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Sharpe's Rifles
Sharpe's Rifles - Starring Sean Bean
sharpe's rifles

Portugal 1809

Richard Sharpe is a scrappy Sergeant with the second Battalion of the 95th Rifles. After bravely saving the life of the Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington), Sharpe is rewarded with a field commission, making him a lieutenant.  In command of the 95th Rifles under Captain Murray, Sharpe soon finds that they are an undisciplined bunch.  Neither Murray nor the men of the Rifles are prepared to accept Sharpe's command, because ‘proper’ officers are not raised from the ranks. His first mission is to go behind enemy lines to locate James Rothschild, an agent missing in Casa Antiga, with badly-needed funds for the British army.

Sharpe has his first encounter with Commandante Teresa and Major Don Blas Vivar, on watch in the hills when Sharpe’s company is attacked.  All except Sharpe and a small band of Chosen Men are killed.  Sharpe continues with the mission he has been given, and Teresa and Blas Vivar agree to go with Sharpe to Casa Antiga if Sharpe will accompany them on their own mission to Torrecastro afterwards.

When they find Casa Antiga, it has been attacked by the French under Colonel de l'Eclin, but there is no sign of Rothschild.  Left behind are a Methodist couple, Mr. and Mrs. Parker and their daughter Louisa.  The family are taken into Sharpe's protection.

Sharpe discovers his real mission is to escort one of Spain’s holiest relics, an ancient flag, and he doesn't wish to continue to Torrecastro.  But Vivar's request is reinforced by the appearance of Maj. Hogan, Wellington's 'exploring officer'.  Sharpe is ordered to hold the town while the relic of St. James is flown to inspire the Spanish to rise up against the French.
Teresa: We have two ears, but only one mouth; so a good leader will listen twice as much as he shouts.

Richard Sharpe: Gimme a pick-lock, Cooper.
Cooper: Pick-lock, sir? Catch me with a pick-lock!
Patrick 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?
Richard Sharpe: Trust me.
Cooper: It's very hard to trust a man who wants to borrow your pick-lock, sir.

Teresa: If you were French, I would take a knife and you would tell me all I wanted to know.
Richard Sharpe: But we are allies.
Teresa: Allies? Do allies keep secrets from each other?
Richard Sharpe: Lovers keep secrets from each other, yet they still make love.
Patrick Harper: Now there's a woman worth fighting dirty for, sir.

Patrick Harper: Sweet is the silent mouth, Cooper.
Cooper: Didn't say a word, did I?

Patrick 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.

[Sharpe is asking his men about their pasts]  
Harris: Harris. From Wheatley in Oxfordshire.
Sharpe: And previously?
Harris: A courtier to my lord Bacchus and an unremitting debtor.
Sharpe: You're a rake and a wastrel, Harris. Is there anything you can do?
Harris: I can read, sir.
Richard Sharpe: You volunteer for this lot, Cooper?
Cooper: Erm, not exactly, sir. I was 'invited' to join, by a magistrate.
[Inspecting the "Chosen Men", the company sharpshooters]
Richard Sharpe: Chosen Men, are you? Well, I didn't choose you.
Patrick Harper: We don't want to go south, sir.
Richard Sharpe: And what the hell do I care what you and the lads want, eh? You think the British Army's a bloody dem...  [searches] ... dem...
Harris: Democracy, sir. Comes from the Greek word "demos" and means "rule by-"
Richard Sharpe: Shut up, Harris!
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?
Patrick Harper: Jesus, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Man in Black: I can help you. Give me the box?
Patrick Harper: And if I do?
Man in Black: You will be rich.
Patrick Harper: And if I don't?
Man in Black: You will be dead.
Patrick Harper: Hmm... well, you're having the best of the argument so far.


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