Love & Friendship (2016) Movie Script

[military drum beat]
Man, narrating: Langford.
If only if it hadn't been for Langford.
How happy we might have been.
Manwaring, don't turn
your back to me, please!
I can't bear it!
Wait! I beg you!
Catherine, a letter.
Seems Lady Susan will finally visit.
In fact, she is already on her way.
- What?
- Lady Susan Vernon?
Congratulations on
being about to receive
the most accomplished
flirt in all England.
- You misjudge her, Reginald.
- How so?
Well, like many women
of beauty and distinction,
our sister-in-law has been a victim of
the spirit of jealousy and all that.
- It's jealousy?
- Yes.
Well, like anyone,
Susan might be capable
of an action or a remark
which is open to misconstruction,
but I can't help
but admire the fortitude
with which she has
supported grave misfortune.
Excuse me.
I spoke out of turn.
Why would Lady Susan,
who was so well settled at Langford
- suddenly want to visit us?
- What reason does she give?
Her "anxiety to meet me
and to know the children"
has never concerned her before.
Your Ladyship.
Susan. Come, hurry.
My dear, such haste.
How curious you are.
Mr. Johnson's carriage is about
to come into the street.
Surely that must happen often.
- You didn't receive my letter.
- Letter?
Mr. Johnson forbids
my seeing you.
Why, that's preposterous.
By what means "forbids?"
He threatens the severest
punishment imaginable:
sending me back to Connecticut.
Oh, to be tarred and feathered.
He claims to have important
business at Hartford.
He threatens to settle there if our
connection isn't entirely severed.
And for what possible
reason or pretext?
His former ward Lucy
Manwaring wrote to him.
Did she?
- Horrid woman.
- I know.
If she were going to be jealous,
she should not have married
such a charming man.
I recall thinking
as I approached Langford,
I like this man.
Pray heaven no harm come of it.
I was determined to be discrete,
and I have been,
admitting no one's attentions
but Manwaring's,
avoiding general flirtation entirely...
except for a little notice
bestowed on Sir James Martin,
but if the world knew my motive there,
it would honor me.
- Martin?
- Sir James Martin,
of Martindale.
- Vastly rich, rather simple.
- Ideal.
Miss Maria Manwaring
has set her cap for him,
considering such an income too large
not to be shared,
but with a little notice, I detached him
and soon had him in love with Frederica.
If my daughter were not the
greatest simpleton on earth,
- she'd be engaged to him now.
- What?
She refused him...
a baronet with 10,000 a year.
- It's all so provoking.
- But where will you live?
If there were another place open to me,
I would crawl there on my knees.
The worst spot this side of the ocean.
A country village.
Churchill, my brother-in-law's seat.
Mrs. Cross, a gentlewoman
in strait and circumstances,
will come with me as my companion,
to pack and unpack, you know,
that sort of thing.
And, as there's an element
of friendship involved,
I'm sure the paying of wages
would be offensive to us both.
My brother-in-law
Charles Vernon is very rich.
Once a man gets his name on a
banking house, he rolls in money.
So it's not very rational for his lady
to begrudge the sums he's advanced me.
Decidedly irrational.
Not rational at all.
I have no money and no husband.
Well, in one's plight, they say,
is one's opportunity.
Not that I would ever want to think
in opportunistic terms.
Oh, certainly not. Never.
Churchill coming
into view, Your Ladyship.
Heavens, what a bore.
Yes. Decidedly boring.
- Susan, welcome.
- Thank you.
- This is Mrs. Cross.
- Mrs. Cross.
You're quite welcome to Churchill.
This is Frederick and Ellen.
Good afternoon, Frederick.
Very pleased to meet you.
Mrs. Cross is a friend
of Lady Susan
and should be in the adjoining room.
No reason to complain
of Mr. Vernon's reception.
Not entirely satisfied with his lady's.
- No?
- Mm-mm.
She's perfectly well bred...
surprisingly so.
But her manner doesn't persuade me
she was disposed in my favor.
As you might have noticed,
I sought to be as amiable as possible.
Exceptionally amiable.
In fact, entirely charming.
- Excuse me for saying so.
- Oh, not at all. It's true.
I wanted her to be delighted with me,
but I didn't succeed.
I can't understand it.
It's true I've always detested her
and that, before her marriage,
I went to great lengths to prevent it.
Yet it shows an illiberal spirit to resent
for long a plan which didn't succeed.
Decidedly illiberal.
Not liberal at all.
My opposing her marriage
and then later preventing her and
Charles from buying Vernon Castle
might have given her
an unfavorable impression of me,
but I've noticed that where
there's a disposition to dislike,
a pretext will soon be found.
- You mustn't reproach yourself.
- I shan't. The past is done.
My project will be the children.
I know a couple of their names already,
and I've decided to attach myself
to young Frederick in particular...
taking him on my lap and sighing
over him for his dear aunt's sake.
[knock on door]
Come in.
Mrs. Vernon's compliments,
Your Ladyship.
She asks if you and Mrs. Cross
would join her for tea.
With pleasure.
Mrs. Cross would prefer her repose,
but thank Mrs. Vernon.
I'll join her directly.
[woman speaking French]
Susan: Yes, Frederick, I see
you have quite an appetite.
You will grow tall and
handsome like your uncle.
- [Frederick giggles]
- Ellen: Fred, dear, be good.
[speaking French]
Don't touch that.
Frederick, be careful.
Oh, I'm so sorry.
- No, not at all.
- Les enfants...
Such a family resemblance.
Rather moves me.
You'll want to change.
No, no. Let's have our tea
while it's still warm.
Mrs. Cross is a genius
with fabrics.
- You sure?
- Oh, yes.
How much Frederick reminds
me of his dear uncle.
Do you think there's a resemblance?
Oh, remarkable.
The eyes.
Weren't Frederick Vernon's eyes brown?
I refer more to the shape
and slope of the brow.
I must thank you for this visit.
I'm afraid the short notice
must have come as a surprise.
Only because I understood you
to be so happily settled at Langford.
Well, it's true Lady Manwaring and
her husband made me feel very welcome,
but their outgoing dispositions
led them so often into society.
I might have tolerated
such a life at one time,
but the loss of a husband such as
Mr. Vernon cannot be borne easily.
To stay with you here at your...
charming environment
became my fondest wish.
I was happy to have the chance to meet.
Might I confide something?
Langford was not ideal for my daughter.
Her education has been neglected,
for which I fault myself.
Mr. Vernon's illness prevented
me from giving her the attention
that both duty and affection required.
I therefore placed her at this
excellent school: Miss Somers-Keeve's.
I trust Frederica will visit soon.
Well, a visit, as delightful
as that might be,
would represent so many hours and days
deducted from the grand
affair of education,
and I'm afraid Frederica can't
afford such deductions.
But she'll come for Christmas.
Alas, no.
Miss Somers could only give her the
concentrated attention she requires then.
- I'm so sorry.
- Not at all.
If you'll excuse me,
I'll give it to Mrs. Cross,
who, when rested, craves activity.
Once she's applied her genius to it,
all traces of little Frederick's
interesting design will disappear.
The fees at Frederica's school
are far too high
to even think of paying.
So in a sense it's an economy.
Yes, although Mrs. Cross
is upstairs resting.
I confess to curiosity
to know this lady,
to see firsthand her bewitching powers.
- Is she as beautiful as they say?
- You worry me, Reginald.
Don't. I understand Lady Susan
possesses a degree of captivating deceit
- which might be pleasing to detect.
- You truly worry me.
Good evening.
What charming expressions.
Susan, uh, let me introduce
my brother Reginald DeCourcy.
Reginald, may I present
Frederick Vernon's widow
Lady Susan and her
friend Mrs. Cross?
Delighted to make your acquaintance.
Your renown precedes you.
I'm afraid the allusion escapes me.
Your reputation
as an ornament to our society.
Oh, what you say surprises me.
Since the great sadness
of my husband's death,
I've lived in nearly perfect isolation.
To better know his family and to
further remove myself from society,
I came to Churchill,
not to make new acquaintances
of frivolous sort,
but of course I'm pleased
to know my sister's relations.
[woman singing opera]
Mrs. Cross: I take it you are finding
Mr. DeCourcy's society more pleasurable.
To some degree.
At first, his conversation
betrayed a sauciness and familiarity
which is my aversion,
but since I've found
a quality of callow idleness
which rather interests me.
When I've inspired him
with greater respect
than his sister's kind
offices have allowed,
- he might in fact be an agreeable flirt.
- He's handsome, isn't he?
In a cough-like way...
not like Manwaring, of course,
but there's a certain pleasure in
making a person predetermined to dislike
instead acknowledge one's superiority.
How delightful it will be to humble
the pride of these pompous DeCourcys.
A letter for you, my dear.
- Letter?
- Yes, from Catherine.
I hope she'll arrive soon.
The season's cheerless
without children.
I'm afraid this cold
has affected my eyes.
Save your eyes, my dear.
I'll read for you.
- No, it's all right.
- No, I just...
Here. Uh...
Let's see.
Catherine hopes you are well
and asks most particularly
that you give me her love.
Yes, and?
Oh, Reginald has decided to stay
at Churchill to hunt with Charles.
He cites the fine open weather. What
nonsense. The weather's not open at all.
Well, maybe it is there, or it was when
she wrote. My dear, could you just read?
- Verbatim?
- Yes, the words.
Some of Catherine's
voice will be in them.
Well, I'll read every word, comma,
and dash if that's what you wish.
Just the words, please.
No punctuation at all?
All right. That's much easier.
- Lady Susan?
- Yes, she has been visiting Churchill.
- Lady Susan Vernon?
- Yes.
Well, how could Reginald engage in
conversations with Lady Susan Vernon?
Conversations which are...
What would they talk about?
My eyes have definitely cleared.
I can read it. Don't trouble yourself.
No, no. If my son and heir's involved
with such a lady, I must trouble myself.
[clock chimes]
- Well, I must go.
- No. I'll write.
No, no.
If this is happening, there's no time.
Thank you.
- Father.
- Reginald.
How extraordinary for you to be here.
- You're in good health, I trust?
- No.
How's Mother?
What brings you to these parts?
Take a seat.
I won't dissemble and say I
have business in the district.
What I've come about is more important.
What's of such importance?
I know young men don't admit inquiry
into affairs of the heart,
but, as the sole son
of an ancient family,
you must know that your conduct
is most important to us.
Your happiness, ours, the credit of
the family name, its very survival...
- Father.
- No, no, no. Hear me out.
I know that you'd not deliberately form
an engagement without informing us.
But I can't help fear
that you'll fall into an obligation
which everyone near you must oppose.
- What do you mean, sir?
- Well, Lady Susan Vernon's age alone...
Father, you astonish me.
What surprises you?
Impugning such ambitions to Lady Susan.
She'd never think of such a thing.
My sole interest has been to enjoy the
lively conversation of a superior lady.
Catherine's prejudice is so great.
Prejudice? Lady Susan's
neglect of her late husband,
her extravagance and dissipation,
her encouragement of other men
are so notorious...
These are vile calumnies.
I could explain each
but would not so dignify them.
- I know you spend little time in society.
- Oh, none.
Should you have frequented it more,
you'd know the astonishing degree
of vile, hateful jealousy
in our country.
Don't deprecate our country, sir.
I can't prevent you
inheriting the family estate,
and my ability to distress
you during my life
is not the kind of revenge
that I would choose to take.
- Father, this is unnecessary.
- No, no. Let me continue.
A permanent connection
between you and Lady Susan Vernon
would destroy every
comfort of our lives.
It would be the death
of the honest pride
with which we've always considered you.
We'd blush to see you, to hear of you,
to think of you.
with the utmost humility,
let me say that what you imagine...
is impossible.
Poor Mrs. Cross was obliged
to accept a paid position
in Buckinghamshire.
As there was an element
of friendship between us,
I realized the paying of wages
would be offensive to us both.
You value friendship highly.
Yes. I hope I was
of some help to her.
And your friends don't neglect you.
Thank you, Charles.
It's from Frederica's school.
I can't believe it.
It defies comprehension.
- What?
- Frederica has run away.
- She's run away from school.
- Heavens. Where to?
- They don't know.
- She's lost?
No. They detected her plan
early enough to intercept her.
What folly. Where could she
have thought of going?
Surely here.
No, this is the last
place she would come.
- I mean, rather...
- But she must miss you terribly.
Certainly. I just don't think
Churchill would be her object.
Oh. This is outrageous.
Miss Somers requires
that Frederica be removed from school.
Miss Somers must be under the impression
that, as a widow without fortune,
I may be bullied. Evidently she's
forgotten Frederica is a Vernon.
But Charles must put this right.
Confronted with his imposing words,
even the mistress of a school
must be persuaded to act rightly.
[bell tolls]
I have no notion of Frederica
being so contrary.
She seemed all Vernon milkiness.
But it confirms the rightness
of my plan. Did Sir James call?
- Several times.
- Excellent.
I followed your instructions,
scolding him roundly for making
love to Maria Manwaring.
He protested that it had
only been in joke.
You're right.
He's wonderfully silly.
But we must not let Sir James forget
with whom he's in love.
A man so rich and foolish
will not remain single long.
Sir James is so far from
having forgotten the Vernons,
I'm sure he'd marry either
of you in an instant.
I must go back to Churchill.
But I may need your help
finding a school
if Miss Somers
won't take Frederica back.
Under no circumstances will I
have Frederica at Churchill.
That's wise.
What do you mean?
The nearness of their ages,
her and Reginald's.
How unkind.
- Forgive me.
- Forgiven.
The fallacy of youth.
Isn't it rather clear that it is we,
women of decision, who hold the trumps?
Lady Susan?
Lady Susan Vernon.
How dare you address me, sir.
- But, Lady Susan...
- Begone, sir, or I will have you whipped.
- Outrageous.
- Have you never met him?
No. I know him well. I would never
speak to a stranger like that.
I hope you will see my friend Alicia.
She's an American from the Connecticut
branch of the Delancey family.
Well, though even the best bred
Americans don't sound particularly fine,
there's a freshness to her manner
I find rather tonic.
Her family were treated outrageously
there during the late war,
punished for their very
loyalty to the Crown.
Americans really have shown themselves
to be a nation of ingrates.
Only by having children can one begin
to understand such a dynamic.
Susan, I've been looking for you.
The afternoon coach brought this note.
Perhaps Charles has
succeeded with Miss Somers.
Oh, it's as I've feared.
Miss Somers refuses to keep Frederica.
She says she must think
of her school's reputation.
Preposterous. I've never
heard of her school.
- Could that be them?
- What, Frederica?
Hello, hello. Here we are.
- Is this Frederica?
- Yes.
Allow me to introduce
our niece... charming girl...
uh, Miss Frederica Vernon.
Welcome, Frederica.
We've longed to know you.
My brother Reginald DeCourcy.
Pleased to meet you.
Good afternoon, Frederica.
Good afternoon, Mother.
It's as I've feared.
Excuse me. I must go to my daughter.
Poor Frederica.
- Poor mother of Frederica.
- What?
The daughter is, I understand,
- a troubled girl.
- How do you so fear?
She hasn't had tea.
Could be a lack of nourishment.
Where is Frederica?
In her rooms,
practicing the pianoforte.
She practices quietly.
Don't look.
Frederica's watching us.
- Watching us?
- Through the window. Don't look.
How odd to be spied upon.
That's the parent's lot.
We bring these delightful
creatures into the world,
eagerly, happily,
and then, before long,
they're spying upon and judging us,
rarely favorably.
Having children is our fondest wish, but
in doing so, we breed our acutest critics..
It's a preposterous situation
but entirely of our own making.
- I marvel at your good humor.
- Well, what alternative have we?
It's the way of the world.
We must accept it with a smile.
Of course, when the little
ones are very small,
there's a kind of sweetness
which partially compensates
for the dreadfulness which comes after.
- You worry for Frederica's future?
- I worry for her present,
acknowledging that the responsibility
for securing her future rests with me.
[woman singing opera]
[laughing] Come on.
Pretty? You think so?
Yes. You don't?
No, I ought not to have said that.
In any case, beauty matters little.
It's vivacity and a lively intelligence
one looks for, even from the young.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Please excuse me.
I beg your pardon.
- What is it, my dear?
- James: Miss Vernon!
He's here.
He is here.
Sir James is here.
- Who?
- I'm so sorry. Please excuse me.
James: Oh, Frederica!
Oh. Sorry
to come like this.
I... I suppose you weren't expecting me.
Sir James, allow me
to introduce my sister-in-law
Mrs. Catherine Vernon and her brother
Mr. Reginald DeCourcy.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
How kind of you to ask.
Uh, excellent.
Truly, very well.
Thank you.
Uh, excuse my hurry in coming,
the lack of notice beforehand,
et cetera, et cetera.
The truth is I forgot to write.
Then it was too late.
Now I'm here.
Took the liberty of a relation,
hoping to be one soon.
I must say, you look surprised.
You were astonished
to see me, no? Not?
That's how it looked.
Yes. I was astonished,
and I still am.
Uh, an impressive establishment you
have here, sir. My congratulations.
Mr. DeCourcy is
Mrs. Vernon's brother.
Very good.
It's her husband Charles Vernon
who has Churchill.
That's how you say it.
All together like that:
Churchill. Ha ha!
Oh, well, that explains a lot.
You see, I'd heard "church" and "hill"
but couldn't find either.
All I could see was this big house.
Ha ha!
Fine name, Churchill.
Marlborough, right? The general.
Showed the French.
- You must be very proud.
- No connection.
But I believe I have
heard it spoken of.
I... I think you mentioned it.
Yes, I think you did.
But, again, I heard "church" and "hill,"
and I couldn't see either.
But I realized I was in mistake
and now stand corrected.
Ah, happens
quite a lot. Ha ha!
Reginald, would you be so kind
as to take Sir James to see Charles?
I think you'll find
Charles very well versed
in the advanced agricultural methods
in which you've taken such an interest.
Oh, yes. Advanced agricultural methods.
Very much so.
Collins, who supervises Martindale
for me, speaks of them often.
A landowner of the current day
must know all sorts of things.
That is our role.
"Hello, Collins," I say.
"What advanced agricultural methods
have we today?"
Oh. There you are.
Are you asleep?
- No, Mama.
- Well, what, then?
You were hiding from me.
Please explain.
My strange girl.
- What were you up to back there?
- What?
Rushing out before Sir
James entered the room.
I couldn't bear to see him.
Couldn't bear.
Ungenerous manner of speech.
Frederica, dear,
Sir James Martin is
a kindhearted young man
whose only offense seems to be wanting
to provide you with a life of comfort.
Have you nothing to say?
Dear, our present comfortable state
is at the most precarious sort.
We don't live.
We visit.
We're entirely at the mercy of
our friends and relations,
as we discovered
so painfully at Langford.
Here, you seem to have won
your aunt's affections.
I think I served you well there, for I
believe she'd do anything to spite me.
But such a dynamic
cannot continue forever.
- But Mama...
- But Mama.
I will not always be here
for you to contradict me.
If a life of comfort
such as Sir James has to offer
is not to your taste, what will you do?
How will you live?
- I... I could teach.
- Teach.
Had you been more in school,
you'd not consider such a thing.
Answer this.
When our Lord wrote his commandments,
which did he consider so important
that he put it in the fourth position?
The fourth position?
Yes, the fourth commandment.
I know the commandments,
but not their order.
See? This is what comes of
an irregular education.
Yes. Fourth commandment.
- Thou shalt not...
- No, it's not a shalt not.
- It's a shalt.
- A shalt?
If I had not myself been present,
I would wonder if I were even your mother.
"Honor thy father
and mother."
I'm sorry, have I done anything
that's dishonored you or Father?
To honor means, among other things,
to listen with respect
to a parent's sincere council.
I do listen with respect, Mama.
It's just that...
If you will not pay attention to me, then
perhaps you will to a larger imperative.
The law of the universe.
An offer as splendid as Sir James's
is not likely to come around again.
He has offered you the one
thing he has of value to give,
his income.
I fear and reproach myself
having shielded you for far too long.
Had I let you starve a little bit more,
you would resist much less.
Mama, I was often hungry at school.
Well, evidently, not hungry enough.
In any case, the starvation
at the schoolhouse
is nothing like that of a destitute.
Is that what you want?
I can see Sir James is a kind man,
and if it weren't a matter of marriage,
I'm sure I could like him.
But marriage is for one's whole life.
Not in my experience.
Meanwhile, I must ask you not to speak
to your aunt and uncle about this matter,
or seek their interference in any way.
I insist.
- Remember the commandment.
- Yes, Mama.
Sir James's arrival and suddenness
requires some explanation.
You were not too surprised, I hope.
It was unexpected.
To me as much as anyone.
I'm afraid Sir James's best qualities
are not immediately apparent.
- Certainly, he's no Solomon.
- Solomon?
The wise king in The Bible
who had the idea of dividing the infant
disputed by two mothers in half.
Or in two. I don't recall
the exact wording.
- Yes, of course.
- So, Sir James is no Solomon.
How many suitors of great wisdom could
a young woman expect to find these days?
- I don't know.
- None.
And, I confess, I ask myself is such
a quality even desirable in a husband?
How jolly.
Tiny green balls.
Mm. Yes.
Good tasting.
Quite sweet.
What are they called?
Oh, yes.
No, I knew that.
I recall now.
I must get Collins to cultivate
these at Martindale.
Novelty vegetables.
Could make quite a packet.
Ohh. Tiny.
I'm enjoying Sir James's visit.
His conversation's lively.
Brings a new angle to things.
What would you think, uh, to come
and see the Fredricksville Farm?
He mentioned he had an interest
in agricultural methods.
- Frederick, be careful.
- Frederick, you must try to be good.
- He's utterly ridiculous.
- Certainly, he's no Solomon. But...
- Solomon?
- The wise king from The Bible.
I know he's not that.
But any man navigating the
cascades of romantic courtship,
and occasionally falling into its foaming
waters is apt not to appear at his best.
- What?
- A simple word, Reginald.
I admire your caustic mind,
but I think you're
not entirely sensible
at the degree to which
you can intimidate others.
Particularly a young man over
whom you have every advantage of,
position, looks, and character.
Sir James Martin
is a fool because of me.
Yes. Around you,
he seems very silly.
- Isn't he silly around everyone?
- No.
I believe he's given everyone
the same impression.
Well, they've only seen him around you.
But you deny Sir James's
intentions toward you.
- Toward me?
- He's clearly besotted with you.
Oh, it's with Frederica he's smitten.
- That's not possible.
- Well, he's proposed to her.
How could such a blockhead
even be allowed to court your daughter?
It's incomprehensible.
This is the incomprehension
of the rich and easeful.
You can afford to take the high ground,
and add another layer to your pride.
If you realized the full
extent of ridiculous manhood
a young girl without
fortune must endure,
you'd be more generous to Sir James.
Lady Susan: It was so good
you could steal away.
We can only meet through
such subterfuges.
Mr. Johnson
is relentless.
I'll not be sent back to Connecticut.
I don't see why he believes
that association with me
would lower your reputation.
But a question.
Did Sir James mention to you
any plans to come to Churchill?
Heavens no.
What folly.
How did Mr. DeCourcy
Well, I had some gratification there.
At first, he observed Sir James with
attention not untinged with jealousy,
but it was impossible
to really torture him,
for I had to finally reveal
that his object was Frederica.
Then he was all astonishment.
Left to ourselves,
I had no great difficulty
in convincing him I was justified.
I don't remember the exact reasoning,
but it was all comfortably arranged.
So what's your verdict
on young DeCourcy?
Well, he's not stupid, and
he has a great deal to say,
but I can't help but look
with a certain contempt
on the fancies of a heart so doubting
the reasonableness of it's own emotions.
I vastly prefer the generous
spirit of a Manwaring
who deeply convinced of one's marriage
can be satisfied that what
everyone does is right.
I know that no one really deserves you,
but young DeCourcy might be worth having.
Excuse me, Frederica.
When I came down this morning, I...
I couldn't help but notice
you were reading a book.
Which book was that?
This volume of Cooper's verse.
Cooper the poet?
He... He also writes verse?
Most impressive.
Yes, he's versatile in that way.
So, Frederica, you read
both verse and poetry.
In this, I believe,
you take after your mother,
who knows a great many things.
Just yesterday, she cited to me
a story from The Bible
about a very wise king.
This reminded me of many such accounts
one learns in childhood.
Perhaps most significant
in forming one's principles
is that of the old prophet who came
down from the mount with tablets,
pleading the 12 commandments,
which our Lord has taught us to obey
without fail.
- 12 commandments.
- Mm.
Excuse me but, uh,
I believe there were only 10.
Only 10 must be obeyed.
[chuckles] Well, then,
wh... which two to take off?
Perhaps the one about the Sabbath.
I prefer to hunt.
- Well...
- After that, it becomes tricky.
Many of the thou shalt nots.
Don't murder.
Uh, don't covet
thy neighbor's house or wife.
You... One simply
wouldn't do, anyway.
Because they are wrong.
Whether the Lord allows us
to take them off or not.
It's so kind of you.
No, uh, delighted.
My... my pleasure.
Would you like me to sign a note?
Uh, no, no documents.
Uh, no note necessary.
All in the family,
or hoping to be soon.
And, uh...
and the carriage?
Oh, yes. The carriage.
Definitely. Certainly.
My pleasure.
- Good day, Charles.
- Good day.
Oh, hello.
- Good day.
- Good day.
Do you know where
I might find your mother?
I believe she has gone out.
Gone out?
- Are you all right?
- Mm-hm.
What is it?
Tell me what's wrong.
Please say.
Sir, I...
I do not know to whom I can apply.
What is it?
Please tell me.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't
have said anything.
It's just that...
You're the only one I think
Mother might listen to.
Why would you say that?
Well, she pays no one such regard as
she does you, except Lord Manwaring.
- What do you mean, Manwaring?
- No.
I'm sorry.
It... It's just that
of all the people, I thought
Mother would listen most to you.
Let me understand this.
It's that you find
Sir James's presence,
and courtship of you unwelcome.
If his presence here disturbs you, it's
to Charles and my sister you should apply.
I promised Mother I would not.
I don't understand.
Why would you promise that?
She required it.
What does she require?
These silences are vexing.
- Mama forbade it.
- I don't understand.
I promised not to speak to my
aunt and uncle on this subject.
- For what possible reason?
- It's wrong of me to speak now,
and I'd not have
if I weren't at my wit's end.
But I can't marry Sir James.
To what do you object?
You must have noticed.
He's very silly.
But besides that.
Besides that?
Yes, I confess the first impression
he made on me was also...
but don't those
knowledgeable of such matters
consider Sir James a good catch,
or match or whatever it is they say?
A man of cheerful temperament,
happy to devote a large
income to a wife's comfort.
I would rather work for my bread.
But what could you do?
I could teach.
- Teach.
- I could...
You must have been very little
in school to think that.
Tell me, how did this happen?
Your mother is a woman
of excellent understanding.
Her concern for you is great,
though wise and clear-eyed.
How could she be as mistaken as you
suggest, if you truly despise Sir James?
I don't despise Sir James.
I'm sure he's a kind man.
And he has a...
charm of a kind.
And certainly he is likable,
and I'm sure I could like him if he
were a cousin or a cousin's cousin,
or a friend or a friend's friend,
or an in-law or a step something.
I just don't want to marry him.
Tell me the particulars.
If they are as you say,
I can't for the world imagine your
mother would remain deaf to your wishes.
Thank you.
I'd like to thank you for this visit.
- You're leaving?
- Yes, I must.
As you've said, it's important that this
season one of us be with our parents.
You've just decided this now?
Yes, but before going
I must ask one thing.
I'd be grateful if you could see
justice is done Frederica.
She's a sweet girl
who deserves a better fate.
I'm glad you now see her worth.
Yes. My eyes have opened
to many things.
- Aunt, I did something very wrong.
- I'm sure not.
No, I... I did. And now
he and my mother have quarreled.
He's to leave and it is my fault.
- Mama will never forgive me.
- Don't worry.
If any of what you fear comes to pass,
I'll happily intercede.
Good afternoon, Catherine.
That cough of young
Frederick's worries me.
I have from London some of Dr.
Preston's excellent lozenges.
- Would you like them for the dear boy?
- Yes. Thank you.
Also, is it true that we're losing Mr.
DeCourcy today?
Yes, it seems that we will.
How remarkable.
When he and I spoke barely an hour ago,
he made no mention of it.
But perhaps he did not
then know himself.
Young men are so impetuous
in their resolutions.
Why, I wouldn't say
Reginald's impetuous.
Oh, yes, he is.
He's like other young men that way.
Hasty in making resolutions,
and then just as quick to unmake them.
I would not be surprised if he were to
change his mind and stay.
He seemed quite decided.
Well, we'll see.
Some strangeness also seems
to be affecting Frederica.
I believe the girl's actually fallen
in love. With your brother the object.
Sir, Lady Susan asked if she
might have a word with you.
She asked if you would be so kind
as to visit her in her dressing room.
Lady Susan:
Come in.
I beg your pardon
for calling you here, sir,
but I've just learned of
your intention to leave today.
- Is that true?
- Yes, it is.
May we close the door?
I entreat you not, on my account,
to shorten your visit by even an hour.
I'm perfectly aware that after
what has passed between us,
it will ill suit either of us
to remain in the same house.
It is I who should go.
No. Why?
My visit has already been
inconvenient for your family.
For me to stay risks dividing a clan
affectionately attached to one another.
Where I go is of little consequence.
Whereas your presence is important to all.
Lady Susan: It's terrifying how
close I came to destruction.
It all started with Frederica,
in a grip of a madness of some kind,
entreating Reginald
to intercede on her behalf
as if I were some kind of unkind mother
not wanting the best for her child.
Next, Reginald paid a visit to my rooms
with an expression of the utmost solemnity
to inform me of the impropriety
of allowing Sir James
Martin to court Frederica.
I tried to joke him out of it,
but he refused to be.
Heavens, is he really so pompous?
The pomposity, I assume.
It was his disloyalty, which outraged me.
If he held me in true regard, he would not
believe such insinuations in my disfavor.
A worthy lover should assume one has
unanswerable motives for all one does.
Scarcely an hour had gone by
when I learned that Reginald
was leaving Churchill.
Well, something had to be done.
Condescension was necessary,
though I abhor it.
I sent for Reginald. When he appeared,
he seemed astonished at the silence,
and he seemed as though he
were half-fearing, half-wishing
to be softened by what I might say.
The outcome justifies some
portion of vanity, my dear,
for the effect was no less
favorable than immediate.
- You brilliant creature.
- So now I have many tasks.
I must punish Frederica for
her application to Reginald,
and punish him for
receiving it so favorably.
And I must make myself serious amends
for the humiliations
I've been obliged to undergo.
Manwaring's in town.
How is he, the divine man?
Absolutely miserable about you.
And jealous of DeCourcy.
To such a degree I can't answer for his
not committing some great imprudence
- such as following you to Churchill.
- Heavens.
[chuckles] I think I've
dissuaded him from it.
If you do follow my advice
and marry DeCourcy,
it will be indispensable for you
to get Manwaring out of the way.
Only you have the influence
to send him home.
And by remaining in town, I'll be able
to reward a long penance at Churchill.
[door opens]
With a little wealth anticipation.
Madam, Lord Manwaring has arrived,
and begs to be admitted.
Please ask him to wait.
Miss Vernon?
It's so good to see you here.
Might I help you?
Yes. A friend was asking...
how in accord with Christian teaching
the fourth commandment should be honored?
The fourth commandment? Yes, remember
the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
No, I meant the commandment
"Honor thy mother and father."
The fifth commandment.
My favorite.
It's the church of Rome
that has it as the fourth.
Yes, the fifth commandment,
Honor thy father and thy mother
that thy days may be long upon the land
which the Lord, thy God, giveth thee.
Beautiful. Profound.
I believe one should apply this
sentiment of gratitude and loyalty
to every aspect of our lives.
We're not born into a savage wilderness
but into a beautiful mansion
of the Lord that
the Lord and those who have
gone before us have constructed.
We must avoid neglecting this mansion,
but rather glorify and preserve it.
As we should all
of the Lord's creation.
The superb Baumgarten has
outlined this aesthetic trinity
as beauty, truth, and good.
Truth is the perfect, perceived
by reason. Beauty by the senses.
And the good by moral will.
From where do you come?
Why were you in church?
It is our religion.
Yes, but this time of day,
neither morning prayer nor vespers?
The sky had clouded over.
I was sure there would be a downpour.
There was.
Oh, you are quite drenched!
You must get into some dry clothes!
Oh, excuse me.
[ birds crowing ]
Dearest, welcome.
What joy your letter gave us.
- I wrote too hastily.
- What?
I couldn't imagine that every expectation
I had would be dashed so quickly.
You frighten me.
Poor girl. Her one
chance to break free.
Who knows what punishment
her mother will now impose.
But Reginald can't be blind
to such a lovely girl.
He's become blind.
Reginald is more securely
Lady Susan's than ever.
Please don't tell your father.
I worry for his constitution.
Tell me what?
Susan, stop!
Dreadful news.
Mr. Johnson's been cured.
Oh, how is that possible?
No sooner had he heard you were
in London then he had a cure.
Well, then could you do
me the greatest favor?
Could you go to Seymour Street
and receive Reginald there?
I dare not risk his
and Manwaring's meeting.
Keep him with you
all evening if you can.
Make up anything.
I'm sorry I wasn't there to greet you.
But didn't I provide
a charming substitute?
Strange, you remain silent
but Mrs. Johnson couldn't
stop singing your praises.
Excuse me?
I fear Alicia's rather
fallen in love with you.
It's given me quite a scare.
You're joking.
But you did like her.
Of course.
I so admire Alicia.
She has none of the uncouthness
one expects from Americans
but all of the candor.
Her husband, Mr. Johnson, is
older and rather disagreeable.
But a word of complaint never
drops from Alicia's lips.
Only by one's friends can
one truly be known.
That Alicia is mine will, I hope,
help you think better of me.
I already thought well of you.
You are not plagued by doubt?
Some things disconcerted me,
that you were not here...
Please, Reginald, don't be severe.
I can't support reproaches.
- But...
- No, I entreat you. I can't support them.
My absence was to arrange a matter
so that we could be together.
I'm forbidden to say more.
Please don't reproach me.
Have you considered what I asked?
I have, and I believe that
our affairs require a caution
and delicacy that perhaps
in our candid enthusiasm,
we might have insufficiently heeded.
What do you mean?
I fear that our feelings have
hurried us to a degree
which is in ill accord with
the views of the world.
I'm sure that in time...
Perhaps with time, but...
Given the poignancy or our feelings...
You no longer wish to marry?
No! No, all
I'm saying, or,
or hesitantly suggesting
is that we postpone
an open understanding until
the opinion of the world
is more in accord with
our inclinations.
- That could mean never.
- No, no.
Perhaps... months.
I confess that such delay is
against my every inclination.
Then let's.
No, Reginald, I will not be
responsible for dividing your family.
I thought we'd decided.
I know such delay is insupportable,
especially when we're both in London.
But separations, only those
that are also geographical
can reasonably be tolerated.
- What?
- I'm sorry, Reginald.
Staying in London would be
the death of our reputations.
We must not meet.
And not to meet, we must not be near.
As cruel as it may seem, the necessity
of it must be evident to you.
Where will you go?
Of course, it's necessary
that I remain in London.
There are arrangements that I
must make for us to be together.
But on the contrary, I know
your family crave your company.
Particularly that elderly gentleman
to whom you owe so much.
I would hate to be the cause of an
loignement between you and your father.
Who, forgive me,
might not have long left.
There's no reason for
worry that I know of.
- Father's rather in his prime.
- Oh, thank heavens.
So he's not in decline.
He has the usual aches and pains, but
he's overall, I believe, in good health.
In any case, he'd not want
any concern on that account,
- which he'd consider so much rubbish.
- Ah, mortality.
Our mortality, and that of others,
but most particularly our own
is the hardest and most intractable
hand life can deal us.
I long to meet the dear gentleman.
Of course, it's natural that he
would want to ignore or minimize
the cold, sad end that awaits us all.
Not at all.
Father's a Christian
for whom the prospect of the
end is neither sad nor cold.
Ah, yes. Well, thank heaven
for our religion.
So important in this life and
most especially in the next.
Must we really wait?
I entreat you to reconsider.
[ woman weeping ]
Lady Manwaring.
Excuse me, I'm in such a state.
I don't know what to say.
Is Mr. Johnson at home?
I must speak with my guardian!
Yes, of course.
You poor dear.
I'll let him know you're here.
Lucy Manwaring is here to see you.
- Mr. Johnson!
- Please go in.
- You must help!
- Mr. Johnson: Dear, please.
[ muffled voices ]
Madam, Mr. DeCourcy.
Oh, good day.
Mr. DeCourcy, what a surprise to see you.
So kind of you to call.
I must thank you for last evening
for setting matters right.
Lady Susan's explained everything.
I am ashamed to have spoken as I did.
It was foolish of me.
No, no, no, not at all.
Most sympathetic.
But you did not have to come to thank me.
Courtesy did not dictate it.
In fact, it's not my sole motive.
Lady Susan has entrusted
me with a letter for you.
Strictly private.
How intriguing.
[ Mrs. Manwaring sobs ]
- Has an animal been injured?
- No, private theatricals.
Medea. They perform next week,
but prefer not to be watched rehearsing.
Thanks again for the charming evening.
She's with him now!
This can't continue! It mustn't!
Lucy, please, don't. Stay here,
rest, recover your equanimity.
They're together now!
I implore you, come with me.
Talk with Manwaring. Reason with him.
As my guardian, won't you help?
Even if I found them,
what good could be done?
Yes, heed Mr. Johnson. His counsel's
excellent in such matters.
What have you? A letter?
In her hand?
Return that letter, madam.
It's not for you!
- Lucy, no!
- Excuse me!
Madam, I believe you are on the
verge of making a grave error.
You are Lady Manwaring?
Lady Manwaring of Langford?
You've recognized your friend
Lady Susan Vernon's hand
- and assumed the letter's for you.
- You think that lady is my friend?
She's with my husband now.
As we speak.
He visits her.
That's not possible, Madam.
I've just left her. She's entirely alone.
- Even her servant's sent off.
- Owen!
Owen, come here.
Stand here.
Tell this gentleman what you've seen.
- Your ladyship...
- Repeat to him what you told me.
Well, sir...
Lady Susan sent her servant away,
and then you left,
and a few minutes later,
Lord Manwaring arrived
and was received by her Ladyship.
- Alone?
- Yes, sir, I believe so.
No one else came or went.
No, stop, the letter's for
Mr. Johnson only.
Here. I send Reginald
with this letter.
Keep him there all evening if you can.
Manwaring comes this very hour.
That's not possible.
I must stop this!
Please, sir, come with me.
What could possibly be gained?
It could even be dangerous.
This is a matter for your solicitors.
Mrs. Johnson, this is beyond
what I could have imagined.
You promised that you would give up
all contact with this woman.
I have no idea what she writes.
She's gone mad.
I'm sorry to say, my dear, that
I hear the Atlantic passage
is very cold this time of year.
[ sobbing ]
- Madam?
- Agonies, my dear.
- What's happened?
- The worst.
- Disaster.
- Disaster?
Mr. DeCourcy arrived
just when he shouldn't have.
Lucy Manwaring had just forced herself
into Mr. Johnson's study to sob her woes.
Oh, has she no pride?
No self-respect?
What an impression she makes.
Bursting from Mr. Johnson's library,
wailing like a stuck child.
Seeing the letter in your handwriting,
she tore it from Reginald to read aloud.
- No!
- Yes.
"Manwaring comes
this very hour."
- And Reginald heard that?
- He read it himself.
How ungentlemanly.
- It's shocking. I can't believe it.
- Yes, very shocking.
A gentleman entrusted with
correspondence marked private
reads it regardless, and then because
of a few confidential remarks,
the obloquy's mine?
Who has acted badly in this affair?
Only you and I stand innocent of
reading other people's correspondence.
Unluckily, Lady Manwaring
also wormed out
of her husband's servant that
Manwaring visited you in private.
Facts are horrid things.
Don't worry, I'll make my
story good with Reginald.
He'll be a little enraged at first,
but I vow that by dinner
tomorrow, all will be well.
I'm not sure, he was with
Mr. Johnson when I left.
Forgive me for saying it, but,
I dread to imagine what's
being said in your disfavor.
What a mistake you made
marrying Mr. Johnson.
Too old to be governable,
too young to die.
Good afternoon, madam.
Susan: Of course it might seem
outlandish or shocking to others,
but we're not expecting others
to read our correspondence.
And don't put things for their benefit.
Manwaring only visited me
as his wife's friend.
She herself denies this.
Well, of course.
I was her friend when she was sane.
Her great enemy since.
Manwaring left Langford to
escape her deranged suspicions.
In granting him an interview,
my sole motive was
to persuade him to return to
her and see what might be done
- to ease the poor woman's mind.
- Yes, but why alone?
- Why did you arrange to see him alone?
- You cannot divine the motive there?
Servants have ears,
with the unfortunate tendency to repeat
whatever they imagine they've heard.
I dreaded injuring the poor
woman's reputation still further.
You imagine I could accept
such an explanation?
I can only tell you what
I know to be true.
- Did you succeed?
- What?
Did you convince Manwaring
to return to his wife?
Yes, I did.
But it seems that her judgment
is too deteriorated to allow it.
Her jealous and suspicious condition is
not one that would allow reassurance.
You forget.
I saw the letter with my own eyes.
No, I do not forget.
I greatly resent it.
A fault you compounded by misinterpreting
what you should never have seen.
Do you think I would have confided
a letter to a third party
if I thought its contents
in any way dangerous?
Have I not already explained
everything which
the ill-nature of the world
could interpret to my discredit?
What could so stagger your
esteem for me now?
After all we've discussed
and meant to one another,
that you could doubt my actions,
my intentions? My word?
Sorry, Reginald, but I've
reflected upon this deeply.
I cannot marry a man with an
untrusting disposition. I cannot have it.
We cannot marry.
Whatever commitment
was between us is severed.
Any connection impossible.
What are you saying?
Mistrust does not bode well
for any union.
I have a great regard for you.
Yes, a passionate one,
but I must master it.
Oh, Catherine?
- Reginald has returned.
- He's here?
- He's just going to find your father.
- It's not...
No, the most happy news.
- Our fears were in vain.
- What?
- The engagement's off.
- How?
Well, Lady Susan broke it off herself.
She did?
Reginald's most cast down.
But I'm sure he'll soon
recover and, dare we hope,
cast his look elsewhere.
That woman's a fiend.
- What do you mean?
- Lady Susan.
She has an uncanny understanding
of men's natures.
By forcing the rupture herself,
she's engaged Reginald's pride.
Uncanny? I don't understand.
Reginald will start to doubt everything
he's heard to her detriment.
A guilty regret will overwhelm him and
slowly, surely, he'll convince
himself he's wronged her.
You frighten me.
Yes, if Frederick Vernon,
renowned for his good sense,
let Lady Susan ruin him,
what chance has Reginald?
You speak as if your brother
were not wise.
I'm sure he is. Everyone comments
on his lively understanding.
You are the best of mothers,
but Reginald has just
the sort of sincere nature
most vulnerable to
a woman of her genius.
You think she's a genius?
Diabolically so, like the
serpent in Eden's garden.
Does this woman always get her way?
From what I understand,
only clever tradesmen
are astute enough to see
through her stratagems.
Several banded together to send their
agents to intercept her on Seymour Street,
obliging her to pawn
the last of her jewels.
Slay the fatted calf, my dear,
the prodigal's returned.
What's wrong, my boy?
The joy of seeing your
aged parents eludes you.
- Don't tease him, father.
- It's a father's right.
- You'll have him fleeing back to London.
- No risk of that, I assure you.
London holds no charm for me.
Oh, you've realized that?
Never appealed to me at all.
Dirty, noisy, noxious gases.
I don't see the point of towns.
Far better to live on one's own land.
Everyone should.
I'm afraid this relates
to my sister-in-law.
Yes, sister.
Congratulations on your
entire vindication.
On the contrary, I don't
seem out of danger at all.
- I assuredly am.
- What's the matter?
What's happened?
I don't understand.
Reginald, dear, Frederica
has prepared a charming piece.
Help me persuade her to sing it for us.
No, you are too kind, Lady DeCourcy.
I am not ready.
Excuse me, Miss Vernon.
Mother, as much as I'd like to, I'm afraid
I'm too tired to be a suitable audience.
If you'll excuse me.
No, you must stay. Frederica's a
song-bird. Never heard anything like it.
Don't deny us this pleasure, my dear.
Reginald, we need you to insist.
- As I said...
- No, I'm sorry. Excuse me.
You must play it, my dear.
The Kentish Nightingale, I call her.
Voice is remarkable,
even to my hearing.
She must have it
from her mother's side.
Lady Susan's voice is a clear,
natural soprano, lovely.
- [ horses approaching ]
- It is, is it?
- Do you expect visitors, mother?
- No. Who would visit us?
Look who's come from London?
What an agreeable surprise.
Excuse me for arriving this way.
What a delightful family pose.
Yes, it is the season
for families to unite.
So it's especially welcome
to have you here.
Thank you, Charles.
I do hope that recognizing
a mother's anxiety
to see her child, you might
excuse my abruptness.
Nothing to excuse.
Sir Reginald, Lady DeCourcy,
might I introduce my
sister-in-law, Lady Susan Vernon.
Please, forgive this intrusion.
Now that I'm fixed in town, I
can't rest with Frederica away.
- Isn't such anxiety new?
- Yes, it is, I entirely agree.
But now I'm in London where the
instruction Frederica needs
can so readily be found.
Her voice has some promise.
Some? She's a veritable songbird.
The Kentish Nightingale, I call her.
Do you?
Is this really Kent?
You're right sir, Frederica
has the native talent
a bird might, but those few
notes can get repetitive.
But mama, couldn't I stay?
But mama, couldn't I stay?
I thank you, dear sister, for making
Frederica feel so at home and welcome
wherever she goes.
I've secured you a lesson
with Signor Valtroni.
Where the grand affair
of education is concerned,
there's no excuse
for half-measures.
Isn't it key, sir,
to cultivate her voice?
- A nightingale, didn't you say?
- Yes, that's right.
The Kentish Nightingale, I call her.
Delightful appellation, and perhaps,
with a teacher such as Signor Valtroni,
it could even become true.
- Frederica, have you your things?
- Leave for London now?
We'd so looked forward to
having Frederica with us.
How remarkable.
Only a few weeks ago it was hard
to find anywhere for Frederica.
Now the world fights for her company.
Astonishing that she was neglected
then, or is fought over now?
Excellent observation, dear sister,
but I will stop now,
because I know how my daughter
hates to be praised.
How are you, sir?
I hope well.
We should go.
Excuse me, mama.
I must collect my things.
Yes, you must.
We cannot buy a new wardrobe
for each displacement.
That poor girl.
Did you see her face?
I must talk to her and remind her that
she will always have a home with us.
Or with us.
If you are referring to the past,
I doubt her mother will
again risk misinterpretation.
Henceforth, we can rest assured that
Lady Susan will make clear to Frederica
the consideration and affection
which guide her actions.
I have not gone to
the trouble of retrieving
Frederica from Parklands
to again be thwarted.
Maria Manwaring may sob, Frederica may
whimper, and the Vernons may storm,
but Sir James will be Frederica's
husband before the winter is out.
- You brilliant creature.
- Thank you, my dear.
I am done submitting my will
to the caprices of others.
Of resigning my own
judgment and deference
to those to whom I owe no duty
and have very little respect.
Too easily have I
let my resolve weaken.
Frederica shall know the difference.
You're too indulgent with the girl.
Why let Frederica have him when
you could grab him yourself?
Sir James?
Yes, I know your unselfish nature,
but can you afford to bestow
Sir James on Frederica
while having no Sir James of your own?
Madam, Mr. Johnson sends word
he returns to dine.
Thank you.
- How insulting.
- The opposite.
I don't doubt your ability to get
DeCourcy whenever you want him.
But is he really worth having?
Isn't his father just the sort of
enraging old man who will live forever?
And how will you survive?
On the allowance that Frederica
as Lady Martin might grant you?
As guests at Churchill?
I'd rather be married to my own husband
than dependent on the
hospitality of others.
We must protect her. Not just for her
own sake, but for her dear late father's.
What can we do?
We must find the argument to persuade
her mother it's in her best interest,
which, of course, is her only guide.
That will mean a trip to London.
Fortunately, Charles must have some
business there to justify such a trip.
What a marvelous husband
you have, my dear.
Charles seems to live to oblige.
It's true.
I've been lucky.
Charles always seems to have some pretext
or other for doing just what's wanted.
[ humming ]
Dearest, I believe you have
pressing business in London.
Oh, um, yes.
You're so kind to visit.
Frederica will be delighted.
And how are the children?
Especially my dear Frederick.
Very well, thank you.
Frederica, come and see who's here.
I can't express my gratitude for
the hospitality you've extended us.
Not at all.
Our great pleasure.
- Hello, Frederica.
- Good afternoon, my dear.
- Hope you're well.
- Thank you.
Oh, it's so good to see you.
Frederica, why don't you
go upstairs and play a piece?
Select something charming to show your
aunt and uncle what you've studied.
With pleasure.
You'll see the strides
she's been making.
Oh, do mind your head.
Frederica plays all the new music.
Haydn, Himmel.
Do sit down.
So you're happy with
the progress she's making?
Only in a city such as London, I believe,
could she have had such instruction.
Well, if Frederica is making
such good progress in London,
that complicates matters.
What complication would that be?
We'd hoped that Frederica
might return to Churchill.
She's greatly missed,
especially by the little ones.
Oh, what a moving sentiment
of cousinly regard.
But my concern, my obligation,
is to see the defects in
Frederica's education repaired.
Could we invite one of her teachers to
Churchill to continue her lessons there?
What a kind thought.
But these are London's
most sought after Masters.
No invitation to a country retreat,
even such a delightful one as Churchill,
would be in their power to accept.
Perhaps a private tutor.
Might I confess something?
Frederica and I have become
such great friends,
it would be hard for
me to part with her.
You might have noticed
for a time there was a...
strange tension between us.
That is now happily disappeared.
Excuse me, are you well?
Sorry, we so set our hearts
on Frederica's return.
I understand completely.
She's become an agreeable companion.
Even her tendency to extreme quiet
I've grown to find rather soothing.
But there is one
factor that concerns me.
Does she look quite well?
- Oh, yes.
- That was your impression.
London's vaporous air is not, I think,
healthy for her.
- Does she not seem pale?
- She does.
The London air, these smoky gasses
cannot be salutary for her.
Fresh country air is
what the young require.
Yes, how curious they are.
Does not the town's dank air
favor the spread of influenza?
The influenza in London?
Several cases have been reported.
It is, after all, the season for it.
Of all the disorders in the world,
the risk of influenza contagion
is the one I dread the most
for Frederica's constitution.
Shouldn't we consider, then,
removing her from this danger?
What you say does give me pause.
But it would be such a hardship to
lose my daughter's companionship
just when I've grown to rely on it.
And, of course, her studies.
[ sighs ]
Congratulate me, my dear.
Frederica's aunt and uncle have
taken her back to Churchill.
I thought you'd grown to
enjoy Frederica's company so.
Comparatively. A bit.
But I'm not so self-indulgent as to want
to wallow in the companionship of a child.
Alas, I fear this is our last meeting.
At least while
Mr. Johnson is alive.
His business at Hartford
has become extensive.
If I continue to see you, he vows
to settle in Connecticut forever.
Oh, you could be scalped!
I had a feeling that the great word
"respectable" would some day divide us.
Your husband, I abhor, but
we must yield to necessity.
Our affection cannot be impaired by it,
and in happier times when your
situation is as independent as mine,
we will again unite.
For this, I will impatiently await.
I also.
May Mr. Johnson's next gouty
attack end more favorably.
[ chuckles ]
[ chattering ]
Thank you.
Do you know where Frederica is?
Lady Susan's written to her.
Frederica, a letter from your mother.
Thank you, Aunt Catherine.
What does she say?
She's written to you herself.
My mother and
Sir James Martin have wed.
How could that happen?
How could they possibly marry?
To what do you refer?
Both were free to do so.
He a bachelor, Susan a widow.
Sir James Martin is a fool.
Well, a bit of a rattle, perhaps.
A bit of a rattle?
He's a complete blockhead.
Well, there are three possible
explanations as I see it.
First, perhaps Sir James has
more merit than we've allowed.
Well, second, perhaps in order
to secure your future, Frederica
your mother found it necessary
to make a prudent match herself.
That could be the case.
Mama has always been
concerned with my future.
And the third possible explanation?
That she came to love him.
There is a saying:
"the heart has its strangeness"
or words to that effect.
The heart is an instrument we
possess but do not truly know.
Human love partakes of the divine,
or at least it has in my case.
You'll find it in
the writings of Rousseau.
Or The New Heloise, I think.
I'll will confirm the citation,
if you're interested.
I just find it incomprehensible that so
brilliant a woman could marry such a...
pea brain.
Or peas brain.
- It happens all the time.
- It strains credulity.
Certainly, as you said,
Sir James is no Solomon.
But if she can give Lady Susan
the happiness and security
which the sad events of
recent years deprived her of,
then he is someone that I,
and all of us, should value.
I very much agree, Uncle.
We all should.
I wish them every happiness
in their life together.
Congratulations, sir,
on the match I long favored.
There's a rightness to
your being together.
Not that any man could
really deserve Lady Susan.
I agree most heartily.
And I've pleasure is adding double
congratulations are in order.
The most beautiful woman in
England, present company excepted,
will soon be the most beautiful mother.
Yes, I'm to be a father.
You certainly don't delay matters.
Congratulations, sir.
Yes, the very morning
after the wedding,
Lady Susan hinted at the happy news
which was shortly confirmed.
Truly marvelous.
I'm as proud as you can imagine.
[ sobbing ]
What's that?
Such a burden.
When Lord and Lady Manwaring separated,
Mr. Johnson, who is Lucy Manwaring's
guardian, invited her to live with us.
What upsets her?
The separation, still.
- She goes on about it.
- What?
This carrying on about a
marriage that ended weeks ago.
If a woman fails to please her husband,
why go on about it,
advertising one's failure?
Why announce to the world
that the man who knows you best
would rather be with someone else?
It seems as if
Lady Manwaring has failed
to consider the difference
between the sexes.
For a husband to wander
is not the same as vice versa.
If a husband strays, he's merely
responding to his biology.
That is how men are made.
But for a woman to act
in a similar way is ridiculous.
Just the idea is funny.
[ laughs ]
Couldn't agree more.
Quite funny.
I rather blame Lady Manwaring's
scene-making for driving her husband away.
But her loss has been our gain.
As a result of the trouble
her solicitors caused,
we've had Manwaring stay
with us these past weeks.
That's not inconvenient?
Not at all.
Capital fellow.
Couldn't get on better.
Loves to hunt.
Small and large game.
Excellent, excellent to have a guest.
And the talk that comes with it.
Of course, Lady Susan's sharp,
but it's easier to talk with a fellow,
particularly one who shares
one's interests.
Before long, we'll have another guest.
No, of course.
The baby!
Have you seen my husband?
What have you been saying, tell me.
How is he?
Well, Madam.
Very well, I believe.
Couldn't be better.
[ sobs ]
- Tea?
- Quite.
Look up!
Ah, so, here's the church.
But where's the hill?
Don't see it.
Doesn't seem to be one.
[ church bells ringing ]
[ people cheering ]
God Bless you all!
[ chattering ]
Please excuse me.
Your mother must be very proud.
And I am enormously grateful to her.
Without her efforts, I never
would have found such happiness.
Do excuse me.
And bearing false witness?
Oh, no, that would be the ninth.
You must be most proud of Frederica.
I would not say proud.
I'm glad I was able to
attend to her education.
My daughter has shown herself
to be cunning and manipulative.
I couldn't be more pleased.
A Vernon will never go hungry.
We must ask Frederica to sing.
That would be delightful.
Surry Songbird, we call her.
What? No.
The Kentish Nightingale.
Always called her that.
Surry songbird?
What nonsense. Rubbish.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Mr. Reginald DeCourcy.
Over the past months I have
continued to be startled
by Frederica's
loveliness and good heart.
I had wanted to write some verses
as a memorial to these discoveries.
But they are now so extensive,
they would form a volume.
So I'll just read these few lines.
Mean engaging?
Mien. Appearance,
or countenance.
It's from the French, mien, I believe.
I can find you the citation.
[ applause ]
Mrs. Reginald DeCourcy.
As you may already know, I take Lady
DeCourcy's requests as commands,
and therefore I will sing this piece.
Over the mountains
And over the waves
Under the fountains
And under the graves
Under floods that are the deepest
Which Neptune obey
Over rocks that are the steepest
Love will find out the way
Thought I detest imprudence
and sincere emotions of all kinds,
where Manwaring's concerned...
And very quickly, he was in good humor?
I see what you mean, how flattery
alters a man's spirits. It's delightful.
Such a posture, resenting
a well-meaning parent
is apparently common
among girls her age.
They are, perhaps, undercooked.
Not at all.
They're perfect.
Mmm. Yes, good tasting.
Quite sweet.
I shouldn't have said anything at all.
She's lovely.
No DeCourcy should forget the lengths
to which Lady Susan went
to prevent Charles Vernon
marrying Catherine,
which, had she succeeded, would have
ruined your sister's happiness forever.
Lady Susan sent her servant away?
And then you left, and
a few minutes later...
Mrs. Johnson, this is beyond
what I could have imagined.
I'll never forgive
the trouble he's caused.
Thank you, my dear. May his next
gouty attack be a severe one.