Desperate Romantics s01e04 Episode Script

Episode 4

This programme contains some strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.
THEY SPEAK IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE 'While Hunt is tested and tormented out on a wild, hot wilderness 'with the express intention of getting closer to God '.
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he has given me the onerous task of preserving Annie Miller's purity.
'A task that would test the mettle of the Light Brigade, 'let alone a lonely writer, who attracts looks of pity from the fairer sex and little else.
'Alas, the true object of my desire is locked into a passion so great that she virtually needs no other 'Which makes myattraction to Annie all the more explicable.
'Even though it would be a cad who would take advantage of such a girl.
'So while her fiance struggles in the Holy Land, Old Testament-style, 'with his conscience, his sanity, and 'a goat' Sorry, Annie, I am not the most adept of men.
'.
.
I stand guard against a dangerous world.
' I am sure under the right circumstances, you can be as agile as the next man! That very much depends on who the next man is.
'And danger' May I help? '.
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is never far away.
' We need no help, thank you, sir.
Thank you, sir.
I fear a soaking, for it may render my dress diaphanous.
I can imagine.
I'm sure you're too much of a gentleman to imagine, sir.
Do I know you? I don't know.
Do you? Royal Academy.
Holman Hunt.
Awakening Conscience.
I'm right, aren't I? That was one of mine, I do concur.
Lord Rosterly.
I am very pleased to have met you.
Annie Miller.
And I you.
Sir.
Sir.
The lessons must be working, then to turn me into a lady.
Deportment.
Elocution.
Protocol.
Rosterly is a well-known rake.
But a lord.
And I snagged him.
Did you see his breeches? Rose like a mast when he caught my accent.
He was walking away with a limp.
I doubt it was your elocution or deportment that was the source of his tumescence.
Tumescence? It was your natural gifts.
Oh.
And what might they be? I think they are all too evident.
Oh, Fred.
I do wish you would take your job as my jailer a little less seriously.
I am not your jailer, Annie.
I'm your moral compass.
Fred! Annie! I can't swim! Feeling better now? Yes, thank you, if a little humiliated.
I was supposed to be protecting you.
You were distracted.
There.
All done.
You are a good man, Fred.
I am afraid that we don't live in an era where good men are rewarded.
Hunt has been away for months now and you haven't laid a finger on me.
Well, thank you for noticing.
I am assuming it's because you are good and not because you find me unattractive.
I scarcely think it possible for a man not to be attracted to you, Annie.
However, you are not free to receive my attention.
As we both know.
And your heart belongs to Lizzie, of course.
Is it so terribly obvious? Not easy, being ignored and abandoned by the one you love, is it? I hardly think Hunt has abandoned you.
So here we are Two people deserted by the ones they love.
Attracted to each other, time on our hands What you're suggesting would be a terrible betrayal.
For Hunt to abandon me and then for you to refuse me would hurt my feelings beyond repair.
Oh, I see.
It's surely your task to keep my spirits up.
In fact, I would suggest that it's your duty as a gentleman.
Duty? Well .
.
we'd better do our duty, then.
Indeed, we better had.
You lounged her? The way Annie explained it, I was doing it in order that she did not sink into despair.
Well, then, I'm sure that when she explains that to Maniac, he'll be shaking your hand.
He might be clutching your bloody, severed cock in his other hand, but I'm sure you will have a fine future as a carnival act.
I know it was wrong.
How could you do such a thing? I don't remember you having scruples about tumbling with Ruskin's wife! Ruskin wanted me to! Yet, Maniac, on the other hand, is called Maniac for a reason! Why would you lose your virginity to the mistress of a killer? I'm sorry, but that is such a Fred thing to do.
I would refrain from mentioning this in your Talk And Table column.
Don't worry, I intend to.
Too late to get prim and proper now, Mr Walters! Welcome to the cock club! Aargh! Get away! I feel wretched.
I feel shame.
I feel guilt.
I feel disgust.
You'll find the self-loathing tends to leave when a fresh erection arrives.
Johnny, get a jug of the best gin? Mary.
A jug of your finest gin You know how much Johnny sold Peace Concluded for last week? £900.
Really? He's got tin like you've got crabs.
You don't think No! Of course not.
Although, the gin is good for those too, I find.
Hey, come here.
There is a solution to yourdilemma.
Annie sits for me.
Hunt has expressly forbidden that very thing.
If she sits for me and you escort her, as her chaperone, then I'll be protecting you from your desires, and she'll be protecting me from mine.
I don't know.
Ruskin needs a new protege now that Millais is off his books.
I need to paint a masterpiece as soon as possible and push it under his nose.
I thought you could only paint Lizzie? Oh, now I'm teaching Lizzie to draw.
I spend all my days modelling for her.
In between hourly bouts of beasting her, of course.
Marriage is the answer, boys.
There is no bliss like marital bliss.
Please don't go corrupting the boy.
He's in enough trouble as it is.
So what do you think, Fred? I get to draw Annie, and you get to do the right thing and keep your secret locked safe in your heart.
And so he has me again.
With his special blend of charm and blackmail, Gabriel has sold a scheme to me that I know to be wrong, yet is somehow so appealing that it is impossible to resist.
I am not sure that Annie's nakedness is absolutely necessary.
It's a tip I got from Hunt.
If you paint the nude first and then add the clothes, it makes for a better painting.
Gabriel is quite right, Fred.
This is a most professional arrangement.
Annie's nudity is, in fact, confirmation of the absolute innocence of our endeavours.
And would Lizzie be convinced of this argument if she were to walk in right now? Lizzie is so obsessed with her own work that I fear she would hardly bat an eyelid.
Did you remember charcoal? I'm afraid I don't know when Gabriel will be returning.
You could try the Chop House, or the Academy.
I was back in town.
I thought I should check on what progress Gabriel was making.
Oh.
Are you quite well? I am.
Just distracted.
Forgive me.
I see that he has not been idle in my absence.
No, indeed.
We spend each day drawing and painting.
I see.
I thought you were Gabriel's model.
I am.
But I'm also his pupil.
The first question he asks is if I have an idea in my head.
I see, I see.
May I? Yes.
Then he asks if I can express it with refinement, and with a sentiment of nature.
Gabriel says this? He's not really so trivial as he likes to pretend.
Well, tell him I called.
And tell him that I'll call again.
I urgently need to discuss his future.
Of course! So, Annie, what do you do for amusement while Mr Fun is in the Holy Land? I continue with my lessons.
How to read.
How to write.
How to talk.
How to walk.
Surely it's your duty to give the world the benefits of those lessons? An evening with me at the Cremorne Gardens.
Oh, Gabriel, please! Gabriel! I'm only talking about Annie showing off her new social attributes.
I'm not going to be drinking champagne out of her slipper! Go on, Fred! This is damned inappropriate! You are very light on your feet, Miss Miller! Stop! Stop! For God's sake, Gabriel! Now, Fred.
Does this look in any way suspicious or sordid to you? Will you please show some decorum?! Well, bugger me! If it isn't Ali Baba! This isn't as bad as it looks, Maniac.
It is fair to say that Gabriel fought for our lives with words alone.
His relentless eloquence persuaded Hunt that this compromising scenario was in fact entirely innocent.
We sustained one or two flesh wounds but survived, in the main, thanks to Gabriel's powers of persuasion, Millais' arrival, and a large supply of hashish straight from Syria.
I had to leave the Dead Sea because of angry tribesmen.
And then in Palestine, a war breaks out.
And then another war in Syria.
It's like everywhere I went A war broke out.
Now why doesn't that surprise me? And what do you call this? Hashish.
And is it good for every ailment? Every, except hunger.
And did the consumption of this Hashish.
Did it improve your art? I will let you, my brothers, be the judge of that.
The goat's skinnier than Lizzie Siddal.
I kept forgetting to feed it.
The poor creature died on me.
Maniac! It's amazing.
It's stupendous.
The colours Gabriel? What can I say? It's the work of a maniac, Maniac.
What's that writing on the top? Ooh! Let me read it.
I'm afraid it is quite complicated scripture, Annie.
Let me read it.
"And the goat shall bear up on him "all their "in-iq-uities, "unto a land not inhabited.
" Beautifully read.
It's deep, Maniac.
The full 40 fathoms.
Sorry to sound so trivial, but why is the goat wearing a ribbon? Hunt got lonely in the desert and sometimes he wanted the goat to make a bit of an effort.
It's because when the Jews sent the Scapegoat into the desert, it wore a red cloth.
And if the cloth turned white, it meant all of their sins were forgiven.
Are we red or white, Maniac? Always white, Gabriel.
Do you have quince jam? I have a sudden longing for quince jam.
I think it's time we left Annie and Maniac to their reunion.
Your reading tonight.
It enchanted me.
You have made such progress.
I'm proud of you.
Then it was worth all the pain.
You'll have to forgive my roughness.
Six months in the company of Ottoman tribesman does not make for a gentleman.
And yet I have become quite the lady in your absence.
Do that again.
What would you have me do again, sir, talk like a lady? And romp like a whore? And again.
Sir, I do not know what possesses me to talk in such vulgar terms.
Ruskin came here? What did he say? He said he wanted to discuss your future.
My future? Did he comment on my work? I don't remember.
He was surprised that I was drawing.
You don't remember?! Did he seem to prefer the Dante or the Tennyson? He didn't linger.
He said to tell you that he called and will call again.
Did he say when? I think it will be soon.
Did the words "patron" or "mentor" or "tin" pass his lips? No.
But what else could he mean if he wishes to discuss your future? Oh, Lizzie, this will change everything! I've landed Ruskin! Lizzie Siddal, marry me.
What? Please say yes.
Is this what you desire? Lizzie Siddal, please marry me.
Yes.
Yes.
Marry you? Marry you? Well, about bloody time! I made you a solemn promise some time ago.
You have done everything I required of you in attaining manners and deportment, reading and writing skills.
And you remained pure in my absence.
Oh, Hunty.
I want nothing more than to be your wife.
Oh, hang on.
What is it? I just can't seem to quite Oh, come here.
I'll get him interested.
Thanks.
Thanks.
Come on, little Maniac, let's be having you.
Shall I talk posh again? Will that do the trick? Yeah, good idea.
Oh, sir.
You are exceeding large.
Come on, come on, come on.
No.
I think maybe the journey and the hashish have taken their toll.
Don't worry.
We've got all our lives to get it right! I'm not worried.
Nothing at all? Not even a pulse that could be worked up into a twitch? Nothing.
It's most puzzling.
Once there's a twitch you can get a flaccid fellow upright in no time, I find.
What do you think, Fred? I really feel discussing this in such detail is in the poorest of taste.
Well, congratulations, Hunt.
I am glad I have converted one of the brotherhood to the joys of matrimony.
Annie converted me.
She's quite transformed.
I think it's safe to say that it is the thought of marriage that has inhibited the flow of blood.
I am still marrying her.
This doesn't change anything.
You said you'd marry her because she'd learnt to read.
I'm not certain you will be able to live with a woman who can read.
I think you liked Annie because of the inferiority.
She will always be inferior.
I sense that your success is blunting your revolutionary fervour.
How many damned paintings have you got in this exhibition? Just the three.
I asked Annie to marry me because she has made great strides.
And has repaid my trust to her.
Do you know what I think? That a posh woman who is shameless in bed will always ultimately be more exciting than a common woman.
It has nothing to do with my animal instincts.
I trust her.
And because I trust her, I feel like I can dedicate my heart and my life to her.
Will you stop going on about women and trust and so forth for one minute? If you think I seduced Annie, then just say so, would you?! Just come out and say it! Fred.
Dear, dear Fred.
No-one believes you behaved anything but impeccably with Annie.
Nobody.
In fact, I would go so far as to say you are the last man in London anyone would suspect of betraying me in such a way.
And have you any idea how that makes me feel? Oh, for f When did this happen? They've hung The Scapegoat! On the line, too.
You know, Maniac, I hope your cock stays limp for a very long time.
Arms by your side.
Now, shoulders back, Violet.
And Grace, dear, chin up.
No, no, no, Grace.
Lift your chin up, please.
And how does my fiance today? Oh, let's see if we can put a smile on hubby's face.
Oh.
Things still a little limp down here.
Are you still feeling tired? Or unwell? No.
It is because my mind is elsewhere actually.
I was just wondering why my future bride is no longer attending her classes.
Don't lie to me.
Why would I I know you didn't attend this morning.
Why would I need to go to my lessons now that you've proposed to me? Now that you think me worthy of being your bloody wife.
If you have not been at lessons, where have you been? What have you been doing? I pass the time as a lady might.
For all I know, you've been engaged in your former profession.
I read! All right? Yes.
I have learnt to read.
Or I visit the Academy and I gaze at the paintings.
Because I can't get enough of this world that you have opened up to me.
And you damn me for that! And you expect me to believe that, do you? I expect a man to believe his wife.
Or perhaps it is the prospect of marriage that is shrinking you.
It is, isn't it? I can see now that after such a long season of neglect, it might not be possible to train and to harness you to household uses! Household uses? Why are you being like this? Hunty, if it's about the droop, it doesn't make me love you any less.
I pay for your lodgings on condition that you take instruction! This has nothing to do with my lodgings or my lessons.
This has to do with your PRIDE! If you do not take instruction, then you can consider our engagement annulled.
Thank you, sir.
I shall do so.
Or as the old Annie Miller might have put it, bloody good riddance to ya and your shrivelled manhood! I'll see myself out! So, what do you make of Mr Charles Dickens then, Gabriel? Well, he doesn't think much of me.
I know that.
He has written so several times.
We are most put out by him, Gabriel.
Why so? He insists on setting his books in the streets hereabouts, implying that all the residents are slum-dwellers.
I wouldn't mind but the Siddal family are entitled to a coat of arms.
You tell that to your best friend Charles Dickens next time you're exchanging bon mots.
Gabriel has already established that Mr Dickens is no friend of his, Mr Siddal.
How does the brotherhood fair, Gabriel? It fairs very well, thank you, Charlotte.
Both Hunt and Millais are selling lots of paintings.
And I have attracted the attention of Mr Ruskin himself.
Ah, Ruskin! So is the gossip true? He never covered the mare? I consider him a friend, sir.
As does Lizzie.
You must forgive Mr Siddal.
He spends too long in the company of the Irish.
I've been fond of Lizzie for some time now, Mr Siddal.
Who wouldn't be? Quite.
And I was hoping to formalise that fondness in the form of, well, perhaps entering into, er .
.
an engagement.
An engagement? Well, that is complicated, you see, on account of her imminent title.
You are aware that we are aristocracy, temporarily inconvenienced by legal claims and so forth? Who could not be? Unless, you being Italian, and so on You perhaps have a title secreted away somewhere in your family history.
Not that I know of.
But then, being Italian, I'm sure we could rustle one up.
That wasn't so bad now, was it? It was delightful.
Are you quite certain you didn't feel too compromised by it, too hemmed in? No, no.
You do seem a little distant.
Just thoughtful.
Just aware of my responsibilities.
Perhaps I hadn't seen that before.
We may follow the conventional route to matrimony but we will never be dull.
Of course not.
Of course not.
I love you.
I love you, too.
Bye.
I love you.
What brought this on, then? A surfeit of domestic bliss.
If I had a pound for every time I heard that excuse.
Don't talk.
I don't want small talk.
I want oblivion! Shrivelled manhood? Shrivelled manhood.
That does seem harsh.
At least she didn't criticise your work.
Best you found out before marrying her that she thinks you lacking down below.
I'm not lacking down below.
A woman of her experience would have a surfeit of comparisons, whereas Effie Thinks all cocks are merely one inch long, like your own.
Hunt, if you regret losing Annie, you must act immediately to make amends.
You do not think I should wait for her to come to me? Annie is a resourceful young lady.
Faced with your rejection, she will not take long to look for her fortune elsewhere.
God, Fred.
You are right.
You are right.
Well, you must go to her straightaway.
Me? Yes, you are neutral but trustworthy.
And I want you to take this heartfelt letter telling her that I forgive her.
It's already written.
Gabriel taught me to always have a letter of apology in my pocket.
I'm sure that when Hunt comes to his senses he'll reconsider.
As soon as he has run out of hashish he will be back to his old self.
Perhaps you could talk to him? I am not sure that would be wise.
Well, he has to hear of our engagement from one of us, does he not? Oh, what terror! What terror! I, of course, had guessed that you were speaking in jest.
I'd love to see Lizzie's face when you told her of your change of plans.
Lizzie would be most amused.
I don't recall her ever being amused.
She has a sense of fun just as great as yours.
Hmm.
I am sure.
Is that Charles Dickens? Yeah.
He's a big fan of the girls.
And they all like him.
Really? Hmm.
Goodnight, Gabriel.
As a child, I often wondered what it would feel like to be a man.
When I became a man, I still didn't feel as though I was anything other than a child.
But now I know.
To make the right decision, even though it may cost me dear.
To lose Gabriel's friendship, yet to save Lizzie's heart.
To tell Hunt the truth, yet to lose Annie's trust.
Do you think it shows progress? I think it is celestial, Gabriel.
You seem to have found much focus and purpose now that you've become Miss Siddal's tutor.
It's down to her.
And, of course, she is an untutored genius in her own right.
You should consider marrying her.
Give Miss Siddal complete protection and care.
Well, we are engaged, but I find my tin is never quite in order.
Your tin? My money.
No funds, sir.
No funds.
Well, then you need to tell me exactly what funds would enable you to marry Miss Siddal.
DOOR CRASHES OPEN William.
How was the Holy Land? Mr Ruskin.
It was, I think, productive.
I am very taken with The Scapegoat.
It is on sale for 400 guineas, I believe.
Where were you last night? And the Academy hanging it on the line would indicate that perhaps they are Did you see Miss Miller? Maniac, I think Mr Ruskin is expressing an interest in your work.
Did you fuck her? Gabriel, I will return at a more opportune time.
Fred saw you.
Oh, my God, Maniac! You treated Ruskin as though he had the pox! Shall we do this in here or on the street? Please desist in this foolishness, Maniac.
You should have thought about my temperament whilst you were taking advantage of Annie.
As you wish.
But before we begin, give me leave to say something.
I can delay beating you to a pulp no longer! I can't hit you! You're too dear a friend! Not too dear a friend to stop you from bedding my fiance! Just hear me out! I understood you and Annie had broken off your engagement! Had she still been your fiancee, my strict moral code would have forbidden me from pleasuring her so enthusiastically.
You have no moral code.
I have a moral code! I just don't want to wear it out by over-use.
And furthermore, by the way, Annie is loud, isn't she? Sometimes I have to stifle her cries with my hand.
Oh God! This is unspeakable! It is your fear of Annie straying that excites you! What you like about Annie is her potential to wander, her grubbiness! Without that, you no longer find her desirable! Therefore, I have probably helped you recover from your impotence.
If you choose to beat me for that, then so be it.
You are so right about her, Gabriel, you're so right.
I cannot marry Annie the whore and I cannot bed Annie the wife.
I am a foul, lust-driven wretch.
I must send her away, else trap her in a life of whoredom forever.
As Socrates once put it, "I know women's hearts and I know men's pricks.
"There's nothing more the universe can teach me".
Gabriel.
Gabriel, you are a good friend to me.
And I have behaved monstrously towards Ruskin.
Oh God! Oh God, I really am a fool.
Talking of fools, why would Fred tell me such a thing about you and Annie? What could be his possible motive? Every so often, Fred gets it into his head to tell everybody the truth.
Not a good trait in a journalist.
Oh God! Hello, Mr Walters.
What a pleasant surprise.
Elizabeth is upstairs, grappling with her talent.
Lizzie.
Lizzie! What have you said? Well, how lovely! My two favourite boys! Since all three of us are here, then perhaps now is the time for the hard truth.
It is always the time for the hard truth in my life, Fred - as you well know - which is why I'm going to say it first and say it out loud.
What are you going to say out loud, Gabriel? Pray, sit down, you're starting to worry me.
Lizzie.
Lizzie and I are engaged to be married, Fred.
And we consider you such a special, special friend that we wanted you to be the first to know our little secret.
Oh, Gabriel, you're absolutely right.
Yes! Fred! Our special, special friend, who we know we can trust with our hearts.
Both of them.
Together.
So, Fred, what do you think? 'Do I do this for him, my friend? No.
' I think congratulations are in order.
'I do it for the woman I love.
'I cannot break her heart without breaking my own on her behalf.
'I am protecting Lizzie, and in protecting her am betraying her.
'I feel like Hunt's wretched Scapegoat, being led into the desert with Rossetti's sins on my back.
'And they weigh so much, I begin to see why the goat has got such a sorry expression on his face.
' I think we've reached an impasse.
Well, if I knew what it meant, I might agree with you.
I know you're not stupid.
But you just like to treat me as though I am stupid.
Does that make me stupid? Your landlady tells me you're behind on your rent.
I became careless when you went away.
Careless with your affections, from what I hear.
Dancing at the Cremorne every night with a different swell on your arm.
Dancing with Fred and his terrible sense of rhythm is hardly the palace of pleasure, Hunty.
In this envelope is £20.
That should ensure you pay off your rent before you move away.
Move away? And where am I moving to? Anywhere where there's work for a seamstress.
In the North, perhaps.
The North? Or abroad, even.
Mr Hunt.
Not now, I'm having a conversation.
Of course.
I am not a seamstress! I am a model! You will not be modelling any more.
I forbid it.
You seem to be forgetting something.
You and I are no longer engaged, Hunty.
You have got no authority over me! Stone, if you take one more step towards me, I will thrash you like a dog.
Do not doubt it.
I want what's best for you.
Now will you kindly avail yourself of my generous offer! I still want to marry you.
I'm afraid that will no longer be happening.
You broke off our engagement and you want me to go away.
Well, it's going to take more than £20.
Annie, I can think of no other course of action.
Marry me or leave me alone to live my life as I see fit! I am sick to death of being your experiment.
What the hell do you want, man?! The gentleman over there, William.
He wants to buy The Scapegoat.
It represents a new phase in Mr Hunt's art.
He's found God's guidance once again and this has led him back to the Academy.
SHE BLEATS I thought you were going to disappoint me, sir.
I make it my mission never to disappoint a lady or a whore.
Pleased to hear it.
Take my arm.
Let us walk for a little while.
I have some rooms nearby.
I do hope you aren't intending to be forward with me, sir.
Forward to begin with, and then any other direction that takes my fancy.
Thank you, Fred, for not betraying me.
I didn't do it for you.
Well, whatever your reason, you did me a favour.
And when Ruskin takes me on, I'll make sure that you have access to the great man at all times.
It starts to make sense! That's why she knows she can screw me for more than £20.
She already has my enemies writing about me in The Times.
What page? In the classified advertisements, of course.
It's all in code but it's there if you know what to look for.
I can assure you, Maniac, that a campaign through the classifieds would be highly unlikely.
Oh, really? Medical bandage - a miracle support.
Do you see? Hmm? And "Old mattresses bought by Messers Banks of Mortlake".
Exactly how much hashish did you smoke in the Holy Land, Maniac? Maniac, you're securing quite a reputation.
If it's the classified advertisements, then we already know.
Another sale.
What? The Scapegoat sold for 450 guineas this afternoon.
It's little compensation for being the laughing stock of London.
450 guineas? And you offered Annie £20? No wonder she wants a better price.
Well, that was before I knew.
So increase your offer! If it means so much to you to be rid of her.
If I am alone in a room with her again, I shall give in.
I shall marry her.
And I cannot allow myself to do that.
Would it be such a terrible fate? All I know is that marriage has made my work better, not worse as I feared.
And the course of our physical intimacy takes us daily through new and enchanting landscapes.
Although Effie is a lady, of course.
So are you saying I should marry her or not? I'm saying you should marry, but perhaps not Miss Miller.
Fred, I will improve my offer but I want you to deliver it in person in order that I am not tempted to go back on my decision.
Why should I run this errand? Because I thought we had already established that you are the only man in London I can trust.
So what's he offering this time then, eh? He wants to set you up in your own business.
Oh, does he? In Australia.
Oh.
Does he really hate me so very much? He doesn't hate you.
He loves you, but knows that he cannot marry you, yet nor can he trust himself knowing how close by you are.
Why don't you marry me instead, then? Me? I was joking, Fred.
It was a joke.
I know you couldn't bear to upset your friend.
You boys.
You boys.
Why don't you just poke each other and leave us girls alone, eh? She refused?! I offered her £100, and she refused? She would like to carry on modelling in London.
She points out that she is the face of the Awakening Conscience.
Thanks to me! Right, you tell her I will tell her nothing.
No more.
No more! I will no longer carry messages to a woman you are not worthy of! Carry messages to a woman who has done everything you have asked of her, yet whom you still reject.
A woman who deserves to be loved.
And if not by you, then by some other man who will not demand of her that she be anything other than her loving and lovable self.
YOU wronged HER.
It is your pride, not hers, that is the issue here.
And she left no word with you of where she might have gone? To hell, for all I care.
Like I told you last time, she owed four months' rent.
Don't you talk of her like that.
Don't you dare talk of her like that! Well, sorry to speak out of turn, but I find myself much inconvenienced by her flit.
Right, then.
Once I've paid your arrears, perhaps you could tell me if she had any more gentlemen visitors other than Mr Walters.
Perhaps we could wait to get to your rooms next time.
I choose not to wait.
You realise, I hope, our arrangement means that you are mine exclusively, don't you? I wouldn't want anything else.
Except of course if I decide to lend you out to friends.
You are teasing me, I trust, sir? No gentleman would begrudge another gentleman the use of his pleasure-wife from time to time.
You will have to forgive me.
I am not altogether familiar with aristocratic ways.
I think we can drop this pretence of coyness in private conversation, Annie.
It could grow tiresome.
As you wish.
As I wish.
That is the top and bottom of it.
As I wish.
A friend of mine is looking for an artist to paint a mural at a church he is restoring.
Murals are my absolute strong point, sir.
How long have you been painting, Lizzie? Just a few months, sir.
You clearly have a very gifted tutor.
I have the best tutor there could ever be.
I have formulated a plan which I think will be to the liking of both of you.
I am sure it will.
I am so overtaken with excitement I can barely say it.
I am sure you can if you try, Mr Ruskin.
John.
Call me John.
Talk to me as you would a friend.
Very well, John, can you get on with it before I shit my trousers? I want to buy everything.
Everything? Oh, my God! Oh, Gabriel! Everything Miss Siddal has done so far.
Sketches, engravings, paintings, everything.
Now, name me a price.
Miss Siddal? Name me a price, Gabriel.
I am going to have them mounted and splendidly bound together in gold.
Gold? How very Gold, you say? You were accurate in your description of Lizzie's work, Gabriel.
You told me she was an untutored genius and I think you may be right.
Ruskin considers you a genius.
Will you please name me a price? Shall we say £25? Gabriel.
Mr Ruskin, you can take them, please.
Let me make a present of them to you.
No, I would not hear of such a thing.
But Gabriel, really £25 for or an unknown artist? It's outrageous.
Let's say 30.
Shall we? Too generous, sir.
£30 it is, then.
On top of which I propose I pay Miss Siddal a retainer of £150 a year, to be paid quarterly.
Did you not call my work celestial? I have plans for you too.
Don't you worry about that.
Oh, I see.
Of course you have.
Yes.
Oh, my heart! It is clear to me from the way you have nurtured Lizzie's talent that you have much to offer.
There is a teaching post at the Working Men's College in Camden.
It is only three hours a week to begin with, but I sense it could grow.
And along with the church mural, that should give you the opportunity to prove yourself.
A teaching post? To prove myself? Work? I had to use a little influence, but the job is yours.
And I am sure you won't let me down now that our fates are so entwined.
Did you hear that, Lizzie? John here has offered me a teaching job.
Hello, sir.
Do you fancy some company? Hello, sir.
Would you like some fun? Come on, sir.
Come upstairs.
You look like you need some fun.
Come on.
Miss Miller.
Mr Hunt.
Sir, this is Mr Holman Hunt, the artist, and this is Lord Rosterly.
I know who you are.
I am a great admirer of your work.
I am a particular devotee of those paintings that depict Miss Miller.
Thank you.
You seem to capture the pain and the pleasure of the fallen woman exquisitely well.
There's no pleasure in a fallen woman that I can see, sir.
Your work tells me otherwise, sir.
What brings you to this establishment, Mr Hunt? I need to speak with you.
I do hope you are not going to cause a scene, Mr Hunt.
No, I I have some business to attend to.
Mr Hunt.
Miss Miller.
That man is a notorious rake.
He is the perfect gentleman around me.
Afternoon, Mr Dickens.
Have you put me in that book yet? Miss Miller.
You old flirt! Annie.
I haven't come here to play games.
I made a terrible mistake in breaking off our engagement and I would like very much for you to forgive me and for us to set a date for our marriage.
You have said so frequently before, Maniac.
I look at you and I see everything I want a woman to be.
Until I'm yours.
And then I am not good enough again.
Annie, I love you.
I love you.
You are like a drug to me.
Look, I will paint you again if that is what you want.
I will paint you if that's what will bring you back to me.
While you were away, I was intimate with other men.
I know.
And I forgive you.
Although it will be harder to forgive Gabriel.
I didn't sleep with Gabriel while you were away.
I slept with Fred.
Fred? You slept with Fred? Why are we arguing like we are lovers? We are no longer lovers.
Annie.
Please.
Please.
Come back to me.
I need you.
One day, in years to come, you and I shall meet, and you will be a famous and successful painter - a fellow of the Academy, quite the toff.
And I'll be a jolly, round matron with seven children and umpteen grandchildren.
And we will talk and we will laugh.
We will laugh about all of this because it will not matter nearly as much as it seems to matter now.
Look.
That can be us! That couple, that can be us.
You can be my round matron.
Please! Please be my jolly round matron! You gave me a life that I didn't think was possible.
And you've turned me into a lady.
And I will always be grateful to you for that.
Because without all of this, I would never have snared a gentleman.
What? There is to be an announcement in The Times tomorrow.
Lord Rosterly and I, we are engaged to be married.
Did that help to comfort you in your disappointment? I'm not disappointed.
Are you telling me that I consented to beast you without good reason? Please, Gabriel.
I can't be happy for myself if you are not happy for me also.
I am happy for you.
I am happy for you, really.
You have Ruskin for a friend and we have secure funds.
I know.
I only hope I impress his mother.
Why would his mother be of concern? Mr Ruskin invited me to dinner when you were out of the room.
He said he wants his mother to meet me.
And what did you say? Well, I said yes, of course.
Was that the right thing to do? And was I invited? Of course.
Your invitation was taken for granted.
So I wasn't explicitly mentioned by name? He wouldn't invite me and not include you now, would he? To dine alone.
With his mother.
I cannot attend on a Monday night, of course, due to my prior teaching engagement at the Camden Working Men's Association.
She finished it with you in a tea house? I hope you kept the dainties.
I did.
And I took that bastard Rosterley's custard while I was about it.
It sounds as though you left with your dignity intact, Maniac.
Oh, here he is, Mr Moral and Upstanding.
Gabriel, Johnny, Maniac Aargh! You seem to have hold of my person, Maniac.
If I was not crippled by heartache, you would be weeping for a month.
Do you know why? We both know why, don't we? Now, at least show me the respect of not lying to me.
Now, will you boys listen to me? Man was not intended to live alone.
I would immensely like to see you all married like myself, and anchored.
I'd like to see you anchored on the Thames at high-tide.
The moment I realised I'd lost her I attained an erection from which you could have hung a week's laundry.
The cock is a nostalgic fellow at the best of times.
Many's the time I've pleasured myself off the strength of a memory.
Let us hope that she finds true happiness.
Are you trying to be amusing? She is a woman with little opportunity who has taken her chances in life.
Surely that is to be applauded? Not when Hunt has given her the chances and paid for them.
It's something of a tribute to Hunt's tuition that she has snared a lord, is it not? I still wish for her happiness.
I'm afraid that is what I feel.
You've got a lot to learn about friendship, Fred.
So the duty of a true friend is to lie, is it? The duty of a true friend is to make his friend feel good.
The truth does not come into it.
Now, finally, can we all be cheerful companions once more and abandon this rather deep philosophical enquiry? If you are buying the drink, then I'll provide the cheer.
More wine, please.
Now, I warn you, this is something of a departure for me, in style.
A celebration of domestic bliss.
It's a nude study of Effie.
I told you.
That is my wife you are talking about.
Knowing my luck, it's a nude study of Annie.
It is not a nude study of anybody.
It is a sketch for something quite different.
Are we ready? I have to warn you, if it is more evidence of your genius, then I might not be able to resist punching you in the throat.
Johnny.
I love you.
I love him.
So you like it? I love it.
It's a little You know why I love it? Because it's shit! It is, isn't it? I'm not wrong, am I? It is completely awful.
But it's just a child blowing bubbles.
But it's tosh! It's a slop bucket of sentiment! Oh, thank you, Johnny, thank you.
There was I thinking you could do no wrong.
Hunt, surely you can see some merit? No.
I'm afraid I find myself concurring with Gabriel's critical assessment.
It is unspeakable shit.
I was thinking of calling it Bubbles.
Bubbles! Bubbles? 'Nothing brings more comfort to a man than to see a friend humiliated.
'And so, when we are in need of comfort, Millais offers himself.
'And I laugh harder than anyone.
'Because, for once, nobody is laughing at me.
' William Morris, Ned Burne Jones! I thank you.
Mr Dickens.
It is a hard and onerous task we have set ourselves.
Do you make a habit of spitting? It depends what I've got in my mouth at the time.
Who the hell has Ruskin brought with him? She must be 15 years old.
We come together to witness the marriage of Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal to Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Fred! Help me! If you walk away from me, I can only assume you won't be returning.
You have broken my heart.
So you don't trust me then? No, Gabriel.
I do not.
Nothing makes a wife more desirable than strong drink.