The Borgias - Season 1

101. The Poisoned Chalice


Rome 1492
The centre of the Christian world.
The seat of the Papacy.
The Pope had the power to crown and un-crown kings.
To change the course of empires.
The church was mired in corruption.
Pope Innocent VIII was dying, and the Papal throne was the prize desired by all.

Man: ...qui te custodiat ab hoste maligno, et perducat in vitam aeternam. Amen. Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Innocent VIII: You are afraid to enter, but you must.
Man: ...secundum multitudinem...
Innocent VIII: I am about to meet my maker. I have confessed. And I... confess... I am very afraid. Colonna. Sforza. Orsini. Borgia.
Rodrigo Borgia: Your Holiness.
Man: ...Gloria Patri...
Innocent VIII: You will fight like dogs over this corpse I leave for this throne of St. Peter's. But it was pure once. We have all sullied it with our greed and lechery. Which of you... will wash it clean?
Rodrigo Borgia: It shall be cleansed, Your Holiness, with the tears we shed for you. I swear before the Living God.
Orsino Orsini: You swear thus? A Spanish murrano? A white moor?
Rodrigo Borgia: As Vice-Chancellor, I swear before the Living God.
Cardinals: And so do I, Your Holiness. And I, Your Holiness. And I.
Giuliano della Rovere: Rest assured, Your Holiness. The glory of our Holy Mother, Church will be restored in my lifetime.
Innocent VIII: Please... God.

Cesare Borgia: There's a door behind, leads to the street.
Woman: The back passage? You're a cleric?
Cesare Borgia: Didn't you notice?
Woman: There was nothing ecclesiastical about you last night.
Cesare Borgia: By night... By night I am who I want to be. By day, I am thus. Lucrezia! Sister!
Lucrezia Borgia: I spied a lady, another one!
Cesare Borgia: There's a punishment for spying.
Lucrezia Borgia: What's that?
Cesare Borgia: Oh, I think you know!
Lucrezia Borgia: No! Can I come to your wedding?
Cesare Borgia: I'll never have a wedding, you know that.
Lucrezia Borgia: No. You are betrothed to God. Don't you love God, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: More than I love you?
Lucrezia Borgia: Don't be sad, brother. Maybe Papa will become pope, and you can be who you want to be.
Cesare Borgia: If he does become pope, I'll be what he wants me to be.
Lucrezia Borgia: Can a pope have children, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: I've heard it rumoured that Pope Innocent has 12.
Lucrezia Borgia: But I have also heard it rumoured that he is dying.
Cesare Borgia: No news in that. He's been dying for weeks now.
Lucrezia Borgia: If he does die, will our father wear his crown?
Cesare Borgia: The new pope will be elected by the College of Cardinals, my love. And only God can predict the outcome.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, since you will have no wedding, I will pray for God to choose Papa. I want to wear a beautiful white veil crowned with pearls for his coronation.
Cesare Borgia: God may need some help, then.

Cesare Borgia: What have they heard?
Vatican Guard: The pope breathes his last.
Cesare Borgia: God rest his soul...

Rodrigo Borgia: We must get you out of here before they lock the doors.
Cesare Borgia: And so it begins.
Rodrigo Borgia: You know what to do?
Cesare Borgia: Yes, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia: Keep our family safe. Until the new pope is elected, it will be anarchy in Rome— every faction fighting for its own candidate. And if—after the first vote— if the smoke is black—
Cesare Borgia: As you said, Father, I know what to do.
Rodrigo Borgia: I have waited a lifetime for this moment. We will go over it again. If we fail at the first vote, I will send word...
Cesare Borgia: On the wings of a dove—
Rodrigo Borgia: ...names of those cardinals who need persuading.
Cesare Borgia: With properties, benefices, and, if need be, gold. They call it simony, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia: God will forgive us, my son. But I will not forgive failure... from you or your brother. Am I understood?
Cesare Borgia: We will not fail you, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia: Mm. Go now.

Roman noble: Back to Spain, Borgia! You've had your day in Rome. You can't wring any more favours from a dead pope.
Juan Borgia: I was born here, as far as I'm aware.
Roman noble: If a pig is born in a stable, does that make him a horse? Tsk, tsk, tsk! Rome is for Romans now. The new pope will see to that.
Juan Borgia: And if the new pope is Spanish?
Roman noble: And if my mother's the Virgin Mary?
Juan Borgia: Was the Virgin a Roman whore? That's news to me.
Cesare Borgia: Excuse me.
Roman noble: Ah...
Cesare Borgia: My brother speaks before he thinks. He begs your pardon. I should have let them do it.
Juan Borgia: Kill me? Your younger brother? Our father would never have forgiven you.

Cesare Borgia: Have you heard?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Even Joffre has heard. Have you not?
Joffre Borgia: The pope has died.
Cesare Borgia: You know what that means?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I know there will be an election.
Juan Borgia: And the city will be bedlam until it's over.
Lucrezia Borgia: Do you think our father can win, Juan?
Juan Borgia: Are we allowed to dream, Mother?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Your father found ways to love and care for us in this house, but I'm not sure as pope he can do the same.
Juan Borgia: As pope, he can do what he wants.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Are you sure? Kings and popes and emperors belong to their peoples, not to their families.
Cesare Borgia: So, we allow the election to run its course, and he won't be pope.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What other course is there? It's in the hands of God.
Cesare Borgia: It's in the hands of the College of Cardinals, Mother. It's not quite the same thing. This one.

Giuliano della Rovere: Cardinal Borgia.
Rodrigo Borgia: My Lord Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: Whoever wins this contest—
Rodrigo Borgia: Election.
Giuliano della Rovere: If you were a different man... I might vote for you. You've performed your duties as Vice-Chancellor admirably. The Church has need of your... organizational genius.
Giuliano della Rovere: She has other needs as well.
Rodrigo Borgia: And they would be?
Giuliano della Rovere: Honesty. Probity. Goodness.
Rodrigo Borgia: You find me lacking in those qualities?
Giuliano della Rovere: Yes. And so I shall fight you. To the end, and beyond that, if need be, with any means at my disposal.
Rodrigo Borgia: I do tend to win whatever battles I fight. But what talk we of fighting? It is all in God's hands. Good night, My Lord.

Deacon Cardinal: To Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, four votes. To Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, six votes. To Cardinal Guilliano Della Rovere, seven votes. To Cardinal Orsino Orsini, six votes. None has the require majority.

Johannes Burchart: Dominus Deum...
Julius Versucci: After the death of Pope Sixtus, they holed us up here for a month.
Rodrigo Borgia: Appalling.
Julius Versucci: The company was tolerable, but as for the food. I had to lead the revolt— insist our dishes could be brought in from outside.
Rodrigo Borgia: How wise.
Julius Versucci: And now there's crystal in my soup.
Rodrigo Borgia: Please, have mine, Your Grace.
Julius Versucci: Oh.
Rodrigo Borgia: Don't drink this. It's vinegar; I've tasted it. From my vineyards in Valencia.
Julius Versucci: How can I thank you?
Rodrigo Borgia: Hmm. I wonder... Mmm!
Johannes Burchart: ...est a me...

Johannes Burchart: The rules are clear. No outside contact is permitted under any circumstance.
Rodrigo Borgia: But you must know that Cardinal Versucci's digestion is very delicate.
Johannes Burchart: Which is why he has rabbit baked in milk.
Rodrigo Borgia: Ah. Good. And... Cardinal Piccolomini...
Johannes Burchart: Uh... Suckling pig with rosemary.
Rodrigo Borgia: Indeed. The well-being of the curia... is of the greatest importance. As Vice-Chancellor, their health is my concern. Mens sana in corpore sano.
Johannes Burchart: I think St. Augustine might disagree with you. He extolled the virtues of fasting.
Rodrigo BorgiaSt. Augustine... never had to vote in conclave.

Rodrigo Borgia: My dear sons, the Cardinals Versucci, Piccolomini, and Sanso, grant some titles and benefices from the Borgia abbeys, monasteries, and bishoprics.
Cesare Borgia: ...Versucci, Piccolomini, and Sanso, grant some titles and benefices from the Borgia abbeys, monasteries, and bishoprics.
Notary: Julius... Versucci...
Cesare Borgia: All rights to the Abbey of... St. Catherine of Siena. Cardinal Alessandro Piccolomini.
Vatican Cook: Suckling pig for the cardinal, roasted.
Cesare Borgia: Roasted and... stuffed.
Juan Borgia: Cardinal Julius Versucci.
Cook: Uh, rabbit.
Juan Borgia: Rabbit?
Vatican Cook: ...baked in milk.

Deacon Cardinal: Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere... has garnered ten votes. Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, five. Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia has garnered eight votes. But none has the required majority.

Rodrigo Borgia: My dear son, we are in sight of our goal, but now you must redouble our efforts. Send your brother round the Borgia churches to empty them of gold, ornamen, and precious stone.

Juan Borgia: I have emptied the churches of the Romagna. I have stripped altars bare. They were rotten with gold ornament.
Cesare Borgia: Yes, you are a true reformer, brother.
Juan Borgia: These cardinals know no vows of poverty.

Lucrezia Borgia: Why the dove, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: It has a dual purpose, my love. Like many things in life, it serves as both a symbol and a messenger.
Lucrezia Borgia: A symbol of what?
Cesare Borgia: Of the uncorrupted soul.
Lucrezia Borgia: And a messenger of what?
Cesare Borgia: Of corruption.
Lucrezia Borgia: You mean to say it bears news of how many votes we must buy in the Papal election.
Cesare Borgia: You are criminally well informed, sis. But I trust your soul is still of the purest white.
Lucrezia Borgia: How many votes must we buy him, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: You know too much already, don't you?
Lucrezia Borgia: You're wrong. I know too little...

Cesare Borgia: Dear Father, nine mules laden down with gold and treasure are being distributed to the palaces of the following cardinals:
Deacon Cardinal: Cardinal Guiliano Della Rovere has garnered... Cardinal Ascana Sforza has garnered four... Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia has garnered ten votes. None has the required majority.

Rodrigo Borgia: Of course, Cardinal Sforza, the entire conclave knows that I cannot be both Vice-Chancellor and pope of Rome.
Ascanio Sforza: Than you can no longer be a Vice-Chancellor.
Rodrigo Borgia: You mean... I may yet be pope of Rome?
Ascanio Sforza: If you can find a suitable Vice-Chancellor.
Rodrigo Borgia: And how would you describe the qualities necessary for a suitable Vice-Chancellor, Cardinal Sforza?
Ascanio Sforza: Discretion.
Rodrigo Borgia: Mm-hmm.
Ascanio Sforza: Loyalty. And a certain kind of wisdom.
Rodrigo Borgia: Can you be more specific?
Ascanio Sforza: I would say the one who would be suitable as Vice-Chancellor would be wise to support the Vice-Chancellor who would be pope.
Rodrigo Borgia: Hmm. And I would say... we have an understanding.

Deacon Cardinal: Cardinal Guiliano Della Rovere has garnered seven votes. Cardinal Alberto Colonna, two. Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia... fourteen. Cardinal Borgia has the required majority.
Giuliano della Rovere: Correction: Cardinal Borgia has bought the required majority.
Cardinal: What is your implication?
Rodrigo Borgia: His implication is that the throne of St. Peter's is for sale.
Orsino Orsini: And has been bought by a Spaniard up to his elbows in simony.
Rodrigo Borgia: I see. You would prefer it had been bought by an Italian?
Orsino Orsini: By someone remotely worthy of the papacy at least—
Rodrigo Borgia: Then my first act as pope will be to institute an enquiry into the elective process. My second, of course... will be to appoint a Vice-Chancellor— the greatest office, with the greatest income, in my gift. Now, there are two obvious choices: Cardinals Della Rovere and Orsini. But the pope could not possibly appoint one who questioned his right to be pope.
Giuliano della Rovere: That was not my intention.
Orsino Orsini: Nor was it mine.
Rodrigo Borgia: I see. And the Spanish race is closest to your bosom. Can we proceed, then?
Deacon Cardinal: To conclude: Cardinal Borgia has the required majority. An examination, testes et pendentes, is required.
Rodrigo Borgia: And Cardinal Borgia is happy to comply.

Giuliano della Rovere: Can there be any doubt that the good cardinal is male?
Orsino Orsini: Not if we count his children.
Ascanio Sforza: Let him without children cast the first stone.
Orsino Orsini: I have heard rumours... of a rhinoceros horn.
Ascanio Sforza: Ooh, that small?
Cardinal: Boasting again?
Rodrigo Borgia: Oh, go on. The suspense is killing them.
Priest: Habet duos testiculos... et bene pendentes.
Orsino Orsini: So, he's got two testicles, well hung.
Julius Versucci: Deo gracias.

Deacon Cardinal: Habemus papam!
Rodrigo Borgia: Pater, et lius, et Spiritus Sanctus. Amen.

Juan Borgia: ...tu es et dominus eternum... et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Woman: Oh!
Juan Borgia: Your sins are all forgiven, sisters.
Woman: By the pope's bastard?
Juan Borgia: Son! His favourite son!

Cesare Borgia: I ask to confess to you, Holy Father, because I have sinned.
Rodrigo Borgia: How have you sinned, my son?
Cesare Borgia: I have corrupted my soul. I have pledged estates, castles, benefices to your brother cardinals. I have transferred the documents in the innards of roasted beasts and fowls. All to secure your election as pope.
Rodrigo Borgia: And God will repay us tenfold.
Cesare Borgia: But you must set my soul at ease, Father. Can a family such as ours survive such a prize? We are Spaniards. They hate us. The enemies we have at present will be multiplied tenfold.
Rodrigo Borgia: God will protect his Vicar on Earth, Cesare, and those dearest to him.
Cesare Borgia: And will you inform God as to His duties in this regard?
Rodrigo Borgia: Why this blasphemous tone, my son?
Cesare Borgia: Because I swear, if God does not protect us, I shall.
Rodrigo Borgia: You are a bishop, Cesare. You have no need of such temporal thoughts.
Cesare Borgia: You placed this collar round my neck, Father. You made God my calling. But the sins I've committed for you must convince you, surely, that the Church is not my calling. I beg you now to release me of my vows. Let me live as a layman. As a soldier. I can then protect our family from the storm that surely must engulf it.
Rodrigo Borgia: You are my eldest son, Cesare. You were always destined to be a prince of the Church.
Cesare Borgia: I would be a prince of state, Father, and I think you know that.
Rodrigo Borgia: The papal army is small, Cesare. The battles I will fight will be within these sacred walls. This is where I will need your help. Juan can... bear arms for the Borgia family, and lead whatever army the pope has, and I will not have my authority questioned further on this. Ego te absolvo ab omnibus censuris, et peccatis, in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Juan Borgia: You think it fits me, brother?
Cesare Borgia: You have broad shoulders.
Juan Borgia: As have you. Though it lacks an insignia. I thought a cape to cover the breastplate, with the Borgia Bull in bright yellow.
Cesare Borgia: I favour black, myself.
Juan Borgia: Black for the cleric, but for the soldier, a prancing bull in yellow. Or red, perhaps? Black. It suits you.

Lucrezia Borgia: Welcome, Papa.
Rodrigo Borgia: Oh, I've missed you.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: So, you have won.
Rodrigo Borgia: Yes, I've won.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: You've won what you always wanted. My congratulations.
Rodrigo Borgia: And I have lost.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: But what have you lost, my love?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You'll never lose me.
Rodrigo Borgia: In spirit, maybe, but in the flesh, I may have to.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: The pope cannot love?
Rodrigo Borgia: The pope can love God. But to be seen to love anyone else would be... unthinkable.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: So we'll find ways to accommodate our affections. Something like we've always done.
Rodrigo Borgia: All of Rome knows you're the mother to my children. Not only must the pope be chaste; he must be seen to be chaste.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: The children. You can be seen to love them, no?
Rodrigo Borgia: Of course!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I always knew this day would come. As long as you are with me in spirit...
Rodrigo Borgia: I always will be.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And with no one else.
Rodrigo Borgia: That is equally impossible, Vannozza.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: So we take vows of chastity along with your new status? Must we take vows of poverty too?
Rodrigo Borgia: Poverty? God forbid!

Johannes Burchart: For the ceremonial procession, horses, arms and livery for 700 priests and 23 cardinas with their retinues, knights, and grandees. For Pope Alexander, a ceremonial throne constructed by Florentine master builders, gold and silver plated. For the Borgia family, a brocaded carriage, gold inlaid, refurbished in Venice.

Cesare Borgia: You look beautiful, Mother. But you must try to remember you're not in mourning.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: But perhaps I am.
Cesare Borgia: Like you are losing your family? The life we have lived.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What are we gaining?
Cesare Borgia: The future.
Man: Step! Step!

Deacon Cardinal: Take the tiara... which is ornamented with three crowns... and be aware... that you are father of kings and monarchs, lord of the globe, earthly resident of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who shall have the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. His Holiness, Pope... Alexander Sixtus.
Lucrezia Borgia: That is so many titles, Cesare. What will his family call him now?
Cesare Borgia: Holy Father.
Lucrezia Borgia: Holy Father. That's easy. Even I can remember that.
Deacon Cardinal: ...grants to all faithful here present a plenary indulgence...

Lucrezia Borgia: And tell me, dear brother—
Cesare Borgia: What, sis?
Lucrezia Borgia: What must I call myself? Holy Daughter?
Cesare Borgia: You are still Lucrezia Borgia, my love. You will only change your name when you marry.
Lucrezia Borgia: And when will I marry?
Cesare Borgia: Never, if I can help it.
Lucrezia Borgia: But surely it is good to marry, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: As the pope's daughter, you will have every prince of Europe vying for your hand. They may care very little for your heart.
Lucrezia Borgia: Perhaps I should do as you have done, brother— take Holy Orders. Give my heart to God.
Cesare Borgia: That might be the safer option, my love.
Lucrezia Borgia: Does Papa have so many enemies?
Cesare Borgia: As our father, perhaps not. But as pope...

Alexander VI: I am Rodrigo Borgia no longer. I am Alexander Sixtus.
Cesare Borgia: But you know who you are. My father, still.
Alexander VI: I am no longer "I". I am... "we". We felt so... alone out there. When the crown touched our head. Humbled, even. Even frightened.
Cesare Borgia: You surprise me, Father.
Alexander VI: You would surprise yourself if such destiny ever brushed against you. Quite alone... with just the... silence of God... as your witness.

Cesare Borgia: But He must already be pleased, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: Ahhh! Indeed? Why?
Cesare Borgia: Because the earth has not yet swallowed us.
Alexander VI: Here we are. You must help me, Cesare. You must help me interpret... the great silence of God.
Cesare Borgia: Wait! Let me! Come.
Alexander VI: Help me... do His will. We have been entrusted... with the keys to His kingdom.

Giuliano della Rovere: The King of France must be aware, Ambassador, that we have placed the papal mitre in the hands of an ape.
French Ambassador: He has hopes, Cardinal, that the office brings its own grace with it, and that the grace of God can transform the worst of men. And if it doesn't? We will observe with interest what harm a mitred ape can do.

Alexander VI: These offices we grant in the full expectation they will be used wisely for the restoration of the honour of our Holy Mother Church. Dominus vobiscum.
Cardinals: Dominus vobiscum.
Alexander VI: And, finally, the greatest office in our gift, the post of Vice-Chancellor, the office that stands a reed's width from our papacy. We grant... the most august, the most valued colleague, the brightest hope for the future of the Church, Cardinal... Ascanio Sforza.
Orsino Orsini: Simony! I charge you now in public with trading sacred offices like a market huckster!
Cesare Borgia: May I remind the cardinal he is in consistory.
Alexander VI: Perhaps we misheard him.
Orsino Orsini: That office was promised to me.
Alexander VI: Ah. Did you pay for it?
Orsino Orsini: With my acceptance of your foul election.
Alexander VI: When the pope pledges to banish all suspicion of simony from the cardinalate, he keeps his word. God has chosen us as a new broom to sweep the Vatican clean of corruption, which is precisely why we choose one who has no expectation of advancement— Cardinal Sforza.
Ascanio Sforza: And I pray I may prove worthy of the honour.
Giuliano della Rovere: And I pray so too. In fact, I fully approve of his new... broom. Kiss the ring, you fool.
Orsino Orsini: As do I. And I deeply regret my recent intemperance. In honour of his appointment, I invite Cardinal Sforza, and Your Holiness and the College of Cardinals to a banquet at my palace in two days' time.



102. Assassin

Alexander VI: Are you going to share it with me?
Cesare Borgia: Share what, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: Why you bring a monkey to a banquet?
Cesare Borgia: Oh, I fear the other cardinals might not share your appetite for reformation.
Alexander VI: And your monkey does?
Cesare Borgia: Why, yes. He is an excellent judge of appetite.
Alexander VI: Huh! Reform to our Holy Mother Church may happen slowly, but... God has spoken to me as he spoke to my predecessor, Pope Innocent.
Orsino Orsini: Happen it must. Shall we dine on gruel tonight, then, Your Holiness? I could inform my cooks.
Alexander VI: We are your guests tonight, My Lord Cardinal. We will dine according to your choosing.
Orsino Orsini: Thank goodness. I can have the wine poured?
Cesare Borgia: Let me taste that.
Orsino Orsini: It is of an excellent vintage, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: I have no doubt.
Giuliano della Rovere: And how is his palate?
Cesare Borgia: Well, it's superb. He salutes your good taste.
Orsino Orsini: Thank you.
Giuliano della Rovere: A great wine, like the papacy itself— mature, rounded, its roots in the soil, its bouquet in the heavens, consumed by a monkey.
Alexander VI: I suspect a metaphor is lurking there, My Lord Cardinal?
Giuliano della Rovere: We are but animals blessed with an eternal soul. There go we, but for the grace of God.
Cesare Borgia: It seems nature, not metaphor, calls. He begs Your Lordship's pardon. Excuse me. Excuse my monkey. Why such a hurry?

Cesare Borgia: My God, you're fast.
Micheletto: For a cook. And you for a cleric.
Cesare Borgia: On kitchen duty?
Micheletto: For tonight.
Cesare Borgia: Who pays you?
Micheletto: Cardinal Orsini.
Cesare Borgia: Whatever you're being paid, I'll double it.
Micheletto: I could use someone that fast. You could?
Cesare Borgia: Oh, yeah. But not that stupid!
Micheletto: Far from stupidity, sire. I imagine from your offer that you have need of me, yes? So to kill the servant you have need of would indeed be stupid.
Cesare Borgia: Call me stupid, then. Tell me, tell me why I shouldn't. Hmm?
Micheletto: Because of the sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill.
Cesare Borgia: I'll be forgiven. The pope is my confessor.
Micheletto: Because you'll never meet another assassin like me.
Cesare Borgia: Are you sure?
Micheletto: Yes. But we were talking terms, yes?
Cesare Borgia: We were.
Micheletto: I would gladly work for the pope or the pope's son, for these cardinals can, as you know, prove fickle, and it seems someone as pitiless as you—
Micheletto: Needs someone as pitiless as me.
Cesare Borgia: Elaborate.
Micheletto: I have smothered infants in their beds. But only when their parents paid me.
Cesare Borgia: And in the powder?
Micheletto: Eternal life.
Cesare Borgia: For whom?
Micheletto: You. Your father.
Cesare Borgia: It's not very subtle.
Micheletto: No subtlety needed tonight. They all want you dead.
Cesare Borgia: Serve this... to Orsini.

Giuliano della Rovere: Your Grace. You are bleeding.
Cesare Borgia: Damned monkey bit me.
Giuliano della Rovere: Animals will do that. They lack soul.
Orsino Orsini: I propose a toast. To harmony, amongst us, servants of God.
Cardinal: Harmony.
Alexander VI: To the communion of saints and the forgiveness of sins.
Giuliano della Rovere: Amen. I'd like to propose a second toast. To metaphor.
Cesare Borgia: Why metaphor?
Giuliano della Rovere: Because she's so infinitely pliable. A prince one minute, a monkey the next. And what her hidden meaning is only God in His infinite wisdom knows.
Cesare Borgia: I propose another toast. To monkeys.
Orsino Orsini: Monkeys?
Cesare Borgia: They lick your hand one minute, bite your neck the next. And everyone knows what you do with the monkey that bites you.
Giuliano della Rovere: And what do you do with the monkey that bites you?
Cardinal: Your Eminence, you're ill.
Cesare Borgia: You wring its neck.
Orsino Orsini: Poison.
Alexander VI: Poison!
Orsino Orsini: I accuse!
Cesare Borgia: The cooks? Come, Father.
Cardinal: Send for help!

Cesare Borgia: The poison was meant for us.
Alexander VI: That's not possible.
Cesare Borgia: We were saved by a monkey, Father.
Alexander VI: You don't poison the pope!
Cesare Borgia: Are you aware what the gossips call you? The mitred ape. Half of Rome was waiting to celebrate this outcome—
Alexander VI: You poison a rat, you poison a rabid dog! Not the Vicar of Rome, not the heir to St. Peter!
Cardinal: Bring my carriage!
Cesare Borgia: The idea offends you?
Alexander VI: It offends me, it offends nature, it offends God Himself!
Cesare Borgia: So, God will take His revenge, then.
Alexander VI: Yes, He will. With our help.
Coachman: Yah!
Cesare Borgia: Excellent service.
Micheletto: I fear it is not over yet.
Cesare Borgia: What do you mean?
Micheletto: Well, there's more to your Borgia family than father and son.
Cesare Borgia: What do you mean?
Micheletto: I mean we must hurry, My Lord. Your whole family's in danger.

Assassin 1: Micheletto!
Micheletto: Am I too late?
Assassin 2: We were waiting for you.
Micheletto: Then you're too late!
Assassin 1: What are you doing?! Ah!
Micheletto: Allow me, My Lord.

Juan Borgia: Guards!
Guard: General!
Juan Borgia: With me, quickly! Come on! Get out of my way! Pray somewhere else, Cardinals. Arrest this household.

Cesare Borgia: You planned this massacre thoroughly.
Micheletto: If I had planned it, My Lord, believe me, we would not be having this conversation.
Cesare Borgia: You're that meticulous?
Micheletto: Always.
Cesare Borgia: And who planned it?
Micheletto: Cardinal Orsini.
Cesare Borgia: And Della Rovere?
Micheletto: I know nothing of him. In this affair, I had but one master.
Cesare Borgia: And now?
Micheletto: And now I am like a stray dog, masterless. Unless your kind offer still stands.
Cesare Borgia: You could have... let things take their course... Betrayed me. Most of your kind do.
Micheletto: My kind? I do not have a kind. And I suspect neither do you.
Cesare Borgia: Your name, sweet assassin.
Micheletto: Micheletto.
Cesare Borgia: You must prove yourself worthy of my trust, then.
Micheletto: This is not proof enough?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps. Perhaps not. Can you dispose of these corpses?
Micheletto: You would keep them secret?
Cesare Borgia: More than that. I would keep you secret. Dump them in the Tiber. Meet me by the Vatican gates in two hours' time. We shall discuss your future service.

Cesare Borgia: Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Are you trying to frighten me?
Cesare Borgia: I'm sorry, Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Why are you here, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: I imagine things— murders, blood-spattered throats, poisoned chalices.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Perhaps you're not wrong. We have many enemies now.
Cesare Borgia: And Lucrezia?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She's sleeping. You miss her that much?
Cesare Borgia: Always. If anything happened to her, I'd... I'd die.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What could possibly happen?
Cesare Borgia: I'm putting a guard on the house.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Is it so dangerous outside?
Cesare Borgia: We are in a different city now.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Is it still called Rome?
Cesare Borgia: I'm not sure it has a name.

Cesare Borgia: Father. Father! Father, I've had to place a guard on the—
Alexander VI: The good cardinal, my son, has been expressing his shock and dismay at this evening's outcome.
Giuliano della Rovere: Poison, it seems, was the cause of Cardinal Orsini's demise.
Alexander VI: One shudders at the thought.
Giuliano della Rovere: As to who poisoned him, I have no idea. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, who benefits most from his death?
Cesare Borgia: And what are you implying, Your Eminence?
Giuliano della Rovere: I am implying nothing. I am merely offering His Holiness any help I can in unmasking the culprit. Our Holy Mother Church can afford no such scandals.
Juan Borgia: We have Orsini's household staff in irons, Your Holiness. Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: The good cardinal, my brother, has offered to help us unmask the culprit behind this plot.
Juan Borgia: We apprehended this wretch skulking outside by the gate.
Cesare Borgia: A plot, by definition, needs more than one participant, does it not?
Juan Borgia: Do you recognize him?
Alexander VI: Didn't he pour the wine?
Cesare Borgia: Do you know this man, Cardinal Della Rovere?
Giuliano della Rovere: I know he attended at the cardinal's table, but there were many of those. Beyond that, nothing.
Juan Borgia: If this creature is indeed the poisoner, some hours on the strappado should loosen his tongue.
Alexander VI: See if he talks.

Juan Borgia: I have a dilemma: whether to flay you at night... or at dawn.
Micheletto: I pity you your dilemma, My Lord.
Juan Borgia: Pity yourself.
Cesare Borgia: Brother. You have already exhausted yourself in our father's defence. Now I could spend a good hour questioning this man.
Juan Borgia: Is that really a task for a cleric?
Cesare Borgia: Lock the door and go. Up. Up! Would you have talked?
Micheletto: Only to sing your praises, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: Still want to earn my trust?
Micheletto: Eternally, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: Lie low for a day, then. I can have word sent out that you couldn't be broken.
Micheletto: And then?
Cesare Borgia: Then... get close to Cardinal Della Rovere. Tell me what he thinks. What he plans.
Micheletto: Then you must hurt me, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: Haven't I hurt you enough already?
Micheletto: To convince this cardinal, my back must tell its own story. And I have heard that he has an interest in the male torso. And even I cannot convincingly whip myself. So whip me, My Lord. Harder. Harder, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: And... if you betray me... you will end your days on that rack.
Micheletto: Then it would not be in my interest to betray you, My Lord.
Micheletto: Again! Again.

Alexander VI: Do you have something to tell me? About the night's events?
Cesare Borgia: Only that... I will protect you. Protect our family. With my life if needs be.
Alexander VI: Well, all of the others bought and sold. We merely proved ourselves better at the game. But we draw the line at murder, do we not?
Cesare Borgia: Orsini drew no such line.
Alexander VI: I see. So, we are one less cardinal this morning. I was your age when I became a cardinal. Seems like yesterday. This red... signifies that you are ready to spill your blood in defence of the Christian faith.
Cesare Borgia: No, Father.
Alexander VI: Are you, my son, ready to spill your blood in defence of the Christian faith? I think you are!
Cesare Borgia: For the defence of my family, perhaps.
Alexander VI: That too.
Cesare Borgia: Give me control of the papal armies and I will protect us all.
Alexander VI: We will have one son in the cloth and one in armour. You know our wishes.
Cesare Borgia: But a cardinal's red?
Alexander VI: And Lucrezia must marry.
Cesare Borgia: So soon?
Alexander VI: She is 14 years old.
Cesare Borgia: She is just a child.
Alexander VI: We must bind our enemies to us. Make friends of them. And what better way is there than marriage You can perform the rite— as cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: Am I a cardinal already?

Giuliano della Rovere: And they tortured you for... how long?
Micheletto: A day and a night, Your Eminence.
Giuliano della Rovere: And you revealed?
Micheletto: There was nothing to reveal, Your Eminence.
Giuliano della Rovere: Ecce homo. "Behold the man." They scourged our saviour thus. Is it true, what's being rumoured? That the good cardinal inadvertently poisoned himself?
Micheletto: Who would have profited from his death?
Giuliano della Rovere: Certainly not Cardinal Orsini.
Micheletto: Who takes possession of his properties?
Micheletto: Well, then.
Giuliano della Rovere: These methods are not mine.
Micheletto: You think they are mine, Your Eminence?
Giuliano della Rovere: What are your methods?
Micheletto: Discretion. Silence.
Giuliano della Rovere: And you have suffered for your silence. Why?
Micheletto: Like you, I hate this Borgia. And if I can be of any use...
Giuliano della Rovere: I need someone I can trust.
Micheletto: You can trust my hatred of this Borgia pope.
Giuliano della Rovere: I can trust these wounds of yours.
Micheletto: They will last for a lifetime, Your Eminence.
Giuliano della Rovere: Indeed. I need to assemble a gathering of every cardinal who shares your feelings. In absolute secrecy.

Giulia Farnese: May I thank you, Holy Father, for bequeathing to me your precious time.
Alexander VI: Go on, my child.
Giulia Farnese: I have sinned mightily, Your Holiness, and know there are some sins that only the pope can forgive.
Alexander VI: They are few, but the most grave. Tell me.
Giulia Farnese: My husband, Your Holiness, has long been... distasteful to me.
Alexander VI: I fear... you are not the first woman to share that fate.
Giulia Farnese: His person I find repellent. His advances sicken me. His hand upon my body makes me retch with disgust.
Alexander VI: Have you denied him... your duties as a wife?
Giulia Farnese: No, Your Holiness. I performed them as the Church says I must.
Alexander VI: So I... fail to discern the sin.
Giulia Farnese: I found myself with child. The thought of this body of mine, marred by the presence of his offspring— inside— drove me to an act of transgression that...
Alexander VI: Go on, my daughter.
Giulia Farnese: I put an end to my pregnancy.
Alexander VI: That is indeed most grave.
Giulia Farnese: A sin... that only the pope... can forgive.
Alexander VI: Only God may forgive. But we may intercede... on your behalf.
Giulia Farnese: Then, please, Your Holiness, ...beg for me His mercy.
Alexander VI: And... your husband? He knows of this?
Giulia Farnese: He knows nothing. He has retired to his castle in Bassano. He satisfies his lust on me no longer.
Alexander VI: And you are... now... chaste?
Giulia Farnese: I have no one, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Then perhaps that is to be your penitence— to follow your husband to Bassano, as is your duty.
Giulia Farnese: I would prefer a life of destitution, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Then love God. And find peace within the walls of a nunnery.
Giulia Farnese: Can one find peace in such a love, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: It is what we must do, Giulia Farnese.
Giulia Farnese: I fear I may lack Your Holiness's will. I am still young, Your Holiness, and my body, I am sure, could find, and give, much happiness if my soul could find peace.
Alexander VI: Do you beg forgiveness from God for the enormity of your crime?
Giulia Farnese: I do so daily. Your Holiness, my soul yearns for its punishment.
Alexander VI: Then you must fast. From matins till evensong. And flagellate your naked body twice nightly.
Giulia Farnese: With knotted cord, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: Cord of silk will suffice. To destroy the beauty the Lord has granted you would be to compound your sin. E go te absolve... ab omnibus censuris, et peccatis, in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.
Alexander VI: Amen. Giulia Farnese.
Giulia Farnese: Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: One of your lineage... to be destitute— we cannot allow it. We must find you... some... temporary and... temporal refuge.

Man: Keep the fire away from the straw!
Man: It is!
Man: Good!
Man: Boy, keep the banners and colours all together.
Man: Right, sir!

Giuliano della Rovere: Some of you voted for him, for which unfortunate choice you are now forgiven. But most of you voted against. We have assembled the barest of majorities. But then, this Borgia pope was elected with just such a majority.

Alexander VI: The cardinal's demise was sudden.
Giulia Farnese: So it seems.
Alexander VI: But his palace is ideal as a... place of penitence... and... self-reflection.

Giuliano della Rovere: If it can be proven, what many of us suspect— corruption, simony, the blatant sale of the sacred offices, and worse, the utter degradation of the office of the papacy in the eyes of the Christian world...

Alexander VI: You must think of your sojourn here as a retreat.

Giulia Farnese: A retreat?
Alexander VI: The cardinal had this tunnel built. It leads inside the Vatican walls. If you ever find yourself in need of... spiritual comfort.. your loneliness...
Giulia Farnese: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: You must not be afraid to avail of it. Day or night. We shall leave you now.
Giulia Farnese: This passage goes both ways. Your Holiness must feel free to visit... if God's love were ever to leave him wanting.

Johannes Burchart: The cardinal summons me in the dead of night. Is there a reason?
Micheletto: These are turbulent times, Father.
Giuliano della Rovere: Dottore... You can leave us now. I need advice, dottore, on a delicate matter. The deposition of a pope.
Johannes Burchart: Delicate indeed. And, if I may say so, dangerous.

Alexander VI: Stop that. You have done penance enough.
Giulia Farnese: Who then will forgive us, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: God will.

Johannes Burchart: Huggucio of Pisa states: "Ecce publico fornicator, publico habet concubinem..."
Giuliano della Rovere: The pope who publicly fornicates, publicly keeps a concubine—
Johannes Burchart: Can indeed be deposed, because to scandalize the Church is in itself heresy. But one would need firm evidence of notorious and public lechery.

Giulia Farnese: Whose bed is this?
Alexander VI: Yours, of course.
Giulia Farnese: Whose bed was this?
Alexander VI: It belonged to a cardinal and a fool.
Giulia Farnese: What kind of fool?
Alexander VI: The kind of fool who doesn't understand that God's work can be done even by the most unlikely of his servants. And that Rome needs now is—
Alexander VI: Power. You're so beautiful, Giulia Farnese. I would have you painted.

Lucrezia Borgia: She is beautiful.
Pinturicchio: She is.
Lucrezia Borgia: More beautiful than your painting.
Pinturicchio: I've just begun.
Lucrezia Borgia: You must do better, then. Her hair curls, here. Who is she?
Giulia Farnese: Giulia Farnese. At your service.
Lucrezia Borgia: Why is he painting you, Giulia Farnese?
Giulia Farnese: Your father, the pope, commissioned him.
Lucrezia Borgia: Will he paint one of me?
Giulia Farnese: I will commission him, now.
Lucrezia Borgia: Why are you holding a baby goat?
Pinturicchio: It will become a unicorn.
Lucrezia Borgia: Then I want a unicorn. Or even better, a sea horse. I want to lie on a bed of seashells and have a sea horse in my lap.
Giulia Farnese: Like this one?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. Just like this one.
Giulia Farnese: You must have it, then.
Giulia Farnese: It's a gift. From Giulia to Lucrezia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Can I kiss you, then?
Giulia Farnese: Only if we are to be friends.
Lucrezia Borgia: We are friends already.

Lucrezia Borgia: I am to have my portrait painted, Mama.

Lucrezia Borgia: But I don't want a goat, or a unicorn. I told Giulia I want a sea horse like this one.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You told who?
Lucrezia Borgia: Giulia Farnese.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Giulia Farnese is having her portrait painted?
Lucrezia Borgia: By Pinturicchio. Papa commissioned him.
Lucrezia Borgia: She gave me this pendant. I think a sea horse is better than a unicorn, don't you Mama?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I've heard she is beautiful, this Giulia Farnese.
Lucrezia Borgia: Papa thinks so.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I am sure he does.
Lucrezia Borgia: A different type of beauty to yours, Mama. Not Spanish. Italian. Her hair is light, and full of curls.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And where did you meet her, Lucrezia?
Lucrezia Borgia: In Papa's rooms. In the Vatican.

Vatican Guard: Please, My Lady!
Julius Versucci: Your Holiness!
Alexander VI: My dear.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You told me that the pope can love God, but to be seen to love anyone else would be impossible.
Francesco Piccolomini: Your Holiness—
Alexander VI: Now, now—
Francesco Piccolomini: Shall we remove ourselves?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: That the pope must be chaste, and he must be seen to be chaste. Don't you want them to hear? That you have a new whore?!
Cesare Borgia: Mother!
Alexander VI: Get out!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: That you've installed her in the Orsini Palace?
Julius Versucci: We were—
Cesare Borgia: Be gone!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I banished my husband for your sake!
Alexander VI: You are the mother of my children! You will always have a special place in my life.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What about your promise?!
Alexander VI: There is no one... no one, closer to me than you.
Alexander VI: She was in need! I had to help her. You were destitute once!

Cesare Borgia: Be gone! Out!
Cardinal: We were in consultation—
Cardinal: Your Grace, are leaving.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Don't lie to me. To me, you cannot lie.
Alexander VI: Then don't challenge me. And never, ever within these sacred walls.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I've dreamed about this room and what it might do to you. We need a new understanding, then.
Alexander VI: Perhaps.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I'll keep my peace. But I won't be humiliated.
Alexander VI: I would have peace.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You commissioned a portrait of her. I shall have a portrait too by the same new genius you found.
Alexander VI: Pinturicchio. He is good, but he's... expensive.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: All of Rome is yours for the taking. Make sure he does me justice. I was beautiful once, no?
Alexander VI: You still are.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: We agreed, did we not, that you would not lie?

Giuliano della Rovere: He has placed his new whore in Orsini's palace, no?
Micheletto: I believe so, Your Eminence.
Giuliano della Rovere: Question the staff, then, in secret, and in any way you see fit. We need evidence of lechery, fornication— publico habet concubinem.

Cesare Borgia: Get these to the Deacon-Cardinal for signatures.
Man: Yes, Your Eminence.
Micheletto: He has met in secret with those cardinals that hate your father. With Johannes Burchard, he is making a case for your father's deposition.
Cesare Borgia: On what grounds?
Micheletto: Notorious and public lechery...
Cesare Borgia: Lechery? My father? God forbid. Has he evidence?
Micheletto: He means to find it.
Cesare Borgia: Then perhaps we should find it first, and silence it before it speaks.

Alexander VI: Your mother was somewhat troubled yesterday. She finds the change in our life difficult.
Cesare Borgia: So I noticed.
Alexander VI: Do what you can to keep her out of here.
Cesare Borgia: It would help, maybe, if you were more discreet in your affections.
Alexander VI: But I—
Cesare Borgia: You are aware, Holy Father, of the plots against you?
Alexander VI: Oh, what would Rome be without a good plot?
Cesare Borgia: The College of Cardinals is split down the middle.
Alexander VI: What? Well, perhaps we need some more cardinals.
Cesare Borgia: Johannes Burchard has been asked for an opinion...
Alexander VI: Dear old Johannes. He does give excellent opinion.
Cesare Borgia: On your deposition, Father.
Alexander VI: Indeed.

Maria: There are certain things I could speak of... for a price.
Micheletto: Don't worry. You'll get paid.
Maria: I would need to be. I have seen things within these walls that would shock a brace of courtesans.
Micheletto: Well, now, there's no need to shock a courtesan, is there? A brace of cardinals, perhaps.

Alexander VI: You were asked for a judgement, I believe, some nights ago?
Johannes Burchart: Your Holiness, as an expert on canon law, when asked for a judgement, I must provide it.
Alexander VI: Please sit. I would have your opinion, then, dear Johannes, on the expansion of the College of Cardinals.
Johannes Burchart: It is the pope's prerogative to appoint whom he wishes, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: To whatever number he wishes?
Johannes Burchart: Ah, well, how many cardinals did His Holiness have in mind?
Alexander VI: How many would be needed to make it safe for our papacy?
Alexander VI: Come, come, Johannes. You must be aware of the plots against us? You could even, if viewed with an unkind eye, be seen to be party to them.
Johannes Burchart: When asked for an opinion, Your Holiness, you know that I must provide it.
Alexander VI: Ah. So, your opinion, then. How many new cardinals to preserve our papacy?
Johannes Burchart: Umm... A baker's dozen, I would say.
Alexander VI: Mm! Thirteen! And we can appoint them all at once? Without the vote of conclave?
Johannes Burchart: Such a great number would need a precedent.
Alexander VI: Oh. Find one, then.
Johannes Burchart: Your Holiness.

Giuliano della Rovere: I have received advice from our most supreme expert in canon law, that a pope's election may be overturned if we can provide evidence of lechery, both notorious and public. That evidence I present to you now. Leave us, Micheletto. And now, my dear, tell us what you have witnessed.
Maria: There is a passage, connecting the palace to the Vatican. His Holiness makes use of it... nightly.
Maria: He enters her bedroom while she chastises herself. And I blush to even describe what happens next.
Giuliano della Rovere: Spare us nothing.

Lucrezia Borgia: I wanted seashells and a sea horse.
Giulia Farnese: But you have a sea horse, my love.
Lucrezia Borgia: No, I mean a real one. Like your goat.
Giulia Farnese: But real sea horses are tiny, my love.
Lucrezia Borgia: Am I your love?
Giulia Farnese: I would dearly love you to be.
Lucrezia Borgia: My mother hates you.
Giulia Farnese: You will learn, my dear, as women, we control so little of our destiny. Men do.
Giulia Farnese: The outcome is, we hate each other. But we should not.
Lucrezia Borgia: Who should we hate, then? Men?
Giulia Farnese: No, my love. It's in our nature to love them. But we should protect ourselves against them. Against our feelings towards them. We will all of us, one day, be replaced.
Lucrezia Borgia: Are you giving me instruction?
Giulia Farnese: Would you like me to?
Lucrezia Borgia: I think I would. What weapons do I have with which to protect myself?
Giulia Farnese: Your beauty.
Lucrezia Borgia: Is that a weapon?
Giulia Farnese: It can be deadly, when well used. But beauty doesn't last forever. Gone, like the snows of last year.
Lucrezia Borgia: What else?
Giulia Farnese: When beauty fades? Your wit.
Lucrezia Borgia: Your intelligence. And I have those weapons?
Giulia Farnese: Oh, in abundance. You should cultivate them. You will be married some day. You may need them— sooner than you think.

Cesare Borgia: Is she pretty, this piece of evidence?
Micheletto: She has her charms, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps you could see that she takes a vow of silence. Would God forgive us, Micheletto?
Micheletto: I know not the ways of God, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: But you know the ways of silence.

Alexander VI: And we decree bullfighting will be permitted within the walls of Rome on public festivals and the last Thursday of every month. And, finally, the main business to hand.

Micheletto: Cardinal Della Rovere needs no staff today, understand? For a day of meditation, he has requested peace and silence. You can tell the others. Have you not heard? His Eminence needs no staff today. It is a day of meditation.
Della Rovere's Cook: He has much on his mind.
Micheletto: Too much, some might say. Such is the burden of great office. Until tomorrow, my friend.

Alexander VI: We wish to announce our decision to expand the College of Cardinals, in view of the crippling workload placed upon it by our restructuring of the affairs of our Holy Mother Church. Thirteen new servants of God... will receive the cardinal's biretta.
Julius Versucci: Thirteen?!
Alexander VI: We have judged it wise to strengthen the College of Cardinals, given the enemies who have wormed their way within the Church of Rome.
Giuliano della Rovere: This is against all precedence. His Holiness will fill the College with his favourites. I accuse His Holiness—
Alexander VI: Ohhh! Of what are we now accused?
Giuliano della Rovere: Of an offence against canon law. Against the Law of our Holy Mother Church.
Alexander VI: Canon law? But we have taken advice from the most eminent of all of our canon lawyers.

Micheletto: Apple or peach?
Maria: Peach, I think. I like peach.
Micheletto: Eat it all.

Johannes Burchart: The Council of Constance is most clear on this matter. I refer you to Statute 42, Paragraph 3—
Alexander VI: In brief, I pray.
Johannes Burchart: His Holiness, the pope, may expand the College to any number he deems appropriate, if the burden of work necessitates—
Giuliano della Rovere: I challenge him to name them now!
Cardinal: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Oh... Dottore, if you would be so kind.

Micheletto: And His Holiness comes behind the Lady Giulia thus!
Maria: With the force of a stallion.

Johannes Burchart: The Bishop of Lucca, His Grace Fiorentini, will be named Cardinal Fiorentini. The Bishop of Naples, His Grace Giovanni Mascoli, will be named Cardinal Mascoli. The Bishop of Valencia, His Grace Cesare Borgia, will be named Cardinal Borgia.
Giuliano della Rovere: The pope would make his son a cardinal? I warn you, I have evidence that will bring this house crashing down around your ears.
Alexander VI: Evidence?
Giuliano della Rovere: Of lechery, transgressions, both public and notorious!
Alexander VI: Why, then, Cardinal, you must present it.
Johannes Burchart: The Bishop of Lyon...

Maria: Though whether the Holy Father is as virile as you...
Micheletto: Surely he is.
Maria: Only God can tell.

Giuliano della Rovere: A candle, if you please! Where is everyone? Is there nobody about? Dear Lord, I pray for your strength and guidance in the trials to come. Give us some sign that Rome will be purified, the Borgia stain will be banished forever— Guards! Guards! Somebody! Anybody! Help!

Cesare Borgia: Was the good cardinal known for lechery?
Micheletto: He was discreet in his affections, My Lord. So discreet, indeed, he asked me to clear the house of servants yesterday.
Cesare Borgia: He must have had lecherous intentions, then. But I'm... shocked that they ended in murder.
Micheletto: And now he's fled, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: I would recommend discretion in this matter. The Church of Rome can ill afford another scandal.
Micheletto: Perhaps he desired her silence, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: He must have. Poor girl... Whom can one trust, in this Rome of ours?
Micheletto: I believe trust needs to be earned, My Lord.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps. And perhaps it has been.



103. The Moor


Neapolitan Courtier: His Eminence, Cardinal Della Rovere, begs an introduction to His Royal Highness King Ferrante of Naples, and His Highness' son, Prince Alfonso.
Giuliano della Rovere: Your Royal Highness, good Prince.
Alfonso of Naples: He can't hear you. He's deaf as a post. Has been for years. The cardinal has come to discuss the deposition of the Borgia pope, Father. You remember Borgia? The ambitious Spaniard. He has appointed a veritable cascade of cardinals— can one say a cascade of cardinals? Like a gaggle of geese? A clutter of cats? An army of ants? Why not? He has appointed a veritable cascade of cardinals.
Giuliano della Rovere: Among them his son.
Alfonso of Naples: His son. Cesare Borgia! You remember him? See? He hears nothing.

Cesare Borgia: It seems the good Cardinal Della Rovere has fled.
Alexander VI: Where to, I wonder?
Cesare Borgia: Wherever he can find an ally— Florence, Milan...
Alexander VI: I would hazard Naples. Dear old King Ferrante; his hospitality is legendary. You've heard about his dining room?
Cesare Borgia: I've heard the rumours. If Della Rovere thinks Rome is a charnel house...
Alexander VI: The good cardinal imagines that he alone hears the word of God. But God saw what he was blind to. What the Holy Church needs at this juncture is someone who can ensure its survival... whatever means necessary. You have someone who... ...can wield a good garrote, do you not?
Cesare Borgia: Has it been rumoured that I do?
Alexander VI: It has been whispered.
Cesare Borgia: And if I did?
Alexander VI: Maybe it is time for the good cardinal's collar to be replaced.
Cesare Borgia: Replaced?
Alexander VI: With what does one replace an ecclesiastical collar? My memory fails me.
Cesare Borgia: I think I understand you, Father.
Alexander VI: Good. Sometimes, one barely understands oneself.

Alfonso of Naples: Want, want, want. Everybody wants. France wants Naples. Spain wants Naples The whole of Christendom wants the New World. And you, dear Cardinal, what do you want?
Giuliano della Rovere: I merely want Naples to join in alliance with me to rid the papacy—
Alfonso of Naples: Of the stench of Borgia. Mm-hmm. In return for?
Giuliano della Rovere: A worthy inhabitant of the chair of St. Peter's would see the justice of the independent claims of Naples.
Alfonso of Naples: Naples is already independent, Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: Spain would beg to disagree.
Alfonso of Naples: Ah. An adversary. Shall we show him, Father, how it pleased you to deal with your adversaries? Hmm? When you were in your magnificent prime? You see, he does remember. What does he remember?
Giuliano della Rovere: I am at a loss to say.
Alfonso of Naples: He remembers cruelty.

Juan Borgia: Have you commissioned your portrait yet, brother?
Cesare Borgia: I see no need.
Juan Borgia: Ah, humility. As befits the cleric. But the public might demand such a display from a soldier.
Alexander VI: Poor Pinturicchio's going to run out of paint. And we must pay for this extravagance!
Cesare Borgia: Have the abbeys all been emptied?
Alexander VI: There is never enough. Queen Isabella has rather precipitously expelled all the Jews from Spain— the Murranos, as they once dared to call us.
Juan Borgia: They still insult us thus.
Alexander VI: Well, I can assure you, my dear son, there's not one drop of Jewish blood in you. But as a stranger in a foreign land myself, I... sympathize with their plight.

Cesare Borgia: "The chosen people."
Alexander VI: Once more in search of a home. They clamour to get into our state. And they offer to pay—handsomely.
Cesare Borgia: There will be objections.
Alexander VI: Well, there always are. But I want my papacy to be like Joseph's coat of many colours. And Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was, after all, a Jew.
Juan Borgia: He was also killed by Jews, Father.
Alexander VI: Are you sure? I thought he was crucified by Romans.

Alfonso of Naples: My father had many adversaries, Cardinal. But all of them came to sing his praises. And when they could sing no more... ...he had them stuffed! You see, he liked to dine, when his health was still good, with those who considered displeasing him. He's yet to find his Judas. So, you think that a pope has earned a place at this table.
Giuliano della Rovere: My intentions were not quite so... severe, Your Highness.
Alfonso of Naples: Why not? They would happily seat you there. These Borgias are Murranos—Spanish Jews. They have no scruples.
Giuliano della Rovere: You do them a disservice, if that's possible. Scruples, they may have none. Jewish blood, they have even less of.
Alfonso of Naples: You're sure?
Alfonso of Naples: Perhaps then they deserve the papacy. I will discuss your proposals with my father's advisers. I'd be delighted if you'd accept our hospitality tomorrow. One of our sulphur baths. It might improve Your Eminence's temper. Hmm? Good for the skin. Tomorrow, Cardinal. Tomorrow.

Man: And lift it!
Man: And the tapestries, you have to release them from the top.
Cesare Borgia: See they are installed in my mother's villa. Whatever one could say about the cardinal's politics, there is no questioning his good taste.
Micheletto: He has arrived in Naples, my lord.
Man: Hold it up!
Cesare Borgia: My father had a quaint turn of phrase: he expressed a wish that the cardinal's collar might be replaced.
Micheletto: If he was to see my face, he would flee the city.
Cesare Borgia: Well, stay in the shadows, then. Isn't that where you are happiest? I am embarrassed to admit I've never seen a garrote.
Micheletto: It is just a cheese cutter, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: You must show me.

Cesare Borgia: One almost feels pity for the melon.

Juan Borgia: My father deems Leonardo too expensive.
Pinturicchio: And, my lord, he rarely finishes.
Juan Borgia: He would have finished for me. But we will show that Milanese mirror painter what true highlights should look like. Raise it. Till the armour glitters.

Micheletto: Come!

Guard: You're on.

Alexander VI: My beloved son.
Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: Crimson is a colour that suits you.
Cesare Borgia: Thank you.
Alexander VI: But you regard this elevation as a burden. You will be made cardinal tomorrow. And you must beware that sin St. Isidore calls the greatest of all, which only the pope can forgive.
Cesare Borgia: I believe it is called despair, Father.
Alexander VI: You must never, ever despair. Embrace me, Cesare. Forgive my ambitions for you. But they have been such since the day you were born. Had I not embraced a career in the church, then perhaps things would have been different. You are my eldest son. It is your destiny to follow in my footsteps. Tell me you accept this calling.
Cesare Borgia: I accept.

Alfonso of Naples: The sensual delights of our Neapolitan Kingdom have attracted many invaders, Cardinal. When you have a paradise, you must use every means available to defend it. My father has grown feeble with the effort.
Alfonso of Naples: Mmm. I spoke with his advisers of your request.
Alfonso of Naples: Yes. They will consider it. He will meet his maker soon, and he would confess, if he can manage the words, to a pope before he dies. And we would rather it be a Christian one. Enough! Immerse yourself, Cardinal. The sulphur waters renew the flesh, soothe the spirit. We will all of us be dead, soon enough.
Giuliano della Rovere: I will, with your permission. Thank you.
Micheletto: Cover me fully.
Man: As you wish.

Alexander VI: It is red, as a sign of the dignity of the order of cardinals, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude. Red, as a sign that you are willing to spill your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, into which you have all been baptized. Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.

Giuliano della Rovere: Guards! An assassin! That man there with the scarred back!
Man: For God's sake, arrest him!

Alexander VI: Arise, our brother cardinals.
Man: Who is he?
Man: Everyone out!
Man: I can't see!
Man: Stop him!
Man: Benedetto!
Man: Assassino!
Alfonso of Naples: You leave carnage in your wake, Cardinal! Absolute carnage! We have no need of carnage! We have no need of carnage! You should leave Naples forthwith unless you want a place at my father's table on a more permanent basis!

Cesare Borgia: So you failed. Is that a first?
Micheletto: Success in these matters is never a given, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: Should I forfeit my trust in you, then?
Micheletto: It was a public baths, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: I am Your Eminence now. Have you not noticed?
Micheletto: Your Eminence, it was a public baths. I disguised my face, but it was the wounds on my back that betrayed me.
Cesare Borgia: Ah. Goodness and probity make worthy adversaries, do they not?
Micheletto: This cardinal seems immune to corruption.
Cesare Borgia: We should have him followed, then. By someone other than you.
Micheletto: Everything can be arranged, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: But no more cheese cutting— for the time, at least. And no more scandal.

Alexander VI: Juan requested Leonardo.
Giulia Farnese: And you wisely declined.
Alexander VI: We have not yet acquired the wealth of a Florentine bank.
Cesare Borgia: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: No, stay awhile. Please. We would have... your advice on a matter.
Cesare Borgia: Of state?
Alexander VI: Perhaps. The Sultan of Constantinople... ...has requested that we welcome his half-brother, Djem, into our care.
Cesare Borgia: As hostage?
Alexander VI: Well, as foster. It would remove him as a threat to the Ottoman succession. Now, he would pay us 40,000 ducats every year for the privilege. God knows, we need the cash. I would have your advice, madame.
Giulia Farnese: He's a heathen.
Alexander VI: Well, he's a musselman. He prays to Allah.
Giulia Farnese: You would invite heathens to Rome?
Cesare Borgia: My father has invited the Spanish Jews to Rome.
Cesare Borgia: He wants to amaze the Christian world. He sees his papacy as a coat of many colours.
Alexander VI: Well, we are all human, are we not? Under the same God?
Giulia Farnese: Well, there are many who would disagree with that thesis.
Alexander VI: But the pope is not one of them.

Ottoman Ambassador: The great Sultan Bayezid II presents his brother, Djem, to be Ambassador to the Court of the Pope of Rome. He hopes his presence and the great pope's protection will lead to concord between their peoples, to a mutual treaty of protection from their enemies.

Cesare Borgia: For 40,000 ducats per annum.
Ottoman Ambassador: Mohammed and your Jesus Christ were brothers, after all. Why should we not be?
Alexander VI: Why not, indeed?

Djem: A stag is easy pickings. Where I grew up on the Persian foothills, the white tiger was our prey.
Lucrezia Borgia: Do tigers come in white?
Djem: In all colours, my lady— white, yellow, brown. Why, I have even heard of tigers striped.
Lucrezia Borgia: Striped? Never.
Djem: I killed one with my bare hands.
Lucrezia Borgia: Have you seen a unicorn?
Djem: I have spoken with them.
Lucrezia Borgia: What language do they speak?
Djem: It is in a meter known only to Allah.

Djem: I almost feel at home here, my Christian brother. So many races, so many faiths— so many costumes. Where did they all come from?
Juan Borgia: They're Murranos— exiled Jews from Spain.
Djem: Ah, and they are welcome here?
Juan Borgia: My father the pope draws no distinction, at least not where commerce rears its pretty head.
Djem: You mean they pay for the privilege of being here?
Juan Borgia: No more than you do.
Djem: Ah... But I am your guest, surely. My brother contributes towards the expenses of my stay here, but the hospitality you have shown me— no one could pay for that.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: She's growing, Rodrigo— may I still call you Rodrigo?
Alexander VI: You may not, madame.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What am I to call you, then, father of my children?
Alexander VI: You know very well, Vanozza.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She is growing, Your Holiness. And I imagine your presence here has something to do with that fact.
Alexander VI: It does indeed.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: We can both be proud of her.
Alexander VI: We can, my dear.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I am still your dear, then?
Alexander VI: Always. She must be married.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I know she must. But when?
Alexander VI: Soon. The vultures are circling our family. Our Rome. We must protect ourselves.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Must we marry her to a vulture, then?
Alexander VI: We must marry her.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Promise me one thing.
Alexander VI: If I can.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She can meet her betrothed before she is bartered like a golden calf. We can give her that, at least.

Lucrezia Borgia: Have you heard the news, Djem?
Djem: There is so much news, my little one. The news seems to change by the hour in Rome.
Lucrezia Borgia: My news.
Djem: You have news?
Lucrezia Borgia: I'm to be married.
Djem: Oh, my dear.
Lucrezia Borgia: Have you been married?
Djem: I have taken four women to wife.
Djem: Mm-hmm.
Lucrezia Borgia: Where are they now?
Djem: In the seraglio of Topkaki Palace, Constantinople.
Lucrezia Borgia: How many wives can you have?
Djem: As many as Allah sees fit to provide. As to concubines, an infinite number.
Lucrezia Borgia: What is the difference, Djem, between wife and concubine?
Djem: No difference, really. Ah, you can beat a wife, but not kill her.
Lucrezia Borgia: You can kill a concubine?
Djem: If she displeases you. You can kill a wife too, but the displeasure must be grave.
Lucrezia Borgia: I will not be beaten, Djem.
Djem: No. You are the pope's daughter. You are the most beautiful treasure this Vatican contains. If a husband tries to beat you, I, Djem, will strangle him with my bare hands.

Alexander VI: We are awash with suitors.
Cesare Borgia: Is this good news?
Alexander VI: Well, only four are remotely suitable.
Cesare Borgia: So few?
Alexander VI: Every prince in Christendom wants to make suit. But of the Italians— and I think you'll agree, only an Italian makes strategic sense...
Cesare Borgia: Colonna. Sforza. Medici.
Alexander VI: D'Este.
Alexander VI: Oh... He would be ideal. But both France and Spain lay claim to the Kingdom of Naples, and the might of each eclipses that of all of Italy. We must keep those options open— for now.

Juan Borgia: Come on, Djem.
Alexander VI: It seems like Juan has found a brother.
Cesare Borgia: Did he not already have one?
Alexander VI: Oh, indeed, but— how should I put it? A brother in arms! Ah. Bravo!
Djem: Do not worry, my Christian brother. I would never do you harm. I love you.
Alexander VI: More, come on!
Juan Borgia: Next time, Djem.
Alexander VI: If he lives.
Alexander VI: If he dies, and his body is delivered to his brother, who hates and fears him, 400,000.
Cesare Borgia: You would never.
Alexander VI: No! It would be unthinkable. We swore to be his protection. I'm just telling you. The request was made.

Catherine Sforza: Sforza. Borgia. If our families were to unite, central Italy would be secure, and our cousin, Ludovico Sforza of Milan, has pledged to ally with our interests. Your Holiness has requested a meeting with Giovanni Sforza, Lord of Pesaro. He will understand how impossible that is, without an agreement on a dowry.
Alexander VI: A dowry. But of course.
Catherine Sforza: The Sforza family needs substantial funds to re-equip its armies for the coming storm.

Sigimondo d'Este: My brother Meliaduse was Abbot of Pomposa. His mother was a Medici, you know. Yes, he died back in '52. But you'll remember my sister, Ginevra? She married Pandolfo Malatesta of Rimini. Or was that Luzia?
Alberto Colonna: Union with my nephew might strengthen the boundless love between the families of Colonna and Borgia.
Man: There is no barrier to his succession. The prince, his elder brother, is confined to a madhouse.
Alexander VI: Perhaps it runs in the family.

Venetian Ambassador: Our Venetian ships plow the oceans from here to the Orient. Rome could benefit from a navy off the coast of Ostia.
Alexander VI: Yes, but... ...he is somewhat... ...young?
Venetian Ambassador: Oh.

Lucrezia Borgia: I think he's deaf. Are you deaf?
Djem: Dance with me, then.

Lucrezia Borgia: Do I have to marry, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: No. You can take the cloth like me. You can become a nun. We'll live in sanctity and prayer, like Abelard and Eloise.
Lucrezia Borgia: Did they love each other?
Cesare Borgia: With a love as pure and all-consuming as the love of God.
Lucrezia Borgia: So, then. I shall become a nun. For I shall never love a husband as I love you, Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: I am afraid, dear Sis, that the pope does not ask you to love your future husband; merely to marry him.
Lucrezia Borgia: So, love and marriage... Are they incompatible?
Cesare Borgia: No. But I have been told that one does not imply the other.
Lucrezia Borgia: Is that not sad, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: Most things in life prove to be sad, Sis. Again, I have been told.
Lucrezia Borgia: And if my husband proves ungallant?
Cesare Borgia: I shall cut his heart out with a dinner knife and serve it to you.

Alexander VI: Sforza's the one.
Cesare Borgia: Your Holiness approves of him?
Alexander VI: As you have informed us, Della Rovere has fled Naples, and is heading north.
Cesare Borgia: Of course. So if Rome is united with the Sforza dynasty,
Alexander VI: Mm-hmm.
Cesare Borgia: Milan will close its doors to him if he seeks help there.
Alexander VI: That is the outcome we wish for. But these things are never certain, Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: And what of Lucrezia?
Alexander VI: Sforza is personable— not unlike your brother. And her mother approves.
Cesare Borgia: Must I ask again, Your Holiness? What of Lucrezia? Her feelings?
Alexander VI: You will not ask again. You know the nature of these arrangements. That heathen outstays his welcome.
Alexander VI: You have seen him dancing with Lucrezia.
Cesare Borgia: So? Send him home.
Alexander VI: We can ill afford to. There is the matter of a dowry.

Man: Your Eminence.
Juan Borgia: That manservant of yours, Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: Micheletto?
Juan Borgia: I'd borrow him awhile.
Cesare Borgia: You need his services?
Juan Borgia: For a day or two.
Cesare Borgia: Is our father that short of funds?
Juan Borgia: He must raise a dowry for our sister's betrothal.
Cesare Borgia: Can he not borrow from Florence?
Juan Borgia: Four hundred thousand ducats is hard to come by.
Cesare Borgia: So you need my Micheletto. But you shall not have him.
Juan Borgia: You have a soft spot for heathens?
Cesare Borgia: Maybe. And our sister loves Djem. She would miss him at her wedding.
Juan Borgia: There are others of Micheletto's kind in Rome.
Cesare Borgia: Find one, if you can. But spare me the details.

Domenico: His food is prepared by his personal cook, a blackamoor. His meat must be bled, and wine is forbidden him.
Juan Borgia: Does he not drink water?
Domenico: Mint tea, my lord, spiced and sugared. But cantarella and sugar do not always mix.
Juan Borgia: What is this? A cookery lesson?

Cesare Borgia: A request was made for a private confession?
Djem: It is true I made the request, though I know little of the rite.
Djem: It is indeed me, Cardinal Borgia. And I have but one thing to confess.
Cesare Borgia: And what would that be?
Djem: I wish to become a Christian.
Cesare Borgia: Why, my dear brother?
Djem: Because of the kindness you Christians have shown to me. I have found peace in this Rome of yours. I have been reading the gospels, the words of St Matthew. "See how these Christians love one another." I would gladly embrace a religion of such charity.
Cesare Borgia: You might find, dear Djem, that... ...we are not always so kind.

Giulia Farnese: White is so dull.
Lucrezia Borgia: But surely a wedding dress should be white?
Giulia Farnese: This dress... is for your betrothal, my love. And given the size of your dowry, it should be of solid gold.

Djem: Open.
Djem: I wanted, my dear Lucrezia, to give you a taste of my homeland. Before the Lord Sforza plucks you forever from my view. Please, brothers, sit. Moussa, thali! Food.
Lucrezia Borgia: It's beautiful, Djem.
Djem: Syre ri.
Lucrezia Borgia: How do I eat it?
Djem: With your fingers. Like this. I also wanted to thank the three of you for your kindness towards me.
Cesare Borgia: Are you leaving us soon?
Djem: Oh, by the heavens, no. I dread the day I have to leave the bosom of your kindness. Our ways at the Courts of the Sultan can be... ...cruel beyond your imaginations.
Cesare Borgia: I have a good imagination.
Djem: Oh. My brother's predecessor had the eyes of all of his male relatives plucked out and brought to him on a silver platter. Twenty-two of them.
Lucrezia Borgia: That's 44 eyes. Why on earth?
Djem: Because one who is blind could never take his place.
Juan Borgia: Clever.
Djem: Mm. So to be among Christian souls, among the bosom of a family such as yours, is fortune indeed.
Juan Borgia: I'll drink to that.
Djem: And to your future happiness, my dear Lucrezia. Bismillah.

Djem: Your air is, uh...
Djem: Forgive me, Cardinal. I have ruined your attire.

Man: Allahu Akbar.
Djem: Cesare!
Cesare Borgia: You hired an amateur!
Juan Borgia: You forbade me your professional.
Cesare Borgia: You need lessons in killing?
Djem: Cesare! I have been poisoned, Cesare. My brother the Sultan has found a way. And it can only have been through this blackamoor here— he has poisoned me!
Cesare Borgia: Are you sure?
Djem: I am certain, as Allah is my witness. Who else could have touched my food?
Juan Borgia: Guards!
Cesare Borgia: Come, my brother. We must speak with the professional.

Micheletto: Cantarella.
Domenico: Mixed in with his sugar, my lord.
Micheletto: Who recommended such a thing?
Juan Borgia: The blackamoor prepares his food. He mixes the sugar with his tea. There was no other way.
Micheletto: Then he will be in agony for weeks.
Domenico: You know of a better way?
Cesare Borgia: You spoke to no one of this?
Domenico: I swear, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: Take him out of here. Somewhere safe. And you, my dear brother. You must finish what you started. I will clear the corridor of the guards.

Cesare Borgia: Leave us. You would kill our dear Moor?
Juan Borgia: I thought I had.
Djem: Cesare!
Cesare Borgia: Take a breath.

Domenico: You would not recommend cantarella, then?
Micheletto: Not with sugar, my friend, no.

Djem: Cool me down, brother. Console me, brother. A pillow. A towel, dipped in cold water. You?

Cesare Borgia: So our sister's dowry is done? Here endeth the first lesson.

Johannes Burchart: For the hospitality provided to the Royal Highness Prince Djem, 400,000 ducats from the Sultan of Constantinople to the Holy See. A further 100,000 ducats for the most excellent medical care provided to His Majesty, and a further 40,000 ducats for funeral expenses.

Alexander VI: Father God Almighty, who wert, art, and shall be blessed world without end, I beseech Thee, watch over my daughter, Lucrezia. And grant me guidance and wisdom. I pray that I have made the right decision for her.


 Wikipedia - Coat of many colors
 Wikipedia - Seraglio

104. Lucrezia's Wedding


Girolamo Savonarola: 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!

Lucrezia Borgia: Oh, what was the illness our dear Djem died of, brother?
Cesare Borgia: Marsh fever.
Lucrezia Borgia: That he caught from our own swamps? I fear I may have caught it too.
Cesare Borgia: No, my love. I think perhaps you are sick with heartbreak.
Lucrezia Borgia: I think I shall never have another friend like him.
Cesare Borgia: You will always have me.
Lucrezia Borgia: I have heard it whispered by the maid servants that his estate paid for my dowry.
Cesare Borgia: I think you know, my love, that our father has funds enough.
Lucrezia Borgia: But... if it were true, Cesare, I could never marry this Giovanni Sforza, however handsome he may be.
Cesare Borgia: Who told you he was handsome?
Lucrezia Borgia: He is ugly, then? What a fate.
Cesare Borgia: He is far from ugly. He has his Sforza profile, the nobility of bearing.
Lucrezia Borgia: And the Sforza armies. And the castles. And all those things we all might gain that will help our dear father's cause.

Cesare Borgia: You are learning fast, Lucrezia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Not fast enough. Tell me again what my dear Djem died of.
Cesare Borgia: Swamp fever.
Lucrezia Borgia: A mosquito... killed my Moor. You would not lie to me, brother?
Cesare Borgia: I think you should sleep now, my love.
Lucrezia Borgia: Perhaps it's a mosquito has bitten me.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Do not fret, Holy Father. I know my daughter. The illness is less in her body than in her heart.
Alexander VI: Well, she is—
Vanozza dei Cattanei: 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.
Alexander VI: Your tone is hardly appropriate, madam.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: 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.
Alexander VI: I'm afraid we will not.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Do not fret, my love. I will nurse her back to health. I promise.
Alexander VI: No, you misunderstand me, madam.
Alexander VI: We will not both have that pleasure.
Alexander VI: The Sforza lineage is a noble one. They have requested that there be no... hint of scandal.
Alexander VI: I mean... that you cannot attend.
Alexander VI: Because of your past!
Alexander VI: Well, if the whole of Rome knows!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Do not do this.
Alexander VI: Look, I—
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Do not do this, Rodrigo!
Alexander VI: A marriage such as this, with the attendance of the royalty of Christendom—
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She is my only daughter!
Alexander VI: For one who is rumoured to have been a courtesan to attend...
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You're breaking my heart!
Alexander VI: It is impossible.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Would you break hers too?
Alexander VI: Shh, shh! I will make it up to you.

Cesare Borgia: What is he, Micheletto? Benedictine, or Franciscan?

Micheletto: He belongs to a mendicant order, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Well, where is his begging bowl, then?
Micheletto: He has yet to find one. But he will.
Cesare Borgia: So with his begging bowl, he can travel to Florence. He can send you reports— what he sees, what he hears.
Micheletto: Then no killing?
Cesare Borgia: 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.
Micheletto: No. They beg and they pray, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Has he a name, this mendicant?
Giancarlo: Giancarlo, at Your Eminence's service.
Cesare Borgia: Your scars betray you. Keep yourself cowled.

Giulia Farnese: You look pale, Bella Lucrezia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes, I have been ill. My dusky friend inhabits my dreams.
Giulia Farnese: Do not think so much of Djem, my dear.
Lucrezia Borgia: He has a secret that he cannot speak of. His beautiful dark mouth opens, but no sounds come out.

Giulia Farnese: In your dreams?
Lucrezia Borgia: And I have to kiss those lips to comfort them.
Giulia Farnese: Oh, dear.
Lucrezia Borgia: Is it... permissible, Donna Giulia, to kiss a dead Moor in your dreams?
Giulia Farnese: All things are permissible in our dreams. Look in the mirror, Lucrezia. You yourself are dream enough for anyone.
Lucrezia Borgia: I could be happy in this dress. But I shall need lessons in kissing. I shall soon have to kiss the Lord Sforza.

Cesare Borgia: The dowry contract is agreed. And Pesaro brings with it 5,000 horses and twice as many spears.

Alexander VI: A valuable addition indeed to the papal armies.
Cesare Borgia: Enough to see off any... paltry alliance of upstart dukes that Della Rovere cobbles together.
Alexander VI: Perhaps. I wonder... Would he dare France?
Cesare Borgia: Holy Father?
Alexander VI: 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.

Giulia Farnese: First, there's a chaste kiss, full of promise, like this one.
Lucrezia Borgia: That's easy.
Giulia Farnese: Then, there's the kiss of pleasure, which begins to promise.
Lucrezia Borgia: You know them all?
Giulia Farnese: All of them. There are many more. Any woman must.
Lucrezia Borgia: Show. Did my mother kiss my father thus?
Giulia Farnese: I would hazard she did.
Lucrezia Borgia: And you, do you kiss him thus now?
Giulia Farnese: Let us adjust your dress.
Lucrezia Borgia: And your dress, Donna Giulia. What colour have you chosen?
Giulia Farnese: I thought a gown of apricot.
Lucrezia Borgia: My mother's favourite gown is apricot. You must take care not to outshine her.
Giulia Farnese: I'm afraid there's no possibility of that.
Lucrezia Borgia: What do you mean? You have advised her already?
Giulia Farnese: You haven't heard?
Lucrezia Borgia: Another secret. I'm tired of secrets.
Giulia Farnese: It is no secret.
Lucrezia Borgia: Tell me, then. What have I not heard?
Giulia Farnese: Your mother... is not coming to your wedding.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, that is silly, Giulia Farnese. Of course she's coming.

Giulia Farnese: I'm afraid your father has deemed it otherwise.
Lucrezia Borgia: My... My father, he would never...
Giulia Farnese: I'm afraid—
Lucrezia Borgia: I must speak to him of this.

Alexander VI: 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!
Lucrezia Borgia: You are the pope of Rome. But surely not even the pope of Rome can bar my mother from my wedding day?
Alexander VI: Oh, dear.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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.
Alexander VI: No, but these are issues, my dear daughter, that are beyond your care.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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.
Cesare Borgia: Come, sis. Let us talk of these things elsewhere.
Lucrezia Borgia: Please, Holy Father! I need you both there! My mother and my father!

Giancarlo: Alms, for the love of God.

Penelope: Never was a woman more wretched than myself in such a marriage with such a husband.
Husband: Ah, Penelope, darling. I bid you good health. Uh, how are the good people of the countryside?
Penelope: They do less mischief than those in town, it would seem.
Theatre Manager: Would your choice be comedy or tragedy, my lord?
Juan Borgia: It is my sister's wedding. I would see her smile.

Theatre Manager: Ah! One of the comedies, perhaps, of Terence or Plautus?
Juan Borgia: The difference between them?
Theatre Manager: Um, the comedies of Terence have refinement.
Juan Borgia: Refinement. Refinement is good.
Theatre Manager: Yes. Those of Plautus are known for their vulgarity.
Juan Borgia: Vulgarity is better.
Theatre Manager: Ah! He wrote of bawds, pimps, courtesans.
Juan Borgia: Better still.
Penelope: Who is she?!
Husband: She is... Do you want to know her name?
Penelope: Do you even know her name?
Husband: No.

Giuliano della Rovere: The wealth of Florence astounds me, Don de Medici.
Piero de' Medici: Banking. The Medici family are bankers to the world. To the Vatican itself.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ah, the Savonarola calls it usury.
Piero de' Medici: And what do you call it?
Giuliano della Rovere: 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.
Piero de' Medici: And you... What is your game?
Giuliano della Rovere: 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.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Italy? Is there such an entity?
Giuliano della Rovere: There is a land, Señor Machiavelli, made up of many principalities— the Duchy of Milan, the Republic of your wondrous Florence, the dukedoms of the Romania, the papal states—
Niccolo Machiavelli: And to their south, Naples.
Giuliano della Rovere: 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.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Prophetic words. Are you... cousin to Savonarola?
Giuliano della Rovere: No. But I would meet with him. I've seen him preach.
Piero de' Medici: Can you explain to me, Cardinal, why the king of France would muster an army and invade his neighbours?
Giuliano della Rovere: Because he wants Naples.
Niccolo Machiavelli: So you give France Naples, France gives you... Rome?
Giuliano della Rovere: I don't want Rome; I want to restore the glory of her holy church.

Niccolo Machiavelli: Hmm. As pope.
Giuliano della Rovere: As her humble servant.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Indeed. And... what do you want of Florence?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Well, then we will charge you nothing.
Giuliano della Rovere: You misunderstand. I ask that Florence do nothing.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ah. We let those French barbarians march through our principality and do...
Niccolo Machiavelli: That's a different kind of nothing. That will cost you something.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Have we a visitor?
Theo: One who heard of your distress. One who loved you when you were younger. One who stepped aside when asked.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: My God! Theo! And you've come as—
Theo: Not as a lover, God forbid; as one once a husband; as a friend, if I'm needed.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: How many years has it been?

Theo: Oh, let us not talk of years.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: The pope would bar me, Theo, from my own daughter's wedding.
Theo: As he barred me from your life.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: But our love was finished. A mother's love for her daughter never dies.
Theo: If I can be of any comfort—
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And yet he would have La Bella Farnese there— at his side, before all of Rome.
Theo: Can a pope make his mistress public?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: This pope can, and will.
Theo: Well, she's noble; you're not. The nobility has its own laws, its own rules, and we... are commoners, my dear.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And we had common pleasures, did we not? Stay and dine with me, Theo. Tell me how your life has been. Old friends at times like this are what one needs.

Alexander VI: King Ferrante of Naples?
Cesare Borgia: He's too old to attend.
Alexander VI: Well, his son, Alfonso? We must give him pride of place.
Cesare Borgia: Um... Between the Salviatis and the Colonnas, perhaps?
Alexander VI: And have them cut each other's throats?
Cesare Borgia: An outcome to be fervently desired, surely.

Alexander VI: Yes, but... not in St. Peter's, and not at our daughter's wedding. Where's the doge of Venice?
Cesare Borgia: By the Florentine ambassador, Machiavelli.
Alexander VI: And have them plot against us?
Cesare Borgia: They do that already, Father.
Alexander VI: No... Venice shall go by the... Spanish ambassador. Florence next to the ambassador from the Holy Roman Empire.
Cesare Borgia: Wise, indeed. But there is one glaring omission, Father.
Alexander VI: There is? Go over it again.
Cesare Borgia: My mother.
Alexander VI: So, at the front... the Sforzas. And behind them, Alfonso of Naples and Sancia of Naples.

Theo: I miss your company, Vanozza. Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Am I eminent to you? The husband of my mother.
Theo: I should—
Cesare Borgia: Sounds like a riddle. If the husband of my mother is not my father, then who is? I'm sorry, you should what?
Theo: Retire.
Cesare Borgia: 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.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I should hope so.
Cesare Borgia: And, if not, family. To think you could have been my father...
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I think not.
Cesare Borgia: Would I have been different, mother? More at ease? Perhaps, dare one say it, happy? Do you have shepherds on your hills, Theo?
Theo: Indeed, Your... Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Do they play the pipes of Pan, as in Virgil's Georgics? Do they fall in love with shepherdesses?
Theo: They sleep on the bare hillsides. In summer they scorch; in winter they freeze. It is not a life to be envied.
Cesare Borgia: Et in Arcadia ego.
Theo: You must translate for me, Your Eminence. I am a poor farmer.
Cesare Borgia: Death also is in paradise.
Cesare Borgia: I merely quote, Mother, from the great poet, Virgil. But speaking of paradise, how is the betrothed one?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She's better. She's sleeping soundly.
Cesare Borgia: We must let her rest, then. You, Theo, you must tell me about sheep. Or goats.

Girolamo Savonarola: Who disturbs me at matins?
Giuliano della Rovere: Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, Friar.
Girolamo Savonarola: I know of you. From that cesspit they call Rome.

Giuliano della Rovere: It was not always thus; it was pure once, and can be so again.
Girolamo Savonarola: You... You talk of purity. Step into the light. I feel something from you. 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?

Giuliano della Rovere: And in this vision of yours, was the pope deposed?
Girolamo Savonarola: 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?

Alexander VI: We understand the royal Spanish highnesses... wish us to view this savage?
Spanish Ambassador: Yes, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Brought back by Christopher Columbus from the new continent?
Spanish Ambassador: Yes, Your Holiness.

Ascanio Sforza: I have heard rumours of cities of pure gold; of rivers running over beds of precious stone. Can this savage tell us of them?
Alexander VI: We care little for silver and gold, Cardinal Sforza. Our thoughts... are with the souls of its primitive inhabitants. Their salvation.
Spanish Ambassador: 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!
Conquistador: Speak.
Native American: Credo in Unum Deum.
Cesare Borgia: What Eden have they torn you from?
Native American: Eden.
Conquistador: It was a paradise, Your Eminence.
Spanish Ambassador: Queen Isabella requests the pope's blessing upon her American conquests. She would instruct these savage peoples in the one true God.
Alexander VI: In return for?
Spanish Ambassador: The support of Fernando and Isabella of Spain for his papacy.
Alexander VI: The unreserved, unequivocal support?
Spanish Ambassador: But of course.
Alexander VI: And what of Naples?
Spanish Ambassador: Their Catholic Majesties would expect Rome to support their traditional claims on Naples.

Giuliano della Rovere: 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?
Giancarlo: In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
Giuliano della Rovere: I have... sinned in thought, Father, and am about to sin in deed.
Giancarlo: Tell me.
Giuliano della Rovere: I... Can one sin for the greater good?
Giancarlo: I do not understand.
Giuliano della Rovere: Can one spill blood to rid the world of a greater evil?
Giancarlo: You must spell it out for me, my son.
Giuliano della Rovere: I am about to invite an army to march south. An army that will unleash the chaos of war upon our fair lands.
Giancarlo: You mean... an invasion?
Giuliano della Rovere: Are you confessor, Father, or inquisitor?
Giancarlo: I am a humble priest, Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: And how did you know I'm cardinal? What order are you?
Giancarlo: I am a mendicant friar of the Order of St. Benedict.
Giuliano della Rovere: You... are a Borgia spy!

Husband: My word, rather sweeter breath than my wife.
Courtesan: Your wife's breath isn't bad, is it?

Husband: I'd rather drink bilge water, if it came to that, than kiss her.
Juan Borgia: You promised me vulgar.
Theatre Manager: It's Plautus, my lord. More lewd you cannot find!
Juan Borgia: Do you need lessons in lewdness? Let us first change breath to bosoms.
Husband: Bosoms?
Juan Borgia: Yes. "Rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's."
Husband: My word, rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
Juan Borgia: Better already. Now let us glimpse... the said bosoms.
Courtesan: Huh?
Husband: My word, rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.

Joffre Borgia: Must we all get married, then?
Alexander VI: Perhaps. One day not too far off even you might get married, hmm?
Joffre Borgia: But how does marriage help you, Father?
Alexander VI: 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...?
Joffre Borgia: Medici family?
Alexander VI: 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.
Alexander VI: That's right.
Joffre Borgia: That's the same name as the Duke of Milan.
Alexander VI: 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?
Joffre Borgia: All the kings want to be crowned by the pope?
Alexander VI: 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.
Joffre Borgia: That's a big responsibility.
Alexander VI: Oh, I know, it is. Sometimes it even stops me sleeping at night.
Joffre Borgia: I will marry anyone you like if it helps you to sleep.
Alexander VI: Well, there's a boy. Hmm! There's a little chap.

Juan Borgia: 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.
Giovanni Sforza: The Sforza armies are at your service. May the union between our families bear every fruit.

Lucrezia Borgia: Please, God.

Cesare Borgia: Most worthy Lord, do you agree to take the illustrious Lucrezia Borgia, here present, to be your lawful spouse?
Cesare Borgia: Most illustrious Lady, do you agree to take the most noble Lord Giovanni Sforza, here present, to be your lawful spouse?

Cesare Borgia: Put on your best finery, Mother. Your most beautiful dress. You're coming with me.
Cesare Borgia: The pope forbade your presence at your daughter's wedding; he made no mention of its aftermath.

Lucrezia Borgia: I would fain hear your voice, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: My voice?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. The only words I have heard to date from you have been the words "I do".
Giovanni Sforza: I have many other words.
Lucrezia Borgia: Have you heard the word "love"?
Giovanni Sforza: "Love." I have heard it.
Alexander VI: Are you melancholy, my love?
Giulia Farnese: I'm remembering, Your Holiness, a wedding of my own.
Alexander VI: The outcome of today's nuptials... will be happier. Surely.
Giulia Farnese: One dearly hopes so.
Cesare Borgia: Mother, if I may have the pleasure, will you join me and the newly weds in a passamezzo?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: No, Cesare, I think—
Cesare Borgia: I am afraid I must insist. And I imagine His Holiness the Pope would insist too.
Giulia Farnese: Think of Lucrezia, Your Holiness— her happiness.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: My pleasure.
Cesare Borgia: Lord Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: The mother of your blushing bride, Donna Vanozza Cattaneo. Well, is your new husband to your liking?
Lucrezia Borgia: He has a limited vocabulary.
Cesare Borgia: Sforzas are not known for their conversational skills.
Lucrezia Borgia: Perhaps I could teach him new words. Like "tendresse". "Amore." "Sprezzatura."
Cesare Borgia: Sprezzatura? That is a big word.
Lucrezia Borgia: I have heard it means "the effortless display of grace".
Cesare Borgia: I see no evidence of sprezzatura.
Lucrezia Borgia: Perhaps I can make do with kindness, then.
Cesare Borgia: Do my eyes deceive me?
Ursula Bonadeo: Can eyes deceive?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps not. Hearts can deceive, words can deceive, but eyes we can trust.
Ursula Bonadeo: You're a cardinal, are you not?
Cesare Borgia: Cardinal Cesare Borgia.
Ursula Bonadeo: Ursula Bonadeo.
Cesare Borgia: Your husband?
Ursula Bonadeo: Yes.
Cesare Borgia: Is he blessed with sprezzatura?
Ursula Bonadeo: Sprezzatura? Unfortunately not. He has the strength of an ox. And sadly the grace of an ox as well.
Cesare Borgia: And yet you are tied to him.
Ursula Bonadeo: Unless someone can deliver me.
Lucrezia Borgia: If you had not been here, Mother, my future would have been grey forever.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You are entering womanhood blessed with many more things than I was blessed with.
Lucrezia Borgia: But if I were to become a woman with half your grace and beauty, Mother... I would be proud and happy.
Baron Bonadeo: You'd bring a whore to your sister's wedding?
Cesare Borgia: Pardon me?
Baron Bonadeo: Perhaps I should rephrase that. You'd bring a Spanish courtesan to your sister's wedding?
Cesare Borgia: There is a response to such an insult. But it would not be appropriate here.
Baron Bonadeo: Elsewhere, then?
Cesare Borgia: I am afraid you can count upon it. And I think you should leave us. Now.
Baron Bonadeo: Gladly. The air is noisome here. Unhealthy. Worse than a whorehouse. My lady.
Ursula Bonadeo: Liberate me.

Husband: Rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
Courtesan: Tell me! There's a dear. Your wife's bosoms aren't bad, are they?
Husband: I'd rather kiss walnuts than kiss thee.
Wife: Oh, you would, would you? Good gracious, sir, that sling at me will cost you dear!
Courtesan: Ah-ha-ha!
Cesare Borgia: She's past her bedtime.
Son: Look here, Father, do you love my mother?
Husband: I love her for not being me.
Alexander VI: You're going to bed? Good night.
Son: And when she is near?
Husband: I yearn for death in the family.
Man: Bravo!
Man: More!
Man: More!

Juan Borgia: My word! Rather sweeter bosoms than my wife's.
Alexander VI: I'm very well for bed. Good night!
Cesare Borgia: Good night. More wine, my lord?
Cesare Borgia: Your wife sleeps.
Cesare Borgia: You should let her rest now. This day has been long for one so young. There is time enough for...
Courtesan: Ah! Ah!
Cesare Borgia: ...pleasure.

Giovanni Sforza: I trust you slept well, madam?
Lucrezia Borgia: Like a child, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: Like a child... I have no doubt.

Man: Bring water, quickly.
Man: I'll take your master, lord.
Man: My lord.
Giovanni Sforza: How are the dogs?
Man: Eager to hunt.
Giovanni Sforza: Don't feed them. I want them hungry for tomorrow.
Man: Take my lady's horse.
Paolo: My lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: My thanks.

Lucrezia Borgia: That small vial. The red one. Poor it in the water. Softens the skin. Giulia told me.
Francesca: Giulia?
Lucrezia Borgia: Farnese. A great Roman beauty. You have heard of her? And my husband's hands... Will they be soft?
Francesca: They are hard, my lady. What I have felt of them.
Lucrezia Borgia: Hard? You have felt them?
Francesca: When he beat me— hard, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: There will be no more beatings now that I am your mistress.

Giovanni Sforza: You wanted words. I have words.
Lucrezia Borgia: Words for what, my lord?
Giovanni Sforza: For that Borgia wedding. A farce. Travesty. A scandal. A public humiliation. Well, we're married now.


 Menuet - Passamezzo
 Wikipedia - Sprezzatura

105. The Borgias in Love

Alexander VI: Lucrezia. What have I done? Will God ever forgive me?
Lucrezia Borgia: God may forgive you father, but I never will.
Alexander VI: Lucrezia! Lucrezia!

Alexander VI: Lucrezia!

Giovanni Sforza: You didn't snore. But you wept... all night. That has to stop. And you bled, thank God. A virgin. You must be unique in your family. "A Borgia," they said. "Is that how little I am valued?" I said. "The pope's daughter," they said. "For shame," I said. Your dowry was worthy of a princessa. Lucrezia Borgia Sforza. Do you hunt? No? Well, that's good. Then we need hardly see each other. Except when marital duties call. And then I'll keep them brief and business-like.

Alexander VI: Oh, go away. Do nightmares ever plague the vice-chancellor?
Ascanio Sforza: Hm. The very office is a nightmare, Your Holiness. Of plots, petty intrigues and petitions, which I do my utmost to keep from your presence.
Alexander VI: I need your assurance... of the welfare of my the castle of your cousin, Giovanni Sforza.
Ascanio Sforza: You suspect she is ill used?
Alexander VI: Our nightmares tell us so.
Ascanio Sforza: He will be putty in her soft hands, Your Holiness. Yes, he inherited the Sforza name, the Sforza wealth, but none of its vigour.
Alexander VI: And the Sforza appetite for intrigue?
Ascanio Sforza: Hmm. Yes, well. Yes, that he did inherit. But intrigue is no match for Borgia intelligence as whole Rome has discovered.
Alexander VI: So, I need your further assurance that... he and another cousin, the Duke of Milan, will be constant in their support for our papacy. We have merged our fortunes with the Sforza name. The consequence of that trust being betrayed would be most severe.
Ascanio Sforza: Do you speak to me as vice-chancellor, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: No. As a Sforza.

Cesare Borgia: My eyes...
Ursula Bonadeo: You can believe them, Cardinal. I asked to confess to you, in person. But I must confess, I have nothing to confess.
Cesare Borgia: Then why?
Ursula Bonadeo: Because I had to see.
Cesare Borgia: And I had to see you but couldn't you have chosen a more personable venue?
Ursula Bonadeo: There was an altercation at your sister's wedding. A promise of a reckoning. I would beg you to desist from pursuit of your mother's honour.
Cesare Borgia: You may know little of me, but those who know me know that I remember such things. You are concerned for your husband's safety?
Ursula Bonadeo: For yours. He is a brute, a condotiorre, the veteran of many battles. Your calling is the Church, not the sword. If you were harmed, I could not forgive myself. I could not, perhaps, live.
Cesare Borgia: You care so much for one you hardly know?
Ursula Bonadeo: Yes. It is a puzzle. Or a mystery. Your visage is before my eyes when I'm asleep, when I wake, when I close them.
Cesare Borgia: I thought my eyes deceived me. Now I think, mine ears.
Ursula Bonadeo: Neither. Bring your lips close to mine, Cardinal. I would feel your breath.
Cesare Borgia: And I would kiss you, but for this barrier between us.
Ursula Bonadeo: God is watching.
Cesare Borgia: As the Bible tells us, He is a jealous God.
Ursula Bonadeo: There may always be a barrier between us. But if you promise me you will not put yourself in harm's way, then my heart's kiss will be yours.
Cesare Borgia: I promise then. I will not put myself in harm's way. But you asked for deliverance, Ursula Bonadeo.
Ursula Bonadeo: The Lord will decide my fate and it will be my fate to accept. But now I must leave before my soul flies from these lips.

Cesare Borgia: You loved my father.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Fool that I am, my son, perhaps I love him still.
Cesare Borgia: Can it be cured?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: No. It can be endured, embraced and suffered. You are suffering, my son?
Cesare Borgia: I have met a woman, Mother. Who is married.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And she makes you suffer. Perhaps she suffers too.
Cesare Borgia: She does. But if I can rid her of her impediment...
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She will be yours?
Cesare Borgia: To endure a life like you did, Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You could leave the Church. And displease your father. If you dare.
Cesare Borgia: I fear nothing, Mother.

Ursula Bonadeo: I hope you will enjoy them.
Man: Baronessa.
Nun: Thank you.
Man: Dio ti Benedica.
Nun: God bless you, my lady.
Ursula Bonadeo: Thank you.
Nun: Sister, we need your help in the infirmary.

Ursula Bonadeo: How did you find me?
Cesare Borgia: I have my spies.
Ursula Bonadeo: And they told you...
Cesare Borgia: There was a vision, on a white horse, that rides out every morning between prime and terce.
Ursula Bonadeo: I am observed then.
Cesare Borgia: As are we.
Ursula Bonadeo: My husband does insist I am accompanied.
Cesare Borgia: Can they be discreet?
Ursula Bonadeo: I see no need for discretion.
Cesare Borgia: No need.
Ursula Bonadeo: Why do you have spies, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: A cardinal must have spies. Does it displease you that I searched you out?
Ursula Bonadeo: No. Far from it. There are many things that please me about you, Cardinal. Among them, the fact that you are a cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: Can you explain?
Ursula Bonadeo: If I can find the words. Your priestly collar makes me hope my heart is safe. Because I am not fully in command of it. So the fact that you are a cardinal pleases me as it distresses me.
Cesare Borgia: I thought I would not be cardinal for today.
Ursula Bonadeo: Then my heart is in danger. Would you endanger it, Cardinal Borgia?
Cesare Borgia: I would put it in fear of its life.
Ursula Bonadeo: Ah.
Cesare Borgia: But I would never harm it.
Ursula Bonadeo: That sounds like a riddle. Are you good at riddles, Cardinal Borgia?
Cesare Borgia: Sadly, I must live in one.
Ursula Bonadeo: As must I.

Lucrezia Borgia: And your name is?
Francesca: Francesca.
Lucrezia Borgia: What do you know of marriage, Francesca?
Francesca: I know, my lady, it should not be thus.

Micheletto: It was retrieved from a confessional in Florence.
Cesare Borgia: And it was not used for opening letters?
Micheletto: No, Your Eminence. It was found impaled in the eye of a mendicant friar.
Cesare Borgia: And who impaled him?
Micheletto: The one we commanded him to follow.
Cesare Borgia: Can you do nothing right!? Blink once and you will be eyeless.
Micheletto: And I would still serve you without one eye, Your Eminence. Or without two.
Cesare Borgia: So we lost him and you know not where?
Micheletto: Milan.
Cesare Borgia: You should wear a clown's hat.

Cesare Borgia: Della Rovere has left Florence.
Alexander VI: With or without satisfaction?
Juan Borgia: We have the papal armies, the Sforza armies, our allies in the Romagna all under my command. To hell with Florence!
Cesare Borgia: My fear is the cardinal would invite apocalypse.
Alexander VI: He would open the seven seals?
Cesare Borgia: No, Father. Let us not talk in metaphors. My fear is... he would go to France, conspire with the French to invade us, arrange free passage of their armies through the Republic of Florence, through the Duchy of Milan.
Alexander VI: And the French King would...
Cesare Borgia: Depose you, march south to Naples. His armies are hardened by a 100 years of battle with England. There is nothing here to match them.
Juan Borgia: Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan. He is cousin to our sister's husband, Giovanni Sforza.
Cesare Borgia: Lucrezia did not marry Ludovico Sforza, Brother. And they don't call him Il Moro for nothing.
Juan Borgia: I hear he keeps his own cousin caged beneath his castle floors.
Cesare Borgia: He would betray us in a moment if he thought his dukedom was in peril. What he fears is that his nephew will wear his crown.
Alexander VI: Well, perhaps we should threaten him with just that possibility. And you should go to Florence tease out their intentions. Those Medici bankers have a preacher, Savonarola, who accuses them of usury. Perhaps we should offer them an excommunication...public burning if they support our just cause.

Ludovico Sforza: They call me Il Moro, Cardinal. Can you imagine why?
Giuliano della Rovere: Because of Your Highness' dark complexion?
Ludovico Sforza: Because of my cunning. Like the Moors of old, I outwit them all.
Giuliano della Rovere: You will have given my proposal the grace of your cunning then?
Ludovico Sforza: Hmm... You... wish me to grant French arms safe passage through the Duchy of Milan. But why would the French King march south, hm?
Giuliano della Rovere: Because, most honourable duke, of his claims on the Kingdom of Naples.
Ludovico Sforza: Ah! The great game of Naples. Everybody wants Naples. My nephew, GIAN GALEAZZO, thinks it part of his inheritance. But then... He thinks Milan is his.
Ludovico Sforza: AM I RIGHT, NEPHEW?
Giuliano della Rovere: You think it Christian to have him so caged?
Ludovico Sforza: Until he comes to his senses. WHO AM I?
Gian Galeazzo Sforza: You are Ludovico Sforza.
Ludovico Sforza: I am not the Duke of Milan?
Gian Galeazzo Sforza: That title is mine.
Ludovico Sforza: MINE! Admit it and you'll have wine to drink. Politics is a delicate game.
Giuliano della Rovere: So I observe, my lord.
Ludovico Sforza: You, Cardinal? Have you come to liberate him?
Giuliano della Rovere: I have come to ask for the safe passage of French arms.
Ludovico Sforza: Indeed. From the Duke of Milan. Well, Cardinal. I will consider it.

Woman: Fresh bread! Bread, bread!
Woman: Cabbages this way! More cabbages for your money!
Man: Over here!

Girolamo Savonarola: Florence, the time will come, when all your finery, goods, and chattels will profit you nothing. You have lived in usury, Florence, like pigs in heat. The riches of your banking may astound the world, but one day they will be your undoing! Owing to your avarice, neither you nor your children lead a good life. You have already discovered many devices of gaining money...
Niccolo Machiavelli: It was rumoured a cardinal had graced Florence with his presence.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...which you call just, and are most unjust.
Cesare Borgia: You are?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Niccolo Machiavelli.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...likewise has...
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ambassador of the House of Medici.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...corrupted the magistrates and their functions.
Cesare Borgia: This friar would burn your Florence to the ground.
Girolamo Savonarola: Oh, no one can persuade you it is sinful to lend at usury.
Niccolo Machiavelli: He would reduce us to his own status.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...and make unjust bargains...
Cesare Borgia: Which is?
Girolamo Savonarola: ...on the contrary...
Niccolo Machiavelli: A pile of straw on a monastery floor.
Girolamo Savonarola: defend yourselves.
Niccolo Machiavelli: He disapproves...
Girolamo Savonarola: your souls' damnation!
Niccolo Machiavelli: ...of display, ornament, artistry.
Girolamo Savonarola: Nor does any man...
Niccolo Machiavelli: Even comfort.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...take shame to himself...
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps Cardinal Cesare Borgia can be of some help.
Niccolo Machiavelli: He would meet with my master, Piero de' Medici?
Girolamo Savonarola: ...fools who refrain from it.
Cesare Borgia: No. He would meet with you, Ambassador.
Girolamo Savonarola: Thus, thy fulfilled the saying of Isaiah—
Niccolo Machiavelli: Aha, a conspiracy then.
Girolamo Savonarola: "They declare their sin as Sodom"
Cesare Borgia: No. More like an inquisition.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...and of Jeremiah, "Thou hast a whore's forehead."
Niccolo Machiavelli: Perhaps you should follow me.
Girolamo Savonarola: "...thou refusedst to be ashamed."

Cesare Borgia: Another cardinal came through here some days ago. He left his mark, I believe, on a confessional door.
Niccolo Machiavelli: There was a friar found murdered. But that cardinal claimed to be a man of peace.
Cesare Borgia: We all do, Signor Machiavelli.
Niccolo Machiavelli: You make the same claims?
Cesare Borgia: For the moment. But I would hazard, if this cardinal passed through Florence, he did more than pinion a mendicant friar to a confessional door.
Cesare Borgia: Yes, I would hazard he met with the Florentine ambassador and his master, de Medici.
Niccolo Machiavelli: And if he did?
Cesare Borgia: I would hazard there was a purpose to that meeting.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The purpose being?
Cesare Borgia: That Florence unite with his cause.
Niccolo Machiavelli: No. On the contrary. He asked for nothing.
Cesare Borgia: Nothing?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Or, to be more specific, he asked that Florence... do... nothing.
Cesare Borgia: He requested that Florence do nothing, in the event of a great something.
Niccolo Machiavelli: You are far too clever for a cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: The times have made me so. He requested that Florence do nothing, and allow a great passage of arms through its republic.
Cesare Borgia: And Florence promised him?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Why should I tell you what Florence told him?
Cesare Borgia: I could perhaps ensure that instead of your beautiful Florence, Friar Savonarola himself burns.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Hmph! An impressive offer.
Cesare Borgia: So, Florence offered the good cardinal?
Niccolo Machiavelli: What he offered Florence. Nothing.
Cesare Borgia: So the arms of France cannot pass through your fair republic?
Niccolo Machiavelli: In a sentence. And if these times have made you clever, the coming months may thrust genius upon you.

Lucrezia Borgia: My lord is...
Paolo: My lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Forgive me for startling you. My lord is hunting.
Paolo: Would my lady have me saddle her a horse so she can ride out after him?
Lucrezia Borgia: There is nothing your lady would like less. He is a good huntsman, your lord?
Paolo: No deer is safe from him.
Lucrezia Borgia: Pity the poor deer then. But at least their agony ends.
Paolo: Yes. He's a clean killer.
Lucrezia Borgia: And your name is?
Paolo: Paolo.
Lucrezia Borgia: Your shirt is torn, Paolo. Would you like me to stitch it?
Paolo: I could never ask, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: And stop this "my lady" nonsense. My name is Lucrezia. Say it.
Paolo: Lucrezia... my lady.

Navarrese Ambassador: summation, Your Holiness, I would reiterate his Highness' pleasure at the possibility of an union between the Kingdom of Navarre and the Borgia family. Between the Gonfaloniere Juan Borgia and his beloved niece, the Princess Sylvia, whose portrait is now my pleasure to present to the Papal Court.
Alexander VI: We thank his Royal Highness. And if this depiction does justice to the Princess Sylvia, then her beauty is indeed without compare.
Juan Borgia: Her reputation... does precede her.
Alexander VI: We will consider your gracious suit in the fullness of time.

Lucrezia Borgia: And do the horses have names, Paolo?
Paolo: Indeed they do, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Lucrezia.
Paolo: My lady Lucrezia. This is Diablo.
Lucrezia Borgia: The devil.
Paolo: Yes. He was the devil for speed until he tumbled on a break and shattered his hoof.
Lucrezia Borgia: And now?
Paolo: His fire is gone entirely. He will end up pulling hay.
Lucrezia Borgia: There are worse fates, Paolo. And this one?
Paolo: An Arab mare... Fatima. One could not have them in the same stable when he was in his prime. But after his break...
Lucrezia Borgia: He was chastened.
Paolo: He is like a mare himself now, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Lucky Fatima. She can sleep well at night. Show me your hands, Paolo. Bring them here. I would touch them. Soft. Will they be hard some day?
Paolo: I know not, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Lucrezia. I took a bow and aimed it low You know it?
Lucrezia Borgia & Paolo: And caught you on the chin, chin, chin
Lucrezia Borgia: My mother said Now go to bed I'll have to lock you in, in, in
Paolo: My lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Lucrezia. Say it.
Paolo: Lucrezia.

Juan Borgia: She is ugly, Father.
Alexander VI: No more than all the others.
Juan Borgia: They are all ugly. I'll marry none of them. Second-rate royalty, cousins of half-brothers of princes. I'll marry a king's daughter or nothing.
Alexander VI: Nothing, I'm afraid, is not an option, my dear son.
Juan Borgia: Let Joffre marry instead. King Ferrante of Naples has an illegitimate daughter.
Juan Borgia: And the pope does need some security in Naples.
Alexander VI: A union between you and Sancia could have some benefits.
Juan Borgia: Are you deaf, father? She is the half-bred bastard of an ailing dotard. Let Joffre marry her. I will marry a true princess or I will take my pleasures where I find them.

Gabriella Visconti: Your Holiness—
Alexander VI: Forgive me, Cardinal, I had hoped to find you alone.
Ascanio Sforza: And, Your Holiness, my cousin was just, huh...
Alexander VI: Your cousin?
Gabriella Visconti: Gabriella Visconti, at your service.
Alexander VI: A Sforza?
Ascanio Sforza: Twice removed.
Alexander VI: Well, we would hope more than twice. Well, Cardinal, you are awash with cousins, which is why we wish to speak with you.
Gabriella Visconti: At Your Holiness' pleasure.
Alexander VI: We would discuss another cousin, in whose hands the survival of our papacy may lie.
Ascanio Sforza: Your Holiness refers to the Duke of Milan?
Alexander VI: Indeed. Cardinal Della Rovere heads there as we speak.
Ascanio Sforza: Well, if I can be of any assistance...
Alexander VI: Well, you could disembowel the dear cardinal.
Ascanio Sforza: Does the office of vice-chancellor extend so far?
Alexander VI: To include executions? Sadly not. But you could inform your cousin, the Duke of Milan, that we could well see the justice of his nephew's cause, should the duke choose to act against our wishes.

Lucrezia Borgia: Is your betrothed old, Francesca?
Francesca: Nine months older than me, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: You are lucky then. The older male is like a boar. He bristles with hair. And when he doesn't beat, he thrusts.
Francesca: Did he beat last night?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, but he thrusted. I counted twenty seven of them. Thirty two the night before.
Francesca: Already, more bearable. You must quicken his pleasure.
Lucrezia Borgia: Is that possible?
Francesca: Indeed. You can reduce it to single figures. And for the sake of one's own endurance, I find it helps to count.
Lucrezia Borgia: To count?
Francesca: Sheep.

Alexander VI: Sancia of Naples.
Giulia Farnese: What of her?
Alexander VI: Is she beautiful?
Giulia Farnese: In the Neapolitan way.
Alexander VI: Ooh, what way is that, my love?
Giulia Farnese: Dark. Sicilian. Almost Moorish. And I have heard her temper is Sicilian too.
Alexander VI: Would she make a bride for—
Giulia Farnese: Juan? A match made in...
Alexander VI: Where?
Giulia Farnese: Wherever such matches are made.
Alexander VI: No, not Juan. Juan will do what Juan will do.
Giulia Farnese: Cesare? Now that would be—
Alexander VI: No, you know Cesare can never marry. No, for... for Joffre.
Giulia Farnese: Good God. Will you never stop?
Alexander VI: Never.
Giulia Farnese: You are going to ensnare the whole of Europe in your progeny.
Alexander VI: What else are families for, hm?

Lucrezia Borgia: Ah! Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.
Giovanni Sforza: What? What are you saying?
Lucrezia Borgia: I am counting, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: Counting?
Lucrezia Borgia: Sheep, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: Could you count in silence?
Francesca: Counting sheep.
Paolo: Can she sleep now?
Francesca: I truly hope so.

Ludovico Sforza: You disappoint me, Cardinal. We are family, after all.
Ascanio Sforza: If I am your cousin, my liege, I am also cousin to your cousin, Gian Galeazzo, who lays claim to your throne.
Ludovico Sforza: This Borgia pope threatens—
Ascanio Sforza: No, His Holiness does not threaten. His Holiness merely reminds the duke of where his best interests lie. And in the event of a French invasion—
Ludovico Sforza: He would pretend to see the justice of this pretender's cause—
Ascanio Sforza: As we would hope that you would see—
Ludovico Sforza: AH! A CHAMPION! AT LAST, YOU SNIVELING PRETENDER, YOU HAVE A CHAMPION! You would release him, Cardinal?
Ascanio Sforza: My lord, I would not be so precipitous—
Ludovico Sforza: No, but I insist! Release him! Have him dine with us tonight! What is it you hunger for most!?
Gian Galeazzo Sforza: Freedom. And pheasant.
Ludovico Sforza: So, Cardinal. Let us feed that hunger of his, hmm? Freedom and pheasant it is.

Ludovico Sforza: He wolfs his pheasant so. Mother never taught him manners.
Ludovico Sforza: Indeed. You are the Duke now, are you not? Have mine. And you, cousin cardinal, can tell that Borgia pope, that Catalan clown, that Spanish nonentity that marries his bastard daughter to my cousin and thinks he will buy my friendship! Tell him he will never have it! Tell him I will welcome French arms with open arms of my own!
Ascanio Sforza: Spit it out! Poison!
Ludovico Sforza: Gluttony, more like. Duke for an hour. Undone by his table manners.

Cesare Borgia: You have no servants?
Man: Thank you, my lady.
Ursula Bonadeo: Some tasks one must perform oneself.
Cesare Borgia: Such as?
Ursula Bonadeo: Distribution of alms. In the convent of St. Cecilia, there are many hungry souls.
Cesare Borgia: I stand in awe, Ursula Bonadeo.
Ursula Bonadeo: Of what? Of loaves of bread?
Cesare Borgia: Of goodness.
Ursula Bonadeo: Would that I were good.
Cesare Borgia: Don't move so quickly. What is that mark under that veil?
Ursula Bonadeo: I beg you, heed it not. It is in his nature.
Cesare Borgia: So it seems.
Ursula Bonadeo: And it is not in yours. So heed it not. Forget him and forget me.
Cesare Borgia: You cannot stand for this.
Ursula Bonadeo: The groom saw. The groom talked. My husband struck. It's what husbands do.
Cesare Borgia: You must free yourself.
Ursula Bonadeo: He rides to Ostia tomorrow night. For two days, I will be free.

Micheletto: You requested these, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Yes. Since I have become eminent, I have grown indolent.
Micheletto: I believe one goes with the other, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Call me Borgia this good morning. And I shall call you baron.
Micheletto: Baron?
Cesare Borgia: Yes. I made a promise to a favoured lady that I would not put myself in harm's way. So...put me in harm's way. Come on, Baron, I would see your best.
Micheletto: Now, my best would break your promise, Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: Show me then.
Micheletto: One blade is never enough, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Yes. And eminence has dulled my edge. Again.

Lucrezia Borgia: Where does he hunt?
Paolo: In the high mountain passes.
Lucrezia Borgia: He is brave with those deer.
Paolo: Perhaps.
Lucrezia Borgia: But they suffer less than me, do they not? He kills them quickly.
Paolo: Do you suffer?
Lucrezia Borgia: Nightly.
Paolo: It must stop. It is a crime against...
Lucrezia Borgia: Against what?
Paolo: Against you. Your beauty. You are the pope's daughter. How can he stand it?
Lucrezia Borgia: The pope doesn't know.
Paolo: If I could write, I would send him a letter.
Lucrezia Borgia: Am I beautiful, Paolo?
Paolo: You are the most beautiful thing I have yet seen.
Lucrezia Borgia: Lift me down.
Paolo: I could adjust his saddle.
Lucrezia Borgia: You could adjust my lord's saddle He would fall. He would break. He would return home, tamed.
Paolo: Broken.
Lucrezia Borgia: What if he died?
Paolo: From a fall? He would never.
Lucrezia Borgia: What if I had you whipped for wickedness?
Paolo: You would never.
Lucrezia Borgia: Are you sure?
Paolo: Yes. Of that I am sure.

Alexander VI: The cardinal was shocked to the core. Apparently, he dropped dead right in front of him at the duke's table.
Cesare Borgia: Poison.
Alexander VI: So it is rumoured. Gluttony, it is said. But the result's the same. If the French army moves, it will have free passage through Milan. And the only force to stop it will be Florence. And Florence can hardly stand alone. No, I think it might be time to give Naples what they want.
Cesare Borgia: An alliance?
Alexander VI: Better than that. A wedding!
Cesare Borgia: Who this time, Father? Me?

Lucrezia Borgia: Ah! Five... Six... Seven... Eight... Nine... Eleven... Twelve.

Baron Bonadeo: My wife is to receive no visitors in my absence.
Man: Yes, my lord.
Micheletto: You should let me deal with him, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Did he insult your mother?
Micheletto: Then we should both do it.
Cesare Borgia: Where would the valour be in that? Or the pleasure? No. I shall do this... alone.

Francesca: An accident, my lady. The Lord Sforza.

Baron Bonadeo: You, Cardinal, have been nosing round my wife.
Cesare Borgia: And you, Baron, slandered my mother.
Baron Bonadeo: You mean the Spanish whore?
Cesare Borgia: I mean my mother.
Baron Bonadeo: From the whorehouse to the Vatican is quite a journey. But it ends here.
Cesare Borgia: Your wife prayed for liberation. Libera me domine de morte aeterna.
Micheletto: You never forget your first. Lift!
Cesare Borgia: I felt the life go from him.
Micheletto: Better him than you. But at least you are still breathing.
Cesare Borgia: Was I in harm's way, Micheletto?
Micheletto: Not for a moment, Your Eminence.

Giovanni Sforza: Leave me alone!
Doctor: It is a break, my lord, but you will survive it. Water, please. A muslin cloth and a splint, a piece of wood between his teeth.
Lucrezia Borgia: My husband!
Doctor: Forgive me, my lord. You will feel some pain.
Lucrezia Borgia: Be brave, my husband.
Doctor: On the count of three.
Lucrezia Borgia: One, two, three.

Micheletto: You killed this man with grace, Your Eminence. You should be proud.
Cesare Borgia: Will I be thanked for it?
Micheletto: In my experience, one rarely is.
Cesare Borgia: A thankless task then.
Micheletto: The river will be grateful for him, Your Eminence. It loves a skewered corpse.


 Wikipedia - Seven seals

106. The French King


Pesaro Castle The apothecary prepared this liniment, my lord. He mentioned it might hurt, but said the pain was worth enduring.
Giovanni Sforza: Count again?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes, my lord. Otherwise the wound might fester. One...
Lucrezia Borgia: And we are done, my good Lord Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: Damn horse. A viper must have startled him.
But we must count our blessings, my lord. You may be some months in this little room. At least your leg has been saved.
Giovanni Sforza: You have been kind to me, Lucrezia Borgia. And it may be that... I was not, in the first instance... kind to you.
Lucrezia Borgia: Please my lord, do not think—
Giovanni Sforza: I see now that nobility springs from the soul... not from the blood. I forgive you the accident of your family name.
I must... accept your forgiveness, then, my lord, for the... accident of my Borgia blood.
Giovanni Sforza: And I would, as a mark of thanks for your care, these past few days, lend you my horse.
Lucrezia Borgia: Your horse?
Giovanni Sforza: He is the very devil when he's not being ridden.
Lucrezia Borgia: I will gladly ride him out, my lord.

Neapolitan Ambassador: King Ferrante of Naples sends his humble regards.
Juan Borgia: King Ferrante of Naples can neither hear nor see, I believe?
Neapolitan Ambassador: He nevertheless sends his every good wish. And in the face of all of the spurious claims upon his kingdom from Spain, from France, from the Duchy of Milan— he would remind Your Holiness of the justice of the independent claims of Naples. An independent Naples can only be to Rome's benefit. And I, as his ambassador, am proud to present the suit, for your consideration, of his last unmarried daughter, Sancia, Duchessa of Squillace.
Neapolitan Ambassador: In the Kingdom of Naples.
Juan Borgia: My younger brother Joffre is all of 13 years old.
Neapolitan Ambassador: His Highness had understood the prospective groom to be the Gonfaloniere himself, the Duke of Gandia.
Juan Borgia: Me? Well, this is most irregular. I would never consider marrying the illegitimate daughter of the King of Naples—
Alexander VI: Would you convey our thanks to our friend and ally, King Ferrante, whose claim to independence we fully understand, for his most generous offer? You will have our response shortly.

My husband cannot ride. He cannot rut. He cannot even hunt. Even the deer are happy.
Paolo: Will I be punished for that? Will I be whipped?
Lucrezia Borgia: For making the deer happy?
Paolo: Are you happy, my lady?
Lucrezia Borgia: Perhaps.
Paolo: Give the horse his heed.
Lucrezia Borgia: But no whip?
Paolo: No need for whip. Kick your heels.

Juan Borgia: You thought it appropriate? I, Juan Borgia, and the illegitimate daughter of the King of Naples? The Duchessa of Squillace?
Alexander VI: Our alliance with Naples is now of the utmost importance.
Juan Borgia: I am the Duke of Gandia. The Gonfaloniere of the papal state. The son of the Pope of Rome.
Cesare Borgia: Oh, Brother, we both are that.
Juan Borgia: Oh, you marry her then.
Cesare Borgia: You know marriage for me is not an option.
Alexander VI: Well, then, let it be Joffre!
Cesare Borgia: Joffre still plays with his sister's dolls.
Juan Borgia: Here we have a life-size one.
Alexander VI: Lucrezia still plays with dolls. She got married.
Cesare Borgia: She did. Are we to send all of our loved ones off to Pesaro? To Squillace?
Juan Borgia: I will not marry the Duchessa of Squillace. But I will ride to Naples to present my young brother's suit.
Cesare Borgia: Juan...
Juan Borgia: One of us must ensure that she is a suitable bride. Or would you prefer the honour?
Cesare Borgia: I cannot. I am occupied in Rome.
Juan Borgia: Yes, so I've heard.
Cesare Borgia: What have you heard?
Juan Borgia: That beneath that cardinal's skirt, there may still be a man.
Alexander VI: Uh, uh...

Lucrezia Borgia: Look at you.
Paolo: Me?
Lucrezia Borgia: Like Narcissus. In the spring waters.
Paolo: Narcissus?
Lucrezia Borgia: You don't know Narcissus?
Paolo: I can neither read nor write, my Lady Lucrezia.
Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection. In the waters of a spring. Do not move.
Paolo: It is impossible.
Lucrezia Borgia: To fall in love with a reflection?
Paolo: To kiss it.
Lucrezia Borgia: And I thought I would never know sweetness.

Ursula Bonadeo: It's your residence, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: For the moment.
Ursula Bonadeo: You are spare in your tastes, Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: There is but one ornament I need here.
Ursula Bonadeo: May I call you something other than Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: Call me Cesare.
Ursula Bonadeo: Cesare. Remind me why I'm here, Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: Because you want to be.
Ursula Bonadeo: Because...
Cesare Borgia: Your husband's absence makes it possible.
Ursula Bonadeo: Because...
Cesare Borgia: It is time to stop pretending.
Ursula Bonadeo: Please. I do not trust my heart.
Cesare Borgia: Oh, you must, to have come here with me.
Ursula Bonadeo: Can you love me, Cesare Borgia? Or is it just desires of the flesh?
Cesare Borgia: I am very much afraid that it is both. One or the other, I could deal with. Both, and I may be lost.

Lucrezia Borgia: Can a good thing come from a bad thing, Paolo the groom?
Paolo: Is this a good thing?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. I think.
Paolo: And what is the bad?
Lucrezia Borgia: I think you know... Paolo the groom.
Paolo: I have a second name.
Lucrezia Borgia: And I don't want to know it. I would call you Narcissus.

Ursula Bonadeo: Oh, my God. You make me hope. And I'm afraid of hope.
Cesare Borgia: Hope for what?
Ursula Bonadeo: For days like this. In the future, with you.
Cesare Borgia: If you were given them?
Ursula Bonadeo: I beg you, do not make me hope. He will be home in two days.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps his business will detain him.

Alexander VI: Now, I desire a purely defensive union. The terms of which have already been outlined by our respective ambassadors. And I desire the happiness of our youngest son.
Juan Borgia: And 200,000 ducats, surely.
Alexander VI: Perhaps. But we need this union more than we need riches. The wolves are bearing down on the Papal States. And we would have a wedding... if only to once again see our dear Lucrezia.


Alfonso of Naples: Forgive me, Gonfaloniere Borgia, if I feed my father as we converse. He has so few pleasures left. But he does like his chicken!
Juan Borgia: What a coincidence. Chicken is my brother Joffre's favorite.
Alfonso of Naples: Perhaps my sister can feed him thus.
Juan Borgia: He is all of 13 years old. Soon to be a man.
Sancia of Naples: I am truly blessed then, in this union.
Juan Borgia: You are.
Sancia of Naples: And your brother, Gonfaloniere, is he illegitimate, like me?
Juan Borgia: His father has drafted a papal bull to confer legitimacy on all his children.
Alfonso of Naples: And that has bearing on the matter of bastardy, does it?
Juan Borgia: We do not appreciate that term, Your Highness.
Sancia of Naples: Why not? I never minded it. I found it gave one a certain licence.
Juan Borgia: Let me just say that his rights of inheritance are secure, under law.
Sancia of Naples: If my betrothed has anything like the vigour of his brother...
Alfonso of Naples: You would marry this Borgia here, would you not, dear sis?
Sancia of Naples: I am your bastard sister, Alfonso. I shall marry whomever I am told.
Alfonso of Naples: I am sure your brother should grow into your stature, Gonfaloniere. It comes with many benefits: the Borgia name, the Borgia prowess.
Sancia of Naples: I am told it is considerable, within and without the marital bed.
Alfonso of Naples: Most important of all, the protection of the Pope of Rome for our poor, beleaguered kingdom of Naples. We have enemies fast approaching, Gonfaloniere. My father's name was once enough to terrify them. Perhaps your father's name should do the same?
Juan Borgia: I have been entrusted with all of my father's battles.
Alfonso of Naples: Are you not scared, dear sis?
Sancia of Naples: I fear... I fear, I fear.
Alfonso of Naples: Perhaps after our meal, Gonfaloniere, my sister can give you the royal tour? My father had a way of, uh, dealing with his enemies. It might prove instructive for the future.

Juan Borgia: Your father had them stuffed?
Juan Borgia: Clever.
Sancia of Naples: His reputation then preceded him.
Juan Borgia: As does your reputation precede you.
Sancia of Naples: Does it? Should I be honored? In my father's case, it inspired terror. What do I inspire, Juan Borgia?
Sancia of Naples: Then I must make do... with lust. You would sample your brother's betrothed the way you would a mare?
Juan Borgia: But one of such beauty.
Sancia of Naples: Sample her, then.
Juan Borgia: I would know...
Juan Borgia: How she can be ridden.
Sancia of Naples: Oh, she can. She can.

Giulia Farnese: You find the art of politics more engrossing than... Than—
Alexander VI: Than the art of love?
Giulia Farnese: Did I say that?
Alexander VI: They have more in common than you might think.
Giulia Farnese: I would doubt that.
Alexander VI: Let us take... your most elegant leg. A perfect metaphor for Italian politics. Here... we have France, the source of all disquiet. But traveling south across the Alps... we find the dukedom of Milan.
Alexander VI: Hmm? And below her, Florence. And here, this little mound... is Rome. But Naples is your elegant calf... your exquisite ankle... your heel... your sole... and your most delicious toe. Now lying here... it may not seem important. But try to stand, and you'll find that all your balance comes from here.
Alexander VI: Hmm. Naples. But now... I'm going to invade fair France.

French Soldier: His Highness is testing a new cannon, Your Eminence. Perfected during a battle against those English barbarians.
Man: Fire!
Man: Feu! Le feu aux canons!
Man: Les boulets!

French Soldier: Your Royal Highness, may I introduce you to Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere. Cardinal Della Rovere, His Royal Highness, King Charles, of France.
Giuliano della Rovere: Your Royal Highness.
Charles VIII: We have heard of you.
Giuliano della Rovere: And I of you, Your Highness. Your military renown has traveled far and wide—
Charles VIII: Enough of the pleasantries! You are the one that would give us the crown of Naples?
Giuliano della Rovere: The Kingdom of France has long had claims on the investiture of the Kingdom of Naples. I would—
Charles VIII: I said, enough pleasantries, did I not? Just tell me, Cardinal, how you would place the crown of Naples... on this ugly head of mine? And it is exceedingly ugly, is it not?
Giuliano della Rovere: Your Highness bears all the vigor of the French race in his person.
Charles VIII: He is afraid to say it! Is my head not ugly, General?
French General: I can hardly bear to gaze at it.
Charles VIII: So admit it, Cardinal. I have all the graces of a carnival dwarf.
Giuliano della Rovere: Those words would never pass my lips, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: Well then, we may get nowhere. I appreciate only plain speech. Tell us then what you want of us, plainly.
Giuliano della Rovere: My countrymen are accustomed to the show of war, not the reality. They could never muster the courage to sustain your French fury.
Charles VIII: You want me to march to Rome, depose that Borgia, give you the papal crown, in the hope that you'll place the crown of Naples on this ugly head?
Giuliano della Rovere: I want to restore the Universal Church to her former dignity.
Charles VIII: Couldn't this Borgia do the same?
Giuliano della Rovere: Restore the Church?
Charles VIII: Place the Crown of Naples on this ugly noggin.
Giuliano della Rovere: Either way, you must get to Rome, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: Must I?
Giuliano della Rovere: And my countrymen are accustomed to the show of war—
Charles VIII: Oh lord!

Ursula Bonadeo: My husband has been absent all of a week now.
Cesare Borgia: You said he went to Ostia. Are there not women in Ostia?
Ursula Bonadeo: You say that so bluntly, Cesare Borgia. It makes me fearful.
Cesare Borgia: Of what?
Ursula Bonadeo: Of the consequences of your affections.
Cesare Borgia: Can you not give thanks for the time we have spent together?
Ursula Bonadeo: Thanks to whom?
Cesare Borgia: To the moon. To Venus. To, dare I say, the good Lord.
Ursula Bonadeo: Does He not look down upon us this minute?
Cesare Borgia: If He sees what I see, He sees that it is good.
Ursula Bonadeo: You were ordained a priest, and yet you blaspheme thus.
Cesare Borgia: If appreciation of your beauty is blasphemy, consider me a blasphemer indeed. A blasphemer and a heretic.
Ursula Bonadeo: You frighten me, sometimes.

Charles VIII: War is ugly, Cardinal. Far uglier than I could ever be. One should approach it with extreme circumspection.
Giuliano della Rovere: As one should approach you, perhaps?
Charles VIII: Ha! He is learning to mean what he says! But as to war, see here. My new invention. If it works, it will be... truly grisly. It will usher in a whole new era of grisliness. Chained cannonballs. Both balls have to fire together. If they don't, we could be torn to shreds. You wish to give the signal?
Giuliano della Rovere: It would be my privilege, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: It could also be your end. Your most grisly end.
Charles VIII: Proceed. Impressive.

Paolo: If Lord Sforza were to find us—
Lucrezia Borgia: How could he... mount those stairs?

Giovanni Sforza: What? Hmm... The devil!
Francesca: Butter, my Lord Sforza. For the morning.

Joffre Borgia: You met my betrothed, Brother?
Juan Borgia: I did.
Cesare Borgia: Your silence is alarming, Brother. Put little Joffre at ease.
Juan Borgia: Rest assured, Joffre, she does not have horns.
Joffre Borgia: Is she pretty?
Joffre Borgia: Is she kind?
Juan Borgia: I know not.
Joffre Borgia: Does she have any qualities to recommend her?
Juan Borgia: She has two legs. The requisite number of eyes. Ten fingers.
Joffre Borgia: So she is not pretty and she is not kind. She has two eyes, ten fingers, and two legs.
Juan Borgia: Not forgetting toes. Ten of them, I believe.
Joffre Borgia: I will only marry once, Mother.
Juan Borgia: Oh, little Joffre! She is not only pretty.
Juan Borgia: She is beautiful!
Joffre Borgia: Really?
Juan Borgia: And she's an angel, sprung up on the soils of Naples. In fact, if you will not marry her, I would marry her myself.
Joffre Borgia: Really?
Juan Borgia: Yes. Really. Now, do I have your permission?
Joffre Borgia: You may not, Juan. She is my betrothed.
Juan Borgia: Yes, she is. And who's a lucky boy?

Man: He looks wealthy. Who is he, do you think? Nobleman?
Man: I don't know. We all look the same when we're dead. Certainly dressed the part.

Charles VIII: You would entice me to battle... but do you understand what that means?
Giuliano della Rovere: It means a just war, in defense of Christendom.
Charles VIII: No war is just. War is chaos, brute force mustered against brute force, until one side is destroyed, utterly. I have read of your Italian battles. Hired mercenaries, on feathered horseback, prancing like peacocks one against the other until one side retires, with something called honor? Heh! But there is no honor in war. The French learned that against the English. There is blood, death, armor against armor, until one side surrenders, in death or domination. Be careful what you pray for Cardinal, if you pray for war. You will find yourself in a place beyond prayer itself.

Juan Borgia: As St. Augustine said, Mother... Let me be married, Lord, but not yet!
Theo: My dear.
Juan Borgia: Your dear? I'd heard you made your reappearance.
Juan Borgia: Is the house my father bought you not to your liking? Too cold? Too lonely, perhaps?
Theo: Um, I would leave you, kind sir, and trouble you no further.
Juan Borgia: Yes, you will leave.
Juan Borgia: Yes, I am your son. Does this peasant's presence here mean that he thinks he's my father?
Theo: No!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: JUAN, PLEASE!
Juan Borgia: He must have heard the rumours that one of us was fathered by this goatherd.
Juan Borgia: We are the sons of the pope! And you entertain a goatherd? In my family home?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Juan! What has this papacy done to you?
Juan Borgia: It has removed me forever from the likes of him.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Go. Leave. This is your home no longer.
Juan Borgia: I will return, Mother, when I please. But I will not have him here!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I said... Go.

Ursula Bonadeo: I asked to meet you here because... my husband has been found. Washed up on the shores of the Tiber, 3 weeks dead with stab wounds to his neck. For those 3 weeks I gave my body to you. I broke my marriage vows.
Cesare Borgia: I thought... perhaps I hoped you did so willingly.
Ursula Bonadeo: You bought those 3 weeks with murder! I told you he was riding on the road to Ostia that night. Admit it, Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: I admit nothing.
Ursula Bonadeo: Yet the crime is written on your face.
Cesare Borgia: There was no murder. He fought. He lost.
Ursula Bonadeo: I begged you not to meet him.
Cesare Borgia: You begged me not to place myself in harm's way.
Ursula Bonadeo: I had no idea you had such capabilities.
Cesare Borgia: And to think I thought you knew me.
Ursula Bonadeo: I thought I knew a man. A man conflicted, perhaps, between the world and God. But not a murderer.
Cesare Borgia: Is it murder to defend your mother's honor? To procure the freedom of one you could love... even more than your mother's honor? If it is, I am a murderer born.
Ursula Bonadeo: Maybe God can forgive you because I'm not sure I can.
Cesare Borgia: Do you think I care for the forgiveness of God? I care for your happiness, your future. And I have now given it to you. Liberate me, you asked me.
Ursula Bonadeo: You have not given me a future. You have given me a lifelong penance. I am party to your crime. I feel for you still... but I know not this monster beside me.
Cesare Borgia: Well, let me tell you. I was born... with a stain. A mark. Like the mark of Cain. But it is the mark of my father, my family. The mark of Borgia. I have tried to be other than I am. And I have failed. And if I have failed you in the process, I am truly sorry.
Ursula Bonadeo: You... You have the devil's insight, Cardinal. You read what my heart wanted and you gave it to me. You gave me joy, through a crime I could not have conceived of. And now I must live my life in penance, praying for forgiveness.
Ursula Bonadeo: You will not know where.
Cesare Borgia: You mean a nunnery?
Ursula Bonadeo: I mean confinement.
Cesare Borgia: I will search you out. Like Abelard and Eloise. You may find a nunnery cell, but you will never be free of me!
Ursula Bonadeo: You are right. I will never be free of you.

Alexander VI: Are you out of your mind? To spill the blood of your mother's husband? To beat him like a common pimp?
Juan Borgia: If that is what he is, Father—
Alexander VI: If that is what he is, then what does that make you?
Juan Borgia: You've heard the rumor. That one of us was sired by him, and not by you, not by the Pope of Rome?
Alexander VI: And you want to feed these rumors? What is all of Rome talking about now? Hmm?
Juan Borgia: I will not have him in her house!
Alexander VI: You will— You will not? Do you have any idea what lengths I've gone to to keep your mother's reputation intact? You were bred to be a soldier, a general, a leader of men. Is that any way for a Gonfaloniere to behave? Brawling like a common soldier, in your mother's home?
Juan Borgia: Forgive me, Father, if my honor demanded—
Alexander VI: Your honor? Do you know what they say about you? What they whisper about you?
Juan Borgia: What, Father?
Alexander VI: That your brother would be more suited to your estate. Would you have us consider those thoughts?
Juan Borgia: Promise me you won't, Father.
Alexander VI: If you promise to restrain yourself.
Juan Borgia: I do. Then promise me that I am of your blood and of no one else's.
Alexander VI: You are our son. No one else's. Do not make us regret that fact.
Juan Borgia: I will not. How can I make recompense?
Alexander VI: You can beg forgiveness from your mother. And you can escort her to your brother Joffre's wedding.

Lucrezia Borgia: Papa. Papa.
Alexander VI: Ah... Oh, my love. I'm in heaven. Or am I still dreaming?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, Father. It is I.

Giuliano della Rovere: The Borgia pope has betrothed his son to King Ferrante's daughter.
Charles VIII: How does that change matters?
Giuliano della Rovere: The investiture of Naples must soon follow. Ferrante would have not agreed to the match without it.
Charles VIII: He is old, this Ferrante, and uglier than me.
Giuliano della Rovere: But his son is not, my liege. He would see his father invested before he dies, so he can claim the crown, and the kingdom. If there is a moment to move, it is now.

Cesare Borgia: Excuse me, Cardinal.
Cardinal: Yes.
Cesare Borgia: So tell me, Lucrezia. Marriage is—
Lucrezia Borgia: It... was hard, at first. But then it grew sweeter.
Cesare Borgia: I need details.
Lucrezia Borgia: You will not have them.
Cesare Borgia: Your husband, Giovanni...
He... fell off his horse. Foolish man. He will go hunting. I find the more confined husbands become the more... tolerable. I could write a book about it. Perhaps I will. And you, Brother? What of your heart?
Cesare Borgia: It was broken by a nun.
Lucrezia Borgia: A nun? Like Eloise? Will you spend a lifetime writing to her?
Cesare Borgia: I could if I knew where she was.
Lucrezia Borgia: But you can find out, surely.
Cesare Borgia: I intend to.
Lucrezia Borgia: How wonderful. We can both write books.

Nun: The cutting of your hair is a symbol... of the renunciation of your earthly beauty... which is now in the service of our Lord God... Jesus Christ. You will be a bride of Christ... a handmaiden of Christ. Christ will be your love, your bread... your wine... your water.

Ascanio Sforza: Most worthy Lord... do you agree, under the eyes of God, to accept the most gracious Sancia, Duchessa of Squillace, as your lawful spouse?
Lucrezia Borgia: She is too beautiful. I hate her.
Ascanio Sforza: You have promised to marry the most gracious Sancia, here present...
Cesare Borgia: If you hate beauty, dear sis, you must hate yourself.
Lucrezia Borgia: All right. I will love her then. But deep down, somewhere, I still hate her.
Cesare Borgia: One can hate and love, I have found.
Lucrezia Borgia: There was a poem, wasn't there, that said just that.
Cesare Borgia: Odi et amo.
Ascanio Sforza: Most gracious lady, do you agree, under the eyes of God, to accept the most noble Lord Joffre as your lawful spouse?
Lucrezia Borgia: Poor Joffre. He deserved better than Naples.
Cesare Borgia: Are you becoming expert in genealogy?
Lucrezia Borgia: I have heard the rumours of her monstrous father.
Cesare Borgia: And you believed them?
Lucrezia Borgia: Why Naples?
Cesare Borgia: Our father has a realm to protect.
Lucrezia Borgia: And Sancia will protect it?
Cesare Borgia: We must wait and see.
Ascanio Sforza: ...worthy and ready to enter the marriage contract.

Sancia of Naples: You are now Duke of Squillace, Joffre Borgia. How does that feel?
Sancia of Naples: I have no idea. But I am its duchess. There's a castle, I believe, just south of Naples. And a lake. An income. You see, they had to give me something, so... they gave me Squillace.
Juan Borgia: Be nice to him. Promise me?
Sancia of Naples: How nice?
Juan Borgia: He is my younger brother.
Sancia of Naples: Yes. But how nice?
Juan Borgia: That nice.
Sancia of Naples: I can be that nice.
Juan Borgia: You will?
Sancia of Naples: Yes. Good night, pages. Unless you would all join us? No. That is a step too far, even for the Duke and Duchessa of Squillace. Now, my husband, are you ready?

Charles VIII: You will have your war, Cardinal. But I will only ask one thing of you.
Giuliano della Rovere: Please, my liege.
Charles VIII: No one will question the behavior of my troops, my captains, my generals, my arms. You will have your war... but it will be fought the French way.



107. Death, on a Pale Horse


French General: Tell me, Cardinal, what is the Italian for cannon?<
Giuliano della Rovere: We have no such word, General.
French General: For gunpowder? Recoil? Battery? Cannonball? Ordnance?
Giuliano della Rovere: I'm at a loss.
French General: You will need a new language then. Your Italy will soon be deafened by the sound of cannon.

Juan Borgia: Be silent.
Sancia of Naples: Are we observed?
Juan Borgia: No. But that goatherd waits inside for my loud... and public apology.
Sancia of Naples: Did you abuse the goatherd?
Juan Borgia: Terribly.
Sancia of Naples: As you abuse me?
Juan Borgia: The abuse was of a different kind, my dear.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Joffre? Joffre, are you in the garden?
Joffre Borgia: Yes, Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Would you join me, please?
Joffre Borgia: One moment.
Sancia of Naples: My husband plays with feathers.
Juan Borgia: Is he to your liking?
Sancia of Naples: He is sweetness itself. But he lacks your vigor.
Juan Borgia: You must call on me then. When you have need of me.

Lucrezia Borgia: I must return to my husband in the morning.
Lucrezia Borgia: Because he is my husband. Because our father needs his allegiance.
Cesare Borgia: I should keep you here in chains. I suspect you would be happier.
Lucrezia Borgia: Why do you question my happiness?
Cesare Borgia: Because something happened, I know it.
Lucrezia Borgia: What do you know?
Cesare Borgia: Your eyes. You no longer walk on air. Where is my young sister hiding?
Lucrezia Borgia: I am the Lord Sforza's wife, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: If he does ill by you I shall do ill by him.
Lucrezia Borgia: He would be wise to be kind, then.
Cesare Borgia: What are his pleasures?
Lucrezia Borgia: Hunting. The marital bed.
Cesare Borgia: I dislike him already.
Lucrezia Borgia: But he had an accident, Brother. And now he can indulge in neither.
Cesare Borgia: A happy accident?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. God is good.
Cesare Borgia: But he will recover?
Lucrezia Borgia: Unfortunately, yes.
Cesare Borgia: You are no longer a child, Sis. I won't forgive him for that.
Lucrezia Borgia: There was a reason for my marriage, Brother. Remind me of it.

Abbess of St. Cecelia: We are blessed by the Cardinal's presence here.
Cesare Borgia: Sadly, Abbess, the business of a cardinal is overwhelmed by the management of men. Our spiritual duties are all too easily forgotten.
Abbess of St. Cecelia: But your contribution to the abbey and its restoration is much appreciated. And our new novice, Sister Martha, has a most divine contralto voice.
Cesare Borgia: Sister Martha?
Ursula Bonadeo: Do I detect some levity in your tone, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps.
Ursula Bonadeo: It is inappropriate, surely. You are the cardinal benefactor of the Sisters of St. Cecilia. Although even I can see the humor in that.
Cesare Borgia: You knew? When you chose this convent?
Ursula Bonadeo: I discovered, after I had taken my vows.
Cesare Borgia: Shall I resign my responsibilities? Assign the benefice to another cardinal?
Ursula Bonadeo: 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.
Cesare Borgia: Ah! I have another rival then. And I can't kill Him.
Ursula Bonadeo: You blaspheme now! Would you put yourself beyond the grace of God entirely, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: No. I would manage my own destiny. You asked me for liberation.
Ursula Bonadeo: 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 recognize. 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.
Cesare Borgia: Are you clairvoyant, Sister Martha?
Ursula Bonadeo: 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.
Abbess of St. Cecelia: Sister Martha?
Cesare Borgia: Sister.

Cesare Borgia: You asked to meet me alone, Father.
Alexander VI: Yes, my son. We have had intelligence that 25,000 and more French troops are marching towards Milan.
Cesare Borgia: My God.
Alexander VI: Hm. Indeed. An apocalypse.
Cesare Borgia: It is a long march from France to Rome. Anything could happen.
Alexander VI: Well, Milan will grant safe passage. Il Moro has made his intentions abundantly clear.
Cesare Borgia: And what about Florence?
Alexander VI: Well, you tell me. You visited Florence.
Cesare Borgia: Florence keeps its counsel.
Alexander VI: And its counsel is called Niccolo Machiavelli.
Cesare Borgia: I have his understanding that Florence will do nothing if its territories are not invaded.
Alexander VI: And if they are?
Cesare Borgia: It will do something.
Alexander VI: Its something may not be enough for us. French arms may alter the whole equation!
Cesare Borgia: Has the College of Cardinals heard?
Alexander VI: No, but they will. And we can imagine the discord already, everyone dividing into factions. We are facing a battle for our very survival.

Lucrezia Borgia: I'm scared of thunder, Paolo.
Paolo: It often comes before summer showers.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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. He will walk again soon. What will we do with our love then?
Paolo: We can love in secret.
Lucrezia Borgia: Hm. We already love in secret. And you knew this couldn't last forever, didn't you?
Paolo: Why not?
Lucrezia Borgia: Again, where is your imagination? Have you not read your Boccaccio, your Petrarch?
Paolo: You know I can't read.
Lucrezia Borgia: If you did, you'd know. Young lovers are always doomed.

Francesca: Oh, my lady! What have you been doing? Come here.
Giovanni Sforza: You are... wet, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Uh... I am, my lord. Rain will do that.
Giovanni Sforza: I would have my wife dry before dinner.
Francesca: Yes, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: And I would not see her wet again. That young groom...
Francesca: Paolo, my lord?
Giovanni Sforza: I would speak with him tomorrow.

Cesare Borgia: Your cousin's Dukedom of Milan is now host to the arms of King Charles of France.
Ascanio Sforza: Not for long, I would imagine.
Cesare Borgia: Indeed. He is allowing free passage of the armies through his territories, south.
Ascanio Sforza: Well, we must all pray for deliverance, then.
Cesare Borgia: And how does he imagine the pope will regard this betrayal?
Ascanio Sforza: Betrayal? I was told that the armies of France threaten Naples, not the Holy City of Rome.
Cesare Borgia: So, they will pass through Rome, if they get this far, and leave the Holy City as it was.
Ascanio Sforza: What other outcome could one wish for?
Cesare Borgia: I think you know, Cardinal Sforza, that Cardinal Della Rovere has but one end in view: The deposition of our Holy Father, the Pope.
Ascanio Sforza: Yes, a grave matter, indeed. And with few precedents.
Cesare Borgia: And your attitude to this possibility?
Ascanio Sforza: I myself voted for the Holy Father.
Cesare Borgia: So he can count on your continued support, then?
Ascanio Sforza: Yes, of course.
Cesare Borgia: What else would you say to me, his son?
Ascanio Sforza: Indeed. What else, Cardinal Borgia? What else?
Cesare Borgia: 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.
Ascanio Sforza: Shall I tell him that, or should you? Or should we leave that responsibility to your sister, Lucrezia?

Lucrezia Borgia: You would speak with the groom, my lord?
Giovanni Sforza: I would, my lady.
Francesca: My lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: What of, might I ask?
Giovanni Sforza: I'd have him ready my horses. I must return to the saddle.
Francesca: My lord.
Lucrezia Borgia: Are you sure that is wise, my lord?
Giovanni Sforza: My leg, thank God, is healing. As we may confirm tonight.
Lucrezia Borgia: Tonight?
Giovanni Sforza: Tonight. I have slept alone too long.

Giovanni Sforza: My lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: My lord.
Giovanni Sforza: You are a vision.
Lucrezia Borgia: Even for a Borgia?
Giovanni Sforza: Your beauty was never in question. Merely your breeding. And speaking of breeding, the entire principality will be expecting an heir soon...
Lucrezia Borgia: So soon?
Giovanni Sforza: And we mustn't disappoint them, must we?
Lucrezia Borgia: My lord! Here, let me help you. Oh, I'm sorry, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: No! So! So!

Alexander VI: The French armies are headed for the walled city of Lucca.
Giulia Farnese: And they must pass Lucca to get to Rome?
Alexander VI: Hm. And Lucca will provide no contest. Perhaps the leg of our beloved Italy will provide some solace.
Giulia Farnese: No, Rodrigo.
Alexander VI: What? Are we forbidden Naples? And the hills of Rome? Not to speak of Florence and Milan?
Giulia Farnese: It's that time of the month, Rodrigo.
Alexander VI: Ah! We are denied entry, then. Hm.
Giulia Farnese: So it seems. Most men consider it unclean.
Alexander VI: But we are not most men, Giulia Farnese. Let us hope this blood is not a portent.

French Soldier: They would open their gates to you, my liege. But they would first discuss terms.
Charles VIII: Let us show them terms.
French Soldier: Fire!
French Soldier: Fire the cannons!
Charles VIII: Those are my terms. Captains!
French Soldier: Forward!
French Soldier: A l'attaque!
French General: Should I order restraint, my liege?
Charles VIII: No, give them their head. Pillage the place.
Giuliano della Rovere: But what can justify such carnage?
Charles VIII: It is war, Cardinal, plain and simple.
Giuliano della Rovere: They would have surrendered to you, readily.
Charles VIII: As the whole of Italy will surrender to me now.
Girolamo Savonarola: 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?

Charles VIII: You are eating nothing, Cardinal?
Giuliano della Rovere: I find it hard, my liege, to muster an appetite. Perhaps I should retire.
Charles VIII: No! I shall not allow it. You invited us to this carnage. You shall at the very least partake of it with us.
Giuliano della Rovere: But, my liege—
Charles VIII: 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.
Man: Of course. Victory.
Charles VIII: 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.
French General: Ah! And they were so looking forward to Florence.
Charles VIII: You think Florence might resist us?
French General: After tonight, I doubt it. But we live in hope, do we not, Cardinal?
Giuliano della Rovere: Can I make a request then, my liege?
Charles VIII: We are... all ears, Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: 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.
Charles VIII: He has no stomach for slaughter. General, what are our terms?
French General: Free passage of our troops through the Florentine Republic. 25,000 troops billeted on the Florentine population.
Charles VIII: A levy of 200,000 ducats for the cost of our armies to date.
Giuliano della Rovere: You would have them pay for your invasion of their republic?
French General: 200,000 is still out of pocket, my liege. Your costs are double that, to date.
Charles VIII: 400,000 then.
French General: And, my liege, I would demand, as a token of good faith, hostages from each of the major Florentine families.
Giuliano della Rovere: Those demands are unaccountably harsh, Your Highness. They may not accede to them.
Charles VIII: Well, then, we look forward to battle.

Girolamo Savonarola: 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!

Alfonso of Naples: I bring news, Father, of apocalypse. Hm. 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.

Alexander VI: ...per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen. You have heard what happened in Lucca, my son?
Cesare Borgia: The whole world has heard, Father. King Ferrante has died.
Alexander VI: Indeed. And did he die repentant?
Cesare Borgia: He has been dead for years, to sense and logic. But the throne of Naples is free at last. Alfonso will demand its investiture.
Alexander VI: Well, the French King demands it too.
Cesare Borgia: His army heads to Florence.
Alexander VI: Well, we must muster what forces we can.
Cesare Borgia: And what forces are they?
Alexander VI: The armies of the papal states. Of the Sforzas. The great lords of the Romagna.
Cesare Borgia: And you think they can resist French arms?
Alexander VI: They are all the forces we have.
Cesare Borgia: Under what leadership?
Alexander VI: Of the Gonfaloniere, the Duke of Gandia, Juan Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: You are blinded by affection, Father.
Alexander VI: Can you suggest an alternative?
Cesare Borgia: Father, Father... Give me control of them. I will do what is necessary.
Alexander VI: You have no experience of battle, my son.
Cesare Borgia: Does Juan?
Alexander VI: Yes. He's been bred for this moment. His whole life has been spent in training for such an event.
Cesare Borgia: He's played at games of war, Father. He has yet to experience reality.
Alexander VI: Well, he'll have the condottieri to advise him. If Florence resists French arms, then we may yet have time.
Cesare Borgia: And you think they will?

Alexander VI: We will excommunicate Florence if the French armies are admitted.
Ascanio Sforza: Excommunicate the entire city, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: The Medicis, the Pazzis, Machiavelli, the whole Signoria. And we will have that Savonarola burnt. We will bear no more opposition to our word.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Then you must excommunicate half of Christendom.
Cardinal: Indeed.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Because half of the world is against us.
Alexander VI: We will not tolerate this heresy! This sapostasy! 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. We ask for your support in this most solemn declaration. We demand your compliance, so... a show of hands, Your Eminences. If you please.
Ascanio Sforza: Your Holiness, may the vice-chancellor speak?
Alexander VI: Yes... Cardinal Sforza. He may.
Ascanio Sforza: It would be unwise... to use the Church's most solemn sanction... to so little effect.
Alexander VI: What does the vice-chancellor mean?
Ascanio Sforza: Excommunication or not, this invasion will proceed. We may all have to adjust ourselves to new realities.

Giovanni Sforza: You should consider it fortunate, my lady, that you're a Borgia no longer.
Lucrezia Borgia: What does my lord mean?
Giovanni Sforza: 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.
Lucrezia Borgia: I know little of politics.
Giovanni Sforza: You know enough, surely, to know that your father's days may be numbered.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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.
Giovanni Sforza: That promise did form part of the betrothal arrangement.
Lucrezia Borgia: And my lord would never renege on a promise.
Giovanni Sforza: My cousin Catherina already has.
Lucrezia Borgia: But you, my lord, would never be so... dishonorable.
Giovanni Sforza: Is it dishonorable to assist in the deposition of a Borgia pope? As dishonorable, perhaps, as removing a litter of swine from the Vatican walls. You are ill, my lady?
Lucrezia Borgia: Perhaps your words offend me.
Giovanni Sforza: Forgive me, then, for speaking so plainly. But understand that if Florence admits the French armies, then the Sforza arms may march with France.
Lucrezia Borgia: It is unwise, my lord, to upset me thus. Ah...
Francesca: My lady! Come. Straight away...

Alexander VI: Who can we trust... in this charnel house called Rome?
Giulia Farnese: You can trust me.
Alexander VI: The Sforzas of Milan... have deserted us. I wonder, will the Sforzas of Pesaro do the same?
Giulia Farnese: Your daughter, who married one, would know.
Alexander VI: But I hear nothing from her. I wonder, would you travel to Pesaro, find out what she knows?
Alexander VI: We will miss you, in our hour of need.
Giulia Farnese: And I will miss you. But I will suffer your absence, if it sets your mind at ease.
Alexander VI: 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.
Giulia Farnese: Summon him to Rome, then. While I ride to Pesaro.

Giuliano della Rovere: The French King demands that Florence be opened to the passage of his armies.
Piero de' Medici: But of course.
Giuliano della Rovere: 25,000 troops be billeted on its populace.
Niccolo Machiavelli: That will need to be voted by the Signoria.
Piero de' Medici: You heard what happened in Lucca.
Giuliano della Rovere: Is that a yes?
Giuliano della Rovere: He demands a levy of 400,000 ducats for the cost of his invasion so far.
Niccolo Machiavelli: My God! What effrontery.
Piero de' Medici: The answer is yes.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Yes? We must pay for the privilege of being invaded?
Piero de' Medici: You heard what happened in Lucca.
Niccolo Machiavelli: What happened in Lucca sounds increasingly like genius.
Giuliano della Rovere: He demands hostages from the following families as a token of goodwill. Medici.
Niccolo Machiavelli: 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?
Giuliano della Rovere: Have you ever witnessed carnage, Ambassador?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Let's drink then. To the great God, carnage.

Niccolo Machiavelli: I have heard a whisper of your excommunication, Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: Indeed. I have heard the same of yours.
Giuliano della Rovere: I've heard rumors that the whole of Florence could be excommunicated if this city is surrendered to French arms.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Well, then, perhaps that depends on one's definition of surrender.
French Soldier: Regiment, halt!
Niccolo Machiavelli: 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.
Charles VIII: At rest?
Niccolo Machiavelli: 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.
Charles VIII: Signor Machiavelli.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Your Highness?
Charles VIII: Our lance at rest prevents our entry to your fair city.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Perhaps, Your Highness, if it were to be angled backwards.
Charles VIII: And of what would that be a symbol?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Of Your Highness' infinite resourcefulness.
French Soldier: Onward, forward!
French Soldier: Onward, forward!
French Soldier: Company march!

Paolo: My lady.
Giulia Farnese: Am I in the right place? Residence of Lucrezia Borgia?
Paolo: Sforza.

Man: The Lady Giulia Farnese, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: La Bella Farnese. May I introduce my cousin, Catherina Sforza.
Giulia Farnese: Your reputation precedes you. And the tales of your military prowess.
Catherine Sforza: These are troubled times.
Giulia Farnese: Indeed they are. And the one I came to see? Your dear wife, Lucrezia?
Giovanni Sforza: She is indisposed.
Giulia Farnese: Nothing serious, I hope.
Giovanni Sforza: The politics of our Italy have unnerved her.
Catherine Sforza: They have unnerved us all. You... have the pope's ear, Giulia Farnese.
Giulia Farnese: At certain times.
Catherine Sforza: So, enlighten us. Will he resist this French invasion? Will he bring bloodshed and carnage upon all our heads?
Giulia Farnese: You are no stranger to bloodshed, are you, Lady Sforza?
Catherine Sforza: I would save my arms for battles I can win.
Giulia Farnese: If you're asking me, will he accept his deposition as the Pope of Rome... the answer is never.
Catherine Sforza: With what armies will he confront the French?
Giulia Farnese: With the armies of the papal states. Of the lords of the Romagna. The Colonna. The Salviati. The Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: Oh, we're all doomed then.
Catherine Sforza: No. No, the House of Borgia is doomed. The arms of the House of Sforza will remain where they belong: In the Romagna.
Giulia Farnese: But what of my lord's marriage... with the House of Borgia?
Giovanni Sforza: What of it?
Giulia Farnese: You will let these French armies march to Rome, and do...
Giovanni Sforza: What everyone else in Italy is doing. Nothing.
Giulia Farnese: Ah. Have you shared this intelligence with your dear wife, Lucrezia?
Giovanni Sforza: She's too young to understand such matters.

Alexander VI: Do you recognize us, Brother Raphael?
Friar Raphael: Oh... I hardly do, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: 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.
Friar Raphael: That is indeed grave.
Alexander VI: 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.
Friar Raphael: God makes himself manifest through the world. He does not ask us to change it, merely to lead good lives.
Alexander VI: 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?
Friar Raphael: You were given this office for a reason, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Are you sure of that, Friar?
Friar Raphael: 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.

Lucrezia Borgia: Djem is in my dreams again, Giulia. And he still cannot speak. Can one contract the marsh fever in these mountainous regions?
Giulia Farnese: I'm sure the mountains have fevers of their own, but I know them not. But you are ill, Lucrezia. Describe your illness.
Lucrezia Borgia: I wake up, nauseous. I expel the contents of whatever I ate the night before. I sweat. It comes and goes.
Giulia Farnese: When does it come and go?
Lucrezia Borgia: Mornings are the worst.
Giulia Farnese: Your husband... does he visit your bed nightly?
Lucrezia Borgia: He had a hunting accident, Giulia. He has slept alone since his fall.
Giulia Farnese: How strange. We must leave this castle at first light, before the Lord Sforza awakes. Have you any friends you can confide in here?
Lucrezia Borgia: There is a maidservant.
Lucrezia Borgia: Francesca. There is a groom. Paolo.
Giulia Farnese: You can trust this groom?
Lucrezia Borgia: With my life.
Giulia Farnese: Hmm... He was kind to you, hmm?
Lucrezia Borgia: He was my only solace here.
Giulia Farnese: He can provide us with horses then.
Lucrezia Borgia: You said it was strange. Why is it strange, Giulia Farnese?
Giulia Farnese: Because, Lucrezia, my love... I recognize the symptoms of your illness. And it's not called marsh fever. You're with child.



108. The Art of War


Giulia Farnese: Are you the one?
Paolo: Yes, my lady. I knew I would be whipped.
Giulia Farnese: If you speak of your affections, Paolo, I will see you hanged after you are whipped. Do you understand?
Paolo: Yes, my lady.
Giulia Farnese: And it would be a shame to maim that body of yours. For all the pleasure it has given her. You will prepare us two horses at dawn, already saddled.

Alexander VI: I had a dream, my son. Or a nightmare.
Cesare Borgia: Of Lucrezia?
Alexander VI: 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.

Lucrezia Borgia: You must come with us. My lord will kill you.
Paolo: No. He will whip me. But it will have been worth it.
Lucrezia Borgia: When will I see you again?
Paolo: When you return from Rome, perhaps.
Giulia Farnese: When horses fly, as we must now. Before Lord Sforza awakes.

Alexander VI: 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—
Juan de Fonseca: But, with respect, Holy Father, what you ask is impossible.
Alexander VI: The involvement of Spanish forces in the protection of St. Peter's and the head of Christendom—
Juan de Fonseca: Would amount to a declaration of war between France and Spain.
Alexander VI: I warn you, Ambassador, favors granted can be rescinded.
Juan de Fonseca: And I would beg Your Holiness's forgiveness that I cannot meet his full demands.
Alexander VI: Must we face this... French apocalypse alone? The populace is already fleeing Rome. Please thank Their Royal Catholic Highnesses. And tell them... our Savior was kissed thus by Judas Iscariot.

Alexander VI: We would review whatever forces we have at our disposal. Where's your brother?
Cesare Borgia: I know not, Holy Father, but... I suspect.
Alexander VI: Well, then, seek out the Gonfaloniere of the papal forces from whatever whorehouse he's seen fit to rest his head!

Cesare Borgia: You know this man?
Woman: No, Father. He had no name last night.
Juan Borgia: Brother.
Woman: You have a priest for a brother?
Juan Borgia: A cardinal.
Woman: A cardinal? I should have charged you double.
Juan Borgia: I imagine you did. Ah!
Cesare Borgia: Your father would review the forces at his command, Gonfaloniere.
Juan Borgia: I am out of sorts this morning, brother.
Cesare Borgia: This afternoon.
Juan Borgia: Ah! Ah!
Cesare Borgia: You know me, brother. I disapprove of lechery, debauchery, drunkenness.
Juan Borgia: Which is why our father made you the cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: Why, then, did he make you a duke?
Juan Borgia: Because lechery and debauchery are the very marks of nobility.
Cesare Borgia: 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.

Giulia Farnese: Slow your horse, my love. You were ill, remember? And your condition needs nurturing.
Lucrezia Borgia: Once out of that gloomy castle, my health seems to improve.
Giulia Farnese: We did doubly well to flee, then, and your father needs us both at this perilous juncture. Now, you tell me about this Paolo.
Lucrezia Borgia: You mean Narcissus? What would you know?
Giulia Farnese: Everything.

Giovanni Sforza: Where are they heading?
Paolo: The horses were gone, my lord, at dawn. I know not where.
Giovanni Sforza: You mean they saddled them without you stirring?
Paolo: They must have, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: You sleep very soundly.
Paolo: Like a babe in arms, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: You lie.
Paolo: Would it be in my interest to lie, my lord, when my back is at your mercy?
Giovanni Sforza: Your entire being is at my mercy. The truth, peasant! Where are they heading?
Paolo: She is headed as far from you as possible, my lord. She can no longer stand the sight of you. The smell of you. The thought of you. And nor, my lord, can I.
Giovanni Sforza: Peasant.

Condottiere 1: 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.
Cesare Borgia: What about cannon?
Condottiere 1: Nobody worthy in the art of war ever uses cannons.
Cesare Borgia: I have heard it rumored that the French do.
Condottiere 1: And I have heard that they are vulgarians, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: Their cannon was vulgar, indeed, when they brought Lucca to its knees.
Juan Borgia: I have a stratagem, Holy Father, to outwit their cannon.
Alexander VI: Would you be so good as to... share it with us?
Juan Borgia: Indeed. Just give me some time with my condottieri.
Alexander VI: 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.

Giuliano della Rovere: There are precedents, of course, Your Highness, for the deposition of the Pope of Rome. The Council of Constance, for example. There were three popes with claims upon the papacy.
Charles VIII: Three?
Giuliano della Rovere: It was a schism, Your Highness, a state to be avoided at all costs. Pope John XXIII, Pope Benedict XIII, and Pope Gregory XII.
Charles VIII: One of them held court in Avignon.
Giuliano della Rovere: Yes, Your Highness. Commonly referred to as the Avignon Captivity.
Charles VIII: And what was the outcome of the Council of Constance?
Giuliano della Rovere: Well, Pope John XXIII was accused of various indiscretions.
Charles VIII: And of what do you accuse this Borgia pope?
Giuliano della Rovere: Simony, usury, public lechery, and poisoning, perhaps.

Alexander VI: So, your brother has a stratagem.
Cesare Borgia: Dreamed up in last night's whorehouse.
Alexander VI: 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!
Cesare Borgia: Which is the source of my concern, Father.
Alexander VI: 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. They are like rats, my son, deserting a sinking ship. Thus our Savior was abandoned by his Apostles, in his hour of greatest need.

Ascanio Sforza: ...without protection, everyone moment we stay here is at our peril.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Holy Father, it is rumored that the Colonna arms are rushing to join the French side.
Alexander VI: Cardinal Colonna could perhaps answer that.
Alberto Colonna: They are in danger of being beaten to the race by the armies of the Sforza.
Alexander VI: Cardinal Sforza?
Ascanio Sforza: Holy Father, we should abandon Rome. Half the populace already has.
Cesare Borgia: The Holy Father forbids any talk of abandonment. We have all of us taken our vows as cardinals to spill our blood in defense of our Holy Mother Church.
Alessandro Piccolomini: We wait like lambs to be slaughtered?
Cesare Borgia: The Holy Father has reviewed the papal forces. He has every confidence in their ability to defend the Holy City. As have I!
Alexander VI: 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.

Lucrezia Borgia: See, up ahead.
French Captain: Who is it?
Giulia Farnese: We must turn back.
Lucrezia Borgia: They are French, are they not?
French Captain: These are dangerous roads, fair ladies.
Giulia Farnese: So it seems.
French Captain: And you are heading?
Lucrezia Borgia: To Rome.
French Captain: Well, then. You have an escort of French arms. Bring them!
French Soldier: Yes, Captain!
French Soldier: En allez!
French Soldier: On the way!

Juan Borgia: What is cannon for, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: For destroying fortification, surely.
Juan Borgia: 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?
Alexander VI: My son.
Juan Borgia: 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?
Cesare Borgia: I know little of the art of war.
Juan Borgia: 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?
Alexander VI: Well, we can breathe again, my son. The air is almost sweet with relief. You... will be the savior of Rome.

Cesare Borgia: Will the good Lord see the justice in our cause, Micheletto?
Micheletto: Where warfare is concerned, Your Eminence, our good Lord will take a holiday.

Lucrezia Borgia: Have you ever seen such an army?
French Captain: Not since Hannibal crossed the Alps, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: That is what my brother faces.
French Captain: Your brother is a Roman soldier? He is to be pitied, then.
Giulia Farnese: You must introduce us to your Hannibal, Captain.
French Captain: And your names are?
Giulia Farnese: Tell him that Lucrezia Borgia, daughter to the Pope of Rome, and Giulia Farnese request the pleasure of his company.

French Soldier: How many times have I had to tell you...
French General: We have a captive, my liege.
Charles VIII: What kind of captive?
French General: Quite a prize, I am told. A Borgia.
Charles VIII: A Borgia?
French General: The pope's bastard daughter, fleeing her husband, Giovanni Sforza. Ran into our hands.
Charles VIII: A hostage, then?
French General: If it pleases you. And the pope's own mistress, Giulia Farnese.
Charles VIII: This pope has a mistress? For shame. Then he must surely be done away with. Why have I no mistress, General?

Lucrezia Borgia: We need a stratagem, Giulia Farnese.
Giulia Farnese: How to achieve our freedom.
Lucrezia Borgia: We are quite uniquely situated to use what... weapons we have in our father's cause.
Giulia Farnese: And what weapons are those, my love?
Lucrezia Borgia: As you told me when I first met you: our beauty.
Lucrezia Borgia & Giulia Farnese: Our wit.
Giulia Farnese: Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: La bella. I trust the French soldiery caused you both no disquiet?
Lucrezia Borgia: Are we hostages, Cardinal?
Giuliano della Rovere: On the contrary, Madame, you are being detained for your own protection.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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?
Giuliano della Rovere: I serve still God, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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?
Giuliano della Rovere: I am in your presence to invite you both to dine with His Royal Highness, King Charles of France.
Giulia Farnese: Which invitation we graciously accept, do we not, Lucrezia?
Lucrezia Borgia: But you have not yet told us, Cardinal, why you are here with the French armies?
Giuliano della Rovere: I am traveling with the French king to institute the deposition of your father as Pope of Rome.
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh, dear. That is certainly a reason. On what grounds?
Giuliano della Rovere: Simony, bribery, and if you will both forgive my mention of such indelicacies, fair ladies, public lechery.
Giulia Farnese: Public lecher? With whom?
Giuliano della Rovere: With your good self, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: So a pope cannot be lecherous, Cardinal, in public or in private?
Giuliano della Rovere: He cannot, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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.

Giulia Farnese: 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.
Charles VIII: I have novelty value, then.
Lucrezia Borgia: No more wine for the moment.
Charles VIII: Why not?
Lucrezia Borgia: I would tell Your Highness's fortune.
Giuliano della Rovere: His fortune?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. In the cup. My mother taught me. She was a courtesan, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: Really?
Lucrezia Borgia: The prettiest in Rome. And she knew her runes. I see... one great army... meet another.
Charles VIII: Is there a winner?
Lucrezia Borgia: There. And I see his face.
Charles VIII: Is it handsome, this face?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, I would not call it handsome.
Charles VIII: Is it... ugly, then?
Lucrezia Borgia: But there is a great... blemish upon it.
Charles VIII: What is this blemish?
Lucrezia Borgia: Come closer, my liege. I would have you see it too. It looks alarmingly like a nose.
Charles VIII: A nose! Is it ugly, this nose?
Lucrezia Borgia: It is exceedingly ugly, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: Like mine?
Lucrezia Borgia: 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 valor, the openness. And now... Pah! It is gone. More wine for His Highness.
Charles VIII: And the winner that you saw in the cup, Lucrezia...
Lucrezia Borgia: Was not as handsome as you, Your Highness. Nor as gracious. Nor as kind.
Charles VIII: Has he a name?
Lucrezia Borgia: There was no winner. No loser either.
Charles VIII: And no battle? What a pity.
Lucrezia Borgia: Your Highness likes battle?
Charles VIII: Mmm. Longs for it. Let me show you, fair Lucrezia, our ways of battle tomorrow.

Juan Borgia: My God.
Condottiere 1: So our stratagem was, Gonfaloniere, a feint to their left. But I can see no left.
Juan Borgia: Or right. Their army fills the whole horizon.
Charles VIII: The pikes of our infantry are 12 feet long. Can you see them there, my dear?
Lucrezia Borgia: Why are the blades hooked so, my lord?
Charles VIII: So they can tear out the guts of their opponents. But we begin battle with the cannon.
Lucrezia Borgia: The cannon?
Charles VIII: Yes. Never risk a man until you've used your artillery. Learned that against the English.
Lucrezia Borgia: I thought cannon were for purposes of siege, to break down walls, and such.
Charles VIII: Ah, but in the open field, we have our own invention. Chained cannonballs.
Lucrezia Borgia: Chained cannonballs?
Charles VIII: Cuts through a front line like a scythe through butter.
French Soldier: Cannons! Man the cannons!
French Soldier: Cannons!
French Soldier: Soldiers! At the ready.
French Soldier: Man the cannons!
French Soldier: Prepare to load!
French Soldier: Cannoneers to your guns!
Juan Borgia: Who gives the command to charge?
Condottiere 1: You do, my lord.
French Soldier: Load the cannons!
French Soldier: Load powder!
Lucrezia Borgia: Is the cannon loud, Your Highness?
Charles VIII: Exceedingly. I would cover your ears, my dear.
French Soldier: Back in positions!
French Soldier: Target ready!
French Soldier: Cannon ready, Captain.
French Soldier: Central cannons, fire!
French Soldier: Fire!
Papal Soldier: Run!
French Soldier: Fire!
Papal Soldier: Fall back!
Papal Soldier: Fall back!
Papal Soldier: Stay in line, men!
Papal Soldier: Back to the front!
Papal Soldier: Back, men, to the front!!
Juan Borgia: Stand fast, men!
Papal Soldier: Formations!
Juan Borgia: Stand fast!
French Soldier: Central cannons reload!
French Soldier: Reload!
French Soldier: Check the distance!
Lucrezia Borgia: Your Highness?
Charles VIII: Yes, my dear?
Lucrezia Borgia: Could you halt the cannon for a moment?
Charles VIII: Pardon?
Lucrezia Borgia: Could you halt the cannon for a moment?
Charles VIII: But why?
French Soldier: In position!
Lucrezia Borgia: You were right. They are exceedingly loud.
French Soldier: Take aim!
French Soldier: Ready, Captain!
French Captain: Your Highness?
Juan Borgia: Stand fast, men!
Papal Soldier: Stand fast.
Condottiere 2: Is it the white flag? A parlay?
Juan Borgia: It's my sister.
Papal Soldier: Hold the line!
Papal Soldier: Form up!
French General: We are in danger of losing the initiative, Your Highness—
French General: Your Highness, I strongly urge you to take—
Charles VIII: You will wait. I will not harm her.
Juan Borgia: Lucrezia. My God.
Lucrezia Borgia: They hold us hostage, brother.
Lucrezia Borgia: Giulia Farnese and I. We were riding to Rome.
Juan Borgia: Ride on then.
Lucrezia Borgia: Would you survive this day, dear Juan?
Juan Borgia: We have a battle to fight.
Lucrezia Borgia: Believe me, you have lost it already.
Juan Borgia: It has hardly begun.
Lucrezia Borgia: 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.
Juan Borgia: I will not accept defeat!
Lucrezia Borgia: Then do not call it that.
French Soldier: Ready!
Lucrezia Borgia: Call it common sense. Say the French King got asked for terms. You offered...
Juan Borgia: What did I offer?
Lucrezia Borgia: His safe passage to Naples in exchange for... his bloodless entry into Rome.
Juan Borgia: Lucrezia, he will pillage the place; depose our father!
Lucrezia Borgia: Leave that to me.
French Soldier: Ready!
French Soldier: Target ready!
French Soldier: Target ready!
Lucrezia Borgia: It was my brother, Your Highness!
Charles VIII: Your brother?
Lucrezia Borgia: 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?
Charles VIII: No such idea.
Lucrezia Borgia: Your goal is Naples.
Charles VIII: Naples. Of course.
Lucrezia Borgia: So, my brother, the Duke of Gandia, the Gonfaloniere of the papal armies, bids you welcome to Rome.
Papal Soldier: Forward!

Alexander VI: Why the hurry, Cardinal?
Alessandro Piccolomini: You have heard?
Alexander VI: 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.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Your son's army is in retreat. The French plague is almost upon us.
Alexander VI: Did you not swear a solemn oath, when you first donned that cardinal's red, to spill your blood in defense of the Christian faith?
Alessandro Piccolomini: My cardinal's oath is not the issue here.
Alexander VI: Then what is?
Alessandro Piccolomini: You, Holy Father! The French King has but one intent: your deposition.
Alexander VI: I understand. You would protect yourselves and not us.
Alessandro Piccolomini: You could ride with us, Holy Father, to the safety of Ostia.
Alexander VI: Our place is here. As is yours, Cardinal Sforza.
Ascanio Sforza: You should leave, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: We will stay here. And we shall be here when you return. IF you return.

Alexander VI: You may need those tomes, Burchart, in whatever haven you are fleeing to.
Johannes Burchart: I would preserve these books for posterity, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: For posterity?
Johannes Burchart: They have survived many invasions. I will do my best to ensure they survive this one.
Alexander VI: Take care, then, you preserve this book on the Council of Constance. You may need it in the near future.
Johannes Burchart: Why, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: 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?
Johannes Burchart: I would preserve these books, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: I know, I know. For posterity.

Cesare Borgia: Do they look victorious, Micheletto?
Micheletto: No, Your Eminence. They are merely tired and exhausted.
Cesare Borgia: The exhaustion of battle, surely.
Micheletto: The exhaustion of retreat.
Cesare Borgia: Is that why I see no prisoners?
Micheletto: You see no prisoners because there are none.
Woman: Where are the French? Are they coming?
Cesare Borgia: And Rome is like an old whore, waiting once more for her ravishment.
Man: What will happen to Rome?

Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: Do not blame him, Cesare, for retreating before the French hordes.
Cesare Borgia: They have Lucrezia as hostage. Have you heard? If they harm her...

Juan Borgia: Cowards. Vermin! Rats deserting a sinking ship! You're like lemmings running to your doom! Do you think a golden chalice will save you?

Alexander VI: 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.
Cesare Borgia: I will not leave you, Father.
Juan Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: My son.
Juan Borgia: We had no choice but retreat. There's not a moment to lose.
Alexander VI: So we believe.
Juan Borgia: The guards will take you to safety in Ostia.
Alexander VI: No, we will stay here in Rome, my son.
Juan Borgia: The Castell St. Angelo then.
Alexander VI: We will stay here in this Vatican. The papal guard and yourself will take your mother to safety in Ostia.
Juan Borgia: But Father...
Alexander VI: Would you see her defenseless before the French invasion? Go. GO!

Alexander VI: 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.
Friar Raphael: Your very presence here, Your Holiness, attests that you have not.
Alexander VI: 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.
Friar Raphael: My clothes?
Alexander VI: Your humble tunic. The cowl you wear. Those unadorned sandals.
Friar Raphael: But why do you need my clothes, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: We would wear them.
Friar Raphael: You would disguise yourself?
Alexander VI: 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 Savior faced His great trial: in a simple robe, sandals on our bare feet, with nothing but our faith in God to adorn us.

Ursula Bonadeo: Why are you here?
Cesare Borgia: I want you to leave.
Ursula Bonadeo: I cannot. I have taken vows.
Cesare Borgia: You will be defenseless when the French army arrives.
Ursula Bonadeo: I must put my trust in Jesus, then.
Cesare Borgia: No. You will put your trust in me. I will not have you without protection.
Ursula Bonadeo: Do you not understand? I cannot have you near me, Cesare. I would betray our Savior in a moment.
Cesare Borgia: You said my name.
Ursula Bonadeo: I have... made a promise. A sacred vow. I am sorry.
Cesare Borgia: Will you allow me to at least afford the abbey protection? Place guards on the gates?
Ursula Bonadeo: You are our benefactor, Cardinal.



109. Nessuno (Nobody)

French Soldier: ...formation!
French Soldier: Corporal.
French Soldier: Oui, mon Capitaine!
French Soldier: Ready, my general!
Giuliano della Rovere: When we enter Rome, Your Highness, we should demand an immediate convocation of the sacred College of Cardinals.
For what purpose?
Giuliano della Rovere: Only the College of Cardinals... can depose a pope.
Giulia Farnese: I think you may find Rome empty of cardinals, Your Highness, except for His Eminence Cardinal Della Rovere.
French Soldier: Forward!
French Soldier: Canon abord!
French Soldier: Forward!
French Soldier: Tight file!

French Soldier: Faster!
French Soldier: Forward!
French Soldier: Begin!
French Soldier: Gate sentry, get ready!
Where are the cheering crowds? The welcoming populace?
French General: I would hazard they have fled, my liege.
Did you not promise us, Cardinal, that the city of Rome would welcome us with open arms?
Giuliano della Rovere: They have heard of your military prowess, my liege.
We smell politics. We dislike politics.
Giuliano della Rovere: There will be no argument and no politics, sire. The battle has been won.
And who won the battle?
Giuliano della Rovere: You did, sire.
You truly are a clown, Cardinal.
French Soldier: Tight file!
You are a true clairvoyance, Lucrezia Borgia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Why, thank you, Your Highness.
And if we could impose on your diplomatic graces once more, we would request an audience with your father, His Holiness the Pope of Rome. There are matters of importance I would discuss with him.
Lucrezia Borgia: A private audience?
Yes, of course.
Lucrezia Borgia: I think I know, at this hour, where he may be found.
French Soldier: Company halt!
Lucrezia Borgia: Cardinal.
French Soldier: Men at arms, halt!
Lucrezia Borgia: Come, sire. His Holiness breaks his prayers between prime and terce.

Alexander VI: Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam miseri...
Your Holiness!
Alexander VI: Miserere mei...
Your Holiness!
Alexander VI: ...secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam...
Forgive me, Friar. I am seeking an audience with the pope. You have been interrupted at prayer.
Alexander VI: Our prayers are ended. And perhaps they will be answered.
Can this really be the Pope of Rome? Pope Alexander—
Alexander VI: Sextus. At your service, my lord. And you, my lord, are?
King Charles of France. It is not as we expected.
Alexander VI: Does the Pope of Rome disappoint Your Highness? Had you hoped for gold and silver vestments? Display has its purpose. But simplicity must rule our hearts. We are all of us naked before God. Even the Pope of Rome. Even... the King of France.

Lucrezia Borgia: Who's there? I have missed those hands.
Cesare Borgia: And I have missed that face.
Lucrezia Borgia: I have brought a king to Rome, Cesare, from a far-off land.
Cesare Borgia: I have heard. My little sister has achieved what the papal arms could not.
Lucrezia Borgia: He seeks guidance from the head of Christendom.
Cesare Borgia: Of course.

Alexander VI: I am sure you too, Your Highness, sometime long to be free of the burden of kingship.
To walk as a man among men. It would be sweet relief, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Just as we long to be free of the burden of the papacy. The papal robes are such a weight upon our shoulders. One longs to be relieved of the burden, to be a simple priest again, praying to the God of Abraham.
We understand, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Then perhaps Your Highness knows one who would relieve us of this burden?
The very thought appals me, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Really? Why?
We do not choose our calling, Your Holiness. It is chosen for us. When called to serve, as King of France, and, I am sure, as Pope of Rome, we can only have one response: serviam.
Alexander VI: I will serve.
However imperfect my service, however human my failings, when called to serve...
Alexander VI: Your Highness is troubled.
I have exulted in the thrill of battle. I have turned streets into rivers of blood. I have played the part of God, and in my arrogance, I assumed that I served His cause.
Alexander VI: Then perhaps what is needed... is a renewal of one's vows.
One's vows?
Alexander VI: A renewal of your vows of kingship before the Pope of Rome. The papal investiture of the Kingdom of France.
France, as you must know, Your Holiness, has traditional claims upon the Kingdom of Naples.
Alexander VI: But of course! Even better. The papal investiture of the kingdoms of France and Naples. And your solemn oath, before God... to rule them in His holy name.

Cesare Borgia: You must tell me everything, sis.
Lucrezia Borgia: There are some things, brother, it would be best not to speak of.
Cesare Borgia: Your husband, Giovanni Sforza, he proved ungallant?
Lucrezia Borgia: More than that. He betrayed our father, the pope.
Cesare Borgia: I know of his betrayal, sis, and he shall pay the price. But if he misused you he shall pay a different kind of price.
Lucrezia Borgia: It has been a long journey, Cesare, and I... And I have kept my spirits intact thus far, but... I...
Cesare Borgia: Lucrezia... you need a medic.
Lucrezia Borgia: No, no, no, brother.
Cesare Borgia: But you are ill. You are faint.
Lucrezia Borgia: It is a common illness, brother. I am with child.
Cesare Borgia: My God. Does... does anybody know?
Lucrezia Borgia: Only one: Giulia Farnese. And I would keep it that way.
Lucrezia Borgia: Because the child, thank God... is not my husband's.

The Pope of Rome has kindly put the Castel Sant'Angelo at our disposal. We can billet the troops on the populace of The Eternal City. And you'll be please to know, Cardinal Della Rovere, the College of Cardinals will be convened.
French Soldier: Gate sentry, ready!

Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: Holy Father.
Cesare Borgia: Um... The French king—
Alexander VI: Proved to be a man of God in search of guidance and spiritual solace, like any man. There may be kings more handsome, but hardly more devout.
Cesare Borgia: And, uh, what of Naples?
Alexander VI: We discussed the investiture of the Kingdom of Naples. And I told him, there was no need for a great army. All he had to do was to ask. The College of Cardinals will be convened not to discuss our deposition but to consider their shameful abandonment of the Vatican in its hour of need.

Alexander VI: You have returned the books, Burchard.
Johannes Burchart: Of course, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Well, please, continue. We have... convened the College of Cardinals. We find their abandonment of the Vatican in its hour of greatest peril truly shameful. As must you, surely, Burchard.
Johannes Burchart: It is indeed most shameful, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Your own absence has been noted. But we believe that your concern was with the most sacred volumes of our library.
Johannes Burchart: I did my best to protect them from harm, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Well. Well, now you must study them carefully and find a precedent for us. We think that a period of penitence is in order for the curia who so selfishly abandoned us.
Johannes Burchart: What kind of penitence did His Holiness have in mind?
Alexander VI: We think they should present themselves in sackcloth and ashes at the next convention.
Johannes Burchart: Sackcloth and ashes?
Alexander VI: Yes. Can you find such a precedent for us?
Johannes Burchart: I will do my utmost, Your Holiness.

Cesare Borgia: I am the convent's benefactor. You'll be safe.
Lucrezia Borgia: Must I take the cloth?
Cesare Borgia: No. But you may rest here while you are still with child.
Lucrezia Borgia: Must I hide myself, then?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps, until the child is born. There is the annulment of your marriage to consider.
Lucrezia Borgia: Can my marriage be annulled?
Cesare Borgia: Only if it was never consummated.
Lucrezia Borgia: But I am with child, Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: Indeed. The child is not his.
Lucrezia Borgia: But my marriage was consummated. In... the harshest possible manner.
Cesare Borgia: I beg you not to worry about it, sis. I will find a solution, I swear. And I have a dear friend here who promised to take the very best of care of you.
Lucrezia Borgia: Her name?
Cesare Borgia: Sister Martha. She was once known as Ursula Bonadeo.
Lucrezia Borgia: I remember.
Cesare Borgia: Sister Martha.
Ursula Bonadeo: Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: My sister, Lucrezia Borgia.
Ursula Bonadeo: I remember. I was at her wedding.
Lucrezia Borgia: Sister. You still look beautiful. But you have lost your wonderful hair.
Ursula Bonadeo: A woman's beauty can be a great distraction. As you yourself must already know. You will find it peaceful here. And maybe peace is what you need at this juncture.
Cesare Borgia: I must warn you, Sister, I shall visit at every available opportunity.
Ursula Bonadeo: You must.
Cesare Borgia: I will. Goodbye, sister.

There are beauteous women in Naples, I have been told. Even for this ugly snout of mine.
Alexander VI: They will swear it is divine, Your Highness.
They can lie in Naples?
Alexander VI: Exceedingly well. They hardly know what truth is.
Hah! A most excellent pontiff, your father, is he not?
Cesare Borgia: I have... no other to compare him with.
Well, he has suited our purpose. We could be said to have an understanding.
Alexander VI: We could, indeed.
But in case— just in case— we would make a request of Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: We will respectfully hear it.
We would have you nominate a papal legate to accompany our armies to the Kingdom of Naples. To remain with us for the duration of our visit.
Alexander VI: Very well. We will nominate a legate of our choice—
Oh, no! Not of your choice, Holy Father. Of ours.
Alexander VI: Who would you choose?
Your son. Cardinal Cesare Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: You would have me accompany your army as... a hostage?
No. God forbid. A hostage implies enmity.
Cesare Borgia: And what does legate imply?
Friendship, surely. And a guarantee that such friendship will continue. Hmm?

Cesare Borgia: What is the difference, Holy Father, between hostage and legate?
Alexander VI: As the king said, one implies enmity, the other friendship.
Cesare Borgia: And you will insist on this charade?
Alexander VI: King Charles will not remain in Naples for long.
Cesare Borgia: How can you be certain?
Alexander VI: We are not certain, but we suspect. You should take your manservant with you. For entertainment. For protection. And if you find the rumours of an outbreak of plague in Naples are true, I'm sure you can find your way home. Are we understood?
Cesare Borgia: Understood.
Alexander VI: Good. Because now another charade demands our attention.

Alexander VI: You may sit, cardinals. Now, before we begin the proceedings, we would consider the penitential intentions of each member of this college. We would start with the vice-chancellor, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza. You may kneel, Cardinal.
Ascanio Sforza: My shame, I hope, is obvious to all, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: And of what are you ashamed?
Ascanio Sforza: Of my abandonment of Rome— of St. Peter's, of your... sacred presence.
Alexander VI: In our hour of need.
Ascanio Sforza: Indeed.
Ascanio Sforza: And in recompense, I offer all the benefices of the Sforza ecclesiastical estates to the Holy See of St. Peter's.
Alexander VI: That is kind, indeed. And we shall most graciously accept. Cardinal... Piccolomini. Unburden your soul.

Alexander VI: In our capacity as the Chosen of God, the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, successor to the prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, we invest thee, Charles of France, with the crowns of France and the crown of Naples. And we confer our sacred blessing on thy reign in both those kingdoms.
Cesare Borgia: It is an august sight, is it not?
Giuliano della Rovere: St. Peter's in its full glory; the Pope of Rome in cathedra; the Sistine Chapel Choir singing; it would bring tears to one's eyes, Cardinal Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: I want to compliment you, Cardinal, on your steadfastness, your probity, your survival, indeed.
Giuliano della Rovere: It did prove hard at times.
Cesare Borgia: In fact, you proved such a worthy opponent that I would gladly have you back in Rome.
Cesare Borgia: I have my father's ear, as you must understand. And he needs someone with the steel that your soul has.
Giuliano della Rovere: He has you, does he not?
Cesare Borgia: I will not be cardinal forever. Surely you must know that.
Giuliano della Rovere: And the other cardinals?
Cesare Borgia: The Holy Father's problem is, he surrounds himself with weakness. And with your strength, Cardinal...
Giuliano della Rovere: I serve God, and can only pray the papacy survives its current occupant.
Cesare Borgia: I could have killed you— twice.
Giuliano della Rovere: Perhaps, then, you should kill me now, because my opposition to the Borgia papacy will only die with me.

Road to Naples
Cesare Borgia: Micheletto, how do you think my escort becomes me?
Micheletto: Seems to be an escort worthy of your stature, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: What is my stature, Micheletto?
Micheletto: Papal legate to our new friend, the French king, is it not?
Cesare Borgia: And as papal legate, I should be free to ride where I choose, should I not?
Micheletto: Indeed you should, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Well, then... I shall ride!
French Soldier: Halt! Halt!
French Soldier: Company!
Cesare Borgia: Micheletto. It seems I am not papal legate after all.
Micheletto: Then what are you, Your Eminence?
Cesare Borgia: It seems I am nobody, Micheletto.
Micheletto: Nobody?
Cesare Borgia: Either that or a hostage.
Micheletto: Is this why we ride without weapons?
Cesare Borgia: We ride without weapons because they were forbidden us.
Micheletto: Then I am now servant to a hostage, Your Eminence.

Micheletto: There are many ways to kill a man.
Cesare Borgia: But for absolute silence, he prefers, um— tell them, Micheletto.
Micheletto: The garrote.
French Soldier: And what is the garrote, pray?
Micheletto: Ah, it's... it's just a cheese cutter, my friend.
French Soldier: You can kill with a cheese cutter?
Micheletto: Most efficiently, yes.
French Soldier: Show me.
Micheletto: You wish to see?
French Soldier: Certainly. How does it work?
Micheletto: Like this.
French Soldier: Ugh!

Micheletto: Where are we heading, Your Eminence?
Cesare Borgia: To Pesaro. And Giovanni Sforza. Come on!

Alexander VI: We are as shocked as you are, Monsieur Ambassador, by the cardinal's disappearance.
French Ambassador: But as to his whereabouts, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: Oh, his whereabouts, well... We have no idea. Would you inform His Royal Highness that we will dispatch whatever cardinal he wishes to replace him— Cardinal... Sforza, perhaps?
French Ambassador: I will inform His Royal Highness thus, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: And please convey to him our wholehearted support for his Neapolitan adventure.
French Ambassador: We do not regard the conquest of Naples as an aventure, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Oh, no, no. But maybe Naples does. And now, if you will excuse us, we have another audience to attend to.

Man: Come on. Walk on.
Man: I'll take your mount, my lord.
Micheletto: Killing would be easier, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: But some things should not be easy, Micheletto. Hah! Yah!

Giovanni Sforza: Where am I?
Cesare Borgia: Where all roads lead to: Rome.

Cesare Borgia: In there.
Giovanni Sforza: I must protest against this outrage! Beaten, bound, taken here against my will.
Alexander VI: Could this be true?
Cesare Borgia: Um, he did prove somewhat unwilling, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Well, you're here now, and you're safe. That's the main thing, is it not?
Giovanni Sforza: And, why, may I ask, am I here?
Alexander VI: Why, to discuss the annulment of your marriage, of course.
Giovanni Sforza: Annulment of my marriage?
Alexander VI: You must admit, it did prove a disappointment. The promised help of the Sforza family to the papal states simply never arrived. And the marriage bed, we are told, was far from happy.
Giovanni Sforza: You'll never get away with this.
Alexander VI: On the contrary, canon law is admirably clear on these matters. Dear Burchard will elaborate.
Johannes Burchart: It is written as if in stone. There can be only one ground for the annulment of a marriage.
Alexander VI: And that is?
Johannes Burchart: Non-consummation.
Giovanni Sforza: Non-consummation? You'll never be able to prove it.
Johannes Burchart: Let me finish. If the marriage can be proved never to have been consummated, why, then, Your Holiness, it never existed as a marriage.

Johannes Burchart: Lady Lucrezia, you have intimated some grave disappointment on your wedding night.
Lucrezia Borgia: It was disturbing, Your Honour, in the extreme.
Johannes Burchart: Would you be so kind as to elaborate?
Lucrezia Borgia: I blush with shame to speak of such matters before this august company, but, sadly... tragically, my husband revealed himself to be...
Alexander VI: You may speak frankly, Lady Lucrezia. These are grave matters.
Lucrezia Borgia: My husband... turned out...
Johannes Burchart: Please proceed.
Lucrezia Borgia: Turned out... to be impotent.
Giovanni Sforza: Monstrous. This is monstrous! I can prove it! On the wedding night—
Alexander VI: You said, on the wedding night...
Giovanni Sforza: I say she lies.
Johannes Burchart: Indeed. But you just mentioned... proof.
Giovanni Sforza: She lies.
Johannes Burchart: Ah. There are precedents, Your Holiness, for a demonstration of proof of... potency.
Johannes Burchart: The Lord Sforza could demonstrate the truth of his claims to full potency with the Lady Lucrezia before a gathering of canon lawyers.
Alexander VI: No, no, no. That would surely be distasteful to the lady herself— indeed, as would the lord. Hmm?
Giovanni Sforza: The very thought is an outrage.
Johannes Burchart: Well, then, there remains one more possibility. A public demonstration of the Lord Sforza's prowess, with one or two willing maidens would also constitute proof of potency.
Giovanni Sforza: Public?
Johannes Burchart: Indeed. In a place of the college's choosing before a gathering of canon lawyers and a selection of the Roman public.
Giovanni Sforza: You mean courtesans?
Alexander VI: We will spare the Lord Sforza such public humiliation. A demonstration here, before our brother cardinals would suffice.

Prostitute: Would His Holiness see the Lord Sforza with one or both of us?
Alexander VI: Burchard?
Johannes Burchart: One demonstration will suffice.
Prostitute: Me first, then. Do these thighs not please you?
Giovanni Sforza: Enough! Give me a divorce.
Alexander VI: But on what grounds?
Giovanni Sforza: Impotence.
Johannes Burchart: We must hear it from the Lord Sforza's own lips. For the record, on the wedding night...
Giovanni Sforza: On the wedding night I did not consummate my marriage.
Johannes Burchart: Did not, or could not?
Giovanni Sforza: Did not. And could not.
Johannes Burchart: You were on that night and remain...
Giovanni Sforza: Impotent.
Alexander VI: We declare the marriage between the Lady Lucrezia Borgia and the Lord Giovanni Sforza... to be invalid, as if it never existed.

Man: Farewell, my lady!
Man: Cockadoodle-doooooo!

Naples Is there a room in this kingdom that doesn't stink of death? What is this pestilence?
French Soldier: I know not, my liege.

Lucrezia Borgia: Noooooo! I will die on this bed.
Ursula Bonadeo: No, you will not!
Lucrezia Borgia: Do not let my child die!
Ursula Bonadeo: Nobody will die!
Midwife: You must push, my lady.

Cesare Borgia: Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: How is she?
Cesare Borgia: Alive still, at least.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I came as quickly as I could.

French Soldier: Stay back.
French General: Plague. Did the Borgia Pope know of this?

Midwife: More effort, my lady. Water. Water!
Ursula Bonadeo: God is with you.

Joffre Borgia: Mother!
Juan Borgia: Hello, Mother.
Joffre Borgia: How are you, Cesare?
Sancia of Naples: Has she had it yet?
Juan Borgia: A boy, I hope.
Giulia Farnese: I tried, but I could not keep him away. He insisted.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: He loves each new arrival. But try to tell him of the birthing pains.
Alexander VI: No, no, no, no, no. Not now, Vanozza.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: With Juan I was in agony for days. Do you remember?
Alexander VI: Mmm. I remember... the joy of holding him in my arms. A brother for little Cesare at last. We did love our children, did we not, my dear?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: To a fault. My God.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Lucrezia! My darling.
Cesare Borgia: May I... hold? A boy.
Ursula Bonadeo: Yes. Your Holiness. We should give thanks.
Cesare Borgia: Whom should we thank?
Alexander VI: God. We should thank God for all the blessings He has visited upon this, our family.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: He's beautiful.