The Borgias - Season 2

201. The Borgia Bull


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Deacon Cardinal: Habemus papam!
Cesare Borgia: You are aware, Holy Father, of the plots against you?
Alexander VI: Oh, what would Rome be without a good plot?
Orsino Orsini: Simony!
Giuliano della Rovere: I have evidence that will bring this house crashing down around your ears.
Alexander VI: Evidence?
Alexander VI: All of Rome knows you're the mother to my children. The pope must be seen to be chaste. God has chosen us to sweep the Vatican clean of corruption. What Rome needs now is...
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Don't you want them to hear that you have a new whore?
Cesare Borgia: Whom can one trust, in this Rome of ours?
Micheletto: I believe trust needs to be earned, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps it has been.
Alexander VI: The vultures are circling our family. Our Rome.
Cesare Borgia: It seems Cardinal Della Rovere has fled.
Giuliano della Rovere: Your Royal Highness.
Alfonso of Naples: What do you want?
Giuliano della Rovere: I want Naples to join in alliance with me to rid the papacy...
Alfonso of Naples: Of the stench of Borgia.
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 armor.
Juan Borgia: You think it fits me, Brother?
Alexander VI: And Lucrezia must marry! Bind our enemies to us! Make friends of them.
Lucrezia Borgia: And if my husband proves ungallant?
Cesare Borgia: I shall cut his heart out with a dinner knife.
Alexander VI: Lucrezia!
Giulia Farnese: Have you any friends you can confide in?
Lucrezia Borgia: There is a groom. Paolo.
Paolo: My lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Young lovers are always doomed.
Cesare Borgia: Lucrezia!
Lucrezia Borgia: I am with child. Thank God, not my husband's.
Giuliano della Rovere: Your Royal Highness, King Charles of France. I want to restore the Universal Church. To her former dignity.
Charles VIII: You will have your war! But it will be fought the French way.
Ascanio Sforza: Holy Father, we should abandon Rome.
Alexander VI: We will not tolerate this heresy! The barbarians are approaching!
Juan Borgia: We shall outwit them.
Cesare Borgia: I know little of the art of war.
Juan Borgia: Thank God someone in this family does.
Alexander VI: You are either with us or against us.
French Soldier: Fire!
Charles VIII: We could be said to have an understanding.
Alexander VI: We could indeed. The crown of Naples. King Charles will not remain in Naples for long.
French General: Plague. Did the Borgia Pope know of this?
Alexander VI: We should thank God for all the blessings he has visited upon this, our family.

Giuliano della Rovere: The congregation is poor but devout. We shall be honoured to celebrate the Eucharist among them. Come. The commune awaits.

Giuliano della Rovere: Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi. Que Agnus Dei, et qui Tollis peccata mundi Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea. Corpus Domini nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen. Corpus Domini nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen. Corpus Domini nostri esu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen. Corpus Domini nostri esu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.
Altar Boy: Is it the heat, Father?
Giuliano della Rovere: No, no, no. Corpus Domini nostri esu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen. It's something I ate!

Cesare Borgia: You may leave us, sisters.
Aged Nun: But Cardinal...
Cesare Borgia: There is no need for last rites but your prayers would be welcome. Hush Cardinal. I will attend you. And you sisters, let us hear your prayers. Don't worry, if you're not dead by now, you will live. Your tongue will be swollen for days. No talking, I'm afraid. All of your prayers must be silent ones. Altar boys and cantarella. Neither can be trusted. But you must know by now, Cardinal, there is no hiding place. Even here, in the depths of the Umbrian olive groves... we will find you. The French army is ensnared in Naples. The French king is ill, with the Neapolitan disease. God is in His Heaven and the pope on his seat in Rome. And my plea to you, Cardinal, is still the same. Work with us... not against us.

Altar Boy: The cardinal will live then?
Micheletto: So it seems, yes.
Altar Boy: But I did my duty, did I not? I shall still receive payment?
Micheletto: Of course. Go with God, sister.
Cesare Borgia: To Rome now.
Micheletto: Our work here, Your Eminence, is finished, yes?
Cesare Borgia: For the moment.

Bianca Gonzaga: Will we meet again, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: Perhaps.
Bianca Gonzaga: Am I to be your mistress then?
Alexander VI: Alas, no. That position is taken.
Bianca Gonzaga: Will I receive your blessing at least, for this night we spent together?
Alexander VI: You have already received my blessing many times.
Bianca Gonzaga: And is that bliss to be repeated?
Alexander VI: Giulia Farnese comes back from Umbria today. She would not countenance this.
Bianca Gonzaga: She is strict then?
Alexander VI: Yes. And jealous.
Bianca Gonzaga: Why?
Alexander VI: Why? She is a woman.
Flunkey: And, forgive me, Holy Father— she is here.
Alexander VI: Uh, you must leave us! Don't let her in! No, no! You have to leave us! Go!
Bianca Gonzaga: But I was promised...
Alexander VI: Oh, oh, oh, oooh. Um. Now please go! Make her vanish if you would be so kind?
Giulia Farnese: His Holiness is—?
Flunkey: His Holiness bathes.
Alexander VI: We asked for hot water! We lie in cold!
Giulia Farnese: This is more to Your Holiness's liking?
Alexander VI: Ahhh... Giulia Farnese. We have missed you.

Alexander VI: Isn't this bliss?
Giulia Farnese: A crying child?
Alexander VI: You must avail yourself of a wet nurse, my love.
Lucrezia Borgia: Indeed, Father. Why?
Alexander VI: Well, you are hardly a commoner, And your figure should reflect that grace.
Lucrezia Borgia: Aha. Because I am yet of marriageable age, am I not?
Alexander VI: Nothing could have been further from our thoughts, Lucrezia.
Lucrezia Borgia: This child, Holy Father, lacks a father.
Alexander VI: Or one appropriate to your station.
Lucrezia Borgia: And for the moment you have no need of a marital alliance. But if the need arose, you would marry me to the moon.
Alexander VI: What? Does the sun threaten our papacy now?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, Father. Mars is in a unique alignment with Saturn. The heavens beam down upon us. For the moment. But the day might come.
Alexander VI: Now let me hold him, come along. Come. That's right, that's right. So. A wet nurse. We insist. Come on. That's the way.
Ascanio Sforza: The French ambassador awaits, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Oh, God. Isn't he dead yet?
Ascanio Sforza: He's not even sick.
Alexander VI: Let's go see the French Ambassador. See what he's got to say.

Alexander VI: Ambassador.
French Ambassador: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Up with you. There we go. Ah, fine. There we go. Ah. It's nice, isn't it? So how can we be of assistance?
French Ambassador: The whereabouts of—
Alexander VI: Sh, sh, sh! Pianissimo!
French Ambassador: Alfonso of Naples is still at large. We have reason to believe that he infected his own city with the pestilence that plagues it.
Alexander VI: Oh, how can that concern us? We would have the ambassador gently remind the king that Naples has the habit of rejecting those who would conquer it. The Moor, the Turk, the Norman. Sh, sh, sh. Why should the French be any different?
French Ambassador: But Your Holiness invested King Charles with the—
Alexander VI: Sh! Pianissimo! All right, darling. It's all right. We granted the King his wish. Naples. He has Naples. He regrets that fact. That is his tragedy and not ours. It's not ours, is it? And now you've woken the child. Shame on you, ambassador. Sh. It's all right. It's just the nasty ambassador. Let's go and find your mama. She'll give you something to eat and it'll be better.

Alexander VI: So, Cardinal Della Rovere is still alive?
Cesare Borgia: I would hardly call it living.
Juan Borgia: You need lessons in killing, Brother?
Cesare Borgia: From you?
Alexander VI: Enough! And King Charles of France, what of him?
Cesare Borgia: He has been struck with the Neapolitan disease.
Alexander VI: As we had hoped. So... Now is the time of reckoning for those who betrayed us.
Alexander VI: All the great families of the Romagna and papal states. Our task is of vengeance. We believe that the cardinals will now, from henceforth, do our will. But now it is time to make sure their families feel the wind of our displeasure.
Juan Borgia: Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.
Alexander VI: Ah. Vengeance will be ours. We shall subdue the arrogance of those papal states, one by one by one. We will force them back into the arms of Rome. But above all, the Sforzas. Their betrayal of our papacy shall be avenged.
Cesare Borgia: By who? This headless cock?
Alexander VI: Will you stop this discord! We are family! We are one! And we will only triumph as one! For we have a second task. It is called renewal. We would restore Rome to its former glory. Under the Borgias it will shine as it did beneath the Caesars. But if we are to achieve this greatness— your birthright— it will be together. As one. As family. Now let me hear you speak that word. Give me your hand, Cesare. Family.
Juan Borgia: Family.
Cesare Borgia: Family.
Alexander VI: Family.

Juan Borgia: I have had new dueling blades designed, Brother. Thin, and as sharp as will be our vengeance.
Cesare Borgia: Show me.
Juan Borgia: Hear how they sing. A blade looks incongruous in a cleric's hand.
Juan Borgia: A cleric prays. He doesn't fight.
Cesare Borgia: Well this cleric does both.
Juan Borgia: Prove it.
Cesare Borgia: You must attack me then, Brother. Because I would never attack you.
Juan Borgia: Never?
Cesare Borgia: Our father has forbidden discord between us.
Juan Borgia: Even in jest?
Cesare Borgia: In jest? Attack that which can hardly defend itself?
Juan Borgia: That's an insult, I believe. Come on, Cesare!

Alexander VI: Can you not keep your horse still, my love?
Giulia Farnese: Could you ask my horse the same?

Cesare Borgia: The troops are cheering, Brother. Why?
Juan Borgia: They cheer their leader. Do I detect anger in those blows, Brother?
Cesare Borgia: No anger. No envy either. I have been long steeled in all the cardinal virtues.
Juan Borgia: You must need them, wearing a clerical collar.
Cesare Borgia: And I know the one sin my father would never forgive— is fratricide.
Juan Borgia: A big word, Brother.
Micheletto: It is a big word, Your Eminence. But pray. What does it mean, my Lord?
Juan Borgia: Something to do with killing.
Micheletto: Ah. Killing. We will have none of that. Not today. You are brothers, after all, are you not? Your Eminence.

Giulia Farnese: You have found your prize.
Alexander VI: Sh sh sh...
Giulia Farnese: But it may have led you to a greater one. Look. Those Romans knew not monogamy.
Alexander VI: No. Mm. That came with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Giulia Farnese: One would hope.
Alexander VI: We must preserve these. For posterity.
Giulia Farnese: Not for pleasure?
Alexander VI: No. You alone are our pleasure.

Cesare Borgia: Can I hold him?
Lucrezia Borgia: And wake him? That would be cruelty indeed.
Cesare Borgia: I must hold you then. Tell me again, my love. Who was his father?
Lucrezia Borgia: A groom. Paolo. But I called him Narcissus, so divine was his face.
Cesare Borgia: Should I envy him then?
Lucrezia Borgia: You have read your romances, dear brother. You must know that such love is impossible.
Cesare Borgia: Impossible loves. I am very much afraid they can become an addiction.
Lucrezia Borgia: There is one your heart must find room for, Cesare. One you must love before you can love anyone.
Cesare Borgia: And that one would be?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yourself.

Charles VIII: Will I live long enough to see the one who caused this pestilence punished?
Doctor: The humors of this city have been rife with disease for centuries. Its pestilences come and go...
Charles VIII: So I should not blame that inbred prince?
Doctor: It is His Highness's privilege to blame whom he chooses.
Charles VIII: And I choose to blame Prince Alfonso. You knew his father, King Ferrante?
Doctor: I was his physician, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: You have heard, then, of his torture chambers, his house of pain below us here?
Doctor: I had the sad duty of working within it, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: You were subjected to its horrors?
Doctor: No, Your Highness. I had to keep alive those unfortunates who were.
Charles VIII: And King Ferrante's supper table. You had a hand in that?
Doctor: It was my duty to prepare the corpses for the taxidermist.
Charles VIII: When they died.
Doctor: When my best efforts had failed them, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: Do not fail us, Doctor. Or that house of pain may await you.

French General: That Borgia pope! He set a trap for us in league with Prince Alfonso. Naples, I hate it now forever. Now even the king is ill with this pestilence!

Alexander VI: So we must have all the frescoes removed, intact. Ah, careful! We will install them in a chamber in the Vatican dedicated to...
Giulia Farnese: Pleasure?
Man: Remarkable.
Alexander VI: ...dedicated to history and the renewal—
Vittoria Colonna: Loosen these, carefully.
Alexander VI: ...the Eternal City.
Man: Turn it over a little.

Giulia Farnese: What is that?
Alexander VI: Apis. Sacred bull of the goddess Isis. Could be the Borgia Bull. Some say that Isis is the predecessor of our own Blessed Virgin Mary.
Giulia Farnese: We are all to worship Isis now?
Alexander VI: No. But we could find a way to worship more like the ancient. With joy. I mean, instead of constant prayer. Why not thank God for Rome's deliverance from the French with celebration? For the common people?
Giulia Farnese: You would give them bread and circuses again?
Alexander VI: No, no. We would give them what is lacking in their lives. Joy.
Giulia Farnese: Is His Holiness lacking something?
Giulia Farnese: Does my presence no longer fill him with joy?
Alexander VI: Oh, no, no, no. Don't say that.

Alexander VI: Do you normally work at night?
Vittoria Colonna: Your Holiness!
Alexander VI: Come here where I can see you.
Vittoria Colonna: I must practice my art in secret, Your Holiness. I am as yet a mere artisan. Any moment I can snatch to perfect my line, I do.
Alexander VI: You are apprenticed?
Vittoria Colonna: To the master of Bramante, Your Holiness. But I am as yet the least of his pupils.
Alexander VI: Ah. Come here. I won't bite. You're very young.
Vittoria Colonna: But youth fades.
Alexander VI: Beauty doesn't. Turn your face to the light. What is that smile?
Vittoria Colonna: Your Holiness. Please.
Alexander VI: You are more Eve than Adam.
Vittoria Colonna: Forgive me...
Alexander VI: Why would one hide such beauty?
Vittoria Colonna: As an apprentice, I must be male. Or appear to be...
Alexander VI: What is your name, fair apprentice?
Vittoria Colonna: The master knows me as Vittorio.
Alexander VI: And God knows you as?
Vittoria Colonna: Vittoria.
Alexander VI: Well, Vittoria. We have to keep you a secret. We may have a commission for you.

Alexander VI: On the 25th of June the ancient Romans celebrated the Ludii Taurii. The Games of the Bull. Now, that is also, by coincidence, the feast day of St. Bernard of Vermicelli. We propose to hold a celebration on that day for the entire populace of Rome. The church, the nobility, but above all, for the common people.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Can a pagan feast day, Holy Father, be reconciled with a Christian one?
Alexander VI: If you knew anything of your history, Cardinal, you would know that Easter, for example, was celebrated long before our Savior's death. No, the ancients knew what we seem to have forgotten. That Rome is its people. Which is why we propose a celebration for the people of Rome. It shall include a horse race, a public feast, a masked ball on classical Roman themes. And— We have commissioned a monument, in wood, to light up the celebrations. The Borgia Bull!
Ascanio Sforza: And these celebrations, this Bull, Your Holiness, does anyone have any idea of the cost?
Alexander VI: Can one put a price on joy, Cardinal Sforza?
Ascanio Sforza: No, Holy Father. It is priceless.
Alexander VI: So, whatever the cost, we shall have a bargain. Let Rome be full of joy!

Giulia Farnese: Interesting.
Vittoria Colonna: Thank you, Madam.
Giulia Farnese: But your animal lacks physical concreteness. That creature is more cow than bull, surely.
Vittoria Colonna: Pardon me?
Giulia Farnese: You have, how should I put it? Desexed the creature.
Vittoria Colonna: It is a bull, surely, Madam.
Giulia Farnese: It looks like a bull, it stands like a bull. But it lacks something of the male vigor. Like you, perhaps. Your name, Maestro?
Vittoria Colonna: Vittorio. I am as yet no maestro.
Giulia Farnese: No? Then a mistress, perhaps?
Giulia Farnese: Giulia Farnese. And you, Vittorio, have so cleverly disguised your hair. Why the deceit, fair lady?
Vittoria Colonna: A woman cannot be apprenticed.
Giulia Farnese: I know. To any trade other than wet nurse. And you would sit on Parnassus, with your master, Bramante.
Vittoria Colonna: I beg you, my lady.
Giulia Farnese: Yes. You may yet beg. And I am your lady. At least the pope is not tempted with the sin of sodomy.

Charles VIII: His Holiness—
French Ambassador: ...claimed to know nothing.
Charles VIII: Is he a fox, or a holy fool, that pope?
French Ambassador: He is definitely no fool, my liege.
Charles VIII: But if he thinks he's fooled me, Ambassador, he'll find he's wrong. This room was King Ferrante's joke, a parody of the last supper. Do you find it amusing?
French Ambassador: I find it repellent, my liege.
Charles VIII: But the Judas seat is empty. It awaits its occupant. That Judas who betrayed his own people, infected his own city. Prince Alfonso of Naples.
French General: There has been a sighting, my liege, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Charles VIII: Hunt him down, wherever he is. Bring him here. Unharmed. I would see him in this chair.

Man: Come on, higher!
Vittoria Colonna: All right, ready, move! No, where it is! Bring it down! To that side! Come on. Higher! Come on! Give me some more rope.
Ascanio Sforza: His Holiness has ordered that Rome be full of joy.
Alessandro Piccolomini: And how much does joy cost?
Ascanio Sforza: Two hundred and fifty thousand ducats so far.
Vittoria Colonna: Wrap it in muslin now! Tightly!
Ascanio Sforza: And counting.
Cesare Borgia: Ha! Come on!
Juan Borgia: Come on, Brother!
Juan Borgia: Ya! Ya! Come on! Ya! Ya! Given up already, Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: A wager, for the race tomorrow. My brother or me.
Micheletto: You... if he doesn't cheat.

Juan Borgia: Do you hear that roar, Brother? I think it's for me.
Cesare Borgia: Who else?
Micheletto: Ready!
Juan Borgia: You think you can beat me, Brother?
Cesare Borgia: Always!
Juan Borgia: Ya! Ya!

French Captain: Give them the scent. Take the scent! Come on!
French Captain: Give them the scent of who was once their ruler— what was his name?
French Captain: Prince Alfonso! Allez avec moi. Maintenant!
French Captain: And they know him well.

Juan Borgia: Borgia!
Cesare Borgia: Caltrops.

French Captain: After him!
French Captain: Get him! Up there!
French Captain: Coward! We'll get you!
French Captain: Go get him!
French Captain: Come down, you coward!
Alfonso of Naples: I claim the right of feudal privilege! I shall bow to no common soldier!
French Captain: You will bow to a king then!

Alexander VI: Let me guess, my love. An owl?
Giulia Farnese: Yes, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: And an owl signifies?
Giulia Farnese: Oh, I am the owl of Minerva.
Giulia Farnese: Goddess of magic and wisdom.
Cesare Borgia: Who is my dear sister tonight?
Lucrezia Borgia: I am Echo.
Cesare Borgia: I may not be Narcissus. But may I dance with Echo?
Lucrezia Borgia: My Narcissus could not dance. He could not read nor write.
Cesare Borgia: Could he make you smile?
Lucrezia Borgia: Can you?
Cesare Borgia: I can try.
Cesare Borgia: Hush now.

Alfonso of Naples: Unhand me! Hurts! I must protest, Your Highness, at my treatment by your captors. The laws of chivalry demand I not be bound.
Charles VIII: Even a prince cannot eat in handcuffs.
French Captain: Soldat.
Charles VIII: I, sadly, cannot partake.
Alfonso of Naples: His Highness feels poorly?
Charles VIII: Yes. A strange pestilence has laid me low. Has laid the whole of Naples low indeed.
Alfonso of Naples: Ah. What a pity. His Highness will recover?
Charles VIII: We have been so assured.
Alfonso of Naples: Oh goody! I cannot wait to show His Highness the delights of our fair city.
Charles VIII: What remains of it.

Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: You are Apollo, my son?
Juan Borgia: No, Father, I am Mars.
Alexander VI: Oh. But no warfare tonight we trust.
Juan Borgia: No. Tonight is for celebrations. Who are you tonight, Father?
Alexander VI: We are Janus. The guardian of the keys of Rome. Of the gateway to paradise.
Juan Borgia: So there's no pope here tonight?
Alexander VI: The pope has have two faces, my son. One looks to the future and the other to the past. We are the gatekeeper to both.

Alfonso of Naples: Pah. People are born and people die. They breed like rabbits here, Your Highness. Naples will recover and her splendor always does.
Charles VIII: Perhaps the Prince will give me a tour of its delights.
Alfonso of Naples: It would be my utmost honor, Your Royal Highness.
Charles VIII: And perhaps he would begin with a tour of his father's dungeons.
Alfonso of Naples: My father's dungeons?
Charles VIII: We have seen his banquet room, where King Ferrante liked to dine with those who displeased him. But the ingenuity of his torture chambers... for that we felt a tour was necessary.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Well spotted, Giulia Farnese. And you are?
Giulia Farnese: You may call me Minerva.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Ah. And to think. You were Venus once.
Giulia Farnese: And I soon may be a vestal virgin.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You fear for the constancy of your lover's affections?
Giulia Farnese: And, if I may be so bold, I would ask for your advice.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: When his eye wanders? As it did from me to you?
Giulia Farnese: You must hate me.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: No. And if you would take my advice, don't do as I did. Rage, remonstrate. Play the wounded wife.
Giulia Farnese: No? So what is the Goddess Juno's advice?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: He is Janus tonight, is he not? He looks both ways. Allow him his fancy. Let him look both ways. But be sure one of those gazes falls on you.

Charles VIII: And this ingenious construct, my Prince. Has it a name?
Alfonso of Naples: It is called... a Judas Cradle.
Charles VIII: What an elegant name.

Giulia Farnese: Do not let me think you have dressed as Hermaphrodite?
Vittoria Colonna: No, my Lady. I am Vulcan, god of molten metal, of the artisans.
Giulia Farnese: Ah. A humble station. You would do well to maintain it.
Vittoria Colonna: And His Holiness is?
Giulia Farnese: You would find out who His Holiness is? Follow me then.

Charles VIII: And this?
Alfonso of Naples: It is called the Pear of Anguish.
Charles VIII: And its use?
Alfonso of Naples: It can be inserted, into the mouth, or into the... rect... rect...
Charles VIII: Aha, he means the rectum, does he not? The rear. The back passage.
French General: I believe he does, Your Highness.

Giulia Farnese: You are now Aphrodite. Lover of Hermes. Mother of Hermaphrodite.

Charles VIII: It almost harmonizes. Sing, sing.



202. Paolo


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias... Now is the time of reckoning. Our task is of vengeance.
Cesare Borgia: But you must know by now, Cardinal. Work with us. Not against us.
Alexander VI: We are family! We are one! And we will only triumph as one!
Micheletto: We will have none of that; you are brothers, after all.
Giulia Farnese: Is His Holiness lacking something? Does my presence no longer fill him with joy?
Alexander VI: You're very young, beautiful. You are more Eve than Adam. We propose a celebration for the entire populace of Rome. Whatever the cost. Let Rome be full of joy!
Ursula Bonadeo: I gave my body to you. I broke my marriage vows. You bought those three weeks with murder. Admit it, Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: I will search you out. You may find a nunnery but you will never be free of me. Tell me again, my love. Who was his father?
Lucrezia Borgia: A groom, Paolo.
Cesare Borgia: Impossible loves; they can become an addiction.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You fear for the constancy of your lover's affections? Don't do as I did. Allow him his fancy. Let him look both ways. But be sure one of those gazes falls on you.

Shepherd: Hey, hey, hey! Good, good!
Paolo: Excuse me, old man. Which way is Rome?
Shepherd: Can you not smell it, from here?
Paolo: Does Rome smell?
Shepherd: It stinks. What do you want in Rome?
Paolo: I have a child there.
Shepherd: Pity the poor child, then. Rome. Good! Hey. Get on! Go on!

Alexander VI: We had a dream. We were a trinity upon this bed last night.
Giulia Farnese: What if there was no dream? And we were three indeed.
Alexander VI: Was it by our invitation or by yours? Our memory is...
Giulia Farnese: I'm afraid it was I, Your Holiness. Shall I be whipped for my offence?
Alexander VI: You should be bound and whipped and ravaged.
Alexander VI: Often.

Cesare Borgia: You may leave us, sisters.
Nun: Your Eminence.
Nun: Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Sister Martha.
Ursula Bonadeo: Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: You know what this is?
Ursula Bonadeo: It is the fresco you have so graciously commissioned, Cardinal. Of the founder of our order.
Cesare Borgia: St. Cecelia, the patron saint of music. But it lacks a model. Which is why I have asked for you.
Ursula Bonadeo: I am afraid I cannot.
Cesare Borgia: And I am afraid you must. I am the Abbey's benefactor, after all. St. Cecelia was renowned for her beauty.
Pinturicchio: But St. Cecilia was no nun, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: But if you would allow me...
Ursula Bonadeo: You offend me, Cardinal!
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps. I am sorry for it. But I would restore this hair to what it was before God snatched it from me.
Ursula Bonadeo: Cardinal, please.
Cesare Borgia: I know, I know. I blaspheme. But it's for a higher purpose. Can you restore her hair, Pinturicchio?
Pinturicchio: Gladly.
Cesare Borgia: And can you make those lips live again?

Taxidermist: From a throne to a Judas chair. Who could have thought it?
Doctor: Certainly not Prince Alfonso.
Taxidermist: Did you revive him often?
Doctor: Seven times, through one long night.
Taxidermist: Can you imagine pain, Doctor? Pain such as this.
Doctor: I imagine it hurts. And enough of this sophistry.
Taxidermist: Indeed. To work.

Nun: Your Eminence.
Nun: You will die, Your Eminence, if you eat nothing, drink only rainwater!
Giuliano della Rovere: I can trust only the rain, Sister.
Nun: We cook our own food!
Giuliano della Rovere: Who provides the grains? The meat?
Nun: Is there no persuading the Cardinal?
Giuliano della Rovere: Perhaps a monkey...
Nun: A monkey?
Giuliano della Rovere: A capuchin monkey.

Beatrice: You are looking for a lady, young handsome man?
Paolo: How did you know?
Beatrice: I imagine everyone walking these streets is looking for a lady. What's her name? Come on now. She must have a name.
Paolo: Lucrezia.
Beatrice: I know a few Lucrezias!
Paolo: She is noble, my Lucrezia.
Beatrice: You saying I'm not noble?
Paolo: I would not be so bold, my lady.
Beatrice: Your lady? Right. I am your lady. And I'll find you your Lucrezia.

Alexander VI: Can you never rest? Where do you sleep?
Vittoria Colonna: Under silk covers, last night.
Alexander VI: No, on a normal night?
Vittoria Colonna: On a straw bed on a studio floor.
Alexander VI: So you know the streets of Rome? The slums, the tenements. You live among the common people?
Vittoria Colonna: I am one of them, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Not for long, I would hazard, knowing your talents.
Vittoria Colonna: Does the Pope of Rome not know his flock?
Alexander VI: You have seen the gilded cage we live within. We meet princes and potentates and prelates. But very few of the common people. We might need your assistance. Ah, Cardinal Sforza. You have come to view our... Roman treasures?
Ascanio Sforza: Etruscan, I would wager.
Alexander VI: Ah, the cardinal is an expert on such matters.
Ascanio Sforza: The cardinal has seen Donatello's David and marvelled at the source of its eros. Now he knows.
Alexander VI: The cardinal thinks there may be scandal perhaps?
Ascanio Sforza: The cardinal does not care. What the cardinal does care about are the Vatican finances.
Alexander VI: Ah, yes. You will excuse us, young maestro.
Ascanio Sforza: Maestro?
Alexander VI: Well, assistant now, but he—

Beatrice: Oy. This nice young man here is looking for a Lucrezia. Do we have any Lucrezias?
Magdelena: I'll be Lucrezia. For a consideration.
Prostitute: Her name is Magdelena. I am Lucrezia.
Magdelena: Oh, shut up, you trollop. We'll all be Lucrezia for you. Do we have a second name?
Paolo: Borgia.
Magdelena: Lucrezia Borgia? She'd cost more than a shilling.
Paolo: You do her a disservice, my lady. And I must consider this conversation to be at an end.
Prostitute: You mean the pope's daughter? I'd try the Vatican if I were you.

Alexander VI: The Vatican finances—
Ascanio Sforza: Are like Cardinal Piccolomini's hair.
Alexander VI: Getting thin?
Ascanio Sforza: Cardinal Piccolomini is bald. But he had hair once. And our beloved Vatican had finances once. But His Holiness's celebrations have reduced them to a state akin to baldness.
Alexander VI: But you are the vice chancellor. Vatican finances are your responsibility! Do something about it! We have hardly begun our task for the renewal of Rome. The restoration of its historic monuments, our transformation of the lives and futures of its common people.
Ascanio Sforza: What does His Holiness know of the lives of the common people?
Alexander VI: I would remind the Cardinal that unlike him we were born amongst them.
Ascanio Sforza: His Holiness's roots were in Spain, I believe. When he came here he was already a great prelate. So I would ask him again, what does he know of the lives of the common people of Rome?
Alexander VI: Well, perhaps the cardinal would be so kind one evening as to walk us amongst them?
Ascanio Sforza: His Holiness must know that that is impossible- for either of us. As, I'm sorry to say, is this project of renewal.

Nun: Does the monkey have a name?
Giuliano della Rovere: Let us call him... Julius.
Nun: Julius Caesar.

Beatrice: Stop.
Paolo: You mock me, fair lady.
Beatrice: If I did, forgive me... kind sir.
Paolo: My name is Paolo.
Beatrice: Beatrice. I mistook you for a client. A girl has to work.
Paolo: Must you so debase yourself?
Beatrice: If I do not lift my skirts, I'll starve.
Paolo: Better to starve, surely.
Beatrice: What, like the rest of Rome? They were fed yesterday. But today they starve.
Paolo: But there is such wealth in evidence here, my lady. How could anybody starve?
Beatrice: There is wealth, of course. But we starve. Whilst Lucrezia Borgia dines on a silver plate. With a fork. You have heard of a fork, Paolo?
Paolo: No, my lady.
Beatrice: It is all the rage now. And I'll bet Lucrezia Borgia dines with a fork of solid gold.

Lucrezia Borgia: Your day of celebration, Holy Father, was a great success.
Alexander VI: Triumph.
Juan Borgia: The mob does need bread and circuses.
Lucrezia Borgia: The mob?
Cesare Borgia: He means the people.
Juan Borgia: I mean the mob.
Alexander VI: But isn't the mob made up of people?
Juan Borgia: Is this a riddle, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: Well, wouldn't you be one of them if you took away your titles, Gonfaloniere, your dukedom, your linens and your laces- and your filigree codpiece?
Juan Borgia: It was a riddle. A bad one.
Alexander VI: Well, riddle me this. When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?
Juan Borgia: There are distinctions, Father, in the natural order of things between the peasant and the nobleman. Between the stallion and the mule.
Alexander VI: Between us and the common people?
Juan Borgia: Of course.
Alexander VI: But we all have an eternal soul. Tell me, if we were to go out one evening amongst the common people, which of you, our family, would guide us?
Cesare Borgia: You would need protection, Father.
Juan Borgia: The Pope cannot just walk amongst that rabble like one of them.
Alexander VI: Why not? Our Saviour did.
Juan Borgia: Yes, but he was not the pope, was he, Father? You see, it was a riddle, after all.

Alexander VI: Ragazzi.

Alexander VI: Be careful. How can people live like this?
Vittoria Colonna: Because they have no alternative.
Man: That shoe's worth something!
Alexander VI: Let her go!
Man: Fancy shoe... fancy blade...
Alexander VI: Go, go, go, go, go, go!
Man: Who are you?
Woman: Alms, alms! For the love of God! To feed the infant!
Alexander VI: That child is dead.
Woman: To bury the infant then! A grave costs money, even a pauper's grave!
Man: Now, sir, sir!
Giulia Farnese: The Roman emperors had their faults, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: As do we.
Giulia Farnese: But they kept order on their streets... and they provided water for their people.
Alexander VI: They built aqueducts, they provided sanitation.
Giulia Farnese: Yes, and now people sleep in filth.
Alexander VI: Pigeons everywhere. Where do they come from, these pigeons?
Vittoria Colonna: This was a bath house once, dedicated to the Goddess Sulis Minerva. Now the orphans of Rome make their bed amongst its ruins.
Alexander VI: Among the rats and the pigeons? Go on!
Giulia Farnese: Did Rome once provide for them?
Alexander VI: The pigeons?
Giulia Farnese: No, Your Holiness. The orphans.
Alexander VI: There is an entire branch of the Curia dedicated to charitable works.
Vittoria Colonna: But its bounty never reaches them.
Alexander VI: Well, we must see that it does. Come.

Vittoria Colonna: All right.
Alexander VI: We will have you, Giulia Farnese, go through their curatorial accounts. And ensure that money for the poor actually reaches the poor.
Giulia Farnese: Will I have your full authority?
Alexander VI: You will. And we shall set ourselves another task. To rid this city of its infestation of pigeons.
Man: More wine!
Alexander VI: And then we'll see who will be the most successful.
Giulia Farnese: Hmm... Is this a challenge?
Alexander VI: A wager. Which is the greater task, poverty or pigeons?
Alexander VI: Now we will have two solidus on number one.
Alexander VI: And we win!

Nun: You must insist the cardinal eats.
Nun: I will, sister.
Nun: He has a terror of food, since the event. But if little Julius here deigns to eat, the cardinal will partake too...
Nun: I understand.
Nun: See him safe to the monastery in Perugia. The brothers will arrange his passage to Rome.
Nun: God be with you, Your Eminence.

Alexander VI: Cardinal Versucci.
Julius Versucci: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Please. You have been in charge of the office of public works for how many years?
Julius Versucci: As long as I have been cardinal, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Ah. Two decades, then. After which time the orphans of Rome find themselves destitute, and the cardinal has built himself how many palaces?
Julius Versucci: Three.
Alexander VI: You see the irony there?
Julius Versucci: The poor will be always with us, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: The poor. Like the pigeons.
Julius Versucci: I beg your pardon? Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Does the cardinal believe that pigeons will be always with us?
Julius Versucci: Is this a riddle?
Alexander VI: We will have curatorial funds used for their declared purposes. Money destined for the poor should go to the poor! So we will have you go through- the last two decades of your accounts with one we have designated to supervise them. The Lady Giulia Farnese.
Julius Versucci: What Your Holiness proposes is unthinkable!
Alexander VI: What? That monies destined for the poor should go to the poor?
Julius Versucci: That a woman should have access to curatorial accounts.
Giulia Farnese: Can a woman not count? Add, subtract?
Julius Versucci: Count her children, perhaps.
Giulia Farnese: There is a new method, Cardinal, devised by the Florentine bankers. It is called double-entry book keeping. It proves a valuable tool in tracing all missing funds.
Alexander VI: So, the cardinal shall help you in your efforts to source those missing funds while we shall attend to another matter of what is of some import.
Julius Versucci: Your Holiness.
Giulia Farnese: Cardinal.

Alexander VI: So, you say a falcon eats pigeon?
Birdman: When he can get one, in his natural habitat.
Alexander VI: What is his natural habitat?
Birdman: The forest of Umbria, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Ah. He should be in paradise here in Rome. Think he's hungry now?
Birdman: Starving, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Oh. Well then. Oh ho ho! Look it! You must get me a battalion of those birds.

Man: These are dangerous roads, Sister.
Nun: I have heard so.
Man: But you have a precious load there.
Nun: Why do you say so, sir?
Man: To keep it so well hidden.
Man: But then... you keep your own beauty hidden.
Man: Hey!
Giuliano della Rovere: Forgive me, Sister. Sometimes goodness needs the help of a little badness.
Nun: Lord have mercy.

Paolo: You can ply your sad trade upon the Vatican steps?
Beatrice: There's no better place, my love. And a cleric's skirt is easier to lift than a codpiece. I have spent many profitable hours beneath them. Paolo? Paolo!
Juan Borgia: However noisome this Roman air, the Roman populace deserves their glimpse of us. They have a thousand eyes, the mob, and those eyes will be fed, occasionally. Will you make your wish at Agatha's fountain?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes, Brother. I would throw a coin in the waters and say a prayer for my little Giovanni. On blessed Saint Agatha's Day.
Juan Borgia: I hate Saint Agatha's Day. Stay close to me. Go away. Let me hear your wish, Sis.
Lucrezia Borgia: My wish is for the fountain's ears alone, Juan. Make your own. Narcissus.
Paolo: Lucrezia.
Juan Borgia: My God, what effrontery! A peasant to a pope's daughter? I should colour this market with your blood!
Lucrezia Borgia: Let him be! Let him be!
Juan Borgia: You know this commoner?
Lucrezia Borgia: I do not.
Juan Borgia: Then I will cut out his impertinent tongue.
Lucrezia Borgia: Do not ruin this day for me, dear brother. Let the commoner keep his tongue. He may need it in the future to explain his impertinence.
Juan Borgia: There will be more impertinence?
Paolo: No, my good lord. And I beg your lady's pardon for any offence. If there is anything I can do to make good my offence...
Lucrezia Borgia: There may be.
Paolo: Then, my lady, I would hear of it.
Lucrezia Borgia: Say a prayer by this fountain. At midnight.
Paolo: Midnight.
Lucrezia Borgia: And beg forgiveness of St. Agatha.
Juan Borgia: Now be gone, while you yet have a tongue to speak with.
Paolo: I beg pardon, my lord!
Juan Borgia: Scatter!

Beatrice: Oh, thank you, kind father. You look happy.
Paolo: I have seen heaven.
Beatrice: I've seen it too. From a different angle. Was your heaven worth it?
Paolo: Yes. And if I understood her rightly, I'll see her again.
Beatrice: Who?
Paolo: Lucrezia. My Heaven.
Beatrice: Oh, Paolo. You just made me cry.
Paolo: Please don't. Unless they be tears of happiness, of course.
Beatrice: Just promise me... you'll be careful, huh?

Alexander VI: You have your spies, do you not?
Cesare Borgia: Who told you that?
Alexander VI: A spy, of course. We would have our ear to the ground in Naples.
Cesare Borgia: Naples is unhealthy, Father.
Alexander VI: So we have heard. Prince Alfonso is no longer with us.
Cesare Borgia: That is tragic, indeed.
Alexander VI: He would have made a good match for your sister Lucrezia.
Cesare Borgia: What's a prince without a kingdom?
Alexander VI: It will not always be thus. King Charles cannot remain in Naples forever.
Cesare Borgia: Unless he wants to die of the pestilence himself.
Alexander VI: But if he does have plans to leave that blessed kingdom, we would be the first to know of it.

Lucrezia Borgia: Watch over him this evening, Nurse.
Nanny: May I?
Lucrezia Borgia: Please. I have business to attend to.
Nanny: Certainly, my lady.

Lucrezia Borgia: Was that was my coin?
Paolo: How would I know?
Lucrezia Borgia: Because there was a wish attached to it. My Paolo. Is it really you?
Paolo: It is nobody else, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: I have missed you so.
Paolo: As I have missed you.
Lucrezia Borgia: But you know, my love, it is impossible.
Paolo: Impossible.
Lucrezia Borgia: Have you not yet read your romances? I know, I know. You still cannot read.
Magdelena: It's a bit past her bedtime, isn't it?
Beatrice: Oh, hush, would you.
Lucrezia Borgia: So why did you come? To punish me with longing?
Paolo: I would see my son. It was a son, was it not?
Lucrezia Borgia: It was. A beautiful little boy.
Paolo: I would see my boy before I die.
Lucrezia Borgia: Please, Paolo, do not mention death. For you may die, if you stay in Rome.
Paolo: Then I will not stay in Rome. But if there is any kindness in your Borgia blood, you would let me see you with my son before I leave.
Lucrezia Borgia: Were you not whipped, Paolo?
Paolo: My back was at your husband's mercy.
Beatrice: Oh, Lord.
Magdelena: Is that what it is like? Love?
Beatrice: It must be.
Magdelena: I'll save myself for business then.
Lucrezia Borgia: One night. If you promise me that you will leave Rome.
Paolo: Is Rome so deadly?
Lucrezia Borgia: For innocents like you. So promise me. And meet me here again tomorrow night.
Paolo: I promise.
Magdelena: Oh, do I hear the rattle of gold in your pocket, sir?
Juan Borgia: This coin is for the fountain.
Magdelena: It would find a better home here.
Juan Borgia: Those lovers, do you know them?
Magdelena: That's the pope's daughter, Lucrezia Borgia.
Juan Borgia: To so shame herself in public? With whom?
Magdelena: Are you paying, sir? Some country bumpkin. Father of her bastard child.
Juan Borgia: You would earn more of that gold coin?
Magdelena: Where should we go, kind sir?
Juan Borgia: Nowhere. But I would have that bumpkin followed day and night.
Magdelena: So I needn't lift my skirt tonight?
Juan Borgia: No. Not tonight.

Lucrezia Borgia: Is he sleeping, Nurse?
Cesare Borgia: He did miss his mother.
Cesare Borgia: You have a lover, Sis?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, Brother. But this child has a father.
Cesare Borgia: A stable hand.
Lucrezia Borgia: Who has come to Rome.
Cesare Borgia: Ah. Unwise.
Lucrezia Borgia: You disapprove?
Cesare Borgia: Not yet. But I know those who would.
Lucrezia Borgia: My father.
Cesare Borgia: Your brother.
Lucrezia Borgia: My husband whipped him. My brother would flay him.
Cesare Borgia: Which is why you go out hooded.
Lucrezia Borgia: At night. Like a phantom. Cesare, he suffered for me in absolute silence. He would have died for me. The least I can do is let him see his child.
Cesare Borgia: You loved him, Sis?
Lucrezia Borgia: I did. Perhaps I do.
Cesare Borgia: Then you must see him.
Lucrezia Borgia: You would help me?
Cesare Borgia: Once. And only once. Just tell me what to do.
Lucrezia Borgia: Find us a room. Where we can spend one night together away from prying eyes.
Cesare Borgia: One night. You promise.
Lucrezia Borgia: I promise.
Cesare Borgia: Go to our mother's house, tomorrow evening. She needs to see her grandchild, does she not?
Cesare Borgia: Leave the rest to me.

Micheletto: You afraid, boy?
Paolo: I was waiting. I had hoped for someone...
Micheletto: One a lot prettier than I, perhaps yes?
Paolo: Perhaps.
Micheletto: Are you saying that I'm not pretty? I have killed for less. But not tonight. Come. You are looking for your love. Yes? Then come. What is your name, boy?
Paolo: Paolo.
Micheletto: Tell me about love, Paolo. I know nothing of love.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Should I absent myself? So my presence doesn't implicate me?
Lucrezia Borgia: In what, Mother?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: A love that would displease your father.
Lucrezia Borgia: Is there such a thing?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: No. Your father is the pope of love.
Lucrezia Borgia: But I would keep this tryst a secret, Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Yes, I am aware. Affections can be lethal in this Rome of ours.
Lucrezia Borgia: He has a right to see his son.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: He does. But only once.
Cesare Borgia: Come, Mother. Let us dine together. Have you dismissed the servants?

Micheletto: Tell me. Love. What does it feel like?
Paolo: It hurts.
Micheletto: Ah, like life. Yes? Like Micheletto.

Paolo: My baby! Let me hold him. Does he have a name?
Lucrezia Borgia: Giovanni. Giovanni. Say "Papa."
Paolo: He's the most beautiful thing I've yet seen.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I feel sorriest for him.
Cesare Borgia: This needs to be our secret, Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You know how I love secrets.

Alexander VI: Four noble women, all from the house of Castille.
Juan Borgia: So you would marry me to Spain?
Alexander VI: Well, it would be quite a natural alliance.
Juan Borgia: And Lucrezia? Would you marry her again?
Alexander VI: In time.
Juan Borgia: To a nobleman or a commoner?
Alexander VI: What? A commoner? Is that wine going to your head? Look, stop drinking for a while and make a choice!

Juan Borgia: Sister slut.

Magdelena: Fuck off, whoever you are.
Micheletto: What are you, uh-you're busy tonight? Huh?
Magdelena: Yes. But tonight I keep my skirts on.
Micheletto: Pity.
Magdelena: No pity at all. It pays better.
Micheletto: What does?
Magdelena: Spying. Makes a change from fucking.
Micheletto: Spying. For who? That gentleman there?
Magdelena: How did you know?
Micheletto: I read your mind.

Cesare Borgia: Were you expecting visitors?
Cesare Borgia: I see you've found your way home, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: Like a pigeon. In your cups you have forgotten, your home is no longer here.
Juan Borgia: I would speak with my mother.
Cesare Borgia: Of what?
Juan Borgia: Of a peasant from Pesaro. Who's had his way with our dear sister and made his way to Rome.
Cesare Borgia: To what purpose?
Juan Borgia: If she finds that dog sniffing around our family, I would have news of it.
Cesare Borgia: She is sleeping, Juan. And you are drunk. Do you really want to her to see you like this?
Juan Borgia: Tomorrow then.
Cesare Borgia: Best tomorrow.
Juan Borgia: Was that an infant crying?
Cesare Borgia: It was from my dovecote.
Juan Borgia: You loved those doves.
Cesare Borgia: Yes. And you woke them. Shame on you.

Juan Borgia: Do you love me, Brother?
Cesare Borgia: I would kill for you.
Juan Borgia: But do you love me?
Cesare Borgia: As I love myself.
Juan Borgia: Which, these days, is not a lot.
Cesare Borgia: You are observant.
Juan Borgia: But you love your family. And your family name. Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: Borgia.

Paolo: He must feed now. And I must leave.
Lucrezia Borgia: I wish it were different. But, yes, you must. And by the back door, the back streets.
Paolo: I would gladly die for you both.
Lucrezia Borgia: I know. So go now, my love. I would have you live. I will write.
Paolo: You know I cannot read.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, you must learn then.

Paolo: Who walks with me? I mean you no harm, kind sir, whoever you may be.
Juan Borgia: Suicide. A sin even the pope can't forgive. Because dead men can't confess, can they?

Micheletto: Tell your tale to the river.

Lucrezia Borgia: Sh, sh. Yes. Ah. Sh, sh. Yes, sh, sh. Yes.



203. The Beautiful Deception


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Cesare Borgia: The French king had been struck with the Neapolitan disease.
Alexander VI: As we had hoped. King Charles cannot remain in Naples forever.
Catherine Sforza: The House of Borgia is doomed. The arms of the House of Sforza will remain where they belong.
Alexander VI: We shall subdue the arrogance of the Sforzas. Force them back to the arms of Rome.
Paolo: Lucrezia.
Juan Borgia: My God! A peasant to a pope's daughter?
Lucrezia Borgia: Let him be! Let him be!
Nun: He has a terror of food, since the event. See him safe to the monastery in Perugia. The brothers will arrange his passage to Rome.
Lucrezia Borgia: This child has a father.
Cesare Borgia: A stable hand.
Lucrezia Borgia: Who has come to Rome.
Cesare Borgia: You loved him?
Lucrezia Borgia: I still do.
Alexander VI: You normally work at night?
Vittoria Colonna: I must practise my art in secret, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: You are more Eve than Adam. We may have a commission for you.
Ascanio Sforza: These celebrations. Does anyone have any idea of the cost?
Alexander VI: Can one put a price on joy?
Ascanio Sforza: No, Holy Father. It is priceless.
Alexander VI: Let Rome be full of joy!
Paolo: I would gladly die for you both.
Lucrezia Borgia: So go now, my love. I would have you live.
Juan Borgia: And Lucrezia? Would you marry her again?
Alexander VI: In time.
Paolo: I mean you no harm, kind sir, whoever you may be.
Juan Borgia: Suicide. A sin even the pope can't forgive. Dead men can't confess.

Lucrezia Borgia: Oh, beautiful. Oh, you like that one for you? Giovanni. Cesare!
Cesare Borgia: Good Morning, Sis.
Lucrezia Borgia: Why are you here?
Cesare Borgia: Let me take you back home.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would have a look through the market.
Cesare Borgia: No it's getting... hot.
Lucrezia Borgia: What's wrong?
Cesare Borgia: Nothing.
Lucrezia Borgia: You can't hide things from me, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: I'll take you through the square.
Man: Cut him down!
Man: It's a boy!
Woman: Hurry up!
Man: Give me a hand!
Man: Quickly!
Man: I need a sharper blade.
Cesare Borgia: Lucrezia! LUCREZIA! No! Don't look.
Lucrezia Borgia: Then pluck my eyes out. No.
Cesare Borgia: You think this is spectacle?
Cesare Borgia: You like to stare at tears? Go away!
Lucrezia Borgia: It's all my fault. It's all my fault. It's all my fault.
Cesare Borgia: It was a suicide.
Lucrezia Borgia: I am still to blame. I took his love. I took his kindness. I took his child. And the pity was, he loved a Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: Please. Don't. Please, my love, don't blame yourself. He left a note. It was a suicide. He left a note. "To my Lucrezia, I bid farewell."
Guard: Make way there. Step aside.
Cesare Borgia: Take care of the body.

Cesare Borgia: Water! I need warm water! And a physician!
Nanny: Yes, Your Eminence.
Lucrezia Borgia: I want to die.
Lucrezia Borgia: I want to die, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: Will you not talk like that, please?
Lucrezia Borgia: I want to die.
Cesare Borgia: You have a child to care for.
Lucrezia Borgia: Now we both must die. Like Paolo.
Cesare Borgia: I'll see to the baby. You try to sleep. Can't you quieten him?
Nanny: The child is hungry, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Well, feed him then?
Nanny: He has yet only fed at his mother's breast.
Cesare Borgia: You cannot disturb her. Find a way.
Doctor: Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Get in there. Look after her.

Priest: St. Peter's pence-
Alessandro Piccolomini: Sanctissimus in Christo Pater et Dominus noster, Dominus Alexander.
Priest: St. Peter's pence, St. Peter's pence.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Divina providentia Papa Sextus, dat et concedit Christifidelibus cunctis, qui hic adsunt, Indulgentiam Plenariam in forma Ecclesiae.
Priest: St. Peter's pence.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Rogate Deum pro felici statu Sanctitatis Suae et Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae.
Alexander VI: We grant to all who contribute to St. Peter's pence a plenary indulgence from the pain and suffering of Purgatory. Sancti Apostoli Petrus et Paulus: de quorum potestate-
Giuliano della Rovere: Not willing to pay for eternal salvation, Brother?
Friar: Cheap at the price surely? So is talk, Brother. And dangerous too. I have even heard tell of a cardinal who has changed his robes from red to brown. From where do you come?
Giuliano della Rovere: I was recently the guest of the good sisters of St. Agnes whose greetings I bring you- and where do we travel to is the more important question, is it not?
Friar: Important questions all. Break bread with me, Brother, and we may discuss them further.
Alexander VI: -Patriis et filli et spiritus sancti. Amen.
People: Amen.

Cesare Borgia: Leave us.
Priest: Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: I've had tragic news, Father.
Alexander VI: Oh! We thought we had hoped to have banished tragedy.
Cesare Borgia: It's the father of your daughter's child.
Alexander VI: There is a father? Of course.
Cesare Borgia: He has been found dead.
Alexander VI: Where? In Pesaro?
Cesare Borgia: No, here in Rome.
Alexander VI: He dared to come to Rome?
Cesare Borgia: He tried to see her, and his infant son.
Alexander VI: And we would hope that he failed.
Cesare Borgia: Of course. And he- He took his own life.
Alexander VI: And our daughter knows of this?
Alexander VI: Stupid boy. To come to Rome. So you are concerned about Lucrezia.
Cesare Borgia: And the child.
Alexander VI: Why the child?
Cesare Borgia: She won't allow him near her.

Alexander VI: Lucrezia. Lucrezia! You have lost someone we didn't know. Didn't know of. Had we known of his presence here in Rome, we would have sent him home. But the act of suicide puts the sinner beyond the grace of God. Beyond our pity. And beyond your affections, surely. Hmm?
Nanny: Sh, sh, sh. There, there, there.
Alexander VI: Your child is crying for you. Come on, give me your hand. Give me your hand. Give me your hand and raise yourself up. You must, you must return to your child. Come along, come. Tell us what can we do to make things right.
Lucrezia Borgia: Ask Juan.
Nanny: Sh, sh, sh. Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Sh, sh, sh. What's this? Is it fever?
Nanny: It will follow, as night follows day.
Alexander VI: Cesare, we must bring her to her senses.
Cesare Borgia: She blames herself.
Alexander VI: Why, pray would she do that?
Cesare Borgia: For entertaining his hopes.
Alexander VI: Well, how could she have done that?
Cesare Borgia: I arranged a meeting. At my mother's house.
Alexander VI: Are you insane?
Cesare Borgia: You married her to a brute! She found solace with a stable boy. He came to Rome! He died in Rome.
Alexander VI: Did Juan have a hand in this? I will not have this family torn apart. And I will see that child survive.

Friar: Your friend is no Dominican.
Giuliano della Rovere: No. He is of the capuchin order.
Friar: And he always eats with you?
Giuliano della Rovere: Since my wine was poisoned.
Friar: You're safe here.
Giuliano della Rovere: So it seems. I would join your order.
Friar: And if we refuse you?
Giuliano della Rovere: Why then, I shall have to join the capuchins. But their rule is not as strict. Their vows not as binding. Friar Savonarola is a Dominican, after all.
Friar: He is.
Giuliano della Rovere: And your order shares his abhorrence of the Borgia pope.
Friar: We would restore the church, Cardinal.
Giuliano della Rovere: Brother. Call me Brother Giuliano. Since we share the same aims.
Friar: Brother Giuliano. But do we share the same methods?
Giuliano della Rovere: That is what I would discuss with you.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: You of all people should understand, Rodrigo. The need to see one's child.
Alexander VI: It was beyond foolish.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: But you can forgive her, surely?
Alexander VI: The question is, can she forgive herself? You met this boy?
Cesare Borgia: Barely.
Juan Borgia: You allowed our mother's house to play brothel for him.
Cesare Borgia: I know little of brothels, Brother.
Alexander VI: Juan... Did you meet him?
Juan Borgia: I saw her meet a peasant at the fountain of St. Agatha.
Alexander VI: If you had a hand in his death, now is the time to confess it to us.
Juan Borgia: Then I confess.
Alexander VI: To what?
Juan Borgia: That I didn't.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Rodrigo! Rodrigo!
Juan Borgia: You would see your daughter married again?
Alexander VI: Perhaps.
Juan Borgia: Then have that peasant buried in a pauper's grave, unshriven. And be thankful he didn't bring more shame on your perfect family.
Alexander VI: Be careful, be very careful... or you might find yourself wearing peasant shoes.

Friar: No, no no. What you propose is unthinkable.
Giuliano della Rovere: I have thought about it long and hard. Each and every cardinal is in his pay. We have unleashed a wolf upon this world, and if we do not act, he will consume us all.
Friar: And how would you achieve this end?
Giuliano della Rovere: I have no idea. But my soul has crossed that Rubicon. If there are those within your order who would cross it with me, we can find a way.
Friar: Our brother friar, Savonarola, in Florence, prophesied the end of days. But not the murder of the Pope of Rome. Do you dare broach it with him?
Giuliano della Rovere: If I did, and I had his approval, would I have yours?
Friar: You would have mine, and all within this priory.

Alexander VI: You must talk to me, my love. You are the light of my life, the light of this family's life. If that light goes...
Lucrezia Borgia: I would ask just one thing of you, Father.
Alexander VI: Anything.
Lucrezia Borgia: Permit my Paolo a Christian burial.
Alexander VI: He is a suicide. It is impossible.
Lucrezia Borgia: This note was pinned to his sleeve.
Alexander VI: Yes. A suicide-
Lucrezia Borgia: But he could not read or write, Father! My Paolo could not even pen his own name.
Alexander VI: So it was murder. Where is the murderer?
Lucrezia Borgia: Too close for comfort.
Alexander VI: I will not have this family at war with itself.
Lucrezia Borgia: And I would have my Paolo saved from the fires of hell.
Alexander VI: And your infant must feed.
Nanny: His fever grows.
Alexander VI: The father of Giovanni took his own life.
Cesare Borgia: So it seems.
Alexander VI: And this poor child must feed. So his father must have what suicides are forbidden. A Christian burial.
Cesare Borgia: So we admit. It was no suicide.
Alexander VI: No, Rome is a dangerous place.
Cesare Borgia: Far too dangerous.
Alexander VI: Will you perform the rite?
Cesare Borgia: Gladly.
Alexander VI: Lucrezia, we ask that you give this child your breast so its father may be buried with the church's blessing.
Lucrezia Borgia: You have saved my Paolo from the fires of Hell, Father. And I love you for it. Shh, sh.

Juan Borgia: Holy Father.
Alexander VI: Have you come to confess?
Juan Borgia: That I am sorry. And-
Alexander VI: For what?
Juan Borgia: For my sister. And for her loss.
Alexander VI: You will choose a bride in your ancestral homeland, Spain. You will travel there and you will become the Borgia... I always hoped you would be.

Cesare Borgia: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. Sed libera nos a malo. Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine.
Lucrezia Borgia: Say goodbye to your father, my love. You must cry for me. For I have no more tears.
Cesare Borgia: Requiescat in pace. Amen. Go ahead.

Soldier: Forward! Forward!
Soldier: Keep your place.

Micheletto: I admire your artistry.
Taxidermist: Ars longa; vita brevis. But since King Ferrante died, I find time weighs heavily. Few have needs of my talents.
Micheletto: Oh, I would use them.
Taxidermist: But as an informant, not as a taxidermist.
Micheletto: I need word on his troop's movements and on your king's intentions.
Taxidermist: The king is ill.
Micheletto: How ill?
Taxidermist: Too ill to remain in Naples.
Micheletto: Then I will bide my time and await for your word.
Taxidermist: He has had visitors from the Romagna.
Micheletto: Of any renown?
Taxidermist: Sforzas. Giovanni and Catherina.
Micheletto: I will visit you again.

French General: And if the king decides to ride north, your armies would ride with his?
Catherine Sforza: Yes. In return for a certain consideration.
French General: And this consideration?
Catherine Sforza: His cannon.
French General: You would have him leave his cannon to the Sforza armies?
Catherine Sforza: Not every piece. But enough to defend our castle at Forli. To replicate the great fortresses of France.
Charles VIII: Giovanni Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: And my cousin, Catherina Sforza, Your Majesty.
Charles VIII: You have many cousins, I have been told. Are they all impotent, like you?
Giovanni Sforza: That is a vile Borgia slander, perpetrated by the pope himself.
Charles VIII: Which is why you are here, of course. You would have a taste of vengeance. The Italian appetite for vengeance astounds even us, Lord Sforza.
Catherine Sforza: The Italian appetite for vengeance may be boundless, Majesty, but happily for you the Spanish appetite for war is not.

Juan Borgia: What say you to Donna, to Donna Gabriella my love?
Bernadetta: I say "yes" to Donna Gabriella!
Juan Borgia: And to La Marquesa- La Marquesa Maria.
Bernadetta: No!
Juan Borgia: Isobella-
Bernadetta: No!
Juan Borgia: Juana-
Bernadetta: No!
Juan Borgia: Who is your favourite?
Bernadetta: Maria Enrique de Luna.
Lucrezia Borgia: Forgive me, Brother. Had I realised-
Juan Borgia: You're keeping late hours, Sis.
Lucrezia Borgia: Not of my choosing, Brother. Perhaps you could spare a thought for your nephew trying to sleep downstairs?
Juan Borgia: Forgive me Sis. But-
Bernadetta: Bernadetta.
Juan Borgia: Bernadetta here was helping me choose a wife. What do you think of our favourite- Maria Enrique de Luna?
Lucrezia Borgia: She's pretty. And clearly no peasant.
Juan Borgia: She is royalty, Sis. Cousin to Queen Isabella.
Lucrezia Borgia: So. You must marry her then.
Juan Borgia: I have your permission?
Lucrezia Borgia: You need it?
Juan Borgia: I need your blessing. I know you have been sad of late.
Lucrezia Borgia: You would have to have my forgiveness first.
Juan Borgia: Forgiveness for what?
Lucrezia Borgia: For being yourself. You should get back to the task at hand, Brother, and I to my lonely bed. Good night. Sleep well.
# I took a bow and aimed it low... #
# And caught you on the chin-chin-chin... #
# My mother said, "Now go to bed. #
# I'll have to lock you in, in, in. #
Juan Borgia: Ah! Help! Help! Get her off me.
Cesare Borgia: My God!
Juan Borgia: For the love of God, man, get her off me!
Flunkey: My lord?
Cesare Borgia: Medics, NOW!
Flunkey: Yes, Your Eminence.

Charles VIII: From the Judas Cradle to the Judas Chair. He did not enjoy the cradle, did he?
Doctor: No, my liege. I would say he did not.
Charles VIII: Maybe the chair will suit him better. Angle his head, if you will. So he can gaze at his Saviour.
Taxidermist: Yes, Your Majesty.
Charles VIII: He is about to betray him, after all. We have the sense of an ending, at least. Prepare to leave this abattoir tomorrow. We leave for Rome. See you when I come back next. Au Revoir.

Micheletto: You have news for me?
Taxidermist: He has ordered the evacuation of Naples.
Micheletto: And the king will travel with his troops, yes?
Taxidermist: And Sforza arms.
Micheletto: It will take days to gather such an army. Three at least. So I must hurry. This is for your retirement...
Taxidermist: Thank you. Thank you.
Micheletto: ...and for your silence.

Juan Borgia: I remember so very little of Spain, Mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And if we had stayed, how different things could have been.
Cesare Borgia: You have regrets?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Regrets are part of life. Regret is part of Rome.
Lucrezia Borgia: Let me serve you, Brother. You have no regrets do you, dear Juan?
Juan Borgia: No burning ones, no.
Lucrezia Borgia: Good. Then perhaps I shall drop in on you unexpectedly... one day soon in Spain.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What is it with you children tonight?
Juan Borgia: May I make a speech, Mother?
Juan Borgia: We were outsiders when we came here. Spaniards, Catalans. And we endured the insults. The taunts of Murrano. The...
Lucrezia Borgia: The poison?
Juan Borgia: The insidious invective of the Roman nobility. And you, dear mother, endured it most of all. But if we managed to triumph, and triumph we did, we did because of the warmth that we discovered around this table. The warmth of the Spanish sun, of our Catalan blood, that you recreated in your hearth, in your home, at this table. The huge, unstoppable beating heart of La Madre.
Cesare Borgia: La Madre!
Juan Borgia: Let us drink then. To-
Juan Borgia: To family!

Man: Godspeed, my lord.
Man: Safe journey to you, my lord! Gonfaloniere!
Man: Farewell, General Borgia.
Man: May you prosper, my lord.
Man: Gonfaloniere, farewell! God be with you! Travel well, Gonfaloniere!
Woman: Safe journey, my lord!
Man: Our hearts go with you.
Man: God's blessing, my lord! Farewell my lord!
Lucrezia Borgia: A sad day to lose a brother, is it not Cesare?
Cesare Borgia: Indeed. I wonder that the sun even dares to shine. Anyone who rides that hard has news.
Micheletto: Bad news as always, Your Eminence.

Cesare Borgia: The king is on the move. With vengeance in his heart. He feels he was deceived.
Alexander VI: So he was. A most beautiful deception.
Cesare Borgia: He says he will use his cannon to reduce our walls to dust. He says he will rape Rome as Rome raped the Sabine women, that he'll strip her of her treasures to make up for his losses.
Alexander VI: How long to move an army of that size from Naples to Rome?
Cesare Borgia: A week. Ten days at most.
Alexander VI: We must make haste then.
Cesare Borgia: You have a plan?
Alexander VI: We fight fire with fire.

Alexander VI: You will supervise with the greatest speed and the utmost secrecy, the construction of one hundred cannon, to be mounted on the walls of this city and to be ready for deployment within the week. Every foundry in Rome will be suborned for this purpose. His Eminence will see that you are furnished with everything you may need. Good luck to you and god speed.
Cesare Borgia: What of the consistory, Father? They will run again, like rats.
Alexander VI: Ah, the consistory. I may need your help to convince them.

Alessandro Piccolomini: You tricked the French king and now he comes for our blood! Do you expect us to support you twice?
Alexander VI: We will defend Rome this time with our life.
Alessandro Piccolomini: With your guile again? Your lies? Your weasel words?
Ascanio Sforza: Then tell us how, Your Holiness.
Cesare Borgia: With gunpowder.
Alexander VI: We have ordered one hundred cannon, ten times this size. We will defend this great city of ours with our lives, with our funds- and with our cannon.

Man: Take the other end.
Cesare Borgia: A month?
Vittoria Colonna: Per cannon, per foundry, yes. I have a first mould already made--
Cesare Borgia: Every foundry in Rome- how many are there?
Vittoria Colonna: Twenty, maybe thirty but-
Cesare Borgia: Every foundry in Rome, every smelter, furnace man working day and night- how many might we make then?
Vittoria Colonna: One cannon- maybe two.
Vittoria Colonna: My Lord, our bronze was all sold. On orders from his Holiness. To pay for the Great Festivities. Forgive me, my Lord.
Man: Boy, check the cart out again.
Cesare Borgia: How like that little cannon is our great city of Rome. A fragile illusion of substance.
Vittoria Colonna: Indeed my Lord, it is but plaster.
Man: The mould is only half-full.
Cesare Borgia: Why plaster?
Vittoria Colonna: Before we cast the mould in bronze, we make a sample in plaster.
Cesare Borgia: And plaster, unlike bronze, sets fast, is plentiful-
Vittoria Colonna: And cheap.

Friar: Have you heard, Brother? The French are advancing from Naples. They will be here within days. They may murder the Borgia pope for you.
Giuliano della Rovere: He tricked the king once.
Friar: And he suffered for it. He will take his revenge and spare you the blemish on your eternal soul.
Giuliano della Rovere: If I was not now bound to poverty, I would take a wager with you. Borgia duplicity might yet undo him.
Friar: And I would bet that you would lose.

Vittoria Colonna: Forgive my appearance, Your Eminence. We have worked long hours without sleep and-
Cesare Borgia: I only care about your work, Signor Vittorio. The fate of all of us depends on it. This is true artistry.
Vittoria Colonna: I'm pleased it pleases you, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: And there are-
Vittoria Colonna: Ninety-five more like it making their way from other foundries as we speak.
Cesare Borgia: Ha! Perhaps our fragile illusion will yet have substance.
Vittoria Colonna: It will, my Lord. Take it from one who knows!
Cesare Borgia: You're a-
Vittoria Colonna: Yes, my Lord. Forgive me, I thought perhaps your father-
Cesare Borgia: My father? What does my father-
Vittoria Colonna: But clearly I was mistaken.
Cesare Borgia: Is nothing in this damned city what it seems? At least I know you can keep a secret.

Cesare Borgia: The French envoy still awaits your word, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: I know.
Cesare Borgia: He's been waiting all night.
Alexander VI: I know, I know! King Charles merely asks for safe passage through Rome. To rape and pillage in safety! He has reason enough to hate us.
Cesare Borgia: As do Catherina and Giovanni Sforza.
Alexander VI: A holy trinity of vengeance. Shall we have our cannon, my son?
Man: Take the other end.
Man: Place more men here.
Man: More rope on the tackle!
Cesare Borgia: You need to trust me, Father. For once.
Alexander VI: Tell that envoy that Rome is more than just her walls. She is the Eternal City and she will not be raped and deflowered. Tell him Rodrigo Borgia spake these words.

French Soldier: Whoa! I have word for the king.
French General: You are denied entry to Rome, my liege.
Catherine Sforza: Are they mad?
Charles VIII: Your Spanish pope has more appetite for war than you imagined, Lady Catherina. So we must will ourselves to battle once more. You think the blood of the Borgia pope could cure us, Catherina Sforza?
Catherine Sforza: We could bathe in it together, Majesty.

Papal Soldier: Pull the weights!
Papal Soldier: There is no weight, sir.
Papal Soldier: You must be getting stronger!
Papal Soldier: Steady!
Papal Soldier: You there!
Papal Soldier: Pull it all the way forward.
Papal Soldier: Bring it in!
Papal Soldier: Careful!
Papal Soldier: It's useless.
Papal Soldier: What's this? Look at this. Yes, We'll have no a problem beating them now, lads. We've got a fucking toy cannon.
Man: Oh no! What happened? Is he dead?
Micheletto: You will pretend these cannons have weight- -that they are real. As real as this.
Man: Armature!
Papal Soldier: Yes sir.
Micheletto: Back to work.
Papal Soldier: Armature! Present pilum!
Papal Soldier: Bring the next one up.
Cesare Borgia: Will it pass?
Vittoria Colonna: Barely. Let's pray.

Charles VIII: How long to batter the walls apart?
French General: The walls are 10 foot thick, my liege. Twelve hours of fire should achieve it.
Charles VIII: Twelve hours of cannon fire. Could I perhaps sleep through it?
French General: If Your Highness puts wax his ears.
Catherine Sforza: The fever returns?
Charles VIII: It never leaves us, Catherina Sforza. But the smell of battle will be its own medicine.
Catherine Sforza: It does quicken the blood.

Alessandro Piccolomini: And what does your son know about artillery?
Cesare Borgia: I know enough.
Ascanio Sforza: And of combat, if it comes to it?
Cesare Borgia: Again, I know enough and it will not come to that.
Alexander VI: Can you be sure? Go with God, my son.

French Soldier: Push!
French Soldier: Take your positions!
French Soldier: Men in position!
French Soldier: All ready.
Papal Soldier: Open the gates!
Papal Soldier: Open the gates!
Catherine Sforza: You make a manly figure on your horse, Cardinal. But the French cannon will soon break down your walls. And you will be impotent in the face of them.
Cesare Borgia: My walls may yet prove stronger than you think, my lady.
French Soldier: Passer pour le roi!
French Soldier: The King! Make way!
French Soldier: Move to your left!
Charles VIII: We have Italian friends, Cardinal Borgia, but our business is all French.
Cesare Borgia: And that business is?
Charles VIII: To gain entry to the city of Rome. The easy way, or the hard. You have decorated the walls of Rome with flags and pennants. To welcome us, we presume.
Cesare Borgia: Your Highness is indeed welcome. To march on past Rome.
Charles VIII: I warn you, Cardinal, I shall raze your city! Take terrible revenge! On you, your family, and the papacy itself!
Cesare Borgia: You must enter first.
Charles VIII: My cannon will gain me entry. Twelve hours, I have been assured- to batter down those walls.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps my cannon will make their statement first.
Micheletto: Cannons forward!
Papal Soldier: Forward!
Papal Soldier: Rams! Rams ready!
Papal Soldier: More cannon balls!
Papal Soldier: Quickly, quickly!
Catherine Sforza: How did he manage to...
Charles VIII: General?
French General: Our battle line is still forming, my liege.
French Soldier: Load, load!
Cesare Borgia: I must compliment Your Highness on his ingenuity. Chained cannonballs can take apart a regiment like a knife through butter. Are you not well, your Highness?
Charles VIII: We have the Neapolitan fever.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps battle should wait then. Until his full health returns. Or perhaps he should trace his gracious path home to fair France.
French General: Do I give the signal, my liege?
Charles VIII: Do I look like a fool, General?
French General: No, my liege.
Charles VIII: We ride on past.
French General: Retreat! Retreat! Come down and retreat!

Ascanio Sforza: Do you know what that sound is? It is the sound of our salvation.
Cardinal: The French are leaving!
Cardinal: It's a miracle!
Cardinal: God is great!
Man: God bless you, Cardinal!
Giulia Farnese: Your Holiness.
Giulia Farnese: They're leaving Rome.
Alexander VI: Oh, thank God. Thank God. My son.
Cesare Borgia: We should melt down that bell, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: Why melt it down?
Cesare Borgia: To make cannon. Real cannon, this time.
Lucrezia Borgia: Cesare, your genius worked!
Giulia Farnese: So clever!



204. Stray Dogs


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Charles VIII: Giovanni Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: And my cousin, Catherina Sforza.
Charles VIII: You would have a taste of vengeance.
Cesare Borgia: The king is on the move. He says he will use his cannon to reduce our walls to dust.
Alexander VI: We fight fire with fire.
Alessandro Piccolomini: You tricked the French King and now he comes for our blood! Do you expect us to support you twice?
Cesare Borgia: Do you know what this is?
Ursula Bonadeo: It is the fresco you have so graciously commissioned.
Cesare Borgia: But it lacks a model. I would restore this hair to what it was before God snatched it from me.
Francesca: Will we meet again, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: Perhaps.
Francesca: Am I to be your mistress then?
Alexander VI: No. That position is taken. We will have you go through your accounts with one we have designated to supervise them.
Julius Versucci: Unthinkable!
Alexander VI: That monies destined to the poor should go to the poor?
Julius Versucci: That a woman have access to curatorial accounts.
Friar: The French are advancing from Naples. They may murder the Borgia pope for you.
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.
Cesare Borgia: This is true artistry.
Vittoria Colonna: Indeed, my lord. It is but plaster.
Cesare Borgia: There are-
Vittoria Colonna: Ninety-five more like it- making their way from other foundries as we speak.
French General: You are denied entry to Rome, my liege.
Charles VIII: My cannon will gain me entry.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps my cannon will make their statement first.
Charles VIII: I warn you! I shall take terrible revenge! On you, your family, and the papacy itself! Retreat!

Alexander VI: The savior of Rome. So, of what exact were these cannon made?
Vittoria Colonna: Plaster, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Plaster!
Vittoria Colonna: And an armature of wood.
Cesare Borgia: Senior Vittorio had every cast maker in Rome at work, day and night.
Vittoria Colonna: We had not the bronze nor the time.
Alexander VI: So, deception has a place in warfare.
Cesare Borgia: As in life.
Alexander VI: Indeed.
Cesare Borgia: If you will excuse me, Holy Father. You come to celebrate, I hope.
Micheletto: The Finch came by the road from Ostia.
Micheletto: Their path took them by the convent of St. Cecelia.
Cesare Borgia: You have bad news?
Micheletto: Is there any other kind, Your Eminence?

Cesare Borgia: Hah! Hah! Come on!

Papal Soldier: We need some blankets.
Papal Soldier: -have at her.
Micheletto: You should spare yourself this, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Why? Why should I spare myself? I should have foreseen this.
Micheletto: Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Ursula. She chose God, Micheletto. And God repaid her with mutilation.
Micheletto: I know little of God, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: God is deaf, God is blind, and pitiless. She has released my heart... of all emotions but one. Vengeance.
Micheletto: Vengeance is sweet.
Cesare Borgia: So who did this, my friend?
Micheletto: The French. This flag belongs to the cavalry of Gascony. These women were sport for army scouts.
Cesare Borgia: Scouts.
Micheletto: They are renowned for their savagery. Necklaces of severed ears.
Papal Soldier: ...the bodies.
Cesare Borgia: We must give them a lesson, then, in outrage. You were once a stray dog, Micheletto, masterless.
Micheletto: I found my master in you.
Cesare Borgia: There must be other stray dogs out there in Rome.
Micheletto: There are many. Sons of warlike families, condottieri who have long outlived their usefulness.
Cesare Borgia: Search out a dozen of them whom we can school in the art of vengeance.

Cesare Borgia: Holy Father.
Ascanio Sforza: I have heard whispers about your beautiful deception. My congratulations.
Cesare Borgia: Deceit is how we must conduct ourselves, it seems.
Alexander VI: Cardinal Sforza brings a proposition from his cousin, Ludovico of Milan. At how the French can be defeated in open field.
Cesare Borgia: Forgive me for remembering, Cardinal. Is this the same Ludovico Sforza who gave the French free passage through Milan?
Ascanio Sforza: Ludovico Sforza has received overtures. From the doge of Venice. From Francesco, the Duke of Mantua. To form a league to expel the French from our peninsula.
Cesare Borgia: But your other cousin, Catherina Sforza, rides with them.
Ascanio Sforza: She has the arms she needed and has retired at her castle at Forli.
Cesare Borgia: And we forgive her such treachery?
Alexander VI: Perhaps. For the moment.
Ascanio Sforza: Priorities can change, Cardinal Borgia.
Alexander VI: Indeed they can.

Woman: Welcome to Rome!
Woman: Greetings!
Rhodente Orsini: What is this?
Cesare Borgia: I have been told by my friend Micheletto that you know each other well enough to happily hate each other.
Rhodente Orsini: I definitely do hate you, Battista.
Battista Colonna: You piece of piss, Orsini. As a Colonna, I despise you and your sorry dick.
Cesare Borgia: But there is one you probably hate more. Who has ravaged your lands, your families' estates, your women, on their march to Naples?
Battista Colonna: The French.
Cesare Borgia: Yes, yes. The French.
Rhodente Orsini: You think we can defeat an army?
Cesare Borgia: No. No, my brother tried that and he failed. But, but we can have us some sport. We can taste revenge. We can strike them at night and move like smoke in the darkness. Huh?
Battista Colonna: To what end, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: On your side, booty. On ours, revenge. We will ride out, camouflaged, masked. No one will know of our existence. Any volunteers?

Ascanio Sforza: I have broached the matter of a league with His Holiness.
Ascanio Sforza: He seems receptive.
Francesco Gonzaga: He can be tempted into battle?
Ascanio Sforza: He can be tempted by anything- that gets him out of those papal robes. Your Holiness, may I introduce my cousin, Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan?
Ludovico Sforza: Your Holiness, may I introduce Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and his new minted bride, the lovely Duchessa Bianca.
Alexander VI: Divine indeed. Do diplomatic affairs not bore you rigid, Duchessa?
Bianca Gonzaga: They do, Your Holiness, but my husband's affections more than compensate.
Ludovico Sforza: If I may be so bold, Your Holiness, we have all of us one thing in common today.
Cesare Borgia: What, suspicion? Of each other? Or is it hatred?
Ludovico Sforza: If the cardinal will let me finish...
Cesare Borgia: Indeed. The cardinal would find how hatred turns to love.
Alexander VI: My son!
Ludovico Sforza: The French have laid waste to the papal states as they march northwards. Their king intends leave a desert behind him. By the time he reaches Milan, there will be nothing left of this paradise we live in.
Cesare Borgia: So why did you welcome them in?
Ludovico Sforza: Our proposal is that the armies of Venice, of Milan, of the Duke of Mantua will combine to rid us of this French plague.
Francesco Gonzaga: Twenty thousand of our troops will meet them near the Apennines. We will annihilate their army and restore the reputation of Tuscan valour.
Cesare Borgia: Tuscan?
Ludovico Sforza: And Milanese. Not to speak of Roman.
Cesare Borgia: Under whose leadership?
Ludovico Sforza: Under the leadership of Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua. With the blessing of His Holiness, the Pope of Rome.
Francesco Gonzaga: His Holiness has proved his courage to the whole of Italy. And the whole of Italy will rally to his cause.
Cesare Borgia: Then why not just let the French limp their way home?
Francesco Gonzaga: One word. Honour.
Cesare Borgia: Honour?
Francesco Gonzaga: The word meant something once, did it not?

Cesare Borgia: He talks of honour, Father. There is nothing-
Alexander VI: Interesting concept honour, isn't it? Like its cousin, valour.
Cesare Borgia: Honour has cousins?
Alexander VI: Oh, many cousins.
Cesare Borgia: Like Cardinal Sforza?
Alexander VI: And they've all led kings and armies to their doom.
Cesare Borgia: So why we should now make common cause with Milan?
Alexander VI: Because, when the French have left this fair paradise, the Milanese will still be with us.
Alexander VI: This league cannot beat the French... even in their weakened state. And I doubt the French can beat this league. So if the two armies batter each other to death, as the lawyers often say, cui bono?
Cesare Borgia: Who benefits?
Alexander VI: Mm. A weakened Milan, a weakened Venice, a weakened Mantua- has to be worth a weekend in Tuscany, surely?

Battista Colonna: Stately.
Rhodente Orsini: Where is he? He must be here somewhere.
Micheletto: I hear you before I see you. Yes? You line your scabbard with cotton. You want the French to hear you coming? Lose your spurs. All of you. And wear only soft leather. Understood?
Cesare Borgia: Condottieri! Come. When the scouts ride ahead of the French army, we'll be waiting for them. We have the light crossbow, the Spanish garrotte, the trident, the paso doble.
Micheletto: Raven's beak.
Cesare Borgia: With weapons like these, we can reinvent combat. Now there is talk of a pitched battle. Of something called honour. Let us show them another way.

Giulia Farnese: Should His Holiness not be fitted in armour?
Alexander VI: We fight the wars of God, not of man.
Giulia Farnese: Then why travel with the league? There will be war, surely.
Alexander VI: They would have our blessing.
Giulia Farnese: You could have given it by proxy.
Alexander VI: But the dead will have to be prayed over.
Giulia Farnese: Mm. I know you, Holy Father, and know you always have many ends in view.
Alexander VI: Perhaps. If the armies of men will annihilate each other, what will be left? The army of God.
Giulia Farnese: I would beg your permission, then, in your absence, to investigate the office of public works even further.
Alexander VI: For more irregularities?
Giulia Farnese: There are so many, Holy Father, in this Vatican of yours.

Rhodente Orsini: The army's about 30 miles south, moving slowly.
Cesare Borgia: And the Gascon scouts?
Rhodente Orsini: Only about ten miles, at the most. Checking the army's route.
Cesare Borgia: They ride hard. They will be hungry. Condottieri! Let's go.
Battista Colonna: Up, up.
Cesare Borgia: The French are coming!
Man: They're coming!
Cesare Borgia: People! Make ready!
Woman: They're coming! Hurry! Get the children!

Gascon Scout: Tuer tout le monde!
Gascon Scout: The voile libre.
Gascon Scout: There's nobody here!
Gascon Scout: A wedding party.
Gascon Scout: Without a bride.
Gascon Scout: The party has moved on.
Gascon Scout: No brides. No bridesmaids.
Gascon Scout: No nuns.
Gascon Scout: They've heard about the size of your dick, Sherat.
Gascon Scout: Let's eat.

Gascon Scout: Girls! Give me some more!
Gascon Scout: Drink it!
Gascon Scout: Et tu, mon- Allez!
Gascon Scout: On your feet!
Battista Colonna: French dog!
Cesare Borgia: Show some restraint, gentlemen. I want these men alive. With their colours. They have a tale to tell.

Lucrezia Borgia: These children need an orphanage.
Giulia Farnese: They do indeed, but the nunneries that used to care for them are starved of funds. And the orphanage on Piazza Navona is now a cardinal's palace. Here once stood statue of the Goddess Sulis Minerva. And here flowed crystal spring water from the Alban Hills...
Lucrezia Borgia: Statues are easily restored. Water is not.
Giulia Farnese: So, I would use my wit-and yours- to outwit those who divert funds-and water- from poorhouses to palaces.
Lucrezia Borgia: Cardinals-in the curia.
Giulia Farnese: You are far too clever.
Lucrezia Borgia: It would be fun to outwit a brace of cardinals.
Giulia Farnese: More than fun. It could save lives. And there is one more brain I would engage in our cause. Your mother's.
Lucrezia Borgia: My mother? But she-
Giulia Farnese: You must admit, three minds will be better than two. And your mother and I are far beyond such enmities.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Whose idea was this?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And you concurred?
Lucrezia Borgia: We would use your wit, Mother. And your wisdom. I find myself lacking in both.
Giulia Farnese: We have plans for the Roman poor. We've already restored one bathhouse. And the Holy Father has given me full authority to-
Giulia Farnese: And yours.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Given you full authority for what?
Giulia Farnese: To comb through the curatorial accounts.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: He knows a lot about combing through accounts. And if you would catch a cardinal or two, you do well to ask one who was a courtesan. However distasteful this may sound to you, my daughter, and to you, la bella Farnese, you will have to acquaint yourselves with the brothels of Rome.

Cesare Borgia: You know these colours? Do you know these colours!
Gascon Scout: They are the colours of our regiment.
Cesare Borgia: Good answer. You know where this was found? It was found on the site of a massacre.
Gascon Scout: I cannot... speak, my lord.
Cesare Borgia: And these ears cannot hear. You collect them as trophies? A convent would have provided quite a harvest, would it not? St. Cecilia's. Who was there?
Gascon Scout: I know not, my lord. There are many in our regiment. If I am to die, my lord, I would prefer to die quickly.
Cesare Borgia: What? Who speaks of dying? My associate is a master! He can keep you alive for weeks! In a universe of pain. But the truth might yet set you free. The convent! Who was there? Who partook? Nothing? Show us, Micheletto. Your expertise.
Gascon Scout: He was there!
Gascon Scout: You lying bastard, it was your idea!
Gascon Scout: He said there was sport to be had. In a place that had your own protection.
Cesare Borgia: What? And who told him that?
Gascon Scout: No.
Gascon Scout: Giovanni! The Lord Sforza!
Cesare Borgia: So I must punish him then. My associate may yet prove merciful. He treasures information. Do you not Micheletto?
Micheletto: If it proves true, Your Eminence, yes.
Cesare Borgia: The truth then- on troop movements, booty, cannon- may yet set you free.

Alexander VI: Would you keep secrets from us?
Cesare Borgia: Why do you ask?
Alexander VI: We have heard rumours. Of skirmishes at night. Warfare.
Cesare Borgia: I would call it vengeance, Father. Not warfare.
Alexander VI: You are a cleric, not a soldier.
Cesare Borgia: Then, yes. I have a secret.
Alexander VI: The whole of Rome is whispering. Of our dark son. So let us instruct you in the art of vengeance.
Cesare Borgia: Do I need lessons?
Alexander VI: Perhaps. Vengeance should never be seen as that. It should always be unexpected. And it should rarely be public.
Cesare Borgia: You learnt this from the Lord?
Alexander VI: We know little of war, but much of vengeance. And the one salient point is this: vengeance is patient. It can wait a lifetime if necessary. Because it never dies. If you care to ride north with us, you may see what we mean.
Cesare Borgia: So who will maintain the house of God in our absence? The vice chancellor, perhaps?
Alexander VI: No, Cardinal Sforza must ride with us.
Cesare Borgia: You mistrust him that much?
Alexander VI: Our distrust of the vice chancellor is bottomless. As of the entire curia. Which is why we thought we would leave them in the safe hands of that one blessed person in whom we can utterly, utterly place our trust.

Lucrezia Borgia: Show me your hands, Cesare. Is it true what I've heard? That they are stained with blood?
Cesare Borgia: Must I confess to you?
Lucrezia Borgia: No. But we never before had secrets between us.
Cesare Borgia: Some things are better left unsaid.
Lucrezia Borgia: So I must divine then... the dark cloud on my brother's soul.
Cesare Borgia: Are you a shepherd of souls now?
Lucrezia Borgia: And I see before me a lost sheep.
Cesare Borgia: Utterly lost, my love.
Lucrezia Borgia: Then by hook or by crook, I shall save you. You may kiss my ring. You may sit, cardinals.
Cesare Borgia: May I sit too, Sister?
Lucrezia Borgia: Indeed, Cardinal Borgia.
Alexander VI: Forgive our haste, your Eminences but our preparations are endless. You will have heard; we have been called to the north where the dogs of war are once again barking. We must take the vice chancellor and Cardinal Borgia with us. And your prayers would be welcome. We have signed a bull, leaving our dear daughter in, so to speak, loco parentis. Are there any questions? Cardinal Versucci?
Julius Versucci: Can a woman, Your Holiness, occupy the chair of St. Peter?
Alexander VI: Well, plainly, one does. Pax nobiscum.
Cardinals: Dominus nobiscum.

Micheletto: He is ready to impart information, Eminence.
Gascon Scout: Only to you.
Cesare Borgia: Why me?
Gascon Scout: Because I know what his pleasures are.
Cesare Borgia: Tell me.
Gascon Scout: The powder... for the king's cannon.
Cesare Borgia: Yes. Tell me.
Gascon Scout: Travels in the kitchen wagons disguised as barrels of food.
Cesare Borgia: And without that powder, their cannon are useless.
Gascon Scout: As am I, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Release him.

Woman: Bless us, Your Holiness!
Man: Take pity, Your Holiness!
Woman: May God protect you, Holy Father!
Woman: Safe journey!
Alexander VI: In nomini Patris, et Filli et Spiritus Sancti.
Giuliano della Rovere: Have you heard? He's left his daughter in the chair of St. Peter's.
Friar: We must travel to Florence then. Talk to our brother Savanarola. Surely this man cannot be allowed to live.
Man: Blessings, Your Holiness!

Lucrezia Borgia: We would give the consistory a lesson... in cookery. Or is that husbandry? Baking a cake. Pour the flour into a sieve. Shake, gently. The good flour emerges. The chaff remains. Am I correct, Cardinal Versucci?
Julius Versucci: I know little of cookery, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: But you eat cake, surely?
Julius Versucci: Indeed.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would hazard that the entire consistory has been known at times to indulge in its sweet tooth. To eat said cake.
Cardinal: Is there perhaps a metaphor here?
Lucrezia Borgia: That the curia, its various offices, devoted to public works, acts like a sieve. The good flour emerges. And whats left? For the poor, the needy? The chaff. And what element do we lack to make this cake?

Papal Soldier: Soldiers approaching!
Papal Soldier: Attention!
Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: Why have we stopped?
Papal Soldier: The King of France, Your Holiness, has requested an audience. He awaits your presence- alone- in a church nearby.

Charles VIII: We are ill, Your Holiness. This battle may well be our last. Which is why we have requested a private audience.
Alexander VI: Not for your confession?
Charles VIII: My sins are many, Your Holiness. And they are all bloody ones. Perhaps even the Pope of Rome cannot forgive them.
Alexander VI: So why have you requested our presence here?
Charles VIII: To use your diplomatic skills to spare us this battle.
Alexander VI: Well, perhaps if you would surrender the booty you have pillaged to our Holy Mother Church, we might do something.
Charles VIII: With respect, Your Holiness, you have fooled me once. For a man of God, yours was a most ungodly stratagem.
Alexander VI: So, why our presence?
Charles VIII: If they are fool enough to join battle with me, I will destroy them, utterly. I will be pitiless. I know no other way. My cannon will annihilate their armies! The dead will be numberless! I will drag you in chains to Avignon and see you end your days in ignominy! All this before I die! Are you listening, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: We hear you. We will convey your words to the league forces. Ah, listen. Is that the sound of rain? Can even the King of France light his cannon in the rain?
Charles VIII: You think we don't know how to keep powder dry?
Alexander VI: Do you think the Lord God doesn't know how to make rain?

Francesco Gonzaga: The French have deployed their cannon here along this ridge. We, however, have the advantage of this higher ridge here. From which we shall attack.
Papal Soldier: All right, man. Put it with the other -
Alexander VI: The rain has stopped.
Papal Soldier: All off the wagon!
Francesco Gonzaga: Beg pardon, Your Holiness?
Alexander VI: Would not rain help your cause?
Francesco Gonzaga: Armies can fight in the rain.
Alexander VI: But would it not hinder their cannon? Rain is not a friend to gunpowder.
Francesco Gonzaga: We do not fear their cannon, Holy Father.
Cesare Borgia: No? Perhaps you should.
Alexander VI: The King of France requested an audience. He asks to be let free to continue his march home. But if forced to fight, he promises carnage the like of which none of us has yet seen.
Ludovico Sforza: We are here to spill blood, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Yours? Or theirs?
Francesco Gonzaga: I would beg the Holy Father to give these troops his blessing who may well die tomorrow. And to hear what may well be my last confession. And to retire to my castle before the battle commences, lest any harm come to his sacred person.

Francesco Gonzaga: I have bloodied my hands in battle. I have killed; I have sent countless men to their doom. And I pray that God sees the justice of our cause and forgives me for our sins.
Alexander VI: The Church acknowledges some wars are just. Does your conscience tell you that this is one such?
Francesco Gonzaga: It does, Your Holiness. It will restore the valour of Italian arms. The honour of our soldiery.
Alexander VI: Honour and valour alone cannot justify warfare.
Francesco Gonzaga: But I would plead just cause, Your Holiness. The weight of booty they carry with them gives ample evidence of their greed and perfidy. For this reason alone, I would seek your blessing. And your forgiveness.
Alexander VI: Do you pledge your arms to the service of God, and his vicar on earth?
Francesco Gonzaga: I do, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: And do you promise to fight in His name and His name alone?
Francesco Gonzaga: I do, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: And do you pledge the spoils of battle in its entirety to His Holy Mother Church? God's blessing comes with a price.
Francesco Gonzaga: I-do, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Then you have our blessing.

Francesco Gonzaga: Attention!
Alexander VI: In nomineatris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. In nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. In nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. In nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. In nomine Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti.

Bianca Gonzaga: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Duchessa. So, life has treated you well.
Bianca Gonzaga: When you gave me your blessing, I had not yet et my husband.
Alexander VI: No. And now is it we who are to be blessed with your hospitality.
Bianca Gonzaga: So it would seem, Your Holiness. I have not yet forgotten those times.
Alexander VI: Some memories endure then?
Bianca Gonzaga: So it would seem.

Alexander VI: We thank God for His blessings upon this table, and in this household. We ask Him to watch over the Lord Gonzaga, and his League, and we pray for the benediction of rain upon the field of battle tomorrow. Amen.
Bianca Gonzaga: Is my husband's survival dependent on rain?
Ascanio Sforza: And on valour too. Your husband, madame, is a condottieri of the old school.
Bianca Gonzaga: He believes warfare to be an art. Cannon a vulgarity. Let us hope it's not a tragic art.
Alexander VI: So we pray then for a downpour to disarm their cannon.

Cesare Borgia: Micheletto.
Micheletto: Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Condottieri! Let's ride!
Battista Colonna: Yah! Yah!

Bianca Gonzaga: Forgive me, Holy Father. You are at prayer.
Alexander VI: No, you cannot.
Bianca Gonzaga: I am afraid I must.
Alexander VI: But on... on a night such as this...
Bianca Gonzaga: I have unfinished business with the Holy Father.
Alexander VI: You now have a husband.
Bianca Gonzaga: And you have a mistress.
Alexander VI: But your husband fights tomorrow. No...
Bianca Gonzaga: So let me pray with you. For rain.

French Soldier: Ahh!
French Soldier: Ah!

Alexander VI: What was that sound?
Bianca Gonzaga: Thunder.
Alexander VI: And after thunder comes...
Bianca Gonzaga: The deluge.
Alexander VI: The deluge...

Alexander VI: Listen.
Bianca Gonzaga: Were your prayers answered?
Alexander VI: No, no, no. Listen.
Bianca Gonzaga: For what?
Alexander VI: There is no sound of French cannon. Thank you, God! Thank you!

Papal Soldier: Holy Father.
Alexander VI: Bless you, my sons.
Francesco Gonzaga: So many dead! So much glory. Right man. Pull it out. Ah!
Francesco Gonzaga: These wounds, Your Holiness, are proof that valour lives still.
Alexander VI: Ah, indeed. And honour, no doubt.
Francesco Gonzaga: It was a battle from the pages of Ariosto.
Alexander VI: And God answered our prayers with a voice of thunder.
Francesco Gonzaga: There were explosions last night, Holy Father, but no thunder.
Alexander VI: Well, I heard thunder, followed by torrential rain, which drowned their cannon.
Francesco Gonzaga: The French munitions were destroyed. But not by thunder. By some brave Roman souls.
Alexander VI: You mean?
Francesco Gonzaga: I mean... I am now in the eternal debt of Rome. And I pledge all booty from this field of battle to our Holy Mother Church.

Doctor: Your salts of mercury, Highness?
Charles VIII: And the rain?
Doctor: It has finally stopped, Highness. Try to rest.
Charles VIII: Have you a potion there that would give me eternal rest? Half of my army is dead and cries out for me to join them.

Cesare Borgia: So Your Holiness, as you wished it so did it come to pass.
Alexander VI: Indeed. The question is... how exactly did it come to pass?
Cesare Borgia: Your meaning, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: Do you have anything to confess to me Cesare about this past night?
Cesare Borgia: No, Holy Father. My night was as satisfactory as I'm sure was yours. I slept the sleep of the good and the just... as I hope you did, Holy Father.



205. The Choice


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Charles VIII: Giovanni Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: And my cousin, Catherina Sforza.
Charles VIII: You would have a taste of vengeance.
Cesare Borgia: Giovanni Sforza- he proved ungallant?
Lucrezia Borgia: He betrayed our father, the pope.
Cesare Borgia: If he misused you, he shall pay a different kind of price.
Charles VIII: You think the blood of the Borgia pope could cure us?
Catherine Sforza: We could bathe in it together, Majesty.
Cesare Borgia: Catherina Sforza rides with the French.
Ascanio Sforza: She has the arms she needed and has retired to her castle at Forli.
Cesare Borgia: And we forgive her?
Ascanio Sforza: Priorities can change, Cardinal Borgia.
Ludovico Sforza: The French have laid waste to the papal states. Our proposal is that the armies combine- to rid us of this French plague.
Rhodente Orsini: You think we can defeat the French?
Cesare Borgia: We can strike them at night. They move like smoke in the darkness.
Alexander VI: Do you have anything to confess about this past night?
Cesare Borgia: My night was as satisfactory as I'm sure was yours.
Giulia Farnese: I would beg your permission to investigate the office of public works even further.
Alexander VI: Found more irregularities?
Giulia Farnese: There are so many in this Vatican of yours.
Cesare Borgia: You are?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Niccolo Machiavelli. Ambassador to the House of Medici.
Piero de' Medici: The Medici family are bankers to the world. To the Vatican itself.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Father Savonarola calls it usury.
Girolamo Savonarola: This pope is a lecherous abomination! Florence, you will pay for your greed- when he drags you to perdition!
Friar: Savonarola prophesied the end of days- not the murder of the pope.
Giuliano della Rovere: If I had his approval, would I have yours?

Priest: Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni, et de profundo lacu. Libera eas de ore leonis...
Lucrezia Borgia: It is ingenious, when you think of it.
Giulia Farnese: St. Peter's?
Lucrezia Borgia: The Church. Like an enormous bank machine. The faithful pay to maintain it in its magnificent splendor. This theatre of redemption. The greater the display, the more they gather from all corners of Christendom. The more they pay.
Giulia Farnese: Can the College of Cardinals be made to see the light?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: They each have their secrets. If we can find them.

Alexander VI: The French munitions were destroyed by some brave Roman souls. Were you one of them?
Cesare Borgia: I dress in red satin, Father, not in armour.
Alexander VI: So you are a cardinal still, hmm? Though sometimes in disguise. Dare we say it, like us. So, now we got rid of one enemy, it's now time to deal with another.
Ascanio Sforza: Friar Savonarola?
Alexander VI: Your cousin, Catherina Sforza!
Ascanio Sforza: Oh, so it continues.
Alexander VI: She has retired to her castle in Forli with an abundance of French cannon.
Ascanio Sforza: Well, then I can defend her no longer, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: We would have her come to Rome and kneel at our feet and have those beauteous lips kiss the papal ring.
Cesare Borgia: Let me be the messenger, Father.
Ascanio Sforza: You? You care so little for your hide?
Cesare Borgia: I care more for my father's well-being.
Alexander VI: Oh. So while we make the acquaintance of Florence, Cardinal Borgia will journey to Forli. And you tell that lady that if she does not obey us, we will reduce her fortress to dust and drag her in chains through the streets of Rome. The choice is hers! To Florence - and its heretic, Savonarola!

Cesare Borgia: Do you know anyone in Forli?
Micheletto: I know everyone in Forli, Your Eminence.
Micheletto: I was born there.
Cesare Borgia: I can't imagine you being born, Micheletto. Or dying, for that matter. But you must show us your ancestral home.

Girolamo Savonarola: I preach against Rome, I preach against the sale of indulgences! I preach against the display and pomp of the lords of the Church! Of their gold and jewellery! And who pays, who pays for such decadence? You! The faithful. Where does your charity end up? In the Medici bank, in Florence... where it multiplies like maggots through usury. So the root of-
Ascanio Sforza: You should leave, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: No, we would hear more. The friar is eloquent.
Ascanio Sforza: And dangerous. If we are discovered, they will tear you limb from limb.
Alexander VI: Know your enemy, Cardinal. Know him better than your friend.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...with the sword of righteousness! Did Adam need gold coin? Did Eve need diamond and pearl? We must drive the Medici bank from Florence or burn it to the ground. Pray with me. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.

Isabella: Fuck the bloody Pope in Rome, my bambino has come home.
Micheletto: Mama no.
Isabella: The Pope of Rome can wipe his ass. I've got my baby back at last.
Micheletto: She can go on like this for hours, Your Eminence.
Isabella: Eminence? Is he eminent?
Cesare Borgia: In my own small world.
Isabella: He is your dottore, is he not?
Cesare Borgia: His dottore?
Isabella: If you are my son's dottore, I must surely bring out my best wine. You have a name, dottore?
Cesare Borgia: Cesare.
Isabella: And you have read many books?
Isabella: What kind of dottore are you? My son studies medicine, he has to read the books. His dottore helps him read the books.
Isabella: But it takes so long, this student business.
Cesare Borgia: Indeed. It takes forever. He has to learn to wield the scalpel. The knife.
Isabella: To cut up the cadaver?
Cesare Borgia: To find out where the spleen resides. The liver. The heart.
Isabella: He is a good student?
Cesare Borgia: The best. And he has but one ambition.
Isabella: Ambition?
Cesare Borgia: To look after his mama when she's old.
Isabella: He told you that?
Cesare Borgia: He tells me daily. When he wields the scalpel.
Isabella: What does he say?
Cesare Borgia: For Mama!
Isabella: No!
Cesare Borgia: This one's for Mama! The next one's for Mama. It's always for Mama.
Isabella: Ah, my boy. My sweet, dear blessed boy. Look at those hands, dottore. The hands of a healer, no?
Cesare Borgia: A maestro.
Isabella: My dottore maestro. Augustino! He's back, Augustino. Our Micheletto has returned. Augustino's getting married. You remember Violetta, from the baker's shop?
Isabella: With the...
Micheletto: Lazy eye.
Isabella: Augustino's not looking at the lazy eye.
Isabella: Her hips, more like it.
Micheletto: Big hips, yes?
Isabella: Big childbearing hips.
Cesare Borgia: And on that happy note, fair lady, I must leave you.
Isabella: You won't stay the night?
Cesare Borgia: I have business in Forli.
Isabella: Dottore business.
Cesare Borgia: Yes, as have you.
Micheletto: Mama... We must go heal the sick... yes?
Isabella: But before you leave, you come back? For your Mama's bean stew?
Cesare Borgia: He would not miss it, Mama. Not for the world. So, dottore, shall we heal the sick?
Micheletto: You must forgive my mother her fantasies, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Has she many more of them?
Micheletto: She believes her husband died reaping corn in a field.
Cesare Borgia: Your father? And he didn't?
Micheletto: No, I killed him.
Cesare Borgia: Was there a reason?
Micheletto: Many.

Girolamo Savonarola: Are you the cleric in red?
Giuliano della Rovere: I find the robes of your order suit me better at this pitiful juncture.
Girolamo Savonarola: Have you taken our vows?
Giuliano della Rovere: I can no longer serve the Pope of Rome.
Girolamo Savonarola: Ah, yes, I heard of your plans for his deposition. Your plans failed miserably.
Giuliano della Rovere: Indeed. I must confess to failure.
Girolamo Savonarola: Oh, so have you come here to make a confession of your failure?
Giuliano della Rovere: No. I am here to propose a solution to the sickness in our Holy Mother Church.
Girolamo Savonarola: A solution?
Giuliano della Rovere: We must remove him.
Girolamo Savonarola: From the chair of St. Peter's?
Giuliano della Rovere: From the chair of St. Peter's.
Girolamo Savonarola: But you tried that already.
Giuliano della Rovere: From the chair of St. Peter's... and from this world.
Girolamo Savonarola: I shared a vision with you once. Of the bloated figure of the Borgia pope, lying blackened with sickness on the floor of St. Peter's. No one dared approach it. Are you saying you're the one to bring this to pass?
Giuliano della Rovere: Only if I have your blessing, Friar. And the blessing of your order.
Girolamo Savonarola: You have the blessing of the Lord. For he shall bring it to pass. And if my vision was a true one, you will have my blessing. And the blessing of the Lord Himself. Be the sword of the apocalypse, the sword of righteousness. Ride out like death, on a pale horse.

Niccolo Machiavelli: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Signore Machiavelli.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Had we been graced with news of your arrival, we could have done justice to your presence.
Alexander VI: We cannot always travel in public splendor. A pope must learn the problems of his subjects.
Niccolo Machiavelli: And your humble subject, Piero de Medici awaits.
Alexander VI: Oh, good.

Cesare Borgia: Cannon.
Micheletto: French cannon.
Cesare Borgia: Too many of them. Would we be safer in your mother's humble abode, Micheletto?
Micheletto: You will always be safe, whenever I am near, Eminence. This Sforza family are not to be trusted.
Cesare Borgia: Stay close and keep the horses saddled.

Catherine Sforza: My son, Benito, longs for a soldier's career.
Cesare Borgia: Hm. It has much to recommend it.
Benito Riario-Sforza: You bear arms yourself, Signore Borgia?
Catherine Sforza: No, my love, he wears a cardinal's skirt.
Benito Riario-Sforza: But your dress is that of-
Cesare Borgia: I am a civilian today. An ambassador.
Catherine Sforza: He comes bearing a message from his father, the Pope of Rome. Have I guessed correctly, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: You think so little of your charms?
Catherine Sforza: You've come to sample them, perhaps?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps.
Catherine Sforza: While bearing a message from the Pope of Rome.
Cesare Borgia: The pope does send his best regards. And would request your beauteous presence at the chair of St. Peter's.
Catherine Sforza: He would sample my charms also?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps. He would feel your lips on his papal ring.
Catherine Sforza: He would have me kneel to him? Bow?
Cesare Borgia: The whole world must bow to the Holy Father.
Catherine Sforza: Whom does your mother bow to, my son?
Benito Riario-Sforza: Nobody.
Catherine Sforza: You heard him, Cardinal? His mother bows to nobody.
Cesare Borgia: And if nobody were to sit at her table?
Catherine Sforza: She would not bow. But there are other forms of obeisance.
Benito Riario-Sforza: Are there, Mother?
Catherine Sforza: Indeed, my son. There is a form of surrender which implies no submission. It gave birth to you.
Benito Riario-Sforza: I confess I am lost, Mother.
Catherine Sforza: Indeed, you are truly a soldier made of hard wood. But the cardinal must know I only kneel when it suits me. As must the Holy Father.
Cesare Borgia: If you do not come willingly, my lady-
Catherine Sforza: Oh hush, Cardinal, hush. You are our guest this fine evening. I'd have no discord between us. You can relay the Holy Father's message in its fullness tomorrow.

Piero de' Medici: We live in a fortress now, barricaded against a sea of zealots in the streets outside.
Alexander VI: Zealots?
Piero de' Medici: Their fervour for the friar's visions increases daily. They would ban all art and ornament and they have set their sights on the coin of the realm itself.
Alexander VI: Money? Dear God.
Piero de' Medici: They see gold and silver coin as part of the fallen world. They would reduce all exchange to the state of barter only possible in the garden of Eden.
Alexander VI: And what of banking?
Piero de' Medici: Did Adam need gold coin? Did Eve need a bank? Did Cain charge interest to Abel?
Ascanio Sforza: And what of the Church's deposits in your banks?
Piero de' Medici: They would scatter them like chaff. And if they knew, Holy Father, of your personal accounts, they would burn the bank to the ground.
Alexander VI: Well, then, perhaps we had better have our wealth brought back to Rome.
Piero de' Medici: How? The friar has his spies everywhere.
Alexander VI: Perhaps the good friar could be bought.
Piero de' Medici: With money?
Alexander VI: No, bishopric. The generalship of the Dominican order.
Piero de' Medici: The Dominican order already does his bidding.
Niccolo Machiavelli: And how can you buy one who would outlaw trade itself?
Alexander VI: You offer him something that money cannot buy. Heaven itself. Is it good? Benedictus, Benedicat per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum.

Cesare Borgia: He has the voice of an angel.
Catherine Sforza: Not a soldier, then?
Cesare Borgia: No. No, never send this boy to war.

Augustino: So, you've come back, Micheletto. To haunt me. Must we always meet among old bones?
Micheletto: You know why.
Augustino: Ghosts. Only the dead should walk here.
Micheletto: And us. You remember.
Augustino: I've tried to forget.
Micheletto: You should. You're to be married, are you not?
Augustino: And you? Did you not forget?
Micheletto: I forget nothing.

Catherine Sforza: My father, Galeazzo Sforza. He lost one eye in battle. His nose then occluded his vision so he sliced it off. The Sforzas of Forli never surrender.
Cesare Borgia: And never kneel.
Catherine Sforza: Oh, we can kneel all right. But only willingly. Giorgio will now show you to your rooms.

Catherine Sforza: Indelicate, Cardinal- To invade a lady's chamber.
Cesare Borgia: I was led here.
Cesare Borgia: Your manservant.
Catherine Sforza: By mistake. I must have him whipped.
Cesare Borgia: May I leave?
Catherine Sforza: I could scream in terror. Call my soldiery.
Cesare Borgia: I am still your guest here.
Catherine Sforza: In my room? An intruder, surely.
Cesare Borgia: So then... Scream.
Catherine Sforza: Help. Is that blade truly necessary? You can stab me with it whenever you wanted.
Cesare Borgia: Is that a promise?
Catherine Sforza: Ah! A promise. I am a freak of nature, Cardinal. An aberration. A free woman in a man's world.
Cesare Borgia: I should deal with you harshly then.
Catherine Sforza: You should put me down. Ah!

Micheletto: Your marriage will be a lie.
Augustino: Like your studies.
Micheletto: But I have no books. You will have a wife.
Augustino: I'm a wheelwright, Micheletto. I live in Forli. I will marry in Forli, and I will die in Forli.
Micheletto: Then come to Rome.
Augustino: I know what your life is in Rome.
Micheletto: My life, what is my life, Augustino?
Augustino: It does not involve healing. It involves punishment.
Micheletto: I punish this world for not being as I want.
Augustino: And you frighten me.
Micheletto: Huh. Then you must not come to Rome.

Catherine Sforza: Those cannon were fake.
Cesare Borgia: What cannon?
Catherine Sforza: I was wondering how you had whipped up numberless pieces. Then I heard a rumour. There was no metal in them. Plaster, not bronze. Ah. Which is the trouble with you Borgias. Nothing is what it seems.
Cesare Borgia: We are commoners, my lady.
Catherine Sforza: But of a rare Spanish breed.

Alexander VI: So, how do we entice this friar to Rome?
Ascanio Sforza: As you said, with the offer of a bishopric.
Alexander VI: A bishopric may not be carrot enough. Maybe a cardinal's hat?
Ascanio Sforza: You would have him sit in Consistory? Bring his fire and brimstone to St. Peter's?
Alexander VI: We would have him come to Rome. Clap him in the dungeons of the Castell St. Angelo. Charge him with heresy.
Ascanio Sforza: Burn him at the stake? Do you intend the same thing for my cousin, Catherina Sforza?
Alexander VI: Dear God, is she a heretic too?
Ascanio Sforza: She is a woman who bears a man's arms.
Alexander VI: We would befriend your cousin, Cardinal. We would hold her close- and dear.
Ascanio Sforza: As you hold myself.
Alexander VI: Indeed.

Papal Soldier: Make way there!
Papal Soldier: Make way for His Holiness!
Papal Soldier: Stand aside!
Papal Soldier: Make way for His Holiness, the Pope of Rome!
Papal Soldier: Form up!

Vanozza dei Cattanei: A cardinal's stocking, Giulia.
Giulia Farnese: You are indeed observant.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And what do I spy between those mounds of sleeping flesh?
Giulia Farnese: Why I believe it's-
Lucrezia Borgia: It's a cardinal.
Giulia Farnese: Another one.
Beatrice: Fuck off. Oh, can I help you- ladies?
Giulia Farnese: We're in search of cardinals.
Beatrice: Well, you've come to the right place then. We should have called this place the Sistine Chapel.
Lucrezia Borgia: But the Sistine Chapel is fragrant with incense. Its floors sparkle with cleanliness. Here, the cardinals lie in filth.
Beatrice: As do we, madam. And you are?
Lucrezia Borgia: The committee for the betterment of the lives of the ladies of the Roman night.
Beatrice: There is such a committee?
Giulia Farnese: There is now.
Beatrice: And you have the blessing of?
Lucrezia Borgia: The pope of Rome.
Beatrice: Oh, goodness. Well, you must come and meet our madam, then. Oh Madam, there are some ladies here to see you!
Rosa: La Bella. We so rarely have ladies within our walls.
Giulia Farnese: Hm... The girls who work here do not qualify as ladies, then?
Rosa: Good God, no. A lady has a future.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And your girls have none?
Rosa: Unless they find a patron, my lady. As you yourself must know.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I was a courtesan, my dear, never a streetwalker.
Rosa: My girls might walk the streets, but they ply their trade here.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: In the vilest conditions.
Rosa: And you would better their lot?
Lucrezia Borgia: And yours- if you play your cards right. You have a certain clientele. Of clerics.
Rosa: I am bound to discretion with regard to my clientele, my ladies.
Lucrezia Borgia: We have a proposition for you, madam. That we pay for the refurbishment of your premises. We restore it to cleanliness, comfort, a condition of absolute health.
Rosa: In return for?
Lucrezia Borgia: Names, on occasion. Dates. The details of any cardinal who crosses the bounds of propriety.
Rosa: Huh.

Friar: Brother Guiliano, you bring news from Florence?
Giuliano della Rovere: Friar Savanarola commanded us to be the sword of the apocalypse. Death himself, on his pale horse.
Friar: But how? He is surrounded at all times by a ring of steel.
Giuliano della Rovere: There may yet be a way.

Giuliano della Rovere: As the friar has said, the pope is surrounded by a ring of steel. But if we can penetrate that ring, discover his weakness...
Friar: What is his weakness?
Giuliano della Rovere: Fornication. Food. Wine. And I propose we use the weapon the Borgia family uses so effortlessly. Against me, among others. Cantarella.

Cesare Borgia: I'm afraid I can delay it no longer, my lady.
Catherine Sforza: Delay what?
Cesare Borgia: The reason for my presence here.
Catherine Sforza: Oh yes. There was a reason. Something to do with Rome.
Cesare Borgia: His Holiness the Pope-
Catherine Sforza: What a pity.
Catherine Sforza: To ruin this sweet dalliance with issues of politics.
Cesare Borgia: When we were getting on so well.
Catherine Sforza: Indeed. There is no cause for rancour between our families. Is there, my son?
Benito Riario-Sforza: That would be such a pity.
Catherine Sforza: A pity indeed. But proceed, Cardinal, if you must.
Cesare Borgia: His Holiness dictates that if you do not come to Rome willingly- Oh.
Catherine Sforza: Now you have quite put me off my duck. And I sense a threat behind those words.
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps a "choice" would be the better word.
Catherine Sforza: Oh dear. A choice. And I am so bad at choosing.
Cesare Borgia: He would have you travel to Rome willingly or in chains.
Catherine Sforza: And this duck did taste so good. Hmm... You must break fast with me tomorrow, Cardinal. I will give you my answer then. And now... let me show you to your rooms.
Cesare Borgia: Tell me your answer.
Catherine Sforza: You shall have it in the morning.
Cesare Borgia: I think I know it already.
Catherine Sforza: What do you care if I come to Rome?
Cesare Borgia: The pope has made an edict-
Catherine Sforza: Written on paper? Or plaster, like your cannon?
Cesare Borgia: So, your answer is no?
Catherine Sforza: You said I had a choice. To go willingly... or to go in chains. Who is going to chain me? You?
Cesare Borgia: Someday, perhaps.
Catherine Sforza: Your brother? I have heard of his bluster. Fake, again, like your cannon.
Cesare Borgia: Let us dispense then with these niceties, and let me leave.
Catherine Sforza: Oh, but that, Cardinal, I am not yet prepared for.
Cesare Borgia: You think I appreciate this game of yours?
Catherine Sforza: No. But I do. And you did admit, Cardinal... the game is mine. The bed is mine. The choice is mine. And...
Catherine Sforza: ...for one more night at least, you may be mine.

Giuliano della Rovere: As a poison, cantarella is undetectable. If given a sufficient dosage, it will definitely be fatal.
Friar: But the pope has tasters for his food, his wine.
Giuliano della Rovere: He does indeed. So one of us must seek employment as his taster. And be prepared to die for our cause. Is there one among us who is willing to die? To administer the poison? Taste the poison? Serve it to the Pope of Rome and share his fate? If one among you can find it in his heart to offer himself for this sacrifice, think carefully. Make your peace with God first. And only then come forward. I of all people know... It will be a terrible death.

Catherine Sforza: Ahh! You should throw away those cardinal robes, you know.
Cesare Borgia: I thought I had.
Catherine Sforza: You should wear armour. This body of yours deserves nothing less. Ahh!

Augustino: Micheletto. We cannot meet again.
Augustino: If I were found in your arms, I'd be disembowelled and burnt.
Micheletto: It's a cruel world.
Augustino: Too cruel.
Micheletto: Now, I have killed many, with an embrace such as this.
Augustino: Did you love them too?
Micheletto: This grave- this is my father's grave and I loved him. When I held his head, thus- Now, you go and you be married. St. Paul says it is better to marry... than to burn.

Catherine Sforza: You came.
Giovanni Sforza: When called.
Catherine Sforza: Walk with me. We have a choice, it seems.

Antonello: You seek one who would give his life to restore the church to its glory.
Antonello: And you don't offer yourself?
Giuliano della Rovere: This is too well known.
Antonello: So... You need one without fame, without acquaintance, a neophyte within the Vatican walls.
Giuliano della Rovere: Nobody can know of him.
Antonello: Nobody knows of me.
Giuliano della Rovere: You realize the implications of your words?
Antonello: Yes. I would gladly die to rid the world of the Borgia pope.
Giuliano della Rovere: By poison. Cantarella. It will be a grisly death.
Antonello: But Heaven will await my soul. I would welcome it.

Alexander VI: Corpus Domini Nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen.

Catherina's Servant: Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: Your lady is-
Catherina's Servant: Lady Sforza is awake.
Cesare Borgia: My Lord Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: I arrived in the early hours.
Cesare Borgia: You must have. You have business with your cousin?
Giovanni Sforza: On matters of state, always.
Cesare Borgia: So she requested your presence here?
Giovanni Sforza: She told me it would be appreciated.
Cesare Borgia: Hmm... And can you tell me why?
Giovanni Sforza: You brought your father's proposal with you.
Cesare Borgia: My father, the pope?
Giovanni Sforza: I can only think of him as your father. And the father of that... slattern I was tricked into marrying.
Cesare Borgia: Be careful, Lord Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: Of what?
Cesare Borgia: I hold my sister's interests dear.
Giovanni Sforza: Hmm... I am aware of that. You humiliated me before the whole of Rome.

Alexander VI: Corpus Domini Nostri Iesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.

Catherine Sforza: You shall have your answer, Cesare Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: It is why I am still here, my lady.
Catherine Sforza: My answer is simple. It is no.
Cesare Borgia: Let me be clear. You refuse to come to Rome?
Giovanni Sforza: My cousin refuses to debase herself before that swine that wears the papal tiara.
Cesare Borgia: That question was for her, my lord.
Giovanni Sforza: And you have her answer.
Cesare Borgia: Yes and you will have mine.
Giovanni Sforza: Ahh! Ahh!

Cesare Borgia: I promised my sister your heart- on a dinner plate!

Choir Boy: Holy Father!

Giovanni Sforza: Ahh! Ahh!
Cesare Borgia: I can find no heart!

Alexander VI: Stay there! Don't move! Go! Now go! Go! Run, run, run! Ah! Ah!

Catherina's Servant: Murder! Murder! Murder!
Guard: You! Come with me!
Catherine Sforza: No... No! Guards, stop him!
Guard: Here! Oh!

Alexander VI: Ahh... Help! Somebody, help!

Alexander VI: Oh please God. Oh, come. Come on. Are you...
Choir Boy: Papa, I can't...
Choir Boy: ...feel my leg.
Alexander VI: Ohh... We'll get you some help.

Guard: Borgia!

Guard: Stop him!
Cesare Borgia: Micheletto!
Guard: Seal the city!
Cesare Borgia: Yah! Yah!
Guard: Archers ready! Release!
Guard: Shoot them!

Choir Boy: Papa...
Alexander VI: What... Oh, no. Oh... Oh! Ego te absolve ab omnibus censuris, a peccatis, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti. Amen.

Micheletto: We should ride different ways.
Cesare Borgia: Wrap this in your saddlebag. I would give it to my sister.
Micheletto: Whose blood?
Cesare Borgia: Giovanni Sforza's. Come! Yah!

Alexander VI: There are others alive in there!
Nun: Let me, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: So, if anybody's willing...
Alessandro Piccolomini: It is the judgment of God, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: And God will judge your actions now! So, please, if anyone is willing...

Alexander VI: Was it a sign from God, Cardinal?
Ascanio Sforza: No, Your Holiness. It was a bolt of lightning.
Alexander VI: It signalled His displeasure. We must atone for our... sins... with fasting and prayer.
Ascanio Sforza: For how long?
Alexander VI: Until He... smiles on us again.



206. Day of Ashes


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Cesare Borgia: You were once a stray dog, Micheletto. Search out a dozen of them whom we can school in the art of vengeance.
Alexander VI: Would you keep secrets from us? You're a cleric, not a soldier.
Girolamo Savonarola: Who pays for such decadence? Where does your charity end up? In the Medici bank in Florence?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Your Holiness. Piero di Medici.
Piero de' Medici: Their fervour for the friar's visions increases daily. And if they knew of your personal accounts, they would burn the bank to the ground.
Alexander VI: Perhaps we had better have our wealth brought back to Rome.
Giuliano della Rovere: We must remove him from this world.
Girolamo Savonarola: Be the sword of the apocalypse. The sword of righteousness.
Antonello: I would gladly die to rid the world of the Borgia pope.
Giuliano della Rovere: It will be a grisly death.
Cesare Borgia: Catherina Sforza, the pope would request your beauteous presence at the chair of St. Peter's.
Catherine Sforza: Who is going to chain me? You?
Giovanni Sforza: My cousin refuses to debase herself before that swine that wears the papal tiara. Ah!
Cesare Borgia: I promised my sister your heart!
Catherina's Servant: Murder!
Alexander VI: God signalled his displeasure. We must atone - for our sins.

Alexander VI: Dust thou art and to dust shalt thou return. Dust thou art and to dust shalt thou return. God has spoken to us, Your Eminences. We have heard His thunder. So the greatest penitence must be ours. Dust thou art and to dust shalt thou return. Bring me some water.
Man: Your Holiness.
Friar: A new leaf? Is it possible?
Giuliano della Rovere: A new pretence. A new theatre, that is all. Antonello, take note of the man with the water jug. He's the pope's taster.

Girolamo Savonarola: Christ spilled his blood for us! We must spill ours for him! We must scourge our flesh, wash Florence clean with the wine of our blood! Is it good enough to kneel and say you repent? Will you carry the mark of repentance upon you? Kneel. Do you repent?
Woman: I repent.
Girolamo Savonarola: Do you repent all your sins?
Woman: I repent all my sins.
Girolamo Savonarola: Do you give your life to Christ?
Woman: I give my life to Christ.
Girolamo Savonarola: Are you willing to throw off your riches, this finery, this display of pride and vanity, and give yourself truly to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Woman: I am ready.
Girolamo Savonarola: You will dedicate yourself to the renewal of Christendom. To the destruction of the red whore of Rome! And will the Medici repent, abandon their avarice and usury? Their gold and finery? If they do not repent, we will cast them out as Jesus threw the money lenders from the temple! For they have turned a house of prayer and made it a den of thieves!

Giuliano della Rovere: In this bottle are both Heaven and Hell. This is the marvel of the minimal dose. Too much and it will kill you. Just enough, and it will make you strong. I was poisoned with cantarella and I am now the stronger for it. Do you have faith?
Antonello: I have faith.

Alexander VI: To whom does the pope confess, oh Lord? Who will hear his sins, wash them clean, so that he may live again in Your favour? Ah. The great silence.
Alexander VI: My son. When did you return?
Cesare Borgia: Within the hour. Holy Father, I would have you hear my confession. I am guilty of the sin of murder. And lust. I am guilty of the sin of lust.
Alexander VI: Violence and fornication. How often these two are united. Go on.
Cesare Borgia: I killed the man who defiled my sister and insulted the name of Borgia. A knife to the heart.
Alexander VI: As we recall, murder was not your mission!
Cesare Borgia: It was a matter of honour!
Alexander VI: And lust, you say. Was that a matter of honour too? Who or what was the object of this lust?
Cesare Borgia: Catherina Sforza shared her bed with me.
Alexander VI: Oh, of course, who else? And tell us, after you had graced her with your-presence, did she beg to be dragged to Rome in chains?
Cesare Borgia: No, no.
Alexander VI: To be-to be friends with us?
Cesare Borgia: No, she did not.
Alexander VI: But, surely, after such lavish attention, she is now our friend.
Cesare Borgia: No! I fear not, Your Holiness. She-she remains an enemy.
Alexander VI: We have both sinned, my son, but whose sin will bring the greatest doom upon us? Hmm? Ours or yours? Ego te absolvo ab omnnibus censuris et in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. I find it hard to believe. I send you on a diplomatic mission and you start a war!
Cesare Borgia: There is no war.
Alexander VI: God struck the Basilica. He showed His anger to all. Is now the time to take a knife in hand? To have the armies of the north battering at our gates?
Cesare Borgia: Well then, release me from my cardinal's robes, give me the papal army, and I will bring you Catherina Sforza in chains!
Alexander VI: Armies do not march on air! We do not have the resources to send an army north! And now we are in need of another alliance! Perhaps you will explain so much to your dear sister? That she must now marry, in order protect us from the results of your folly?

Alexander VI: Oh Lord, as we remember Thy 40 days in the wilderness, so we share in Thy suffering during this Lenten period. If we have sullied Thy name with luxury, then we beseech You to forgive us. And we pray for enlightenment as to why You chose to strike with fire at the heart of Your Church. Per Christum, Dominum Nostrum. Amen.
Cardinals: Amen.
Alexander VI: During this Lenten period, instead of taking your repast in the luxury of your palaces, you will fast here with us, in common.
Julius Versucci: Your Holiness!
Alexander VI: Sardines... were the traditional Lenten fare when we were young. So we shall dine on sardines.
Brother Bernardino: Your Holiness.
Brother Bernardino: Let me taste.
Alexander VI: You think our enemies would poison our Lenten fare? These paltry bones?
Brother Bernardino: It is my duty, your Holiness.
Alexander VI: A poisoning would brighten the proceedings of an otherwise gloom-laden day, would it not? Well, Brother Bernadino, are you about to die?
Brother Bernardino: I think not, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Let us proceed.
Latin Reader: Incipit historia Iob.

Girolamo Savonarola: Give me your voice, give me your voice, O God let me hear you. Let me hear you speak to me. I want to feel, feel your spirit inside of me.
Ascanio Sforza: From our Holy Father, Christ's Vicar on Earth, the Bishop of Rome and the heir to St. Peter, a greeting and apostolic benediction to his most beloved son, Girolamo Savonarola. I am Cardinal Ascanio Sforza.
Girolamo Savonarola: Vice chancellor.
Girolamo Savonarola: Then you know all there is to know about corruption.
Ascanio Sforza: His Holiness hears you are a zealous worker in God's service, at which he rejoices, and is intrigued to hear that you proclaim your prophecies proceed directly from God. Is this so?
Girolamo Savonarola: God speaks through me. I hear His voice. Of this there is no doubt.
Ascanio Sforza: As befits your vows of obedience, his Holiness would have you journey to Rome to discourse further with him on this matter.
Girolamo Savonarola: The Good Lord's lightning not yet silenced this Borgia pope? Well, tell him my work is here, ridding Florence of its sodomites and blasphemers. And my work only will be ended when the last sodomite is burning in Hell.
Ascanio Sforza: Perhaps a different destiny awaits you in Rome.
Girolamo Savonarola: In the Castel Saint Angelo?
Ascanio Sforza: No. In the Vatican.
Girolamo Savonarola: Oh. As cardinal.
Ascanio Sforza: A seat in Consistory.
Girolamo Savonarola: No man can put a price on salvation.

Cesare Borgia: The sleep of the innocent. I promised you a heart, Sister.
Lucrezia Borgia: Whose? Your own?
Cesare Borgia: I promised you the heart of Giovanni Sforza on a dinner plate. His blood on this knife will have to suffice.
Lucrezia Borgia: What does it say of us, Brother, that you promise me this and I would accept?
Cesare Borgia: Do you accept?
Lucrezia Borgia: I would rather have my innocence back. Be as I was before I married that vile man.
Cesare Borgia: Impossible, I am afraid. For either of us.
Alexander VI: Prime has been sung, Terce approaches, yet some have barely roused their souls. Oh, darkness into light.
Lucrezia Borgia: Father, Giovanni is sleeping.
Alexander VI: Ooh. You have broached the matter, my son?
Lucrezia Borgia: What matter?
Alexander VI: The matter of Forli. Our need for the most sacred alliance. The matter, in a word, of marriage.
Lucrezia Borgia: Ah, I see. I am to be put back in the marketplace. Did you know this, Brother? And how secure did the last alliance you sold me into prove to be?
Alexander VI: It is your Father's wish. We would have you married. It is as simple as that.
Lucrezia Borgia: I will not marry. Never again. So there let it rest.
Alexander VI: We are shocked by this ingratitude.
Lucrezia Borgia: Even so, I will not marry.
Alexander VI: It is a daughter's duty to marry her father's choice!
Lucrezia Borgia: So I am to have no voice in the matter! I am to lie on my back and wait to be ravaged by a beast of your choosing!
Alexander VI: Enough! Enough! This language does not become you. And save your thoughts. Say nothing.
Cesare Borgia: I haven't uttered a word.
Alexander VI: No, but we can hear you thinking. This will come to pass, you shall see, even if we drag you to the basilica.
Lucrezia Borgia: Sh, sh, sh. Giovanni. Shh. Hush.
Cesare Borgia: Like me, you have just declared a war.

Alexander VI: What have you said to Lucrezia?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: In the matter of what?
Alexander VI: Marriage.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I have said nothing.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: It was you who arranged the last unfortunate event. That was not of my choosing. You want her to marry?
Alexander VI: It is our wish, yes.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Ah, I see, the Vatican needs to refresh its coffers.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Leave us. Perhaps she is not ready to marry.
Alexander VI: It is not her choice- and we would have you persuade her of that.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: As inconvenient as it may seem, Rodrigo, she fell in love. And every day the child reminds her of the man she loved.
Alexander VI: Our son Cesare was sent to the north on a diplomatic mission of the utmost importance, and... he had an unfortunate accident.
Alexander VI: No, Giovanni Sforza. He fell onto a knife that... Cesare happened to be holding.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Had I been there I would have helped push him onto the blade.
Alexander VI: Yes but, listen to me, Vanozza, this accident has made us enemies. They are lining up against us in the north. We need an alliance. Now, the Doge of Venice is a man of great power and influence. In a matter of days his nephew comes here as a suitor to Lucrezia. And... we would have you be our ambassador in this, vet him, as it were, on our daughter's behalf.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: If business is done, you may withdraw; the water grows cold. What is it?
Alexander VI: You have a rare beauty, Vanozza. Remember when we used to bath together?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Not after the water went cold.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And have you not foresworn intimacy for Lent?

Cesare Borgia: Signore Machiavelli... Welcome to Rome.
Niccolo Machiavelli: I appreciate the informality of your welcome.
Cesare Borgia: What is the news from Florence?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ah, officially, I am here to open the shutters of the Villa Medici for my master, Piero de Medici. Stones have been thrown at his house in Florence. Large stones. He believes he will be safer here in Rome.
Cesare Borgia: Not without our protection.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The Medici have made many enemies; that cannot be contested.
Cesare Borgia: What of the Medici bank? Is it a sinking ship?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Oh, I am not a banker, but it may have already sunk.
Cesare Borgia: You may not be a banker but you are the Medicis' ambassador; you know these things.
Niccolo Machiavelli: True, I have been privy to sensitive negotiations. Signore de Medici values my opinion- especially as he does not have one of his own- but I am really nothing more than a nuncio, a messenger boy.
Cesare Borgia: And what message does the boy bring? What of the Vatican funds?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Every penny could be lost. That is the sour truth of it.
Cesare Borgia: Where has the money gone?
Niccolo Machiavelli: That is the golden question. You are not alone in wanting an answer. There are funds, but the question is, where might they be?
Cesare Borgia: Do you know?
Niccolo Machiavelli: I am told that what remains is on the move. Some here, some there. Though not on its way to whom it belongs.
Niccolo Machiavelli: That I do not know. Not yet. Until such time, it is as I told you: I am here to open the shutters at the Villa Medici.
Cesare Borgia: Signore Machiavelli, a more specific insight into this matter would be much appreciated.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Your father claims that I have warned you of the dangers of marriage. You have incurred his extreme displeasure. I think it might make him ill.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, then, father and daughter will be ill together. The thought of marriage turns my stomach.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: It's within his prerogative to marry you to whomever he may please.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, then, let him do it, and he can fish me out of the Tiber.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: He's asked me to vet suitors on your behalf.
Lucrezia Borgia: And you agreed?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: More or less. Well, at least it leaves you with a choice.
Lucrezia Borgia: Mother, the man I married was a beast. I was little more than meat to him.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And yet you took the stable boy as your lover.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, that was different.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And there is hope for you yet.
Lucrezia Borgia: I do not deny that the warm touch of a lover might ease the pain.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: So all is not lost.

Antonello: Mmm...
Giuliano della Rovere: You're back.
Antonello: I dreamed.
Giuliano della Rovere: What did you dream?
Antonello: Nothing I have ever seen. It was not of this world.

Alexander VI: What would be your feeling, Brother Bernadino, if this humble sardine was poisoned and you proceeded to expire?
Brother Bernardino: One of happiness, Holiness, for I would have died in the service of our Lord and saved His vicar here on earth.
Alexander VI: You are an inspiration to us all. God's vicar will strive to be worthy of your devotion. Now let us enjoy these fruits of the sea.

Ascanio Sforza: There is a new order in Florence. Savonarola wields yet more power. All bow to him, some in fear, some in reverence. He virtually controls the city.
Alexander VI: He turned down the hat, of course.
Ascanio Sforza: Hmph. Scorned it.
Alexander VI: Ah. Yet another insult to Rome. No one turns down a seat in the Cardinalate.
Ascanio Sforza: Piero de Medici is hated by all.
Alexander VI: Small wonder.
Ascanio Sforza: Della Rovere's been seen in Florence and is said to have met with Savonarola.
Alexander VI: Ah. We must silence this yapping dog. And Della Rovere, he should have been muzzled long ago.
Ascanio Sforza: Savonarola claims that he hears the voice of God and him alone. He says that visions are put into his mind by angels.
Alexander VI: Well, that could give us cause to excommunicate him.
Alexander VI: The very worst. We may yet have cause to burn him.

Giulia Farnese: We thank you for responding to our request- especially in such numbers.
Lucrezia Borgia: One more would have made a crowd.
Alessandro Piccolomini: We are here, but we wonder to what purpose.
Julius Versucci: Another lesson in baking, perhaps.
Giulia Farnese: We were searching for some time for a suitable location to house the poor. Now we have found it.
Julius Versucci: Here?
Giulia Farnese: All we need now are the funds.
Alessandro Piccolomini: Surely it would take an excessive sum to make this suitable for habitation.
Giulia Farnese: That is not a problem. We manage the works.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: The curia will provide the funds.
Julius Versucci: What branch of the curia?
Giulia Farnese: The Office of Public Works.
Julius Versucci: The Office of Public Works has been emptied of funds by your charitable endeavours.
Giulia Farnese: I believe it was emptied long before our efforts begun.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: La Bella Farnese has been combing through the books of accounts. Must she now comb through your palaces? Through, dare I say it, the brothels?

Julius Versucci: He was vice chancellor himself. He has palaces of his own. He knows how things work.
Ascanio Sforza: His Holiness is going through a period of sanctity, penance. It will pass.
Julius Versucci: Combing the books already. What else might they do?
Ascanio Sforza: Who knows? They are women. Women are dangerous.
Alessandro Piccolomini: And how long will this newfound sanctity last?
Ascanio Sforza: Should be over by Easter, I should hazard.
Alessandro Piccolomini: So, what must we do?
Ascanio Sforza: You-restore the ruin.
Julius Versucci: What?
Alessandro Piccolomini: Ascani, you can't be serious-
Ascanio Sforza: Shut up. And pay for it.
Julius Versucci: Pay? He's not serious.
Alessandro Piccolomini: This is unheard of.

Alexander VI: Friar Savonarola berates us daily. He preaches heresy. That God speaks to him and him alone. He must be silenced. We charge you with this task. This will require all your patience. You will travel to Florence and you will ban him from preaching the word of God.
Cesare Borgia: He will laugh in my face.
Alexander VI: Of course. Then we will charge him with heresy.
Cesare Borgia: He will laugh in your face.
Alexander VI: Of course. Then we will excommunicate him.
Cesare Borgia: He will deny your right to do so.
Alexander VI: Of course. And then... we will burn him. Vengeance, you see, can wait. A lifetime if necessary.

Niccolo Machiavelli: Wagons carrying Medici gold are to be shipped to Castelfiorentino. There is a stronghold there.
Cesare Borgia: So the Medici coffers are not entirely empty.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Not if one knows where to look.
Cesare Borgia: How much gold?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Not enough for a king's ransom, but one hopes sufficient to make your detour worthwhile.
Cesare Borgia: Enough to feed an army?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Armies have big bellies. Let this map be your guide; I prepared it myself. Here is the route, the day, all you need to know. Look for wagons under escort transporting alum ore. Trade in alum is on the increase. Do not be deceived by appearances. The gold is hidden on the wagons. I must go.
Cesare Borgia: To open more shutters?
Niccolo Machiavelli: To let in more light. Yes.
Cesare Borgia: The light you bring to us is much appreciated.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Just a beginning.

Cesare Borgia: I would make a gift of gold to my father.
Micheletto: Does your father not have gold enough of his own?
Cesare Borgia: No, this is Medici gold. My father holds no affection for the Medici. He brands them thieves and liars.
Micheletto: All bankers are thieves and liars, Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: I would rather trust a beggar in the street. Listen. A shipment of gold hidden in alum ore is to travel from Florence to Castelfiorentino. It shall be ours. For this, we will need our friends.
Micheletto: If there is gold promised, they will be there.
Cesare Borgia: Not only will we bring the Friar Savonarola to his unholy knees, we will also bring Medici gold to my father.
Micheletto: Your father knows of this?
Cesare Borgia: He will know when he sees the gold.
Micheletto: Surely such a gift from a son deserves reward from the father, no?
Cesare Borgia: I will have only one reward- and I will have it no matter what. These robes have clung to my back for far too long.
Micheletto: Yes, I bear witness to that, Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: For the protection of Rome and the Holy Church- and the protection of my unwitting father, I will command the papal army. And you, Micheletto, you will wear armour and be my captain.
Micheletto: No, I was born in the shadows and I feel that is where I should remain.
Cesare Borgia: First, the prize.

Lucrezia Borgia: The Doge of Venice?
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh. Is he of consequence?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: His uncle, the doge, has immense wealth and is extremely fond of his nephew. At least take a look at him then I can tell your father I have done his bidding.
Lucrezia Borgia: The Doge of Venice is a man fond of war, is he not?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: They are all fond of war in the north. But I cannot speak for the nephew. Just cast an eye over him, that's all.
Lucrezia Borgia: Where is he, this doge's nephew?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Waiting in the main hall with his retinue. Most likely dying of old age by this time.
Lucrezia Borgia: Very well. You go and talk to him and I will watch.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: This is not a game, you know.
Lucrezia Borgia: No, but it feels like one.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Oh, and he has a dog. A gift.
Lucrezia Borgia: A man of immense wealth, you say, and he brings a dog?

Vanozza dei Cattanei: I don't think I've ever seen a dog quite like this.
Doge of Venice's Nephew: It's a wolfhound, my lady. It's one of the tallest breeds. A hunting dog. He's a powerful beast but he will make a loving and loyal companion.
Alexander VI: Hmm. What do you think? Impressive, no?
Lucrezia Borgia: The man or the dog?
Alexander VI: What is your verdict?
Lucrezia Borgia: No. That's no to the doge's nephew. And yes to the dog. Wait, on second thoughts, it's no to them both. Man and dog.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: It was kind of you to come but I'm afraid...

Cesare Borgia: I have another venture for you. First, you will escort me to Florence on Vatican business. And then there will be rewards for all of us.
Battista Colonna: You said that the last time.
Cesare Borgia: Well, this time there is gold. Medici gold. They are robbing their own bank, so we will rob them. Trust me. My name is Borgia.

Lucrezia Borgia: Let's hope the cardinals have consciences. What more can we do?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: This was left this morning, like a baby abandoned on a doorstep. A victory.
Giulia Farnese: It's a start.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Let the works begin.

Alexander VI: So... Piero de Medici, to what does Rome owe the pleasure of your forsaking of your beloved Florence?
Piero de' Medici: Holiness, a torch was put to our house. We left the city in a hail of stones.
Alexander VI: Dramatic exit indeed. You have come bearing the gold we deposited with the Medici bank? Or have those funds gone up in flames with your palaces?
Piero de' Medici: Those funds are in safe hands, Holy Father.
Piero de' Medici: But they are on the move, to secure locations.
Alexander VI: We thank you for your assurance. So why exactly are you here?
Piero de' Medici: I would plead for the Holy Father's protection in Rome. And for his help in the battle against the Friar Savonarola.
Alexander VI: We have dispatched our son, Cardinal Borgia, to secure his silence.
Piero de' Medici: You think he can be silenced?
Alexander VI: If not, he will be burned. And there will be flourishing once again in your fair Florence a bank- but this time a Vatican bank.
Piero de' Medici: What does the pope know of banking?
Alexander VI: What the pope does not know, Piero de Medici will teach him.
Man: Holiness.
Man: Father...

Girolamo Savonarola: Since Jesus died for us, since he gave his life for us- -his blood for us, his pain for us, let us kneel for him!
Cesare Borgia: Girolamo Savonarola! I am Cardinal Cesare Borgia!
Girolamo Savonarola: The bastard son of the pope!
Cesare Borgia: I am the servant of our most Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, and voice of the Living God, Pope Alexander Sextus. This edict finds you guilty of disseminating pernicious doctrines to the scandal and grief of simple souls. Having incurred our Holy Father's censure, you are hereby ordered to suspend your sermons and prophecies, lest you be charged with heresy.
Girolamo Savonarola: I thank His Holiness. And tell him I will use it... to wipe my ass!
Cesare Borgia: You are standing too close to the fire, Brother Savonarola. You may get burned.
Girolamo Savonarola: Think you I fear the flame? I have the word of God. It is the Borgias who will burn!

Giuliano della Rovere: This time, a little more.
Antonello: Heaven and Hell?
Giuliano della Rovere: Heaven and Hell. Do you have faith?
Antonello: Yes, Father.

Man: Stop the sinners!
Man: You deserve to suffer!
Cesare Borgia: Move. My God. What is this?
Man: Sodomites. The lot of them. They're to be hanged, then burned by order of Father Savonarola. Sodomites! Burn in hell! Sodomite scum!
Man: Die!
Boy: In the name of Jesus Christ.
Cesare Borgia: What, in the name of Jesus Christ?
Boy: The ring off your finger.
Cesare Borgia: And you, boy, what would you have? My boot up your ass?
Boy: Sodomite! Here is one- a sodomite!
Boys: Sodomite! Sodomite!
Micheletto: Move! Out of the way! Move!
Battista Colonna: Back! Move back!
Man: You can run from God but you cannot hide! Sodomites!
Battista Colonna: Move away! All of you!
Man: He will get you!

Micheletto: You promised them booty, your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: There is booty to be found, but not in Florence. Come on! Yah! Yah!

Soldier: What was that? Ah!
Soldier: Uh!
Battista Colonna: Easy meat.
Micheletto: Too easy.
Carlo Baglione: So, condottieri!
Soldier: Ah!
Carlo Baglione: Booty at last.
Micheletto: Wait!
Carlo Baglione: Ah! Ugh!
Battista Colonna: Find it!
Soldier: Ah, you dog!
Soldier: Ugh!
Soldier: Ah!
Battista Colonna: My lord.
Cesare Borgia: Colonna, can you make gold from alum?
Battista Colonna: We are condottieri, not alchemists.
Cesare Borgia: Aha. We shall have to pay you in gold then.

Lucrezia Borgia: How long might this game go on?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Until we run out of princes. We've already seen five. This will be number six.
Lucrezia Borgia: At first it was a distraction; now it's a chore.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Then marry one of them and be done with it. Have a bed chamber of your own and put a strong lock on the door.
Lucrezia Borgia: Which one is the suitor?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: The one in the blue velvet, at the front. Calvino Pallavicini from Genova.
Lucrezia Borgia: And, behind him, in the brown and grey. Who is he?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: That must be Raffaello di Genova, his brother.
Lucrezia Borgia: Who did you say?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: His name is Raffaello. He is the younger brother of Calvino. I just told you, he is not your suitor. The other one, Calvino- that is your suitor.

Cesare Borgia: Savonarola remains defiant.
Alexander VI: Oh. And you are learning patience?
Cesare Borgia: With difficulty, Holy Father. I have a gift for you. Medici gold. Enough for the Forli campaign. They are dispersing the bank's funds through the whole of Italy. If we could track down the rest, we could even conquer Florence.
Alexander VI: And you would equip an army with it.
Cesare Borgia: I would batter the walls of Forli with it and drag Catherina Sforza in chains before you.
Alexander VI: You would be a soldier?
Cesare Borgia: You know that has always been my heart's desire.
Alexander VI: But who would advise me in this Vatican? Who would guide me, protect us? Hm? We always said we must have one son in the cloth, and one in armour. Would you have us make Juan a cardinal? No. We thank you from the bottom of our heart. But you know what you ask is impossible. Your brother's coming home, a changed man, we are assured. With a party of conquistadors hardened by the New Spain. Promise us that you will welcome him- with a brotherly embrace.
Cesare Borgia: You must embrace him for me, Holy Father. While I attend to the Church's business- back in Florence.


 Big A Reviews

207. The Siege at Forli


Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias... You will choose a bride in Spain and you will become the Borgia I always hoped you would be.
Giuliano della Rovere: I propose we use the weapon the Borgia family uses. Canterella. Too much and it will kill you. Just enough, and it will make you strong.
Girolamo Savonarola: Dedicate yourself to the renewal of Christendom. To the destruction of the red whore of Rome!
Ascanio Sforza: There is a new order in Florence. Savonarola virtually controls the city.
Alexander VI: He must be silenced. We would have Catherina Sforza come to Rome and kneel at our feet.
Cesare Borgia: The pope would request your presence at the chair of St. Peter's.
Catherine Sforza: Whom does your mother bow to, my son?
Benito Riario-Sforza: Nobody.
Cesare Borgia: You refuse to come to Rome? She shared her bed with me.
Alexander VI: Did she beg to be friends with us?
Cesare Borgia: No, she remains an enemy. Release me from my cardinal's robes, give me the papal army, and I will bring you Catherina Sforza in chains!
Lucrezia Borgia: I will not marry. Never again.
Alexander VI: It is a daughter's duty to marry her father's choice!
Lucrezia Borgia: So I am to have no voice in the matter!
Cesare Borgia: Like me, you have just declared a war.
Lucrezia Borgia: Which one is the suitor?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Calvino Pallavicini from Genova.
Lucrezia Borgia: And, behind him, in the brown and grey. Who is he?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: His brother, Raffaello.
Alexander VI: Your brother's coming home with a party of conquistadors.
Cesare Borgia: You must embrace him for me- while I attend to the Church's business- back in Florence.

Flunkey: The most respected Duke of Gandia, Juan Borgia!
Juan Borgia: Holy Father.
Alexander VI: My son.
Juan Borgia: A gift.
Lucrezia Borgia: What is that?
Juan Borgia: This, dear sister, is a gift for you like no other.
Juan Borgia: It is called a panther.
Lucrezia Borgia: Are such beasts common in Spain?
Juan Borgia: Not anymore.
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh! Take the baby.
Alexander VI: Um, and who is this?
Juan Borgia: May I present Don Hernando de Caballos.
Juan Borgia: Don Hernando is a true conquistador. He has traveled to the New World where he brought the word of God to the heathen he found there. He was also at the Siege of Granada where they defeated the Moor.
Alexander VI: Good. We had a siege in mind. Hmm.
Hernando de Caballos: Holiness.
Alexander VI: So, now to our gift. Mmm. What have we here? Turds? You travel all the way to our ancestral homeland and back again to bring us turds?
Juan Borgia: Smell them.
Alexander VI: Why should we smell a turd?
Juan Borgia: They are called cigarros. They are an exotic creation from the New World. I will happily demonstrate at your Holiness's leisure.
Lucrezia Borgia: Ow! It bit me! It could have eaten my hand!

Boy: Give up your vanities!
Woman: They're here! Quick!
Woman: Hide your valuables!
Man: Get inside.
Man: I told you! Come quickly!
Woman: Come along!
Boy: Give up your gold!
Niccolo Machiavelli: Your Eminence. Come.
Boy: Save yourselves!
Boy: Bring it out! Bring it out!
Cesare Borgia: What is this, Signore Machiavelli?
Niccolo Machiavelli: God's children. Savonarola's vermin.
Cesare Borgia: I feel a sudden chill.
Boy: Give up your vanities!
Boy: Hell is eternal!

Alexander VI: So, we take a turd in our hand.
Juan Borgia: Cigarro.
Alexander VI: Yes, cigarro. Then what?
Juan Borgia: You put it in your mouth.
Alexander VI: What? All of it?
Juan Borgia: No, just the end. In between the lips. Now, we take a burning taper. And so carefully, as not to cause damage to the holy person, we apply fire to the end of the cigarro. And, here for the most important part, a sensation of great pleasure.
Alexander VI: Pleasure? I didn't know this was a leisure pursuit. We thought it was medicinal.
Juan Borgia: Please. Fire, and now suck as if drawing air through a tube... a little harder.
Alexander VI: Ah! We are on fire!
Juan Borgia: One more time.
Alexander VI: What is this called?
Juan Borgia: Smoking!
Alexander VI: Smoking? Indeed, well, one is smoking. Thank you... Thank you.

Juan Borgia: My wife-
Alexander VI: Maria Enriquez de Luna. A rare beauty.
Juan Borgia: I am devoted to her, body and soul. She is with my child.
Alexander VI: Bravo! The bull has done his work. An heir. This pleases us.
Juan Borgia: It will be a boy. I can feel it - here.
Alexander VI: You have grown into manhood, my son. As we prayed for. We feel a little, how do I say?
Juan Borgia: Nauseous.
Alexander VI: Exactly.
Juan Borgia: It will pass.
Juan Borgia: Um, no. I only drink water. The clarity of water gives clarity of mind.
Alexander VI: Oh. A blessing. We are of a similar temperament. So-to business. Catherina Sforza.
Juan Borgia: The bitch of Forli. Is she still in this world?
Alexander VI: In this world and threatening war. The papal army awaits your command. Lay siege to her castle, give her occasion to come to the Holy City, to bend her knee to Rome. Should she refuse then you are at liberty to seize her estates. Her land, her titles, her deeds, the castle at Forli, will be yours, a rich reward.
Juan Borgia: And if she refuses?
Alexander VI: Then knock the bitch off her perch.
Juan Borgia: By the grace of God, Father, I am ready.

Friar: Thank you, Brother.
Giuliano della Rovere: Heard the news from Florence, Brother?
Friar: Our blessed Brother Savanorola is making it a true city of God.
Giuliano della Rovere: He should take care then. Borgia spies take note of his every word, Machiavelli chief among them.
Friar: Thank you.
Giuliano della Rovere: Any hint of heresy is music to their ears.
Friar: Praise to God.
Friar: Is it heresy, then, to declare the rule of the blessed? To ban usury and sodomy?
Giuliano della Rovere: We know all the Borgia wiles, Brother. If Savanarola claims to speak with the tongue of angels, they have the excuse they need for a public burning. He must beware. Temper his words.
Friar: The friar speaks from the heart. His power is his rhetoric. His words will never be tempered.
Giuliano della Rovere: We need his presence here on earth, not in heaven, Brother. We already have one among us who would be a martyr.
Friar: Then we must let the friar know that we are within in sight of our goal.
Giuliano della Rovere: Our prayer: a world without the Borgia pope.

Lucrezia Borgia: Holy Father?
Lucrezia Borgia: I would meet with the suitor from Genova.
Alexander VI: Calvino Pallavicini?
Lucrezia Borgia: I would meet with him- if just to determine the colour of his eyes. Nothing more.
Alexander VI: Oh. Your hand?
Lucrezia Borgia: Ah. Such elegance, yes? My thanks to my brother. Had he gifted me a viper, I would now be in my shroud.
Alexander VI: Your brother shows sense. He has married well. We would advise you to follow the same path.
Lucrezia Borgia: What is that in your mouth?
Alexander VI: It's a cigarro.
Lucrezia Borgia: Hm. Not a turd?
Lucrezia Borgia: It smells like one.

Juan Borgia: Hm. Ah!
Doctor: Not good. In fact, very bad.
Juan Borgia: Is it true that the disease can eat its way to the brain and destroy it?
Doctor: It is lust that destroys the brain, not the disease. The damage has already been done before the disease takes hold. Hm... Ah. Mercury-or rather, the corrosive sublimate- is indicated. To be taken in minute portions, mind, or it will kill. Your salvation may lie in this, uh, modest instrument. Allow me to demonstrate. This is inserted into the privy member. There will be pain. Once it is in place, I push on this gizmet, here... revealing the umbrella-like apparatus that does the work. The instrument is withdrawn and thus it will scrape clear the pus and discharge upon its exit. Are you ready?
Doctor: Bite on this.

Girolamo Savonarola: Be sure, I have seen the vision of God. As I have heard the words of his angels. God has chosen us to purify his church but for these angels, life is just a moment. A breath of wind upon their cheeks. But life hereafter is an eternity! And every day you live is Judgment Day. Now which of you can tell me, what is Judgment Day? What is your name?
Angelo: Angelo.
Girolamo Savonarola: Angelo. You see? We have an angel amongst us. So, Angelo, tell us, what is Judgment Day?
Angelo: It is when the son of man will return in his glory, the graves will open, and the living and the dead will be judged and sent to Heaven or Hell.
Girolamo Savonarola: An eternity in Heaven or an eternity in Hell! Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh, my friends, this world is crowded with vanity. What you see in the mirror is but an illusion. Until you have cast off your fine clothes- -the jewels in your hair, your lewd pictures in your pagan books- -your wines, your courtesans, your paramours, your lust for all the things in life that you crave!
Micheletto: This man has been ordered not to preach and remain silent. It is the loudest silence I have ever heard.
Cesare Borgia: This is in direct defiance of the papal order. But no surprise.
Micheletto: What is all this?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Vanities. Waiting like a witch for the fire.
Girolamo Savonarola: ...until that time, you are damned and the doors to Heaven will remain closed. Which of you would like to stand and contradict that?

Papal Soldier: Line up! Stand in tight!
Sforza's Soldier: Soldiers! Papal guards!
Sforza's Soldier: To arms! To arms!
Tommaso Carracci: Summon the Lady Sforza.
Sforza's Soldier: Soldiers approaching!
Tommaso Carracci: To your stations!
Papal Soldier: Stand to! Awaiting orders!
Tommaso Carracci: More archers to the main gate! Take your positions!
Sforza's Soldier: Gunners!
Tommaso Carracci: Quickly! Ready yourselves!
Sforza's Soldier: Cannon forward! Forward!
Sforza's Soldier: Seal the gates!
Papal Soldier: Sir!
Papal Soldier: Make way!
Sforza's Soldier: Cannons ready!
Tommaso Carracci: Do not shoot!
Papal Soldier: Move the line out!
Hernando de Caballos: How many men are in the castle?
Juan Borgia: It's not known. We most likely outnumber them.
Hernando de Caballos: We pray we outnumber them, yes? There is big danger here, my lord. Speak with this woman.
Juan Borgia: The Bitch of Forli.
Hernando de Caballos: Bitch? Yes, speak with this bitch and speak soon. A white flag. A truce. State your terms before they turn those cannons onto us. We will keep the army back in the trees.
Hernando de Caballos: Out of reach of the cannon. Venga!
Papal Soldier: Make way for the horses!
Papal Soldier: Shields!
Papal Soldier: Form up!
Papal Soldier: Standard bearers!

Flunkey: Presenting the most honourable Calvino Pallavicini da Genova.
Calvino Pallavicini: Holiness.
Alexander VI: The Lady Lucrezia will be here presently. Oh. Our daughter's pet. It goes everywhere with her.
Flunkey: Presenting the most gracious Lucrezia Borgia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Father. Holy Father...
Alexander VI: We have been waiting!
Lucrezia Borgia: The baby cried and would not stop.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Madame, may I present my brother, Calvino Pallavicini da Genova.
Calvino Pallavicini: Lady. I am honoured.
Lucrezia Borgia: And I am truly honoured to meet you. Father.
Alexander VI: Lucrezia!
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh! Sir, forgive me, I forget. Please accept this beast as a gift. It is the only one of its kind in the land. He eats only meat.

Sforza's Soldier: White flag!
Sforza's Soldier: White flag!
Juan Borgia: You are Catherina Sforza.
Catherine Sforza: I am Catherina Sforza.
Juan Borgia: I am Juan Borgia, Duke of Gandia, commander of the papal army. I am here to command you to proceed under our escort to the Holy City and humbly swear allegiance to our most Holy Father, Pope Alexander the Sixth.
Catherine Sforza: The whore of Rome first sent one boy to do his work- a murderer- and now he sends another.
Juan Borgia: You bring a boy to protect you? Is he strong enough to hold a sword?
Catherine Sforza: He is my son and he is worth more than a whole nest of Borgias. Is our business here done?
Juan Borgia: Be warned, failure to comply with this order will find you guilty of betrayal and your estate shall be confiscated.
Catherine Sforza: Here. Here is my estate; here is my land. Take it if you can; my cannons will answer your call.
Benito Riario-Sforza: Whoa!
Tommaso Carracci: Grab the boy! Grab the boy!
Papal Soldier: Yah!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Mother! No! Please! Help!
Juan Borgia: I warned you, Sforza!
Catherine Sforza: Stop! Don't shoot! Don't fire!
Sforza's Soldier: Hold your arrows!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Help! Help!
Papal Soldier: Shields up!
Tommaso Carracci: Wait, my lady! It's too dangerous!
Papal Soldier: Hold formation!
Tommaso Carracci: Go back! My lady! Go back! Open the gates! Yah!

Juan Borgia: How many years do you have?
Benito Riario-Sforza: Sir?
Juan Borgia: How old are you?
Benito Riario-Sforza: I am 15 years, sir.
Juan Borgia: Then you have 15 years.
Benito Riario-Sforza: Yes, sir.
Juan Borgia: And how many years do you have left?
Benito Riario-Sforza: I do not know.
Juan Borgia: Does your mother love you?
Benito Riario-Sforza: I think she does, yes.
Juan Borgia: How much does your mother love you?
Benito Riario-Sforza: That is hard to tell. How much does your mother love you? Ahh!
Juan Borgia: It is for me to ask the questions and for you to answer them.
Benito Riario-Sforza: Yes, sir.
Juan Borgia: We are going to torture you. We could start here-yes? With a sharp knife. There'll be lots of blood. You might even die. How does that make you feel?
Benito Riario-Sforza: There is nothing I can tell you.
Juan Borgia: Well, that is your misfortune. We are not going to torture you because we want you to tell us something; we are going to torture you so that your mother can see you suffer.

Lucrezia Borgia: So, from here he walked to the Tiber and then stopped for a while to do a picture of the Castel Sant'Angelo. And then?
Nanny: From there he walked to the ruins on Via Aurelia where he sat for several hours- drawing and painting.
Lucrezia Borgia: What else?
Nanny: He ate an apple.
Lucrezia Borgia: And did he meet with anyone?
Nanny: No one. I don't think there's anyone else, my lady.
Lucrezia Borgia: Here... Go to the store on the Piazza de Navona and buy me some paints- artist's paints- brushes and the like. I wish to become an artist.

Papal Soldier: Man the ramparts!
Papal Soldier: Yes, sir!
Tommaso Carracci: My lady, their army has gathered in the forest beyond the range of the cannon. And we cannot estimate their numbers.
Catherine Sforza: We wait. You cannot march an army into Romagna and word not travel. Ludovico and his army will come, then we will spill some blood.
Tommaso Carracci: Can we depend on Ludovico?
Catherine Sforza: Ludovico is like the wind, we know this, but he is family. We made a pact. Each to help the other.
Papal Soldier: Bring the prisoner!
Papal Soldier: General's escort!
Papal Soldier: Forward!
Catherine Sforza: What is this?
Benito Riario-Sforza: Ahh!
Catherine Sforza: What are they doing to my son?
Juan Borgia: Call to your mother. There. In the battlements. Call to the bitch.
Benito Riario-Sforza: Mother.
Juan Borgia: Louder!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Mother. Ahh!
Juan Borgia: Scream to her.
Benito Riario-Sforza: MOTHER!
Catherine Sforza: I'm here.
Juan Borgia: Louder!
Catherine Sforza: I am here!
Benito Riario-Sforza: MOTHER!
Catherine Sforza: I am here!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Ahh!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Borgia bastard.
Juan Borgia: Tell her you are afraid. Tell her you're afraid!
Benito Riario-Sforza: I am afraid, Mother.
Juan Borgia: Tell her-"Help me."
Benito Riario-Sforza: Ahh! Help! Help!
Juan Borgia: Louder! Louder!
Juan Borgia: Louder!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Help!
Juan Borgia: Tell her that we will torture you.
Benito Riario-Sforza: They'll torture me. Please.
Catherine Sforza: Men do not torture boys!
Juan Borgia: Not even ones worth a whole nest of Borgias?
Catherine Sforza: Release my son!
Juan Borgia: Surrender to my forces, give up your castle, journey to Rome, bend your knee to the Holy Father, and then... then I will release your son into your loving arms! Dead.
Hernando de Caballos: General, is this a noble act?
Hernando de Caballos: The torture of this boy?
Juan Borgia: You surprise me. If you don't have the stomach for the spectacle, you'll find that Spain lies that way. Men, with me!
Papal Soldier: Hold shields! Hold guard!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Ahh!
Hernando de Caballos: Stay with him.
Catherine Sforza: My son... live or die... I swear these men will not make old bones.
Benito Riario-Sforza: Mother. Mother!

Boy: Open up! Open up!
Man: They're coming!
Man: How can you stop them?
Woman: They're coming back. Let's go home!
Cesare Borgia: To think, Florence was once a joyful city.
Boy: Open up!
Niccolo Machiavelli: There is word your brother has returned from Spain and has been ordered to bring the Sforza woman to her knees.
Cesare Borgia: Hmm... Well, I wish him good fortune. She has sharp teeth.
Niccolo Machiavelli: So the papal army has laid siege to the castle at Forli.
Cesare Borgia: To her castle or to her bed?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Oh there's more. Ludovico of Milan is marching on Forli to break the siege. He is on the move. The papal army will find itself under attack.
Cesare Borgia: Could a messenger reach my brother in time to warn him of the attack?
Niccolo Machiavelli: That would depend on how fast the messenger chooses to ride. The threat is imminent.
Boy: Open up! Open up!
Cesare Borgia: My father, the Holy Father, gave me this mission. It's plain, my duty lies here. My brother's a military man and trained in the art of warfare. I'm sure he'll find a strategy to defend his army- and himself.
Boy: Hand them over! Don't be vain, be righteous!
Micheletto: God's children are knocking at the door.
Niccolo Machiavelli: God will follow later.
Cesare Borgia: Would you care to answer?
Boy: Give us your riches!
Boy: Open the door!
Micheletto: Would you?
Micheletto: I hear no knocking.
Boy: Don't be vain, be righteous!

Lucrezia Borgia: What are you doing here? How do you know this place?
Rafaello Pallavicini: Uh, a recent discovery. And you?
Lucrezia Borgia: I come here often. To paint and to read the poets.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Have you painted for long?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, not long at all.
Rafaello Pallavicini: May I see your work?
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh. I think not.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Who are your favourite poets?
Lucrezia Borgia: I read them all. I love Ovid and I love Sappho. "Someone will remember us, even in another time. Even in another time." And you, are you an artist?
Rafaello Pallavicini: No, I'm a bored nobleman from a family of considerable wealth with too much time on my hands. I paint and draw, pretend to be an artist.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well then, I will pretend with you.
Rafaello Pallavicini: What happened to your hand?
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh, I was bitten. By a panther.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Yes, I remember the beast. It dared to bite such a beautiful hand?
Lucrezia Borgia: And thus I cannot paint today.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Will you marry my brother?
Lucrezia Borgia: Would he make a worthy husband?
Rafaello Pallavicini: He is an honourable man so, yes, I think he will make a worthy husband.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Well, he is the elder son. He has lands, a fleet of ships, power.
Lucrezia Borgia: But that is not love, is it?
Rafaello Pallavicini: No, that's not love.
Lucrezia Borgia: This is the perfect place.
Rafaello Pallavicini: For what?

Boy: Vanities!
Boy: Your gold, your silver.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Wait! Before you speak, I would have you cease marking chalk crosses on my door. You may continue.
Boy: Vanities. Your gold, your silver, your trinkets, your books. Give up your vanities!
Niccolo Machiavelli: I have no vanities. I have only my intellect, which I am reluctant to relinquish. And, as you can see, with these looks I have no vanity.
Boy: An eternity in Heaven or an eternity in Hell. What will it be?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Hell is here in this city. Heaven has, of late, been removed to another place.
Boy: Are you a sinner?
Boy: The son of man will return in his glory and he will judge both the quick and the dead. Give up your vanities or face the wrath of God.
Boys: Give 'em up. Give up your vanities! Give up your vanities!
Boy: Would you have us break your windows?
Boy: Yes, would you?
Niccolo Machiavelli: So, God is now reduced to breaking windows. Wait. One moment. Here.
Boy: Come to the square -

Tommaso Carracci: How long can you watch your son suffer at the hands of this man?
Catherine Sforza: Revenge will harden the heart.
Papal Soldier: Open ranks!
Catherine Sforza: If my son must die, then so be it.
Sforza's Soldier: General.
Tommaso Carracci: My lady. There!
Juan Borgia: You think you can beat me, Sforza?
Tommaso Carracci: One arrow and we can deprive them of their leader.
Papal Soldier: The boy weakens, my lord.
Catherine Sforza: Can you kill him? Do it.
Papal Soldier: Formation! Formation!
Papal Soldier: Close the gaps, quickly!
Papal Soldier: Archers ready!
Juan Borgia: For every arrow!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Ahh!
Juan Borgia: For every man you hit, I'll take one of your son's fingers. See! And then I'll hack off his head.
Papal Soldier: Soldiers, shield! General!
Hernando de Caballos: Form a shield wall!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Mother!
Papal Soldier: Grab him!
Benito Riario-Sforza: Mother!
Papal Soldier: Ropes! Tie him!
Papal Soldier: Medic!

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Let me say, I think I know what's in your mind. Tell me, have you fallen in love?
Lucrezia Borgia: How am I to know? My heart is still with Paulo. But, if I am to marry, to be sold like a sheep, as my father would have it, then I would rather have it be my choice. Shush, shush.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Just pick him up.
Lucrezia Borgia: I've just fed him.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Why defy your father? He has great love for you. Marriage is a civilized arrangement of mutual benefit; it's not a cattle market.
Lucrezia Borgia: But I thought that was a cattle market. You give me money, I give you a sheep. Only in this case, I am the sheep. Mother, if I am to choose, then please not Calvino Pallavicini da Genova.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Who then? Oh, let me take him. Come to me. Come to me. Ba-dup, ba-dup. There he is. It's the brother, yes?
Lucrezia Borgia: Why not?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I knew it. Oh, Lucrezia... This is not possible. Put it out of your mind. It's the golden rule: never marry the second son. Your father will never agree.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, then, I will not marry.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Are you in love with him?
Lucrezia Borgia: No... I don't know. I-I don't want to fall in love, it causes too much pain.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: But you desire him.
Lucrezia Borgia: I have that craving, yes. And why not?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Why not, indeed?

Man: Have you given up your gold, Cardinal? Have you?
Man: Those robes are the trappings of blasphemy!
Man: Burn him all the same!
Niccolo Machiavelli: Sandro Botticelli. The painter.
Man: There he is! The Medici whore!
Woman: Save us! Save our souls!
Niccolo Machiavelli: I should have brought my print of the Decameron. Boccaccio would have been amused.
Cesare Borgia: He could have written a fine story about this.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The one hundred and first.
Cesare Borgia: There goes the Botticelli.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Months to paint, a moment to burn.
Girolamo Savonarola: Cardinal Cesare Borgia, my Bonfire of the Vanities! Stand too close and your mozzetta will turn to fire. And you, Signor Machiavelli, have you brought your works to burn? Be sure, we will visit your house, seek them out, and consign them to the flames!

Giuliano della Rovere: Six times you've taken the poison and each time your resistance grows. This is the seventh.
Antonello: "When the lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven."
Giuliano della Rovere: Is that all there is? Silence?
Antonello: I feel as if I go to the other side of life and then return.
Giuliano della Rovere: Do you have visions?
Antonello: Just darkness. And shadows.

Alexander VI: We grow weary in extremis of this game.
Lucrezia Borgia: It is no game.
Alexander VI: No, it is no game! It is not simply a matter of you satisfying your own sweet self! Your indecision is a gift to our enemies. A folly! This could cost us our lives, our home, our all! You are marrying for all of us, Lucrezia, not just yourself. For family!
Lucrezia Borgia: What a burden.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Did you not have hopes of capturing Alfonso d'Aragona? He's young, powerful. Surely he'd do nicely.
Alexander VI: A message was sent to the south. His arrival was expected but never fulfilled.
Lucrezia Borgia: What more is to be said? Sell me to the highest bidder.

Sforza's Soldier: Lord Sforza! We approach Forli!
Sforza's Soldier: Muffle your arms!

Papal Soldier: At your ready.
Papal Soldier: Shields.
Juan Borgia: Here is your son! He is waiting to die!
Papal Soldier: Archers, prepare.
Juan Borgia: For you! What is your answer?
Catherine Sforza: God will be my judge... but I will never, NEVER bend my knee to the whoremaster of Rome.
Juan Borgia: Is that your answer?

Sforza's Soldier: Load the piece quickly!

Catherine Sforza: This is my answer. You can take my son, but do you see? Here! I have the means to produce TEN MORE SONS! And they will hunt you down and send you to your grave.
Juan Borgia: Enough. Get ready.
Tommaso Carracci: Ludovico is here!
Sforza's Soldier: Fire!
Hernando de Caballos: We are under attack!
Ludovico Sforza: Hunt the Borgia down.
Sforza's Soldier: Bombard at the ready!
Sforza's Soldier: Yes sir.
Sforza's Soldier: Fire!
Sforza's Soldier: Forward!
Sforza's Soldier: After them!
Juan Borgia: Kill the boy!
Hernando de Caballos: We are under attack in the forest. What are your orders?
Juan Borgia: Kill the boy! Hang him!
Hernando de Caballos: No!
Hernando de Caballos: No! Yah!
Catherine Sforza: Save him! Save my son! General!
Tommaso Carracci: Archers!
Sforza's Soldier: Fire!
Sforza's Soldier: Release!
Sforza's Soldier: Release!
Papal Soldier: Come about!
Papal Soldier: They're on both sides!
Sforza's Soldier: Attack!



208. Truth and Lies

Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Juan Borgia: May I present Don Hernando de Caballos. He was at the Siege of Granada.
Alexander VI: We had a siege in mind. Catherina Sforza, has been threatening war. Give us occasion to to bend her knee to Rome.
Juan Borgia: Grab the boy! Grab the boy! Here is your son! He is waiting to die!
Catherine Sforza: I have the means to produce TEN MORE SONS!
Rafaello Pallavicini: Madame, may I present my brother, Calvino Pallavicini da Genova.
Calvino Pallavicini: Lady. I am honoured.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: It's the brother, yes?
Lucrezia Borgia: Why not?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Your father will never agree.
Alexander VI: You are marrying for all of us, Lucrezia, not just yourself. For family!
Cesare Borgia: Girolamo Savonarola! This edict finds you guilty of disseminating pernicious doctrines. You are hereby ordered to suspend your sermons and prophecies.
Girolamo Savonarola: I will use it... to wipe my ass!
Giuliano della Rovere: We have one among us who would be a martyr. Take note of the man with the water jug. He's the pope's taster.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ludovico of Milan is marching on Forli.
Cesare Borgia: Could a messenger reach my brother in time to warn him?
Niccolo Machiavelli: That would depend on how fast the messenger chooses to ride.
Hernando de Caballos: We are under attack!
Juan Borgia: Kill the boy! Hang him!
Hernando de Caballos: Yah!

Alessandro Piccolomini: Your Holiness?
Ascanio Sforza: Your Holiness?
Alessandro Piccolomini: Holiness, may we intrude?
Man: Sh.
Ascanio Sforza: Holiness, we have received some news.
Alexander VI: Well, it must be good news to cause such levity. Go on. Tell us.
Ascanio Sforza: Uh, Charles, the, uh, King of France, um...
Alexander VI: Go on.
Alexander VI: This is a cause for amusement?
Alessandro Piccolomini: No, not to me, Holiness.
Ascanio Sforza: Um... it appears he banged his head. While, uh, stooping through a low doorway. After playing tennis!
Alessandro Piccolomini: Being short, it is a miracle that he found a doorway low enough.
Alexander VI: There was more steel in that heroic king's diminished frame than can be found in both your bodies. Shame on you. You shall both kneel. Say the rosary one dozen times for the repose of his eternal soul. On reflection... make that three dozen.
Alessandro Piccolomini: In Patris et Filli et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Juan Borgia: Faster! Careful! Faster! Stop. Stop! Help me. Help me!
Flunkey: Sorry, my lord.
Juan Borgia: We were attacked... from all sides. Ludovico Sforza's army came like a flood from the forest. We fought long and hard. I got hit... by an arrow... in the leg. I could not move. But we fought on, back to back. Men cried, "For God, for Alexander" as they perished. Then I fell. I lost my sensibility. And the battle faded. When I awoke, all I could hear were the cries of the dying. But I escaped in the dark.
Alexander VI: We commend your bravery, but... what should have been a glorious victory is an ignominious defeat.
Juan Borgia: Il Moro must have had word. Of this, this is certain. Cesare was in Florence. Why did he not come to warn us of Ludovico's attack?
Alexander VI: How could he have known?
Juan Borgia: An army was on the move! How could he not have known? Cesare was in Florence with Machiavelli. Machiavelli has spies! Machiavelli knows everything!

Hernando de Caballos: There.
Cesare Borgia: Who is it?
Hernando de Caballos: Tell him who you are.
Micheletto: Look at me, boy. Come closer, or I'll come in there and get you.
Cesare Borgia: This is Catherina Sforza's son, Benito. What's he doing here?
Micheletto: What happened to your hand? Show me.
Hernando de Caballos: A finger was cut off.
Cesare Borgia: Who by?
Hernando de Caballos: Do I need to tell you? Look at his arms, his neck.
Cesare Borgia: Come, show me. Come. Juan did this?
Hernando de Caballos: An order was given for him to be hanged. I saved him.
Cesare Borgia: Did Juan bring him to Rome?
Hernando de Caballos: No, no, he believes the boy to be dead. He is here for safekeeping. The cardinal gave me the key to this place.
Cesare Borgia: What cardinal?
Hernando de Caballos: Sforza. The boy, the cardinal, they are family.
Micheletto: The poison in this wound runs deep. He will lose an arm or hand, at least. Best I kill you now.
Hernando de Caballos: And kill the truth? This boy saw what happened at the siege. He witnessed your brother run like a coward.
Cesare Borgia: So why did you save him?
Hernando de Caballos: It is a matter of honour. I fight the men, not the boys.
Micheletto: Pity.

Juan Borgia: Get off! Go. Go!
Cesare Borgia: My brother, the hero.
Juan Borgia: Did I say "stop"?

Alexander VI: Your brother fought to within an inch of his life. He says that you had knowledge of the attack against him, but that you failed to send him a warning.
Cesare Borgia: If you want to know the truth of what happened at Forli, you must ask those who were there.
Alexander VI: Multitude of men died. We must atone for their deaths. But you think that there is another story?
Cesare Borgia: Our Holy Father has forbidden discord between his sons. I am here to obey my father and to neither praise nor condemn my brother.
Alexander VI: But if we had divested you of your robes, if you were at the Siege of Forli, would you have triumphed?
Cesare Borgia: I would have been there to the end.
Alexander VI: We will learn the truth of this. Ah! Now... to another matter that weighs upon our papacy. We hear that fires burn bright in Florence and the Friar Savonarola still preaches.
Cesare Borgia: The people flock to him.
Alexander VI: You gave him our apostolic letter commanding his silence?
Cesare Borgia: And he wiped his ass upon it.
Alexander VI: So... we must lay charges of heresy against him.
Cesare Borgia: And he will laugh-
Alexander VI: Laugh in our face. We know.
Cesare Borgia: I do not have authority to lay the charge of heresy.
Alexander VI: Patience. You will have it. You will return... to Florence once more and it will be as if God's vicar himself stands before him.
Cesare Borgia: If it is your wish, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: Not ours alone, Cesare. Remember, it is God's work that we do. Ah. Now, somewhere in here, it is written that we have the power to pronounce an ecclesiastical curse upon this friar. A God-given power to condemn him to Hell. A ritual.
Man: Your Holiness?

Juan Borgia: What did he tell you?
Cesare Borgia: Of whom do you speak, Brother?
Juan Borgia: Hernando de Caballos.
Cesare Borgia: Ah. He told me of your bravery at Forli. How you stood side by side with your men and fought bravely on. How you upheld the name of Borgia and protected the honour of our family. What else do you think he might have told me, Brother?
Juan Borgia: And what did you tell our father?
Cesare Borgia: What could I tell him? You know the truth. You were there.

Alexander VI: Have faith, your Eminences. Only 14 days until the end of Lent.
Brother Bernardino: Pure, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: We remain in the wilderness.
Latin Reader: Super hoc expavit cor meum et emotum est de loco suo.

Giuliano della Rovere: A living death.
Brother Sylvio: True.
Giuliano della Rovere: Yet each time he returns to life with a renewed spirit. He's at one with life yet willing to go happily to his own death.
Brother Sylvio: He is ready then. You have done your work.
Giuliano della Rovere: Yes, but we have a hazard, Brother Sylvio.
Brother Sylvio: What is that?
Giuliano della Rovere: Brother Bernadino. The pope's taster.
Brother Sylvio: Ah, yes, of course.
Giuliano della Rovere: For as long as he remains by the pope's side, our mission is in purgatory.
Brother Sylvio: I hear the man is a charitable soul.
Giuliano della Rovere: There is the point. It is one thing to kill this pernicious pope, for which we have blessing, but it is quite another to kill this Brother Bernadino, a man of God, devoted to his faith.
Brother Sylvio: We too must have faith. God will guide us.
Antonello: Mm.

Juan Borgia: What's your prediction?
Doctor: Of your condition?
Juan Borgia: What else?
Doctor: In a word, my lord, in the long term- blindness, madness, death.
Juan Borgia: That is three words.
Doctor: And then there is your leg. If the contamination cannot be abated, it may have to be removed.
Juan Borgia: My leg? That is to be my destiny- a pox-ridden blind madman with one leg?
Doctor: We pray not, Excellency. Relief is at hand. Here is a medicament much appreciated by our Roman ancestors, an extraction of homegrown efflorescence.
Juan Borgia: Tell me what it does.
Doctor: It has long been known to relieve pain, such as that in your leg, and it also calms disturbances of the bowel.
Juan Borgia: And let us not forget my privy member.
Doctor: I have often thought that a fortune might be made by its export.
Juan Borgia: What's it called?
Doctor: It's commonly called opium. Uh, sometimes it is referred to as the tears of the poppy.
Juan Borgia: How very poetic.
Doctor: Hm.

Alexander VI: Calvino Pallavicini, his good-for-nothing brother, and his entire retinue-
Alexander VI: -of aides and auxiliaries, repose at our expense, while we wait for our daughter to emerge from her chamber. We would see an end to this procrastination!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Sh! I wish I hadn't been volunteered for this. Far better to arrange a funeral. The dead don't bicker.
Alexander VI: The Pallavicini are a family of immense power and influence. Calvino Pallavicini is a merchant of wealth, they have a vast array of ships, and, what's more, he has Spanish blood!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: On the mother's side.
Alexander VI: Well, any side will do! We would see a betrothal today!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: We will do what we can.
Alexander VI: Thank you!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Although why I am charged with this task remains a mystery.
Alexander VI: Well, long may it remain so.

Man: Incoming!
Man: We need more hands on the top level!
Man: Good!
Lucrezia Borgia: Beautiful.

Alexander VI: We are being ridiculed, my sons. From Rome to Venice. The Friar Savonarola is howling his iniquities from Florence. Posted on every tavern wall, scrawled and scribbled, Catherina Sforza's supposed words: "Ten more sons."
Cesare Borgia: I have heard these words.
Juan Borgia: A scurrilous fancy, Father.
Alexander VI: But rumour has it that you captured her son and she stood on the battlements, raised her skirts above her head, and said, "Don't you realize, Borgia, I can have 10 more sons?"
Juan Borgia: Lies, Father.
Alexander VI: We would know the truth.
Juan Borgia: I captured her son, laid siege to her castle, Ludovico Sforza came to her aid, and her son died in the heat of the battle.
Alexander VI: To which you gave your all.
Juan Borgia: Why do you say that? Look! This wound is killing me! What more is there for me to give?
Alexander VI: It's all right, sit down. Cesare.
Cesare Borgia: I have no tale to tell.
Juan Borgia: The tale you do not tell is why you chose not to warn me of Ludovico Sforza's attack.
Cesare Borgia: Had I known, I would have warned you.
Juan Borgia: How could you NOT have known?
Cesare Borgia: I was sent by our Holy Father on a different mission.
Juan Borgia: Had you not laid siege to Catherina Sforza's bed, there would have been no bloodshed.
Cesare Borgia: Ten more sons.
Alexander VI: Quiet. Quiet. Come on. Do you know what is more poisonous than failure in war or politics? Ridicule!

Calvino Pallavicini: Lady Lucrezia.
Calvino Pallavicini: You see, I'm following your instructions. Only meat.
Lucrezia Borgia: Good. I have never seen these rooms before. My father has made you comfortable?
Calvino Pallavicini: Yes. Most generous.
Lucrezia Borgia: And... your brother? I believe it is your brother who travels with you, yes?
Calvino Pallavicini: Yes. Yes, he has a chamber- here. He's not here at this time.
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh. Your Excellency, I think it is not appropriate that we are alone together without attendants. You must excuse me.
Calvino Pallavicini: Lady. Lady Lucrezia. You are VERY beautiful.
Lucrezia Borgia: Thank you. And you, your Excellency, you are most handsome.

Woman: Enjoy. God bless you!
Woman: Fresh fish! Fresh fish!
Giuliano della Rovere: His Holiness is immersed himself in a theatre of penitence. He has discovered sobriety, abstinence. It's as if the Lenten fast had only just been invented. The pope's taster buys his food, chooses his fish, guts them, prepares them. You don't like the smell of fish?
Antonello: No. But while the pope still has a taster, my mission remains in purgatory.
Brother Bernardino: I want only the best for His Holiness.
Giuliano della Rovere: God will show us the way.

Hernando de Caballos: The boy, Benito, I leave him in your charge, for safekeeping. He must be given life.
Cesare Borgia: You are an honoured guest, Don Hernando. I would have you stay.
Hernando de Caballos: Your Eminence, I do not wish to play this game I see you all play. You Borgias. The Sforzas. Orsini. Medici. All of you, here in this beautiful land. God gives you riches, and you kill for more. I would have no part of this. I have said all I wish to say of Forli. You know the truth. And your father, he seeks truth he already knows. Hmm. I would leave now, before you find my body floating in the Tiber.

Antonello: The man I am to replace, the pope's taster, what kind of man is he? Do you know him?
Brother Sylvio: I know of him.
Antonello: Is he of this order?
Brother Sylvio: No, he's not. Why do you ask, little brother?
Antonello: That I might learn how best to become the pope's taster. Is he a man of God?
Brother Sylvio: He's known to be a charitable soul. Every day he distributes food to the poor.
Antonello: So, he is a man of God, then?
Giuliano della Rovere: Wrong question. The question is, does Brother Bernadino serve a man of God? If goodness places itself in the service of badness, does it still deserve the name? As a taster, you must know your trade.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: Which would you like?
Lucrezia Borgia: It is impossible. I cannot decide.
Lucrezia Borgia: This is torrone with hazelnuts. And this is canditi.
Lucrezia Borgia: I love them both.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Then which one will you eat?
Lucrezia Borgia: I don't know.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What's your name?
Lucrezia Borgia: Mother, what a question; what game is this?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: The game is your name, Lucrezia. What is your name?
Lucrezia Borgia: Lucrezia.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Lucrezia who?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Yes, Borgia. Do you understand? You are a Borgia. You can have both, Lucrezia Borgia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Now I see the game. It is a game of love- and lust.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: And marriage.
Lucrezia Borgia: Which is Raffaello and which is Calvino?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: It doesn't matter. That's the point of the game. Have both. Marry one and have the other. Have them one at a time or two together, it's no matter. After a while you will tire of both and take a lover. Lucrezia, look at me. Look me in the eye. Eat. And now the other.
Lucrezia Borgia: Mm. Delicious.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: There. You see. There's room for two.

Doctor: Yes. Ah, here he is.
Mohammed: My lord.
Doctor: This is Mohammed.
Juan Borgia: Mohammed? Here in the Holy City?
Doctor: He can help you ease your pain. Go with him. Trust him. All will be well.
Juan Borgia: Doctor.
Mohammed: Come, my friend. Please.

Mohammed: Yalla. Almost there now. Come. Harrek. Salama Alaykum.
Man: Breathe in slow-
Mohammed: Here you will find nothing but friends.
Juan Borgia: What is it they're smoking?
Mohammed: It is opium. When you cut the poppy, it cries. Come. Join your new friends. Ease your pain.

Micheletto: Poor, poor Benito Sforza. What is to be done with you, boy? Washed up in Rome like a stray dog. Should I kill you? Would it be a kindness to put you down?
Benito Riario-Sforza: Because I am my mother's son?
Micheletto: Your mother is a whore, boy. Reason enough, I would say. My master summons you, boy. You have truths to tell. You are to come with me.
Benito Riario-Sforza: To my death?
Micheletto: Remains to be seen.

Alexander VI: Who are you?
Benito Riario-Sforza: Holy Father, I must speak with you. I'm- I'm-
Alexander VI: Oh! What- what have they done? Who are you?
Benito Riario-Sforza: I am Benito Sforza, the son of Catherina Sforza, and I am here to tell you- I'm here to tell you what truly happened at the Siege of Forli.

Alexander VI: My son! So late to bed?
Juan Borgia: I'm a sleepwalker. This wound will not let me rest.
Alexander VI: Is it your body or your soul that needs healing? Your defeat at Forli may be atoned for.
Juan Borgia: We were betrayed, Father. Surely you must realize that? If I'd had word of the attack, Catherina Sforza would be- would be here now in irons.
Alexander VI: And her son, Benito?
Juan Borgia: Her son? What of him? Ah! He's dead. A small consolation.
Alexander VI: Perhaps we should suspend enmities. Regroup our forces.
Juan Borgia: Until my leg is healed.
Alexander VI: Hm. Find someone else to lead the papal forces in your stead.
Juan Borgia: I lead your armies. I defend this papacy, I defend this family, with my heart and with my soul.
Alexander VI: Juan, in your condition you are in no fit state to defend anything. Not even yourself.
Juan Borgia: If you were to rob my sword from me, my position, my respect, then there is a price to pay. If you take my honour, you must take my life. Mine to give, yours to take.
Alexander VI: Juan. Juan, you must sleep.
Juan Borgia: I will sleep with the knowledge that my estate is secure.
Alexander VI: Your estate remains in your hands. Now, come on. Go and rest.

Man: Boy, see to the horses! I'll come back for the others.
Ascanio Sforza: Cardinal Borgia. His Holiness sends this boy to you and charges you to return him on your journey to Florence.
Cesare Borgia: To where?
Ascanio Sforza: In his own words, to the one who gave him life. His mother.
Cesare Borgia: What's this?
Benito Riario-Sforza: It's from the Holy Father himself. An olive branch for my mother.
Ascanio Sforza: An offering.
Cesare Borgia: Cardinal.

Rafaello Pallavicini: Lady Lucrezia.
Lucrezia Borgia: Raffaello Pallavicini da Genova. I see you have been drawing.
Rafaello Pallavicini: Oh, um, some sketches, from the Roman ruins on the Via Aurelia.
Lucrezia Borgia: I know it well. Oh, I think you have dropped something.
Rafaello Pallavicini: No, I think not.
Lucrezia Borgia: Oh, yes, believe me, I saw you drop it. I think you had better read it without delay.

Rafaello Pallavicini: Lucrezia. Are you saying yes to my brother?
Lucrezia Borgia: And I am saying yes to you. I'll say yes to your brother to keep you here. Torrone morbido or canditi. Which would you have?
Rafaello Pallavicini: I like them both.
Lucrezia Borgia: Ah. So have both. Mm.

Woman: Fresh fish! Fresh fish!
Man: Fish for Lent!
Brother Bernardino: Keep up with me, boy.

Micheletto: They say drowning is like dreaming.
Cesare Borgia: Who is to know that? Whoever came back from the dead to tell?
Micheletto: Just give me the word, Eminence, and it is done.
Cesare Borgia: He carries an olive branch.
Micheletto: And this would bring peace?
Cesare Borgia: I doubt it.
Micheletto: This boy is marked for life. He has the smell of revenge about him. Let me kill him now and that is an end to it.
Cesare Borgia: You may be right, but... Ready!
Micheletto: I just offered to drown you in that stream. My master said no.
Benito Riario-Sforza: They say drowning is like dreaming.
Micheletto: And how do you know that?
Benito Riario-Sforza: I heard you tell your master.

Calvino Pallavicini: Sweet Lady Lucrezia, since my arrival here in Rome I have been captivated by the Holy City whose beauty is only eclipsed by the beauty of the woman I now see before me.
Alexander VI: Oh, so true.
Calvino Pallavicini: As heir to my father, Agostino Pallavicini da Genova, this bark I present to you is a symbol of the exotic treasures and riches which our fleet of ships carry from around the globe to our mighty port of Genova. All that is mine, I now lay at your feet.
Calvino Pallavicini: We share a proud Spanish heritage and I pray to the almighty God who rules us all that you will accept this offer of marriage and of a binding alliance between our families against our common foes.
Lucrezia Borgia: I thank you. Then my answer is... Yes.
Alexander VI: All praise. This is an historic occasion. At last. You have brought light into our lives. We thank the saints that have given you this wisdom.

Cesare Borgia: You remember this moment as an act of mercy.
Micheletto: This dog will come back and bite.
Cesare Borgia: What was it the Spaniard said? I fight men, not boys.
Man: Open the gate! Summon Lady Sforza! Open the gate!

Brother Bernardino: Bless you, little one.
Giuliano della Rovere: You requested confession.
Antonello: Yes. I confess I have sinned.
Giuliano della Rovere: And what is the nature of your sin?
Antonello: You must know it, Cardinal. Or at least suspect.
Giuliano della Rovere: What could I suspect?
Antonello: Murder. I created a vacancy in the papal household. I killed the one I must replace. Brother Bernadino.
Antonello: One gentle push while the good brother fished the river was all that was needed. He struggled but the weight of his robes trapped him down.
Giuliano della Rovere: God forgive us all.
Antonello: Am I fulfilling my mission, Cardinal?
Giuliano della Rovere: More than one could ever have hoped.



209. World of Wonders

Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Juan Borgia: We were attacked from all sides.
Alexander VI: What should have been a glorious victory is an ignominious defeat.
Juan Borgia: Cesare was in Florence. Why did he not come to warn us?
Alexander VI: How could he have known?
Juan Borgia: How could he not have known?
Cesare Borgia: My brother, the hero.
Alexander VI: Rumour has it Catherina Sforza raised her skirts and said "I can have 10 more sons."
Alexander VI: Do you know what is more poisonous than failure? Ridicule!
Giuliano della Rovere: We have a hazard. Brother Bernadino.
Antonello: While the pope still has a taster, my mission remains in purgatory.
Giuliano della Rovere: God forgive us all.
Alexander VI: We hear that fires burn in Florence and that Savonarola still preaches.
Ascanio Sforza: He says that visions are put into his mind by angels.
Alexander VI: Well, that could give us cause to burn him. Calvino Pallavicini and his good-for-nothing brother repose at our expense. We would see a betrothal today!
Lucrezia Borgia: Your brother? It is your brother who travels with you, yes?
Rafaello Pallavicini: Lucrezia. Are you saying yes to my brother?
Alexander VI: All praise.
Juan Borgia: This wound will not let me rest. What is it they're smoking?
Mohammed: It is opium. Come, ease your pain.
Alexander VI: Perhaps we should find someone else to lead the papal forces in your stead.
Juan Borgia: I defend this papacy; I defend this family with my heart.
Alexander VI: Juan, you are in no fit state to defend anything. Not even yourself.

Alexander VI: Make it absolutely clear that it's not possible...
Ascanio Sforza: Your Holiness, an urgent matter.
Calvino Pallavicini: Holy Father.
Alexander VI: What is this?
Ascanio Sforza: Holiness -
Alexander VI: Just one moment.
Calvino Pallavicini: Holy Father. I cannot marry your daughter.
Alexander VI: We are the Pope of Rome and you tell us you cannot marry our daughter? Why?
Rafaello Pallavicini: Holy Father.
Alexander VI: We think we know what you are about to say.
Rafaello Pallavicini: I wish to marry your daughter.
Alexander VI: What a revelation. And is our daughter party to this proposal?
Rafaello Pallavicini: Yes, I hope she is, Holiness.
Alexander VI: You hope. Would it not have been prudent to inquire before you apprehended us in this manner?
Rafaello Pallavicini: I am an honourable man, Holiness. I humbly beg your blessing to marry your daughter Lucrezia.
Alexander VI: We think you have lost sight of your moorings, young sir. Your brother is a man of means, a first son; he commands a vast fleet of ships trading untold wealth. You are a second son, command as far as we are aware no more than a paint brush.
Ascanio Sforza: Holy Father!
Alexander VI: What is it, Cardinal?
Ascanio Sforza: Your taster, Brother Bernadino.
Alexander VI: What of him?
Ascanio Sforza: He is dead.
Alexander VI: How? Poisoned?
Ascanio Sforza: No, he drowned in the Tiber whilst fishing.
Alexander VI: Well, how did that happen?
Ascanio Sforza: It was an accident.
Alexander VI: Accident?
Ascanio Sforza: Bodies are pulled from the Tiber every day.
Alexander VI: God rest his soul. And damn yours! And yours! And all of you!

Woman: Thank you for your help.

Alexander VI: Vanozza! Vanozza! Vanozza! Did you know of this?
Alexander VI: That our daughter, betrothed to one gives herself to the brother?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Lucrezia? It's not possible. How could she be so foolish?
Alexander VI: With the help of those around her, perhaps? What advice did you give her?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I merely said that if she married to please you, she may yet love to please herself.
Alexander VI: And you thought that wise?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: I married one of your choosing to be free to love you.
Alexander VI: But you were not the pope's daughter!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Rodrigo, she will love whom she chooses. She is a Borgia.
Lucrezia Borgia: I hear the Pallavicini boys have gone.
Alexander VI: Yes, because you would marry a pauper with a paint brush.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would have married Calvino Pallavicini as you bid, dear father. But if I had followed my heart, I doubt I would have married either of them.
Alexander VI: Oh, so, the future of this family is in thrall to your heart?
Lucrezia Borgia: If it is, it needs mending. Like my heart.

Niccolo Machiavelli: Here lie the ashes of countless treasures.
Cesare Borgia: Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The fire burned for days. People added more to keep the flames alive.
Cesare Borgia: The people of Florence had a good life. How can this Savonarola rob them of all this and yet still have them clinging to his every word?
Niccolo Machiavelli: If you can understand that, Your Eminence, then you will have the key to bring down the man.
Cesare Borgia: Break the spell, break the man.

Ascanio Sforza: Holiness, your security is paramount. Therefore, until we find a suitable recruit, I have decided to take on the role of food taster myself.
Alexander VI: Oh! Greater love hath no man. We will vet personally those who you choose. They should all be from holy orders. Pure in spirit. But now, Cardinal, your attention, please. We will hold a ritual in the basilica. Preparations should be made in the next two days. An anathema.
Ascanio Sforza: An excommunication.
Alexander VI: Friar Savonarola. We have charged Cardinal Borgia to silence him, to accuse him of heresy in full view of the entire populace of Florence. Whereas here in Rome, from the throne of St. Peter's, we will condemn his soul to the fires of Hell.

Niccolo Machiavelli: These people trust their fates, their fortunes, to the power of spells. Come. Savonarola understands that what haunts a man's mind in the night is what rules him. He trades in the fear of hell.
The Witch: Untie me! Untie me! I tell you! Please! I've done nothing!
Niccolo Machiavelli: Here is a different kind of bonfire.
The Witch: Damn you all! God will punish you!
Cesare Borgia: What is her crime?
Niccolo Machiavelli: She is a witch! People believe she has the power to cast them into Hell.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Fear of damnation and the hope for a better life in the next world. That is what Savonarola promises. He trades in miracles. Show him to be wrong, the man will burn... just like the witch.
The Witch: Damn you!
Man: Damn your soul!
The Witch: God will punish you!
Man: Burn, you witch!
The Witch: No! God will punish you!
Man: Heathen! Heathen!
Man: Black-hearted vixen!
Man: Glorify us!
Man: Purify her!
Niccolo Machiavelli: If angels can fall from Heaven into Hell... then so can we all.
Man: Purify your soul!
Niccolo Machiavelli: The demon waits to devour us.
Cesare Borgia: Then we must go wrestle with the demon.
Man: Burn in hell!
Man: Protect us!
Man: Damnation for you! Damnation!

Girolamo Savonarola: Are fulfilled the sayings of Isaiah - "They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not-" Jeremiah, "Thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed." You defend yourselves to your soul's damnation!
Cesare Borgia: Girolamo Savonarola, I am Cardinal Cesare Borgia and I come bearing the authority of His Holiness, Alexander the Sixth, Pope of Rome!
Girolamo Savonarola: Here is the Pope's messenger, his bastard son! One of many, we hear, fathered across the nation.
Cesare Borgia: Brother Savonarola, you stand accused of defying papal orders to cease your heretical preaching and of refusing to present yourself in Rome to bend your knee to our Holy Father.
Girolamo Savonarola: I recognize no such power! My authority comes from a higher being than your godless pope in Rome!
Cesare Borgia: Then we must put it to the test. A trial by fire. The whole of Florence can be judge and jury! I challenge you, here in this temple of God. As Christ, our Saviour, walked on water, if you can walk through fire, untouched, then I will follow you into the flames.
Man: God will protect you, Father!
Woman: Show us, Father!
Girolamo Savonarola: Children. God speaks to me. I am not afraid. I will... walk through the fire. And, he, he that follows me will burn.

Juan Borgia: Do you remember the old days? Do you? We were friends. We did everything together. Now look what pain you cause me. Have I betrayed you or have you betrayed me, eh? Answer me, you bastard. As usual, ah! You have nothing to say - ...but still you rule my life.

Alexander VI: Wherefore in the name of God, the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth.

Girolamo Savonarola: May God be my witness! We believe in you! I testify that Alexander Sextus of Rome is no pope! He is no Christian! And believes in no God! I will walk through this fire to show I speak God's truth!

Alexander VI: We deprive the Friar, Girolamo Savonarola, himself, and all his abettors of the communions of the body and blood of our Lord. We separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother, the Church in Heaven and on earth... We declare him excommunicated and anathematized, and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all those damned, so long as he will not burst the fetters of the demon, do penance, and satisfy the Church.

Alexander VI: We deliver him to Satan to mortify his body, that his soul may be saved on the day of judgment.
Cardinals: Fiat, fiat.

Man: He burns!
Woman: Betrayer!
Man: We gave everything for you!
Cesare Borgia: Get him.
Man: Give him to us!
Cesare Borgia: Take him to Rome.

Giuliano della Rovere: You will present yourself to the pope as a Franciscan. You will be asked why you would accept such a task. And what is your answer?
Antonello: Because I would gladly die in the service of the Pope of Rome.
Giuliano della Rovere: And you will mean every word you say.
Antonello: I will, Father.
Giuliano della Rovere: If hired, you will bide your time. You will choose your moment. You may have one chance and one chance only to deliver a fatal dose.
Antonello: Fatal for both of us.
Giuliano della Rovere: May God be with you.

Juan Borgia: There is something I'd like to say. It's long been my suspicion that my brother... has congress with my angelic sister. The issue of such a union would produce a demon to devour the world. And me. No one is listening. No one is listening.

Alexander VI: What's the matter with him? Has he been drinking? Get up! Take him to our apartments. Let him sleep it off.
Cesare Borgia: Father. Father...
Juan Borgia: Take your hands off me!
Cesare Borgia: The friar, Savonarola, he's been disgraced. The people of Florence celebrate.
Alexander VI: Ah! We greet this good news with caution. Has he confessed?
Cesare Borgia: He will. He is being hauled to Rome as we speak.
Alexander VI: Oh, so all is not yet won.
Cesare Borgia: Father, when the rack embraces him, he will confess.
Alexander VI: But he must be seen to be guilty, hence the need for his confession. The people must understand that no one is at liberty to impugn the office of the papacy. No one! And he must sign his confession and then...
Cesare Borgia: And then we will put him to the fire.
Alexander VI: A public spectacle. And no relics must remain.

Ascanio Sforza: Holiness, I have examined the applicants for the post of food taster and reduced them to three.
Alexander VI: A trinity, good. Come observe.
Ascanio Sforza: Rise. A Cistercian.
Alexander VI: We are aware. Show us your hands. You would save us from poison, but poison us with grime.
The Cistercian: We till the soil, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: As the apostle James.
Alexander VI: A Dominican.
The Dominican: Yes, Holy Father.
Alexander VI: We are acquainted with your brethren in Florence. Show us your hands. Why do you desire to serve us?
Antonello: I will gladly die to preserve the life of His Holiness, secure in the knowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ stands behind me and His light shines through me.
Alexander VI: What is your name?
Antonello: Antonello.
Alexander VI: Antonello. You are a Franciscan, young martyr?
Antonello: Yes, Father... Holiness.
Alexander VI: Our confessor was a Franciscan. We are fasting. Are you prepared for a diet of sardines?
Antonello: As his Holiness eats, so shall I.
Alexander VI: Then prepare to starve in our service. Give the other two a meal. Send them on their way.

Micheletto: The man is a bear, Eminence. Brand him, gouge him, stretch him to the limit. Believe me, this man will not break.
Cesare Borgia: He must be seen to be guilty. He must confess. Welcome to Rome. Reflect, had you forsworn your heresies, embraced Rome, the Holy Church would be embracing you now.
Girolamo Savonarola: Lies ooze from your mouth like pus from a dead horse. All that awaited me was the Castel Sant'Angelo.
Cesare Borgia: Well, it is all that awaits you now.
Girolamo Savonarola: True confession can only be extracted by torture; is that not so?
Cesare Borgia: That is so.
Girolamo Savonarola: Torture is hard work for a soft stomach. Are you sure you're up to it?
Cesare Borgia: It is not me who will be tortured. Have no doubt, you will sign your confession.
Girolamo Savonarola: By then you will be an old man.

Alexander VI: Lent is over. Our 40 days in the wilderness have passed. We have deemed it God's will that we continue our fast.
Alessandro Piccolomini: But Your Holiness. The bells ring. Christ the Redeemer is risen. Surely, Easter is a time for celebration.
Alexander VI: You may eat, Cardinal Piccolomini. But the Pope of Rome will abstain. Alone, if needs be, until God smiles upon St. Peter's once more. Sardines, if you please. No, no, no wine. We just drink water.
Julius Versucci: My preference is to eat sardines, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Oh, we welcome your company, Cardinal Versucci.
Antonello: The water is pure, Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: Hm. So we shall drink water. And water alone. Benedictus, Benedicat per Christum Dominum Nostrum. Amen.
Cardinals: Amen.

Alexander VI: Are you an assassin?
Giulia Farnese: No, I am Thisbe, come to whisper my love.
Alexander VI: Would you have us be your Pyramus? That story ended tragically: he fell upon his sword.
Giulia Farnese: No, but I would still whisper my love into your ear.
Alexander VI: Oh. This abstinence grows tiresome. We've spent so long in the wilderness.
Giulia Farnese: Why do you persist in punishing yourself when your labours bear fruit?
Alexander VI: It is God that punishes, not we ourselves.
Giulia Farnese: Yes, but God has given his blessing to your work. A bathhouse has been restored. An orphanage will bear your name. The poor of Rome have bread. Your papacy is a blessing to all. You are doing God's will. Is that not sign enough?
Alexander VI: Yes. Maybe you're right. We've been thinking too much of ourself.
Giulia Farnese: There's one other blessing you must confer.
Alexander VI: There is?
Giulia Farnese: Lucrezia's son. Your grandson, Giovanni. He needs the holy sacraments of baptism.
Alexander VI: Giovanni, yes, of course. His welfare is our duty, both in this world and the next. We would not have that angel condemned to purgatory. Nor this angel.

Lucrezia Borgia: Are you spying?
Alexander VI: We are rejoicing at such a beauteous sight.
Lucrezia Borgia: The pope rejoices once more?
Alexander VI: We have been in the wilderness, my love. For our sins. But it would be a sin to condemn little Giovanni to that wilderness as well.
Lucrezia Borgia: Do you mean-
Alexander VI: We would see him baptized.
Lucrezia Borgia: Ah. It is long past the time. Hey, sh, sh, sh.
Alexander VI: He shall be named and blessed in the eyes of God for all to see.
Lucrezia Borgia: It is my prayer.
Alexander VI: And we shall have festivities worthy of such a beautiful Madonna and child.
Lucrezia Borgia: And Cesare must be the godfather.
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. Sh-sh-sh-sh...

Alexander VI: Giovanni ego te baptizo in nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

Juan Borgia: Why wait so long to bless this bastard, eh?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Bastard yourself, Juan Borgia.
Juan Borgia: Thanks to you, holy mother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Take care not to stand too close. God knows what might rub off on you.
Juan Borgia: God knows why you're even here. My father discarded you long ago.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What happened to you, Juan? You were such a lovely child.
Alexander VI: A drink, if you please, Little Brother.
Antonello: Water, of course, Holy Father?
Alexander VI: No, no, no, wine. We would have wine. Take care; we would not have you spill the wine. It comes from our vineyards in Spain, Valencia. Too precious to spill. Taste it; you will see.
Antonello: I only know, Holy Father, that it is wine.
Alexander VI: Drink a little more. Let's see your eyes. Ah, not a trace of red. Pour. We are done with fasting. We would celebrate the baptism of our grandson with an abundance of wine.
Alexander VI: Ah, Lucrezia. I would toast you and our grandson Giovanni.
Lucrezia Borgia: He is tired, Nurse. Father...
Lucrezia Borgia: ...I have a gift for you.
Alexander VI: For me?
Lucrezia Borgia: A dance.
Lucrezia Borgia: Angels and Virgins.
Cesare Borgia: Angels.
Juan Borgia: No, flesh and blood, Brother, as you well know. Don't pretend that nothing stirs beneath that Cardinal's skirt of yours.
Cesare Borgia: Tell me, is it true what people are chanting and singing, as our father said? "Ten more sons"?
Juan Borgia: Would you start another brawl with me?
Cesare Borgia: And spoil the idyll of this beautiful dance? Never.
Juan Borgia: It was a foolish insult. It cost her son his life. Why do you shake your head?
Cesare Borgia: Because it's not true. Her son lives.
Juan Borgia: He can't have lived. I saw him hang.
Cesare Borgia: What you did not see is Don Hernando de Caballos saved him and brought him here to Rome.
Juan Borgia: So where is he now?
Cesare Borgia: Back at Forli. With his mother.
Juan Borgia: So why bring him to Rome?
Cesare Borgia: He had an audience. With his Holiness, the Pope.
Juan Borgia: I see your purpose here, your pathetic, fervent hope. You want to inhabit my shoes. Wear my armour. Carry my sword. But what you don't realize is that I am the prodigal son. And our father is never wrong. I am the light of his life! You must resign yourself, Cesare. For you will end your life in a clerical skirt.
Alexander VI: Brava! Brava!
Juan Borgia: Sister... So, finally, the bastard has a name, blessed by our Holy Father, and saved from damnation.
Lucrezia Borgia: And you, dear brother, will you be saved from damnation?
Juan Borgia: The angels smile on me.
Lucrezia Borgia: Please don't.
Juan Borgia: One day you'll realize that everything I've done has been for your own good. If you had tried to marry that waster from Genova, the one with the paint brush... I would have taken good care of him.
Lucrezia Borgia: For the good of the family, no doubt.
Juan Borgia: Always.
Lucrezia Borgia: Like you took care of Paolo? A stable boy. For the good of the family.
Juan Borgia: Exactly so. Everything I do is for the family. Were it not for our father's affection of your bastard son, I'd have tossed that piglet into the Tiber at birth. That's the only baptism it deserves.
Lucrezia Borgia: We are all bastards. You, me, our brothers. We are all bastards.
Juan Borgia: Yes... Perhaps. But we are Borgia bastards. And there, dear Sis, lies the difference. Hello, little piggy, time for a little dance, I think.
Lucrezia Borgia: Leave my baby! Juan, leave my baby alone! No! No! No! Leave my baby alone! Sh, sh, sh.

Dancer: The Pope of Rome!
Dancer: Can you believe it?
Dancer: Can you imagine!
Dancer: Here, take my hand.

Lucrezia Borgia: Poison. Tell me about poison.
Cesare Borgia: It kills with no hope of reprieve.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would happily kill tonight.
Cesare Borgia: And break your father's heart?
Lucrezia Borgia: Would that be the consequence?
Cesare Borgia: Indeed. He loves his errant son, does he not? More than he loves his dutiful one.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, then, love is blind.
Cesare Borgia: Blind and deaf and dumb.
Lucrezia Borgia: No killing then.
Cesare Borgia: Hearts may yet be broken. But not yours.

Dancer: Ten more sons!
Dancer: Ten more, ten more, ten more sons!
Dancer: Forgive us, my lord.
Dancer: Sorry.
Dancer: Sorry.

Cesare Borgia: Father, we must discuss our brother. He is hurtling towards ruin. And he will drag this whole family with him.
Alexander VI: You loved him once. You must love him again.
Cesare Borgia: Must I? Will love make him a better man?
Alexander VI: Help him... through his dark night. Don't let envy rule your heart.
Cesare Borgia: So I am my brother's keeper?
Alexander VI: Yes. He needs you. As counsel, as support... as cardinal. He needs you.

Juan Borgia: Come on, say it again. "Ten more sons."
Dancer: Ten-ten more sons!
Juan Borgia: And again!
Dancer: Ten-ten more...
Juan Borgia: Say it!
Micheletto: You think... this is wise, my lord? Where would you put the body?
Juan Borgia: Take your hand off me or you're a dead man.
Micheletto: You press - You press in the wrong spot, my lord. You press here. She is dead in a moment.
Juan Borgia: You'll suffer for this.

Mohammed: My lord. Let me help you.

Micheletto: Evening, my friend. Tell me, do you have a man named Juan visiting your home this night? I would consider your answer carefully.
Mohammed: Yes, he is here.
Micheletto: Tell him his brother would speak with him. Nothing to fear.

Juan Borgia: Brother. Have you come to beg forgiveness for your insult?
Cesare Borgia: I have.
Juan Borgia: You are already forgiven. Imagine that you are sitting on the edge of a vast well, your feet dangling over the edge. Moving slowly around the walls of the well, like smoke, there's a world of wonders reaching down, as far down as the eye can see. These wonders are your life. I glimpse us, Cesare, two brothers in harmony, walking together. All these visions are the work of tears.
Cesare Borgia: Tears of blood.
Juan Borgia: No. Tears of the poppy. Everything is there for you to see. Birth. And, of course, your death. But the miracle is that there's no pain. I have been in pain, Cesare, for all my years. And you- you are in pain, Brother. I can feel it.
Cesare Borgia: Yes. I am in pain.
Juan Borgia: You would end your pain?
Cesare Borgia: Yes. And I would end yours.
Juan Borgia: Ah! My brother! What is this?
Cesare Borgia: Only God forgives.
Cesare Borgia: We're Borgias! We never forgive.
Micheletto: I stand in awe, your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: You killed your father.
Micheletto: Still, I stand in awe.



210. The Confession

Alexander VI: Previously on The Borgias...
Cesare Borgia: Father, we must discuss our brother. He is hurtling towards ruin. And he will drag this whole family with him.
Juan Borgia: You're pathetic. You want to inhabit my shoes. Wear my armour. Carry my sword. You will end your life in a clerical skirt.
Alexander VI: It is a daughter's duty to marry her father's choice!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: She will love whom she chooses. She is a Borgia.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would have married as you bid. But if I had followed my heart-
Alexander VI: So, the future of this family is in thrall to your heart?
Cesare Borgia: You stand accused of defying papal orders to cease your heretical preaching.
Girolamo Savonarola: I will walk through this fire to show I speak God's truth!
Cesare Borgia: Savonarola's been disgraced. He's being hauled to Rome as we speak.
Alexander VI: Has he confessed?
Cesare Borgia: He will. When the rack embraces him, he will confess.
Giuliano della Rovere: Present yourself as a Franciscan. Seek employment as his taster. If hired, you will bide your time. You may have one chance only to deliver a fatal dose.
Juan Borgia: One day you'll realize that everything I've done has been for your own good.
Lucrezia Borgia: Like you took care of Paolo? A stable boy. For the good of the family.
Juan Borgia: Exactly so.
Lucrezia Borgia: Leave my baby! Juan, leave my baby alone!
Vanozza dei Cattanei: What happened to you, Juan? You were such a lovely child.
Lucrezia Borgia: Tell me about poison. I would happily kill tonight.
Cesare Borgia: And break your father's heart?
Alexander VI: Help him through his dark night. Don't let envy rule your heart.
Cesare Borgia: He loves his errant son, does he not? More than he loves his dutiful one.
Lucrezia Borgia: No killing then.
Cesare Borgia: Hearts may yet be broken.
Juan Borgia: Have you come to beg forgiveness for your insult? You're already forgiven. Ah!
Cesare Borgia: We're Borgias; we never forgive.

Micheletto: Make your confession and all this will end. You want that, don't you? An end to all this pain? You sign this, and it's done. What do you say?
Micheletto: Release him. You sign here. Here! Put him back.

Alexander VI: You were to bring me two things. A confession from the heretic and your brother. Tell us you have at least one out of the two.
Cesare Borgia: Savonarola will break on the rack. His confession will come any day now.
Alexander VI: It has been too many days already. And our second son?
Cesare Borgia: I had all of Rome searched.
Alexander VI: And? Make more effort. A man doesn't just vanish into the wind.

Cesare Borgia: Everywhere you have searched before, search again.
Captain of the Guard: Again, your Eminence?
Cesare Borgia: Yes, make more effort. Find him!
Ascanio Sforza: You've searched his friends' palaces, brothels, gaming halls, taverns, the like?
Captain of the Guard: Yes, Your Eminence. Many times.
Ascanio Sforza: Start with the mortuaries.

Lucrezia Borgia: Stop. Who are you?
Alfonso d'Aragona: I am Prince Alfonso d'Aragona, Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno.
Lucrezia Borgia: What are you doing here?
Alfonso d'Aragona: I am suitor to the Lady Lucrezia, daughter of his Holiness, Alexander the Sixth, Pope of Rome.
Lucrezia Borgia: Indeed? Lucrezia Borgia? Poor boy. Come. I will take you to her. So you are suitor to the Lady Lucrezia.
Lucrezia Borgia: A great responsibility for one so young. Take off your cloak.
Alfonso d'Aragona: If I remove my coat, what will you remove in return?
Lucrezia Borgia: We will see. The Lady Lucrezia has a great many suitors. Some are wheat and some are chaff. And it falls to me to separate the one from the other.
Alfonso d'Aragona: I am neither wheat nor chaff. I am Alfonso d'Aragona, and I am flesh and blood.
Lucrezia Borgia: Turn around.
Alfonso d'Aragona: If it pleases you.
Lucrezia Borgia: It pleases me.
Alfonso d'Aragona: Now you must do the same in return.
Lucrezia Borgia: If it pleases you.
Alfonso d'Aragona: It pleases me. So, what now? How far does your Lady Lucrezia care for this game to go on?
Lucrezia Borgia: There is no limit. Just as one would have one's groom break in a new horse... so it is with my lady's lovers and me.

Antonello: Before he ate only sardines and drank only water. So I poisoned the water and then he drank wine. I fear I will fail you.
Giuliano della Rovere: God has chosen you for this glorious path. This pope is on the brink of a chasm. One breath- your breath- will topple him. When the moment comes, you will know. God will tell you.

Girolamo Savonarola: I know what you are.
Girolamo Savonarola: I have had your kind stoned to death... and their corpses dragged through the streets.
Micheletto: My kind?
Girolamo Savonarola: Men who lay with men. Sodomites who corrupt young innocent boys who artists use as angels. I have cleansed Florence of her sin.
Micheletto: And yet here I am. Your last chance. Will you confess?
Girolamo Savonarola: To you? To you? Never. To your master. Yes. None else.

Lucrezia Borgia: Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno.
Lucrezia Borgia: What are they like, Bisceglie and Salerno?
Alfonso d'Aragona: Beautiful. But for all the world I would rather be here.
Lucrezia Borgia: You find Rome so appealing?
Alfonso d'Aragona: Not Rome. Here. When you speak of me to the Lady Lucrezia...
Alfonso d'Aragona: If... your account is favourable... can you and I...?
Lucrezia Borgia: Never. We must never see each other again. If you are hers, you are hers alone.
Alfonso d'Aragona: So... tell her I was inept, or coarse or beyond ugly. And come with me and be mine alone.
Lucrezia Borgia: You would turn down the pope's own daughter for me? Why?
Alfonso d'Aragona: Because I have never known a woman so lovely.
Lucrezia Borgia: Poor boy. It's time for me to go.

Cesare Borgia: Who would have thought a body could stand so much pain? They've tortured the man near to death.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The strength of a faith misguided is still a strength. He thought he could walk through fire.
Cesare Borgia: I disabused him of that notion.
Niccolo Machiavelli: You have broken his hold on power. You have broken the bones of his body. All that you lack is his confession.
Cesare Borgia: Exactly so. That which was said publicly must be recanted publicly. Even in death he would be poison. Rome needs this confession.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Then... give it to them.

Lucrezia Borgia: He is pleased to see his grandfather.
Alexander VI: We don't see enough of him. We have other things on our mind.
Lucrezia Borgia: Juan will come home. He always does.
Alexander VI: Hm. Well, Juan is not our only concern. There are other matters of...state and... family.
Lucrezia Borgia: Ah. State and family must mean marriage. You have another suitor standing by.
Alexander VI: Well, Prince Alfonso d'Aragona.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, I've heard of him.
Alexander VI: He's arrived at last.
Lucrezia Borgia: He's a child, is he not?
Alexander VI: Well, no, he's young.
Lucrezia Borgia: A boy of clay to mould into a man of my liking?
Alexander VI: We would have you meet him and not dismiss him out of hand, but meet him as a dutiful daughter should.
Lucrezia Borgia: If it is my duty, I shall meet with him.
Lucrezia Borgia: Strictly as a duty.
Alexander VI: Yes. Oh. Oh. Nanny, I think little Giovanni done a- you know.
Lucrezia Borgia: Come here.
Alexander VI: Yes, there you go. Ooh.
Nanny: Holiness. May I, my lady?
Lucrezia Borgia: I'll take him.
Alexander VI: Oh dear.

Alexander VI: Oh dear.
Flunkey: Presenting the most gracious... Lady Lucrezia Borgia.
Lucrezia Borgia: This is Prince Alfonso d'Aragona?
Lucrezia Borgia: Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno.
Alfonso d'Aragona: I- Well, I-
Lucrezia Borgia: Does he just make noises?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes, I will marry him. He has all the sweetness of an apple on the tree. I will marry him tomorrow if you wish it.
Lucrezia Borgia: You may kiss me. On the cheek.
Alexander VI: What a most charming and welcome eventuation. We feel invigorated!
All: Your Holiness.
Alexander VI: How refreshing that our children are still able to surprise us.
Captain of the Guard: Eminence. We have a body, your Eminence.
Alexander VI: What? Well, tell us.
Ascanio Sforza: There is a body.

Alexander VI: Who- Who... is this?
Ascanio Sforza: No one, your Holiness. It's a mistake.
Alexander VI: You've been searching the mortuaries. Did our son order this?
Ascanio Sforza: No, I did.
Alexander VI: You consider him dead?
Ascanio Sforza: I consider the possibility.

Giulia Farnese: Do you truly want to do this?
Alexander VI: Truly, no. But we must.

Cesare Borgia: How long must this continue? We both know you cannot stand much more.
Girolamo Savonarola: I... have run dry of screams.
Cesare Borgia: Then end it. Admit your heresy.
Girolamo Savonarola: My strength fails me. My will fails me.
Micheletto: I saved you for this very purpose. Now you sign it, and end it.
Girolamo Savonarola: I am weak... and... and no will...
Cesare Borgia: No. No! I know you went too far!
Micheletto: He's alive. Just.
Girolamo Savonarola: God speaks to me! Whatever you do to me... God is ready.
Cesare Borgia: I thank God for your confession. He cannot speak of this.
Girolamo Savonarola: You... bastard!
Cesare Borgia: Guards!
Girolamo Savonarola: You will burn for your blasphemy!
Micheletto: No, it is you who will burn.
Girolamo Savonarola: And with my last strength I damn this unholy pope. I shout to the world the falseness of this confession!
Micheletto: Hold him. I'll have your tongue. Hold him!

Giulia Farnese: These poor creatures were all brought in last night?
Mortuary Attendant: Yes, lady. The carts come in all night long.
Mortuary Attendant: The haul from the river's in here, sir, if you'd like to see. Six or seven a night, like as not.
Giulia Farnese: Holiness.
Alexander VI: Take him home.

Cesare Borgia: Holy Father, I bring you the signed confession of the heretic Savonarola of Florence. What happened?
Alexander VI: He was... dragged from the Tiber. Dogs... cats... the stillborn offspring of prostitutes... and our son.
Cesare Borgia: Leave us, Cardinals.
Alexander VI: Who would do such a thing? Who would dare? Who had cause to wish him harm?
Lucrezia Borgia: Any one of the many he harmed.
Alexander VI: What? What do you say?
Lucrezia Borgia: Nothing, Father.
Alexander VI: What do you say?
Lucrezia Borgia: You asked who would do such a thing. The answer is, many people, Father. Many people.
Alexander VI: We don't understand. Here lies your brother, murdered in cold blood, and you speak as if... Many people. Many people, you say? Do you count yourself among their number?
Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: Let her speak!
Lucrezia Borgia: What would you have me say? You know what he did to me! What he took from me! You all do! And you stood by for the honour of the family. I have wished him dead a thousand times, and now you want me to mourn him? I'm sorry, Father, I cannot.
Alexander VI: And you? He was your brother. You show no tears? Are you stone?
Cesare Borgia: I wept them all out for him long ago. Over and over, I watched him fail, and I wept. You should know, you were there. And still you granted him your every favour.
Alexander VI: Take yourselves- both- away from our sight!

Ascanio Sforza: Clean him up. Bring him back to life as if he were our own Lord Jesus Christ.
The Embalmer: Yes, Eminence.
Ascanio Sforza: Do your work.

Alexander VI: How could we have missed such enmity in the bosom of our family?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: You saw with a father's eyes.
Alexander VI: And you? Would you have had him dead?
Vanozza dei Cattanei: No. No, he was our son.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: But there were times... many times... when I wished that he had not been born.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Let him go. Arrange the funeral and say our farewells.
Alexander VI: No. He is our son. He will not be buried. I will not let him go.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: We have to bury him.
Alexander VI: No burial. Do you hear me? No burial!

Man: Hell is too good for you!
Man: Burn for eternity!
Man: Burn in Hell, you Satanic dog!
Guard: On your feet!
Man: Burn, Friar!
Man: Burn in Hell, you scum!
Man: You betrayed the Church and the people!
Woman: Traitor!
Man: Burn the heretic!
Woman: Liar!
Woman: Let justice be done!
Man: Now you're gonna burn!
Man: You're a liar and a hypocrite!
Man: Burn in Hell, Savonarola!
Man: Enjoy the flames!
Woman: Rot in Hell!
Woman: Go to Hell!
Woman: You betrayed us Friar, now burn in Hell!
Cesare Borgia: Holy Father. It is time.
Guard: Torches, forward!
Guard: Torches!
Alexander VI: Wait. We have read your confession. We know every poisonous detail of your heresy, each one of the multitude of your sins. And yet we are all sinners. Our sacred trust holds, even at this moment, this heartbeat between this world and the next. Do but repent, and your sins may be forgiven. Whatever you have done, we are disposed to grant you our absolution. Let him burn.
Man: Hot enough for you now?

Cesare Borgia: Little sister.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would ask you something.
Cesare Borgia: Then ask, and it is yours.
Lucrezia Borgia: I would ask you to marry me.
Cesare Borgia: As you wish. My word is my word. We shall run away, change our names perhaps. Live out our days in some small fishing village by the coast, where no one will ever guess who we once were.
Lucrezia Borgia: To Alfonso.
Cesare Borgia: Yes, yes, I know. You would have me marry you to him.
Cesare Borgia: Do you love him?
Lucrezia Borgia: I think he is good. I believe I can love him.
Cesare Borgia: So you have a good man at last. But I cannot marry you.
Lucrezia Borgia: I truly wish it.
Cesare Borgia: These hands have seen too much of blood and sin to join two such tender creatures.
Lucrezia Borgia: These hands bear a cardinal's ring.
Cesare Borgia: Until today they have. But no longer, I think.

Cesare Borgia: So... Lucrezia is to be married.
Alexander VI: The brightest and bleakest of days.
Cesare Borgia: They say you're not eating.
Alexander VI: We fast... we abstain... we scourge our flesh... we take all mortification. And still we are punished.
Cesare Borgia: This is not God's doing, Father.
Alexander VI: Everything is God's doing! Until we find his murderer, though we scour all Italy, Juan shall not be buried.
Cesare Borgia: There must be a funeral. It is arranged.
Alexander VI: No! We will not send him to purgatory. He will have no rest until we find who did this. There can be no hiding place so deep that we will not seek them out.
Cesare Borgia: There will be no need of that.
Alexander VI: Do you know who did this?
Alexander VI: Well, then, tell us!
Cesare Borgia: You truly wish to know?
Alexander VI: Ah... Well, we... must.
Cesare Borgia: Then first I ask that you hear my confession.
Alexander VI: Your confession?
Cesare Borgia: And I further ask that you release me from my vows as cardinal, and... I ask for your forgiveness of my sins.
Alexander VI: What sins have you committed?
Cesare Borgia: I have protected the papacy against her enemies when none other would stand his ground. I have made my family strong in the face of those who would weaken it. I have brought low the heretic Savonarola and outwitted the army of the French King, and all this, Father, all this, I have done for Rome and the Church... and for you.
Alexander VI: Tell me your sins.
Cesare Borgia: It is this, and only this: that I have taken upon my head the act that none other would dare commit, though its commission benefits all. I swore a vow long ago that I would put an end to anyone who brought dishonour on our family, dishonour on Rome, dishonour on you.
Alexander VI: Oh... oh... oh.
Cesare Borgia: So you see, Father, the robes of a cardinal no longer sit easy on my shoulders. A cardinal's ring makes it harder to grip the hilt of a sword. I beg you will release me of my vows, and you will grant me your forgiveness. Father?
Alexander VI: I release you from your vows.

Cesare Borgia: I have met with the committee of ceremonies. The funeral is being arranged.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Your father won't hear of it, Cesare. He won't even consider it.
Cesare Borgia: He doesn't need to consider it. There will be a Requiem Mass. The city bells will be muffled, there will be 16 black horses drawing a carriage dressed in black silk to bear the coffin. That is the funeral. But first, your betrothal.
Lucrezia Borgia: We are cancelling the celebration. Surely it cannot go ahead?
Cesare Borgia: Surely it must go ahead. It is for me to decide, and the decision was made.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Cesare, listen to me. It is not possible.
Cesare Borgia: No. It must stand. Life does not hold its breath for one man's grief.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Yes, and wounds take time to heal!
Cesare Borgia: Not a word more! Please! It is decided!

Alexander VI: Requiem eternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Alexander VI: Pie Jesu Domine, dona ei requiem. Dona ei requiem sempiternam. Grant him peace.

Vanozza dei Cattanei: So, tell me, Cesare, what exactly are we celebrating? Your sister's betrothal or the death of your brother?
Cesare Borgia: My love for my sister outweighs my grief for my brother.
Vanozza dei Cattanei: Grief? Then why do you force this false joy upon us? We are dancing on your brother's grave.
Lucrezia Borgia: Mother. Mother. He's here.
Alexander VI: We would speak with you.

Cesare Borgia: Father.
Alexander VI: Bring us some wine.
Antonello: It is good, Holiness.
Cesare Borgia: What's happened to your hands, Father?
Alexander VI: We have buried our son. And we realize now... that we have brought this upon ourselves.
Cesare Borgia: Father?
Alexander VI: You are our own doing. What you've done is our doing also. We brought you to this. You say we granted every favour to him. But our favours fell on him so easily, of their own accord. You are too much like me. A man feels less... favour for his own image reflected.
Cesare Borgia: If I cannot have your affection, can you at least grant me your forgiveness?
Cesare Borgia: Father. Father! No! Father! HELP!
Cardinal: Guards!
Cardinal: Holy Father!
Cardinal: God!