpe: Are you alright? [sees the dead soldier, shot through the chest] My God, you did well.
Ayres: [woodenly] She saved me.
Sharpe: [pointedly ignoring Ayres] A clean shot.
Ellie Nugent: He's so young. He's just a boy.
Sharpe: They all are, fresh recruits.
Sharpe: Well, Mister Ayres, I shall report this. A skilled defense, and a valiant action.
Ayres: [aware that Sharpe is mocking him] I'm not very experienced.
Sharpe: First rule. Always get a girl between you and the enemy.
[Ayres stumbles off]
Ellie Nugent: [softly] I killed him. I never...I never did that. [Sharpe puts his hand on her shoulder]

Will Nugent: I'm most grateful for this young man. He saved us all.
Wellesley: It's what he does. Isn't it, Sharpe?
Loup: No more of my men will die in this God-forsaken place.
Sharpe: They will if I find them.

Lord Kiley: You there, out of the road. [Sharpe ignores him] Out of the road! [Sharpe continues to ignore him] Are you deaf, sir?
Sharpe: Go round.
Lord Kiley: Do you know who I am?
Sharpe: I know what you are.
[Sharpe's men laugh, Kiley rides around them]

Major Munro: [reading letter to Wellington] From his most Catholic Majesty, King Ferdinand, my Lord, I've taken the precaution of reading it. Shall I read it for you now? [Wellington nods] Um. His most Catholic Majesty....
Wellesley: Yes, yes, yes, get on with it.
Major Munro: In a spirit of regal cooperation with his royal cousin England, and in his great desire to drive the French invader from the the sacred soil of Spain has directed the Royal Irish Company of His Majesty's Household Guard under the command of Lord Kiley, to place themselves under the command of Field Marshal, the Lord Wellington. Sir.
Wellesley: Copied to Horse Guards, I presume.
Major Munro: Copied to the Prince Regent himself, my Lord.
Wellesley: Can we intercept it?
Major Munro: No sir, it's been gone these two weeks. You'll no doubt be flattered by the gesture.
Wellesley: Yes. Which means that we're stuck with 'em.
Major Munro: I'm sure they'll prove decorative.
Wellesley: I don't need decorative! I need an extra battalion of trained foot with full equipment to throw against the French. Are they all Irish?
Major Munro: Most of them are Spanish-born these days, but they have to be descended from Irish exiles.
Wellesley: Put them to latrine-digging.
Major Munro: My lord, if we employ the King's Household Guard on menial tasks, it will be construed as an insult to our Spanish allies, as well as to His most Catholic Majesty.
Wellesley: Damn His most Catholic Majesty! And damn this Lord Kiley. I know the Irish peerage. Irish Catholic exiles. You're paid to advise me Munro, so earn your damn pay.
Major Munro: I fear we must welcome Lord Kiley and his men, even while we mistrust them. It seems to me that we must do our best to make them feel...uncomfortable.
Wellesley: Drive them out? How?
Major Munro: Bivouac them close to the French lines, so that those who wish to desert will find it easy. We'll get them a liason officer, of course, someone senior enough to sooth Kiley's feathers. But why not give them a drill-master, too?
Wellesley: I doubt Lord Kiley would like a certain major of our acquaintance.
Major Munro: Ach, I cannot think they'll take to each other, my Lord, no.
Wellesley: Good! Then give the puppets Richard Sharpe!! [laughing]
[After Harris tries to explain the plot of Candide to Sharpe.]
Sharpe: Take my advice, Harris. When you get home, write a bloody good book with loads of shooting in it. You'll die a rich man.

Major Munro: Which would you prefer me to do Sharpe? Play Beallagh na Bruga, that's the march, or send you on a dangerous mission?
Sharpe: Ahh, dangerous mission, sir.
Major Munro: Who's winning the war, Sharpe?
Sharpe: Lord Wellington, sir.
Major Munro: Why's he winning it, Sharpe?
Sharpe: Steady troops, sir.
Major Munro: [Munro shakes his head] Superior intelligence. Supplied by whom laddie?
Sharpe: Men like you, sir.
Major Munro: Ugh, don't lick me, laddie!

[after their conversation, Major Munro resumes playing the bagpipes. Sharpe exits the tent.]

Sharpe: [To Pipe-major outside Munro's tent] How do you stand it, Pipe major?

[The man indicates that he hasn't heard Sharpe's question.]

Sharpe: [loudly] I said, how do you stand it? [Pipe-major pulls a cotton wad out of his ear; Sharpe laughs with him]

[Leroux claims he can't speak English]
Sharpe: See if you understand this, on the count of three I'm gonna kick you in the crotch!

Simmerson: Well, what's it to you, priest? You hate the British.
Father Curtis: I'm Irish. John Bull's a bad neighbour. But Bonaparte's a bully, and so are you!

[Father Curtis easily defeats Simmerson in a swordfight, leaving him with several humiliating wounds]

Father Curtis: God forgive me, but I wish it had lasted longer.
[on the French:]
Charlie Weller: Then they must be quaking in terror!
Sharpe: Oh they are, Charlie. They know they face us!

Ross: Not being a little hard on Girdwood, are you?
Sharpe: At Foulness, sir, Colonel Girdwood gave orders that deserters were to be shot out of hand. I saw one killed. He hunted men through the marshland like they were rats. He wants to see a battle? He'll see a battle!

Courtier: Uniform fits like a bowl of wax, but those boots won't do.
Sharpe: They did very well for a Colonel in Napoleon's Imperial Guard I had to kill before he'd give them to me!

Marriott: They treat us like animals! We're not animals, we're men!
Sharpe: We're not. We're soldiers now.

Sharpe: Do you have such a thing as an officer of the day?
Carline: Of course!
Sharpe: Who is it?
Carline: Actually, me!
Sharpe: Actually, you?
Carline: Yes! Captain Carline! And you are?
Sharpe: I am Major Richard Sharpe. [Carline is surprised] South Essex. You've heard of me.
Carline: Uh... yes. You... you took the French Eagle at Talavera, sir.
Sharpe: But you haven't heard of a guard detail?
Carline: Sir?
Sharpe: Why wasn't there a guard on the gates?
Carline: Um... I don't know, sir.
Sharpe: You don't know? You're officer of the day! No guard mounted! What are you doing when you're not playing blind man's buff, dancing pomps?
Harper: Sir, he's got the...
[whispers 'pox' in Sharpe's ear]
Sharpe: Pox! What are you whispering for Harper? I think I've seen plenty of pox in my time!

[after Sharpe has demanded that Colonel Bampfylde act civilly]
Bampfylde: [to Jane] Evening, ma'am. I'm sorry to see you in such company. Sir, as I seem to have given you some offence, I shall be happy to give you satisfaction.
Sharpe: Satisfaction? What does that mean?
Bampfylde: It means I am calling you out, sir. A duel.
Sharpe: Don't be a damn fool, sir. If Wellington catches you duelling, you'll be on the next ship back to England.
Bampfylde: Wellington has his code, I have mine. [Sharpe chuckles] What does it take to make you fight me? Perhaps a glass of wine in the face? Harmer, will you act as my second?
[Harmer and Captain Frederickson join them]
Harmer: Sir. What is your opponent's name?
Frederickson: Sharpe. Of the 95th Rifles. Favoured of the Prince of Wales.
Harmer: Is that the same Sharpe who shot three Dragoons while saving Wellington's life? The same Sharpe who took the Eagle at Talavera?
[Frederickson nods. Bampfylde is nervous. There is a long silence.]
de Maquerre: May I intercede? Colonel Bampfylde is new in Spain. Field Marshall Wellington's views on duelling are very strict.
Bampfylde: Absolutely. Major Sharpe, may I apologise for any offence I have caused you and the Lady?
[Sharpe doesn't answer]
de Maquerre: Doesn't do to duel with your new commanding officer.
Sharpe: Apology accepted. Sir.
Ross: From what I hear, sometimes he is outside the law.
Sharpe: Maybe he uses rough methods, but he gets results. So do you.
Ross: Maybe I do, but I don't take pleasure in it.
Sharpe: You're a damn liar.

[Harris is confined to camp pending a murder inquiry]
Sharpe: Harris, until this matter is resolved, you're my responsibility. Now while I'm on this mission, you will act as manservant to my wife.
Harris: You're letting a suspected murderer look after your wife, sir?
Sharpe: Harris, I'm posting you to my household as I would post you to a position on a battlefield.
Harris: [saluting and smiling] Yes, sir!

[Jane and Harris are discussing Sharpe]
Jane: Why would you follow him to the death?
Harris: Loyalty! We're loyal to him and he's loyal to us. In life and in death. We trust him with our lives and he trusts us with his life.
Jane: And with his wife. He trusts you with his wife.

Jane: I hate the bugle because I hate the army. Because I hate the war.
Sharpe: We all hate the war.
Jane: No you don't, you love it!
Sharpe: I'm a soldier.
Jane: What will you do when you get home, Richard? You'll still be a soldier, but there won't be a war. And if there's no war then you won't be happy. What will you do all day?
Sharpe: Well, what every officer does. What every husband does. Whatever that is...
Jane: I'll tell you what they do, Richard. They ride, they hunt, they gamble, they play cards, they look after their gardens, their dogs, their libraries. They wine and dine and make polite conversation. They cut a figure in society.
[Frederickson is unhappy after he saw Sharpe with Lucille, who he wished to marry. He leaves a discussion between the Riflemen (Frederickson, Sharpe and Harper) and Calvet over the commander of their operation over lunch.]
Calvet: How should I divide the cheese, by merit or by rank? Who gets the biggest piece?
Sharpe: You do.
Calvet: Because I am a General?
Sharpe: No, because I bloody 'ate cheese.

[Sharpe is trapped inside Ducos' Neapolitan Fortress with General Calvet, Harper, Frederickson and some Imperial Guardsmen and Ducos arrives with the local Cardinal's troops]
Ducos: The war is over, Sharpe; apparently not for you.

[Sharpe kicks down Lucille's bedroom door]
Sharpe: Begging your pardon, ma'am. Your door was locked.
[In a pub, Sharpe and Harper are being billeted]
Innkeeper: And what do you require?
Harper: Bed, board, breakfast and a bit of respect, you piece of English arse.
Sharpe: [empties wine bottle into his flagon, shakes it] Bloody hell!
Harper: [sets a new bottle down in front of him]
Sharpe: [stands, grabs Harper by the shoulders] Bloody hell! Patrick! Not you!
Harper: Aye, it's me.
Sharpe: Damn me, ye came! Ye came!
Harper: Aye, I did come, I did.
Sharpe: Sit down, Pat, sit down. Make room for Sergeant-Major Harper.
Harper: [Sits, Harris and Hagman make room for him] Actually, it's just Patrick Harper. Mister Patrick Harper, Horse-master to the gentry.
Sharpe: What, not re-enlisting?
Harper: I am not. The King's had more than his shilling out of me, so he has.

Hagman: Harris?
Harris: Hm?
Hagman: What's your first name?

[The French advance, shouting 'Vive L'empereur' and playing drums]

Harper:For all these years I've been fighting the French, I've become sick and bloody tired of that shit-music they play.
Sharpe: [laughs]
Harper: I am, so I am!

Sharpe: [rallying the South Essex] I'm your colours! I am!

Wellesley: Your Regiment, Sharpe!
Sharpe: Prince of... South Essex! ADVANCE!
[The regiment marches towards the French]
Sharpe: South Essex Charge!
Wellesley: Go on, Sharpe! They won't stand!
Wellington: What's this nonsense I hear? You've turned swords to plowshares and become a farmer in France?
Sharpe: Aye, s'true enough, your Grace.
Wellington: Suits you, this life?
Sharpe: Well, no buggers trying to shoot me the live long day, so aye, suits me.

Davi Lal: That would be stealing, sahib! How am I to be a good British soldier if you make me into a thief again?
Sharpe: It ain't thieving when you're hungry, Davi. First thing any soldier learns.

Sharpe: I thought you were dead, Pat!
Harper: I can't be watching your arse if I'm dead, now can I?

Simmerson: You should be wary of this one, McRae. He thinks because Wellington raised him up from the sewer that it somehow makes him a gentleman. Don't know your place, do you, Sharpie?
Sharpe: Maybe not, but I know how to stand before a French column. I know how to face fire without soiling my breeches and turning tail.

Sharpe: You got your throne. How does it feel, your Majesty?

[Sharpe and Harper escape a jail cell and run into Bickerstaff and six Jetti]
Harper: Oh, God almighty. Out of the frying pan...
Sharpe: It's just not our bloody night, Pat.
[The Jetti advance]
Harper: Oh, come on now, lads. Three to one? That's not fair odds, now is it?
Sharpe: Ah, they don't want fair odds though, do they? Eh, Shadrach? It's a bloody contest. Come on, Pat. Come on, let's show these buggers.

Sharpe: There's me thinking, to want all our blood for something more than making rich men richer.

Sharpe: What do you reckon then, Pat? This Khande Rao can be taken?
Harper: Well he has a reputation of being a real monster.
Mohan Singh: [comes up from behind a tent] If he is a monster, Mr. Harper, then he's one of British making.
Sharpe: How's that, Captain?
Mohan Singh: The Company have only maintained the peace here, by keeping the princes at each other's throats. Khande Rao's father: he feared his neighbours more than he hated the British. And so it was your country that kept him supplied with arms.
Harper: That sounds just like the English: getting someone else to do its dirty work!
Mohan Singh: The son is not the father, however: Khande Rao wants you out of our country; once and for all. It is a view with which I cannot say I do not have some sympathy.
Sharpe: So why are you fighting with us?
Mohan Singh: Khande Rao is... a sworn enemy of my blood. And that makes you my enemy's enemy, and therefore, a necessary evil. Good day to you both.
[He leaves]
Harper: I don't think I like the sound of that. A necessary evil...
Sharpe: Were we ever been else?
Harper: Oh. And there was me thinking we were always on the side of the angels.

Simmerson: Sharpe! I see time has done nothing to improve a want of etiquette in you. Still the same, whore-mongering, gutter trash of memory!
Sharpe: Aye, and you're still the same cruel, flogging bastard!
Simmerson: Cruel, sir? I calls it discipline! Sepoys they may be. But this is a Christian army and I will see things done the Christian way!
Harper: [Sarcastically] Oh, ay, there's no doubt about that.

[At the scene of a massacre]
Mohan Singh: Where are you going?
Sharpe: After the bastards that did this, where do you think?

Harper: So, you and me are going to stop a rebellion?
Sharpe: Well I don't see no bugger else.
Sharpe: I am no longer in the service of His Majesty. My business in India concluded, I am for Calcutta and England.
East India Company Officer: But perhaps then, might at least you be prevailed upon to perform one last duty? In which, I assure you, there is no peril to yourself.

Marie-Angelique: You mean to leave me here, in the company of common soldiers?
Sharpe: Good practice, I'd have thought. You're set to marry one, aren't you?
Marie-Angelique: Major Joubert is a gentleman.

Sharpe: God knows, I didn't look for this duty. But for better or worse, I'm responsible for your safety.
Marie-Angelique: Unhand me! You are rude, sir. You are rude, and ignorant, and an uncouth brute!
Sharpe: And you, madam, are a spoiled, wilful, petulant and selfish young fool!

[Sharpe discovers that the son of Obadiah Hakeswill is part of the convoy, and attacks him.]
Harper: Stand off, please!
Sharpe: Didn't you hear, Pat? Hakeswill! Hakeswill! And you give him a rifle?

Major Tredinnick: Colonel, what's this man's father to you?
Sharpe: He killed my wife! And left our daughter motherless!

Wormwood: My men come along your supper there, sir, looking to take his pleasure of the maid, sir, by force.
Sharpe: Rape's a hanging, drunk's a flogging, and you in charge of all.

[Wormwood is arranging to have Sharpe killed]
Wormwood: He that plucks the shortest measure from Deever's shut fist shall stand assassin.
Croop: That's murder, Colour.
Wormwood: It's him or us, boys. Him or us.

Sharpe: What good do you think I'll do you dead?
Dragomirov: Ah, you'll be safe enough.

Sharpe: C'mon then ya yellow bastards, what are you waiting for? Cavalry i've shit em!

Sharpe: Day comes a man has to decide, whether he stands to protect what he holds dear, or bows himself under another's will.

See also

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