Ehrengard: The Art of Seduction (2023) Movie Script

[stream bubbling]
[birds chirping]
[horse neighing]
[horse neighing]
[both gasping for air]
[church bell clanging]
[brush stroke]
Please sit still, Your Grace.
[sighs gently]
I can't believe
you don't need to rest a bit.
Did you straighten your dress again?
If so, it was not conscious.
Remain still.
[woman groaning gently]
[lisping sound]
[woman groaning gently]
- Uh.
- Uh.
[woman groaning gently]
Is something wrong?
My husband would have you beheaded,
if he saw you.
I got the impression that the Grand Duke
wanted me to imprison your beauty.
In that case, one can't be petty.
[Grand Duchess moaning]
[both gasp]
You are stopping?
I'm afraid I rather value my head's
position on my body, Your Grace.
I I must ask you
to please sit up straight.
This is taking an eternity.
- A true portrait takes time.
- Yes, I have observed.
Like a seduction.
[Grand Duchess] Hm.
Mr. Cazotte.
Miss Zimmermann.
[child crying]
[loud discussion]
Mr. Cazotte!
- Rent is overdue. If you don't pay
- My dear Madam, my dear Madam
Didn't I offer to sketch your portrait?
If you know the value
I don't want a drawing of myself.
I want my money.
And it's on its way.
Trust me. It's coming.
Smile. It's a lovely day. All is good.
[child crying]
[dog barking]
Your Graces,
I am truly honored by the invitation.
Thank you for having me.
I am delighted. Most delighted.
[chamber music]
[indiscernible talk from crowd]
Thank you.
Your Graces, I am overwhelmed
and honored by the invitation. Thank you.
The painter.
I hope you are happy with the portrait,
Your Grace.
The painter?
Exquisite, is it not?
It looks just like her.
And then nothing like her.
I know nothing about such things.
But if you say so.
Interesting. You said,
"And then nothing like her."
I believe that art
should be more than just lifelike.
Like a poem that one
can't always make sense of, but
- What are you talking about?
- Forgive me. My name is Cazotte.
I painted this portrait. Artist, painter,
man, and more. And you are?
Will you excuse me.
My daughter.
- Your daughter?
- Yes.
[all noise is reduced]
- Mr. Cazotte.
- [sound is normal]
You look so troubled.
Not enjoying it here?
Very much, Your Grace.
Please tell me who you are gazing at.
Am I gazing?
Yes, it is quite clear to me.
You can tell me all of it.
I am not jealous. Quite the opposite.
Hearing about the passions
of living beings. And all the details.
There was in fact one I saw.
A young madam.
- Where?
- There.
[Grand Duchess] Oh yes, Ehrengard.
- Ehrengard.
- She is lovely.
Her father was my
father-in-law's aide-de-camp.
- A rather forbidding family.
- So I gathered, yes.
Did she like the portrait?
Was she spellbound by your ability?
I wouldn't say that precisely.
Oh. But don't look so dejected.
A young man recently told me
that it takes time, a seduction.
Like painting a portrait.
[Grand Duchess] That was my reason
for inviting you this evening.
A new portrait?
No, your talent for seduction. Come.
Do you remember my son?
- [Cazotte] Handsome young man, Your Grace.
- [Grand Duchess] Yes.
We need your help.
- [Cazotte] Do you?
- Yes.
- Do you know the Act of Succession?
- I don't.
I thought as much. We are not firmly
seated on the throne, so to speak.
You do recall
that the former Grand Duke was childless.
- I don't precisely
- Just listen. He was.
My husband isn't a direct descendant.
[Grand Duchess] It came to a feud for
the throne between the various cousins,
which my husband won in the end.
There you see one of his cousins.
Count Marbod.
[Grand Duchess] And Countess Orsyla. Bah!
They're watching us like hawks.
[Grand Duchess] Our problem is
that the Grand Duke is gravely ill.
- The doctors can't help him.
- [Cazotte] I am sorry to hear, Your Grace.
Yes, it's so sad.
My son stands to inherit the throne,
but he isn't married,
so he can't inherit it.
Maybe under different circumstances, but
- You aren't firmly seated on the throne.
- [Grand Duchess] Exactly.
And how am I to help, Your Grace?
Observe my son.
[Grand Duchess] Look at the young Prince,
and the ladies around him. They flock.
But he barely looks at them.
Not so much as a smile.
A love life, erotica.
It is of no interest to him.
- I see what you mean, Your Grace, but
- But what?
Wellborn fruit is slow to blossom.
[Grand Duchess] I already told you,
we have no time.
Prince Lothar must find a wife soon,
or else the throne will be given to
[Grand Duchess] my husband's cousin.
[Grand Duchess] It's all very confusing,
but those are the rules.
- [stammering] Just to Yes.
- [Grand Duchess] Mr. Cazotte. Your task
Your craft must be to awaken
my son's rapture.
His [in french] belle passion.
- I am?
- Yes. There is no one better than you.
[chuckling sceptically]
- I don't know if I can.
- Of course you can.
- [Cazotte sighs]
- Name your price.
It's not a matter of payment, Your Grace.
But I must insist
you are rewarded for your efforts.
Something else? Use your imagination.
- Ehrengard.
- [Grand Duchess] Ehrengard?
I'd like to paint a portrait of her.
It might be something you could arrange.
Very well.
I'll try my best.
- But you must tell me all the details.
- [chuckling]
Naturally, Your Grace.
[child crying]
Keep the rest.
Someone from the court will
pick up the rest of my belongings.
Excuse me, My Lord.
My name is Cazotte. I am an artist.
I know your mother and I was just
walking around in the garden.
I mean you no harm, My Lord.
[Cazotte] But then I saw you over here
and it seemed to me
Forgive me, but you looked
a little sad standing over there.
- They want me to marry.
- [Cazotte] Who?
My mother and father.
- Everyone.
- No.
[Cazotte] And you don't want to?
[Cazotte] No.
[Cazotte] Because you want your freedom.
Yes, of course.
[Cazotte] Oh.
What if I told you, My Lord, that you,
with all due respect, of course
have misunderstood something?
What you consider as a prison
is actually liberating freedom.
Allow me to show you
some sketches, My Lord.
[Cazotte] From my love life.
- [Lothar laughs]
- [Cazotte] Yes, that one is good.
[Cazotte] See the poetry?
[Cazotte] You like that one.
It's yours. Keep it.
[Cazotte] I managed to gain
the Prince's trust.
[Cazotte] Your Grace, my honor forbids me
from revealing in detail
what I told him
during those days and nights.
[Cazotte] Suffice to say that I piqued his
imagination to the best of my ability.
[Cazotte] I recited passages from both
"Decameron" and "The Canterbury Tales",
about the miller and the wife of Bath.
About the marvelous beauty
which can be found,
about silky rose petals,
swelling hearts intoxicated with blood,
and about lighting
a third candle with one's torch.
I proposed he go on an outing.
- An outing?
- To the castle in Leuchenstein.
I'm painting a family portrait there.
I'd like to bring the Prince,
introduce him to the daughters.
Not without your permission, of course.
But we already tried with Leuchenstein.
They're shocking. Utterly devoid of charm.
Apart from the youngest.
- Ludmilla.
- But she's still a child.
Not any longer, Your Grace.
She turns 18 next week.
And you know the family well?
I painted their portraits,
a long time ago, yes.
Only their portraits?
Your Grace, what do you think of me?
Perhaps you ought not
set your expectations too high.
I have no expectations. But I hope.
[Cazotte] My lord, I was thinking
that perhaps you could wear this.
And dress like some peasant?
No. As my pupil. But yes, anonymity.
You can weigh up Ludmilla
without the burden of your title.
What is she like to you?
She is like the rose
whose rich fragrance innocently
lures the passer-by to pluck the bloom.
But no one has picked it so far.
Close your eyes and picture the most
beautiful woman you can.
[Cazotte] Her hand so firm and white.
[Cazotte] The hips,
the knees,
the ankles.
[Cazotte] Her rich velvet voice
and her soft gentle breath.
[woman exhales]
[Cazotte] Are you ready, My Lord?
Good. Let's proceed.
[Cazotte] So, Your Graces,
I think that will be all.
[Cazotte] We must however make
one minor adjustment.
[Cazotte] Princess Ludmilla,
you have bloomed with such swiftness.
In just two months since I was here last,
you are utterly transformed.
[Cazotte] So if I could ask you to
remain here for a short while, alone.
[Cazotte] I'd like to make some additions.
Mama, Papa, may I?
I am afraid I will have to ask you
to leave the room, Your Graces.
If I am to imprison her unique beauty,
a certain detachment from her role
as the youngest is necessary, I'm afraid.
[Ludmillas father] Come.
[Cazotte] We need the easel moved closer.
- [door closes]
- Yes, sir.
Now, let's see.
- I'm blushing.
- [Cazotte] Don't.
- Please don't paint my face red.
- I promise.
We'll go easy on the red.
[Cazotte] Please lift
your chin up a little. That's it.
I must tell you, My Lady,
of my great fortune.
I have never had such
a talented assistant as
[Cazotte] He has an artistic spirit
unlike any I have encountered before.
[Cazotte] And pardon me
Isn't he handsome?
- Yes, he is very handsome.
- He is handsome.
[Cazotte] Handsome and with a gifted soul.
He finds beauty where no one else does.
That's talent.
[Cazotte] The very essence of talent.
It is wonderful.
In fact,
it was his idea to refine your portrait.
- [Ludmilla] Mmm-mmm. No.
- [Cazotte] Yes.
[Cazotte] "You're not doing her justice.
She hides even greater beauty."
He said that.
- He didn't say that.
- He did.
And I had to agree.
- No.
- Yes.
[Cazotte grinning quietly]
[brush stroke]
[Cazotte] But it's a shame.
It's such a shame he is so reticent.
[sound of polishing]
[glass is put down]
But it's a characteristic
of most great artists, is it not?
- I don't know.
- [Cazotte] It is. I can assure you it is.
- [Ludmilla] Where is he from?
- Where is he from?
He's of noble extraction.
Like yourself.
[Cazotte] It is time to reveal
your true identify, Your Highness.
- Mine?
- [Cazotte] No, no. Well.
[decreasing footsteps]
Please see to it
that the Princess is not disturbed.
[Lothar breathing nervously]
[both chuckling quietly]
They disappeared like two frisky puppies.
- No!
- [Cazotte] Two frisky puppies!
[Ludmilla] Come.
They walked the castle garden.
[Ludmilla laughs]
[Lothar] Come.
You are a genius, Mr. Cazotte.
Your son had the longing inside him
from the very start, I merely fueled it.
You have done our lineage a great service.
[Cazotte] It has been
an absolute pleasure to help you.
- [Cazotte] Please know that.
- Yes.
- [Grand Duchess exhales]
- [Cazotte laughs]
- What have we here?
- I'm afraid I have to disappoint you.
- Disappoint?
- I spoke to General Schreckenstein.
It is out of the question
that you paint a portrait of his daughter.
[Grand Duchess] Count yourself lucky I
didn't mention your name. He was incensed.
[fly is buzzing]
[fly is still buzzing]
- Oh dear, are you
- No. Not at all, Your Grace. No.
It's been my pleasure to help,
but you don't need to pay me.
- But the wedding ceremony.
- Yes.
My son's wedding.
You must accept the invitation. I insist.
[organ playing]
[priest] Accept these blessed
and consecrated rings.
[priest] Exchange them. Let them forever
be a symbol of the unbreakable covenant
which you have together made here today.
Ludmilla, in the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit,
I claim you to be my lawfully wedded wife.
Lothar, in the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit,
I claim you to be
my lawfully wedded husband.
The marriage which you
have now entered into,
I legally authorize in the name of
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
[priest] Amen.
[priest] All who are gathered here today
shall bear witness to the validity
of this unbreakable holy covenant.
[priest] What God has joined together,
let no man put asunder.
[priest in latin] Confirma hoc deus
quod opratus es in nobis.
[priest] Amen.
[sound of horse hooves]
[soldier] And halt!
[horse neighing]
Mr. Cazotte. Pack your belongings
and come with us.
[Grand Duchess sighs]
- [Cazotte] Your Grace.
- [Grand Duchess] Oh, there you are.
You seem upset.
An heir is on the way.
- Good news.
- [Grand Duchess] No, not at all.
- Not at all?
- [Grand Duchess] No.
The heir is due to come
towards the end of May.
- [Cazotte] Yes?
- Yes.
- In four months.
- [Cazotte] Yes, I suppose so, yes.
Four months, not nine.
[Cazotte laughs hoarsely]
You laugh at it?
- Can't you see it's a scandal?
- Yes, Your Grace. Forgive me.
God, The Sovereign,
who is a great craftsman,
sometimes paints His pictures
to be appreciated from afar.
In 150 years, the dilemma you now face
will seem like a pure idyll,
solely for the pleasure of the spectators.
You find them a little
Spare me this drivel.
Pardon. I'm trying to say
that not one of your faithful subjects
would fail to smile in their hearts
upon hearing of the matter that vexes you.
For everyone loves a loving couple.
I already told you how difficult it's been
to keep Babenhausen in our hands.
- Oh, because of cousin
- Marbod.
Living in sin may pass muster
in your creative circles,
but in ours it's a death sentence.
Prince Lothar will be disinherited
if it is revealed that the child
was conceived before the wedding.
- [Cazotte] You intend to do?
- No idea.
[Grand Duchess sighs]
[Cazotte exhales]
Your son and his wife
must be spirited away to a place.
Out of the view of society.
- [Grand Duchess] In hiding?
- [Cazotte] Yes. That should be possible.
- [Grand Duchess] Yes, but why?
- To keep the people in the dark.
In the dark?
I have pointed out to you
how seduction can be a type of vocation.
[Grand Duchess] Yes.
It is feasible to seduce
the public the same way.
You talk a lot but say very little.
Do you know that?
[Cazotte] In a way I feel guilty for this.
You asked me to open your son's eyes
to the charms of the female sex.
[Cazotte] His eyes, nothing else.
But, Your Grace
providence has stepped in to help us.
[Grand Duchess] Mm.
- [Cazotte] We must not fall out of step.
- Mm-mm.
I think I have found a plan to solve this.
First you or his Grace
must keep the people informed.
[Court Marshall] Esteemed citizens
of Babenhausen.
[Cazotte] The date for the happy event
should be announced to fall sometime in
[Court Marshal] in September.
[Cazotte] You will announce that
on the advice of the court physician,
Princess Ludmilla
must keep to her bed for many months.
- She must live in utmost tranquility.
- [Court Marshal] tranquility.
[Grand Duchess] Utmost tranquility?
But where?
[Cazotte] I shall find a place
as desolate and secluded as possible.
[Cazotte] Far away from the world.
[Cazotte] Organize it
as harmoniously as can be.
- You'll also see to the decor?
- Yes.
It is essential
that no one sees Princess Ludmilla
until six months
after the child has been born.
I will stay for the entire period.
To see that all goes as planned.
- Are you able to do it?
- [Cazotte] Yes.
- Oh.
- Oh, less sure already?
No, Your Grace. It just dawned on me
that Princess Ludmilla will need
a special lady-in-waiting.
Not just one of the usual gossips
from this court,
but someone carefully chosen.
- Someone we can trust.
- [Grand Duchess] Of course.
She must be of such family
and outstanding line
that it would justify her selection.
- Agreed?
- Yes, of course.
[Cazotte] Additionally, young and amiable.
The Princess, in her isolation,
will need an associate of a similar
age and temperament as herself.
And where are we to find a pleasant
young lady of the highest society
with the elevation of mind,
the steadfastness of character
You're doing it again.
You talk and talk
No. I mean I'm just trying to think.
Is there such a woman, Your Grace?
- Is there anyone you can think of?
- [Grand Duchess laughs loudly]
- [Grand Duchess claps]
- [Cazotte laughs surprised]
- Ehrengard.
- My goodness. Yes.
[Grand Duchess chuckling]
- You are terrible, Mr. Cazotte.
- [Cazotte] What do you mean, Your Grace?
You mean to seduce her.
You are right.
It is true.
I owe you the truth. As one of
the very few people I have met in my life
who understands the artist.
- [Grand Duchess scoffs]
- But you do.
Excuse me, but may I tell you
what I'm thinking?
I see her.
[Cazotte] I see her.
[Cazotte] A young maiden in a white frock,
daughter of warriors,
in whose universe the art,
the artist, have never existed.
[Cazotte] And this is precisely why,
like Michelangelo, I exclaim,
"Within that block of marble,
is my greatest triumph buried."
Michelangelo, block of marble,
warrior in a white frock aside,
the Schreckensteins are Lutherans.
A very stern race, as I already mentioned,
practically Puritans. All military people.
You won't get near her.
So be it.
- You have been too ambitious this time.
- Maybe so.
Yet I do not fret.
Then a wager may be put into play.
A wager of?
Ehrengard won't surrender to you.
And if she does?
[Grand Duchess] If you win Ehrengard,
I offer you lifelong employment at court.
Also, I will give you an artist residence
wherever you choose.
Then there you can go,
rambling as much as you like
If she doesn't?
[Grand Duchess] Then you paint
my portrait again.
And this time you will not reject me.
[puzzled laugh]
Very well.
[Grand Duchess] Mm.
[sound of kissing]
[Grand Duchess] Hm.
[neighing and whiplash]
[Grand Duchess] The Grand Duke and I
remember your loyal service to his father.
It was the highlight of my early career.
To the current concern.
You may not disclose this to anyone,
not even the Grand Duke.
[Schreckenstein] But please tell me,
how have you been
able to assess my daughter's qualities?
In all honesty, General, the credit
goes to my confidant in this matter.
Mr. Cazotte.
[Cazotte] I saw
that here was a
young Valkyrie.
Brought up under
the strictest military virtues.
[Cazotte] The only maiden
in a long line of warriors.
A nearly, totally,
frightfully worthy young,
white-hot angel with her
[speaks hoarsely]
flaming sword to stand guard
over the young lovers' paradise.
I get beside myself. I find
Ehrengard's strength impressive.
[Cazotte] And I see where it came from.
- [grins]
- Stop this stupidity.
[Schreckenstein] To the point.
No Schreckenstein has ever
said no to his Duke.
Our whole family
is extremely grateful to you.
[Schreckenstein] Ehrengard.
Pack your things.
Of course, Father.
- Just one thing.
- [Schreckenstein] Yes?
May I bid Kurt farewell?
My fianc, Your Grace.
Yes, for certain.
You may bid your fianc farewell.
Yet again accept our thanks, Ehrengard.
It is a true honor to serve the realm.
You are a good girl.
Wouldn't you agree, Mr. Cazotte?
- Yes. Absolutely.
- Yes.
- [Grand Duchess] Sleep well, Ehrengard.
- Same to you, Your Grace.
Yes, sleep very well, Ehrengard.
[in French] Bonne nuit.
What a pompous charlatan.
- I have found a secluded place.
- Yes?
- Rosenbad?
- Yes.
- It's been unoccupied for generations.
- Precisely.
[court music plays in background]
[servant] Welcome.
[Grand Duchess] Our physician,
Professor Putziger.
He'll remain here to keep a constant check
on the Princess' health.
[Grand Duchess] Our riding master,
Mr. Podolski.
[Grand Duchess] And our excellent Chief
Lady-in-waiting, Countess Poggendorf.
She's always been my most loyal
And Ehrengard.
Ehrengard you know.
[Grand Duchess] I wish you
the best of luck
That glass needs to be polished
when you have the time.
[Cazotte] Onto the entrance hall. Do keep
these doors shut to prevent a draft.
- [Poggendorf] Mr. Cazotte?
- Yes?
- May I ask you something?
- Naturally.
Are you a
Are you a court servant of sorts?
No. No, I am not.
I only serve the arts. I am a painter.
[Cazotte] The entrance hall.
- Mr. Cazotte.
- Yes.
[Ehrengard] I remember
where I first saw you.
- Yes?
- At the grand ball.
You were standing by your portrait
of the Grand Duchess.
[Cazotte] I do not recall.
I am usually good at remembering faces,
but not yours from that evening.
I don't mean to offend you. But it
Offend me?
- Do as you please.
- [Cazotte] Hm.
[Cazotte] And now we wave! Wave!
And we smile.
Oh, it is like a fairy tale.
[Cazotte] I'm pleased to hear that.
I tried to create a place
where our Princess couldn't help
but bring a cherub into this world.
- Are these for me?
- Yes, they are.
[Cazotte and Ludmilla laughs]
- Thank you.
- Pleasure.
[Lothar] Cazotte.
[quiet piano music plays]
[Cazotte] Your Grace.
[Cazotte] Our little court has quickly
settled into the romantic atmosphere.
[Cazotte] As for Princess Ludmilla and the
relationship with her new lady-in-waiting,
the Princess, heavy with the sweetness
of life, like a bee
[whispering] on its way to the honeycomb
[Cazotte] is unable to see anything less
than a sister in her.
- Is it true that your fianc is a soldier?
- It is true.
But you must be afraid.
What if he is sent off to war one day?
That's what a soldier must do.
I have taught him fencing.
Everyone in our family masters it.
In return, he taught me to fire a pistol.
[Ehrengard] Yes. Many times.
- [Ludmilla] Do you want children?
- [both women giggle]
[Cazotte] As for our wager, Your Grace,
I must tell you in all honesty
that progress is slow
with very little progress.
[sound of steps]
[door opens]
[Cazotte gasps]
[door closes]
[steps on gravel]
- [Ehrengard] Mr. Cazotte.
- [Cazotte] Oh, Ehrengard.
[Ehrengard] You are up early.
Yes. Well, I usually am.
Are you going riding?
[Cazotte] Pardon me?
[Ehrengard] Are you going riding?
Want to join me?
- [Ehrengard] If you want to ride alone
- No.
No. No, it's fine, uhm I think I
I think I can.
Uhm, think, think, think.
Yep, why not?
[Cazotte laughs]
- Good morning, Mr. Podolski.
- Good morning, Mr. Cazotte.
- [Cazotte] Can you ready my horse?
- Your horse?
Just give me the same horse as yesterday.
Same horse?
Just any.
Yes, sir.
- [Cazotte groans]
- [Ehrengard] Are you coming?
Just ride ahead. I'll catch up.
[strained groaning]
[Cazotte and Ehrengard groans]
You're getting tired.
You can't do anymore?
[Cazotte] Ah. Alpenglow.
[Cazotte] It is a rare interplay of
the spectral colors in the atmosphere.
- [Ehrengard] Alpenglow?
- Yes. Alpenglow.
It's already vanishing.
[Cazotte] Yes. Naturally.
It has delivered its innermost essence
and can now only annihilate itself. Boom!
[Cazotte] A clear day will follow.
It's a miracle.
- [Cazotte] No!
- [Ehrengard laughs]
[Ehrengard] Might it be possible
to have my own horse brought here?
Your own horse?
These horses are too well-schooled.
Yes. Indeed. And yours isn't?
His name is Wohtan.
Only I can ride him.
I can imagine.
Mr. Cazotte.
[Cazotte] Mr. Podolski. What's the matter?
- Someone's coming.
- So turn them away.
[Podolski] I can't.
It's the Grand Duke's cousin.
We're visiting the Princess.
I'm the Grand Duke's cousin.
Good. That's nice. But no,
I'm afraid the Princess has taken ill.
It's just a short visit.
We have a basket of gifts for her.
You will have to come back another day.
- Or give it to me.
- [Orsyla] Nice sausages.
The Princess' condition, as you can
imagine, prevents her from seeing anyone.
Are you refusing me entry?
- I'm only a messenger.
- I insist.
- [Cazotte] Listen
- Who do you think I am?
- [Cazotte] I'm just
- Move!
What a surprise.
We were in the area. And, uhm
We bring gifts from home for the Princess.
[Lothar] I'll see that she gets them.
She's terribly ill.
It's but a short visit.
[Lothar] It is contagious.
She's in isolation.
- But
- [Lothar] Goodbye.
[Marbod] Lothar. Dearest Lothar.
It's just a very short visit.
[decreasing footsteps]
[Marbod scoffs]
- Did you see his lies?
- Obviously.
And that charlatan. Did you see his rags?
Pardon me for asking, but is it carnival?
We must remain close by.
- [talking]
- [Marbod snaps finger]
We brought gifts for the residents of the
castle. But they don't receive guests.
Do you know anyone employed
at the fine castle?
- [taverner scuffs] I mind my own business.
- [Marbod] A moment.
[coins clinking]
Perhaps you could reconsider your stance
a little more carefully?
[puts coin on table]
We're going back to Babenhausen tonight.
Now you know where to find us.
[deep breath]
[Cazotte] Your Grace.
[Cazotte] Another month has passed
and the birth is imminent.
[Cazotte] I know that, given the nature
of the situation, you cannot visit us,
so allow me to pass on
a few impressions from here.
[Cazotte] Let me begin by telling you
some happy news.
[Cazotte] A stroke of luck has transpired.
I couldn't sleep and decided
to go for a walk in the forest.
[Cazotte] Here I saw her.
[Cazotte] And it immediately hit me
that the gods had granted me
a unique reason for my actions.
[Cazotte] I was right and more than right
in my assessment of her beauty.
[Cazotte] But it was something else.
[Cazotte] The generosity of the gods
was even more incomprehensible,
and I beg Your Grace not to see this
as explicit or think of me as a voyeur.
[Cazotte] There was something
picturesque about it.
[Cazotte] The light, the forest lake,
the woman in the water,
the entire magical atmosphere
simply cried out
to be immortalized in art.
[Cazotte] And this painting
which I have been summoned to paint
"Nymph Bathing in a Forest Lake."
[Cazotte] Or "Diana's Bath",
would in itself be a wonder,
a glory, the crowning moment
of my career as an artist.
[Cazotte] In what possible way can I more
fully make her mine than by capturing,
fastening and fixing upon my canvas
every line and hue of her young body,
so that no one in this entire world
can separate the two of us ever again?
[light breath]
[Cazotte] The work requires patience.
[Cazotte] When you read it
[Cazotte] So I wait.
[Cazotte] I never touch her hair
or even brush her hand.
[Cazotte] Instead,
I approach her in other ways.
[Ehrengard] Wohtan. Hi.
[Cazotte] And so the days pass,
Your Grace, with tiny, forward steps.
for my heart.
[keys jangling]
- Ehrengard.
- Hi.
[Ehrengard ]Thanks for your letter.
- [Kurt] I missed you
- But we can't meet this way.
But why?
I can't and won't tell.
I will be stationed here for three months.
Perhaps someday I can tell you everything.
Farewell, my friend.
[indiscernible talk and laughter]
[Ludmilla] Yes.
Ehrengard! The waters have broken.
[Ludmilla screams from pain]
[screaming loudly]
Not quite yet.
[baby crying]
[Cazotte breaths sigh of relief]
Mr. Podolski, send for the Grand Duchess.
- Where is the baby?
- Your Grace.
First, the castle trembled with fear,
but when the first shrill cry rang
from the Princess' room,
it changed from cellar to attic.
Mr. Cazotte. Be honest.
Is he healthy?
He is the most beautiful child
to see the light of day in Babenhausen.
There you are. Let me see him.
[Grand Duchess exhales]
[Lothar] Come.
- [Grand Duchess] Let me see him.
- [Lothar] Isn't he wonderful?
[Grand Duchess sniffles and laughs]
Oh. Aw.
[Cazotte] Aw.
[Grand Duchess] Congratulations.
He looks like me.
He looks like Grandmother.
Is he not the most beautiful
little creature you ever saw?
Even I, Your Grace,
someone not prone to sentimentality,
am astounded by the fairness of the child.
I must say.
And Ehrengard. How is it going with her?
She has for the first time,
unbeknownst to herself,
completely fallen in love.
- Already?
- [Cazotte] Mm.
Not with me, Your Grace.
With your grandchild.
- Oh!
- Yes.
- Yes.
- Oh Oh no.
So she has lost all interest in you,
Mr. Cazotte?
No, no, no. On the contrary.
It serves my purpose perfectly.
To fall in love with the god of love
himself may very well,
to a person of her integrity and energy,
be the first step on the road towards
total surrender, Your Grace.
I sense you are grasping at straws.
[Cazotte] The figure of Cupid.
The embodiment of love.
The most fatal of dolls. Believe me.
[Lothar] Mama.
- Your coach awaits.
- Yes.
Leaving already?
The Marbods won't let me
out of their sight. Bah!
No one Absolutely no one
outside this castle may see the baby.
- Understood?
- [Cazotte] Of course, Your Grace.
- And you, Lothar?
- Of course, Mother.
One last thing. We have found a wet nurse.
Her name is Lisbeth. She's a local.
We will have her brought here.
- And she is reliable?
- [Cazotte] Yes. We made inquiries.
[man] Lisbeth, please come home sometimes.
How am I to care for myself?
- I made arrangements with the neighbor.
- [man] Why do you have to live there?
You could come home from time to time
Let go of the door.
- Lisbeth?
- Go!
Lisbeth? Can
[man] Lisbeth. Lisbeth!
- Are you coming?
- [Lisbeth] Yes.
- [Lisbeth hums]
- [baby noises]
[indiscernible talk and laughter]
- You took your time.
- I'm sorry.
I've made inquiries, but no news.
Rosenbad has been completely quiet.
Then why send for us?
New situations developed.
- [taverner] Brandy?
- Go on.
Yes. Well, unfortunately I only
have a very costly bottle left.
Then let's hope it is good.
- The court has employed someone new.
- Keep going.
A woman.
- And what else?
- A woman with small children.
How did you find out?
[taverner] You see him? He is her husband.
[taverner] He sits here
every night in despair.
You should talk to him.
Excuse us.
What can you tell of Rosenbad?
It's all one big lie.
And now my wife is gone.
[Lisbeths husband] She was to work
at the castle as a lady's maid.
As a lady's maid to a spoiled young lady,
and I was not allowed to talk to her.
[Lisbeths husband] But
[Lisbeths husband] No,
I promised not to tell.
My good man.
The Grand Duke is my cousin.
In the name of our duchy,
I command you to tell what you know.
There's already a baby at the castle.
I knew it.
We must write to your cousin.
Say that we demand to see them.
I miss her all the time. Can you help me?
I have a job for you.
If you can possession of the child,
you will get your Lisbeth back.
- Possession of?
- [Marbod] Yes.
And as thanks for your
heroic achievements,
I will personally make sure that you get
a very prominent position at the court
once my wife and I take over the throne.
[Marbod] Don't you think that would make
your Lisbeth happy? And proud?
This is what you need to do.
[Ehrengard] Mr. Cazotte.
- [Cazotte] Ehrengard.
- You are an early bird.
[Cazotte] Yes.
Yes, last night was the shortest night.
- [Ehrengard] Really? I didn't know.
- Yes. Certainly.
And on this shortest night
I'm in the fresh air.
In the fresh air? Why is that?
[stammering speech]
It is a kind of ritual.
- [Ehrengard] Ritual?
- Yes.
What is the nature of it?
I am painting I capture nature
in its most tremulous moment.
- Tremulous?
- Where it is most fecund.
Before it is overtaken
by the darkness little by little.
[Ehrengard] It sounds rather sad.
- No, not at all. No. I enjoy it.
- May I see?
- [Cazotte] The painting?
- Yes.
- I'd rather you didn't.
- [Ehrengard] I'll find it beautiful.
- No. This painting is too trivial.
- [Ehrengard] Trivial? I doubt it.
Yes, it is merely flowers
with their sweet petals,
nettles with their burning embrace,
the forest lake with its gentle caresses.
- [Cazotte] It is romantic drivel.
- The forest lake?
- [Cazotte] What?
- Have you painted the forest lake?
Did I say the forest lake? No. I didn't.
- I'm just thinking out loud.
- Let me see it.
- [Cazotte] No, I'm just thinking out loud.
- Yes.
- [Ehrengard] My hand.
- Yes.
[Podolski] Mr. Cazotte!
Mr. Cazotte.
[Podolski] The Grand Duchess is here.
She wants you.
Pardon me.
[Grand Duchess] They insist
on paying a visit.
- [Cazotte] Who insists, Your Grace?
- The Marbods.
- Can't we say no?
- No. Impossible. They are family.
I made sure they won't enter Rosenbad,
and hear the child.
- We'll have a picnic.
- When?
[Grand Duchess] This Sunday.
- This Sunday?
- There's no way out, no.
We must hide the child.
- And Ludmilla should be
- Six months pregnant. Sizeable.
Lisbeth must stay here with the child,
and everyone else
must be carefully instructed.
Naturally. I shall see to it, Your Grace.
[Grand Duchess] Good, Mr. Cazotte.
[Grand Duchess] Please sit.
- [Cazotte sighs loudly]
- Now.
[Cazotte] Yes.
And Ehrengard?
[Cazotte] Well, as you know
I have painted her every morning.
And even though she hasn't necessarily
been aware of my presence,
my existence, I really feel as though
we've established a connection between us.
[Cazotte] I know what you are thinking,
Your Grace.
- Do you now?
- [Cazotte] Yes, I do.
Why doesn't that silly fool just
seduce the girl the old-fashioned way
and set his mind at rest?
- Am I right?
- More or less, yes.
[Cazotte] But that silly fool is
an artist.
[Cazotte] I am engrossed and intoxicated
by the creation of a masterpiece.
[Cazotte] I insist on
obtaining full surrender
without any kind
of physical touch whatsoever.
I could seduce the girl the old-fashioned
way, and it'd be less difficult.
I could seduce her at a given moment,
where her soul is agitated, impulsive.
But, Your Grace, I simply feel
that it would not mean anything to me.
You sound like you have realized
that you cannot win our wager,
and now you want to change the rules.
By no means. I still intend
to seduce her, Your Grace.
It will happen. But the difference is
she will be the only one to know.
To the outside world Ehrengard will
still sit on her little pedestal,
a snow-white virgin,
but our souls will forever be connected.
And that is genuine seduction.
And how are we to know
that the girl has been seduced
- How to know who has won our wager?
- Precisely.
I will show her the painting
I've created of her,
and at that very moment, she will falter.
She will become the rose,
its petals are shed
with a single breath of wind
and it stands naked, Your Grace.
Once the passion has conquered the soul,
the body follows after.
When she sees the painting, she will
simply be astonished and succumb.
She will succumb? Our Ehrengard?
For all to see, and that will be
the proof of absolute seduction.
I accept the new terms of our wager.
[imitates sound of tiger]
Should I ready your horse, Miss Ehrengard?
[outburst of anger]
[outburst of anger]
[outburst of anger]
[Lisbeths husband] Lisbeth!
[Lisbeths husband] Lisbeth!
[Lisbeths husband] Lisbeth!
[Ehrengard] What is going on?
[Ehrengard] My good man, wait a minute.
Why are you yelling?
He threatened me. He utterly confused me.
Now I've made a terrible mistake.
[Lisbeths husband] He
He promised me I would get my Lisbeth back
if I helped him.
[Ehrengard] Your Lisbeth?
[Lisbeths husband] My
My Lisbeth has been taken from me.
- Lisbeth has been taken from you?
- [Lisbeths husband] And now I have
I've made a terrible mistake.
[Ehrengard] What mistake
are you talking about?
The fine folk at Rosenbad
have lied about the child there.
[Lisbeths husband shrieking]
I've been tricked. So
Now I have to help.
In what way are you to help?
I am to steal a child
and bring it to them.
[Lisbeths husband] At two o'clock,
I must go to the clearing in the woods.
Now I'm wondering
if it's the right thing to do.
I have to talk to my Lisbeth first.
I don't think
Lisbeth will forgive me if I do.
[raises voice] Are you listening?
Proceed as agreed.
Understand me?
- What?
- [Ehrengard] Proceed as agreed.
And keep Lisbeth unaware.
It will work out if you listen to me.
[Ehrengard] Go! Will you just go! Go!
[rooster crowing]
[Grand Duchess] Where have you been?
Everyone was looking for you.
Here I am.
The picnic will begin in a moment.
All is prepared. Everything.
- [Grand Duchess] Yes?
- Yes.
You look pale.
Are you feeling crestfallen?
[Cazotte] No, no, no. All is good.
- [Podolski] And the cutlery?
- [servant] At the bottom.
We still need chairs.
[Ehrengard] Cazotte?
[grins surprised]
Apologies for not being at the lake today.
The lake?
[laughs awkwardly]
I always knew you were there.
And I was only not there today
because I was needed here.
[Ehrengard] I would like
you to complete the painting.
[Ehrengard] But I was thinking
we might do it in your chamber.
Because to be closer might help.
Directly facing.
Naturally. Yes.
Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely.
- Are you able to visualize it?
- Yes.
Close your eyes.
- Pardon?
- [Ehrengard] Close your eyes.
- Now? Yes.
- [Ehrengard] Yes.
And visualize it.
[Ehrengard] Good.
- Arrange everything.
- [Cazotte] Mm.
Set the canvas up.
I will be there after the picnic.
- Yes.
- Yes.
[Cazotte] Yes,
you'll be there after the picnic.
[longing sigh]
[whispers] Cheers.
Such a nice place, don't you think?
[glass clinking]
Dear Marbod.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you
and your dear wife here today.
It is an immense pleasure to
Yes, I think you just said that.
[Grand Duchess] Yes.
And I am delighted
that Princess Ludmilla is feeling
well enough to be with us today.
- [Cazotte] It is wonderful.
- And the weather
So I won't say much more than
it is a pleasure to bid you welcome.
- The pleasure is entirely ours.
- [Grand Duchess] Cheers.
- [Cazotte] It is wonderful.
- [guests cheer]
[Cazotte gurgles]
- Delightful wine. Very strong.
- [Grand Duchess] Very. Pearly light.
- [Grand Duchess] Mmh.
- [Cazotte] Mmh.
[Cazotte] May I have the crayfish?
Thank you.
- Crayfish?
- No, thank you.
Snap, snap.
[Grand Duchess] We've been
lucky with the weather.
- Not too hot or cold. Just right.
- [Cazotte] Lovely weather.
[strained effort]
- [Grand Duchess] It is chanterelle.
- [Cazotte] It is.
[Cazotte] The gold of the forest.
[Lisbeths husband] There, there.
[shushing quietly]
[loud snort]
[breaths heavily]
[Lisbeth screaming] No!
[shocked gasp]
Wha Ma
No. You
- [Grand Duchess] Delicious.
- [Cazotte] Very.
This comedy has gone on long enough.
- Comedy?
- Please stay out of this.
[Orsyla clears throat] Dear Princess.
Allow us.
So full of life.
[Orsyla] So soft.
[Orsyla] It is very soft. One could think
- [Ehrengard] Pardon me!
- Oh!
- [Ehrengard] Pardon!
- [Lisbeth] Matthias!
Come on my good man.
[Lisbeth] What are you doing? Matthias!
Yes, come, Matthias.
- [Marbod] Come.
- [Lisbeth] Stop!
[Marbod] Matthias, come.
- [Lisbeth] Matthias!
- [Marbod] Go on, Matthias.
- [Lisbeth] Mat
- [Marbod] Go on!
[Lisbeth] Matthias!
- [Lisbeth] What are you doing?
- Come, go on.
Excuse me.
[Lisbeth] Matthias!
[Lisbeth] Matthias Ma
[Lisbeth] Mat
[Lisbeth] Matthias! Stop!
[Matthias] There. I know.
[Lisbeth] Matthias, stop it!
[Lisbeth] Matthias!
No, no, no!
[Grand Duchess] Stay. Eat.
Poggendorf. Hold my hand.
- [Cazotte] Stop!
- [Grand Duchess] Oh, Poggendorf.
- [Ehrengard] Mr. Podolski.
- [Cazotte] Ehrengard!
- [Cazotte] Ehrengard, wait!
- [Ehrengard] Come on. Go.
[strained effort]
[Cazotte] Come on. Stop! Wait!
The coachman is gone.
Poggendorf, get in.
Your Grace, come with me.
- Move!
- I'm going as fast as I can.
- [Orsyla] For God's sake. You save it.
- [Marbod] Save it.
- [Grand Duchess] Thank you.
- Go!
Come on.
[Ehrengard] Giddy-up!
[Cazotte] Come on. Go.
If I say it's on the right,
it's on the right.
- It's on the left.
- I said it's on the right!
[Marbod] No. I said it's on the right,
so I go right.
[Grand Duchess] Faster, faster.
[Orsyla] I told you, the tracks lead
that way. Why don't you listen?
[rooster crowing]
- [baby noises]
- [Lisbeth shushing]
[Ehrengard] You there!
[Matthias] Ouch, ouch, ouch!
Stop! That's enough!
What is going on?
[Matthias] So help me God,
I am an innocent man.
[Matthias] It is very unjust of this woman
to attack me.
It was a good try otherwise, dear cousin.
[Grand Duchess] Uh.
[Ehrengard] I don't understand.
This child here is mine.
Yes, that is true.
That child is hers.
Say it again.
I shall say it again and again.
That is my child!
- That is not true.
- [stammering] No.
No. Yes.
- [Ehrengard] I can assure you it is.
- Yes.
Ask Lisbeth. She will confirm.
[Ehrengard] The man is indeed her husband.
He abducted the child and his wet nurse.
- I followed them and found them here.
- That.
That is not true.
- Yes.
- Yep.
Then But who is the child's father?
I shall tell you.
[Ehrengard] Cazotte.
Please send for a coach and have our child
brought back to Rosenbad.
That lapdog!
Well. You must prove it.
Prove it?
How on earth should they do that?
Should we wait for him to grow older,
so we can see
if he takes after his father?
We are not fools!
Evidence! I demand evidence.
- Cazotte.
- Yes?
Show them your notebook.
[Cazotte] Hm?
- [Ehrengard] Your notebook.
- My notebook?
- My My note Yes.
- [Ehrengard] Its necessary, apparently.
[Cazotte] It's necessary Yes.
I would love to,
but I don't have it with me.
I don't have
- [Ehrengard] Yes.
- No.
Isn't it in your left coat pocket?
[Cazotte] Yes.
[steps approaching]
- Not now. Not now!
- What about
[Grand Duchess] Mm-hm.
Is that enough?
[Marbod growls]
[Cazotte breathing heavily]
- [faint ringing in ears]
- [Cazottes breathing echoes]
- [Grand Duchess gasps]
- [Cazotte grunts]
Shh. Come. Come
[Ehrengard] Shh. Come.
Tomorrow at dawn.
[Ehrengard] Kurt!
[Grand Duchess] Let's go.
[rooster crowing]
- Would you like to choose first?
- No. You go ahead.
Very well.
Help him.
- Right.
- Here you are.
Are you ready?
Pardon me, but I don't understand
why we can't discuss this like adults.
Twenty steps. Or fewer perhaps?
Twenty steps.
Please consider this
One. Two.
Twelve. Thirteen.
- [gun firing]
- [Cazotte screams in pain]
[Cazotte screams]
What the hell, I've been hit!
[screams in pain]
I've been hit. I've been hit!
[Ehrengard] Stop!
[Ehrengard] Wait!
[organ playing]
[priest in Latin]
Ego te baptizo, in nomine Patris,
et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
[baby crying]
Quique dedit tibi remissionem,
omnium peccatorum ipse te liniat.
In vitam eaternam.
[everyone] Amen.
Peace be with you.
[everyone] And with your spirit.
[Cazotte] At long last, a little
over a year after their wedding,
Prince Lothar and Princess Ludmilla
could finally baptize their firstborn.
[priest in Latin] Deus omnipotens,
Pater Domini nostri lesu Christi,
[child crying]
qui te regeneravit ex aqua
et Spiritu Sancto.
[Cazotte] Here ends
the story of Ehrengard.
[Cazotte] For this occasion,
she wore across her white gown
the blue ribbon
of the Order of Saint Stephan,
an order given in recognition
of distinguished service
to the house of Babenhausen.
[Cazotte] I was present,
but received no order.
[moaning intensifies]
[organ intensifies]
[Grand Duchess] Yes! Yes!
[Cazotte] Later I went to Rome.
[Cazotte] Here I received
many prestigious assignments
where I could further develop
my great artistic talent.
[in Italian] Grazie.
["The Marriage of Figaro" is playing]
[Cazotte] And it came to pass,
my acquaintances gave me my alias.
[indiscernible whispering]
[Cazotte] They called me
[Cazotte] Casanova.
[giggling quietly]
["The Wedding of Figaro" is still playing]
[Schuberts "Die Forelle" is playing]