Quotes from The Scarlet Pimpernel

Emmuska Orczy ·  204 pages

Rating: (106.7K votes)


“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Pimpernel”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Had he 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 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, where her tiny hand had rested last.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Odd's fish, m'dear! The man can't even tie his own cravat!”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Sink me! Your taylors have betrayed you! T'wood serve you better to send THEM to Madam Guillotine”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Money and titles may be hereditary," she would say, "but brains are not,"...”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel



“We must prove to the world that we are all nincompoops”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“The sound of distant breakers made her heart ache with melancholy. She was in the mood when the sea has a saddening effect upon the nerves. It is only when we are very happy that we can bear to gaze merrily upon the vast and limitless expanse of water, rolling on and on with such persistent, irritating monotony to the accompaniment of our thoughts, whether grave or gay. When they are gay, the waves echo their gaiety; but when they are sad, then every breaker, as it rolls, seems to bring additional sadness and to speak to us of hopelessness and of the pettiness of all our joys.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“A woman's heart is such a complex problem - the owner thereof is often most incompetent to find the solution to this puzzle.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Thus human beings judge of one another, superficially, casually, throwing contempt on one another, with but little reason, and no charity.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“I take it, sir, that you do not approve of our new society."

"Approval, sir, in my opinion, demands the attainment of perfection. And in that sense, you rather overrate the charms of your society. I'faith, for one thing, it does seem monstrous ill-dressed for any society, even a new one.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel



“Look at this limp cravet. And the sad state of those cuffs. I can hardly bring myself to look upon them.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“When will you give up these mad adventures, and leave others to fight their own battles and to save their own lives as best they may?'

When your ladyship has ceased to be the most admired woman in Europe, namely, when I am in my grave.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“She said nothing, and Sir Andrew, too, was silent, yet those two young people understood one another, as young people have a way of doing all the world over, and have done since the world began.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“She, at least, ought to have known that he was wearing a mask, and having found that out, she should have torn it from his face, whenever they were alone together....Her love for him had been paltry and weak, easily crushed by her own pride”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Now, when their glances met, they understood one another. The power that lay within both their souls had met, and, as it were, clasped hands. They accepted one another's sacrifice. Hers, mayhap, was the more complete of the two, because for her his absence would mean weary waiting, the dull heartache so terrible to bear.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel



“It does seem simple, doesn't it?' she said, with a final bitter attempt at flippancy, 'when you want to kill a chicken...you take hold of it...then you wring its neck...it's only the chicken who does not find it quite so simple. Now you hold a knife at my throat, and a hostage for my obedience...You find it simple...I don't”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when it is crushed.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“...but in every century, and ever since England has been what it is, an Englishman has always felt somewhat ashamed of his own emotion and of his own sympathy.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation's glory and his own vanity.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“He was calmly eating his soup, laughing with pleasant good-humour, as if he had come all the way to Calais for the express purpose of enjoying supper at this filthy inn, in the company of his arch-enemy.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel



“It is only in our beautiful France that wholesale slaughter is done lawfully, in the name of liberty and of brotherly love”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“The present is not so glorious but that I should wish to dwell a little in the past.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“She looks very virtuous and very melancholy."

"Virtue is like the precious odors, most fragrant when it is crushed.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“She would keep him, keep his love, deserve it and cherish it, for this much was certain, that there was no longer any happiness possible for her without that one man's love.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“...and in repose one might have admired so fine a specimen of English manhood, until the foppish ways, the affected movements, the perpetual inane laugh, brought one's admiration of Sir Percy Blakeney to an abrupt close.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel



“Suddenly…a sound…the strangest, undoubtedly, that these lonely cliffs of France had ever heard, broke the silent solemnity of the shore. So strange a sound was it that the gentle breeze ceased to murmur, the tiny pebbles to roll down the steep incline! So strange, that Marguerite, wearied, overwrought as she was, thought that the beneficial unconsciousness of the approach of death was playing her half-sleeping senses a weird and elusive trick. It was the sound of a good, solid, absolutely British “Damn!”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Money and titles may be hereditary," she would say, "but brains are not,”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“The invigorating scent of the sea was nectar to her wearied body, the immensity of the lonely cliffs was silent and dreamlike. Her brain only remained conscious of its ceaseless, its intolerable torture of uncertainty.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“Anonymity crowned him as if t'were the halo of romantic glory.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel


“The moral crisis she'd just gone through made her feel indulgent toward the faults, the delinquencies of others. How thoroughly a human being can be buffeted and over-mastered by fate had been borne in upon her with appalling force.”
― Emmuska Orczy, quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel



About the author

Emmuska Orczy
Born place: in Tarnaörs, Heves County, Hungary
Born date September 23, 1865
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