From The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905):
by Baroness Orczy
Chapter III
The Refugees
. . Lord Antony Dewhurst, one of the sons of the Duke of Exeter, was in those days a very perfect type of a young English gentleman—tall, well set-up, broad of shoulders and merry of face, his laughter rang loudly wherever he went. A good sportsman, a lively companion, a courteous, well-bred man of the world, with not too much brains to spoil his temper, he was a universal favourite in London drawing-rooms or in the coffee-rooms of village inns. At the "Fisherman's Rest" everyone knew him—for he was fond of a trip across to France, and always spent a night under worthy Mr. Jellyband's roof on his way there or back.
. . He nodded to Waite, Pitkin and the others as he at last released Sally's waist, and crossed over to the hearth to warm and dry himself: as he did so, he cast a quick, somewhat suspicious glance at the two strangers, who had quietly resumed their game of dominoes, and for a moment a look of deep earnestness, even of anxiety, clouded his jovial young face.
. . But only for a moment; the next he had turned to Mr. Hempseed, who was respectfully touching his forelock.
. . "Well, Mr. Hempseed, and how is the fruit?"
. . "Badly, my lord, badly," replied Mr. Hempseed, dolefully, "but what can you 'xpect with this 'ere government favourin' them rascals over in France, who would murder their king and all their nobility."
. . "Odd's life!" retorted Lord Antony; "so they would, honest Hempseed,—at least those they can get hold of, worse luck! But we have got some friends coming here to-night, who at any rate have evaded their clutches."
. . It almost seemed, when the young man said these words, as if he threw a defiant look towards the quiet strangers in the corner.
. . "Thanks to you, my lord, and to your friends, so I've heard it said," said Mr. Jellyband.
. . But in a moment Lord Antony's hand fell warningly on mine host's arm.
. . "Hush!" he said peremptorily, and instinctively once again looked towards the strangers.
Emmuska Orczy had published The Scarlet Pimpernel as a play in 1903.
Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise would quail at the thought of Lord Dewhurst, and Mr. Jellyband (applauded by Mr. Hempseed) would not welcome today's politicians into The Fisherman's Rest.