Goltzius and the Pelican Company (2012) Movie Script

I had a little trading company.
The Pelican Company.
Engravers, printers, a writer,
an actor or two.
All of us specialised in words.
We traded in words.
Words in books.
Words on the stage.
And the members of my company
travelled with their wives
and their mistresses.
And my nephew, Eduard.
And a young woman called Susannah,
who I once knew, carnally.
I needed some money
for some business expansion.
I wanted to make pictures
as well as words.
Pictures in books.
Pictures on the stage.
Every new visual technology
is expensive
And every new visual technology,
sooner or later,
gets into bed with lechery.
My aim was always
to take a trip to Italy.
It was winter-time,
ten years ago.
We fetched up in Colmar
on the Rhine,
and I sought an audience
with the local military-governor.
The Margrave.
By his own account, a libertarian.
With just a little imagination
we seduced him,
and we convinced him to part
with his money.
And maybe also with his dignity.
Don't be alarmed.
I am obliged
to take a public shit at 6 o'clock.
Whether my digestion demands it, or not.
To satisfy my courtiers
that the ceremony
is not completely a farce,
I've trained my body
to respond as it is asked.
By long precedence,
relating back to God knows when,
I am obliged to present my human self
to the populace as an ordinary man.
Some ancestor,
eager to abase himself
as some act of penance
for some unmentionable crime -
though it's my feeling also
as a curious act
of self-indulgent exhibitionism -
decided that the palace library
was the perfect place for such things.
Maybe he was thinking
of books as excrement?
It has become a custom.
Your highness,
Your Majesty...
I am looking to found a new
printing press in The Hague,
the Netherlands.
To spread the new learning
of classical
and biblical knowledge.
The new Humanisme from Italy
with a Protestant understanding.
So, Your Highness, signer, prince,
Your Majesty, sire, sir...
we have come to you, devout Christian
and established humanist
to help us in our endeavour.
How much do you want?
And what do I get in return?
Well, what we intend to plan, signer,
is an illustrated "Book of Ovid",
concentrating on the adventures,
the sensuous adventures, of Jupiter.
What we might tentatively call
the "infidelities of Jupiter".
Or we could say,
the "Jealousies of Juno",
his wife.
And what we then conceive of producing
is an illustrated Old Testament,
with the familiar moral stories,
but told with a singular new freedom.
In other words "dirty books"?
How much?
150,000 crowns for a printing press.
80,000 crowns for yearly maintenance.
The sale of prints will pay
for running costs.
And the Treasury receives 40%
of all profits arising from sales.
Fruit of knowledge? Hm?
Entry of evil into the world?
I never eat apples.
I peel them for my monkeys.
Which monkeys
do you peel your apples for?
My Pelican Company.
Pelican Company?
You have taken up a dangerous task.
Pelicans are a bird that feed their young
by the blood of their breast.
We aim to amuse you.
We will present dramas
of these edifying stories
to demonstrate
the range of our ambitions
and the nature of our interests.
It will be a son of advertisement
for our endeavour.
Concentrate first on the Bible,
the Old Testament,
to demonstrate our faith.
And only secondly,
tackle the classical allegories
to demonstrate our learning.
Declaration of faith before learning
will open all manner of permissibilities.
And you have ten years to manufacture
the best books of their kind in Europe.
Exclusively for me.
...you entertain us for six nights,
and then,
we can sign a contract
on your leaving this estate
on Monday next.
If, that is...
...all expectations are duly met.
We are interested in six sexual taboos.
Surely, in this day and age,
criminal offences,
and surely, in any age, culpable sins.
Let me introduce -
this might surprise you -
my wet nurse.
A most estimable lady,
who has very little indeed
to learn of love.
All my servants are black.
As you can see, it is fashionable
to have black servants.
black servants disappear in the dark,
did you know?
They disappear after sunset.
They become invisible.
Invisible servants
have always been very desirable.
The black does not stop at their necks,
even their pricks,
cunts and their bottocks are black.
Though don't mess with them,
one mustn't mess with them.
Eh, Ebola? It's forbidden.
We don't want anyone seriously fooled,
or disappointed, do we?
It is Ebola's birthday.
It has been considerable years
since my toothless mouth
sucked from her warm
and nourishing nipples.
Just for me, because I know
when you make a thing with all your heart
you essentially make it
first of all for yourself
and then for one other person.
Make your entertainments
for that one other person -
my royal wet nurse.
Make her happy
and you will therefore make me happy,
Very happy indeed -
Master Goltzius, engraver...
...print maker...
Mind... the steps.
We had escarpment imported from Paris.
Please come this way.
Naughty! Naughty!
Ladies of the Court, Your Eminencies,
ladies and gentlemen,
The Pelican Company
from The Hague in the Netherlands
is pleased to present to you
"The Discovery of Original Carnal Sin
"by Adam and Eva
in the Garden of Eden".
This is man.
God's property-
The first sin and possible crime
is voyeurisme.
You must of course ask yourself
what, in fact, will this Colmar audience
be doing now?
What, in fact, are you doing now?
Is the theatre the legitimate place
where we permit ourselves
to be licensed Voyeurs'?
This is woman.
God and man's property.
So, we had secured a foothold
on their credibility.
As I hope we have on yours.
The Creation was much more conceptual.
God would never have been so vulgar.
Don't you think, Rabbi,
that it was very beautiful?
No, I do not.
This was a display of abject carnality,
fit for a bordello!
- Genesis is never so explicit.
- Unfortunately not.
Otherwise we would all believe
with much greater enthusiasm.
We are going, of course,
to tell the old, old story,
in the accustomed manner
of long and venerable repute.
The slow anticipation
of the business of love
building up
to its true demonstration.
Get the nipples to itch,
the scrotums to tighten,
the pricks to rise,
the mound of Venus to swell.
I call you...
Adam is an ancient Aramaic word
meaning many things.
A beginning. A start.
An ego. An eye.
An empty space ready to be inked in.
As I give you a name,
you must now...
As God gives Adam a name,
he must now do likewise
to everything else
in this fresh, clean,
brave new world.
Choose wisely.
I had employed an English playwright,
Said he knew
all the new English playwrights.
So many choices.
So many to choose from.
Stan with the larger concepts
and move freely down
through the categories of size.
That's what I always do.
Very good.
English theatre was booming at that time.
Still is.
I paid him a fee of 8 a play.
I met him at a theatre in Southwark.
We were both taking a shit together.
He noticeably wore no underlinen.
Yes. Indeed, I see you have
quite grasped the concept.
You are beginning
to understand God's intentions.
Well done, Adam! Well done.
Roughly shoved his prick
into his codpiece
as though it was
a serviceable sword into a scabbard.
Now, I will leave you
in order to spend a little time
with some abstract values
that still need attending to.
Do not exceed yourself.
I liked this playwright.
I liked what I saw of his prick
and how he handled it.
What effrontery!
You cannot clap God.
Why ever not?
- May your palms burn in hell.
- Jesus!
He was only applauding good works,
like a good Christian.
- I'm going to clap with him!
- So am I.
The Biblical Creation of Man
- and woman -
for painters,
has always presented problems.
There is just about
enough information in Genesis
to open possibilities,
but far too little information
to expand those possibilities
in any useful descriptive way.
I am snake!
It's up to me to name names.
You name him!
After all, your word is law, Adam-.
In the beginning was the word.
Who are you quoting?
- Why, God of course.
- What about me in all this?
Susannah was the unbalanced mainstay,
in more ways than one.
Let me name names.
What should I call this?
Good. Take the apple.
It can become a symbol of the tree
and therefore of knowledge.
Use it to obtain some wisdom.
How do I do that?
Well, Adam could try biting it, Eva.
An apple a day
keeps the doctor away.
That's also a quotation.
Not necessarily from God, though.
- Bite'?
- Yes. Go on.
The depiction
of this important moment
is always a little contentious, huh?
Van Eyck painted
a good version of this.
It is a question of expectation -
the entry of sin into the world.
And since in the end
we need to sin in this way,
else you and I would not be here,
what on earth is God playing at,
banning that
which is absolutely necessary?
Makes absolutely no sense, huh?
Durer made a fine print, yeah.
Though a little heroic.
And he avoids passing
any sort of judgment.
His Adam and Eva are,
in the end, very impassive.
Now, this model became
a sort of formula.
There is a version
by Cornelis Cornelis van Haarlem.
Ideal man.
Ideal woman.
Man a brown triangle.
Woman a white oval.
It was an invention,
a concept that stuck.
Mouth. Breast. Kiss.
Slow down. You have time.
All eternity, in fact.
Now, there is a thing
that wants a name.
What shall we name
what Adam possesses
and Eva does not?
Oh, I have it -
And how about a word
for her hungry mouth?
I can offer you this.
Penis. Vagina.
The primary apparatus.
Doing it like that is going to be frowned
It will be described as doing it
like a dog.
Could you imagine history recording
that the first love of Adam and Eva
accompanied by "ar ar ar ar", barking?
Dog, a four-legged animal
that runs in a pack.
And, if in any doubt,
remember that "dog"
is only "God" backwards.
And it may be true that only man
in the whole animal kingdom
makes love from the front.
Man, you may say indeed,
is the odd man out, so to speak.
So try a reversal.
Believe me,
reversals can be entertaining.
Watch her face. See her eyes.
Feel her stiffened nipples
against your chest.
Hold her body by the hips Adam,
by the pelvis,
by the pelvic bones that will
shelter your eventual little baby.
And now they have all the words,
all 26 to make the very globe itself.
"In the beginning was the word."
The world is on its way
to uncounted millions and millions,
of little Evas and Adams.
Enjoy the pleasure -
to over-population
and beyond.
Not bad, huh?
We had only been there a short time.
We did well,
pulling all these special effects together.
We are disturbed
by your little play,
which is blasphemous.
We have four counts of blasphemy
that must be addressed.
One - a naked God.
Two - a God that speaks
with mortal words.
Three - an actor that plays
both God and Satan.
Four - extreme disrespect
for Adam and Eve,
the parents of all mankind.
We agreed to a debate.
The Margrave was particular.
He had constructed a debating hall
for just that very purpose.
I agreed.
I was after a contract.
Nakedness is vulnerability.
You make God vulnerable.
How can God be vulnerable?
Nakedness is also pride,
a long way from any mortal shame.
I need to sell to live and work,
find salaries for six employees,
maintain a printing press,
keep up with developments,
be ahead of the trade,
find new markets.
Make, maintain and market.
God did not make man
in his own image.
But man has made God
in his own image.
Thus necessarily giving him
a penis and an anus.
This is extreme blasphemy.
Arrest this man for insufferable pride
for presuming he knows
God's nature and anatomy!
How much theology
do you need to ask
who could have mothered Eve,
if God has a penis but no womb?
A reasonable enough question,
from a pregnant wife to a lustful husband.
A question to you, er, Rabbi.
Were Adam and Eve
technically brother and sister?
And if they were, is it not unlawful
for them to lie together?
Put the Holy Stories in the hands
of women and the lay public,
and you have wholesale confusion.
And is that not exactly
what Calvinists have done?
Margrave, husband?
Why did the serpent deny them
love-making from behind,
when that's all we do?
Well now,
with these so eager critics,
you are pushing
your good fortune to the edge.
And where is the edge?
I never know.
Let us try to find the edge together.
You will be Adam and I will be Eve.
Adam is supposed to be the master
and Eve is certainly his slave.
And give me something of yours to wear
to indicate my lowly position in your life.
And we can board this very boat of a bed
and sail away.
My corset.
A most restricting garment.
A slave has no arms to protect himself.
Then I will have no arms.
Bind my arms.
I can be armless.
Harmless, like a worm.
You're a stuffed shin and a lout.
Very well.
I obey.
I think of myself as the worm's worm.
Like a worm.
All worm.
I am worming beyond the worm's
greatest possibility of worming.
I am indeed The Worm.
Well then, silence.
Worms are silent.
I command you to be a silent lover.
Now, I want to sail away.
Lift me up so I can sail away.
My God, gods and goddesses!
I scarcely believe in a God
but I miss him
if he is responsible for this.
We must arrive
at the same harbour
at the same time.
I promise.
I think I promise.
Ebola? Quick!
Quick, a letter. A letter.
Dear Madam...
Dear Madam...
Who are you?
A mirage?
So near and yet so far.
So near,
I can smell the scent of the soap
that slides between your thighs,
So far,
my fingers can never be
long enough
to brush across your nipples.
Madam, may I approach you?
Will you approach me,
shaming me as I am wrapped
in winter furs?
Would you accept the offer
of my warm cloak
wrapped around your delightful
soft, pink and cream
most delightful body, Madam?
I could come to you across
every rooftop in the world.
She is going!
She is leaving us!
The Pelican Company
will now present to you
a dramatisation of the story
from the Book of Genesis,
describing the efforts of Lot
and his daughters
to continue the human heritage
after the destruction
of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The second sexual prohibition
of our intended
dramatised six is incest.
The other taboos
may be considered crimes
and sins against society.
This taboo shrieks out her objection
in deficient progeny and infertility.
When the fires
at Sodom and Gomorrah raged,
Lot and his daughters,
grimy, sweating and exhausted,
took refuge in a hostelry across the river
from the conflagration.
All right! Strike me dead,
like you did my wife!
But God wanted Lot for a purpose
and did not destroy him.
I had a mistress.
She washed my feet.
Where is she now?
God, why were you so jealous?
What are these two whispering about?
Did they have husbands?
Did they have lovers?
God in Heaven...
...we have come to this to make babies!
And the pleasure of it
is all yours, God.
Or is it the Devil's?
Well it happened. He came.
We must have a boy.
This story of Lot and his daughters
is one of those subjects
that permits painters
to legitimately indulge
in their own lechery
and not be morally condemned.
I could always argue
that I am painting
a moral lesson against incest.
It is legitimate voyeurisme.
Like Actaeon spying on Diana,
and the elders spying on Susanna,
and David watching Bathsheba
bathing on the roof of her palace.
We are too old for this.
We made our daughters
a long time ago.
We must have a boy.
A second boy.
And they did.
They did have a boy.
Two boys.
That night, these two sisters conceived.
Each with a son.
And the boys were healthy and whole.
No sign of the curse of incest
about them.
Lot's dynasty was preserved.
And the world was allowed
to begin yet again.
Third time lucky?
Did God overreact?
And remember, this is the second time
that God got it wrong.
God cannot make mistakes.
The first time was with Noah,
when the world had to be flooded
to rid it of the wicked.
And now wickedness
is to be destroyed by fire.
Water and fire.
What will he use next
to demonstrate his wrath?
You, it sounds.
Do not laugh.
This man is dangerous.
Can't you impeach
that playwright?
Accuse him of something -
blasphemy, heresy, moral turpitude?
We can.
- Which?
- All of them.
But you invited debate
in a court of free speech,
and in public any of these accusations
may turn against your reputation
for the same.
Your morality as a man
is a private affair
between you and your God,
may he forgive you!
But as a prince,
your morality is a public issue.
Your case with William Boethius
over his concubine Adaela
will be compared to the case of David
with his concubine Bathsheba.
Only you are no David
and are entirely unlikely
to produce a Solomon,
with that stupid brainless ninny
you married to excuse your actions.
Find me a charge, or I'll find one myself.
Tomorrow night's performance
will take place on the palace roof.
High in the air.
I cannot play Bathsheba
tomorrow night.
And why ever not?
Are you afraid of heights? Huh?
Too much exposure.
On the roof, or of your person?
Come on.
Are you really saying this? Huh?
- Are you really telling me this?
- Yes.
You love being
in front of an audience.
There are limits.
And I'm sure
you have not reached them.
It's best I limit my appearances.
I must preserve myself a little.
The Margrave has taken
a personal interest in me.
I'm going to reserve myself for him.
I tried to keep everything under control,
but there are things that just elude you,
escape your jurisdiction.
And none more so
than the actor or actress.
Your eyes madam,
held the melancholy of the world.
Why, thank you, sir.
You are too generous.
Though I was not so sure
I understood that last kiss.
A presumption
by our friend the playwright?
Oh, on the contrary.
I insisted he should do it
to remind him where his duty lay
and my love resided.
I trust we will see you again...
- ... tomorrow night?
- Oh, no.
The role of Bathsheba
is always played by Susannah.
It requires a mature woman.
And she has played it with excellence
many times before.
They are the loose cannon
on board the ship.
And whatever you pay them
or charm them with,
or bribe them or threaten them,
if they have made up their minds
you are obliged to go with the flow.
Like a dead fish.
Ah, Goltzius!
You are here to amuse me,
to amuse my court, goddamn it!
I thought, sire,
I thought that you had your own procurer,
your own pander?
I beg your pardon, madam,
your own procuress.
It is not an official title.
Oh, and why ever not?
You must make it one.
The royal body-taster.
If you want such a title Ebola,
you shall have it.
Especially if you persuade
that young lady
to rehearse a little with me.
You can offer her
what you think is suitable.
Up to half my kingdom,
I was thinking. Huh!
But only if you think it's suitable.
Come, we too have
a stately ship at sea,
and must sail away.
Bon voyage, monsieur.
Bon voyage, Goltzius, mariner!
You have just drowned your ship.
How do I get to fuck that woman?
What's stopping you?
Her husband.
Her husband?
Her husband is not her husband.
He does not believe in husbands.
She is his mistress, therefore anybody's.
- Kill him.
- Ha.
Goyal, your solutions
are far too real.
Darling, death is as simple as it gets.
I'm not fucking my wife in public.
All right. Then I'll play David
and I can fuck your wife in public.
Out of the fucking question.
Now, give me that peddle box.
It's a Pity,
because then I think
we lose our finances
to build the printing press
that you wanted so badly.
That you planned for, drew for,
painted for, for five years.
Planning and work
down the drain, out to sea,
washed up, drowned, swamped.
You really think that the prince
wants to see my wife being fucked
when he can buy
any woman in the world?
Turn it around and shake it.
What happened to Susannah?
If she wants more money
we must find it.
It's Susannah.
It's not the money.
Susannah has seen the light.
She is besotted with the Margrave.
She says he is a great lover,
and she wants to save herself for him,
she does not want to lose her chances
by appearing naked in public any more.
She says that the Margrave
is bored with his silly wife
and as soon as he has a son
he will not fuck with her again,
and then maybe even divorce her.
Susannah's thinking of marriage?
My god that woman is a fool.
Try telling her that.
All right, erm,
how do you want to do it?
Boethius can be very inventive.
I don't want to do it,
least not in public.
Boethius will think of something suitable,
so you don't look totally exposed.
How about a suit of armour?
For you or for Portia?
Could be exciting,
the metal and the flesh.
Quadfrey was the master technician.
I always thought, curiously,
that Quadfrey was a masculine woman
in a celibate's neuter clothing.
Whenever possible,
he went as naked
as normal decency permitted.
Though naked as an innocent child
went naked in the nursery.
Look, you have a decent sized prick!
Beautiful! And... And...
You... get your buttocks shaved, huh?
And you can show us a kingly arse
with some rich royal treasure
dangling beneath.
I'm not doing it and neither is Portia.
I remember in the dunes near Noordwijk,
you were happy to show
all the world what you had.
Exposure was a happy
stale of affairs for you then.
I was drunk and younger.
Be drunk again.
David was a Jew and circumcised.
Make sure you keep it erect, huh?
Pull the foreskin back hard
and you could wear a phallic ring.
- I've seen them in Brussels.
- Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!
I want a Hungarian Elephant Press
with the whale-boards on the front plates.
I don't know what that is exactly,
but, by God, I will get you one,
even if I have to drag it
from Hungary myself.
And small-bore sliders
with the cusps
facing the right-hand side.
My God, Hendrick,
for small-bore right-handed sliders,
you had better show us
a good trumpet.
And Portia had better be
a good strumpet.
Jesus Christus, Hendrick,
a Hungarian Elephant Press
for the sight of your willy?
You know, all this could do your marriage
some good, Hendrick.
We have to fuck in public.
We hardly ever fuck in private
so why should we have
to fuck in public?
To excite the Margrave
to cough up enough money
to keep us all working
for the next five years.
Fucking for money?
Maybe that will turn you on.
How much?
It's said that the only difference
between a whore and a wife
is that the first plainly asks
to be paid straight away.
And, er, babies'?
What about babies?
Will they be part of the equation?
Good lord! Could be.
- If we had any.
- And we don't.
And why? Because you can't.
Well, it might work!
Maybe some public exposure
will stiffen up your lust again.
And... Eduard could watch me!
Bitch! That talentless, lecherous youth.
He has been asking after me, you know?
He's been asking after most women.
And some men, I have heard.
You give me a son
and Eduard disappears from view.
- A challenge?
- I want a child, Quadfrey.
I want a child.
You said it would set us up
for five years?
I'll do it.
If you'll do it.
But... I want a house
with red and white shutters in The Hague
with a yard of pleached beech trees
and, um...
ten potted orange bushes,
and a red tulip garden,
and a 20-foot long
lavender hedge
with a path of crushed shells
to a gazebo
overlooking a silent canal.
With swans.
- Whore.
- Pimp.
We now bring to your attention
the true biblical tale
of David and Bathsheba.
David and Bathsheba were later
to become the parents
of the most esteemed King of the Jews.
Solomon, the wisest man,
it was to be said,
in the whole civilised world.
I know your husband.
I hope you should.
He's a loyal officer to all your efforts.
A brave man.
He serves me well.
Very well.
Like a true subject.
Like a true subject should.
Like all my subjects should.
You are one of my subjects.
I am indeed, Your Majesty.
And you, too, will serve me well?
I am obliged to.
Your husband, it is true,
serves me from obligation.
But, I am convinced,
for he has given me copious proof,
from also out of love
and affection and true personal loyalty.
He is eager to please me,
for he knows if he pleases me,
he pleases his country
and therefore, he pleases himself.
You see how we all benefit?
The areas of pleasing, Your Majesty,
I suspect might not be quite the same.
He's a soldier fighting your battles.
You, too, can be a soldier
fighting my battles.
Battles, Your Majesty?
The battle of my heart.
We did arrange for the exhibition
of the mutilated bloody corpse
of Bathsheba's husband
slain in the centre of battle
in which David had placed him.
The Old Testament authors
being persuaded to condone
adultery abetted by murder.
Or was it murder abetted by adultery?
No more talk about your husband.
He is very, very far away.
Unknowledgeable of our meeting.
Ignorant that we are together.
Innocent of our intimacy.
One last thing.
If you intend to impregnate me
with your seed,
lam, at this time,
at the peak of my receptivity.
Then, madam,
you make yourself and your body
even more deliciously
and vulnerably desirable.
The thought
that my seed could penetrate,
activate and decidedly change
the intimate and warm, moist,
interior secret spaces
of your delightful body
fills me with a very great desire indeed.
Madam, you should prepare yourself.
Take off your clothes.
Here then was the exposition
of the third sexual taboo -
adultery, crime against property.
Nature could not care less
about the proposition of adultery.
A child is a child, however conceived.
And nature has succeeded
with adultery admirably,
since it is accompanied
by extremes of excitement
that augur well
for a successful outcome - a child.
I haven't seen your prick rise
so high or so hard
in a very long time.
You, too, opened up for the occasion.
Perhaps Portia,
we should again find a way
to perform in private
like we performed in public.
David cannot have used
such spite and deceitfulness
with Bathsheba.
God would never have let him
be so predatory.
David is the glory of Judaism,
great King of the Jews.
I intensely dislike
the role of the dramaturge,
telling you all the time
what you have done wrong,
how you could do that better,
that it is not true to life.
That it did not really happen like that.
How on earth do they know?
Were they there at the foot of the cross?
When they rolled in the Trojan Horse?
When Eva ate the apple?
When Lot fucked his daughters?
When David watched Bathsheba
at her bath?
When Potiphar's wife fucked
or did not fuck Joseph?
When Samson had a haircut?
And here in Colmar
were too many dramaturges -
academics of the church, elders, judges,
knowing their Bibles
like the back of their hands,
dogmatically declaring
that what they knew
was what the bible knew
and therefore was the truth!
First, seduction.
Then, conception.
Then the death of the child.
Solomon could not have been
conceived out of wedlock.
So the first bastard child had to go.
Have you considered
it might have been
infanticide perpetuated by him?
- Shame on you!
- Deceit!
And deceit and deceit, and deceit on her.
And on her husband,
who was so tirelessly loyal.
He stayed away
because he preferred
- the company of his soldiers.
- Hey, what now?
Are you seeking excuses for David?
Are you accusing Bathsheba's
husband of being a sodomite
to excuse David's miserable behaviour?
- God had a purpose.
- Ah! You may depend he did!
Enough! Take this man
and shut his mouth.
Objection, objection.
You invited us here because
of your reputation for free speech.
Because you do not like
what he says, you shut him up?
What is that, free speech?
So that he can speak with a dirty mouth?
And you Margrave,
you certainly did enjoy yourself.
Because I saw you smile
and I saw you sweat a little
and I saw you lift your backside
as your prick rose.
And when I looked in your
window at half past midnight,
I saw you sucking your wife's nipples
and rubbing your fingers into her cunt.
Shut up! You had no business
looking in my window!
And why? Because it wasn't
your wife you were abusing,
but her two little 14-year old sisters?
Enough! Shut him up.
Stop this wheel.
Get him! Take him away!
Take him away! Arrest him!
Get out!
You could say
the story really starts here.
Signor Quadfrey?
I have something for you.
I am certain it is Herr Goltzius' property.
My husband and his brother
had appropriated it.
Good Lord!
Goltzius has been looking
for that, believing it stolen.
He will be pleased to have it returned.
You see, we are all in it.
And with, sometimes,
alarming frankness.
You see madam, here you are,
easily identifiable by your fulsome belly.
I feel that you could touch and hold
and breathe
in the company of a woman
with much care.
Madam, on that stage I was acting.
I am surprised that,
though you all profess to be
in the new trade of printing,
you are all so accomplished
on the stage.
There are pans of the anatomy, madam,
that appear to know what to do
without rehearsal.
there is... much satisfaction
in a good natural performance
simply for its own sake.
I wish I could believe that of myself.
Oh, do I hear of disappointment?
Do I detect evidence of a belief
in a poor performance?
That cannot surely be,
otherwise, I imagine madam...
...you would not be inhabiting
the fulsome good shape I see before me.
I should also say that the printing
presses of the northern world
have always been closely associated
with the acting profession.
There was, and is, a third reason.
Commercial necessity.
The Pelican Company was
on short shrift.
We were only running
so far in advance of our debts.
Performing on the stage
was only a way
to make it possible for us
to perform in books.
The two are not so very,
very, very...
...very different.
Hey toad.
You can be the Margrave.
Slimy in character, if not looks.
Are you sluggish?
A watery sort of complexion.
warty body.
I wouldn't know.
We would have to strip
the Margrave and see.
Persistently living close to water.
Hidden genitals, no big prick.
No big prick?
Come on, show me your prick.
I don't see your prick, toady.
So perhaps you're female?
Wouldn't know about the Margrave.
Don't think he's a female.
He fancies Adaela.
"The Princess and the Toad"!
Watch out
you don't turn into a prince, toady!
Oh, if you touch my Adaela,
you'll end up with a stake in your heart.
Hey! A awaken!
A croaker!
Does that mean... Does that mean
someone is gonna die?
Where is Boethius?
You mean the heretic?
In jail, where he belongs
What will happen to him?
For the moment I suspect simply nothing.
Later - interrogation, education.
You mean to get him
to change his mind? I doubt it.
We wouldn't bother our engineers.
They are expensive.
What, anyway, is torture nowadays?
Watching that younger daughter of Lot
the other night,
not being able to touch her, hold her,
kiss her, stroke her body,
was torture.
Signor, on Boethius
your use of torture would not work.
You'd be surprised, you really would.
Physical pain changes everyone's mind.
I will make you a bargain.
Release this man from
the possibility of his torture
and I will endeavour to release you
from the possibility of your torture.
Why on earth
would you want to support
a man who denies God?
Because, Margrave, he is intelligent,
amusing and he makes me think,
and think hard.
He upsets every complacency
and prejudice that is in me,
and I like that.
That man is valuable to me.
And, may I suggest - to you.
Only as a creature
who has introduced me
to his mistress's delightful,
desirable body.
But, Mr. Pornographer,
see what you can do.
I give you one day and one night.
Then, who knows?
Your writer needs his fingers to write.
Madam, you are married
to the Margrave of Alsace.
A mighty match.
And you are very pregnant.
Could you be really aware
of the time you are spending here
alone with me?
Yes, lam.
Why are you prepared
to take such mighty risks?
I, I saw you as...
I wanted to see my husband.
And I was... I was jealous
of what he was not and you were.
Soon, I will give birth to a boy.
And then my freedom,
any freedom will be gone.
Completely gone.
I will be the Mother Queen.
- A fated...
- Hm, oh, yeah!
...and very closely watched
and never private woman.
Give me a last night of freedom
with a man who could play the ideal...
...which I might want to see
in my husband.
Madam, I'm sure and certain...
...that your child will be
breast-fed by a wet nurse.
So I will have access.
So I, alone, will have access
to suckle your breasts.
Roman Charity.
The suckling of an adult male on milk-
straight from the source,
so to speak, huh?
Classic story is Cimon and Pero.
The elderly Cimon is imprisoned
by his political enemies
to a death by starvation.
His daughter, Pero,
mother of a young baby,
visits him in prison
and feeds him from her breast.
Supreme sacrifice?
A love for a father that knows no limit?
Paternal demand
that brooks no disobedience?
Belated sublimated incest?
Sheer titillation?
Successive painters uphold sacrifice,
emphasize devotion, expose hypocrisy,
advertise the erotic,
debase daughterly concern.
Take me,
as you look Bathsheba, King David.
Go! Go, Quadfrey!
- Quadfrey, for Christ's sake!
- We are discovered.
Get going, swim downstream.
Have you been watching us all the time?
Yes. You weren't so bad.
I've got a bigger prick than you
and her arse looked inviting.
I liked the way
she had your prick on reins...
- Fucking shut fucking up.
- You'd better get out, and quick!
There's a trapdoor.
Adaela will surely be there.
See if you can get her to hide you.
For Christ's sake,
they'll have your prick as a trophy.
Go! You will lose your head
if they catch you.
His head?
He'll lose his prick first.
Have you noticed there are
no black children in this palace?
You'd think there should be,
considering the mighty army
of black servants, male and female.
I'd love to have a black baby
with one of them.
You can't. It's forbidden.
You have to put up with me.
And if... If black flesh excites
you that much, why don't you...
black me over with Quadfrey's ink?
Quadfrey's dead.
Bound to be.
Swept out into the freezing
waters of the Rhine.
It's winter. He'll freeze.
What the hell did you think
you were doing?
In love?
In love? I don't believe it!
She has no business being in love.
She's a dynastic pawn!
Dynastic pawns don't fall in love.
We could make a fortune.
Deluxe signed copies.
Printed black babies
in the print shops of Amsterdam,
Rotterdam and Paris.
No pain. No sweat.
No mess.
No quicker way to populate the world.
Slick them in the ground in Virginia
alongside tobacco plants.
And black babies and tobacco could
grow together, side by side.
A mirage in the water.
A big scaly white fleshy fish
with a Neptune cock
wrapped around with red ribbon.
And a swordfish nose
that could tickle me deep inside.
Impotent, by all accounts.
A fishy eunuch.
He can't even get his wife pregnant.
Don't worry.
The baby's yours.
- Who are these ladies?
- Just white servants dancing.
And not dancing very well.
True, but that's intentional.
I understand unprotected innocence
can be alluring.
You see?
- Oh, dear, what a waste.
- Yes, you could say that.
Choice - castration or Adaela?
Castration, of course.
But considering the amount of blood
now in my very erect prick,
I will probably bleed to death.
I have to take to the Margrave
something to prove
you have been tortured.
"Finger!" No!
You fucking fat black nigger bitch.
Pain releases all the greatest
and worst prejudices,
now doesn't it just?
I... have a proposition.
I will play Potiphar's wife.
My word!
A quick reaction, I wonder why.
Susannah will play
Potiphar's wife.
I think that you should ask her
to stand down.
- I'm sure she won't.
- I won't.
I could easily agree,
if I can play Potiphar.
Of course you can play Potiphar.
When Joseph, stupid boy,
proves to be reluctant,
Potiphar's wife goes to her husband,
who is played by you-.
You put Joseph in jail.
Then I, as Potiphar's wife...
...sleep with my husband Potiphar,
who is you.
Easy. Simple.
And you release Boethius.
- Is it a bargain?
- Such eagerness, good Lord!
Potiphar, indeed, could do those things.
And he must.
It's part of the bargaining contract.
So I, the Margrave, playing Potiphar,
legitimately, so to speak,
sleeps with his wife.
You cannot do this.
The Margrave is going to be mine.
No Susannah. Think, think.
That is never going to happen.
Yes, it is.
Yes, it bloody is!
There's something much more
valuable than a fucking finger!
You open this door!
Your Madame, madam,
honourable sirs, gentlemen.
This evening, we present to you
for your moral education,
"The Seduction of Joseph
by Potiphar's Wife".
We are at Luxor,
in Egypt, home of the Pharaohs.
Most particularly, we are invited
to the house of Potiphar,
the Pharaoh's chancellor.
And - ooh!
- Most pertinently
we have been invited innocently,
like Joseph,
to the chamber of Poliphar's wife.
Like Joseph,
we can imagine ourselves to be
on an innocent visit,
to supervise some small
domestic pecuniary business,
to evaluate the cost of repainting
the chamber decorations,
the importation of new bed-fittings
from Mesopotamia or...
...the purchase of a new chamber pot.
Good luck.
Our next and fourth sexual taboo -
the seduction of the young.
Which is a crime against innocence
and a naked demonstration of power.
Joseph, how much do they pay you?
I don't get paid.
I'm a Jewish prisoner-of-war.
I'm a slave
and I have no use for money.
- God provides.
- Really?
What does he provide?
Sunlight. Day and night.
The air.
The ground I walk on.
He is the Great Provider.
- Be unfaithful, be quiet.
- Yes. Be quiet.
Be noisy, shout, fall silent,
sleep naked like a hedonist,
sleep clothed and shaven like a nun.
Sleep naked like a hedonist,
sleep clothed and shaven like a nun.
Now, there's a thing - nuns.
Adaela as a shaven nun.
This could be alluring.
Let us talk about your clothes.
I wear the uniform of a servant,
the hat and the shoes of a slave,
and all the necessary
tags and badges
and the compulsory labels
that say I am a Jew.
I wear the obligatory yellow Star of David.
Well, well, I'm sure
I can persuade my husband
to get rid of all those tags and badges
and compulsory labels.
The subject of Potiphar's wife
is fashionable among painters
and their clients,
just now in Europa.
And it is curious to see
how each painter deals with the subject.
What changes is the, er,
well now, the degree
of the sexual demand, huh?
The desire of Potiphar's wife
as read largely on her face.
Then the strength of Joseph's resistance.
How repulsed, in fact is Joseph?
Doesn't that feel cooler?
- Yes.
- And you look so much better.
Not quite so stupid in the clothes
provided by someone else.
So handsome.
You really are
a handsome young man.
I'll take off my shirt.
That's better.
How about those heavy trousers?
- No.
- I say yes.
I'm told the Jews mark themselves
as separate human beings
from the rest of us.
To indicate their separateness,
their superiority.
That they cut and mutilate themselves
to prove that they are Jews.
Surely, a contradiction
for people keen to be
appreciated as "very civilised".
Are they doubting that God
fashioned them correctly
so that they have
to finish the job themselves?
I'm curious.
Will you let me see if ifs true?
Will you show me?
There now!
You must surely
now feel more comfortable?
- I am.
- Let me look at you.
And I do believe
that the marks of a Jew
could not be so bad after all.
I was expecting something very wounded.
There are some equivocations here.
The important question is,
did I suspect that
the Margrave's brother,
and therefore we may presume
the Margrave himself,
was circumcised?
Were they Jewish?
This family
of Holy Roman Empire brethren?
I doubted it then and I doubt it now.
You may turn around again.
Look at me.
Look at my body.
Are you pleased with what you see?
"No, madam!"
Why ever not?
Many men would be happy
to see what you're looking at.
Sulking, unrequited lover.
- But freely, freely.
- Spiteful-.
What in God's name is that?
Is there anything called freedom?
I'm the free-est man in this kingdom
and I do not feel free at all.
Now, I'm giving you
love and affection.
Well, let's say affection.
Physical affection.
Perhaps love, who knows?
But being a man of God...
I suspect you would not want
the love of a woman.
Was Susannah acting her role
or was she reacting
to what she observed?
Was she remembering the lines
written for her by Boethius?
Or was she creating her own lines?
Either way, she did well.
- You're a married woman.
- Well, that is true.
- And an infidel.
- Infidel?
- What, I wonder, is that?
- I am a Jewish prisoner-of-war.
I am to be respected
as a Jewish prisoner-of-war.
Well, I am always surprised
when people say that.
Respect is never automatic.
It always has to be earned.
Don't you think you have
to earn that respect? Come on!
Earn my respect.
I could help you. Bind him.
And so the conversation
of seduction continued,
till Potiphar's wife - or was it Susannah?
Until she had the poor boy helpless.
However, either way,
he was young and lecherous enough,
despite himself,
to make his anatomy behave well.
Mutilated or not,
Jewish or not,
the responses are certainly familiar.
No. You have to stop now.
I can't go with women.
A little jabber?
A rolling pin?
A comedy in three acts,
two repeatable,
one explosive?
Arrest him! He tried to rape me.
Look at him, all red-faced
and red-pricked.
His clothes in my bed
and his smell on my sheets!
I... Where's Adaela?
Wait, this was not the deal.
I had a contract where's Adaela?
What the hell are you doing here?
I thought Eduard was playing Joseph
It didn't happen. It did not happen.
Don't worry, Potiphar.
It did not happen.
- Oh, shut up.
- But it nearly did.
- Shut up!
- The wretch!
- The wretch!
- You stupid bitch!
Shut up!
Where's Adaela?
Well, we engineered that one
well enough.
How gullible are those
stretched by lechery?
Get out! All of you!
I thought
that Eduard was playing Joseph.
How can I bloody play Potiphar
if my brother is playing Joseph?
I end up a second substitute
to my bloody brother.
Get out. Get out, get out.
And what the hell
did you think you were doing?
Playing the dirty little vagabond
with your prick out.
You could see I was playing Joseph
for God's sake.
A biblical hero!
It didn't seem like a biblical hero,
the way you were playing him.
But I preserved his innocence.
Oh, yes, yes, his innocence.
Yes, yes.
With your erect prick.
Like a donkey in heat!
Why, thank you, brother!
Donkeys are uncommonly well endowed.
However, as you saw,
the sex was not consummated.
Oh, no, no, it bloody nearly
was consummated. Yes.
One more minute and Joseph's
famous reputation for innocence
would be exploded completely.
What the hell do you think
you were doing?
Much the same
as you hoped to do, I imagine.
Don't you understand?
If I died without a son
you would be the next in line!
What an exhibition in public, huh?
For the next Margrave of Alsace.
What about your exhibition of yourself?
Potiphar's wife was lonely.
What? Like hell she was lonely.
- She wanted company.
- Like hell she did.
Potiphar was reputed
to be interested in young men.
- What?
- Which the Rabbi says
excuses his wife
for trying to seduce Joseph.
What kind of goddamned
sophistry is that?
If I'm playing Potiphar
what does that make me?
- A fucking sodomite?
- Well...
- That's what the Rabbi told me.
- Oh, yeah...
The Rabbi is finding excuses for you
to expose your prick in public?
I think the Rabbi,
between you and me, brother,
will excuse anything
the actress Susannah
is prepared to do in public.
It would seem, Master Goltzius,
that your dramas
begin to encroach
on the well-being of my court.
Your brother, sir, volunteered.
As an example of the dutiful reticence
and repudiation of evil
that this court is capable of.
Shut up, Goltzius.
I suspect you of insidious entreaties
to a young man
not at all sure of his sexuality,
to comer me into a position
of some embarrassment,
and thus, force my arm
to sign your contract.
A risky stratagem,
which would have undermined
my credibility if believed.
What truly surprised me however,
was that I had an unlikely ally.
This court is replete with stories
of the boy's sexual sophistication.
I cannot believe for one minute
that Mosaic law would be
so fastidiously sympathetic
to such exhibited lechery.
The law of Moses
is sympathetic to women
in ways that later
and less sophisticated religions
have not seen fit to be.
We enjoyed this argument
between the Margrave's
religious servants.
The freedom of speech in my court,
which enables you to speak
with such liberality,
may not be found elsewhere
in Christendom.
Am I, as a Jew,
to be interested in Christendom?
There are limits to my liberality.
As an example of those limits,
you shall be silenced here.
- Gag him.
- I protest!
So you do!
Join the heretic, Boethius!
Sir, may I suggest we proceed
with the entertainment as planned?
Excuse me, remove ourselves
a little from the heat
and the affairs of the moment,
and move to our next
performance in your honour?
I suggest, sir, that we consider
the story of Samson and Delilah.
And now we have here
a candidate to play Samson.
He is hirsute enough to play Samson.
He's big enough
to play an ogre and a giant.
A man who over-reaches himself
to stand up for the actress
who plays Potiphar's wife.
Let's see if he and his flesh
can be made to stand up for Delilah.
I have come, Joachim,
like a good Christian,
to visit the prisoners in prison.
Prison visiting is the sixth charity.
I am going to call you Joseph.
May I call you Joseph?
That way we can be easier
in our identities.
I have undertaken to impersonate
a beaten and disgraced Joseph.
So why not?
I am going to set aside
our master-pupil relationship
in favour of your most
delightful performance.
I was very impressed.
I confess that I have never seen you
so delightfully vulnerable before.
As you sat before me as a student,
legs crossed,
Mouth a little open.
Your breeches stretched.
Your declaration is now nakedly,
Master Cleaver, in the open.
I dreamt.
I was tempted by the Devil
in the guise of an angel
to prove my imperviousness to sin.
The Devil disguised as an angel
led me to a jail.
And there to test me...
...he beat me and he whipped me.
And men...
I believe I awoke.
The dream was incomplete.
Am I ever likely to understand
the outcome?
Well, it is not impossible that
we could remake the dream.
And maybe I could enact the angel.
Then you must beat me, a sinner.
In expectation, I brought
an instrument of punishment.
Did Boethius write
that most devastating ending
for the protestant?
Or was it the natural course of events
that brought us to this point?
Who was writing the scripts now?
Master Cleaver wishes
identification with Christ.
You must be humiliated
in a way that society holds
most abased.
And the criminal courts
will take you to the stake
and burn you
since you have submitted
to such a humiliation.
Do you freely submit to such humiliation?
I do. Like my saviour,
I must be unutterably punished.
Then here is the first passage
to the stake, faggot.
In your dream,
you thought it was an angel
impersonating the Devil
to save you from yourself.
When, in fact, it was the Devil
impersonating an angel
to be certain you abased yourself
beyond all your current hopes.
There was no reprieve
for the Christ you wanted to be.
Nobody came to save Christ.
Nobody at all.
So why should anyone
come to save you?
No reprieve.
But we can drown you.
Now you will not burn at the stake
for permitting sodomy.
You will drown instead.
- Can you swim?
- I-I can't. I can't.
- Master Cleaver...
- I can't swim.
- You can't swim?
- I don't know.
No, then you will surely drown.
Miserable imitation Christ!
The fifth sexual taboo -
Love exchanged for money.
Accompanied here by treachery.
It is a little theatrical
presentation that demonstrates...
Delilah is the established
byword for treachery.
"The treacherous woman."
She sells Samson
for a prophetic thirty pieces of silver.
What else do you have
that may be described
as pertinent to Samson, Rabbi Moab?
- I cannot consort with you.
- I think you can, Rabbi Moab.
Isn't that
what you have been wanting to do
these past four evenings?
And because you are Susannah
I will not give in to the demands
of other men's lechery.
I am not in danger of committing
sins of the flesh with you,
with my body, but only with my mind.
Although God can see my mind
and will excoriate me mercilessly,
no one else will know.
My fight will be with God alone,
and He knows that,
and I know that.
But it will exist only between us.
No one else will know.
What is all this whispering?
Is this your text, Rabbi,
or the heretic's?
I think the Rabbi is searching, my lord,
to find words to condone
his lechery for me.
Let him.
And I feel that he will rise
to the occasion
and we shall all be entertained.
Let us begin as accustomed lovers do.
Come here. Let me kiss you.
Ooh, you stink!
it is the dead Calvinist who stinks!
You are in need of a wash.
- Now, take off your armour.
- I protest.
Save your voice, lover,
and let me do the talking.
God will understand
that you are being forced.
God will not accept actions
made under torture.
Am I tortured?
I am tortured.
What of this body?
What is it that permits you
your great strength?
- I believe in God.
- So do I.
But I am a weak woman.
Does he make me strong
because I believe in him?
I see! God believes in me!
There now.
Are you and your God satisfied?
You are still Susannah and not Delilah.
And those two women
are great distances apart.
Now tell me, Samson,
what is the reason for your strength?
- I have lost it with you.
- That is not the answer I want.
Tell me!
Tell me the source of your strength.
In the story of Samson,
it was said that Samson's hair
gave him his strength.
Shave it and he would become weak.
I don't believe in such tales.
They are symbolic.
His strength, like mine,
relies in a belief in God.
I have been celibate all of my life.
I feel already without strength.
I feel weak and vulnerable.
- Quickly! He is yours!
- No!
- Do not blind me!
- Don't touch his eyes!
- Don't blind him!
- Do not blind me!
All men are brought low by lechery.
Your critics
have been silenced, Margrave.
Look at them!
One gagged, one dead, one blinded.
What of your reputation now
for liberality of speech?
In the face of heresy and treason,
I have no choice.
Of course you have choice!
You are not threatened.
Why turn these harmless dramas
into vicious games of politics?
The games of the flesh
are small, superficial.
We are like children
playing games with our anatomy.
You make these games significant
in ways that suggest you fear them.
And do you not think
that the stories of the Bible
are surely written by men?
And is not their purpose to guide
and advise by metaphor
and not by literal truth?
The story of Samson is to show
how all men can be deceived by women.
I am one of these perfidious
women who so deceive.
And I have a choice to make.
We are going to make a move
to the New Testament.
We are going to play the drama
of John the Baptist and Salome!
- No, we are not Adaela.
- Goltzius, I decide.
No. We are illustrating
the Old Testament in print and drama.
We are not breaking the conditions
of our commission!
Oh, Goltzius, this time I decide.
We are performing Jewish tales
and not Christian tales.
Come, come, Goltzius!
They're all Jews!
And, therefore, all Jewish tales.
I'm going to dance for you in recompense
for the insult you believe
you have received.
I will play Salome.
You will play Herod.
The dance of the seven veils?
You will dance for me?
- How will you dance for me?
- Oh, you know the story.
I will dance for you
as Salome danced for Herod.
Voluptuous, immoral.
How can I refuse?
I accept, I will play Herod.
Ecclesiastical friends
and companions of religious toleration
in this liberated country of Alsace,
tonight we present to you
the last of our biblical dramas,
all of them tales of morality
that troubled our Jewish
and Christian forebears,
and laid down examples
for our moral education.
By special request,
tonight, we present a tale
from the enlightened New Testament
that has great moral lessons
worthy of the Old Testament to teach us.
The story, no less,
of Johannes the Baptist
and Princess Salome,
the beautiful daughter-in-law
of Herodus the Great,
King of the Jews by Roman decree.
May I present to you
none less than the Margrave of Alsace,
who has graciously agreed
to play the great King Herodus.
And this on the day
when the Margrave's
esteemed uncle, Ricardo,
has been appointed
as Cardinal of Alsace -
an honour that I am certain,
will be well received
and appreciated by us all.
Go away!
...the sixth sexual taboo -
Am I to see Salome's love of the dead?
More! Dance for me again.
It was too quick.
Dance the same dance again.
I promised to dance for you, and I did.
- Enough.
- I will pay you.
I will pay The Pelican Company well.
I will grant The Pelican Company
all they want.
Goltzius shall have his printing press.
I will commission
a thousand books.
It was me who danced for you,
not The Pelican Company.
For you, then.
For you.
What do you want me to give you?
Ask me a price.
- Anything?
- Ha ha! Anything!
Lust makes you untrustworthy,
as lust makes all men untrustworthy.
Ask me!
- Ask me for anything.
- Very well.
I will dance for you again,
if you release my lover, Boethius.
No. Never.
- He's a heretic.
- Then, no.
I'm leaving.
The price of my dancing is his freedom.
- No, stop.
- No.
I... I'll give you jewels.
Money. Gold.
There is only one thing I want.
I will give you...
...the county of Haguenau Forest.
Four cities, three castles,
30,000 citizens, and...
and... taxes for a year
on the salt from the salt mines.
I will give you half my kingdom.
I want my lover, Boethius.
Nothing else.
- No!
- Well then, no more dancing.
I want my lover.
Release John the Baptist.
No! Never!
- Never!
- Herod. Herod.
Margrave, men.
Just give her what she wants.
Fulfill the ending of the story.
There are plenty more birds in the trees
and you have me for ever.
We all know what happened
to John the Baptist.
Give her what she wants.
His prick and his head
do not have to remain on his body.
- Do it.
- Very well.
- You can have what you want.
- Have him brought here.
I want him to see me dance as well.
Bring him! Fetch him!
Now dance!
Now, you must pay the price.
You must let me take what you agreed.
I will not be intimidated.
Go on!
Give it to her.
Give her the worthless head
and the pathetic prick she so desires.
Give her what she asked for.
No, you wouldn't dare!
Wait. What about your...
What about your reputation
for mercy, for clemency?
If you do it, you will be cursed!
I will curse you,
and you will die a miserable death.
You will be eaten by worms.
Ooh-hoo, worms!
Adaela, the wordy worm.
The noisy worms!
Margrave, her predisposition for worms
needs attention.
If she says
you will be consumed by worms...
...then she will be right.
Shut your noisy mouth, Boethius.
Do it! Do it! Do it!
She provokes you. Do it!
She is making a fool of you.
Do it!
Then the whole thing turned sour.
It was meant to be
an acted metaphor.
It became a bloody reality.
I had transgressed.
Moving to the New Testament
had shifted my focus.
Adaela suffered such
that she could turn her life
into a personal mythology
that would always dramatise her
and give her existence
a black and melodramatic focus.
Maybe I was the one
who suffered most.
I am the Margrave!
It was time for my best speech.
My lords, maybe it is the greatest irony
that the most unrepentant
non-believer, William Boethius,
a man who has often explained
his beliefs here in this court,
should play the pan of one
of the most prominent true believers
and prophets of Christianity,
Johannes the Baptist,
and be executed in his place.
Shame. Shame.
Maybe we might take
the metaphor further
and consider that William Boethius
is a prophet of the unbelief to come,
like Johannes was a prophet
of Christus and Christianity.
Boethius may be an exception now,
but in the future,
his sort might be the common
and perhaps the ordinary,
in a way that believing Christians
are now the common and the ordinary.
50,000 for a new printing press.
100,000 for an illustrated
Old Testament.
Please sign.
We expect to see results.
The Margrave's power is not so little.
His arm of influence
could be considerable.
All the way to The Hague
in the Netherlands.
Princes talk not infrequently to princes.
We had got what we wanted -
exactly and absolutely.
And I certainly got what I wanted.
I now had the time and the freedom
to afford to do exactly
what I had always wanted to do,
which is to paint.
It has not gone unnoticed
that you carry with you
a book of drawings to which,
if I am not mistaken,
you constantly make contributions.
I'm willing to give you, um...
50,000 for it.
You may take the money now.
But soon in Rome we will meet.
I expect you to bring me
your little book.
You see how I trust you?
I met Cardinal Ricardo in Rome,
and Susannah was there.
Susannah's face stays with us all,
as indeed do other
characteristics of her anatomy.
50 copies of the illustrated
Old Testament, as demanded.
I am to deliver them in person,
and, if satisfactory,
we enter into the second part
of the commission -
an illustrated book of Ovid.
"Leda and the Swan",
"Ganymedus and the Eagle",
"Europa and the Bull",
"Callisto and Diana".
Lo, fucked in a cloud of Jupiter.
And "Danae and the Shower of Gold".
And the Margrave is no longer in charge.
He is considered insane,
and ferried about his palaces
on a wheeled bed.
Don't cry.
Don't, don't. It's all right.
You see?
The mood of the court is
entirely changed.
They say that winter has been banished,
and the court is gay and infectious.
I look forward to return.
And I wish you, of course,
every lechery
that you could wish for yourself.