Sharpe's Eagle (1993 TV Movie)
[Richard confronts Berry and Gibbons in the mess after they have raped and flogged Josefina. He throws a glass of wine in Gibbons's face]
Gibbons: I don't fight duels over whores.
[Richard replaces the glass, takes a second and throws it in Berry's face]
Berry: I do.
Berry: [attacking Sharpe] This is going to hurt quite a bit, old boy.
Patrick Harper: So will this, old boy.
Leroy: We have to stop him.
Patrick 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.
Maj. Hogan: And what are your intentions, Sir Arthur?
Wellesley: Why, Hogan, I mean to give the French a damn good thrashing.
Maj. Hogan: [to Simmerson after the disastrous loss at the bridge] 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.
[Gibbons plans to challenge Sharpe to a duel]
Maj. Hogan: Oh, give me your hand, sir! You're a brave fellow, Gibbons! Sharpe's a killer! Killed three French cavalrymen and saved Wellesley's life - three seconds, slash, cut thrust! And that was when he was still a sergeant. Shall we say six o'clock tomorrow morning, in the field behind the camp?
[Gibbons swallows, plainly terrified]
Maj. Hogan: Or should we say it was damn dark, and you made a damn bad mistake?
Gibbons: Silly mistake. Say no more about it, eh?
Maj. Hogan: Good thinking, Gibbons. Sharpe would have shot out your left eye at a minute past six, and you'd have spent all day tomorrow looking up at nothing with the other.
[of the South Essex]
Richard Sharpe: They're flogged soldiers, sir. And flogging teaches a soldier only one lesson.
Maj. Hogan: What's that, Richard?
Richard Sharpe: How to turn his back.
Richard Sharpe: Those men who've fought in a big battle before, one pace forward.
[no one moves]
Richard Sharpe: This place is called Talavera. There's going to be a battle here tomorrow. You'll fight in it... maybe even die in it. But you won't see it.
Richard Sharpe: There's a lot of smoke in a battle. Our cannon, their cannon. Our shot, their shell. Our volleys, their volleys.
Richard Sharpe: You don't see a battle. You *hear* it. Black powder blasting by the ton on all sides. Black smoke blinding you and choking you and making you vomit. Then the French come out of the smoke - not in a line, but in a column. And they march towards our thin line, kettledrums hammering like hell and a golden eagle blazing overhead. They march slowly, and it takes them a long time to reach you, and you can't see them in smoke. But you can hear the drums. They march out of the smoke, and you fire a volley. And the front rank of the column falls, and the next rank steps over them, with drums hammering, and the column smashes your line like a hammer breaking glass... and Napoleon has won another battle. But if you don't run - if you stand until you can smell the garlic, and fire volley after volley, three rounds a minute - then they slow down. They stop. And then they run away. All you've got to do is stand, and fire three rounds a minute. Now, you and I know you can fire three rounds a minute. But can you stand?
[During Sir Henry's toast at a dinner party in camp]
Countess Josefina: I'm getting some air. Good night, Major. Enjoy yourself.
Maj. Hogan: [whispering] I will! I've laid ten guineas with Leroy that Sir Henry will talk for a full hour. Five minutes more, and I'll have won my bet.
Wellesley: Sharpe, I can make you a captain, but I cannot keep you a captain. There is talk of an imperial eagle, Sharpe. There is talk of a promise made to the late Major Lennox. Swear to me on oath that the talk is just idle gossip, Sharpe, or by God, sir, you will walk out of that door a lieutenant.
Richard Sharpe: I swear on oath tha no one heard me make a promise in respect of an imperial eagle to Major Lennox, sir.
Wellesley: Colonel Lawford?
Colonel Lawford: Sir?
Wellesley: You may escort Captain Sharpe to the door, Colonel Lawford.
[Sharpe has challenged Berry to a duel after he and Gibbons have raped and flogged Josefina]
Wellesley: My orders are perfectly clear, Lawford. Dueling is strictly forbidden. I shall make no exception in respect of Captain Sharpe. If he fights Berry at dawn, he will be back among the ranks before the sun is up!
[Lawford opens his mouth]
Wellesley: There is no more to say, sir!
Colonel Lawford: Yes, sir.
[Wellesley walks over to Hogan]
Wellesley: French hopping about a bit, Hogan.
Maj. Hogan: Yes, sir.
Wellesley: Send out a patrol to take a look. Not too big. Eight men, two officers.
Maj. Hogan: I have done so, sir. About an hour ago. Captain Sharpe and Lieutenant Berry.
Wellesley: That should do the trick, Hogan.
Colonel Lawford: [on Wellesley] God, Hogan. Horse, foot, cannon... the French outnumber us three to one. Does he know something we don't?
Maj. Hogan: He knows three things, Lawford. He knows that on his left, the French will not attack the fort. He knows that on his right, Simmerson will run. And he knows that in the center, that Daddy Hill will stand. Means nothing to me either, Lawford. That's why he's a general, and we ain't.
Wellesley: Must be a damn good book, Hogan.
Maj. Hogan: Shakespeare, sir. "Julius Caesar." Marc Antony. "Lend me your ears," eh?
Wellesley: [reading] "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!
Maj. Hogan: Ah, a general who wins battles and lives to claim the credit will never lack for enemies in London, sir.
Sir Henry Simmerson: I have a cousin at Horse Guards, sir, and I have friends at court.
Wellesley: A man who loses the King's Colours loses the King's friendship.
Sir Henry Simmerson: [to Gibbons and Berry] Listen, and listen well. You both dip into my purse. That purse is now shut. It will stay shut so long as Sharpe struts around sneering at the Simmersons. Do you understand me?
Leroy: Monarchy or democracy, it makes no difference. Money talks... merit walks.
[about the first defeat of the South Essex]
Wellesley: This is a report from Major Hogan, which differs somewhat from your account, Sir Henry.
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. He says you lost the King's Colours.
Sir Henry Simmerson: [nervous] 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.
Maj. Hogan: Richard, your mind has been making appointments your body should never keep.
Richard Sharpe: What do you mean by that?
Maj. Hogan: You have ambition which could be the making of you but you also have a romantic soul which could be the breaking of you. Ambition and romance is a poisonous brew, and I mean to distill the one from the other.
Wellesley: The South Essex is stood down in name. If I wipe the name away, 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.
Sir Henry Simmerson: To be commanded by the newly-gazetted Captain Gibbons, sir?
Wellesley: To be commanded by the newly-gazetted Captain *Sharpe*, sir.
Countess Josefina: [to Teresa, referring to Sharpe] You're lucky to have him.
Teresa Moreno: He's lucky to have me.
Sir Henry Simmerson: Do YOU know what makes a good soldier?
Richard Sharpe: Yes, sir.
Sir Henry Simmerson: [pause, then] And what makes a good soldier?
Richard Sharpe: The ability to fire three rounds a minute.
Maj. Hogan: [Sharpe has just taught the South Essex to fire three rounds a minute] Sharpe.
Richard Sharpe: Yes, sir?
Maj. Hogan: Stop showing off, Sharpe.
Richard Sharpe: [grins] Yes, sir.
Leroy: [he has just seen Sharpe talking with Colonel Lawford] You and the young lord twins, or what?
Richard Sharpe: We spent three months chained in a cell in India. He had a page of the Bible. In three months he taught me how to read and write. How can you pay back a man who teaches you how to write your own name, Captain?
Harper: [on the South Essex's musketry] Send them to Ireland. We'd be free in a week.
Richard Sharpe: [eulogizing the dead Major Lennox] At a place called Assaye I saw an army about to turn and run. One Major stepped forward and steadied the line. He saved us. Major Lennox, 78th Scottish Highlanders.
[He turns away]
Denny: [long pause, then to Captain Leroy] I thought he was just an old man!