The Borgias s01e08 Episode Script

The Art of War

- Fire! [Explosions] [Cheering] - We are facing a battle for our very survival.
- The French King has laid waste to Lucca.
But their goal is your fair city of Naples.
Father.
- The French King demands that Florence be opened to the passage of his armies.
- That will need to be voted by the signoria.
- The answer is yes.
- We will excommunicate that heretic apostate, Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere.
[Murmuring] We will bear no more opposition! - Cardinal Della Rovere has one end in view: the deposition of our Holy Father the Pope.
- I myself voted for the Holy Father.
- So we can count on your continued support, then? - Yes, of course.
- The French army has passed through Florence.
Your father's days may be numbered.
- I do believe the Sforza armies pledged to his cause.
- The Sforza armies may march with France.
- There was a reason for my marriage, brother.
Remind me of it.
- Give me control of the papal armies.
I will do what is necessary.
- You have no experience of battle, my son.
- Does Juan? - The French King would see me deposed.
Now, if that is God's will, should I just allow it to happen? - The role for which God chose you, you cannot fail in that.
- I wake up, nauseous.
- You are with child.
We must leave this castle at first light.
*** [Insects chirping] - Are you the one? - Yes, my lady.
I knew I would be whipped.
- If you speak of your affections, Paolo, I will see you hanged after you are whipped.
Do you understand? - Yes, my lady.
- And it would be a shame to maim that body of yours.
For all the pleasure it has given her.
You will prepare us 2 horses at dawn, already saddled.
- I had a dream, my son.
Or a nightmare.
- Of Lucrezia? - I dreamed that all of Italy had deserted us-- Sforzas, Colonnas.
The French armies swarmed through Rome like a cloud of locusts.
On my feet were the simple sandals of a Spanish peasant.
Summon the Spanish ambassador.
He may be our last hope.
[Bell tolling in the distance] [Birds singing] - You must come with us.
My lord will kill you.
- No.
He will whip me.
But it will have been worth it.
- When will I see you again? - When you return from Rome, perhaps.
- When horses fly, as we must now.
Before Lord Sforza awakes.
- We granted your King Ferdinand and your Queen Isabella the title of Most Catholic Majesties.
We delivered a solemn papal bull, granting them everlasting rights over that vast new continent-- - But, with respect, Holy Father, what you ask is impossible.
- The involvement of Spanish forces in the protection of St.
Peter's and the head of Christendom-- - Would amount to a declaration of war between France and Spain.
- I warn you, Ambassador, favours granted can be rescinded.
- And I would beg Your Holiness's forgiveness that I cannot meet his full demands.
[Borgia sighs in frustration] - Must we face this French apocalypse alone? The populace is already fleeing Rome.
Please thank Their Royal Catholic Highnesses.
And tell them our Saviour was kissed thus by Judas Iscariot.
We would review whatever forces we have at our disposal.
Where's your brother? - I know not, Holy Father, but I suspect.
- Well, then, seek out the Gonfaloniere of the papal forces from whatever whorehouse he's seen fit to rest his head! - You know this man? - No, Father.
He had no name last night.
[Grunting with effort] - Brother.
- You have a priest for a brother? - A cardinal.
- A cardinal? I should have charged you double.
- I imagine you did.
Ah! - Your father would review the forces at his command, Gonfaloniere.
- I am out of sorts this morning, brother.
- This afternoon.
- Ah! Ah! - You know me, brother.
I disapprove of lechery, debauchery, drunkenness.
- Which is why our father made you the cardinal.
- Why, then, did he make you a duke? - Because lechery and debauchery are the very marks of nobility.
- Most of Italy has galloped to the French side.
They have heard a sound that is new to their Italian ears: the sound of cannon.
And the Gonfaloniere has other duties besides lechery and debauchery.
There is the tedious business of war.
- Slow your horse, my love.
You were ill, remember? And your condition needs nurturing.
- Once out of that gloomy castle, my health seems to improve.
- We did doubly well to flee, then, and your father needs us both at this perilous juncture.
Now, you tell me about this Paolo.
- You mean Narcissus? [Lucrezia giggles] What would you know? - Everything.
[Whip snapping] [Grunting in pain] - Where are they heading? - The horses were gone, my lord, at dawn.
I know not where.
- You mean they saddled them without you stirring? [He yells in pain] They must have, my lord.
- You sleep very soundly.
- Like a babe in arms, my lord.
- You lie.
[Grunting in pain] - Would it be in my interest to lie, my lord, when my back is at your mercy? - Your entire being is at my mercy.
The truth, peasant! [Grunting in pain] [Whip snapping] Where are they heading? [Whip snapping] [Gasping in pain] [Whip snapping] - She is headed as far from you as possible, my lord.
[He growls] She can no longer stand the sight of you.
[Whip snapping] [Grunting in pain] The smell of you.
[Whip snapping] The thought of you.
[Whip snapping] [Grunting in pain] And nor, my lord, can I.
[Whip snapping] [Grunting in pain] [Whip snapping] [Grunting in pain] - Peasant.
[Whip snapping] [Men conversing] - We have pikes for 2,000 footmen, lances for 1,000 horse, bows for 1,500 bowmen-- if we can find the soldiers to wield them.
- What about cannon? - Nobody worthy in the art of war ever uses cannons.
- I have heard it rumoured that the French do.
- And I have heard that they are vulgarians, my lord.
- Their cannon was vulgar, indeed, when they brought Lucca to its knees.
- I have a stratagem, Holy Father, to outwit their cannon.
- Would you be so good as to share it with us? - Indeed.
Just give me some time with my condottieri.
- Time is what we do not have! The barbarians are approaching.
Rome has been sacked twice in her past.
We would spare her a third such indignity.
Cardinal.
[Cows mooing] - There are precedents, of course, Your Highness, for the deposition of the Pope of Rome.
The Council of Constance, for example.
There were 3 popes with claims upon the papacy.
- Three? - It was a schism, Your Highness, a state to be avoided at all costs.
Pope John XXIII, Pope Benedict XIII, and Pope Gregory XII.
- One of them held court in Avignon.
- Yes, Your Highness.
Commonly referred to as the Avignon Captivity.
- And what was the outcome of the Council of Constance? - Well, Pope John XXIII was accused of various indiscretions.
- And of what do you accuse this Borgia pope? - Simony, usury, public lechery, and poisoning, perhaps.
- So, your brother has a stratagem.
- Dreamed up in last night's whorehouse.
- You will cease, Cardinal Borgia, in this constant denigration of your brother, the Gonfaloniere.
His leadership of the papal forces is at present our only hope! - Which is the source of my concern, Father.
[Borgia sighs] - We have summoned an assembly of the College of Cardinals.
Now, we are aware-- painfully aware-- how readily they would abandon our papacy in this hour of greatest need.
But you, Cardinal, shall be our support in this crisis.
You will express every confidence in the arms at our disposal, under the leadership of your beloved brother.
[Borgia sighs] They are like rats, my son, deserting a sinking ship.
Thus our Saviour was abandoned by his Apostles, in his hour of greatest need.
[Animated conversations] - without protection, everyone moment we stay here is at our peril.
[Conversations cease] - Holy Father, it is rumoured that the Colonna arms are rushing to join the French side.
- Cardinal Colonna could perhaps answer that.
- They are in danger of being beaten to the race by the armies of the Sforza.
- Cardinal Sforza? - Holy Father, we should abandon Rome.
[Cardinals murmuring] Half the populace already has.
- The Holy Father forbids any talk of abandonment.
We have all of us taken our vows as cardinals to spill our blood in defence of our Holy Mother Church.
- We wait like lambs to be slaughtered? - The Holy Father has reviewed the papal forces.
He has every confidence in their ability to defend the Holy City.
[Cardinals murmuring] [Cardinals murmuring] As have I! [Cardinals murmuring] [Murmuring ceases] - Too often has this city been abandoned at a time of intimate threat.
We have all of us been chosen by God to represent his Holy Church.
And who knows? Perhaps God in His infinite wisdom has sent us this trial, this test of our faith in Him.
The Pope of Rome shall stay in Rome, in the Vatican, in St.
Peter's.
And he has every confidence that the College of Cardinals shall do so too.
Each one of you shall be called to account.
Do not let the Most High God find you wanting.
It is settled then.
We shall stay in Rome.
[Birds singing] [Horses trotting] - See, up ahead.
- [Man yelling]: Who is it? - We must turn back.
[Man calling out] - [Lucrezia]: They are French, are they not? [Men calling out] [Men calling out] [Horse whinnying] - These are dangerous roads, fair ladies.
- So it seems.
- And you are heading? - To Rome.
- Well, then.
You have an escort of French arms.
Bring them! - Yes, Captain! - En allez! - [Man]: On the way! - What is cannon for, Holy Father? - For destroying fortification, surely.
- Exactly.
The French cannon may be useful to batter the gates of Rome, or to blow the walls of Lucca to the heavens, but meet them in the open field, and what use are their cannon there? - My son.
- And I propose our armies do precisely that.
Meet them far from Rome in the open field, where the advantage of their cannon is like blowing thistles in the wind.
Our cavalry can feint around their rear, our bowmen target their gunners.
The Roman genius is for strategy and rapid movement; let us use it to the full.
And annihilate those French barbarians with their lumbering metal cannon.
See how fast they can turn them round.
Do you agree, brother? - I know little of the art of war.
- Well, thank God someone in this family does.
We shall outwit them before they even get sight of our fair city, Rome.
And like Julius Caesar, like Mark Anthony, we will chase those barbarian invaders back across the Alps, dragging their cannon with them.
Am I correct, Father? - Well, we can breathe again, my son.
The air is almost sweet with relief.
You will be the saviour of Rome.
[Bells pealing] [Cheering and applause] - Will the good Lord see the justice in our cause, Micheletto? - Where warfare is concerned, Your Eminence, our good Lord will take a holiday.
[Cheering and applause] [Bells pealing] - [Lucrezia]: Have you ever seen such an army? - [Captain]: Not since Hannibal crossed the Alps, my lady.
- That is what my brother faces.
- Your brother is a Roman soldier? He is to be pitied, then.
- You must introduce us to your Hannibal, Captain.
- And your names are? - Tell him that Lucrezia Borgia, daughter to the Pope of Rome, and Giulia Farnese request the pleasure of his company.
[Soldiers conversing] - [Man]: How many times have I had to tell you - We have a captive, my liege.
- What kind of captive? - Quite a prize, I am told.
A Borgia.
- A Borgia? - The pope's bastard daughter, fleeing her husband, Giovanni Sforza.
Ran into our hands.
- A hostage, then? - If it pleases you.
And the pope's own mistress, Giulia Farnese.
- This pope has a mistress? For shame.
Then he must surely be done away with.
Why have I no mistress, General? - We need a stratagem, Giulia Farnese.
- How to achieve our freedom.
- We are quite uniquely situated to use what weapons we have in our father's cause.
- And what weapons are those, my love? - As you told me when I first met you: our beauty.
- [Both]: Our wit.
- Cardinal.
- La bella.
I trust the French soldiery caused you both no disquiet? - Are we hostages, Cardinal? - On the contrary, Madame, you are being detained for your own protection.
- Good! I would not like to be imprisoned.
It would so displease my father, the pope.
As, I am afraid, would your presence here.
No longer a man of God? A soldier now? - I serve still God, my lady.
- That would please my father.
He would not like to see blood on a cardinal's hands.
So why are you here with the French armies? - I am in your presence to invite you both to dine with His Royal Highness, King Charles of France.
- Which invitation we graciously accept, do we not, Lucrezia? - But you have not yet told us, Cardinal, why you are here with the French armies? - I am travelling with the French king to institute the deposition of your father as Pope of Rome.
- Oh, dear.
That is certainly a reason.
On what grounds? - Simony, bribery, and if you will both forgive my mention of such indelicacies, fair ladies, public lechery.
- Public lechery? With whom? - With your good self, my lady.
- So a pope cannot be lecherous, Cardinal, in public or in private? - He cannot, my lady.
- But is a pope's daughter allowed to be hungry? If so, I would gladly accept the king's invitation.
Because this pope's daughter could eat a horse.
- We are unused to kings in Italy, Your Highness.
We do have dukes, duchesses, principes, cardinals.
We even have, as you must know, a pope.
But kings are in short supply.
- I have novelty value, then.
[Laughter] - No more wine for the moment.
- Why not? - I would tell Your Highness's fortune.
- His fortune? - Yes.
In the cup.
My mother taught me.
She was a courtesan, Your Highness.
- Really? - The prettiest in Rome.
And she knew her runes.
I see one great army meet another.
- Is there a winner? - There.
And I see his face.
- Is it handsome, this face? - No, I would not call it handsome.
- Is it ugly, then? - No.
- No.
- But there is a great blemish upon it.
- What is this blemish? - Come closer, my liege.
I would have you see it too.
It looks alarmingly like a nose.
[Laughter] - [Charles]: A nose! Is it ugly, this nose? - It is exceedingly ugly, Your Highness.
- Like mine? - No, not at all like yours.
The visage I saw in this cup was not yours, Your Highness.
It has none of the grace, the valour, the openness.
And now Pah! It is gone.
[Laughter] More wine for His Highness.
- And the winner that you saw in the cup, Lucrezia - Was not as handsome as you, Your Highness.
Nor as gracious.
Nor as kind.
- Has he a name? - Nobody.
- Oh - There was no winner.
No loser either.
- And no battle? What a pity.
- Your Highness likes battle? - Mmm.
Longs for it.
Let me show you, fair Lucrezia, our ways of battle tomorrow.
- My God.
- So our stratagem was, Gonfaloniere, a feint to their left.
- But I can see no left.
Or right.
Their army fills the whole horizon.
[Man shouting an order] - [Charles]: The pikes of our infantry are Can you see them there, my dear? - Why are the blades hooked so, my lord? - So they can tear out the guts of their opponents.
But we begin battle with the cannon.
- The cannon? - Yes.
Never risk a man until you've used your artillery.
Learned that against the English.
- I thought cannon were for purposes of siege, to break down walls, and such.
- Ah, but in the open field, we have our own invention.
Chained cannonballs.
- Chained cannonballs? - Cuts through a front line like a scythe through butter.
- [Man]: Cannons! Man the cannons! - [Man]: Cannons! - [Man]: Soldiers! At the ready.
- [Man]: Man the cannons! Prepare to load! - [Man]: Cannoneers to your guns! - Who gives the command to charge? - You do, my lord.
- [Man]: Load the cannons! - [Man]: Load powder! - Is the cannon loud, Your Highness? - Exceedingly.
I would cover your ears, my dear.
- [Man]: Back in positions! - [Man]: Target ready! - [Man]: Cannon ready, Captain.
- Central cannons, fire! - [Man]: Fire! [Explosion] [She yells] [Explosion] [He gasps] - Run! [Yelling in fear] [Horse neighs] [Yelling in fear] - [Captain]: Fire! [Explosions] [Cannons flying] [Yelling in fear] [Yelling in fear] - [Man]: Fall back! - [Man]: Fall back! [Shouting] [Agonized yelling] - [Man]: Stay in line, men! - [Man]: Back to the front! Back, men, to the front!! - [Juan]: Stand fast, men! - [Man]: Formations! - [Juan]: Stand fast! - [Man]: Central cannons reload! - [Man]: Reload! - [Man]: Check the distance! - Your Highness? - Yes, my dear? - Could you halt the cannon for a moment? - Pardon? - Could you halt the cannon for a moment? - But why? - [Man]: In position! - You were right.
They are exceedingly loud.
- [Man]: Take aim! - [Man]: Ready, Captain! - Your Highness? - Wait.
- [Juan]: Stand fast, men! - [Man]: Stand fast.
- Is it the white flag? A parlay? - It's my sister.
- [Man]: Hold the line! Form up! - We are in danger of losing the initiative, Your Highness-- - Shh! - Your Highness, I strongly urge you to take-- - You will wait.
I will not harm her.
- [Juan]: Lucrezia.
My God.
- They hold us hostage, brother.
- Us? - Giulia Farnese and I.
We were riding to Rome.
- Ride on then.
- Would you survive this day, dear Juan? - We have a battle to fight.
- Believe me, you have lost it already.
- It has hardly begun.
- I have heard one roar of cannon.
A hundred more and your whole army will be dead and bleeding.
And you have yet to see their pikes.
- I will not accept defeat! - Then do not call it that.
- [Man]: Ready! - Call it common sense.
Say the French King got asked for terms.
You offered - What did I offer? - His safe passage to Naples in exchange for his bloodless entry into Rome.
- Lucrezia, he will pillage the place; depose our father! - Leave that to me.
- Yah! - [Man]: Ready! - [Man]: Target ready! - [Man]: Target ready! - It was my brother, Your Highness! - Your brother? - The Gonfaloniere of the papal armies.
He thought you meant to sack Rome.
Like the Goths and Vandal hordes.
I told him you were a gentleman.
You had no such idea.
You had no such idea, had you? - No such idea.
- Your goal is Naples.
- Naples.
Of course.
- So, my brother, the Duke of Gandia, the Gonfaloniere of the papal armies, bids you welcome to Rome.
- [Man]: Forward! - Why the hurry, Cardinal? - You have heard? - We have heard the sun rose as always this morning.
We have heard a lark singing through the casement window.
But the Sistine choir at matins was silent.
Perhaps they have heard what you have heard.
- Your son's army is in retreat.
The French plague is almost upon us.
- Did you not swear a solemn oath, when you first donned that cardinal's red, to spill your blood in defence of the Christian faith? - My cardinal's oath is not the issue here.
- Then what is? - You, Holy Father! The French King has but one intent: your deposition.
- I understand.
You would protect yourselves and not us.
- You could ride with us, Holy Father, to the safety of Ostia.
- Our place is here.
As is yours, Cardinal Sforza.
- You should leave, Holy Father.
- We will stay here.
And we shall be here when you return.
IF you return.
- You may need those tomes, Burchart, in whatever haven you are fleeing to.
- I would preserve these books for posterity, Your Holiness.
- For posterity? - They have survived many invasions.
I will do my best to ensure they survive this one.
- Take care, then, you preserve this book on the Council of Constance.
You may need it in the near future.
- Why, Your Holiness? - For the proceedings of our deposition.
And if you are asked for an opinion, you will state-- as I know you will-- that a College of Cardinals which elected a pope deemed to be iniquitous can itself depose said iniquitous pope.
Must you all desert me? - I would preserve these books, Your Holiness.
- I know, I know.
For posterity.
- [Cesare]: Do they look victorious, Micheletto? - [Micheletto]: No, Your Eminence.
They are merely tired and exhausted.
- The exhaustion of battle, surely.
- The exhaustion of retreat.
- [Cesare]: Is that why I see no prisoners? - You see no prisoners because there are none.
- [Woman]: Where are the French? Are they coming? - And Rome is like an old whore, waiting once more for her ravishment.
- [Man]: What will happen to Rome? [Citizens calling out] [Door opening] - Father.
- Do not blame him, Cesare, for retreating before the French hordes.
- They have Lucrezia as hostage.
Have you heard? If they harm her - Cowards.
Vermin! Rats deserting a sinking ship! You're like lemmings running to your doom! Do you think a golden chalice will save you? - Your brother did not fail, Cesare.
Your father did.
Your father, who placed that responsibility upon his shoulders.
Who was blinded by paternal fondness.
Your father, who has been abandoned by all that once supported him.
Your father, who faces his dark night of the soul.
Alone.
- I will not leave you, Father.
- Father.
- My son.
- We had no choice but retreat.
There's not a moment to lose.
- So we believe.
- The guards will take you to safety in Ostia.
- No, we will stay here in Rome, my son.
- The Castell St.
Angelo then.
- We will stay here in this Vatican.
The papal guard and yourself will take your mother to safety in Ostia.
- But Father - Would you see her defenceless before the French invasion? Go.
GO! At times such as these, Brother Raphael one needs old friends.
We have been called to trial.
We hope we will not be found wanting.
- Your very presence here, Your Holiness, attests that you have not.
- Attests.
I like that word, good friar.
It speaks of fortitude in the face of threat.
It speaks of bearing witness in the face of falsity.
It speaks of courage.
Your clothes.
- My clothes? - Your humble tunic.
The cowl you wear.
Those unadorned sandals.
- But why do you need my clothes, Holy Father? - We would wear them.
- You would disguise yourself? - No, not at all.
I would face this trial that approaches, against which the entirety of Rome has fled, without the trappings of Holy Office.
I would face it as our Saviour faced His great trial: in a simple robe, sandals on our bare feet, with nothing but our faith in God to adorn us.
- Why are you here? - I want you to leave.
- I cannot.
I have taken vows.
- You will be defenceless when the French army arrives.
- I must put my trust in Jesus, then.
- No.
You will put your trust in me.
I will not have you without protection.
- Do you not understand? I cannot have you near me, Cesare.
I would betray our Saviour in a moment.
- You said my name.
- I have made a promise.
A sacred vow.
I am sorry.
- Will you allow me to at least afford the abbey protection? Place guards on the gates? - You are our benefactor, Cardinal.
- Well.
***