Free Classics: “Scaramouche” by Rafael Sabatini

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog,, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

I can’t claim authorship of the first line of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. It is one of the most famous first lines in literature, but I love being able to use it as the first line of my blog!

Here is an excerpt from a random Amazon review of Sabatini:

I write this message to announce my great good fortune to have discovered at last the novels of Rafael Sabatini … About heroes and villains, betrayals, loves lost and regained, great injustice and final satisfaction, epic action and adventure, tiny misunderstandings that change the course of lives, twisting plots hung from cliffs, complex characters who struggle with life, waver, try a different path, lose faith and regain it.

This was a book that I loved in my youth. The rest of the book is as readable as the beginning. But in case you don’t believe me, here is a sample:

“Had I been born a gentleman, do you say?” quoth he, in a slow, bewildered voice. “But I was born a gentleman. My race is as old, my blood as good as yours, monsieur.”

From M. le Marquis there was a slight play of eyebrows, a vague, indulgent smile. His dark, liquid eyes looked squarely into the face of M. de Vilmorin.

“You have been deceived in that, I fear.”


“Your sentiments betray the indiscretion of which madame your mother must have been guilty.”

The brutally affronting words were sped beyond recall, and the lips that had uttered them, coldly, as if they had been the merest commonplace, remained calm and faintly sneering.

A dead silence followed. Andre-Louis’ wits were numbed. He stood aghast, all thought suspended in him, what time M. de Vilmorin’s eyes continued fixed upon M. de La Tour d’Azyr’s, as if searching there for a meaning that eluded him. Quite suddenly he understood the vile affront. The blood leapt to his face, fire blazed in his gentle eyes. A convulsive quiver shook him. Then, with an inarticulate cry, he leaned forward, and with his open hand struck M. le Marquis full and hard upon his sneering face.

Don’t you want to know what happens next?

Download your free copy of Scaramouche here >>

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