The Borgias s01e04 Episode Script

Lucrezia's Wedding

- The cardinal's come to discuss the deposition of the Borgia pope, father.
He's appointed a veritable cascade of cardinals.
- Among them, his son.
- It seems the good Cardinal Della Rovere has fled.
- You have someone who can wield a good garrotte.
Maybe it's time for the cardinal's collar to be replaced.
- Guards! An assassin! [Yelling] - So you failed.
- It was the wounds on my back that betrayed me.
- Then have him followed-- by someone other than you.
- The Sultan of Constantinople would pay us to welcome his half-brother Djem into our care.
- Forty thousand ducats.
- If he lives.
If he dies, 400,000.
- Giulia Farnese is having her portrait painted? - Papa commissioned it.
- I banished my husband for your sake! - Have you heard the news, Djem? I'm to be married.
- Oh, my dear.
- If our families were to unite, the Sforza family would need an agreement on a dowry.
- But of course.
- Do I have to marry, Cesare? What if my husband proves ungallant? - That heathen outstays his welcome.
- Then send him home.
- We can ill afford to.
- He must raise a dowry for our sister's betrothal.
Four hundred thousand ducats is hard to come by.
- You! [Muffled grunting] - So our sister's dowry is done.
Here endeth the first lesson.
*** [Bell tolling] - Come hither! Oh, degenerate church! I gave you my house, saith the Lord, and you have defiled it with outrage! This pope is a lecherous abomination! Is there no crime for which he has not been accused? He is lower than the beast that crawls or the Red Whore of Babylon! Florence, you will pay for your greed and usury when he grinds you to perdition! - Oh, what was the illness our dear Djem died of, brother? - Marsh fever.
- That he caught from our own swamps? I fear I may have caught it too.
- No, my love.
I think perhaps you are sick with heartbreak.
- I think I shall never have another friend like him.
- You will always have me.
- I have heard it whispered by the maid servants that his estate paid for my dowry.
- I think you know, my love, that our father has funds enough.
- But if it were true, Cesare, I could never marry this Giovanni Sforza, however handsome he may be.
- Who told you he was handsome? - He is ugly, then? What a fate.
- He is far from ugly.
He has his Sforza profile, the nobility of bearing.
- And the Sforza armies.
And the castles.
And all those things we all might gain that will help our dear father's cause.
- You are learning fast, Lucrezia.
- Not fast enough.
Tell me again what my dear Djem died of.
- Swamp fever.
- A mosquito killed my Moor.
You would not lie to me, brother? - I think you should sleep now, my love.
- Perhaps it's a mosquito has bitten me.
- Do not fret, Holy Father.
I know my daughter.
The illness is less in her body than in her heart.
- Well, she is-- - The changes of her state overwhelm her.
She is to be married soon.
She's lost her blackamoor.
Her father communes only with God or with La Bella Farnese.
- Your tone is hardly appropriate, madam.
- Forgive me, then, my tone.
But rest assured, I will nurse her back to the most excellent health, and we will both have the pleasure of seeing her walk up the aisle of St.
Peter's.
- I'm afraid we will not.
- Do not fret, my love.
I will nurse her back to health.
I promise.
- No, you misunderstand me.
- I do? - We will not both have that pleasure.
- Why not? - The Sforza lineage is a noble one.
They have requested that there be no hint of scandal.
- You mean-- - I mean that you cannot attend.
- Because - Because of your past! - Oh God! - Well, if the whole of Rome knows! - Do not do this.
- Look, I-- - Do not do this, Rodrigo! - A marriage such as this, with the attendance of the royalty of Christendom-- - She is my only daughter! - For one who is rumoured to have been a courtesan to attend - You're breaking my heart! - It is impossible.
- Would you break hers too? - Shh, shh! I will make it up to you.
- How? [Sobbing] - What is he, Micheletto? Benedictine, or Franciscan? - He belongs to a mendicant order, Your Eminence.
- Well, where is his begging bowl, then? - He has yet to find one.
But he will.
- So with his begging bowl, he can travel to Florence.
He can send you reports-- what he sees, what he hears.
- Then no killing? - The scandal of your Naples misadventure travelled wide.
We must make do now with information-- about whom Della Rovere meets, where he travels.
Besides, monks do not kill.
- No.
They beg and they pray, Your Eminence.
- Has he a name, this mendicant? - Giancarlo, at Your Eminence's service.
- Your scars betray you.
Keep yourself cowled.
- You look pale, Bella Lucrezia.
- Yes, I have been ill.
My dusky friend inhabits my dreams.
- Do not think so much of Djem, my dear.
- He has a secret that he cannot speak of.
His beautiful dark mouth opens, but no sounds come out.
- In your dreams? - And I have to kiss those lips to comfort them.
- Oh, dear.
- Is it permissible, Donna Giulia, to kiss a dead Moor in your dreams? - All things are permissible in our dreams.
Look in the mirror, Lucrezia.
You yourself are dream enough for anyone.
- I could be happy in this dress.
But I shall need lessons in kissing.
I shall soon have to kiss the Lord Sforza.
- The dowry contract is agreed.
And Pesaro brings with it and twice as many spears.
- A valuable addition indeed to the papal armies.
- Enough to see off any paltry alliance of upstart dukes that Della Rovere cobbles together.
- Perhaps.
I wonder Would he dare France? - Holy Father? - Hmm The Spanish king asks for our blessing on their conquest of this new continent.
Perhaps it is time for us to strengthen our ties with our ancestral homeland.
- First, there's a chaste kiss, full of promise, like this one.
- That's easy.
- Then, there's the kiss of pleasure, which begins to promise.
- You know them all? - All of them.
There are many more.
Any woman must.
- Show.
Did my mother kiss my father thus? - I would hazard she did.
- And you, do you kiss him thus now? - Let us adjust your dress.
[Quiet chuckling] - And your dress, Donna Giulia.
What colour have you chosen? - I thought a gown of apricot.
- My mother's favourite gown is apricot.
You must take care not to outshine her.
- I'm afraid there's no possibility of that.
- What do you mean? You have advised her already? - You haven't heard? [Sighing] - Another secret.
I'm tired of secrets.
- It is no secret.
- Tell me, then.
What have I not heard? - Your mother is not coming to your wedding.
- Well, that is silly, Giulia Farnese.
Of course she's coming.
- I'm afraid your father has deemed it otherwise.
- My My father, he would never - I'm afraid-- - I must speak to him of this.
Father.
- Ah, we're in here, Lucrezia.
Oh! Ha-ha! Have you come to show us your dress? Oh! It's more beautiful than we could have imagined! - You are the pope of Rome.
But surely not even the pope of Rome can bar my mother from my wedding day? - Oh, dear.
- I will gladly marry whom you choose; what your politics demand.
The Borgia family will be united with the Sforzas, but however noble their lineage, they cannot bar my mother from my wedding day.
- No, but these are issues, my dear daughter, that are beyond your care.
- But I am learning, Holy Father! She was once what they call a courtesan, and you are the pope of Rome.
But you loved her once.
As I do now.
And I will have my mother at my wedding day.
- Come, sis.
Let us talk of these things elsewhere.
- Please, Holy Father! I need you both there! My mother and my father! [Sobbing] - Alms, for the love of God.
[Coin clinking] [Crowd laughing loudly] - Never was a woman more wretched than myself in such a marriage with such a husband.
[Gasping] [Crowd laughing] - Ah, Penelope, darling.
I bid you good health.
Uh, how are the good people of the countryside? - They do less mischief than those in town, it would seem.
- Would your choice be comedy or tragedy, my lord? - It is my sister's wedding.
I would see her smile.
- Ah! One of the comedies, perhaps, of Terence or Plautus? - The difference between them? - Um, the comedies of Terence have refinement.
- Refinement.
Refinement is good.
- Yes.
Those of Plautus are known for their vulgarity.
- Vulgarity is better.
- Ah! He wrote of bawds, pimps, courtesans.
- Better still.
- Who is she?! - She is Do you want to know her name? - Do you even know her name? - No.
[Laughing] - [Della Rovere]: The wealth of Florence astounds me, Don de Medici.
- Banking.
The Medici family are bankers to the world.
To the Vatican itself.
- Ah, the Savonarola calls it usury.
- And what do you call it? - Interest.
- He may be wrong about the Medici bank, but he's right about the Borgia pope.
Alexander's great game is the investiture of Naples.
He knows France has claims upon it; he knows Spain has claims upon it.
He will play them both against each other like a spider with two flies.
- And you What is your game? - I have no game.
But, if I am forced to play, I will head to France, and ask the French king to invade our beautiful Italy.
- Italy? Is there such an entity? - There is a land, SeƱor Machiavelli, made up of many principalities-- the Duchy of Milan, the Republic of your wondrous Florence, the dukedoms of the Romania, the papal states-- - And to their south, Naples.
- Borgia has betrothed his daughter to a Sforza.
He will marry his son to a Spaniard or a Venetian; his younger son to a Florentine or a Neapolitan.
He will weave a web around this Italy that may not exist.
He will swallow your Florence, your Venice, your Milan, and Italy then will exist, my liege, under him.
- Hmm.
- Prophetic words.
Are you cousin to Savonarola? - No.
But I would meet with him.
I've seen him preach.
- Can you explain to me, Cardinal, why the king of France would muster an army and invade his neighbours? - Because he wants Naples.
- So you give France Naples, France gives you Rome? - I don't want Rome; I want to restore the glory of her holy church.
- [Machiavelli]: Hmm.
As pope.
- As her humble servant.
- Indeed.
And what do you want of Florence? - Nothing.
- Well, then we will charge you nothing.
- You misunderstand.
I ask that Florence do nothing.
- Ah.
We let those French barbarians march through our principality and do - Nothing.
- That's a different kind of nothing.
That will cost you something.
[Door opening] [Voice nearby] [Door closing] - Have we a visitor? - One who heard of your distress.
One who loved you when you were younger.
One who stepped aside when asked.
- My God! Theo! And you've come as-- - Not as a lover, God forbid; as one once a husband; as a friend, if I'm needed.
[Sighing happily] - How many years has it been? - Oh, let us not talk of years.
[Laughing] - The pope would bar me, Theo, from my own daughter's wedding.
- As he barred me from your life.
- But our love was finished.
A mother's love for her daughter never dies.
- If I can be of any comfort-- - And yet he would have La Bella Farnese there-- at his side, before all of Rome.
- Can a pope make his mistress public? - This pope can, and will.
- Well, she's noble; you're not.
The nobility has its own laws, its own rules, and we are commoners, my dear.
- And we had common pleasures, did we not? [Chuckling] Stay and dine with me, Theo.
Tell me how your life has been.
Old friends at times like this are what one needs.
- [Borgia]: King Ferrante of Naples? - [Cesare]: He's too old to attend.
- Well, his son, Alphonso? We must give him pride of place.
- Um Between the Salviatis and the Colonnas, perhaps? - And have them cut each other's throats? - An outcome to be fervently desired, surely.
- Yes, but not in St.
Peter's, and not at our daughter's wedding.
Where's the doge of Venice? - By the Florentine ambassador, Machiavelli.
- And have them plot against us? - They do that already, Father.
- No Venice shall go by the Spanish ambassador.
Florence next to the ambassador from the Holy Roman Empire.
- Wise, indeed.
But there is one glaring omission, Father.
- There is? [Sighing] Go over it again.
- My mother.
- So, at the front the Sforzas.
And behind them, Alfonso of Naples and Sancia of Naples.
[Chuckling] - I miss your company, Vanozza.
Your Eminence.
- Am I eminent to you? The husband of my mother.
- I should-- - Sounds like a riddle.
If the husband of my mother is not my father, then who is? I'm sorry, you should what? - Retire.
- Back to that farm the pope bought for you? Oh, but he wasn't pope then, was he? No, no, no, sit, sit.
We're all friends here.
- I should hope so.
- And, if not, family.
To think you could have been my father - I think not.
- Would I have been different, mother? More at ease? Perhaps, dare one say it, happy? Do you have shepherds on your hills, Theo? - Indeed, Your Eminence.
- Do they play the pipes of Pan, as in Virgil's Georgics? Do they fall in love with shepherdesses? - They sleep on the bare hillsides.
In summer they scorch; in winter they freeze.
It is not a life to be envied.
- Et in Arcadia ego.
- You must translate for me, Your Eminence.
I am a poor farmer.
- Death also is in paradise.
- Cesare.
- I merely quote, Mother, from the great poet, Virgil.
But speaking of paradise, how is the betrothed one? - She's better.
She's sleeping soundly.
- We must let her rest, then.
You, Theo, you must tell me about sheep.
Or goats.
[Whispered praying] - Father Savonarola.
- Who disturbs me at matins? - Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, Friar.
- I know of you.
From that cesspit they call Rome.
- It was not always thus; it was pure once, and can be so again.
- You You talk of purity.
Step into the light.
I feel something from you.
[Bell tolling in the distance] I have had a vision, Cardinal, of a great army from the north, with cannon the like of which we have never witnessed, belching fire and destruction.
Women lie dead in their beds.
Suckling babes will be snatched from the breast and dashed against the city walls.
This army will march south like the mongrel hordes towards Rome, invited in by a cleric in red.
Are you the one, Cardinal Della Rovere? - And in this vision of yours, was the pope deposed? [Savonarola exhales slowly] - I see castles of flame.
I see blood running through the streets of cities.
I see the bloated body of the Borgia pope, blackened by syphilis, lying dead in St.
Peter's.
Nobody dares approach it.
Will you be the one, Cardinal, to bring forth this apocalypse? Are you the cleric in red? [Chains rattling] - [Borgia]: We understand the royal Spanish highnesses wish us to view this savage? - [Man]: Yes, Your Holiness.
- Brought back by Christopher Columbus from the new continent? - [Man]: Yes, Your Holiness.
- I have heard rumours of cities of pure gold; of rivers running over beds of precious stone.
Can this savage tell us of them? - We care little for silver and gold, Cardinal Sforza.
Our thoughts are with the souls of its primitive inhabitants.
Their salvation.
- Indeed, Your Holiness.
And we have here an example of how knowledge of the one true God can enter the most savage breast.
Show us! - Speak.
- Credo in Unum Deum.
- Hmm.
- What Eden have they torn you from? - Eden.
[Chains rattling] - It was a paradise, Your Eminence.
- Was? - Queen Isabella requests the pope's blessing upon her American conquests.
She would instruct these savage peoples in the one true God.
- In return for? - The support of Fernando and Isabella of Spain for his papacy.
- The unreserved, unequivocal support? - But of course.
- And what of Naples? - Their Catholic Majesties would expect Rome to support their traditional claims on Naples.
- So, my Lord I cannot invite such chaos to my land without a sign.
So help me, God.
Are you at liberty, Father, to hear one poor sinner's confession? - In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
- I have sinned in thought, Father, and am about to sin in deed.
- Tell me.
- I Can one sin for the greater good? - I do not understand.
- Can one spill blood to rid the world of a greater evil? - You must spell it out for me, my son.
- I am about to invite an army to march south.
An army that will unleash the chaos of war upon our fair lands.
- You mean an invasion? - Are you confessor, Father, or inquisitor? - I am a humble priest, Cardinal.
- And how did you know I'm cardinal? What order are you? - I am a mendicant friar of the Order of St.
Benedict.
- You are a Borgia spy! [Blood spurting] [Groaning] [Sighing and moaning] - My word, rather sweeter breath than my wife.
[Gasping] [Sighing and moaning] - Your wife's breath isn't bad, is it? - I'd rather drink bilge water, if it came to that, than kiss her.
- [Juan]: You promised me vulgar.
- It's Plautus, my lord.
More lewd you cannot find! - [Juan]: Do you need lessons in lewdness? Let us first change breath to bosoms.
- Bosoms? - Yes.
"Rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
" [Sighing and moaning] - My word, rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
[Chuckling] - Better already.
Now let us glimpse the said bosoms.
- Huh? [Sighing and moaning] - My word, rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
[Juan clapping] - Must we all get married, then? - Perhaps.
One day not too far off even you might get married, hmm? - But how does marriage help you, Father? - Hmm Let me explain to you, little man.
Italy.
It's like a great big boot divided into kingdoms.
To the north, we have the Duchy of Milan, ruled over by Ludovico Sforza.
Then to the east, we have the Republic of Venice.
Moving south, we have the great Republic of Florence, ruled over by the? - Medici family? - Yes.
To the north and the east we have the Romania, ruled over by the great Roman families, one of which your sister is going to marry into.
- Giovanni Sforza? - That's right.
- That's the same name as the Duke of Milan.
- Mm-hmm.
They're cousins, and thus have similar interests.
But here is the tiny city of Rome, surrounded by the papal states.
Now, its rule is small, but its power is great.
Can you tell me why? - All the kings want to be crowned by the pope? [Chuckling] - Now, here, to the south, is the great kingdom of Naples-- almost half the boot.
But both France and Spain have traditional claims on Naples, and Naples wishes to assert his independence, so, I mean, phew! It's the pope who has to decide between these claims.
- That's a big responsibility.
- Oh, I know, it is.
Sometimes it even stops me sleeping at night.
- I will marry anyone you like if it helps you to sleep.
- Well, there's a boy.
Hmm! There's a little chap.
[Chuckling] [Fanfare] [Applause] - The honourable Giovanni Sforza, we welcome you to the city of Rome.
Our armies are yours.
Our hospitality is yours.
And our sister shall soon be yours.
- The Sforza armies are at your service.
May the union between our families bear every fruit.
*** [Choral music] - [Softly]: Please, God.
[Birds cooing] [Sobbing] - Most worthy Lord, do you agree to take the illustrious Lucrezia Borgia, here present, to be your lawful spouse? - I do.
- Most illustrious Lady, do you agree to take the most noble Lord Giovanni Sforza, here present, to be your lawful spouse? - I do.
[Door slamming] - Put on your best finery, Mother.
Your most beautiful dress.
You're coming with me.
- Where? - The pope forbade your presence at your daughter's wedding; he made no mention of its aftermath.
*** [Instrumental dance music] - I would fain hear your voice, my lord.
- My voice? - Yes.
The only words I have heard to date from you have been the words "I do".
- I have many other words.
- Have you heard the word "love"? - "Love.
" I have heard it.
[New dance piece begins] - Are you melancholy, my love? - I'm remembering, Your Holiness, a wedding of my own.
- The outcome of today's nuptials will be happier.
Surely.
- One dearly hopes so.
[Music ceases] - Mother, if I may have the pleasure, will you join me and the newly weds in a passamezzo? - No, Cesare, I think-- - I am afraid I must insist.
And I imagine His Holiness the Pope would insist too.
[Silence among guests] - [Whispering]: Think of Lucrezia, Your Holiness-- her happiness.
- My pleasure.
[Quiet murmuring and whispering among guests] - Lord Sforza.
- Cardinal.
- The mother of your blushing bride, Donna Vanozza Cattaneo.
[New dance piece begins] Well, is your new husband to your liking? - He has a limited vocabulary.
- Sforzas are not known for their conversational skills.
[Accompanying singing begins] - Perhaps I could teach him new words.
Like "tendresse".
"Amore.
" "Sprezzatura.
" - Sprezzatura? That is a big word.
- I have heard it means "the effortless display of grace".
- [Cesare]: I see no evidence of sprezzatura.
- Perhaps I can make do with kindness, then.
- Do my eyes deceive me? - Can eyes deceive? - Perhaps not.
Hearts can deceive, words can deceive, but eyes we can trust.
- You're a cardinal, are you not? - Cardinal Cesare Borgia.
- Ursula Bonadeo.
- Your husband? - Yes.
- Is he blessed with sprezzatura? [Laughing] - Sprezzatura? Unfortunately not.
He has the strength of an ox.
And sadly the grace of an ox as well.
- And yet you are tied to him.
- Unless someone can deliver me.
- [Lucrezia]: If you had not been here, Mother, my future would have been grey forever.
- You are entering womanhood blessed with many more things than I was blessed with.
- But if I were to become a woman with half your grace and beauty, Mother I would be proud and happy.
- You'd bring a whore to your sister's wedding? - Pardon me? - Perhaps I should rephrase that.
You'd bring a Spanish courtesan to your sister's wedding? - There is a response to such an insult.
But it would not be appropriate here.
- Elsewhere, then? - I am afraid you can count upon it.
And I think you should leave us.
Now.
- Gladly.
The air is noisome here.
Unhealthy.
Worse than a whorehouse.
My lady.
- Liberate me.
[Crowd laughing loudly] - Rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
[Crowd laughing] - Tell me! There's a dear.
Your wife's bosoms aren't bad, are they? [Laughing] - I'd rather kiss walnuts than kiss thee.
[Laughing] - [Actress]: Oh, you would, would you? Good gracious, sir, that sling at me will cost you dear! - Ah-ha-ha! [Laughing and applause] - She's past her bedtime.
- [Actor]: Look here, Father, do you love my mother? - I love her for not being me.
[Crowd roaring with delight] - [Slurring]: You're going to bed? Good night.
- And when she is near? - I yearn for death in the family.
[Crowd roaring] - [Man]: Bravo! [Laughing and applause] - [Man]: More! More! [Guests chatting and laughing] - My word! Rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
[Both laughing] - I'm very well for bed.
Good night! - Good night.
More wine, my lord? - Please.
[Glasses clinking] - Your wife sleeps.
- Indeed.
- You should let her rest now.
This day has been long for one so young.
[Sighing] There is time enough for - [Actress]: Ah! Ah! [Laughing] - pleasure.
[Both laughing] - Indeed.
[Gulls calling] - I trust you slept well, madam? - Like a child, my lord.
- Like a child I have no doubt.
[Dogs barking] - [Man]: Bring water, quickly.
- [Man]: I'll take your master, lord.
- My lord.
- How are the dogs? - Eager to hunt.
- Don't feed them.
I want them hungry for tomorrow.
- [Man]: Take my lady's horse.
- My lady.
- My thanks.
That small vial.
The red one.
Poor it in the water.
Softens the skin.
Giulia told me.
- Giulia? - Farnese.
A great Roman beauty.
You have heard of her? And my husband's hands Will they be soft? - They are hard, my lady.
What I have felt of them.
- Hard? You have felt them? - When he beat me-- hard, my lady.
- There will be no more beatings now that I am your mistress.
[Footsteps approaching] - You wanted words.
I have words.
- Words for what, my lord? - For that Borgia wedding.
A farce.
Travesty.
A scandal.
A public humiliation.
[Yelping in fear] Well, we're married now.
[Lucrezia yelling in fear] - No! [Breathing in a panic] [Yelling in pain] [Sforza grunting] ***