The Borgias s01e07 Episode Script

Death on a Pale Horse

to invade our beautiful Italy.
- What do you want of Florence? - So the arms of France cannot pass through your fair republic.
- In a sentence.
- I need your assurance that the Sforzas will be constant in their support for our papacy.
- Your Royal Highness.
- You want me to depose that Borgia.
- I want to restore the Universal Church.
- We have enemies fast approaching, Gonfaloniere.
- I have been entrusted with all of my father's battles.
[Laughing] - So tell me, Lucrezia, marriage is- - Hard, at first.
I find the more confined husbands become the more tolerable.
- If Lord Sforza were to find us [Moaning] - My husband has been found.
Three weeks dead.
Admit it, Cardinal.
- There was no murder.
He fought.
He lost.
I will search you out.
You may find a nunnery but you will never be free of me! - You would sample your brother's betrothed the way you would a mare? - The Borgia pope has betrothed his son to King Ferrante's daughter.
If there is a moment to move, it is now.
- Do you accept Sancia as your lawful spouse? - I do.
- You will have your war, but it will be fought the French way.
*** - Tell me, Cardinal, what is the Italian for cannon? - We have no such word, General.
- For gunpowder? Recoil? Battery? Cannonball? Ordnance? - I'm at a loss.
- You will need a new language then.
Your Italy will soon be deafened by the sound of cannon.
[Background chatter] [Moaning in pleasure] [Laughing] - Be silent.
- Are we observed? - No.
But that goatherd waits inside for my loud and public apology.
- Did you abuse the goatherd? [Both laughing] - Terribly.
- As you abuse me? - The abuse was of a different kind, my dear.
[Moaning and sighing] - [Woman]: Joffre? Joffre, are you in the garden? - [Joffre]: Yes, Mother.
- [Mother]: Would you join me, please? - [Joffre]: One moment.
- My husband plays with feathers.
[Sighing] - Is he to your liking? - He is sweetness itself.
But he lacks your vigour.
- You must call on me then.
When you have need of me.
- I must return to my husband in the morning.
- Why? - Because he is my husband.
Because our father needs his allegiance.
- I should keep you here in chains.
I suspect you would be happier.
- Why do you question my happiness? - Because something happened, I know it.
- What do you know? - Your eyes.
You no longer walk on air.
Where is my young sister hiding? - I am the Lord Sforza's wife, Brother.
- If he does ill by you I shall do ill by him.
- He would be wise to be kind, then.
- What are his pleasures? - Hunting.
The marital bed.
[Sighing] - I dislike him already.
- But he had an accident, Brother.
And now he can indulge in neither.
- A happy accident? - Yes.
God is good.
- But he will recover? - Unfortunately, yes.
- You are no longer a child, Sis.
I won't forgive him for that.
- There was a reason for my marriage, Brother.
Remind me of it.
[Birdsong] [Church bell tolling in the distance] - We are blessed by the Cardinal's presence here.
- Sadly, Abbess, the business of a cardinal is overwhelmed by the management of men.
Our spiritual duties are all too easily forgotten.
- But your contribution to the abbey and its restoration is much appreciated.
And our new novice, Sister Martha, has a most divine contralto voice.
- Sister Martha? - Do I detect some levity in your tone, Cardinal? - Perhaps.
- It is inappropriate, surely.
You are the cardinal benefactor of the Sisters of St.
Cecilia.
Although even I can see the humour in that.
- You knew? When you chose this convent? - I discovered, after I had taken my vows.
- Shall I resign my responsibilities? Assign the benefice to another cardinal? - No.
I shall never be free of you, Cardinal.
I knew that.
You cannot touch me, Cardinal.
No man can touch me now.
The one who touches me, who lives inside my heart, who visits me nightly, died on the cross many centuries ago.
- Ah! I have another rival then.
And I can't kill Him.
- You blaspheme now! Would you put yourself beyond the grace of God entirely, Cardinal? - No.
I would manage my own destiny.
You asked me for liberation.
- And you gave it to me.
You delivered me to here.
I spend my days in penance, and oddly enough, in peace.
You have a power, Cardinal Cesare Borgia, a strength, a destiny that even you don't recognise.
You read my heart, with what may indeed have been the Devil's insight, and you delivered me to God.
You can use that strength for good or for ill but I have no doubt it will be used, and the whole of Italy will be changed by it.
- Are you clairvoyant, Sister Martha? - No, but I think I have been given some insight into what guides your heart.
I will never love another man.
And you should leave now, Cardinal.
It is forbidden.
[Sounding the bell] [Knocking softly at the door] - Sister Martha? - Sister.
[Sniffling] You asked to meet me alone, Father.
- Yes, my son.
We have had intelligence that 25,000 and more French troops are marching towards Milan.
- My God.
- Indeed.
An apocalypse.
- It is a long march from France to Rome.
Anything could happen.
- Well, Milan will grant safe passage.
Il Moro has made his intentions abundantly clear.
- And what about Florence? - Well, you tell me.
You visited Florence.
- Florence keeps its counsel.
- And its counsel is called Niccolo Machiavelli.
- I have his understanding that Florence will do nothing if its territories are not invaded.
- And if they are? - It will do something.
- Its something may not be enough for us.
French arms may alter the whole equation! - Has the College of Cardinals heard? - No, but they will.
And we can imagine the discord already, everyone dividing into factions.
We are facing a battle for our very survival.
[Thunder] - I'm scared of thunder, Paolo.
- It often comes before summer showers.
- No! Where is your imagination? It is God rehearsing his wrath.
It is Jove flexing his muscles.
It is my husband throwing off his splint.
[Thunder] He will walk again soon.
What will we do with our love then? - We can love in secret.
- Hm.
We already love in secret.
And you knew this couldn't last forever, didn't you? - Why not? - Again, where is your imagination? Have you not read your Boccaccio, your Petrarch? - You know I can't read.
- If you did, you'd know.
Young lovers are always doomed.
[Laughing] [Thunder] [Thunder] [Laughing] - Oh, my lady! What have you been doing? [Laughing again] Come here.
[Laughing] - You are wet, my lady.
- Uh I am, my lord.
Rain will do that.
[Short laugh and thunder] - I would have my wife dry before dinner.
- Yes, my lord.
- And I would not see her wet again.
That young groom - Paolo, my lord? - I would speak with him tomorrow.
- Your cousin's Dukedom of Milan is now host to the arms of King Charles of France.
- Not for long, I would imagine.
- Indeed.
He is allowing free passage of the armies through his territories, south.
- Well, we must all pray for deliverance, then.
- And how does he imagine the pope will regard this betrayal? - Betrayal? I was told that the armies of France threaten Naples, not the Holy City of Rome.
- So, they will pass through Rome, if they get this far, and leave the Holy City as it was.
- What other outcome could one wish for? - I think you know, Cardinal Sforza, that Cardinal Della Rovere has but one end in view: The deposition of our Holy Father, the Pope.
- Yes, a grave matter, indeed.
And with few precedents.
- And your attitude to this possibility? - I myself voted for the Holy Father.
- So he can count on your continued support, then? - Yes, of course.
- What else would you say to me, his son? - Indeed.
What else, Cardinal Borgia? What else? - You would be wise to be steadfast in this matter, Cardinal.
You have another cousin married to my sister.
He would be wise to remain steadfast too.
- Shall I tell him that, or should you? Or should we leave that responsibility to your sister, Lucrezia? - You would speak with the groom, my lord? - I would, my lady.
- My lady.
- What of, might I ask? - I'd have him ready my horses.
I must return to the saddle.
- My lord.
- Are you sure that is wise, my lord? - My leg, thank God, is healing.
As we may confirm tonight.
- Tonight? - Tonight.
I have slept alone too long.
[Door closing shut] - My lady.
- My lord.
- You are a vision.
- Even for a Borgia? - Your beauty was never in question.
Merely your breeding.
And speaking of breeding, the entire principality will be expecting an heir soon - So soon? - And we mustn't disappoint them, must we? [Screaming in pain] - My lord! [Moaning] Here, let me help you.
[Screaming in pain] [Screaming] Oh, I'm sorry, my lord.
[Moaning] - No! So! So! - The French armies are headed for the walled city of Lucca.
- And they must pass Lucca to get to Rome? - Hm.
And Lucca will provide no contest.
Perhaps the leg of our beloved Italy will provide some solace.
- No, Rodrigo.
- What? Are we forbidden Naples? And the hills of Rome? Not to speak of Florence and Milan? - It's that time of the month, Rodrigo.
- Ah! We are denied entry, then.
Hm.
- So it seems.
Most men consider it unclean.
- But we are not most men, Giulia Farnese.
Let us hope this blood is not a portent.
[Orders given in the distance] - They would open their gates to you, my liege.
But they would first discuss terms.
- Let us show them terms.
- Fire! - Fire the cannons! [Screaming in pain] [Charging yells] [Uproar] - Those are my terms.
Captains! - Forward! - A l'attaque! [Charging yells] [Women screaming] - Should I order restraint, my liege? - No, give them their head.
Pillage the place.
[Charging yells] [Woman screaming] [Girl screaming] [Woman screaming] - But what can justify such carnage? - It is war, Cardinal, plain and simple.
- They would have surrendered to you, readily.
- As the whole of Italy will surrender to me now.
[Woman screaming] [Man laughing] [Woman screaming] - I see castles aflame.
I see blood running through the streets of cities.
Will you be the one, Cardinal Della Rovere, to bring forth this apocalypse? Are you the cleric in red? [Laughter] [Background chatter in French] [Laughter] - You are eating nothing, Cardinal? - I find it hard, my liege, to muster an appetite.
Perhaps I should retire.
- No! I shall not allow it.
You invited us to this carnage.
You shall at the very least partake of it with us.
- But, my liege-- - Yes, you will dine with us! You will not retire! An army is like a beast, Cardinal.
And that beast will be fed! You think these troops live on what I pay them? You think they march with me for the few sous I give them? No.
They march for the spoils of war, of victory.
- Of course.
- Victory.
- This town will be picked clean by the time the sun comes up.
And do you know why, Cardinal? Because they know that another assault like this will not be necessary, that the news of it will spread like flames through a barn, that they might not get another chance.
- Ah! And they were so looking forward to Florence.
- You think Florence might resist us? - After tonight, I doubt it.
But we live in hope, do we not, Cardinal? - Can I make a request then, my liege? - We are all ears, Cardinal.
- That I be granted your gracious permission to ride before your armies to Florence.
That I negotiate whatever terms are acceptable to Your Gracious Highness that might prevent a recurrence of such slaughter.
- He has no stomach for slaughter.
General, what are our terms? - Free passage of our troops through the Florentine Republic.
the Florentine population.
- A levy of 200,000 ducats for the cost of our armies to date.
- You would have them pay for your invasion of their republic? - 200,000 is still out of pocket, my liege.
Your costs are double that, to date.
- 400,000 then.
- And, my liege, I would demand, as a token of good faith, hostages from each of the major Florentine families.
- Those demands are unaccountably harsh, Your Highness.
They may not accede to them.
- Well, then, we look forward to battle.
- And I looked up and before me was a pale horse and its rider was named Death.
He had power over a quarter of the earth to kill with his sword, with famine, with plague, and with the wild beasts of the earth! And the moon, the full moon was red, and stars fell from the skies! And the sky, the sky receded, receded like a scroll, turning over and over, and mountains and islands were torn from the face of the earth! The sun turned black! Black as sackcloth! - I bring news, Father, of apocalypse.
Hm.
[Sniffling] If you can still hear me.
The French King has laid waste to Lucca.
His armies head towards Florence.
But their goal is your fair Kingdom of Naples which we may need to vacate.
Father.
Father, I need at least a sign.
[Sniffling] [Prayer in Latin in the background] - per omnia saecula saeculorum.
Amen.
You have heard what happened in Lucca, my son? - The whole world has heard, Father.
King Ferrante has died.
- Indeed.
And did he die repentant? - He has been dead for years, to sense and logic.
But the throne of Naples is free at last.
Alfonso will demand its investiture.
- Well, the French King demands it too.
- His army heads to Florence.
- Well, we must muster what forces we can.
- And what forces are they? - The armies of the papal states.
Of the Sforzas.
The great lords of the Romagna.
- And you think they can resist French arms? - They are all the forces we have.
- Under what leadership? - Of the Gonfaloniere, the Duke of Gandia, Juan Borgia.
- You are blinded by affection, Father.
- Can you suggest an alternative? - Father, Father Give me control of them.
I will do what is necessary.
- You have no experience of battle, my son.
- Does Juan? - Yes.
He's been bred for this moment.
His whole life has been spent in training for such an event.
- He's played at games of war, Father.
He has yet to experience reality.
- Well, he'll have the condottieri to advise him.
If Florence resists French arms, then we may yet have time.
- And you think they will? - We will excommunicate Florence if the French armies are admitted.
[Background reactions] - Excommunicate the entire city, Your Holiness? - The Medicis, the Pazzis, Machiavelli, the whole Signoria.
[Agreeing in the background] And we will have that Savonarola burnt.
[Agreeing in the background] We will bear no more opposition to our word.
- Then you must excommunicate half of Christendom.
- Indeed.
- Because half of the world is against us.
- We will not tolerate this heresy! This apostasy! This is the chair of St.
Peter's! We are the voice of the Living God! We will occupy this chair until our death, and the fires of Hell shall rain down on those who would oppose us! We are, all of us about to be sorely tested.
And you are either with us or against us.
We hereby impose an excommunication upon that heretic apostate Cardinal Guiliano Della Rovere.
[Agreeing in the background] - We ask for your support in this most solemn declaration.
We demand your compliance, so a show of hands, Your Eminences.
If you please.
- Your Holiness, may the vice-chancellor speak? - Yes Cardinal Sforza.
He may.
- It would be unwise to use the Church's most solemn sanction to so little effect.
- What does the vice-chancellor mean? - Excommunication or not, this invasion will proceed.
We may all have to adjust ourselves to new realities.
- You should consider it fortunate, my lady, that you're a Borgia no longer.
- What does my lord mean? - The French army has passed through Milan.
My cousin Ludovico has given them free passage through his dukedom.
If the Republic of Florence doesn't resist their advance, there will be nothing to stop their passage towards Rome.
- I know little of politics.
- You know enough, surely, to know that your father's days may be numbered.
- I will always be my father's daughter, sire.
And unless I am very much mistaken, I do believe the Sforza armies, yours and your cousin Catherina's were pledged to his cause.
- That promise did form part of the betrothal arrangement.
- And my lord would never renege on a promise.
- My cousin Catherina already has.
- But you, my lord, would never be so dishonourable.
- Is it dishonourable to assist in the deposition of a Borgia pope? As dishonourable, perhaps, as removing a litter of swine from the Vatican walls.
You are ill, my lady? - Perhaps your words offend me.
- Forgive me, then, for speaking so plainly.
But understand that if Florence admits the French armies, then the Sforza arms may march with France.
- It is unwise, my lord, to upset me thus.
Ah - My lady! [Moaning] Come.
Straight away - Who can we trust in this charnel house called Rome? - You can trust me.
- The Sforzas of Milan have deserted us.
I wonder, will the Sforzas of Pesaro do the same? - Your daughter, who married one, would know.
- But I hear nothing from her.
I wonder, would you travel to Pesaro, find out what she knows? - [Whispering]: Gladly.
- We will miss you, in our hour of need.
- And I will miss you.
But I will suffer your absence, if it sets your mind at ease.
- There was a confessor I had when I first took holy orders.
A Franciscan friar, the most holy of men.
I would emerge from his confessional like a boy newly washed in the morning dew.
Untroubled.
Clear.
We long for that clarity in this moment of time.
- Summon him to Rome, then.
While I ride to Pesaro.
- The French King demands that Florence be opened to the passage of his armies.
- But of course.
- 25,000 troops be billeted on its populace.
- That will need to be voted by the Signoria.
- You heard what happened in Lucca.
- Is that a yes? - Yes.
- He demands a levy of 400,000 ducats for the cost of his invasion so far.
- My God! What effrontery.
- The answer is yes.
- Yes? We must pay for the privilege of being invaded? - You heard what happened in Lucca.
- What happened in Lucca sounds increasingly like genius.
- He demands hostages from the following families as a token of goodwill.
Medici.
- Yes.
- Pazzi.
- Yes.
- Gilberti.
- Yes.
[Sighing] - And now, my Lord Medici, that you've surrendered the Republic of Florence, can we at least pour the wine? There is genius afoot here, Cardinal.
Is it yours? - Have you ever witnessed carnage, Ambassador? - Let's drink then.
To the great God, carnage.
I have heard a whisper of your excommunication, Cardinal.
- Indeed.
I have heard the same of yours.
- Mine? - I've heard rumours that the whole of Florence could be excommunicated if this city is surrendered to French arms.
- Well, then, perhaps that depends on one's definition of surrender.
- [In the background]: Regiment, halt! - I bid his Royal Highness and the armies of France welcome to the fair city of Florence.
But it would be politic, Your Highness, if you would ride through our gracious city with your lance at rest.
- At rest? - Your lance at point is a symbol of conquest, and our gracious Florence has not been conquered.
To the contrary.
We welcome you with open arms.
- Signor Machiavelli.
- Your Highness? - Our lance at rest prevents our entry to your fair city.
- Perhaps, Your Highness, if it were to be angled backwards.
- And of what would that be a symbol? - Of Your Highness' infinite resourcefulness.
- Ah.
- Onward, forward! Onward, forward! Company march! [Background chatter] - My lady.
- Am I in the right place? Residence of Lucrezia Borgia? - Sforza.
- Sforza.
[Horse neighing softly] [Background chatter] - The Lady Giulia Farnese, my lord.
- La Bella Farnese.
May I introduce my cousin, Catherina Sforza.
- Your reputation precedes you.
And the tales of your military prowess.
- These are troubled times.
- Indeed they are.
And the one I came to see? Your dear wife, Lucrezia? - She is indisposed.
- Nothing serious, I hope.
- The politics of our Italy have unnerved her.
- They have unnerved us all.
You have the pope's ear, Giulia Farnese.
- At certain times.
- So, enlighten us.
Will he resist this French invasion? Will he bring bloodshed and carnage upon all our heads? - You are no stranger to bloodshed, are you, Lady Sforza? - I would save my arms for battles I can win.
- If you're asking me, will he accept his deposition as the Pope of Rome the answer is never.
- With what armies will he confront the French? - With the armies of the papal states.
Of the lords of the Romagna.
The Colonna.
The Salviati.
The Sforza.
- Oh, we're all doomed then.
- No.
No, the House of Borgia is doomed.
The arms of the House of Sforza will remain where they belong: In the Romagna.
- But what of my lord's marriage with the House of Borgia? - What of it? - You will let these French armies march to Rome, and do - What everyone else in Italy is doing.
Nothing.
- Ah.
Have you shared this intelligence with your dear wife, Lucrezia? - She's too young to understand such matters.
[Church bell tolling] - Do you recognise us, Brother Raphael? - Oh I hardly do, Your Holiness.
[Laughing] - I would be a simple priest again, and unburden my soul to you.
I have been diverted from my calling by the travails of this world.
- That is indeed grave.
- But the pope is a ruler of men.
Yes, he interprets God's will, but he must also rule the papal states, the city of Rome, he must mediate between all the kings of Christendom.
- God makes himself manifest through the world.
He does not ask us to change it, merely to lead good lives.
[Sighing] - A great trial is to be visited on me.
On Rome, on the chair of St.
Peter's.
The French King, a cardinal with him, would see me deposed.
Now, if that is God's will, should I just allow it to happen? Walk free of my office follow you to the Apennines, and live the life of St.
Francis? - You were given this office for a reason, Your Holiness.
- Are you sure of that, Friar? - You were chosen.
You have a duty to fulfill.
You're a man.
You have sinned, of course.
You have failed, no doubt, in many things.
But your office, the role for which God chose you, you cannot fail in that.
And, have no doubt, God observes you.
And if you open your heart to Him He will guide you through it.
Now, beg forgiveness for your sins, and have your soul washed clean.
- Djem is in my dreams again, Giulia.
And he still cannot speak.
Can one contract the marsh fever in these mountainous regions? - I'm sure the mountains have fevers of their own, but I know them not.
But you are ill, Lucrezia.
Describe your illness.
- I wake up, nauseous.
I expel the contents of whatever I ate the night before.
I sweat.
It comes and goes.
- When does it come and go? - Mornings are the worst.
- Your husband [Pouring water] does he visit your bed nightly? - He had a hunting accident, Giulia.
He has slept alone since his fall.
- How strange.
We must leave this castle at first light, before the Lord Sforza awakes.
Have you any friends you can confide in here? - There is a maidservant.
- Mm-hmm.
Francesca.
There is a groom.
Paolo.
- You can trust this groom? - With my life.
- Hmm He was kind to you, hmm? - He was my only solace here.
- He can provide us with horses then.
- You said it was strange.
Why is it strange, Giulia Farnese? - [Whispering]: Because, Lucrezia, my love - I recognise the symptoms of your illness.
And it's not called marsh fever.
You're with child.
[Sighing]