The Scarlet Pimpernel

by

Baroness Orczy

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The Comtesse de Tournay Character Analysis

The wife of the Comte de Tournay and mother to the Vicomte and Suzanne. The Comtesse and her children escape the Reign of Terror with the help of the Scarlet Pimpernel and are brought to England by Sir Andrew Ffoulkes and Lord Anthony Dewhurst. The Comtesse despises Lady Blakeney for her role in the execution of the Marquis de St. Cyr and his family, and she forbids Suzanne, Lady Blakeney’s longtime friend, from associating with her.

The Comtesse de Tournay Quotes in The Scarlet Pimpernel

The The Scarlet Pimpernel quotes below are all either spoken by The Comtesse de Tournay or refer to The Comtesse de Tournay. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of The Scarlet Pimpernel published in 1974.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Lord Antony and Sir Andrew had said nothing to interrupt the Comtesse whilst she was speaking. There was no doubt that they felt deeply for her; their very silence testified to that—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. And so the two young men said nothing, and busied themselves in trying to hide their feelings, only succeeding in looking immeasurably sheepish.

Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

She went up effusively to them both, with not a single touch of embarrassment in her manner or in her smile. Lord Tony and Sir Andrew watched the little scene with eager apprehension. English though they were, they had often been in France, and had mixed sufficiently with the French to realise the unbending hauteur, the bitter hatred with which the old noblesse of France viewed all those who had helped to contribute to their downfall. Armand St. Just, the brother of beautiful Lady Blakeney—though known to hold moderate and conciliatory views—was an ardent republican; his feud with the ancient family of St. Cyr—the rights and wrongs of which no outsider ever knew—had culminated in the downfall, the almost total extinction, of the latter.

Chapter 8 Quotes

She had but little real sympathy with those haughty French aristocrats, insolent in their pride of caste, of whom the Comtesse de Tournay de Basserive was so typical an example; but, republican and liberal-minded though she was from principle, she hated and loathed the methods which the young Republic had chosen for establishing itself. She had not been in Paris for some months; the horrors and bloodshed of the Reign of Terror, culminating in the September massacres, had only come across the Channel to her as a faint echo. Robespierre, Danton, Marat, she had not known in their new guise of bloody justiciaries, merciless wielders of the guillotine. Her very soul recoiled in horror from these excesses, to which she feared her brother Armand—moderate republican as he was—might become one day the holocaust.

Related Symbols: The Guillotine
Page Number: 67-8
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“I am sure,” said the Comtesse, pursing up her thin lips, "that if this Chauvelin wishes to do us mischief, he will find a faithful ally in Lady Blakeney.”

“Bless the woman!” ejaculated Lady Portarles; “did ever anyone see such perversity? My Lord Grenville, you have the gift of the gab—will you please explain to Madame la Comtesse that she is acting like a fool? In your position here in England, Madame,” she added, turning a wrathful and resolute face towards the Comtesse, “you cannot afford to put on the hoity-toity airs you French aristocrats are so fond of. Lady Blakeney may or may not be in sympathy with those Ruffians in France; she may or may not have had anything to do with the arrest and condemnation of St. Cyr, or whatever the man’s name is, but she is the leader of fashion in this country; Sir Percy Blakeney has more money than any half-dozen other men put together, he is hand and glove with royalty, and your trying to snub Lady Blakeney will not harm her, but will make you look a fool. Isn’t that so, my lord?”

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The Comtesse de Tournay Character Timeline in The Scarlet Pimpernel

The timeline below shows where the character The Comtesse de Tournay appears in The Scarlet Pimpernel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Paris: September, 1792
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Minutes later, a guard anxiously approaches Bibot, looking for the hag and her cart. Comtesse de Tournay and her children are hiding in the cart, the guard says. “And their... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Refugees
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
...can my children and I ever show enough gratitude to you all, Messieurs?” asks the Comtesse de Tournay. Her daughter, Suzanne, joins the Comtesse at the hearth. “So this is England,”... (full context)
Chapter 4: The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
As Lord Anthony and Sir Andrew sit down at the dinner table with the Comtesse and her children, the two strangers sitting near the back of the coffee-room slip out... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
...his glass again. “May we welcome him in England before many days are over.” The Comtesse begins to shake. “I scarcely dare to hope,” she says. Lord Tony reassures her that... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Loyalty Theme Icon
Pride and Humility Theme Icon
...“humble tool” to his “great leader.” Someone else entirely is responsible for their escape. The Comtesse asks to meet him at once so that she can thank him personally, but Lord... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Pride and Humility Theme Icon
The Comtesse asks Lord Anthony why they risk their lives to save poor French aristocrats. “Sport, Madame... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
...women in France “have been more bitter against us aristocrats than the men,” and the Comtesse agrees. One woman, Marguerite St. Just, had “denounced the Marquis de St. Cyr and all... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
...friends with the Prince of Wales and together they “lead both fashion and society.” The Comtesse shudders. “I pray God that while I remain in this beautiful country, I may never... (full context)
Chapter 5: Marguerite
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
The Comtesse stands immediately at the mention of Lady Blakeney. “I will not see her!” she proclaims.... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Loyalty Theme Icon
Lady Blakeney approaches Suzanne and the Comtesse “with not a single touch of embarrassment,” as the Comtesse places a “restraining hand” upon... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
“We are in England now, Madame,” the Comtesse answers, “and I am at liberty to forbid my daughter to touch your hand in... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Outrage
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
...ago. The Scarlet Pimpernel had crossed the Channel before they did, but he escorted the Comtesse and her children all the way from Paris dressed like the old hag. (full context)
Chapter 10: In the Opera Box
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
...loiters outside the box and notices all the English eyes staring at his guest. The Comtesse de Tournay and her children approach, as well as Lady Portarles, a member of British... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
“Ah, Monsieur,” the Comtesse cries, “and my poor husband still in that awful country.” Lord Grenville assures the Comtesse... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
“I am sure,” the Comtesse says, “that if this Chauvelin wishes to do us mischief, he will find a faithful... (full context)
Chapter 11: Lord Grenville’s Ball
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
...present to Your Royal Highness,” Lord Grenville says, leading the Prince of Wales to the Comtesse de Tournay. “This is a pleasure, Madame,” the Prince says to the Comtesse, “my father,... (full context)
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
Disguise, Deception, and Dual Identity Theme Icon
The Comtesse, whose “respect of royalty amounts almost to a religion,” bows “ceremoniously.” Lady Blakeney does the... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Mysterious Device
Social Class and the French Revolution Theme Icon
...friend to visit last night in the presence of the Prince of Wales, and the Comtesse had been too polite to forbid it. As Lady Blakeney crosses the landing outside her... (full context)