Aristocrats (1999) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

We knew nothing of a world beyond our own.
We were aristocrats.
Mr Fox! l adored Caroline.
l wonder what she did to provoke him.
ln my eyes, she could do no wrong.
We have dismissed Mr Fox.
l am married .
to Mr Fox.
l will not be disobeyed! l wondered what would happen when my turn came.
What would my parents require of me? Admirers? Allow me.
- You can't marry if Father won't allow it! - Can't marry! Can't marry! So, my lord, how do you occupy your time? Well, erat the moment l'm building a house.
l should be sorry to be the cause of any disappointment, my lord, but my position is unalterable.
l won't give her a penny more.
Her dowry is fixed at L10,000 .
when her parents die.
A distant event, one hopes.
You must provide the rest.
Marriage to one of our family confers such esteem that no financial advantage will be requested or given.
My love for Lady Emily was not inspired by thoughts of fortune.
What settlement do you consider? This is the sum l require.
Then that is the sum l agree.
Have it drawn up.
Patience and dutifulness on my part had softened my parents'objections to Lord Kildare.
He pays through the nose.
There's nothing we could fault.
Nevertheless, my father drove a hard bargain.
l was to be handed over with scarcely a guinea to my name.
My father was unstinting, though, in his provisions for the wedding.
The celebrations were magnificent and attended by all Londonincluding the King.
Of course, my sister Caroline was not invited.
Ah! How is my pretty plumb cake? Bien.
Et vous? - She speaks in tongues, Your Grace.
- All my children speak French, sir.
Shall we see what she says to this? Of my two younger sisters, little Sarah was the King's favourite.
Shall we put the lid on? She became something of a royal plaything.
s'en va-t-en guerre ? Avec une grande armee, avec une grande armee ? Mambru s'en va-t-en guerre, mironton, mironton, mirontaine ? Mambru s'en va-t-en guerre ? Avec une grande armee, avec une grande armee The little plumb cake is a patriot! Just like her father, eh, Richmond? Do you accept our offer? You keep us waiting.
lt's not the thing.
- But do you still want me, sir? - Of course.
Of course.
Then l am honoured to accept the position.
Master of the Horse it is, then.
Jemmy, we can't! Can we? - Jemmy.
- Mm-hm? How many bedrooms does your house have in lreland? l can't remember.
Why? l'm trying to imagine it.
- ls it a little like Richmond House? - Mm.
Does it havepretty windows? - Does it have a park? - With spotty cattle.
And black-faced sheep.
l do like being married.
My dearest.
- Jemmy.
- Mm? You know what we must do tomorrow? More of this, perhaps? We must visit my sister.
As a married woman, l answered first to my husband.
My parents could not prevent me from visiting Caroline.
And l did so, the day after my wedding.
Henrydo l look well? Jemmy had no objection.
He saw advantages in meeting Mr Fox, whose star was rising fast.
My Lord and Lady Kildare.
We wasted no time in catching up on the missed years and interrupted confidences.
l can never express enough gratitude to you, Lord Kildare, for restoring my sister to me.
l have wanted to make your acquaintance, Lady Caroline, and that of Mr Fox.
May your domestic happiness be equal to my own.
You have chosen the best available.
Thank you for the compliment, Mr Fox.
lt is simply the truth.
Well, this calls for a toast.
To happiness in marriage.
My darling Ste.
He is sweeter than any baby is entitled to be.
You can't imagine what l feel for him.
ls not the act of love .
strange? Jemmy says that its frequent use is necessary to a woman's health and happiness.
That's abominably indelicate.
He says what he thinks.
l'm sure one sees many mighty comfortable old virgins.
Perhaps that is so.
But one is awfully glad not to be among them.
Emily! Oh! Oh, dearest sis, we shall see too little of each other when you're gone.
l shall return from lreland often.
To my eyes, lreland was not at all the place of bogs and cottages my mother had told me it would be.
My eyes then, of course, were not as open as they might have been.
l thought it a pretty country and, in parts, like the England l had left.
lts houses, however, were in need of some improvement.
As mistress in my own home at last, l set about the business of refurbishment.
Try the other one again.
Yes! Yes, that's it! There's Chinese silk upholstery of exceptional charm.
More silk? How much did it cost? L200.
A little expensive.
Oh, it is so beautiful.
- Shall l put it on? - Yes.
l'd give more than l could name to have the pleasure of taking it off.
My husband's feelings for me were such that l very quickly began to breed.
l bred constantly.
l loved my children.
With annual regularity, l gave birth, was confined, and bred again.
Good night, George.
Good night, William.
Emily, we cannot spend any more.
l fear for my ruin.
We were to go to the theatre.
- What time? - We are much too late.
We'll go another time, my love.
- l promise.
- You promised before.
l was looking forward to this.
- There is nothing l can do.
- There is nothing you wish to do! - You are happier away from me.
- You don't believe that.
Your Grace? He will only talk to Mr Fox! - Who, my dear? - The King! He will not listen to us! He asks repeatedly if we've won the war yet, and when we try to explain the difficulties of doing so, he calls for Mr Fox! Because Mr Fox is the only man he can understand! l never thought it a good likeness anyway.
Jemmy, we must go to London.
For what purpose? You must bespeak memore stockings.
- Can Dublin not furnish you with stockings? - Dublin is out of stockings.
l need the blue, embroidered with silk, seven pairs.
And two pairs of .
the green with pink flocks.
l will bespeak you a thousand.
This talk of stockings and the sight of your dear, pretty legs .
makes me feel what is not to be expressed.
- You are not fair, Mr Fox.
- And you are very fair, Lady Kildare.
l cannot argue with a pun, particularly if it flatters me.
No-one can argue with Mr Fox.
He always wins.
l imagine Lady Kildare also has a habit of winning.
Oh, l don't contest.
- l defer to Lord Kildare in all things.
- Ah.
ls that not so? All things in the great world, perhaps.
But in the matter of children and house, l think women have the wiser view.
You would have us believe, my dear, that your opinions are confined to children and house? They have the major share of my thoughts.
Otherwise, my thoughts are commonplace.
Let us hear these commonplace thoughts.
l think war is a disgrace to human nature.
lt makes us rich.
- But that should not be.
lt makes everyone rich.
Our manufactories make arms, our merchants sell cloth for uniforms, our bankers make loans, our corn prices rise, and your father grows richer by the day as his coal is used.
Such wealth is dearly bought, paid for by people's lives! Not by ours.
l don't want to profit from death, Henry.
Perhaps l should refuse my pay.
You said you wished to bring this war to a speedy end.
Are you now saying you wish it to continue? lt doesn't hinder my prospects.
So this war is a useful instrument to your advancement.
l said no such thing.
War is a murdering trade and you talk of prospects! ls the end of war not in sight? l have never been more convinced of your being tired of me as l have been this last month.
l know fidelity is not the custom amongst people of our rank, and there are some marriages where the presence of a mistress does not seem to disturb the wife.
And perhaps l should be moreaccustomed.
But l cannot bear it if l am not first in your heart.
You think l have a mistress? A mistress! When should l find time for a mistress? But if it was a servant, or an actress, perhaps l could bear it, but to be displaced by an equal! An equal? Who is she, Henry? Listen There is no-one.
There is only you.
- You mean l have no rival? - You are always in my thoughts.
Wherever l amwhoever l am with.
You are the centre of my life.
l think of you all the time.
l think of you in the clamour of debate.
l think of youwhen l'm calculating the movement of troops from Portsmouth to Nova Scotia.
Your rival is the war.
Hm? l have looked at these applications, Lord Kildare, and l shall do what l can.
l'm grateful.
There is a favour l must ask in return .
if Lady Kildare doesn't mind.
- Have you considered what she did? - lt is done, Father, and can't be changed.
Children are not independent of their parents.
She knew that, yet she set her will against mine.
You know how she cared for you.
- l did everything for her.
- l know.
l was the best judge of her happiness! l know! But she misses you.
She didn't mean to give you pain.
- Your behaviour gave me pain.
- Mine? The day after your wedding you visited her.
All London spoke of it.
There would have been less noise if we'd lost the fleet! Father, years have passed.
lf punishment were needed, has there not been enough? - l worry about you.
- Do not presume to worry about me.
You think to advise me? You live in lreland! What can you know? Father .
do you not want to see your eldest grandchild? Emily, you were a clever child, but it grieves me now to see that you have become a brainless woman! How dare he speak to you in that manner? - He can't understand being crossed.
KlLDARE: Richmond is too proud.
Pride is natural if one's grandfather was King.
And what of his grandmother? She was the King's mistress.
One of the many he took to bed.
And her grandson presumes to be proud! Royalty issues its own permissions.
My family has a legal line for 600 years.
Should my wife be insulted by a bastard son? For God's sake! Mr Fox, my husband so hates to see me upset.
lndeed l do.
We are both grateful to you, Lady Kildare.
You did your best.
- He will never change now.
- l'm not certain of that.
Perhaps the presence of a baby again in his household softened my father's feelings towards his eldest daughter, Caroline.
No, bring her to me.
Bring Lady Cecelia to me.
A war had been raging between my parents and Caroline for seven years.
A war had been raging in Europe for almost as long.
This is no way to celebrate winning a war! - Why should we have rain? - l trust we did not request it.
Rain! Rain! We can overcome all else, but who can overcome rain? Catherine wheels that don't turn, rockets that don't shoot and fountains that don't spray are quite a deal to overcome.
The rain is a trifle.
No party goes well in the rain! No party goes well when the party pavilion is burnt to the ground! This was to have been a night we would never forget.
l, for one, will never forget it.
The dampest squib of my life.
We so wanted a party.
l will organise a party, Your Majesty.
EMlLY: With peace restored on the Continent, it was time for the family to be reconciled as well.
Your generosity, Your Grace, is unequalled in London.
My gratitude cannot be expressed.
- Mama.
- Caroline.
You've grown so tall.
- What are you reading? - Livy's History of the Punic Wars.
A small memento, Your Grace.
Thank you.
The smallest trifle.
To convey our regard.
Pray, open it.
- A portrait of Lady Caroline.
- Yes.
To remember her by.
Louisa! You don't remember me.
Are you our sister? Sarah.
Cecelia? Oh, you He's a fine child for his age.
Favours his grandfather, don't you think? Thank you.
Oh, we like itwhen the wheels go around and the rockets go up! That is fortunate, Your Majesty, because that is precisely what they're designed to do.
- Do you know everything, Your Grace? - Your Majesty? You know about animals, and you know about antiquities.
l can't think how many languages you speak.
And here, you know about fireworks! Yes, they've turned out well, in design and execution.
l think l may say they've turned out well.
Thank you, Your Majesty.
A splendid display, Your Grace.
lndeed, indeed.
Now that the war is over, Mr Fox, you must find yourself less busy.
lt takes as much effort to get soldiers home as it did to send them out.
- You'll permit me to make a short oration? - Certainly.
Come on.
My little girls.
Come forward, Charles.
My son and heir.
l have here, your most gracious Majesty l have my family, my friends, l have my beautiful wife.
The most wonderful prize a man ever won.
l have my daughter Emily.
Where's Emily? My daughter, who was married in my house.
And Caroline, my daughter who wasn't.
But she is now happily returned to us.
All strains are past, all wounds are healed, all injuries forgotten.
Henry Fox has acquired the regard of his monarch and his peers.
He is being called a great man.
And for Caroline's sakel'm glad.
Lord Kildare and Emily have given me two grandchildren already.
- Soon there'll be another! - Your Grace! And Charles, my boy .
in the fullness of timeyou will take my place.
May you be blessed as l have been blessed.
You will build on the plenty you inherit.
You will travel to Europe, see what it has to offer and know that we can do more.
Your Majesty, our country's influence stretches around the globe.
May it extend from east to west through the known and the unknown worlds.
May it grow, Your Majesty! May it grow and grow and Argh! Charles! No! Fetch the lawyer.
With my father dead, my mother lost her own will to live.
l'll join him before my mourning's out.
l shall ask God to take me.
l'm sure he'll oblige.
She too died within the year.
But we were to learn that decrees and principles could still rule from the grave.
''This is a final codicil to the will of Sarah, Duchess of Richmond.
The bequests thus described have been declared in accordance with my husband's wishes and his wishes with regard to the guardianship of my remaining children l accede to and relate.
My son, Charles Lennox, now Third Duke of Richmond, is the head of the family, but is to continue his education in Europe without interruption.
The guardianship of my youngest daughters l give into the care of my daughter my daughter Emily.
lt is my heartfelt desire that no influence may corrupt the morals of my children.
l believe my daughter Emily and her husband, Lord Kildare, will ensure their moral and physical well-being until they are of marriageable age.
They will then return to London to be presented at court.
'' ''No influence may corrupt the morals of my children''? This is a slur on you! My dear, it's a turn of phrase.
He believed a free thinker could have no morals.
- What does it matter what he believed? - l am the elder sister.
- Do l not love them as much as you? - Of course you do.
Well, should they be taken to lreland? - There's nothing wrong withlreland.
- lt's not London.
- You have not been thereso do not judge.
- However suitable, it is not their home.
l believe it will soon become so, Lady Caroline.
- lt is miles from all they know.
- Caroline, don't.
This is Father's way of revenge.
lt's simply his wish.
Who knows what he thought? They will return to us when they are grown.
That is no consolation.
lt's years away.
Emilyyou will let me have them? l believe we must respect your father's will.
This is between Emily and l.
With profound respect, my name is mentioned.
- We must think of their good.
- l do.
Your father's trust is an honour l did not look for.
lt's a duty l will not evade.
lt might be better not to dispute.
Please be assured of our fondest care.
No, it is not right.
l cannot regard this asjust or fair.
l know l cannot alter the written word, l know l cannot bring back the dead, but it is not right! lt is done.
We must accept it.
lt's done.
Having reunited us so recently, my father had split us asunder again.
Caroline was hurt and angry.
What could we do? Our parents were dead and beyond the reach of appeal or reason.
My sisters, Louisa and Sarah and baby Cecelia, were to be cared for by me in lreland.
l think l gave them the childhood my parents would have wished for them.
Undoubtedly, theirs would have been a very different upbringing if they had stayed in London with Caroline and Mr Fox.
Charles James, that's enough! ''For Lo! The board with cups and spoons is crown'd!'' Bravo! - He knows one line.
- Not at all! Say five more.
- And you'll grant me a wish? - Let me hear you first.
Meanwhile, declining at the noon of day, The sun obliquely shoots its burning ray.
And the hungry judges soon the sentence sign And wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
That was four.
The bargain is five.
No wonder this home is called Liberty Hall for children.
Take him down, Henry.
Not at all.
Come along, Charles James.
My nephew Ste had been joined in that household by a younger brother, the precocious Charles James, who was to become more famous than his father.
Bravo! Charles James, come here, my boy.
Come along, sit here.
Fair and square.
Now, what is your wish? l wish l could bathe in cream.
- Cream? Bathe in cream! And so you shall, my boy.
l believe l denied my younger sisters nothing in lreland.
At least l furnished them with a succession of playmates in the pretty shapes of my own children, my ever-increasing brood.
Slow down! You'll break them.
Slow down! With this ring l thee wed, with my body l thee worship.
And with all my worldly goods l And with all my worldly goods l thee endow.
And now you may kiss the bride.
Very good.
Now will you read us the rest of the story, Emily? Yes, Sarah.
Come and sit down.
Now, where were we? Often it seemed to me as if Louisa, Sarah and Cecelia were my children rather than my sisters.
Sometimes they even called me Mama.
My home was theirs, and the years passed in busy happiness.
When the time came for Louisa to be married, she did not have to go to London for a husband.
l'd found her a perfectly splendid one in lreland, in the form of Mr Tom Conolly.
Nobody could have been more suitable.
Damn fine speech you made in parliament last week, Lord Kildare.
- Which one, Mr Conolly? - l can't remember exactly.
The one about mmunificent or Does not the patriot rejoice in the growth and munificence of his country? That's the one! Our munificence is curtailed.
Our taxes go to England.
lt is a custom which is not just.
England won't give back money.
l may have to go to the King himself.
l think perhaps you should dance with your wife, Mr Conolly.
Good idea.
Ready, my lady? We'll show 'em how.
The success of the match made me begin to consider whom Sarah might marry.
And when will you marry, Sarah? Marry? - Me? - Mm.
l do not know.
But finding a husband for Sarah was going to prove more difficult.
- Good night, children.
- But, Mama, it's early! lt is long past your bedtime, George.
But they're still dancing! l expect they will dance till dawn, but my children must sleep.
Go on.
And you too, Cecelia.
- Good night, sister.
- Good night.
Oh! Don't say you're hurt! l'd die on the spot if you're hurt.
Oh, Tom, what a nice thing to say! l always go at things.
Hunting, dancing, anything.
No-one can keep up with you in the country dance.
Apart from you.
Come on, let's go home.
Where are all my servants? Get them out of their beds! And get candles quickly! My lady must see her house.
l have seen your house.
Your house, my lady.
You are its mistress now.
lt's splendid! l like it so much.
You'll want improvements.
Women always want improvements.
l want lights in every room! Morning room, gallery, boudoir, drawing room, library, bedrooms, dressing rooms, er blue room, study Mr Conolly! That's enough! Enough! Put the lights on in Lady Louisa's bedroom first.
l will only change things if you'd like me to.
l so want to be a good wife.
We'll make a splash! The first in fashion! The latest style! You will tell me how much you desire me to spend? You may spend what you like.
l'm the richest man in lreland! He's never still for a moment.
He is my darling flea.
He must jump about.
Marriage agrees with you? lndeed.
l wondered at first .
but it's not at all alarming.
Er Should l wear the mustard or the lime green? l think the lime green.
Oh, did you tell them to polish my riding boots? Yes, my angel, it's all in order.
One would think you had been married for years, not days.
l grow quite accustomed to it.
l had nurtured my sisters well and was proud of them.
ln London, Caroline had less reason to be proud of her sons.
- You cannot go there again.
- Why not? Youyou lose so much! Lose? By my standards, five thousand is nothing.
Your standards? You do not pay, your father does! l would have thought you both would have more sense.
- lf one never ventures, one never gains.
- You never win! You lose and lose! Then it's ripe for our luck to turn.
- lt is a wicked waste.
A vice and a sin.
- Mother! lt's the doing that gives so much pleasure.
lf they only knew how much it hurt me, l'm sure they would stop.
Charles James and Ste have been gambling again! Our sons follow the fashion of all young men.
And they're drunk! Henry, do l begin to look old? - Have l neglected to admire a new dress? - No, you misunderstand me.
l wish to look old.
Un visage serieux.
And what is the purpose of this serious face? l can't help thinking Emily wrongs me.
- You can still launch Sarah.
- l shall insist on it.
But l should have launched Louisa.
l could have sat at assemblies like an old lady and helped find her a husband.
Why did Emily keep her? l am the eldest.
Mama! Mama, do you see what l caught? lt's a splendid fish, George.
Will there be a river at Eton? Yes, William.
And there'll be games.
- Latin and lessons.
- l'm afraid so.
- Oh, must we go? - You must.
l shall be taking you there.
You are to go to London again? l make no progress in my efforts here.
lreland is prospering, but all our tax ends up in London.
l'm making a protest.
l may resign one of my positions.
lt's not the best time for us to lose income.
Whatever our income, my Emily will spend it.
Jemmy, l'm breeding again.
Again? That's George, William, Henrietta, Little Emily, Sophia - Charlotte, Lucy.
- Charlotte, Lucy.
That's six! Seven! - Jemmy! - ls it? Right.
l'm frightened for them.
So far from home.
- They will soon become accustomed.
- Yes, my lord.
But will l? A mother's natural fears accompanied every separation from my sons.
George and William, who were my eldest, were the first to leave me.
l hated to see them go.
Lord Kildare.
And did your business prosper today, my lord? lt was another day of delays.
l waited half the day to petition the King, then was told His Majesty was fatigued and would see no-one else.
Half a day? That's nothing.
Time slips by.
l get nowhere.
What you wish to accomplish, it's not easy.
Were it not for your help and guidance, l believe l would despair.
- A word from you - l have less influence than you imagine.
My cause is just.
Your parliament bleeds lreland dry.
lreland's taxes should make lreland rich.
l have believed in the justice of many causes .
but the greater my convictions, the more enemies l have made.
Justice guarantees nothing.
You will not help me, then? l shall do what l can.
l don't promise success.
You will stay to dine? lf you'll excuse me, Lady Caroline, l'm fagged to death.
Good night.
- Will he see the King? - Not a chance in the world.
Are you going to help him? l may arrange a few more fruitless appointments with ministers .
but to be frank, my dear, he's something of an embarrassment.
Why must he concern himself with matters he barely understands? Why can't he simply enjoy being rich? My children adore your little flea.
l see your maid is breeding.
Louisa, l am not the only woman in my house that can breed of my Lord Kildare.
She's? lt's? Constancy is rarely found in men.
That part of their nature is hard for us to judge.
l would be jealous.
l wouldn't overcome it.
Jealous? You would make yourself unhappy, and to no avail.
lnfidelity in men .
is as common as rain.
And has as little meaning.
And besidesJemmy loves me.
l see.
Who knows? Some day l may have a lover too.