Aristocrats (1999) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

- How is my pretty plum cake? - Bien.
Et vous? Jemmy, we can't.
- You have chosen the best available.
- Thank you, Mr Fox.
Charles? Our parents were dead, beyond the reach of appeal or reason.
- This is Father's way of revenge.
- lt's simply his wish.
Emilyyou will let me have them? Often it seemed as if my sisters were my children.
lreland is prospering, but all our tax ends up in London.
Why must he concern himself with matters he barely understands? l'm making a protest.
Why can't he simply enjoy being rich? Don't say you're hurt.
l'd die on the spot if you were.
Oh, Tom! - Marriage agrees with you? - lt's not at all alarming.
lt is as if you had been married for years.
Someday l may have a lover, too.
My husband had petitioned the King to keep lrish taxes for lreland.
On his return from London, he received a hero's welcome.
l failed.
l did not even get to see the King.
You are the only one who tried, my lord.
Look, my lord.
They struck a medal in your name.
You may not be valued in London .
but it's a different matter here.
l had already displeased my sister Caroline by marrying Louisa in lreland.
Sarah was now of marriageable age, and l could not refuse Caroline's wish to launch her in London.
l will miss you.
l will miss this place.
You'll be so occupied, you won't have time to think.
l will not know anyone.
l'm not good at dancing, and l'm not as pretty as Louisa.
- l will not know what to say.
- Nonsense.
l worry l will disappoint you.
You will not disappoint me.
lt's your first season.
Of course you worry.
- Did you? - l was used to London.
And you will soon become so.
Lady Sarah Lennox.
My dear Sarah Sister! Let me look at you.
- You are not quite as l remember you.
- l'm not? No.
But every bit as pretty.
Now, first of all, you must meet everybody.
And then we will plan.
You will find yourself busy, Lady Sarah.
You will enjoy London.
Oh, l do hope so.
So muchdiversion, all in one place.
Yes! So muchamusement.
So many young men.
l do not know if the young men will like me.
Oh! l must introduce you to our sons.
Your nephews.
Boys, this is your Aunt Sarah.
l'm Stephen Fox.
But you may call me Ste.
- Were you here last night? - No.
l thought you weren't.
l would have seen you, if you were.
l'm Charles James.
Ready to serve you in any way you wish.
Come, Sarah.
l'd like you to meet Lady Darlington - my sister.
Perhaps l should have insisted she remained with me in lreland.
She was so innocent.
- Delighted.
- We must have a ball.
Do you dance? Well, l should take dancing lessons.
My feet are too big.
Coutini teaches dancing.
Three guineas a month.
lntolerably dear, but he is the best.
Can you sing? Can you ride? - l can act.
- Oh, excellent.
Lady Susan My niece.
Lady Susan Fox-Strangways.
Lady Sarah Lennox.
Lady Sarah has a taste for theatricals.
Ohyou must take a part in our play.
The Beaux' Stratagem.
l'm sure you know it.
We have the most delightful leading man.
Well, she's pretty enough, butwell, she has noair.
She'll do well.
She has charm.
l was considering in what manner l should make love to you.
Love? To me? Friend! - Yes, child.
- Child? Manners! lf you were to keep a little more distance, friend, it would become you much better.
Distance? Good nightsauce-box.
l hope, sir, you ain'taffronted.
'Sdeath, child .
you have a delicate pair of eyes.
Mr O'Brien is very handsome.
l love him.
You love an actor? l can't help it.
l adore him! But what would people say? - Sarah, my dear Your brother wishes to congratulate you.
Your Grace.
Surprising performance.
l hope it entertained you, brother.
A promising start.
You'll improve with practice.
My wife Mary.
Your Grace.
Did you enjoy being seduced? ln the play? - l trust it only happened in the play.
- Oh, of course.
Though he's handsome enough to tempt a nun.
Ah, Lady Sarah.
You are Lady Sarah? - The sister from lreland? - Yes.
Horace Walpole.
Mr Walpole is the very celebrated man of letters.
And this, Lady Sarah, is George Selwyn.
- Did you see the execution today? - l missed it.
- You watch executions? - Everyone has a hobby.
- l suppose they do.
- Mr Selwyn is quite taken by death.
l noticed you sleeping in the Commons again today.
Oh, mind you, l woke to vote.
lf one spends one's nights in reverie, one must sleep sometime! The Marchioness of Aberdeen and Lady lshbel Gordon.
Thank you.
Good fortune.
Lady Sarah Clifford and Miss Susan Vere.
Thank you.
Good fortune.
Lady Jane Cottrell-Dormer and Miss Clementia Cottrell-Dormer.
You there With the hair.
Lady Sarah Lennox, Majesty.
Lady Sarah We knew you before.
You were the childwho sang in the jar.
You sang what song? - l cannot remember.
- Oh! What was it? What? Can you sing it now? Will Your Majesty excuse me? l believe l have forgotten the words.
By gad, you made us laugh! l often make people laugh.
l do it without even trying.
Oh! The Prince of Wales would like to talk to you.
Will you indulge the young pup? l don't promise entertainment.
He never has much to say.
Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland and Lady Elizabeth Percy.
KlNG: Thank you.
Good fortune.
- Lady McCartney You have lived with Lady Kildare in lreland.
Was it good, or was it dull? lt was a pleasure.
Do you have company over there? Frequently.
And what do you do when there's none? When we are alone, we read.
Aloud? Sometimes.
My sister Kildare often has trouble with her eyes.
You don't find it tiresome to read aloud? No.
l would do anything for her.
Her kindness to me is such that l could never describe it.
You are obliged to her, as l am obliged to Lord Bute.
He's my only friend.
He guides my path.
l see.
l need an advisor.
lt's hard to be Prince.
There's your other sister.
l'll talk to her.
Lady Caroline l've just spoken with Lady Sarah.
She's everything lovely - don't you think? lndeed, Your Royal Highness.
Listen to this.
''The royal moon-calf has found a planet to adore.
Lady S came from lreland and fractured his intractable heart.
'' - lrish? She was born here.
- What does he feel for her? - What have you seen? - Are you serious, Charles? Would you have her marry him? Well, of course he would.
We all would.
For her to marry the future king would be of advantage to all of us.
Not least to you.
- Me? - lt might help restore the family's honour.
- Honour? What are you saying? Only that you are accused of profiting by the war.
Your Grace, everyone profited by the war, including you.
The coal royalties filled your coffers.
That is legitimate.
That's the bounty of the King.
- Yet l am accused? - You have questions to answer.
There's talk of embezzlement, bribery, fraud.
lt's well known.
- l defy anyone to prove that l have - Proof? Who needs proof? Look how your fortune has expanded.
You buy houses and lands.
You pay his gambling debts.
- l'm renowned for my gambling debts.
- Shh.
My life.
My fortune.
My affair.
Sums have passed through your hands for which there are no accounts.
- Can you refute that? - l did what everyone does.
- So, you cannot account for the amounts - How dare you question my conduct? l have exhausted myself in the service of the King.
l have seen lesser men flourish in ease and plenty.
Not one or two, but many.
My abilities, my goodwill, my whole self, has been devoted to my friends and country.
Why should my family not benefit? Let those who judge me look to themselves.
l will not be judged.
My brother the Duke of Richmond was right.
Mr Fox's political fortunes were in decline.
He had amassed great wealth, but he had one ambition left.
He hoped for an earldom, and a royal alliance would help him secure one.
- You like Corelli? - Yes, Your Highness.
lt uplifts the soul.
Yes, Your Highness.
l know you feel it.
l do? l'd be happy to listen for hours.
That is what we do, Your Highness.
We listen for hours.
l like your eyes.
Your Highness? Wide eyes are not usually pretty.
But yours are fine.
Thank you, Your Highness.
Do others tell you your eyes are nice? Gentlemen sometimes pay compliments.
Do they? Who? l cannot remember.
l suppose there are dozens in love with you.
l do not think there is even one.
Some men are good at compliments.
lt doesn't mean to say they feel more.
l'm sure you're right.
While one who is silent .
might boil with passion within.
lf Your Highness will allow me There are others you should speak with.
- Will you excuse me, Lady Sarah? - Of course.
Ohh Oh, my dear Sarah.
You look beautiful.
Oh, the sweetest rose in the depth of winter.
- l'd rather say a briar.
- Have you thorns, Lady Sarah? Only in my tongue.
And will His Royal Highness be there tonight? l have not enquired.
- Have you read of her conquest? - Mm-hm.
lt seems that everyone has.
More's the pity.
Lord, Sal! Don't hide your light.
l am not a beacon.
Don't bristle at me.
You'll make me believe l strike home.
- Can we talk of another subject? - We must go.
Young ladies will have their secrets.
lf they dothey are cleverer than me.
But it seems that everyone knows everything about my life more than l do.
Never mind, Lady Sarah.
We who live on gossip love those who provide it.
ls that what l am? An entertaining story? Must l try to keep you amused? You need do nothing more than enjoy the ball.
l shall.
Good night.
Sarah is showing some promise, don't you think? lf l'd launched Louisa, l would have chosen a better husband than Mr Conolly.
l mean, wealth isn't everything.
We must ensure the best possible match for Sarah.
Are we right to hope that the Prince We shouldn't move too fast.
We must be circumspect.
Marriage to a future king is not simply a matter of falling in love.
We should send her away for a time.
You know what absence does to the heart.
My brother and the Duchess are going to the country soon.
We'll send her to the country.
The plan to enrapture the King still further received something of a setback, when Sarah fell from her horse and injured her leg.
But the clever Mr Fox knew well enough how to turn such a mishap to account.
? Baroque violin and harpsichord Excellent, Mr Fox.
l wish l had a heart for the music.
But all l can think on is Lady Sarah's accident.
Accident? You haven't heard that she went to the country and fell from her horse? A fall? How dreadful! ls she seriously hurt? The pain was severe.
But her courage, Your Highness - l'm told it was admirable.
- For goodness' sake, how is she? - Her ankle is broken.
No small thing for a young lady.
Thank God she lives.
When they carried her home, the pain was extreme.
l feel for her intensely.
May l inform her of your concern? l should be deeply indebted.
There is no pain.
lt was not broken.
Such a relief! A limp would have quite spoiled your chances.
Are you pleased? She can go dancing again.
- Not immediately, l'm afraid.
- But the doctors assure me.
- You won't be dancing.
- Your Grace? - His Majesty is dead.
- Dead? The King? l expect he was as surprised as you.
He had breakfast as usual and breakfasted well.
He retired, as he usually does.
While sitting engaged in a natural function, he suffered a seizure and died.
- He had an affection for you.
- He thought of me as a plaything.
For a king, he had no conversation.
A king needs merely to play the King, my dear sister.
And we his loyal subjects? lt is not the person.
lt is the office.
l'm surprised you don't see it.
Bespeak your mourning.
You'd change your ideas if you were queen.
The thought of being queen makes me quite sick.
Sarah, l am sure it will be.
And you must be ready, when he proposes.
He will not - l'm certain of it.
That's excellent.
You must seem to be surprised.
l will not have to seem.
l will be quite astonished.
- Try muttering a little, as if quite overcome.
- Muttering? ''So astonished.
So surprised.
Can't understand.
What is your meaning?'' - Why do you persuade me to this? - You'll thank us yet.
A chance such as this How can you miss out? Sister, you do not think he will propose? Well They say he admires yourrural simplicity.
Rural simplicity? Sarah's admirer was now the King.
Naturally, we were all captivated by the thought that our sister might one day be queen.
How could we discourage so advantageous a match? - l cannot make hay.
- lt doesn't matter in the least.
The look is the thing.
- He will not come this way today.
- Then you can be here tomorrow.
Pull up your sleeves.
Show your arms.
Mayhap, she ought to show more neck.
This is an absurdity.
Someone's approaching.
lt may be him.
The accession of King George lll reunited the family at last, as we assembled in London with the rest of the nobility.
Mr Thomas Conolly and Lady Louisa Conolly.
l would not have Louisa know it for the world, but l was quite taken aback when l met her little spouse.
The things he says! lf l were Louisa, l would be vastly embarrassed.
Well, she adores him.
- Was my bow all right? - Perfect, my little flea.
l practised the correct angle between the trunk and the thigh.
He falls into a terror if her little finger aches.
He is so impulsive.
l worry.
Oh, he's married to Louisa.
You need have no fears.
and Lady Elizabeth Foster.
The Duke and Duchess of Richmond.
Senor and Senora de la Sevilla.
Do not breathe a word to Caroline, but l believe Ste is most obnoxious.
The poor boy is often ill.
l think it makes him peevish.
Peevish? He drinks and he gambles.
l believe he even has debts.
l like his brother, though.
He has wit.
There's a word for this, Louisa.
What is it? Lord and Lady Bartley.
That's the one! What a wonderfully resplendent occasion this is.
Henry is not well.
His political misfortunes have weakened him.
He grows listless.
Not at all himself.
Do these hopes of Sarah not cheer him? Unfortunately, they do, but how will he be if they fail? Louisa, do you believe one should marry without love? l believe it is better to be in love.
You are right.
But one does not always have such good fortune.
What should one do when one is without love? l believe l would be guided by the family.
Will we ever get out of this room? He has told me.
He says he would like an English queen.
l am surprised.
l am astonished.
Do l understand? What is your meaning? He said you were the fittest for the part.
- Why tell you and not me? - He thinks l can influence you.
You can.
You do.
Then do as l say.
Say yes.
- Do not leave me alone.
- l'm sorry.
l obey the Royal command.
- Lady Sarah, we trust we find you well.
- Yes, Your Majesty.
Has Lady Susan told you what l said? She has, Your Majesty.
We want you to ever remember that you hold the most passionate attachment of our heart.
Your Majesty, l am surprised.
You should not be.
Has not our preference for your company been marked? ll admit Has not our happiness been evident when we see you? l do not like to assume it myself, but my friend assures me l was ignorant of passion before l met you.
Since then, l have known both misery and joy.
Joy when l'm with you and grief when we part.
- Your Majesty - Even though l am King and have responsibilities .
l still have a heart.
That heart was unlocked by you.
- l do not know what to say.
- Believe that we tell you the truth, Lady Sarah.
And for God's sake never forget.
Did he come to the point? lt seems he will.
''At a meeting of the Privy Council'' Listen.
''At a meeting of the Privy Council the announcement will be made.
'' What announcement? ''The King is to marry with Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
'' What? No, he can't.
We Who is this Charlotte of Mecklenburg? She's German, 17, suitable and squat.
Every time he looks at her face he'll think of yours and bitterly repent.
l do not wish him to repent.
- He must look to his conscience.
- His behaviour was appalling.
His behaviour? Mine.
l do not love him.
l never will.
He must think me such a fool.
- Go.
- Sarah We were foolish to have hoped.
Presumption had blinded us.
Sarah herself felt tainted and humiliated.
She had become an embarrassment.
We were all mightily relieved when she married Mr Charles Bunbury, even though he was a man of no great distinction or fortune.
Emily would have come if she could.
She sends you her best love.
Don't give in to melancholy, sis.
My sisters are all happy and married.
l hope l will be, also.
- Do you think he'll suit your sister? - Well, he has neither eyes nor ears for anyone but her.
Two thousand pounds a year, a house in the country and a house in town.
They haven't an income for town.
She'll be bored out of her mind, without the diversions of London.
Why should she choose Bunbury? He is a scholar and a poet.
l hope l'm wrong, but he looks like a coxcomb.
Tom! Lady Caroline.
My dear Sarah God send you all happiness.
- You choose to walk? - My dog of a horse is lame.
- Did you have good sport? - Tolerable.
Do you wish to know how l spent my day? What did you do? l talked to my parrot.
l sewed a handkerchief.
l wrote to my sisters.
And l looked out for you.
ls that not a day well spent? Glad it amused you.
l suppose it must.
Everyone else seems sure it should.
Do you wish me to invite some friends to visit? Whatever you wish.
l'm going to London.
- Don't you want me to come with you? - Do you want to? l'm surprised you can ask.
You must come, if you please.
- Do l follow you about too much? - No.
Some men find it tiresome.
l'm not blaming you, if it made you angry.
ls Mr Conolly coming to London with your sister? Yes.
They arrive from lreland next week.
Arrange to meet them.
- Certainly.
- l need his advice on a horse.
A horse? Now only my youngest sister, Cecilia, remained in my care in lreland.
l still had my own children to cheer me, apart from William and my beloved George, my eldest, who were being educated in England.
- Would you like George to get married? - Cecilia, l would much rather he were here.
Edward, let Sophia have a turn.
Ooh Dee-dee-dee.
- Where are you going? - l have an engagement.
We see little of each other.
ls this a complaint, my lady? Of course not.
l'm perfectly happy and extremely lucky.
George became ill with a consumptive fever while staying with my brother in London.
Sarah, ever caring of others, went there to nurse him.
''And such is their beneficence to those below them, that there is not a neighbour, a friend or a servant who do not bless the day when Mr Jones was married to his Sophia.
'' Happy endings.
My favourite kind.
- What did the doctor say, George? - l must take bark.
A quantity of bark.
You should write to Mother.
She will love to hear from her favourite.
Brother, she has no favourites.
- Should l go home? - Certainly, you should.
As the new heir, your duties require it.
How shall l tell Mother? l will go with you.
And Mr Bunbury? Jemmy and l had been elevated to a Duchy.
We were now the Duke and Duchess of Leinster.
Our delight at our new title was to be short-lived.
l think Carton looks prettiest in the morning.
Perhaps a few more trees.
You have a good eye for landscape.
Ash and Elm.
l'll have them planted.
Good, showy trees.
Fill up a few holes.
Or a lake.
l could have the river stopped to make a pretty sort of lake.
Ought to look mighty pleasing, Your Grace.
Oh, forgive me, Tom! l'm not yet accustomed to the title.
Duke and Duchess of Leinster.
You should be proud.
l am.
You might say it is the only favour the King has done me.
ls that Sarah? Mothers expect to bear the loss of a baby.
Why did God have to take the child that was grown? Thank you, Cecilia.
Whom shall we have? You make the choice.
Mr Sterne.
Mr Smollett.
Monsieur Rousseau.
Monsieur Rousseau.
After George died, l resolved that l would no longer lose any children to England.
l would keep them with me.
l would keep them safe.
Do not disobey.
Will you return to Barton soon, Sarah? Mr Bunbury does not urge me to return.
He shows such consideration.
But he must pine for you, and you for him.
- Do you not think our sister needs me? - She has me.
Yes, l know, Cecilia, and indeed you are a treasure.
She would want you to do what's right.
l'm going to ask Monsieur Rousseau to teach the children.
Jemmy has bought a house by the sea.
lt will be a school.
Do you think he'll come to lreland? Why should he come? He's had to flee from Paris.
He has such interesting thoughts on education.
lt appears he does not favour children studying books.
- Without books, l'd die.
- Where is he now? ln Derbyshire.
He will set everyone talking.
l'm writing to him now.
l wish l knew what to do about him.
There's no harm in William.
No harm and no sense.
- He has never been bookish.
- His schooling was a waste.
Maybe Europe will improve him.
We never grow accustomed to leaving home.
What does he look like? - This Rousseau.
- Jemmy, how should l know? What do people say? Nobody calls him handsome.
l'm not convinced he's a good idea.
lt's too late to change.
The letter is sent.
Jemmy l know you will like him.
Why do you worry? Are you well, Mr Fox? l live an easy life.
You have left politics behind? - Yes.
- You have done well.
When l thought of my own advancement, l did well.
When l did what l believed in, l made mistakes.
The summit eluded me.
My sister is not sorry.
She sees more of you.
l made money, Sal, which will make my family secure.
lt is the sovereignty of parliament that l uphold.
Charles James will fill the place that l aspired to.
People vilify you.
Does that not anger you? One must learn to ignore.
ln the meantime, l am content.
Beshrew me, but l love her heartily.
For she is wise, if l may judge of her.
And she is fair if mine eyes be true.
And she is true, as she has proved herself.
- He's mine.
l've won his heart.
- Shhh.
wise, fair and true shall she be placed in my constant soul.
Your niece Susan has ruined herself.
- How? - By marrying that actor.
- When? - Yesterday, at Covent Garden.
The coffee houses are full of it, and the papers are sure to follow.
- Do you think Sarah knew? - l've no idea.
l feared her influence on Sarah, but l never dreamed she would destroy herself.
- What will you do, Henry? - Do? Well, could you find thisO'Brien some employ somewhere? Where? Well, they can't stay here, Henry.
The scandal will dog them.
Maybe we could send them to lreland.
Well, l doubt Leinster will receive them.
He declares that what is unacceptable in London is equally amiss in Dublin.
Well, where, then? Henry! Sarah's name will be dragged through the papers again.
We must send them abroad.
l will see what l can do.
Ohwe should send Sarah away, too.
l was asked yesterday if l was inclined to elope with an actor, and if l still pined after the King.
- And what did you say? - l said nothing.
Well, it doesn't matter what you say.
They'll make it up, anyway.
There's Susan.
Now, just a quick goodbye.
Don't take too long.
l'll see you by the steps.
- l forbid you to be sad.
- l do not believe you will miss me at all.
One can still write letters, even to America.
- You'll tell me everything? - Every little detail.
- What we grow.
What animals we rear.
- Animals? On the farm Mr Fox has given us.
We will make our fortune.
l am to go to Paris with my brother.
Paris will lift your spirits.
l'm pursued and talked about everywhere here.
Being your friend does not mean that l am to blame.
lt's all just jealousy of your pretty face.
lf the King had not noticed me, this would not have happened.
You have the best heart of anyone l know.
l only wish everyone else thought as you do.
Promise you won't forget me.
How could l? Placez votre mise de depart.
Placez cent sur la table Freed from the restraints of London society, my sister seemed determined to flaunt the failure of her marriage.
Du vin, Monsieur Bunbury? You wager like a Frenchwoman, Sarah.
We are in France, so tonight l choose to be like the French.
- You do not gamble in England? - We do, but many think it a vice.
For a woman to gamble, it is frowned upon.
You are faint-hearted, Your Grace.
You do not trust your luck.
- lt seems you trust yours.
- Does not the excitement lie in the risk? - C'est fini? - Oui.
- Oh, pity.
- lt was a trifle.
- lt was a sizeable sum.
- l do not count the cost.
There is no dishonour in losing.
lt is proof that one has risked all.
My nephew would be proud of me.
- Your nephew? - My sister Caroline's son.
Charles James Fox.
- Ah, the Parliamentarian? - Gambler.
He supports the power of Parliament over that of your King.
This l admire.
l am a passionate supporter of the English constitution.
All my life, l have loved your country.
- You have been there? - lt is my intention.
Take care.
You may find yourself disappointed.
- l find most things improve on acquaintance.
- l find the opposite.
Your husband has retired for the night? He is readily bored.
You will permit me to visit you when l come to England? You may visit my brother.
l would not expect of him what l hope for from you.
l wager you - l shall not disappoint.