De Lesseps is a young aristocrat who conceives the idea for the Suez Canal. When Napoleon fails him, the British show interest. Though the p...更多>
Benjamin Disraeli: [to the House of Commons] By all means support this policy; by all means rally round the Prime Minister; by all means follow cheerfully and unquestioningly his leadership. All of you... who are as anxious as he to see England reduced to the standing of a third-rate power! [His party appears to be losing the election] Benjamin Disraeli: Yes, I'm afraid you're right. Apparently the present government have temporarily averted the danger of England taking over the leadership of the world, huh? Ferdinand de Lesseps: Oh, Eugenie, darling, I'm leaving for Egypt in an hour and 45 minutes. Will you marry me? Countess Eugenie de Montijo: What? Ferdinand de Lesseps: I'm going there as secretary to the Consulate. Marry me, come with me. Rene's going for the license. Countess Eugenie de Montijo: What license? What are you talking about? Ferdinand de Lesseps: The marriage license! Quick, pack your things, we've just time to get to the church. Countess Eugenie de Montijo: But I couldn't possibly do a thing like that, you know I couldn't... Ferdinand de Lesseps: Don't you understand, I may be gone a year, five years... this may be our last chance! Countess Eugenie de Montijo: Oh, Ferdinand, are you insane? Ferdinand de Lesseps: No. [pause] Ferdinand de Lesseps: Yes. [Toni's donkey has pulled her bathing machine away from the water] Ferdinand de Lesseps: At your service, mademoiselle. Toni Pellerin: Make him bring back my little house. My clothes are in it. Ferdinand de Lesseps: Well, why don't you come out and get them yourself? Toni Pellerin: Shame on you. Ferdinand de Lesseps: My dear young lady, I don't mind seeing you in your bathing dress. [pause] Ferdinand de Lesseps: Ohhh! Tch, tch, tch, tch -- shame on YOU! Toni Pellerin: Look! A rainbow! Oh, Grandfather says there's a pot of gold at the end. Ferdinand de Lesseps: One end in the Mediterranean and the other in the Red Sea. What a pot of gold for the world if they could be joined: the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Look, Toni! That water in the old gulf. Just as it was centuries ago, when the Phoenicians sailed through. Can you imagine ships sailing right through here where we're standing? Toni Pellerin: Ships? Ferdinand de Lesseps: Yes. Not ancient galleys but modern ships, steamers, sailing a short trade route to the East. It could be done: no elevations, no rock formations, just a simple sand... ditch. (Heh heh heh. And I was told I was going to dig ditches.) There's fate in this, Toni. Something sent me here to Egypt when I didn't want to come, kept me here when I wanted to leave. I thought it was a dead end, has been up to now. But I can make this -- I can make this spot that we're standing on the crossroads of the Earth. Why, think of it, Toni, a canal stretching through to the Mediterranean, open to the ships of all nations! It could be done, and I can do it. I was looking for a way to serve France, and I think... I think I've found a way to serve the world. Ferdinand de Lesseps: Oh, but it's absurd to think that any one nation would dominate the canal!
: [to the House of Commons] Our first duty is to the mother country, England. Members: Hear, hear! Prime Minister: I would not trade the meanest English county for all our colonial possessions!