The Scarlet Pimpernel

by

Baroness Orczy

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The Scarlet Pimpernel: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lying on the ground, Lady Blakeney is aware only of the sounds of nature and the rushing waves. Her dress is torn and her feet (she has long since lost her shoes) are raw and worn from walking. In the quiet night, “the sound of a good, solid, absolutely British ‘Damn!’” breaks the near silence. “Odd’s life!” Sir Percy yells, “but I wish those demmed fellows had not hit quite so hard!” Lady Blakeney looks in the direction of the voice and sees her husband’s eyes “shining out of the weird and distorted mask of the Jew.”
It is not surprising that Percy’s “absolutely British ‘Damn!’” is the sound that cuts the silence. Percy’s Britishness is one of his best qualities, Orczy argues, and he hasn’t lost his sense of humor either. Percy is resilient, unlike Chauvelin, who buckles under pressure. Again, Orczy implies that Percy is inherently more capable because he is an Englishman.
Themes
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
Percy!” yells Lady Blakeney. “I am here! Come to me!” Sir Percy is still tied up, no matter how loosely, and cannot break free. She will have to make it to him and untie his hands. When Lady Blakeney finally makes it to her husband, her fingers are “numb,” so she begins to chew away at Sir Percy’s restraints with her teeth. Once he is finally free, he smiles at his wife, still disguised as the Jew. He laughs and takes off “the disfiguring wig and curls.”
The image of Lady Blakeney chewing through Percy’s ropes with her teeth suggests that she has left all her pride behind. In this position at his feet, she is completely devoted to him and no longer hindered by her crippling pride.
Themes
Pride and Humility Theme Icon
Percy,” Lady Blakeney says, “if you only knew…” Sir Percy looks at his wife tenderly. “I do know, dear…everything,” he says. She asks if he can ever forgive her, and he claims forgiveness is not necessary. “I have naught to forgive sweetheart; your heroism, your devotion, which I, alas! so little deserved, have more than atoned for the unfortunate episode at the ball.” She is shocked that Percy knows even about the ball. “But Armand…” she remembers. Safely aboard the Day Dream, Percy says, with the Comte de Tournay.
By traveling to Calais and attempting to save Percy, Lady Blakeney has adequately proven her love for him. Furthermore, she has also indirectly helped to rescue the Comte as well, through which she effectively atones for her sin against the Marquis. Marguerite has managed to remain loyal to her morals despite great conflict and sacrifice, and she is rewarded with Percy’s love and her own happiness.
Themes
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Loyalty Theme Icon
Lady Blakeney has forgotten all about Sir Andrew as well. Sir Percy had run into him back in Calais, before meeting Chauvelin at the “Chat Gris.” Percy had sent Sir Andrew here, to the Père Blanchard’s hut, by way of a “roundabout road” unknown to Chauvelin and his men. That way, Sir Andrew was both safely out of the way and moving toward the Day Dream, whose dinghy is presently waiting for all of them just beyond a cove. “Ah! [Sir Andrew] will make pretty little Suzanne a most admirable and methodical husband,” Percy says.
Sir Percy easily covers all his bases, which is further evidence of his competence and abilities. Furthermore, Sir Andrew’s loyalty, unlike Desgas’s, is rooted in his respect and love for Sir Percy, which allows him to better serve him. It is unlikely Desgas could have followed orders as well as Sir Andrew did, which Orczy implies is because Sir Andrew’s loyalty is based on moral principle and personal conviction.
Themes
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
Loyalty Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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“The boat of the Day Dream?” Marguerite asks. Sir Percy laughs. When he slipped instructions for Armand into the hut, Percy gave him a second letter to leave behind for Chauvelin—sending him in the opposite direction to Calais. After the dinghy dropped Armand and the others onboard the Day Dream, it came back and hid behind the cove. “But I…I cannot walk,” Lady Blakeney says. “I will carry you, dear,” Percy replies and lifts her from the ground. Undoubtedly exhausted and strained by the beating of Chauvelin’s men, Sir Percy carries the “precious burden” all the way to the Day Dream’s boat.
Percy carries Marguerite all the way to the boat even though he is obviously in pain and greatly suffering, showing that Percy is indeed again devoted to his wife and worships her as he once did. His reference to her as a “precious burden” also reflects his dedication— to Percy, Marguerite is worth all the trouble she has brought to his life.
Themes
Pride and Humility Theme Icon
Related Quotes
In less than an hour, they are all onboard the Day Dream, and “the rest is silence! —silence and joy for those who had endured so much suffering, yet found at last a great and lasting happiness.” The wedding of Sir Andrew Ffoulkes to Mlle. Suzanne de Tournay is the social event of the season, and M. Chauvelin, the “accredited agent” of France, is never again seen in London, “after that memorable evening at Lord Grenville’s ball.”
Like Marguerite, Percy has abandoned his pride and he is able to love his wife again, and is therefore happy. Sir Andrew too finds well deserved happiness with Suzanne. While Orczy doesn’t exactly say what becomes of Chauvelin, he presumably is executed at the guillotine, which Orczy implies is well-deserved as well.
Themes
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Pride and Humility Theme Icon