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.

Sharpe's Rifles

[Richard Sharpe is asserting his authority over Patrick Harper and the other soldiers under his command]
Sharpe: 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: You volunteer for this lot, Cooper?
Cooper: Erm, not exactly, sir. I was 'invited' to join, by a magistrate.

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: 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.

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.

Sharpe's Eagle

[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? Or shall we say it was damned dark, and you made a damn bad mistake?
[A long pause]
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.

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.

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.

Sharpe's Company

Teresa: All men should have daughters. It puts honey on their tongues.

Sharpe: Obadiah, and a blackguardly officer called Morris, once beat a native Indian half to death, 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 pipely. 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.

Wellesley: I think you're a rogue, Sharpe. But you're one of my rogues and you're on my side. I don't want you dead.

Sharpe: 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's Enemy

Teresa: [to Sir Augustus] If you were a man, I would call you out, force you to fight a duel, and kill you.

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.

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

Sharpe: What are you smiling at, Fredrickson?
Frederickson: I'm not smiling, sir. A musket ball broke my jaw. I have false teeth. The sawbone stuck on the smile for free, sir. He also stuck on my hair. Hair belongs to a horse, sir.

Sharpe's Honour

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 her. Bugger!
Harper: I'd remember it.
Sharpe: Aye! So would I. The 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, partisans 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?

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?

Sharpe's Gold

Harper: I had an uncle who thought the Faeries were after him.
Sharpe: What happened to him?
Harper: Well, sir, they got him.

Will Nugent: I'm most grateful for this young man. He saved us all.
Wellesley: It's what he does. Isn't it, Sharpe?

Sharpe's Battle

Loup: No more of my men will die in this god forsaken place.
Sharpe: They will if I find them.

Sharpe's Sword

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: Dangerous mission sir.

[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!

Sharpe's Regiment

[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?


Sharpe's Siege

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.

Sharpe's Mission

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.

Sharpe's Revenge

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.

Sharpe's Justice

In a pub, Sharpe and Harper are being billeted
Scarsdale Yeomanry Officer: And what do you require?
Harper: Bed, board, breakfast and a bit of respect, you piece of English arse.

Sharpe's Waterloo

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

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!

Sharpe's Challenge

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!

[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's Peril

Sharpe: I am no longer in the service of His Majesty. My business in India concluded, I am for Kolkutta 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!

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